Monday, October 3, 2011

A sneak peek of Autumn, a slight teaser that lasted a mere 3 days, but, oh what a lovely 72 hours it was! Florida is not known for its change of seasons. We usually only have two - Summer and Winter. Leaves go from green to brown and we go from shorts and flip flops to, well, jackets and flips flops!
If Fall and Spring grace their presence in our tropical state, it is usually so brief that it actually puts us in such a euphoric confusion that we quickly question if it was even real....Did this weather even happen?
So, when a cool breeze and noticeably drier air drifted into our town on Saturday, it was an all out celebration! The A/C goes off, the windows go open, and EVERYONE is happy! People are riding bicycles, children are playing outside(....for hours!) and even our aloof neighbors were actually friendly.
So, what is it about that first burst of a new season beginning that literally rejuvenates us into these calm, friendly and happy people? I don't know, but, I wish I could bottle it up and sell it! For now, though, I will try and convince myself that it was real as these unwelcome hot temperatures slyly sneak back in....Oh, Autumn, I love you and please come back soon!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Mother's Tears

A friend saw a photo of my boys the other day and couldn't believe my youngest was standing (with assistance) in the photo. She commented, "how can he be standing??? He was just born like a minute ago." To her disbelief, I answered, "he is 7 months old already." SEVEN MONTHS OLD ALREADY!!!
How can this be? My baby boy is growing up so fast before my eyes. As he fell asleep in my arms tonight, I found myself tearing up as I gazed down upon him and thought about how fast it is all going by. I am not the kind of person that cries easily and it was not a sobbing kind of a cry, more like a couple of tears that ran down my cheeks. Just enough to sadden me and make me sigh.
I feel myself trying to capture more moments with all of my children because they are growing up so fast, but, with my baby, it is more bittersweet, only simply for the fact that this is my last child. The last one I will hold, the last one I will rock to sleep, and the last one I will watch grow up. Sigh.........
I just celebrated my first Mother's Day with all three of my beautiful boys and it's funny to have a day set aside to honor this bond we share. Not a day goes by that I don't feel honored to be given these wonderful little people that I get to love and raise.
There have been a few people that have touched my heart, but my children have touched my soul. I have made it a habit to catch as many precious moments every day as I can with them and the satisfaction I feel from it is the greatest gift of motherhood. So, there will be more tears of sadness, but, plenty from joy as well.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Catch Me If You Can...9/11/01 - 5/1/11

The last (almost) ten years since 9/11 have been like lighting a fire and watching it slowly burn out....So much rage, anger, fear, sadness, senselessness, sorrow. We were suddenly flooded with so many overwhelming emotions because of such a horrific and inconceivable chain of events. That day wounded our nation, bruised our egos, and scarred our hearts, but, we slowly picked ourselves back up, promised to never forget, and vowed to avenge....someday.
Then, to our surprise, that day came......The Internet, televisions, cell phones, social networks, they all came alive, and, like a wild fire, an unexpected announcement that would stir us all up again, was spread out over the air waves.
The enemy, the monster, the villain, the one man whose name instantly rattled our chains, Usama Bin Laden, was found and killed by our Navy Seals. Just like that, it was over. He was dead. Justice had been served. Our military accomplished, what seemed to be, an impossible mission, for us...for payback...for closure.
I don't know how I feel. My reaction is to rejoice but I know it's not over. I have so much faith in our military, and, if you mess with the USA, well, it may take a matter of time, but, you will not get away with it. However, terrorists breathe in hate the same way we breathe in hope. So, the hope I am feeling now that we are a little safer and stronger as a result of Bin Laden's death, is not so naive as to think that this news is not fueling a fire in a distant land with his supporters who will pick up the reigns and wage their next battle with us.
For now, however, I have decided to keep my mind wrapped around these thoughts:
-The Navy Seal Team Six are AMAZING! They are such an elite group of highly trained soldiers who act out these missions like superheroes to us, but, to them, it's just their job. AMAZING.
-Bin Laden is gone! I will not believe or even entertain any conspiracy theories, rumor mills, gossip, etc...I have no morbid curiosity to see his death photos, I do not doubt what the government has released about the events as they unfolded, and I accept whatever decisions were made as to how and why they killed and disposed of him.
-I am deeply saddened but not surprised as to how people have ignited this as a political issue. I will not solely praise or discredit our president for this and our republican or democratic beliefs should not surface over this. FACT: He is our Commander-in-Chief. He oversees our military and he authorized the kill. FACT: The Navy Seals were assigned this mission and their mission was accomplished. It should not be interpreted any other way and we should not be nit picking right now over who deserves the most credit. They all do and everyone else involved in this chain of command. This extraordinary day should not be a time to remind others that we are all Americans, and, patriotism is a devotion to one's country for no other reason than being a citizen of that country. Appreciate our government AND our military who worked together on this for our nation that we all share.
Last but certainly not least, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families and friends of our victims from 9/11. I know this will never bring their loved ones back or even begin to erase their loss, but, I hope this extraordinary announcement brings them some sense of peace tonight.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thank you Mrs. McAuliffe

