Finding Magic in the Mundane

limoIt was one of those work days when I felt especially lousy about being in such a dreary work environment. The receptionist put a call through, announcing “Donald Trump.” The first thing he said was, “Sh-h-h, don’t say anything …,” 

Do you have a friend who makes everything a memorable enjoyment? Their zest for life is so passionate they find its magic in even the mundane.

Maybe it’s driving past a guidehistorical marker you always took for granted; watching a movie with special effects or simply how interesting its location is; a picnic day’s weather, touring a museum you’ve passed unnoticed, or luncheoning in an out-the-way eatery that has a story you’ve never heard. What ever they do, this friend finds something special in everyday life and they bring you into their special world. I was blessed with such a friend.

In my last days of working in New York I’d taken a job that turned out to be, for lack of a better word, a miserable environment. It was in a large upstairs room full of women in various cubicles, twenty or more, with one, in particular, enjoying unmerited mastery over all the rest. (She ‘got along well’ with the boss, they say.)

cubiclesOur offices were in a nice, new building with windows lining all of the walls. Donald Trump was a prominent local figure whose name was always in the New York news, he being just as widespread in local news then as he is in the rest of the world now.

My friend, an entrepreneur by profession and in-between incomes, drove a limousine at the time, which is also a common sight in New York. He drove a big, stretch, black one with tinted windows, a full bar and all the trimmings. “Hann” was a lifelong New York Irishman with a unique flare for appreciating all of the specialness in life.

Work this one morning was one of those days where I felt especially lousy about just being in such a dreary environment. Then the receptionist put a call through, announcing job“Donald Trump” was on the phone for me. I took the call and my friend said, “Sh-h-h, don’t say anything …,” as he proceeded to describe his plan for taking me to lunch. Knowing how women are, he had me look out the window periodically until I saw him arrive in the parking lot below. By then word of my call had traveled around the room.

My friend’s black, stretch limo with its tinted windows pulled up outside, taking four or five spaces in the adjoining lot. Driving and dressed in his best Brooks Brothers business garb, Hann exited the driver’s side and withdrew an overflowing roses2bouquet of two dozen bright red roses. He proceeded to the back door, opened it and stood guard waiting for me to take a seat inside.

By then the building must’ve tilted with the weight of all of the women gathering at limo2windows. I glided downstairs and, arriving at the limo’s back door, sat graciously inside as Hann handed me the lap-full of red roses. He returned to his place in the driver’s seat and off we ever-so-regally drove.

We went to the Dairy Queen around the block and sat outside eating hot dogs for lunch. Mine had mustard and onion. I think I ate two. The stark contrast of whisking me away from work as he did to eat DQ hot dogs in the back of a stretch limo with a huge bouquet of red roses strewn across my lap was the ultimate finding of magic in the mundane.

[In memory of a remarkable entrepreneur, Thomas Francis Hannon, creator of the “bite size” snack food market.]


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Nights Like This (Music Vids)

doglisteningI cannot go to sleep. My dog doesn’t know if it’s wake-up or go-to-bed time. She runs out to cold-stare me when she thinks she’s heard food, then at regular intervals to sniff my lap in case I snuck something. I should be so alert.

Since I can’t sleep I thought I’d write. Problem is, my cognitive mind is asleep, it’s my subliminal mind that doesn’t want to get along. Wherever I store my creativity, it sure isn’t happenin’ right now. My mind is like running what’s already a V6 on 1 cylinder.

diy2So I checked-out Reader Suggestion Tags to get to thinking about what to write and the wheels began to ever so slowly churn. News flash. ‘DIY’ is no easier to think through than it is to do, especially if you don’t do much DIY.

I thought to myself  … “I load the dishwasher myself … I do laundry myself … .” I was sure that’s not what the Suggestion Conductor had in mind. I couldn’t think of one thing I do that is actually ‘Do It Yourself.’ Try harder, self. I do love to bake diybread and homemade pies, those I do by myself. Maybe I’ve hit on something. Now what do I do with it. My cognitive mind is not keeping up with this task.

I tried water painting once. I did better art in grade school. At least that was supposed to look like a grade schooler’s.

