Finding Treasures in Tattered Boxes

Warning – this is a personal post! Historical fiction will soon return.

Some of you may recall that my mother passed away in February. As you might imagine, I’ve spent hours and hours going through my mother’s things, most recently her boxes of mementos, photos, correspondence and letters – with three children and four men in her life, there were a lot of boxes!

This activity prompted my husband and I to do the long-promised purge of our own boxes – university yearbooks, slides from long-ago trips we took (no one takes slides any more!), theatre programs, family history charts, our children’s drawings and school projects, 25th anniversary cards and more. One item I discovered was a small collection of Sally Forth comic strips I’d clipped from the newspaper, no doubt because they spoke to me.

When I was working full-time and with two children to raise, life was more than chaotic. I had lists upon lists to keep myself organized and was desperate to make sure my children didn’t suffer because their mother wasn’t home full-time. To the rescue came a comic strip called Sally Forth – apparently it’s still going although with a different writer and a different cartoonist. Sally Forth also juggled work and children and the comic always made me laugh.

Some featured interactions with Sally’s daughter Hilary:

Others featured Sally’s unending quest to remain organized while attempting to do everything:

Still others featured the relationship she had with her husband Ted and how they shared responsibilities:

For those who aren’t familiar with Sally Forth, it was originally created by Greg Howard in 1982 and distributed by King Features Syndicate. I wonder if Greg took inspiration from his wife’s circumstances? Subsequently, Craig MacIntosh began doing the drawing. In 1999, Greg Howard turned the script over to Francesco Marcuiliano while in 2013 Jim Keefe took over from Craig MacIntosh. There’s a website too:

My stepfather always shared the ones he thought particularly relevant to my circumstances and one day presented me with four he’d stapled together featuring Sally being interviewed by her daughter for a report on careers. Needless to say, the interview doesn’t go as well as either mother or daughter hoped.

I loved the career I had – in technology and management consulting – and I loved being a wife and mother. Sally Forth and her bits of wisdom helped put everything in perspective.

PS – I realize that I’m using material that’s copyrighted – but I hope those who produced and continue to produce them will see this little post as free advertising instead.


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a dual timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s other novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website

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Meet M.K.Tod

Meet M.K.Tod

The historical fiction author behind A Writer of History...

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