Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

Snow Day

snowflake_3d_38322.jpg“Winter is nature’s way of saying, “Up yours.”  ~Robert Byrne 

 I, like most Native Texans, don’t have the survival skills to live north of the Red River.  Case in point:  Today.  It’s snowing. 

“Should we pick the kids up early from school?” I ask my neighbor, the Ohio transplant.

She laughs.

“Okay,” I reply, not convinced.

The phone rings.  It’s a recorded message from my son’s school.  “School will let out at the usual time, but it is okay if you want to pick your child up early.”

I give into the anxiety that makes me want to stop down, build a fire, and hunker down because white stuff is falling from the sky, I bundle up, jump in my truck and make my way to the school, where every other native is waiting in line with a nervous eye to the sky.

I collect my son and head for the store.  I stand in line with even more natives.  We each purchase the requisite survival gear:  eggs, biscuits, milk, and two fake logs.

Grocery sacks in hand, I brave the elements, dodge the traffic jam in the parking lot and jump in the truck.  I turn the key, then tune into the local radio station. 

“Please do not call 9-1-1 to tell us it’s snowing,” says a representive of the sheriff’s department, “We know,” he concludes, “Our phone lines are jammed and we need to free them up for you know, emergencies.”

Like I said, no survival skills.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

March 7, 2008 Posted by | Her Royal Nerdiness, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Southern Humorists, Winter | 5 Comments

The Really Big Fat Stinky Elephant in the Middle of the Room

donanobispacem01.jpg“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”  Mother Teresa

The really big fat stinky elephant in the middle of the room 

Is blocking my view. 

What did I chant when I was a child?

“Can’t go under it. 

Can’t go over it. 

Can’t go through it.”

What did I learn as an adult? 

Guess I need to eat it. 

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.” 

My elephant has a name:  SonInIraq.

No matter what I do,

Where I go,

How fast I peddle,

SonInIraq is still there. 

And will be there for the next year.

In the meantime:

I work, I pray, I go about my day. 

I write letters

And email

And shop for items

To brighten his day.

My military family grows.

I write and email and shop for items for

Two young men I do not know.

They serve with SonInIraq.

Their mothers do the same.

I don’t watch the news (good advise received from a mom who’s been here, done this). 

I join with families in our Family Readiness Group and “Walk to Iraq and Back”

With phone in hand.  Always. 

Sometimes I dance to Iraq and back. 

It counts.

Moving is good.

I note the time, then add nine hours. 

That’s what time it is for SonInIraq.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | Army Mom, Blogroll, Family, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Peace, Winter | 6 Comments

Dad – Mom’s Hogging the Microphone

rock_band_cover.jpg“We weren’t too ambitious when we started out. We just wanted to be the biggest thing that ever walked the planet.” Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

I was over video games when controllers went from two buttons to something resembling a ten-key punch.

Then, last night, my 15 year old opened his birthday present .

Life may never be the same.

(And yes, son, I will pay for your therapy.) 

In the meantime: Rock on party people. 

Game Spot Score 9.0 Editor’s Choice:  Rock Band does a superb job of bringing out the wannabe rock star in all of us, and creates one of the best party-game experiences of all time.  – gamespot.com

Carpe Rockem Y’all, Michele

January 26, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Blogroll, Carpe Diem Quotes, Dance, Family, Heart, Her Royal Nerdiness, Humor, Humor Writers, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Music, Parenting, Winter | 4 Comments

Happy Birthday to You/Happy Anniversary to Me

birthday_candles_215.gif There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

On this day in 1993, I had a baby. 

The thing is, I didn’t know I was sick.  I was pregnant.  Way pregnant.  And what way pregnant woman do you know that doesn’t have swollen ankles and difficulty breathing?

It’s a miracle I lived through that day. 

This morning as I look across the Happy Birthday breakfast table at my fifteen year old son, I get a little teary.  I’m so thankful for the miracle that he is, for the joy he brings to the table, not to mention the miracle that allows me to be here to bear witness to this remarkable young man’s life. 

The words of the birthday prayers found in the back of the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer come to me as I watch my son scarf down french toast as only a teenaged boy can do.  For him I thought of this prayer:

“Watch over thy child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he fall; and in his heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

And for the 15th Anniversary of the Day I Survived, I thought of this one:

“O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on your servant as she begins another year. Grant that she may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen her trust in your goodness all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ”   

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

January 25, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Blogroll, Carpe Diem Quotes, Episcopalians, Family, Heart, Inspiration, Inspirational, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Peace, PPCM, Winter | 2 Comments

Get it Together Get it Togeter Get it Together

  • 370711782.jpgBegin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go till you come to the end; then stop.”–Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
  • It’s a gift really. I’m talking about my ability to focus on many things as once.  It’s as if I was otherwise occupied when they passed out the filtering system that tells me that this piece of stimuli is more important than that bit of stimuli.  Most likely I was researching a story idea, that reminded me of another subject I wanted to learn more about, that made me think of this guy I went to school with, that looks alot like the postman, that makes me remember to check the mail, pay the bills, make the grocery list, clean out the junk drawer, return library books, de-clutter the office, not to mention the hall closets, get receipts together for the accountant, work book edit, contact business profile clients, do billing, and oh, and yeah, catch up on blogging. 

