Monthly Archives: November 2013


Dear Reader,

I have decided that November is the new January.

Back when I was teaching music in the schools, I had January pegged as the month of my doldrums. A blue, I don’t fit anywhere time. The time I felt wound up tighter than wire wrapped around a fencepost.

Cabin fever, can’t find my thoughts, won’t regulate their course, end and aim, unable to find things except my own intolerance and impatience. November it is.

Back then, January in Pennsylvania found both teachers and students grasping for inspiration in the post holiday fog that comes from too much jingling, gifting, egg-nogging and off-scheduling.

Now it seems to be November. By November we know a few new things. Politics rears its ugly head and American angst runs higher than Old Glory. Tremors, there. Older, now, I feel more responsible to learn and advocate the best I can for this place we call home.

Thanksgiving is on the way, a time when in addition to all the other busy things happening with the homeschool and the baby, I have to figure out how to get five things out of the oven at one time, slice and serve, and sit down to enjoy? the meal.

Still adjusting to having no extended family over, too. Feels like a regular day with added self-induced, am-I-doing-this-like-I-remembered-it-being-done-self-induced stress. I will miss the fresh energy source of conversation the most kind gift visitors naturally bring. This year I just can not image who we could invite.

By the way, if you haven’t guessed, I am no writer. Real writers don’t use that line-ey thing with the middle of that last paragraph I just pulled. I would probably be clobbered for mechanics or style or something in a real writer’s peer review. That’s why this is a blog, I guess.

Everyone is thankful on Facebook. I am thinking of getting rid of facebook. Then moving to Australia.

Well, all I want to end up saying is I hope I will go back to the abcs of all that matters. Noisy feet-this is good. Happy voices keep my innervoice from making any sense, but they are good.

The stress tells me that at least things matter to me, that they are important…this also is good.

Finally that “tomorrow is always new, with no mistakes in it” and may contain a dose of vitamin D, a brisk walk around the block or an evening glass of wine.

I may remember to be kinder to myself because now, I know.
Here in Michigan, November is the new January.

Sincerely yours,



My latest a-HA! moment in the world of parenting…
Scenario. My eldest 3 kids and I went to see “Diary of Anne Frank” play at a local college today.

10 yr old daughter and I get so deeply “into” the experience of the expressions of art, particularly film and theater, and this topic was a heavy one that there are consequences.
We both had tears at the end of this gripping show, and as the lights came up in the house, she did not know what to do. I said to her, “Me, too” and we stood there hugging and crying.

(I think this was the first true story she has ever faced like this). So—the a-HA is an analogy…

Most of the regular world out there dives into an expression of performing art like a swimmer with a swim tube on. Off the diving board, into the art, but only goes deep enough to bob down in the water and maybe get the ends of his hair wet.

Dear daughter and I are not like that.

We go in lifting our hands high over our heads, the tube floats useless, and we go deep into the work. When we come back up, we are drenched in it.

So there you have it…some of us…some of our kiddos are like that.

We tend to leave a watermark.