Grandparents Day is September 13 and I can hardly wait. We have four of the cutest and smartest grandbabies, and with an official great-grand, I’m feeling pretty special. What I still can’t wrap my mind around is how fast they grew–Morgan, our youngest, is on the eve of her 13th birthday, Maya is almost 14, Terrell is 24, and Kierra is 29. Avery, our only great-grand, is already 4.
Welcome to September 2020, a time of excitement, festivities, and adventure! I love September because it’s perfect all by itself, it shows up nine months in, and it signals autumn is coming soon. Usually the air cools down and the leaves prepare to brandish their fall wardrobe, and the roads again are filled with harvest machines the size of Texas.
I’m in the second week of political conventions and if I didn’t have common sense, I’d be scared to death. My father often said if sense were common, everybody would have it; after listening and watching the past eight days, he was right.
From what I can see and hear from the speakers, whichever way we go, we are up the creek with no water, paddle, or life jacket. With the Biden/Harris ticket or the Trump/Pence ticket, all our dreams will come true or they will all turn into nightmares. I suspect the truth is out here in the middle struggling to be free, and we, as an electorate, are left to sort through the demonizing/ hopeful language and decide which road to take.
“…Ball of confusion, that’s what the world is today, hey hey.”
These lyrics from the pen of Motown songwriters Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, though more than 50 years old, won’t leave my mind today. This powerful classic doesn’t specifically name today’s situations, but similar ones: unemployment, virtual versus in-person school, deaths are climbing/ miscounted, the country’s doing well/it’s headed for the tank, wear a mask-don’t wear a mask…and yet, every day, along with our neighbors and friends, we get up, put one foot in front of the other, and keep going.
August is Happiness Happens Month, so don’t worry, be happy
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be,” and every day, on purpose, I choose to be as happy as I can stand. This Abraham Lincoln quote makes perfect sense, but who knew someone would declare a month to celebrate what makes us happy?
Netflix calls itself “the world’s leading internet entertainment service,” and that’s probably an accurate description, but what it doesn’t say is that it’s like an addiction. First, I confess that I’ve never tried drugs—too cheap and too scared—but I’ve seen addicts plot and plan full-time on how to get access and that’s exactly what happened to me when I discovered Netflix and the series Orange is the New Black.
John Lewis wears the hero label well
I am reluctant to affix labels on people, but Congressman John Lewis seems to have earned the ones I’ve heard associated with him since his death on July 17th. Considered the moral conscience of the Congress, he’s been called a fearless and tireless advocate for freedom and justice, and a man who was often surrounded by chaos but chose to be better and not bitter.
Kindness matters, every time, all the time
Just call me a one-note Johnny. My former college president used this term to describe himself because most of his conversations—no matter where or what they started out being about, ended in the same place. For me, I have three repeat conversations—be kind, build relationships, and send mushy notes–and the more I write and advocate for this trio of behaviors, the more I know repetition never hurts.
July is National Ice Cream Month—here’s another excuse to celebrate
Every summer memory I have includes ice cream, and every memory is a happy one. July is National Ice Cream Month so first, I say thanks to the person responsible for creating it, and secondly, I say let’s get the party started! (Does it seem like I’m always trying to find a reason to celebrate? It’s true, I do.)
July is perfect time for families, more chocolate
Every time I want to return to the frivolities of summer—outings with family, swimming, travel, and the like, there’s a gentle reminder that these are uncertain times and though things look “normal,” there’s nothing “normal” about where we find ourselves.