New Books Coming Soon!

Just a little update on what I am working on I have two more novels coming out in paperback hopefully later this month or sometime next month. Cass Kelly, Girl Detective is the revised work of The Whisper of a Rose. Completely different direction, and new scenes, I really hope you check this one out. It will be the first in a series of 5 books that follow the folks on Empress Isle. (it is already out for Kindle but I highly recommend you wait to buy it until the PB comes out so I have a chance to correct any errors, this is my suggestion for all of my books.)

The second book is Crushed. This is a romance with young adults as the characters but it is NOT a young adult novel. Adult situations/language, but I think still a great read. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve done so far. I hope you all like it!

And a THIRD book will be coming out as well. This one is a coming of age novel called “Twelve Months in Teeterville” and tells the story of Benny Allen as he maneuvers through a year in 1967 in a small town. Probably my most ambitious book yet.

In addition to all of that, I am currently researching material for a non fiction book on the women in the Ingalls family, plus gathering stories for my Haunted Shiawassee book.

Whew! 🙂 A lot of “work” that never feels like work to me because I love it so much. I hope you enjoy the books I am publishing, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you ever have questions, comments, etc. I’m happy to chat with you!

Finally, thank you all SO much for the support you’ve given Docia’s Diary. I have been so pleasantly surprised at it’s success and it means so much to me that so many of you have told me you enjoyed it.

As always, best wishes,

Beth 🙂

It’s Time for a Spooooky New Endeavor!

With Halloween fast approaching at the end of the month, my mind has been going in a ghostly direction. I LOVE scary stuff. Love, love, love it! I can remember sitting in the dark with my friends when growing up scaring the daylights out of each other with our ghost stories. It’s such a fun thrill to hear those stories and imagine the monsters and ghosts and freaky things creeping up behind you!

So my new endeavor is a book. And not just one book, but rather a series of books tentatively called “Haunted”. Each book in the series (and I honestly at this point have no idea how many there will be) will feature spooky tales from an individual county in Michigan. I want to start with my very own county, Shiawassee. I know there are creepy tales out there to be shared, I just need to find them!

That’s where you come in, my wonderful readers! I am asking everyone I can find to share any scary, creepy, strange, odd, whatever paranormal themed story they might have experienced themselves, or been told about from Shiawassee County. I am not worried about verification, your stories can be true or not true. They can be wild and crazy, deadly, funny, creepy, nutty…they can be about ghosts, demons, devils, angels, spirits, aliens, UFO’s, strange lights, orbs, monsters, Big Foot, weird sounds, vibrations, feelings. Haunted houses, schools, hospitals, rooms, churches, hotels, locations, rivers, bridges, what – ever!

I will NOT be using anyone’s real name in these books. Your name and email will be appreciated for the purpose of me being able to contact you if I need further info only. I will also not use any real personal addresses. If you are telling about a business I will not use the name of the business and only refer to the place as “a store (for example) in Owosso” or the like. I don’t want anyone to worry about privacy, or anything like that. I also don’t want to encourage people to trespass or bother any business owners or private residents. I am only interested in the stories, your privacy is important to me and I will protect it!

I am not able to offer anything in way of compensation in return for your stories. If I were a millionaire author I’d give you a free book in return for your sharing, but unfortunately I am just a humble local author who doesn’t make much on her books. I can really only offer my sincere thanks. I am hoping to have the first book finished in time for Halloween of 2021.

You can share your story on the Submit Your Story page here on this blog. If you’d rather send it via email, you can send it to bgfairweather@gmail.com

Thanks so much in advance, I can’t wait to read your stories!

Best Wishes,

Beth 🙂

My First Press!

(From the Owosso Argust Press, September 19, 2020

****Just one little clarification – the reporter wrote that Docia’s first husband was an alcoholic – it was her second husband, Hi, who was the drunk!

Setting the record straight

Local author reimagines lesser known character in new book, ‘Docia’s Diary’

OWOSSO — Not everyone who grew up with the TV series “Little House on the Prairie” in the 1970s knows the show was based on a true story about an American pioneering family, but fewer still have heard of author Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Aunt Docia.

