On Columbus Day, my husband and I spent a wonderful day just driving around and enjoying the autumn scenery. I don’t know about you, but I seem to have an unusual sensitivity to the beauty in nature, and was once again overwhelmed by the beauty of the bright white and yellow streaks of sun streaming down through the white puffy clouds. Such a sight always encourages me as if reinforcing the fact that yes, there are clouds, and yes there may be rain, but that sun is still up there in the sky, overseeing it all, just waiting to break through and make things better. As an added visual treat, the sun shone so brightly on the tapestry of peak autumn leaves: oranges, reds and yellows, that I felt a need to wear my sunglasses, but with them on I would not be able to fully appreciate the effect of the over-the-top, gasp inducing colors. No photo, piece of artwork or beautifully sung song could have replicated the intensity of happiness that brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
My husband and I sat, holding hands as he drove. There was no need to say anything. We were at peace, pleased to have such a respite after a hectic week of raising children and dealing with problems. We were in our own beautiful bubble, cell phones turned off so as not to ruin the interlude. It was a wonderful day!
Upon pulling into the driveway of our home, I spotted the two small maple trees which Marie had planted a few years ago. She had excitedly dug them up when they were fragile saplings with broken branches, and planted one on each side of the driveway. She had added gravel at the base of each, and attached a tall, straight, thin stick to keep them growing upright. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed them before. I had NOTICED them, of course, but I had never really SEEN them. They had grown to be about four feet tall, straight and strong. My breath stuck in my throat as the brilliant, bright yellow leaves danced happily in the gentle breeze. They were a growing metaphor for my daughter, blossoming and beautiful and holding the promise of a bright future in their little yellow leaves. Despite once being fragile and broken, they would grow tall and amazing and fit perfectly in this world, reassuring me that my daughter, who was also once fragile and broken, would grow tall and amazing and fit perfectly in this world.
Archive for October, 2013
I babysat for my grandson last night, which was more of a “play date” than babysitting. Having a degree in psychology, it is always interesting to me how young children play with their character figures. We lined up Superman, Mario, Batman, Woody (from Toy Story,) a few Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, along with Mickey Mouse and Pluto. Alejandro starts right off with them fighting each other, which is what he has seen many of them do in movies and on tv. Being a pacifist nana, I soon had them all having a “party”, dancing to music to which he and I sang. We had to, of course, match up male character with male character, but I told him that was okay, (setting the stage, perhaps, for a non-homophobic adulthood?) They danced and we sang and he said it was the best party ever!
Well, all good things must come to an end, and he was escorted up to bed where he promptly fell asleep after a few nana enacted bedtime stories. (I do a mean big bad wolf imitation!) Meandering back downstairs to watch television, I was fascinated with the many television channels my daughter has. Stopping short with an open mouth gape, I came to “THE GAME SHOW NETWORK”…and on that channel was an old episode of “The Ten Thousand Dollar Pyramid”, followed by an old episode of “Match Game” and “The Newlyweds” where the term “whoopie” was used as a euphemism for, well, for WHOOPIE! (They were not allowed to say “sex” on television in those days.) It struck me how cheerful and vibrant the contestants were, dressed in the finest clothing and hair fashions from the 1960s and 70’s. It dawned on me that the contestants may not be aware that their participation on these old shows was again being shown for all to see and laugh at!
All of this brings me to a little known fact about myself. I was on a game show in the 70s! Yes! Little ole me! It was called “All Star Secrets” and was hosted by Bob Eubanks. There were five stars on the panel, but the only ones I can clearly remember were Jim Backus and Jed Allen, an actor in a daytime soap opera at the time. The show began with a reveal of the contestants. As Bob Eubanks introduced each of us, we were supposed to smile and wave. When my time came, inexplicably I mouthed the words “Hi, Mom!” (Oh!!!! The embarrassment!!!!) The game consisted of the host telling us a “secret” about one of the stars and we had to guess which one. One secret was “This star used to be a very awkward and unpopular teenager”. My guess was Jed Allen, an extremely handsome and popular star. Bob Eubanks looked in my direction and said “Linda, why did you pick Jed Allen?” Panic went from my head to my stomach; we were never informed of the possibility that we would have to SPEAK! I managed to squeak out the sentence “Because he was the least likely person.” Duh! Sounds stupid, but I knew these shows tried to be interesting. The statement couldn’t possibly have been made by Jim Backus, the actor who played Mr. McGoo, as the other contestants had guessed. My guess was correct, and I WON a 2 week trip to EUROPE and $1,500!! (A huge win in “those days”.) I was SOOO excited, I collapsed on top of the podium and cried and screamed! I made so much of a fuss that they had to actually come over and pull me off the stage because the commercial was over and they no longer wanted the contestants to be visible.
So, if you happen to be watching the game show network and “All Star Secrets” comes on, look for me…I’ll be the one making a fool of myself, but enjoying every minute of it!
You can read it in the bath.
You can read it for a laugh.
You can read it in the car.
If not driving it you are.
You can read it at the zoo
When you tire of animal poo.
You can read it at the mall
After you have spent it all.
You can read it in the gym
As you exercise to get thin.
You can read it near the pool
When the water is too cool.
You can read it at the bar,
Or here and there and near and far.
You can read it with your honey
You can both enjoy the funny.
You can read it standing on your head
After the kids are all in bed
You can read it under the table
Assuming getting under you are able.
You can read it with your tea
Peaceful and happy you will be.
You can read it to learn something new
The lessons of the childhood from which I grew.
You can read it to help me out.
I prefer to smile than to pout.
My old van is dead and no longer mine.
That’s okay, into it I could no longer climb.
I need a car to get here and there,
But the money cupboard is very bare.
Raising kiddos is expensive, you know
Especially when from home they’ll never go.
I love my kids, some’ll always be with me.
I’m thrilled I will forever have my family!
But that leaves no money to spare,
To replace my van so I can go anywhere.
So if you buy it, read it, and give a yelp
To my family, you will be a big help!
If you enjoy my blog, you will LOVE my book! Just think, you can carry a whole book of wonderful little stories about my amazing and funny family!! If you don’t believe me that the book is good, here is the link to the review by Readers Digest
Link to the Readers Digest review of my book: http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/
The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane
Authored by Linda Petersen
The link to the book:
Thanks for your help!!!