kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve, 2010

I'm not big on late-night parties, crowds of people, noise. But there's something about the New Year holiday I love. It's like a gift from the calendar. A clean slate. A fresh start. A new beginning. There's something forgiving about turning the page and putting the past behind. Like most folks these days, I shun resolutions, but around this time of year, I tend to think about how I might do some things differently, how I might change a pesky pattern of behavior. I want to be less critical of myself, and at the same time, I want to be better organized and more efficient with my time, especially the time devoted to writing.

But I'll think on that tomorrow. Tonight we say goodbye to 2010. And dream wishes for 2011. We've become so accustomed to staying in and celebrating the New Year with the boys, it's hard to imagine doing anything else.

How do you celebrate and what are your dreams for 2011? Whatever they are, I wish all of you a very blessed and Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Learning to Drive

My sons are presently attending drivers’ ed. So far it’s only the classroom instruction; they’re not yet on the road. That comes the week after Christmas. Curiously, I’m not the slightest bit worried about this. Aren’t I supposed to be concerned? Somewhat nervous? But no, I’m not. Although I do foresee a whole new lineup of prayers on my horizon. Maybe I trust the boys and feel confident they’ll be good drivers? Maybe I trust the driving instructor? Maybe I’m delusional?

What a right of passage – learning to drive and getting a license. Does anything say freedom more to a teenager than a driver’s license? I remember my father, never one to procrastinate, taking me out when I was 13 or 14 years old to a dirt road way out in the country and teaching me to drive his puke green vintage 1957 Ford pickup truck. I liked it better when Grandma Lowdermilk let me drive her red 1976 mustang. When I was in college, Grandma sold this car to Mom -- for me -- for $1,000.00 and a waterbed. I loved that car and drove it till it rusted away beneath me and left me stranded on the roadside one too many times.

After getting my permit, I wasn’t a bad driver, but I recall side-swiping a telephone pole once. And there was the time I got a flat tire and didn’t realize why the car was swerving erratically until I arrived at my destination. I was a pretty good driver, but I failed my driver’s test first time around. In Pennsylvania, rather than take you out on the road to see if you really know how to drive, instead there’s a little maze behind the DMV that a driver-candidate must navigate through. Parallel parking and three points turns, no problem. But since I knew there were no other cars in the maze, I didn’t see the point of stopping at the stop sign.

How do they test in Louisiana? I don’t even know.

So tell me. Got any good learning-to-drive stories?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Getting in the Spirit

After this weekend, I am officially in the holiday spirit.

It actually started last weekend, when Eric was home and we pulled out all our Christmas CDs, put out a few decorations, and decked the tree. Thursday at Sam's Club, I got my first whiffs of fresh pine from the trees and wreaths. Friday I started holiday baking by making two kinds of biscotti; cranberry pistachio and chocolate walnut. Saturday, I shopped, listened to the music, and watched the holiday bustle. Evening found Bob and I at Lake Charles' annual Christmas boat parade and fireworks display. We capped the night with a drive down Shell Beach Drive to gasp at the dazzling light displays.

It's a start but there's so much more; cards to send, gifts to wrap, more cookies to bake. The Moss Bluff Christmas parade (featuring SHHS's Pride and Spirit Marching Band) and a couple parties to attend next weekend. And Eric comes home for a month! I love Christmas. And in the midst of enjoying all the sights, sounds, and scents of the season, I take time to remember the Reason we celebrate.

How about you? What have you been doing to get into the holiday spirit?