"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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Wisdom From My Father — Or, How to Sweep the Kitchen Floor

the barn on the farm where my father was born outside scottville michigan. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The Falconer barn near Scottville, Michigan, where my father, David Bishop Falconer, learned the work habits he passed on to me. The silo was built the year my father was born on the family farm, 1912. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

My father’s voice came to me the other day as I was sweeping the kitchen floor. To his friends my father was Dave Falconer, to business associates, D.B. Falconer. He died in 1991, but there he was the other day, coaching me as I worked. Per his instructions, I made short, firm, methodical  sweeps, working my way around and around the room until I ended up in the middle, with all the kitchen debris corralled in a tidy mess at its center.

Years and years ago, in a little three-room cottage within breathing distance of Lake Michigan, my father assigned me the job of sweeping up the white beach sand our family had tracked in from the lake. I began the job aimlessly, pushing some sand around over here, creating a pile of sand over there. At the rate I was going, the job would never get done; that was clear to my father.

My Father Shows Me How

My dad took the broom from me and showed me how to go about a task — this task and the thousands and thousands of tasks, menial and mental, I [Read more…]

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In Judge Harbin-Forte’s Courtroom — Where Jury Duty Is an Exercise in Mindfulness

A long line of people waiting to enter the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, Hayward Hall of Justice, 24405 Amador Street, Hayward, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

A long line of people, many of them prospective jurors, waited to enter the Superior Court of California building in Hayward at 9 a.m. on a Monday morning. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Tired of multitasking? Want to get away from Facebook, your cell phone, your boss, and that squeaky faucet that needs fixing? Get yourself called up for jury duty. [Read more…]

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Geographic Mobility in America — Watching My Grown-Up Kids Disappear

Peter at the airport with his bags 2000. Photo by Barbara Falconer Newhall

Peter leaves home for college. Photo by Barbara Falconer Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Most of my grandmother’s children – there were seven of them – lived out their lives within walking distance of their mother’s white frame house in Scottville, Michigan. Not my father. He moved away.

Which is why, when I think of my Grandma Falconer I see the pince-nez, the soft pink skin and the silvery-white hair swept into an up-do — but I also see my grandmother’s figure standing motionless at the foot of her driveway, watching as my family drives out of town. [Read more…]

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The Scottville, Michigan, High School Football Team — 1929

The-Scottville-Michigan-high-school-football team-1929. Photo by H.J. Hansen

The Scottville football team, 1929. Photo by H.J. Hansen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Oops. I forgot to post the photo of my father’s Scottville, Michigan, High School football team on Friday’s blog. Here it is. [Read more…]

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A Case of the Human Condition: I’m a Woman with a — Sprawling — Past

A corsage my sophomore year.

A corsage from my sophomore year in high school. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The trouble with painting the inside of your closets is — everything has to come out of them.

And then what do you do with all your beloved stuff? [Read more…]

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