    January in Texas equals spring cleaning at my house/home office.  It’s my month to make order out of the chaos that was last year and yesterday.  When do you, and how do you get it together?  Or do you?  Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

    January 17, 2008 Posted by | Blogroll, Carpe Diem Quotes, Family, Freelance Writing, Her Royal Nerdiness, Michele's Musings, Winter, Writerly Stuff, Writers, Writing | 3 Comments

    Happy 2008 Y’all

    donanobispacem0.jpgGratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. – John Milton

    Happy New Year.  The tree is down.  Decoration filled boxes line the fitness room like ghosts of Christmas past standing sentinel around the treadmill where the spirit of New Year’s Resolution #1 invites me to join her.  I look past my sprained, taped ankle and wave.  See you in a few days

    Tree-Related Injury aside, it’s good to be back at work after observing the twelve day Christmas holiday.  I experience the same epiphany each year:  Twelve days isn’t such a long time, yet it seems so when I observe Christmas as a season rather than a day. 

    Maybe it seemed like a long time because I crammed so much rest, play, concerts, events, music, church, travel, dinners,  parties, food, wine and company into twelve days.  

    Or maybe it’s because stores are decorated for Valentine’s Day by the 2nd day of Christmas.  By the 4th day of Christmas I saw a St. Patrick’s Day display, by the 7th day of Christmas, bathing suit clad mannequins. 

    Or maybe it seemed like a long time because when I looked past the red decorations on the tree inside I saw the yellow ribbon tied around the tree outside.

    Twelve days isn’t such a long time, but sometimes, it seems so.

    Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

    January 7, 2008 Posted by | Army Mom, Christmas, Epiphany, Episcopalians, Family, Michele's Musings, Peace, Winter | Leave a comment

    On the 12th Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me

    act200.jpg

    The courtesy of not

    Laughing his butt off

    As he helped me

    Up off the floor

    When I sprained my ankle

    Taking the tree down

    Breakfast for supper

    His favorite chair

    4 icepack treatments

    3 fluffy pillows

    2 more Advil

    And a day of bad reality TV

    January 6, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, Family, Her Royal Nerdiness, Humor, Michele's Musings, Winter | 3 Comments

    Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

    screensaver-7_29.jpgA Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
    It makes no noise at all,
    But softly gives itself away;
    While quite unselfish, it grows small.–Eva K. Logue

    December 22, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Best Lines, Christmas, Inspiration, Inspirational, Michele's Musings, Peace, Winter | Leave a comment

    Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

    425640808_a904b23226_o.jpgPeople are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. – Elizabeth Kubler Ross 

    December 13, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Another F-ing Thought for the Day, Best Lines, Blogroll, Christmas, Heart, I Read, Inspiration, Michele's Musings, Peace, Winter | 2 Comments

    Best Lines: The Holiday Edition

    donanobispacem0.jpg “A noted poet was once asked in an interview if he could explain one of his poems ‘in ordinary terms.’ He replied with some feeling, ‘If I could say what I meant in ordinary terms I would not have had to write the poem.’ – Dr. Brian Linard, A Way to the Heart of Christmas

    The Advent Season- A time to wait.  And while we wait, we’re asked to remember and anticipate.  At the same time.  Which pretty much sums up my own season of waiting, remembering and anticipating that I’m sure all military families with loved ones deployed far from home experience. 

    I find myself drawn to poetry these days.  And songs.  And art.  They comfort me.  The words and the music and the objects of art give me something tangible to hang my thoughts and feelings on as I wait, remember and anticipate.  I’m grateful for the poets, the lyricists and the artists who sum up with their work what I’m thinking and feeling.  They do so way better than I can.  

    (And even though I make it a point to keep this blog as positive and as uplifting as possible, I have to say, if I hear the song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas one more freaking time, I might shove the radio into the radiator while punching out.)

    Today, I read Longfellow’s poem, Christmas Bells.  It’s a classic, I’ve read many times before.  I’ve even sung the words.  The tune hums in my head as I write.  But today, the poem touched my heart.  Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

    I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old familiar carols play,
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good will to men!

    And thought how, as the day had come
    The belfries of all Christendom
    Had rolled along
    The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men!

    Till, ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
    A voice, a chime,
    A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good will to men!
     

    Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
    And with the sound
    The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good will to men!

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
    And made forlorn
    The households born
    Of peace on earth, good will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
    “For hate is strong
    And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep.
    “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!
    The wrong shall fail,
    The right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good will to men!”

    December 13, 2007 Posted by | Advent, Army Mom, Best Lines, Blogroll, Christmas, Family, Heart, I Read, Inspiration, Just Wow, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Peace, Winter, Writerly Stuff, Writers | 4 Comments