Posts with the tag “memoir”

On the Way to Christmas Eve
by Aaron Achartz on December 24th, 2022
What are your favorite Christmas Eve or Christmas Day traditions? Is there a particular cookie that you always eat first? Is there a certain tie that you wear every year to the Christmas Eve service? To spark a return to the eternal debate: do you open your presents on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, or Christmas afternoon?While I have a variety of traditions that others might share, I also have...  Read More
Christmas Cookies
by Aaron Achartz on December 21st, 2022
When home begins to fill with the varied wonderful smells of baking cookies, Christmas memories come flooding back...  Read More
A Rejoicing Building
by Aaron Achartz on December 20th, 2022
How do you rejoice? I often think of rejoicing as a musical activity, done by singers or instrumentalists...  Read More
Arise, Shine, for Your Light has Come
by Aaron Achartz on December 17th, 2022
Arise, shine, for your light has come. It can be difficult to shine sometimes...  Read More
Candles in the Darkness
by Aaron Achartz on December 10th, 2022
While singing in Christmas at Luther in my freshman year, I got the chance to experience a traditional part of the Christmas service from a unique perspective...  Read More
Travel Memoir - An Unexpected View
by Aaron Achartz on December 6th, 2022
Our arrival in Chiang Mai in the northwest of Thailand highlighted how busy the city was...  Read More
Music Memoir - Standing Still
by Aaron Achartz on December 3rd, 2022
For the fifth time in a single day, I had to stand, silent and unmoving...  Read More
Travel Memoir - Waiting for Sunset
by Aaron Achartz on November 29th, 2022
It was a cold, rainy afternoon in Rouen, France. I was standing at an overlook on La Côte Sainte Catherine. Even just getting to the overlook had been a challenge...  Read More
A Christmas Remembered (Ken Schuldt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 25th, 2021
Zwiebrucken, Germany…December 1954Shortly before Christmas, the staff at the Service Club asked for volunteers to be “Fathers for a Day” for some orphans from Zwiebrucken.About 10:00 an olive drab bus pulled up to the base chapel.  The windows were filled with smiling faces—outside, gathered on the ground, around the bus, were the “expectant fathers” awaiting their new families.It was soon determi...  Read More
Memory (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 23rd, 2021
(The following is a selection from Journeys: An Anthology of Adult Student Writing 2012 produced by The Minnesota Literacy Council.  Susan Ault shared this book and uses it in her work with adult English language learners through the Hopkins Schools.  Her students also contribute to the annual editions of this anthology.)My favorite holiday is Christmas Day because I’m from a poor family, and when...  Read More
Love Shines in the Night (Karen Saboe)
by Aaron Achartz on December 22nd, 2021
I hold my young daughter’s mittened hand as we walk in the cold night, Christmas caroling with the Children’s Choir and a few adults.  The carolers knock at another door, waiting with anticipation.  The wait seems longer than it really is.  The gentleman that opens the door peers at us, looking over eyeglasses positioned far down on his nose.  We are from his church, just up the road in Minnetonka...  Read More
Looking for Christmas at Macy's (Mim Kagol)
by Aaron Achartz on December 15th, 2021
Macy’s on 34th Street, a Saturday night three weeks before Christmas. The nip in the air and the brisk breeze made us pull our hoods and scarves tight against our ears. Bright lights, big city—with crowds both overstressed and festive, it seemed as if everyone in New York City was downtown that night. Someone in our tour group had said to be sure to go to Macy’s and see the decorations. To us firs...  Read More
Memory (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 11th, 2021
Daddy was not a man of the cloth….as they say...the word “cloth” acquired its meaning in 1634 when it began denoting one’s preference for the profession of clergymen.  Daddy was a keeper of the soil and seeds...God’s crops.  In other words he was a farmer (a sower of the seeds).  God’s crops….a I said, “a sower of the seeds”. But one year prior to Advent, my mom asked him to design and...  Read More
Mexico Christmas (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 8th, 2021
[This memoir is by a student in Susan Ault’s English Language Learner course for Hopkins schools.]In my native city of Poncitlan, Mexico, the biggest celebration of the year is the Virgin of the Rosary.  This celebration starts on November 23rd and lasts for eight days.At five o-clock in the morning the people are inside the church and the mariachi band plays the Happy Birthday song.  When they si...  Read More
Anticipation: A Memory (Rolf Olson)
by Aaron Achartz on December 7th, 2021
When the base of the tree would begin to fill with presents over the course of December, my brother and I always kept an eye out for one from our great aunt Judy.  She lived in the mythical land of Seattle which we had heard of in stories of our much older brother Jeff’s legendary trip to the World’s Fair.  We just knew that Aunt Judy sent the coolest gifts.  In her wisdom our mother never loaded ...  Read More
Advent Memoir (Carol Olson)
by Aaron Achartz on December 4th, 2021
This Advent memoir is from Carol Olson, Rolf Olson’s mother, a resident of Madison, Minnesota, and member of Faith Lutheran Church.There was church every Wednesday during Advent, and I know that if mother and father went, we kids went, too.  And there was all of the baking preparations then, baking cookies and making traditional Norwegian sweets and breads.  It was an exciting time.  I can remembe...  Read More
Sierra Leone Christmas (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 1st, 2021
[This memoir is by a student in Susan Ault’s English Language Learner course for Hopkins schools.]Christmas preparations in Sierra Leone for Advent are different from America. In America all they do is exchange gifts and go to work.  But, in Sierra Leone people will start celebrating a week before Christmas.  On Christmas Eve, people will do a lot of grocery shopping and buy lots of meats and chic...  Read More
South Korean Christmas (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 18th, 2020
From Kyong S. an English language learner from South Korea in Susan Ault’s classThe Republic of Korea allowed December 25 as a national holiday.  Therefore, from Christmas Eve until the next day, the 25th, it can be considered as a Christmas holiday.  There is nothing like a Christmas holiday like the West.  So Christmas doesn’t bring the whole family together. All Christians are judged before Chr...  Read More
Frohe Weihnachten (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 11th, 2020
“Merry Christmas” in German: “Frohe Weihnachten”  by Ursula S., a student in Susan Ault’s English Language Learner course for Hopkins schools. When I was a little girl, we lived in a small town in Bavaria, southern Germany, with my twin sister and an older sister.  We would celebrate St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) on the 6th of December.  It was a special day for us.  That was when St. Nicholas came t...  Read More
A Christmas Memory (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 4th, 2020
[This piece was provided by Susan Ault's mother who is 92 years old. Prior to the pandemic she golfed most days, loved bowling and enjoyed traveling the world.]It all began with the Christmas ‘Wishbooks’ coming in the mail.  Oh, how we poured over those pages knowing they were for our eyes only!  Soon, practicing for the annual country school program began.  The usual carols, skits and solos were ...  Read More