Always Real, Antique Childhood, Papa Ed, Wivian

Blessings Recounted: Contentment

Today is my dad’s birthday. As I think of him today and the many odd and unexpected blessings that were gathered to me in this last year of his life, the blessings that I am trying to capture here for Sean and for me so that we might recall them on some distant day, what comes to mind is how contented he was in all circumstances and the goodness it added to my life. My dad was a simple guy. That’s not to say he wasn’t smart.  He was good with numbers and had an intuitive…

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Always Real, Antique Childhood, Papa Ed, Wivian

Blessings Recounted

It was last year, in this month of April, that I got the phone call. My mother, trying to sound only mildly concerned, called to tell me that they had taken my dad to the hospital and they were running tests.  The catch in her voice betrayed her calm. While working his usual Saturday morning crossword puzzle his brain had gone a little fuzzy.  He couldn’t seem to get the words to travel the familiar path from his brain to his tongue. Don’t worry, she said, don’t worry,  I’ll call you when I know more.  I…

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Always Real, Antique Childhood, Antique Junk Drawer, Hallmark Holidays, Parenting Gone Awry

Wishing You A Very Antique Valentine’s Day

I found a package of unopened Valentine cards from what looks like the 1960’s in an antique store a year or so ago and I fell in love with them.  I didn’t know what I would do with them, I just wanted them, so I bought them and stashed them away with the other retro stuff I randomly buy. I guess I love these cards because they are innocent and sweet and cheesy – the things I think Valentine’s Day should be for kiddos and I still long for.  Is that when you are officially old?…

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Always Real, Antique Childhood

What I Learned As A Salad Girl

My dream for Sean has always been that he will be a worker.  I think God made us to work. I think work provides many things that we humanoids need for a meaningful existence – structure, purpose, satisfaction and if you are lucky, a paycheck. But oddly enough, work is something that has to be learned.  It doesn’t always come naturally. In the summer of 1974, when I was 14, I got a job at the Bonanza Steak House.  I was as blind as a bat and wore hideous thick wire-rimmed glasses and dreamed of getting …

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Always Real, Antique Childhood, Makes Me Sigh, School

School Dazed

The last time I wrote here, Sean and I were coming to the end of his of first grade year of school.  I say “Sean and I”  because, really, it was not just his first grade – it occupied a large share of my time and my thinking and my emotional space too.  It was my first grade experience by proxy; a much needed do-over of sorts for me. It seemed to me that first grade would be a pivotal point in Sean’s academic career.  In that first school year, he would either decide school was…

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Always Real, Antique Childhood, Snips And Snails

Little Kids and Big Kids and Lessons In Community

When kids are of a certain age, generally speaking, they don’t want to play with the little kids.  It’s fun to run away and hide from them and that sort of thing. I know this from observing Sean and I know this from personal experience. I was the youngest, and even worse, a girl.  I spent the better part of my early childhood chasing after my older brothers, hoping to be allowed to play.  Either of them would have rather eaten a pencil than let me to hang out with them.  In their defense, I may…

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Antique Childhood, School

Walking To School

Hands down, my favorite thing about first grade is walking to school. Although I love our car time, it’s really nice to not have to get in the car of a morning as we have for the past several years.  Seeing the world through the car window is one thing, but being able to stop and examine a spider web or a willy worm or the perfect yellow leaf is a deeper richer experience that engages all of the senses and not just the eyes.  And what I especially admire about Sean is that he always…

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Always Real, Antique Childhood

The Whistle And The Dinosaur

As I was opening a package of hotdogs to fix for Sean for dinner last night, I reflexively started singing the Oscar Mayer song. You know the one:  “Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener. That is what I truly want to be-EE-ee…” Singing that song always makes me think of the Oscar Mayer wiener whistle and I can’t ever think of the wiener whistle without thinking about Debbie. When I was about six or seven, my neighbor Debbie had one of those little red wiener whistles that came in a package of Oscar…

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Antique Childhood

Everything I Ever Remember About Kindergarten

Sean begins kindergarten shortly after Labor Day. And like every other mother in America who is sending a child off to kindergarten, I can’t believe this day has arrived so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that we found out we were expecting. I guess I should be reflecting on the past five years and how they have slipped away so quickly, but what I find myself thinking about is how the past 45 years have slipped away so quickly. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was in kindergarten.  When I look at my…

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Antique Childhood, Antique Junk Drawer

The Bride Lady

Back in the late 70s, after I graduated from high school, I worked for an insurance company whose offices are on the edge of a small historical downtown area. The particular building that I worked in occupied one city block and was six stories tall, and having been built in the post-modern era, it had windows all the way around, top to bottom, which meant you could see all there was to see. Which wasn’t a whole lot. However, on most days you could look out the windows and see a middle-aged woman wearing a tattered…

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