A Grafted Tree
A memoir of adoption, disability, identity, and family.

It's been a journey, but my memoir, A Grafted Tree, has finally been published!

We all have our stories to tell, and I knew my daughter Melissa could not fully tell hers’, so I set about to write a story about this remarkable person. But an interesting thing happened on the way to the editors, yes, it’s a story about Melissa, but I realized it was much, much, more...
Kathleen Tumminello

Kathleen lives by the motto: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Traveling the world with her husband, making impromptu itineraries, and seeking new experiences energizes her.

Kathleen is a retired nurse, who has capped a successful career in Occupational Health Nursing with a global Environmental, Health, and Safety award from 3M Corporation. In her spare time, she’s a creative quilt maker, crafting each quilt with a family member or friend in mind. Writing has now become her new adventure. Join her as she leaves her comfort zone.

Stories and musings

Smiley’s Fedora

She should have known when she saw the fedora balanced on the edge of the open casket. She didn’t want to be there. Not because she didn’t like wakes or funerals—who does? But because she never liked the guy—the one in the coffin—her father-in-law.  Oh, I guess you could say he was an okay guy. I mean, he provided for his family, and he

Read More »

Why the Chickens Crossed the Road

The two fools were at it again. This time in Portugal, April 1992.   Many years ago, the two fools were on  a two-week car trip through Portugal. They had left the walled city of Óbidos and were heading north toward Coimbra and Aveiro. They had no reservations, save the plane tickets to and from Lisbon, and an off-the-beaten-path guidebook of itineraries with directions

Read More »

“For God’s Sake Millie, Don’t Hang Up”

Ahh! The good old days! Now all you Gen X, Y, and Z’ers, you may find this tale a bit hard to believe, but it’s no fairy tale, it all really happened. Once upon a time, many years ago, there were two fools. They were nice fools but clearly didn’t understand the concept of a “get-away” vacation. One cold and snowy winter they decided

Read More »

To Sissy

I looked for you the other night; I thought for sure you’d come.I had a conversation with you, but, alas it was with one. K.A.T. Do you remember when you’d take me downtown and your friends would stop to say, “Is this your baby sister?”  and I’d look up and see you smile? And do you remember crawling out our bedroom window to sunbathe

Read More »

Something Strange Happened the Other Night

I got an unexpected call the other night. My nephew, who lives in Colorado, wanted me to know about arrangements to have my sister’s ashes spread in a spot she loved in Colorado. She was my only sister. Obviously, I must have had her on my mind, because I woke up at 3:21 am the next morning with two sentences I could hear myself

Read More »

The Fairy Tale and My Maltese Cross

A memoir of an alumna of the class of ’65 I rubbed my thumb over the inscription. There it was: my maiden name in the center of a delicate gold Maltese cross; a graduation bestowal for every graduate of an Academy of Notre Dame in the world, we were told. I had packed it away many decades ago. I was six years old when

Read More »