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Tuesday Slice of Life : May 24, 2016.

At three o’clock this morning as I shoved last minute items into my carry-on, I reached for one of my favorite books for travel reading and squeezed it in beside my work already packed. I’ve read and re-read every page in that book, and still I choose it over others. I guess I do because I find the stories intoxicating, stories of men and women on David McCullough’s Brave Companions list: Agassiz, the Roeblings, Humboldt, the Lindberghs, Teddy Roosevelt, Remington, Miriam Rothschild–to name a few. And as I read their stories, something deep inside me rises up, and I hear myself saying, I can do it!


So at 37,000 feet, somewhere between Dallas and New York City, I was again inspired by “The Unexpected Mrs. Stowe.”  Today, it was by the conditions under which she, a mother of seven, wrote:

“She worked at the kitchen table, confusion all around, a baby in a clothes basket at her feet. She couldn’t spell very well, and her punctuation would always be a puzzle for her publishers. She dreamed, she said in a letter to Calvin [her husband], of a place to work without ‘the constant falling of soot and coal dust on everything in the room.'” (David McCullough. Brave Companions. p. 41)

She once said, “If there had been a grand preparatory blast of trumpets or had it been announced that Mrs. Stowe would do this or that, I think it likely I could not have written; but nobody expected anything . . . and so I wrote freely.”

This evening, I’m sprawled out in a comfortable hotel room, typing on my Mac… writing this skinny slice of my life because of Harriet Beecher Stowe. You see, in this Tuesday Slice of Life, nobody expects anything… and so I write freely.


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Note: Harriet Beecher Stowe is best known as author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.