Reflecting in Gratitude Series 2019-2020/1
Dear Fellow LSM Alum,
The prairie in June is remarkable in its wide-open mosquito-ey heaviness. It was 1989. I had turned sixteen that very month, no driver’s license yet, parents still married to each other. I was just beginning to sense that maybe my little brother Paul was not some bitter curse from God.
Setting my suitcase and oboe case down in the dorm of Augustana College was the symbolic start of the first month I would spend away from my family.
Traveling out of Arlington, Texas is easier than traveling into Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The long day left me alone with my own thoughts. What occupied my mind? Counting. Thirty of days of LSM. Seven, or maximum eight changes of clothes. There was no way around it.
At some point, I was going to have to wash clothes.
I realize now how fortunate I was. Of all the possible sources for worry that fateful day, my biggest concern was if I’d figure out how to use the washing machine.
I am grateful that my mother found the one-dose laundry detergent packets and tucked them into my suitcase. Half-way through LSM a couple of weeks later, I stood in the bowels of the dormitory with my handful of quarters before the rows of machines and thanks to the portioned packet of detergent, I had one less decision to make.
It is a little thing. But as you know, those little things add up. In fact, the gift in this story is not the laundry detergent (a little thing), but my willingness to share my worry with my mother as a teenage girl, and her ability to hear and respond. That’s HUGE!
LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign and I will be prompting you over the next few months. Each email will include a link to a short survey asking you to share what you are grateful for. This is a discipline and I invite you to join me. I challenge you to avoid repetition. You’ll get beyond the standard answers quickly enough and that is where the magic happens. If you already have a gratitude practice you understand what happens when you walk through your day and through your memories with a heightened awareness of the abundance around you.
Please take a moment to recall your start at LSM. For what or for whom are you grateful?
Thanks to a collaborative effort with Tom Bandar, LSM Executive Director, plans are underwaye included. for an LSM alumni reunion during LSM 2020 Festival Weekend July 22-26. More information is forthcoming, and I would be so grateful if you would indicate a willingness and capacity to assist in the planning and execution.
You can get in touch with us at: email@example.com.
This is number 1 in the 2019-2020 Reflecting in Gratitude Campaign
“We, the LSM alumni remain connected through faith and music. We lived the experience that grew from the mission and vision of our revered founding fathers and mothers. The founders are now passing the torch to us, trusting us to preserve that which most transformed our lives, fold it into the challenges and advantages of our present day, and enable the enrichment of further generations of the LSM community.”
– Jeanine Krause, LSM ‘89-’91
LSM is embarking on a gratitude campaign. Alumni receive a monthly email containing a reflection from Jeanine Krause, alumni-related announcements, and a link inviting you to share your personal LSM stories and what you are most grateful for.