Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

At this time of being thankfull, I would like to give thanks to all of you who have spent countless hours creating your wonderful journals! Thank you for providing me with something to think, laugh and smile about. Thank you for provoking me in ways I never expected. ....and...Thank You for coming here, and leaving your kind words and sharing your thoughts! You are a very special and dear group of people!

While I am giving thanks, I would like to thank a few people who unknowingly affected me in such profound ways as to alter my way of thinking.

I would like to thank the woman who applied her make-up at a traffic light and gave me a glimpse of how a womans true beauty is revealed. "Lovely and Amazing" (entry 12/18/05)

I would like to thank Hilda for stuffing food in her bra while on the buffet line and showed me that when a love becomes so selfish, it ruins the picnic! "Hildas Bra" (entry 9/17/06)

I would like to thank the cast of Sesame Street, who in two hours taught me the most important lesson I could learn about being a parent! "Sesame Street Live" (entry 6/18/05)

I would like to thank Pearl King, who taught me the weight of a soul is more important than the weight on the scale! "The Weight" (entry 9/3/07)

I would like to thank Carrie, a date, who taught me that laughter is the most  powerful aphrodesiac. "Lotus Eaters" (entry 7/19/05)

I would like to thank Kenny, the spoiled one, who gave me the answer to "How many Mantle cards Does A Boy Need" (entry 10/18/05)

I would like to thank that 30 something Blonde in the Bloomindales lingerie dept, who allowed my imagination to transcend time in "Breathless in Bloomies" (entry 12/27/05)

I would like to thank my son for picking up 3 pennies off the floor and allowed me to learn how the highest fence we have to climb is our own ego! "Pennies From Heaven" (entry 2/20/06)

I would like to thank the camper who in bringing me a meatball sub actually brought me the way I would live the rest of my life! ---BIG THANKS FOR THAT! "Meatball Sub" (entry 3/2/06)

There are so many more to thank, but I have to you can see,  we have a photographer here that will do a family shoot.  There will be no need for me to say "cheese", I'm just going to think of all the wonderful souls that have crossed my pathhere, and I'll have the biggest smile!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Marc :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Love Bites

 The other day a young co-worker arrived at the office sporting a "hicky" on his neck. "Nice tattoo" I commented as I handed him his daily task list. "It's only temporary" he replied. As I walked away, I mused,"that's what you think!" My mind quickly ran back in time when I received my first hicky.

  It was a summer long ago, I was 14. In the apartment building I lived in, there was a group of us who spent our summer days as if we were cloned . We'd all get up early, watch re-runs of "I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith Show, Leave It To Beaver and Father Knows Best" . By 12 noon we would all meet by the swimming pool and spend the next 5 hours having splash fights,holding your breath underwater contests, perfecting our cannonball dives off the board, and taking siestas inbetween the laughter and the chat. At 5 P.M. we'd all head back to our apts and have our dinners, shower up, and by 7 we'd all reassemble, squeaky clean, in the courtyard.

 The courtyard was the hangout for all the residents of the building. Our small group, needing its privacy had a small corner that was exclusive to us, we called it, the "Chit Chat Corner".

On one such evening, just as I was approaching the sacred ground, Lovely Laurie, walked up to me and with her reassuring smile said, "Marc, tilt your head a little". Her wish was always my command, I would have jumped off a building for her, so this seemed rather simple.  Without a chance to comprehend her wish, she quickly leaned over, and nibbled on my neck for a mere 3 seconds. She pulled away and her friends who were flanking her right and left shoulder immediately commented. "Nice Laurie, very Nice". Then, my freinds joined in with their observations, "wow Marc, nice looking Hicky". 

"Hicky?" I asked in puzzlement, "what is a hicky?"

They all laughed at my naivety. "You don't know what a Hicky is?" they chimed. My level of wisdom was challanged, but these were my friends, so I felt fine in pleading to my innocense. "When you suck on your skin for a few seconds, you break the blood vessels and a mark appears."  Somehow, this did not make much sense to me, so I paid no further attention to it.

We disassembled for the evening, I returned home, greeted by my older sister (she was 18 at the time, and the "rebel" amongst the 3 of us) "Wow Bro, nice Hicky you have there!" She looked examining the mark. "Who gave that to you?" .....Justthen my other older Sister appeared on the scene (16 at the time and she inherited the "Mom" side) . "Oh my, Mom is gonna be real mad when she sees that on your neck!" she admonished.I tried defending myself  explaining that Laurie was just practicing but it was met with a several disbelieving "uh hums". The commotion brought the attention of my Mom and Step Dad (my step dad was a Lee Marvin look alike and soundalike...tall with a deep husky voice) My mother came into the kitchen, "what's going on here? Did I hear something about a Hicky?" My Step dad moved right in, peered closely at my neck, pressed his finger down hard on it...and looking me in the eye, he said aloud, "Nah, it's a bug bite, go put some calamine lotion on it now!"

  I moved quickly past the crowd, into the bathroom and doused cottonballs with the pink lotion and then painted my neck. Yes, that did the trick. As I admired this "bite" on my neck,with all the attention it garnered, I began to understand its significance!

  It wasn't till a few years later till I received my next Hicky, and not only understood, but deeply appreciated its significance! My level of wisdom elevated....the next few days I wore a turtleneck sweater!

Yes, the Hicky only lasts a few days on the skin...but in the lasts much longer!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Voice

   There is little enjoyment in being told what to do. This is where many an offspring takes a detour from that abiding path it walked with its parents. This is where many a loyal employee seeks shelter in extra coffee breaks and "sick days". This is where many a spouse begins building "the wall".  Face it, young or old, it just doesn't sit well with us when we are told that we must do something.

  It was many years ago, my first week in the Army I observed that the best way to de-humanize someone, was to tell them what they had to do, every minute of every day! It was there, I was told what to wear, when and what I could eat, when I would wake up and when I would sleep. I was told how to stand ("ATTENTION"), I was told when to relax ("AT EASE,SOLDIER"). I was told which way to face ("right face") and worse, 90% of the steps I took, I was told which foot to place on the ground ("left, right ,left"!).In just a week, I asked myself, "who am I?"

It was during those days that a voice from within emerged loud and clear. This was my inner voice. It brought me the songs that warmed my soul, it comforted me when I was wounded, it encouraged me when I needed a double dose of bravery. This voice carried all the words of my sweetheart that I left behind, it kept a count on the days that remained till my tour was up. It entertained me like Bob Hope would entertain the troops, and thus, I was still able to smile and share a laugh with others. As I boarded the bus to return home, my inner voice yelled "Yahoo, you made it, you see, you did it, just like I said you would!"

