When Mama tells me not to touch my mouth or eyes while I have a cold, I cut her off as she is about to tell me why. “Stop,” I say, holding up my hand, palm out, “just stop.” I don’t tell her to stop mothering me, I know she would say, “I am a […]
About Gretchen Staebler
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Meanwhile lets just say that we are proud Gretchen Staebler contributed a whooping 67 entries.
August 2016 Life is a beach, some say. For me, life is a trail. Change or reorder the vowels, as the situation warrants. The very best thing about my small home town, and being back here as an adult with a car (with 268,000 miles on it), is there are literally hundreds of beautiful places […]
(This story first appeared in “Sage-ing with Creative Spirit, Grace & Gratitude: The Journal of Creative Aging” Number 45, Summer 2023 http://www.sage-ing.com/sageing45.html) My north star as I became an adult was conflicted. I grew up in the fifties and sixties with my mother’s gender-typical role model, along with those I saw in Father Knows Best, […]
“I begin to see our connected lives like the intricate path of a labyrinth. My mother is spiraling inward toward the center, the still point of the turning world. . . . I am following the outward way toward assuming the reins of care, trying not to step over the bounds of the path in […]
Sunday had all the appearances of being a socked-in miserable rainy day; the kind I longed for all the years I lived in the southeast but rarely got. Oh, it might start out looking hopeful, but then the sun would break through and ruin it. I would feel like I had to go for a […]
The Story: Over my adult lifetime, my mother frequently expressed her failure as a mother because she fed her babies Gerber’s chocolate pudding, getting her daughters started early on sugar. They were different times, I tell her, can’t know what you didn’t know. And besides I have no chocolate love regrets. (Does early exposure prevent […]
by Bonnie Rae Nygren My parents recently moved into a vibrant retirement community near where I live. It wasn’t a move dictated by crisis, but rather an act of love for themselves and our family. I don’t want to make it sound easy or without some measure of angst. It definitely wasn’t that. It was […]
For our mother’s memorial service, the weekend of her 102nd birthday, my sisters and I each eulogized her by focusing on the trait(s) of hers we most thought we embodied. Mine were courage and love of the natural world. The past nearly six years were some of the hardest of my life. That I thought […]
Written December 2013, when my mother was 97 years old. Not knowing what to write at a writing retreat, a suggestion was made by the teacher to write (i.e. make up) the end of the story. It’s based on a very real feeling I had while Mama napped as I made risotto one day, wondering […]
The Story: Making risotto is contemplative cooking: it must be stirred, it can’t be rushed, you can’t be distracted, you can’t leave it. It’s soft, and therefore was a favorite of my mother’s when I moved into her home to companion her in her end years. While cooking risotto late one afternoon, Mama napping on […]