New Car, New Husband

Diane Russell

In the summer of 1992, my red 1988 Toyota Tercel started costing hundreds of dollars a month to maintain. Fortunately, I could walk or ride my bike 1.5 miles each way from Oak Ramble Village, my apartment complex, to my job as a Human Resources Coordinator at the University of South Florida (USF). I also was a new part-time graduate student in Counselor Education at USF and could walk to those evening classes.

However, my continued membership and choir participation at St. Mark United Church UCC in Valrico was in question. St. Mark was over 20 miles away from Oak Ramble Village, so it was a 40-mile roundtrip drive. I had two options:  1) leave St. Mark and attend another church or 2) buy a new car and continue worshipping at St. Mark.

I had been a member of St. Mark for five years and was good friends with Rev. Garry and Carolyn Scheuer, the minister and his wife, who also served my hometown church, the First Congregational Church of Des Plaines, Illinois. I had made some friends in the choir and felt comfortable. It would be a tough decision to make.  (More…)

A Massage to Remember

Diane Russell

My oldest niece said, “We are all going to have a Chinese foot massage at 6 o’clock tonight – my treat!”  It would be a novel way to celebrate my sister’s upcoming wedding near San Diego in four days. What made this event so unexpected was the following back story in the autumn of 2012.

That morning I drove my husband to Chicago’s Midway Airport, so he could fly home to Tampa. He had enough of the dreary November weather and overstayed his planned visit by two weeks. Why?  (More…)

A Woodstock Reunion

Joseph McAuliffe

Last November, the McAuliffe family celebrated my brother John’s 70th birthday in New York City by attending the Syracuse – Notre Dame football game at Yankee Stadium. Syracuse and Notre Dame were part of my late parents’ legacy. They were from Syracuse, my mother graduated from Syracuse University and my dad was a Notre Dame graduate. My father would have been happy that weekend because Notre Dame won, but few of us watched the game because we spent most of the time doing what McAuliffes do when they get together… we tell stories.  (More…)