Since that day, I never argued with my inner voice.

  Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from my son who was in tears. A relationship that he thought would be "everlasting" came to a screeching halt and smashed into too many bits and pieces to put together again. "I know you are calling me with the hope that I am going to give you some special message that will make this pain go away" I said. "Yes,I can really use something to grasp onto" he said with the sound of despair in his voice.       I drew a deep breath and said "I am not the person you should be speaking to. You need to speak  with the most intelligent person that I know, a person that I trust will steer you in the right direction".   My son paused, "who is that?" he asked . "That extremeley intelligent person is your inner voice!  Sit down and listen to that voice that has taken you further than I ever imagined you going. Have a chat with that voice that knows you better than anyone on this planet!" 

I explained the answers won't pop up like a magic wand has been waved, but clarity will come with time , and healing with introspection.

We spoke yesterday, he sounds just fine and is moving on with his life, fortifying his resolve and saving his energy for the next possibility.

I just love how that inner voice works!

So, the next time you feel that need to hear someone really intelligent, someone who really knows you....just let that inner voice begin to speak! You'll love what you'll hear!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Weight

                                     The Weight

   "Uh-Oh" were the first words I uttered today. It was my commentary after reading the numbers on the scale. "Time to start another serious diet" I contemplated. This lament is not new. It seems most of my life has been a series of starting a new diet just as the old one ended!

   My first battle began at age 11. My mother had taken me to a clothing store for a suit. The salesman ( once known as a Habidasher), measured my waist, my inseam, my shoulders, and then slipped the tape measure around my chest. He  gently placed his hand on my shoulder, smiled cordially at my my mom and said " you have a fine young growing boy here, we shall need to look in the "Husky" section. "What's a Husky? I innocently asked. my mother quipped, "it means you are growing the wrong way! Instead of growing taller you are growing sideways!". I glanced over to her, she had this look, like I had double crossed her. I felt awful. I never liked that look. It was a guilty verdict that diminished my feeling of  self-esteem.

  In those days there wasn't any no Jenny Craig, NutriSystem or Weight Watcher Programs. There were no Lean Cuisines, Healthy Choice Meals and the word "Low fat" was not a concept on packaging labels. There wasn't Diet Coke!

  The following week I found myself in the backseat of the car being driven to a clinic to be consulted with a "dietitian".  Learning experiences...I was always open to what they had to offer.

  We arrived at the assigned room. The dietitian sat at her desk and took down all types of information about me. She began explaining about calories, food choices and the importance of keeping a diary of what I ate. She handed me pages of the food groups that I could  pick from and a suggested menu for the next seven days. "Next week, you'll come back, report to the room marked on the paper and we will monitor your progress".  My world was slightly inconvienced, but anything not have my mother give me that double crossed looked again!

  The next week we arrived at the room. I opened the door to find a room filled with people sitting in chairs. The dietitian was sitting at a desk in front of the room, next to her, an assistant. "Sign your name on the sheet, have a seat and wait till I call your name" she commanded with a voice of authority.   I signed my name at the bottom of a long list and then took a seat with my parents in the back.

  The silence was broken by the loud announcement of a name by the assistant. I observed a person get up from their chair, walk to the front of the room , stepped  on a Drs. scale."One Hundred and Sevnty Four pounds, You lost two pounds" came the unpleasantly loud voice of the assistant. My heart jumped, "oh my, how embarrassing!" I began to sweat as my pulse heightened. I carefully paid attention as each name was called, trying to imagine how I was going to summon enough courage to do this. The assisant called out "PEARL KING"...I turned to my mom, her name was Pearl, not a common name, I chuckled and she smiled at me, "not me" she said. Two rows ahead of us, the chairs squealed as they were slid across the floor. A woman slowly rose. I could not believe my eyes...she had the biggest backside I had ever seen! She had a large dress on, there was no telling where her tush began or ended. As she approached the scale I began to immediately feel sorry for what she was about to experince. She stepped on the scale, the assistant quickly slid the weights to the end of the beam, making a loud "clack" sound as they hit the end. The assisant took a quick look and loudly announced "NO WEIGHT FOR PEARL KING".  Pearl stepped off the scale and sat down next to the dietitian and handed over her diary. Confused I asked my Mom for an explanation. "The scale doesn't go high enough" my mom explained.  "Without a weight, how does she know if she is gaining or losing ?" I asked. "She won't know, and she will have to try  till her weight comes down to the where the scale measures it".  this transcended my abilty to comprehend, imagine walking around and not knowing what you weigh! How awful!

  The weeks passed, and I made progress. Each subsequent week I returned with more self confidence and a better understanding of what I could and should not eat. But, poor Pearl King, each week was the same "NO WEIGHT", despite the fact that it appeared she was making some progress.

 By the third month I had made enough progress where my Mother said, "I think this will be your last weigh in, I can take over from here". So on that last trip to the clinic, we waited for my nameto be called. "PEARL KING" the assistant called out. Pearl walked up the scale and the assistant once again slammed the weights to the very end, gave a quick glance, then...paused, jiggled the weights, stared and then said aloud " TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY EIGHT POUNDS.....WE HAVE A WEIGHT FOR PEARL KING".  My mom and I let out a small "yeah". I was so happy for Pearl, she finally knew her weight!  I think I was more relieved about her, than my own progress!

On the ride home my mother told me how proud she was of me, how good I looked and that I needed to continue with my efforts. I could only think of how happy I was for Pearl King.

.....................Now, many many years later, I understand why.   We are all here in this world for a limited time. The years go streaming by and it seems like we are just "passing through". We can step on a scale and see what we weigh "physically", but there is no scale that weighs our "usefullness, and  fullfillment". That measurement has us all guessing ! Not having such a scale has us pause and ask, "am I doing what I was supposed to do? is the the way I was supposed to spend my life here?"

 One can say, that an act of kindness, a blessing rendered onto another is like consuming spiritual calories.If that is the case, then I pray that when our time comes, we all will tip the scales!

The "other" diet begins tomorrow!

Marc :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Points Of View

    While waiting on the checkout line at Target a woman pulls up behind me with two wagons of patio furniture.She has one of those tabloids and quickly flips the pages, stops, and  with a look of concern on her face, reads an article. She reaches for her cell phone. "Hi honey!" she exclaims with a high frequency pitch, "listen, I just checked out my horoscope and it says that I need to spend more time outdoors. I need to take in the summer sun and I will become inspired to do wonderful things!"then continuing in the next breath, "listen, I'm at Target and that Patio furniture we were looking at is on sale, so I'm picking it up!" There was a moment of silence, a noticable expression of disapproval and a subdued, "OK, I'll see you later, bye."

