Rosie the Wonder Dog

Wonder Dog

When I was a child, I loved watching Super Friends every Saturday morning. It was my favorite of all the Saturday morning cartoons, and I have fond memories of lying on our basement floor, wrapped in a blanket, while following the adventures of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Superman, and the rest of the superheroes. Two of the characters had a dog names Wonder Dog who often helped the crew foil their enemies. Wonder Dog could not speak, but he did have a knack for alerting his humans, Marvin and and Wendy, when danger lurked or when clues were nearby. He communicated through barks, gestures, and even his own form of charades. He always seemed to be one step ahead of his humans.

Those who have been following me lately know that we recently rescued a puppy. Luna is quite active, and to be honest, pretty bad! She truly thinks she’s a circus dog, bouncing and bounding across the floors, furniture, and even walls like they are all part of a giant trampoline park. She chews everything in sight from Rosie’s toys and bones to my throw pillows and even the baseboards along the walls! She’s too smart for her own good and often ends up getting herself and my poor Rosie in trouble. They’ve become the best of friends, and Luna is really lucky to have Rosie for a big sister. In fact, we’ve discovered that we’re all extremely lucky to have Rosie around…

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Reassess Your Gift-Giving

I read this morning that Amazon, Target, and other retailers are having “Black Friday-worthy” sales all this month to encourage everyone to do their Christmas shopping while supplies last. According to the financial newsletter The Morning Brew (which I read faithfully every morning even though I know nothing about finance), “Factories in Asia have been closed due to Covid lockdowns, shipping containers are harder to find than a heat lamp, and companies are struggling to hire workers to staff ports and drive trucks.”

I read this and thought, would it be so terrible if people weren’t able to spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on Christmas presents?

Would it be so terrible if all those toys and other items coming from China and Taiwan weren’t available in American stores this year?

Would it be so terrible if kids were *gasp* limited in the amount of presents they receive on Jesus’s (not their own) birthday?

I shake my head and think…

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That Ragged Old Flag

Warning – many people won’t like what I have to say…

I hope everyone had a good weekend and that every person in America spent time thinking about and praying for the victims of 9/11. I’ll never forget that day. I was at work when the planes hit, and nobody was sure what was happening. When the Pentagon was hit, I knew things were bad, very bad. I went to my boss, whose husband worked at the Treasury Department, and as calmly as possible told her that she might want to call her husband and tell him to leave DC. She looked at me like I was crazy, but as I explained what was happening, her face paled, and her expression turned to horror. She told me to tell everyone to go home as she reached for the phone.

NYC Skyline with American Flag

The patriotism that arose from those ashes was astonishing. I don’t think we’ve seen anything like it since 1776. The radio was flooded with new songs like Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning by Alan Jackson and Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue by Toby Key. Churches were packed, and songs such as Let There Be Peace on Earth and Amazing Grace spilled out into the streets. American flags and banners with the Stars and Stripes flew in every yard or from every house. Memorials cropped up in businesses, schools, and stores. New York, New York, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania were in everyone’s prayers. Every person was touched, in some way, by what happened. We were all one nation, under God, indivisible, standing for liberty and justice for all.

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Imitate the Wise

Every afternoon or evening, when it’s not ninety degrees outside, I take my dogs on a walk. The puppy is tethered to a leash, of course, and may be for some time as we’re just beginning more intensive training with her. However, our ten-year-old lab (who is expertly trained and comes to me in and instant, standing by my side until I tell her she can go) has the pleasure of running free, and she relishes in chasing rabbits and plunging head-first into water-filled ditches (no rabbits have been caught or harmed). In fact, Rosie is a head-first kind of dog. We used to worry that she would hurt herself each time she went barreling down the hall toward our bedroom only to find the door closed after she rammed it with her head. Luckily it didn’t take long for her to learn to test the door first to see if the air conditioning fan had slammed it shut again. I keep waiting, though, for her to ram a culvert or a tree as she plunges ahead at break-neck speed.

It’s not unlike watching people or even governments running at break-neck speed, heads jutting forward, throwing caution to wind. So often, we go through life without ever looking up or ahead. I’m not talking about those who never look up from their cell phones as they cross a busy intersection, but really, isn’t the result the same? To push ahead, forge recklessly into the unknown, and never stop to see what’s coming up.

