Resolution Revolution

New Year’s Eve seems an apt day to think about resolutions.  You know, that annual time of taking stock of ourselves and our lives.  How did I do this past year, how can I improve in the new one?  The cliche declarations are easy to consider:  I need to lose weight.  I need to exercise more.  I need to watch less television.  I should drink less.  I’ve made resolutions like that a thousand times.

There are those who say that we shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions, that by doing so we simply set ourselves up for failure.  I disagree.  After all, it was Socrates who said the “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

So what are some worthwhile goals to set for A.D. 2015?  I say, forget about weight loss and exercising more.  Have we met?!  I’d like to be a good wife to my husband.  I want to be a good mom to my adult children, although I’m just feeling my way along in the dark on this one.  I want to do my job better this year than I did the year before.  I’d like to continue writing and look seriously into getting published.

Beyond that, hitting the mid-century mark has given me a little perspective.  I think this says it best.

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A Sweet Surprise

wpid-20141229_102957-1.jpgMr. R. brought these home to me the other day.  It wasn’t my birthday or one of our anniversaries (we celebrate at least three: the day we ‘met’ online, our first wedding, and our second wedding–long story for another post), and it wasn’t Christmas.  He gave them to me “just because.”

I think one way to ‘keep it fresh’ is to prioritize each other.  It’s been harder for the last six months due to our tightened budget, we haven’t had Date Night as often as I’d like, but still we find creative ways to remind each other, and ourselves, how blessed we are to have found the other half that makes us whole.

Mr. R. has a flower guy who sells flowers from a truck next to a gas station in town.  His flowers are so much more beautiful than you’d get other places.  He actually supplied the white and purple hydrangeas for our second (formal, if you will) wedding.

From time to time, Mr. R. stops by Antonio’s truck to pick out a bouquet.  It’s reason #12 that I love him so much.

Yeah, Like That!

hemingway shoes

The story goes that in the 20’s, a group of writers bet Ernest Hemingway that he couldn’t write a complete story using only six words.  This is what he wrote, winning the bet.  It’s said this this is the work he considered his best.

In researching the quote, I discovered that there is some debate as to whether or not Papa actually penned the story.  Frankly, I don’t care who wrote it, it’s brilliant.  These six words evoke heartbreak and tragedy.

Why do we write?  Do we want to merely entertain, to inform?  Or do we want to do with words what Van Gogh and Monet did with color and light and texture, inspiring impressions, emotions, and feelings?

Regardless of who wrote it, I want to be that kind of writer.

Christmas Memories

Her name was Willie Ernestine and she was my grandmother.  She always hated the ‘Willie’ part.

Every summer when my brothers and I were kids, we’d spend a week at her house in Kentucky.  She always treated us and our cousins to a night at the local amusement park.  She’d pack her pantry with all the things we liked: tiny Hostess doughnuts, Fritos, “co-cola,” and other treats.  She always took us for a hike in the woods, which was actually just a vacant lot.  The only thing we had to remember to do was to leave her alone every afternoon when her “stories” were on.  She was a devoted fan of soap operas and was none too pleased for us to interrupt them.

wpid-20141222_104928-1.jpgWhen I was twenty, I was the first grandchild to get married.  Before my wedding, we visited her and she presented me with a gift she’d made in a ceramics class she took.  It was a nativity set.  She’d made all the pieces and had paid for someone to make the wooden barn.  She showed me how she’d engraved her initials into the bottoms of most of the pieces.  She lovingly took each one and showed me how she envisioned that it should be set up.  As she did so, one of the roof angels fell and broke an ear off the donkey.  She was so upset with herself.  I tried to reassure her that I loved it all the same.

Thirty years later, that broken donkey’s ear is part of what makes the whole thing so special to me.  My kids have dutifully listened to me tell that story every time I set up the nativity set at Christmas.  Spoiler alert: One day, one of them will inherit it from me.