Monday, December 24, 2007

Best Christmas Gift

Thursday night I had a date with an eight year old boy. My nephew had asked me to take him to a reading of The Polar Express at the local Starbucks. Of course I couldn't refuse such a request. When the story was done he wandered around the shop, looking at the decorations and such. When he returned, he handed me a small coffee cup and said

"Look inside"

I opened it to find a $5.oo gift card inside. I wanted to cry but didn't. I would never embarrass him in front of the other children. This gesture was so kind and unselfish it blew me away. When I said "Brandon, this is the best gift I have ever received." he told me

" I figured you deserve it. You always do things with me and I didn't know what else to buy with my money so I bought that for you. It doesn't expire so you can use it next year too."

When a child does something from the heart it melts me. Even now, every time I think I think of this and remember the look on his face while his hands were in his pockets, I have tears in my eyes.. good tears.

I hope you all have a similar reason to smile while you enjoy your friends and family this holiday.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Curse may have lifted but...

The baseball Gods sure have a warped sense of humor.

After waiting 86 ulcer inducing years, the Red Sox provided fans FINALLY with a World Series in 2004. The game winning ball became a major controversy over who had the rights to it.

Fans didn't care too much, we had a WIN .. who cares about a piece of history in the H.O.F. (hall of fame)?

Fast forward three years:

Again, our beloved boys of summer gave us one hell of a season and topped it with an amazing win of yet another World Series. Our closer, not only provided an awesome display every time he took the mound, with that "deadpan stare" of his.. no sirree..after clinching the division he danced on the field in his skivies.. not too bad a sight I might add. Again, after winning the World Series, he danced a jig. All through the rolling rally held on the streets of Boston, this man danced his ass off while donning a kilt, his own personal band "The Drop Kick Murphy's" on the float with him, providing the music.

Now, there has been question as to the whereabouts of the game winning ball. Jason Varitek made sure to hang onto it so he could give it to the man who threw the last strike across the plate. There were rumors that Pap lost it or Tek lost it..and such.

Today, on Fox Sports, the truth is revealed. Now, I am a HUGE fan of baseball. I NEVER gave up on the team, not even down 0-3 back in 04 when all others lost hope .. nope.. I am a true , nail biting, gut wrenching, ulcer victim FAN. So in being this kind of fan, I give myself permission to laugh..shake my head and say .. "That's Awesome"

You see, we won two World Series in my lifetime. The game winning ball being chewed by the closer's dog is just funny.

For some reason, I can't be sad. I find this beyond humorous.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Murphy's Law

There is a saying.. whatever can go wrong..will go wrong.

My sister and I have a long history of getting lost. No matter where we go or how many times we have been somewhere, we end up lost. Neither of us has this problem when we are alone, it only happens when we set off to do something together.

Why would today be any different? We once spent fifteen minutes trying to find a way out of a parking lot! Laugh, go on, I do.

We made plans with my niece, a friend and our children to go to a farm in New Hampshire and enjoy the magic of Christmas in the woods. Our appointment was for eleven o'clock. The farm is a forty five minute drive.

Sister: We should leave at 10:15

Me: We should leave at 9:30 to allow time to get lost

Sister: Very funny. I have a GPS smartass. We won't get lost this time.

( Global Positioning System )

Me: Like I said, we should leave at 9:30 to allow time to get lost

We took two vehicles. I was in the car behind her. I had hope. We were in the town where the farm was. She pulled into a parking lot of a coffee shop and let me know she made one wrong turn. Not too bad, we just had to get back on the highway and continue to our destination.

It would have been fine had she not told the GPS that she was not taking the turn he suggested.

Now, the ride home was much more of an adventure. You see this time we were in the same vehicle. She put in the address of our destination to return home. This GPS would send us the most direct route there. YEAH RIGHT!

We left the farm , travelled some winding roads when the lovely British voice of Jason the GPS guy said "recalculating route" this signifies that the vehicle has veered from his instructions or we were no longer headed in the direction he suggested. We laughed, Jason recalculated and continued to tell us to " go 1/4 mile and turn right. Go 5oo feet and turn left. Travel 9/10ths of a mile and bear right."

Again, we heard " recalculating route".. My sister laughed and said " I didn't hear what he said. Don't worry, it will recalculate the route and send us from where we are."

I'm thinking it's a good thing we filled the fuel tank.

A half an hour later, we are on a road and Jason said " go 1/4 mile and turn right"

We are now at the end of a road. Ahead of us is a mountain trail, on the right and on the left are the woods. I had to get out of the car to catch my breathe from laughing so hard. You see, my sister had manged to get Jason, the GPS guy LOST!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tis the Season

Have you ever noticed when things in your life are going very well that you kind of forget things can change in an instant?

Have you ever been so content, you forget what it feels like to worry?

Our lives run in circles. We all have up and down times. I think the down times are provided simply to suck us back into reality. It does not matter whether you are in an up or down time. What is important is to always be thankful for what you have been blessed with. Sure, it’s easy to slip into a funk, a self pity party. It takes more effort and strength to see beyond any crisis or tragedy life has thrust upon you.

This year, it will be difficult to get into the spirit of the holidays for several reasons.

I know for sure it is the last Christmas for an extended family member who will be taken much too young.

A family member who has beaten cancer two times already is once again battling another , more aggressive form.

A sibling has been displaced yet again after giving so much to help someone out.

A very young family member will have to cope with the loss of a father figure.

I suspect another family member has begun to use drugs.

Among all the day to day things that come up, I force myself to look beyond these things. I am blessed in many ways and try to focus on what is good.

What I will draw from are the following.

It is the first Christmas for a niece and great nephew
I have several young nephews who bring much joy to me
My daughter shows me each day what a beautiful person she is
I’ve been fortunate in many ways and have endless reasons to be thankful.
I have my health, my family and friends.

If you find your life in a downward motion, I hope you are able to draw from the good to help get you through.