Growing Up with Brian – Tales of a Tormenting Little Brother!

I was recently asked to share some stories of my younger brother who will be 70 in February.  We grew up in a small town in Iowa where our Dad was the postmaster and my mother was an art teacher.  There were four of us – I was the oldest, then Bruce 16 months younger, Brian 5 years younger and Beth 10 years younger.  We did not have a lot of money, but we never wanted for anything, so it was a pretty idyllic life – EXCEPT for Brian!

Though I love him dearly today, NO ONE made my life more miserable growing up than Brian! Being five years younger gave him the advantage of being “just a little kid” to my parents, and with his charm and mischievous giggle, he got by with murder (or so I thought at the time) in our house.

When he was about seven, my grandfather brought him a pet alligator from Florida. He kept it in his room in a tub, and as it grew, it could get out. Every single time, it would come to my bedroom because it was the southern most point in our house. I would yell and scream (which just absolutely delighted him!) and then make him wash the floor with Babo……YUK!!!! He held onto that thing until it got to be about two feet long, I think just to torment me.

After dinner we all had jobs – either carry out the dishes, wash the dishes, or dry the dishes. Conveniently, that was ALWAYS the time that Brian just HAD to go to the bathroom. He would stay in there grunting and singing until almost all the work was done and then suddenly graciously appear to do his part. My other brother, Bruce, and I would complain every night, but my Dad always said “Nature came first” – Ha!

When we were young, we only had a sedan car with a front seat and a back seat. There were six of us, so there were three in each seat. The rule was that Brian and I always had to be in the OPPOSITE seats, so if I was in the front with Mother and Dad, he had to be in the back. Almost every summer we would drive 8 hours to Colorado to see relatives. Of course we had no AC in those days, either, so it was uncomfortable to say the least. On those boring long drives Brian would do his best to drive me crazy! He made up the dumbest possible song about “Happy Anniversary, Farmer Alf, to Thee”” and would sing it over and over and over at the top of his lungs. When I would have hysterics and my Dad would finally tell him to “BE QUIET”, he would wait a little bit, and then he would start HUMMING the tune. Of course that started the whole scene over again! This would go on for the whole eight hours – it is amazing that my folks did not put him out of the car and drive on! 😉

When I was in Junior High, probably the worst time of a young girl’s life in terms of self-esteem. one day Brian and his friend, Larry. got up at 5:30 am, took chalk and wrote “ANNE IS FAT” (they called me Anne growing up since I had an Aunt Barbara) on EVERY SQUARE OF THE SIDEWALK FOR EIGHT BLOCKS to the school, I am sure giggling every moment of the way anticipating my reaction! Of course I was humiliated and they were delighted. That night my Dad made them go back and wash it all off, which caused even more attention. When it was time for his “punishment” amidst my wailing and tears, instead of staying mad, my folks got tickled with his giggles and ended up letting him off with a light sentence. I was FURIOUS! Can you imagine what they might have done with all that energy that could have been positive????

The year he was nine when Polaroid cameras were brand new, he got one for Christmas. The next week he proceeded to take pictures of me just getting up in the morning, in the bathroom, and even putting on my girdle (which girls wore when they dressed up in those days – a wicked version of “Spanks!”). Then the next week he took them to the high school where I was a Freshman and sold them to the highest bidder. Of course all the guys got to see them, so again he made me want to strangle him! I can just see him giggling today……..and all he got was a lecture and the camera taken away for a week.

One of my very first dates was with a guy in my sophomore class to a school dance. Brian knew how important it was to me, so of course he thought up a “plan.” The closet of his room had a window that opened onto our front porch, so when the young man came to pick me up, all dressed in his best suit, Brian dumped a bucket of water out the window on his head. Again, my parents tried to be mad but had to stifle their grins in light of Brian’s absolute delight. I still think of that poor date today.

The end result of all this (he thought good-natured) heckling was that when I was a senior in high school, I wrote a Humorous Declamation about Brian titled, “A Fly in my Ointment”……and I WON the entire State Conference! I so love the person he has become today, but it is a wonder that I did not KILL him growing up!

