Saturday, May 30, 2009

That they may take our lives but they will never take our FREEDOM...a battle cry.

When the bouncy castle arrived last night in my backyard I think I was the most excited. As the generator blew up the 20 foot yellow crayon castle I swore I could hear the word, FREEDOM, rustling through the tiny white fan. Its reverberation echoed throughout the neighborhood as I could see my girlfriends peeking out of their kitchen windows as they knew that they also would benefit from the majestic nylon sight. For at least 24 hours every adult on the block were could be assured that they would not hear those two words, "I'm bored" muttered from the mouth of babes. It started out as a fantastic a bouncy castle, sponsor a sleepover with seven third graders and follow it up the next morning with a good ole fashion neighborhood kids only block party. Cue foreshadowing music?

We guarded all entrances to the house, as this was an outdoor party darn it and during this recession time, we were not accustomed to allowing $5 bills to fly out into the yard because the kids kept the doors open. You know I remember when we were young during the summer you had a choice "out" or "in" once you chose out, you would have to stay out until the street lights came on or dinner was served. We peed in bushes when we had to use the bathrom and when we were hungry we scavenged for food in the most unlikely of places, but we never thought of going inside the house.
Not this generation, this group of natives were relentless, they tried and tried again to outwit, outplay and outlast us, with their droopy eyes, little red faces and parched little throats. But we always a step ahead, armed with pitcher upon pitcher of ice water, popsicles and the sprinkler. These kids could hack a couple of hours outside in the 75 degree weather, and we were the one to teach 'em.

However, the "cry of freedom" I had heard less than 24 hours before changed throughout the morning and by noon on day two, it sounded more like the battle cry of Mel Gibson rallying his troops of Scottish misfits to fight the English in "Braveheart". Only the battlefield was my backyard and we (my husband and I) were the poor English saps, keeping the soliders from their land, were outnumbered and exhausted. As I started threading the needle for the white of surrender, we came up with a new plan, FOOD, so we started lunch. As hubby was grilling, one little boy who had complained most of the day, had a problem with the day's menu of hot dogs. To his mortification, hubby answered, "well we could plop some ketchup on the plate and give you a spoon" about that time I walked in and followed with the one, two punch combo, "or you can walk home and have your mom make you a turkey sandwich".

Ups and downs, downs and ups, literally speaking, plagued us for the rest of the afternoon. At 2pm, we finally found a break in the battle as the little heathens tore off one by one, heading for home and slumber. I looked at hubby through my sprinkler soaked t-shirt and ketchup stained jeans and we agreed that overall it was a good plan with some minor flaws. Next time we rent a bouncy castle we will invite adults only, serve t-bone steaks and homemade margaritas, the sprinkler is optional. I mean, seriously why can't I...

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Memoriam... a day to reflect...

I did not come up with this format, I need to give credit for her idea. But I thought it a great way to reflect the day.

Outside my Window... soggy grass as the rain just keeps coming, an empty nest that once held the three cutest baby birds, and below it the little burial we had to make for the baby bird that broke it's leg and never made it to adulthood.

I am remembering... making footprints on Omaha beach in Normandy, on a day like today, rainy wet and cold in 2005. Silence as the waves crashed on the shore but imagining the horror those troops felt as their boats hit the beach. Although I was not looking forward to this part of our trip, I was overwhelmed with the amount of honor and appreciation I felt.

I am thankful for... my freedom and the right to sit here and type about whatever subject I fell necessary, the ability to teach my children anything I deem important and the power to make a difference.

I am wearing... black. A total coincidence. Black jeans with a black sweater and white t-shirt and flip flops of course.

I am reading.. The Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. Really love it, Jamie McTavish has almost passed my first literary love, Edward Cullen.

From the kitchen... I was craving something sweet, and the pantry was bare, except for one small box of blueberry muffins, it was perfect for a 3pm snack.

I am hoping/praying... for my girlfriend and her fight against brain cancer. She is one tough cookie, if anyone can do it, she can. She shaved her head on Friday and I wish her all the confidence she needs to still face the world.

I am creating... a book, very slow at times, I think the story is great, but stumbling on the details. Definitely a work in progress.

I am hearing... Sponge bob on the tube and the girls fighting...again. Will they ever grow out of this?

One of my favorite things... being around the house in the rain with all types of media around me. My laptop, computer, books, TV and my ipod. I can spend my day surfing the Internet, downloading music, reading my books and watching movies I couldn't get to during the week.

Quote..."And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier's tomb, and beauty weeps the brave." ~Joseph Drake

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grasshopper...can money buy happiness?

