August 28, 2010

My Childhood Neighborhood

This has been another busy week at work, and the one night I didn't work late, I was busy enjoying the final night of a favorite summertime activity - a weekly outdoor concert. It was the only one I made it to this summer, primarily due to the excessively hot weather we experienced. So while I can't say the dog ate my homework, I still think I have a decent excuse for being late with my writing assignment from Mama Kat.

The topic was one I had to write on. My family moved quite a bit, but there was one house that we all think of as home. We lived there a little over 6 years, from shortly before my 3rd birthday, until shortly after my 9th. It was the last house we lived in as a family, as my brother was 18 when we left that house to move out-of-state.

It was in a wonderful neighborhood, filled with cottage-type brick homes, most of which were painted, keeping them from looking alike. There were big trees to climb, and to provide lots of shade. The only flaw was that, in the entire time we lived there, there were never any families with kids my age in the neighborhood. But there were plenty of kids the same ages as my older brother and sister, so it wasn't often that I noticed.

With my sister and brother in front of the last
house where we all lived together.

August 20, 2010

Na Na Na Na Boo Boo

A group of friends from high school gathered recently, and the topic soon turned to a classmate who had died unexpectedly a few months ago. He was the kind of guy who everybody liked, even if we didn't know him well. He had a kind, gentle spirit, and was always thoughtful and polite.

Someone brought up the fact that the name we had known him by in high school was not the name he had always had. He had actually changed both his first and last names - as well as his school - when we were still in grade school. I had first known him at the first school, when he went by the original name.

The person telling this story said he had hated that name because kids in our class had come up with a rhyme to make fun of him. While I don't remember that, it didn't surprise me. I clearly remember the day in 7th grade when I realized he was the same guy I had once known by another name. We were in our French class, and I guess the teacher had left the room for a couple of minutes because one of the girls yelled at him across the room, asking why he had changed his name. At first, he looked kind of stunned, then I realized the expression was one of pain. The girl who was questioning him was relentless, but he did not respond in anger or even defensiveness. He tried to avoid answering her at first, but when it soon became evident that she would not let it go, he graciously gave her an explanation that satisfied her. I don't remember the subject ever coming up again.

August 17, 2010

I Did Not Want to Write About This...

Let me tell you, I tried to avoid this topic. When I saw other bloggers writing about it, I quietly backed away, not wanting to get sucked into the debate. It's not an easy subject, and while on the surface it seems to be one over which many disagree, that is not really the case at all. The majority of Americans are in agreement.

And that troubles me, greatly.

We have become a country of kneejerk reactions. We get caught up in emotion, and we don't want to be influenced by anything that contradicts the emotion. Once in a blue moon, as in this case, an overwhelming majority of Americans agree on a topic. We begin to think if the majority agrees, then it must be right.

August 13, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

It's still dangerously hot, of course. In the month since my Minnesota vacation filled with pleasant warm days and cool nights, the weather at home has been stifling around the clock. We have had excessive heat warnings for all but 4 or 5 days in the past month, and it doesn't cool below the low 80's at night. If the high hasn't actually been above 100 degrees, then the heat index  - what the temperature actually feels like - has well exceeded the century mark, usually in the neighborhood of 110-115.

School started this week, and it just doesn't feel right to still be this hot. But there might be a light at the end of this suffocating tunnel. All week long, there have been promises of a cool front by the weekend. Imagine my disappointment when I looked online yesterday afternoon and saw this:

August 6, 2010

He Said, She Said

Or maybe it should be, "She said, he said."

I know I just posted yesterday about being too busy to blog right now, but there is an aspect to this story that is so irritating, I just had to stay up and write about it.

Tuesday morning, the Today show featured an interview with Lynn France, who says she discovered pictures from her husband's wedding on Facebook....while she was still married to him. Lynn and John France were married in 2005 in an extravagant destination wedding which took place in Italy. By 2008, she was beginning to suspect that John was having an affair. She tracked John down and discovered him with Amanda, who told Lynn that she and John planned to be married. John left Lynn soon after that. According to Lynn, John took the couples' two young sons without her knowledge from their home in Ohio to Florida, where he now lives with his new wife, Amanda. John claims that his marriage to Lynn was not valid due to a clerical error, and he has filed in Florida courts for custody of the children. Although Lynn discovered hundreds of pictures of John's wedding to Amanda at Disney World - apparently Amanda was dressed as Sleeping Beauty and John was dressed as Prince Charming - she told Meredith Vieira that the most painful part was finding pictures of her children on Amanda's Facebook page, leading her to feel taunted by Amanda.

August 5, 2010

Blogging Distractions

Ever since I took a couple of weeks off in July, my blogging has slowed to a crawl. Once I got back from vacation, work went into high gear. I'm part of the support staff at a private high school and our freshmen will come for orientation beginning today, then school starts next Thursday. (Sure, it' over 100 degrees, but by golly, we'll get finals in before Christmas!) With the start of school so near, I've been putting in extra time at work and even bringing some work home so I haven't had as much time...or energy...or inspiration for blogging at the end of the day. I'm still trying to keep up up with your blogs, but I'm not commenting much to keep my time online down to a minimum. The blogging drought will likely continue for another week or two, but hopefully I'll soon be back to a regular schedule.

Beyond the start of school, another distraction this week has been the arrival of my niece and her family. My niece and her husband met halfway across the country, and soon discovered that they're both from the same hometown. They had no intention of moving back here, but once they had a baby girl, they began to see the advantages of raising her in a city where she would be surrounded by extended family.