It was a year ago today that I started this blog, at the suggestion of Carol LaChapelle, my writing hero, author, teacher and coach. The whole reason for starting it was to practice my writing. Procrastinator that I am, I was not scheduling writing into my day's activities except when I had a deadline for one of Carol's workshops - and then I'd scramble to meet the deadline. I had no audience in mind except myself, only during the 16 days last March when I wrote the Cliff's Notes version of my life, for my kids. I put it in book form and gave it to them for Christmas this year. In retirement I found the time to observe the world a little more closely. I love the sheer pleasure of playing with words and putting them on paper. Putting those two things together resulted in "What About It?"
Now feeling refreshed after two weeks in the sun and sand of Key Largo, I'm ready to start blogging again. With the state of politics in Illinois and in Chicago, specifically - I'll have plenty of material.. And then there's the economy, the weather and the ridiculously unembarrassed way some of my Facebook "friends" like to expose their inner selves. Amazing.
I won't bore you with a Christmas Letter type of annual rundown. Suffice it to say that, like everyone else, we had some fun times, uplifting experiences, good and not-so-good theater, beach visits, family celebrations, friend encounters here and out west and back east. We helped friends celebrate weddings, and births and milestone birthdays. We were deeply saddened by three deaths that change the makeup of our large families forever. Our grandkids started emerging as engaged, responsible adults, serving as a reminder that time does fly.
I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. If pushed to the wall to come up with one here it is:
Find something that makes you happy AND is good for you and do more of it. I'm signing up for more writing workshops and vowing to find a volunteer opportunity that really helps literacy in a meaningful way. Any suggestions are welcome.
If what you like to do is write, I highly recommend a workshop with Carol. For better or worse, she's responsible for getting me back on the writing track. If you don't live in the Midwest - pick up her book. She didn't ask me to give her a plug, I don't think she even reads my blog. I just can't think of a better way to thank her for her inspiration and celebrate the birthday of my blog.
Out of respect for the untimely passing of my brother-in-law on December 30, 2010 I am suspending my postings for a while. . Ted wouldn't want a fuss made - so I won't do that either. Suffice it to say he was a most loving husband to my sister and a gentle, adoring father to his three beautiful daughters. A fellow sports fan to their husbands. Favorite "Grampee" to three handsome grandsons.
Handsome, elegant, classy, and a gourmet cook, he was at home in a tux or clamming gear. Uncle Ted was a generous host to his in- laws and their children and grandchildren. Our kids can't forget the scary times in the Boonton attic or the fun times in the Boonton pool. Who else could have taught Andrew how to disect a lobster or catch a crab? He advised our kids who moved "back east" as a second father. Who else would send freshly dug Quahogs to Illinois for me and give us the greatest, most imaginative gifts on "sisters weekends"? Just putting up with me and Jan was a challenge he never resisted. He never snickered at our goofiness. We loved him, even if he wouldn't share his recipes with us or admit that we were sometimes too rowdy. Rest in Peace my friend. Happy clamming. P.S. Joe is wearing a tie in your honor. We love you.
I'm a 70ish grandmother, ex- banker and professional beach bum. Currently enjoying retirement to the fullest while trying to discover what the next phase of my life might be. Loving having the time to write and rant about life, people and this fair city of Chicago.