Life Doesn’t Come with a Cut and Paste Button

Twenty years ago, I wanted a cut and paste button on my living history. If only such a thing existed. I would’ve recreated my childhood, deleted certain details, and added events that my children could proudly tell to their friends. My rewritten version would exclude the times I fled for my life, and include a mother … Continue reading Life Doesn’t Come with a Cut and Paste Button

Catastrophic Parenting: Daddy Shopping & Auntie Mame’s House

Pamela Koefoed’s irresponsible mother Joy Curran had her own ideas about parenting. Children should be allowed to go to bars with their parents, they can be left alone at home for weeks, they should be spoken to as adults, and they should always have good manners. Joy was a charismatic, free-spirited, single parent whose unconventional … Continue reading Catastrophic Parenting: Daddy Shopping & Auntie Mame’s House

A Shocking Discovery

A Shocking DiscoveryOne evening in early summer around dinnertime, I sat on my knees on a dining room chair and played on the kitchen table with my Aunt Cindy’s childhood doll, Baby. A radio beside me was tuned to the news and Mother listened to the weather forecast while stirring a pan of sizzling hamburger … Continue reading A Shocking Discovery

A Reason to Live

What do dangerous chlorine gas, an exploding house, and a knife attack mean to you? Hopefully nothing. But for me, these were each experiences that I had growing up with my alcohol-addicted mother. Living with her was like trying to survive in a river of crocodiles. My life was often in danger and it's a … Continue reading A Reason to Live

      I was so Hungry that I Panhandled

My stomach ached with hunger. Mother left my eleven-year-old sister Robin and me home alone for several days without food. The cupboards were bare. The refrigerator had a half empty jug of Gallo and some dried out celery in a produce drawer but that was all. Panhandling wasn’t something I ever imagined for myself. I … Continue reading       I was so Hungry that I Panhandled

The Great Dentist Hoax

            A big sixth grade girl entered my class one morning with a note from the principal’s office. She handed it to my second grade teacher, Mrs. Carlisle, who read it quickly and then pointed toward me. “Pam,” she said. “Your mother’s waiting for you in the front office. Gina … Continue reading The Great Dentist Hoax

Fire! Help Fire! Call the Fire Trucks!

  White and grey smoke seeped from cracks surrounding the upper cabinet doors to my nine year old sister, Robin’s closet. I was seven. "Mommy!" I hollered from where I stood in the hall, near the bathroom. Mother answered my fearful sounding shout. When she reached me, I pointed to the bedroom at the end … Continue reading Fire! Help Fire! Call the Fire Trucks!