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Showing posts from July, 2012

Blood in the aisles - the NRA's shame

 Don't talk to me about guns - I grew up around guns. My father had a gun shop in our basement where he rebuilt rifles and carved gun stocks. I shot my first antelope in Wyoming when I was only sixteen-years-old.  Mallards, pheasants - my brothers, my dad and I hunted them all. My dad belonged to three "gun clubs" in the Twin Cities.  He taught my brother and me skeet and clay shooting. So, yes.  I know about guns. And I know the truth about multiple assault weapons. Assault weapons have one purpose - and one purpose only. Assault weapons are designed for combat - for killing human beings. Assault weapons do not belong in our American cities. They are weapons of war - pure and simple. Not that long ago, they were illegal.  A brief history of the assault weapons ban The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) (or Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act) was a subtitle of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 ,

It never occurred to me. . .

It never occurred to me - never for a moment - that I would be a sixty-three-year-old single woman. But - here I am - I'm still adorable - still charming. And alone. Recently I realized I have been single as long as I was married. I remember when I thought I'd remarry in a hurry. It never occurred to me that I would sleep alone, eat dinner alone, go to the movies alone - for the rest of my life. No.  Not me.  I was not supposed to fade away - I was born to live smack-dab in the middle of everything -  a deep, strong, important life - with a wonderful man who loves me. And so it never occurred to me - not for single moment - that I wouldn't marry again. The realization came slowly. I dated for five years.  I wrote a book about it -  "AFTER HIS HEART: The Foolish Women's Guide  to Dating After Fifty." My new play SWEET TRUTH is based on my brief soiree into the wild world of mid-life dating. And I discovered something along the way.  Men a

No such thing as "bored"

When I was a kid, there was no such thing as "bored." "Get out from underfoot"  When I was a kid "bored" was a four letter word. In my house, if I used the "b" word, I had to clean the bathrooms for the entire summer. Nope.  Summertime at the Holmgren house had one rule only.  If you were a kid - you better damn well keep yourself occupied. That's why, every summer I can remember, I  organized a Summer Day School for the neighborhood kids.  We conducted classes on my mom's front porch. Art lessons, a little music, a whole bunch of paper crafts - and before the close of each day - we always played their favorite game. We called it - "Pied Piper." Every school kid was issues a tonette in 3rd Grade. And I, of course, was always, always the "piper." A little bit of terror never hurt anybody. Tooting "The Star Spangled Banner" on my tonette - the instrument every St. Paul school

A bigger look at sex

American Protestantism is strangled by its own limits - gagging on its own prejudices and asphyxiated by its own toxic air. The Reverend Dr. Peggy Way said it best when she said, "Human sexuality has become the defining experience for American Protestants." Protestants no longer care if believers think Jesus is the son of god. The virginity of Mary, the resurrection of the body, the life after death promise - these former conundrums are no longer pertinent. No. Today, the only thing, the only thing that can divide a congregation is discussion about sex.   We'll kill each other over the decision to ordain or not ordain women and gays.  We'll divide and destroy a church with debates over the rights of all people to marry - to adopt babies.  The only time we fall apart is when someone drags us, kicking and screaming into the clear and straight forward, discussion of women, men, sexual intercourse and homosexuality. For the life of me, I don't know why.

Broken hearts break my heart

We all go there.  Eventually. No one escapes a broken heart. The older I get, the harder it is for me to understand how careless and willy nilly we are about the feelings of others. Oh, sure - I've probably done my own share of damage in my lifetime.  I'm certain there are old men out there, scarred by some callous, indifferent rejection I tossed when I was in my dirty-thirties. Now - in my early dotage, I see how sad and silly it is to throw away love; how cold and cruel it is to say "no" when "yes" hurts no one - risks nothing. When I was a younger woman hanging out with young men, we trusted the common ground upon which we built our assumptions. I remember when my husband and I went to the theatre to see the film, "Easy Rider."  When Peter Fonda is shot, killed at the end, we were struck dumb; shocked.  In tears, we left the theatre convicted that we would never surrender our common values - our belief in each other, in the good we