Articles By: Malinda Just

Enjoy the journey, too

“Mom, can we go see the Superman costume?” This, mere seconds after stepping out of the elevator shaft that took us 650 feet below the surface. I had been down in Strataca salt mine before, so I knew where the costume—as featured in the orientation video—was located. At the end of the self-guided tour. So, wisely I said, “We will […]

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When hard things are hard

In the three months we have been in our new home, the hubby and I (and sometimes other helping hands) have worked hard to put a minute dent in a stack of to-dos. We’ve finished a bedroom and are close to finishing the hallway, all complete with do-it-yourself hardwood floors, scraped ceilings, new paint on ceilings and walls, and do-it-yourself […]

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Sometimes it’s good to ask why

“But, why?” It’s easy to relegate that question to the relentless, persistent, sometimes pesky toddler phase that goes something like this: Time to eat. “But, why?” Time for bed. “But, why?” That’s hot. “But, why?” Sound familiar? While “why” might be a dreaded word for a season of parenting, I believe asking why shouldn’t be reserved for the very young. […]

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Pack the things you’ll need

I’m always amazed at the parallels I come across in my life. One of the biggest to date—an improperly filled cistern under our back porch and its connection to childhood trauma—is the inspiration behind the book I am writing. Another more recent connection I’ve made has to do with my track bag. That’s not surprising as, since March, I have […]

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Easter: escape from the stench

Allergies aside, the human nose is a pretty spectacular tool. It humidifies inhaled air. It prevents large particles from entering the lungs. And of course, it smells. Some smells pass through the nose like a sweet perfume. Some smells have the ability to transport us to another time and place—like Grandma’s kitchen. Some smells are head­ache inducers. I always take […]

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Finding track legs is a stretch

I stood at my kitchen counter with soup pot in hand. Slowly I tilted the pot, still heavy-laden with leftover cheesy potato goodness, toward a storage bowl I had placed on the counter. And then came the telltale splash along with warmth seeping into my tennis shoe. I had misjudged where exactly to tilt the pot, and subsequently missed the […]

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Lessons from lighting a stove

We have a woodstove at our house, and even in this dud-winter, we have used the stove on multiple occasions. It’s nice to have an extra heat source for the cold snaps. And if we ever got snow, it would be nice for that, too. When we first moved into the house over four years ago, I left the stove’s […]

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‘Trees’ model positive living

I’ve been thinking about trees. Some of you with a green thumb might be nodding in agreement. It probably doesn’t take much to convince you that plants are spectacular. Perhaps you’re even bold enough to garden without gloves. If so, I applaud you. You are one brave individual. But this “enjoying nature” thing is surprising for me because of one […]

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The many smells of Christmas

When I think about my Olson family Christ­mas celebrations, many smells accompany those memories. The dessert table, for instance, gently mixes aromas of Spritz cookies, peanut-butter balls and pies. You can smell turkey baking before opening the door to the house. Fresh rolls and rye bread accompany the mix. And then, right before meal time, another smell circulates. Honestly, it’s […]

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Science was a lost opportunity

Lately I’ve been interested in things I deem scientific. For some of you that isn’t a stretch. Perhaps you thrive in the scientific realm. I know many who are adept in the sciences, but I don’t consider myself to fall into that category. I never really cared for science in school, except meteorology, and I blocked out many of the […]

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