Hello dear friends of Alice,

I’ve missed you and our weekly, sometimes daily, connection around Alice, who left us five years ago this coming August. I hope this finds you well during these times of virus and awakening. We are being called upon to find new ways to be human together. I often wish Alice were here to give some direction. I know she would care deeply about all of it.

I’m writing today because I wanted to let you know a couple of things.

First, I wrote a book based on the posts you read here. It took a couple of years to organize and write it because I wanted to include more of her history, our family history, and our life together. That said, I also had to cut about a thousand pages from the original seven-year accumulation of reports from The Place. My literary agent, Kerry D’Agostino, tried her best to find a home for it, but the timing was not right. We will try again.

Second, I now have a new book underway, a collection of essays on aging. Alice will appear in that collection. OSU Press will publish the book in Fall 2023.

I know that Alice would want me to send all of you her love. Your presence in our lives changed us, expanded us, and it made me a better daughter. Your delight in her character helped me see more clearly who she was, quite aside from being my mother, and that proved a true gift for which I cannot ever thank you enough. Your genuine condolences allowed me to grieve as deeply as I needed. A couple of weeks ago I came across my stash of the 100th birthday cards many of you sent to her,  and the sympathy cards you sent to me only a few days later. I sat in my office reading each one with wonder at your emotion and your gifts for expressing it, moved to tears by your affection for her. What a lucky pair we were, Alice and I, to have you.

Thanks to ancestry.com, I recently came across a photo of her I’d never seen before. She’s sixteen. It’s a bit blurry, but she’s there (in the middle), a youthful Alice, brimming with life, a junior at Bismarck High School, sprung from her tiny prairie town into the big city, ready to roll.

Finally, there’s another book I wanted to tell you about, A River Runs Under It: 40 Years on a Houseboat in Oregon. I wrote this little book as a love letter to the river that runs past my door and to the neighborhood I’ve called home for the past four decades.

You can read more about it and see some sample pages here. It’s available only on Amazon, not in bookstores at this point. That will come down the line.

Whether you read the river book or not, add a comment or not, just know that I remember you and think of you still.