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The wind is howling like mad today. The trees are blowing back and forth like they are dancing. This morning when I woke it was 50 degrees and raining. Now it is almost freezing and snowing.
Yesterday, we reached upwards of almost 60 degrees, it didn’t do well for the snow that we had gotten the day before and the snow that still was on the ground. Things started to look and feel like spring…but wrong. It is not even February yet, it can’t be spring much less mud season.
Here is a picture from the road from yesterday. Add crazy wind and half as much snow and you can imagine what it looks like this morning.
In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 5-4 that the Boy Scouts of America could legally exclude gay members and leaders. Last year, when the organization reaffirmed its court-approved legal right to restrict its membership to preclude gay members, there was a great deal of publicity — none of which was very good. There hundreds of mentions of Eagle Scouts who were surrendering their hard-earned and coveted award— the highest in the scouting organization. The fact that its own membership appeared to be revolting on it made the news, but there was no word that the organization was making any great strides to reconsider or even change its stance.
Today, the organization announced that it would reconsider its stance on gay participation at is upcoming meeting to possibly permit a position where local councils, troops and packs could make their own decisions about the admission of gay leaders and members. Why the sudden change? I would love to believe that the fact that so many of the men that worked so hard through their teenage years to earn the coveted award of Eagle Scout and returned their awards with letters that clearly stated their belief that the Boy Scouts’ position was unacceptable to them were the catalyst for that change of position. Sadly, however, in every news account reporting the story is mention of the fact that corporations are pulling their financial support of the organization because of its non-gay stance. United Parcel Service, Intel and Merck were repeatedly mentioned as pulling their financial support. I am sure that there are others who are not mentioned but have taken the same position. Once again, it has become apparent that it is not the actions of the people, but rather the actions of the corporations that control. This is truly sad. If the corporations did not pull their donations and there was no financial detriment for their continuation of the policy, would the opinion of the public and the actions of former scouts have had any effect on their decision? I think not.
My three sons are all involved in scouts. They have learned a lot while participating and made some wonderful friends. When we lived in New Jersey I was involved in the leadership and our pack and later, our troop, was chartered by a local church. At one point, the minister of that church admitted that he was openly homosexual. Did that make any difference in the generosity of the organization who let us use their facility, their resources and whose congregation warmly supported our boys’ activities? No. If we had mentioned this information would the charter potentially have been pulled and our troop literally thrown out on the street? I don’t know. I would like to think not, but then again…. we had no financial pull so I don’t know if scouts would have changed things just for us — even though it was all about the boys.
No matter which side of the fence you land in the discussion of the admission or banning of gays from the organization, you have to admit that it is pretty sad that financial pursestrings can change and sway that position just because those pursestrings think it should be changed. Folks, it should be about the kids, about the people — the thousands and thousands of people who selflessly give of themselves to propel the organization forward and support the boys involved– not the corporate sponsorship. Yet another sad example that the country is a country of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation.
- Boy Scouts reconsiders policy against gay membership (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Boy Scouts reconsidering policy against gay membership (cnn.com)
- Exclusive: Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Boy Scouts of America to “discuss” dropping gay ban (queerlandia.com)
After having successfully sidestepped the colds that were abounding through our house from a variety of sources, it appears that I have succumbed, Tom too. The boys have been toying with various forms of a cold and our oldest probably had it the worst last weekend, which make sense that this weekend, I feel quite like crap.
I am not a good person to be sick, because being sick enough to feel crappy usually only makes me mad and guilty. When you are not completely out –like with a stomach bug or the flu, where you wish someone would shoot you, a cold is miserable and annoying. You feel bad enough to not want to do anything, but good enough to feel guilty about not doing anything. Throw in lack of a few good nights of sleep due to cold symptoms and you have one very conflicted and cranky person.
Yesterday I felt rather out of sorts which went downhill as the day progressed. Didn’t sleep well last night and then today, I feel just miserable enough to want to lounge on the couch all day but bad enough to feel incredibly guilty about spending the free time of my weekend doing nothing.
So, today I made pumpkin granola, granola bars, cleaned out all the old magazines from the rack, cleaned the bottom drawer of our bookcase and cleaned the bottom of the closet in our bathroom which incidentally still had a couple boxes of bathroom stuff from when we moved up six years ago.
Baby, it is cold outside.
-11 outside this morning but it has warmed up…..to -4. They are forecasting winds picking up this afternoon to 25 mile per hour gusts which will account for windchill temperatures near -50 by the ridge of the Green Mountains (which happens to be us).
Winter has arrived without a doubt.
Stay warm and cover up if you have to venture outside, even if it’s only a quick run outside to the car.
This morning I went to open the screen door to let the dog out and I thought that my fingers were going to stick to the metal handle.
The boys all wore coats to school. For those of you who know the boys, yes, it’s that cold outside.
I have started and stopped, typed and backspaced this post several times to get to this sentence. I know that I need to write something to get it out of me. Words have always been able to help me see things better, fell better and writing helps me cope– it’s my therapy. So bear with me.
Let me start by saying, “life is not fair”. Big surprise. We all know this but sometimes something happens that just smacks you in the face and you have to say it out loud. This is one of those times. We learned some devastating news about a friend. Both Tom and I are beside ourselves. It is because we feel for the friend and the family. It is also because of the sheer hopelessness that we feel in not being able to do more than the mere paltry offer of help wherever and with whatever we can, which is so inconsequential in the scheme of things that lie ahead for them. But it is the only thing, besides our friendship, that we have to offer. It is the empathy of knowing that we live by the fickle hand of fate, and it could easily have been any one of us touched this way. Life has a way of grabbing your attention and focusing your priorities. What you think today is so damn important may not be so tomorrow.
