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Showing posts from August, 2015

We are shaped by our 'families'

Family is defined as folks being descendants of a common ancestor.But family is also those that not are blood related. This is your tribe--the ones who really know you. I belong to several tribes. My Pickle Land tribe features a man named Nelson Bland. There is not an adequate way of describing him. He is Nelson. I am the writer I am today because of him. I met him in 2001 when I was fresh out of college. It was the first time that I had been away from home and he had been writing for at least 30 years. He had high standards and was determined that I would meet and exceed those standards. And eventually, I did. And the day that he said that was one of the happiest days of my life. The contrast between us is night and day. I am a five-two black woman and he is a heavyset, five foot white man. But he has never seen color. He was never married so there is no wife or kids. Our family consist of me, Nelson, Ruth, Steve and Johnny. Nelson and the Fantastic Four. At 70, he has slowed down some wi…