Showing posts from May, 2020

Gold Star Memorial

Gold Star Mom. It’s not a distinction you’d hope for, but for Betsy Schultz, she’s committing her life to being an amazing one, in honor of her son, Captain Joseph Schultz, killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
Ever since I met Betsy, I’ve seen Memorial Day for what it is meant to be—honoring those who’ve lost their lives in service to our nation. 
It was in 2011, when she was returning from a Memorial service that she saw the unmistakable military vehicle parked in front of her home. She knew what it meant and the life-changing news they’d deliver.

Joseph was Betsy’s only child. And as a single mom, the two shared a unique bond. Whenever he’d been home from military duty, he’d help her manage her bed and breakfast, housed in an 1910-era home. 
They shared the top floor of the massive home, and would joke how one day Betsy’s grandkids would love running up and down the broad staircases. 
Now, there would never be grandkids.

At Dover Air Force Base, Betsy sat quietly for hours next to he…

Speak German?

Mark Twain once said that life is too short to learn German. He meant it as a joke, I think. 
But anyone wanting to tackle the complexities of twenty letter words and some unique guttural intonations, the German language is there for the you. 
I studied German for two years in high school. I took conversational German the first year and got the misguided impression that German was going to be a breeze.
Then came year two with Mr. Ruddell. From day one it was intense reading and writing in German. Mr. Ruddell was fun-loving and deadly serious at the same time. 

His daily assignments were not an option, and he had little patience for slackers. While he could have shouted at those slackers in German, he used English so there was no mistaking his annoyance. Upsetting him wasn’t worth it, we all learned. 
Spanish was taught in the classroom next door. Frequent laughter could be heard through the walls, and the occasional wafting scent of tacos being made for a class “project”. I wondered if I’…

Happy COVID-19 Mother’s Day

If there ever was a year to celebrate the women in our world on Mother’s Day, this year is it. Women don’t even need to officially be moms to qualify, because COVID-19 has bumped up the challenges, and women everywhere have heeded the call.

First, a salute to the women nurses who have cared for all those afflicted by this virus. Facing odds of infection, and some choosing to live away from their families while doing so has been an incredible sacrifice. Nurses and caregivers across the country are helping to keep healthcare services functioning throughout these treacherous months. 

Next, our women classroom teachers are preparing lessons, connecting with students online, over the phone, and even mailing out learning packages which helps keep their students on track—while the teachers deal with long days, busy evenings, and nighttime student grading.

Our working moms are now juggling career, childcare, and monitoring school days—all from a card table set up in a new office/bedroom locatio…

May Day

The older neighborhood girls knew exactly how to set up the May Day production line. They carefully crafted small cones out of colored construction paper.  Then they scotch-taped paper handles so that the freshly hand-picked flowers could be beautifully tucked inside.
My job, as the youngest and most gullible, was to run up to each neighbor’s front door, carefully place the taped floral arrangement on the door knob, ring the door bell, and run away before I could be seen.
My floral-creating comrades were at a safe distance watching from a discreet location. Catching my breath, we’d all wait for each door to open and see how our May Day gift would be appreciated. 

Of course, we were too far away to really hear anything, but we got to enjoy the smiles, and the glancing up and down the street to see if they could spot the kind culprits.
It was a short-lived ritual, because we grew up too fast. But I remember those May Days and I miss the kinship of kindness that they offered. With the advent…