Always Real, Parenting Gone Awry, School

From The Little Gym To The Big College

Today Sean and I are heading to a local community college so that he can take a math test which, if he passes, will allow him to do more challenging math type stuff this coming school year, which if my calculations are correct, is 4th grade.  (GULP!) The reason Sean is taking a math test at a college campus instead of an elementary school, where 4th grade is generally located, is because through a red-tape snafu accounting error — or his mom wasn’t on top of the calendar — we missed the deadline for the spring…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Always Real, Papa Ed

Blessings Recounted: Driveway Time

When we got the call in April that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer, we knew that our time with him was limited.  We just didn’t know what that limit was and it took some time for the doctors to sort that all out to the degree that they could. That is something we all know, isn’t it?  That our time with the people we love is limited.  But most of us don’t live that way until the day we get that call. Why is that?  Do we not live in the full light of…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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?…

Continue Reading

Always Real, Faith, Makes Me Sigh

Swings And Lane Cutters. When A Win Is Not A Win.

Have you ever been driving somewhere, and you see a sign in big flashing letters that unmistakably says MERGE RIGHT. LEFT LANE CLOSED AHEAD. Being the good reader that you are, you take this to mean that the left lane is closed ahead.  You merge right because you know that no left lane will preclude driving in the left lane. You are astute like that. Then you, along with the other good readers, spend the next 30 minutes painfully inching forward in the right lane for the next mile where the left lane actually ceases to…

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

Always Real, Parenting Gone Awry, School, Sometimes Tart

Whining Is Not A Strategy

There is an old saying that we all know:  The squeaky wheel gets the grease. In other words, those who complain the loudest and the longest and in the most annoying repetitious way possible —  get what they want.  Except from me, then no, they get nothing. My policy is this:  I don’t negotiate with terrorists or toddlers. Or those who behave as such. At the House of Antique, if you are whining, the answer is automatically NO.  If you continue whining, you will get the Antique Mommy fish eye, which has been known to stop…

Continue Reading

Always Real, Faith

A Good Friend

This morning, I watched two boys tumble out of the backseat of my car and scramble towards the school.  Their backpacks bounced wildly as they ran and playfully shoved each other off the sidewalk.  I couldn’t hear them, but I knew that they were giggling and calling each other out with mock indignation, “Duuude!?” Since the day I knew I was pregnant, I have prayed for many things for my child, but my constant prayer has been that he would be blessed with a good friend.  As I watched the two boys disappear around the corner,…

Continue Reading

Always Real, Faith

Everyone Has A Story

I recently came across the Washington Post story of Joshua Bell, a world class violinist who agrees to work in cahoots with the Post for a story.  He positions himself as an anonymous sort of starving artist in a Washington DC subway playing for tips during morning rush hour — that is, a starving artist playing for tips with a $3 million Stradivari.  As he plays his glorious music, for which he earns millions, for which he has played for kings and queens, he is largely ignored. The story is not new, it came out in…

Continue Reading