Unwanted Pregnancy-the Joys and Sorrows

I was just 16 and found myself pregnant. Well, that is a kind of euphemism. I knew why I was pregnant, it wasn’t just like it happened mysteriously, but what I mean is that the pregnancy was not planned. And so then I wondered what I would do next. I was so young, attending an all girls catholic high school, and in some real hot water.

My father wanted me to have an abortion, but I didn’t think that was possible since my baby was by now, so big…

Sunlight Book Launch- Open Book- Minneapolis

City Creek Press hosted the release of Judy’s new memoir, Sunlight on My Shadow, on February 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm at the Open Book in Minneapolis. Four authors read prose, poems, and spoke about the joys and sorrow of adoption. Dan Israel played guitar and sang Unwed Fathers, Let it Be, I Shall Be Released, and Slip Sliding Away. Not a dry eye could be found during this moving program which included some laughter when Judy shared a coming of age story when her mom first told her about sex and how she misinterpreted the description.

Judy read four excerpts from Sunlight on My Shadow and was accompanied by Margaret Hasse, award winning poet and author of Milk and Tides, Kate St. Vincent Vogl, author of Lost and Found, Carol Connolly, poet-laureate of St. Paul. Dan Israel struggled to hold back the tears as he sang a touching rendition of John Prine’s Unwed Fathers. City Creek Press sold about 60 books of the authors and wine and appetizers were served during the reception. Jun Sugiyama played instrumental guitar and added ambiance and sweet sounds as a back drop to the lively conversation. Thank you artists and authors for adding a rich mix of profound thought and music to this event.

Home Birth 34 Years Ago Today-Happy Birthday Tessie

What a celebration it was- 34 years ago today- Tessie was born at home. I was in labor and it was a cold windy cloudy day. I remember sitting in the back bedroom of our single wide trailer, watching the wind blow the milk pods in the field. Now this sounds kind of ghetto, but it was a nice trailer. We had new bright red carpets and a couch from RC Wiley’s Furniture store that had stripes that matched the carpet. My dad gave us the money to buy a matching avocado washing machine and dryer. This was my first home with such luxury and a far cry from cross country skiing to the Laundromat when we lived in our one room cabin in Fraser, Colorado when Kiona was a baby.

Flora’s Fur Coat- A Parable

Flora lived in the city of Chicago. The wind blew off the shores of Lake Michigan and whistled right through her winter clothing and into her bones. One day while out and about, she and her husband, Jim, stopped in a small fur shop on Michigan Avenue. She slipped on a white mink and instantly felt the warmth from the fur on this cold day. The silky coat wrapped itself around her in a caress. She thought of the minks that gave their lives for this coat. Their hide was so well suited for this cold Chicago weather. She was grateful. She fell in love with the whiteness of the fur and her long raven black hair looked stunning against the fur. The satin lining softened her skin. She knew she could never afford the sticker price so placed the fur back on the rack.

Her husband Jim noticed how the coat made Flora’s beauty shine and he saw the look of longing in her eyes. He made a mental note. They walked out of the fur boutique and continued strolling down Michigan Avenue but it was windy and freezing that afternoon so they soon headed back to their small apartment for some hot chai tea.

Open Book Launch Day for Sunlight on My Shadow

Sunlight On My Shadow Book Launch

DMC and Sarah McLaughlin sing Just Like Me

Book Trailer for Sunlight On My Shadow

An Expert on Shame?

My writing teacher said I was an expert on shame. I was flattered. I hadn’t thought of it that way but since I lived with the shame related to my teen pregnancy for forty years and today it is gone, I must have learned something about it. Through writing Sunlight on My Shadow, I came to understand how shame clouded my vision.
Sure people would have thought poorly of me back in 1967.