Monday, November 9, 2009

CATS EDIT MEMORIES

Welcome to my Blog!

I am writing a book of memories from my girlhood. Butterscotch, my rescued Calico cat, and Liam, my Lilac Point Siamese kitten (aka pound kitty) are my esteemed editors. Their job is to look cute but annoy me as much as possible. I am writing about my sense of loss after I married and left my home, not returning to live nearby for 27 years. My mother left home early and traveled the world, always mourning her home, but totally committed to my father. My grandmother was the center we gravitated to; she stayed put and we returned magnetically to her whenever we could. Along the way, we wrote over 150 letters to each other (including my father) from Texas, France, California, the Philippine Islands, Japan, Virginia, and Florida over decades--from 1947 to the early 1990's.

One of the threads I am following in my book is to try and unveil the mysteries surrounding some people's belief that a woman should always follow her husband as his job moves the family to different places--without question, or at least relatively quietly. Some of us women want to or are at least willing to move, and some of us aren't, but do anyway. Love tangles the way decisions are made. My approach to this memoir is to write about how I felt about home from my earliest girlhood and then compare my experiences and feelings to what I know about my mother's feelings about home, supplemented by her letters. Back in the late sixties to early eighties, when we women were supposed to be liberated, more independent thinkers, society's bias was still very powerful. Those expectations have greatly affected some decisions I have made. Anyway, I know you women out there have lots of helpful things to say--for us to help each other.

In addition, I have written several chapters of a different book, about my daughter's experiences with bipolar illness, but I won't be trying to publish it. Some of her stories will be in my memoir though. I am always interested in hearing about other families' struggles with mental illness, and I will always be willing to share the things I have learned from my successes and my failures.

I am also very involved in gardening and collecting cookbooks. I have inherited, bought, and been given dozens of cookbooks. Cooking is one of my great joys. I love talking about all that too.

So, I am excited and anxious to hear your stories and comments about your memories of home, or your connection to home (or disconnection), as well as any thoughts on love and marriage and friendships--all of which tie in to the choices we make about how we live our lives. Butterscotch and Liam are quite proper, so they will not be repeating any sensitive stories to their friends, rest assured.




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