ruthpennebaker

I've been a writer for more than 30 years, publishing newspaper and magazine articles and three young-adult novels.  In the fall of 2007, I began a blog called the Fabulous Geezersisters, which is at http://www.geezersisters.com/. I write about aging, life, politics, families and anything else that occurs to me.  In other words, I don't have a niche.

More bio details?  I'm 60, have been married 37 years to a man I still have fun with, and am the mother of two "emerging adult" children (just read that description of under-30s) who are 28 and 24.  I'm also a 15-year breast cancer survivor.  My novel, WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKTHROUGH, which is about three generations of women living under one roof, will be published in January 2011 by Berkley.  I also write the Urban Cowgirl column for Texas Observer (http://www.texasobserver.org/).

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Genetic Testing for Different Reasons Than You'd Think

Years ago, a woman with a bad personality told me she hadn’t enjoyed walking through the halls at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. “It was so depressing,” she said.  “All those cancer patients!  They look so awful — pale, exhausted, bald.  I couldn’t wait to get out.” Now, here was a dilemma.  I could either take the high road, I figured, or be a bitch. Talk about an easy choice.  “I guess you didn’t realize,” I said, “that I’m a cancer survivor, too.”...more

I think it's important to keep a little magic in your pocket. Whether it works or not we'll ...more

Taking the Cake

Like every female who grew up in the South in the fifties and sixties, I knew how I was supposed to act.  I was supposed to be agreeable and deferential.  I was supposed to “draw out” other people and ask about their lives.  I needed to be tactful, above all else. But then the women’s movement and the seventies arrived, and (TO CONTINUE, GO TO: http://www.geezersisters.com/ ...more

Passing on the Passport Photo

For the past couple of years, I’ve stared at my passport photo and wondered who that person was.  Her hair was short and a different, darker color.  She looked younger.  Sometimes, the security guards at the airport would stare at the photo, then at me, then back. That all stopped when my passport expired.  I’d need to apply for a new passport and get a new photo, even if I wasn’t going to be moving to Canada like most of my liberal friends if the election(TO CONTINUE, GO TO: http://www.geezersisters.com/ ...more

Moving to Canada?

“I’m moving to Canada,” the woman behind the counter told me.  “Getting married and moving to Canada.  We’ll be outside Toronto.” She works at the takeout place, Food, Food, where I spend half my life hanging around, since I hate to cook, but love to eat.  I’m the kind of horrible cook whose family and friends beg her (TO CONINUE, GO TO: http://www.geezersisters.com/ ...more

In the Blink of an Eye

The longer I listen to the McCain-Palin henchmen complaining about “gotcha” journalism, the more I realize there are two kinds of people in the world.  And no, I don’t mean Democrats and Republicans. I mean there are people who fail and automatically blame themselves.  And people who fail and automatically blame (TO CONTINUE, GO TO: http://www.geezersisters.com/ ...more

Yoga and Guns and Unsolicited Advice

“You should get a gun,” I said.  “You should get a gun and take shooting lessons so you’re really, really good at it.” Where was I?  Not at a shooting range, that’s for sure.  No, I was waiting for my yoga class to begin.  I was talking to the young woman next to me, whom I’d never seen before. She’d told me she and her new husband lived out in the country.  That’s when the alarm bells went off. ...more

A Day in the Life of a Neurotic

This is a really, really bad time to be a neurotic. I skid from the Internet to the TV and back.  No bailout!  We’re doomed!  The market is crashing! ...more

Taking Care of the Greatest Generation

“You should be making more money on your father’s account,” the nice man at the bank told me three weeks ago.  “The CD isn’t paying much interest — about 1 percent or so.” The CD contained half of my father’s assets.  The nice man at the bank — with his firm handshake and straightforward gaze – was right.  I needed to make more income off Daddy’s money to make sure there was enough for his monthly expenses at a nearby facility.  So we talked. ...more