I know very little about…

my great-grandmother or my grandmother for that matter on my maternal side. Nora died in 1938 before my mother was born and my grandmother, Mildred died before I was born.

However, in this chapter of my tender, and profoundly inquisitive, middle-age life, I want to know more about the women I share DNA with. They’re a part of me, my mannerisms, my choices and so much more that I’m completely unaware of. I need to know more.

Who was Nora? Mildred? What did they love? What did they fear? What made them laugh?

Unraveling the mystery of who they were simply will not leave me alone right now.

My father died just over a year ago and I so wish we had videotaped him telling some of his favorite stories. When families start losing a generation, the stories often disappear too.

This Thanksgiving folks, ask the elders at the table to share their stories. Let the kids ask questions and record their responses. You will be so happy to have the assurance that these treasured stories won’t disappear and can be shared for generations.

Enjoy your time together asking about the good ole’ days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS To any Kyte or Millette relatives who might read this, please contact me. I would love to learn more about Nora and Mildred. I would be so grateful for anything you’re willing to share.

the gentle power of “mend”

This morning I woke up with the word “mend” on my mind.  What a simply beautiful word.  I kept thinking about it while I actually mended a few things.

  1. A suede jacket I inherited from my paternal grandmother.
  2. My daughter’s blue jeans…not a rip in a fashionable spot.

I realized that mend somehow uniquely seems more feminine to me than its masculine cousin, repair.

Mending and sewing connects me to the ancient wisdom of mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and friends.  Women have been sitting together stitching, solving problems, laughing and crying in gardens, front porches, church basements, adobes, tents and huts throughout the history of the world. This is a part of all of us, even if it hasn’t necessarily been our personal experience.  We mend in the way I did today, but we also mend broken hearts, bones & skin, relationships, nervous systems, false narratives and so much more.

Here’s to mending whatever is in your literal or emotional stack of damaged goods. 

Go ahead, tap into that ancient wisdom. 

The ladies are waiting to help you.

coffee & late night road trips

Late night road trips and learning to drink coffee in my Grandmother’s kitchen are a few of my favorite memories.  I’m 49-years-old and I’m pretty sure there are a few trips during high school and college I’ve selectively forgotten to tell my folks about.  It’s a damn good thing I learned to love coffee though—it’s kept me alert and safe on the road for a very long time. Grandma would be proud of that.  She always was such a worrier.

coffee spill south dakota two lane lillibridge