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From the Editor Q13-3


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I love history. Whether it’s the political history of a country, an epic pioneer family saga, or the simple, rustic memoirs of an immigrant farm wife, I will always find something in a story that fascinates or inspires me. And after I read it, I will come away with a new perspective on some aspect of life.

Every issue of The Quarterly provides me with wonderful histories to enjoy and ponder while I’m doing the final edit and typesetting. To add to the wealth of words is the quaint yet elegant majesty of many rare and beautiful old photographs that speak so eloquently of a time when our world was a very different place.

My grandparents lived in a small community with other Swedish Finns, living off the land. They had no television, no modern medicine, no cars, no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no telephone. Beyond working to survive, their priorities were love of family, the deep bonds of friendship, and their abiding faith in their God. They had hard times, but they also knew the great joy of doing an honest day’s work and spending time with their loved ones.

It is almost 100 years since my grandmother “stepped off the boat.” What would she think if she saw how we lived today? Sitting in front of the “idiot box” for hours on end, talking at full volume on cell phones while shopping at a supermarket? Flying down the freeways to go to jobs we hate that only add to our already stressful existence?

We can’t go back in time and, in reality, we wouldn’t want to live as primitively as our ancestors did. But we can learn aboutthem and we can learn a lot fromthem. We can live our lives to the fullest. We can turn back the clock - just a little - by slowing down, by taking a break from technology, and by spending more of that elusive “quality time” with our family and friends.

When was the last time you hugged your child, your grandchild, your spouse, your best friend? We make our own history each and every day. Make your history the best it can be, one to cherish for generations to come.

Joelle Steele

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