House Rules

My kids were so embarrassed by the list of rules that I had laminated at our front door for all their friends to see when they came to visit. They thought it was unnecessary and strange, considering no other parent took so much care in displaying the house rules in such a public manner. However, I had very good reason to put so much effort into making sure all rules were known and followed. Below are the top four which I always included in whatever home we lived in so we could better maintain our health and balance despite all the crazy that went along with living our ever changing, overseas lives. 1. Number one on this list as well as my laminated list was ALWAYS remove your shoes at the door. Symbolically, removing your shoes at the entrance makes your home a...

Dyersville Native’s Memoir Details Spiritual Journey

Germaine Parra’s unusual life at first does not seem so unusual. Born Mary Germaine Thier, Parra was the fourth of 11 children born in Dyersville to James and Marie Thier. Her childhood was firmly rooted in the duties of the family farm and in the firm precepts of the Catholic church. But following her graduation from Beckman High School in the late 1960s, Parra’s appetite for adventure took her far from home, first to study genetics in Chicago, Virginia and Europe and then to raise a family in unfamiliar cultures in Pakistan and Southeast Asia. During her adult life, Parra’s dealt with life-altering predicaments — including a heart attack at a young age while she lived in Karachi, Pakistan — and spiritual crises and revelations. She and her family have been at...