Friday, March 22, 2013


Linking up today with Lisa Jo and the others at Five Minute Friday. Today's word is remember.

It's funny what triggers the memory, isn't it?

When I cut a green pepper,
I remember a coworker laughing at me because I didn't know how to do it (fresh out of college).

When I slice celery and get to the inside yellow core,
I remember my friend who prefers that part of the celery bunch, even though I have no use for it.

When my dad listens to the television at blaring levels and refuses to admit he can't hear,
I remember pulling up to his mother's house, parking in the cul-de-sac and hearing Golden Girls blaring from inside the house because she, too, thought she could hear just fine.

When I hear about kids building snow tunnels,
I remember building one with my older brother, coaxing my toddler brother in to the back of the tunnel and my mother coming out of the house crying "My baby, my baby!"

When October 4 rolls around,
I remember my childhood friend Karen who I haven't talked to in nearly 30 years, but I still remember her birthday.

When I hear Brown-Eyed Girl,
I remember Pam and how the band played it at her memorial service.

When I see a big old station wagon from back in the day,
I remember being able to take the "party wagon" to college for a semester. (Note: No parties were held in said wagon.)

When anyone references OJ Simpson,
I remember the infamous car chase that started before I left my home in Pennsylvania and ended when I pulled into my grandpa's driveway in Maryland hours later.

What triggers your memory and what do you remember?

Monday, March 18, 2013


Linking up today (a few days late!) with Lisa Jo at Five Minute Friday. Today's word prompt is Rest.

This word prompt is especially appropriate as I'm just coming off a week of rest. We had the blessing of going to Grand Cayman on a business trip and extended our stay for a few days. It was a week of no Facebook or blog reading, checking e-mail briefly perhaps only three times (and only in response to a request from family), very little tv watching. The biggest decisions each day were beach or pool and where/when to eat.

The rest was a good thing, a blessed thing, a necessary thing. Rest can't always look like a week in the Carribean (oh, that it could!), but it's necessary and restorative. (Even as I type those words I think about those who don't get a break to rest, who work every day to haul water to their families, who sacrifice and scrimp and take as many hours of overtime at work as they can to meet the basic needs of their families. Perspective.)

Now we're back and even as the plane landed to another gloomy day with cold temperatures and snow on the ground, I found the realities of everyday life seeping right back into my marrow. (My first stop, after all, was the grocery store.) Those realities and demands felt almost toxic after an extended period of rest, and I realized that I must be intentional about rest - physical rest, rest from connectivity, rest from all that is not good for my soul.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Linking up today with Lisa-Jo at Five Minute Friday. This week's word prompt is Home.

Home has been Halleck, Kipling, Sollengberger, Naugle, Fileys, Garden, Ridgeview and William. It's been a small house, a bigger house, a dorm room, a farmhouse, an apartment, a bi-level and a ranch. It's been filled with Nancy Drew, Shawn Cassidy and Donny & Marie; a baby brother and a big brother; roommates; no one but me; children becoming teenagers then adults; my husband and my dogs.

It's been a place of a little girl's dreams, a big girl's broken heart, hope, joy, laughter, pain, fear. It's been the place I came home to after school, after class, after work. It's where I've worked from for 15 years. It's where I'm greeted with tail wags and puppy kisses when I walk in the door.

I don't keep it clean enough or peaceful enough, though I've gotten better at both through the years. It's a place where family and friends are welcome, although hospitality is not a gift that comes naturally. Home is the place I am safest from the cares of this world, where my heart rests with the one I love, where the real me takes a deep breath and looks up.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Linking up today with Lisa-Jo and the others at Five Minute Friday. Today's word prompt is ordinary.

The little boy waiting for the bus taught me. He stood there patiently on the corner as I drove through tears to the edge of my grandparents' development. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful March morning, the promise of spring in the air. For that little boy, it seemed to be an ordinary day. Maybe he had a math test. Maybe he was wondering what was going to be served for lunch. Just one more day until school was out for the weekend.

Seeing that little boy took my breath away. It was the morning of my grandmother's funeral and when I caught sight of him, I realized that while my family would be mourning the loss and celebrating the life of one very precious lady, for the rest of the world it was just an ordinary day. The dichotomy was striking.

Of course,  I always knew that the world didn't stop for everyone when it stopped for one or a few. But this was the first time my pain was so searing that I couldn't step beyond the small circle of my world to realize that most everyone else was going about their ordinary days while I was trying to right my upside-down world.

That lesson has stayed with me through the years. While I go about my own business as usual, others are hurting, aching, suffering ... and at the other end of the spectrum, celebrating, rejoicing, daring to take a chance. An ordinary day for me may be an extraordinary day for my neighbor, my friend, the driver who cut me off, the server who was impatient.

I don't always get it right. There are plenty of days when I'm so consumed with my ordinary that I don't take a breath and think of the journey someone else is on. But my life is better when I do.

I don't know where that little boy is today, 19 years after I saw him on that corner as I was driving to the store in search of black pantyhose. I don't know if today was just another ordinary day for him or if something wonderfully extraordinary rocked his world. I do know that he shifted my world one morning and my life is a little less ordinary because of it.