Category Archives: People

Dear Lady At Kohl’s

Dear Lady-at-Kohl’s-with-your-19-items-one-of-which-needed-a-price-check,

You can’t say you didn’t see me coming. We made eye contact. Just after I said to my boys, “Come on boys. Let’s get going.”

You see, they’re little boys. And they dawdle. And daydream. But we had to get going. This was an unscheduled stop in our on-the-way-home-from-school routine. #1son’s shoes ripped at the seams during school and needed to be replaced. We came in for a pair of shoes. We ended up with two pairs, one for each boy. They wanted to hold the boxes themselves. Apparently, walking and holding a box was slowing them down.

You had been browsing in the women’s section. When you heard me, our eyes locked. And then you looked at the registers and noticed there was no line. So you shoved your cart out into the aisle and elbowed (yes, elbowed) my son, my seven-year-old son, out of your way. And then you proceeded to race us to the cashier.

You won. With your nineteen items and my two. I glared at you, trying to stare a hole in the back of your head. Wishing evil things. Things I can’t share here because my readers think I am oh-so-kind. But I’m not. Not when an almost elderly woman, with a wedding band, who has surely had children, nearly mows down my child and pushes past me in order to beat us to the line.

So we waited behind you, quite patiently. And then it happened. Item number 12 needed a price check. “I’ll wait,” you said oh-so-sweetly. So we all waited. Me. My boys. And the 4 people now behind us.

Finally, another cashier opened. She said a few times, “I’ll take the next in line.” Which was me. But with 4 more people behind us, I knew someone else would jump ahead of me. But the lady insisted. And so did the lady directly behind me. So we, me and my boys, step out of line and who should appear? Another (insert expletive) jerk who was in more of a hurry than I was, apparently.

The kind, sweet soul who was behind us in the first line graciously called me over to my original spot. She shook her head and commiserated with me. You see, she noticed not only Mr. Jerk, but you, too. I said, “Some days are like this.” “But they shouldn’t be,” was her reply.

You left. Finally. And we paid for our measly two items. And walked out of the store. Me and my dawdling two boys. You were parked right next to me. You were preparing to drive away. But you saw us coming. Protectively, I put out my hands to stop my boys from walking. If your driving was anything like your shopping cart maneuvers, we were in trouble.

But you waved us ahead. I stood firm. You kept waving. Finally, I allowed us to cautiously, so very cautiously, step in front of your car. And safely pass in front of you to our own vehicle.

After all.

It was the least you could do.

(Ok. I feel better now.)

26 Comments

Filed under All In A Day's Work, Observations, People

To All The Karma Chameleons In Our Lives: May You Stay Far, Far Away

“Is there loving in your eyes all the way.
If I listened to your lies would you say” -  You know the type. They say one thing. Do another. I’ve had people in my life – friends, family, acquaintances – who seem so sincere. And I believe them. And then my heart is stomped.

“Didn’t hear your wicked words every day
and you used to be so sweet” – The lesson that is so, so difficult to learn is how to recognize these karma chameleons, these psychic vampires, and stay far, far away. I am horrible at this. I don’t recognize them. I give them every benefit of the doubt. Everyone else seems to see through them but me.

“You string along, you string along” – There’s that saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I get fooled twice, thrice and….well, four times quite a bit. And then some. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. But it’s all on me. It’s a part of me I love – seeing the good and not the bad. Giving the second and third chances. Starting anew with someone that’s just a little misunderstood. But it’s a part of me I hate. Getting my heart trounced on. Being made the fool over and over again.

“Every day is like survival” – That was my childhood. Finding ways to survive. Finding ways to cope and thrive in a dysfunctional relationship with my mother. What thrills me is that I escaped, relatively unscathed. What frustrates me is that there are people in my life that remind me I haven’t quite learned the lesson.

“Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.” – I’m not a vengeful person but I do hope that karma bites these chameleons in the butt some time. Hoping they learn the lesson they’re supposed to learn.

“Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams,
red gold and green, red gold and green.” – I will still give people the benefit of the doubt. I will still be fooled. I’m working on noticing it sooner. And I’m trying to find the balance between recognizing the chameleons but maintaining my sunny, optimistic view.  I don’t want to be hardened. I don’t want to be cynical. I am teetering between the two sides, desperately not wanting to fall.

17 Comments

Filed under How We Roll, Music, People

Please Say That Tyler’s Story Will Change Just One Heart

Yesterday, I posted the faces of Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei in my anger. Angry at them for their callous disregard of our right to privacy. I wanted everyone to see who pushed Tyler Clementi over the edge. I want their faces to be known so that they can’t “just move” to avoid recognition.

Yesterday, I was angry.

Today, I am sad. So very, very sad that a beautiful human being has left this earth. A violinist. A student. A friend. A son.

I want to tell his parents how very, very sorry I am that they lost their son so tragically. I want to tell them I can’t imagine the pain and loss they are suffering. I want to tell them to “just breathe.”

Maybe it’s because of the losses I have endured these past few weeks. Maybe it’s because I lost a dear high school friend to suicide during our first month of college. Maybe I am hoping upon hope that Tyler’s death will be a wake-up call to every amateur videographer out there.

Just maybe.

“Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go” – But this was much too soon. And I ache knowing that Tyler felt so desperate, so alone, that he felt his only choice was suicide. And I can only imagine the pain and heartache those close to him (most of all, his parents) are feeling. Such guilt for not helping. Unneccessary guilt, unfounded guilt. But guilt, nonetheless.

“Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands
the ones I love,..
Some folks just have one,
yeah, others, they’ve got none” – I am so blessed to have an amazing support system. And Tyler’s death reminds me of those out there who have precious few in their lives to turn to. I wish my arms were long enough to reach them all.

“Let’s just breathe” – We can only do what we can do. We can love our children with all our might. We can remember those in times of need. We can cling to our spouses, lovers or friends. But some days it’s all we can do to just breathe.

I chose to write about this again today because many of you commented that you were unaware of Tyler’s story. Tyler Clementi deserves more press, more than Ravi and Wei, that is. His is the spirit that was shattered. His is the life that was ended.

Nothing can bring Tyler back. But maybe his story will reach through the internet and touch hearts. Maybe it will turn hearts and change just one soul out there, encouraging kindness, compassion and most of all, privacy.

17 Comments

Filed under Be-Causes, Music, People, Relating

Pay It Forward, Random Act of Kindness – Whatever You Call It, Let’s Do IT!

(We’re taking a last minute hurrah before our summer ends. Yes, our children go back to school on August 10th! I will be without a computer for 5 whole days. For the next few posts, I’ll share with you some of my favorites. The post below is a great reminder and was originally posted on December 18. I will miss you all! See you when I get back!)

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the Philly couple that bought a stranger’s meal at a diner and for 5 hours customers continued to pay it forward. It reminded me that I hadn’t bought someone’s coffee in a while now.

About once every two months or so (I wish it were more often but quite honestly I don’t always think of it) I pay for the order of the person behind me in the drive-through or pay the toll for the car behind me when we go to “the big city” (as my daughter likes to call it.) Suddenly, this morning I remembered that it had been awhile so when I got my coffee this morning I paid for the car behind me, as well. Her bill was only $3.18. Hmmmm, I gave the cashier a $20. I looked in my rear view mirror and there were no more cars to pay for. So, $3.18 for my good deed of the day felt a little lack luster. I suppose I was expecting a little more grand gesture – not that I’m made of money, mind you, but I’m a few months behind in my good deeds. I was atoning for my neglect.

