Friday, January 24, 2014



There, I said it. Now, before I go any further, I have to apologize. I don’t usually use my blog for personal, seemingly unimportant rants. I tend to stick to Twitter:

Or Facebook:

for that.

But here I am, breaking my own rules.

You see, this is what I’m looking at right now:

And THIS is what I’d really much rather be looking at:

As if that isn’t hard enough to bear, THIS is what it feels like in my house right now:

And THIS is what I feel like it feels like in my house right now:

Get it?


I wasn’t always this way. I used to enjoy winter. I loved the snow. I looked forward to hearing my school number being called on the local radio news station, knowing that meant a day off of school and hours of sledding, snowball fights and fun ahead!

I’m not sure exactly when it all changed. I can’t say “real life” crept in, because – truthfully - it’s not the driving in the snow to go to school/work that I hate most about winter (although that certainly isn’t top of my list). No, I think it’s the cold I dislike most about these few months. And the fact that winter seems to drag on and on.

Personally, I’d like to see us skip the months of February and March completely and go from January 31 to April 1. (My apologies to those with birthdays in those months but I see it as a sacrifice that must be made. We’ll celebrate your big day with a nice outdoor picnic at the beach instead, okay?!)

My goal today was to spend the morning writing. I had the entire day blocked off and was excited to spend it on my computer pounding out some interesting, relevant content. And here I am talking about the cold. What happened?

It started with our heater. Or perhaps it’s our thermostat. Whatever it is, we can’t seem to get the heat working in our house with any consistency. One minute it’s 67 degrees in here, the next it’s 59. Have you ever tried to type with cold fingers? I’ve re-typed this sentence five times because my fingers won’t cooperate with my brain.

And of course the call to the heating company went about as you would expect a call to go when there is 12 inches of snow on the ground and the temperature isn’t expected to rise above freezing in the foreseeable future. “Please leave a message and we’ll get back to you.” Sure you will – right around Memorial Day!

After donning a hat, scarf, fingerless gloves, two pairs of socks and three layers of sweaters/jackets, I decided to make the best of the situation and start my writing. As I sat down, my neighbor called. His car wouldn’t start and he needed to borrow our jumper cables. Oh, and our car!

And then the dogs needed to go out. They didn’t want to go out, mind you, (who does?) but unless I wanted to be cleaning up various messes throughout the day, I needed to convince them that it was a good idea to get out of their warm beds and go outside to do their business. (Can anyone explain to me why dogs cannot simple walk outside and go? Why do they feel the need to be walked for blocks and then sniff their way to the middle of a yard covered in snow before they go?)

And now, half way through this cold winter day, I am finally sitting down and writing. I have managed to bang out 600 words on something as important as “Why I Hate Winter.”

I will end this rant, I mean post, the way I began it, with my apologies. My hope is that the next post you read will be calmer and a bit more relevant. But don’t count on it, as there are two more months of cold and snow and, in case I didn’t mention it before…


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Work of Christmas

I don’t normally post other people’s writings, for obvious reasons, but I came across this beautiful poem by civil rights leader and theologian Dr Howard Thurman and I had to share:

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.

So let’s get to work!

Monday, January 13, 2014

I Miss Her

I miss her.

I miss her smile and her laugh.

I miss her sunny personality and her chatter.

I miss her concern and her thoughtfulness.

I miss her.

It’s been so long since I’ve seen her. I drive past her house and pause, saying a prayer that all is well; wishing things were different; hoping for good news.

Life changes in an instant. How often do we hear that phrase? How often do we repeat those words to our children, to ourselves? How often do we say that this time, we will listen and appreciate our lives? How often do we forget?

Such a little thing, that cough, barely noticeable to those around her. Allergies? A lingering cold? Nothing more serious. It couldn’t be.

Cancer? No! She’s too young. She’s got three children who need her. She’s just started back to school – a new career, a new start. Cancer? Really?

Radiation. Yes.

Surgery. Okay.

Chemo? Whatever helps.

Problems? Complications?

What can we do to help? Dinners. Carpools. Prayers. Anything.

How is she doing? I’ve asked that question countless time over these past few months.

Is there anything I can do? Another question posed over and over again to anyone who will listen.

It’s such a helpless feeling – seeing your friend so sick and not being able to do anything; not being able to do enough.

I’ve cooked dinners, written notes, sent texts, dropped off little gifts. I’ve said prayers, offered intentions, added her to prayer lists.

