Tag Archives: Childhood

A Vagabond Song

In October I leave home, headed home. Seven hundred and forty one and a half miles lie between my yellow brick house on a hill in this city and the white farmhouse which still holds my roots and my heart. In October the leaves begin turn to flame and in the dark before the dawn I load my children into the van and set off, bound on a vagabond journey back to where I began.

As we drive across the green rolling hills of Ohio as they begin to turn golden, we read this poem:

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood-

Touch of manner, hint of mood;

And my heart is like a rhyme,

With the yellow and the crimson and the purple keeping time.


The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry

Of bugles going by.

And my lonely spirit thrills

To see the smoke of asters like a frost upon the hills.


There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;

We must rise and follow her,

When from every hill of flame

She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

-Carman Bliss 1861-1929





Closest Friends

By: Mary

A recent radio program on Public Radio discussed the benefits to raising 1 child families. Many callers phoned in to agree with the shows guest, and would articulate their personal beliefs on minimizing the family unit size to maximize the positive development for a child.

In contrast to the shows opinion, and as one of 9 siblings, plus a cousin thrown into the mix, I don’t believe that the development of my person-hood was compromised as a result of growing up with siblings.


As a middle child in a large family, I have become a better listener, a harder worker, and a more generous person.

Growing up, I loved tagging along with the ‘big’ kids as their nuisance little kid sister.


older kids

As I got older I fell in love with my role as an older sibling to the ‘little’ kids. It has been a wonderful experience to watch them grow.


Spanning 20 years, I have been able to watch Colleen take her first steps. Now I run half-marathons with her.


A few people that phoned in discussed the resentment they harbor to this day as a result of growing up with siblings. For me, growing up with siblings has not been perfect, but it has been a joy to share life with such a bonded and varied group of brothers and sisters.


My laughter, and at times, even rage or sorrow, is always most authentic when in their company. I count Kate, Gabe, Rob, Cale, Patrick, Raph, Colleen, James and Clare as some of my closest friends, They have not decreased the richness of my development. What they have done is helped maximize the potential of my personal formation.