Welcome to The Jennifer Chronicles
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Generation X.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a quintessential Gen X mom! Welcome to my website, The Jennifer Chronicles, a blog and memoir about childhood, faith, family, and motherhood; an archive for a lost and forgotten generation. Posts are written with hope and love for all generations, but especially mine, Gen-X. Here’s what you get when you follow this blog:
- Gen X News and Commentaries
- Gen X Memoirs & the Daily Photo
- Vintage Photos: 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s
- Amazing Facebook community! Fun, Interesting, Politics-free!
- Funny Memes
- Field Notes from Life as Mother and Nana in the Heartland
- Original Photography
- Book Reviews
- Post about Generation Z
- Posts on Faith, Religion, and Liturgical Living
By the way, my name is Jennifer. My professional career is in public affairs, public involvement, public information, and public relations. I am also a blessed wife, mother, nana, and Catholic convert in the Heartland. I was born in East Los Angeles and grew up as a preacher’s kid in parsonages across Rural Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas. I lived in 16 different houses in 10 different towns across six different states between 1974 and 1985! Liturgical living is an important part of my life, and I love to share my faith, which I do frequently on Instagram.
I hope you stay.
Thank you so much for stopping by. Please have a look around. I hope you stay, but if you never make it back here again remember this one thing: God, our Father, knows your name.
Gen X Mom, Home in the Heartland
I live in an airplane prairie bungalow in an old neighborhood in Oklahoma City. Here is where my cup runneth over; where all my dreams of having my own family come true — one day at a time. I’m very blessed. The rural and urban landscapes that surround me form the backdrop of my life. I photograph and write about my journey, literal and spiritual, from the perspective of Gen-Xer in the 21st Century.
This is my life unfolding here on the Southern Great Plains. If you were here with me right now, we could take a walk together underneath the century-old trees that form canopies over the streets I call home. I would make you a cup of coffee or maybe some tea. We’d talk about our kids and dreams. Hopes and fears. All the places we’ve been and the places we hope we’re going. And, I’d pray for you. We’d pray for each other.
What Else Will You Find Here?
In contrast to obscene click-bait and paid posts that have invaded the Blogosphere, this blog remains an uncommon collection of commentaries and memoirs, archives and stories.
There are also a lot of pretty pictures to see.
I collect old snapshots, faded photographs, and 35 mm slides, which I love to share with readers. Although I have relatively few pictures from my youth and childhood, I’m always looking to find myself — or at least my experiences — in other peoples’ photos. I cherish high-quality images of Generation X. For me, there will never be enough, for they exquisitely tell the story of our days and times. They contribute to this archive, which now represents about a decade of my life’s work.
The Journey of Generation X
This blog is devoted to understanding and explaining the journey of Generation X, the 13th generation of Americans born between 1961 and 1981. I started writing about Generation X as a way to bear witness to my own life experiences. My latchkey days. My teenage wasteland. So they would no longer have power over me, I needed to write about the things I survived in my childhood and youth. Shining a light on the dark shadows I pedaled through on my little banana seat bike on my way to the big rocket slide has helped me cope and make many meaningful connections.
By the way, the slide was red, white, and blue. I couldn’t pedal toward it fast enough. And, I was just one in millions in a generation full of under-protected children.
The celebrated writer and historian Neil Howe said that Generation X grew up during the most anti-child phase in modern history. Later, Tammy Erickson, author of What Next Gen X?, wrote that Gen-Xers were the world’s most devoted parents. I feel I owe them both a debt of gratitude.
I hope my beloved children can forgive me for my devotion. For the latchkey years that produced these helicopter days. I’ve wanted only to preserve their innocence. That precious-glorious time in life known as childhood — when the damp forest floor of life is not lit by fear, but by fairies with gossamer wings.
So, I found my voice in writing about Generation X. Not as a celebrated historian, but as someone who lived through it.
Growing Up Gen-X
I was born in East Los Angeles in the late 1960s. This makes me a first-wave member of Generation X. (The years are 1961 to 1981.) I am the youngest of four kids. Like most Gen-Xers, I was a latchkey kid throughout most of my childhood and youth. I grew up wearing hand-me-downs, watching lots of television, and worrying about going to war with Russia. I ate a lot of cold cereal, which I loved! Cap’n Crunch and Frankenberry were the perfect companions to my Scooby-Doo, Isis, and Brady Bunch. As I grew older, I watched different shows and worried about different things, but I still ate the same cereal.
Growing Up With Terrorism
In my twenties, I worried about whether or not I’d be able to find a job with my expensive college degree. Reality Bites was an authentic narrative for many Gen-Xers. Well before terrorists blew up that plane over Lockerbie in 1988 (it killed 35 Gen X college students from Syracuse), I worried a lot about terrorism. Then, in 1995, it happened where I live in Oklahoma City. I lost a college classmate in that bombing. I have worried about terrorism my entire life. Things have only gotten worse.
My Years in Rural America
In 1974, my parents left Los Angeles and began a journey eastward. At least half my childhood was spent growing up in parsonages in rural towns across the Plains. I had a lot of fun in those small towns where I went to a lot of carnivals and county fairs and spent time on the farms of friends. But, I never forgot Huntington Beach and Pudding Stone; the orange groves, Kiddie Land, Bixby Elementary and so many other things about my early childhood in Southern California.
High School, College, Gen-Xers
I graduated from high school in 1985. There were 51 Gen-Xers in my graduating class. I went on to attend college where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in communication and political science. College was a wonderful time in my life. I treasure those years and all my memories and friends. After college, I went to work in public affairs at a large military base. It was great preparation for my career in public relations. Along the way, I did a lot of graduate work in history, geography, English, and communications.
Marriage and Family
I was married for the first time in 1991. In the fall of 1997, I gave birth to my first child, a daughter. I named her Juliette. That was the happiest day of my life. Despite all my dreams, in January 1999 I became a single mom. That was a really tough time in my life. Divorce is an experience that never leaves you and it changed me. I hope someday I can write about those events.
Even though my years as a single mom were difficult, I have a lot of great memories of that time. It was just Juliette and me for four years. We visited a lot of places and did a lot of fun things. In 2002, I met Robert at an art opening. We were married exactly one year later. Juliette was my flower girl. She was five. In 2005, my son Sullivan was born, and less than two years after that, Bridgette came along to complete our family. I am very blessed! Motherhood is the greatest adventure of my life.
Chloe Koffas – Contributor
Chloe Koffas, the writer and blogger at Light From A Pixel, contributes posts from time to time. Born in 1975, she’s a mid-to-late wave Xer. Check out Chloe’s profile. She’s a great writer and I’m so grateful for her contributions and perspective.
If you are interested in guest-posting on this blog, please feel free to contact me using this submission form. On rare occasions, I accept sponsored posts. The cost is $60 per post, which includes a do-follow link.
Connect With Me
Finally, I invite you to join the Facebook page. I try to post once a day and respond to comments as I have time. There are nearly 10,000 members, and I appreciate and pray for each and every one. Even if I don’t know everyone’s name, God, our Father, does.
Thank you, again, for stopping by!