Now Brian has a gorgeous Executive Retreat Center in Chaing Mia, Thailand, where he coaches high level executives from all over the world.  I wonder what they will think when they read about this mischievous younger brother! 😉

Here is a picture of the two of us on his visit to Florida last year.

To learn more about Barbara’s work, go to www.barbaraglanz.com

Christmas Letter 2014

CHRISTMAS 2014:

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This has been an AMAZING year of travel and adventure – 13 countries and over 40 cities–as well as the beginning of a special new relationship. My theme for this year was “Rebuilding Relationships,” and although I have been away from home much of the year, I have also had the blessing of reconnecting with many old friends all over the world as well as meeting many new ones through my travel and my speaking. The best of all was meeting Frank Cona in February on the church steps (is that not prophetic?). We have had many lovely shared memories in the few months we have been dating, so I am very grateful for this new addition to my life.

In January I went with my travel buddy, Nancy Cobb, to FIJI, where we attended the lovely wedding of my niece, Katie Munkres, on the beach on one of the three stunning islands we visited. We snorkeled, kayaked, visited several native villages, swam in the cave where “Blue Lagoon” was filmed, and partied and partied!

In March Gretchen, Randy, Owen and Simon came from Portland for a week for Spring Break. The boys loved the pool and the beach, and we had three fun days at Disneyworld. Later in the month Frank invited me on a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, a delightful time of shopping, eating, swimming with the stingrays, and dancing the night away!

In April Nancy and I traveled to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman for two weeks. Dubai is almost beyond imagination – from the tallest building in the world (see Spider Woman on the photo collage;-), a several-story indoor ski slope INSIDE the shopping mall, internet access even in the restrooms on the beach, vending machines where you could buy gold bars, to the most amazing modern architecture I have ever seen. Abu Dhabi is the oil center and a more serious member of the Emirates, while the country of Oman, while scenic, was like going back in time to another world, i.e., it is the death penalty to have any liquor in the entire country! We rode camels, took wild rides in jeeps across the sand dunes, traveled scary dirt roads over the mountain cliffs and deep canyons, stayed in a tent in a desert camp as well as an almost “erector set” like box room on the side of a mountain, and even visited a Bedouin home.

Later in the month Frank took me on a 4 day trip to Las Vegas where we stayed at the gorgeous Bellagio and saw three Cirque de Soleil shows, including the new Michael Jackson “One.” Then in May he surprised me with a trip to Puerto Rico for my birthday where again we shopped, ate, and explored. (Unfortunately, I have gained 10 pounds since we started dating! 😉 June brought the national Society for Human Resource Management conference in Orlando where I have spoken since 1997 and then the National Speakers Association convention in San Diego where we also visited my aunt and the Johnstons, longtime friends.

In July I was the opening keynote speaker for the Human Capital Forum CEO conference in Guatemala City. In the audience were three executives from the largest church in Latin America, Casa de Dios, and afterwards, they invited me to speak that evening to 10,000 people, a mountain top experience! (You can see the picture of me on four HUGE jumbo-trons.) While in Guatemala, we took a trip to Antigua and also to a huge outdoor market. Of course, I had to buy an extra bag for all my treasures! At the end of the month, Garrett, Ashley, Gavin and Kinsey came from Seattle with friends for a fun week on the beach.

In August, I accompanied my 91 year old aunt Joan along with Frank to Bali, Indonesia, to see the gorgeous new resort my cousin, Warren, had just opened on the beach in Denpasar. We visited temples, took a trip to see the Komodo dragons, white-water rafted, and shopped and shopped. Frank and I also flew to Singapore for 4 days where I spoke to the Asia Speakers Association. We stayed with new friends in a lovely home, and several friends showed off their island, including a boat tour, dinner on the beach, and the orchid gardens.

I spent Labor Day week in Portland with Erin and Gretchen and family. We rafted down the river, went to the beach, and played. I attended Guideposts’ Board meetings in Dana Point, CA, at the end of the month and then flew to Denver for a really fun reunion with my Gamma Phi Beta sisters from KU and on to Grand Junction, CO, to visit my brother, Bruce, and sister, Beth.

