From It’s the Thought That Counts – the 15th anniversary collection. It features this comic strip and this commentary:
My dad’s other came to live with us when I was about ten. She had waist-length silver hair, which was always secured in a tightly braided bun.After washing it, she would stand on our back porch and brush it in the wind ‘til it was dry.For me, it was like watching Rapunzel. For just this instant, she wasn’t Grandma, but a storybook heroineHer hair was beautiful.My mother also let her hair grow down to her waist. It was thick golden brown. Like my grandmother, she always secured it tightly against her head, and she, too, went out onto the porch to let it dry.Ursula Ridgway was a strict disciplinarian. I guess she had to be!! So often we were at odds with one another…but out there, on the porch with her long hair billowing about her face, I could see the youth and the gentleness and the real spirit that was my mother.Later, when I was in my twenties, I let my hair grow down to my waist, and when I went out onto my balcony of my apartment to let it dry, I became one with these two women who were always a little distant, yet always so much a part of me.My mother cut her hair and kept her braid. So did I. She died in September 1989. Her hair is coiled neatly in a drawer and tied with a ribbon, next to mine.I took the braids out the other day and I plied them together. I thought how similar the colors were and I wished with all my heart that I could see her on that porch once again.