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“Hillbilly Elegy” Worth a Read

J.D. Vance grew up in white working-class America, with roots in Kentucky.    His memoir is an examination of what happens when substance abuse, rampant unemployment, and lack of parental stability strips children of the perspective to strive for better in their lives. Although Vance did rise above his tumultuous beginnings […]

“Beautiful Affliction” Resonates

The riddle closes in.  I can hear its heavy footsteps, echoing in my ears.  The dark brings out that which the day hides. (Excerpt from Beautiful Affliction) Lene Fogelberg knows what it is like to live with an undiagnosed medical condition and to be turned away time and again from […]

Tired of the Same Old Endings

“I’ve started to write short stories again – something I haven’t done since I was a kid.” “How’s that going?” “It’s disturbing, actually; the endings are the same even after all these years.” “Like what?” “Me in a straitjacket, completely mad.” “Oh, I see!” As do I – there are […]

Mom Said Marry Well

I keep dreaming about young men:  confidant, seductive, virile young men.  In my dreams, they cozy up to me, offer promises of love, and always, I remember who I am – a dried up old woman condemned to disability – and wake up…reluctantly. Thing is, men have always been a […]

The Other Side of the Fence

The longest my family ever lived in one place was when I was aged four to eleven.  We lived in a house, built by my father, with a fortress of cedars on either side of the backyard to “keep out nosy neighbours”.  Behind was a farmer’s field and beyond a […]

What Do You Want For Christmas?

“A Kinder Egg,” our four-year-old granddaughter wrote to Santa. “A kitten,” asked her cousin, aged five. My kids sent me lists, as per my request, and my husband created a wish list on Amazon – mostly things for our motor home. I have no idea what I want.  Truthfully, I […]

Inner Voice of Autism

Just finished listening to “Carly’s Voice” by Arthur Fleischmann with his daughter, Carly.  Carly, unlike her twin sister, did not develop normally, and after a barrage of tests and consultations was determined to be developmentally delayed and mentally challenged – autistic, non verbal. Having stumbled across ABA, Carly’s parents hired […]

Violence Has No Justification

The tall, lanky man my sister brought home was not unlike my father:  both British, with startling blue eyes, a dark mop of hair, and a rakish grin.  Before anyone could introduce them, my father reached out his hand, grasped the younger man’s in a death grip, and stared straight […]