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Puppy Love

When Ken and I got married back in 1993, we knew that we were going to be parents right away–his mother’s Golden Retriever was due to have a litter of puppies just a few weeks after our wedding. We were both very much dog people and were raised with dogs in the house. We brought our first baby home a few days before Christmas, and the timing could not have been more perfect. That was the winter of the great ice storm that crippled most of the Mid-Atlantic, particularly the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Ken was working in Annapolis and was stranded. I was home alone–two hours from my own hometown–with no friends, no family (I still hardly knew Ken’s family), and nowhere to go. I was housebound with nobody but Tucker to keep me company. I’ve often kidded that it was that puppy who got me through the first year of being married.

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A Time to Grow

Last spring, my husband did something he should not have done. It wasn’t entirely his fault. He got caught up in yard work and wasn’t thinking and pruned all of our hydrangea bushes. Let me repeat, last spring…he pruned all of our hydrangea bushes. For anyone who knows about gardening, you know this is a big, HUGE no no! We didn’t have a single blossom all summer, not one. Kind of fitting for 2020, I guess.

All summer, I kept hoping we would see a bud, but we had nothing. It was disappointing but a powerful lesson to learn…

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Better than Chuck E. Cheese

Rebecca as an award winning actress

There was a beautiful, tear-jerking scene toward the end of last week’s This is Us (I know, right?) in which Kate calls her mother to thank her for giving the three “triplets” a childhood in which they never knew they didn’t have money. She told her mother that their homemade Halloween costumes and big, backyard birthday parties with homemade cakes “were better than at Chuck E. Cheese.”

Boy, can I relate to that, and I think my girls can, too, if not now, then when they have kids of their own.

Until my girls were in high school, I made every Halloween costume they wore. They were simple and inexpensive and were often made of materials we had around the house or purchased from the Dollar Tree. Despite all that, the girls loved them, and some even brought home trophies, winning accolades over the most expensive store-bought costumes or the hours-long, detail-oriented ones of Pinterest fame. Even thrift shop dresses and grandma’s old stole can turn an ordinary girl into an Academy Award Winning Actress (who traded her Oscar for a Prettiest Costume trophy).

My mother taught me to a make what you can, buy what you must, and use more imagination than money, but the key ingredient was always love. Mom loved us, and she loved showing us how much she loved us, not by breaking the bank, but by putting her heart into whatever she did (and still does).

And something else Mom taught me is something that I can’t help but wonder if so many moms have forgotten in the past several years: The more you spend on something…

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Hidden Treasure

Here is my bargain of the night from last week’s local auction that Ken and I always go to…

There were two big boxes, one completely sealed, and one open just enough to see that there was some kind of plant inside. Nobody wanted them, so I thought, heck, I’ll take them. I held up my number and got them for $6.

The next afternoon, I opened the boxes, and guess what…

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Hope, Affliction, and Prayer

I’ve put off writing this for a long time – several weeks in fact. It’s not because I’m uncomfortable talking about it but because I’m sick of hearing about it and talking about it and thinking about it. I’m writing this only because I’d like to start a conversation that comes from the people and not from the doctors. That’s not to say that I don’t believe what the doctors have to say but because I don’t believe they are talking to each other about what they are hearing from us, the patients. Maybe they are, but too many times in the past couple months I’ve heard, “My doctor has never heard of this,” or “My doctor says it’s not a symptom,” or “My doctor looks at me like I’m crazy.”

We’re not crazy. We’re just hurting, confused, and looking for answers.

Maybe if we can start a conversation about what we’re experiencing, we can find the answers that everyone needs and hopes for. I know that’s my hope and also my prayer.

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In Order to Form a More Perfect Union…

This morning, I hugged and kissed my baby goodbye and watched her drive away, beginning her five-and-a-half hour trip and fourth semester of college. I told her all of the standard things a parent should say, “Don’t speed,” “Be careful and pay attention to the road,” “Make good choices,” “Study hard,” and “Have fun.”

As I watched her go, I thought about the other goings on of the day–those taking place across the bridge, as we say here on the Shore. Today, we do what our Founding Fathers intended for us to do–we welcome a new administration to lead our country. I thought about the implications of that transition and about how my daughter will be impacted by our country’s leadership and how it will impact her.

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