Sue Austreng

Yesterday was the first day of spring. I know, the ground is still covered with snow and we’re still layering on T-shirts and sweaters to brace against the chill, but truly it won’t be long before the grasses grow, the flowers bloom and outdoor play fills children’s days once again.

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Years ago, I suffered a traumatic injury, was wheelchair-bound for months, confined to my home for weeks and unable to do the simplest tasks. The loving, compassionate arms of friends, family – even strangers – lifted me from the depths of despair, bringing meals, cleaning the house, washing clothes, offering rides to the doctor’s office, the drug store and my children’s activities, and sometimes just delivering an encouraging word.

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Twenty-four years ago, school bells rang on an early September day, signaling the opening of yet another school year at the historic old Franklin Elementary School in Anoka. On that day, my then-six year-old daughter entered the realm of higher education, an upperclassman, one of the big kids on campus. She was a first-grader, no [...]

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