I used to sew. That’s a DIY thing. I’ve made clothing and done an alright job of it, but my favorite things were Halloween costumes. Partially because they’re so creative and partially because it doesn’t matter if they fit just right. Does a “used to” DIY count?

dofstareMy poor dog doesn’t know which end is up: Whether it’s wake-up time or go-to-bed time so she keeps jumping from her sleep to cold-stare me every time she thinks she hears a crunch or the rattle of a food wrapper. Every once in a while she gets up just to sniff my lap for crumbs, in case I snuck something while she napped. I should be so alert.

I figure it’s about four hours until stores open. Then I have a reason to get out for some fresh air. That assumes, by then, I am reasonably functioning. Oh – that’s something else I do by myself. Shop. That doesn’t count, I know, I know.

It’s much colder today, which is really weird after so much high heat and humidity. I thought for sure this night air would knock me on my keister. What does it take to put diylaundthis keister down? Hey [light bulb moment]! That sounds like a song. I could DIY writing a ‘put my keister down’ song. I think that verges on plagiarism. Later. Maybe.

I should DIY laundry. At least that’d be productive. I do fold it, you know, and there is a talent to that. Oh, and I do the stain stick things first. I think laundry should count as a DIY. Half a DIY? Aww, come on. Give me a break, I’m having a rough night.

In the background I have Simon & Garfunkel singing “Homeward Bound,” where everything is waiting silently for them. I notice they don’t mention laundry, but, after all, they did write a few songs of their own.

Oh here’s a good beat. This beat makes me want to dance. I cannot hold my shoulders still (try it when listening to this). My keister won’t budge but these shoulders are a-rockin’! And yes, that’s something I do well by myself. I know, shoulder dancing does not a DIY make.

Now if I can just keep these shoulders rockin’ for another three hours I should be fine for that outing to shop. Mama told me there’d be … .


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Movie Night ~ “Agenda: Grinding America Down” (Full Video)

agendaPop some popcorn, pour a soft drink and click.

It’s the time of year for movie nights. Below is a 1-1/2 hour true story that’s entertaining and educational. If you’re interested in God & family and America, you will be interested in this movie. Bookmark and add it to your “Movie Night” list … and be sure to invite your young people.

“Agenda” is a remarkably moving film for those who remember the 1960s and it will be as enlightening for everyone between then and now. You’ll have more than one “A-Ha!” moment, with the filmmaker incorporating concise graphics and captivating history into this true storyline. The narrator makes it entertaining for adults and easy-watching for teenagers-on-up.

Don’t be misled by the black & white introduction. It’s colorful and packed with food for the imagination. This film is especially relevant today, referencing minute 20’s quote, “The goal of Socialism is Communism.” 

Pop some popcorn, pour a soft drink and click. There is no better time than before this November 6th.

(I didn’t find a clean YouTube full-version [without subtitles], which is how videos are embedded here on WordPress. A clean movie CD can be purchased, of course, and I encourage that.)


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911 Seventeen Years Later (Music Video)

aaepluribusEvery office window, every vehicle, every home, had an American flag on display. Skyscrapers draped flags from rooftops and cars and trucks tethered them flapping in the winds of roads and interstates. People were nicer to one another. Everyone was an American.

Coming from the rural Midwest in the prime of a career, I moved to Upstate New York and for almost ten-years commuted to work in New York City. Myself a “fish out of 1pabuswater” I’m often tempted to refer to that as a “mistake” of judgment, but in truth it wasn’t. It was the experience of a rural young lady’s lifetime and I’m grateful for it.

1pabusOnce you are a New Yorker that sense of being never leaves you. You feel like you have this special inside track into the rest of the world. You were inundated with people-in-the-know and had a firsthand seat to renown events shaping our world. You forever view yourself as an integral part of all that has and does take place there.

