kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday -- Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Gasp! I just realized that this post makes three Flashback Fridays in a row. Which means I have not written a "new" post in over three weeks! So sorry, readers. I promise I will have a brand new one early next week. Because tomorrow, we are going to an exciting Louisiana Christmas tradition -- something that has been on my list pretty much since we moved here -- the Natchitoches Festival of Lights and Christmas Parade! Finally. Eric has been going to school in that town for three years now. After he graduates this spring, we may never be in Natchitoches again. So it's now or never. The fact that Andrew's high school band is marching in the parade gives us added incentive.

Anyway, I found this post from 2010. It's basically where I am presently -- getting into the holiday spirit. There are so many festivals, lighting ceremonies, parades, fireworks displays, galas, and holiday happenings this weekend, who wouldn't be in the spirit!

Speaking of lighting ceremonies, that reminds me of Light Up Night in Pittsburgh. I always loved Light Up Night. I miss it. Look, I found a photo. Isn't it beautiful?!! Fantastic! Pittsburgh readers, tell me about your Light Up Night traditions. Where do you like to view it from? Louisiana readers, have you been to the Natchitoches Festival of Lights? What are your don't-miss recommendations?


Friday, November 23, 2012

A Previous Post on Thanksgiving

It's Flashback Friday and naturally my thoughts linger on yesterday's celebration of Thanksgiving. Here's a post I wrote back in 2010 about Thanksgiving in Louisiana, though that holiday is over and we are on to the next one. We listened to Christmas music the whole ride back from visiting relatives in Houston and I am now officially in the holiday spirit!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flashback Friday -- Baton Rouge

So here I am, holed up in a Baton Rouge hotel, on deadline for a story about holiday hams, while Eric sings with the All-State Choir folks. Looking out my hotel window, it appears to be a beautiful day! Obviously, I'm not getting out much here (though I do have an exciting trip to Whole Foods planned for later this evening!), but I'm reminded of a fun family trip we took to Baton Rouge in 2008. We had such a good time, I had to write two posts about it. Here's Part 1 and Part 2.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Picnic -- A Play About Choices

We drove to Natchitoches yesterday to see Eric in Louisiana School for Math Science and the Arts’ Theatre production of Picnic, the 1953 Pulitzer Prize winning play by William Inge. The show program calls it “A Play About Choices,” and goes on to say . . .

1953 was a long time ago and the world has changed a lot since then. What makes this play relevant in today’s world? In the 1950s, the common image of the American family was that of perfect people living perfect lives surrounded by white picket fences and lush backyards. Playwright William Inge questioned that worldview. He wrote about genuine people who made choices with their lives, not necessarily good or bad choices, because sometimes that distinction does not exist. Just choices. Choices that people have to live with for the rest of their lives. However, sometimes the choices are made for us and one person’s happy ending is another person’s tragedy. And that is what makes this play relevant even today. Our choices still define us and the people around us. For better or worse, we must live with them.

And that got me thinking. About choices. In each and every day, there are numerous decisions to make, forks in the road that determine particular outcomes. Some choices might affect only the course of that one day and have no impact upon others. But some choices, like ripples from a pebble tossed into a still lake, truly do affect the course of our lives, and oft times the lives of those around us. Sometimes our choices impact total strangers, sometimes ordering the destinies of generations to come. It’s a bit overwhelming to think of it, really. If we over-dwelled on the magnitude of our decisions, we’d go crazy with doubt, fear, and worry. But the truth is, the simple act of living our lives entails enormous responsibility.

How do we arrive at decisions we make in life? What determines and influences the choices we make? It’s embarrassing for me to remember my own self as a young adult in my 20s. I prescribed to the self-indulgent notion that I am the most important person in the world to myself. Yes, I recall thinking and feeling that way. It seems incredibly selfish to me now, or at the very least, too simplistic. Maybe it was merely through the process of growing up, and especially I think becoming a parent, but I’ve come to learn that there are so many more factors than myself to consider when making choices. We want to consider the best interest of others. We don’t want to hurt people. And yet, we see it all the time, there are people who take this mindset to the opposite extreme. They become martyrs, sacrificing so much of themselves that they don’t live their own lives. How do we know where to draw the line between doing what is right for ourselves and still considering the best interests of others?

Anyway, Eric did a great job performing the role of Howard Bevans, a comical booze-swilling bachelor businessman with questionable morals. In the end, Howard, as do many of the characters in Picnic, must make a monumental life-changing decision. Like all of us in our day-to-day lives, they just hope it all works out.

The most poignant line of the show comes near the end, when Madge, on the brink of risking all to follow her heart, cries on her mama’s shoulder, “What can you do with the love you feel? Where is there you can take it?”

What indeed?

Here’s Eric and Andrew in the lobby after the show. They switched hats.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Flashback Friday -- Donuts

Bob and I have been taking my eleven year old minivan to an auto repair shop in south Lake Charles way too often lately. We leave at 6:30 in the morning, to get it there when they open at 7:00. Then I drive Bob to work so I can use his car all day. It's quite inconvenient. On the plus side, we've gotten into the habit of stopping at Happy Donuts on the way to PPG. Which reminded me today of a post I wrote back in 2009. You can read it here.

Bob and I are both partial to chocolate glazed. What is your favorite kind of donut? Do you have a favorite donut shop?