  She noticed my stare and expression of disbelief. "Did he actually buy that explanation?" I asked with a broad grin. She smiled back, "nah, he is the same sign as me, he just told me "whatever", then explained that his friend just called and asked him to go fishing on his boat, and his horoscope said he needed to be in the sun too!" Then with a frown, "now I'm going to have to unload this out of the truck and carry it into the backyard myself!"

I turned, a message flashed in my mind like a large billboard that you see on the highway. "We all see the same the thing, we just see it with a different point of view."

The gauntlet was now thrown. My mind tangled with this message. Can it be? All our lives, we look at the same thing and see it differently? I began processing images, a box of chocolates...heavenly to some, deadly and unwanted if you are a diabetic.Marriage, sex, work, food, art, I went through them all and no matter which image I brought up, I could hear two different points of view for each! Goodness! It's a miracle that we can even get along!

My approach to this became forensic, pulling apart moment by moment to find an element that universally we can all see, and have the same point of view! My investigation left me with two such moments in our life, birth and death. A newborn infant, the sight of one has us pause and smile. Even little children, when they see a newborn infant are magnetically drawn to the preciousness and delicateness an infant posseses. Simply, there is nothing as precious and delicate. ....The other element that we all see the same way, the sight of a person that has passed away. Whether we know them or not,the sight of person has all of pause and reflect. Our reflection can be different, but the sight will have us pause and think.

"That's it?" I asked myself. Birth and death are the only images that we can see and have the same point of view", and everything inbetween is open to personal interpretation?  "It can't be!"  I said. I became overwhelmed with a wave of depression."Life is just too precious for us to march through it and not be in some sort of agreement about what we see!" When I worded it in that form, the answer became apparent! "Life", yes,seconds, minutes, hours,days, seasons, years....each so very precious! It is so precious that it does not matter if we all see it with the same point of view. It matters only if YOU see it that way!   When you see each new day as precious as newborn, it will be filled with your love and kindness. And a day with YOUR love and kindness added to something that is universally seen in the same warm and wonderful light!

Wishing you all a wonderful day and a front row seat with this point of view!


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Don't Think Twice It's Alright

The power of our intelligence easily overwhelms our intellect.Look at what man has done in the last 25 years. We have built spaceships that journey to the ends of our universe that can  send back color photos! We carry devices that allow us communicate both voice and video to others all over the world! We continously stretch the borders of what we can only imagine!

Despite all of this intelligence, the one thing we struggle with is the ability "to think twice".We just were not wired to stop, think twice before submitting to our impulses.Thus, our closets are littered with items purchased on an impulse, our waitlines expanded from that piece of cake we just had to taste and sadly, we walk with the scars on our hearts from hurtful words spoken to us without thought being placed upon them before they were hurled at us.I often wondered what our Creator was thinking when he imbued us with this "impulsive" behavior.

This morning I headed out early to the supermarket to rent a carpet cleaner. I entered the store and passed by a shopping wagon marked "Items Reduced For Clearance". My quick glance stopped me cold in my tracks, the wagon was filled with candles! While I love candles, I already have enough to light St. Patricks Cathedral for a year! I noticed a nice small pack of tea lights. They were scented, ginger & pear, subtley delightful! There were 3 packs and I quickly scooped them up! A voice rang loud in my head.."PUT THEM DOWN!...They are the last thing you need, so put them down!" I rarely argue with my mind, and I put them back in the wagon. Another voice chirpped in "ARE YOU NUTS?... You were going to buy those candles a month ago at three times the price, pick them up NOW!" I reached back in the wagon and lifted them out. This prompted the first voice "YO MARC, What did you come here for? To rent a carpet cleaner...not to buy candles because they are on sale....PUT THEM DOWN!" Back into the wagon they went. This prompted the the second voice.."just remember, they won't be here when you finally realise that you want them!"... "Enough!" I muttered...this is crazy...I did an abrupt about face and headed straight to the service counter to rent the carpet candles.

 The clerk greeted me and began preparing the paperwork for the rental. I happened to turn around and noticed a woman walking straight towards me with the three packs of tea light candles in her hand! My mind flashed,"oh no, she saw my little spectacle of " in and out of the wagon" and she is going to insist that I buy them" (I have a an imagination that runs wild...) She stands behind me and calls out to the clerk "can I pay for these here or do I need to stand on the cashiers line?" He smiled, "you can pay for them here, I will be ready to ring you up in a minute". The second voice summoned , "well, there they go.., no chance to get them now"... I watched the woman as she was smelling the packs....I smiled, "it's Ginger and peach scented, they are very lovely". "Oh, I don't care about the scent" she replied.."they are not for me....I  work in a nursing home that has Alzheimers patients and I thought it would be nice to burn some candles....ya never know what a little atmosphere will do for them".  My mouth fell open, my heart immediately warmed, "oh how wonderful of you!" I exclaimed.  Her facial expression poised, she explained that the Nursing home does not have funds for such things, so when she saw these so deeply discounted, it was something she could take care of herself. "Bless you!" I said as I was interrupted by the clerk telling me my rental was ready.

 As I exited the store, it became clear to me about the issue of why we were created with impulse and not  wired to "think twice". When it comes to performing acts of kindness, charity and being selfless....we need to act on impulse! We should not think twice and ask "should I?" 

May you all have those moments, where you don't think twice...cause it's alright!



Sunday, July 8, 2007




The seventh grade coincides with an awakening to puberty that makes for  a very powerful transformation for any adolescent! Physical changes induced perceptual changes. Schoolyard conversations were migrating from who was the best ballplayer of the day to who was the prettiest girl in the school. In our school, there was no debate who the ugliest girl was. There was no one even comparable to poor “Miss M”. I even believe that “Miss M” knew that she could win that title. It was sad, and I often wondered why and how God could place a person in such a lowly position.


   “Miss M” had a very light complexion that was sprinkled with thousands of red and pink freckles. We marveled at the quantity and the different shapes that had  camped out on  her face! Her hair was a short growth of frizz, and was a fiery orange…which of course brought out the freckle syndrome. She was topped off with a very large nose …which brings us to the opening act of this recollection.


   During lunch break we would eat lunch in the schoolyard and the guys would go off and flip baseball cards, play a quick game of “flip the penny” or try to elevate their stature with intelligent conversation. Intelligence at the seventh grade level is measured by how gross a statement or insult you can make!   I recall a few of those conversations regarding “Miss M”.  “I swear I saw her pull a booger out of her nose that was as big as my thumb!” said one of the guys. “That’s why she’s so ugly, cause she eats those boogers”. I confess, there were times I chuckled at the insane remarks, but deep in my heart, I always felt sympathetic towards the day to day plight she lived.


