True Story: I Was Inspired By A Bank Robber

This is going to sound crazy. Really crazy. But it’s true…so that should surpass all understanding, right? This spring, I had the opportunity to sub for a fellow instructor at the college who was out due to illness. The subbing wasn’t difficult, all I had to do was take attendance, and sit back and relax because they had a guest speaker. Her name was Mandy.

She is a former bank robber.  Continue reading

Surreal is a Perfect Word

lessons-learned-from-a-rough-year

When Merriam-Webster announced surreal as the word of the year for 2016, it seemed to fit perfectly. I actually thought it may have been a little too light-hearted because it was nothing short of painful for me.

I’ll be honest and tell you that during the first part of the year, I really thought it was just me. I thought the rest of the world was fine and everyone was happy and enjoying life. Until I started sharing my pain. Continue reading

Lifelong Lessons From Route 3

lessons learned from route 3

Route 3. A dirt road in rural Leake County, Mississippi that holds fond memories of visiting my grandparents’ farm making mud pies with my cousins, playing on the swing on the front porch, and returning to Chicago with tennis shoes covered in red clay dirt. I suppose if I wanted to get really sentimental, I could cue the violins and say something like, “Those were the good old days.” But currently, I am choosing not to refer to anything in my life as old.

It was on Route 3 that I learned the basics of life on a farm. My grandparents taught me that it was important to grow your own vegetables, work hard to prepare for the slow times, and that farm eating was healthy eating. Unfortunately, I didn’t really appreciate those lessons during my yearly visits like I should have. At the time, I just thought that that’s the way people in the south lived.  Continue reading

A Mother’s Day Tribute to M

book of m

Today is Mother’s Day. Among the flowers, the hugs, the brunches and everything else we love about mothers everywhere are the lessons. When no one else would support us, our moms have. When no one else would tell us the cold, hard truth, our moms have. And we we just needed a hug, a moms were there.

If you read this blog regularly, you may know that I will occasionally mention my parents, but there is never a specific mention of them by name or with photos. That’s because the don’t “do” the internet. Sure, they check email and will visit a website every once in a while, but that’s it. Limited internet and by any terms…no social media.

That no social media thing has been an adjustment for me over the years, but I’ve learned to accept it. And FOMO is especially real this time of year when there’s all kinds of “post a photo of your mother here” challenges all over the internet. Alas, I respect her wishes (some years  I have not and I had hell to pay) so no photos, no social media, nothing of the sort.

This year I decided to do something different.  Continue reading

You Did WHAT to Prince’s Music?

MOM AND DAD DID WHAT TO PRINCE'S MUSIC?-3

The news of Prince’s recent death was a shock. At 57 years old, an iconic music legend was gone. There was no long illness, no cause of death given, just a confirmation from the proper authorities that he was no longer among the living.

By the time I picked my kids up from school the day his purple greatness died, they had already heard the news. I paused for a moment in the carpool line trying to figure out: 1. How to tell them, and 2. How it stacked up against the other dramas of a typical middle and high school day. As my son (the high schooler) was sharing his classmates’ reactions to the announcement, he mentioned that a 9th grade girl started crying and exclaimed, “My parents made me to Prince!”

Here we go.

Upon her declaration the rest of the class broke into roaring laughter, and as my 9th grader recounted the story, I started remembering some of my own personal encounters with Prince’s music. Thank goodness I thought before I spoke.

What I really wanted to say was, “That’s sounds about right. You were too.”  Continue reading