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Showing posts from February, 2015

Peace In, Not Out

My dad had a brown leisure suit. He didn’t really leisure in it. My mom had pedal pushers. She pushed nary a pedal in them. I have a laptop and never have I placed it on my lap.
Words mean so much. They’re powerful. We have to be “careful” with them. We don’t want to “hurt” feelings with them. We don’t want to “offend” with them. We don’t want to “waste” them. They’re that precious.
In fact, they are so powerful that entire countries rely on them for their message. At this point, journalists have died by them, if not ruined their careers by them. Words don’t play.
Throughout my life I’ve been in conflict with the power of words. Use good words. Use your inside voice, I’ve told my children really without much thought. Here we are now in a place where words make or break a situation.
I remember when words were just words. We struggled to not take them seriously. I have wanted all my life to give power to words and to take it away practically in the same breath. I didn’t mean it. What …
I know there are people who love snow. At least there are people who say they love snow. I am not one of them.
I grew up in a suburb of St. Louis where we were more afraid of tornadoes than snow. If there was more than an inch and a half on the lawn, we scraped it all together for a snowman, limp carrot nose and all.
When my kids were little we lived in upstate New York, where the snowfall averaged 200 inches a season. We couldn’t send them out to play for fear they’d be swallowed whole by a snow bank. Neighbors had snowshoes hanging in their garages. And they used them. Regularly.
When we moved to Martha’s Vineyard, everybody said, “You’ll love the winter. It doesn’t snow much here and when it does, it’s gone the next day.” They were either misled or they are prone to acute optimism.
This is our third winter here and we’ve faced snowstorms more than a foot at a time every year since we arrived. It was cute the first year. The neighbor kids ran outside at the first sight of a snowflake …

It All Starts Here

It’s no wonder I have problems with food. I consider school cafeterias my first battleground. You learn how to dodge all those landmines early on.
One of my earliest school memories is pouring the powdered Nestle Quick from my baggie from home into my little cardboard milk carton and shaking it as hard as my little second grade hands could manage.
From there the other memories come tumbling down. Who doesn’t have a classmate who dumped a little bag of Fritos into their Styrofoam chili cup? Not I. Nowadays when I see the whole chili/Frito combo on a menu, I think to myself, “Why wasn’t I brave enough to try that shit in sixth grade?” And then I realize I didn’t try it then and I ain’t gonna try it now.
I’m not sure if anyone else shares this memory but my best friend Julie used to bring a lot of things Tupperware in her lunch. I was SO jealous. Her mom actually made Kool-Aid with a cup of sugar; my mom used maybe a half a cup on a good day. And, Julie’s mom froze the Kool-Aid overnight i…