First Father’s Day Without My Father

Wicker Love

My father got things done. He applauded us when we got things done. So last week, when I arrived in Cape May, I vowed to restore two wicker chairs my father had cared for years ago. I thought it would be quick work, as the paint was peeling. I’d just shake them off, maybe use a wire brush, then coat them with the oil-based Cover Stain primer our friend Marc Shenfield (a certified wicker nut) recommended. Marc likes to get things done, and he had lovingly restored the rocker in the painting … [Read more...]

Board the Kind Ship Now

It's time to pay attention . . . Last December, as I created exercises for the Mother-Daughter Way focus on kinship, a typo got my attention. I kept misspelling “kinship” by adding the letter "d" and creating a new word – kindship. It happened so frequently, I had to pay attention. Why? Because, at the risk of sounding woo woo, I believe certain so-called errors arise from a deeper level of consciousness. Like the word, which spawned the idea, of a Kind Ship. That's why I write every day. I … [Read more...]

Does Generosity Cost You?

If generosity is a good trait, why does it get tangled up in angst and confusion at this time of year? How can you maintain inner peace in a season of relentless advertising, competitive shopping and expensive gift-giving? I have been mulling over this question since we focused on the week six theme of generosity with my Mother-Daughter Way ONE goddesses last month. It was easier to manage week 6 during the pilot group last January when I tagged the focus as a week of … [Read more...]

Loving, Losing, Letting Go

Yesterday, I helped out as my friend Sandy Sampson conducted an estate sale to empty her parent's home. I had to see how she did it. Sandy is an awesome daughter who provided much family caregiving over the past decade. Her father, Harry Trigg, died in April 2009, and her mother, Marion Jane Bold Trigg, passed away four months ago, on Christmas Eve. Sandy set her mind and heart to the difficult task of clearing out her family's lifetime of collections, and to do so with the willing … [Read more...]

Malala: Standard-Bearer for Girls’ Rights to Education

This month of honoring women may be coming to a close, but it's been an opening for me in a way I never dreamed. As a writer who is given to privacy, revision, and possibly overworked revision, this blog accomplished what my mother said the shift to watercolors from oil paints did for her. I had to trust my instincts, post it, and let it go. Your responses have been awesome, and I will not crawl back under that rock any time soon. Thank you for reading, liking, and responding. So, yes, I'm … [Read more...]

Linda Waller Shockley, Protector of Stories and Places that Matter

Today, on the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Selma, I'd like to bring to light a woman whose quiet, steady work on behalf of social justice and memory has impressed and inspired me from the time I met her more than twenty years ago. Although her project has not gained the attention of Hollywood, yet, it should. We like to think of our democracy as just and equitable, but these painful stories of oppression, abuse, and prejudice continue to show up in our communities. Linda Waller … [Read more...]

The Amazing Madeleine

For the nineteenth profile of Women's History Month, I'm responding to a nomination from the field, gladly -- Cathy Smith shot me this Facebook message: "I'd like to throw out a name for your women's history month- Madeline Albright. Terry and I saw a wonderful exhibit concerning her famous pin collection and diplomacy. She is a strong woman who went toe to toe with world leaders." I shot back, "I LOVE her!" Well, where does the enthusiasm cool for this woman? I was totally hers from … [Read more...]

The First Woman to Win the Nobel Peace Prize

Jane Addams gets my cheer today, for the seventeenth post about a woman who inspires me during this month of writing women back into history. When I was young, I read a story of grace and generosity in a biography of Jane Addams that I never forgot. As I recall, she had just begun to operate Hull House, her Chicago mission, and one night a thief broke into her room to steal from her. Although she had been startled awake, she maintained her composure and rather than call the police, she offered … [Read more...]