Monthly Archives: November 2013

Open Hearts And Homes On This Thanksgiving Day

I was sitting at my computer, looking up tips and tricks to the perfect gravy, and I glanced outside. Cars were starting to pile up at our neighbor’s house. It’s Thanksgiving Day and most people are hosting or traveling to a Thanksgiving Day feast.

I’ve lived away from my family for about 30 years. I’ve been a teacher for most of those years and with Thanksgiving break so short, and travel so crazy and expensive this time of year, I’ve been alone for almost every single Thanksgiving.

In the early, single years, I’d work at a soup kitchen. But on Thanksgiving Day there is a glut of volunteers and I’d always feel in the way. Once married, it’d be just us two, and I’d cook a tiny feast that felt empty and lack luster. Add a daughter and I’d try to make it a bit more festive with a baking or craft project.

We now have a much fuller house with three kids. We have our traditions of Thanksgiving Day parade with breakfast, The National Dog Show with lunch, football with snacks and then a not-so-tiny feast. My kids love it because we’re not a big television family and on Thanksgiving Day the TV is on all day long. We also play board games and cook together, television humming in the background.

In past years, I’ve tried to reach out to those that may be alone for Thanksgiving. My attempts were met by skepticism. Not surprising, they were unsuccessful and we now stick to just us five.

So, as much as I love our small family on Thanksgiving Day, I was a bit wistful, watching the guests pour into our neighbor’s home.

And then, I clicked on msn.com and found this story.

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A Massachusetts man, Scott Macaulay, invites perfect strangers, who may be alone for the holidays, into his home for a Thanksgiving meal. He has done this for the past 28 years and the event has grown from a few strangers to almost 90.

It all started with an ad in the local paper. He was 24 years old and his parents recently divorced. He didn’t want to be alone on Thanksgiving Day. He reached out. He bravely put himself out there. And others bravely answered in kind.

I just wanted to bring a little extra attention to an amazing man.

Wishing you and yours love and good food and good company on this Thanksgiving Day!

 

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Filed under Holiday

Going All Zen On Pinterest

What is worse than someone blowing up your phone with group text messages?

When someone blows up your Pinterest board.

Okay. Maybe not worse. Because my phone blows up with inane group text messages more than I’d like to count. But it’s a very, very, very close second.

And not the the Pinterest boards you’ve created. And not literally blown up, obviously. Because blowing things up is a crime. And I don’t follow criminals.

No, I’m talking about when someone you follow on Pinterest pins umpteen pins at once. And suddenly, your news feed is full of casserole recipes, wedding paraphernalia or kittens. I love Ellen, Paula Deen and others who shall remain nameless (because I’m sure you’re nice people but you live in the private sector and your lawyer may not have better things to do than sue me for slander.) But I do not want to scroll through 714 pictures of cute puppies or 349 recipes for casseroles or the 1,275 pictures of wedding venues, rings, dresses, flowers and cakes.

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Who has that kind of time? I pop onto Pinterest to learn interesting household tricks, find an inspired recipe or two, discover the latest bestseller recommendation or glean a clever fashion tip. Of the 50 or so pins I scan, I re-pin maybe three. For future reference. Or, as it pops up in your news feed, to share with all of you. And once in a great while, when researching a topic of interest to me, I’ll remember I even have a Pinterest account and I’ll pin it to a board I’ve already established to remember (or not) for later.

And that’s what I like to see in my Pinterest news feed. A smattering of pins, of various topics, for me to peruse at my leisure. Not muddle through 2,000 of your favorite pins. Really? 2000? When I see that, I realize you don’t really care about the kitten or the cookie. You just want to stay relevant.

And I’m not interested in your popularity.

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Click.

Un-following you.

I need to clean up my feed.

Simplify.

Going all zen on Pinterest today.

Peace out.

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Filed under Soapbox

Where Have I Been? No. Really. Where’s Jane?

For as unique and individual as Waldo seems to be, does it ever strike you as funny that he’s so hard to find? I mean, seriously. Bright red and white striped shirt. Goofy hat. You’d think he’d stand out in a crowd.

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And then, there’s me. In a sea of other bloggers. Getting noticed, lately anyway, for my┬ápost on head lice. ‘Tis the season, I suppose.

But that’s all I’ve been getting noticed for in recent months. Previous, old, archived posts.

Because the recent stuff? Hasn’t been all that inspired. Oh, save your sweet accolades. I’m just saying what everyone else is thinking.

I haven’t been very inspired lately.

This panic/anxiety has been kicking my butt. But I get up, every day, and push through. As long as I’m moving forward, I’m happy. Well, as happy as you can be when you’re struggling.

But it’s a tough moving forward. This hasn’t been easy. And I’m dying to feel like me again. I get depressed and manic and so not like the glass-half-full me that I used to know. And that makes it hard to write. I feel my best writing is when I’m passionate about something or ┬átickled by something. My moments of passion are fewer and when they happen and I’m moved to write, I can’t sit still long enough to get it down. And the goofy things about life that tickle me? Fleeting.

I know. I’m a mess.

But some of you are still here. Some of you still peek in to see if I’m still alive. And I just want you to know, that touches me in a way I can’t adequately describe. You know me only through a computer screen yet you care like I’m you’re long lost sister.

I’ve lost quite a few readers. I know that. And I don’t blame them for leaving. I’ve thought about leaving, too. But to those of you who are still here? Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Knowing that my voice is heard, even when it’s only a whisper, means something to me. It helps me to feel that maybe, someday, I will find myself again.

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Filed under Confessions, Deep Thoughts