As you walk through your life today and in the days that follows remember this
~~~~The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for. Be thankful.~~~~
I have a collection of Calvin and Hobbes books that sit on the bookshelf. I remember how disappointed I was when Bill Watterson announced that he would no longer be drawing the strip. The comic of a little boy and his imaginary tiger bring us back to the wonder and imagination of childhood with adult appeal thrown in for good measure. There is something particularly amusing to me about his snowman related strips. I came across this one today on GoComics.com and needed to share.
Heh, heh, heh — come on, haven’t you felt like this?
Today I send out happy birthday wishes to a couple guys that i know and love. One of them is my sweetie, the man that has stood by my side for more than half of my life (and amazingly is still here) and I love him for it.
He has given me my sons and lots of laughs and very happy memories. I cannot think of anyone I would rather grow old alongside. Love you, Tom!
The other is our dear friend Lou. Tom and Lou share the same birthday and every year, we try to celebrate the guys’ birthdays together.My boys love Uncle Lou and enjoy whenever they visit. Through the years there have been many, many laughs.
There were the early days when birthday celebrations looked like this…..
The kid in this picture is actually my oldest nephew Ryan, who just turned 21 — but I’m not looking to make them feel old……
And then the celebrations started to look more like this…..
Whatever form the celebration takes, it is always great to spend it together with some of our oldest and dearest friends.
To the men who refer to themselves as the brothers of different mothers……. Happy Birthday with love!
The weather pushed 50 here on the hill today, which means that word we all dread in these parts — MUD. I went to grab one of the boys and the road was just horrific. Wherever the sun was hitting, the road had ruts a foot or more deep. For those of you who love roller coasters and amusement parks — no need to travel far or spend a lot. Simply take a ride on our road, Mother Nature has provided us with one heck of a ride. Hang onto your hats because your vehicle is going wherever it feels like or more appropriately wherever the vehicles that have traveled before you have gone. You had best just hope that none of them took a turn off the side of the road, because with these ruts you’d be hard pressed to convince your vehicle to turn otherwise.
Let’s hope that the call for cold weather comes and freezes this all and then our wonderful road crew can come and flatten it all out before more snow….it’s way too early to feel like spring. As I type this I wish I had gone out and gotten some pictures, too dark for that now, I am sure those ruts will still be there in the morning. I’ll try for some pictures then.
Here is a short story to warm your heart….Thanks to Steven Pohlit at Manifest Mastermind for sharing.
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room’s only window
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end.
They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats.. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.
She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.
The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.
She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.
‘Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .’
The origin of this letter is unknown, but it positve energy expands when you share this.
Dear friends and family,
When you come to visit and you think that I cook a lot while you are here, please realize that it is not really that unusual. I cook a lot more often than not. My boys routinely invite their friends over and that usually involves cooking…especially around their birthdays. I believe that for TJ’s and Tyler’s birthdays I made platters of sushi and boneless buffalo wings. There have been 12 layer birthday cakes and 12 pounds of ravioli which enabled me to use the bowl specifically reserved for our friend Lou’s cooking when he visits.
Tonight, we hosted the physics class for baked ziti, meatballs, homemade bread and chocolate croissants. Before you get too excited and have some type of breakdown (as I did when I was first asked to host the entire physics class for a pre-exam study session), the class is small, only about 8 kids, so it is by far not as monumental as it sounds.
Easily when my oldest invites “some” friends over, it could be at least twice that many. I love to cook and I love to see people enjoy the food, so it’s all good…..and it’s great to have all their friends come and visit.
I remember this day very clearly. Maybe not the exact day of the week, because that was 19 years ago, but still. See, one of my very dear friends and I decided to scheme and surprise our “twin” husbands who are more alike than different, with a 30th birthday party. She was the one coordinating with the restaurant and her list of guests. Imagine my surprise when her husband called me at work to let us know that his wife had given birth — weeks ahead of schedule. Oh my, my dumbfounded tone on the other end of the phone was not completely due to overwhelming joy for them. I was now left with putting the final touches and the final numbers on the party. I had no contact information for the place and no contact person — after all my very abled friend was handling all of that. She, was now recovering from a Caesarean section and quite groggy. Talk about some stress.
Needless to say, everything worked out well but it turns out besides my friends who were surprised at the early arrival of their daughter, the only one surprised by the party was my husband. His good friend was sport enough to get in on the surprise when my friend, in the throws of labor, confessed our plans to him, particularly since she would not be at the party.
While the party is now but a distant memory and those guys approach their 50th birthdays, the best part of that day by far was the birth of our goddaughter, Andrea. She is a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful and caring woman who turns 19 today. I am both privileged and honored to be a part of her life and have her as a part of mine. I am to this day still honored that her parents entrusted us to be such an important part of her life. It has been a pleasure to watch her grow from a cute little child into the amazing woman she is today.
Happy Birthday Andrea! Love you…..
Twenty-one years ago, on a clear but not snowy January day, family and friends helped us celebrate one of the best days of our lives. It was the day that many thought would never come after our 11 years of dating. We threw a heck of a party that day and the best part of it was that it meant that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and my soul mate.
Tom has seen the best of me and the worst of me during the years that I have known him…. he has made me laugh so hard that I cried and has held me when I actually did cry. I cannot imagine going through all of that with anyone else. I know that he will always be there for me, and for that I love him.
Happy Anniversary, Tom — I love you.