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Archive for June, 2008

Middles and Ends

It’s the end of June, the middle of the year, the end of the first half of 2008. The year is moving too fast, but I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on this year. We lost Prentiss (my father in law) a little over a year ago. Ron quit his job a month later, one year ago tomorrow. By that time, he was already writing two or three times a month for the Hattiesburg American and the podcast of his first novel, Serve It Cold, had been released on Memorial Day. Whitney’s graduation, summer visits from loved ones, then school began again. The fall is a blur . . . mailouts, queries, my work and its drama. Then Thanksgiving in Miami while Faye (Ron’s mom) was in CA. Christmas was another blur, followed by a wonderful trip to Philadelphia to meet John & Kat. Ron began writing weekly for the Sun Herald on Jan. 5; My brother’s sudden and tragic death on January 6, followed by another blur of weeks and months. The anniversary of Prentiss’ death. More work drama for me, culminating in the laying off of people that I’ve grown fond of…loss, recovery, life, joy, loss . . .

Jack and Richard Harper, 1949

Jack and Richard Harper, 1949

We just watched an episode of History’s Detectives (yay, MS ETV!) where the detective and his “holder” (of a WWII pilot’s diary) tracked down the daughter to return the diary. The catch was that the pilot/father died before his daughter was born, so they never knew one another. Having read letters my dad wrote home to my mom, the show just plunged me into missing him, thinking what if he hadn’t come home, what if I hadn’t been or hadn’t gotten to know my dad? Which made me miss Prentiss all over again…

loss, recovery, life, joy, loss….it begins again.

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A FaceBook Friend posted this and I thought it would be an interesting exercise.  Please practice with me and leave a comment about us.

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now,even if we don’t speak often, please post a comment with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want — good or bad, in person or virtual. When you’re finished, post this little paragraph on your own blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people remember about you.

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The writer went birding Saturday morning, and, while I might have enjoyed going, too, it comes to choices: do I want to go birding (which I love to do) with my husband and our friends or do I want some time to myself. It seems this is the choice I’m faced with these days as Ronnie’s work-place has become our home. Now, I know this probably sounds like complaining, but it’s really not. I love having him home. I love knowing the creatures have a human rumbling around among them. I love knowing he will be there when I go home for lunch. I love that he is clearly so much less stressed and so much happier. AND, I miss my time alone. So sometimes I have to choose between going out and doing fun things and having that time. I guess choices are not always supposed to be easy.

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I confess I’ve become completely captivated by the social networking sites and have joined both FaceBook (again) and LinkedIn, one presumably all about the “social” in social networking and one presumably more business-focused. So, I’m “on” these sites, have developed profiles for each (remarkably similar), have some common “friends” or “contacts” to both (obviously other networking fanatics!), and now I wonder what it’s really all about.

What do people do all day on these sites? I mean, I could spend all day working on things, tweaking, adding new aps, writing on peoples’ walls, etc., but to what end? Does getting more “contacts/friends” mean I have more friends? No . . . Is it just about keeping score? How is emailing someone in FB different from emailing them through regular email? And, like writing this blog, how much of who and what I am am I willing to share with people who may or may not know me? I confess that I’m spending a lot more time thinking about what I’m writing these days than writing it. But then, maybe that’s good, too . . .

My curiousity got me into this.  I signed up on FB early on in the days of my CA nephew’s college career, and, sure enough, he did, too.  AND, he didn’t disappoint me with his site!  Once that was modified appropriately (thanks to his mother’s intervention, not mine!  After all, he’s just my god-child and I think he’s perfect!), I simply quit visiting, quit checking in.  Now, in the post-graduation glow, I decided to check back in and see what others are up to, how it’s grown, what’s changed….and to see if there’s a place for me on Facebook.

In one of my old jobs (teaching-learning resource development), I might have been led here to explore this as a communication device for class use or as a teaching resource.  But now, although I do think about that as I flip through pages and come across some very cook little aps, I really think its more about the social . . . AFter all, will someone seeing my profile on LinkedIn really call me up and offer me a job?  I’m skeptical.

And I find that there are a lot of people like me — not kids — out there, logging in, setting up profiles, and sharing lots of information about themselves.  What is this about?  Is it a way of connecting with people, sharing ourselves that used to be done in different ways, i.e., church, civic groups, extended families, actually talking to people without cell phones, that we have moved away from?  Or are sharers just sharers and this is one more way to share?  Does the anonymity of something like FB or LI (even though none of us are anonymous if we’ve shared our names, our towns, our workplaces, our life histories, our bra sizes….) appeal to the voyeur in us all or is there some “real” other reason to be doing this?

Tell me if you have a FB or LI account and invite me to join your network.   And tell me why it matters to you.  I’ll come write on your wall and maybe we can talk about this . . . I’m still curious.

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