gratitude: the choice to come and go

I doubt you’re shocked to hear I’ve got some strong opinions about our country.  I mean, I’m grateful to live here for so many reasons, but I disagree vehemently with the laws enforced in certain states.  Being such a diverse citizenry means there are people who feel just as strongly as I do except, you know, the opposite.  Welcome to a country that champions free speech.

We’ve got ups, downs…positives, negatives…all the ins and outs of a country our size.  But for what it’s worth, in a nation with an eclectic collection of states under one flag, there’s one freedom that’s especially precious.  We enjoy a wonderful freedom of movement in America.

On one of our visits to Charlottesville we found a section of the Berlin wall on display.  The kids were equal parts fascinated and perplexed as we tried to explain how a wall could appear overnight, dividing a country in two.  How people could become prisoners in their homes.  How families were separated, communication severed for almost three decades, lives torn apart.

Recently we were watching a show about the DMZ between North and South Korea.  T-man’s been interested in this area ever since meeting his Tae Kwon Do master, a gentleman from South Korea, and the stark difference in reality between those two spaces is eye opening to say the least.

It’s made me appreciate how blessed we are to be free to come and go as we please within our own country.

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

toe socks, growth spurts, and sunburn to beat the band

**   What’s up with the toe socks?  You know, the ones that look like gloves for your feet?  Bear is obsessed with these, has apparently been dying to own a pair, and doesn’t show any sign of letting up on that.  But here’s what I don’t get.  Why on earth does Bear want a pair of these so badly when all she does is b*tch about fitting her pinkies into gloves?

**  There are no words for the shock of looking out onto the basketball court and realizing your daughter’s teammate is a head and a half shorter than she is.  Damn, that’s tall.  And she was only ten.

**  Speaking of which, wouldn’t it be great if we could time these growth spurts for sales?

**  It’s been a couple of years now since T-man transitioned from boys’ to men’s shoes and I’m still not over the sticker shock.  Good grief, what are they making these shoes out of, corinthian leather?!

**  I was sidelined by necessity at Myrtle this week.  Long sleeves, parked under an umbrella, limited time at the pool and no time on the beach, but I figured we could make it work.  Right up until the last day when I left my kids to their own devices and they forgot to apply sunscreen.  At all.  The entire freaking day.  I believe they’re sincerely stunned at how much a sunburn hurts.  Shoot, maybe that’ll help them remember to put on the blessed sunscreen regardless of whether I’m chasing them around with the tube or not.

Share Your World 6/26/17

What goal are you working on now?

Horribly embarrassing my children at least once a week.  This presents a greater challenge than usual in the summertime seeing as car rider lines provide ample daily opportunity to horrify them with riotous car dancing, but I’m doubling down.

What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again?

Tennis.  We don’t speak of it.

Did you choose your profession or did it choose you?

My first profession chose me.  Teaching called me from a young age, though I don’t think I truly embraced it until my first year in college.  I’ve been choosing my professions since I left teaching.  It’s worked out pretty well so far.

Have you ever gotten lost?

Oh my, yes.  I have a particularly horrible sense of direction – none, really – and it’s gotten me into trouble more than once.  The most recent time was when I was driving T-man to a friend’s house on this tiny back country road, the kind where house numbers are hit or miss from the street.  We drove past his friend’s house three times before we managed to find the driveway.  Even my GPS couldn’t save me on that one.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week we went to my husband’s summer regional meeting in Myrtle.  I loved watching the kids reconnect with friends, make new ones, and enjoy the perks of being among the older kids.  Despite my health problems (stupid infection!) I think I laughed more at this regional than I have in years.  It was good times.

Bear’s at a camp that looks ah-maaa-zing this week – based at a nearby college, filled with cool learning opportunities, with a diverse group of kids.  T-man is enjoying basketball camp, so I’m grateful for quality dog time during the day and looking forward to traveling to someplace new this summer.

Cee’s Share Your World is a Monday treasure.

What’s happening in your world today?

