There were many disadvantages to being brought up in a restrictive part of the country in the 40’s and 50’s, even if you were white and middle class. In my mother’s New England, in the broken land and stunning autumn months and soft spring times of my childhood, I was told, in words and gestures from both teachers and parents that I had only a limited role to fill in this world. In my privileged home, oldest of five children, it was assumed that marriage would define me and that it was indeed unseemly of me to want more. I was not denied the chance to explore the world around me, to go on those long hikes I have written about or swim in dangerous water. At the same time I was expected to settle down, and to content myself raising a large family. My mother did not work. I would not work.