When I make these gestures I rarely look back to see the reaction. I hope to make a quick get-away, quite frankly. But this time? No such luck. I was stopped by two traffic lights in a row and she caught up with me by the second light. She rolled down her window. She searched my face for some recognition. She found none. “Thank you for this,” she said, “You don’t know what this means to me. I’m on my way to an interview. I lost my job a month ago and I HAVE to find work. I’d given these up,” and she raised her cup, “but I decided to splurge today for a little boost of confidence. Your kindness has done so much more.”

I could see that her eyes were brimming and she was fighting back tears. I was stunned into silence. I never said a word to her, just listened. The light turned green and she smiled and drove away. $3.18. Here I was feeling guilty I had only payed it forward with 3 dollars and 18 cents. But that $3.18 provided a much-needed boost for a woman in a desperate situation – looking for work just before Christmas. It meant more to her than I ever imagined it would.

So this weekend I want you to do me a favor. Pay it forward with someone else. Whatever you can afford. If it’s a meal, a cup of coffee, a bus token…for a stranger. Someone you never expect to see again. Then come back here to this post and comment about what you’ve done. Or post about it on your blog- but be sure to come back here to link to it so we can all read about what you’ve done.

Random acts of kindness spread joy like wildfire. I think they have more power than negativity. Together we can make the world a little happier this weekend with our small gestures. (Borrowing from Bender in The Breakfast Club) If he does it, then we’ll all do it and it’ll be anarchy! Let’s start our own little version of anarchy! Are you with me?

 

Don’t forget! Write your post about blogging to help me celebrate my one year in Blog World. We’ll all meet back here in 7 days (August 13) to link, learn and maybe have a few laughs!

220 Comments

Filed under People, Be-Causes, All In A Day's Work, RAOK

Aidan Donnelley Rowley: The Process, The Journey, The Yes!

One of our very own became a published author yesterday. Aidan Donnelley Rowley, author of “Life After Yes.” Oooo, my heart did a little jump. And why? I hardly know her. But then, many times when I read her blog (Ivy League Insecurities) or she leaves a comment or sends an email, I feel like we are long-lost friends, keeping in touch through the convenience of the internet.

I discovered Aidan through her blog a few months after I began my own. I was immediately taken with her philosophical musings. Her lyrical phrasing. When she shared with us the excitement of having her book published I was instantly caught up in the joy. She was kind enough to share her thoughts on the process, the journey and the yes.

 1. Tell the truth, is this your very first attempt at publishing a novel?

 Yes, this was and is my first attempt at publishing a novel. I will say that I took my time with Life After Yes, starting it immediately after leaving my job at the law firm and working on it, on and off, for over three years before seeking an agent. I must add that I welcomed my two little girls during that time, so I was not a complete slacker! :)

 2. Many authors talk about books “writing themselves.” Did you have a plan or outline or did LAY write itself?

 I had no outline for Life After Yes, but I did have a vague plan in my mind for how the story would evolve. There were certainly parts of the book that “wrote themselves”; I would sit there for hours on end in my local Starbucks pounding away at the keyboard and then be amazed to have a dozen pages wherein my characters did things I never predicted they would.

3. What was the greatest challenge bringing your novel to life?

 Frankly, I – and I imagine most authors – faced many challenges in bringing my novel to life. Among the biggest were time and confidence. As a mother of two young girls, it was hard to find adequate time to sit down and focus and write. And it continues to be very hard for me to justify spending time away from them which writing a novel patently entails. And confidence. There were so many points during the writing process where I was plagued by doubts, where I convinced myself that my story would never cut it. Once I realized that it didn’t matter, that I loved to write and that completing the story – no matter its fate – was my goal, things really came together.

 4. What is the best advice you can give hopeful authors?

 Just write. Allow your first drafts to be terrible. Tease out your voice. Take writing classes. Don’t mimic. Be willing to fail. Be willing to succeed.