“My girls make piranhas look downright vegan.”

Advice from the battlefield.  With a seriously funny edge.

“Teenagers are like those cool tropical fish you get after you’ve mastered goldfish.

Who am I kidding?  No one can master the keeping of goldfish.  Or pre-teens.  Or teenagers.  You graduate only to bigger kids, but with bigger issues and bigger appetites.  God help us all.  Especially me?…

Keep your head up – here are tips I offer from years of battleground experience.”

#AtoZChallenge: T is for Teenagers – Coach Daddy

the sound of a thousand tomorrows

The sand stretches
on and on.
From my umbrella's shade
to the toe lapping coolness
of waves sliding in,
I sprint across the wide expanse
crying Ouch! 
with every step.
Trapped heat scalds
my soles as
I tumble headlong
toward the water's
promise of relief,
sighing as saltwalter
takes the sting away.

But the ocean reaches
farther still - 
a hundred miles -
even more -
to a horizon
so hazy
it seems like a
I close my eyes
and fly,
to the edge of the sky.
Breathing in humid air,
filling my lungs
with the smell of
summers long gone
and starry skies,
I fly.

I fly to the sound
of a thousand tomorrows.
Away from a beach
sharing decades of stories,
above an ocean
singing about an eternity
of the world
in motion.
As I cross the horizon,
for a split second
I'm suspended
between this world
and the next.
Our history sprawled behind me,
an infinite future ahead...
the beauty in all time and space.
I fly.

- ljh  6/24/17

the milestones come fast and furious

In honor of our 22nd, I’m revisiting last year’s anniversary post.

BrightSide, you’re my rock.  I will forever be grateful to have you as a partner on this journey.

Forever Family: do the math

It’s a special day for us.  BrightSide and I have been married 21 years today.  Twenty-One Years. Yup.  That’s a long time.  Not as long as our parents have been married, as T-man matter of factly pointed out, but still…”

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SoCS – rain, rain, it’s okay

"Well, I love a rainy night
I love a rainy night.
I love to hear the thunder
Watch the lightning 
when it lights up the sky.
You know it makes me feel good."

- Eddie Rabbitt

And I do.  I love the sound of rain on the windows, rain on the porch, rain bouncing off the roof as I stare at the water pouring down outside.

As I’ve gotten older I realize that I don’t even mind rain on vacation.  When I was younger it was cause for despair, enough to ruin an entire week if it didn’t let up.  But now?  Now rain brings permission to slow down and kick back.  Napping all afternoon suddenly becomes completely acceptable.  Reading books in the room is a respectable pastime.

The dogs often have a different perspective, depending on rain velocity (is that even a term?).

This one doesn’t mind the rain unless we’re talking torrential downpour.  Then I suppose whether Gracie goes outside has more to do with how urgently she needs to pee than with the wetness falling around her.

But this one?  Phoebe’s a bit prissy and is willing to cross her legs all darn day if it’s raining outside.  Because heaven forbid a dog get her paws damp in the backyard.  (Then again, I can’t say I’d really enjoy peeing while it rained on me, so I guess I don’t have room to talk.)

We’ve been at the beach during a pretty iffy forecast, and I’ve found the kids handle this much better now that they’re older.  Not that they want the rain, but they don’t get squirrelly and end up bouncing off the walls.  It’s a big improvement on the days when I’d take them to a hallway so they could sprint back and forth to their hearts’ content.

Well, it is for me, anyway.


Linda’s Stream of Consciousness post kicks off Saturdays with a bit of this and that.  This week’s prompt is rain/rein/reign.

the running tallies of being human

My name is Laura and I’ve been called…complicated.  I’m obsessive, except when I’m not.  I hate making mistakes, I love feeling accomplished, and I’m not above spending an entire day on the couch napping with my dogs.  I shop in sprees – long, dry stretches when it’s all food and gasoline before I hit random streaks of oooh, that looks cute and ding the credit card.

I have good intentions, fall on my face, then start all over again.

These are a few of my running tallies.

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