Celebrate Yourself

Overwhelmed yet? It's now or never as far as Christmas goes. If you're anything like me, the holiday crash course begins with Halloween. You keep a parallel list of orange/brown decor beside the green/red one. If you're clever, with a few additions and deletions, the Trick or Treat season can morph into Autumnal Pilgrims, easy…

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Vacuum 2.0

What happened to vacuum cleaners? I'm sure you've kept up with the times better than I have, but they now look like you could use them to fight dragons. With a charging unit and fleet of attachments, they require a room of their own. Cliff and I have been through several over 40 years of…

The Wonder of Television

People complain about television. They always have their reasons, but mostly parents worry about its impact on children. Anyone can see how that might be true. But let me tell you about an astonishing connection Maggie made through television when she was a toddler. This begins with my mother who became a widow at forty-six,…

The Kindness Effect

You already know this, but you've probably forgotten. If you're my age, in first grade you were handed a wooden ruler stamped with The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Bulletin boards brandished the slogan. Teachers recited it to unruly children who had to be separated at recess.…

What To Do with Karen?

Well, there was all that about my kindergarten experience, if you read my previous post. I left out the part about being swatted when I left my chair once. I'd never been grabbed and shaken in my life. I was incredulous and scared. I did not leave kindergarten with a high opinion of that teacher…

Kindergarten Issues

I entered kindergarten in Carmi, Illinois. My mother used to say I was a happy child until then. When she said it after I married Cliff, a kindergarten teacher himself, he asked me what I remembered about my first year of school. My earliest recollection with the teacher happened when she sent us to the…

Pirates and Daffodils

Because I'm an only child, I spent most of my early years creating story lines by myself. Sometimes I served as narrator of a tale. Other times I played a character in the action. One of my favorite stories involved the daffodil fields in my grandparents' chicken lot. I assume my grandmother planted the bulbs…

Both Ends of a Scream

When Cliff and I first got together, he loved recounting his teenaged summers with friends, traveling across America to hear Janis Joplin, The Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers, Jefferson Airplane...The whole suede fringe set. He'd often ask: "Do you know who that is?" I listened politely. Every time. One day he told me again…