November will find me speaking in Hawaii twice and then on to keynote the Human Capital Forum CEO conferences in Bogota, Colombia, and Santiago, Chile. Erin and I are planning to spend Christmas in Colorado with family.

Garrett continues to do exceedingly well with Microsoft in Seattle. Ashley and Kinsey, 13, are enjoying riding and have a new horse named Rally. Gavin just turned 16 so has his first job AND a driver’s license. Gretchen is enjoying working at a boutique in Portland while the boys are in school, and Randy is continuing his graphics and web design work. Owen, 9, and Simon, 7, are into soccer, baseball, Legos, Mine Craft, and learning camps. Erin is loving her new home and new kitty, Cricket, while still working for True Collaborative Fashion where they rep several lines made in the US. She travels all over the country showing their beautiful, fun lines of women’s clothing.

Professionally, I have been blessed to speak to many wonderful clients this year, and I am working on a new video demo tape as well as a new website. On the personal side, my heart has ached for the suffering and loss of some of my dearest friends, so while I am overcome with gratitude for the BLESSING of my life and all the experiences I have been privileged to share, I am struck by the fragility of life and the gift of EVERY DAY. May this year be filled with peace, love and joy for each one of you. How grateful I am to have you all in my life!

“In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.”
Blessings,

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The Healing Power of Music

Last night I saw a most touching and powerful movie titled, “Alive Inside.” It is a documentary about one man’s passion for helping dementia and alzheimer’s patients by giving them headphones and an iPad with their favorite music on it. People who had been completely unresponsive or had not spoken in years simply came alive — and all for the cost of about $40!

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Spearheaded by social worker, Dan Cohen, these deeply touching, life-transforming experiences were captured on film over the course of three years. You will laugh and you will cry, but most of all, you will wonder WHY insurance companies, nursing care facilities, and doctors alike do not support this inexpensive, joyful way to bring back memories and awaken senses instead of medicating these people to often become zombies.

This movie especially reminded me of my own passion as a young person. I was a pianist in high school and won contests all around the state, but I also loved people, so I did not want to be in a practice room for hours and hours a day; plus I realized I had the talent but was just not cutthroat enough to become a concert pianist. Thus, when I learned about it, Music Therapy seemed like a perfect fit for me.

At that time Music Therapy was a brand new field, so when I was choosing a college, there were only two schools in the country that offered it — the University of Kansas and UCLA. Having grown up in a town of 4500 in Iowa, going to California seemed like going across the world to me at the time, so I chose KU.

Although I loved my professors and the school, the first year was very discouraging for me. In those days in Music Therapy, they required you to learn to play every instrument there was. Having been extremely involved in my piano and often practicing 3 and 4 hours a day, I never had time to do this when I was younger. Therefore, it turned out to be a very humiliating experience. I will never forget how the girls in my sorority house AND my little brothers teased me when I was practicing “Merrily We Roll Along” on the saxophone for my final exam!

As a result, I ended up changing my major to Piano my sophomore year and then switching to English my junior year to become a teacher. I still kept my love for music, but, at least at that time, I thought I could give more back in the classroom and feel more sure of myself by teaching English and drama in high school and college. After watching this precious movie, however, I must admit that I am a little sorry that I did not stick it out. Watching these lives being transformed to find JOY and LIFE again was a wonderful blessing.

Now, I am thinking about how I can become more involved in this pursuit — buying some ear phones and iPods and taking them to local nursing homes and donating money to Dan Cohen’s foundation, musicandmemory.org. In the meantime, I am going to make sure that MY children have a list of all my favorite music because one day each of us may very likely find ourselves, just like so many aging people today, struggling to hold onto our pasts.

This precious movie proves that music CAN heal hearts and souls! Thank you, Dan Cohen, for the blessing you have brought to so many lives.

 

Every Day Is a Gift!

EVERY DAY IS A GIFT!