 5. What books have most influenced you?

 My favorite book of all time is Charlotte’s Web. This book plays an important role in Life After Yes and has continued to be a big influence in my life. There are so many things about this book that speak to me  – the simple and stunning nature of its prose, the universality of its lessons about life and love and loss, the commingling sweetness and sadness at its core.

 6. Writer’s Block. How have you overcome it?

 Blogging. Before I started my blog Ivy League Insecurities, I dealt with writer’s block by not writing. I would only write when I felt a particularly compelling urge and when the sentences flowed freely. The result was that there would be large chunks of time – weeks and months – when I wouldn’t write a word. Not good. The discipline of blogging and keeping to a schedule of posting five times a week has kept my literary juices flowing. The problem now is trying to find a balance between blog writing and book writing…

 7. You are a mother of two adorable little girls and a wife to a devoted husband. How did you balance time for your family and time to write?

 Looking back over the past few years, I feel good about how I balanced things between my family and my writing. I have been able to be a very hands-on mom and present wife while also being productive professionally. But – and it is a bit but –never once did I feel like I was doing a good job at balancing these things in the moment. Each and every day, I worry that I am neglecting something or someone in the existential equation of my life. I am just now realizing that this is par for the course and that balance is something of an enigma.

 8. Describe the perfect day for writing.

 The perfect day for writing is one that is busy and full of other good things – time with friends and family – but full of bits of time where I can sit down – in my office, or at a coffee shop – and bang out a blog post or a few pages of a manuscript. I do better with fitting writing into the cracks of my days – early mornings, between commitments, late at night – than I do with the open expanse of an entire day.

 9. If you could have a “do over” for anything involving the writing/publishing process for LAY what would it be?

 Good question. Tough question. I can honestly say – and know that this is before publication so I might feel differently even days from now – that I have been genuinely happy with how everything has gone with the publication process. There have been bumps. Of course. I struggled a bit with the title choice and cover choice, but I sit here now (yes, at Starbucks!) clutching my rookie novel and it is gorgeous and has the perfect title and perfect cover so it is all worth it. One thing I do wish is that I was able to enjoy the process a bit more. That I was able to worry a bit less. That I was able to control my insecurities a bit better. But, alas. I am here. And it’s a good place to be :)

(Leave your comment below by Saturday, May 22 at 6:00am EST for a chance to receive a brand new, hot off the presses copy of “Life After Yes!”)

(Kristen, at Motherese, hosts an online book club. The next selection is “Life After Yes!” It begins the week of May 31st. For more information, click here. See you there!)

14 Comments

Filed under Books, friends, People

Jaime Escalante – Passionate. Brilliant. Hero.

A few weeks ago, a hero died.

Jaime Escalante.

Jaime Escalante - December 31, 1930 - March 30, 2010

He was my hero. I first learned about him in college. I was finishing up my teaching degree and I had an amazing math professor. Her teaching style was energetic, positive and fun. She taught us about Jaime Escalante and the work he was doing at Garfield High School in California. When the movie about his work with students in L.A. “Stand and Deliver” was released, a bunch of us went to see it.

I was mesmerized.  His energy. His stamina. His drive. His passion.

He was an amazing teacher. He was the teacher I wanted to be.

I was never a strong math student. I struggled to understand and keep up. But in high school, with an amazing Algebra I teacher, something clicked. I was catching on. It wasn’t as hard as I’d thought. But I was a girl. And girls don’t do math. And boys don’t like smart girls. So I played dumb. I fostered the belief in myself that I still wasn’t very good with numbers. My path was English, not math.

During my senior year of high school, I had already received early acceptance to a major university. So, like any other senior in the same position, I slacked off. I coasted. I even dropped out of Trig because, hey – I was going to teach English. Who needs higher math?

When I took my university placement exams I had tested out of freshman mathematics. I shook my head in disbelief and asked them to check again, because I wasn’t very good at math. My advisor assured me that the scores were correct. Had I considered a career in mathematics?

