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A Peace of My Mind: How Life Changed
Stories of real people and how their lives changed as a result of COVID-19.
Jun 8, 2020
Michael Brown Sr. and Anthony Shahid
I spoke with Michael Brown Sr. and Anthony Shahid as they were in Minneapolis to support the movement of protests following the police killing of George Floyd. We talk about the 2014 killing of Michael's son, Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri, Anthony's life-long activism, and this moment's balance of hope mixed with a long history of mistrust.
Jun 6, 2020
Episode 40 - Nate Houghton
Nate Houghton is an entrepreneur based in Boston, Massachusetts. We talk about his long-time diagnosis of depression and OCD and how he feels like his history with mental health issues has helped prepare him for some of the challenges of the pandemic and actually even helped him to thrive.
Jun 3, 2020
Episode 39 - Bryn Baertlein
Bryn Baertlein is an elementary school teacher in Winona, Minnesota. She married Matt Baertlein on April 18, 2020. We talk about how they reduced their wedding from 350 guests to a party of 10, how her mother also stepped in as the piano player, and how the quiet gathering seemed just perfect in the reflective season of COVID-19.
May 25, 2020
Episode 38 - Andrew Waite
Andrew Waite is the 5th generation of his family to run the Waite & Son Funeral Home in Medina and Brunswick, Ohio. We talk about the ways the grieving process has changed during the pandemic, their efforts to families navigate the difficult adjustments and the loss of his own grandfather just weeks before social distancing became the norm.
May 21, 2020
Episode 37 - Kristin Schenck
Kristin Schenck is the co-owner of Log Jam, a bar and grill in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Last week when the state's supreme court overturned the the extension of Governor Tony Evers' stay at home orders, many bars threw their doors open to large crowds, but the Log Jam decided to take a slower process. We talk about the snags in their supply chain for both food and sanitizers, their concern over the safety of their employees and guests, and the kind ways some of their customers have continued to support them as they offer curbside pickup for food orders.
May 18, 2020
Episode 36 - David Smith
David Smith is an American living in Moldova, and is one of the founders of Smokehouse, an American BBQ restaurant in the capital city of Chișinău. We talk about starting a business without making any bribes in a landscape that expects them, the early but sometimes awkward lockdown of the former Soviet satellite and the view of the American response to coronavirus from abroad. If you happen to find yourself in Chișinău and need a little American BBQ, you can find your way to Smokehouse by visiting their website.
May 14, 2020
Episode 35 - John Noltner
My longtime friend Wade Barry turns the tables and interviews me for How Life Changed. We talk about how COVID-19 has impacted my home and work life, the value of documenting stories of hope and our propensity for breaking into song during the long road trips we have shared over years of working together.
May 11, 2020
Episode 34 - Christa Goodwin
Christa Goodwin is a middle school teacher and mother of two in Elberta, Alabama. Her husband Nate was diagnosed with cancer on June 4, 2019 and passed away at home April 9, 2020. We talk about how she and Nate met, how she has been supported by community during a difficult time and the ways we are all grieving as a result of COVID-19.
May 9, 2020
Episode 33 - Chica and Sunsets
Jen Beck Seymour and Greg Seymour are long distance hikers who go by their trail names, Chica and Sunsets. For the past year, they had been renovating a hostel in Franklin, North Carolina along the Appalachian Trail and had opened to hikers just five weeks before the pandemic closed all short term rentals in the state. We talk about their love of the Appalachian Trail community, some of the hikers they met who passed through their hostel during uncertain times and the next adventure they will plan for when they can hike again. To learn more about Chica and Sunsets Hostel, visit their website at https://chicaandsunsets.com.
May 7, 2020
Episode 32 - Ryan Silverman
Ryan Silverman is a Broadway actor who was playing the role of Billy Flynn in the hit production of Chicago when the coronavirus closed down New York City's theater district. We talk about how he learned of the closure, the quietness of the city these days and how he and his wife have used this time to teach their daughter to ride her bike and tie her shoes. To learn more about Ryans work, you can visit his website at http://www.ryansilverman.com/.
May 5, 2020
Episode 31 - Kari Rada
Kari Rada lives in Chetek, Wisconsin. We talk about her weekly trips to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for chemotherapy treatments, her enormous collection of pig figurines and her love of riding motorcycles.
May 2, 2020
Episode 30 - Neal Hagberg
Neal Hagberg is a singer - songwriter in Minneapolis and also the director of Tennis and Life Camps for Gustavus Adolphus College. We talk about the process of deciding whether camps can be held this summer, the many lights he sees on in houses during his 4 am walks with his dogs, and the collective suffering he sees in our journey with COVID-19.
