Standing out amongst other living things is something we humans do rather well. We are at the top of the food chain, after all, our brains so far advanced that our technology actually blows the mind! Just take a look at the title character in the famous 80s television show “MacGyver”. Now he had some mad skills: Give the man a quarter, a jar of peanut butter and a fence post, and he could make a hover craft, for crying out loud! Yes, the limits of the human mind and imagination are endless. Through our study and technology, we are able to understand so much about our world and about ourselves. Yet, we still maintain individuality amongst our millions, no two people being exactly alike – anywhere! That’s pretty impressive! Continue reading
Returning to writing finally, now that I have some quiet time…away from home, on a bus and on the move. Out here, watching the world pass by my 5-foot tinted screen, thoughts come and go with the change of the scenery. It can be difficult to latch on to one long enough to ponder for more than a few moments. But perhaps that’s a sign that the brain is healthy and young – still. I can hope… Continue reading
On a lazy Tuesday morning in December, I sit with my children, watching the snow accumulate outside of our rented townhouse in the Maryland suburbs. Schools are closed today, so my son is taking his turn with the TV, while my daughter patiently entertains herself by removing and replacing ornaments from the freshly decorated Christmas tree. These are wonderful moments, disturbed only by the snoring of Fred, our beloved bassett hound, who has refused to relinquish his spot on the sofa. A truly wonderful wintry day! Continue reading
I have no idea where my brain is today. Perhaps I left it at the local establishment last night, after a last minute text from my best buddy invited me out to a local meetup group. The trail of the evening is still presenting itself to me this afternoon as I sip my French press in an effort to piece together the last 12 hours. Yup, it’s possible that I over did it…and I’m not proud.
One of the many residential stops my family made when I was young was to a hard-working Catholic community in the Southeastern corner of Iowa. We rented a small farmhouse on a few acres surrounded by cornfields just outside of Donnelson, a small farming town in Lee County. My brothers went to high school in West Point, and middle school in St. Paul, while I went to elementary school in Houghton. My sister was just a youngster, but eventually started kindergarten in the area. In fact, I remember that she won a coloring contest as a 5-year-old, and that I was so proud of her! We often saw our friends 6 days a week when you added in the weekly Sunday mass to the 5-day school week. My father was the community’s country veterinarian, and was known by first name to everyone within a 50-mile radius. It was quite a time for a young family of eight, making memories and just trying to get through each day, the goal being to retire every 24 hours with everyone healthy and in tact, under the same roof.
Typing as the sun rises, I’m reflective of how beautifully each day begins. The pinks and purples that present themselves against a baby-blue background create a gorgeous vista all around. I awoke early this morning, and ventured downstairs, past my sleepy Bassett hound, Fred. His tail gently thumped the carpet as he acknowledged my movement, then settled again on the plush floor when I’d gone. In the living room, I passed the remnants of a “fort” built last night by my son, his friend, and my daughter: dining room chairs arranged in a square, then covered with every blanket, sheet and towel available to them and within their reach. The boys had abandoned their stations at some point in the night, opting for the sofa and the recliner, while my tiny daughter continued her guard under her pink blanket on the floor. As I tiptoed by her, she giggled in her sleep, and I realized that I couldn’t think of anything more heart-warming than that: a lovely dream being played out in the face and little laugh of my slumbering 3-year-old – true “visions of sugarplums”, perhaps…
As a little girl growing up under the moral umbrella of the Catholic Church, I was taught that God was perfect. Man was created in His own image, and was placed in the utopia of the Garden of Eden. It wasn’t until Eve bit from the forbidden apple in that lush cultivation that man fell victim to “original sin”, the first flaw he would ever encounter, and one that would plague every man, woman and child from that point forward, whether they liked it or not. This perfect image of God has remained in tact for generations. I guess I have no basis to disagree since I’ve never seen “God” face to face. However, it occurred to me that perhaps God left out one very important ability when he designed us mere mortals, an ability that would have prevented countless arguments over generations, maybe even civilizations. You ask, “What could God have possibly given us that could have prevented universal disagreements, perhaps fist fights and civil conflicts?”.
“A time for summer skies, for hummingbirds and butterflies, for tender words that harmonize with love. A time for climbing hills, for leaning out of window sills admiring the daffodils above. A time for holding hands together. A time for rainbow-colored weather. A kind of make-believe that we’ve been dreaming of. As time goes drifting by, the willow bends and so do I. But oh, my friend, what ever sky above, I’ve known a time for spring, a time for fall, but best of all, a time for love.”
My first instrumental music teacher, Dr. Jim Ryon and I meeting for the first time in more than 35 years! Read “After All These Years” for the details of this reunion.
Like most people, I remember a lot of general information about growing up. As a child born at the end of the 60s, I spent those critical developmental early years in the 70s. Hey, did you know that in the 1970s, you could buy live fish at Kmart in the pet department, for example? Why you would, I have no idea. And you weren’t scared to death to drink out of the garden hose, either! At least, not yet. Continue reading