My Story at Made to Mother

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On this Thanksgiving Day, I have an abundance of things to be grateful for! I am blessed to have family and friends, my husband and children, my church family, good schools for my children to attend, a home, health, and infinitely more. I thank my Heavenly Father for these, and, most importantly, for the promise of salvation and an eternal home with Him.

Some, however, are sad or sick today – physically, emotionally, or spiritually weak or broken. As I offer thanks to God today, I will pray also for those less fortunate than I.

Now, for future reference…

Today is a day of celebration, but there are those times throughout the year when there seems to be no reason to be festive. So, for those days, here is a link to a very cool site. Check it out if you need a little lift or a reason to do something special. It’s a very comprehensive list of all the monthly and daily holidays and observances:

http://www.brownielocks.com/

This month is National Adoption Month, and fellow blogger, Wynter Kaiser, has featured adoption stories throughout the month. She graciously shared mine yesterday, and I would love you to take a peek at my story and at Wynter’s site:

http://madetomother.com/2014/11/26/national-adoption-month-series-hallys-story/

By the way, who doesn’t think her name is cool? Cool name, but be assured her writing is in no way cold. She writes with great warmth and wisdom, and I think you’ll enjoy what she has to share.

Be Blessed!

Hally

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NMF: An Acronym for Moms

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Like everything else in our culture, communication must move quickly. Language has to be efficient. In writing, long descriptive passages of prose like those found in classic pieces of literature have been replaced by rapid-fire dialogue and concise, but action-packed paragraphs. Less is more.

In our workplaces, there are acronyms designed to speed discussions between industry professionals. In education, there are IEP’s (Individualized Education Programs/Plans) and MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) tests, STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and ACT (American College Test) preparation classes. In every field, there are communication short-cuts.

Our youth have created countless acronyms and codes for use in texting (TTYL, LOL, CUL, and so on and so on), and well…

It’s time for us moms to have our own short-and-sweet, direct and clear, three-letter message for use in parenting.

NMF is one I propose. NMF means “NOT MY FAULT” and is to be used in those situation when children, and this most often applies to those falling in the 13-18 age range, attempt to blame their unfortunate situations or circumstances on Mom. Dads may use NMF as well, but we mothers tend to have much greater need for it. That’s just how it seems to work.

Let me provide a few examples:

 

Problem: Child does not have clarinet when dropped off at school in the morning.

Child’s Response: “I don’t have it because you (Mom) unloaded it from the car last night.”

Mom: “I thought you might consider practicing it.”

Problem: Seventeen-year-old driver says he is late to school.

Child’s Response: “You (Mom) did not wake me up on time.”

Mom: “When I noticed your alarm failed to rouse you, I called you and was acknowledged.” 

Problem: Teen did not get his homework done for Thursday.

Child’s Response: “You (Mom) made me go to Wednesday night church.”

Mom: “That is the general practice in our home; perhaps you need to plan better.”

 Problem: Daughter feels sick during cheer because she fails to eat before going.

Child’s Response: “You (Mom) did not feed me.”

Mom: “I stopped feeding you when you learned to use a spoon.”

 

Just for the record, NMF finds many applications when it comes to food issues, because rarely do we moms have what’s desired in the household.

My children are not exceptional; they are normal kids, and this behavior is typical of normal kids. Good, smart, talented, kind, sensitive kids will try to place blame on mom if they can get away with it; they will try to push it our way if we allow it. So, we have to push responsibility right back on to their accountability-resisting bottoms.

There is a thing called “locus of control.” It has to do with the degree to which individuals believe they have control over their own lives and the events that impact them.

If a person has an internal locus of control, he feels empowered to make his own success. He will believe he is fully capable of making a successful (or dismal) future by the choices he makes and the actions he takes in life.

Conversely, if a person possesses an external locus of control, she is likely to feel her successes and failures are due to other people and outside events, rather than of her own making. She may feel she is a victim of things that happen to her as opposed to an agent of change in her own life.

Though we want our children to think about others and not merely themselves, we also want them to have an internal locus of control. We want them to consider the feelings of those around them, and we want them to recognize that they have the power to make things better for themselves and others in the world. That is the combination of caring and accountability, consideration and responsibility.

Moms find enough things to feel guilty about, so we simply can’t take on any extra silly stuff. Next time your youngin’s try to put the blame on you for something that is all theirs, keep in mind some Lonestar-like lyrics:

             Tweet a message, text a note, sew a label in his coat,

            Write a letter, spell it out, say it clear so there’s no doubt.

