Monday, September 26, 2016

Hobby Fun


Remember that pesky section on the college application that asked you to “list” your hobbies?  The humiliating bullet on the job resume form you have to fill with the “many ways” you fill your leisure time?  How about the moment Tall, Dark, and Handsome at the company get-together wants you to share “what you do for fun?”

And you realize your answer will be as interesting as how you organize your separates on wash day.  Whites here.  Delicates there. 

I read fiction.  I write a weekly blog.  I love crosswords and Family Feud.

So you embellish, embroider, exaggerate.  You lie.

I hike the countryside on weekends.  I love nature.

Hey, I own a pair of hiking boots.  I wore them once and I plan to wear them again one day as soon as my bunion heals. I do love nature even though I have to take allergy meds before I venture outside my house.

I go to the gym three times a week. 

Once again the truth.  I dress, show up for thirty minutes (just long enough to be seen by a few regulars), then I clock out and head home.  It is not my fault my car autopilots to the nearest Starbucks or the one Dairy Queen in my neighborhood on the way home.  I totally believe in shopping local and supporting small business. 

I volunteer with little ones.  I love children.

The truth once again.  I do love children.  I have nine grandchildren and on occasion, I have had to sit them while Mom and Dad needed me.  And it was all volunteer.  No one has ever offered to pay me for the service.

I shouldn’t lie, you say.  I should find an interesting hobby.  One that I really do.  Well, embellishment is not lie.  It is omission of a few facts and exaggerating a few others.  It makes me mysterious. Interesting.  Enchanting. 


It beats telling others that I read fiction, write a weekly blog, and do crosswords and watch Steve Harvey and Family Feud. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September 11th – In Retrospect


Even after thirty years in a dysfunctional relationship, I missed being married.
I was sad, lonely, and lost.
My kids were all grown and gone, and even the family dog had died.        
I was in the middle of teaching a poetry lesson to a group of high school juniors when the teacher next door came running into my classroom, yelling for me to turn on my TV.  A plane had just crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City.
Our country was being attacked by terrorists.
For the rest of the school day the whole school, the whole nation, watched as all hell broke loose on our safe, complacent world.  It was Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Purgatory all rolled into one.
I don’t remember getting home, but I do remember assuring my three kids (all in their early twenties back then) that if worse came to worst, we would all gather at my house, we would all live under one roof, and we would all look out for and protect each other.
I remember checking on the two useless “rifles” we kept in the back closet and registering the kind of ammo I needed to go out and buy.
I called my estranged husband (our divorce would not become final for another three months) and asked him to come home and help me comfort and protect our kids, but he told me I was more than capable of taking care of them and myself.  He was where he needed to be.
If it’s true that we acquire wisdom with age, I learned that day that when the moment of greatest need presents itself in your life, you will learn the true heft of your character and of those around you.  You will clearly see what is important and what isn’t, who you love and to what extent you will go to protect them, and how determined and unselfish you truly are. 

On September 11th, I sing the praises of the heroes that died that day.  They showed us how heroes live and how heroes die.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Do Unto Others


My husband and his sons rented a salt water fishing boat for the day off the Texas coast.  The captain took their money but griped about the cold, rainy weather the whole time they were out fishing.  He wanted to cut the fishing trip short and said so. My men ignored him and enjoyed their day, returning with stories about the grumpy captain, the fish they almost caught, and how their dad kept tossing his cookies over the side of the boat for the majority of the time.
          Why do people work at jobs where they do not like what they do and do not like their clients?
          I have known teachers who hate children, doctors who turn their noses at their sick patients, and sales clerks who get upset when a customer asks for help.
          My advice to all these unhappy people:  quit your job and go find one that fits your personality. And good luck.
          Captain Ahab took the money when my men went fishing.  At the price they paid for his service, it should have come with a smile.  All those teachers who emulate Professor Umbridge as their patron saint should return their teacher retirement checks, and any medical professional with a Dr. Jekyll bedside manner should worry about the day the tables turn and they need the service their clients provide.
          Moral of the story/blog:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.