Tag Archives: Holidays

With a Little Help from My Friends

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
with a little help from my friends”
— Songwriters: John Lennon/Paul McCartney

It’s the Memorial Day weekend. There are many traditions associated with this holiday. From Wikipedia, “Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its unofficial end.” Continue reading

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One Is NOT the Loneliest Number

A Valentine’s Day Dispatch from a “Just One.”

First, I want to go on record that yes — I would L-O-V-E to be in a long-term, committed, romantic relationship with the right person — heck yes — perhaps I’d even consider getting married again, unlikely, but possible. Having said that, I must admit that being single, or “just one,” is not the loneliest number, despite the lyrics of the song One (click to hear Harry Nilsson perform the song) made famous by Three Dog Night, which was written by Harry Nilsson, who is one of my favorite songwriters, (I know I’m dating myself here). H-m-m-m — “dating myself” ­ — it’s kind of a metaphor for being single on Valentine’s Day. Continue reading

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Drinking from a Glass Half-Full

“Every last one of us can do better than give up.” —Cheryl Strayed

Looking back at 2016 with gratitude and ahead to the New Year with optimism.

Before you jump to any conclusions — I’m not crazy — 2016 sucked!  I’m not going to rehash all the reasons why, because we all know why, and we’ve talked about it around the virtual, social media water cooler from glasses half-empty for the past year and more.  As we’ve all been reminded by a quote from Albert Einstein (who knew he was the first to say it?), “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Continue reading

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Without Her: A Mother’s Day Lament

“The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her.” — Author unknown

On this Mother’s Day I want to express my gratitude. I’m lucky. My eyes first met my mother’s over 66 years ago on the day I was born. She was the first person I ever experienced in life, whose flesh touched mine, her smell familiar, whose breasts nourished me, and whose arms held me close to her heart. I’m sure I was comforted by the sound of her soft voice and steady heartbeat that I heard while still in her womb. Every year on my birthday I felt intimately close to her. We often shared tears, tears of gratitude and joy. This year was the last one we’ll ever share together. Mom died 10 days after my birthday. This is my first Mother’s Day without her. Continue reading

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Full Moon on Christmas Day: Part II

Christmas Present and Christmas Future

“Your life will be a great and continuous unfolding. You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness.” — Cheryl Strayed

This is Part II of a personal essay on the holidays. The subject of Part I was pre-holiday musings and reminiscing about childhood Christmas celebrations past. I’m grateful to my parents for their gifts to me, most importantly their love, nurturing, and support and for the delight I experienced on Christmas morning as a child when I saw the decorated tree and gift-wrapped presents.

Part II is also recognition that things change; we experience loss in our life as we age. Loved ones leave us, others die, and some traditions are more difficult to sustain.  People move across country, move on from childhood to adulthood, and sometimes family members and loved ones create chasms too difficult to bridge. Continue reading

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Full Moon on Christmas Day: Part I

Pre-Holiday Musings & Memories of Christmas Past

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”  Laura Ingalls Wilder

“The bright moon glows amongst pines.” — Wang Wei

Christmas approaches and for those who celebrate this Christian holiday or families like mine of Northern European heritage who practice a more Americanized consumer tradition we are being treated to a Full Cold Moon on Christmas Day. The Full Cold Moon is also called the Long Night Moon by some Native American tribes because it’s near the Winter Solstice. Continue reading

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The Pleasures (and Lessons) of a Staycation

“A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.”— Urban Dictionary

“You don’t have to go far to travel.” Me

It’s that time of year again when September arrives and I extend the Labor Day holiday by taking my annual Staycation. While students return to school after their families unpack from vacation and pack those back-to-school backpacks full of brand new school supplies, I take a break from my day-to-day work routines and make my “to-do only if I want to lists.”   Continue reading

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Valentine Blues

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” — Charles Schulz 

First, please don’t make assumptions about the content of this essay based on its title, or misconstrue this writer’s intent. This is not a, “Poor me I’m single on Valentine’s Day missive,” or, “This is a ridiculous Hallmark Card, florist and chocolatier’s, consumer-driven, holiday.” No, instead let me go on record, I like Valentine’s Day and all the accompanying hearts and flowers, sophomoric poetry, and dinner dates with a special someone. Some years I’ve been known to give, receive and enjoy them.  Continue reading

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Memories, Milestones & Musings

“Memory …is the diary that we all carry about with us.” — Oscar Wilde

Today is the last day of the first month of the year. I’ve been spending a lot of time looking back at last year and looking ahead to the new year. That journey has taken detours to the past and ventured into dreams of the future. It’s no surprise this month is named for the Roman God, Janus. As I recently noted in my essay, Legacy of a Life:

In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus.”  (Source: Wikipedia)  Continue reading

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Conversations w/My Next Girlfriend: Episode 8

Note: This is eighth in a series of imaginary conversations with my next girlfriend.

Dear Next Girlfriend,

This past weekend I returned to my hometown of Racine, Wisconsin to celebrate the wedding of my niece Jennifer and her spouse Becky. They were married earlier this summer when same sex marriage was legalized in Wisconsin. They’ve been committed, loving partners for 12 years. I wish you could have joined me; it was a wonderful event and for me an affirmation that love is love, especially when families are able to accept, support and love their LGBTQ relatives and welcome their partners unconditionally. I am grateful to be a member of that kind of family. Continue reading

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