"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

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A Lost Child in Wartime Detroit — A Headscarf Story

the story of a lost child in the old crowley's department store. File:Partirdge & Blackwell.jpg (category Department stores in Michigan) & Blackwell Department Store in Detroit, Michigan Date 1910 Source Library of Congress-Prints & Photographs online catalog Author Detroit Publishing Company

I was a lost child in a dark and cavernous department store like this one in downtown Detroit. The store might have been Crowley’s, shown here in 1910 when it was still Blackwell’s. Photo Courtesy Library of Congress. Author Detroit Publishing Company.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

When I was a little kid, three or four years old, during World War II, my mother had a yellow babushka. That’s what we called headscarves in Michigan, back in the ’40s. Babushkas.

My mother wore that yellow scarf whenever she went out into the winter cold, but I couldn’t see the point of it. It was a triangular, crocheted thing that went over her head and tied in a half-knot under her chin. It had big gaps, holes, between its soft strands of crocheted yellow cotton.

If I wanted, I could slip two or three fingers through the holes [Read more…]

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The First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Michigan — Last Stop on My One-Woman Road Trip

Facade of the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Michigan. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It had been a wonderful tour around Michigan’s lower peninsula. Just me, a full tank of gas, and my trusty point-and-shoot. And now it was over.

Grosse Pointe. Pentwater. Ludington. Traverse City. Howell. And finally, [Read more…]

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The Perfect Christmas Tree — I Finally Found It

Rows of perfectly shaped christmas tree on a tree farm. Creative commons photo

A Christmas tree farm. Photo: liljulier/flickr via Creative Commons

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, The Oakland Tribune, Dec. 24, 1989

Christmas trees. Some of my most intense childhood memories have to do with Christmas trees. When I say intense, I’m not talking magic – I don’t mean twinkling lights and “Joy to the World.”

I’m talking galoshes. Galoshes caked with mud and slush. Fingers and [Read more…]

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Little Girl Lost — My Mother’s Magical Babushka

A street corner in downtown Detroit, 1942, showing Kern's department store. Public domain via Wikipedia Commons
A downtown Detroit street corner, 1942, showing Kern’s department store — in
summer. Public domain via Wikipedia Commons

 

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

When I was three or four years old, my mother took me shopping in a big department store in downtown Detroit.  Crowley’s, Kern’s, Hudson’s? I can’t remember.

I do remember that the  ceilings were high, and that the dark, worn wooden floors [Read more…]

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