Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Day 114: My List of “isms”

In Helping others, life, Love, Service, Stories on August 17, 2014 at 2:49 am

Just the other day at work, our company exec did a coffee hour where she shared her list of personal “isms.” Or rather, her 8 life rules–the ones that she always lives by. Throughout, she encouraged each one of us in attendance to find our own isms and live by them daily too.

Through her nudging, today I am starting my list. I will begin with #1, one I stole from her (because she said that we can do that).

Helping others is better than being helped. ***Never forget to teach your children this very important lesson (this part added by me)***

I have to add, with each of her isms our exec shared an anecdote that was particularly touching and wholeheartedly relateable. This ism’s story began like this:

Once upon a time, before I became a business women, I was a mom, and I was a basketball coach. I used to coach a team with several boys on it, many of them from “the other side of the tracks.” One day, one of “my boys” was acting funny. I asked him, “what’s wrong?” To which he responded, “well, you know my mom has been very sick, in the hospital, and I have been staying with my grandma and, well, we don’t have a lot of money, so I am just really hungry.”

With a little probing, I soon learned that this boy had only had one peanut butter and jelly sandwich the morning prior–it was now 8 o’clock at night following a vigorous basketball practice. I plopped him into the car and promptly took him to the nearest KFC for a much needed meal. When we were readying to leave, my own son, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, turned to me and questioned, “Mom, do you think we can get him something to eat for tomorrow too?”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, most of my greatest memories in my life have involved both service and sacrifice. When I look back on my own childhood and adolescence, what I remember most, what is most poignant, was the helping others. The Fridays I spent with an old lady named Betty Sanders, cleaning dog hair from her 100 pound German Shepard, off every crevice of her house while simultaneously listening to her stories of her blind husband who had died only a few years prior. Or the winter we surprised a boy’s family, one who was on my high school football team, with an entire Christmas since they didn’t have the money for even a tree due to his dying sister’s expensive medical bills. If I look back on these opportunities, as I see them, it was the listening that really encouraged the giving. Stopping, just as our company exec had, to notice someone, to notice their needs. I will forever be thankful to my own parents for teaching me to observe and then act. There is truth in this: you will never know the beauty of touching another life, if you only live for yourself.

stay tuned as I continue to share my isms…

a whit.

Day 108: My Golden State Warrior

In basketball, Children, Happiness, life, Mother, Parenting, Stories, Victory on March 17, 2014 at 4:14 pm
{photo via crystalgraphics.com}

{photo via crystalgraphics.com}

There was only a minute left on the clock, star player is down with an ankle injury, and my little e is sitting on the bench of his basketball playoff game. What unfolded next seemed like a scene from a disney channel movie. As I see the star player limp off the court, with a score of 22 to 22, I know it’s over. We’re down and now our main basket man is icing his ankle with almost no time left in the game, and just like that coach points to my e and the underdog jumps off the bench. It wasn’t until 40 seconds later that I realized fully what was happening–

Were under our net, we’ve got a weak dribbler and he’s passing my e the ball. My boy that has spent the entire game trying to block kids two feet taller and 30 pounds heavier. My e who hardly watches the ball because, what’s the point? The star player will never pass it to the hardly noticeable short kid in the corner, even though he’s shouting, “Im open.” My Golden State Warrior spent the entire basketball season begging a pass, and I spent every game warding off a sinking motherly heart.

BUT NOT TODAY. And that’s when I stood up. My boy had that ball and he was wide open for the perfect two-pointer, the two-pointer that could take his team to the championship game. It was the underdog and the net, and all he had to do was set it up just right, focus, and it was all his.

E’s not like the other boys who today, fueled with frustration, teared on the court. Balls slammed at refs fouls and travel calls–little e was just enjoying the game. Trying to soak in actually being on the court at all–having some play time.

