Viewing: family

Sep 13

September 13, 2015

How is This Possible? Coincidences and Other Disasters

I spend a lot of my time howling the cosmic yawp into the blue beyond. It looks, to mortal eyes, like I’m making lunch and beating a deadline and running errands and remembering to put out the trash cans. But I assure you, a goodly portion of every day is given over to caterwauling (mostly in my inside voice but not always) on the WHY of everyday living. The WHY of how did we get here? The WHY of how…

Posted in appreciation, authors, Books, family, freelance, random, rants, The Doris Diaries, Travel, Uncategorized, work, writing | By

Aug 9

August 9, 2015

Writing as Though I Had Wings

I’ve come to that cross-road in a writer’s life where she has to choose between writing what she wants and writing what earns her bread. It might even be one of those modern five-way stoplights where several roads merge and one must decide whether to turn gently to the right, to join the path ahead, or — most alarming of all — veer to the left and go against the traffic, hoping for a break in the rush to slip…

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Jun 29

June 29, 2015

Because I Haven’t Known What to Say

Because the events of the past week — the horrific shooting deaths of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church by a young white racist, and the — maybe — final straw that will bring down the Confederate battle flag, and bring the longed-for change, I am trying to say — Because when we were children, in the extremely white liberal suburbs of Marin County in the late 1960s, we used to say, “Eenie meenie miney mo, catch a nigger by…

Posted in family, My World and Welcome to It, slavery, The World as We Know It | By

Jun 21

June 21, 2015

Fishing for stories

I spent Saturday digging through old newspapers to see what frolics my great-grandmother was up to as president of the Daughters of the Confederacy in Portland, Oregon, 100 years ago. Let’s just say there plenty of genteel hijinks that involved white women doing the Virginia Reel, reading nostalgic poetry in “slave dialect” and guest speakers telling “many clever darky stories.” Can you tell I died a little bit inside when I read that? I did a lot of family research…

Posted in Catching Up, family, research, slavery, The Doris Diaries, work | By

Jun 15

June 15, 2015

The Ugly Truth: Sins of the Forefathers

A few years ago I picked up a book at the library because of its intriguing cover and title. It was Edward Ball’s Slaves in the Family. I read about Ball’s exploration of his roots, delving deeply into his family’s history as slave owners, discovering the ugly truth in his own backyard, as it were. When I finished reading this devastating portrait of Ball’s own family, it took weeks before I could read anything else. My mind was full of…

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