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“How vividly I recall the snail's pace of time.

He died two hours ago.


Now it's four hours since he died.

Now it's 2:30 a.m., only seven hours since he was here.” 


"The Road Taken:

A Memoir --

One VW Bus,

One Widow,

Nine Kids"



In more than three decades in journalism, I've been a line editor, wire editor, designer, and assistant managing editor.

I've created new magazines and sections and worked the tight deadlines at USA Today. But in 2007, my editing took a personal turn.

I co-edited “The Road Taken: A Memoir — One VW Bus, One Widow, Nine Kids” (Trafford), my mother’s chronicle of the death of her young husband and our family’s adventure in the summer of 1968.


Behind the wheel of a VW Bus she learned to drive in the parking lot at Shannon Airport, she trekked her nine children through Europe that wild summer. There are stories of hotel rooms and misunderstandings, juxtaposed with how she faced widowhood at the age of 43.

It was published three months before her death.

Fifty years after that trip, I reflected on it in a personal essay titled: "How Did She Do It? 50 Summers Ago, My Mother Took Her 9 Kids Through Europe."

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