Magical Memoir Moments

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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“Have a Good Time with Your Friends:” A Granddaughter Milestone on the Brink

She’s two and a half and heading full speed toward three years old. She’s on the brink of everything. Just before Christmas, she helped put up lights and pine garland on her porch. She couldn’t stop saying her favorite new word: “energy!” By the time she arrived at our house for the Christmas holiday, Lydia…

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We used to get great cuddle pictures. Now it's really hard to get three kids to look up and smile for the camera.

New Year’s Resolutions 2020

Christmas came. Christmas was wonderful, overflowing with “energies” (granddaughter Lydia’s latest word). Christmas, and 2019, are now history. When the house gets quiet again, my spirit searches for poetry. “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” –Augustine of Hippo Here on this…

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What do you think she calls him?

Your Grandparent Name: A Twenty-first Century Choice

What is one of the oldest jokes about becoming a grandparent? “I don’t mind being a grandma, but I’m not sure about sleeping with a grandpa!” Getting used to the role of grandparent takes time, but is a universal experience. Getting used to the name, these days, is much more culturally variable. Depending on how…

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Lydia and Grandma ready to explore the front yard as we walk down the street to the EMU front yard on Homecoming weekend.

Little Mystic, Great Mind: Splendor in the Grass

“[To the mystic] grass is really a forest and the grasshopper a dragon. Little things please great minds.” —G. K. Chesterton When little Lydia, almost two and a half, visited our house recently, she spent the first few minutes walking from room to room, noticing things she remembered from her last visit nearly a year…

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Owen, Lydia, and Julia with their grandparents. June 22, 2019

Grandparent Camp: Like Baking a Cake

Grandparent week at our house started out at the Showalter Reunion. Owen and Julia’s parents drove 8.5 hours to Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia, to participate in the festivities. At the end of the reunion, Owen and Julia jumped into Grandma and Granddad’s car, and their parents drove back to Philadelphia and Montclair so…

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Lydia is wearing a Hess family heirloom dress at least 100 years old.

The Celestial Openness of the Child’s Mind: Lydia’s Breakthrough, Our Goodbye

Those Romantic poets, especially Wordsworth, got it right. We do arrive on this earth trailing clouds of glory! For the last eleven months, Stuart and I have had a front-row seat as Lydia exuberantly shared with us the trailing clouds of glory she brought with her from birth. Today neuroscientists are using the term “celestial…

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Magnavox-Collaro-Blonde-Mid-Century-Record-Player

Baby Songs: “You’re Gonna Thank Me Everyday”

Did you have a record player in your house long ago? This record player came from an estate sale, the first one Nik and Kate went to several years ago. The price was $150. That number seemed high. It’s probably about as much as the original cost in the late 1950s or early 60s. They…

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