As the mother of a U.S. Marine, and mother-in-law to a sailor in the U.S. Navy, Veterans Day has special meaning for me. Today, I would like to thank my son Ryan and my daughter-in-law Elizabeth for their service to our country--and extend that gratitude to all America's veterans and active duty service members.
From the mom's chair, I've had a close-up view of the very special strains and stresses encountered by our young people in service, and by the family members who support them as they serve.
Over the years, I've watched my son progress from recruit to Staff Sergeant, and held him close in my heart as he went through two overseas deployments.
On September 11, 2001, Ryan called me from his barracks before dawn to let me know his unit had been placed on high alert--and that call led to this writer's most-read, most-published piece of work: My Child, My Home, My Country: A Marine Mom Speaks. That essay still speaks for my feelings today.
You have to give it to social networking: it can bring the most amazing and far-flung people back into your life!
The past couple of weeks, I've had the delight of regaining contact with my children's aunt Suzanne. Back in the day (total '70's: Earth shoes, disco and breastfeeding-as-radical-act), we were young mothers together. Married to a pair of brothers, we shared those years of early marriage and dishrag soup--but when divorce struck us both a few years later, we lost touch.
Hello, Facebook! We've had a glorious time, catching up on the trajectories of each other's lives. She's discovered that I'm an author, I've discovered that she's an artist, and we've brought each other up-to-date on the progress of our respective children and grand-children.
October's winding down; it's time to invite you into my house for Halloween! Here's what you'll see if you come Trick-or-Treating on Saturday night!
The heart of our home is the family room. It's one of my favorite places, and never more so than in the autumn. Year round, it's the place where we display an art collection, watch television, and read books.
In summer, the family room can get a little bit lonely; we spend long, warm summer evenings on the deck just outside. The fireplace is dark, and my favorite fireside chair rarely has a visitor.
Seriously, nobody reading this blog would want to see how tired I look, or how disrupted my home and office are at this moment: the Countdown began on Sunday.
Hello, Countdown Chaos! It's as much a holiday tradition in our house as Trick-or-Treat--but not nearly so much fun.
Each and every year, the first few days of the Countdown are .... chaotic. No matter how carefully I prepare the site, tweak the server or think through bottlenecks, it's only when the online traffic comes pouring through the door do I find all the problems on the tech side.
While many of us hit the supermarket on the weekend--or when we've run out of milk--the National Supermarket Association recommends Wednesday as the best day to shop. Fewer shoppers and stocked shelves speed you out the door on Hump Day.