I laughed. Of course not. But unable to stay away, I took a few math courses. And a few more. Pretty soon I was able to have a double major in both math and English. Might come in handy someday, I thought.

I always felt I was a better Math Teacher than English Teacher. English came too easily for me. How in the world do you teach someone how to write? How to analyze? How to interpret?

But with numbers? Easy. Step by step. There was a pattern to discover. A direct path leading to the correct answer.

And, I used to be a struggling math student. I knew, first hand, what it was like to sit in a classroom with numbers whizzing by and you have no idea how everyone else seems to know the answer. I knew how to struggle with a calculus problem that took pages to complete and three tries to get the right answer while your study partner got it right the first time and in 10 less steps.

Math didn’t come easily to me but boy, was it fun! Every day a new puzzle. A new riddle to solve.

Jaime Escalante showed a bunch of kids, a random sampling of American high school students, that they were capable of being great math students. Each year that he taught AP Calculus at Garfield High, more and more students were inspired and passed the exam.

Each and every year.

They weren’t geniuses. It wasn’t luck. It was all because of a man with tenacity, knowledge and a pure love of teaching and his students. The students were inspired by his energy and drive. They were pumped up by his confidence in their abilities. They began to believe in themselves. And then they just went out and did it!

In the years that followed Jaime Escalante’s departure from the Garfield High math program, passing AP Calculus scores plummeted by 80 percent. There was no longer a champion for the students, encouraging a love for math. Garfield High School students were again, just like any other math student across the country. Struggling to see the wonder in numbers. Becoming bored with applications that they’ll “never use.”

An amazing teacher died last month.

A passionate advocate. A brilliant role model.

A hero.

15 Comments

Filed under People, Teaching

Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Part III

About three months ago I started a series (well, it’s NOW a series since we’re into part III) of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” posts. I described the Blog World which I reside in a few hours a day as a wonderful new neighborhood where I get to pick and choose my neighbors. And then more neighbors moved in. I’ve had this post sitting in my draft queue for some time, hesitating to hit publish.  Because, in the mean time, someone else used the same title for a wonderful meme introducing us to new blogs. A great idea. And I didn’t want to step on toes. Or have any confusion.

So this post has been sitting, gathering dust in my queue because I was trying to think of another name or another way to re-introduce what I started in early November. But I can’t. Or I won’t. (I can’t decide.) We both borrowed from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. And I like it. And since we’re both piggy backing off of Mr. Roger’s success I’ve decided to keep the name. Just please don’t confuse it with the fun new meme of the same name that appears on Fridays. And to help avoid confusion – I’ll never post this thread on a Friday. Ok? Ok.

Some new neighbors have moved in and I want you to meet them!

Angelcel at AC’sScrapbook - Sparkling conversation is what drew me in while walking my dog to the park. She invited me to sit on her porch and we talked for hours. She shared with me her love of photography, music, cooking, the list went on and on. The pictures in her “home” are beautiful. She captures moments in amazing ways. Her porch is so welcoming and is decorated with her own creations. The wicker chairs outfitted with comfy pillows. The side table always has a fresh pitcher of tea. And I always meet a new and interesting neighbor while I’m there.

ck at Bad Mommy Moments - I love her “motto” – She “celebrates the days of motherhood that SUCK. Because it’s often after our worst moments that we realize just how lucky we really are.” Well said, ck. Rising from the ashes – that’s how I feel most days. I met ck at the playground and immediately was drawn to her. Her sense of humor, her view on life – how she is always able to see the rainbow at the end of the storm. And an amazing story-teller. I get lost in them, nodding with mouth agape. On my bad days, she helps me to see that I’m not alone. On my good days, she helps me to appreciate all that I have that much more. Thank goodness she’s only a few blocks away.

