Category: Uncategorized (page 3 of 26)

Snow Days Highlight Human Kindness

By Lura Roti

Remember when snow days were the best days? They were days of no school, sledding, hot chocolate; as a kid, snow days were something to hope for.

As a grown up, snow days are a bit different – and difficult. In our household, because my husband, Shon and I both work from home, snow days mean juggling work deadlines and sidewalk shoveling around spending time with our daughter, Parker.

The early January snow days that extended Parker’s school break by a few days were extra challenging for me. I had taken time off over the holidays to host family and I was eager to get back to the work and routine I love. My attitude was a stark contrast from Parker’s!

And then our neighbor, Greg, cleared our sidewalk with his snowblower. And the next day, our neighbor, Adam, did the same thing. It is nearly impossible to have a bad attitude when others take their time and energy and pour it into an act of kindness.

Turns out our neighbor Adam didn’t just help us out. His wife Amy texted me the name of a neighbor neither of us had met before, mentioning she may enjoy our monthly neighborhood get-together we fondly call “book club.”

When I reached out to invite her, she shared that Adam and about eight other neighbors came to her rescue when her car kept getting stuck as she was trying to drive to work.

I love our neighborhood for many reasons, and my neighbors top the list! They truly are some of the most helpful people I know. And boy did we all need some help during this particular storm – it was a doozy.

Aside from shoveling our walk and a path in the backyard so our dog Tulip could comfortably potty, driving from point A to point B seemed to be the greatest challenge. Even though major streets were cleared, getting to them without four-wheel drive was a white-knuckle experience.

There is a silver lining to slippery, snow-packed streets – for once, it felt like Sioux Falls’ drivers were courteous.

There were several instances when I was driving on side streets, and because of piled snow and parked cars, there simply was not enough room for two cars to safely pass each other. So, one of us would have to stop and let the other car go by.

During a trip home from the grocery store, I ended up making the mistake of getting stuck at a stoplight on a hill…everyone knows when the roads are slippery, if the light is yellow, stay at the bottom of the hill so this doesn’t happen. Well, I forgot. When the light turned green, my tires spun and my car would not budge. I also could not back down the hill because there were cars behind me. By the time the light turned yellow again, all the cars behind me had gone around me. But before I could back down the hill, more cars lined up behind me.

As the traffic light went through its cycle for a second time I began to sweat.

And then the most amazing thing happened. The cars behind me backed down the hill and turned up a side street so that I could do the same. I took a different route home.

Piles of snow also limit parking spaces.

The night before school reopened, Shon took Parker and her neighbor friend, Ophelia, sledding. Turns out several of her school friends and their dads had the same idea. When the girls were ready to end their sledding adventures, everyone decided to go out for pizza. Shon and Parker came home to pick me up and our friend Joedy called from the pizza place. He was on his way to pick us up because there was limited parking.

Talk about a kind friend! And a perfect ending to a snow day.


Hay Stack Fun


Haystacks on my brother, Max’s North Dakota ranch captured our daughter, Parker’s attention this holiday season.


In a day and age when technology doesn’t give kids an opportunity to experience boredom, a stack of cattle feed captured and held Parker's attention for hours.

In a day and age when technology doesn’t give kids an opportunity to experience boredom, a stack of cattle feed captured and held Parker’s attention for hours.

See for yourself…. by downloading this video: img_4212

Favorite Gift Finds of 2018

For years, my go-to spots for gifts have been antique stores, rummage sales and thrift shops. This year, my best finds have been discovered at church rummage sales. In fact, all the items displayed below were discovered during the annual First Lutheran Church Holiday Bazaar.

Knickknacks of LifeThis year, one of my favorite finds is for a close friend who favors Scandinavian Christmas décor. It is a beautiful Scandinavian-inspired, Christmas centerpiece. The note taped to the wax envelope protecting the Scherenschnitte art (German for scissor-cut), indicates that it was created in 1985. It looks like it has never been displayed. I cannot wait to see how my friend incorporates it into her holiday décor.

My mom has an affinity for blue glass. And, now that she’s an empty nester, she has blue glass displayedKnickKnacks of Life by Lura Rotithroughout her 1930s bungalow (to be enjoyed out of reach of grandchildren). Recently, she asked a friend to help her install glass shelves across the dining room windows so that the sun can backlight some of her favorite pieces. This is a display technique she got from her grandma.

To celebrate my 40th birthday, the three of us are going to pack up our 1958 canned ham and hit the road. During our road trip, we plan to take in the Grand Canyon, Moab National Park and then hit the Pacific Coast highway – camping in a few other national parks along the way. So, when I saw this kid-friendly atlas, I thought of Parker, our 7-year-old daughter.

Christmas books are one of my favorite holiday traditions. Passed on to me by my cousin, each year on Dec. 1, Parker gets to unwrap her Christmas PJ’s as well as a new Christmas book. This year, the book happens to be a coloring book!

Then, each morning, when she finds her Elf on the Shelf, she also discovers a wrapped Christmas book, which we read during breakfast. It’s a fun way to rediscover our many Christmas books!

KnicksKnacks of Life by Lura Roti KnicksKnacks of Life by Lura Roti

Now, I’ve shared my favorite finds with you – what are your favorite finds? Please share.

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