Docia Ingalls, sister of Charles Ingalls (“Pa” on the TV show), appears briefly in two of the “Little House” books. But if she’s remembered at all, it’s as a woman her niece, Wilder, didn’t particularly care for. Docia was said to be an irritable woman who made her children work too hard.

Enter Elizabeth Fairweather of Owosso, who believes Docia is misunderstood. She decided to set the record straight. Fairweather, an author of several romances, has just released “Docia’s Diary,” a fictional reimagining of the forgotten Ingalls.

“Docia had a hard life, her first husband was an alcoholic who couldn’t hold a job and the family moved constantly,” Fairweather, 51, said. “With everything I found out about this woman, I can’t blame her for being grouchy. As a mother myself, I know how busy I get, and I can kind of sympathize with her.”

Fairweather spent two years researching Docia and the rest of the Ingalls family, and developing a detailed time line, in the process discovering how hard-working and resilient Docia was.

“She was one of those people who got knocked down again and again, and she’d just get herself back up every time,” Fairweather said.

Docia’s first husband, for example, killed a man in self-defense and was imprisoned for years, events that humiliated her in the small town where she lived and left her broke. Needing money to feed her children, she worked as a nurse.

No doubt, Fairweather said, Docia had a strong personality. She was fiercely independent and could rub people the wrong way. But if Docia had flaws, the author said, it’s also true that everyone does.

“I liked her,” Fairweather said of Docia. “All we’ve gotten is one view of this woman. I looked at records and family lore, and came to my own conclusions.”

As Fairweather conducted online research, John Bass, an author and historian known for his encyclopedic knowledge about the Ingalls family, reached out to Fairweather and assisted her in her quest to find Docia’s true voice.

The result was “Docia’s Diary,” about which Bass wrote: “It feels like Docia herself is talking to us!”

Fairweather’s own personal experiences helped her feel closer to Docia. Growing up in Lennon, attending Durand schools and now living in Owosso, she said she knows what it’s like to live in small towns with watchful eyes.

Fairweather’s mother grew up in an orphanage, and always resented her own mother for placing her there. Only after her mother died did Fairweather discover that her grandmother had tried numerous times, unsuccessfully, to get her daughter back.

According to Ingalls family folklore, Docia at one point tried to put her two older children in an orphanage. Fairweather said she believes there’s another side to this story as well. The tale came from Docia’s daughter Lena, and mother and daughter never got along.

A lifelong Shiawassee County resident, Fairweather said she was the kind of child who would hide a novel behind the textbook she was supposed to be reading. She began writing short stories at about age 11.

After high school, she attended Baker College to study business, but said her heart wasn’t in it. She often found herself in the college library, reading for pleasure and writing.

She was in her 20s when she began thinking her work might be publishable, but dealing with the rejection slips that every serious writer receives was difficult.

Then she married Glen Fairweather and put her energy into motherhood.

The couple have three children: Maddie, 18, a freshman at Saginaw Valley State University, and 10-year-old twins, Matthew and Amy.

It was Maddie who inspired Fairweather to dust off her manuscripts and try again. This time around, she opted to self-publish, a decision she doesn’t regret because it gives her complete artistic control.

“With self-publishing, I don’t have to follow a formula,” she said. “I can write my own stories my own way. I’m allowed to be in charge.”

Two romance novels she penned under the name Brigid McMahon are available on Amazon.

“Docia’s Diary” was a departure from the romance genre, and Fairweather said she would like to write novels about other Ingalls family members. Currently, she is researching the lives of Charles Ingalls’ four sisters for a nonfiction book she is planning.

“Docia’s Diary” is now for sale on Amazon.

For more information about Fairweather, visit the author’s website, elizabethfairweatherauthor.com.

Docia’s Diary Now Available for Ebook!

It’s finally done! After tons of revising and having a new professional cover made, Docia’s Diary is now available for ebook from Amazon.com. The paperback is coming soon. If you decide to purchase and read the book I would be very grateful if you could leave me a thoughtful review on Amazon. Reviews can really help self published authors get their works into other reader’s hands, so thanks so much if you can do that for me!

Many thanks to author/researcher/historian for his help on Docia’s Diary, and to cover designer, Charlene Raddon from SilverSageBookCovers.com She did an amazing job on the cover and I highly recommend her work!

