Marking time with important life events is as old as time as itself. There is the birth of your children, when you moved into your home, the death of a loved one and, of course, anniversaries, which grow more astounding as you grow older.
When getting ready for work or play, I occasionally enjoy listening to Pitbull’s Sirius XM station and jumping up, half-dressed, to dance in front of the mirror. This past Sunday morning, as I painted on my face, I tuned in and noticed the DJ kept asking callers if their family’s Easter celebration was more religious or social. Many listeners said both–and all followed up with praise and gratitude for their full family and life.
For many of us, this Christmas will be different. As I sit and think about my growing grandchildren, I reflect on Christmases past.
My parent’s generation thought of dogs as animals. In my generation, they were elevated to family pets. And now, in the homes of millennials, they are treated as children.
I love flower arranging, cooking, and being outdoors, but gardening is not my jam. The ground is just too far down there, and it wreaks havoc on my nails. But my son, Gray, loves the soil and the science of plants. He gardens without gloves!
Since mother’s passing in 2018, my sister and I haven’t seen each other much, though we keep vowing to make time to get together for lunch. There’s no particular reason for this sabbatical, just a lot of little ones. We live 45 minutes from each other, and after years of serious end-of-life communications about our mother, it’s felt good to have a reprieve from speaking. Then, the uncertainty of Covid-19 happened. And lastly, like many families, we are of opposing political views, so waiting to visit after the election seemed like a nice idea.
My parents could be labeled average people, they were steadfast citizens with a moral compass and an honest bias. Growing up, my siblings and I never encountered drinking problems, violence, or infidelity from within our family. I was lucky to have been born to them.
You know, mothers know everything. Early on, I knew -and my mother knew- my first born, cherub-like son was probably gay.
A month or so ago, I could tell Grady needed a vacation, so I planned what I thought would be an easy get away to the nearby Mountain Harbor Resort on Lake Ouachita. It’s a place full of memories for our family.
I know, I know, I know, enough about the new sober Grady. I promise I will stop sharing his good news soon, because later this month I have some exciting news to share with everyone. I can’t wait! Stay tuned.
About Grady, one more time:
For a man who reads but never posts on Facebook, I was curious (later shocked) when my husband kept asking me, on our anniversary day, “Have you seen Facebook today?”
What did you do on your birthday? I mean your *real* birthday; the day you were born. I imagine you popped out crying, then fell asleep, and suckled all the rest of the week.
Dogs are great but that doesn’t mean everyone should have one, especially young people whose lives are in flux.
That is why, when son Jack came home from a dog walk in the woods with friends and announced he was thinking of adopting a dog he just met, I was vehemently opposed.
My current Netflix binge-watch, with some never-seen-before footage, is Greatest Events of WWII. While I watched this mini-series, I thought of my dad; a young man who fought in this war and was shot down and lived 2 years in Stalag Luft III, a German prison camp.
My neighborhood is full of grown children that are home from college and elsewhere, sheltering in place and strolling in the sunshine with their parents. Who would have thought that in January, when I was renovating the carriage house in my backyard, that it would soon be occupied by son Jack, forced to move home from college because of a world-wide pandemic?
A couple of things: I have never used the word “devoid” so much in my life. The streets are devoid of cars, the buses are devoid of passengers, and churches devoid of parishioners. And another thing: I have not cooked this much since the kids started graduating from high school in 2006.
To bring a little levity to the workplace, everyone was given a yard stick to play with and carry around as a reminder to stay 6 feet apart. It’s been really fun! The yardsticks have become swords, light sabers, microphones, walking sticks and more. But social-distancing and remembering to stay 6 feet apart after-hours is not as easy.
About 4 years ago, I found myself running to the car in pursuit of a new life. I knew the next day was Easter 2016, but what I didn’t realize until later is that it was also a blood moon on the Hebrew calendar.
I’ve blogged about it before: anger is a secondary emotion. It comes after a vulnerable emotion like being tired, hurt, disappointed, or lonely. It’s a defense mechanism. And with this sequence of pain comes anger, then “the voice;” that internal negative repertoire in your head. For lack of a better description, I call this nagging voice “devils speak” because, if repeated over and over in your head, it will map a really nasty little neuron pattern in your brain. And if that ain’t some kind of devil, I don’t know what is.
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas gets hectic for us womenfolk and, sometimes, it can be hard to stop, smell the roses, and give thanks. I feel a duty to shop, cook, and clean – as if I held all the key to everyone’s happiness – all culminating into a 48-hour marathon. Don’t you wish that were true?
Last summer, Mrs. Elm got some bad news; she was diagnosed with incurable Dutch Elm disease. I was crushed at her prognosis and wrote about it in an earlier blog post. In that post, I professed that there are many unexplained miracles and cures that happen every day and, if there’s no scientific cure for Mrs. Elm, then it is time to move to plan B–a miracle. To enlist a miracle, you must have hope, faith, prayer, and ritual.
It is not easy to be the rule enforcer at home or at work. The answers of how, when, and what actions should be taken, will be lessened by following these simple and straightforward rules.
Turning 65 was, of course, no accident. I proudly earned every year. But to have it happen in Mexico City…
Everyone should write a blog. It jogs your memory of a learned experience and it is cathartic. We used to call it “keeping a diary.” As with many written journals it can be a private memoire, for your eyes only, or shared with only a few or with many. All choices are yours to make and can be modified at any time. It’s your blog!
Call me a tree-hugger, and you would be right. Last week I lopped off a branch from my 50-year-old elm tree and took it to the Pulaski County Cooperative Extension office. A few years back, I noticed spots on Ms. Elm’s leaves and wanted to find out how to treat it.