            Draw a picture, make a sign, use the language for the blind,

            Send a Snapchat, make a call, get your point out most of all.

 I’ll accept no bad excuse, N-M-F.

In light-hearted country music songs, excuses may be preferred, but not in parenting. We can’t allow our kids to make excuses on the little things, because they will learn to do that on the big things in life as well.

Next Monday, I’ll talk about the line between accountability and advocacy – the fine art of knowing that though kids need to be held accountable, there may be times when they also need an advocate.

Here is the link to Lonestar’s hit song, which is way better than my “Weird Hally” version:

http://www.metrolyrics.com/no-news-lyrics-lonestar.html     (lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcxA4w3KKLE           (video)

Happy Monday!

Hally

The Beauty of Balance

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She’s found a cube, a rectangle, an orb, and a cylinder, but we are still hunting down a pyramid for her art project. Last night my daughter was gathering a variety of shapes for an art assignment. The class is studying art concepts, including balance. Shout-out to the teacher for this particular project, which goes deeper than most in assessing understanding.

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If you know me personally or have read past posts in which I talk about technology, you know that I am a “reluctant reader” when it comes to the world of technology. I don’t easily embrace the multitude of gadgetry and social media options available and seemingly required of us today.

I am not an inflexible, unintelligent, unenlightened, or old-fashioned person. What I am is someone who struggles with balance. My natural all-or-nothing, extremist personality makes “dabbling” in anything a challenge. While I don’t officially claim a diagnosis, the OCD tendencies are there.

When I read blogs on writing or blogs of friend-writers I have, I may spend my entire available hours doing that rather than writing myself. And, I’ve spent several hours on FB one week and completely steered clear the next.

I see that with our children. I have one very social child who has a hard time with a device in her hand. She wants to use every application she can to “connect” with friends. She is currently phoneless.

My son, on the other hand, has ADD. So doing homework with a buzzing, lighting-up, time- and attention-sucking phone in his presence is a disaster; however, I doubt it works well for any of our kids.

Yet who among us can deny the benefits of technology in our lives? Quick access to information in a classroom, directions when lost in a large city, the ability to instantaneously reach loved ones and help in an emergency, as well as a multitude of other advantages I’ve yet to discover. But, our challenge with anything good in our lives is to learn to achieve and maintain BALANCE.

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The conductor of the train from Durango to Silverton knows all about balance. It’s critical that he keep his train on course and stable. For visitors to Colorado, this is an awesome time. We were in Pagosa Springs, but took a day trip to Durango.

http://www.durangotrain.com/

http://www.durangosilvertonrailroad.com/

 

 

My challenges, and perhaps yours, have to do with BALANCE. Balance is a beautiful thing, in art and in life. Finding that happy     place, that sweet spot where work meets play, solitude matches socialization, mental output connects with physical exertion – well, that’s got an awful lot to do with finding contentment. And, it is a struggle for me and for most of us. We need to find it for ourselves and teach it to our children.

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Frank Lloyd Wright knew the beauty of balance with regard to nature and architecture, though perhaps not so much in life. His Falling Water home is amazing, perched splendidly over the water with water actually running through the home. It’s definitely worth a stop if you visit Pennsylvania.

 http://www.fallingwater.org/

 

I’ve learned that, as an introvert, I become more creative when I disconnect from people in person and in the virtual world for a time. I need quiet to allow my mind to wander and re-energize. I know that yoga is good stuff and too much sugar is not. My to-do list will overwhelm me if it is too long and allow me to be lazy if there’s nothing on it. I know prayer and time with my church family help me stay on track. Knowing those things, though, does not always equate to balance. I must still put these things into practice daily, or at least regularly.

What have you learned about balance? How do you achieve it? Share your thoughts with us.

And…

Have a Blessed Wednesday!

Hally

Street Cred

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Language is fun. Colorful words, unique phrasing, timely sayings, regional accents, dialects – they add so much to our communication. I recalled some of the expressions, many coined by young people, which have been used by recent generations.

“Groovy” has been used to describe a thing or person that is really cool, but when something is a “hot mess” it most certainly is not cool or good. If a person tells another to “gag me with a spoon,” they are not impressed, but rather repulsed by something. And, if they are “blowing chunks” or “tossing their cookies” they have in fact actually gagged. If a person is “chillin’,” he is relaxed, the exact opposite of someone who has “gone postal.”