You can purchase the ebook below or you can wait for the paper back. Thanks again for supporting my work, you all rock!

P.S. If you know someone who loves Little House and it’s history please think about recommending my book to them! Thanks!

The Prosecutor

When August Walgvogel shot Milo Goodenough, his prosecutor in the case was Prescott County District Attorney J.C. Button (he is listed as J.O. Button on some sources, but the J.C. appears accurate). The murder of Milo Goodenough was the first murder trial in Prescott County and Mr. Button was a young prosecutor at the time. He held the office for only two years. Was this young, new prosecutor using what must have been a sensational trial to make a name for himself? Is that the reason behind his zeal in prosecuting what should have been (as far we know) a simple case of self defense? It’s something to think about!

I found quite a bit of information on District Attorney Button. He lived a very interesting, exciting life and had many experiences and adventures. The following is taken from the History of Trempealeau, Wisconsin:

“J.C. Button, for many years a distinguished figure in the legal procedure of Western Wisconsin, is now living in retirement, in the village of Trempealeau at the ripe old age of 84. He has known varied experiences, has seen the world in many lands and climes, has taken an active part in the formation of many of the policies of several Mississippi Valley  Counties and has lived to see his fondest hopes and ambitions realized. High thinking and clean living have given him a store of vitality which is still unimpaired, and the world has brought him a full measure of joy and contentment, his only sorrow being the passing away of friends and relatives, whom the passing years have taken one by one.   His ruggedness of health and staunchness of character are inherited by a long line of worthy forebears.  

The father, Charles button, was of Colonial English stock. As a young man he studied medicine, but never engaged in extensive practice, choosing instead to spend his life in agricultural pursuits. He was married in New York State to Cynthia Watson, who was likewise descended from Colonial Stock.  

From New York they went to Lorain County, Ohio, and there, JC, the subject of this sketch was born June 3, 1830. When he was an infant they went to Oakland County, Michigan, and settled on the Stony Point Road, not far from Pontiac. In 1836 they moved to Illinois and settled on a farm 12 miles south of Ottawa. 

From there in 1843 they came to Green County, Wisconsin and took up their home eight miles east of Monroe, the county seat. The father died in 1844 and the mother in 1878.  Living in pioneer communities and fatherless at the age of 14, young JC had meager opportunities for schooling, most of his schooling being obtained in a little log schoolhouse.  

In 1848 he entered the Academic Department of Beloit College and was graduated from the Collegiate Department in 1852.  Then he started out for California in search for gold.  The parting with his mother was a pathetic one.  Standing hat in hand, with his mother’s arm about his neck, he promised never to use profanity, never to indulge in any game of chance, and never to taste or handle intoxicating drinks of any sort. This promise he has kept to this day and to it he attributes his health and happiness. His goodbyes said, he joined his party and continued west as far as Salt Lake City, Utah. There he and a friend struck out alone and located in Salem, Oregon for a time. 

From there a young Button went to Portland and from there by ship to San Francisco. After a trip to San Francisco and neighboring mines, he embarked on a ship which carried him to the west coast of Panama, where he secured a team to take him to Graytown, on the Gulf Coast.  

Then, touching at points at Florida and Cuba, he reached New York and returned to his home. Desiring to further perfect  his education he went to Janesville, Wisconsin and entered the office of Sleeper and Norton where he studied law and was admitted to the bar.  It was in 1858 that he opened an office in in St. Croix Falls, Polk Cty, Wisconsin, and started housekeeping in a home which he erected with his own hands.  

In the Fall of 1859 he was elected to the office of District attorney and moved to Osceola, the county seat. At the expiration of his term he moved to Prescott, and entered into partnership with J.S. White, a partnership which lasted until 1876. Soon after his arrival in Prescott he was elected District Attorney of Pierce County, a position in which he ably served for a term of 2 years.  

Having been in continuous practice of his profession for 20 years part of the time as a public official, Mr. Button determined, in 1877, to take a well deserved vacation traveling in Europe and Asia Minor. Accordingly, he set out and visited in turn, England, Scotland, France and Spain, Egypt, the Holy Land, Turkey and Albania, Greece, Italy, Alsace-Loraine, Germany, Russia, Holland, Belgium, Wales and Ireland.  