  I am not certain of the event, but I do remember returning to class after lunch and happened to look over to “Miss M” who sat a row away from me and few seats back. Her eyes were red and puffy, and she was clasping a tissue. She had been crying and was trying to hold back her tears. “Oh no” I said to myself, she must have heard the remarks that the guys were making about her. It’s funny how insults always traveled faster than the answers to Miss Goldberg’s math quiz.


  The next day I told the guys that “Miss M” spent the afternoon crying, and asked if any of the insults were spread about. The guys seized the moment to turn on me, “oh so you like “Miss M”? They laughed. I defended my statement, “it’s not right, she knows she’s far from pretty, we shouldn’t get our laughs by rubbing it in her face!” I exclaimed.  I startled myself; it was the first time I was sticking up for someone other than myself!


 In a world where everything is “just and fair” these boys would have woke up the day with foot long noses and boogers hanging down like icicles. But no, I arrived at school the next morning to find a huge, chalk drawn, heart shape with both my name and hers in it! The guys laughed, “She’s all yours”.

  The chalk drawn heart had a very short life span. As we exited the school that afternoon, we were surrounded by Dominic and his gang. Dominic was the “Soprano” of the school.

The gang cornered my friends, Dominic got very close in their faces. “If you knuckle heads ever draw anything on a wall where my name is on it, I’ll bounce your heads on the ground like a Spaulding ball! His entourage removed erasers from their back pockets and threw them at us. “Get this off the wall NOW” he demanded!  My friends raised their bowed heads to notice that the heart with my name and “Miss M” was on the same wall as “Dominic & Anita  4 eva”. Dominic turned and looked at me, “and you….you get some taste”.  Little did he know, I had a slight crush on Anita and she always had a smile for me.


The years passed. We all moved up, grade by grade. Fortunately, that period of insults was replaced by greater conversations, “which girls were the bad ones”, and “who I’d like to spend the night with”. Nobody even cared who the best  ballplayer of the day was!


  Enter “The Summer Of Love, 1967” . Like a wave, it covered and transformed each and every one of us. Our hair expanded on top of our heads like yeast filled bread. Our dungarees were bell bottomed, our shirts tie-died, our language transformed with words of “groovy, peace brother, and dig it.” We all returned to school and could barely recognize each other (except me, who still dressed as if he were an ivy leaguer). However, the biggest transformation was “Miss M”. Her bright orange hair, now fully grown into a very hip perm. Her heart shaped, oversized sun glasses fit nicely on her nose,(they dwarfed it!) and the freckles were now a unique accoutrement to the large plastic “peace sign”   earrings that dangled from her ears. She walked down the halls with confidence; she was now flaunting her uniqueness! She was on all accounts, “groovy”!


  Over the years we rarely spoke, but always acknowledged each other with a smile. I would get a chuckle when I would hear a guy mention her name with a desire of getting to know “the cute chick with the wild orange hair”.



  I have often wondered about her transformation. Was this an answer to a mother’s prayer? Was Miss M’s” transformation a result of a friend taking her out for a makeover? Or, was this part of Gods plan, The Summer of Love, ushering us through a portal where we came out more loving, more compassionate and wearing flowers in our hair?


  A girl, plagued at a tender age, having to carry an unbearable weight. Then being transformed so dramatically where her appearance and personality could take someone’s breath away! Imagine, one tiny insignificant person merging onto the highway of self confidence and self esteem…..flaming orange hair and all!


….To those that may be discontent with their appearance, feel like they are in a ugly relationship, or if they feel like they are facing life in the wrong direction, just remember, there is a highway up ahead ….merge on!


Hope always has a free ride….it’s Gods plan!

Friday, June 29, 2007

How to hold on to a dream

    At the tender age of 7, my parents divorced. The meaning of this was not my vocabulary. I was raised on a steady diet of images from a black and white T.V. set, living in the world  of "The Donna Reed Show", "Ozzie & Harriet" and "Leave It To Beaver". Despite moving from L.A. to N.Y, I believed that at any moment, my father would be walking through the door.

    I was already accustomed to waiting. He was a traveling salesman and was not a "household fixture"prior to the divorce. A few years passed, and he showed up a few times. The visits were always brief and integrated with a business call to a client. I never had his undivided attention.While I became accustomed to waiting, every once in awhile that feeling would get interrupted by friends who boasted of going to Yankee games with their Dads.

  In the fourth year of the divorce,a clearer picture of the reality of the divorce was received. Both my parents remarried. I inherited a new stepdad and stepmom almost simultaneously. Nevertheless, I kept my eyes glued to the door, and waited. I was not waiting for him to come and turn my world right side up again, I was just waiting for that moment , where I could know him as my Dad.

  My Mother was well aware of my feelings and thus arranged for me and my sisters (both older) to spend a summer (1962)with him and our new stepmom. My 11 year mind kept it simple for me, it was a chance to spend time with my Dad, visit my cousins, Aunt and Uncle and Grandma who also lived in L.A. and to be in the same town as the L.A. Dodgers! (I was a huge Dodger fan).  I went to my shoebox of baseball cards and selected the top players of my collection,  and slipped a rubberband around them. I packed my one and only favorite board game (called All-Star baseball) and told my Mom, "I'm ready". (I let her pack my clothes!)

 She took us to the airport. There were no police, security guards or resticted areas. She was allowed to walk with us to the door of the plane and hand us over to the stewardess. The stewardess took me in the cockpit to meet the pilots, who showed off all the dials and handed me a plastic set of wings to pin on my shirt. We all saluted each other, and I was escorted to my seat. I may have been sitting, but my young spirit was flying!

 My Dad greeted us with his big warm hug and carried our bags to his car. It was like a dream, being withmy Dad, in Los Angeles, Summertime. I sat next to him in the front seat of his Caddy. "You a Met Fan?" he asked. (It was the first year of the Mets). I made a face of disapproval, "they are the worst team ever!" I exclaimed. "I am a true blue Dodger fan...they are in first place ya know!"  ... He laughed, and said.."well I wasn't sure, and I wanted to play it safe" as he pulled a pair of tickets from his shirt pocket ..."tickets for Friday nights game ...Mets Vs. Dodgers!'  My mouth fell open, blood rushed to my head,I shrieked..." Oh My God!!!I'm going to see the Dodgers!!! Chavez Ravine...Oh My God!!"  I reached in my pocket and pulled out my deck of baseball cards and flipped through till I came upon Dodgers. Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Murray Wills, Duke Snider....I was to see them at last!.   My fathers voice broke in.."Now hold on to the tickets....O.K.!".....He handed them over to me, Bright orange tickets with the date June 29, 1962. (I still have the stubbs)

  I was in his car no more than 5 minutes when I already declared that this was going to be the best summer that I would ever have!

