Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This is not intended as a Sad Post

One day, when my son was a month shy of 17, I answered a knock on my front door and was greeted with a Sheriff’s Deputy and a good friend of mine. Both looked very alarmed. I was informed my son had been in a head-on collision, was unconscious and had sustained undetermined injuries. He was being life-flighted to the Norfolk General Hospital Trauma Unit.

He had been driving

We Played Together -- jcarolek

When I was in eighth grade I auditioned for and landed the role of Mother Abyss in our school's production of the “Sound of Music.” My solo was, “Climb Every Mountain.” I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the experience. I learned to build sets, and learned my lines. I learned the lines of the actors with whom I was performing as

So, you have a Linus, do you? -- jcarolek

I did. My little guy Stephen was a thumb sucking, blanket carrying little guy. I received lots of advice.

    * Don’t let him suck his thumb, his teeth will be crooked
    * He shouldn’t still be dragging that blanket around at his age

Anyone who has a Linus, knows the drill.

But, everything happens in due time. I am a firm believer

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dull, Trees, Bikes and Boys -- jcarolek

Some days I just seem to feel dull. I don’t really feel like talking to others and I can’t really seem to get the things done that I want to get done. Today was one of these days. Nothing really lousy happened, but I found myself impatient and somewhat at loose ends. Don’t get me wrong,

Saturday, October 21, 2006

An Eight Day Clock -- jcarolek

On the mantel over the fireplace in my in-laws’ living room sits an eight day clock. This clock belonged to my husband’s grandmother and she had had it for many years before she died at the age of 97. For the past twenty or so years since her passing, it has kept time on the mantel in her son’s house.

An eight day clock is just that. It is engineered to keep accurate time for eight days and then it stops. Unlike the clocks of today, the older clocks required regular winding, and so it was that every Sunday, before going to church, my father-in-law wound the clock. He took great care to wind it just tight enough,

Friday, October 20, 2006

Trust and Balls --- jcarolek

When I was a schoolgirl in my first school in England, I desperately wanted to have friends. I was American in a school full of British schoolgirls. At age 10, I had studied French for only one year to their four years of French and two years of Latin. I didn’t know the British monetary system, so I was “behind” in math. All in all, I felt like a big dummy.

As kids will do, I “proved myself” in other talents.

We didn't have time to practice -- jcarolek

The audience filed into the auditorium at the nearby community college. Most were adults, but there were a few children. Three young sisters sat in front of me, but two rows closer to the stage To my right were a couple and their two year old. Again, not directly next to me, but within earshot.

I worried that this was

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Do you Ride Horses Much? -- jcarolek

When I was twelve, I lived in Cheltenham England. I attended Charlton Park Convent school. My schoolmates were all girls. One day, as I was walking across the gym, another girl, Theresa Davis, to be specific, said to me,

“Do you ride horses much?” in her very British accent.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Good Girl -- jcarolek

Today I needed a break. I took a walk with my outdoor critters and marveled, as I always do, at their singleness of purpose and complete and total enthusiasm in our walks. I say "they" because, as you know if you have read previous entries, my adopted cat Dracula accompanies us on our walk.

There is something so natural about the way the two of them communicate. Killian, jumps about wildly,

Photo and Drawing - What do you Think? -- jcarolek

A few days ago I posted a drawing my daughter had done of her brother. She was about 15 when she did the drawing, and she drew it from a photo of her older brother, taken when he was eight. I found the photo from which she did her drawing and thought I’d repost the drawing, with the photo.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunglasses -- Then and Now -- jcarolek

I had one pair of sunglasses when I was a child. Only one. I was born with what was known as “crossed eyes.” Now, polite speak is “lazy eye.” But let’s just call it what it was. My parents worked hard to give me the gift of sight, which was not mine at birth. I underwent surgery on both eyes at the age of eight months and started wearing glasses at ten months.

When I was three, we moved to Cyprus.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Rules --- jcarolek

When I lived in England I attended school at a Convent -- Charlton Park Convent, in Cheltenham England, to be specific (not that you cared, I understand.) If there is one thing the British school system excelled at, it was RULES. We had them for EVERYTHING.

A short list is provided here for

Friday, October 13, 2006

Night Noises -- jcarolek

When I was ten we moved to England. I had just completed fourth grade in the US and was excited and nervous about starting school in a new country. Upon arrival, I was tested and did poorly on the math, French and Latin portions of the entrance test. What??? I was great at math…how could this be? Well, back in 1968 the British monetary system was still base 12, rather than base 10 (decimal) used in the US. So, I needed to learn how to count monetarily in base 12.

The long and short of it was that I was put back

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Of care free days so long -- jcarolek

Softly the warm breeze,
Murmurs through the trees.
Bringing on its journey,
Smells of flowers and honey.

Images come to mind
Of a summer hard to find
Just once again.

Of carefree days, so long

Fornication and Gum -- Lessons Learned -- jcarolek

When I was 15 I had a “long distance” boyfriend. OK, so, in those days, long distance was 40 minutes away by car, but it meant we spent a LOT of time talking on the phone…not long distance, or I would have been killed. I had some interesting experiences while engaged in these “important” phone calls.

We listened to music on the phone….no joke…he’d put his favorite album on and

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Pitching A Fit and The White Bishop -- jcarolek

Pitching a fit was one of my earliest talents. I had lots of reasons to pitch them. I was number two in line behind my sister, “Miss Perfect,” about whom I have previously written. I was number two in line ahead of four brothers. Each and every day posed a new opportunity for me to pitch a fit. If it wasn’t my sister's picking on me, it was my brothers not doing what I told them to do (basically, not responding to my picking on them.)

I never shied away from an opportunity.

Boomerang Parties -- jcarolek

When my son was 21 he decided he wanted to go into the military. He wanted to work in cryptanalysis and the military offered the best training for his interests. He went through the normal application process, including the testing which resulted in his being able to “choose whatever field he wanted.” A sidebar to this story…when he took the test, he called to tell me the results. He had been “stumped” by some of the questions geared toward auto mechanics, and was

Friday, October 6, 2006

A side of tongue -- jcarolek

Today I went to lunch with a friend. We spoke of the weather (lots of rain, wind and general blustery commotion), the pond (lacking water since the dam broke, rebuilding, etc.) and family. We meet a couple of times a week for lunch and it is always nice.

Today, as always, the food was excellent.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Half a Photograph -- jcarolek

The day I turned twenty-nine was the last day I enjoyed the company of my brother Ted. Teddy, as he had been called throughout our childhood, was my brother, four years my junior, and next to the youngest of my siblings. His freckled face and huge dimples gave him the face that people mirrored with a grin, every time they saw him. Even at just shy of twenty-five, Ted, now all grown up, possessed the nature that drew people to him. His grin was contagious.

Ted left my house that night,

The Shrimp, The Gull, and He-Man -- jcarolek

Another true story, from the tales of my former life

During my first marriage I lived in Tallahassee, FL. Weekends were made for fishing and we generally headed off to Apalachicola, or took a longer drive to St. George Island where I loved to surf fish.

One Saturday I was surf fishing