Among the many notables whom he saw may be mentioned Queen Victoria, and it is remarkable that he attended the funeral of King Victor Immanuel of Italy who died January 9, 1878 and of Pope Pius IX who died in February of the same year. 

Upon his return to America Mr. Button came to Trempealeau County in the fall of 1878 for the purpose of assisting his brother, S. W. Button.  SW Button had been in partnership with Judge Newman and upon the elevation of Judge Newman to the District Court bench found the work too strenuous for his failing health and so called his brother JC to his assistance, going himself to the panhandle country in Texas, where his health was restored, after which he took up the practice of his profession in Sparta, Wisconsin. 

Accordingly, JC Button took up his home in Trempealeu Village, where he has since resided. For one term he was District Attorney of this county.  He is a man of sincere conviction, and his highly honored and respected throughout the community.  Mr. Button was married, June 16, 1858 to Charlotte Wheaton, daughter of Cyrus Wheaton of Green County, Wisconsin.  

Mrs. Button died in December of 1890.  Their only child, Charles, died at the age of 4 years and ten months of age.”

Button died May 3, 1922 in Trempealeau, Wisconsin, taking his reasoning behind prosecuting August Walvogel with such a vengeance to his grave.  

Digging up Milo Goodenough

I like to dig deep. Deeper than I need to probably, but it does help me get a feel for the story I am telling. In my upcoming book, Docia’s Diary, Docia’s first husband, August Waldovogel’s criminal case is prominently featured. It was, of course, a big part of Docia’s life. Everything changed the minute August picked up his gun full of duck shot and fired it through the door into Milo Goodenough’s face.

But there are so many questions surrounding this case. Why was Milo Goodenough at August’s house after dark on that May evening in 1866? Who was the other man with him, who ran off into the woods? Just what, if any, was the relationship between August and Milo? Or between Milo and Docia??

Unfortunately there is a lot of conjecture and very little evidence. But there are clues and they start not with Milo, but with his father.

Milo’s father was Stillman Hebron Goodenough (1818-1911). His mother was Flora Angeline Wood (1820-1852). She was the first of three wives. Stillman and Flora had three sons, John R. (1839-1916) Milo, and William H. 1844-1862). There is not much info available about the Goodenough family prior to Flora’s death in 1852. Perhaps they just farmed and behaved themselves. Or perhaps not. After Flora died in 1852, Stillman married his second wife, Celia, in that same year. At this time the family lived in Dodge, Wisconsin.

In 1857, Stillman, along with his son John R., decided to take up a new occupation. Apparently farming wasn’t as lucrative as they’d hoped. The following is a news article from the Milwaukee Sentinal dated December 29, 1857: (I’ve left the article as printed, errors included!)

Gang of Robbers: Milwaukee Sentinal Dec. 29, 1857 Editor: I recieved a notice of an attempt to rob and murder near this place, and thinking that your readers would like to have it reported in length, I give you the following: On the 18th, four young men, named Frank Sanders, George Sanders, John R Goodenough and John Barnes, went to the homeof Mr. Guy living in the town of Achippun, three miles south of Neosho, with intent to roband murder. Mr. Guy was supposed to have about $1000.00 in his home; they went to the house, Guy asked what they wanted; they said,” Clinker”, Frank Sanders said to his conrad to strike a light. They immediately lit a lantern and Frank commenced pounding the old gentlemen with a large club while in bed. Guy succeeded in getting out of the house after a scuffle and being wounded in the head with the club and recieveing a sevvere wound on the thigh with a corn cutter, he raised a cry of Murder, upon which the ruffians fled. The wounds were considered dangerous. One of the Sanders lost his cap, which showed their direction. On the 17th, Frank Sanders, George Sanders, Stillman Goodenough and John R. Goodenough were arrested and taken before Squire Harris for examination. Frank and George Sanders, in default of $1000. bail each, were committed tothe county jail to await trial, the others were discharged. The community being satisfied that they were different ties with the affair, by their united story proceeded to find John Barns and from him got all the particulars. John Barns broke out of jail about the 10th and came immediately to Stillman Goodenough for help to flee the country, and while there he was initiated into a band of bandits with signs of recognition and act. The forms of recognition were quite interesting to this community. He was sworn over a testament and a bottle of whisky to be true to the gang and never divulge any of their rascality under penalty of death. the gang composed of Stillman Goodenough, President:John R. Goodenough, his wife and Elizabeth Sanders, all living in that neighborhood and others living in Watertown and still further south. Upongetting this information, Stillman, his wife Celia, JohnR. his son, and Elizabeth Sanders were arrestedand committed in default of bail. There was considerable stolen property found on the premises of Goodenough: also a pass book found belonging to John R. in which was found the following to wit: Van Colts Jewelry Store, can be broken into with little labor and $3,000. worth taken: Jewelry Store in Saukegan can be broken into byLib, or someone else– no one sleeps in the store: McHenry Co.Ill. good open bays– barn 50 yds from the house with door on back of barn–never discovered, and etc. They concocted a plan to kill and rob a man by name of Elliot living near Watertown and also Dr. John Goodenough, when he started for Berlin, as he was about to move his family there, and was to carry considerable amount with him. Their plans have been somewhat interupted by their timely arrest — you will hear more soon. great credit is due Mr. D.S. VanOrden and Mr. Davis of Neosho for their activity in ferreting out this gang/ Neosho, Dec. 23, 1857 Note: Fred Moses Goodenough as a baby went to jail with Celia. “