Aidan at Ivy League Insecurities - I believe I met Aidan at a social event here in the neighborhood. She was interesting, kind, articulate and whimsically philosophical. I loved what she had to say and I had to hear more. So we met for coffee one afternoon and became friends. She takes a simple, pure event and turns it into a compelling, delightful inquiry. She invites discussion. Her dining room table turns into a round-table with all of us laughing, crying, sharing and most of all, enjoying each other’s company.

Unabridged Girl - Wise beyond her years she is a lovely young woman. I probably met her at book club. She is a lover of books, words, conversation and life. Her home is filled with books, diet coke (I bring my own Classic Coke), and fun friends. We all poke fun, playfully argue and always agree that visits with her are never dull. She is curious and refreshing. She shakes the cobwebs off my 40-some-yr-old mind.

There you have it. More wonderful new neighbors to meet, if you haven’t met them already. Make sure you tell them I said hello!

17 Comments

Filed under People

Aspiring To Higher Things

I just read an article about Grant Desme, a 23-year-old minor leaguer for the Oakland A’s. Evidently, he’s a pretty promising player. He was named MVP for the Arizona Fall League and is  “ranked the A’s eighth-best prospect by Baseball America.”

 But he’s decided to leave the game. He’s leaving baseball to join the Catholic priesthood.

Baseball is stunned.

Now, I have my own issues with requirements for priests, the hierarchy, the Catholic church in general. But that’s not what impressed me. What struck me was Grant’s explanation. He was doing really well in baseball but he felt he had to figure out what was best for him and what his purpose was. It just took him awhile to figure it out. And then he said…

“I love the game, but I’m going to aspire to higher things.”

Higher things.

At an age when sports cars, shiny watches, lots of money in the bank and fame are so alluring he’s aspiring to a world of caring, service and sacrifice. And that’s higher to him.

What an amazing young man.

I wish I had his faith.

19 Comments

Filed under Observations, People

An Artist I’m Not – But He Is

I wish I was crafty. I wish I could sew or knit. I wish I could paint. I wish I could draw. My students used to make fun of the drawings I’d create to illustrate word problems (I taught Algebra.) I love art and am continually amazed at the beautiful creations out there.

I received this in an email and I was mesmerized. I’m not familiar with David Garibaldi. He’s a performance artist that is known for much more than his Disney art – but that’s what drew me in. This is absolutely fascinating.

He mentions Denny Dent as an inspiration. Here’s some of his work.

So cool!

7 Comments

Filed under Observations, People

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Please don’t laugh at my niavete or scorn my belief without basis. (The real word that should be inserted here is prejudice but I just couldn’t bring myself to say it.) We used to live in an historic neighborhood. Some renters. Some restoring old homes to their glamour of yesterday. A mixed neighborhood of  color and money. It’s what we wanted. We’re a mixed race family. We’re educated but chose professions that don’t bring in tons of money. We made the conscious decision to be where we were. And most of the time, we loved our neighborhood. But the school system wasn’t stellar. And my husband’s business was growing. And, frankly, I just didn’t feel safe anymore. I was tired of going to neighborhood watch meetings and talking about the latest gang markings. I was home alone with two infants and my daughter was starting high school - no longer to be homeschooled. We decided we wanted idyllic suburbia with people “just like us.” Ha!

We searched and searched. We thought that by living in a neighborhood where the homes were of a certain worth we’d fit in and feel comfortable with everyone. We looked high. We looked low (but not too low.) The higher we looked the more promising we felt the neighborhood would be. One woman (a neighbor) saw us looking at a home and she came over and introduced herself. She alerted us to another home down the street from her. The husband was being transferred to Singapore. “I want neighbors who are moving to Singapore!” I said to my husband. I felt that if you were willing to move to exotic locales you would be worldly, educated, open-minded and interesting. We looked in another neighborhood where the price point for the homes was wide. The only homes we could afford were in a section called The Commons. “Oh look, Honey,” my husband exclaimed, “We can be commoners!”

