"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

My Ever-Changing Family

Our family shrinks and grows. People die. People get born. People get mad and won't talk to you for a while. Kids grow up and find partners of their own, and pretty soon there are brand-new in-laws.

Mason County, Michigan — My One-Woman Road Trip Takes Me to Falconer Country

Windmills outlined against the sky of Mason county, Michigan, farmland. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Mason county, Michigan, farmland with one of the recently installed windmills. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The Poet of Mason County

My father was a bit of a poet during his college years. The flyleaves of his undergraduate textbooks are riddled with his farm boy syntax and off-kilter meter.

Money was tight for families working the sandy soil of Mason county in the 1930s. But that didn’t stop my father from going off to Michigan State College — now Michigan [Read more…]


The Politics of Housework, Revisited

politics of housework. Jon cheerfully prepares salmon for a birthday dinner for his wife. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Jon does all the cooking at our house. This was a special salmon dinner for my birthday. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, The Oakland Tribune, August 16, 1987


One can be too preoccupied with clean.

Or so I thought until a few weeks ago when I learned that I was allergic to the dustballs I had so blithely allowed to collect behind the bookcase and under the washing machine. [Read more…]


Weight Lifting Can Kill You — Shall I Email the News to My Weight-Lifting Son?

Weight lifting. My son Peter Newhall, a young man in his 30s, bench presses at a gym. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Bench pressing — with a spotter. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Oh, my gosh. Weight lifting can kill you. I didn’t know that. Well, yes, of course, I knew that a bar loaded with 180 pounds of weight dropped on your neck during a bench press will finish you off pronto. What I didn’t know was that death by dead lift can sneak up on you weeks later, long after you’ve put the weights back on the squat rack. [Read more…]


Confessions of a So-So Wife: The Night I Forgot to Make Dinner

Jon Newhall takes a class in Thai cooking in Bangkok and shows off his dish. Photo by Jon Newhall

When the kids were older, Jon and I traveled to Thailand, where he took a class in Thai cooking and I went shopping. Photo by Jon Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, The Oakland Tribune, June 14, 1987

It was going to be the dinner hour of my dreams, the married life I had imagined for myself as a girl back in suburban Detroit.

The table would be set, the chicken roasted to golden perfection. The children, [Read more…]


Telephoning Those Teenage Babysitters — Rejected Again

An ivory colored touch-tone telephone, c.irca 1980s, with coiled cord and handset. A babysitter phone list is next to it. Photo by Barbara Newhall

One of our 1980s phones. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Note to readers born since the turn of the century: Back in the olden days, before email, before texting, before Facebook and Twitter, Moms looking for a Saturday night babysitter had to set aside a good chunk of time early in the week to conduct the search by telephone — aka land line. Also, just so you know, back in the twentieth century, there used to be this quaint custom whereby teenage boys would call up teenage girls and ask them for a date.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, The Oakland Tribune, June 21, 1987

Jon won’t do it.

He will make our bed. He will set the breakfast table. He will empty the cat litter box. No problem.

But, no, he will not call a babysitter for Saturday night. Jon argues that it would not look right for a man on the fast track toward middle age to be making telephone [Read more…]