Category Archives: Children

The gift of sleep

We have been in our new house for about a month now.  Here is the view from my living room window.  It speaks for itself.

In the past month, as if unpacking and getting oriented while trying to carry on with normal life was not enough, we have also spent three non-stop weeks hosting family from both George’s side and mine.  It has been a lot of fun to have them here, sharing our new surroundings with them, and it has made our new home really feel like home in a big hurry. Not to mention that they provided invaluable help with some of the unpacking and assembling, and brought playmates (well-loved cousins) for our children.  So it has been great to have them here, and we look forward to having them back again soon.

But I do have to admit, it has also left us a bit worn from all the action and late nights and simple logistics of managing such a full house. And so last night, after another full day (even without guests) I went to bed feeling bone-tired and with a pretty sharp headache radiating from behind my right eyeball.  We have had a lot going on; I just needed some sleep.

Immigration and beyond

For my inaugural biography, I am pleased to offer you a story that comes from my family tree, and therefore has special meaning to me.  It is the story of my grandmother, Maja Pedersen, a Danish immigrant and mother of eight who, at 83 years of age, is still showing the rest of us a thing or two about how to live.  Here is her story, as she was good enough to relate it to me.

Maja’s Story

I was the born in 1928, the seventh of eight children in a small town in rural Denmark. My father was a kind, clever man, who ran a good farm and loved children. My mother was always busy, and took pride in keeping a lovely house and garden. She always had a hired girl to help look after us younger children and do other housework, which believe me was not a luxury but a necessity, for she had to serve three meals a day, plus three coffee breaks, for our family of ten and two live-in farm workers.

Starting points

First, a bit about this blog.

Like the title says, it’s about women, and about the lives they live. Not famous women, necessarily, or spectacular women, but ordinary women, like you and me, and like your mother, sister, daughter, neighbor, colleague, teacher, student, friend….

It’s also about the pieces that go together to make a life, and how each of us chooses to arrange them. Pieces like love, family, money and health. Work and marriage.  Children (or not). Your past. Your future. Your self-esteem. Sex. Faith. Education. Loss. Etc .

Imagine sitting down to make a list of all the elements of your life that are jostling for time and space and attention, both inside and outside of you. Imagine taking the time to think about how all these pieces fit together, and how they have come to be arranged in the way that they are. (Imagine you had the time to do that – it’s a stretch, I know, but bear with me…)

Now imagine that lots of women you know and even more that you don’t all made their own lists. Imagine getting the chance to look at their lists, and hear them talk about why their lists look the way they do. If you like the sound of that, stick around.  Because that is what I hope to do with this blog.