  "Dad?" I asked...."Have you ever heard of the board game "All Star baseball?".... Of course, he had no idea and did not know why I was asking..."Well, I brought it with me, and I was wondering if you would like to play it sometime?"

 He smiled and said...."sure...afterall, we have the whole summer".


Forty five years ago, to this very hour, I returned home that night from a game and a time that fulfilled a dream of mine, and I have only need to fill a dream once and it lasts an eternity in your heart.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Field Of Dreams...What you can't imagine, most often comes true

With boys grown and out of the house, my mind slips back, around the corner....

 To those who have dreamed upon the baseball fields, there can be nothing as elegant as the sight of a neatly cropped baseball field, with its white lines tracing a path from the batters box to the green grass of the outfield.

  At the tender age of six, my fisrtborn sons addiction began. I was impressed at the valor he displayed while fielding ground balls that were taking wicked hops right at him! I was impressed with the courage he displayed at swinging at a ball thrown mightly in his direction! I was impressed with his energy scampering around the bases with a hard plastic helmet on his head that wobbled like a wounded wing of a bird!

 It was my greatest pleasure to be able to coach him and the boys in the neighborhood on this field of dreams. Our abundantly eager appetites to play this game, made Spring the most heavenly season of them all! With each new Spring, new lessons were taught, new strategies were added to our arsenal. Curveballs and sliders were tweaked, pickoff moves precisely tuned, and diving catches perfected as we dreamed of snatching victory from the opposition in their last at bat.

  The years rolled along, trophies and team photographs lined our hallway. Our conversations were a mixture of what he learned in school that day and a scouting report of who we were facing in the next game.

  We traveled far and wide to meet the competition. It didn't matter where, just as long as there was a team and a field to play on.

  The final Spring came, his Senior year in High School. We both knew that it was time to put the glove down and concentrate on a college and a career. My heart sank with the final out of his last game.It was a long and fabulous run. In the salt of tears was the sweetness of the memories that I was blessed with.

  A few weeks after that last game,it was time for him to depart for college. The car packed with his belongings,gave me the sinking  feeling of an exodous, not the joyful feeling of an adventure. Before we headed onto the highway, I pulled into the complex of ballfields where he played and I coached. I asked him to come out to the mound with me (he was a pitcher). As we headed out to the mound, I began playing a mini highlight reel of the many years we practiced and played there.The countless hours that we spent dreaming, hoping, laughing.

  We reached the mound and we both looked around, this time, there was no battle to be fought, no stategy to be executed, just a father and his son. I began telling him how proud I was of him. That it was a joy and an honor to have had such a wonderful front row seat to his "field of dreams". I removed a small jar from my pocket and squatted down. My hand cupped some dirt from the mound. I stood up, removed the lid from the jar, and slowly poured the clay dirt into the jar. I gave the jar a little shake, smiled and said "that does it". Continuing with a baseball sized lump in my throat, "Being your Coach all these years gave me a very distinct advantage. Everytime I felt you about to falter, everytime I felt your disappointment with yourself I could call for time out and walk out to this mound. I could come out here and give you the words of reassurance and blow a little wind beneath your wings to carry you through. While you are in college, I won't have that privilige to call "time out". In this jar, I have collected the sand from every field that you have played  and dreamd on. Your dreams are very alive in this jar. Keep this close at hand, let it serve as a reminder to you, of those that love you and will always cheer for you."

  He smiled and read the inscription on the jar's label. "Every Spring there was a new season...a chance for us to watch you on your Field Of Dreams....Always dream!"

...............One the true blessings in life, What you can't imagine will happen , most often comes true.

Monday, April 23, 2007

At The End Of Two Roads

   I wrote this when I was 18 ( so many years ago)...its meaning has deepened with the passing of years........and even more so with the events of the past week......

                                           At The End Of Two Roads

  Two wanderers met at the end of two different roads. They greeted each other with a smile and began exchanging the tales of their long journey. "I was on the most awful road you could imagine" moaned the first wanderer. "All I saw was war, famine, illness, greed and hate". The people  on that road were ruthless!...Why, I am lucky to even have made it out of there!"

  The second wanderer waved his hand "that's nothing compared to te road that I journied on. My road was far worse! First, the streets, they were lined with gold. There were diamonds the size of your fist, everywhere! Trees were bent over with huge fruits.It was a horrible path to be on! Especially for such a long  time!"

  The first wanderer had an expression on his face of complete puzzlement. "What??" He questioned. "How could you possibly believe that the road you were on was worse than the road I was on?"

   The second wanderer drew a thin smile and then replied "there was nobody on it."


   Now many years later, I look at this road we are all on...there is war, there is hatred, we have mad men killing our children, killing each other! I see illness and disease taking away the love of life from so many. Yes, this is a hard road indeed., but I have come to witness......that for every heart which is torn, there are a ten hands around that will try to mend it. For every person surrending their life there are 100 hands that want to carry it.For every soul that has lost its way, their are ten hands that want to guide it.

We are on a road that is paved with something that outshines diamonds and gold..we are on this road together!

I hope you see this before you reach the end of the road.

My thoughts  go out to all whose lives are being affected by grief and despair...I hold my two hands together and pray.....

Peace....Marc :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Binoculars hang from the head of Mule

3D Decoder Glasses - Secret Reveal Glasses


   I grew up in a "black and white" world. Television sets and programs were in black and white, kitchen appliances were available in white only, All the colors of wheel were in an 8 piece box of Crayola Crayons.

 A movie was released "The Mask" where you were handed a pair of 3 d glasses to watch the movie with. While viewing through the glasses, it seemed as if the characters were just a few feet in front of your nose! I was overwhelmed by this extraordinary technology! I was allowed to see something...that really wasn't there!

 I held onto my souvenier glasses, believing that they might help me see other things that were not there! Ah! the imagination of an 11 year old! I kept the glasses in the top drawer of my desk. They were always ready at a moments notice. I used them to decode secret messages on cereal boxes, I used them to watch the black and white programs, feeling they gave color to the screen. A few years passed,and yes..late at night, when the house was asleep,...I used them to carefully view each image in my sacred copy of Playboy Magazine...making those women come to life! Superman had his cape, Marc had his glasses.

  Time passed,and on one very hot July day, I was cooling off at the swimming pool that belongs to the apartment complex I lived in. I can recall enjoying the refreshing crispness of the cool water, and the big blue, cloudless sky above. The sun beaming its rays across the surface,making my eyes squint. My attention was drawn to the diving the board, where the most beautiful girl in my universe was standing. She called out to her friends below. "watch me!!...Look at this dive!" I stared, and could not believe what I was witnessing....I could see right through her pink and white bikini!  I gasped, this was not a picture, I was not wearing those glasses, this was real!  She jumped in the pool with a scream! I held on to the side of pool, closed my eyes and murmered, "please....jump off the board again!"  

