It has to be a memoir. Who are these women and what happened to your kids after you went in?

Spring 2013: Sam's cognitive decline progresses slowly but steadily. Karen is not digging into friendships or dating, Nikki and Karen uncomfortable together, attempts end poorly.

Karen moves to So OR. Sam finds her a job at his PT. Karen finds apt and sets up a large desk, begins to unpack scraps of paper and folders of prison writing. Gathers pictures, certificates, letters from family/friends. Begins Guide book for women on their way to prison. Sam's former colleague, Michelle Smith, a technical writer become the first editor. She has a go at stacks of paper arranged in chapters such as jail, visits, fights, The Hole...She takes a class on getting published, meets primary editor, Kate Hopper, who calls the project a beautiful mess. “It has to be a memoir. Who are these women and what happened to your kids after you went in. You have to write yourself into the book.”

Karen and Sam take the trip, bucket list number one

Spring/Summer/Fall 2012: Karen and Sam take the trip, bucket list number one. Sam and Karen go from Charleston SC to Savannah Georgia and eat and explore the most hospitable people in the US. Karen witnesses Sam's early cognitive decline. Haley visits Karen. Reacquainting. The first of a series of Thanksgivings at Sam and Audrey's house.

Karen tells no one new about her past and begins years of self isolating behavior

Fall-Winter 2011: Everyday Karen rides the bus over the Burnside bridge, Portland's greatest concentration of homelessness and sees women on the street she knew in prison. Sees The Enforcer a woman who was dangerous looking lost and frail. Karen tells no one new about her past and begins years of self isolating behavior.

Karen and Dave Dahl speak at Living Yoga fund raiser. Without auction items raise 40,000 with cash donations. Karen spends time outside work meeting an occasional friend/family member. Self worth/doubt creating a hyperdrive to get established.  Nikki and Nate come to Karen's for Christmas. Quiet tension.

Re entry into Workforce and Life

Late June-August 2011: Karen moves into apartment in Portland.  Seeks employment as PTA. Is rehired by former company, begins orientation and discovers National human services will not rehire Karen with a felony. Volunteers for dress for success cutting hair. Volunteers for the Mercy Corps as advisor to healthcare  and LIFE program.

Finds PTA job. Owner of clinic listens to entire story and is moved, despite the fact that bookkeeper embezzled huge sums. Karen knew this woman at a distance at CCCF. Karen agrees to extensive background check and although not required by the court, volunteers for alcohol program. Graduates from program and begins work.

Nikki is in Portland. Karen learns many years later that Nikki had plan of connection and reuniting. Karen plows ahead reestablishing herself. Nikki is less connected to support than Haley. Both girls have a strong relationship with the boys they met in high school.

Karen attends Haley's Graduation from USC

Karen attends Haley's Graduation from USC, American Studies. Meet all the friends she has made in the last six years, including the same boyfriend she met in HS. Karen realizes Haley has a whole new world of friends and surrogate parents. Christine, Sam, Audrey are more acquainted with her life than Karen.

Release from Prison

April Fools Day, 2011

Up at dawn, dressed in Prison Blues for the last time. Escorted to processing area, issued bus pass and food stamp card for 50.00. Saving during prison on a cash card approx 300.00. Karen wears the color she arrived in: black, but with turquoise accents and a real brassiere. At the last minute, Red Beef pulls a prank on her, planting a tool/theft. Karen and Red Beef and one of the prison's strictest officers share a genuine laugh. Karen stands before the door and sees her family and friends milling about with staff, waiting for her. She steps forward.

Karen is greeted by her people and after all the planning and imagining of scene. Karen is in the car, Nikki on one side Haley on the other, Chris at the wheel, Sam shotgun. Gerry and the rest follow to a wonderful coffee shop and celebrate.

Karen goes to Parole office, returns home to Gerry's. The celebration continues with mangoes, avocados, Fresh Como loaf a real knife and real butter. Socks, carpet, and hugging on poofy couches went on for the rest of the day. That night after sleeping in a twin brick, Karen sleeps in the star position.

Preparing for release

Jan-March 31, 2011:  Karen prepares and works on task list for release. Family has sent in an outfit to wear home.

Family prepares for Karen to parole. Haley has graduated from college at USC, American Studies, early to attend.

Karen sends home basics of possessions worth keeping: religious material, a worn Thesaurus, writing folder. Gives away misc items, a rare break from the rules.

Karen moves “across the street” to Minimum

Fall 2008-2010: Karen moves “across the street” to Minimum. Enters dorm living, the hive. 2008 Barak Obama is elected President of the US. Racial intrigue/celebration.

Christine's husband dies unexpectedly. Karen works in maintenance dept, landscaping grounds and general maintenance. . Meets Red Beef, a staff  “teacher”. Nikki graduates from U of O, Creative Journalism. Haley continues to visit approx 3 times per year, Gerry if not every week, every other. Loretta, Robin, Jack, Nikki, Christine, Sam and Stepmother as often as time allows. Savings approx 200.00

Karen takes the LIFE class from Mercy Corps two sessions. Begins constructing blue print of release plan. Began drawing lessons with “teacher” Glory. Drew mural for Education Dept. Karen is allowed to drive golf cart to overcome fear and prepare for return to driving. Enrolls in Coffee Creek Quilting program, completes landscape fiber art quilt. Witnesses a fellow inmate's release from windows. Karen fears living outside without a secured place to live. Gerry offers Karen her spare bedroom in her home. Karen lived there before prison and now has a place to parole. It is the single most important part of a successful release plan. Savings approx 250.00

2006-2008 Classes, ceremonies, publishing Medium/Max security

Grief Recovery Workshop

MHCC independent writing course

PTA course PT for Canines (later in 2009 Spanish for PT's)

4 way test contest Rotary Club

Day in the Life KOIN news of female inmate.

Jukai ceremony Zen precepts

Newsletter publications: Dharma Rain Zen Center Stillpoint, Living Yoga

Write Around Portland Class, Published: Volume 5

Published: Voicecatcher, Volume 2, (followed by 4,5) Nikki performs reading at     Pour, Portland OR.

Capital School of Cosmetology: Cosmetology Licensure 2008 Graduation ceremony.

Karen moves into J Unit, the honor unit

Karen moves into J Unit, the honor unit. Meets Teachers Sinful, Angel and Blondie. Karen begins work for DMV answering phone calls. Phone call with Peter S. Participates in U of O film Behind These Walls, a documentary from Nikkis' School of Journalism exploring skill building enterprises of inmates. Karen begins to send small amt's of money to Nikki. Family and friends continue to visit.

Parenting Class, Karen adopts Tulip, the irregular stuffed animal. Nikki and Haley  come to “graduation” Tulip goes home with them free and becomes the stand in for Karen at holidays

Karen has gray hair. Karen has a mammogram and goes out of the prison and sees the world outside the fence lines. Savings approx 100.

Stepfather Marshall who is legally blind flies out alone and visits, somehow.