Working at CBS I took a late day lunch and our side street was irregularly bare. Andy Rooney (60 Minutes), with flushed-face and an overcoat slung over his shoulder, passed like two old friends too tired from work to do more than exchange passing hellos. My job sent me to an event at The Mayor’s Mansion where I ”let the corn come out of my ears’ (as Dad would say). Let me put it this way, I bet Mayor Koch still remembers me.1arooney

Being so close then to all that was and is ‘Donald Trump’ and his name so frequently in what was then ‘local’ news, he feels more like a casual acquaintance than a president I’ve never met. Sometimes I had to remind myself of that. The World Trade Center bombing was a memory of “I’m glad I didn’t go there today” rather than a piece of American history. For as impersonal as New York is, what happens in New York always feels personal to those who’ve lived there. Their slogan should be: “What happens in New York goes with you.”

Nine-eleven is the kind of day and time when everyone remembers where they were. I’d ‘escaped New York’ back to the Midwest and was sitting at my desk at work. There were no iPhones and workplace internets weren’t as accessible as today, so radio and word of mouth was the only source of information. I hadn’t seen any of the images, my imagination wrangled to envision what I’d heard. I called my Father nearby, but he knew little more than I.

Instinctively the frantic rush of fearing war on American soil came over me. Just as instinctively, I reassured myself that couldn’t possibly be so. Living in Ohio at the time, the most pertinent 19112news for us became of the plane that was being steered back toward Washington D.C. The flight that passengers thwarted in a Pennsylvania field.

There are two things I remember most about that week. The first was the overwhelming number of missing person 1911posterpamphlets posted two or three thick across massive New York fronts lining its streets. There was scene after scene of them, many handwritten spur-of-the-moment. It was hard to fathom possible so many loved ones could be missing and even harder to fathom those who’d jumped from the Towers to escape its intense heat. It made one’s heart bleed with all of these souls’ pain.

What I recall most vividly in the days that followed is immense American patriotism. In every state, city and small town, in every office window, every vehicle, every home, there was an American flag on display. Skyscrapers draped flapping flags like blankets from rooftops and cars and trucks tethered them to windows, flapping in the breeze down every road and interstate. People were nicer to one another. Everyone was an American.

[] ~ E Pluribus Unum describes an action: Many uniting into one. “From Many, One” or “Out of Many, One” – a phrase that captures the symbolism on the [American] shield. The meaning of this motto is better understood when seen with the image that originally accompanied it:


I didn’t know anyone who died in 911 … I knew them all.

God rest their souls and comfort their families. God bless America.


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I Remember No. 44 (Videos)

aausefulidiot9“A successful Community Organizer should be an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people; to fan latent hostilities of many to the point of overt expressions … then steer his group toward confrontation.”

I’ve held my tongue. I thought I’d grown too old and complacent to write about political passions. The fact that they are “passions” is what makes them so difficult. I can hold my peace no more and I suppose that’s in great part because of upcoming Midterm elections in less than two-months.

aausefulidiot3I know up front that nothing I say is going to change a committed mind. I get that. The best I can hope is that it might cause some to rethink what first comes to mind. “Critical thinking,” is what they call it. The ability to ask questions about what we think we know. (If you’ve not seen it yet, “Agenda: Grinding America Down” is an excellent film/source of information. If you have seen it, it is worth watching again.)

Critical thinkers will be interested in the short Yuri Bezmenov interview below. He was an ex-KBG agent. Brainwashing society was his job. It’s easy to follow and discusses how committed a brainwashed mind is when you’re done brainwashing it. When you apply his explanations to some people you know, you begin to gain true understanding.

One of the many excellent points Bezmenov makes is, even if you show proof in printed pictures and words, propagandized minds (“useful idiots”) will not accept anything other than what they’ve been brainwashed to believe.

‘Useful idiot’ is a term for people who’ve been propagandized for a cause, the goals of which they are not fully aware and who are cynically used by the leaders of that cause.

I am so weary of hearing Trump blamed for the country’s divisions. I want to yank whoever says that out of their seat, shake them like my dog’s wobbly-squeak toy, sit them back down and say, eye-to-eye, “Do you Not remember Barrack “Barry” Hussein Obama?

Obama’s sole claim to fame coming into Our presidency was notoriety for being a “Community Organizer.” Most Americans like me said, “Huh, what? What the heck is a ‘Community Organizer?’

