Before I go, I have something to say

Tag: family

So Far Away

It’s been over seven months since I saw my granddaughters – Jane and Vera, identical twins, born five years ago. We held them within an hour of their birth, handing them around to their other grandparents, great-grandparents, and aunts in the hospital room. Even though […]

A Racist in the Family

A Racist in the Family My grandpa, Grover Ripperton, was loving, and funny, and a complete racist. He bemoaned the integration of his beloved baseball games, calling the players nasty names that must have made my parents wince, but we never talked about it. My […]

A Story Problem in the Family

My daughter and I have a running joke about math. One of us will ask, “What time should I pick you up if we want to be in Grinnell in time for lunch?” and the other will shudder visibly and moan, “Oh no. Story problem.” […]

My Tribe

My Tribe

A lot of people I know were stunned by the outcome of last November’s election. How could this happen? Why didn’t we see it coming? Why did they vote for him? Therein lies a problem. Who, exactly, are “they”? The ballot box is secret. Unlike […]

Father of the Year

This is a story of three fathers. The first was Harold. He became a father six years after he married my mom, and he became my father eight years later. His children were both girls, which was a shame since he had so much to […]

The Unbreakable Cord 

I got a smarter-than-me phone for my birthday, late last year. My husband figured it was time one of us took the plunge, so there I was, trying to make sense of the thing one cold December night. I had to learn ASAP, because my […]

There Goes Another Stay-at-Home Mom

Lately I’ve been noticing a term that really should have been put to rest years ago: the “stay-at-home mom.” Even the most enlightened magazines and newspapers are still using this dismal moniker to refer to a woman who has chosen to raise her children, at […]

My Last Uncle

When I was born, I had a full complement of aunts and uncles. Though my parents’ families were nowhere near the size of some Dubuque clans, my mom had a sister and two brothers, and my dad had — let’s see – two sisters and […]

Call Home

There is a gigantic billboard on Highway 151 between Dubuque and Madison that kills me every time I see it. Its message is simple: “Call Your Parents.” My response, though unspoken, is always the same: Oh, how I wish I could. I still remember the […]

Climbing my Family Tree

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has seen my work nametag and asked if I’m related to another Kress in the greater Dubuque area. It usually happens on the elevator. My favorite is, “Are you related to Father Kress?” Nope, sorry. […]