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Author: Carolyn Farmer Sampson

Suspending Disbelief

One day, instead of seeing John arrive for work, I received a phone call from his girlfriend telling me he was in jail; arrested for an unpaid traffic ticket. He hadn’t been given a court date and didn’t know when he’d be released. Instead of calling me, he planned to disappear, too embarrassed to explain his absence once he was released.

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The Boys Were Wrong

“Meemaw, I got this coloring book at my theater class,” my oldest granddaughter said last week. “Will you color with me?”

I spend a fair amount of time coloring Disney princesses and other cartoon characters with my grandchildren. This time I was surprised to see a line drawing of a woman in a polka dot scarf with “World War II poster by Howard Miller, ca. 1942.” noted underneath.

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Normalizing “different”

For more than 45 years I worked hard to hide my physical differences and associated struggles, first by instinct and later as a defense against unwanted attention. Each decade became more difficult until, at age 44, I could no longer hide my escalating physical challenges. It took more than a decade to finally be at peace with this decision.

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Perfectly Lonely

After reflecting on the topic for a couple of weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that the land of perfectionism is an isolated place to be. Perfectionism can cause us to waste a lot of precious time comparing our lives to others. Each of us thinks the other has an ideal life when nothing could be further from the truth.

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Equal Opportunity for All?

I read a post on a friend’s Facebook page today that reflected what many suburban white people seem to believe.

“At my kid’s high school, black kids very rarely take AP (Advanced Placement) courses. There are one or two black kids in her classes. In total, the school is one-third black. The analogy [in the original post] is interesting but in my real life, I see kids uninterested in taking advantage of opportunities. I’m always stunned. Why do they not take advantage of these opportunities?”

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Few topics are off the table

When I started this blog a few months ago, I intended to write every week. Although I had many topic ideas at the time, I soon realized I didn’t know where to start. My motivation for starting a blog was to explore current events, especially as they relate to middle-aged women with young grandchildren. I wanted a place to expand on conversations started by my friends, family and business associates on social media.

While I never planned to shy away from controversial topics, I didn’t necessarily want to lead with them in my first few posts.

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About Carolyn Farmer Sampson

Hello! I’m Carolyn Farmer Sampson, a freelance web designer and grandmother; an ordinary middle-aged woman with some extraordinary life experiences.

I was born with shortened, deformed arms and hands caused by my mother taking the drug thalidomide while pregnant. Thalidomide, manufactured and marketed by Chemie Grünenthal in Stolberg, Germany, was a sedative taken by men and women to relieve anxiety, insomnia and headaches. According to Gruenenthal, “Due to its sedative effects, women also used it to counter pregnancy-related discomforts, such as morning sickness.”

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View from the Hill

As one of the younger Baby Boomers, I don’t feel over the hill just yet. I worked very hard to climb it and, like the first Boomers now entering an adventurous retirement at age 70, I’ll stay on top of the hill for as long as I can. It’s from there I’ll be writing this blog: reflections of an ordinary suburban American woman with some extraordinary life experiences. I hope to pay forward some of the wisdom I’ve gained from mentors, friends and family of all ages over the years. This is my View From the Hill.

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