Strong Men Make Strong Women, and Baritone Barbies

Every Father’s Day I think of my only favorite Wayne Newton Song- Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast.  And there were a few slow walking Daddies around this weekend, for sure.  But for what they lack in speed, they more than made up for in strength.

English: Barbie Portrait

English: Barbie Portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My gratitude is soaring out the window tonight, as I think about the weekend, the day, the great people I’m surrounded by.

I enjoyed a weekend of  basketball and sweet little 12-year-old girls jacked up on candy.  Girls who are really just little girls, but play basketball with strength, heart soul and determination of a platoon of Marines.  Did I mention that they love each other like sisters?  They do.  So cool to watch my girl band with a bunch of other talented beautiful tough ass girls.  I already thought she had a great gang of awesome friends before this. And nice parents.  These girls are so lucky that they can live strong and beautiful simultaneously.  Happy and proud of my girl – of all of the girls.

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Me and My Crow

Me and the Girl from the Hill at Davisville Library today

Me and the Girl from the Hill at Davisville Library today

What a cool day.  At our very first, and hopefully far from last, book reading and signing for A Girl From the Hill today, I was again reminded how much I love my friends and family.

Believe me, there is no feeling better than being surrounded by people who love and support you, and who truly enjoy watching and listening as you live a tiny piece of your dream.

I started A Girl From the Hill nearly three years ago.  My mother and I both put in a lot of work, me listening, writing, re-writing and thinking long and hard about some tough subjects; my mother telling me things to be shared publicly that haven’t even been shared with everyone in her family.  Pain, suffering, loss.  Things that change a person forever.  She revisited these places with me, along with going back to lots of good places.  We certainly had laughs going back to Marshall Street together.

I had nightmares about today all week.  One dream with 174 people packed into the tiny Davisville Free Library where I spoke.  One with people yelling out questions which I couldn’t answer.  Once with all of my family screaming at me.  Boy am I uptight.

The good news is that a beautiful little library opened its doors to me, my family and friends for an hour or so of reading, laughing and sharing.  And Dahlia enjoyed it so much, more than I imagined.  I felt such the pride watching her and listening to her, answering questions, laughing, feeling the adoration of the group and giving it right back.

And even though I spent the day fretting and fussing and driving my poor sister Maree nuts, getting to the point where the poor woman couldn’t even watch the traffic for me as I backed out of my mother’s driveway, once I got settled in everything changed.  In the moment, exactly where I was meant to be at exactly the right time.  Satisfaction and contentment from bringing our work full circle. 

I don’t know how I’ll do at our next gig, with perhaps more strangers and less familiar faces.  But today, my peeps gave me the strength, courage and determination to do this again.  Me and the Crow are ready for it. 

Feeling Special

 

Special Olympics 2012-05

Special Olympics 2012-05 (Photo credit: pennstatenews)

Despite the 90 degree heat today, I haven’t felt this exact type of warmth since last Christmas, after spending time with family and friends and just experiencing all the reciprocal love and positive energy rebounding back and forth between us.

I spent this morning volunteering for the Special Olympics at the University of Rhode Island in North Kingstown.  It’s been about 25 years since I volunteered, and then it was just in the communications booth.  I never even got to see any athletes up close.   What an amazing bunch of people.

Amateur athletic events and I are old friends by this point in my parenting career.  Jules is quite the athlete and she has played basketball, softball  and/or soccer in some combination or another since she was four.  And she was dancing and acting at age three.  So I know what those types of competitive gatherings are like.  Well, I thought I knew.

Today there was no pushing, shoving, squeezing to get in the prime spot, to take the prime picture.  No video cameras in front of your view, not a hostile word, thought, or deed.  The athletes were calm, patient, living in the moment and enjoying it all, win or lose.  No one crying because she couldn’t  live up to unattainable expectations.  No injuries that swiped everyone’s breath away in a giant gasp.

I had a very tense ride down, and almost all the way back home, and then back again, and thought, shutting off the car, that maybe I wasn’t meant to be helping today.  (We will refer to that as the husband lost the car keys crisis, but then found them after I came all the way home).  That left me a bit cranky.  And after all, what could I do to make a difference today? 

