Out of the Darkness

Eggplant:  a vegetable that in no way, shape or form resembles an egg, and that should never find its way to my plate.  I’ve never been fond of it.  In fact, it makes my mouth itch, most likely due to an undiagnosed allergy.  Yet, last Saturday afternoon, I heard my own voice requesting Eggplant Pomodoro from the blasé waiter at Bertucci’s.  I was killing time and carb loading before the onset of a very long, yet important journey:  the “Out of the Darkness” Overnight Walk presented by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Continue reading

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In Arlington

Awards during military service are designed to recognize outstanding and extraordinary duty by servicemen/women.  Specifically, the Bronze Star is awarded for “heroic or meritorious achievement”, and the Silver Star is awarded “for conspicuous gallantry in action”.  Originally only awarded to Army members during WW II, the Silver Star was later expanded to be received by members of the Navy, more notably to honor those who bravely served during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Continue reading

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The Jazz Ambassadors Live Webcast Tonight!

The Jazz Ambassadors will be performing at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage this evening at 6pm ET. Please join us! If you can’t make it to the live performance, please join us through the live webcast: http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/

See you at 6pm!


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Just Keep Swimming (and Swinging)!

Waking to the light of the television in my hotel room, I can’t remember where I am momentarily, the glow of the idiot box growing and fading as the pixels instantly reorganize themselves over and over again on this early morning, a continuous reminder that an enthusiastic someone wants my money.  Hotel rooms are a norm for me in my job, but not now, thanks to sequestration.  I feel the atrophy of my “hit-and-run” road chops.  The weakness is embarrassing, like returning to Church after a long hiatus, touching the holy water and anticipating a sizzling burn as the blessed liquid makes contact with my shamed forehead, a single drop cleansing away the evil world existing beyond the doors of the sanctuary.  Who am I, again?

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A Tough Week for All…

It’s truly amazing how caught we can be in the webs we weave.  Life throws us curve ball after curve ball.  We swing at some.  We stand frozen and watch some whip by us.  Sometimes we hit the ball out of the park.  Sometimes we ground out.  And sometimes, we just flat out miss all together.  This game of life varies from person to person in detail, but the rules remain in tact for all:  Play your best, play hard, but play fair.  When we fail to follow those rules, the outcome is not favorable, or at least temporarily. Continue reading

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Doc and Lauren

Doc and Lauren

Doc Severinsen visits with my lovely daughter Lauren at the National Trumpet Competition. If you missed the blog about this, go back to the one titled “Noooo…Not this, Not Now”!

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The Unique Beat of a Different Drummer

This morning, I’m sitting with my dogs, my eyes burning from a lack of sleep combined with the pollen squeezing through my window screens.  Outside, the garbage trucks disrupt the peace of the morning’s birdsong.  Brakes and beeps signal giant, awkward mechanical invasion.  Glass breaking as it’s crushed into tiny pieces in the bellies of the trucks.  Not very attractive on this crystal clear spring morning, but a necessary weekly disposal.  Every few minutes, the jingle of the tiny bell hanging from my cat’s collar moves from left to right, and then back again, as she decides to bolt to a new location to gain an advantage in her ongoing bird watch.  Instincts are hard at work as the cats dash and the dogs nap in the sunshine flooding my home. Animal bellies full with breakfasts.  All feel safe, and I am calmed by their presence, content that they trust the home I’ve provided for them. Continue reading

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In a Word…

I could say one word to my siblings and my father, and they would immediately smile.  Based in childhood memories, the single utterance would bring about an immediate flood of reminiscence from decades long ago, all centered around a dear family member who never sat at the table or attended school:  our golden retriever, Buffy. Continue reading

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Noooo…Not This, Not Now!

“Momma, I have to go potty!” – The words every mother is used to hearing from their toddler at least ten times a day.  So why was it any different for this mom today?  Because my beautiful daughter spoke them at the exact time that Doc Severinsen was playing two octave arpeggios on my custom Shires trumpet at the National Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, VA. Continue reading

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Two nights ago, I found myself staring down at the lifeless body of a 70-year old man. The sight was sobering. As another neighbor and I tried to revive him, I was reminded of this post. The paramedics eventually arrived, and the man was brought back after nearly 25 minutes of tireless work. The event shook me. Life is precious, friends. And you never know what each sunrise will bring or take.

Liesl Whitaker

Last night, I spent quite a while in my living room with my headphones on, an act I usually reserve to tune out of my present surroundings in order to be overcome with the distraction and emotion of music. Earlier, I had no need to tune out as I spent the evening actively working in my house. The rain spilled across my roof and down my windows as I scurried about, cleaning carpets, doing laundry and wiping down countertops. General busy work. But I kept coming back to the rain, it’s sound, soothing, yet reminding me of something. I continued with my household diligence, the rain relentlessly droning in the back of my mind. And then I realized what it was.

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