Mother Lode and Friendship

We rise by lifting others *

I want to share a few things today about a book I have been fortunate enough to read ahead of its October 18th release date. A friend of mine wrote it and I am hoping to get the word out for a lot of different reasons. 

The first reason is that Mother Lode: Confessions of a Reluctant Caregiver is a really good book. It chronicles Gretchen’s journey as she returned home, after decades away, to care for her Mother in the December of her life. They say you can’t go home again, but sometimes there is no other choice. We go where our hearts take us, when and where the need is greatest. Reluctant or not. Easy or not. Ideal or not. 

One in five of us are family caregivers. That is a staggering number. We find ourselves in complex storylines and complicated relationships, but we do what is in front of us to do. Gretchen’s story is a beautifully written narrative of what that looked like for her. It has everything:  bits of her own story, history of the family and home she returned to, and an honest collection of anecdotes describing what it was like in those years and how it felt to be both daughter and care partner. 

It is raw and honest. This story isn’t so much about cheerleading as it is about awkward truths, healed wounds and touching moments. It’s the real deal. Gretchen wrote the story she needed to hear. And what a gift for the rest of us. Part cautionary tale and part love story, I laughed and cried, often in the same paragraph. I was moved by how beautiful the writing was. I think you will be too. 

I am helping spread the word, too, because I believe this is a story that will help others. I also believe very much in my friend, Gretchen. I am sharing because it is what we do for people who matter to us. We support each other and champion each other’s success in the world. We lift each other up. 

Here are some cool extras: 

I’d never heard of a book trailer, but this one is whimsical and beautifully illustrated. It’s a fun little digital romp created in partnership with Gretchen’s daughter and daughter-in-love. You can watch this little bit of magic here

Mother Lode trailer

You can pre-order the book wherever books are sold:, Barnes & Noble, and others online or ask about it at your local bookseller. You can also request that your local library order copies ( leave me a comment here if you’d like to learn more about how to engage with your local library). 

There are some “goodies” for those who pre-order. A drawing for a hand-knit throw, an e-book copy of another book Gretchen wrote about the garden (it’s fabulous too) and an invitation to a Zoom book launch hosted by Gretchen herself. 

There is currently a chance to win a free copy of this book! Sign up at to enter a giveaway. Search for giveaways and scroll until you find the graphic for Mother Lode (Gretchen Staebler)  or follow the link below. And you can add it to your wishlist there too! 

Mother Lode Giveaway

The most important thing as an author is getting your book in the hands of readers. It’s a labor of love. If you are considering this for yourself or for a friend, you can learn more about the book on It was created as a place of support, encouragement and information. I hope you will explore it fully at your leisure and discover a portal to this lovely refuge. And as bonus, if you sign up for her once a month newsletter, you can download the first two chapters for free, now!

Thanks for reading and for helping me help a friend. It is my hope that you will share this post far and wide. Caregiving is something that will touch most all of us. Maybe you know someone who could use it right now. Whether you have done it in the past, are doing it right now or see it up ahead, you can find support in the company of others. If you have a mother, these stories may ring true. It’s one of our dearest and most complicated relationships. 

Gretchen Staebler

15 Comments on “Mother Lode and Friendship

  1. I’m visiting/checking in on my 88 yr old dad, a very timely post. The trailer made me misty eyed (kudos to the illustrator).

    • Agreed, she is super talented. I’ve been enjoying the photos from your trip. Your Dad looks happy … and you, too!

  2. Thank you for sharing Bonnie! I just placed my order on

    • Thanks so much, Shawna. I think you’ll love the beautiful writing and I hope the website can be a good resource too. Such a time for us all. So glad you’re here.

  3. Thank you!! I asked the King County libe to order the ebook. I will forward your fine post to friends who are in the midst of caregiving—and will read. Sounds wonderful-for any stage of life! Big thanks!

    • Thank you, Bailey! When I heard the statistic that 1 in 5 of us are family caregivers, it really hit home. While Gretchen’s book is a personal story, her website is designed to help all of us. Thanks for being here.

  4. Gonna add “publicist” to your long list of talents, Bon! Bravo! Perfectly encapsulates all the reasons everyone should read Gretchen’s tour du force!

  5. So amazing, Bonnie Rae. Thank you, for this, but especially for being such an amaZing friend. 💜 (P.S. dear readers, Bonnie Rae did my author photoshoot. The photos are fabulous!)

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