Well I didn’t do much, seemingly.  But I felt.  I cheered.  I smiled till my face hurt.  I gave lots of high fives and pats on the back.  I handed out and collected towels from the athletes.  As  soon as I got my sweaty self out of the car the joy in the air nearly knocked me over.

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Ain’t nobody gonna steal my joy. Repost from Sethsnap

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (soundtrack)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ain’t nobody gonna steal my joy..

I love that ain’t keeps showing up in my posts.  Such a powerful word.

I agree with Seth, and he does such a fantastic job expressing the sentiment in his photos

May we all persevere, and let’s just share our joy so it cannot be stolen.

Dogs are boys, Cats are girls – All the Best, from Number 3

Tom pokes Jerry in High Steaks, one of the 13 ...

Tom pokes Jerry in High Steaks, one of the 13 films produced by the Deitch/Snyder team. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://40isthenew13.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/dogs-are-boys-cats-are-girls/

I love this post and had to share it.  There is a an important part about knowing that we all can be anything we want to be, but there is a wonderful fun part where we can remember the way we thought as children.  Black and white, right and wrong, male and female.  It’s how we learn, and children have such amazing ways of making sense of reality, whatever that is.

When I was little, I definitely thought Dogs were boys and Cats were girls- except for Tom of Tom and Jerry, and Sylvester.  But they were dopey cats so of course not female.

What made me laugh and smile the most was this response from someone named brazennell – I could totally relate.

She wrote

“When I was a child I would pretend my markers and crayons were people. All the bright colours were girls and the dark colours were boys. I used to do the same with an old chess set my grandfather had. White were the ladies, black were the gents. I have no idea what that means. I lack the insight and intellect to explain but I really enjoyed your post.”

Here is me totally relating in my response –

“brazennell, I totally know where you’re coming from!  I used to do the same thing- and in addition, I used to think numbers were people. 1 was a lonely old, but kind gentleman; 2 was a bit of a disciplinarian, always wanting to do what’s right; 3 was lots of fun (I was a 3 btw). I could go on but you get the drift. And now, quite a few decades later, I can still look at a person and tell what number they are.

Some people never grow up- thank goodness!”

So, what number are you?  I am a 3 because I’m round and have curly hair, but I’m also fun.  I like to laugh and I’m at my best when I’m not too serious- just like a 3.  I always wanted to be 9 though – 9 is fun and attractive in a much more sleek way than 3.

Christmas Angels

christmas paint

christmas paint (Photo credit: cassie_bedfordgolf)

Each year, Christmas Spirit enters into my soul and settles, like a cool mist on the hard winter ground. Always a little different, depending on the state of my life. Christmas gives me something every year, but I am only able to accept what I’m ready for in my heart.

I’ve spent many Christmases feeling sorry for myself, alone and pitiful. I used to wonder what my purpose is, am I fulfilling it, am I a success, a failure, how can I improve myself so that I will be happy.
As the years pass, my concerns are more for others than myself. How do I give my family a happy pleasant day, and carry it through the year? Who can I help that needs help? How can I spend my time to make the world a happier, more peaceful place – whether it’s just my little corner of Smithfield, Rhode Island, the nation, the world?

I’ve witnessed many random acts of kindness this past week, more than the obligatory letting cars pull out in front of you at the Mall on Christmas Eve. I believe it’s a result of those horrendous events in Newtown, Connecticut. How many parents are holding their children closer, being a little more patient, living in the moment a little more? I know I am.

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joy to the world…please

George Harrison with Ravi Shankar, 1967

George Harrison with Ravi Shankar, 1967 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Levels of joy and sadness are spiking up and down with such high intensity these past few days. The joy of the holidays has been pierced with the sadness of Newtown. The joy in celebrating life and heroic deeds – the best that humans have to offer, in sharp contrast to the worst we can imagine.

Thanks to akreed for her blog post on the passing of Indian musician Ravi Shankar this past week.

I am a huge Beatles and George Harrison fan, so Ravi means something special to me in terms of the joy and grounding he provided George, not to mention his influence on his (and their) music.

here is the post — via joy.

I sincerely and urgently hope that joy travels your way through these next difficult days, as we try our best to celebrate and mourn simultaneously.