Showing posts from 2017

Real Men

Photo by Duffy Brook on Unsplash A couple of months ago, my husband and I visited our son’s family and attended our grandchildren’s soccer games. In one of these games the players were young, and their coaches were allowed to be right out on the field with them. One of the coaches was a tall man, well over six feet, who sported a short buzz haircut hinting that he might be a member of the military stationed at a nearby naval base. The muscles in his legs and arms were well defined, and even with his T-shirt on, it was obvious that his chest was similarly muscular. His voice, as he called out encouragement and instructions to his team, was so deep it seemed to come from down within him and rumble out over the field. He was, in short, a very masculine human being, but it wasn’t this which planted him in my memory. Rather it was an incident which took place during the game.

Passing On Traditions

I held my annual Halloween dinner last Saturday. Guests came dressed as witches, superheroes, burglars, and minions. The menu included Pile O’ Roadkill, Toasted Bones, Goblins Eyes, Roasted Brains, and Spider Eggs. Dessert was Shallow Graves and Eyeballs.                 I’ve been hosting this event for over twenty years. It was originally just a family dinner, and I thought once my children were all grown, it would end. It hasn’t. Instead it has grown. It is a fun, silly tradition that we kind of stumbled into. I remember exactly how it began.

The Art of Saying Thank You

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash                Spring and summer are graduation and wedding season, which means giving gifts, and which a few weeks later means receiving thank you notes. This year I received one thank you note that stood out. It was from a young man to whom we had sent a graduation card with a little cash inside. The body of the thank you note contained the following:                 "Thank you for the money."                 That was it. I am not exaggerating, that was it. One sentence. “Thank you for the money.” Period. End of sentence. End of note.                 I literally burst out laughing when I read this note. It conjured up in my mind’s eye the image of a mother standing behind her stubborn teen-age son with her hands on her hips, insisting that he write a thank you note, and him technically, if not eloquently, complying.

It's Rhubarb Season

When my children were young, I could always tell when my rhubarb was ready. This was because of two unmistakable signs. One was large rhubarb leaves that were torn from their stalks and scattered around my yard. The other was bowls with little pink sugar crystals in them, which I would come across in random locations. You see, my kids and their friends loved to pull stalks of rhubarb to eat. They would tear the leaves from the stalks and drop them wherever they happened to be. The ones who couldn’t quite handle the sour taste would put sugar in one of my cereal bowls and dip the end of the rhubarb into it before taking a bite. Once the rhubarb was consumed, the bowl would be abandoned.

Confessions of a Digital Hoarder

I secretly enjoy watching TV shows about hoarders. Partly because it’s like watching a train wreck—horrible, but you just can’t look away--and partly because it makes me feel pretty good about my own housekeeping skills. I mean, I don’t want anyone looking in my closets, but no one is about to make a TV show about me. I do throw out garbage and I don’t hold onto things past their expiration dates, well, not long past their expiration dates. I don’t even come close to hoarding level—that is if you don’t count what is on my computer.

Why Winter is a Good Thing--Really, I Mean It

Each winter when the first snowflakes fall, I rush to the window and “Oooh” and “Aaah” in delight. Around here that usually happens in late October or early November. Fast forward three months, and snowstorms bring an entirely different response, especially after a mid-winter thaw has brought false hopes of spring. This morning I woke up to a world covered in a fresh layer of white, with snowflakes still falling. My reaction wasn’t one you’d call delight. My exact words were, “Oh crap.”