The Blistering Morning Mist: A Memoir

Welcome to my website!

I would like to introduce you to my memoir, The Blistering Morning Mist.

My family honed story-telling and letter-writing into a fine art and practiced them with intention. This propelled me into writing as well. In this memoir I pay tribute to my childhood, which was simple in many aspects but brimming with rich experience. In the second half of the book, I offer you, the reader, glimpses into my adult struggles and the internal processes that enabled me to discover the wealth bequeathed me by my early years.

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Front Cover

. . . and from the Back

“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 ’60s. 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.

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The Blistering Morning Mist: A Memoir can be purchased at these sites:

Wipf and Stock here

Barnes & Noble here

Amazon here

What Others Say

Time and place blur in this coming-home story. The heart-wrenching effects of a child’s buried grief intensify the sense of beauty and grace which grows out of Kathie’s search for “a more spacious world.” Hemmed in by the Mennonite community, the writer traces with startling honesty and humility the path which led to achievements far beyond her imagining.  A must read. 

Lee Snyder, President Emeritus, Bluffton University

Like the trees so beautifully described in this book, the author’s roots are deep in Mennonite soil from which her branches spread to faraway lands and unfamiliar cultures. The voice in this book is honest and luminous, lyrical, and spiritually profound. I was often moved by her journey from deep trauma to radiant joy, the joy of coming home to self. This is a marvelous memoir.

Shirley Hershey Showalter, author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets the Glittering World and (forthcoming) The Mindful Grandparent: The Art of Loving Our Children’s Children.

In lyrical and insightful prose, the author tells us the story of triumph after profound loss. Throughout her life’s journey, Kurtz shows true courage when she overcomes her struggle against timidity by following her inherent desire to realize her purpose and potential. She leaves us with the memory of an imaginative child who will not abandon the voice of her soul.

— Saloma Miller Furlong, author of Bonnet Strings: An Amish Woman’s Ties to Two Worlds

With a gift for pinpoint, precise detail, Kurtz textures the architectures of her many homes in Kentucky, Botswana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia as the eldest daughter after her father’s untimely young death—the defining feature of her life. She documents honestly her restless need to become unbound, writing movingly of the interior life, wrestling her anger and fear into fulfillment and belief in self.

— Rayleen Hinz-Penner, Lecturer emeritus, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas

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Kathie Kurtz is a retired pastoral counselor who lives with her husband in Harrisonburg, Virginia near where she grew up. In addition to writing she enjoys gardening, doing pottery, cooking and baking, reading, and spending time with her family including five grandchildren.

~ Author photo credit: Jennifer Murch