Archives for : June2018

Give Me a Sign, Lord





By Paul Tschida

As told to Sharon Sheppard


I’d never known such pain as I experienced the day we stood at the grave of our 17-year-old son, Mark.

“Lord, give me a sign that he’s okay,” I prayed.

Four days earlier he’d been driving to school, obeying the traffic laws, when a gravel truck barreled through the intersection and plowed into his car, killing him instantly.

He was the kind of kid any parent would be proud of—clean-cut, hard working, an outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish. Because of his strong, personal faith, I knew he was with the Lord, but still it hurt.

After the others had left the cemetery, my wife and I asked permission to stay for the burial.  Though I’ve never seen a goose fly alone, apart from a flock, as the casket was being lowered, a lone goose flew over the grave and honked.  Sportsman that he’d been, Mark would have loved it.

The next day one of Mark’s high school friends phoned: “Could we borrow Mark’s pickup truck?  We’re having group pictures taken for the yearbook today.  We thought it would be cool to have one shot of all of us standing by Mark’s truck.”

I drove the pickup into town, happy to oblige.  The senior class from his small-town high school grouped around Mark’s customized, chrome-piped truck.  When everyone was finally positioned, the shot perfectly composed, and the photographer poised to click, a lone goose flew over and honked.  The photographer and the whole class looked up, and every one of us knew something special had happened.

“Thank you, God,” I whispered.



June 21 Memories

June 21…What’s so special about this day, well a lot!

My late husband Don loved his June 21 birthday! After all, he would remind me every year that it was the first day of summer, the 172nd day of the year, and the longest day of the year. I wasn’t overly concerned, but Don would go on to say, the June Solstice can be anywhere from June 20-21 depending on the year.

In my research, I found another interesting happening on June 21!  Do any of you remember shopping at a Woolworth store? It was on June 21, 1879 that Frank W. Woolworth opened his 1st “F.W. Woolworth Five Cent Store” on North Queen St, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

And a more recent bit of trivia, if you are a Harry Potter lover! Author, J. R. Rowling, 5th Harry Potter book, the Order of the Phoenix was published in 2003. Amazon shipped out more than one million copies on June 21, making the day the largest distribution day of a single item sold in e-commerce history. The book set sales records around the world with an estimated 5 million copies sold.

Happy, Happy, to anyone celebrating anything this month!

Enjoy the lazy, hazy day s of summer!


Mary Zigan



In Honor of Flag Day

In honor of FLAG DAY, June 14: And to the Republic for Which It Stands . . . is an editorial condensed from a column written by my late husband, Duane Sheppard, for the St. Cloud Times. (Submitted by Sharon Sheppard)

We live in a democracy, right?  Wrong!  Well, kind of wrong.  We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States “and to the republic for which it stands…”

The Latin root of the word republic means “a thing of the people.” The modern definition of this form of government indicates it is a system in which citizens have the right and responsibility to choose agents to act on their behalf.

On Sept. 18, 1787, the morning after the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia had finished their now-famous document, The United States Constitution, a Mrs. Powell approached Benjamin Franklin and inquired, “Well, Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?”

“A republic,” replied Franklin, “if you can keep it.”

The word democracy comes from the Greek and could be translated “people-government.”

Some have proposed that, with the advent of modern technology, our whole country could be online and vote directly on all issues decided by legislators.  This would be a “pure democracy,” and would avoid much of the political trickery, deception, bribery, vote trading, and smoke-filled room decisions that, some believe, now characterize much of our lawmaking.

Of course, it is unreasonable to expect that any person could digest all the information necessary to make intelligent decisions on all the issues at the local, state, and national levels.  And it is unthinkable that all citizens could, would, or should be directly involved in all decision making.

So our constitutional fathers drew a marked distinction between a republic and a democracy.  They stated repeatedly and emphatically that they had created a republic with an elected president and representative form of government.

This system was predicated on a Creator-given endowment of life, liberty, and the right to pursue our dreams.  With this heritage, “We, the people,” formed a union where the political power rests not with a king, president, Congress, Supreme Court, political party, military, clergy, the rich or the educated, but with the people.

So on Flag Day and at other special events in our country, we reiterate our allegiance “to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Happy Flag Day!

Lemon Bites

There is no better way to celebrate the month of May than with a No-Bake dessert; especially a lemon dessert. Lemons make the lightest and most refreshing indulgence. What is so nice about this dessert is it can be made in individual servings of 4-6, so there is not a 9×12 pan full of yum sitting around to tempt when only a few people are gathering.

Make and refrigerate this treat at least 3 hours in advance and eat the same day.




  • 12 Lemon Oreo Cookies crushed into crumbs
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • zest of two lemons
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons lemon Jello powder
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed (see note below)


  1. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and mix to combine.
  4. Sprinkle the Jello powder onto the cream cheese mixture and mix on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended and no streaks remain.
  6. Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  7. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping and lemon wedges.


                                                Recipe compliments of