Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Fresh Start

     I've been writing a private family blog for a while. My family likes it. But I've decided to come out of the closet and go public. Most of you know me and for those who don’t: I’m a mother, a grandmother, and a great grandmother. I've been a daughter, student, wife, homemaker, teacher, visiting professor, educational therapist, course designer, consultant, coach, and a facilitator, but always I've been a writer.
            You’re my guinea pigs. I hope you like this and will comment and let me know what you are thinking. The writing will not be done in a chronological order as I will be pulling things out of my past. Some of these items go back a long way, as do I. My life spans many generations and the writings will reflect that. It’s a bit like the quilts my grandma Montgomery made.  Her bedroom and dining room were filled with piles of colorful fabrics all cut out in small pieces.  It was like a country garden with no obvious plan of design. Rarely did she buy any fabric, for her family and friends kept her supplied.  There was a piece from Aunt Nita’s last sewing, and Aunt Nelda’s apron scraps were there.  My mother was always looking through the pile of remnants at Samuelson’s Dry Goods Store for a pretty piece for “mama.”  A quarter of a yard was all it took to guarantee a good representation in grandma’s latest artistic endeavor.
My writing is like grandma’s quilt making.  My mind is a veritable garden of ideas, all colorfully stacked all over the place, waiting to be cut into an appropriate shape.  And there are scraps from friends and family, from books read, movies seen, and experiences. Alone the scraps won’t mean much, however, when sewed together, a pattern may be revealed. Just like life.
You may share these. I plan to put up a new post once a week. If you want to be taken from the mailing list, please let me know.
So here’s a sample: My sister had asthma when we were growing up, and as sorry as I felt for her, and as glad as I was that I didn’t have it, I sometimes longed to be ill.  My illness was always rare, not disfiguring, painful, nor fatal.  It was mysterious and I lay bravely on my bed, covered with silk comforters. The doctors stood nearby, consoling my parents. “There, there,” they said, “she’s nearing the crisis point now.”
            My mother wept softly and my father clenched his jaw to contain himself.  My sister regretted all the things she’d done to anger and hurt me. 
My temperature began to rise, the room hushed, and all waited expectantly as I went through the crisis.
            I always recovered and the only evidence of my brave adventure was that I was left with big boobs and long eyelashes.
            Daydreams anyone?


  1. What a wonderful public debut piece, Ruth! And beginning your new blog at the beginning of 2012 I hope means something good & auspicious.

    Eagerly awaiting the next installment...


  2. I am honored and absolutely thrilled to be invited and to participate in this and any interaction, education and dialogue that it may create. Thank you so much for inviting me and including me. It means more to me than you might ever suspect!! I am really excited that you are doing this and I am really looking forward to it. For me, among other things, it is an opportunity to connect and reconnect and to find pieces of the puzzle of my life!

  3. Ruth,

    I'm reminded by your childhood longing of a book I read in grade school several times that awakened the same sort of desire. Of course I'm talking about Mark Twain's 'Tom Sawyer'. You recall that Tom has this longing to be dead so that Becky Thatcher will shed tears over his cold corpse. . . but he adds the more pointed 'revenge component': Then they will regret, THEN they will realize what they missed in me, etc. Oh, and he skips the big boobs and long eyelashes.

    Great Blog,

    Dan H.

  4. Ruth,
    I've never done a blog and am thrilled you have invited me to join yours. Your initial entry brought back so many memories of my own childhood. Considering we're in the "older" age bracket, there are many memories stored away to share. Thanks again for the invite.
    Mary Ann

  5. My experience was just the opposite. When I was 11 years old, I wondered why I was so perfect. I had two siblings with glasses, two with braces, and one still wet the bed. BaBAM! By 12 I had glasses, braces, and became diabetic. The most embarrassing moments of my childhood followed . . . including wetting the bed at a sleepover. I was the one regretting my daydream of perfection.