Family

Memoir Writing. Narcissistic or a Gift?

Featured in Vibrant Nation “Why do you feel compelled to tell everyone your story?” a friend asked after reading my memoir-in-progress posts. I was unsure if she thought me narcissistic. And when I do finish my story, readers will discover that I’m on the other end of narcissism. So I didn’t know if I should take offense or not. On the other hand, her question forced me to perform some dot connecting. As a young girl who bounced from the good life, []

The Christmas Queen’s Crown Rests

When I try to remember the best Christmas ever, it’s impossible.  It’s not that I never had a best Christmas ever.  But no single memory explodes into smiling snowflakes and flashing Christmas tree lights. The same goes with the worst Christmas ever.  They exist somewhere in my memory like empty beer cans tossed under a sparcely decorated dead Christmas tree. Selective memories fade in time and prove that each moment is temporary.  Some moments are like the whiff of a freshly peeled orange []

Hungry For The Warrior Woman

Also seen in SLO New Times & Santa Maria Sun On an August afternoon 36 years ago, my world flipped upside down.  I was 27 years old, mother to a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old.  My college career was on hold while my husband considered a graduate degree.  But that wasn’t going to happen because on this one August day a deadly accident terminated our dreams.  This accident killed my husband and I stood in the desert wind unsure how I would move forward []

Plant Joy. Harvest Peace.

At times I sense a deliberate effort by others to force us into a funk that’s frothed with anger and fear.  Bad vibes.   Pile on our daily happyius interfereus, like the episode I recently experienced with spouse’s health,   and it feels like a dunking in putrid mud. If I’m not happy, my family is not happy.  If my daughter is not happy, her family is not happy.  Frowns spread like yawns in a crowded room.  Frowns welcome anger and fear faster than []

Is My Chili Good Enough to Win a Competition?

Promise. This is the last of my question blogs.  I intended posting three separate question-blogs to stir up some social heat. The third question eluded me–although the temptation to ask if my morals were lesser than yours kept stirring about in my head like a steaming bowl of beans. The bowl of beans analogy, along with an invitation to judge a community chili cook-off  enlightened the third—and possibly—the most important of my three question-blogs: “ Is My Chili Good Enough to Win []

If I Were Gay, Would I Be Equal To Others?

I’ve been thinking about being gay. I’ve been thinking about what if the absolute love of my life was a woman. I’ve been thinking about gay/lesbian couples I know that honor each other and their children. Then I thought about how same-sex life-partners share the same care, anger, drama, joy, and tragedy that Mr. and Mrs. Bob and Mary Doe share. This is not my outing. I am straight, but what if I was lesbian and my partner was Jane not Clif? []

Remodeling Dysfunction’s Murderous Stink

I grew up in dysfunction. I smell dysfunction’s stink in an instant. As an adult, some of the dysfunction from my childhood stuck. Several tragedies later, I recognized my behavior and how my behavior hurt others. My stinky self begged for a remodel. (It remains a work in progress.)

Behind a Murdered Man

I wasn’t shocked when a sheriff pulled into my driveway Sunday afternoon—a magnificent Sunday afternoon colored with a blue that only the Pacific Ocean can conjure underneath a cloudless sky. We just returned from an ocean bluffs walk where we showed off our beautiful and peaceful village to a LA visitor who arrived in the wee hours of the morning with our daughter and her boyfriend.  Pelicans soared overhead and we raced to get the best photo.  I kept my eye out []

Brian Wilson’s Songs Of My Life

“Are you going to the prom?” a high school friend asked me on a warm May afternoon in 1966. In the background, Brian Wilson’s perfect falsetto crooned, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”  It made me think of my boyfriend, Ricky, at the time.  We were hot teens and I was a good Catholic girl. “Not this one,” I replied, hinting disappointment.  It was my own senior prom. “Can’t you bring Ricky?” my friend asked. I thought about our last date at the local []