Japanese_Red_Maple_by_wearebombsThere’s a Japanese red maple tree in my side yard, massive in stature, its normally vibrant, deep red leaves darkened by autumn to a rich purplish-black hue. The tree came to us as a sapling – a gift to my oldest son when he was just a young boy, by a beloved grandfather who would one day betray the grandson he adored.

The tree has weathered much; New Hampshire nor’easters are never a gentle thing, yet the tree persevered and continue to grow no matter what kind of battering came its way. Over the years, it’s not only grown, but flourished, and then a couple of years ago, a particularly treacherous storm almost split the tree in half. We lost about a third of its branches and a piece of its trunk, and I wasn’t sure if it would survive.

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Remembering a Day

FredMy father would have been 86 years old today, and to be honest, I can’t imagine what he would have been like at that advanced age. This is kind of funny given that my mom is 85 and pretty kick-ass in spite of her elder status—or maybe because of it. She has more energy than most people far younger, and more interest in the world at large than many people of any age. And she can throw back a shot like nobody’s business, too.

My dad died back in 2001, which seems like a lifetime ago now. I still miss him everyday and something brings him to mind several times each day. I wish he could see all of his grandkids now—he would be so very proud and pretty fascinated by their ‘adult’ selves.
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‘Round and ‘Round She Goes

512px-Merry_Go_Round_(4210738349)My life is a carousel ride, a never-ending ‘round and ‘round, busier and busier, sometimes steadier than others and as dizzying as it is at times, I can’t seem to get off the carousel, nor most of the time of the time do I truly want to. I may change horses, get a different vantage point, but generally I’m going ‘round and ‘round at a pace that can be daunting at times to others.

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Taming the Lions

800px-Lion_cub_with_motherRaising four kids has been quite an adventure, but raising three sons was a bit like venturing into a completely uncharted territory. As a young girl, I figured one day I might get married, but it was never an overwhelming desire. If I married at all, it certainly wouldn’t be before I was at least thirty, because you know. . . I had things to do. I was going to write, maybe paint, and most certainly travel the world before I would even consider settling down and getting married. And when I had kids, it would be all girls, just daughters and maybe even five of them. No boys. No way.

I have no idea what this was based on other than the fact I wished I had a bunch of sisters (or at least one) growing up. I have one brother and couldn’t figure him out for the life of me, although he was my very best friend when I was little. I babysat for plenty of kids and had so much fun with the girls especially, creating tea parties, drawing, playing dress up with some of them, swimming, and just a ton of fun things. Then there were the adorable clothes, the hair ribbons, nail polish,  my favorite books that I couldn’t wait to share with them; the list was endless. I realize my activities and expectations were completely gender-centric to somewhat biased roles, but hell, it’s what I enjoyed doing and I wasn’t a fair damsel in distress back then nor did I grow up to be. 
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