"Out we go into the blistering morning mist," the words of Kathie's son on his first day of school, reminded her of how cautiously she faced going into the unknown. The death of her father when she was three shattered her sense of security. Even though her extended family provided the stability she needed for a happy childhood, this major loss continued to impact her in hidden ways. Her family's life centered around a small church college, part of a Mennonite community of the 1950s and 1960s. This setting provided a richly varied milieu that stimulated her inquiring mind. But like the mist that hovered in the valley where she lived, it also separated her from the larger world where she dreamed of living. Occasionally that bright outside broke through, tantalizing Kathie with its opportunities, but mostly she tried to mold herself into the person she thought she should be.
As Kathie moved into adulthood, she encountered opportunities to move into larger and more diverse spaces. This turned out to be more difficult than she had imagined. Her self-imposed limitations created greater barriers than any external ones. Breaking through these obstacles became the challenge of her life.