home of the free, because of the brave

We’ve had a whole lotta flag talk going around lately.  Folks jawing about disrespecting the flag and our country…other folks jawing about the country our flag represents disrespecting human rights and basic freedoms.

Where do you fall?

“Let’s fast forward a bit from those childhood days of mine, to a few years ago.  I had a neighbor and she flew an American flag in front of her house…Sally flew her flag proudly.  She was very vocal about her patriotism.  Home of the free because of the brave, and all that jazz.  One day, Sally got a new next door neighbor.  This neighbor was part of the American dream, coming from another country and establishing roots in the neighborhood, starting a flourishing local business.

I’ll call this new neighbor Lou.  At first, she was excited about Lou moving in.  ‘Oh, yeah, you know Lou?  He runs the so and so store down the corner!  He’s great!’  So, cool.  Lou is great…

Not long after Lou moved in, so did his wife, a hijab wearing Muslim from a middle eastern country.  The exact same middle eastern country Lou is from, but I guess that didn’t matter until a woman in a hijab moved in with him, because that’s when Sally’s talk of “terror cells” began and never ceased.”

What The Flag Means To Me – I’m Sick and So Are You

“my brother had clearly called dibs”

Every story is unique.  Here is just one.

“She said she needed to talk to me and I followed her to my room.  She started talking in a tone that was forced calm, measured calm, scary calm…

‘This letter is from your brother and you know what it says?’ she asked.  I shook my head.

‘Do you know what he is?’ she said.  The scary calm was fading, now she was just scary.  ‘He’s gay.’

‘So?’ I thought to myself.

‘Shit.’ I thought to myself.

‘This is going to suck.’ I thought to myself.”

When My Brother Came Out | Raising My Rainbow

valor, fidelity, and sacrifice

It was a stifling day.  Humid…muggy…the kind of day where your shirt sticks to your back when you get out of the car and you wonder why you didn’t think to bring water.

We were excited despite the Sahara-like conditions, though.  It had been years since BrightSide and I visited the D-Day Memorial, and Fourth of July weekend seemed like the perfect time to bring T-man and Bear for the experience.

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that pesky overdeveloped sense of justice

Okay, y’all, putting aside the fact that I’ve had these exact same What is happening here?!? moments lately – THIS TITLE.  It stopped me in my tracks.  How could I not share this blog post with you?  “Jesus hold my earrings”???  Bwahahahaha!!!

But seriously…hysterical title, totally valid post.  Pop on over and check it out.

“Jesus hold my earrings, because I JUST CAN’T with the world right now.

I struggle with cynicism.  I have a condition that my friend Tara Livesay refers to as “Overdeveloped Sense of Justice.”  This isn’t all bad.  It’s great for empathy.  It leads me to care for others and take action to make things right.  But it can also mean that I easily devolve into feelings of frustration or despair when things are unjust.  The tendency to fire up the outrage machine is not always ideal.”

Rage Against the Minivan: Jesus hold my earrings, because I JUST CAN’T with the world right now.

Love never fails. Never never.

Glennon Doyle Melton published the book Love Warrior this year.  Full disclaimer: I’ve read Carry On, Warrior but I’ve not read her new book.  I’m sharing Glennon’s post because I found it riveting, brutally honest, and an excellent reminder that we do not know anyone’s story but our own.  I hope you visit her blog.

“[My sister and I] both did the right thing.  We both poured the same amount of love and hope and work into our marriages – one that ended and one that began again.

Listen to me:  Some loves are perennials – they survive the winter and bloom again.  Other loves are annuals – beautiful and lush and full for a season and then back to the Earth to die and create richer soil for new life to grow.  The eventual result for both types of plants is New Life.

New life for annual and perennial plants.  New love for annual and perennial loves.  Nothing wasted.  No such thing as failure.  Love never fails.  Never never.  Are you still married?  Your love did not fail.  Are you divorced?  Once?  Twice?  A third time?  Your love did not fail.  It made you who you are inside of THIS VERY moment.  Love never fails.”

This is What I Believe about Marriage, Infidelity, Divorce & Redemption | Momastery

“you know how it can be”

As mama used to say, the lights are on but nobody’s home…

“He started talking about the N word, and why black people shouldn’t use it if they want white people to stop using it.

And here’s the thing.  Up until this point, nothing he’s said has shocked me too much.  He’s using somewhat coded language to try to dismiss instances of racism – white people pull this ish all the time.  But then he says:

‘I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve used the N word a few times, too.  I’m not proud of it, but everybody does it.  And if we want to stop using the word, everybody has to stop using it.’

Um, no, hipster man.  Not everyone uses that word.”

Rage Against the Minivan: Millenials, the “N” word, and not-so-casual racism

366 days and counting…

So I was puttering around this morning when a thought struck me – my one year blogiversary ought to be coming around one of these days.  And what do you know…I published my first post on March 24, 2015. An entire year of Riddle from the Middle!  Woo hoo!!


(So why 366 days, you ask?  Well, that leap year February earned me an extra day so now, if I want to find my day count by multiplying, I’ll forever have to remember to +1.  Wonder what the odds are that I’ll keep track of this little tidbit…)

An entire year of learning to navigate these blogging waters.

Experimenting with formats and photos and topics.  Trying my hand at HTML coding (with somewhat minimal success).  Learning about hashtags and social media and networking.  Looking back, I’ve absorbed a remarkable amount of information since last March, and I’m learning more every day.

Riddle from the Middle has seen me through crazy dog antics, the onslaught of hormonal puberty, and insanely quotable moments.  It’s given me space for random rants and a forum for talking about adoption.  It’s seen me through my mother’s illness and death, a time when so many of you reached out to me with comfort and support.  And while I got a little lost in that time, I firmly believe RFTM was one of the anchors that helped me come back to my “regular” life.

I’m incredibly grateful for this little corner of the Internet, and I feel blessed that so many of you have chosen to visit it.  Thank you for sharing your time with me.

With lots of non-snarky love,