Tag: Family

Small Towns Do Big Things (aka, America Is OK)


A text from my sister prompted this post.  She lives in a small, rural mountain town in Maryland.  It read as follows: “We had a luncheon after church for our lead singer/guitarist.  He is moving to Williamsburg, VA.  We are also taking a collection for a church in the Kentucky floods.  A couple is going down to take the supplies and funds.”

I asked my sister, is that the chubby guy that sings? I remembered him, as I watched those church services online during Covid.  Her pastor’s very encouraging and passionate sermons were an inspiration during that time, and I remembered this talented musician.

Here’s a sample about six minutes into the video:

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We have a 24/7 classical music station, via public broadcasting, and on late Sunday afternoons, a wonderful program comes on.  It highlights young classical musicians from all walks of life.  They sheepishly talk about their influences, inspiration for the piece they are presenting (sometimes written by themselves), while sharing their culture and challenges. The host […]

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Strong Families for All Are Worth Defending


In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a landmark report in which he contended that the rising number of black families headed by unmarried mothers would reduce the prospects for Blacks to rise out of poverty, in spite of that era’s landmark civil rights legislation.

Moynihan was furiously denounced for his efforts. But he was proven right and he would be even more correct making the same observations today.

It’s been a tough half-century for families. Although Moynihan focused his concerns on Blacks, family breakdown correlates as much with income level as it does with race.

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This weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  It’s often thought of as the traditional start of Summer.  It’s a time for putting the dock in, getting the deck or patio ready for outdoor gatherings and meals, or putting in your garden (for  us northerners).  However, it’s still a holiday meant for remembering those who have served […]

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Reading the Signs: Time to Turn Around


I saw the headlines on the Texas elementary school shooting flash on the TV screen, like most of you. My husband said, “I don’t want you to see this.” It didn’t work. I laid awake with my own mental pictures and tried to put the pieces of a distorted, senseless, fragmented, and tragic puzzle together. The pieces didn’t fit. I read the story this morning — an 18-year-old Hispanic boy who had a dark, online life and somehow acquired guns.

As I read the story in detail, the same responses came after … guns and the foul gun lobby, then celebrity comments like, “We can do better.” It’s sick. Since this ugliness continues, we are obviously not doing better. Not even close. I thought about a boy who became a stoic monster, with no feeling or expression on his face — who had nothing to live for and wanted to cause tremendous pain. Where did he live? Was he pushed across an open border with nothing and sucked up by a ruthless gang? Where are his parents right now? I want to know these things because he can’t be the only one. Texas has a big border — and they keep sounding the alarm to deaf ears.

I thought about Davos, Switzerland, because we’re told the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is on our doorstep — get ready. Klaus Schwab and all the drivers of the great digital, technological, marvelous age soon to come are piled up together, weaving their New World Order. Part of that is “order” is the allure of endless social media, where this boy wanted pictures of guns posted — where he was rambling to people he didn’t know to post his pictures.

Ignoring the Rules 2.0


We just moved.  I’m in a new neighborhood, a new town, same state – thank God (for Gov. DeSantis).  It’s a 55+ community because me, my husband and our cat are over 55.  He picked the community – when we cashed out in spades selling our old house, and our real estate agent told us about our current town.  We like it here, but it’s been less than two weeks.  There’s construction – because half the country is moving to Florida –  and older folks.

I have nothing against grey hair and golf carts.  Personally, I like Ultress and Preference by L’Oréal – it does wonders, but that’s just me. The next-door neighbor brought us a triple chocolate cake.  He has brown hair and two adorable pooches. They gave us a snapshot of the nearby neighbors and I was impressed.

They seem to jump in and do projects – scarfing up free lumber from the dumpsters and building things as needed, including a ramp for a disabled neighbor and insulating garages from the Florida heat.  Older people know how to build things and how to budget.  They bike, kayak, walk, and hike, we noticed. The amenities center had a lively water volleyball game taking place when I visited, an outdoor painting class, and bocce ball and tennis games in action.

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The question, “What are you willing to DIE for?” has been in the back of my mind all week. Yes. It is a question I have pondered often. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a renewed call to commitment. I was listening to Bari Weiss talk about “Things Worth Fighting For.” Her impassioned, logical, […]

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Quote of the Day: Churchill on Family Size


“One to reproduce your wife, one to reproduce yourself, one for the increase in population, and one in case of accident.” — Winston Churchill

This was his formula for family size. It is one Janet and I subscribed to, although we only got to three. (Fortunately, there have been no accidents.) It seems anachronistic today. The better sort have been decrying increase in population for nearly a century because it will lower global standards of living. (This despite fewer people living in abject poverty today than in any time in history — even though we have nearly three times the world population as we had when family planning became a crusade for the “progressives.”) China embraced a one-child policy that is leading it towards demographic disaster over the next 20 years, despite their efforts to reverse it. So let’s hail Churchill’s formula for children.

