Mind the Gap

By Jean Blish Siers *

According to a recent report by the Urban Institute and the University of Illinois, in Mecklenburg County, where I live in North Carolina, the average cost of a buying groceries and preparing a meal is $2.44. (See the very cool interactive map here.) In Charlotte, Mecklenburg County’s largest city, that feels like a pretty good deal compared with eating out. We’re fortunate to have ...

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Spring is Sprouting!

By Jean Blish Siers *

Some days, just about the only mail we get at our house comes from developers who want to buy our house to tear it down. My husband and I have a joke that one day we’ll return home and find our little house in rubble, knocked down by mistake as a careless surgeon might remove the wrong limb. Our close-in Charlotte neighborhood stood sleepily-still the first 25 years we lived ...

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Something Versus Nothing

By Jean  Blish Siers *

Over the holidays, I found myself seated across the table from a wonderful woman who volunteers each week at her local food pantry. A retired health care worker, she cares deeply about making sure everyone in her community has plenty to eat. I mentioned an agency we work with that provides free health counseling and medical checks for people who live with chronic illnesses (such as heart disease and diabetes), ...

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Snow Day: Feast or Famine?

By Jean Blish Siers *

snow on a statureLast week in Charlotte, North Carolina, we had a snow day, or actually several snow days. For Charlotte, snow days are big events. Where I grew up in Minnesota, an inch or two of snow did little to slow us down, but here, where snowplows are scarce and there’s not much budget for clearing the roads, the mere threat of snow can shut down the city.

I’d paid ...

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A Sweet Potato in Your Stocking?

By Jean Blish Siers *

The past few weeks, I’ve been wondering about sweet potatoes in Christmas stockings. When I was a little girl, my mother always put an orange in the toe of our Christmas stocking, but wouldn’t a sweet potato work just as well?

Here’s what got me thinking about it: Just before Christmas, Society of St. Andrew hosted a potato drop at New Friendship Presbyterian Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. The morning of the drop was pretty darned cold. ...

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Manna – and Vegetables – from Heaven

By Jean Blish Siers *

Almost every year, my church offers a class called Disciple Bible Study. Participants meet anywhere from 24 to 36 weeks and dive deep into the Bible. The class I help lead, the first in the series, covers approximately 80% of the Bible, both Old and New Testament, and for many, it’s the first time they’ve ever actually read the Old Testament. I always volunteer to lead that portion – I love the stories, the history, the ...

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