Author Archives: Jean Stringam

About Jean Stringam

My three favorite things to do are travel, make music, and write. The more of each, the better I like it!

More to Come in Retirement

I’m a little surprised to discover there’s still more to come in retirement. I had expected to be done with change by now, but here’s what has happened. Four years ago I bought a house located mid-way between my children so that one plane... Read More | Share it now!

Retirement Is an Immersion Process

Retirement is an immersion process. It’s been four years since I saw the tail lights on the moving truck, and I know I’ve been through another phase and come out the other end. In my journey through retirement, three distinct processes have... Read More | Share it now!

Retirement is Huge

Retirement is huge, all-encompassing, life-changing. I suppose it’s not reasonable to expect the transition to be over when I’ve merely closed my office door for the last time. The day after, my first response was the desire to float. No... Read More | Share it now!

Trying to Trap a Groundhog

I didn’t know that trying to trap a groundhog could involve so many animals. For the first week of my trapping project, the squirrels stole the apples and the slugs sucked holes in the cantaloupe. The next big critter (after the neighbor’s... Read More | Share it now!

My Unwelcome Roommate, the groundhog

My unwelcome roommate, the groundhog, was NOT living under the back porch like I had expected. No, s/he was ensconced in the very cozy crawl-space beneath my house enjoying the warmth from heat ducts and hot water pipes. I had planned to feel more... Read More | Share it now!

Groundhogs are Calm

Groundhogs are calm. I know this because before I moved from Missouri, I discovered in my back yard a furry beast about the size of a beaver. It’s face was similar to a beaver’s, but it did not have a flat, leathery beaver tail. I thought... Read More | Share it now!

My Father Loved Goodness

My father loved goodness wherever he found it. He was a cattle rancher in Alberta, as were some of his brothers. I remember hearing him say on occasion the accolade, “Now that man was a true cowboy.” This caught my attention because... Read More | Share it now!

My Father Loved Beauty

My father loved beauty, but he didn’t worship it. He didn’t want to acquire it for power and he didn’t want to regulate it in any way. What I observed him doing was trying to become one with it. It was as though he drank it in... Read More | Share it now!

My Father Loved Alberta

My father loved Alberta so completely that the land was part of his soul. To this day, something happens to me when I drive north on I-15 and cross that 49th parallel separating the grasslands of Montana from the grasslands of Alberta. I see the... Read More | Share it now!

A Christmas Canvas of the Heart

I once knew a woman who believed she could create a Christmas canvas of the heart whenever it felt right. I can understand her impulse. She sincerely believed that the important part of Christmas occurred in the heart. Therefore, she decided to... Read More | Share it now!

Why it Doesn’t Matter if You Cry in Public

Calculate your social acceptability quotient to understand why it doesn’t matter if you cry in public. Think of this quiz as a sort of cultural score card.  Mark your answer in private and then go to the bottom of the page to see your social... Read More | Share it now!

Why Not to Cry in Public: 12 Reasons

Cryers of the world are continually asking themselves why not to cry in public. What’s wrong with it? Since there is such confusion in a small but important sector of the population, I have compiled twelve closely considered arguments addressing... Read More | Share it now!

How Not to Cry in Public

How not to cry in public is a skill set involving technique and discipline. My abilities are composed of in-depth experience, high-level research, and successful methodology, In other words, I’m an expert on this topic, so pay... Read More | Share it now!

Reasons to Deplore the Global Village

There are several reasons to deplore the global village that the world has become, but I’ll limit myself to one. What I hate most about globalization is what it’s done to local talent. Every city has stunning voices, great musicians, fine... Read More | Share it now!

Social Media and Xenophobia

Social media and xenophobia directly connect via the mass popularity of cell phones, texting,  and the Internet. In fact, this technology has become both a conduit for and an enhancement of our culture’s basic xenophobic tendencies. The users of... Read More | Share it now!