#SOL20 Day 30 “What?”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises to practice the skill of noticing and remembering.


I think we learn all kinds of lessons from our parents. Often they aren’t the ones that they preach, but the ones that they embody and live. I try to think about what lessons my own children will learn from me, and ultimately that will be in their hands, not my own. What lessons did you learn from your father (or mother) that have lifted or inspired you in life?  Does he/she know that?

11 thoughts on “#SOL20 Day 30 “What?”

  1. Perseverance is a strong and needed word today. Your father was a good example. I think what I carry with me is my parents’ loving relationship. They are in a retirement home together at 83 and 86, still loving each other through each day. Thanks for making me think of this because I just realized their 60th wedding anniversary is in June. I hope the quarantine is lifted by then.

  2. What stories! Your father’s example taught you so much – and even in a 10 minute quickwrite you tell his stories beautifully. Thank you for your examples this month. I have ordered this book, but I suspect that half of the magic that attracted me to it is in your writing.

  3. Your father was a strong man. I love the way you describe him as a reader. My grandfather only had an 8th grade education but was one of the smartest, best-read men I’ve known.

    My father died when I was 16, but before he died he gave me advice I’ve remembered all my life: Never be financially dependent on a man, and never put up w/ any crap from a man. I later realized these are feminist ideals. My father also taught me the value of books. He lost his sight when I was in sixth grade, but before he went blind he’d sit at our dining room table reading the amplified bible w/ a magnifying glass.

  4. Your father gave you so many gifts, and you’ve given them to us in this 10-minute writing, a great example of what one ten-minute focused writing can produce. The last part, about lessons we teach without even knowing it is profound, too. Our children are always watching and learning from who we are, what we do. The best teachers don’t have to preach; they teach by being.

  5. Your dad sounds like a strong man, able to endure everything life threw his way. I really liked how you tied all of the stories together with the repetition of “he persevered” at the end. He sounds like an amazing man.

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