Apr 29, 2020
Episode 29 - Joe Davis
Joe Davis is a nationally touring artist, educator and speaker based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We talk about his faith, the creative ways he sees people coming together virtually to build community, and he also performs a new spoken word piece he wrote recently called *Questions in the Time of COVID. *Like many artists,* *most of Joe's paid engagements have been cancelled until he can perform at public gatherings again. If you'd like to learn more about how you can support his ongoing work, you can visit his Patreon page.
Apr 27, 2020
Episode 28 - Ambassador James Pettit
Ambassador James Pettit retired in 2018 from 38 years of service with the U. S. Department of State. We talk about the massive effort to repatriate American citizens back to this country during the COVID-19 pandemic, his tenure as ambassador to Moldova and the importance of having diplomats on the ground in countries around the world as a resource for understanding local and global events.
Apr 25, 2020
Episode 27 - Lars Pruitt
Lars Pruitt is the frontman for the Minneapolis-based band Yam Haus. We talk about the momentum the band was building, the upcoming tour they had to cancel and the creative space that opened up to write new songs. Oh yeah...and we talk about their Yam Haus Tuesday night Quarantine Bingo sessions. To learn more about Yam Haus, visit https://www.yamhaus.com/. To join in on their Tuesday night bingo sessions, visit them on Facebook or Instagram.
Apr 23, 2020
Episode 26 - Deborah Doering
Deborah Doering is an artist and educator in Harlem, New York. We talk about her bike ride through a seemingly empty Manhattan, the nightly 7 pm banging of pots to celebrate the frontline healthcare workers and her sense of when she might be ready to venture onto a crowded subway train again. You can see some photos of Deborah's bike ride on our Facebook page.
Apr 21, 2020
Episode 25 - Mike Arneson
Mike Arneson lives in Big Sky, Montana, but he is sheltering in place with his aging parents in La Crosse, Wisconsin while his wife Sue helps take care of their grandson Hank in Minneapolis to help their children who are both working from home. We talk about their quick decision to leave Big Sky, the tag team nature of their family help in two separate states, and Mike's adjustment to a slower pace.
Apr 19, 2020
Episode 24 - Danny O'Neel
Danny O'Neel is a U.S. Army veteran and a fellow at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. He lives in Folsom, California. We talk about his work with veterans who suffer from PTSD and how social isolation is impacting some of them. We talk about his own struggles with attempted suicide, how he overcame them and where he finds hope today. And we talk about his family's celebration of his daughter's 10th birthday in quarantine. Please know that there are some graphic details in Danny's story, so use discretion when listening. And if you struggle with depression or suicidal thoughts please reach out for help. As Danny tells his fellow veterans, "You are not alone." If you need help and don't know where to start, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Apr 17, 2020
Episode 23 - Jennifer Louden
Jennifer Louden is a best-selling author and a leading voice on self-care and creative transformation. Her new book, *Why Bother? Discover the Desire for What's Next* will be released on April 21, 2020. To learn more and to buy her book, visit https://jenniferlouden.com/why-bother/.
Apr 16, 2020
Episode 22 - Jon Pancost
Jon Pancost is a stone mason in Lucas, Kansas. We talk about the small number of COVID-19 cases in the rural areas of the state, the prevalence of conspiracy theories and the difficulty in crafting policy that is relevant to both our urban centers and our rural communities.
Apr 14, 2020
Episode 21 - Jody Ross
Jody Ross was tested for COVID-19 in Minneapolis on March 18, 2020 and immediately started isolating. Her test came back positive on March 23. She has now been cleared to come out of quarantine by the Minnesota Department of Health and is doing well. We talk about the process of testing, her methods of self-care and her hope that people can use this time of social distancing as a boot camp for personal wellness.
Apr 13, 2020
Episode 20 - Gavin Wagner
Gavin Wagner is an Honors College student from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. We talk about his quick transition from learning on campus to distance learning from home, the lost opportunity to say a proper farewell to friends at school and the ways he has grown to appreciate family more as he shelters at home with them in the state with the second highest number of COVID-19 cases.
Apr 12, 2020
Episode 19 - Rose McGee
Rose McGee started Sweet Potato Comfort Pie after driving pies to Ferguson, Missouri, as a catalyst for caring and building community. We talked about the pies she is making now, the ways she is seeing people support one another and her hopes for us all moving forward. You can learn more about her work at https://www.sweetpotatocomfortpie.org/.
