Hello from over here!

My blog, now more than ten years old, has moved to this new location. I’m poking around to see what this new home is all about, and exploring fresh ideas to make it perfect. I hope I can depend on your patience as I (boldly?) experiment with aesthetics and new ways of presentation. It’s an opportunity, too, to break away from habits that haven’t done anything worth keeping, either for you or for me.

If you’re a new visitor or follower, here’s what you can expect to find. When I was a high school classroom teacher, I was forever finding opportunities to tell my students stories, often about growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s next to a maximum security prison. Always there would be a point, sometimes subtly delivered, but educators never willingly forfeit a teachable moment. Chaos could be reigning, and all I needed to say (in nothing more than a conversational tone) to instantly grab their attention was, “Let me tell you a story. . . ” So, for decades, I’ve been telling stories, often in the oral tradition. Now blessed with an abundance of free time in my retirement, my brain has a chance to focus on my stories and luxuriate in the details. I’m enjoying this new sense of wonder that I bring to the effort. In short, this is all about my evolution as a writer. “Becoming a writer”, I find, is no easy thing. Just as there were countless acronyms and industry-specific expressions to learn when I entered the field of education, writing has its own lexicon. And best practices. And communities, some of which embrace new members warmly, but others of which who have forgotten what it’s like to be a novitiate (not in the religious sense), and get all smug and cold-shouldery.

One of the first lessons I have learned in my new endeavor is that “fresh new voice” often doesn’t include a second career baby boomer who fits into a majority classification. I get that, and I support organizations that are trying to bring understanding and fairness to the realm. It hurts, however, that my pieces might not be welcome, or that my ideas might be irrelevant for today’s conversations. At least, that’s what I fear.

All of my topics are nestled beneath an umbrella that encompasses my evolution as a writer. The particular topics that I prefer to write about include: my large, vocal family of Irish American heritage, genealogical discoveries within that same sphere, local history, my two capering canines, insights from my years as an educator, and commentary on what’s going on in the world. I have lots to share, lots to say, and I hope you’ll be just as eager to join the conversation. Maybe even coax me along so that I feel confident when I say that I’m a writer.

Let the adventure begin!

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As a middle child with lots of siblings, one could say that I am the closest in age to all of them. (Don't overthink that.) Most comfortable in a peacemaker role, it remains paramount that we all just get along. I love the uniqueness of each one of us. Essentially, family is important to me. My passions are sewing, genealogy, and local history. I don't understand my two Havanese pups, but spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get one step ahead of them. My downfall is my sense of disorganization - I don't know where anything is. Once I put something "away", said object becomes a moving target. And because so many things are lost this way for eternity, I am often unfairly accused of having purposely thrown things away. I have no means of defense against such charges. My writing centers primarily on my large Irish American family, local history, recollections from my career as a public school educator, and my trials with the canine species. Satire seems to be my closest friend, and readers will note the tangential nature of many of my pieces.

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