Mom Ella & aunt Anna

Mom Ella & aunt Anna.


Final goodbye to Czech Republic

Dad heads home to bid farewell to family

United Airlines flight 974 with my dad Vaclav Konecny on board just landed in Geneva four and a half hours late due to maintenance on one of the Pratt & Whitney motors.


My dad is 80 and he flew home to Czech Republic to say final goodbye to the family. Dad has only one living sibling left, aunt Marta.

He is the founder of our immigration saga that started with the Soviet invasion in 1968. And it continues to evolve to this day with third generation.

That is basically what my memoir Greenwich Meridian is about.

Venice, Florida
Dad in Venice, Florida

To be continued

Note: This is my 150th post on EW Emma’s Writings on WordPress. The 15th new follower of EW will get a $25 gift certificate to Steak & Shake.

Copyright (c) 2014

Pout ke svatbe, journey to wedding

Sledujte nas na nasi pouti ke svatbe Maranda Ruegsegger a Jakub Pala v kostele Svateho Patricka v Parnellu, Michigan.

Follow us on our journey to the international wedding of Maranda Ruegsegger and Jakub Pala at Saint Patrick’s Church in Parnell, Michigan.

Fall blueberry pie
Fall blueberry pie

Lowell woman behind the Pink Arrow Pride

Lowell woman makes Pink Arrow Pride happen along with husband and other volunteers


LOWELL, MI-When Teresa Beachum received a phone call from varsity football coach Noel Dean, she stepped up to take action.

Dean was telling her about a wife of a football player who was sporting a pink jersey at an NFL game.

The pink symbolized breast cancer. An idea was born seven years ago that has grown into a phenomenon.

The two wondered if the Lowell Football team would be strong enough to carry some else’s name on the shoulder of their pink jerseys.

The community walk prior to Pink Arrow game
The community walk prior to Pink Arrow game

“We wanted to honor those on a cancer journey or in memory of,”she said.

Beachum lost her brother Jeff Timpson to cancer.

Pink Arrow players
Pink Arrow players

The Pink Arrow Pride symbolizes the pride the players have to have to represent someone else, she said.

The Pink Arrow VII game against Chicago Hubbard is scheduled this year for Sept.5.

The Survivor’s Lap precedes the game from the Lowell High School down to the stadium.

“Everybody comes together, the fire and the police department, the band and the churches,” Beachum said.

This is followed by a victory lap around the stadium.

“The view is a sea of pink, the field, the goal post and even the trash cans,” she said.

And something new is added every year like fireworks last year.

But, there is more to this than just the game in pink.

“It teaches students how to channel grief and their emotions,” she said.

The Pink Arrow Pride has so far raised one million dollars. This money goes toward programming at Gilda’s Club, medical student scholarships, assistance to cancer survivors and Lowell Community Wellness.

“It has grown into a new dimension of playing for a cause,” Beachum said.

The two scholarships are Dr. Donald Gerard’s and Kathy Talus.

Beachum stays involved year round with the Pink Arrow Pride. Together with Ethel Stears, she delivers gifts to cancer survivors.

“I wanted to support the cause because everyone knows someone who has walked the cancer journey,” Beachum said.

The t-shirt sales have brought in $8,000 alone during the last worst seven years in economy.

“Cancer does not discriminate,” she said. “It strikes the young, the old, retirees and students.”

In the weeks prior to the game, Perry and Teresa Beachum turn their house into a Pink Arrow Pride stronghold with brochures, logos and promotions everywhere.

“The logo is customized and every year we add new things, “she said.

For their efforts, the couple has been awarded as the Chamber People of the Year.

For more info go to:

Copyright (c)2014 story by Emma Palova, photos by Pink Arrow Pride

Supermom hosts exchange students

Back to school
EW writer Sarah Harmon hosts exchange students
EW writer Sarah Harmon hosts exchange students
By Sarah Harmon
EW writer
When I was in high school, I always loved befriending foreign exchange students. I never would have guessed that ten years after graduation, I would be the host mom of one of them.
Wandering around the Riverwalk Festival in July 2013, I stopped at a booth for an organization that sponsored exchange students coming to America. It turned out I was the minimum age for a host parent, and there was a girl that it looked like would be a good fit. I thought for a few days before deciding to go for it. In that time, the girl I had wanted found another family, but the program director had a profile of a Chinese girl she thought might work. I took a look at Xuan, not expecting to be impressed since I’m more interested in European culture than Asian.
Exchange student Xuan 2013-2014
Exchange student Xuan 2013-2014
Decisions like this should never be made lightly. You are committing to putting a lot of energy and countless hours into helping this student to experience America for almost ten months. After talking to friends and family at length about if Xuan was the right girl and if I was insane enough to do this, considering I was single with two jobs plus volunteer work, I went for it. There are a lot of things you take for granted that you never truly understand until you see your home through someone else’s eyes. For instance, living in a big city in China, Xuan had never been up close to horses, goats, or pigs. I thought she was crazy when she said you weren’t supposed to touch farm animals. We have petting zoos everywhere!
Holidays were another whole new experience. It’s hard for us to imagine meeting Santa for the first time as a 16 year old. Xuan didn’t know what to ask for, so she jokingly chose a unicorn. She left some excellent homemade cookies out for him, and Christmas morning, Santa brought her a toy unicorn. The look on her face was priceless. Old holiday traditions suddenly seem a lot less cheesy when you know this kid will only get one chance in her life to do them.
Sarah and Xuan
Sarah and Xuan
It was a lot of work, mostly because I wanted to be Supermom and do a thousand things with her. (She has the 107 page scrapbook to prove it!) Yes, we had our struggles (she hated American food), but overall I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Xuan cried all the way to the airport in June, and I cried the whole drive home. Despite saying I would take a year off, right now I’m cleaning up Xuan’s old room to welcome Eva from Austria this Sunday. It’s going to be another crazy year of hosting, but I’m looking forward to every minute of it.


Copyright (c) 2014 story by Sarah Harmon

Coming soon

Stay tuned for the following stories:

Sarah Harmon: Supermom hosts exchange students on

Emma Palova

Interview with the bride at

EW writing team Sarah Harmon and Emma Palova in front of Ball's ice cream parlor in Lowell
EW writing team Sarah Harmon and Emma Palova in front of Ball’s ice cream parlor in Lowell

Pink Arrow Pride phenomenon

Watch for a full story on the Pink Arrow Pride phenomenon and the woman behind it-Teresa Beachum of Lowell, MIchigan. Teresa became involved with the Pink Arrow project seven years ago after she received a phone call from varsity football coach Noel Dean.

“We didn’t know our goals then,” she said, “but we raised $98,000 the first year.”

The project has raised over one million dollars in six years to benefit cancer patients, students and programming at Gilda’s Club.

“Because everyone knows someone with cancer,” said Beachum. “Cancer does not discriminate. It strikes the young, the old, the students and retirees.”

Decked out in pink for the Pink Arrow project.
Decked out in pink for the Pink Arrow project.

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