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Category Archives: familial history
July 5, 2015 by Mara Purl
In my memories, honeysuckle twined itself densely through the framework along one wall of the wrap-around porch, sweetening the air. In the cool of the cellar, I reached high to grasp one of the scores of jars of applesauce my grandmother had made. My little legs pumped hard to make the rope swing go higher. I sat on my granddaddy’s lap and asked for the hundredth time to listen to his “tick-tock”—his gold pocket watch. The aroma of biscuits wafted out from the kitchen.
May 11, 2015 by Mara Purl
I came away with the impression that most of the greats and grands of the family were quite heroic in their way, surviving the Great Depression, serving in the Great War, and coming home to tend their farms and care for their families.
August 19, 2013 by Mara Purl
Projects have always been a way of life for the Purls. Sometimes a bane, sometimes a boon, projects define our time and express our various core purposes. That’s what I’ll miss the most, I think—that I won’t get to do the next project with Mom.
February 13, 2012 by Mara Purl
Every journey has its especially sparkling moments, and for my Winter Western States Book Tour, this was it. Elegance and style, generosity and community, connections with old friends and new—a unifying experience for all. The setting—a historic home in the mountain canyons of Santa Barbara; the time—Valentine’s weekend; the opportunity—helping others.
I had the privilege of working with a superb charity in co-creating a fund-raiser/ friend-raiser author tea. This is truly my favorite kind of event because of its synergy—which makes it a win-win-win: for the charity, for the guests, and for the author. In this case, there’s a fourth winner: the community of Santa Barbara, which benefits so directly from the services this charity provides.… Read more
December 26, 2011 by Mara Purl
December 26th is Boxing Day with a wonderful tradition of its own. Observed in the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it started as a day following Christmas when aristocrats, tasked with the welfare of those who worked on their estates, delivered boxes of food and gifts. In South Africa, the occasion evolved into the renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994, and in Ireland it’s called St. Stephen’s Day. The European tradition of giving gifts and money to those in need dates back to the Middle Ages.… Read more
December 19, 2011 by Mara Purl
I’ve known for a long time that there’s a connection between women and jewelry. In fact, that’s probably a connection I made at about age three. Was that when I first admired Mommy’s shiny baubles? Hmm. I think by then, I was actually asking for baubles of my own.
One of the earliest pieces to grace my collection was my very first charm bracelet. How I loved its shiny silver trinkets with their magical moving parts! Each time my parents took me someplace special, a new charm was added, until from every single link dangled a treasured memento: the Rockettes kicked up their legs all in a row; five candles poked through a birthday cake with pink enamel icing; a split oval twisted to become a heart.… Read more
November 28, 2011 by Mara Purl
I think as a child I probably loved Thanksgiving because of the future—it meant Christmas was coming soon! It was also a holiday I anticipated with great joy because it meant we’d go visit Grandma Dorothy. She married my step-grandfather late in life—but just in time for my sister and me to adore her. The house she shared with “Daddy Bob” was a classic New England cottage in Waterbury, Connecticut. Cape-Cod-Blue with white trim, it stood erect despite the steep street that seemed to slice under it.… Read more
October 3, 2011 by Mara Purl
It was a spectacular California early October Autumn day on the Central Coast: blue sky painted with whisps of cloud, sparkling water tracing the carved coastline, and just enough of a bite in the air to break out a jacket. Actually, this was a dress-up day, so the jacket was a pale silk leopard print, the skirt was leather and the shoes were high heels. Why the fancy duds? Today was High Tea in Santa Barbara, something I’d been looking forward to, something we’d planned for months.
There was an interesting twist in this plotline, however. The charity we’d been working with supports families to prevent homelessness and welfare dependency, especially in a tough economy.… Read more