*Stillman had two sons with Celia, Moses and Silas, and none with his third wife, Hannah.
 

Stillman went to prison at Waupun. The same prison that August would later be sent to after Milo Goodenough died. (not sure if John R. went to prison or not, he and the other two boys are listed in the 1860 census as living with other families and working as farm laborers.)

There is no evidence that Milo or William H. were involved, as they would have been younger teens. But I am guessing they sure knew about it and were being groomed in some fashion by their father for future exploits.

The Dr. John Goodenough, whom they planned to rob was in fact, Stillman’s older brother. Apparently family ties did not matter much to them!

By the time the Civil War erupted Stillman was out of prison. He and all three of his sons, served in the War.

Stillman, Milo and William were listed with a Wisconsin Company, while John R. is out of Minnesota. Unfortunately William H. died in the war that year, while Stillman was severely injured (no details on this). And guess where this family lived in 1863? Concord, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. That’s right. Right along with the Ingalls and the Quiner families.

Did the Goodenough’s know the Ingalls and Quiners? We have no evidence of this BUT…in 1865 Milo married Sophia Fischer in Milwaukee…and by 1868 he and his wife were living in Section 28 of South Rock Elm, Wisconsin, with neighbors Lansford Ingalls and family living not too far way in Section 26.

Only one section between them in a small community. It’s not too far fetched to think that the two families were at least aware of one another if not intimate. They must have seen each other at various town functions, meetings, in town at the General Store, the Mill, etc. And we know August was in Rock Elm at that time as well because that’s when he met Docia, marrying her in 1866.

James and Hiram Ingalls were in the Civil War, as was Milo. James and Milo would have been around the same age. Were they friends? Or was Milo the type of guy you really didn’t want to know? Was he a thug, a tough guy? Dishonest?

It’s hard to say. We know of his past, we know his father was less than honest. Prison may have reformed the guy but was it only the war injuries that kept him from robbing again? Maybe, just maybe, dear dad passed the torch to his young son.

Milo Goodenough and his family, which now included baby daughter Flora, born in 1867, were living in Rock Elm. By this time Docia and August had settled in Plum Creek, some 11 miles in between. By horse that would take 2-3 hours, maybe less if the horse is racing and depending on the terrain. It wasn’t a short distance in those day in other words.

What was Goodenough doing in Plum Creek, after dark, 11 miles from his wife and child? With another man. Pounding on August’s door, or trying to get in.

Robbery? Revenge? Was he drunk?

Here are the facts: August was the paymaster at the mill in Plum Creek. Goodenough lived in the same area as August’s inlaws. Goodenough comes from a family of thieves. The second man who with him has never been identified, never came forward as a witness.

I have my own theory(s) which I will be exploring in further posts.

We have some more digging to do!

In my next post we’ll be looking at the Prosecuting attorney in this case!

Get your shovels ready guys!

Beth 🙂

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Ch-Ch-Changes!!!

