Do You Remember These?

Linking up with today’s Daily Prompt to chronicle three unforgettable moments in my life.  In no particular order, here are three of the ones that I thought of right off the bat.

1. The day my father told us that he was leaving our mother.  I found out later that mom had told him that he if wanted to leave, he had to tell us himself, she wasn’t to going to do it for him.  I was ten, and it was the night of the last day of school.  Dad put us in the car and we were going to go play Putt Putt and see Empire Strikes Back.  We were so excited, as we hadn’t seen dad much over the past several years in general, and six months in particular, and this was a night out with just dad.  JUST dad.  How cool was that?

On the way to the golf park, dad said that he should have never been a parent and he wasn’t very good at it, and that he was moving to Washington, DC.  He was moving out on June 17th.  It was Father’s Day.  Drew and I were, of course, crying, as back then people didn’t get divorced.  And if you happened to be a child of one of the rare divorced people, you were then ostracized by your friends as their parents didn’t want you them to play with kids from broken homes.  (My own included until she became the head of a broken home herself.)  We played golf, and went to the movie, and barely remember much about that night we were so upset.

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Avon Calling

Just kidding.

When I was growing up, there was a running joke about home sales ladies.  They sold makeup (Avon vs. Mary Kay) and Tupperware.  Women would kick the men out of the house for the night, have chicken salad in phyllo cups and some stale cookies, and apply frosted blue eyeshadow around the dining room table. There were a few rebels, like one of my best friends.  She’s sold BeautiControl for gosh, almost twenty years now.  But for the most part, this was it.

No, wait, there was also Amway.  Can’t forget them.

But now?  Now you have so much more.  Thirty-One.  Tastefully Simple.  ::ahem:: Adult-themed products.  Avon.  Mary Kay.  Spongewear.  Southern Living.  Lia Sophia.  Pampered Chef.  Origami Owl.  Scentsy.  Longaberger.  Seven hundred different scrapbooking companies.  A thousand different health food supplement companies.  Can’t count the number of personal grooming companies.  Books.  Baby supplies.  More adult toys.

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Writing 101: A Childhood on the Beach

So I have had this blog for six years or more.  And I love it.  It’s totally random when I post, I don’t really promote it much (if ever), and I do it for me.  In January 2013 I discovered Link parties.  I loved them.  It encouraged me to post on a weekly (okay, 3 or 4 times weekly) basis.  Different questions picked each week, and different topics.  But it was all fluff.  It was nothing of substance.  And I found myself looking for motivation to write on a more meaningful basis rather than answering what my three favorite pins were from Pinterest or what the contents of my wallet happened to be.

Tonight I discovered the Daily Writing Challenge.  It looks like it might be the thing I am looking for.  I don’t know if I will participate daily or just a few times a month.  But I’m going to give it a try.  Let’s see how it goes!

The challenge is named Three times Three. You can choose to write a post inspired by a response to the “Threes” photo challenge, or you can write your post based on three photos you supply.  I chose some of the photos that were provided by the post and the memory that these pictures evoked in me.

Three Views Along the Shore by Sue Nash

Book Review: Jesus Land: A Memoir

I finished this book over a week ago, and I cannot stop thinking about it.  It wasn’t an easy read, but it certainly was thought-provoking!  Written by Julia Scheeres, it was also published as Another Hour on a Sunday Morning in the UK.

Julia is the youngest of four children (one boy, three girls) in a very strict Calvinist family. When she was three, her family decided to adopt a boy. They were a bit taken aback when there were no white babies available and ended up with a black child, David.  Bigoted themselves, David’s new mom was afraid that his blackness would rub off on her whenever she touched him.  Julia, however, had an instant bond with him and loved him unreservedly, becoming best friends.  When David was a few years older, they decided he needed another brother ‘like him’, and adopted Jerome. These are the three children that move to small town Indiana in the early 1980s. Continue reading

Book Review: Killing Lincoln

I’m not a Bill O’Reilly fan.  In fact, if I had paid attention and realized that this was written by him, it might have influenced my decision to read the book.  Instead, I saw the book on a ‘best of 2013′ list and thought it was intriguing (plus I’m on a biography kick right now) so I added it to my library list. And I’m glad I wasn’t biased by the author’s name over the title.

To be fair, I don’t know how much was O’Reilly written and how much was the coauthor Dugard.  But from the first chapters of the book, written during the time when my native city of Richmond was being overtaken by Grant, forcing Lee on his way west toward Appomattox, I was intrigued at the way the story unfolded.  Lincoln’s involvement in the last days of the war, what Booth Continue reading

When I Give Voice to an Opinion, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

So back to that Huffington Post article that I saw at work.  It was a link to a letter written by a man in a state that is debating the legal definition of marriage.  Currently, he happens to fall outside of that definition.  And he presented a very eloquent argument as to why the thought of 13 strangers debating his future without knowing anything about him, or anything about his life, or anything about his marriage was one of the more discriminatory actions he has faced.  You can go here and read the full letter–I encourage you to do so.  At a time when people debate this topic so forcefully yet I know several of my friends do not know a gay man or a lesbian woman, much less one in a committed relationship, it is a fantastic accounting of what a day in his life is like.  And it’s just that–a day.  A day when two people who are married to each other wake up in the morning and go through their day.  Go to work, eat meals, do laundry, watch a movie.  A day like the day you have, or the day like I have.

I don’t know why the letter resonated with me so strongly, but it did.  So I did something I think I’ve never done (unless it’s writing to my imagined BFF at USAToday, the Pop Culture Maven Whitney Mathison) and wrote to the guy that penned the original letter.

His name is Peter Monn.  And he wrote me back.  Continue reading