Saturday, June 30, 2007

Faith, Love, and Trust -- jcarolek

Today was a special day. My stepfather celebrated his 85th birthday (he actually turned 85 earlier this week) with family and friends. As always, we had lots of fun, gathered at their favorite local “diner,” taking one entire end of the facility. My brother, sister, nephew, niece, niece’s boyfriend, hubby and I sat at one table. As is typical, we joked and told stories of the silly things we did as kids, the things our kids did and so on.

Meanwhile, at other tables friendly conversations were being held by all, and the room hummed in a happy, dull roar. Waiters took our orders and served our food and people moved around, each taking time to stop for a few minutes to wish John a happy birthday and thank Mom for having such a nice gathering to celebrate his birthday.

At one point Mom, whose voice is anything but timid,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

You can call me Christopher -- jcarolek

When I was in college at FSU, many moons ago, I attended year round. I managed to finish my BA in 2 ½ years, but to do so required taking heavy loads and taking no breaks. Still, I wanted to enjoy some time with family, and so it was that during my second summer, my youngest brother flew down from Maryland to spend a week or two. We had a great time, but it was a story he told me during that time that I think about occasionally, when I see very odd, rather unexplainable behavior, on the blogs and elsewhere.

Ray was a paper boy and as such, went around to his clients’ houses on a regular basis to collect their

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Her First Art Kit -- jcarolek

She was destined to be an artist. I just did not realize it at the time. When my daughter was only two she started her artistic experimentation. I, like every female living in the US today, had a tendency to receive make-up for Christmas from those who clearly had no clue that I don’t wear the stuff. Never mind…it was a gift, so I kept it.

Jen decided early on that she should help make Mommy

Friday, June 22, 2007

Unable to Help -- jcarolek

When my daughter was about 20 months old we were in the process of trying to buy a new house. One afternoon, we had a meeting with the realtor and I left work early to meet my husband at home so that we could drive together to meet her. Hubby was running late, but had loaded the kids into the car to take them to the babysitter’s house. After loading them in and buckling then in place, he realized he had locked his keys in the house.

He went into the back to retrieve the emergency key to the house and dashed in to get his car keys. Meanwhile, in the car, the 3 ½ year old boy and 1 ½ year old girl were getting bored. The back passenger windows were “child safe” – they went down only halfway.

Well, I don’t know about your kids, but, particularly in my daughter’s case, mine were inclined to “test” these constraints. So it was that, as I drove up to meet my husband, to drive to our engagement, I witnessed my 20 month

Friday, June 1, 2007

Confessions -- jcarolek

I can admit I have not always acted with decorum. I have let my temper get the better of me and been very sorry after it happened. I could justify my anger and my reaction but I could not undo the action I took. One such event occurred the year before we moved to England.

I was in fourth grade, my sister was in fifth. I had already lived nine of my years measuring up quite inadequately to my older sister, and her latest “talent” was one that really