Things can be copacetic or heinous, just fine or awful. Girls can crush on (like) a guy, and boys can dump (break up with) a girl. They can be busted (caught), amped (excited), and cra cra (crazy). Complicated stuff! In fact, I am told by my teen sources that “cra cra” is now simply “cra.” Ocray. I mean otay. I mean okay! Crazy words and Buckwheat got combined in my boggled brain. This old mom has to work to keep up, or she will undoubtedly lose street cred.

It’s great to know the latest language when we communicate with our children, but perhaps the best way for us to gain meaningful credibility with them is by demonstrating honesty in our communications with them and others. It is by doing our jobs as parents even with that is hard. It is through showing them love always and discipline when needed.

Outside our homes, we have the opportunity gain or lose credibility as professionals and citizens of our community. If we fail to do our jobs well or lack integrity in our workplaces, we will lose credibility. If we support local clubs and schools, participate in service or volunteer projects, and engage in local government, we will be recognized as contributing members of our community.

And, we have the honor of gaining credibility for Christ. When we demonstrate our faith to those around us, we show them how having a relationship with Him provides hope, healing and internal (as well as eternal) happiness for believers. Though the walk of His children is not always righteous and sometimes is rough, Christians choose to persevere with His help.

And no matter what lingo you use, that’s radical!

Postscript:

As I complete this post, I am hoping it will bring you a smile. However, I am feeling sad this evening. A woman in my town died today, leaving three children behind. I have known her casually for a few years, but had a few meaningful conversations with her in recent months. She wanted to help others and had considered joining my writing group, but was busy with many endeavors. I am sorry for her children and family, but I am pleased to know that she had been saved in recent months. She was living for Christ. Please remember her children in your prayers.

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday,

Hally

Is Having a High-Tech Phone Really So Smart?

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I’m due for an upgrade. Not for my car, house, husband, or any body part – although a couple of those might be nice. No, it’s time for a new phone. I’ve reached the contracted period on my current perfectly-good flip phone, and I am eligible for one with all the latest features.

Soon I will make the brain-blowing trip to the cell phone store and try to decipher the choices and costs, hopefully, emerging hours later with the latest and greatest. At which point, I hope all my flip-phone-hating loved ones and friends will stop abusing me. Taunts about the 21st century, cackles at my fine fuchsia phone, the badgering about texting. It’s all grown very old, even though my communication device still does just great.blog-htphone(2)

The peer pressure concerning texting has become more than I can bear. Everyone wants me to be able to text. Resisting alcohol at a college fraternity party wasn’t this difficult. The shame of having to remind folks “I don’t get texts” has become too great. Though quite frankly, I really feel no shame about it at all, except for the apparent inconvenience it causes others.

My first degree is in business, so after several years in retail and getting married, I returned to school for a teaching certificate. I taught keyboarding, marketing, and Introduction to Business before becoming a high school guidance counselor. In my mind, typing is an important skill, but like so many others, it is becoming a lost art. Gone for the masses the way of Shorthand, sewing and canning. My son is a terrible typist. It’s hard to type 60 words per minute using only one stupid little finger. It makes me sad.

Before those years of teaching, I worked at a now closed big-box discount store. I managed the safety, security and shortage functions for the store, so I was required to carry a pager (aka beeper), which is one of the reasons I decided to become a teacher. It was a pain to be “on call” when not at work. So, here’s my question … Why in the world do I want to subject myself to a constant state of on callness?blog-ht phone1

I don’t get it. Folks have become slaves to their devices. I’ll grant you there are benefits to having the tools available at one’s fingertips, but, like so many other things in life, I think we have gotten completely carried away. Do we want every other activity in our lives to be interrupted by the demanding communication diva that incessantly buzzes, rattles and rings in our hands? One friend has a ring-tone representative of a bleating goat. I wish a goat would eat all the silly things.

The rebellious side of me (thin, though it may be) wants to resist the upgrade altogether and stick with my sweet little pink phone. There when I need her, able to let me know about the most important of alerts, and silent regarding the rest of the data that funnels into my e-mail and social media pages at a frenetic pace. I’ll check that when I get to it.

Alas, I will upgrade. I will get texting and maybe a few other “critical” options, but don’t expect me to like it!

Keep Smiling!

Hally

People-Watching: A Sure Thing for Great Fun!

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I’m coming in very late on my Friday post, but you know we humans can rationalize just about anything we want to. So, here goes…

Since this post discusses my recent jaunt to Las Vegas, and Vegas is the city (or one of them) that never sleeps, I suppose it’s okay to bring this to you in the last remaining hours of the day.

