Showing posts from November, 2011

Giving thanks with less

Thanksgiving was just a few days away and for me that meant one thing: Christmas was getting closer!  Now that I was six, I was allowed to dig into the Christmas decorations! Soon my dad would string the twinkling lights outside and bring out his stack of holiday record albums. This was my favorite time of year.
The arrival of all my grandparents brought a mountain of suitcases, clutter and crowded hallways. I didn’t realize their visit was unexpected—they usually took turns—and only came at Christmas.
As I peeked into the kitchen, I saw the cupboards were all open. Canned foods, boxes of cereal and crackers, nuts, large sacks of potatoes, onions, apples and oranges covered our counters. The refrigerator and freezer were soon packed to the seams.
The next day  good smells wafted through our small house. I’d never seen a canner before, but soon jars were lined up on the counter. It seemed like my grandmas never left the kitchen.
The day after, when Thanksgiving dinner was served, I t…

Mixed Marriage: Type A and B

I struggle with my Type A tendencies. Curious what Type A looks like?  Look no further, here I am. I’m the consummate list maker and task taker.  I come complete with pit bull tenacity, Labrador loyalty, and hound dog determination. 

It also comes with a focused fixation that borders on insensitivity —including people sometimes.

Not a redeeming quality.
I started pondering my personality and realized some of it is how I’m hardwired. But I admit some of it is just plain stubborn resolve to be the way I am.
I began to fantasize about being a Type B. I don’t have to imagine too hard. I’m married to one. He can stay up late and sleep in….two things I’m incapable of. He can multitask, but it doesn’t flip his switches like it does me. Then there’s his pesky tendency to “roll with the punches” and “let things roll of his back.” Oh, please, teach me how.
Type B’s are able to get the job done without the stomach upset. They aren’t perfect--and they don't mind admitting this fact (I attempt to …

My Promise to Veterans

I’ll never forget that Veteran’s Day event. I was a clueless, young teen in the midst of an older, uber-liberal college crowd.

At the front of the auditorium the lights reflected off the shiny buttons on an old man’s well-decorated military uniform. He didn’t bother with the podium. Instead he was in front of it, standing tall despite his age and the crutches clipped to his arms. His challenging gaze scanned the crowd.
What followed was his gruesome war story, filled with unimaginable details. It had cost him a leg, but that was easy compared to the scars he carried in his mind. I had read things like this before. But now someone who had suffered it was standing in front of me.  I looked to see how the others were reacting. They seemed unmoved.
The old man sensed it too. While his vivid recall gave me shivers, the crowd facing him didn’t seem to care. It didn’t matter that his battle wounds helped our nation.

It started in the back. One voice shouting out an anti-war curse. Emboldened, …

Go ahead and blame me

There’s a reason our nation is struggling. Look over here. It’s me.  I’m part of the problem. For most of my life I took everything that was offered. Because freedom was easy to have, I didn’t bother to think about its cost.
I never went hungry or slept in fear. I had a free public education and college was so affordable I could pay for it with a government grant, a part time job while eating on food stamps. Freedom allowed me the chance to try out several career choices before landing where I have. 
I was able to buy what I wanted and watch my own purse. No one told me what to put in my own cupboard—or where I should live.
No one told me whom to worship, or how, or when, or where. The choice was mine.
I was able to be a liberal, or a conservative, or neither. No one ever forced me to vote. Nor did I worry about my future if my candidate lost. Truthfully, whatever happened in DC didn't concern me. Yes, it's out of control because I allowed it.
Throughout my copious consumption …