Boomer Highway

Boomer Highway Life is a buzzing highway: adult children, grandchildren, aging parents—your own aging. How can we slow it down, keep safe on that highway? Stop and chat with me. I’m a baby boomer and definitely a member of the sandwich generation. The mother of three adult children, my husband John and I have been married for 40 years. Chicago born and raised, my various careers include high school English teacher, writer and copyeditor for two publishing companies, and registered nurse in women’s health. I am passionate about healthcare for women, children and the elderly. My 95-year-old mother suffers from dementia. Concerned about any snag in the fabric of life that affects my children and grandchildren, I find myself racing along the boomer highway, trying to slow it down. If we talk and share we can turn this sandwich generation into an elegant brioche. Please join me. Please comment. I’m here to listen, learn from you and help you. I’ll post once or twice a week and offer to do research for your personal concerns.

Mission: Currently concentrating on novel writing and essay writing for my blog, BOOMER HIGHWAY

The sense of it, the experience of it started with “A Haunted House” by Virginia Woolf. Parts of it read: But they had found it in the drawing room. Not that one could ever see them. T…

Honored to be on Carol Cassara's blog  today.
Will our grandchildren be okay? - A Healing Spirit

Honored to be on Carol Cassara's blog today.

By Elizabeth A. Havey This very moment, if I could wish anything for my three amazing grandchildren, it would be their safety. They are strong, smart human beings, but there’s a world out there that they need to learn to navigate, understand, and not totally trust. It’s a different world, a Covi...


Thanks to Elizabeth Huergo, a writer and teacher on Writer Unboxed. She gave us a quote from W.H. Auden this morning. It touched me deeply.

All I have is a voice / To undo the folded lie…
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.


Oak Park, CA


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Our Story

The happiness I feel most afternoons at my computer writing, creating, deleting and writing again--is blessed. This is me. This is my inner life, complimented by the books I choose to read, the words in reviews of other works I choose to underline, the ideas that grow in my mind and find their way to the page--on and on. Maybe one day I will want to be OUT THERE with my book. But right now, like two lovers, it's just me and my work.

Louise Erdrichwriters:In a tribal view of the world, where one place has been inhabited for generations, the landscape becomes enlivened by a sense of group and family history. ...a traditional storyteller fixes listeners in an unchanging landscape combined of myth and reality. People and place are inseparable.

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One of the best things about being a writer is meeting others writers and being online makes that even more possible. John J Kelley reads and comments on WRITER UNBOXED, as I do. That’s where I met him. We also belong to an online book club that is an offshoot of Writer Unboxed, call WU’s Breakout Novel Book Discussion. We read books that “broke out”--were read by thousands as soon as they hit the book stores. I’m enjoying John’s novel, the story of a WWI veteran whose sexual encounter with another soldier haunts him when he once again is living in Virginia and being encouraged to follow in the pre-determined footsteps of his father.

A writer friend and I exchanged ideas about the pitfalls of THE WORK. I wrote to him:

Since I reprinted and saved a comment you wrote to me that helped me on a down day, I hope that something here will do the same for you. Writing sometimes requires a meditative state. You work on your house chores but your characters are always with you. Or you want to escape to someone else’s novel and there is a word or an idea that sparks one in you. YOU ARE A WRITER and I know you will keep swimming. But it’s always in your power to decide what that looks like. Sometimes you can just hang out in the shallow end and not make yourself crazy with a power dive. Much writing comes from experience touched by creativity and your life follows that path.

And he wrote back: Beth – Consider the favor returned. This lovely little comment is packed full of life-wisdom. Yes to the meditative state, to my characters always being with me. Yes to the sparks that fly when we’re least expecting. Good point about deciding for ourselves what our writerly life looks like at any given moment along the way. And hella-yes to the fact that it’s derived from our experience and forges our path, both!

I always love your comments, but today’s is a gem among gems. Thank you!

And so it was a good day for THE WORK.

Writing about Claire Emmerling, a character in my novel, THE MOON DOCTOR, who experienced the absence of physical touch from her mother and often from her father. This altered her memories of her childhood. Once she found a photo of her father bending over her crib. She wished the photo could come alive, reveal if the man bent further and lifted her, nuzzled her tiny face and sniffed the perfume of her infant skin. Now in her forties, she meets Steven Arch and begins to accept him as a portent and sign pointing her in a direction where she will make things happen in her life and not only let things happen to her.

In the novel, Ana Farr gets these strange feelings where she focuses on her body, all aspects of her brain and senses, as if she were studying a map--though she is not on drugs. (In Cider House Rules, Dr. Larch is addicted to ether.) Steven Arch might need to help Ana discover why she has this focus and why she also thinks about death. Working on this concept: suffering is an irritant to all of us; it shapes us; and of course it shaped a seven-year-old boy scarred by a house fire who became a physician--Dr. Steven Arch. A symbol in the novel is a stag that appears and disappears, echoing where Steven Arch is.

TODAY, September 6th 2019, I came upon a note--true story. I was working over my usual 3-11 shift as a maternity RN. We were in the delivery room and struggling with a difficult delivery. The baby was born and moments later I went to chart the birth. I realized I wasn’t sure of the time of that birth. I began to sweat, worrying that down through the years on all official documents, the time of this child’s birth might be wrong--and thus the day wrong too. Was she born at 11:55 on a Friday or 12:01 on a Saturday. No one else had payed attention, all of us concerned about the health of the baby. I had to write down what the consensus of the time was, and console myself with this thought--mother and child were fine. And that was what mattered.

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