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Shirl the Pearl

(by Kara Fox)

The idea was movie-perfect: a Thanksgiving celebration and family getaway at a remote log cabin in Montana, surrounded by a thick forest. The enthusiastic cast included my (then) husband, our children, their spouses, grandchildren, nephew, mother, father, stepfather, (yes, all good friends), brother, and his girlfriend (a stunning Swedish James Bond film actress).

(top row: daughter-in-law Brooke and me; bottom row: Shirl and daughter Jenifer)

I was at the end of my master’s program. A paper on statistics was due the day after we returned home. For me, statistics is like Swahili. I just don’t get it. Staying home and getting help would have been smart, but missing