Christmas Consumers

I got to do something very cool today. Each year my mom and my Aunt Carolyn volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to help the area MHMR program put together a Christmas party for the “consumers”—the people receiving mental health or mental retardation services. For many of the consumers, it’s the only Christmas celebration they’ll attend. I got to participate in the fruit of their labor by volunteering at the […]

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Fun Fact of the Day

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire … Jack Frost nipping at your nose … I was singing “The Christmas Song” rather loudly in my bathroom when it occurred to me that its writer, Mel Torme, is Jewish. And then I realized that so is Irving Berlin, who wrote “White Christmas,” the best-selling song of all time. (An aside on that song: when I learned to play it on piano I […]

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Come Read a Spell

I have not been particularly prolific with the blogging because I am working on a top-secret Christmas gift that takes most of my computer’s resources. I’ll tell you about it after the 25th. This has not stopped The Big M from being busy using his own computer’s resources, however, and tonight he discovered something alarming. I’ll back up for a second. You may have noticed that this blog is more […]

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A New Perspective

I was reaching for a can of garbanzo beans at Newflower Market on Tuesday when it dawned on me that I was not miserable. Grocery shopping falls somewhere down the chore scale into the range of scrubbing toilets and cleaning up vomit. It has to be done, but I’m not exactly joyful about it. So here I was in this mom and pop little whole-foods grocery store with my kids, […]

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Missing Mom

“I thought it was an easy read.”—Book Club member It’s interesting how the same book can seem different depending on the reader. Sometimes it’s different to the same reader at different times. Occasionally I re-read books from my past, and the unchanged text becomes a mirror reflecting what has changed in my experience. Experience colors interpretation. This month’s book club selection was Missing Mom by Joyce Carol Oates. As others […]

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The Exuberance of Youth

When I was a teenager I’d get in the car to go out with my friends and immediately the thrill of possibility would course through my bloodstream. Someone would begin the mantra and we’d all join in – “The night is young and so are we!” I didn’t know what we’d be doing and I didn’t care because everything was fresh and exciting. That’s how I still feel about books. […]

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Thanksgiving Projects

Kids’ school Thanksgiving projects tickle me so much. The Boy brought home turkeys he made with each feather representing what he is thankful for. The top one’s feathers say: I an Thankful for being smart I am thankful for being helthy I am thankful that I have a house. I am thankful for the food I eat. I am thankful for my school. I am thankful to be an America. […]

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Up

“Give me a boy until the age of seven and I will give you the man.” This quote is attributed to various Jesuits. Its meaning, I guess, is that our path is shaped early in life. Also, our path is predictable based on what we are like as little children. I do wonder how much truth there is to this idea. My own boy is interested in the following careers: […]

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The End Game

I was hanging out at the park yesterday with friends, and my friend Deborah brought a chess set to teach us to play. I’ve never learned to play chess because it’s just too daunting. All of those pieces move in different ways, and you have to defend your king and capture the other king, and it seems like there are infinite moves, and I have no idea which one to […]

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All You’ve Gotta Do Is Put Your Mind To It

You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd, but you can be happy if you’ve a mind to. So sang the late, great Roger Miller. I’m inclined to believe him on both counts. Trouble is, I haven’t had the mind to be happy today. I’m still hurting over the loss of Buckley. I’ve had an evening of the best possible comfort: a wonderful family, some wine, chocolate, Pride and Prejudice […]

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