Ultimately, we chose a beautiful neighborhood with lots of amenities, homes priced close together so we’d be with like minds (ha! again), sidewalks, front and back porches, neighborhood activities and get-togethers. It’s also closer to a major city and a large Korean population which is what we wanted for our kids. Don’t get me wrong, we love it here. We’ve met some amazing people who are now close friends (Hi K and A!) but some of my neighbors are not what I bargained for. One neighbor gets caught up in gossip and helps to spread it like wildfire on Facebook. One neighbor gives my daughter the creeps with his leering and creepy comments  (don’t worry, we stay away). One neighbor bragged about cheating the bank/government/us by walking away from their mortgage. Another grabs a  few clubs and he and his kid sneak onto the golf course at the 5th hole at dusk without paying. So much for like minds. Another lesson learned.

I’ve called this place where we, the bloggers,  reside as Blog World. And a dear reader commented in a private note to me that I’d make a great neighbor. I thought, this is what I’ve created here for myself – a neighborhood! And I LOVE my neighbors here. And I like it that we all live here together. How cool is it that we get to pick and choose our neighbors? Our neighborhood here can be as homogenized or eclectic as we want it to be. In case you’re wondering, mine is pretty eclectic and I like it that way! I thought I might introduce you to some of my favorite neighbors! I won’t be able to get to all of them today so I’ve decided this is going to be a series of posts, hopefully without end because I seem to meet kind, creative, interesting, and amazing people every day. This neighborhood is as large as I want to make it and we’re all within walking distance of each other. How perfect is that?

Submom at Absence of Alternatives - This is the kind of neighbor when you go next door to borrow a cup of sugar, you start talking and talking so she invites you in. You keep talking. And talking. You finish your conversation. Go home and realize you didn’t get the cup of sugar. So you go back, laugh about the forgotten cup of sugar. It reminds her of this funny story so you start talking again. And talking. You go home and guess what? Yep. But it’s a great excuse to go next door again for more great conversation! When she moved in I found my new best friend!

Steve at The Planet Harris Blog - There is a pond in my neighborhood and he lives across it. (Smiling at my feeble little  joke) As you enter his home to the left is the library. To the right is the dining room but the table is covered with books and a laptop and has been turned into an office. You step into the family room and there are floor to ceiling bookshelves with a handy little ladder on wheels. His wife is baking biscuits. You can smell sweets baking and coffee and tea brewing. They are warm, welcoming people. The couches are comfy and there are always interesting people popping over for good conversation. I like it here!

TKW at The Kitchen Witch - She lives right next door, too. Which is a good thing because when I’m in a pinch and have NO idea what to bring to the neighborhood BBQ - she’s got the recipe. Snowed in with the kids for three days? She’s got the recipe. Husband home sick and whiny and you just want him to shut up  get a good night’s rest? She’s got the recipe. But better than her recipes are the stories behind them. She’s the best kind of neighbor because she doesn’t judge, she laughs at herself and she’d look out for your kids like they’re her own.

I have two neighbors (they live in the bungalows just up the street, downsizing since the kids have moved away) that I go to for advice, Robin at Passions and Soapboxes and Mary Lee at MerrilyMaryLee’s Weblog. They’re wise and they’re hip. They’re sweet and they’re funny. But they’ve been there, done that with child rearing. They’ve lived it and they’re willing to share what works and what doesn’t. And they’re living a life right now that is packed with fun and interesting adventures.

Five houses in my neighborhood. I’ll tell you about more of them another time. But to all of you out there – thanks for living in MY neighborhood. Thank you for allowing me to live in yours. I never realized how attached I would become to my bloggy friends. What started out as a little experiment grew into something I never imagined. I’m glad I live here!

(P.S. Don’t forget about our get together Friday, November 13th. Collect the craziest search terms for your blog and we’ll all share them on Friday. You can write them in the comment section or blog about it – but don’t forget to link/comment here so we can all see them! See you Friday!)

23 Comments

Filed under Lessons Learned, People