And that’s why when he set up that shot, he was perfectly calm, a good shooter, finally given the chance. Looks , shoots, and swish, that ball went in without a touch of the rim. The stadium of hundreds stands up in cheers, I’m shaking and crying and screaming, “he did it!” Everyone turns to me to validate that, yes, my no-play-time son just made the perfect shot that put them up two points with 19 seconds left on the clock and their star player still icing his leg. Now they just have to keep them off, down the court, defense, 19-18 and then 5-4-3-2—-and 1. It’s done. Cheers, my boy carried across the court. hugs, you did it, MVP, more hugs.

Sometimes the most unlikely things happen, sometimes the short kid in the corner finally gets the ball. And sometimes, just sometimes, that kid takes his team to the championships.

a whit who’s going to be ridin’ on this victory for awhile. nothing but net.

Day 49: How Are You Handicap? And Why Do I Care…

In Exercise, Humor, Running, Stories, Thoughts on July 2, 2012 at 1:41 am

Today while running I tripped over a dead bird and this happened:

OK, forget the dead bird part, but I did succumb to my two left feet.  Goodbye sexy summer legs, hello batman band-aids!

I wish E was here to “ooh” and “aww” at my injuries, although they might still be partially intact a couple weeks from now when I retrieve him from LA.

The funniest part of it all is how it happened.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have mastered the art of making fun of people (only in whispered voices of course).  Besides, if you weigh 400 pounds and decide to put on spandex and hooker shoes then you must expect an instinctual reaction from fellow humans in your same general vicinity.  You must.

I am running along, looking around desperately for things to occupy my thinking.  The flowers and grass just weren’t doing it for me today (apparently the sidewalk wasn’t either).  I began to approach a vehicle and I immediately notice a handicap sticker on the license plate, being the inquisitive woman I am I decided to take a little peek into the vehicle to see who and/or what was inside.  Now, mind you, I had to do this very quickly because I was running–remember.  So, I look in and I see a man, a very big man, a very very big man, and then my mind began to wonder why in the hell this very young, big man, is handicap. I keep going forward, but I was so taken aback that I decided to do a double take at the vehicle license plate to see if I had actually viewed it correctly with a handicap sticker.  I know, who the hell cares right.  Well, I do.

I looked back, there it was.  I was satisfied, and then I look forward and bam, right on my knees, hard, I hit the cement.  I’ll tell you what that very young, big man in the car was probably doing–nah I’ll let you use your imagination.  Blood dripping down my legs, I jumped right up, and I kept running right along, oh well. As I got a little further down the road I was feeling pretty good about my sweaty body and horrific looking knees with battle wounds intact; however, I learned that these are the types of things that happen when you spend too much time focused on unnecessary objects/people/license plates.  When you try to make fun AND run at the same time.

The worst part of it all, after seeing me fall like that, that man will probably never adopt running as a hobby.  That’s quite a shame, quite a shame.

Day 48: Tuna Fish Grows In A Garden

In Diet, Family, Humanity, Humor, Mother, Stories on June 30, 2012 at 3:28 am

THIS post, which is VERY funny, reminded me of a very familiar childhood story which I’d like to share at this interval.

One night, when I was about ten years old, my mother had made some very delicious hamburgers for dinner.  We all gathered around our much too large oak dining room table, much too large is actually an understatement, the thing had three leafs, I think, and was meant to sit like 15 people (we had 4 if we were lucky).  Anyway, so I sit down at this ginormous table, my sister about 6 feet away from me is plunked down too, and we begin to eat.  Now I am not one to keep my mouth shut, I am always noticing things/places/people and I do have a tendency to perpetuate debate.  I think as a child I would even instigate it at times to see what type of reaction I could get out of the adults around me–sometimes I think I was actually smarter than them and I used this knowledge to have a little fun.  So, I’m looking outside at the large pasture next door.  We of course did not live on a farm, but our neighbors did and had beef cattle they would randomly rotate between the front and back pasture.  On this given day, those beef cattle happened to be in the front pasture.  Looking at my burger, and then my little sister, I blurted out, “Guess what’s for dinner?” Then with a turn of my head, “That’s what’s for dinner, right there.”  It was one of those cynical moments, like the kid from the Christmas Story who nags on his Dad about his sexy leg lamp.  That was it, my sister set down her burger and she vowed herself a vegetarian henceforth–at the ripe ol’ age of 5.