Yesterday I found out that a dear friend of mine had been in a terrible car accident Monday night as she was returning home from work. She was broadsided and had to be removed from the car with the jaws of life. Today she had surgery for a broken hip. How her life changed in a few moments!
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This morning I got a message that a dear family friend of many years had died suddenly in his chair in California. He had had no serious health issues, and we had just visited with him and his wife in July, going to water aerobics with him, a tennis match, and several dinners out, and he was his usual visionary self.

I was shocked to learn last weekend that another speaker friend from Canada had died, and I know several dear friends who are struggling with persistent and ongoing health issues that have recently attacked them.

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Touching Lives

Glanz-tastic!

An interesting exchange took place on Facebook this past week after Graphic Recorder Tim Hamons created and posted a visual representation of my Singapore talk. It truly reinforced for me that no matter where you are in the world, your words and actions matter! You CAN make a positive change and inspire others to do the same with very SIMPLE, no- or low-cost techniques!

The following is a friend of Tim Hamons’ commenting on his Facebook Timeline on the illustration he made of my work. I LOVE that Tim was able to take away SO much of my talk so easily!

Tanvi Gautam: This is amazing !! I could not make it due to another meeting but I feel like I was almost there. Thank you so much Tim ! Can someone please elaborate on the Pennies in pocket and good news points on the MSA model please ? thanks so much.

Tim Hamons: Hi Tanvi Gautam. Barbara Glanz was illustrating a simple model MSA: Models, Stories, Action Ideas…. Some examples of action ideas: Pennies in pocket- give your kids each 5 pennies to put in left pocket. Every time they give a compliment to someone during the day they move a penny to other pocket. The goal is to move them all across everyday. “Good News” is simply starting a meeting by asking everyone to share some “good news” as a way to begin the meeting.

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The questions then, are:
What can YOU do today to take action, inspire others and model positivity?

What Actionable Ideas has someone in your workplace or personal life done recently to touch lives?

Tell me YOUR story and ideas! I’d LOVE to hear from you!

An Inspiration in Asia

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I recently had the opportunity to speak at The Asia Professional Speakers Organization in Singapore!

In attendance was this remarkable gentleman, Tim Hamons, whose talent is both brilliant and most unusual. His title is “Graphic Recorder.” However, this description, (while accurate,) does no justice whatsoever to his skill, nor to his mind’s capacity to completely capture and then visually translate and “retell” the story of my experience with his hands and some markers. His thorough representation so colorfully brought to life the very essence of the positive change I strive to convey in all my work, without missing any models, examples, or details, that I felt, in turn, inspired by him!

I am thrilled to share his creation with you! Please have a look for yourself and SEE my message in a whole new way! I know you will feel more buoyant and glean both the content and context of my message after admiring his stunning visual illustration!

Below is what he shared on his Facebook Timeline. So, please take a moment. Have a good look for yourself and then get back to me! What stood out to YOU?

From Tim Hamons’ Facebook Timeline:

How many ways can you say and demonstrate “I care” to your audience? The amazing Barbara Glanz modeled and showed us many ways.

Key takeaways:
1. Create a positive human level connection with every transaction,
2. Design creative “care packages” for your customer,
3. Focus on creative communications and action ideas to surprise and get your message across.
— with Barbara Glanz

Glanz-tastic!

And Tim couldn’t have been more kind and complimentary about how my presentation reached him, giving him actionable ideas and inspiration, which is always my promise and my goal.

Tim Hamons wrote: 10:32pm Aug 14
“Thank you Barbara, for your generosity, abundant soaring spirit, and inspiring models. You are such an inspiration and model of selfless giving, joy, trust. It was such a blessing to meet you and hear your stories and models for creating positive change. I hope to get the chance to work with you and to share our visual work with some of your inspiring learning events. “

I do hope that his graphic recording, as well as my words and ideas will truly inspire you to make positive changes today and every day in your work and in your life!

Christmas Letter 2013

Xmas-collage-2013

CHRISTMAS 2013

Dear Friends,

Oh, my, time seems to go faster and faster these days, yet how grateful I am that the foundations of my life remain constant – faith, family, and friends. Although my business has been slower than ever before, this has been a precious year of sorting, finishing projects, celebrating, and making new friends. I finally feel as if I have developed “roots” here in Sarasota. I have been blessed with many caring and delightful relationships –and isn’t that what life is really all about?

