birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


When she moved to town, Fargo, from Hastings, North Dakota, she started working at the nursing home. She walked to and from work, and traveled by train once a year to visit us in St. Paul. On Mondays she hung out laundry, and on Fridays she baked buns. Plump, white flour buns, that we slathered with butter and strawberry jam. She wore her Sunday outfit, a blue wool suit with matching hat, for train travel, services at the Lutheran church, weddings and funerals, including her own.

She died of a broken heart two years before her death…mourning the loss of her youngest child, only son, hotshot lawyer, Navy captain, gambler, drinker, womanizer.

Norwegian. Sturdy, straight and strong. Eat less red meat, never smoke cigarettes, never gamble or play cards, never drink black coffee or alcohol. Prayer changes things.



My Mormor