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Susan: I've always liked reference books (I am, after all a librarian). When I was growing up, one of my favorite books was the Girl Guides Handbook (when we were in Canada) & later the Girl Scouts Handbook. I went back & read those even after I stopped doing the scouting thing. They were nice reference for all...

When I became a mother, my daughter’s own teenage years were nothing more than an abstract concept. Like many parents I could not envision life a decade or more down the road, particularly when my own life had not yet taken shape. Though I had a vague idea what kind of person I wanted her to be when she eventually started...

My daughter was already in the front car of The Dragon, hugging her seven-year-old doppelganger who, weirdly, shares her name. The Ellas, dressed in pink, bobbed in blonde, the colors of the dogwood blossoms this festival is named for, were blind to the scarred cheeks of the carnies, in whose hands we put their lives....

When I first laid eyes on my positive pregnancy test, I was (and am still, in spirit) a reprobate caffeine addict. Coffee had played a major role in my life, and I can honestly say that I would be a very different person without it. In spite of a naturally sleepy disposition, my several coffees a day have fueled the...

My most powerful childhood memory is very simple, like all the deepest recollections are: as my mother leaned against the sink of our butter-yellow Minneapolis kitchen, I barreled into her and squashed my face her soft belly. I could have been no older than five, for my head reached no higher than the motherly bulge that...

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