out with baby b on a shopping adventure. there is love in those eyes.
“To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die.” —Thomas Campbell
today, as i head out once again on american black friday, i am reminded of what i learned last year –
as i see and hear never ending tales of agony, mayhem, and extremely bad behavior – all associated with the infamous ‘black friday,’ i am always surprised, for i see it from a totally different perspective. each year, i look forward to the phenomenon, have a wonderful time in the process, and this year was certainly no exception.
filled with lots of turkey and family thanksgiving cheer, i flew into a store in the wee hours of friday morning and quickly found what i was looking for – a prized pizza stone, heavy enough for my son-in-law to put on his grill. somehow it seemed much too easy. with this early and painless success, i looked for the checkout line and walked to what i thought was the end, only to find it had taken on a life of its own, and actually snaked all…
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back in my advertising days, america’s thanksgiving parade in detroit was one of our clients. as i watch it this morning, i have many memories, both fond, and some, not so much:
– spending all night on thanksgiving eve, in the parade warehouse and in the cold out on woodward avenue as the floats rolled out and news affiliates wanted live shots
– media fighting for best position for the event
– driving golf carts down our usually packed busy roads, no cars allowed during set up, surveying the situation, and getting such a very cool and different view
– chasing a news anchor through a scary neighborhood the night before, as he sped his way towards the scene with his cameraman, drunk and angry he had to work, got a flat tire and i just kept going, local homeless guy kindly helped me with my tire and i jumped out , ran to the street and got the live shot just in time
– having the 4 tops as a float attraction, though only 3 were still alive and hoping no one would notice, then 1 of the 3 went on a bender, was lost somewhere in detroit and pulled up in a limo, in his clothes from the night before, just as the parade was about to begin
– cinderella got the flu just as she was getting in her costume to ride in her carriage, had to have an intern fill in
– giant balloon untethering itself and flying across the border to our friends in canada
– communication source, walkie talkies and radios going out, trying to make decisions based on a ‘best guess’ approach
– volunteers getting ‘fired’ by an ego-driven person at the top, for not being ‘camera-worthy,’ having to put a positive p.r. spin on this
– celebrities, bands, clowns, animals, law enforcement, athletes, characters, charity events, music, lost children, artists, contests, security, parking, coaches, costumes, twirlers, technology, floats, marchers, bad weather, live tv, and the crowd – somehow it all went off no matter what did or didn’t happen behind the scenes. as crazy and sleep depriving and dizzying as it was, i loved it all (now that i am looking back and watching it from the warmth of a living room, drinking coffee, and just taking it all in from a cozy couch.) happy thanksgiving to all.
in honor of american thanksgiving day, due to hit the states tomorrow, i offer you the ‘thanksgiving drinking game,’ courtesy of buzz feed, in hopes this will keep a smile on your face, no matter how challenging the day may be. happy holiday to all – enjoy )
“She who has no fools, knaves, or beggars in her family was begot by a flash of lightning.” —Old English Proverb
photo i love of my great great grandfather (right), his ‘man friday’ (left), and an unaccounted for cousin of some sort (center). taken in glasgow, scotland many years ago. wondering what the story of this photo is, and which of the 3 i most resemble?
“Why waste your time and money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you!” —Mark Twain
“The family. We were a strange little band of characters drudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms … and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” —Erma Bombeck
image credit: abc television
with an excess of fruit left in the fields, the seasonal phenomenon of drunken animals has been reported all over the world. included in the mayhem are both moose and squirrels, who are experiencing crazy behavior as a result of indulging in a bit too much of these fermented treats. be on the lookout for animals behaving badly.
You may have seen the story of the drunken Swedish moose (or elk, as they call the antlered behemoth in Sweden) that got stuck in a tree. “I thought at first that someone was having a laugh. Then I went over to take a look and spotted an elk stuck in an apple tree with only one leg left on the ground,” Per Johansson, who spotted the inebriated mammal in the garden next door to his house in Särö, told The Local. The moose likely got drunk eating apples fermenting on the ground and got stuck in the tree trying to get fresh fruit. “Drunken elk are common in Sweden during the autumn season when there are plenty of apples lying around on the ground and hanging from branches in Swedish gardens,” The Local states.
and then there are the squirrels:
This year was a bumper crop for local farmers that grow and sell pumpkins. They were able to sell loads of them, so they were able to pick and choose the best compared to last year when the summer was so dry the yield was much lower. So, a local farmer was telling me that he lets the ones that didn’t look as good rot in the fields and that it would be good for the soil and they would simply turn them back into the ground come spring. This year there was quite a few of them.
