It finally happened. After 25 years of shattered fantasies, my family recently enjoyed the ‘perfect’ family vacation. It’s a universal delusion shared by young mothers—the recurring dream of the Norman Rockwell family vacation, where the moon and the stars align in such a way that everyone gets along, the weather cooperates, and plans go smoothly without a glitch. Unfortunately, reality (at least for me) more closely resembled National Lampoon’s Vacation. There were years…..
Every summer I take on a pet project. This year’s is collecting driftwood to create a beachy coffee table. I’ve seen them used in seaside homes, but they come with a steep price tag and I’m discovering why. Combing the shoreline for interesting driftwood is not easy and involves time, a good eye and, in some cases, lots of muscle. This week I came across…..
A friend’s daughter was married last month, and the reverend officiating offered some simple but sage advice to the young couple. The wisdom of her words extends far beyond marriage as it is excellent counsel for life in general. The first two were…..
The birth of ancestry websites has led to some interesting stories as long-held family secrets come to light. Last year my husband discovered he had a half-sister. The circumstances of her conception will remain a mystery as all parties are deceased. However, the graciousness my husband and his siblings extended to Paula brought her to tears. She was overwhelmed with gratitude. I believe her words were …..
While visiting my mom last weekend, we were walking in the garden when one of the men who works in the building approached. He opened with, “I don’t know why I feel compelled to share this with you, but you’re not going to believe what just happened.” He described how the eucharistic minister who comes on Sundays to celebrate communion with the residents declined his request to partake because, unfortunately, she did not have enough of the host. Following the service though, she sought him out to serve him the lone remainder. Puzzled, she explained she’s never…..
Anyone with adult children has faced the dilemma of sleeping arrangements during an overnight visit with a significant other. Last weekend was my daughter’s first such visit. There was only one available room (with a king bed), so by default they would be sleeping together – not my first choice. So, I did the next best thing to separate rooms:I installed a life-size cutout of myself beside the bed. The coup de grace was the motion-activated voiceover which firmly stated my expectations…..
Memorial Day represents more than a three-day weekend, barbecues and fireworks marking the official start of summer. Unfortunately, its true meaning has been diluted by retail sales and festivities that do little to commemorate the men and women who have died in service to our country. Originally called Decoration Day, the observance of Memorial Day began…..
Forget the royals. Today I’m attending an even more memorable wedding. My parents are finally getting married! They actually celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in February; however, due to my dad’s worsening dementia, he’s forgotten their original nuptials. He proposes to my mom daily. During my last visit, he gazed at her lovingly and declared his intentions, “Isn’t she beautiful? I’m going to marry her. I’m so happy. I’m the luckiest man alive.”Truth be told, that sentiment…..
The most amazing thing about Mother’s Day is that despite my glut of BPMs (Bad Parenting Moments), my children still graciously present loving cards and choose to honor me by spending the day together. I don’t think there’s a mother alive who doesn’t wish for a do-over on some of her worst days. If she does exist, I don’t want to meet her. Wait, I already have. I was surrounded…..
It’s time for a more light-hearted musing don’t you think? While I would like nothing better than to entertain you with funny anecdotes each week, sometimes life just isn’t funny. The Easter Season is a perfect example of the paradox of life – intense pain and sorrow but also unimaginable joy. Even Peter and John’s foot race to the tomb makes me laugh. Can’t you just imagine Peter’s…..
Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters Tournament on Palm Sunday washis first major championship in 11 years. Forget schadenfreude. Who doesn’t love a good redemption story? Especially after such a dramatic public fall from grace. Isn’t that what Easter is all about? The celebrations may be over, but God’s redemption plan is still unfolding. Nature is announcing it all around us as spring bursts forth out of the dead of winter. Christ was resurrected once (the true Master’s victory), but blessedly we can…..
Who wasn’t affected this week witnessing the collapse of Notre Dame’s famed spire? It’s no wonder France, along with countries around the globe, mourn the loss of this beloved cathedral – or parts of it. It’s a tragedy, of course, but it’s still just a building. From what I’ve heard, there was only one serious injury by a firefighter and many religious relics and priceless artwork were rescued. Given the severity…..
Today marks the dawning of Holy Week, the start of Christ’s Passion, beginning with His glorious procession into Jerusalem. Personally, it’s also an acknowledgment of His triumphant entry into my heart. The thing about the Easter story is that until we make it personal, it remains just that – a story. It only becomes meaningful when we enter into it. So, who am I in the story? A woman singing praises while laying down her cloak in submission? A member of the crowd calling for His execution? Simon helping Christ carry the cross? One of the soldiers driving the nails through…..
During my last early morning walk in Florida, I came upon a family of frolicking dolphins. It felt like a parting gift as I had been praying to see one jump (and catch it on camera for my daughter) before I left. It would have been a perfect morning had I not been accosted by a crotchety old biddy waving her walking sticks perilously close to my head. I had earphones on (listening to Christian music), engrossed in a God moment, so did not hear the woman screaming at me about…..
At a family dinner last night, my nephew’s five-year-old son arrived, walked over to the chips and guacamole,and dug in with gusto. After having his fill, he turned to me and commented, “Wow. This party is already better than I imagined it was going to be!” I laughed and thought…..
Maybe it was divine payback for my comment about circumcision in an earlier post, but I sliced off the tip of my finger last week. I kid you not. Selling Cutco knives was the costliest summer job my son ever held. This is the third trip to the emergency room since I became his first customer. Not that the tip of one’s forefinger can compare to other more sensitive areas, but it was painful. As I sat in the emergency room, I wondered what I was supposed to learn from this episode…..
The college admissions scandal dominated the news this week. What surprised me most was not that it was a reality, but that it is news at all. Anyone who has been through the process is well aware of the inequities that plague the college admissions system. The only difference in these cases is that the perpetrators crossed a legal boundary. Wealthy parents have been ‘buying’ entrance into elite schools forever. It starts long before college. Making a six or seven-figure ‘donation’ may not be considered a ‘bribe’ legally nor is joining the board, but let’s just call a spade a spade. My own children…..
While in Milwaukee, I accompanied my sister to the hospital for a number of appointments. The names of the clinics surprised me. There is Faith, Hope, Courage and Grace. I can’t think of anything you need more when battling cancer – or life for that matter. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could infuse those qualities through an IV? So much simpler than developing them the hard way – through…..
Now that I’ve had a couple of months to process the trip to Israel, I wanted to share what I consider my most valuable takeaway – or more accurately, ‘leave behind.’ When the professor suggested we begin the trip open to the divine mystery and a new way of looking at things, I had no idea the ‘thing’ God was going to have me see in a new way was me – and not the me…..
While visiting my sister in Milwaukee last week, I had the privilege of accompanying my nephew and his five-year-old son, Finn, to an indoor playground called BOUNCE. Based on the name, you can imagine the plethora of inflatables available. It’s been a long time since I laughed so hard. Pure joy is balm for the soul. Too many of us forget the importance of play…..