Hello! I'm NCFR's blogger, Nancy Gonzalez. I am the former director of public affairs for NCFR, and current editor of our member magazine, the NCFR Report. I have a Master's in Family Life Education from the University of Minnesota, and I'm a Certified Family Life Educator. I'm married to a great guy named George, a software engineer, and mother to our college age son, Eric. Our family also consists of a Border Collie named Beau and two calico kitties, Shelley and Shirley. I knew I wanted to study families at age 16. My blog is entitled "The N = 1 Experiment" to emphasize that my "findings" are anecdotal and therefore are my "1 person reflections." The topics I write about are based on the family studies field, my own family, current events, memoir and humor. Its contents are my opinion and my responsibility alone and not the official position of NCFR as an organization. I invite your comments!
Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of 9/11. I heard Rudy Giuliani last night on CNN’ s Anderson Cooper’s 360 show. Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City that day, called it the “worst day and the best day.” The worst is obvious. But the best part—if we can permit ourselves to look for any silver lining at all—is all the stories of people living up to their Better Angels, in New York and elsewhere. One such story was what happened on 9/11/2001 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.
One of the most fascinating people I ever met was a compulsive liar. Many years ago, for one of our wedding anniversaries, my husband George and I reserved a fun dinner excursion on a train. It had a vintage dining car where we enjoyed a white linen dinner as we journeyed through a scenic area with beautiful fall color. The slightly different aspect of it was that all the tables seated four people. In other words, if you were there as a couple, you were seated with another couple whom you didn’t know. Our dinner companions turned out to be among the most interesting people we could hope to meet.
In this election cycle, for the first time in my adult life, family planning issues are front and center. I never expected contraception to be part of the political discourse, especially contraception practiced by a married couple. I can't think of a more personal--or more important--decision for couples to consider. Whether parents are in red states or blue states, this choice has social, ethnic and religious influences that are very, very strong. One of our NCFR members just wrote a book to help people think though this crucial decision.
NCFR has a Book Club twice a year. In the fall of 2010, we read Robert Milardo's book, Forgotten Kin: Aunts and Uncles. One of the Book Club participants has a story to tell about it, and I have permission to tell it here. A few identifying factors will be changed for privacy, but the essential story remains. Our participant--let's call her Mary--read the book and soon applied the content with wonderful results.
This week one of the world's most beautiful voices fell silent forever. Tragically, Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48. People in the social and broadcast media have been weighing in on what I will term "What Whitney meant to me." Whitney will always be part of the soundtrack of my life. I had that One Moment in Time.
In this blog, I am documenting a piece of family history. My late mother was the Valedictorian of her high school class. I'm sorting through boxes of her things, and I found her valedictory address from 1944. A bit of history. And I was able to scan it before the brittle paper disintegrated. I encourage everyone to make electronic copies of family history such as this speech. There was just one yellowed fragile copy left.
I'm forever getting heartrending pleas from people in pathetic situations from all over the globe. Our IT manager here at NCFR is expert at screening these out, so it's rare to happen at work. But my after hours accounts? Oh, boy. There's enough spam to feed a regiment.
For the first time in my life, I just found out that I've been way out on the leading-edge of a trend! Long before it became fashionable! CNN is reporting that thrift store shopping is catching on in the middle class.
A few days back, I completed an important home project. I set up my lighted ceramic village for the holidays. For those who don't know what these are, I've got a photo of my display... it's a planned community... I am very persnickety that each building goes in the right place.