Well I guess a few squirrels decided they were good to munch on, and as they ferment they are like alcohol, so the squirrels are acting drunk afterwards. If you didn’t know that they had been into the pumpkin patch you would think it was some kind of horror movie when you see them trying to navigate, almost like zombies! He said he watched a few that finally just laid down for a while in the shrubs and most likely had to nurse a hangover, but they didn’t go for the pumpkins the next day!
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
with the day’s sudden onset of a 7 minute mini white-out, a few slick portions appeared on the local roads. soon after this winter-tease display tossed out by mother nature, i happened to encounter one of these slick spots firsthand. it was on a little bridge leading back from the library towards my cottage.
‘black ice’ is a phenomenon known to those in the northern climates – innocent looking, shiny, invisible, traction-less, and extraordinarily slippery. this was the day that black ice and i crossed paths on the bridge, and as i tried to brake, my car continued to move forward, and i slammed smack into the car stopped right in front of me.
after the crash, we drove ahead and popped out of our cars to assess the damage. i was happily surprised to find that we were both fine, and that our cars had somehow each suffered nothing more than a scratch on our bumpers.
the extraordinary surprise came when i soon realized that i had smashed into one of the happiest, friendliest, people on the planet. he was smiling, and kind, and calm, said he was happy nothing bad had happened, he understood why it happened, and that it had happened to him before. i apologized profusely and he shook his head telling me not worry about it at all.
he gave me his card, and as we talked, i found that we both work with young children. he, working with children in the foster care system, pursuing a masters in social work to continue helping in that field, and me, with my kinders, trying to teach them about life. he told me to keep in touch, that we may be able to help the children in some way, or who knows? it was just like crashing into santa claus in his sleigh. and with a jolly chuckle and a wave goodbye, we were both off on our way once again, and felt somehow better for having met.
The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances – Aristotle
looking back at my week and remembering how it started out, with a literal standstill. almost to work, just a few miles away, and traffic ground to a dead halt. all lanes full, no one moving an inch. switched from cd to radio and heard power lines were down across this busy road due to overnight storm, and that the road was closed less than one mile ahead. numerous warnings to avoid this road at any cost. too late. stuck in the middle of it all. any traffic trying to go through would be diverted to do a u-turn and headed back in the opposite direction. nowhere for me to turn off as just offices and businesses on my side, until i could get to the next mile road.
settled in for a bit of a wait, texted my teaching partners, and just watched it unfold around me. the diverted traffic began to back up going in the other direction, emergency vehicles tried to get through, to rescue people somehow getting into accidents going 3 mph. perhaps not letting each other into their lane? watched people in other cars, most on cells, out of cars trying to see what was going on ahead, listening to music, coming up with strategies, calling into work and wherever they needed to be, trying to move to the ‘best lane.’ people walked by, moving faster than the traffic.
saw a helicopter arrive overhead, people jockeyed for position, cars continued to crawl ahead and up and over. finally got close to the next mile road where i could turn, saw a firetruck pulled all the way across the road ahead of me. 1 mile of distance had equaled 1 hour of time. made my move, made my turn, oops – that road was closed for construction. determined. followed a rogue line of cars through a neighborhood, somehow emerged on the other side of it all, back on my original busy road i needed to be on, got back on track to where i was going, looked to my left, saw a full moon.
Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic. – Dan Rather
being born a kennedy, and for as long as i can remember, i always assumed that the other kennedys were just cousins who lived out east. when the killing of jfk happened, 50 years ago, i had just turned 6, only 4 days before. i was in first grade and i remember being called in from recess and all of the adults were crying. that was the day i found out that i was not actually a cousin, and that people could die from things other than being very, very old. it was one of those days when my world changed forever.
jfk and family – the ones who i thought to be my cousins
my kennedy family
The essential self is innocent, and when it tastes its own innocence knows that it lives forever. – John Updike
with the holidays soon arriving, i’m missing my aussie part of the family. spent most of the summer with them down under, and loved this note that my young grandsons dictated to my daughter to give me as i was leaving. i was especially taken with the line used as my title of this piece. i also love that it involved pinatas, lasagne, fairies, my scent, and a warning.