Columns 1995

Lawn Chairs

A few weeks ago our 3-year old started pre-school. Thank our lucky stars, this time she loves it!

Physically, she's only there five hours a week. Spiritually, she never leaves. All day long she talks, plays, breathes, and dreams pre-school. We used to have imaginary friends around here. Now we also have imaginary pre-school teachers, and making enough imaginary macaroni for everybody keeps me busy.

Mothers' Day

A few weeks ago was Take Our Daughters To Work Day. I half-jokingly asked my fourth grader if she would like to stay home with me that day. She turned her clear, gray-blue eyes upon me and answered quite succinctly.

"No way. I don't want to do laundry or dishes and I especially don't want to take care of Her all day." "Her" is the 3-year old.

I sighed but I didn't blame her. If I had a choice, there are days when I'd choose fourth grade over this place, too.

Aunt Helen and the Tornado

Life can be so weird.

My Aunt Helen called me last night. She and Uncle Ken just returned from a two month trip to Alaska -- they've been traveling a lot since Uncle Ken retired. I expected to hear her rave about the beauty of that spectacular state.

"Oh, Alaska was great, but it was South Dakota where we had the adventure of a lifetime."

South Dakota?

"We were hit by a tornado."

"You mean you saw a real tornado as you were driving the interstate?"

That could be scary.

Fleas

A few months ago a Chicago friend called me on a Saturday morning. There was panic in her voice.

"The school sent home with a note yesterday that we didn't read until late last night. They say our daugher has head lice! What do we do?"

I sighed. I'm not sure what it says about the success of my life when I am the person people call for lice advice.

I tried to rise to the occasion cheerfully. "First of all, thank your lucky stars that you are in a two parent family and that this is a weekend. This is the best possible scenario for lice."

Vole in the Car!

One thing I have noticed about ordinary life is that it is often more thrilling than you'd think.

A few nights ago, as I was driving along, my eight year old son suddenly shrieked, "There's a mouse in the car, Mom!"

We were coming home from hockey practice in Kenosha. He had just completed an hour of non-stop skating and he was more than hungry -- he was a force of nature. I had driven through a fast food emporium and bought him enough saturated fats to fell a horse. He chomped his way through the aromatic mega-hamburger for the next ten miles.

Deer Hunting

I awoke this morning to my radio station reporting something called a 'kill tally'. My eyes popped open in horror and my heart started to race. For a moment there, I thought I was back in Chicago.

The announcer went on to explain hunting mishaps so far this season. I chuckled with relief and listened to the report about a hunter who shot a llama.

I respect the phenomenon of deer hunting, but I don't 'get' it. I guess it's because I come from generations of people who don't hunt anything that isn't sugar coated.

Joshua Glover

Racine has some amazing stories. Before we moved here I read a tantalizing tidbit about the true tale I am going to tell you today. I have asked people about this story. A few have heard ÒsomethingÓ about it. Most people have no idea that one hundred and forty years ago this town rang a bell that would toll against slavery throughout this land. I visited the Racine County Historical Society to learn more about it.