Tuesday, June 26, 2007

i used to live in Paris

Last night, at one of my various jobs, a girl was asking some advise on clothing/shoes from her mother.  i could tell by her choice of clothing that she was going on a trip and they were discussing if she should wear sneakers or what...?  i politely asked where she was going and she said "Italy" and i advised her against wearing sneakers because then she would stick out like a tourist in a heartbeat.

i then said something like "i used to live in Paris..." and went on with my conversation.

Then it struck me.

i used to live in Paris.

Paris, France.

Amazing, wonderful, fashionable, old-world, new beginnings Paris.



then what the devil am i doing in Pennsylvania???

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

So today is Father's Day - a day for some that brings fun and happiness and for others not so much.

i am incredibly grateful to be in the first camp -- and i don't say that glibly nor haughtily.  i have a fantastic Father - one who kept us safe; one who provided well but also taught us the importance of character before possessions; one who is incredibly strong  both physically and in all other ways (he has two weaknesses that i know of:  1. my Mother 2. chocolate chip cookies); a Father who realized that children need to play and make messes and mistakes and talk back and fall on their rump and pull themselves back up; one who has been our biggest cheerleader and most faithful advisor...and on and on.

He is not perfect; He'll be the first to admit, but he is a good, decent, witty, knowledgeable man.  i am proud to be his daughter.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What is Happiness, Part II?

Happiness is cool summer mornings, complete with a simple breakfast of bread, cheese and tomatoes, and strong coffee.  Happiness is seeing your garden flourish and knowing that your hard work is paying off.  Happiness is looking around your house and seeing order and cleanliness. 

Happiness is having your car not start but having a brother who can fix the problem and get you going again (bringing the 3 yr old bubbly niece with him who thinks it's a riot that she and Daddy are there to rescue Auntie! and liberally declaring Daddy is the HERO when the car starts!)

Happiness is seeing a seven yr old brother reading to the two young nieces and rejoicing in his ability and desire to read. 

Happiness is a phone call from a sister in Florida who says that she is having a good time (she's there for the summer) yet misses you. 

Happiness isn't always about family, or the house, or the garden or the day - sometimes happiness is a choice.  Like when you are working a 70 hour week with an 80 min daily commute and you feel summer slipping away...or when someone you love is going through a very hard time and you are unable to comfort because they are in a different country, or when your car doesn't start and it's almost 10pm and you don't know why and you're dead tired.  Therein also lies happiness, if one chooses to, because things can always be worse and if they're not, that is cause for rejoicing.

Happiness is not a fake smile and a carefree attitude or hiding under the covers (my favourite thing to do when life isn't going well) but it is a choice.

Today, on Saturday the 16th of June,i choose happiness.  i choose joy.  i choose to have a good attitude. i choose to snuggle with that 8 month old baby and play under the wheeping willow tree with the three year old. 

It's going to be a good day.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Lesson in Love

my sister in law, i was told before i saw her yesterday, has pink hair.    It's really just one pink stripe and then pink fringes on the back.  She has blond hair and the pink really stands out, nicely.

What would make a grown woman, who isn't into any rocker scene, who isn't a teen trying to express 'herself' do such a thing?  i mean she's a respected woman in the community, is known is many church circles, leads youth with my brother, is involved in plays and musical, has given birth to the two cutest girls in the whole wide world, sells Arbonne, is gorgeous ..so..um..why?  why?????

Well, it's rather simple.  Everytime she goes to get her hair done (coloured, cut, etc) her daughter, the darling three-year old, says "What colour are you going to get your hair done, Mom?" and my sister in law says blonde...as always.  "What colour do you think i should get my hair, E?" and the darling three year old says "Pink!"

So this time, because she is the coolest Mom in the whole wide world and loves her family and is even willing to do something crazy, just for fun with her three year old she now is sporting a bit of pink hair.

Sometimes love comes in all colours


Even pink!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

What is Happiness?

Happiness is sitting at the breakfast table with my entire family, all talking at once and laughing and short sentences of "Please pass the Scrapple"  and ""BACON!" and "Who wants pancakes" and "Here's more orange juice" (it was really grape...and that alone produced gales of laughter), and funny stories and sweet fellowship.