“In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky wrote that a successful community organizer should be “an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people; to fan latent hostilities of many to the point of overt expressions.” Once hostilities were “whipped up to a fighting pitch, the organizer steered his group toward confrontation…” [National Review Abbreviated]

It is a well-established fact today that Obama, his wife and Hillary Clinton are all ardent students of Saul Alinsky as are the majority of Democrats (check out membership rolls in the Socialist Party). Alinksy was a Marxist Communist who developed these class warfare strategies as a means to “fundamentally change” (Obama’s words, not mine) a country’s government. These are deliberate strategies intended to demoralize and to deconstruct a Republic like ours in order to replace it with Socialism.

“The goal of Socialism is Communism.”  [Vladimir Lenin, first leader of the USSR]

Socialism is just as well-known as ‘The’ stepping stone into Communism. That is its purpose. Once you get to Socialism, there’s no turning back. It’s just comfy-sounding filler to get you there. And, Yes, absolutely, the news media is one of the first arsenals Alinsky-Marxists sought to infiltrate (check out “45 Communist Goals”). With all due respect, today’s MSM truly is “fake,” propagandized news (watch the movie).

Following are some of my recollections of this Community Organizer’s past presidency. You tell me who the real Divider is. Just as the Community Organizer is groomed to do by definition, Obama created such gross divisions among Americans that his travesties ARE what made Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan so effective. Obama’s gross incitement of social discord IS what elected President Trump. (Someone needs to tell Hillary.)

classwarThe Obama-years are when Americans saw, for the first time in my over-65 years of life, a foreign country’s immigrants flying their flag above ours on our own taxpaid schoolyard lands … with our American flag upside down beneath for good measure of usefulidiots5insult. At the very same time, American schoolkids who wore a patriotic symbol on their t-shirt were expelled, including those of our flag and of our armed services.

I don’t care where you stand or what country you come from, you do Not dishonor our country and flag nor our citizens (or our schoolchildren or our lands) whose families have paid lifetimes in blood and treasure to make America so great you want to come here in the first place. Then again, I’m just one of those whose generations of ancestors fought American wars and who’s paid taxes my entire adult life.

“America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.” [Joseph Stalin, USSR]

Below is what immigrants were openly threatening circa 2010. The internet apparently cleansed a considerably more vicious video with a big, burly bully describing how they would kill US with their “axes & shovels.” (Minute 0:13) These protests were rampant and the fact that immigrants felt compelled to so openly threaten American citizens’ lives speaks for itself.

When Obama wasn’t inciting immigrants and faux racism with blacks he was over-regulating businesses out of business, from wholesome ma & pa farms to industries like coal. The ones he didn’t drive out of business he drove overseas, you remember them, those that returned to America in droves when President Trump lifted the burdens.

Obama’s years ARE what inflamed divisions in this country today, just as he set out to do, just as any good Community Organizer would set out to do. There can be no argument about that.

aausefulidiotsdDo you not remember Obama refusing to release his birth certificate? A birth certificate, for crying out loud, the most basic of every Americans’ official record to say nothing of a President’s. Why sow those seeds of discord? Or his countless affronts against American law enforcement, starting with the infamous security guard “Beerfest?” Or his Obamacare signature law with all of its slimey back room deals, denying GOP input, after which we all paid dearly for Democrats-only favorite “bridges to nowhere” type of pet projects.

Obama overtly influenced the Treyvon Martin case among others, more than once sending-in his DOJ to influence and instigate. When black on white voter intimidation openly took place Obama maintained a blatantly bigoted stance, going so far as to rewrite DOJ law to disavow whites from pursuing their legal protections.

Unlike President Trump in Charlottesville, who opted to wait to hear facts before taking sides in racial divide and for which he’s been excoriated ever since, Obama did not hesitate to jump-in prematurely with his infamous statement, “If I had a son he’d look like Treyvon … .” It became very clear very quickly during Obama’s years that deteriorating race relations was not only his deliberate intent it was his expertise.

Obama segregated whites as open targets of hostility and used Our IRS to punish innocent GOP groups while giving favor to himself and left-learning organizations. He used his aausefulidiot5Department of Justice to dismiss billy-club-wielding voter intimidations in front of Philadelphia’s polling station. I’ll never forget walking into my own rural Midwest voting place to see Obama literature sitting out on the tables, a flagrant violation of voting laws. That exemplified Obama’s level of arrogance.

