Love is patient and kind … it is not arrogant or rude

Love is patient
Love is patient, love is kind.

My friend and mentor, Elaine Ambrose, has recently returned from a writing retreat in Ireland. A post she wrote resonated with me, and reminded me of conversations shared with locals on our trip to Italy.

“Why are all the Americans mad as a box of frogs?” David asked as he drove from the Dublin International Airport to my hotel. “I don’t understand all the vitriol. The waste of time is biscuits to a bear.” – Elaine Ambrose, “The Wisdom of Irish Taxi Drivers and Bartenders

We encountered similar questions. I’ve often wondered what people from across the globe think of the constant arguing and nastiness and judgmental tones.

Elaine had re-posted her article, just as I was hunting for the one I had written almost two years ago! Criminy, folks! Not much has changed in that time, at all. In fact, it might be worse.

Continue reading “Love is patient and kind … it is not arrogant or rude”

Do your knees say no?

Do your knees say no?
What does ice cream have to do with knees? Read on…

 My knees. And how the only way they do not fail me is by providing fodder…

Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro?

It was a warm, sunny evening.

Peacefully sitting in the yard, that obnoxious song blared from the ice cream truck. It rambled up the street, with kids running out their doors, clutching dollar bills, screaming, “STOP!” Decades ago, I was doing the same thing; running, screaming “STOP,” clutching a quarter in my hand. That was back when my knees worked and a quarter bought more than 15 minutes in a parking meter.

Continue reading “Do your knees say no?”

A funny thing happened… how I survived my most embarrassing moment

A funny thing happened
All I needed for a day of workshop sessions.

A funny thing happened… my most embarrassing moment. Ever. I learned to really appreciate this quote:

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Ah, yes. The famous quote. By this standard, I am Wonder Woman.

I’d like to add my own quote:

“When your life flashes before your eyes, stupid quotes and clichés race through your head.” – Lynne Cobb

I recently had the privilege to attend the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop (EBWW). It was a dream come true. Erma was my favorite – my inspiration as a young writer. I was beyond giddy to attend.

Earlier this year, I kicked off the New Year by attending a local writers’ workshop where we discussed the importance of writing goals and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. It was there I took a short survey that revealed my “word of the year,” which was brave.

Go big or go home.

Continue reading “A funny thing happened… how I survived my most embarrassing moment”

The top ten symptoms of “Erma-titis”

Erma-titis
It’s my understanding that tiaras will be worn.

“Erma-titis.” I’ve got it. Bad.

It’s a total self-diagnosis. A few hundred people get it around this time of April, about every two years.

“I really can’t tell that you are excited…” – My husband

From the moment I started reading newspapers in the morning – so, basically, many moons ago – I’d always read Erma Bombeck’s column. When I was a local columnist, and a reader wrote that I reminded her of “a young Erma Bombeck,” my heart soared and my ego inflated! Someone compared me to Erma! Whoa!

So this week I get to fulfill a dream and attend the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, affectionately called, “Going to Erma.”

“He who laughs … Lasts.” – Erma Bombeck

Continue reading “The top ten symptoms of “Erma-titis””

Reflecting on Lent in Italy at the Aversa Cathedral

Aversa Cathedral
The exterior of the Aversa Cathedral.

“Art used to be made in the name of faith. We made cathedrals, we made stained-glass windows, we made murals.” – Julia Cameron

It was Lent when we visited Italy.

Perusing through my travel journal on the anniversary of our trip, I realized I hadn’t written about the beautiful cathedral we toured. So, I am sharing these photos during Holy Week. Not only do they remind me of our travels, but seeing, breathing and touching some of the history of Christianity has helped me in my own spiritual journey.

Continue reading “Reflecting on Lent in Italy at the Aversa Cathedral”

To Sharon, with love, on World Down Syndrome Day #WDSD18

World Down Syndrome Day
The crazy socks I bought my daughter, and what I believe are her aunt’s baby booties.

Sharon, if I had some crazy socks, I’d wear them. I promise you, I’ll find some to silly socks to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day.

Back in 1970, when my youngest sister was born, the term used to describe her condition was “retarded.” I still bristle when I hear that word. My ten-year-old self was horrified to think people would call my sister – or anyone else – that.

Continue reading “To Sharon, with love, on World Down Syndrome Day #WDSD18”

Return to Disney – A Midlife travel journal entry

Magic Kingdom
Entering the Magic Kingdom!

“We’re going to Disney!” Yeah – I said that. Via text.

It was an extended weekend, whirlwind-trip, that started with my youngest daughter. She researched for some military discounts we qualified for, and I started making calls and reservations. Hotel – booked. Flights – booked. Four-day park passes – got ‘em. When they arrived, I took a picture and sent them to my daughter, my sister and my niece.

Return to Disney
We’re going to Disney!

It became real.

Continue reading “Return to Disney – A Midlife travel journal entry”

Shear terror – true confessions of an Army wife

 

Shear terror
Shear terror – I only use safety trimmers these days.

Shear terror – an ironic play on words. I submitted this piece to the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop pre-conference writing contest. Alas, it was not, a-hem, cut out to be a winner. I did however, want to share it, as many other contestants have shared their “losing” submissions. Sure, I was a little disappointed to have been trimmed. Maybe I missed winning by a hair! Who knows? But, after last week’s very somber post, I thought I’d lighten the mood and post one of the funniest stories I have about being a military wife. 

ZZZvumm. The sound still haunts me.

I was a young, newly-wed Army wife. We had just recently moved to our new duty assignment. Money was tight, and we looked for ways to save our pennies.

Continue reading “Shear terror – true confessions of an Army wife”

Where were the parents?

 

 “Where were the parents?” is a question that I have read and heard countless times, especially since the victims of Dr. Nassar, the former US Gymnastics team doctor, have taken the stand to face their attacker. The video of this distraught father brings it all home for me – click HERE to watch it.

Anxiety and depression have plagued me off and on for years. The recent news coverage of Dr. Nassar has brought my experience up again. It happens – it is a form of PTSD. Though this essay easily flowed from my heart through my fingertips, it was the decision of whether or not to publish it that has brought me the most angst. For years I have felt that God has called me to discuss this. And for years, I couldn’t bring myself to do so. The fear of sharing this story is real. How will people react? My children, grandchildren, family, friends, co-workers, readers. But I feel that I have been repeatedly nudged by the Holy Spirit the past few weeks. Maybe my experience will help someone. Maybe that someone is you.

It seems to be a logical question. How could hundreds of victims have been sexually assaulted by one man, and the parents seemingly be clueless?

Continue reading “Where were the parents?”

Journaling – A beautiful and productive way to start the New Year

Journals
One of my favorite notepads and my new notebook for my “Bullet Journal.”

“I write journals and would recommend journal writing to anyone who wishes to pursue a writing career. You learn a lot. You also remember a lot… and memory is important.” -Judy Collins

On the first weekend of the New Year, I braved the bitter cold and headed out to a local writer’s workshop. The theme – perfect for starting the year – was “Writing Goals and Skills,” led by the president of the Detroit Working Writers.

I purposely left my laptop at home, for a multitude of reasons. First, there was the practicality of lugging it in the cold. As uncoordinated as I can be, I envisioned slipping and falling in the icy parking lot, struggling to save my device as opposed to struggling to save myself.

Continue reading “Journaling – A beautiful and productive way to start the New Year”