Home was an Island

Home was an island nestled in the San Francisco Bay. Early mornings were misty with dew filled lawns and foghorns calling out to early risers.   Seagulls squawked while flying low along sandy shores. With soft lights and hazy revelations, the Victorian Ladies danced in understated shadows until delicate clouds parted revealing regal intention from another time. Continue reading “Home was an Island”

Marie Anne Lagou: A New Life in New France

Sainte-Augustine-de-Desmaures, Quebec

About 1652, my ninth grandmother, Marie Anne Lagou was born to Pierre Lagou and Marie Boiscochin in the parish of Saint-Etienne in Le Mans, Maine. At the age of 18, after her father’s death, she left her home and sailed to New France under the sponsorship of King Louis XIV of France. Later, she would become known as a filles du roi, or a King’s Daughter. She left France to marry and settle in the wilderness in the New World that France longed to develop. My grandmother arrived in Quebec in 1670 with a dowry of 200 livres. Continue reading “Marie Anne Lagou: A New Life in New France”

Mama, Dustin Hoffman and a Little Karma

When I was younger, I would often laugh at my mom when she would call someone by the wrong name, or when she would totally screw up the ordinary day-to-day information. One morning, this mother of five was desperately trying to wrangle her chicks, and get them out the door, so they would arrive at school on time. A couple of us had bouts of the flu, so she was writing “the please excuse notes” so that we could re-enter the realms of academia. The tired and overworked mother looked at me and demanded, “Is it 1956 or 1957?” The confused looked on my face triggered another tirade of words. “I know what you’re thinking, but I am tired, so is it ’56 or ’57?”  Continue reading “Mama, Dustin Hoffman and a Little Karma”

A Bucket List

1At my age, I have started to think a lot about a bucket list. In all honesty, it all started a couple of years ago when I was teaching eighth grade. I had this young student who was an old soul. One day we were discussing Orson Well’s Animal Farm when out of left field, he asks, “How does it feel to know that your life is half over?”  Continue reading “A Bucket List”

Out of Nowhere

As a child, I loved hearing stories about my Mom’s childhood. Her exciting tales often made me laugh, while some made me wonder how she survived childhood at all. I believed she must have had wild angels watching over her, and I thought my Mama possessed just a wee bit of Irish luck. Still, one story she told made me shudder whenever she recounted it.
Continue reading “Out of Nowhere”

One for the Road

snowOn a chilly Friday afternoon on October 24, 1997, snow began falling in Penrose, Colorado. By evening, winds blew and whistled around our home on Garden Drive. Icy temperatures dropped to the teens, but the wood stove in our home kept the place warm and cozy. With news of the impending storm, I stocked my home with groceries, stacked wood near the back door, and, of course, rented several movies to help us pass the time. My daughter and I settled in to wait out the developing storm.  Continue reading “One for the Road”

The Adventure: Canyon de Chelly


Sunrise Canyon de Chelly

The morning of my adventure, the day had dawned like all the others. Across the vast horizon, the sun slowly rose to its place of honor. The golden orb reflected rays of light that painted the desert in warm, vibrant colors. A cloudless blue sky stretched across the skyline then suddenly tipped and touched the rugged, open lands. Nearby an elderly Navaho woman shouted ancient commands to her dogs as she moved her herd of sheep and goats to precious grazing grounds. Another breathtaking morning had dawned on the Navaho Reservation in Chinle, Arizona.  Continue reading “The Adventure: Canyon de Chelly”