TRICK OR TREAT AT THE FRONT DOOR; HEARSE AT THE BACK

I have been pestering my classmates from nursing school (we are about to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary next month) to write their stories so I can post them on my blog. Maybe pestering is too mild a word. Regardless, I have succeeded. Two women have sent me stories. The first comes from Joan Moore.  This…… Continue reading TRICK OR TREAT AT THE FRONT DOOR; HEARSE AT THE BACK

AN ODE TO THE BEST HOUSE ON THE BLOCK

Nurses who make home visits will be able to relate to this. I scan houses I would like to visit—to see not only who lives in them but how they live. What health problems or social issues would I have to address? I took a picture of this house on the west side of Chicago…… Continue reading AN ODE TO THE BEST HOUSE ON THE BLOCK

WHY DO WE WRITE?

I attended the book signing this past August. Farther Along, written by my friend and mentor, Carol Henderson, which told the stories of thirteen mothers (she is one of them), a bakers dozen as Carol points out, who had lost children at various ages. I was prepared to cry. I don’t do well with death…… Continue reading WHY DO WE WRITE?

MOUNTAIN MAN: A NURSING STORY

I graduated from nursing school fifty years ago this month. I still remember this man. The long, dark hall stretched out in front of me. It was eleven-thirty in the evening, close to the end of my shift. The thick soles of my Red Cross shoes silenced my step as I checked each room on…… Continue reading MOUNTAIN MAN: A NURSING STORY

THE AMERICAN NURSE PROJECT

The American Nurse Project aims to elevate and celebrate nurses in this country by capturing their personal stories through photography and film. Photographer Carolyn Jones and her team traveled to every corner of the U.S. to record the unique experiences of nurses at work. The photographs and narratives shed light on what it means to…… Continue reading THE AMERICAN NURSE PROJECT

WHAT DOES PEA SOUP HAVE TO DO WITH WRITING?

It’s a soup day. Well, okay, it’s 76 degrees outside on this August morning in Chapel Hill but it’s dark and dreary. The sound of the rain hitting the roof makes me think of soup. Thoughts of the warm aroma of Grandma’s bean soup and the sweet, earthy taste of Mom’s chicken soup, made with the…… Continue reading WHAT DOES PEA SOUP HAVE TO DO WITH WRITING?

THE WEIRDEST HOME VISIT

When I worked in the home care program at a VA hospital in Illinois, medical students sometimes came along with us nurse practitioners while we made our visits. I enjoyed showing them the reality of delivering care in the patient’s home—where we were guests—the subtle line between suggestion and decree, education and instruction, doing for…… Continue reading THE WEIRDEST HOME VISIT

SELECTIVE STUBBORNESS

The first chapter of my book opens with my grandmother telling me in her fractured English I shouldn’t be a nurse. Her garlicky breath still resonates in my olfactory recollection. This chapter has been critiqued once in a master class at an annual writer’s conference and work-shopped at least twice in writing groups. So when…… Continue reading SELECTIVE STUBBORNESS

MY FAVORITE BOOKS ON WRITING

I go back every once in a while and reread the books that have always rewarded me with inspiration and encouragement. Especially now as I’m completing my book and can almost see a glimmer of light flickering at the end of the tunnel, I find I need that boost, the reassurance my work is not…… Continue reading MY FAVORITE BOOKS ON WRITING

Long Lost Story

Just last week I came across a folder in an old box on the bottom of a closet. There I found accordion-pleated sheets of paper where I had written about the Donovan family in single space dot-matrix some twenty years ago. Bill Donovan had lung cancer with metastasis to his bones and brain. He died…… Continue reading Long Lost Story