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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.

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.

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?

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.