Just when you’re thinking life is just a bowl of cherries, you get caught in the pits. As I was in the final throes of putting on a baby shower for a granddaughter on May 16th, her twin boys decided to be born. At only 27 weeks!

So, more than two months later, these little darlings are still in the hospital, in NICU, and learning to breathe on their own, swallow milk from a bottle, and other functions that we do automatically once we’re fully developed. They’ve had major surgeries, with still more in their near future, have wires and tubes all over, and still those little guys plug forward. They’ve come from 2 lbs. to a little over 4 lbs. each.  Although it is heartbreaking to see them go through all these procedures, it is so heartwarming to know there is the technology available to simulate the gestation process and correct Nature’s shortcomings.

But above all, it is amazing to see the strength of spirit and will to survive evidenced in their progress and in the steady, nurturing presence of their parents.

Obviously, we can learn a lot from the pits.


Boy! I have some catching up to do here on my reading list!

An excellent and funny YA read is Vivian Vande Velde’s “The Rumpelstiltskin Problem.” Vande Velde once again has applied her wonderful sense of humor and creative genius to this retelling of the classic folk tale–several times! It’s fun and the ingenuity is impressive.

Previously, I wrote about my reading “Silent Witness” by Richard North Patterson. This time, I read his “Dark Lady”, which I soon discovered is a follow-up to “Silent Witness”. Follow-up, only in the sense that its protagonist is the same prosecutor as was in Witness. Otherwise, different story, different people. But the same quality writing, the same drama, and the same page-turning suspense.

“Second Glance”, another of Jodi Picoult’s, I read with a good deal of frowning and questioning. The book has to do with ghosts–lots of them and lots of strange happenings attributed to them. I very definitely believe in the ability of people from “the other side” to communicate with the living, but Picoult pushed the credibility gauge a wee bit too much for me. Still, her writing skill developed a great story.

I just finished reading “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery. It’s on the NY Times bestseller list and I can only reason that it’s because people want to be associated with the intellectual pomposity driving the book until the very last few chapters. THEN, there’s a story. That part is moving and interesting.

I’ll try to be more diligent in keeping my reading current. I believe it’s always helpful to have someone suggest books to read.


The 4th of July is an American tradition:  family barbecues, fireworks, PBS’ concert in D.C., “Capitol on the Fourth”… Yesterday, friends and I celebrated another tradition:  our annual Pooh Bah reunion. I guess that requires a little background information.

Many years ago, at Kodak where we all met and worked, I had read our morning newspaper in which Queen Elizabeth was pictured with her prerequisite purse.  Since I got to work early–and it was Friday–I sent an email to our group’s collective address, asking what in the world did Queen Elizabeth need a purse for.  The responses–and everyone responded!–ranged from her need to carry everything from tissues to a Colt .45. The banter carried us all through a whacky Friday and provided many laughs.

By popular demand, I had to declare someone else to be my successor for the next Friday. The successor, eventually entitled Grand Pooh Bah, then selected “the winner” of the best answer to her or his question. Then, that person was declared the Grand Pooh Bah, and so on.  Soon someone scanned encyclopedias for serious questions, the winner being the person with the answer that most closely indicated knowledge of the correct answer, but giving the most whimsical and nonsensical version. After all, part of the tradition was whimsy.

So yesterday was our annual reunion. Only Gale and Dave and Gretchen showed because Peg and Don were stashed up in the Adirondacks, Joelle and Tom were out sick (and didn’t even ship the brownies to us!), and Tom and Rena were no-shows without an excuse.  But…that meant we–the ones there–all had extra ice cream!

The beauty of tradition is that it brings family and friends together, in joy and love. Tradition is something we do, and keep doing because it has meaning and works for us. It’s part of the circle of life.