The biggest event of the year was the celebration of my 70th birthday in May
(I STILL have a hard time saying those numbers since I truly feel about 35! 😉 Two precious new friends held a beautiful and FUN birthday luncheon for 24 girlfriends at the Bird Key Yacht Club. It was a Disney theme, complete with Cinderella’s castle, a visit from Alice in Wonderland, a life size cutout of Grumpy (my favorite Disney character), cakes with butterflies on top, and I even got to be a Princess for the day with a diamond tiara and wand! Each guest got darling flower (crowns) to wear, and one of my clients even sent small bottles of wine for everyone to take home. It was the nicest party I have ever had in my life, and it made me feel so very loved. Thank you, B.J. and Carol, for making my birthday the very best ever!

The weekend after my birthday I flew to Portland and took Gretchen and Erin to the gorgeous Alison Resort and Spa for two days of pampering. (I highly recommend it – rated one of the best in the Pacific NW.) It was one of the few times that I have been away alone with my beautiful girls. I am so proud of them both and honored to be their mother. Special lunches and dinners with friends highlighted the rest of the month. One day, as I was “whining” about not wanting to share age “70” with people, this stunning thought occurred to me: I have been blessed to live longer than either my father, my mother-in-law, or my husband. THAT brought home the reality of how fortunate I truly am! AND in the last three years I have ridden an elephant, a camel, and a Harley, I have climbed a mud volcano and ziplined across the mountains of Hawaii, so it is NEVER too late! 😉

Although I had no international travel this year, I am leaving January 2 for two weeks in Fiji on three different islands for my niece’s wedding, and then in April I am going to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Oman. This year all my travel was within the US and many trips just “for fun.” The whole family spent last Christmas in Seattle at Garrett and Ashley’s beautiful new home, the first time we had all been together for ten years. It was a delightful time of laughter and sharing (except when 14 year old Gavin would not get out of bed for the family picture, so he is missing from the one on the collage ;-).

After Christmas I had a lovely visit with Shannon (who has been a friend for 45 years) and Ken Johnston in Oceanside, CA, and then on to see my Aunt Joan and family in San Diego. (I will be attending her 90th birthday party December 28!) Gretchen’s family came for a week in March; in early April I met my sister, Beth, and two of her friends for a fun week at Disney in Orlando; and later that month, I met several of my SHRM friends for a long weekend of touring (and especially eating!) in Charleston, SC. I had three trips to Chicago this year to speak at SHRM, attend a friend’s birthday party at the “W”, and to speak to NSA-IL, so it was a wonderful chance to see many dear friends from the past. I attended the NSA convention in Philadelphia in July and the Veteran Speakers Retreat in PA in August, the Guideposts Board meetings in Dana Point, CA, in September, and the Lead Like Jesus Board meetings in Dallas in October. I was also privileged to speak to many wonderful clients during the year.

Some exciting professional highlights for 2013 were being chosen as an “ABC Amazing Woman” with a TV interview which ran on the morning and evening news for two days. I was also taped for a special series connected with GoGo Travel as their customer service expert. My 1996 book, “CARE Packages for the Workplace—Dozens of Little Things You Can Do to Regenerate Spirit at Work,” was just designated a classic by McGraw-Hill as it is STILL selling thousands of copies a year! Finally, I just published “Priceless Gifts – Using What God’s Given You to Bless Others” as a legacy to Charlie as this book was his idea. It is filled with ideas of all kinds of things you can give to others. You will love it, I think!

Garrett, Ashley, Gavin (15) and Kinsey (12) Glanz–Garrett is doing extremely well with Microsoft. He had a month sabbatical this year which they spent on the beach in Hawaii. His new toy is a Porsche! Ashley and Kinsey love to ride, so they are getting a horse, and Gavin can’t wait to get his driver’s license.