Let us not forget the “Occupy” movement, where Democrats brought in aristocrats and paid others to stir income tensions over “1%” high earners. Hoards of people threw tents on taxpayer land and publicly defecated on city streets across our nation, further making slums of residential neighborhoods to say nothing of the escalating crime. Obama encouraged the mayhem with flamboyant rhetoric and did nothing to restore taxpaying Americans’ city or home fronts to them. The chaos was left to simmer until, by pure choice and the passing of time, most of the crowds finally went home.

From the floor of Congress, Obama used threatening street rhetoric with pompous bullying and blatant lies to fan the flames of festering social upheaval rather than making any attempt to calm it. He did nothing for the blacks or for the whites and what little he did ‘for’ immigrants was purely self-interested in garnering a future voting block.

aausefulidiot6Under Obama’s economic policies, not only were unemployment and welfare rolls bursting at the seams while numbers accounting for them were routinely manipulated, consumer prices skyrocketed across the board.

The only thing Obama was good at was throwing Our tax dollar money at an issue, economic collapse being a just as important Community Organizer strategy (watch the “Agenda” movie linked above). It was the first time in lifetimes that many Americans moved-in with family members to make ends meet and that included elderly parents moving-in with their grown kids, as well as their college kids, who’d typically be out on their own by then.

While fanning the fires of these wide-ranging social and economic divides, every time he opened his mouth Obama blamed his predecessor, Bush, for the failings and it’s no surprise that Obama attempts to take credit for this president’s turn around today. We’re to believe it wasn’t Obama’s fault while he was in office and two-later after, when things are booming, our successes all go to his glory. How convenient. In essence Obama is admitting he wasn’t “there” for any of it. He was worse than ‘not being there.’

I, for one, remember the in-between years. Many of US do.

Put on your memory helmets. Don’t forget what most of us would love to forget and understandably so, but do not dare. IMHO there can be no worst president, in thought or deed nor in my lifetime, than was Barrack “Barry” Hussein Obama.

VOTE this November. Give President Donald J. Trump the tools he needs to finish Our job before any more Community Organizing Trainees-In-The-Making take Our country’s reigns and they are looming. God forbid please, but it’s just a matter of time unless this evil (yes, evil, watch the movie) is knocked out of the ring. It only takes one then we’re right back where we started ten-years ago.

Obama’s years were not just a blip on the screen. Those were the very deliberate tactics of Democrat Socialists and what they want to return to. Any critical thinker among us ought to be able to see why (watch the movie).

We aren’t ignorant anymore. What we face going forward couldn’t be more dangerous or more clear.


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Hang On to What You’ve Got (Music Vid)

aasheets“We imagine our delight in how much better a newer version will be instead of the antiquated one we’ve hung onto for longer than any of our beloved pets survived.”

There’s much to be said for hanging-on to what we’ve got.

Sheet straps: You know the kind, with the garter at the end for tethering sheet corners in place over your mattress. Maybe I toss and turn more than most, but I’ve been using the same old sheet straps for more years than I care to admit. I figured it’s time to replace them. Yes, I have sheets older than I care to admit, too.

When we replace a good old reliable the anticipation is that, surely in the past 20-years (ooops), technology has made improvements. We imagine our delight in how much better a newer version will be than the one we’ve hung onto for longer than any of our beloved pets survived. That’s a real motivator, what a treat to finally indulge frivolous gimmicks we’ve frugally denied ourselves anew for so long.

(Truthfully? In my case it’s more about forgetting them when I shop but we won’t open that can of worms right now.)

Well, I’m sorry Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, my new sheet straps leave much to be desired. The sad thing is, that’s not a surprise. It’s more like an old rerun of deja’ vu.

How many times have you replaced an old trusted reliable with a new fangled one only to find the new one isn’t nearly as well made or doesn’t work at all? So now what, I ask, I’m supposed to buy new sheets to fit the sheet straps? Is that the real (subliminal) message? Do sheet companies make these things?

I don’t need new sheets … except for the fact that my new sheet straps won’t attach to the sheets I already have, those being of thicker quality than most of today’s, too, I suppose.

