For a friend who is having a hard time loving her body today ....
Thursday, November 10, 2011
For a friend who is having a hard time loving her body today ....
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Then we had a boy.
Monday, October 3, 2011
She was between houses.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. ~William Penn
Monday, July 18, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
On Sunday the kids grabbed their toys and gear, and we headed outside to enjoy some family time. In less than ten minutes, though, helmets were ripped off and the skateboard and scooter were abandoned and left upended on the concrete, wheels spinning.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
That day there were well over thirty young people stuffed into the generic little office in the generic little strip mall in Silicon Valley. No one was over twenty-one. No one older was dumb enough to come.
We were herded into a small room adjacent to the waiting area. We sat nervously in front of a large dry erase board. McDonald's fast food sacks were lined atop a table off to the side, and the smell of Egg McMuffins and fresh coffee wafted our way. The the presentation began. A slick looking guy with greasy hair and a greasier smile started writing on the board about sales and strategies. We were all confused, to say the least. When he noticed how bewildered we seemed he began to explain that we were all hired. On the spot. He told us we were perfect for the job.
Oh, and what WAS the job?
He started passing out the food before we could start stampeding toward the exit. Then a woman rose and began telling us about her experience at the company. She had apparently made quite a bit of money in just a short amount of time, and she was making more and more each day. Her advice: "Don't pass this up! Why, you could be rich!"
We took the bait. Every. Single. Person.
So, with idiot stars in my eyes, I went home. My parents looked at me sadly and then sweetly forked over the cash for two bottles of the wretched stuff. They knew what I didn't--that this would all go sour and no one was going to make any money and that I would hate it. They also knew that I'd have to figure that all out for myself.
The next day everyone showed up early and eager. The young man who sold the most indeed got a prize--more McMuffins.
There were five of us in our group that day. Our leader was a woman who was half African-American and half Japanese-American. We were sent out in a van with a box of their finest (trashiest?) perfume. We parked downtown and went with our leader for a lesson. The first store we entered was a florist owned and run by a Japanese family. My leader suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, had a strong Japanese accent. I think she sold one bottle. Soon we came upon another store. This time my leader's voice took on the tone of the streets--the hard core loudness of a tough cookie trying to earn a decent living. I can't remember if we sold anything there.
Now it was our turn. We spread out at a gas station like fleas on a dog. The young Latino girl I was with lied to a man paying his gas bill when she told him that she was a single mother with no money and desperately needed to make a sale. I shyly approached a successful looking business man pumping gas into his black sedan. As I pitched my sale I must have looked horrified or scared or stupid or all of the above, because he turned and looked me squarely in the eye and said, "You must be pretty desperate to do this. Pretty damn desperate. " I told him that I was not desperate. Only dumb.
At that moment I aged. I knew what a pitiful and disgusting scam it all was, and I knew I was a sucker.
In the van on the way back to the office another young woman confided in me that she hated this job and wanted to quit. She and I went into Mr. Greasy Hair's office. I did all the talking, which was strange for me. I usually faded into the background, nervous and small. But I told him in no uncertain terms that this job was a load of crap, was parasitic, and was designed to trap naive young people into making the company loads of money while the salespeople themselves went home empty handed. Except, of course, for a hot McDonald's breakfast.
The girl next to me cried.
He told me how disappointed he was, and how he had seen such potential in me. He felt that I could have gone far. I laughed and left without looking back. He did, though, convince my new friend to give it another day.
This was one of the first times ever that I stood up for myself. My wallflower days were beginning to fade, and fast.
And you dear readers, what was the worst job YOU ever had?
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Sisters call their parents in Europe from a phone at their grandmother's farm house in Missouri. They try not to cry but the little one, only three, can't help it. Now there, calm down, it's ok. I need a red ribbon she says, her curls bobbing as she sobs. The grandmother climbs up to the musty dusty attic to find a perfect red bow.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
What I remember most about my grandma, perhaps, are her hands. Many say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but I tend to disagree. The hands, I believe, can tell stories of a life like nothing else can. Grandma’s hands told stories of work, love, and loss, and I will forever miss holding them in mine and feeling her soft yet firm touch.
I can see her hands now, pinching the edges of a piecrust or working a batch of cookie dough. I can see them reaching out to touch my baby daughter, for the first time, full of love and tenderness. I can feel them, too, tissue soft, caressing the back of my hand as we sit together quietly on the sofa. I can even catch a whiff of the Chantilly Lace that scented the hankies she often clutched.
Her hands were tough, gentle, and strong. They were no nonsense, midwestern, hardworking hands of a farm girl used to work. They were the hands that crafted rockets at a war plant during WWII. They were hands that guided her son through the doors of the house she worked tirelessly for when she was raising a child, alone, in the 1940s. They were the hands that crafted stories from cotton and thread and wove love and devotion into every quilt she ever made. They were the hands that held the strong hands of her loving husband, my grandpa Oscar, for forty years. They were the hands that brought meals to her neighbors and planted seeds in her garden. They were the hands that snapped hundreds and hundreds of pictures over the years in order to capture the fleeting moments of life before they were gone. They were the hands that trembled with shock and sorrow when her only son left this earth before she did.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said that:
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
Sylvia Mechling Joggerst was one of those beautiful people. But, like Kubler-Ross said, she did not just “happen.” She struggled and fought her way into her beauty and along the way touched the lives of everyone she met. She worked hard, played hard, and loved hard and we are all privileged to have known her light.
So today, in honor of my grandmother’s memory, reach out and hold the hand of someone you love. Memorize its feel, its scent, and its strength. When you touch that hand infuse it with love and peace and warmth and think fondly of Sylvia.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
"They are for the kids," I told myself.
My son was fascinated by the sharpener. We had to dig around in the junk drawer and the back of the craft box for some old worn down nubs of crayons to test out the new contraption. We soon had several very tiny, perfectly sharp and paperless little bits of color in front of us.
Next it was time to look over the new crayons themselves. "Mauvelous" was his favorite. I searched to make sure "Burnt Umber" was still there like when I was a child. It was.