NOTE: A little over a year ago I began writing this post in celebration of our 41st anniversary. At about that same time, I walked away from my blog and stopped writing. When I returned to writing the blog, I came across this draft post. Even though our anniversary date has passed, I wanted to share this with you.
On August 15th, Bob and I celebrated our 42nd anniversary. You may already know this because you know us or saw a Facebook post. But there are a few things you likely are not aware of that we’ve been having fun talking or texting with others about our anniversary.
Bob and I met in 1981 while attending the same Methodist church in a suburb of Nashville, TN, called Hermitage. Yes, they named our little burb after the home of Andrew Jackson.I must confess here that I don’t remember what month and day signifies our first date, but I remember what we did. Continue reading →
It has been a while since I’ve posted reviews of memoirs I’ve read. Perhaps the most efficient way to catch up is to present them as shorter reviews. I hope the shorter format will be helpful in highlighting for you three of my favorites.
Remember, one of the best pieces of advice for those writing memoirs is to read the work of others sharing their life stories.
Miller’s writing is colloquial and thus allows you to feel like you are sitting over coffee or tea chatting with a friend. As a result, Trove is hard to put down. Miller’s words are honest and heartfelt while filled with courage and authenticity. I found myself cheering her on in her search for the feeling we have all experienced at one time or another in our lives—the feeling of regret and confusion in middle age. This is one memoir that I have kept on my shelf of favorites. I highly recommend it.
Marcia Butler is the author of The Skin Above My Knee. She is also a professional oboist and has played with many world-renowned orchestras and symphonies. And yet Butler has led a life filled with stresses in her childhood home resulting from a detached mother and an abusive father. The oboe represents her lifeline to sanity as she moves through other difficult relationships and bad choices.
Through her truthful narrative, Butler shows how music can offer the benefits of healing and strengthening the human soul.
My favorite line from Butler’s memoir is: “You love to feel stable within music’s velvety language.”
“A touching and intimate correspondence between Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, offers timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse into their lives.”
The correspondence referenced here happened as the result of a busy man and his 91-year-old mother agreeing to change their relationship by committing to a year-long conversation. This agreement came about following a brief but serious illness experienced by Vanderbilt.
One could describe their letters as a son’s love letters to his mother and a mother’s life lessons to her son. This memoir is beautiful and affectionate as well as a truthful celebration of life. A must-read!
These three memoirs have been waiting in the wings far too long. It is my pleasure to offer you good writing examples, perhaps even different formats such as that used by Cooper and Vanderbilt in sharing their story. All of these books can be found on Goodreads.
I couldn’t come to grips with writing a new post this week. Something or Someone advised me to step back and take a self-care breather.
So, I’ve pulled this one from the 2015 archives, brushed it up a bit, and offer it to you on this Easter weekend in 2020. The memory is one of my childhood favorites. It always comes to mind during the week before Easter.
One Easter Sunday stands out in my mind above all others. The year 1950. I was around age four. Dressing up was a highlight to most little girls, especially around Easter.
Easter meant a visit from the Easter Bunny with baskets filled with eggs and jelly beans and always a chocolate bunny. And it almost always meant new clothes. This particular Easter meant a new pair of black patent leather Mary Janes. I was proud and excited to wear them. I thought Sunday would never come.
Finally, Sunday came. Up early to check out what was left by the Easter Bunny, eat breakfast, brush our teeth, and then dress for church.
That’s when it all fell apart. I heard Mama and Daddy talking. Well, maybe arguing.
“She cannot wear those shoes. Can’t you see it snowed last night?”
Oh, no! Mama was telling Daddy I couldn’t wear my new shoes. If I hurried, I could get dressed and have my new shoes on before they finished.
“Honey, the snow isn’t that deep.” Hurray for Daddy! But Mama was having none of it.
Finally, Daddy saved the day. He told Mama if she felt it was too messy to wear the new shoes, he would carry me from the house to the car, from the car to the church, and reverse his plan when it was time to come home.
I’ll never forget wearing those shiny new shoes. But above all, I’ll never forget how loved I felt when Daddy reached down with his long arms, picked me up, and carried me to the car and into church that morning. I like to think it was Daddy’s way of showing me the unconditional love of God.
Whether you are beginning your memoir or have almost finished with that first draft, I hope the links listed below provide you with useful memoir writing tips. These links appeared on the Internet in recent days.
With autumn in full swing, it feels like a time for starting or restarting our writing projects. After working on a draft of my memoir for the last decade, I found the information tucked behind these links helpful.
I follow Jess Lourey on Twitter and via her newsletter. Her latest newsletter contained an article on the question, “Memoir or Fiction?” Lourey’s opinions in the short article are based on the completion of her latest novel and what she felt when she typed “The End.”
Sunday started the cruise-in season for car guys. Last year was our first year to take part. We had purchased a 1964 Studebaker Commander (see above image) in May of 2018, and we wanted to show her off. Cars have interested Bob since he was a young boy. As his wife, I came along carrying my dad’s interest in cars and built on that history to enjoy Bob’s interests.
Studie is the child of one previous owner. The gentleman who owned her took meticulous care of her outside and inside. Not much, if any, restoration occurred during that initial ownership. Car records note a new paint job (in the original color) and new upholstery (close to the original).
We never fail to receive a thumbs up along the highway, and then at the cruise-in a lot of “she’s a beauty.” Who knew you could feel as proud of a vintage vehicle as you do your three children? Well, it isn’t quite the same but similar.
Dad also had a love of Studebakers. So when Bob mentioned he’d found one for sale nearby, there was no question that we’d go take a look and kick some tires. I loved Dad’s Studebaker. It was where I got some of my best alone time with him.
Dad’s Studebaker was also a Commander but a few years older than ours. It was born in 1949.
The pictures below are of Dad at the wheel of his blue Studebaker. The other is of me on the first day of school (either first or second grade) waiting for my ride to school with Dad.
I find it amazing how threads of passion weave themselves through your life. Who knew as a young girl in first or second grade I’d be the wife of a man who, like my dad, had a special love of cars? Who knew I’d have fun going to cruise-ins?
Gratitude fills my heart for a lot of things shared in this story. My car guys are men so similar. A father like my Father in Heaven with plenty of unconditional love. And a husband, also a good, hardworking man who loves and cares for his family. I stand in awe of the connections found across two generations in our family.
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