Apr 11, 2020
Episode 18 - Arno Michaelis
Arno Michaelis is a professional speaker based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We talk about the recent primary vote in his state, his history as a white supremacist, and his belief that love and compassion are going to save us all. You can learn more about Arno's work at these links: https://www.giftofourwounds.com/ https://mylifeafterhate.com https://www.parents4peace.org/ https://www.theforgivenessproject.com/
Apr 10, 2020
Episode 17 - Kris Cain
Kris Cain is a psychotherapist in Frankfurt, Illinois. We talk about the rise of anxiety in this era of social distancing and uncertainty, our need to maintain human connections and her own discovery that she is less of an introvert than she once imagined.
Apr 9, 2020
Episode 16 - Ethan Bender
Ethan Bender is a bass player, husband and father in Milwaukee Wisconsin. We talk about his frustration at having to go out to vote in the state's primary election this week, even as they were under a stay at home order, the disparities in COVID-19 health outcomes in the African American community, and how his family navigates the challenges of social distancing through music and song in their home. You can hear Ethan play bass with his wife and vocalist Donna Woodall at these links: Website: https://www.donnawoodall.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/donnawoodallgroup Watch "7 Year Itch" on YouTube: https://youtu.be/OunwZAVzWBw
Apr 8, 2020
Episode 15 - Sandi Wesel
Sandi Wesel's father has been hospitalized since early March. Although his health issues are not related to COVID-19, the virus has impacted Sandi's ability to visit her father as well as do her own work as a physical therapist.
Apr 7, 2020
Episode 14 - Steve Wewerka
Steve Wewerka is a fine art photographer who was in the midst of his art fair season when the changing situation required him to shelter in place in his RV at a Florida panhandle campground. We talked about his cancelled shows, the community he is finding in the campground and how he is learning to see his surroundings in new ways as he photographs no more than 500 feet from his RV. You can see his work at https://stevewewerka.com/.
Apr 6, 2020
Episode 13 - Tracey Erickson
Tracey Erickson is a respiratory therapist in Fullerton, California. We talked about the community support she has seen for healthcare providers, the precautions she is taking to reduce the risk of exposure and the things she is looking forward to when social restrictions are lifted.
Apr 6, 2020
Episode 12 - Zach Berget
Zach Berget is a lighting designer who recently relocated from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. We talked about the difficult timing of his move, what he misses from touring on the road with musicians, and the ways he is learning to appreciate a slower pace of life.
Apr 5, 2020
Episode 11 - Jason Kallsen
Jason Kallsen is the owner of Twin Cities Wine Education and The Wine Workshop in Minnesota. We talk about his rapid change from in-person to online wine education, the larger changes he sees in the hospitality business and how staying busy and focused has helped him navigate shifting terrain. You can learn more about his online wine classes at https://thewineworkshop.net/.
Apr 4, 2020
Episode 10 - Steph Roble
Steph Roble is a member of the USA Olympic Sailing Team. We talk about qualifying for the team, weeks of uncertainty, learning the Tokyo games have been postponed for a year and what training looks like now. You can follow her journey at https://www.roblesheasailing.com/.
Apr 3, 2020
Episode 9 - Joey Anderson
Joey Anderson is a high school senior from Burnsville, Minnesota.
Apr 3, 2020
Episode 8 - Tina Kunes
Tina Kunes is a high. school math teacher in Morgan Hill, California.
Apr 2, 2020
Episode 7 - Karolyn Hanson-Rathert
Karolyn Hanson-Rathert is an ICU nurse in Madison, Wisconsin.
Apr 1, 2020
Episode 6 - Kane Smego
Kane Smego is a spoken word poet, a hip hop artist and an educator based in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about Kane's work at https://www.kanesmego.com/.
Mar 31, 2020
Episode 5 - Emma Congelose
Emma Congelose is a nursing student in her senior year at Valparaiso University.
Mar 29, 2020
Episode 4 -Tabitha Turner
Tabitha Turner is the associate director of assisted living at a facility in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Mar 28, 2020
Episode 3 - Hannah Gullixson
Hannah Gullixson is a musician who lives in Menomonie, Wisconsin. She is the founder of Every Little Thing Project that celebrates all bodies and addresses issues of eating disorders and social stigmas.
Mar 28, 2020
Episode 2 - Barry Yeoman
Barry Yeoman is a freelance journalist and writer based in Durham, North Carolina. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Nation, The American Prospect and Audubon Magazine, among others. You can learn more about Barry's work at https://barryyeoman.com/.
Mar 27, 2020
Episode 1 - Cecie Suknaic
Cecie Suknaic is a student at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, Illinois.