Posts in category "Nana"

Piano lessons: Although I quit them 32 years ago, I wish I still played

Piano lessons: Although I quit them 32 years ago, I wish I still played
When I was 5 or 6 years old, my parents made me take piano lessons. The key phrase there is “made me.” Music lessons were not optional in my house. Properly raised children played the piano. Period. My mom had grown up taking piano lessons from my step-grandfather’s first wife (before she passed away) and my... Read more »

Nana is gone, but she's not forgotten

Nana is gone, but she's not forgotten
Five years ago tomorrow, on July 12, 2009, I received the phone call that I knew was coming, but was tough to receive nonetheless. Nana had passed away. Of course, I knew it was inevitable and would be happening within days, but I really hoped she’d make it to her 93rd birthday six days later... Read more »

Let's Talk About Sex

How did you learn about sex? We all have a story and my completely unscientific discussions with friends tell me that learning about the facts of life (not those Facts of Life) is often embarrassing and riddled with euphemisms. I recently saw a story about Marjorie Holsten, described as a homeschooling expert by Tea Party... Read more »
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We never met, but my grandfather, Jesse Paulk, shaped my life

We never met, but my grandfather, Jesse Paulk, shaped my life
If I could meet anyone in the world, I’d choose to go back to before September 12, 1961 and meet my maternal grandfather, Jesse Paulk. September 12, 1961 was my mom’s 13th birthday and also the day my grandfather died. I was given my name, Jessica, in his memory. My mom’s brother also named his... Read more »

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend
I love Memorial Day Weekend. It’s a three-day weekend and the first work holiday since New Year’s for many adults. It’s the unofficial kickoff to Summer, although in Chicago this year no one knows for sure. It marks about three weeks to my favorite holiday of the year – my birthday. And, of course, it’s... Read more »

Advice to new graduates: Create a legacy

Advice to new graduates: Create a legacy
My family has a three generation history of delivering commencement addresses. First, my Nana was the valedictorian of her Batesville High School (now South Panola High School) Class of 1933. In 1966, my mom delivered her commencement speech, What I’ve Willed I’ll Do, at Tarpon Springs High School. In 1969, her brother and my uncle... Read more »
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A Day in the Life of Little Merry Sunshine

Do you ever have “those” days? You know, those days when you’re kind of feeling a little blue? Where the blue feeling may or may not be based in what’s actually happening in the world, but where you’re only focussing on things that make you feel that way? Don’t lie. I know I’m not the... Read more »

Do Not Hide Your Guns in Your Socks

Do Not Hide Your Guns in Your Socks
I just saw a story on ABC7 Chicago about a woman sorting clothes at a thrift who was killed when a gun fell out of a sock. It absolutely breaks my heart that something so easily preventable just ended a woman’s life. It also breaks my life because this happened to me a couple of... Read more »
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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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