Sevenau Line: Sideways and Down

With more than their share of scandal and drama, the Sevenau line was definitely not boring to research or write about. There are not many with this name, and within the last month with the passing of brothers Steve and Mike Sevenau, sadly became two less. The verse is about Lou Sevenau (their … [Read more...]

Shaken, Not Stirred

All right already, so it takes an earthquake to get me out of bed. After 10 days nursing the flu, I wake up to my house rolling one way, then rocking the other. The earth is jolting and roaring. My bedroom is upstairs where there is extra sway. The door to my upper deck has blown open and … [Read more...]

The Chatfield Story

Dec 26, 1894, Fruita, Mesa County, Colorado: In a ceremony in her parents' home, my grandmother, twenty-one year old Nellie Chamberlin, married Charles Henry Chatfield, a ranching man of twenty-four. Nellie was a no-nonsense Catholic girl and exceedingly religious, but she also had a mind of her own … [Read more...]

Cosmic Patience

I hadn’t said a word the first three days; I had nothing to add and was seeing plenty about myself simply sitting on the floor and listening—how I still need to control my environment so I’m not too hot, not too cold, not too tired—and how hard it is for me to relax and not believe my discomfort … [Read more...]

They Call it Beach Camping

Summer 1959: Salton Sea My least fond memory of that summer is water skiing at the Salton Sea, a huge inland lake in the desolate California Sonoran Desert. The place is a forsaken moonscape: saltier than the Pacific Ocean, hotter than blazing cinders, and smellier than rotting catfish. No benches, … [Read more...]

I Want What I Want When I Want It

I am self-made, self-sufficient, and self-supporting, along with being self-reliant, self-confident and self-motivated. I am also self-righteous, self-serving, self-critical, self-centered, and perhaps just a wee bit self-absorbed. I reek of responsibility and good reputation. I hold dear my … [Read more...]

None of My Business

A recent blog post of mine provoked a response that mildly caught me by surprise. I sent someone down a rabbit hole regarding my use of the word "retarded" and she nearly tossed me into the briar patch when I read her response, but hey, at least I'm being read and she took the time to comment. In … [Read more...]

Dragons and Sparkles

Satchel and Temple • July 2009, Sonoma, California Brooke and the kids are visiting in Sonoma for a month. My son and his family moved to Vancouver, Canada last year—they had the nerve to not only move there, but to take my grandchildren with them—and this is their first time back. Satchel is six … [Read more...]

19 Nods to Facebook

1. Finally! I can quit feeling guilty about not sending Christmas and birthday cards. 2. I'm partial to posts that are interesting, insightful, or just plain weird. Where else would I find a zillion uses for white vinegar, coconut oil, and WD40, or know about the Ellen DeGeneres show. 3. I can … [Read more...]

Lord Love a Duck

There once were three brothers, from England did flee Sailed on the St. John in good company. Our line comes off George, ten progeny past, Begetting the Chatfields of which I am cast. They're an interesting bunch, left their mark in the world With a wide path to follow—a history … [Read more...]

Facebook Fiasco

I've come a long way, baby... Catherine Clemens Sevenau You go to a Real Estate convention and take a Facebook class. You joined FB a year ago and seldom came back on because it was confusing, and you felt like you couldn't possibly keep in touch with more people, and then you get home and … [Read more...]

Meant to Be

At first, it was to be just the two of them at city hall. Then, it expanded to include our immediate family: the wedding couple, Matt and Brooke and their kids, my sons’ father with his girlfriend along with two of his former wives (a family tradition... I’m #1 and Rebecca is #2, but with great … [Read more...]


Though I knew not the uncles who slept in gold dust, I've been told whom they hated and whom they could trust. I read which ones fiddled, who sang and who danced; I hear they worked hard—wonder if they romanced. I've met not the aunts, the women of kind, but can guess of their hopes and where … [Read more...]

The Mind is a Dangerous Neighborhood

Scanning for Gratitude It all started with the white showing through on the hole in your pocket. Of course it started before then, but the hole is when things really began for me. I watched the white go back and forth in front of me as you did the room, talking, sharing, inspiring- calling … [Read more...]

"I enjoy candlelit dinners, a walk on a moonlit beach, and spending time in the woods enjoying the beautiful nature around us." Oh please. Who writes this cheese? I've perused dating sites and laugh at the liars on there. Give me someone who has honed at least some self-reflection, won't … [Read more...]

Soul Musings

How do I care for my soul? By dancing and being whirled so fast that the room spins and I shriek! What else? Cowboy boots, painted toenails, and my faded 501s. Lavender fields, weeping willows, and sweet peas; a ripe pomegranate, a preening peacock, and Sam, my son’s dog. An armada of leaf-cutter … [Read more...]

Cripple Creek to Salt Lake City and Back

Vacation Postscript (July 27, 2006) My brother, his wife Marian, and I just returned from our fifth road trip of gathering family history: searching through county records, newspaper archives, and historical museums hunting for birth and death records, local articles, pictures, deeds, wills and old … [Read more...]

My Mother and Me: From A to Z

Over the past few years my mother has been following me around, showing up in my stomach, my bones, and my dreams. She used to be a dull ache inside me, but not so much anymore. Mom wasn’t cruel or abusive—there was no sliver to take out, no bullet to remove, no thorn to pluck. In the five years I … [Read more...]

Beyond the Game

Audio: click arrow to listen A “What’s So” Letter to Michael Naumer October 21, 1942 - May 4, 2001 Sitting in your black canvas director's chair, tilting your head, cocking an eyebrow and wiggling your right foot, you listened. You had us raise our hands and stand to speak. No moving the … [Read more...]

On Being Four

Birthday Letter to My Son: You were four when I picked you up from school, and I could see that you were upset. “Mom, do you know what happens to us when we die!” “Do tell.” “Charlie sang a song about John Henry, and when he died, they buried him in the ground!” “Well, what did you think … [Read more...]

About “Behind These Doors” Published Excerpts

My writing began with “Queen Bee,” a short piece I wrote some years ago that cracked me open like an overripe pomegranate, spilling emotions I’d kept inside since I was a kid. When I shared it with my siblings, it gave us a connection we hadn’t had. That led to a reunion, created out of my interest … [Read more...]