Pittsburgh born and bred journalist Jim O'Brien likes to write about his family, particularly the women in his family. This book is a collection of stories he has written about his mother, his mother-in-law, his wife and their daughters, their granddaughter and a beloved dog. So these are stories about Mary O'Brien, Barbara Churchman, Kathie O'Brien and daughters, Sarah and Rebecca, granddaughter Margaret, or Maggie, and a grandpuppy named Bailey.
These are portraits of a Pittsburgh family, but you will find familiar themes and events in their lives that relate to your family and your own experiences. It's about births and deaths, triumphs and disappointments, schooldays, graduations, weddings, reunions, the challenges posed by teenagers and elderly parents. There are smiles and tears.
Jim is a people watcher, and a bit of a snoop who has often been scolded by his wife and children for eavesdropping on conversations at nearby tables in restaurants. He examines every day situations, the simplest stuff, seeking to discover how to raise children, how to keep a wife happy, how to be a good son and how to look after and, eventually, say goodbye to loved ones.
These pieces, written in a weekly column for 14 years in The Almanac and The Valley Mirror, are personal observations and reflections on a common experience. Hopefully, as you read them, you might reflect as well and say, "I can relate to that."