June 01, 2015
It’s finally here. The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, the kids are . . . well . . . out of school. They are out of school, but have not yet uttered the dread words, “I’m bored.” Ahhh. June, when summer is fresh and new and exciting. For students and schoolteachers (and anyone else who gets a nice long summer break), “June” sounds a lot like “Woohoo!”
For everyone who does not get a nice long summer break, here’s hoping that you’ve got some vacation days coming. Or you can take advantage of these looooooong summer days, and enjoy the glory of the great outdoors when your day’s work is ended. Because there is beauty waiting to be beheld! There is fun waiting to be had! There are fish waiting to be caught! (Actually, the fish are probably not waiting for that :)
May 04, 2015
Summer is almost upon us…temperatures are slowly rising throughout North America. Depending on where on this vast continent you reside, your summer might range from hot and dry (filled with watering restrictions and a fading green lawn) all the way to a tropical humidity and daily afternoon showers. And every imaginable scenario in between.
But we all have one thing in common. Water is essential to survival. No matter where you live, and really, no matter what the season. Without fresh water you will die in just a few days. Plain and simple, no sugar coating, and this single fact helps drive the point home: water equals life.
April 01, 2015
As we say “Goodbye” to March and a warm “Hello” to April, we welcome Spring in all its glory. And it IS glorious: the profusion of brightly hued blooms, the warm days and pleasant nights, the cool breezes and trill of bird-songs. Spring infuses the world with color. It reminds me of the moment when Dorothy opens the door of her sepia-toned, monochromatic home and steps into the lush, vibrant, Technicolor world of Oz for the first time. I feel like Dorothy when I walk out my front door and see a world reborn: trees that seemed dry and lifeless are green and budding, bulbs that had been lying dormant have raised their faces to the sun. Songbirds greet me every morning and the sun lingers a little longer every night.
See what I mean? Glorious.
March 01, 2015
March is finally here, and will hopefully be heralding warmer weather, blue skies and green grass, longer days and shorter nights —all the harbingers of spring.
It’s been a LONG winter this year, and many of us have experienced late-winter storms, the “Snowpocalypse” of 2015, power-outages, far too many school snow days, and temperatures well below any we are used to. February was COLD. Finger-numbing, teeth-chattering, record-breaking, so-frigid-it-hurts-to-breathe, miserably, mercilessly cold. And the cold has just lingered. And lingered. As I write these words, on the last day of February 2015, there is STILL snow on the ground outside. Even those who really enjoy cold, snowy weather seem to be ready to say goodbye to this winter.
February 01, 2015
February can be ice-cold, frigid and imposing, full of hazards and threats. February can also be heart-warming, affectionate and tender, full of love and romance.
February is National Heart Month in both the US and Canada (not surprising for the month of St. Valentine), the month in which we are reminded to focus on heart health. February is the month for which I can instantly recall the number of days without even going through the “30 days has September” chant in my head. February is the only month that actually gains a day every four years. For such a short month, February actually has a whole lot going on: sometimes good, sometimes bad, but usually memorable. . .
January 07, 2015
January 2015. New Years! The commencement, the kickoff, the grand opening. The time when everything seems fresh and new, clean and shiny, spotless and unspoiled, hopeful and exciting. The time that reminds us that we can have a clean slate, a new beginning, a fresh start. We can close last year’s book, with its marred cover, scratched-out chapters, pages of regrets and unkept resolutions, and open a new book. A book so new that the binding cracks when you open it.
This book, with its clean white pages, could be your magnum opus. You can write a greater book this year, because of all you learned from last year’s book. You have learned and grown, and you know your characters so much better now. You can begin again. All of those words that you wish you had never written (or spoken) — they were part of the old book. Write better words this time.
December 01, 2014
Home for the Holidays
Fruit baskets and footie pajamas, looking at lights and “It’s a Wonderful Life” . . . when December rolls around, I can’t help but think of home, and family, and traditions. Growing up, our family had holiday traditions that I never truly appreciated until I had children of my own. Here are some of my favorites...
November 04, 2014
Giving Thanks for the Harvest
In North America in 2014, it is easy to overlook the significance of the harvest season. I must admit, I usually give very little thought to where my food comes from. I rarely think about how much work goes into getting those foods to the shelves at Kroger. I haven’t even planted a single seed, but I can run to the store and bring home apples from Washington and avocados from California, and even fruits and vegetables that are not in season, like those bananas from Guatemala. We have this incredible access to all kinds of healthy foods (and some not-so-healthy ones), year-round, and it’s good to give thanks and celebrate the harvest.
October 01, 2014
Temperatures are falling . . . and so are the leaves.
Autumn is heralded by the brisk exhilaration of falling temperatures and the dazzling hues of falling leaves. The air is cool and the colors are warm. October glories in the grandeur of oranges, yellows, and reds. Nature puts on a theatrical extravaganza, and we have the privilege of watching the show every single day. This is an incredible time to grab a sweater and enjoy the majesty of the outdoors...
September 01, 2014
Go OUTSIDE and PLAY!
I heard this refrain all the time growing up, and I’m guessing you did too. We played. And we played outside. In the sprinklers during the summer, and in the snow during the winter. We played tetherball and tag. We played Red Rover and Red Light, Green Light. We jumped rope and roller-skated and biked until we were hot, sweaty, and utterly exhausted. AND we walked. We walked all the time. We walked to our friends’ houses. We walked to the Little League ballpark to watch our friends (or little brothers) play ball...