Archive for April, 2009

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It is in the shelter of each other that people live. -Irish Proverb

April 27, 2009

It is in the shelter of each other that people live. -Irish Proverb

From what I recall, my history teacher taught us about the Irish and their rough go of it during the potato famine. So much so, they left their homeland. Great numbers of Irish moved to the USA and made claim by living together in large numbers. Starving and poor, they still had each other.  And, they recognized what a treasure being together brings to a family.

My family takes one vacation a year that does not involve work, friends or seeing more family. Every April after a long, busy winter drowned in snow, we escape to the sun. And every year, it gets just that much better.

For starters, it’s a teensy bit easier without a diaper bag. Or without retrieving sandy Oreos and soggy sandwiches from the sea. As my kids grow, travel becomes simpler on so many levels. Instead of feeling the need for a break from my kids, I look forward to spending time together to reconnect.

Each April, we stop the madness of our lives, find a remote beach with no tattoo contests, no banana boat rides (although, aren’t they fun?), no beach Olympics, and no drunks from New Jersey. Just waves, a bit of sand, and each other. In that one week of blissful togetherness, we remember who we are. We laugh and play. We live in our shelter and remember it all year long, often recreating what we found on the island into our daily lives. That’s worth writing a proverb.

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What’s in Your Heart?

April 20, 2009

As he thinks in his heart, so he is.

-Jewish Proverb

I began this blog six months ago and by now, my readership has grown. Hopefully. While some of you know me, many do not. In accordance with this Jewish proverb, plus a facebook game that tags you to tell 25 things about yourself, I’ve decided to post a few juicy tidbits about myself.

My heart includes the following twenty-five:

1. My three kids are the light of my life. So cliché, but true.

2. If I’m not writing, I’m skiing. Hopefully, with Dan.

3. I am a salt-aholic. Not only do I ask for it at Chinese restaurants, but request salt at fine dining establishments, just to annoy the chef.

4. I read three books at a time. I’m such a braggart.

5. My hair has golden highlights that my son calls zebra stripes. Want to rent a 9-year-old?

6. I secretly wish I were a singer in a rock and roll band. Or at least, wish I carried the rights to that song.

7. My oldest brother died in Japan at 6 weeks old. I never knew him. He would have been 11-years-older than me. My brother, Kirk, died of HIV in 1991. My parents are strong people.

8. I have one other brother and two sisters who live far, far away.

9. My dad taught me to be kind, think ahead, and to eat bread with thick butter and sugar on it.

10. My mom taught me to smile, look for the good, and to never throw anything out, including leftover coffee.

11. I dread wrinkles on my neck. No laugh lines there.

12. I lived with a Muslim family and married into a Jewish family. Neither is right and neither is wrong.

13. I like peanut butter, ketchup and bacon sandwiches. My grandmother taught me.

14. My prom picture is posted on Facebook. But I still like the guy.

15. This may kill my readership, but I don’t like dogs. Except for mine, and only sometimes.

16. My friends taught me to laugh, cry, and to hem pants with duct tape.

17. The worst date I ever had was with a virtual stranger at a Quiet Riot concert at the Air Force Academy. I told him my dorm at Colorado College had a curfew and ditched him.

18. Not only did I go to camp, but I was a camp counselor and loved every minute of it. Except for the meatloaf.

19. I liked high school better than college and much better than junior high.

20. I love to dance but am almost worse at it than singing. My friend gave me private lessons in her basement, just so I could make the high school girls’ chorus line my senior year. It worked. But, I still have two left feet.

21. The closest I’ve come to Hollywood is shaking Jamie Farr’s hand. That’s because he’s from Toledo, like me.

22. I grew up 15 miles from the flattest, recorded place on earth. Go figure, I was the only honors student at the school who wanted to be an Olympic skier instead of a doctor.

23. I sit in the back row of the movie theater.

24. Go Blue!

25. My book, Soul Sunday: A Family’s Guide to Exploring Faith and Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to my kids, with all my heart.

What’s in your heart?

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Eleanor Roosevelt Hated Dogs

April 6, 2009

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

-Eleanor Roosevelt

I don’t like dogs. There, I said it…or at least wrote it down for all to see. Lightening may strike my house, but at least I put it to paper. The weight is lifting already.

It’s a long list. I don’t like barking, biting, or jumping. I don’t like wet noses rubbing against me. I definitely don’t like getting my legs licked in the summer. I don’t like dog hairs on my jeans. I don’t like remembering my mom being knocked down by a Doberman.

Of course, I have a dog. And, I love her. Go figure.

I never thought I would, but I gave a puppy to my husband for Christmas. It was a long time ago. Ten days later, I discovered I was pregnant. Bad karma. Having a puppy and a newborn is a bit like drinking tequila and driving a car. The two don’t mix.

As the years have passed, I’ve learned to love my dog. While I still shun from a slobbering Snoopy, I’ve found affection for man’s best friend. Saki greets me with a wagging tail no matter what my mood. She provides companionship and safety and unconditional love for my family.

I’m still afraid of some dogs. I still don’t like other dogs. But, I’ve also learned from them. By facing my fear and doing the thing I never thought I’d do, I’ve learned to smile at wagging tails. As long as they don’t jump.