Raising Carolina

It's early morning, August, 1975. A woman is sitting on the rough boards of an unpainted stoop that leads to the kitchen of her 100-year-old white clapboard farmhouse, holding her new daughter in her arms. She is very likely nursing the baby, as she looks across the yard to a barn that's the same age as the house, a chicken coop, and an ancient log cabin that predates every other building on the place. It's a bright blue morning in Door County, Wisconsin, and she is singing.

Nothing could be finer than to be with Carolina in the morning.

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Why do so many people love autumn? It's the color, some say. It's the brisk air, say others. It's Halloween and Thanksgiving, candy corn and pumpkin pie. It's all about the orange. But I don't think that's the real reason that autumn is my favorite season. I think that autumn is the season when introverts come into their own. Read more about My-Time-of-Year

Only In the Movies?

The October 1913 issue of National Geographic featured an article by George Kennan entitled An Island in the Sea of History, The Highlands of Daghestan. In it, he describes a scene you might think existed only in the fevered imaginations of Hollywood directors, but which in fact took place within a year or so of the beginning of World War I, not too distant from the far away places with strange-sounding names in our news today. Read more about Only In the Movies?

Oh My Papa

One of the last things my father said to me, as I prepared to move to Seattle in 1985, was "You're never going to be normal, are you?"

A couple of years into the new century, when my brother ushered me into his presence at the nursing home, he greeted me with, "Barbara! Our first born." And then a whispered, "We always loved you best."

And I thought, I'll take that one, Dad. Read more about Oh My Papa

Westward Ho the Toyota

The best memories my son, Christopher, and I share involve a car and a road atlas. He was probably 7 or so the first time we took off together, just the two of us. We were living on the farm in Door County, WI, and every summer we headed for my parents' place on Lake Benedict in Minnesota. My husband couldn't always get away from work at a convenient time but, as it turned out, Chris and I were generally happy to get away by ourselves. Read more about Westward Ho the Toyota

My Buddy

A Horse Tale

I'm jealous. A friend of mine just bought a horse. I've wanted a horse ever since I was a little girl - just like every single other little girl I've ever known or read about. Little girls - and big girls, too - are notoriously horse crazy.

I bought a horse once. It's not a pretty story.

Back in the 70's, my (now ex-) husband and I owned a farm in Door County, Wisconsin. Eighty acres. An old farm house. A barn. An ancient but still standing log cabin. Maple woods. An apple orchard. Fields of alfalfa. Perfect for a horse. Read more about My Buddy

Musings on Media

Two things from last week: (1) Heard a report on the state of the film industry claiming that the domestic market for U.S. films is only 20%, and the foreign market demands 3D and CGI. (2) Saw Hobbit2 with my new understanding of why Peter Jackson turned a classic fairy tale structure into an action movie. Read more about Musings on Media