While Sin City never really shuts down, I will let you know that my husband Tim and our travel companions were regularly back at our condo before 10:00 pm. We gals went to our respective rooms for female-friendly TV, and the guys stayed in the common area to watch sports. Our days were full of walking and looking, shopping and eating. And, minimal gambling.blog - vegas #5

I spent a total of $13 on slots and video poker. Though perhaps that was not the number to stop on and 14 would have brought a big win, but somehow I doubt it. Tim bet twice that with a few wagers on sporting events, one that is yet to be played. I’m just sure a big check is coming our way in a few months – but I won’t bet on it.

So, what was the highlight of this trip? That’s easy. The change of scenery, the sights and sounds, the people-watching – we enjoyed those most.blog - vegas#4

It had been fifteen years since Tim and I visited, and this was our friends’ first time in Las Vegas. So, we toured all the splendid hotels, ate at restaurants unavailable in the Midwest, marveled at pastries in fancy bakeries, bought gifts for our kids at the M & M store, hiked out to Pawn Stars and Freemont Street, and saw an awesome show. While the pastries were decadent, there was little other debauchery on our trip.blog - vegas #2 -

But, boy the people are interesting. There were “entertainers” dressed in all manner of costumes, from scantily-clad cocktail waitresses to Hello Kitty. I wanted to take a picture of the latter, but my friend advised me in time that I’d have to pay for it. There were muscled twenty-something males in super-hero garb inviting tourist to step into their capes for a photo op. I must admit that was a bit tempting, but I couldn’t bear the thought of how cougarish I might appear in such a shot. (Did I mention this trip was in celebration of my 50th birthday?)blog - vegas #1

Then, there were those without much clothing at all. There were three grown men in diapers… apparently intentionally. I’m not sure what the goal was. There were young men and women covered entirely in body paint, with only a small strip on the most critical of regions. I have to say the artwork was amazing. My bestie was very good at averting her eyes, but sometimes I just had to take a longer look. One person called me out. “Don’t look too shocked. It’s Vegas.”

Aside from the shock value, there is worth in just plain old people-watching. If we get our eyes off of our devices and into the world around us, we can learn a lot.blog- vegas

In a place like Las Vegas, we see people from the very rich to the destitute. We see people from cultures and countries around the world. When we study the geographical surroundings, we gain a sense of how people live in a spot unlike our own. And, we sometimes wonder what stories all these people have to tell.

For me, that’s one of the greatest joys of travel. Seeing new things, asking questions, gaining empathy for some, being inspired by others, satisfying curiosities, realizing there is so much more than just my little spot of the world, sharing that with my kids. Learning.

It looks like it will be a beautiful weekend, perfect for some people-watching. Bet on it!

Enjoy the Weekend!

Hally

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grandma’s Gift

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My grandmother had few possessions of any monetary value. When she passed away a few years ago in her early nineties, I was the executor of her estate. My father and uncle had given me the assignment years earlier when my dad was still living, and they deemed me, as the oldest grandchild and the one with a business degree, the person who should handle this project for my grandmother. I went with her to prepare her will, and I coordinated the disposal of her property after her death.

blog Grandma1Because she was a woman without much means, each family member basically “called dibs” on items in the home that we connected with in some sentimental way. It was done with civility and courtesy… and tears.

My outdoorsy cousin claimed some hunting items of my grandfather’s and an antique-looking phone decoration with dusty, fake flowers on it. My sister wanted the blue-and-white cookie jar. My son wanted an old scythe from the garage. And so it went.

I took for myself a wall hanging that hung on the wall for years, and, for me, was the essence of my grandmother.

(Grandma with my son when she spent a few days helping me in ’97.) 

 It read:

Four Things Every Woman Should Know

How to Look Like a Girl

How to Act Like a Lady

How to Think Like a Man

How to Work Like a Dog

For the most part, she did these things. I will admit that she was known to flash a certain finger privately if provoked by smart aleck kids, but she always looked nice out-and-about, and she had the thinking and working down.

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(Boy, wouldn’t she be excited right about now! This was taken one Christmas during the 70’s.)

 

I love the advice, but I am afraid many women today have failed in these areas.

A trip to the local Wal-Mart in most small towns demonstrates that many of us don’t take time to present ourselves properly to the world. Perhaps this is a lack of pride, time or means, but I think we have gotten lazy about looking as nice as we can in the world. I am guilty of this.

