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Showing posts from December, 2012

Life is What Happens

Every year I make resolutions.Some folks think I am foolish for doing so, but it lets me feel as if I have some control if after all  “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” 
The year 2012 was full of sorrows. 
I lost a precious grandson, a toddler, and I lost my older brother. Several of my friends lost husbands, mothers, sisters, and sons – all just as precious to them. I do not know what we are to learn from this other than life is fragile and temporal. It reassured my belief that there has to be more than what we know of existence.   I broke my right foot in June.  Bummer. It took six weeks and not eight as the doctor predicted to recover, but it restricted my exercise routine for the next three months. My tootsie still tires easily but it doesn’t keep me from getting into trouble.   Then there was that “other” inconvenience when I discovered I had Type II Diabetes.  Rhubarb! (That’s my version of a cuss word.)  I‘ve learned to live with it. I take my meds and …

Yes, Virginia . . .

Yes, there is a Santa Claus.There, I’ve said it. He may not dress in a red suit and drive a sleigh driven by magical reindeer.  He may look more like Mommy and Daddy and drive an econo car, but he exists. “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.” The world out there is ugly and cruel, a nightmare where incomprehensible things happen in front of and to our babies, so why not allow them a joyful childhood within the safety of their homes, among the people who love and understand them the most? “There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.” How wonderful to listen to their giggles, or to watch their eyes when they open their presents or see the feast you set before them. We can argue religion or commercialism, but who ultimately teaches that to our children?  Who controls that within our homes?  My three grew up knowing that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, yet they wanted to pretend and enjoy the magic of …

The Ugly Christmas Sweater

I realize I have no one to blame but myself.  One look at my wardrobe as a career teacher and I realize I misrepresented myself. My real persona has a T-shirt and jeans, old rocker chick vibe, but that is not what I wore to work for thirty-odd years. I owned an extensive mix and match “uniform” of shirts and blouses, dresses, pants and skirts in the school colors.  Some of my tops were emblazoned with the school mascot across the chest, on the back, and sometimes both.  I was an Indian, a Falcon, a Wildcat, and a Rocket during the day, and a regular person at night and on weekends. My jewelry and accessories consisted of the same kind of stuff, plus I added “seasonal” pieces, like Christmas socks and special holiday shirts. I was easy to shop for, and over the years, students (and their parents) gave me dozens and dozens of earrings and pins that went with my teacher uniform.  I have almost every piece of jewelry that comes in the shape of an apple, a school mascot, or in the school c…

What is Family?

I’ve never been alone.  I am covered in family, an overabundance of sibs and assorted other relatives.  I even worked at a profession for thirty-something years that afforded me little privacy. I know, I am blessed, but . . . I envied the only child, the sequestered nun, Tom Hanks in that movie about the island and the basketball. For years I drove to and from work in absolute quiet, reveling in the brief solitude of my very own space, no one talking at me, breathing my air, or demanding conversation. Don’t get me wrong.  I love my family and my friends, but I also love being alone. When someone complains about being lonely, I offer them a few dozen of my relatives.  They thank me thinking that I jest, but I am dead serious. My family will cover the whiner with their effusive love and dizzying attention, and before long, the lonely soul will see my side of it (and long for silence and a space of their own). What defines family?  Do you have to live under the same roof?  Do you have to…

Five Hair Mistakes

In the 60’s, everyone wore their hair long, men and women.  I grew mine past my shoulder blades, parted it in the center, no bangs, and topped off the look with “John Lennon” specs. It took my sister an hour or so every weekend to iron (yes, iron like in Sunbeam with Steam) it straight.  It was that or sleep in 16-ounce can curlers.           In the 70’s, I lopped off all my hair and went Afro.  A severe Afro that stunk like burnt tires and required a steel pick so dangerous it qualified as a lethal weapon. The poof dwarfed my face and what was left was covered in large dark glasses that made me look stoned. In the 80’s, the look was the wanton, “loose,” natural curl, the kind that created long coils and fell “naturally” about the shoulders. It also cost three digits and took half a morning to get the perm done. I couldn’t believe that I was paying to put in what I was ironing out two decades before. I looked like the Cowardly Lion spruced up to meet the Wizard, but I was in style. In…