At least my bed is freshly made … until tomorrow morning, when I fight refastening these new fangled sheet straps, which is worse than not having them in the first place.

Now that I think about it, maybe now’s the time to replace my bed. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while. That would mean entirely new bedding, from sheets to pillow cases to dust ruffle and bedspread, which means I’d also need new drapes … … … now where the heck did I put those old sheet straps?

Hang on, hang on, hang on to what you’ve got.


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Politics, WordPress, Cyberspace, Spiders, & Folk Songs (Music Vid)

1folksong“That was familiar frustration, which is only slightly better than the unfamiliar kind. What happened to evenings sitting on the porch singing folk songs?” (Song Video)

aprotest1I ask myself why I sit in front of these televised Congressional hearings as intently as I do. Afraid I’ll miss something, I guess, plus just bored with what I could (should) be doing. I don’t like the news snippets afterwards. Those don’t capture the spirit of a moment and depending on which station you watch, oh my gosh, their editing amounts to a ‘spoiler alert’ you hear in regret, because you’re never going to see the real thing again.

aplatoI could do without all of today’s “protesting” hoopla, for sure. What a poor example of our society. In retrospect, I know that’s exactly what my grandparents’ generation said of us … and theirs, before them. I reassure myself it’s getting very close to coming full circle when manners are back in vogue. Well, that’s what I keep telling myself.

I whiled-away time this evening trying to figure out how to print WP posts for a three-ring binder. After exhausting every trick-in-the-book, I was surprised to realize, apparently, WP doesn’t let you print your own work in a decent format unless you pay/upgrade with their print plug-in. In fact, they make it down right hard. Hmph. That’s shoddy. Now they tell me? I’m doing good to function with the free version, can’t imagine what I’d be forced to learn with an upgrade. At my age you don’t force yourself to learn anything that’s not critical to living.

apostsThe last thing my life needs is more frustration, so I spent a few hours hopping from desk to printer and back again several times per post so I could print one, two-sided. That says nothing of all the angst I put myself through when first determined I could find a better way. It’s laughable when I think about it … giving up on that only to count odd versus even pages then misprint and start over a few times, as if that wasn’t “frustrating.” At least that was familiar frustration, which is only slightly better than the unfamiliar kind.

I should probably be on Twitter right now instead of here, where I could vent in 240-characters or less and be done with it. But the last time I tried that one of my best tweet atwitterreplies disintegrated into the Conservative censorship pit, wherever that is, never to be seen hide nor hair of again. That was disappointing. Now that I think about all of this, though, it is really sad that digital media has so much of a grip on my life. What happened to evenings of sitting on the porch playing a guitar singing folk songs?

Willie Nelson | By Graeme MacKayMy patio is nice and I thought about going out there this evening … but this time of year there are a lot of spiders in the shadows. By the time I gathered my amenities and shoed away those critters, arghhh, too much spooky hassle for me … and it’s a l-o-n-g way back & forth to the printer.

So who’s fault is it I’m left wallowing in so many furstrations of cyberspace, as if that’s the best option? But I can’t play guitar and, oh, and I can’t sing either.

Those darned protestors.

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What’s with the Trees?

Atrees1I laid down with him to put him to sleep and he, hearing so much adult talk about current events, asked, “Maka, what happens when you die?”

He was about three when he started forming thoughts into well-rounded sentences. Some of the concepts his innocent, little mind conjured would entertain us for hours. It wasn’t unusual for my first-born grandson to sit among the young adults adding his two-cents, which intrigued them into encouraging more.

He routinely stayed with me every weekend and often in between. From the first words my grandson tried to speak, one was an endearing name for me that combined “Grandma” and my given first name, resulting in “Maka.” Our 45-minute drive to my house was always the same, down the New Jersey thruway and its off-ramp lined with well-established trees.

Atrees3On one occasion the seasons were changing from summer to fall and trees surrounding my exit had turned from lush green to a bare, stark gray. Seated in his passenger-side car seat as we slowed to exit, my grandson was in his typical gaze out the window.

All of the sudden, with a toddler’s ‘this just isn’t right’ alarm, he stated emphatically:

Hey! What’s with the trees?

