I think we are going to be okay. Read right until the last line. “You have no further authority here.”

Sweeter words have never been heard…..

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful commited individuals can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”  ~Margaret Mead

Mara ~ so true, so true



Mara – no mei mei for squirt…

What a crazy respite weekend! With 2 – 15yr olds and a 9 yr old boy here for the weekend…  well let’s just say it was eventful. Things you might have heard me say:

“I am NOT talking to anyone until they have put their shirt back on!”


“Uhhh, NO you CAN NOT drink the ketchup. Seriously? The ketchup?”


“What is that smell? Was that you? Do NOT blame the dog! Next time leave the room before you do that!”


“Videotapping my butt is not funny. Stop laughing! Stop video taping my butt! RIGHT NOW!”


“I’m happy you’re here too!”   (this one got me all choked up!)

Mara~ “No I will not touch your ‘six-pack’!”

I was able to say goodbye to my uncle Bernie tonight. That was nice. And I loved hearing about the memories others shared of him. They were things I had forgotten, so they are even more precious now. I am going to write them down so I don’t forget again.

That ridiculous ratty straw hat he wore as he cruised the lake on his pontoon boat. His chuckle. I don’t have the words for his chuckle, but I can hear it in my head. It’s something I will always remember.  God, he was funny. So funny. His humorous deflection and rejection of anything that was for ‘old’ people. His love of fine brandy.

My aunt was truly the love of his life, and they read a love letter she had written to him on their 50th wedding anniversary…  It was beautiful.  He’s waiting for her, I know it. And my aunt…  I love her so much and I admire how in her broken heart she is so strong. And even though she’s waiting to be with him again, she is going to keep living. She’s amazing.

So Bernie’s with his parent’s and his sister and I can see him sitting beside dad and Tom with a little  ‘allo allo’ and sharing a beer.

Mara~ that makes me smile


My uncle B died this evening. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I hate that. I hate saying goodbye too, but not being able to is worse somehow. I drove all the way in to town, parked the vehicle, and walked up to the hospital doors. As soon as I opened the doors and I smelled that hospital smell I was done. Even though it has been almost two years when I was walking in those doors daily, often more than once a day, to sit in hospice with my dad. Almost two years and I still can’t walk through the doors……..

I wasn’t able to collect myself. And really, it’s not about me. My aunt and cousins did not need to see me still unable to contain the grief I feel about losing my dad. Most days I make it through just fine. But I just could not physically take the steps to go in. I came home and watched tennis, the French Open is on at Roland Garos. I love the red clay, la terre battue.  And why does it seem people I love die during tennis majors? I watched Roger Federer win the US Open on a Sunday afternoon.  And then I held my dad as the sun was coming up the next day and he was dying.

I was going to try again tomorrow.

I ran out of tomorrows.

I am  happy you aren’t in pain anymore B., and you know I loved you. Cancer is a bitch. Really it is. You were funny and a hard worker. And your kids love you and your grandkids are going to miss you so much. M. will be okay, we’ll take care of her. And could you say hi to Dad for me, you know how much I miss him.  The heartbreaking thing is I know what your kids are going through because they lost a dad they loved fiercely too. I’m glad I have many happy memories of you. Sauna’s at camp, bringing firewood to mom’s, sneaking a sip of beer, reliving what it’s like to have Ukranian/Polish/Russian parents, and laughing. Lots of laughter. Thank you. 

Mara ~ I thought I’d have another tomorrow…

“Jesus put me on this earth to tell you what to do!”

Dude, you need that written into your marriage vows 🙂

Mara ~ therapeutic foster kids are awesome!

ADD joke

How many people with ADD (attention deficit disorder)does it take to change a light bulb?

Wanna go ride a bike?

Mara ~ best joke ever told in church by a gifted ADD pastor.