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Archive for January, 2015

At the end of the day… Who we are

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

LightbulbI’ve been collecting healthy-lyric songs of self worth again lately. Not “I’m the greatest,” but “I can stand tall just as I am.” It’s been a fabulous journey! Sort of poetry plus music plus standing tall, in one lovely bundle. Or many lovely bundles, one found at a time.

I have loved Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” for a long time (although I am disappointed they made the video partly into a boy/girl attraction visual, which has nothing to do with the lyrics at all).

Last night I found another one of her songs I’d missed in the past. It’s called “Strip Me,” as in, if you strip everything away from my outsides, I can still be me inside. Here are some of the lyrics:

Everyday I fight for all my future somethings
A thousand little wars I have to choose between
I could spend a lifetime earning things I don’t need
That’s like chasing rainbows and coming home empty

And if you strip me, strip it all away
If you strip me, what would you find
If you strip me, strip it all away
I’ll be all right…

…’Cause when it all boils down at the end of the day
It’s what you do and say that makes you who you are

Makes you think about, think about it doesn’t it?
Sometimes all it takes is one voice…

…I’m only one voice in a million,
But you ain’t taking that from me.

Yes. At the end of the day it’s the insides and your actions… not your stuff or your looks. It’s a wonderful message, and it’s even better when delivered with music underneath it. I remember being a kid and memorizing songs as mantras. I hope some young people do that with this piece.

I hope you enjoy this, too. If you can’t see it here in this screen, try clicking this link.

Still Dreaming with Dr. King

Monday, January 19th, 2015

I live in Lansing, Michigan. My city is naturally integrated… People of all races and colors and faiths live in the same neighborhoods. I celebrate this.

My dear friend Altu is originally from Ethiopia, though she is now a US citizen and she had/raised her children here. Because of the way my community works, I was able to meet her, become close friends, and eventually travel together.

Altu & I took 2 trips to Chicago and then 10 years ago she took me to Africa. We went to 3 countries and saw not only historically important things (Egyptian pyramids for one) but I got inside homes. It was life changing.

I’m grateful for all the work done by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and those working beside him and continuing that education today.

Thank you, Dr. King.

…I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…

…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…

May your own Dream never die.

Be Mean! (Don’t live afraid.)

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015


My father, Verling C. “Pete” Troldahl, died in 1973, at age 40. I was 16. Today would be his birthday… I think he’d be 82, maybe 81 if I counted wrong.

An Odd Motto
As a kid, when we would leave the house, Mom would say “Be Careful!” Dad would chime in “Be Mean!”

He knew we were good kids. He didn’t mean it literally… he just didn’t want us to live scared. I have never forgotten that lesson.

Daddy died at 40. He’d be 82 today, I think. I miss him nearly every day.

My Wish for You
Today could be your last day. Let that knowledge give you the strength and determination to live without fear, or at least know you can’t make yourself safe anyway. Act as if today were your last.

Go forth, and be Mean!!!

(Photo of me in 3rd Grade, Daddio in 12th Grade.)