  That was the first and only time she wore that pink and white bikini, perhaps her mother or her friends saw the same thing I did.I just saw it with a great sense of admiration and an acute sense of provocation!

   Around that same time, my drawers were dumped.Many things I had carried with some type of childhood endearment were discarded...amongst them, those glasses.....the extra sensory powers that I had given to them had lost their significance. I was on my own...stepping into the threshold of adolesence.

Now, many years later, my glasses are back on....not the 3 d type, but binoculars...always keeping an eye on my past!


Monday, April 9, 2007


....Along came an afternoon when the college gave us one of those days off. She invited me over to her house to spend the aftrernoon. When I knocked on the door, she opened it just a crack and commanded, "close your eyes or I won't let you in". Always an obedient one, I shut them tight. In the next instant she was fashioning a blindfold over my eyes. Speaking softly, "don't worry, I have a surprise for you" she said. She took hold of my hand and instructed me to follow her. She led me a few steps and then said, "there is a chair right behind you, sit down!" Then continuing with her commands, "I will tell you when you can remove the blindfold".

   There wasn't enough time to anticipate..this was so unexpected, like a person woken out of deep sleep. Then the sound of an erie organ chord began playing, the opening chords to Black Magic Woman by Santana..."OK, take the blindfold off!" I removed it and was simultaneously joined with the percusive beats of the song....and there she a black leotard and black tights.....doing a modern jazz dance to the song!

Got a black magic woman
Got a black magic woman
Ive got a black magic woman
Got me so blind I cant see
That shes a black magic woman
Shes trying to make a devil out of me

A student of Modern Jazz dance, she sauntered, swayed, arched her limbs in a way that I had never seen.The suppleness of her feminity told me I was outmatched. A lump quickly formed in my throat, my rapid pulse kept it there.

On the last notes she moved ever so close to me, and with the finish she setlled herself in my lap., her arms lightly wrapped around me.

I applauded her with my smile.....the line of the song "make a devil out of me" resonated.

I invoked a French accent..."ooh la la, Pierre likes  your dance very much... I have a Swiss Chalet with a fireplace...will this madamoiselle like to join me?".... She loved Pierre, a romantic, French Playboy character that I had invented ..who always promised her the finest that the world had to offer...."wee" would be her pat reply....."Then close your eyes and we'll be there soon."


These moments quietly flicker, like candles, in the deep recess of my mind. So many years later I am left wondering, did she really put a spell on the song goes...

Got your spell on me baby
Got your spell on me baby
Yes you got your spell on me baby
Turning my heart into stone
I need you so bad, magic woman
I cant leave you alone. least I left her with "Pierre".........

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Many (many) years ago..................

  She said "yes, Saturday night will be fine, what time will you pick me up?"

It was the girl that occupied 7/8ths of my mind for several weeks, courage and trust converged and she said "yes" to a date! My mind began to plan the night out on the town........

I was attending college classes in the morning and my afternoons and Saturdays were spent working in New York City. My workplace had me pass down the streets of Madison Avenue, where the stores that cater to wealthy are lined. My first move was to a fine mens clothing store where I was admiring this one shirt that was displayed in the store's front window (where the remaining 1/8th of my mind was at!).The shirt cost me the equivalent of two full days of pay, but do the math, 1/8 plus 7/8ths, it's a perfect fit!

 My personal excitement ramped up as I showered, shaved and manicured myself from every angle, and finishing myself off with a touch of cologne. I carefully removed the pins from the gorgeous finely tailored shirt, and felt the new level of elevation it brought as I buttoned it up.

I made my way to her door, and knocked......the sounds coming off the wood door were mirroring the sounds coming out of my heart. She opened the door, her eyes twinkled with approval, and her smile...."Marc!   wow.....Nice shirt" ..and then she winked.  A smile and a wink.....I was done.

It was the first week in April, we went into New York City to see the movie "April Fools" starring Jack Lemmon and Catherine Denenuve. It was about two people who had everything except a fullfiling relationship, despite the fact that they were both married. The movie details their meeting and how they spent an evening "on the town" and quickly fell in love.

After the movie, we walked down the avenue of the romantically light town. I took her into a fine dining establishment , which because of the late hour, was nearly empty. The waiters catered to us, I'm not certain if they were getting a kick out spoiling two young adolescent diners or if my Madison Avenue shirt and shoes was telling them a big tipper was in the house!

The waiter came to our table and prepared from scratch, a Ceasar Salad (he even tossed in a raw egg...somehow we did worry about salmonella back then!). A piano player played an endless chorous of love songs, and we spent what seemed to be an entire  night staring into each others and echoing smiles and laughter.

Every year at this time, my mind plays host to this warm and wonderful event from many years ago...

...I am tickled this night from long ago remains vivid. I have been rightly accused of having an imagination that runs wild, like some outlaw. ....And now I see this outlaw running faster, afterall, it trapped in a body that is surrounded by time...time that is passing.It knows that one day, these precious memories will lose some of their glimmer. Time is like a sheriff, the days are it's bounty hunters..I feel them coming after me....the law says....we must move on. So before this wild imagination gets captured, or gunned down in a shoot out...I will stash my loot of precious memories right here.

No matter how "far from my youth" I may wander....I'll know just where to find it!


Monday, March 19, 2007


Just as I am deeply moved by the romantic melodies of Paul McCartney, my spirit vibrates with the works of Chopin, Mendolssohn and Mozart. Classical music takes me back..... AH!! but the times were no simpler for singers back then too!

I am reminded that in the early 18th Century, the Royalty were so overwhelmed by the opera arias (soloists that could reach a very very high note) that they would actually pay large sums of money to families that would have a young singer (always male)castrated !This would allow the young singers' voice to reach the highest plateau of perfection. These "Castrados" could sing Arias like no others and were placed in the finest living quarters and given the best education in the world. (It was like having a walkman). With their testicles removed, these boys could devote their young lives to singing. They were to have no other passions, nor interferences with their music.

   Here we are 300 years later. While we have become more civil with cultivating our music, I look around and see how couples become so involved with the fullfillment of their own needs that they "cutoff" the dreams and hopes of their mates. In pursuit of obtaining the "high notes" one of the  mates will often find the bounty of his or her expectations left at the alter. Unfortunately, what we ulitmately castrate is the potential of obtaining the simple pleasures that togetherness affords.

