My mother, Dana Lynne Schahuber slinked into a Waffle House in Southern Missouri one March day, puffy-eyed and forlorn over a breakup with a guy named Tim. Comfort food, that’s what she needed. Clustered in the waiting area was the man who would become my dad. She smiled brilliantly, wiped her eyes, and hooked her arm around his. They shared a meal. At twenty-two, my father stood nearly six foot and weighed a buck and a half. Considered scrawny from those who didn’t like him;
I'm thrilled that Good Housekeeping chose my personal essay about discovering more about my own mother, along with photos and a nice mention of my book, in their May Mother's Day Issue. Such an honor! And it's on stands now. So exciting!
As a young woman my mother looked like Julia Roberts in a cowgirl costume, her smile as big as the Montana sky. She was born on a ranch in the Gallatin Gateway, about 50 miles from Yellowstone National Park, which wasn’t much more distant than a trip to the hardware store in that part of the world. Her father offered her a penny for every gopher she shot – gopher holes are deadly to horses and cattle – and so she became a crack shot early in her life, to go along with her acr
My mom, Virginia Kelley Bellemeur, grew up on a farm outside of Montpelier Vermont in the early 1920’s and 1930’s, during the Depression Era. There were 5 kids in the family and things were not easy; she and her sister would walk a long distance in to town to sell flowers that they’d grown on the farm. She attended school in a one room school that had a total of 15 kids for 8 grades. The picture shows her during her High School years at Montpelier High. At age 22 my mom enli
My mother, Ellie Purcell Dunn, grew up in the glamorous but pre-air-conditioning Palm Springs of the 1930s and 40s. She's in the foreground of this photo, part of a Life magazine shoot about the good life in Palm Springs. It's 1949, she's a freshman in high school, and she and her friend are "demonstrating" sand sailing, which was briefly a thing then. Her real life actually wasn't glamorous. Her dad was a dentist,and her mom was raising four kids. Money was tight, the town w
Before she was my mother, my mother suffered terrible shyness. The runt of 8 kids, she was ignored by her family, made fun of by kids because her teeth were crooked, until she saved up enough of her own money to get braces on her teeth. After she became my mom, she took me and my sister to the dentist all the time! The best piece of advice she ever gave me was: Always be with people who are kind. -Caroline Leavitt, NYT Bestselling author of Cruel Beautiful World