I feel lost. I feel powerless. I feel frustrated.

Then I feel guilty. It’s not about me, after all, it’s about her. It’s about her family. It’s not about me.

So I keep on praying. And I keep on asking for her. And I keep on sending those texts and dinners and notes.

I keep on. Just like I hope she is keeping on. For with life, there is hope.

God Bless you my friend. I miss you.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Life is a Roller Coaster

If there’s one thing I’ve learned these past 40+ years, it’s that life is a roller coaster. You have your highs and your lows, your peaks and your dips, your curves and your straight-aways. Every day is different so buckle up and hold on because it isn’t for the faint of heart.

Anyone with children knows that life with kids is one long, continuous roller coaster ride. They have their ups (they were just invited to a great party or got an A on their latest test) and their downs (they were the “only one” not invited to someone’s house, or they didn’t make a team).

When these events happen, I remind them (and myself) of my little adage: Life is like a roller coaster. I have repeated that saying so many times that even my dogs could recite it. I know that what comes up, must come down. I know that life always gets better. I KNOW all this. So if I know this, why do I climb into that car and ride that rollercoaster with them every time?

Why do I still feel a pang when I look on Instagram or Facebook and see a group of my children’s friends together without my child there? Why does my heart break when I hear my daughter talk of a sleepover that she isn’t invited to?

Why? Because no matter how often my brain hears me saying, “Life is like a roller coaster. There will be ups and downs,” my heart hates those downs when they are happening to my children.

I know adversity builds character and strength. I know that not everyone is invited to everything. I know that life isn’t always fair. But here’s the thing, and it’s a biggie, knowing something and believing and accepting it – all the time - are two totally different things.

It hurts to see your children hurt. It hurts to see that look of disappointment or fear on their face as they come down from that high.

I recently heard someone talk about something that helps ease the pain of those downs. They call them back-pocket moments. I love this idea. Back-pocket moments are those times when something goes really well; when life is good – really good. You know the moments: you just got your first job; the boy you like asked you to Prom; you aced the test you studied for all night. When my kids come home and tell me something that they are really happy about or proud of, I tell them to “put it in their back pocket” so they can pull it out and remember that feeling when life isn’t going well.

Because we all know that, as good as everything might be right now, life changes in an instant. That roller coaster doesn’t stay up continuously. But isn’t that what makes the ride so much fun – those crazy twists, turns and drops? And isn’t that what makes life so interesting?

So I’ll remind myself of these back pocket moments, and I will try and stay off that roller coaster that my kids will be riding. They are “tall enough” now to ride it alone. I will stay on the ground and smile, wave and encourage them as they go up and down, and be there for them when they get off, to give them a hug or a high-five, depending on what they may need.

I will remind them that they will experience many ups and downs in life so buckle up and hold on because they’re in for a great ride.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Resolution Failure

It’s three days into 2014 and I have failed at every one of my New Year’s resolutions!

Three days!

I have very good reasons of course. Really!

First resolution: Diet

Well, as everyone knows, you cannot start a diet on a holiday, which New Year’s Day clearly is. And then an emergency came up with an event I was running and, well, we all know the only cure to emergencies is chocolate. And today, a snowstorm has hit our area. Six inches of snow + five people in the house together (who already spent a lot of time together over Christmas break) + four batches of chocolate chip cookies left over from Christmas + three tubs of popcorn received from neighbors and clients + two wet, smelly dogs equals one cranky momma who is in no mood to diet! Bring on the fudge!

Second resolution: Gym

I AM going to get to the gym, really. It’s just that it’s so crowded those first couple of days after New Year’s that you can’t get near any of the equipment, and then that snowstorm hit and I hate to drive in the snow, and the kids are home from school and…

Third: No Judging

I’m not judging anyone but really, who wears a sleeveless top in January when the wind chill is 4 degrees? It’s not that I care, it’s just that a sweater would be much more appropriate in this weather. I wouldn’t even mention it but, sleeveless? I think someone just wants to show off their arms. But really, it’s none of my business. I’m not going to talk about it again. This is a judgment-free zone from now on (as long as no one wears sleeveless shirts again)!

Fourth: Write more.

I would write more but you see, an emergency came up that I had to deal with, then a snowstorm hit and the schools closed so my family is all home, and there is all this left-over food I need to finish before it goes bad and really, who has time to write?

Luckily, it is only January 3 and I have 362 more days left to make up excuses, I mean make up for my resolution failure.

How are you making out with your New Year’s resolutions?