As you can see, I’m not at my desk right now. I’m up in the tree (house). It’s where I do my best thinking—where ideas take root and branch out before I know it. It is here where the magic happens. Who knows what my imagination will come up with next. What little thought will get my attention and become worthy of words to express it. Thank you for going “out on a limb” with me to share the adventure of yet-to-be-determined motivating messages. Ta-da!
P.S. For those curious whether ta-da is a word, indeed it is according to Webster’s Dictionary. In the formal sense it means an imitative sound of the musical flourish or fanfare of a French Horn. In the more urban usage, it means a final proclamation, an exclamation to substitute a lot of words, especially when excited, happy, surprised. One source claims it was first used in 1926 although it doesn’t state how, and other info states its origins go further back with a connection to yoga and a certain pose called Ta-da-sana. Some consider it slang. I consider it the most magical verbal punctuation. On a grander scale, I like to think of life as one big ta-da.
In my Mother’s Day post last month, the intent was to broaden the characterization of “mother” to offer a more universal perspective. Well, it’s only fair to explore Father’s Day and see whether the traditional definition of this holiday fits today’s 21st century dad. My sense is that it doesn’t in some ways. A number of factors are forcing modern parents to redefine gender roles and determine their own definitions of mother and father. Specifically, a growing population of women in the workforce, an unsteady economy and stale cultural...read more
As a child, Mother’s Day meant a gorgeous, ever-fragrant, single gardenia corsage for my mom—a tradition I frequently continued as an adult for my late mother. In more recent years, in addition to honoring the mothers in my life, I’ve expanded my appreciation to include Mother Earth, Mother Nature, and even the mother of invention. Like my mother, they’ve taught me a lot over the years for which I am very grateful. My mother didn’t tell me what to do very often. Rather, she would say, “Use wisdom, Cheryl.” Looking back, that is the wisest...read more
I have a story to share about a step stool. The story began sometime in my childhood. Don’t recall exactly when the shining new step stool showed up in our kitchen closet taking its rightful place along with the broom, mop, bucket, and other cleaning essentials which seemed to wear out on a regular basis. Not the step stool. It was a competent companion. A handy thing that step stool was—to reach a ceiling light bulb, to get a curtain down or hang one up. It extended our reach for those items on the top shelf that otherwise would not see the...read more
A tiny postcard ad displayed at the local health food store prompted me to head for the beach early one August morning. I found a picture-perfect day with warm sunshine, sparkling water—and a group of people who showed up to laugh just for the fun of it! This was my first Laughter Yoga class, where I discovered that laughing for no particular reason—just for the fun of laughing—is more than merely entertaining. It’s actually great for your health. You don’t even have to have a sense of humor to reap the physical, emotional, and spiritual...read more
This month curiosity had me checking out holidays beyond the Ides of March or St. Patrick’s Day. It didn’t take long to find the National Days list with over 1200 approved dates which means that every day of the year has at least three or four themes that we could celebrate. According to the requirements, applicants can be individuals, companies or organizations that want to promote a particular activity or cause like Red Nose Day which was launched in 2015 to raise money for children in need. March has a total of 126 National Days of which...read more
The weather predictions definitely got it right in January. The rains came and so did some unusual debris that washed up along the banks of Aliso Creek. During a recent morning walk, I noted the typical items that go with a rainstorm and then there were a few oddballs—literally. The ping pong ball got my attention the most. From what table did it bounce off of and how far had it traveled before landing near the new bridge in Laguna Woods? If only it could talk or at least came with a note attached similar to the well-known messages in a...read more
According to park rangers in the Northern California Pacific Coast forests, the redwoods and sequoias have an underground secret. These mammoth trees with shallow root systems in loose soil on hilly terrains are able to survive…and actually thrive because their roots reach outward and wrap tightly around the roots of their neighbors. This fascinating fact of nature is a good role model for how we can become more connected to each other without the necessity of deep, life-long time together. January offers a clean slate, a fresh new calendar,...read more
Timing for my newspaper column came up fast this month yet an idea for what to share was feeling slower than molasses in January. No wonder. Checking my past five essays for December seemed to pretty much cover everything. Not so according to a quick search of writing topics for the holiday season. Several suggestions from “54 Christmas Writing Ideas” had a few sugar plum thoughts dancing in my head. And, “Creative Writing Prompts about Hanukkah” produced more possibilities. Just as the next few weeks offer many ideas to write about, the way...read more
It’s time to get out the dictionary and check the definition of two words–tolerate and respect. According to Webster’s, the word tolerate means “to accept or endure someone or something unpleasant or disliked with forbearance.” The definition of the word respect means to “have due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.” If the words seem to be interchangeable to you, maybe the following story will help clarify the difference. It was 2004 when a fellow co-worker and valued friend delivered an impassioned...read more
October is my birthday month. It’s time to celebrate and for plenty of reasons! Since the last one, 31,536,000 seconds have elapsed. My heart has pumped approximately 2.7 million liters of blood and beat 42 million times, and I’ve taken 15.8 million breaths give or take a few. Think about that the next time your birthday is on approach. Each day, fifteen million people celebrate a birthday. When your age and date of birth are the same, the day is known as the Golden Birthday. August is the most popular month accounting for 9 percent of all...read more