Each January, I begin the year researching what’s happening around the globe in the disability community. I especially want to read the work of other writers with disabilities. Happily, some of those writers are also interested in this column and our region.

So we went out to breakfast the other day. One of my favorite things to do is hunker down with the Sunday paper over coffee while we wait for our food to come, and I went to get one from the box outside the restaurant.

Merriam Webster Dictionary announced that “they” is its word of the year based on the number of times folks looked it up.

Without the stories, Christmas wouldn’t be half the occasion that we’ve fabricated it into these days. The holidays have a million of them; Santa stories, Scrooge stories, sacred stories and the list goes on.

Mom’s maiden name was Mona Arvilla Helmboldt. She was born on August 30, 1928 in Park Lake, now a ghost town. She attended No. 9 School that had two rooms, and was the only girl in a class of six boys. As a young girl she learned to play songs by ear on her guitar or piano, and loved to sing.

TRAVERSE CITY — Christmas approaches: Imagine families snuggling together, transfixed as they watch “The Polar Express.”

In the summer of 1989, I interviewed for a teaching position at Northwestern Michigan College. In addition to the typical questions, the department head asked how I would get to work; I drove. Write on the board; I could do that or use an overhead projector. Utilize my desk; positioning it o…

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