Sunday, December 31, 2006

It stopped raining!

The first snow this winter arrived on the last day of the year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Quality time

On our last flight home, my husband sat between our children and let me have the aisle seat opposite them. (Although my daughter still talked to me, (I was not obligated to entertain them across the aisle!) So while my husband had the pleasure of additional family time, I deliberated whether to read or try to work on a crossword puzzle. I never got to either one.

As usual, I greeted the person sitting next to me. We exchanged the usual information--where we were headed and where "home" is. What was unusual--at least for me--was that the mention of our destination launched us into quite a trip down memory lane for the woman beside me.

She grew up very near where we live now. She knew Fort Riley "back when it was very beautiful" and shared stories of watching the calvary march near her home. She recalled family reunions with her cousins from all over Kansas, remarking that "you all probably don't do that anymore." That phrase popped up every so often--sometimes it was accurate but in some cases, I was able to assure her that not everything has changed.

My companion from row 17 will be celebrating her 82nd birthday next week. While she happily recalled many good times with her sister and cousins (who have all passed away), about halfway through the flight she was wiping the tears away. I apologized for bringing up painful memories but she just patted my knee saying, "No dear. Thank you for letting me reminisce a little." She had only good things to relate but after each story, she'd remind me that she is the "only one left."

I tried cheering her by reminding her that she'd just visited her niece and her family. Her grand-niece is attending KSU which is not far and she has dear friends in Kansas City. She'd nod but repeat that she was the only one left, making sure that I understood her immediate family and old friends are all gone. She has been invited to move closer to her niece but said she'd rather stay where she is as it's near her burial place. I nodded, saying I hoped she would not need it for many more years but that it must be a comfort knowing that is settled. She smiled. She described a family burial spot, out in the country, where all of her family is buried together. There is a beautiful view; it's peaceful. And she settled back for a moment, quite serene.

We saw her twice more in the airport and my daughter spotted her first: "Look Mom! There's your friend!" I never asked her name but I'll think of her whenever we drive by the farms beyond the Army post.

I learned quite a bit about the place we live now but there was a larger lesson in her few minutes of silence. She spent a few sad, fearful moments realizing that she had been left behind but she spent just as much time happily anticipating joining her family again.

Delayed Christmas wishes!

I hope your holidays were wonderful! Belated warm wishes for Chanukah and Christmas!

I finally got the Christmas letters out but did not get back on the blog before we left town. We went to San Antonio to visit some of the hubbie's family for Christmas. We stayed with his parents and spent much of Christmas Day at his brother's house. Our kids loved having time with cousins they haven't seen in quite a while and we got to relax and catch up a little!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Personal apologies

For my readers who also know my last name and are expecting Christmas cards from me: SURPRISE! They won't get to you by tomorrow. (I know, that is not a surprise).

Further apologies--you won't get a card. After spending most of this week trying various ways to create beautiful, creative cards -- I can't get them to print right. Even my attempts to print the perfect photo to send with a card met with no success. I do at this time every year...I give up. I cut and paste our photo on a Christmas letter and print that instead. However, at least in years past, I have purchased cards and slip the letter inside. I have not made it that far this year.

You will get a Christmas letter from us this year. At least, I hope it gets to you this year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

13 years

Thirteen may sound like an unlucky number but I don't know another way to get to fourteen!
(Our 13th wedding anniversary was officially yesterday but I'm always a bit behind...)
Happy (Belated) Anniversary, Sweetie!
13 Numbers Detailing 13 Years...
and only 1 Day Late!
17 years ago we had a 12 hour date and soon we were not dating anyone else.
16 years ago, I suggested that we could get married and you did not quite agree.
(It was not the enthusiastic response I was looking for.)
14.5 years ago you asked me to marry you and I agreed—though it was still a less enthusiastic response than you were hoping for!
13 years ago we got married.
12 years ago I suggested that we should not stay married but you did not quite agree. We made it through that and 10 years ago we talked about starting a family.
9 years ago we actually did and 8.5 years ago, our first child was born!
2.5 years later (almost 6 years ago) our second child was born!
Lately, I have suggested adding a 3rd child to our family but you do not quite agree.
We have a wonderful, loving family of 4 and life is good! I hope you agree!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mea Culpa VI

I like to think that I am a nice person but I know there are people out there who would disagree. I cannot change the past, right? Perhaps it is better to go ahead and do the best I can each day rather than looking back.

Yet looking back is moving my novel forward. I had the idea to include one or two heartaches in the book—similar to personal ones—to work through them personally and give the novel some conflict. However, taking a closer look at the mistakes I made, the hurt I caused and then exaggerating those just a little makes for a more powerful story.

It makes it much more draining to write, too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A marketer's dream

My son, of course, wants every toy advertised during his favorite cartoons on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, etc.

When "grown-up" items are advertised--he wants them, too--for me. I hear "You should get that, Mom!" every time new cookware, laundry detergent or other helpful cleaning product is advertised.

I was afraid he thought I was a poor cook or his shirts weren't clean enough until yesterday. Sally Field was touting the benefits of Boniva and he voiced an even stronger plea: "You REALLY should get that, Mom!"

I'm just thankful that the ads for NuvaRing and male enhancement products usually air after bedtime.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Under construction

I am technologically challenged. So when it seemed that I could update the look of my blog quickly and easily---I should have known better!

I will try to regain the comments that were posted before today. If I succeed with that, maybe I'll put a few pretty buttons back on the site.

It's another work in progress...

Friday, December 01, 2006

I gave it a shot

I have always gotten more done when a deadline is fast approaching. Some of my best papers in college were written hours before they were due. That's my story, anyway and I'm sticking to it.

So it's no wonder that I wrote many more words today than I've written all month.
There were several days this month when I wrote no words at all. Seeing how many I really CAN write in between laundry, dishes, picking kids up, etc. has at least taught me an important lesson. While I always have plenty of excuses, if I just park myself in the chair, I CAN write. In fact, I learned today that I can watch my son at Taekwondo while fingers are flying on a laptop...who knew? I wrote 3 pages in 20 minutes. Who woulda thunk it?

Unfortunately, it's a lesson I've learned a little too late. There are twenty-seven minutes left before the Nano deadline--and I still have 12, 527 words to finish to "win." So I will not have a pretty icon to post and show you that I can do it.

But I will do it. I will pick a new date and stick to it and have the book done. I will even post excerpts for all to read. But not tonight. Of the 37,473 words you see over there to the left---over 9,000 were written today! If only I had started off that way...

Oh, well. Congratulations to all of you out there that finished in time and won!!! Good for you! I am impressed and hope to join you in the winner's circle next year!