Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the great work of my colleagues. Our students are so fortunate to have access to staff and faculty who dedicate every day to facilitating their education and ensuring a future that aligns with their career goals. In 2018 I am especially thankful for the quality…

Fun fragrance. Delightful memory. Cherished.

As I wondered through the grocery store looking at the variety of novelty offerings, I came across home-made bar soap. The fragrances were unique and then I saw it, “pipe tobacco and coffee” – I picked up the bar and closed my eyes – and inhaled. Ah, Grandpa Ulland. I remember visiting my grandfather early…

Holiday Wishes

Ron and Jeanine A brief update and holiday wish from us to you! Happy Holidays! 2018 has been a year of exploration, loss, and milestones. We finished 2017 with a trip to Paris and were delighted by the city, the food, and the people. This summer we enjoyed a trip to Norway and Sweden. We…

My Favorite Day Trips

Ah, fall in southeast Minnesota! The past week has been filled with beautiful colors throughout the southeast Minnesota region. I had a feeling this was going to be a colorful weekend, after a rainy and cloudy week. As I waited patiently for the sunshine, I started to make a list of my favorite day trips…

Service Heart, Outcomes Head

A few weeks ago a local leader was described as having a servant heart and an outcomes head. I loved the description and considered what this description may have meant to others. “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings…

Knock on that Door!

Opportunity is knocking. A door, do you perceive it as as welcoming or a barrier? While touring Norway and Sweden, I started to take pictures of doors. Most of these photos are from Stockholm. As I wandered I kept thinking “these are exceptional”! Then I started asking people about there perception of a door. The…

Weekend Nature Break

Parks   The butterflies were catching the breeze and flitting from plant to branch, the bees were busy communing with the flowers, and we were enjoying a stroll. I took a deep breath in and remembered the days of my youth when we were busy cutting and bailing hay. I love smell of grass. There…

A Grand Finale

Stockholm Today we finish our time in Sweden with a lovely walking tour of Gamla Stan (Stockholm) and dinner at Magnus Ladulas. Ron and I enjoyed our time in Norway and Sweden and hope to return in the years to come. We enjoyed the exceptional weather and views, engaged with locals and tourists, and loved…

Swedish Hospitality

    The Erickson/Erkers/Erkes Family Reunion (30, June 2018) We were greeted by Ron’s distant relatives with warmth and hospitality. In all there were eight Gangeness family members at the gathering from Minnesota ranging from 65 to 4 years of age (roughly 50 overall attendees). Our itineraries varied, however, we all gathered in Leksand to…

A Swedish Village

The Leksand Experience  The lupine are in bloom in northern Sweden (Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine). Everything is beautiful. I kept asking, what is the word for beautiful in Swedish, and they would say skön.  My response, ah yes, this is a beautiful region. My most frequently stated comments were: “Beautiful” “Everything smells…