But the story doesn’t end here, my Mother thought she was going through a dietary phase and it seriously concerned her that her McDonald’s Chicken McNugget child (this was probably the only thing she ate for the first 4 years of her life) was refusing anything animal/meat related.  So she did what every Mother probably would have done (except for me of course)–she lied.  She picked the one meat my sister hadn’t eaten in her short little life, tuna fish, and she concocted a story that it grew in a garden.

My sister was smart, just like me.  She marched to school the very next day, and she asked her kindergarten teacher if this was a truth or lie (apparently young children can easily identify meat products).  When she found out that indeed, tuna fish swims in the sea and does not grow roots in a garden amidst the tomato plants she was very angered.  She would not eat a single bite of anything my Mom cooked her for a solid 3-month, if not longer, period.  I can honestly remember sitting at that HUGE dining table (I still can’t figure out why my mom bought that thing) watching my sister “pick” through her food for any meat particles mixed in with other things.

Eventually my mother gave up, bought protein powder, and taught my sister how to eat tofu and applesauce.  To this day though, some fifteen years later my sis still hasn’t touched meat (with the exception of a few experiences involving “accidents” and vomit sessions).  And to this day, I am still blamed for it too.

My final word, at least I was honest.

Daily Cupcake: HOLSTEE MAY

In Happiness, Holstee Manifesto, Humanity, life, Love, Men, Stories, Teaching, Thoughts, Travel, Women, Work, Writing on May 8, 2012 at 5:21 am

The My Life by Holstee SITE is launched and here is the web URL, check it out.

Lots of inspiring stories and perspectives AND I’m on there somewhere. 😉

Being A Mom: Day 30

In God, Happiness, Humanity, life, Love, Mother, Parenting, Stories, Thoughts, wit, Women, Work on September 19, 2011 at 4:18 am

As I was walking through the bookstore the other day I saw this book and thought, “shit, there goes my idea.”  [Laughing] perhaps I can recover from this catastrophe somehow.  One can only hope.  Maybe if I add a spin on it and name the book, “How To Be Happy–While Living in a Port-O-Potty.” Of course, that would require me to go homeless, which is plausible I suppose.  In fact, as I was walking to class the other day I felt like I had somehow become the embodiment of Will Smith in film The Pursuit of Happiness.  I am being a little melodramatic.

Tonight it took me two minutes to answer the question , “black or pinto beans.”  I didn’t want to blabber pinto amidst tears, so I just stood there fighting them and then was finally able to speak, “black.”  I changed my mind two seconds later to pinto, instead.  Then, since I was ordering vegetarian, the guy said to me, “you know they have bacon!”  Like I’m some kind of vegetarian sinner, he cast his guilty eye, “yes, I know they are “roasted” in bacon, whatever, if I ever find an actual piece in there I will let you know.  Hasn’t happened yet.

I considered eating my burrito at Chipotle, but I eventually decided to take it home.  Then I sat at my table and stared at the beautiful flowers sent to me just yesterday.  About midway though I couldn’t take it any longer, so I just laid my head down and cried.  Little e wasn’t sent home on his flight today, and I miss him.  I’m exhausted, sad he won’t be to school tomorrow, and worried I won’t get to spend his birthday with him on Wednesday.  Ironically, I was able to read through my last posting,  which forced me to remember what it means to be a mother.  It means that sometimes we have to do hard things, sometimes we have to make sacrifices (and our children have to make sacrifices) in order to grow together. I think that’s what makes the best moms.  It’s not the ones who stay home with their kids (although some would argue this is), or those who know how to construct the perfect cupcake for their child’s birthday party, or even those who breastfeed for two years and let not an ounce of formula touch the lips of their infant.  It’s the mother who shows her child how much she loves him by bettering herself for him/her.  It’s the mother who while bettering herself shares that betterment with her child (a gift that will keep on giving for generations to come).  It’s the mother who always takes the time, no matter how busy life gets, to give her child what she can.  Sometimes, when life is busy, its the little thats given that means the most.