Originally posted 9/14/2009 - I am re-posting this in honor of the heroic people who perished on the Space Shuttle Challenger 25 years ago today:


Where were you January 28, 1986 at 11:39 am EST?
I was standing on the grass with the rest of my class staring at a streak in the sky and, not aware just yet, of the impact that image would have on me. That 'streak' was the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding before my eyes. This disaster claimed the lives of: Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe, a teacher participating in the Teacher In Space Project. I admit I had to look up some of their names, but, it was important to have each and everyone of them here with me as I try to explain how that moment was my first sobering lesson in life.
Minutes earlier, my little catholic school in that sleepy little circus town off the Gulf of Mexico was alive. A perk of living in Florida is being able to, sometimes,view glimpses of the space shuttles launching from the Kennedy Space Center. We also followed this particular one closely since it involved a teacher whose purpose on this voyage was to literally teach us all about "The ultimate field trip" and to relay to us "Where we've been, Where we are going."
I was one of a bunch of giddy students lined up and ready to rush out the door when we got the signal from the principal over the intercom. We were finally allowed to pile out onto the front lawn and watch the space mission make it's mark in history. Our teachers fluttered around us to make sure we were paying attention and looking in the right direction so we didn't miss the moment. Then, it happened...The very visible streak shot up in the clear sky. We were elated that we were able to see it from that little patch of grass so many miles away. Our heads rattled around and the chatter started as the explosion occurred and the trail of smoke split off in different directions across the sky. Our principal,who had been monitoring the launch and the explosion from a TV in her office, awkwardly stepped out and approached the other faculty. Their moods changed and their expressions gave way to our imaginations. We were herded back into our classroom without an immediate explanation while the flaming debris was crashing into the Atlantic Ocean.
The silence broke and the news was released to us and we all sat slumped back in our chairs and I wondered.... Oh, how I wondered! How and why do things like that happen? What was Christa McAuliffe's class' reaction? Did they know something was wrong before it exploded? Unanswered questions just kept pouring into my brain as my thoughts ran deeper than they had ever done before.
Christa McAuliffe perished in the explosion along with everyone else on board. However, she, somehow, in spirit, still managed to teach me this final lesson:
I learned to dream big; I learned there were ordinary people who believed so much in our world that they often put themselves in extraordinary positions for the rest of us; I learned that there weren't always happy endings; I learned that sacrifice was a part of life; I learned recovery was necessary and we must fix things to still keep moving forward; I learned to never forget those moments and that they are to be used as stepping stones to mark who you are and help build the path to where you are going in life. Thank you Mrs. McAuliffe. You taught me more than you will ever know!
So, where were you January 28, 1986 at 11:39 am EST?


Note: Challenger image copied from the following website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Challenger_disaster

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Hope

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.......HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
I love celebrating the arrival of a new year! It is like cleaning the old and haggard slate off and turning a crisp and clean new leaf! It re-energizes me and fills me full of new hope for what lies ahead.
However, I DO NOT, and, I repeat, DO NOT believe in New Year's resolutions. If you are not living up to your potential or if you have to set goals or change something about yourself, it should not be done as a 'resolution.'
Can't we just celebrate another year without setting (usually) unrealistic expectations for ourselves? Life is challenging enough without adding, what I see as, additional and totally unnecessary pressure.
So, with that said, if I don't already like you, promising to be nicer to others is not going to change my mind. If my weight has not budged in years, promising myself to drop fifty bazillion pounds is not going to happen. Luckily, I don't smoke or have any other serious vices, but, probably quitting cold turkey, I'm guessing, is not a good idea. Especially for others who have to be around you while you fight your urges for a couple of very long and torturous days!
If I have to choose a resolution, for arguments sake, then, let it be this: I promise to continue being myself instead of wasting any time pretending to be something else.
Without resolution, I shall simply remind myself of this as I welcome the new year:Life..It goes by so fast, and, the years, well, they just don't last. So, always live for the future and forget about the past....Happy 2011
Image credit: found on http://www.bing.com/