As we were driving home from the local Chinese Buffet, my youngest and I were chatting about the fortunes we just cracked open from our cookies. Mine read "the star of riches will shine on you the beginning of next month", woo hoo, a good one and this one will definitely come true, I just know it. My daughter's said "you could make a name for yourself in the field of medicine." And again because fortune cookies do in fact predict the future, I felt a small tear in my eye at the thought of my little peanut developing a cure for cancer. After I explained what the field of medicine was she, in turn, had the opposite response, instead her reply was, "Noooo, I don't want to do that, I told you I want to be a ballerina teacher "(which would be fine if she had EVER taken a class). As we drove a little further, she piped up again from the backseat, "Mommy next time I make a wish, instead of wishing turn into a mermaid like I always do, I am going to wish that we can be rich." Now, I could go either way here, I could definitely try to plant that seed, describing in detail that becoming a doctor will guarantee her a fortune and all the riches she could want and if she developed a cure, well than the sky's the limit. But instead I took the high road, and went into the "money can’t buy happiness" speech. Giving the ole one, two punch and following it up with sure money is nice and because of it we do have a house and food to eat and a car to drive, but it is how your spend your time, not your money with the people you love that brings you happiness. To that reply she said, "well what if you could buy people in a store? Say all of our people that died, like my great, great grandmother and my great, great grandfather. God gives them a little surgery, fixes them up and then puts them in a store like the GAP, and we could buy them with our money. Then it would be good to be rich." She definitely had a point, in this case money could buy happiness. Teacher- 0, Young grasshopper- 1

Friday, May 8, 2009

Waiting in line for a E Ticket Life...

When I was growing up, trips to Disney World were a annual occurrence. In the 70s and early 80s, when you entered those magical gates you were given a book of tickets...labeled "A-E". "A" tickets were used for the most mundane of rides. Not even rides more like shows, the Hall of Presidents comes to mind. I can still remember Abe Lincoln's ghastly face as he muttered the Gettysburg address. I didn't care what Abe or George had to say, I never listened. The Hall of Presidents was a place to cool off and devise my plan on how I was going to talk my parents into buying that really cool $25 Cinderella journal and pen set that at Eckerds would have only cost $5.99. Ride excitement increased with the alphabet. "B" tickets were traded for the Merry-go-round and "C" tickets for even faster rides like Dumbo, and so on and so forth. "E" rides, however, these were the rides that would make the tiny hairs on the back of your neck stand up. E was for exciting and the most wonderful "E" ride at the park was Space Mountain.

My life these past six months has resembled a typical day at Disney: excitement, wonder and unfortunately infinite patience. These past couple of month I have spent a great deal of time waiting for the new chapter, standing in line. In fact, I imagine most of us have felt the same way, we are waiting for distressed economy to pick up, waiting for Obama to take charge, waiting for someone to figure out a way to "cool down" the planet and waiting for the troops to come home. For me personally I am waiting for a move to a new city where new schools, friends, a new life awaits... In this seemingly never ending line of life, when will the ride finally begin? As we wind back and forth through the cleverly marked roped paths, anxious for our new adventures we want to make sure we do not miss our present and current position. So I look left in line and there is a women who looks like she has it all together, she hasn't broke a sweat, her clothes are pressed and her children are standing in line quietly, I envy her for a moment. On our right, is her exact opposite. Her children are bouncing on the ropes, and the dirty faced little monster has just spilt his red slurpee on the cement and it has splashed up and stained my white socks, they probably saved a year for this trip and they were here when the park opened and will be here until close, been there done that. Ahead, people in front are not paying attention and are leaving big gaps of open space between them and as reach out to tap them on the shoulder they move at the last minute. And the man behind me has lost all concept of personal space and on his hot breath I can smell the three - $8 hot dogs he just wolfed down, it is gross but I find myself a little hungry. But I stand and wait, and wait and wait. Further ahead a tunnel, and then openness, I round the last corner and I can see it, the final walkway. I can feel the breeze from the ride as it stops ahead allowing those that were lucky enough to be in front of me grab hold and buckle themselves in. We are next... but the question is, after all of this time which ride will I take? Which ride would you take? The safe "B" Merry-Go-Round, that turn your stomach at first, but the scenery never changes, you just go around and around. You see the same people over and over, and the same four silly songs are repeated again an again but you are comfortable. Or do you choose Space Mountain, with its flips, twists and overwhelming speed. You feel both the urge to throw up and to laugh out loud at the same time. You can't see anything but darkness, uncertain if you will turn left or right, go up or down, but you can hear the screaming of those around you, and they are not only screams of concern but of joy and happiness too.

It is an easy decision for me, Space Mountain wins. And after the ride is over, I unbuckle my belt, a little dizzy and even a bit nauseous and you know what...I get back in line, I am going to ride it again, but this time I am going to grab a hot dog and a red slurpee...seriously, why can't I?