The title of Paul McCartneys new song was unknowingly given to him by Heather when he asked that she sign a prenupital agreement. "I'll sign your prenup, but when I leave, I'll have your balls" she gigled in his ear.

You'll find his new release intriguing..sung on a very very HIGH note!

All You Need is Love.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Stileto Syndrome: The Rise & Fall of Port Wine Cheese

    I can recall the first time I tasted Port Wine Cheese. I was with a date and we were in a cafe that served cheese, wines and coffee in a very casual living room type atmosphere.

   I was 21 at the time, and back then, the markets had a limited variety of cheeses.  Port Wine and Cheddar, sounded so, decadent. We ordered it,and  it was served with fresh fruits and an assortment of crackers, and of course our wine selection. Within moments of my first taste of this new variety of cheese, my entire state of consciuosness was elevated! I suddenly felt a little more mature, a little more "wordly and sophiscated".  Beneath the Tiffany Lamp and the soft piano music playing lightly in the backround, I directed our conversation towards politics and other wordly matters. All this, from the taste of cheese.

  Years have passed since. The markets are overflowing with cheeses and yes, Port Wine is now found everywhere. I just saw some being offered in 7-11 store, although it is packaged like a cream cheese spread (yuk).  I have encountered this cheese more times than I care to count. I am no longer drawn to it in the way I once was. I no longer feel sophisticated beyond my years when I taste it.

Hold that thought.....


   I once worked in an office that had a very tempermental lady working it. One day she would greet you with the smiles, the next day, she'd ignore you like you weren't there.Her ups and downs were faster than two Hippos on a see-saw!

   Her redemption,......on certain days of the week, she would wear stiletos. Her overall appearence....was simply, average. Not very pretty,average body type, not curvey, or busty, not tall, not short....just average.  For some reason, when she would walk through the office with those pointed heels....she seemed to have gained an edge in all categories.When she strutted through the office in those heels,   how quickly I could forgive her cold shoulder and  her biting remarks that she made just the day before.

   So as I stare into my fridge, and notice that piece of Port Wine Cheese (from who knows when) and do not have the desire for it. I salute you ladies, with your magic slipper, how easily, one style of shoe can have a mood altering impact.

  ....Now I know why Prince charming was going so crazy to findCindarella, it was the stileto!


Sunday, March 4, 2007


    I really enjoy being at the market early in the morning. The scents of freshly baked breads mix with floral arrangements, yield such a welcoming feeling to the store. Everything is glistening and new!

  On this morning, the calm was was rippled by a woman briskly walking right past me. She was an elderly store employee, I admired the high energy in her walk. I just could not imagine what her hurry was. I reached the end of the aisle and there she was, holding a tray of small plastic cups filled with a beverage. She's in the twilight of her years and does not quite measure up to 5 ft in height. "Wanna try a new drink?" she asks , flashing a big smile with bright red lipstick painted on her lips. "It's a new energy drink, that is made from Green Tea and has a peachy flavor to it. It has vitamins and lots of good things in it to give you a boost. There are no harmful herbs  or caffiene in it".       I smile and say "sure" ad sip the new offering. It was a delightful blend of green tea and peach flavoring. the two distinctly different flavors played off of each other. The beverage was light and refreshing. I lifted the can off the table and examined the label of its ingredients which the woman had boasted about.

  There on the front of the can, the words were quite clear "contains caffiene".  "oops" I smiled to the woman, "it seems like this miracle drink does have caffiene in it". Her immediate reply without hestitation..."I never said it didn't have caffiene". Then continuing with her sales speech, "of course it has caffiene, that is what gives you the boost....what it doesn't have is those harmful things that you find in the other sports drinks...You know, the things that kill the athletes on the ballfield."  My eybrows went up, crinkling my forehead..."Killing athletes?" I said bewildered, "what athlete died from a sports drink?"   She looked me in the eyes and said.."Lew Burdette....the pitcher for the Milwalkee Braves"   My eybrows flew up another notch, "Lew Burdette?, yes, I remember him, but he died last week at 81 years of age, he didn't die from drinking a sports drink".   Once again she smiled with her big red lips, "I didn't say he died from drinking a sports drink, I just said, he was an athlete who died".

   I lingered at the table for a moment not certain if I was losing my mind, ormy hearing. "Here" she said holding up another cup, "have another sample, you look like you could use it". As I swallowed the one gulp in that cup, she took a cup for herself and sent it down the hatch as if she was racing me. Simultaneously, we tossed our empty cups in the small wastebasket by her stand. I noticed that the wastebasket had quite a few empty cups in it. I looked around and realized, I was the only customer in the store. "This drink comes in 3 flavors and you know what is really good about it? You can drink it straight from the can or pour it over ice in a glass, either way, it's very refreshing!" She boasted with a big smile.

  I reached over to the display and loaded two six packs into my cart. "Wow" she said, "two six packs, you must really like this stuff".   I smiled back and said..."I am not sure how much I like it, but I know it would take 3 bottles or Merlot to get me as happy as you are!"

  The stuff is quite good. I am on my 3rd can.

Oh, by the way,  I am communicating this message telepathically ...I am not even near the this moment, I am doing the Samba on the  treadmill while listening to the  Gypsy spirited  heated rythms of Sade!

How will I know when the music is over!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Precision Vs. Perfection

My prayers of Peace go out the families in Enterprise Alabama. Their lives forever changed. The weight of grief they are carrying, unimaginable.

In watching the televised news report, my mind once again sent into a tailspin when one of the injured High School students asked, "what was God thinking?"

   God, (or Our Creator) does not sit in the heavens with a joystick, and with a few flicks of the wrist, have a Tornado develop, or an earthquake collapse a city, or have your car rear ended.

   So why create a "Garden Of Eden" only to have it's inhabitants assulted by the temper of Mother Nature?  The answer, lies in our very own construction.

  Scientists and Drs. have marveled over our network of arteries, veins, muscle and bone. We are a symbiotic series of systems (nervous, digestive, repoductive) that come together and allows us to sustain our species. Open up one of those "Human Body" books, and imagine if YOU were entrusted in making a human being! We are an amazing creation! Yet, with all of this precision, it takes only one cancerous cell, one micscopic virus or clot and all this precision comes tumbling down! What was God thinking??? To create something so very, very precise and yet, so imperfect!  Precision is not perfection.  

It is knowing how imperfect we are, how imperfect this world and Mother Nature is that should keep us thankful for each day. Living with a purpose that positively affects others is the thing that brings us a little closer to perfection!

So my answer to that puzzled young student who asked "What kind of God allows this to happen?" I answer, "the same God that created the Hope, and the Power to heal with Love".  It's not the perfect answer, just a precise one.

