Thursday, October 23, 2014


It's that time of year when for one day deep in October, dressing up and acting silly is OK!

I wonder why it seems OK to be silly when we are dressed in a costume or hiding behind a mask ---- is it not OK to be silly when we are dressed in our own clothes and don't have a mask on?

I LOVE being silly.  I love to sing silly songs with made-up crazy words.  I love to dance silly dances or walk like a giant or a bird or Cruella de Vil.  I love to talk like Donald Duck.  I love to contort my face into silly expressions.
No wonder there are times when I wish I could return to my childhood ....  when silly somehow seemed more acceptable.

 Merriam/Webster's take on SILLY makes me sad:
having or showing a lack of thought, understanding or good judgement; not practical or sensible, meaningful or important; ridiculous, irrational, frivolous

Well,  Noah Webster and George and Charles Merriam ... I say POOLEYBAH on that !  And yup, that word isn't in your dictionary.

What is more fun than a silly joke?  When my granddaughter spends the night, we often hide rubber chickens in an unsuspecting someone's bed.  When she stayed over for two school nights recently I packed a silly something alongside her apples slices and sandwich in her lunch sack each day.  Her second grade friends and even the principal couldn't wait to see what would show up at lunch.  Granted, she acted like it was all a great big fat embarrassment, but deep down inside, I wanna think she got a little giggle from it and maybe even enjoyed the attention a bit.  And most importantly, I think she knew that I was imagining her sweet smile when I packed that silliness alongside my love into her lunch sack.

 Mr. Webster and both Mr. Merriams, you are probably right ... a baby rubber chicken or plastic glasses with a warty nose attached is not practical or sensible in a school is ridiculous and irrational and frivolous, but you will never convince me that when SILLY says I Love You or Please Smile or Goofy Is Good Sometimes, it is not meaningful and important.

We adults often seem hesitant to let our silly sides show.  I wonder why.
 Are we worried that others will think we are having or showing a lack of thought, understanding or good judgement?

Maybe we should rethink that.  After all, don't we want our children to worry less about what others think?

I hope that whenever we get the chance, we allow (and even encourage) our kids and grandkids to find time to be silly!  It's important.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


... from my blog, from my writing, from community service and lists and cleaning house, from life as I know it on a regular basis.....

That's what I have been up to the past month.  Taking a France... sinking into Paris first, then Provence .... the croissants, the streets, the small quaint towns, the markets, the history, the grapes, the people, the olives, the beauty.

I had a long list of must-sees and wanna-dos when I left.  My Rick Steves' and Lonely Planet books were labeled, highlighted and packed.
Many of the Do's and See's got done, but there were delightful afternoons and slow mornings where we didn't hurry to the next thing on the list, not because we were tired or the place was closed or under repair but because sitting and talking, looking at the French countryside, lingering over our plat du jour at lunch, or reading the great books we had brought along trumped our tourist list.

On this vacation to a new place... I took a break. The fill-me-up, breath-in-and-out, look-and-smell-and-wonder kind of break.  The kind of break where we saw and did but also where we allowed ourselves time to wonder about the country we were experiencing, its people and culture and government, how our history has overlapped with theirs, what the future might hold, what we could take home from their ways and perspectives to make our lives richer.

The last leg of our journey took us to the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France.  After a swim in that warm water, I spotted this boy reading on the sea wall below me.

This scene on the last full day of our trip reminded me of my blog and my writing and my passions for kids and reading waiting back home.  I snapped his picture to use for a future blog post with a message perhaps about reading and kid lit the world over.

But once back home when the pace immediately quickened and the loaded calendar of events beckoned,  and I saw my wonderful grandchildren again, this picture held a different message. I started wondering about break-taking.  The need to be intentional about creating and taking breaks .... little simple ones .... here at home.

Are we allowing ourselves enough time for breaks?  And are we encouraging our children to take them too .... the fill-me-up, breath-in-and-out, look-and-smell-and wonder kind?  I hope so.