Happiness is lying under a tree in the front yard with my 9 month old neice and 17 yr old sister and just enjoying the summer morning.  The baby saying 'Da-Da-Da' and the stories shared with my sister about when SHE was a baby..

Happieness is sitting on a bench under the Wheeping Willow Tree and being told by my 3 yr old neice that she was the Mom and i was the Dad and that a badmitten birdie was the remote control and that we were going to watch "Gilmore Girls" on the pretend TV high in the tree.

Happiness is seeing my sister and sister in law doing dishes and knowing that i didn't have to (HA!)

Happiness is the chaos and confusion, the love and laughter, the joy and hugs and sweet 3 yr old kisses and the golden curls bouncing as she runs outside (she's from Florida and cannot go barefooted outside..when she's at Grandma's here in Pennsylvania, she hardly ever has shoes on!), and baby slobber and a soft head tucked under my chin and little boys laughing and playing ball and the men each on their own laptops while sitting in the same room and X-box tournaments and Parcheesi and puzzles and TONS of food.

i'm all filled up with happiness, and it's only the first day they've been here.


Friday, June 8, 2007


Some of my female co-workers and i just enjoyed 45 min of tea.

We all commented that we should 'do this more often' as it brings us all out of our offices and away from our computers and allows us to connect as women around delicious sweets and a steaming cup of tea.

What is it about having tea that de-stresses one?  i've read somewhere that the simple act or routine of making the tea is what does it, and the hot liquid soothing the stress out of one's throat, not to mention the cookies or tea cakes or scones that delight one's pallette and stomach alike.

Perhaps it's that, in fact, i would embrace that it is, but i also think that there is in us all - even in the craziness of a career and family and other responsibilties - the desire to have the freedom to stop and enjoy tea with other women in the middle of the morning.

Many women, if not all, enjoy things of beauty.  Most of us are too busy to stop and delight in the simple beauties of our life.  But the delicate clatter of a china tea cup against it's saucer, the feel of pressed linen napkins against our skin combined with the delightful tastes and smells of the food and tea calls us to something greater. Something more feminine, softer.  Calls us to laughter and shared stories; celebrations and times of bonding together; calls us to stop trying to rule the world for just a moment and breathe.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Weekend Ramblings

Have you ever had online friends, perhaps some whom you've never met in real time, disappear and you wonder where they went, or if they are ok, or why they just 'left'?

i have a few like that - perhaps that's the ebb and flow of online - but still they have left an impression on my life and they are missed.

So to just a few of them i say,

Trip:  girl, i miss you like mad.  i think you and i were both duped by the famous Irishman or part of his twisted mind, but you are one person who made me laugh out loud for real. i hope everything is ok with you and that your life, whether here or in Tunis is exactly what you want it to be.

John Thankfully i printed out some of our past (three years ago?) IMs - so i have your 'voice' still to see from time to time.  i hope you are ok..truly.  i miss you.  Sometimes i think about the $5 exchange and if i would've actually be able to go through with it.  i think so.  i know what it would've meant and i think ..well, enough said!

Mark:  Did you sail off into the wild blue yonder?  i think hope all is well.  Stairs?  Lunch break?  i miss you...really really miss you.  i hope, though, that wherever you are and whatever you set your hand to do, that it brings you great joy and happiness and fulfillment.  You will never be forgotten.

Blackwolf:  we never did get to dance.  Those were the days, no?  Always asking.  You always saying 'no' - it was expected - everyone knew it - and it was fun.  i hope you are safe and happy and well.

Margie:  Girl, i have NO idea where you went...but i hope you are surrounded by good things, that you are happy in what you're doing, that you have love and life and lots and lots of pastry around you.  i STILL comment on those pretty marzipan fruits and such that you sent (and i ate every single one of them...oh wait, no i didn't ..i DID share..reluctantly!)  i miss the laughter and the fun and hearing about your boytoys. 

There are others - some have passed away andtheir death saddened us all.  Some have chosen to 'leave' aol and their presence is missed.  Some just have moved on, forming new friendships and enriching their lives in other ways.  All are thought of fondly.  All have left their mark on my heart.