The Boy, the Painting & the Heirloom

The boy sat on a low iron stool, the youngest in the family portrait taken in 1909.  Clifford Landon McCracken had six sisters, and two brothers living at the time of the photograph. His oldest sister was thirty. He was four years old: a little tow-headed tyke wearing a big collared two piece “wash suit”Continue reading “The Boy, the Painting & the Heirloom”

The Day After Infamy

December 8, 1941 Lincoln, Nebraska      Maryellen McCracken woke up early on her twentieth birthday so she could have breakfast with her brother and sister. As was their tradition, she had candle on her pancake, and there was a rush of activity. Her sister, June, age sixteen, was headed to Lincoln High School, while her youngerContinue reading “The Day After Infamy”

The Era of the E.R.A.

I didn’t expect to like Mrs. America, the new miniseries on Hulu. What I remember about Phyllis Schlafly was that she was a thorn in the side of feminism. Honestly, I didn’t know much about her. But why would an actress of Cate Blanchett’s panache want to glorify her? So far, in the first fiveContinue reading “The Era of the E.R.A.”

What’s In Your DNA?

There are a number of DNA testing facilities available now, including Ancestry.com and 23andMe. My DNA profile tells me that I am mostly (58%) descended from ancestors from the British Isles. I was surprised when I first saw this as my ancestry tells me that I should be 25% Danish, as my grandmother’s parents wereContinue reading “What’s In Your DNA?”

Good Roads Day

If you’re like me, you take road construction for granted. It seems like an necessary annoyance when you are forced to navigate around barriers and slow down. Usually you are merging into one lane, or sometimes even taking a detour. I always worry for the safety of those workers standing by while cars fly byContinue reading “Good Roads Day”

Some Degree of Happiness

“And they lived happily ever after.” Is this just a fairy tale? I tried to end each of my four stories in my book, HERside of HIStory—Finding My Foremothers’ Footprints on a positive note. However, I don’t think I have seen anyone live every moment happily. At some point, we all have to die, andContinue reading “Some Degree of Happiness”