Walking the Land of Our Fathers

I’m in East Tennessee right now, writing from my hotel, where the rooms overlook the Smokies and everyone calls me “dearie.” Every time I come here, I feel closer to my father than before. He was born here and comes from a large, historic Kingsport family that had deep ties to the land and the … Continue reading

Vacation or Vocation

We’ve been out West for a long time now, and it has been great to see family, enjoy long nights by the fire, and explore the area by kayak, horse, and foot. So why do I want to go home? I’m not the best vacationer anyway. I always pull my family behind me, moving without … Continue reading

At the Airport

I was waiting for my husband at the airport when I saw that some case workers from Refugee Services were waiting there, too. There were a few cameramen with them, and they all looked out excitedly toward the gate. Soon a couple walked out from behind the corner carrying small, blue plastic bags. They were … Continue reading

Mother-in-Outlaw

Marie Barone, from Everybody Loves Raymond Courtesy tvland.com I was on a plane from Chicago to Philly when the girl next to me asked if Philadelphia is close to New Jersey. She was on her way to get married, she told me in broken English. She was from Southeast Asia. She was marrying a man … Continue reading

Loved by the Marginalized

I picked up The Nanny Diaries a while back because I’d heard it was pretty good and written by graduates of my own little nontraditional college. It details the somewhat fictional experiences of a student named Nan who works as a nanny for presumably some of the worst people ever, or at least some of … Continue reading

The African Slave Trade, Suburbia-Style

Cinderella, 1865 It turns out we are still shipping in slaves from Africa to work our estates. And we seem to prefer children. In the United States today, an estimated one-third of trafficking victims work as domestic servants, mostly in suburban neighborhoods. The ones who are children often arrive after being sold in their African … Continue reading

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