Friday, January 31, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Well, I'm nothing if not predictable...
I began reading this book today called "Wave" by Sonali Deraniyagala. It is a memoir of a woman who was vacationing in Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit on December 26, 2004. She survived the wave, but it swept away her husband, her two young sons and her parents. It is a frank and gripping tale and I will finish the book, but not tonight. After tucking in my own children and my sick-with-a-bad-cold husband, I cannot face the darkness, the loneliness and the grief within the pages.
The book is a tale of a lifetime of love-- lost. It is about the beauty of life, ached for after it has been stolen. Though the author's body miraculously survives the natural disaster, her mind believes her life, too, is over, for who is she without her family? Her soul is lost.
Today marks the 41st anniversary of the legalization of the taking of lives of the unborn in this nation. We, who have the opportunity and obligation to protect the most fragile amongst us, have been granted the "right" to end those lives. Abortion not only stops a beating heart, it wrenches the hearts of a desperate mother and broken father.
I implore you: Pray to end abortion.
Oh, and, since he seems to be a popular guy, here are 13 Quotes from Pope Francis on the Sanctity of Life.
Monday, January 20, 2014
I come at this a lot of different ways-- as a Christian, as a mother, as a staunch conservative who is also a bleeding heart liberal on certain social issues, as a former journalist pledged to objectivity, and, as the undeniable WHITE WOMAN. There is much I would like to write here, but I will not. Somewhat out of fear. Possibly out of ignorance. Out of reverence. I will comment only to say the piece is obviously well written, because it really gives a reader something on which to chew. The question then becomes: Once we are done chewing, what do we DO with it?
Sunday, January 19, 2014
It was one of those rare, beautiful, winter days when I actually don't hate living here. It was "warm" and sunny and the kids could not wait to get outside, play on Grandma's and Grandpa's luge run, and slide around on the ice. I am thankful for fresh air and time with some great kids, including a nephew who hits double digits tomorrow!
The weather gremlins warn the next wave of misery blows in tonight... so don't expect any more flowery crappy from me tomorrow.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Monday, January 13, 2014
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
As I laid her into her bed, I started thinking about Madeline and all of her siblings, and how they'd each had kind of rough days in their own ways.
This afternoon, Benjamin came out of the dentist's office and stood before me, mouth drooping on one side. Two more cavities filled. A crown. A sealant. He had been brave, but he looked put through the wringer.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
So, today, Amanda put in her two cents about a product pitch:
A: "So, there are these dolls called Equestria Girls."
A: "Yeah, they're, like, dolls for horse lovers."
M: "Well, that makes sense, since the word 'equestrian' means having to do with horses or horseback riding."
A: "Well, that explains a lot... but what it doesn't explain is why anyone would want a doll with a horse head-- and a tail."
Monday, January 6, 2014
In the interest of history, it turns out then-governor Arne Carlson closed schools two other times I do not remember, in 1996 and 1997. I was probably just working those days... and I guess I should remember, since I was working in television news. Yet, if I had a dollar every time the weather in Minnesota made news, well, then, I'd be on a beach somewhere right now.
The day I remember the governor shutting down schools statewide, including the University of Minnesota, was January 18, 1994. (No, I don't actually remember the date-- I am not gifted that way-- I looked it up.) The weather geeks report the morning air temperature was -26 degrees in the Twin Cities, with a wind chill of -48 degrees.
But I didn't feel a thing.
That weekend, I had been home visiting from the University of Wisconsin-- Madison, where I was a journalism student, and, where, incidentally, we never got school called off due to the cold. It was never as cold in Madison as it was in Minneapolis. I don't remember if I didn't have any Monday classes or if classes had not yet begun for the new semester or what, but I do remember I had my first new-to-me car, a 1987 Ford Escort station wagon dubbed "The Silver Bullet" by my cousin Emily, and that gave me a license to make my own schedule.
After leaving my parents' home, following a relaxing visit where my laundry was done for me, my meals were cooked for me, my oil was changed for me, and my tank was filled for me, I had one stop to make on my way back to school: I wanted to visit my boyfriend of six months at his apartment in the University of Minnesota's Dinkytown area. I had met Todd the previous summer, while he was transitioning his studies from a small school in Arizona to the big U. In the fall, shortly after we began dating, I returned to Madison, where I had an apartment with two friends, and he rented a tiny, third-floor walk-up, studio apartment in an old house near campus.
I don't know if the announcement had already been made, or if we heard it after I arrived at Todd's, but I do remember the fun and freedom of an unexpected day off. (Well, he had a day off... I'm pretty sure I was playing hooky.) His apartment was so small, the kitchen appliances were toy-sized, and two wooden chairs, a drop-leaf table, a bed and a bookshelf comprised all of his furniture. I don't even remember the place having a bathroom... and I am beginning to wonder whether he actually shared one out in the hall with another tenant. That seems unbelievable, but who thinks about something as ordinary as going to the bathroom when you're in looove?
The house was a dump, and was later torn down, but that attic studio was so cozy, so warm, I could have stayed there forever.
I probably watched Todd study that day (he was always studying)... maybe we waved and called to the neighbors across the alley... I'm sure there's some other stuff I shouldn't put in print, like K-I-S-S-I-N-G, but probably not much, because I will have forever burned into my brain the photos of his mother, his grandmother and his sister that were the only decorations on his bookshelf-- strategically placed there by one of the women in his life, I'm sure. They worked.
I know that day we left that little house, too. Of course, we did. We were hearty Minnesotans, as well as stupid college kids and loopy young ones in love. Plus, Todd rarely had any food. We would have had to go out for food. And beer.
Eventually, I would have packed up, warmed up the Silver Bullet, and been on my way. We would have had a long, drawn-out, possibly teary goodbye. Then, I would have driven the 270 miles back to school, until one of us could make the trek to visit again.
I'm not one to wax nostalgic much about the past. That's mostly because I don't remember the past. I blame motherhood for robbing me of the ability to remember much of anything, anymore. But I also don't dwell on what was because I prefer to believe something better is always just around the corner, and that's a good way to live.
However, I will always remember that day. It's more of a feeling than an event. It has a color about it for me, a warm, golden glow, combined with the pale green paint of that house on Essex Street. Utter contentment. I was enough. He was enough. Life felt good.
With schools closed across the state today and again tomorrow, it's a different feeling with its own aura. Arctic temperatures or not, Todd had to return to work after being off for two weeks over the holidays. I've so far packed 26 boxes of Christmas decorations, done six loads of laundry, changed three beds, and broken up 94 fights amongst my four children. I bundled up to take the dog out. I didn't bundle up to take the garbage out, twice, and I regretted it. But I also let the kids gobble up leftover pizza and leftover Christmas cookies for lunch, and felt a sense of relief my 10-year-old must finally be recovering from surgery when she asked to do her homework.
I am contented staying in and protecting my children from the dangerous conditions. I just wish my boyfriend was here to share it.