I still pray...

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Meatball Sub

                         The Meatball Sub ( this is what gets us through the day!)


    At the age of nine and a half, my mother, a single mom of three children, saved her last dollars to send me and my two older sisters to a sleep away camp for the summer. It was a six hour bus ride to the campsite which was too far from home for my liking. At the midpoint of the ride, the buses pulled over and stopped at a roadside eatery. The camp had arranged with the eatery to provide box lunches for us. The soggy and tasteless sandwiches were hardly a comforting break from the boring bus ride. While silently picking around the sandwich, I noticed other campers walking around with fist sized burgers and huge subs! A camper sat down next to me with the most delicious meatball sub.

    “Where did you get that?” I asked

    “I bought it in the cafeteria. Who can eat that boxed stuff?” He replied.

    I jumped up, ran inside the eatery and saw a sign that hanging high on the wall. Meatball Sub……. 75 cents.  My mom had sent me off to camp with five dollars . In those days that could buy you forty Milky Way bars and twenty sodas!  The five dollars was to be my canteen spending money for the summer. I decided to pass on the sub, but the sight of it, had left an indelible mark on my mind.

    During the next eight weeks of camp, with each tasteless meal came the thought of that tantalizing meatball sub! I removed three quarters from my pool of wealth and set them aside for the ride back home. That would be my reward and treat for being so thrifty!

    The last day of camp arrived, and during the bus ride home I could only think about that meatball sub! The bus arrived at the eatery and pulled over. The counselors advised that the box lunches would be served.

    “No way” I uttered as I briskly made my way into the cafeteria. I can still recall that feeling of pride as I grabbed a tray and slid it along the rails and announced my order to the cook “a meatball sub please!”

    As I walked away from the cashier my eyes were fixed on the tray in my hands with that glorious meatball sub on it, smothered with a bright red sauce!  I wanted to indulge myself in privacy so I headed for a table outside the eatery. I remember approaching the big glass doors that led to the outside. In the next instant, I was sprawled out on the floor with a terrible pain on my head! While exiting, someone had slammed the giant glass door on me and it hit me on the head! People came to my aid and escorted me to a table. Someone placed an ice pack for the lump that was quickly forming on my head. No sooner than they had placed that bag on my head, one of the older campers appeared before me with a brand new meatball sub.

    “I don’t have enough money to pay for it” I whimpered.

    “Don’t be silly” came the sweet reply, “this is yours, enjoy it!”



     What makes me remember this incident so clearly forty years after it happened? What is so important about this? It is incidences like these which seem so small, but in reality they carry the larger lessons of life. Had I never walked into that door, the meatball sub would have vanished from thought, but it was the act of kindness that was so dearly expressed to me that I remember the most. From there I learned, there can be no act of kindness that is too small!


    Some say that we learn how to be kind to others. The truth is, the kindness is already within us, it just waits for the moment to get out!


Bon Apetit my friends!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Misplaced Luck

          While checking out the winning lottery numbers in todays paper, uttering that same chant, "please, please, luck find me", an article next to the numbers grabbed my attention.

"Tainted Jars of Peanut Butter being recalled"   The article explains that 300 people have been stricken with salmonella poisoning from tainted jars of Peanut Butter. Jars beginning with the number 2111......

I made a dash for the pantry cabinet, picked up a recently purchased jar and read the numbers 2111.....Wow, I've got one! A jar of peanut butter loaded with salmonella!!

      At that moment my wife entered the kitchen....."we win the lotto or do I have to go to work today?" she asked with her sacastic chime. "While we didn't win the lottery, we do have a tainted jar Peanut Butter" I proudly replied. "Well, that figures" she continued with the sarcastic chime...."you can't pick the winning lottery numbers but you can pick the jar with tainted peanut butter...whoopie!"

"Well, look at it this way....we could of had made that Thai salad with Spicey peanut Dressing last night and today...we both would not have been going to work!"

Luck....we all get it, not just in the way we want it!

Marc :)



Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Circle Game

One of my favorite photos is situated in the middle of a large wall collage of photos that hangs on the wall. It's not a family portrait, nor some posed shot at a milestone family gathering. It is a photo of my three sons, at the ages of two, five and eight. Three beautiful squeaky clean smiles peering out of a shower stall door that is just opening.

What makes this photo so dear, is the timing of the photo. Just staring at it I am swept back to those days and that hour of the day...."O.K. boys, dry yourselves off and hop into your pajamas...I'll meet you in bed for your bedtime story!"   Through the door, I could hear their excitement...."oh boy, I hope he tells us a good one"....

They were still small enough to fit on one bed and curl up around me. A chorus of requests would eminate, "tell us the Toys R Us story," "tells us the story when we got Locked in McDonalds" "tell us the story when we were shrunk and put into a video game"......No, you won't find these stories in your Storytime books....Every once in awhile, I would hand sew a night time tale to custom fit their imaginations. "The aiplane story"!....yes, that was one of their most requested......My, how they loved watching airplanes taking off and landing at the airport!  In this particular story, I had taken them to the airport for an afternoon of watching. While there, they wandered onto a jetliner that was idle. They sat in cockpit musing at the hundreds of dials and switches. The older boys dared the younger one to flip a switch. The youngest flipped the switch and the door to the jet closed. "Whoa, better flip it back" they beckoned. When the youngest did, the engines of the jet began to turn..........and each subsequent flipping, the wheels were set in motion for taking off........till, they finally did!

The story continued, how I grabbed a pilot and we jumped on another plane and took off after them! We lined up the planes , wing to wing, and I described how I would open the door to walk across to get into their plane. My five year old would always ask..."dad, would you really walk on the wing on of a jet at 25,000 feet high to save us?"   "yes" I would smile.."that's how much daddy loves you".....(sneaking in my ultimate message!)...  I boarded their plane and took them in for a safe landing.  "Did you punish us?" The oldest would ask...."No T.V. or nintendo for a year!" I firmly stated. The little one would pout, but it wasan accident, we didn't mean to fly the plane"...."I know" ....."and while no one got hurt, did wander off away from, that's in part what the punishment is for"....

   The scent of their freshly washed hair, their skin so soft, their heartbeats so tender, we would lay a few minutes more before each one was escorted off to his own bed. They would close their eyes knowing they were protected, and loved beyond measure.

I don't think I have known anything so eloquent as those moments.

I look at that photo, and do not say "what a shame those moments could not last" but rather, I muse,  "what a shame it would have been, had I not had one of those moments"

and the wheel spins round......

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star
Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, when youre older, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams
And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and dawn
Were captive on the carousel of time
We cant return we con only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round, in the circle game.     Joni Mitchell