Gretchen, Randy, Owen (8) and Simon (6) Gawlik – Randy is still working as a webmaster and in graphic arts, Gretchen works part time at a lovely little boutique, and Owen and Simon love music, soccer, and Legos. Owen just had his adenoids out this week, so he has not been a happy camper! I will be with them for Christmas, and they are coming for Spring Break in March.

Erin Glanz –She is enjoying her new home, and she just got a new “roomie,” a darling kitten named “Cricket”. She loves her job with True Collaborative Fashion and travels to the shows in New York, LA, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. I was thrilled that she could come for Thanksgiving.

Although I have not met anyone special in my life, I have become content with many wonderful friends and a life filled with love, adventure, learning, and the chance to make a difference in people’s lives. I am so grateful for each one of you and wish you the most blessed holiday season and a year overflowing with peace, love, and joy.

Blessings,
Barbara

To view past issues of Barbara’s monthly newsletters, go to www.barbaraglanz.com/news/newsletters.html

Memories of Mother

MEMORIES OF MOTHER
Lucille Anderson Bauerle
May 21, 1918 – May 17, 2011

Mother's college graduation picture -- the one that made my Dad fall in love with her!

Mother’s college graduation picture — the one that made my Dad fall in love with her!

She was CREATIVE.

• We always had the best costumes on Halloween and in the Kids Day Parade. One year Bruce was “Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater,” and she created a huge orange pumpkin around our wagon. Then she made me a princess costume to be his wife. They put a ladder in the wagon, and poor Bruce had to pull me all around the town square. I loved it!
• She was constantly doing art projects with us. I guess it took more on my sister, though, than it did on me!

She was GENEROUS.

• I remember so many times going with her to deliver food or flowers to people, and often she would do it anonymously. We would leave a plant on the front porch with a note that said someone was thinking about them, and then we would drive away. (Today it would probably get stolen!)
• About once a month, she would pack us all into the car (usually complaining all the way), and we would go to the Baptist Memorial Home. We would always take a treat to pass out to all the residents – homemade cookies or cupcakes, little cups of Dairy Queen (they were 5 cents in those days), or fresh fruit. All of us kids would be the deliverers and then I would have to play the piano, and sometimes the other kids sang. Today I know what a wonderful gift that was to them, but at the time all I wanted was to be with my friends.

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In Memory of Charlie

Today, May 10, is the anniversary of Charlie’s birthday in Heaven. I still miss him every day! Each of us in the family knew that he would give his life for us without question, and that is the most precious gift one could ever have from a husband or father. This is a tribute I wrote about him in his memorial booklet:

Charles William Glanz

Charles William Glanz

My husband often surprised me. He was not what I would consider a true romantic, but as the years went by, I realized that he was romantic in simple, homey ways. He loved to hold hands and touch. I must admit that sometimes I was annoyed by this, especially in the middle of the night when he couldn’t sleep or in the middle of a movie or sermon to which I was intently listening. However, more and more, I have realized what a comfort and an anchor his touch was for me. I knew, without a doubt, that I was loved, and I so miss that touch today!

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Christmas Newsletter

CHRISTMAS 2012

Hello Everyone and Merry Christmas!

This has been a year of great adventures and joys but also one of heartache and loss. Someone recently shared: “You cannot start a new chapter in your life until you stop re-reading the last one.” That was good advice for me this year with the abrupt and painful ending of an 8 year relationship. However, even in the midst of pain, we can find blessings if we keep focused on the GIFT of every day and the precious people like all of you who share this life journey with us.


I have been blessed with many exciting and stimulating trips this year, beginning with a lovely week in the Cayman Islands with my friend, Jane Meyer. She has a beautiful condo right on the beach in Grand Cayman. One of the special highlights for me was getting to swim with the dolphins. I was extremely lucky to have two dolphins, a trainer, and a photographer all to myself for 45 minutes. I was even able to stand on their backs as they swam across the lagoon!