It takes all of five minutes of TV or internet to see that lady-like behavior is truly a thing of the past. The ways in which females behave is shocking and disturbing, unhealthy and damaging to individuals and the culture.

We are all so obsessed with our own thoughts that few take time to consider how others think. We learn about personality and interpersonal relationships in our culture and through our work, but do we care enough to practice those insights in the name of harmony? Most do not.

And, work ethic. Well, that’s a challenge for us parents as we raise girls and boys. Things come too easy for young people much of the time, and adults should remember to reward work, effort and determination for its own sake.

Four simple statements offer guidance to women on how to survive and thrive in the world. Maybe they were written in a different time, but are they irrelevant now? I think our daughters would be better citizens, wives, mothers and Christian sisters if they followed some of this sage wisdom.

(Grandma and Grandpa with my Dad’s horses and us four oldest grandkids in the early 80’s.)

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Thanks, Grandma, for the plaque and for living the message. It’s a gift as good as any I could have received!

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday!

Hally

Buffets and Blogs… And, a Guest Post!

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Blogs are like a buffet. There are lots and lots of choices. I don’t know how many – thousands, tens of thousands, millions. Whatever the number is, I know there are countless out there.

I am not a buffet kind of chick. I also do not enjoy shopping in large department stores, and I have never pursued the goal of building a home with my husband. Why? There are simply too many choices for me to deal with. Too many food options, too many dress racks, and too many possible cabinet/counter combinations. It’s overwhelming for me. I fear my head may explode!

However, I am also not a foolish person, and I understand that this problem of mine – this temptation to overdue, tendency to get overwhelmed, all-or-nothing mentality is an area in which I need to improve.

Having said that, I do subscribe to approximately a dozen blogs. I have checked out a considerable number of them, considered the benefits, and carefully selected a reasonable number to follow.

Like the food choices at your favorite buffet (again, I do not have a favorite), there are menu items with considerable substance and value. The protein and veggies at the buffet are good for our bodies, and the blogs that make us think and furrow our brow in a good way are good for our minds.

Buffets always offer comfort foods. The macaroni-and-cheese, the mashed potatoes, the chili and soups provide warmth and satisfaction. Likewise, some bloggers make us feel good and filled in a spiritual, emotional or cerebral way.

Typically, there are novelty or new items scattered about at a buffet. Like the excitement and adventure of a trying a new food, some blogs bring us new ideas and information we’ve not considered before. We may become introduced to an interesting hobby or a new perspective. That may merit a bit of your plate, and a bit of your time.

Finally, there are the sweet treats. Abundant at the buffet, who can resist enjoying some delicious fun at the end of your meal? Here’s a secret about my church and fellowship meals… Many of us enjoy the desserts so much, we shamelessly visit the dessert table while waiting to go through the line. Some blogs provide pure fun, humor and entertainment.

I’ve said all of that to introduce you to a buffet (I mean blog) that I visit regularly. My writer friend, Alecia Simersky, writes about the “something different” in her life as a Christian. Alecia shares thoughts about parenting, faith, life’s challenges, and more. And, yesterday she posted my tribute to teachers at her site. Take a peek at a favorite teacher memory of mine and her plate-worthy blog at:

http://www.aleciasimersky.com/2014/09/heres-to-mr-c-and-teachers-everywhere.html

Enjoy a Thoughtful Thursday!

Hally

What’s Your Pleasure?

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One of the joys in my life is my book club. We meet tonight, and I am very excited to see my friends, have a nice dinner together, and talk about our latest reads. We weren’t able to meet in July due to crazy schedules, so this is our first gathering since June, and there is much to discuss. Our latest reads were a couple of intense tales. More on that later…

Reading has become a real blessing to me in recent years. I literally read only two or three books while growing up. I was able to read well aloud, but, when I read silently, I rarely maintained focus long enough to retain what I read. A really good listener and a great note-taker, I did fine in high school and college. (I still can’t be in any type of meeting without taking a note.) All this is super ironic since I write now and always found school writing assignments easy.

I’ve always had romantic thoughts about reading, admired avid readers, and craved to be a reader. And, one day I did. My friend suggested that she and I start a book club; she was already in one. We did so, and we have been meeting for nearly five years now. We have a great time together, and I love being able to discuss books.blog - Book Photo - 8-29-14

We need hobbies and time with friends. Whether you scrapbook or run, do crafts or read, it is good for the soul to do those things alongside friends. I encourage you to find something in your life that makes you think or inspires you, and then connect with others who have the same love. Gardening, decorating, traveling, geneology – the world is full of fun, interesting things to do. Depending on your stage of life, this may be only one monthly meeting, but that little bit of time can be really meaningful.

