Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Day 2009

Giving Thanks. 

For all that has happened, good and bad, for without one, you will never know the other. 

On this Thanksgiving I do give thanks: I thank my wonderful family for putting up with me; I thank my friends for still being friends; I thank our government for not making it as bad as it has been and for offering us some hope; I thank my fortune for being able to live this life I have now; I thank all of those who have supported me through the years; and I thank those greater than myself to see that I am here to be thankful.

I hope that you will be spending quality time with your loved ones over this fall holiday. And for those who need to be out there, at the crack of dawn, on Friday, I wish for you that you get those things that you needed to get up before the crack of dawn to get.

Many, many years ago, before it became the norm to open at 4 am or 5 am or 6 am I did participate in the dawn rush. A couple of stores would open up early: Target and Macy's and a couple of others. But this was a 7 or 8 am opening. And not many people attended. It was fun. We'd get a little snack pack at one store and eat the goodies while we shopped. I've never experienced the crowds and rush that I've read about in the newspapers. I think if I saw that many people waiting to get in a store, I'd wait until they were in the store before I even left my car. I'm not a big fan of crowds. But back then it was fun for me. And a way to get away from the kids and do their Christmas shopping.

But the kids are now young adults. We all have more than we know what to do with. We have found that being together is really the best gift. My daughter is anxiously waiting for our first round of Monopoly and the Mario Cart races this Thanksgiving. We are waiting for our son to get home so we can start playing. A bit old fashioned, but really fun. We've been know to arrive late on Christmas Day because we were too involved in the Monopoly game. We'll try better this year.

And what makes it even better is that the game board with play with is the one I used as a kid on Thanksgiving and Christmas, playing with my sister, brother, and aunt. Those were some interesting times.

So, as the sometimes craziness of the Holidays drops upon us, remember that it is the little things that will be remembered. Being with loved ones. Sharing of yourself. Helping in the kitchen. Walking in the woods, or in our case, on the beach. Be there. For them. For you. It won't always be there for you to enjoy.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day 2009

This Veteran's Day is different. We've just had a horrible shooting at a major military base. Before these proud men and women could even leave our soil they were senselessly killed, by one of their own. What is going on? These are our people. They are US. We should be watching out for them on every level. We should strive to keep them from harm, as they are doing for us. Why was NO ONE paying attention.

This Veteran's Day comes prior to my nephew being deployed. He will be on the line, defending us. I pray that he will return. And even when he does return to us, he will be a different man. We will work to bring him back into the family fold. We will support him even more then.

This Veteran's Day I honor my Grandfather who fought in WWI. In kilts. He was a great man who left us too soon.

This Veteran's Day I honor my Father who fought in WWII. What a handsome young man he was. He is still handsome, in an old-man way. He is faltering in his movements, his speech, his thinking. But he is still here. And I am glad. I don't know how many more years we will have with him.

This Veteran's Day I honor my brother-in-law, the only person I am close to who fought in Vietnam. He is here, with us. Doesn't ever talk about the war. And is a wonderful man.

Six years ago I opened my fabric shop, Round Robin Fabrics, on Veteran's Day. I don't know what I was thinking other than I was really excited to be opening this business. I announced it at our quilt guild meeting the night before. They were excited too! It was a great opening.

But I was never open again on Veteran's Day, with the exception of two hours on the second year I was open. I'd received a phone call asking if I'd be open on Monday. I'd forgotten that Monday was Veteran's Day and said yes, I'd be open. But I didn't want to be. I don't think anyone should be making money on the backs of our Veterans. I hate Veteran's Day sales and never participate. But I'd told this person I'd be open, so there I was, in my shop, ready for business.

Shortly after 10 am a couple came in. I recognized them from having been in before, but really didn't know them. As they were going through the shop, selecting fabric, I thought that maybe these were the people who had called, and asked them. They said they were. I told them that I only came in for them and would be closing after they left. They didn't understand but I told them I really didn't want to be open on Veteran's Day. They were shocked that I came in and opened for them. I told them that I couldn't go back on my word, but that I was really glad that they came in early! That day I found a new friend in Becky Poisson. She and her wonderful husband, Michael, remain two very special people to me. They have since moved and retired to New Mexico and I no longer see them, but do remember them in my heart.

Just as I remember our Vets. Remember and honor those who you may know who have fought to keep our country free. This holiday was enacted to honor, remember, and enjoy our Peace, not to see what kind of deal one can get at the local Mall. I do not like all the hype of shop, shop, shop on Veteran's Day. But no one has asked me. If they had they would get an earful...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fall on the Coast

This time of year in our area is always beautiful. Not in the same way as it is back East where there is so much fall color in the leaves. Our fall is filled with warm days, cool nights, the occasional big surf, and just a feeling in the air that change is coming. I love it!

What I don't love is this: our incessant desire to be "plugged in" at all times! I was in the shower this morning when it hit me. My husband was doing his morning exercises on the bike and listening to his iPod. He was laughing at some comedy routine and it got to me. He is experiencing something funny and unable to share it because he is "plugged in". He is alone in his merriment.

It also hits me at my book club gatherings when many of the ladies are "plugged in" to their iPhones or Blackberries while we are suppose to be discussing the book or our lives or politics, whatever. But they are on their little carry-along computers, doing something obviously more important than what is going on right in front of them. Who is that important? And why do they think that it isn't rude to exclude all who are there to attend to something else that is not an emergency? Are the rest of us really that boring? Do we all need to know, at every step of the way, who is winning the game, the next American Idol, what the score is???

Don't you see the drones walking through the parking lot, ear-pods in, unaware of where they are and what they are doing which should be paying attention to the moving cars? Or walking down the street unaware of any sound around them because their iPod volumn is turned up too high? Or hiking through the woods, unable to hear the sounds of nature? Will they even miss them when they are gone?

Yes, power up your iPods. Upload nature sounds and comedy acts and all the music in the world. This is why Facebook and Twitter came about. We are lacking in communication. We are too plugged in. So then let's go on-line and post brief quips about our lives so the whole world can see. Doesn't that make it better?

And, you say, what are you doing blogging then...

Well, I really don't know if anyone reads this blog anyway. It seems to be more for me to vent or share. I don't have an iPod. I'm not plugged in all the time. I do listen to nature. And, more importantly, I listen to those around me. I do practice the mantra "be here now". Yes, I am an old hippie. I believe. I live. I tune in to what is going on around me. Won't you join me?