Friday, February 20, 2009


~FOO is an acronym used in the healing professions for the often used phrase 'Family of origin'.

Here is my FOO. These are my parents. The photos were taken in the springtime of their lives, over 60 years ago.

From my FOO I learned many things - not least of which was how to 'be a good girl' according to the standards of 1950's protestant ethics and mores.

I would love to be able to say that I learned a love of words and writing through my FOO, and maybe that passion has flowed on down from my grandmother (see My Grandmother post of Feb 2nd), through my father who, in his retirement, has derived great pleasure from penning his salty adventures. He ran away to sea at the age of sixteen and joined the American Merchant Navy - but that is another story.

Unfortunately the reality was that there were few books in my home - a couple of volumes of the 'Bobsy Twins' and a few other pieces of fiction with strong moral proclivities that I had won in Sunday School, and a copy of 'Robin Hood' that was presented to me one year at the Christmas party given by my father's firm. The gift purchasers must have been confused as to the gender of my name.
So when I think, without being too philosophical and long winded, of three things that I have learned from my FOO I have come up with this:

From my FOO I have learned:

  1. The importance of family
  2. That your values give you steering and direction
  3. And that hard work has many rewards.

What three things did you learn from your FOO?

* 'The Good Little Girl' comes from the delightful collection of A.A.Milne poems.
I superimposed a masking tape transfer of a photo of me as a child over the original image on the 'Good Little Girl' page.



  1. The 3 things I learned from my FOO:
    Things are not always what they seem.
    Extended family is of real value.
    You can be anything you want to be.

  2. Lizzy:
    Hello this morning to you. These are good lessons from your family. I love the last one. Perhaps that's one of the best pieces of advice we can give our kids when they are little.

  3. I unfortunately learned from my FOO that
    1. I shouldn't take up much space.
    2. Girls shouldn't be too outspoken or obviously smart or people wouldn't like them.
    3. Nothing I did would ever be good enough.

    Those things took a lot of unlearning.

  4. Meri, that is very sad. You have had some tough work to do to surmount those pervasive negatives.
    I did get a little of the " why only 9/10 for maths and not 10", comments too. And that attitude toward girls was prevalent in the 60s when I was a teenager. I had to fight with my family to go to an academic girls' school instead of the local co-ed suburban high school.
    You are now a very smart talented girl doing wonderfully clever things. I am glad to know you.

  5. The three things I learned from my FOO

    1:Eat with your mouth closed
    2:Be quiet when people are asleep
    3:Be whatever you want to be as long as you are happy.

  6. Mona: I had to have a laugh at your comments. You reminded me of all those strict eating and manners rules that my family impressed on us. Also "stand up straight" , "finish your vegetables", "put your knife and fork at 12 o'clock when you are finished." and lots more. Thanks for jogging my memory.


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