The commitment in his young voice, in noticing such a profound revelation of nature that was not the least bit natural in his opinion, was hysterical.

Living in New York then and heavily reported in the news, shortly after singer Eric Clapton’s toddler son fell to his death from their New York apartment window another child died the same way. Those spawned belaboring discussions and debate involving child safety. Not long after, my elderly next door neighbor, with whom my grandson had developed a caring rapport, also died. Apparently overhearing all of this talk about dying caused him to ponder the concept of death.

Atrees2Visiting one night I laid down with him to put him to sleep and he wanted to toddler-talk. After typical chit-chat about his day and having heard so much adult talk about death, he asked me,

Maka, what happens when you die?

I fumbled trying to explain in toddler terms and a way that wouldn’t scare him. He hesitated, then, with a keen awareness that death meant permanent absence from others in your life and not wanting those he loved to overhear, he lowered his voice and secretly whispered toward my ear,

“Maka, when you die can I go with you?”

I don’t remember my reply, only the melting of my heart..

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Dad & the Walkman (Music Vid)

cdion2I bought the tape, a Walkman and set it to play …

This song hit the charts and Father’s Day was around the corner. The lyrics reminded me so much of Dad I couldn’t imagine a better gift. You may not remember walkmans or are too young to know (an early predecessor of portable CD players then iPhones with earbuds). It was a lifetime ago.

I bought Celine Dion’s tape, a Walkman, set it to play on this song and mailed it to Dad. All he had to do was open it, put on the headphones and push the button.

They said he went in the other room to listen and began crying. God bless you, Dad. It’s the one thing that’s brought me to tears since those of losing you.

Dad hosted our family reunions every Labor Day weekend. Happy Labor Day to you and yours!

Even without you here,
this keeps you near.
I love you.

~ Karen Suzanne ~


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Celebration Time, Come On! (Music Vid)

Remember this song? I love it!

After moving here and with no customary rituals of family gatherings on holidays, I was lost as to just how I was supposed to celebrate those? How the heck do you celebrate by yourself? Can it even be done or was I supposed to relent to my elderly aunt’s theory, “ehh, every day of the year is the same.” That didn’t feel right. I wasn’t ‘there’ yet.

celebrateI hadn’t learned fixings-for-one so the first holiday I cooked up a storm just as I would any other and handed out paper plates full to neighbors in the same boat. Apparently they’d subscribed to my aunt’s theory of what I was still determined could be done. I mean, you have to admit. It’s pretty hard to celebrate with just yourself, but if nothing else kitchen cleanup put me right back in the moment.

The next holiday was Thanksgiving and by then I had a dog. She’s an adorable little princess of a small bred Golden Doodle and look at those eyes, aren’t they determined, too? She must get that from me [blushing smile]. Hmmm, now that I look closer they could be saying, “if you like your hand you’ll get that selfie-taker out of my face.”

CC16.2 (2)A-hem. I digress.

What a great idea to train her to sit at our Thanksgiving table with paws in place for grace and me ever so properly dishing out portions, wouldn’t that be cute and laughable? Does ‘cute and laughable’ not a celebration make? I think it does. Well, like that was ever going to happen. As much as I love dogs and children, training them was never my forte’.

I went all out anyway, from cooking turkey to homemade noodles and mashed potatoes, signature green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and a freshly baked pie. With a spoonful of each on her just-right-sized plate, my little best buddy licked it clean. What you have to appreciate is, this Golden Doodle is like a picky-eating child, so I considered her gobbling cleanup a compliment on high. Now that was reason for celebration.

This dog is so picky that, like any other, she’ll drive you crazy with cold, hard stares wanting whatever you’re eating. When I hand a bite of my food out to her she sniffs for a full 15-seconds before taking it, like I’m trying to poison her or something. Hmph. Tees me off sometimes.

Since that Thanksgiving’s shindig I’ve toned things down (celebrating for one, errr two, is exhausting) and I have learned to cook more appropriate portions in honor of cleanup. I took pictures of that Thanksgiving so when the next holiday rolls around I’d be sure to remember how celebrating for one, errr two, is or isn’t done and that not ‘every day of the year is the same.’


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