Ghosts of the Frontier (Much Better Title)

Josie is embattled. She’s fighting the notion that she needs house to have a home. Every fiber of  Josie wants home for her children to be with her in the Chateau. But in reality, Josie is afraid she has become a quitter, by taking her children to Alaska. She tangos with the idea when saying, “After her parents and their atomization, she had always identified with the stayers, the homesteaders. But she knew no one who stayed anywhere. Even in Panama, most of the locals she met would just as soon live somewhere else, and most of them asked her casually or directly about getting visas to come to the U.S. So who stayed? Were you crazy to stay anywhere? The stayers were either of the salt of the earth, the reason there are families and communities and continuity of culture and country, or they were plain idiots. We change! We change! And virtue is not only for the changeless. You can change your mind, or your setting, and still possess integrity. You can move away without becoming a quitter, a ghost (154).” This choice of words isn’t by coincidence. But that comes later. Josie wants to believe the Chateau can be home for Paul and Ana because she actively takes part in their lives. She’s a caring, loving parent. So going rogue with her kids is acceptable. Carl went ghost several months prior to Josie’s excursion. He scored a new job in Florida with a sweet new visor. “A few months after their split he’d gotten a job in Florida and was gone. His employment out of state, it seemed, gave him license to become a ghost (175).”  The difference between the two is that Carl ran away from his kids. He wasn’t involved with his children and partaking in Josie’s idea of home. The other main talking point between these two is “integrity”. Carl abandons home completely and therefore has no integrity and no virtue. Josie simply needed a breathe of fresh air and new life in her. Home had lost its meaning so she set out to reinvent it by going to Alaska. It is here Josie hopes to find some “salt of the earth” individuals with bountiful homes and cultures to share with her children. Alaska would align her family the right way.

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12 comments

  1. Home is...KABOOM! · March 28

    I completely agree that Carl was unfit to be a father but do you believe that Josie is a fit mother? “She’s a caring, loving parent.” I would love to know in what way you see her as caring and loving?

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  3. Great writing, you were on point but just to clarify what you meant by “Josie simply needed a breathe of fresh air and new life in her. Home had lost its meaning so she set out to reinvent it by going to Alaska.” Did home lose its meaning because of Carl or is it because of her inability to live in a solid home back in Ohio?

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  5. aplacetocallhome2017 · March 28

    Excellent point, Josie’s main reason for going to Alaska was primarily to start anew by leaving all her struggles behind. However, do you think that Josie is correct in leaving to a isolated, barren place that Alaska is?

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  6. jasoncostablog · March 29

    Did Josie lose her sense of home or did she not have one o begin with? She never really seems happy in any place so is it Carl and the others or her?

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  9. homesweethome17blog · March 31

    Great job. You seem to have a very positive outlook on Josie. What do you think makes Josie a good mother? Do you think she wants what is best for her children, or what is best for herself?

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  11. brieswonderland · March 31

    This was well written and you made some very good points about Carl being unfit and Josie wanting to reinvent home by going to Alaska. But what was Josie’s original idea of home that Carl did not partake in?

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