Hi everyone! I’m excited to announce some changes to this blog and my writing “plan”. I’ve been writing under the pen name Brigid McMahon for a while now. I like Brigid, she’s cool and I plan to keep her. I also plan to add some other names I’ll be writing under. I write in many different genre’s because that’s just how my mind works and my husband would like me to keep my writing separate from our family/personal life. And like it or not, my writing is my business, so I really want to keep things under one cohesive heading to make things a little easier for myself.

So from now on, on this blog, on Facebook, Twitter, etc., you will see me under my real name, Elizabeth Fairweather (Author). Better known as just Beth! That’s the name I’ll be using to communicate, promote, etc., because, that’s who I am! And I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and what I will accomplish in the future. But my books will be published under these different pen names, which I’ve outlined below. Some books might not appeal to everyone, some will only appeal to a certain sector, and that’s fine. Pick your favorite author, or pick them all, whatever you like!

Brigid McMahon – The revised Whisper of the Rose and it’s series. Brigid writes fun stuff, historical stuff, and sometimes edgy stuff. For instance, the upcoming Twelve Weeks in Teeterville is pretty edgy, but it’s still Brigid!

Lindsay Regan – My romance novels for the most part will be written under this pen name. This is the more steamy stuff so if that is not your cup of tea, you might want to give Lindsay Regan books a miss!

E.F. Rice – This guy (or girl??) writes the scary stuff. It’s horror, it’s paranormal, it’s weird, it’s intense and it might be edgy. Only the brave will want to read E.F.!

And I’ve decided my upcoming book, Docia’s Diary, will be written under my own name, as will any other “prairie” titles that I write (and yes, I have some planned!).

The domain name will take 72 hours to change so if you are still seeing “Brigid McMahon” don’t worry, it will change soon.

Thank you for your continued support!

Beth 🙂

Important Announcement!

I just discovered that some of the information I relied on for research while writing my book Docia’s Diary is false! Because I want to publish the best book possible I have made the difficult decision to un-publish the ebook and to halt publication of the paperback until this can be rectified.

I am working with an amazing Ingalls family researcher, John Bass. John has the best records of accurate information in this field and has spent over 30 years collecting, researching and sharing his amazing work. I am so grateful to be working with John in this endeavor. Thank you John!!!!

Please keep following this blog for updates, I promise the book will get done and out there eventually!

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Brigid 🙂

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Publishing Can Be a Drag

I’ve just been feeling “off” lately. Life is busy and it’s sad right now and fraught with lots of bad news and crappy vibes and people doing horrible things. And that is definitely part of it. But that’s not what’s really had me down.

Lately I’ve had to do my “chores”. My Publishing chores. If you’re a self published writer, then you know all about these “chores”. This is the stuff you gotta do, the business stuff, the letters and the queries and the promoting of your work. And I’m not gonna lie. It’s a drag.

I’m not a business person, not one bit. I don’t enjoy this part but I know it comes hand in hand with self publishing. I’d rather be writing. That’s the reason for my current funk. I’ve spent very little time writing and a whole lot of time promoting my book “Docia’s Diary”. I want it to get seen and read and shared, so I have to do these little things that traditionally published authors take for granted. There is no team editing my books or proof reading or playing around with layouts. There is no media department writing press releases and a sales department getting book sellers to stock my books. That’s all me. And I pretty much suck at it but I do the best I can.

Today I’d finally had enough of the business side of things and I WROTE. I finished a manuscript I’ve been struggling with for months and I felt so GOOD! Like a jolt of creative electricity had shot right through my heart and my mind. I realized THIS is what’s important. The writing. All that other stuff can get done or not done, whatever. But the writing, for me, HAS to happen. Whether it gets published or not, read by many or read by only me, it must happen. Because I could no longer stop writing than I could stop breathing.

So thank you, my creative subconscious, for reminding this girl why she still exists in this crazy world and just what her purpose is. I’ll try not to forget it!

Re-opening Schools Is A BAD Idea

When this craziness with Covid-19 first started and I learned I would be homeschooling my ten year old twins I will admit, I went a little crazy. I don’t understand their stupid math. It makes no sense, no matter how many times teachers tell you it does, it does not. Not to us who learned the “old fashioned” way. But it turned out not to be that big of a deal. Most of what they do is online and the teacher is able to check it from her end and then we do some independent reading and take nature walks and make crafts. I now kind of enjoy it to be honest, and so do they.