So, I thought I would share with you some of my favorites (or those we found most interesting):

From a variety of genres…

“Devil in the White City” – Erik Larson     (Lots of facts, not an “easy” read; good history.)

“1,000 White Women” – Jim Fergus          (Interesting concept; fun characters.)

“Eat, Pray, Love” – Elizabeth Gilbert          (Made for good debate; I’ll leave it at that.)

“The Kommandant’s Girl” – Pam Jenoff    (Good suspense story from WW II.)

“Big Stone Gap” – Adriana Trigiani             (Light, sweet read; good after Larson’s above.)

“Year of Wonders” – Geraldine Brooks       (Story about the big plaques in Europe.)

“The Silver Star” by Jeanette Walls              (We’ve read three of hers; she’s good.)

“One Summer – America 1927” – Bill Bryson           (Lots of detail about the time; not a novel.)

“The House on Tradd Street” –  Karen White            (Haunted house in the south; fun.)

“The Gargoyle” – Andrew Davidson                            (A good one to discuss; wild beginning.)

So, what is your hobby? How do you rejuvenate? Share your activity or a favorite book with us!

Enjoy the Weekend!

Hally

 

Will Ferguson Be One of Those?

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Engagements, wedding days, births and deaths, simple holidays somehow turned extraordinary, “firsts” in our lives – these are the things from our personal lives that we each hold dear and remember most over the years. This combination of events is unique to each one of us, and it holds the stories of our lives.

And, there are those events that we all as a culture, a country, a body of citizens in this time period share in our collective memories. Those are the happenings and dates that resonate and are remembered by all of us who live in the same general time and place.

Of the later sort, here are some events I remember best (or worst) …

As a young teen in the back seat of my parents car (likely the silver 1970’s Chevy Impala), I remember them lamenting the untimely passing of Elvis. What a talent, what a waste. We’d been on a little road trip during the summer week of his death. Here’s a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Elvis_Presley#Final_year_and_death

It was a cold day in Kirksville, Missouri. My senior year of college, and I remember being burned-out, restless, and sad before I watched with the world as the Space Shuttle Challenger repeatedly exploded in the sky. A cold day indeed: http://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/jan-28-1986-challenger-shuttle-explodes-9313918

Although I don’t remember the moment I learned of Princess Diana’s tragic death, I do clearly remember the time and year it happened. Only a couple of weeks after my son’s birth, Lady Di was killed in a car accident. I think many were touched by her. Though her life was so very different, there was something relatable and sympathetic about her: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana,_Princess_of_Wales

One never knows what a day will bring. I was a second-year counselor at Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, MO at the time, and, we were busy in our offices when the news about Columbine came. What a devastating day! Though, it wasn’t really, it seemed like the first of multiple school shootings that have taken place since then: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_High_School_massacre

I watched Katie and Matt live the day the towers fell. I‘d left my job to be home with kids for a while. One was playing on the deck, one was waiting in Guatemala to come home, and I was sorting pictures in front of the TV, my broken foot in a boot. And, it was very likely the most terrifying day in U.S. history: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Katie+and+Matt+on+September+11&FORM=VIRE5#view=detail&mid=3B13BCAEB9F72D8D7AC13B13BCAEB9F72D8D7AC1

So, in our personal lives we have vivid memories of both the heartbreaking and heart-warming events we experience. We find wild laughter and uncontrolled tears in the scrapbook pages of our minds.

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In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord,

make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8 NIV).

 

 

 

 

Why, then, do the memories of our communities, country and citizenship seem to be so overwhelmingly sad? Why are those shared memories most often of the evil acts and painful days within our world?

I suppose the answer exists within the media. We can blame a lot of stuff on them, right? These horrific happenings are what we learn about first, what we see replayed repeatedly on our computer and television screens. I am making an observation as much as a judgment about this. But, one does have to ask, how would our culture be different if the positive and righteous events in our history were as clear and vivid in our memories?

A more loyal and proud citizenship? A more peaceful world? Less depression, more joy?

Will Ferguson be one of these events for our children?

(By the way, for those readers that are not local, Ferguson is less than an hour from my home. So, the rioting and violence taking place in that community right now is quite real for those of us in this part of the country.)

What days in history live large in your consciousness? Share your thoughts with us.

Have a Thoughtful Thursday!

Hally