Sunday, November 21, 2010


What a weekend! 

On a total whim, my 12 year old son and I dressed like we were going to the grocery store in Fargo, ND, in the middle of January and went to the Iowa/Ohio State football game. 

Four layers of clothing, socks, and a men's parka. John and I both sported fur caps with ear flaps. We looked like we were from Nort DahKOtah, eh? 

This morning, my daughter asked how we got our tickets. I said that I bought them off a guy in the street. "You mean a hobo?"

" Not a hobo. He made $20 off me."  Yes, I paid more than I should have because they can see me coming from a 100 yards away. But, it was worth every cent to make memories with my son.  

Oh yeah, and Iowa lost. So much for that.

Today, in the midst of all that grips my heart and mind and makes me so introspective, a dear friend came rolling back into my life. 

Just this spring, he had a massive stroke and we didn't even know if he was going to make it. He's now moved to Grinnell, and I haven't seen him since his stroke. The smiles, tears, and hugs from our little reunion were wonderful. 

I can tell you that the things that I am wrestling with in my life look very different this evening. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Not-Quite Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner

Something inspired me on Friday afternoon at the grocery store and made me buy a bone-in turkey breast. One thing led to another and this afternoon, the kids and I had a mini-Thanksgiving dinner. I've never made Thanksgiving dinner by myself. I've brought side dishes and watched from the living room most of the time, but never solo. It went really well. The turkey was accompanied by roasted butternut squash and turnips with rosemary and thyme and sage dressing. Not bad. The boy got into the act when I told him he could make a pumpkin pie. Which he did and it was really, really good. Especially with real whipped cream we beat up with the mixer. 

Thanksgiving is getting so crowded out between Halloween and Christmas. It is becoming just a day of rest during the Christmas shopping season. I've already seen decorated Christmas trees in my neighborhood. It's November 14. I still have pumpkins on my front step. 

Think gratitude. Not just one day out of the year, but everyday. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And When October Goes...

I am unabashedly in love. With the month of October. I love the colors, the crisp air, the coziness of being at home in the evenings as dusk comes early. 

Johnny Mercer wrote the song, "When October Goes," a lovely melancholy song of the change of seasons and a lost love. I adore the song for many reasons. It has started to take on a new meaning, however, when my children and I are enjoying the Halloween department at Target, to turn down the next aisle and greeted by Christmas cards... "100 Days of Holidays" is what Better Homes and Gardens calls the stretch from October to January 1. 

At first, I recoil against all the commercialism of it all. On second thought, the idea of something to celebrate when life seems to be more challenging than not, could be a good thing. I'm not advocating buying more stuff to be sure, but what if we could embrace an attitude of celebration in the face of challenge. Finding something everyday to celebrate, even if it does nothing else but put us in a better mood. We might find that 100 days of holidays could become 365 days of holidays, with some of those days just a little more special than the others.