Category Archives: Memories

*”He Moved”

It was one of those moments when time slows and details become more pronounced, a rather macabre tableaux vivant, burned indelibly in my mind. My father, outside, trying to break the door down; my mother inside with the shotgun; me … Continue reading

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Posted in domestic abuse, Domestic Violence, Dysfunctional Families, Memoir, Memories, parenting | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Revisiting Why Boxelders and Blackberries?

One of the first entries I wrote when i started this blog in 2009 related to the title. When I think back to what I wrote then, I think it barely captures what that tree meant to me and doesn’t say enough about those blackberry brambles. My life at home was not always a happy life. The memories are often told in the stories that populate this blog. “1945,” tells about a very young child’s introduction to racism; “Of Trees, Tubs, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Silence” describes the view from the boxelder tree; “Caught in the Wringer,” is about washing clothes with an old wringer washer and trying to escape the violence surrounding Maggie Jean; “Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary,” recounts my little contribution to history; and “Prelude to a Not-So-Ordinary Day” and “Horse Latitudes” tell about an extraordinary (and dangerous) experience I had with my horse. The tragedy of my sister’s life (and death) is told in “Why Didn’t You Catch Me?” There are others here that tell my story. Continue reading

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Posted in Dysfunctional Families, Fiction, Freedom Riders, Horseback Riding, Meanderings, Meanings, Memoir, Memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seasons of Our Lives Memoirs

Just about a year ago, I published a blog post called “1945,” a memoir piece starring my childhood alter ego, Nellie Quinn. Then, a little less than a month ago, I announced that it had been published in an anthology … Continue reading

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Posted in Meanderings, Meanings, Memoir, Memories | 1 Comment

1945

Nellie sat down on the back porch steps and looked across the bare yard at the barn. She watched Friz go inside and slide open the big doors to the cow pasture. The black and white cows filed noisily inside, … Continue reading

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Posted in Civil Rights, Dysfunctional Families, Fiction, Meanings, Memories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Danny and Me and Hoot Hoot Ice Cream

*I wrote this at the closing program of the Invitational Summer Institute of the Southern Arizona Writing Project. We were asked to look at some pictures and create a story based on what comes to mind. Mine was an old-fashioned-looking … Continue reading

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Freedom Riders 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders’ incursion into the segregated South in an effort to bring about change. The summer of 1961 saw over 400 individuals, black and white, join an effort to test and challenge the Jim Crow laws that segregated travel facilities throughout the South. While their goal was based on non-violence, that did not stop those who brutally attacked them, often aided by local police; I hope that no one ever underestimates or undervalues the courageous efforts of these selfless young people.

I was fortunate enough to participate, even in a small way, in this important civil rights movement. Continue reading

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Posted in Civil Rights, Freedom Riders, Memories, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Me and My Church

What follows is a response to an earlier post, called The Paradox of Pro-Life Church Teachings . It comes from my sister, whom I invited to be a guest blogger. I suspect her experience is not uncommon, and I would … Continue reading

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Posted in Catholic Church, Meanings, Memories, Pro-Life Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Prelude to A Not-So-Ordinary Day

An ordinary day begins like any other, but the outcome is far different from that which is expected. Continue reading

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Posted in Meanderings, Meanings, Memories | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Clay Remembers (Prologue)

For the “someday” novel: After her marriage ends, archaeologist Anna Robinson takes a job excavating the site of both a prehistoric culture and a nineteenth century ranch where her life intertwines with the lives of two women who lived at … Continue reading

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Posted in Dysfunctional Families, Fiction, Meanderings, Meanings, Memories, Novel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of Trees, Tubs, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Silence

The huge box elder split into a Y about four feet above the ground. The two main trunks were each big enough to be its own tree, and the broad fork made a comfortable seat where she could sit and read if she wanted. One side leaned at an angle wide enough for her to climb to smaller branches and then work her way into the upper branches and the protective canopy of leaves when she wanted more privacy. This tree was her place. Rarely had any of her brothers or sisters, when they were home, ever climbed it. It’s my tree. The tall maple tree on the other side of the house was another of her climbing trees, but not for privacy, for the challenge. She was determined someday to climb high enough in it that she would be able to look out above the highest branches. There was danger in that–the upper branches were no thicker than her thumb. Continue reading

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Posted in Dysfunctional Families, Fiction, Meanderings, Meanings, Memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment