Archive for the ‘“My Father’s House”’ Tag

I’VE CONNECTED WITH THE NEW OWNERS OF MY FATHER’S HOUSE   8 comments

How exciting is that! First of all, what a blessing to have lived in the same house from the time I was born until I left for college, graduate school, and early career. Only marriage made the break official. And now, having published “My Father’s House,” I’ve been in contact with the current owners. The photos they’ve provided show me the place is even more beautiful in its modern version. I’m thrilled.

Maybe you’d like to take another look at it on the cover of the book

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Posted October 19, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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A BETTER PHOTO OF THE TURSAS CHURCH   3 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wish this photo had been available to me when I inserted the Torsas church into my book.

Thanks to James Carros, a Bristol, Connecticut person whose family, like mine, hails from Torsas. It’s a much better photo of the church than the one I found for

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Posted September 14, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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BEAUTIFUL FRIEND   Leave a comment

Do I have beautiful friends, or what? Amy Huie-Li let me know she bought “My Father’s House.”

Posted September 5, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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PROOF COPY OF “MY FATHER’S HOUSE.”   9 comments

I’ve been at it since well before 2015, with the help of some of you. And now the proof is here. In fact, I just finished reading it one last time (I hope) for corrections to be made before it goes to print. Just for evidence, here are a couple of photos of receiving it during the pandemic, and a quick cheat of a photo. without the mask.

Posted August 13, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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TWO A.M. – PTSD      6 comments

Sometimes when I wake up during the night I go right back to sleep. More often, though, thoughts catch me and I can’t let go of the pain of compassion. (Feeling with.) It’s in the DNA. You’ll see when you read My Father’s House.

 The other night I couldn’t help imagining being a man living free in my homeland – just living my life. And then being chased down and captured, bound, and delivered as cargo to a slave ship. There being shackled head to toe to make maximum space for a profitable cargo. Left to lie in my own and others bodily excretions, becoming thereby filthy black cargo. Living with my own pain and the moans of my fellow “cargo.”

I imagined being brought ashore in the states and hosed down for presentation to those who would buy me as a piece of cargo. Being totally re-defined by others willing to torture me into accepting my new less-than-human status. Struggling with the agony of losing the life I had and who I was. How could PTSD not become a part of my DNA to be transmitted to my offspring?

How could I not respond with fear, rage, running, resistance, fighting back? Is it at all surprising that George Floyd pleaded for understanding of his claustrophobia? that Treyvon Martin fought back when he was being followed? That Rayshard Brooks grabbed a weapon when he was about to be constrained?

But what do I know? I’m just an aged white lady imagining things in the middle of the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FUNNY HOW THINGS HAPPEN!   7 comments

I avoided writing here for a while for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been happily busy and second, because I like to keep my entries simple, and life – mine anyway – has become complex. Yes, really, complex though simple.

First off, I haven’t been away from home here at the Waters since March 8 – sequestered with all the residents to protect against COVID-19, basically confined to my lovely first floor apartment. Meals delivered, Zoom activities provided, trash and recycling removed from outside my door, walks around the patio that surrounds my home on the southeast corner. Watching the plantings green up and blossom. I’ve missed out on the planned cruise with Doug to Kiev and area, lots of theater and concerts, and planned family activities. FUNNY HOW THINGS HAPPEN!. I am happy as a clam with the opportunity to finish the editing of My Father’s House in cooperation with Susan Thurston Hamerski working for Calumet publishers And too the almost finalizing of It sucks! I wanted to live (tentative title) by Nick Spooner. Basically the collection of his Facebook entries from the time of his glial blastoma (or two) diagnosis until his death. I never would have had the time if I’d been on my planned schedule.

On our recent cruise to Japan we noticed that just about everyone was comfortably wearing a face mask. Male or female, walking, driving, scootering, motorcycling, bicycling, dressed with black suits or attractive dresses, carrying briefcases, or more casual in doing daily chores. On a previous Asia Pacific cruise we had concluded the masks were to protect against the intense smog. More recently the smog had largely lifted but the masks remained. FUNNY HOW THINGS HAPPEN! I talked constantly about the opportunity for someone to produce designer masks. Just take a look around now.

When I was teaching the psychology of women at Southern Connecticut State University back in the 1970’s we used to imagine a future where people could work from home making possible the combination of career with parenting. FUNNY HOW THINGS HAPPEN!.

These days I shed tears a lot. FUNNY HOW THINGS HAPPEN!. The tears don’t come when I’m sad. No, when I’m touched by folks caring for others in heroic ways or just plain cooperation and kindness, as in wearing a face mask and keeping distance, or singing and applauding from the balconies. I’m touched by the virtual celebration of high school and college 2020 grads. This morning I watched the distance celebration of the Connecticut College class of 2020. Yesterday with some time left over I worked at organizing my photographs, encountering Connecticut College friends from our early days to the many years of gatherings at Cape Cod. And family from birth to now. I am overwhelmed with the sense of love and friendship and being part of history. I know that what’s going on currently is as big as – maybe even bigger than – the industrial revolution. The tears reflect my hope, I think, that we will emerge with a commitment to cleaner skies, fairer education and living standards, Just plain more love.

FUNNY HOW THINGS HAPPEN!. I don’t cry when mean things make me sad. Maybe it’s hard to be mad and sad at the same time. The contrasts! Oh the contrasts between my comfort and the terrible misery of so many others. It’s been a long time since I gave up my childlike belief in Hell, but about a week ago it struck me that even if I feared hell I should fear no more, because we’re here now. If I believed in reincarnation, I’d be worried that I’d suffer in my next life to make up for all the happiness I have now.

And sometimes, like my father many years before me, I’m glad I’m living the end of my journey.

FUNNY HOW THINGS HAPPEN!. With all that, I can’t help waking each day with gratitude – and chest expanding love for my family and friends. And the opportunity to feel safe about being up front here with all of you.

See what I mean? This is too long.

NOT AT MY AGE AND STAGE   Leave a comment

I just completed a webinar to earn 1.5 Continuing Ed credits of the 40 required for license renewal. The topic: “jumpstarting a Telehealth Practice.” I learned two important things.

  1. Though I’m fairly comfortable with tele technology, there’s no way at my age and stage that I would go through the hoops (understandable) necessary to establish such a practice. Two major considerations influence that: a. the need to insure confidentiality, and b.The complexities of handling legal and insurance issues.
  2. Our health care system does really need major overhaul.

Maybe my next blog entry will be more interesting. In the meantime, I’ll focus on my third career manifested by My Father’s House and the Nick Spooner book.

 

 

 

 

 

SPOONERISMS   4 comments

Still hoping to find Milt Turbiner, I’m waiting for Boston University to let me in on the alumni directory. I do want him to know his success story.

As for my success story, I am suddenly overwhelmed. I was in perfect balance working with the super editor of My Father’s House — she’s really good, and it’s fun. But the manuscript is in the cloud, so we can’t both be working on it at the same time, and she’s devoting the weekend to it. So I’ll be off.

That’s Okay, though, because now I’m into the next phase of Nick’s book. Wait ’til you hear the title we’ve chosen! — his last written words. Maybe I’ll tell you next time I’m on.

To add to it, I just got notice that my license renewal  — Psychology — is due the middle of May. Not only the challenge of coming up with the money, but I need a total of 40 continuing ed credits, and all I have so far is 18. Oh wow! That’ll be my task to begin tomorrow while I don’t have access to My Father’s House.

And now spoonerisms. My father was really into them, but sometimes he got into unanticipated trouble. like “Up the hill to the poorhouse,” became “Up the pill to the whorehouse.” OOPS! And then there was the name of my friend Martin Fox. Well, you can see for yourself why that was an unintended shocker.

The thing that got me thinking about spoonerisms was a really good one handed on to me today by a client. WILL YOU BE HUMBLY GRATEFUL? OR GRUMBLY HATEFUL? A good one to think about in these times.

Stay safe

ARE YOU THERE MILT TURBINER? I WANT YOU TO KNOW YOU SUCCEEDED   8 comments

In writing My Father’s House I’ve had several occasions to mention someone from my distant past. Given my age, the first thing I do is consult the obituaries. The success rate is astonishing – or maybe not so surprising. But I haven’t found Milt Turbiner.

If you are there, Milt, I want you to know that your efforts at Boston University back in the 50s were successful. This has to do with what I talked some about in my most recent blog – that Swedish barrier that prevents emotions from passing all the way through the body.

This story is not an outtake from My Father’s House  because it was never an input, but the guys at Calumet Publishing thought it was worth telling.

So what’s the story? Well, Milt, if you are there, you might not remember doing your best to teach this Swede how to allow emotions to flood above the neck barrier. In other words, to blush. I’m happy to say I finally accompiished it – way back then I was teaching an Intro Psych class at the University of Vermont. The topic was masturbation. Standing in front of the class in my Poodle skirt, I suddenly felt the heat rushing from my toes to the top of my head. My whole face turned pink!

I stopped in mid-sentence and declared to the class, “I did it!”

“Did what, Miss Gustafson?”

“I blushed!” I declared.

There you have it Milt. A success story for you from many years back.

A DROP OF MIDNIGHT BY JASON DIAKITE   Leave a comment

I just finished reading this amazing memoir – moved to the point where I’m shaking. I’ll post this review on Amazon later, but I want to write it here on my blog before being influenced by what others have to say.

I chose this memoir when I was asked by Calumet Editions to list books similar to My Father’s House which will be published under my maiden name because it is so Swedish. Of course I headed to Diakrite’s book – in large measure a Swedish memoir – Swedish as in Sweden and of mixed racial heritage. “That will be an interesting contrast to mine,” I thought. “I so deeply cocooned in the nurturance of blonde, blue-eyed Swedish/American heritage compared to his clearly more complex life source.” Little did I know that his beautiful writing and powerful personal and historical story would break through the Scandinavian throat-level gasket that stops emotions somewhere around the throat level. I cried, not necessarily out of sadness.

Sure, I knew about slavery and poverty and brutality. Sure, I’ve said I can’t imagine how it would be to raise a black son – certainly not by allowing the kind of unabashed freedom available to my own child. Yes, I wrote high school essays in Connecticut about the cruelty and unfairness of racism. I remember being horrified by Senator Bilbo’s horrible attitudes. Sure, it aroused my anger and dismay. But no, I didn’t know. I couldn’t know. Diakrite’s book on the other hand won’t let me escape knowing. The facts, the effects, and the survival methods – including a reason for choosing Donald Trump. All wrapped in the beautifully honest family story.

I can’t say anything more about the book. I don’t have the words. Except to say I wish everyone – American, anyway — would read it, and break through the throat level barrier.

Of course I will give it five stars on amazon.

 

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