A Road Trip With My Son, the World’s Largest Ball of Twine and Service

How can these three things possibly be related in the same story?  Good question. It was around Christmas time of 2001, I was in the Intraocular Lens Implant business so I was selling to ophthalmologists who performed cataract surgery.  I had developed a good relationship with a surgeon, Curt Wischmeier, for whom I volunteered to do a favor. Curt lived (still lives) in Aberdeen, South Dakota, was an avid wine collector and was looking for an opportunity to buy a significant quantity of a brand and specific vintage of wine.   He was telling me about this particular wine during … Read More

The Patient Shared Billing Ruling That Got Things Rolling!

In May of 2005, The Patient Shared Billing ruling passed the US Congress and got things rolling. Patient Shared Billing was quietly enacted and changed the landscape of healthcare. As I was cleaning out some files today, I came across an interesting piece of history that I had saved.  Below is an article from OSN about the ruling from CMS that gave patients the ability to pay for an uncovered service (Presbyopia correction) and still receive their covered benefit (cataract extraction with IOL implantation).  The legislation also gave physicians the opportunity to receive remuneration for the additional testing and cognitive … Read More

Annie’s Big Day!

My second daughter, Anne, graduated from the University of St. Thomas last weekend. It was a great day, we went out for a nice dinner at the Smack Shack in Minneapolis and it is fun for Jean and me to see our kids growing up. Anne will be going to Thailand in the Fall to teach English and see some more of the world. She was firmly bitten by the travel bug during her time in the Semester at Sea program that she participated in last year. I admire her bravery and courage to step-out into new situations like she … Read More

My Mom

This is my mom, Mary, my sister, Patty, my brother, Marty and me.  We had a nice brunch at the Good Day Cafe in Golden Valley, Minnesota.  Great spot! My mom is a great lady who has done so much for all of us.  She’s creative, smart, authentic and persistent….traits that she passed on to her three kids. Mary is from Wadena, Minnesota and is the daughter of Martin and Grace Ehlen. One of the things that I admire the most about her is that she will talk to anyone.  It’s actually kind of embarrassing sometimes when she does it, … Read More

Refill Guy

I am always amazed at how many times during the day I have the opportunity to refill things around me.  Sometimes it’s physical, often times mental and certainly spiritual. Physical things are easy and, while sometimes irritating, quickly accomplished.  Things like, the dogwood container is empty, the coffee maker water canister is running low, the toilet paper dispenser has a cardboard tube on it and various other mundane daily tasks that need to be done. What happens when there are refill needs for other people, or even myself, that are not so easy to see or replenish?  Things like a … Read More

Martin Ehlen – My Grandpa

My Grandpa Martin died when I was eight years old. I remember that the last time that I saw him was when we went to the hospital after I had fallen down on a fishing trip with my Dad and Brother and cut my side open. I had to have stitches so we went to the hospital to get it sewn up and then visited Grandpa when we were there. My mom says I’m a lot like him. Grandpa Martin was in the hospital at the time recovering from a heart attack. He was a smoker of cigars, worked at … Read More

Enjoy Life Each Day

Today I found out that a friend of mine passed away while on vacation with his wife doing what helped him enjoy life, riding his Harley. Tim was a kind person and I feel a loss for what his family must be going through. Tim was a bit older than me, but not by much. I saw him almost every morning at the gym where we both work out – there’s a bit of irony in that for me. This probably causes me to consider my own mortality a bit more acutely than is comfortable. There was a time in … Read More

You are what you reach for….

I’ve come to this conclusion after much thought.  It’s pretty simple, yet complex at the same time.  Humbling.  Kind of like me. I’ve come to learn that throughout my life, as I find myself firmly planted in middle age, I am the sum total of the things that I’ve reached for.  Some good and some not-so-good things that I have reached for occupied my thoughts, consumed my time and crossed my lips.  Some of these reaches have lead to soaring success and others to crushing, gut-wrenching failure.  Gratefully, I am resilient and I press-on. I want to write about lots … Read More