I read a newspaper column recently that bemoaned the … uh … slutaciousness of the clothing on young girls nowadays, and I was thrilled that someone out there is actually awake! And, upon this subject I must expand.
I’ve been grumpy lately, and have blamed it on the weather.
Until this week, it has been too cold, too gray, too windy and too wet. The weather has also been too unreliable … with promised sunny days that were obliterated by clouds before the coffee was done.
I am not alone in this grousing. I have heard others moan about doused plans, soggy grass and frostbitten plants. I’ve heard exasperated sighs when we pull on wool socks yet again and curses when cold rain rolled in on yet another weekend.
Americans are generous people. We are quick to reach into our pockets to help those in need. Local tragedies have caused us to respond with huge donations. The Boston Marathon attack, which produced numerous injuries and three deaths, has caused us to quickly donate large amounts of money. It dominated the news for several days, it was the main topic of talk shows and is still in the news.
However, our generosity wanes when a tragedy is far away from our shores.
My daughter, Louise, called yesterday. She sounded fed up and exhausted, but then she’s a wife and mother of three, so that’s her natural state. Georgie had been coughting for days and had a come-and-go fever, Gracie had the diaper rash from hell, and Charlie apparently has no idea how to entertain himself!
When I was young I had two guilty pleasures: cinnamon toast and reading. I was a fat kid, so the first was supposed to be off limits. But when I got home from school and found my family out on errands I’d eye the gleaming silver toaster and the soft golden butter beside it.
Remember, although I adore making you chuckle, I occasionally must rant! Like today, I – and multitudes of others like me – would like to know when, in this country, it became prohibited to speak the truth, for fear of “offending” someone? When did it become wrong, somehow, to state facts? When did it develop that making judgments branded one as “judgmental”?
Women are a sturdy lot, and most of us are able to handle what life hurls at us...and hurl it does, my friend. In things that really matter, we are stronger than men in so many ways. (I had my gallbladder out and was teaching again in five days. My Dad and my son-in-law both had theirs out, and even after two weeks you would have thought that no one on the planet had ever been in pain of this magnitude in the history of mankind...and, of course, if men had to accomplish childbirth, well, mankind would be wiped out in a matter of weeks, anyway.)
In recent months, I’ve listened to two remarkable audios, Matthew Dick’s “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend” and Clare Vanderpool’s “Navigating Early.” These two very different books find commonality in that each has one character with Asperger’s syndrome – which is often considered a high-functioning form of autism – and a second who gains a unique view of the world because of the unusual perceptions. Despite marketing, both will speak to young adult listeners.
Latest in Stupid Criminal News: A man was sentenced last week after a one-night crime spree last November. It seems the man had planned just a tad too much fun for one day, when he was found asleep in the third – yes, third – apartment he’d broken into ... in the same night ... in the same apartment complex.
The end of this column holds an invitation for you - an opportunity for a good time that benefits a good cause.
But here at the beginning I want to talk about something called Praxis, because that is where this all began. The term “praxis” refers to applying a lesson or a skill. It is about action – doing something that you’ve learned how to do.
Every fall eight young adults come to Chapel Hill-Carrboro to live and serve for a year. Every spring these “Johnson Interns” are challenged to find or create a project to which to apply the lessons they’ve learned from the work and study they’ve done since their arrival.
When I was a child my family took four hour trips on the New York Thruway to visit my grandmother in Lenox, Mass. My parents folded down all but the front seat, creating a pillowed no man’s land where my sister and I fought and fidgeted. My mother’s harmony to “Mr. Moon” drifted back to pause our pinches and pouts. We played “I packed my grandmother’s bag,” a memory game where we took turns making up items a fictional grandmother might have packed in alphabetic order.
So, I went to have my teeth cleaned. Longtime readers of this column have already begun to snicker, knowing my complete and total resistance to entering the dentist office for any reason whatsoever, including running in to use their bathroom. (I’d rather find the nearest BP station – at BP they almost never use Novocain.) But it had been six months, and there had been complaints, so a teeth cleaning was imperative.
Aahhh, April. Springtime is here.
Trees are budding, flowers are popping up, birds are singing, and the grass is greening. It should be a time of happy beginnings, sweet expectations and the bracing realization that there are only nine weeks left till WE have to wear bathing suits!
And, if we don’t get to the gym in 15 minutes or sooner, we will be forced to wear jeans to the beach again, telling people we have horrific sun allergies.
We live in our houses like eggs in a carton. They shelter us and contain us, but we also carry a part of them. When we have lived in a house for a long time we take some of it with us when we leave. What we carry resides in muscle fibers and deep memory - a psychic space that holds rooms and features.
Such features come to me unbidden at times. I am here, but suddenly a part of me is back in the house I grew up in, seeing a certain room or touching a particular feature. That house had tall ceilings, carved woodwork, and etched brass doorknobs. Over the years I have realized that it lives in me as much as I ever lived in it.
Happy Easter to you all. I wish you peace, love and a basketful of jellybeans! No, I’m not in the bourbon, I’m on Spring break…FINALLY!