This isn’t my first homeschool rodeo. When our oldest daughter was a Freshman in high school she had a breakdown. My over achiever burnt herself out and one day the girl just walked out of school, into town and called me to pick her up from a cafe. She told me, “I just can’t do it, Mom.” And that was that. What choice did we have? Make her go to school and possibly find her dead from an overdose? No thank you! So we made the choice to homeschool her that year. I found an online program that had low monthly payments and everything she needed from online teachers. We used Khan Academy to help with the math because she only knew how to do the “new” math and the homeschool program taught the old stuff. She loved it! She zipped through her freshman year and part of her sophomore year with plans to graduate early.

She ended up deciding to go back to school because she missed her friends and wanted to graduate in 2020 with her class. (Little did we know how that would pan out!) And when she returned she did so with straight A’s, 4.0 GPA (higher actually) and graduated tenth in her class. Homeschool did not harm this child one bit. Instead, it gave her a huge advantage she would not have had otherwise.

More importantly, it kept my kid alive and for that I am eternally grateful.

So when the CDC released their guidelines for returning to school in the Fall I flipped my lid. Number one, I think it’s a mistake to go back before this thing is completely under control without the need to wear masks. My children cannot wear a mask for very long, if at all. My son has breathing issues and severe anxiety, my daughter has sensory processing disorder. I can hardly get her to wear clothes let alone a mask!

But still, the government and schools are pushing to reopen. Why? Well in a nutshell – money. Yep. I am convinced it comes down to the dollars. Teachers want to go back to work, even though the majority are still being paid their normal salaries to work from home. Parents want to go back to work to support their families, and many use schools as babysitting services. So I get that, people want to work, people need child care. And I also understand some parents are perfectly willing to send their kids back to school wearing a mask, gloves, Hasnat suit if necessary. These are the parents who will do whatever their school says because they have “SCHOOL SPIRIT!”

I find the school spirit parents the most disturbing. These are the ones on the PTA, the sports parents, the cheerleaders, the ones who are always shouting “I stand behind my school!” Well guess what? I stand behind my children. I will do whatever I need to do to keep them safe and comfortable and if that means homeschooling till this is over, then so be it.

People will argue that our children need socialization. Well how much socialization are they going to get in school when they have to remain six feet apart, in a mask, are not allowed to share toys, books, and can’t have recess, gym, etc? Not much! Here at home they’ll have each other and me and their sister and dad, pets. Plus I plan to take them for walks and they’ll see people then. Not the same as real socialization, but better than nothing.

Reopening the schools in the fall, not only in my opinion, but based on models from health officials, will do this: START THE WHOLE DAMN THING OVER AGAIN! You send the kids to school in their little masks, you tell them to stay away from each other and wash their hands, etc. And you know what is going to happen? They aren’t going to listen. Because they are freaking kids. You are not going to be able to keep eyes on them at all times. You going to follow them into the bathroom? Those masks are going to come off, there will be huddling to whisper so they don’t get caught, laughing, talking, sneezing, coughing, nose picking, touching of faces.

And those miracle masks everyone loves? Well, once the little ones sneak them off then put them back on, they are now chock full of germs, right up against your kids mouth and nose, going right into their systems. Then they will bring those germs home to you, but not before sharing them with all their friends.

That’s the reality of what is going to happen if you re-open schools. People are going to get sick again, your child is going to get sick and they are going to spread that sickness to vulnerable people who are going to die. Plus we will still don’t know just how this effects children. I’m not willing to let my child be used as a guinea pig while they sort this shit out.

I know there are some people who simply cannot continue to homeschool because of their situations. I wish everyone had the option to keep their kids at home. But unfortunately the government has been and always will be pro public school no matter what evidence there is to back up the benefits of homeschool.

If schools insist on reopening, then at least give parents an option of whether to continue at home or go back to face to face learning with the teacher. I can do it on my own but it would be easier for my children to be able to remain with their class until they are able to go back to school normally and safely.

I sincerely hope all schools will consider this option. Parents have a right to keep their children safe and no child should be used as a pawn for our ridiculous government.