God and I have this great relationship. At least I think we do … it seems to work from my standpoint, I hope it does from His. Organized religion and I never quite hit it off and even during advancing seniorhood I still consider myself ‘in recovery’. Any flirtation with religious formality ended with the last of my innocence when, what I needed was good advice about a bad marriage, but received instead only tongue-lashings and platitudes from every religious person I knew … including my Mom who makes even holy men look like their halos need a brisk buffing with Brasso.
Rather than concrete and stone, my cathedral lies in the embrace of towering trees and singing birds or falling snow, where I can clear my head and enjoy a more direct communion with the one who makes it all possible. While I remain a Christian, I quickly lose patience with Read the rest of this entry
She wasn’t my first love but she was the first female to inflict womanly pain upon my soul. My first love was Lucy Williams in kindergarten. We once shared a mat during rest period and a couple of crayons afterword. Next was Laura Gail Fitzsimmons in the first grade, but she never knew it. She had flaming red hair, a few discretely placed freckles and kept a small lace handkerchief in her sleeve.
Miss Crystal was, actually, my third love … an older woman with whom I became smitten in the second grade. She was the trifecta, the hat trick, the ultimate in kid crushes! She was also the first to break my heart. From the moment I saw her, I knew she was the girl I would marry someday … as soon as I caught up with her. You see, Miss Crystal was my second grade teacher. That meant I had some serious growing to do before Read the rest of this entry
Santa had come and gone. The children were nestled all snug in their beds but the sugar plums that once danced in their heads had been devoured and, by now, the resulting ‘high’ subsided settling things back to a dull roar. Even the nastiest little crumb cruncher hadn’t received coal in his stocking and all was well. Or was it?
Here it was New Year’s Eve and each year the same two things always amaze me. The first is how the nature of my celebration has changed with time. The other is our tradition of getting misty-eyed over a song to which most people know the words but few know either the meaning or how to spell it.
For years I held that Christmas was the holiday for kids and New Year’s was the adult holiday. To prove it, I’d whip up a batch of lethal Read the rest of this entry
The high school I occupied during my pre-adult period was nearly ninety percent Jewish. When many of the more important Hebrew holidays were celebrated, like in September and October, they actually consolidated as many as three or four classes for any given subject into a single room. Even with that arrangement, I was one of only a tiny hand-full of students in there. We had a lot of fall study halls back then.
Chanukah was different because it usually seemed to coincide pretty closely with Christmas and everybody was off from school … even the kids that celebrated holidays with names most of us never heard of, until ‘political correctness’ came to town a few years later. In those days you were either a Christian or a Jew and nobody was offended by wishes of “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah,” even if you got it wrong. In my neighborhood, the Christmas tree and the Menorah lived side by side. Read the rest of this entry
A buddy of mine asked his readers for Christmas stories on his blog The Dick Summer Connection … and among the many responses he received, this one jumped right off the page. Most guys have experienced something similar, although I would hope less extreme. Dick said I could share the story, so from my house to yours, here’s Bill Ervolino’s house. Whew!
I thought it would be a nice idea to bring a date to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve. I thought it would be interesting for a non-Italian girl to see how an Italian family spends the holidays. I thought my mother and my date would hit it off like partridges and pear trees. So, I was wrong. Sue me.
I had only known Karen for three weeks when I extended the invitation. “I know these family things can be a little weird,” I told her, “but my folks are great, and we always have a lot of fun on Christmas Eve.” “Sounds fine to me,” Karen said. Read the rest of this entry
A friend from Facebook shared this story with me, and passing it on just feels like the right thing to do:
This is for anyone who has had a teacher who inspired them to be their best – John Busswood
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. Read the rest of this entry
Click for the ultimate in ‘Green’
Green has always been a pleasant color. Christmas trees are green, the soft grass tickling your toes in the backyard is green, some of the most nourishing veggies are green and my money is green … at least most of it. They’ve been mixing in other rainbow-like hues lately and making it look more like Monopoly money. That’s a good balance though, because it spends more like Monopoly money everyday, only I don’t have any hotels on Boardwalk or Park Place.
So how come, all of a sudden, ‘Green’ has become a politically correct religion and we’re being pummeled about the head and shoulders with it like a piñata? Ever see one of those lunatics risking his life Read the rest of this entry