Greetings! Like the Terminator, we are back! You may have missed our holiday letter last year because we didn't send one. We weren't trying to be naughty, and I hope our lack of communication didn't get us knocked off your Christmas card list. In case it did, I am sending our greetings early this year so you will have time to fire off a card to us after receiving ours.
Goldfish. Most people probably don't give them a penny's worth of thought. I never used to. Then my kid brought a few of the sparkly swimming gems home from a local fair, and we were pet owners. This was last summer — over a year ago. This year, when the same son asked if he could go to the fair, I had one admonishment: Don't come home with any more goldfish. After all these years as a parent, I'm still that naive. Of course, he came home with a goldfish. We all knew that's how this would end up.
Have you ever experienced a day when things are slightly off kilter? When the normal becomes abnormal, often in an almost imperceptible way? The order of the universe is lagging, your controller fails to control and you're thrown a degree (or two) off course. Thought processes and actions seem to be deregulated and your brain refuses to function in a straightforward, logical manner. If there's a way to mess things up, or confuse them, you'll do it — even with the simplest of endeavors. This condition grows exponentially if you are multitasking, and who among us isn't?
I have a friend who reads clocks. Not reads in the typical sense of noting the time, but reads as in looking to see patterns in the numbers. There is a certain beauty in discovering order or meaningful sequences and my thoughtful friend finds this in clocks. After she told me about her habit — slash obsession — I was intrigued. What patterns could I find? Before you could say "time out," I was in. Ever since, I too have been a clock reader.
Most of my friends are doing it. I've always been a little stunted so I'm not quite there yet. It will come soon enough. The next stage. From what I can tell, it's one of rediscovery, independence and running to the store together for milk — because you can. I still have kids at home. I stretched this whole parenthood thing out about as far as you can stretch it. My friends who were more streamlined with their timelines are finding themselves with spare bedrooms, full refrigerators and empty nests. And, for the most part, they are enjoying it.
We are all citizens — of various entities: A classroom, workplace, family, neighborhood, world and the nation. We are a country made up largely of immigrants. Unless you are of Native American heritage, chances are your ancestors came to the United States in search of a new life in a new land as citizens of the United States.
Life is a series of events, and they seem to be multiplying. I'm not referring to events like loading the dishwasher or combing your hair or walking the dog. I'm talking "Events" — the ones with a capital "E" — that are cause for celebration. Exclamation point. This category of Events used to be a manageable group — birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's and Father's days, and even Grandparent's Day, if you were so inclined. They included holidays like Independence Day, which have been around practically since the beginning of our country.
It's been quite a campaign season so far — the election, the debates, the issues and non-issues that somehow become issues nonetheless. It can be overwhelming. And disheartening — for me at least. The negativity and accusations and misinformation and misrepresentation and name-calling and scandals could be enough to discourage and dispirit a regular American — or at least cause her to consider a vacation from social media.
It started with an unexpected flash in the wee hours of the morning. Not long after, a crack of thunder pulled me from sleep as the clouds opened up to share their aqualicious bounty with the earth.
It's the trending Sunday sensation more popular than selfies in restaurants or commercials during the Super Bowl. In a word, it's fantasy football. According to the New York Post, via the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, roughly a quarter of the U.S. population played fantasy football last season. Millions of those aficionados were women. That includes two at my house — my daughter and me. (Who doesn't like a good fantasy?)