Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Michiana Chronicler

Jeanette Saddler Taylor lives a retiring life in South 
Bend.

Ways to Connect

The Basque Museum and Cultural Center

He cautioned me back when I was a spritely youth. The he? My much-respected Daddy.  The caution: “Jeanette, possessions are very confining. Pretty soon, you don’t own them, they own you.” Although warned, nevertheless, I persisted and blithely spent the next boo-coo, bijillion years of my life filling my space with “stuff.”

Sarah McGee / Flickr

Not so very long ago, I came across a quote from the playwright, John Guare, “Writing is another kind of performance. You get to play all the parts,” he said. Sounded like just the ticket, so, as they say, I’m gonna write/tell/perform a little story for you here.

Going Home

Jan 6, 2017
Christopher Manson

“Over the river and through the wood, to grandfather’s house we go,” so says the 120-year-old song. (Although I always thought that it was Grandmother’s house, but I seem to have got that wrong—more about that later.) Given the song’s New England roots, its age, and the mental pictures of folks in horse drawn sleighs, it’s amazing that it continues to work here in fly-over land in the 21st century. Turns out that here in the Midwest, there still are rivers and woods and grandfathers too, for that matter. And, trucking off to visit folks for the holidays happens as well.

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Have you looked out there in the past couple of weeks? It’s been gobsmackingly beautiful.  In Michiana, it’s as close as it gets to Tahiti. No, not the heat, although it had been fairly warm, and not the Gauguin semi-naked ladies, but the Gauguin color palette of reds and yellows and oranges: the leaf-turnings on the trees have been just breath-taking. No need to take a road trip, the local color has been a delight. Truly, it’s been something to have seen, remembered and be prepared, in a couple of weeks, to offer as an example of “what I am thankful for.”

    SETTING LIMITS

“Oh for crying out loud, act your age.” I can’t remember what juvenile antic I had performed. (Selective memory is a wonderful thing! You get to pick and choose and clean up your autobiography just by blanking.) Whatever it was though, brought out this hissing directive from my mother, and unlike my action, I clearly remember her reaction.

A TOILET ARTICLE

“Bad decisions make good stories.” Not so long ago, my son, Joseph, said that to me. I’m sure that he mentioned it regarding some personal incident, but it turns out that it can work for public policy too. Thus, I’m going to muscle my way onto turf that usually is held by my co-Michiana Chronicler, April Lidinsky: Women’s Issues—except this topic really is an Everybody Issue. My apologies for the encroachment, April.

Bartenders and Hair Tenders: True Confessions

   

Fat Tuesday found me draped across a barstool while wonderful Wally “set ‘em up” as my pre-penitential push for partying unfolded in downtown South Bend. A band of revelers came in, handed out beads and headed back into the snowy South Bend darkness while I continued to stave off  thoughts of the rigors of the coming Lenten season by doing elbow bends and yuking it up with Wally.

THE WATCHBIRD 

Aloneness

Dec 11, 2015

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor talks about Aloneness

"Flowers"

Aug 28, 2015

When I get flowers...

In my view, my son is a perfectly competent human being. In my son’s view, I am a fight-picker.

Now, I think that the way he became a perfectly competent human being is due to stellar direction from not just the village, but in large part from me. That being the case, it stands to reason that others too easily can benefit from my direction. That’s not fight-picking; that’s the sharing of information and life-experience. I ask, how could anyone possibly interpret the giving of a gift such as that as spoilin’ for a fight?

Here between the major merchandising events of the manufactured sentimentality of Christmas and the massive schmaltz of Valentine’s Day, we in Michiana have an opportunity for a big ol’ wallow in genuine emotion. As you may have heard both from David James’s Michiana Chronicle last week and from the promo spot for this coming Saturday night’s Jazz by the Border, WVPE Program Director, Lee Burdorf, is retiring.

“What am I going to wear?” could well have been Mother Eve’s thought as she prepared for her hasty foray from the flora and fauna into the larger landscape. Since the invention of those of the female persuasion, this has been the question. So, there Eve was, presumably with no good ready-to-wear boutiques, with the probably unhandy-as-dressmaker Adam, and with that damned talking snake having slithered off and now nowhere to be found. Nothing for good old Eve to do but construct the world’s first home-sewing project!

Usually I tell you small, domestic stories, and this one today is no exception, but today’s story, as well as being a bit more self-revelatory than usual,  also may be an allegory of a much larger topic.

In our family, my son, Joseph, has told a story of helping to launch his sons into the world of self-reliance when they were fairly young, by sending them alone to the check-in counter at the airport. This is what he saw from his yes-of-course-he-stood-back-and-observed-in-case-anything-really-went-wrong-and-they-needed-help, vantage point.

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