2020 – A Year to Be Thankful

2020 has been quite a year. What started with Katie’s Homecoming, my trip to Houston to see friends, Rebecca’s law review presentation, and my surprise 50th birthday party, took a sharp turn into no social events, no in-person school events, and no family gatherings. I keep hearing how bad the year has been, and I certainly don’t want to jinx anything with two months left to go, but I realized yesterday that 2020 was a pretty darn good year.

Every year, I make photo calendars for my family. I plug in as many pictures as I can find using my own camera roll, social media, and photos sent to me by others. I highlight different people each month, based on birthdays and anniversaries. I make sure I cover all of the special events each person took part in over the course of the year.

Read more

Have Your Cake…

Did you know that today is National Dessert Day? Yep, it’s the day on which you can indulge in a decadent concoction with the knowledge that you are just doing your part to celebrate the happiness that can be found in a bowl of fudge ripple or a slice of blueberry lemon cake. It’s your chance to bake something sweet or order dessert or…

Take the family to the ice cream parlor. Because, while there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a perfectly torched plate of Bananas Foster, I’d like to suggest that it isn’t the dessert itself that we love and take pleasure in. It’s the people we share it with and the occasion on which we share.

Read more

Your Message to the World

Today, it seems that there is this great desire to be somebody, to gain the praise of millions, to become YouTube or Tik Tok famous. Everyone wants to make their mark on the world, be it for a moment or a lifetime. I think it’s quite natural to want to make a lasting mark, to leave behind a legacy, to create a name that will be remembered forever. We all want to believe that there is more to our lives than our meager, daily existence. We want to feel that we’ve delivered some kind of message to the world.

We’re all looking for a way to stand out, to be noticed for something, to be remembered for something.

But is it possible to make a name for ourselves, to deliver a message to the world, without ever becoming famous?

I truly believe it is, and here’s how we can do just that…

Read more

Setting the World on Fire

My middle daughter leaves this weekend to head back to school for her senior year. She’s so ready. She misses her friends, her studies, and her routine. She wants what we all want–for life to return to normal. Of course, normal is very relative these days, and her final year in college will not resemble anything she has come to know as normal. Still, she’s excited to embark on this transitional journey of senior year.

I remember my senior year of college. I was so certain of what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to work at the National Archives, doing research, writing papers, and recording and preserving history. That desire came about gradually over the course of my four years. I had gone to college determined to be the next Peggy Noonan, writing memorable, quotable speeches for future presidents. My love of history won out over my love of politics, and I began seeking graduate programs in historical preservation. When I moved home after graduation, with no money in the bank, I took a job at our local library, hoping to put away enough money to pay for my next degree. I had been accepted into both George Washington and American Universities, and neither was inexpensive. In a move that evidently surprised nobody who knew me, after spending a summer working in our local library, I ended up going to library school instead. Isn’t it funny how a simple summer job can change the course of one’s course?

My story is not unique.

Read more

Tell Me Something Good!

Some days, writing this blog is so hard!

Some days, getting out of bed is hard.

Some days just breathing is hard.

I know I’m not the only person who feels like she’s on a roller coaster that just won’t return to the station or a merry-go-round that keeps spinning and spinning without ever slowing or stopping. When can we get off this ride? When can we leave this hellish nightmare of an amusement park? I’m so tired of being trapped in the fun house where all I’m doing is walking through the spinning barrel and trying not to fall down or making my way across the uneven floors with jets of air spraying up around me or getting lost between the mirrors of distortion. And when I get to the exit, will the slide have an end in sight or will I keep sliding and sliding, faster and faster, twisting and turning, before I tumble out into an unforeseeable future?2020 slide

When and how does all of this madness end?  Will we ever be able to… Read more

A Summer Gained

Summer is a special time for kids. It’s traditionally a time of no curfews, no homework, no commitments, and no worries. Of course, in recent years, those wonderful, lazy days of summer have become nostalgic, a thing of the past that only people older than, say 45 or so, can remember. So many children in recent generations spend their summer being dragged from one sporting event or another, forced to participate in events and activities that will further their athletic or academic prowess, or tied so tightly to apron strings that they can’t enjoy things like flashlight tag or hide and seek in the dark. Perhaps this is one of the things we are meant to learn during this pandemic. Perhaps we are meant to recall and reinstate those lazy days of summer.2020 Morgan Maddie Summer

Perhaps we are meant to… Read more

Let’s Talk…

For weeks now, I’ve listened to all sides of the debate about which lives matter. For months, I’ve tried to have an open mind about COVID-19 and all of the conflicting information. For years, I’ve tried to be empathetic to various groups of people, listen to them, and learn about them. I’ve attempted to engage others in discussion so that we can benefit from what the other has to say. I do belong to a political party, but I listen to all sides, watch various news agencies, and research voraciously to find the truth and assemble the facts. I’m not afraid to call out things that are incorrect, but I’m not too proud to listen, learn, and be told that I’m wrong. 

I say all of this not to toot my own horn but to point out something that is missing in our world today, something so vital that I firmly believe it holds the key to everything, to solving all problems, to helping all people, and to enabling all groups to get along and work together. 2020 locks

For several generations, we’ve all been told something that is wrong, just wrong. Blatantly wrong, egregiously wrong, simply, basically, and morally wrong. We’ve all heard the advice, that has now become a rule, over and over over again, and that advice is the one thing that is at the crux of all the problems we have now. We have created generations of people who have been given the very worst piece of advice to follow in an intelligent, literate, and innovative society.

We have all been told from the earliest age… Read more

A Camping We Will Go

2020 Flag and NYCAnother Memorial Day has come and gone, and with a salute to those who have given all so that we may enjoy the land of the free, we leap from spring into summer. Like many, our summers typically involve some kind of family vacation. In fact, our summers are usually peppered with trips here and there, some quite elaborate while others just short day trips or weekends away. This summer, though, our vacations will be altered quite a bit. With Rebecca’s wedding coming up this fall, we were already planning on traveling less with just one trip abroad or a small trip or two to visit friends. However, the annual class on energy regulation that my husband teaches every summer in Florence, Italy, has been canceled, and the other trips we planned were to states that are, and may continue to be, on lockdown. 

I read an article the other day that said… Read more

Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on…

Life goes on, just as the Beatles song tells us. No matter what happens in the world, people continue to live their lives as best they can, and they should.

For the mental and emotional stability of everyone, we need to remain optimistic and live our lives as normally as possible. 

I recently read the delightful book, Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce. The fictional novel, set during WWII told of dances and nights out with friends and girls painting their legs to look like they were wearing stockings. Of course, it also depicted the air raids over London and the devastation of war, but what struck me was the reminder that even during war, life goes on. People fall in love and get married. Babies are born. Lives are lived.

For example, Read more

Reach Out And Touch Someone

I wished my best friend a happy birthday today by phone. Instead of celebrating at Easter with a cake or by going out to dinner one evening this week, as we would typically do, we must wait and celebrate once we can be together. I miss her like crazy and can’t wait to be able to go on one of our dinner dates. And this time, Debbie, I’m treating!2020 Debbie bday

Easter was certainly different this year as my husband, children, and mother-in-law ate dinner with my parents and my brothers and their families via Zoom. We watched Easter Sunday Mass “together” online in the morning and then ate dinner “together” that evening. Instead of baskets full of candy and Dollar Tree trinkets, my girls were greeted that morning with a single chocolate bunny on each of their brunch plates. 

As I think about the celebrations that are being cancelled or postponed this spring, I realize how lucky I am, and I’d like to offer a small piece of advice to everyone. Read more