Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

How to Hug a Porcupine and Other Thoughts on Being Family

3909368537.jpgWhen our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Leading up to the holiday season, we observe the following family tradition:  we sugar coat everything, even and especially each other.  There are bigger turkeys to roast.  No time to blow out another’s candle trying to make ours shine brighter.  (I’d so like to take credit for that last sentence, but truth be told, credit goes to a little neighborhood church that specializes in posting catchy-make-you-go-hmmm-sayings on their marquee.) 

We have pies to bake, menus to plan, tables to decorate.  Children to hug, mothers to consult, cousins to gossip with, sisters to help. We engage in preparation and we engage with each other.  We side-step, we over-look, we take deep breaths and we think sugar.  

Sugar helps.  Alot.  When we get cross with the kids we find a little sugar on the cheek or the top of the head does the trick.  Same goes for siblings and parents.  For that one and only special someone though, we go straight for the lips.  This is how to we porcupines hug in our family.  Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele 

© Michele Bernard 2007


November 6, 2007 - Posted by | Army Mom, Best Lines, Blogroll, Family, Food and Wine, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting


  1. Michele:
    Love your blog. Love the way you look at family. Makes me want to gather my now-all-grown-up crew and have them youngsters again, playing ball in the backyard. Sigh.

    I have a chicken-or-the-egg question for you. Which comes first? Do you have the quotation in mind and pair your great posts to the quote, or do you write your great posts first and then go looking for the perfect quotes to go with them? I have to know……..

    Laverne Daley

    Comment by Laverne Daley | November 10, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thank you for your kind words Laverne. They were the perfect Good Morning this drizzly Monday a.m. And I love your site too. It is a treasure chest of info – other writers- run do not walk to this site!

    To answer your question, I usually have a blog idea first. I think of the idea, then search for a quote and an image, much like I’d look for a frame for a family photo.

    This particular blog was inspired with the recent return of my older sons to the nest. No. 1 son is home on pre-deployment leave, No. 2 son has returned from living in a nearby college town and of course, the baby is now a really big teenager. Space and Hot Water are at a premium. But that’s okay, because in a few short weeks, No. 1 son will be in Iraq, so the jockeying for shower time is put into a perspective we’ve not experienced before as a family. A good carpe diem reminder for us all, especially with the holidays around the corner.

    My other reason for the quotes: to share a little carpe diem food for thought from writers who say it way better than I can. I like to link to info about these writers because it inspires me to read about these folks, and hope others find it inspirational as well.

    Thanks again Laverne. Happy Monday!

    Comment by Michele Bernard | November 12, 2007 | Reply

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