The Big Joy in Small Things


I have talked about practicing gratitude before, now I want to discuss a way of doing that. Too often, we wait for the big events to feel joy: Graduations, weddings, promotions, the long-awaited vacation. All of these are great things to enjoy. They are also things that don’t happen every day. In the grind of everyday life, we fail to notice the small things that bring us joy. I have found if I am mindful of the small joys in life, my overall sense of gratitude is much higher.

You may think that you don’t have any small things to bring you joy in a normal day, but I would argue that is because you are not really searching for them. It is easy to become overwhelmed in the day-to-day activities and miss the moments you could have. I want to use an example from my own life this Christmas Eve.

Over the Hill and Through the Woods to Mr. Churchill’s House We Go: A Disaster in 3 Parts


In our household, I’m known as the one with ‘bright ideas.’ 

Maybe I should clarify. ‘Bright ideas’ here is spoken in roughly the same tone which Bill Buckley reserved for his interactions with Gore Vidal. Somewhere between getting caught up in a riot in Paris and taking up kicking men twice my size in the head as a hobby, my parents lost some confidence in my critical thinking skills. Well, before that, maybe, but you get the picture. 

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My Mother gave me a piece of furniture that used to belong to my paternal grandfather.  I am like her in that I have trouble disassociating items with people and assign too much sentimental value to inanimate objects.   She kept it in her garage piled with junk until one weekend I took my two oldest […]

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The Faded Blue Rug That Changed Everything


“We’re going to sleep in the new house tonight,” my dad announced one summer evening.  There were no beds in the new digs yet, just sleeping bags on the living room floor, yet none of us demurred.  Our current house, a stucco ranch set back in a lot with another brown stuccoed rental in front, had seen us through a year.  I’d finished eighth grade in this place: studied the anatomy of bird wings, made mnemonics for plant terms, recorded myself reading off grammar terms and definitions, and drove my older brother to my door saying “Would you shut that off?!” when I played back the tape. I’d stayed up until the wee hours reading my book report selections the night before they were due to avoid the fat, gaping zero we’d been promised for failing to finish.  (I made it through Gulliver’s Travelers, but had to give up on a tome called Bangkok.)

Brown. The old three-bedroom house was dark brown, from the rugs to the drapes to the trim.  There was the perimeter outdoors where us kids had played a game of hide-and-seek with the neighbor kids, racing to spy each other through parallel windows and laugh. We got in trouble for that–we had trampled the landscaping.  I remember fine black dirt, pepper or eucalyptus providing shade. A chain-link fence bordered a parched back yard where I’d felt mild interest in a tent one of us had put up.

The Miracle of Parenthood


Today is my daughter’s sixth birthday. Usually, when admiring my kids, I tend to reflect on the miracle of pregnancy and birth — how someone so intricate and tall grew from a fertilized egg inside me. The toes, the fingers, the little naked bums navigating the staircase — how did that little personality come from inside me?

Except today, I find myself ruminating on the miracle that my kids may grow to passably decent adults. Parenthood is hard. It requires 90% of you about 100% of the time (unless you are sleeping). I’d say 100%, but I know I don’t give 100% – hence the miracle.

Are You Going Back to Life the Same Way – Post-Covid?


Are you going back to your life the same way, post-Covid and now Covid 2.0?  I ask because I think many are not. I’m not.  Getting back to normal is like after 9/11, a new normal. It may be a good thing.  Let’s examine this more closely.

First (and this is a big one), parents have gotten an up front and center view of what their children, starting in kindergarten, have been being taught. Climate Change, Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, multi-gender identities, indoctrination on a massive scale, that take the parents’ boundaries out, along with reading, writing, math, art, sports, science, and literature as the priority, and placing the focus on an extreme progressive ideology.  At any rate, at least parents are aware and can take steps to do what is best for their children and family.  Prior to Covid, many were unaware of what was taking place within our schools, within teachers’ unions, and even the innocent library.

Adoption & the Journey to Healing


It was on Tuesday, June 13, 1967 — 54 years ago yesterday — that a nineteen-year-old girl gave me the precious gift of life.

Then, from a place of love and fierce protection, my birth mother gave me the precious gift of unselfish love and made the tough choice of allowing someone else to raise me as their own, in the hopes that I’d have a better life than she believed she could provide.

China’s Population Mistake


Western progressives have fretted since the late ’60s about the population explosion. Paul Ehrlich (the most famous population scaremonger) and John Holdren (Obama’s science czar) wrote articles proposing dosing the water with sterilization drugs to prevent mass starvation. In 1970 Ehrlich predicted that 65 million Americans would starve to death during the 1980s.

China did something about this in the late 1970s. Their One-child Policy severely punished violators, and prevented births by forced abortions and sterilizations. It was monstrous, but it fit the prescriptions of western progressives.

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1.) My dad taught me that when you’re in the bathroom and someone knocks, the proper response is to heartily intone, “BUSY!”  2.) We learned from our mom that the apex of contentment was sitting on a bamboo couch in the evening with a book and a giant bowl of popcorn.  Preview Open

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