All the kids were able to come for a visit during the year, and in May, my Irish friend, Annie Gourley, and I took a fun trip to the Grand Canyon. We spent a night in Phoenix and then two nights at the Canyon, relishing in the magnificence of God’s spectacular creation.
In June I was delighted to speak at the Society for Human Resource Management international convention for the 11th time since 1997. I love these folks who champion the human level in organizations, and a great deal of my business comes from these conferences. On arriving in the Miami airport on my way to speak in So. America, someone in a large crowd called out, “Aren’t you Barbara?” When I answered, “Yes,” he said, “I heard you speak at a SHRM conference several years ago and loved your message.” It is a small world!

For the first time, I was able to take Gavin, 14, and Kinsey, 11, to the National Speakers Association convention in Indianapolis to attend the Youth Conference. They had a wonderful time, made some new friends, and hope to be able to go again next year. I love reconnecting with speaker friends from all over the world.

August brought an around –the –world trip beginning in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where I was speaking for the TMI / TACK international Conference. There were 200 attendees from 40 different countries. My friend from Illinois, Nancy Cobb, joined me there after a 36 hour trip—Tampa to Detroit to Seoul, Korea, to KL. On the flight from Seoul, I met a lovely gentleman who was a professor at Nottignham University in KL. He invited us on the following Sunday to go to the Batu Caves, and then treated us to a typical Indian lunch and a visit to his family home. We explored KL, including the Twin Towers, and discovered their two passions are food and shopping – much to our delight! 😉 The conference was delightful, and they included us in all the festivities, so it was a wonderful visit.

From KL, we flew to Budapest to join our other friends, Jane Meyer and Phyllis Hendry, for a “Romantic Danube River Cruise.” We were on AMA Waterways, a family owned company which I would HIGHLY recommend, The food, the ship and the service were the best I have every experienced! We visited five countries – Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Germany, and the Czech Republic. We especially loved Prague, an amazing walking city, the little town of Durnstein, Austria, with its tiny shops and lovely cottages bordered by flowers, and the Mozart concert we heard in Vienna. One of the most poignant memories for me was visiting Terezin, a concentration camp in the Czech Republic.

September included a trip to NYC to emcee the Guideposts national meetings, and In October I had a fun long weekend with my SHRM buddies in Louisville, KY, where we attended the St. James Art Fair for 2 days, played Scrabble and drank lots of wine! I flew from there to Phoenix where I spoke for the Maricopa Health System at the delightful Desert Botanical Gardens. The next day a new friend and I did a tour of Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s interesting complex.

In late October I was asked to speak in Cartagena, Colombia, for FENALCO, the largest retail association in So. America. There were 1200 people, most of whom spoke no English so there was an interpreter which is always an interesting experience. My friend, Barbara Sadek, came with me and we so enjoyed the Old Walled City, the shopping, the fresh fish (especially the ceviche), and even one night at a nightclub dancing the Merengue! We also had a great adventure at one of only 3 mud volcanos in the world about an hour outside of Cartagena. You can read more about this on my blog, www.barbaraglanz.com/blog.

Although in the last 3 months, I have been on 4 continents and in 8 different countries, my heart is still in the Pacific NW where all my children live. I’ll be in Portland for Thanksgiving and in Seattle for Christmas. Garret still has a wonderful job with Microsoft, Ashley is very involved with the kid’s school, Gavin, 14, is deeply into video games, and Kinsey, 11, loves horses and the theatre. Gretchen and Randy are in Portland, OR, with Owen, 7, and Simon, 5. Randy is head of IT at a local company, and Gretchen teaches electives in photography and arts as a volunteer at the boys’ school. The highlight of the year for the boys was coming to visit me in Florida in March and going for the first time to Legoland. Erin, who just bought her first home in Portland, is a national agent for a company called True Collaborative Fashion which represents 5 socially responsible designers. My favorite, “Prairie Underground,” is available in many specialty contemporary boutiques. Erin does shows in SF, LA, NYC, and LV.

In this new chapter, I have started taking ballroom dancing lessons, I just won a golf lesson, and I am thinking about many options in my life – perhaps even purchasing a second home in Chicago, Portland or San Diego. I feel so very blessed to have my work and family and friends all over the world. Thank you for your love and support. May your holiday season and New Year overflow with joy.

Blessings,

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