Mother’s Day Ode

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Relatives tell me I look a lot like my late mother (she would never have liked the term late, for indeed, she was always on time for any appointment).

While we do share some characteristics (like the patented “snort and cackle” when laughing – the snackle, if you will) and a penchant for saying to unresponsive teen-age ears, “Enunciate!,” I’d have to say we were not really all that similar.

  •  She spoke five languages.
  •  I speech wun (Inglich).
  •  She played Bach like nobody’s business.
  •  I play the radio like a professional.
  •  She was genteel and cultured.
  •  I am kinda like, from Jersey (she was too, but seemed less so, if youse know what’m sayin.)
  •  She was always in my corner and cheered me on no matter what.
  •  I was oblivious to her encouragement until it wasn’t there anymore.

Thank you, Lord, for the mother you gifted me with.  I hope she’s snackling up there with you, playing a fugue on the piano and sitting in that log cabin she always pined for.  God bless all the mothers, always in our hearts.

Sunroom Time

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When he was younger, my son and I used to have “sunroom time” – a few minutes in the late afternoon during which we’d sit in the sunroom and talk about (pardon the pun) anything under the sun.

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Often, if his friends were over, we’d include them, too.

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It was warm and welcoming in the sunroom, and it seemed like the only time some of these kids had ever been asked, “So how was your day, son?”

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The bamboo blinds let in just enough light and gave us a view of the trees in the yard, so it felt like a little nature preserve. It was a favorite spot for everybody, including my late, beloved black-lab-mix, Sheena. That’s her in the yard – by the back fence.

This dog toy feels kinda ruff.

Sheena Shadow Chicago Chicken Williams*

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Now that my son is about to turn sixteen, we no longer have “sunroom time;” in fact, it seems we hardly even have actual conversations. And this is the trajectory of life when our kids grow up. But I wanted to find a way to put my thoughts about life into a book, so I wrote this e-book using Amazon KDP, “Help Yourself, Jumbo Shrimp: A Teen’s Guide to Life, the Future and Everything.”

After I realized that there was no way to adjust the formatting (it uploaded out-of-whack and there is no such thing as Amazon e-book author support), I decided not to promote it, but I did want to leave it active so that when the spirit moves him and the time is right, my son will look at it and nod – maybe even smile a little – thinking back to our warm and fuzzy “sunroom times.”

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*Course, there’s a story behind Sheena’s full name! More to come.

Attitude of Gratitude

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When my son was three or four, he started to use the phrase, “May I have my dessert now, please?”

“My” dessert. Not, “Are we having dessert?” He just assumed that at the end of every dinner, a dessert would surely follow.

Only as he got older did he realize that dessert wasn’t a birthright. That things cost money, food takes time and effort to prepare, and that if you’ve got the luxury of a home, three square meals and dessert, you’re truly blessed indeed.