Favorites - Commemorations

These are some of my favorite columns about commemorations:

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.

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.

Weddings, Wry and Funny

June is the month for weddings. What I love about them is how hard people work to create events of flawless beauty, but what everyone remembers later are all the things that went wrong.

We have friends, married now for seven years, who still laugh so hard when they recount the events of their wedding day that they get tears in their eyes.

Kathy and her best friend and bridesmaid, Libby, spent the early part of the afternoon at a beauty salon having their hair and make-up done, getting dressed in their fancy dresses. Then they hailed a cab to drive them to the church.

Kid Birthday Parties

Did you hear the latest news from the action packed world of astro-physics? The Hubbell telescope (whose slogan is "Your tax dollars zipping through space.") just sent back some data that proves to the six guys who understand this stuff that not only are there Black Holes in outer space, they are also bigger than anyone thought. And they have edges. Well, not really edges, but things called Event Horizons. This is a kind of border - where if you cross it, you get sucked into a voracious maw of super-duper- gravity and are never heard from again.

Valent Squirrel Muffins

It was seventeen years ago today that, after a few hours of studying in my grad school's library, I decided I needed a break. I walked out to the main hall of the school to slurp a drink at the drinking fountain. While I was there, a flower shop van drove up, a guy got out and started carrying in a bud vase that held three red roses.

Weekend with Thirteen-Year-Olds

Mary extended the invitation to me two months ago. Would I like to join her at the Up North cabin for a weekend? She'd be there alone on her way home from a professional obligation. I responded no. The 300 mile drive sounded exhausting, losing a regular family weekend sounded complicated and tiring.

Several days later I was sitting on the sofa (with coffee) when a huge thought came flapping into my brain like a large and rowdy crow. It cawed to me loudly, "Since when did you get so old you don't have to do tiring, tricky or interesting things anymore?"

Sky Tic Tac Toe & Christmas

This morning I heard an interesting report on the radio. An enormous meteor seems to have whizzed out of space last week and crashed into Greenland.

No one is certain exactly what happened. There are firsthand reports from several fishermen who were out on their boats at the time. They reported one moment all was ordinary, the next there was a rain of burning debris. The stuff sizzled as it struck the sea.

A Birth

"...and the time came for her to be delivered and she gave birth to her first-born son ..." Luke 2:6B & 7A

I'd made arrangements in advance. The St. Luke's Hospital public relations people said I could come over during my sister-in-law Emilie's shift. If there was a patient who was willing, it was fine with them if I witnessed a birth and then wrote about it.

Mom Eyes

My incredibly sophisticated and "majorly" cool brother was still a high school kid when he told me the piece of human behavior trivia he'd learned that day. According to Paul, if you stared at a person long enough, you could get their attention. You didn't have to do anything else, just look at them avidly. He said it was a super trick, he'd already tried it on a couple of girls in his classes. He'd stare at the back of their heads, eventually they would start squirming, they'd look around and find him. He'd smile.

Happy Fathers' Day

I have just returned from a week in Utah and Colorado where I attended a family wedding in Grand Junction, Colo. It was a grand and energizing adventure.

I encountered dozens of interesting people on the trip, but the one I noticed most was the one who was not there. My husband didn't come along on this escapade. I soon discovered that an illuminating and entertaining way to contemplate Fathers Day is to try to be one. (Something single mothers have been saying all along.)