Magical Memoir Moments

Poet Norbert Krapf

How Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, and Norbert Krapf Helped Me to Become a More Mindful Grandparent

Did you watch the Nobel Prize ceremony in 2016 when Patti Smith sang “It’s a Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” in honor of her friend Bob Dylan? If not, you need to watch it here. And if you are one of the three million people who have already watched this video, trust me, it’s worth another…

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Kate, Joyous, Anna Mary, Shirley. Photographer: Lydia!

Vintage Dress Photo Shoot at the Home Place

Several weeks after we moved to Lititz, PA, I invited my daughter Kate, granddaughter Lydia, niece Joyous, and her daughter Anna Mary to join me in exploring a pile of vintage clothing I bought in the late 1980s at my Grandpa Hess’ estate sale.The dresses had stayed in closets in Goshen, IN; Kalamazoo, MI; and…

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Grandchildren l-r: Lydia, Owen, and Julia. They all came to Lititz to celebrate the Hershey Family Christmas we missed in 2020.

“Whatever Happened to That Book You Were Going to Write?”

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may recall that I wrote a prayer on February 15, 2020, asking for guidance and strength as I undertook a new book-writing project. I had no idea that a month later the whole country would be closed down due to a pandemic. Nor could I have…

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L-R Sisters Doris and Sue, me, Suzanne Groff, Dale Groff

Was Tom Wolfe Right or Wrong: Can We Go Home Again?

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time—back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”   –Thomas Wolfe Thomas Wolfe…

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Photo by Jack Rutt

From This Valley They Say We Are Going: Another Turning Point

 A few days ago I wrote about the long, cold winter our family has endured. This week new life has erupted. Daffodils are budding, and the early ones are dancing in the breeze.     This beautiful passage from the second chapter of the Song of Solomon speaks for us: “Arise, my love, my fair…

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Pansies pushing up out of dead leaves.

The Crucible of Winter: What Has It Taught You?

  “Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but its crucible.” — Katherine May I have been through a very painful winter. Have you too? Today, turning the calendar page today to March 1 felt liberating.  Then a walk in balmy, windy, air, listening to birds, looking for crocuses and pansies, admiring the…

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Poet Marilyn Nelson, Wikipedia photo.

What Keeps Me Standing: The Wisdom of Black Grandmothers

In the midst of both a pandemic and an anti-racist social justice movement in our country, I find myself, as a white person, a mother, grandmother, and now a caregiver, searching for the wisdom of black grandmothers. I believe black women may be the most resilient people in the world and that their strength gives…

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Evrething Will Be OK. May 27, 2020. Owen William Showalter, Age 9

In Our Dark Night: Mother Julian’s Words and a Grandson’s Drawing

It’s hard to write tonight. The news is so distressing. George Floyd’s tragic death is the tip of the spear.  We should all be coming together to fight the Corona virus — and the other viruses of injustice, racism, and inequality. We need wise leaders. We need change. Will it happen? Despair comes more easily…

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Preparing Care Package #1

Care Packages for Grandchildren: Creativity While Quarantined

What’s a Grandma to do? When hugs are forbidden? Stores are closed? And she’s told “elders” like her must stay home? She asks her friends on Facebook, of course. “What can I do to stay connected when all I have are things around the house?” I asked. You wouldn’t believe how many GREAT ideas other…

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My Dear God: How I Feel About Writing Another Book

 Writing books is hard work. After writing, revising, publishing, and touring with a memoir, 2011-2014, I said I didn’t think I wanted to write another book. The only exception would be if I felt called again. When my friend Marilyn McEntyre asked if I would join her and others on a panel discussion at the…

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