Life Before Instagram

My oldest child has a cell phone. The reasons behind his having one are much the same as most parents cite. And the results of his having a phone are probably similar to other teens like him. He texts friends, calls me for rides home from school, and gives me the view of the top of his head more often than I’d like.

Isn’t that just like me to want more of his attention?

However, his attention is what I vie for right along with the apps and websites he visits on his cellphone. Just like nearly all the rest of us, Biggest gives much of his attention to his phone and what he finds there. More than once he’s said something like, “I was reading on Instagram.” Continue reading

Things Are Puzzling

IMG_0288I try to get Mister Soandso or my family a puzzle every year at Christmas. For some reason, this feels like a good tradition to continue as both he and I grew up in families that completed jigsaw puzzles over the holidays. This year was no different. Christmas morning  Mister Soandso unwrapped his puzzle and then set it aside. Several days later, it made its way to our coffee table and we started working on it.1000 pieces of various types of candy. It seemed like a pretty sweet deal. Me, the kids, and Mister all puzzling away with cups of cocoa and Christmas musical in the background. Continue reading

We Like Our Lies The Best

Seeing as it is the Monday following Thanksgiving, I figure most of my fellow Americans here in the US are either congratulating themselves for having finally polished off the Thanksgiving left-overs or are giving Aunt Martha’s casserole in a Tupperware dish a cautious sniff. (When in doubt, throw it out!) Another Thanksgiving come and gone, another opportunity to lie to ourselves.

I’m not trying to speak for all Thanksgiving celebrators, but I probably speak for many of us when I say that our favorite parts of the holiday are based on at least one lie. Most likely, there are many lies we tell ourselves when it comes to the holiday, the least of them being that pumpkin pie is basically a vegetable hidden under all that whipped cream serving of dairy. Continue reading

Everything Is Silent

Last week I developed laryngitis. In my world, laryngitis is a seasonal thing I know will show up at least a few times every year. Normally I don’t mind it terribly because I’m not a big fan of my voice, it being rather stupid sounding and all. So having a different sounding voice is always a bit like a nice change as far as I’m concerned.

But this was not that sort of laryngitis. This was the sort that instead of making me sound Lauren Bacall-esque, it made me sound silent. As in I lost my whole voice. And, of course, I was scheduled to be talking on Sunday. Continue reading

Groot And The Family Dud

You know how they say opposites attract? Well, Mister Soandso and I knew from our first Halloween together that we were opposites. He’s a Halloween sort of guy and I’m pretty much a Halloween dud. He got dry ice and black lighting to spookify our front porch. I bought candy. And then consoled him which chocolate when we got 1 Trick or Treater.

I know I’ve written about that before but this past weekend served to remind me how much of a dud I am when it comes to my family. I’m not really the dud of my family. Not in the bad pancake sort of way. Much. But I’m not as much fun as everyone else, so in that way, I am pretty dudly. Most times I don’t mind being the dud, but sometimes life reminds you of your shortcomings and life has a bit more sting than usual. Continue reading

Pausing to Breathe

Fall arrived up here on the hill and with it a lashing rain against my window, blowing the leaves to the ground. I don’t mind. This is what fall does — it reminds us of how the winds blow, how life is a series of impermanent moments.

But as the rain rattles against the glass, I am mostly glad for this quiet moment coaxing me to just sit.

To sit and breathe in life and this moment and the chance to pause. Continue reading

Truth and Risks

I am not a risk taker. This is my truth. I have tried to be a risk-taker on a few occasions and they always landed on the side of “less than awesome” and more than once it was a god-awful experience.

That is not to say that I haven’t engaged in some terribly risky behavior. But there is a difference between doing something stupid and impetuous and taking a calculated risk. Stupid, I can do. Calculated is apparently not so much of my forté.

Of course, I was better at being calculated and risk-taking back in the days when I didn’t care if I walked the tightrope of life without a net. But now I’m not alone in this venture and I worry about how my actions will impact folks I love. Continue reading