I am missing little e tonight, and I hope tomorrow brings resolve.  I hope he knows I wish I was spending time with him tonight, even though it may not be the most, it’s the most meaningful when we share it.

A whit-ing mom.

Photo taken by Angie Hill @ Google Images.

Day 25: The Case of the Missing Keys AND Pictures

In Blogging, Humanity, Mother, Musings, Parenting, Stories, Thoughts, Writing on January 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm

If at first you don’t succeed try, try again!

What happens when all our “trying” just amounts to mere frustration and anger.  Sometimes, in life, it feels as if the achievable is just out of reach.  The other night I was at a friend’s house and their 18 month-old very sneakily “hid” my keys in the sub woofer.  Fortunately, for her, the tiny opening in the side was just big enough for her little hand.  In fact, as we sat conversing my friend kept inquiring, “where are all her binkies going?”  She’d give her a binkie and then have to replace it five minutes later after searching the couch and surrounding area.  Little miss had her treasure trove nestled snuggly, aside my keys, where no one would ever suspect.

When I finally went to grab my items, and noticed they weren’t there, my friend ademently reinforced that the little one had placed them somewhere.  I thought, “no way,” it’s been so long since I’ve had a toddling thing that I thought it impossible.  Reflecting on the event it seems that we easily forget events in our lives, once they have passed, because we are consumed by a new set of experiences (i.e. my now learning to read kindergartener).

I’ll come to back to the conclusion of the aforementioned story (I know you’re dying to know how I got home).  But first, last night, as I prepared little e’s Top Dog of the Week Poster, I started thinking about all his baby pictures.  I knew them to be situated on my old laptop and just assumed it to be at my folks place in safe storage.  So, I’m visiting with my mom and mention it to her.  I use the term “white laptop.” She went and grabbed the “new white laptop” they have since purchased believing I’d find what I was looking for. Not so, “That’s the wrong laptop.  I mean the old one.”  And then it came like a ton of bricks,

“Dad took that one to the refurbish place months ago.”  Afterwhich, she turns and grabs some CD’s and begins lecturing me on the importance of backup elements.  I immediately began to cry, and I hurried to leave the house.  As I drove to my home, I thought about all the pictures of me pregnant, the ones of little e in the hospital after his birth, the entire first two years of his life.  Then I began to account for every picture that I had lost but so desperately wanted back.

I want the one with my tear stained face holding my little newborn just minutes after his arrival.

I want the one of my pink socks peeking from underneath the hospital sheets (I had specific socks hand-picked for my delivery).

I want the video of my ex filming the nurse midwife who delivered little e.

I want the picture of little e in his exersaucer, rosy, drooling, and teething.

I want the picture of little e in his little blue chair, and the one in his red highchair eating for the first time with his lefthand (I always knew he would be a lefty), the ones of our vacation in Greece, the pictures of little e and his Dad watching sports, e in his batman sneakers at 6 months, e and mommy lying on the bed together, napping.

I want them all back.  Now, all I have is the memories, those burned images, unretrievable.  I cry still thinking about it.

I returned home that night and immediately found my mother had already sent me a few pics (ones I had obviously sent her) to help ease the pain.  Mothers, what would we do without them.  However, among them did not exist the intimate ones I so long for.  The ones that were so terrible looking I hadn’t sent them to any family members.

I’ll return now to the story of the little sneak and the missing keys.  We tried, unsuccessfully sticking our hands in the tiny hole; however, to no avail.  Then someone got the idea to fish them out with a fork-like spatula.  I had my doubts, but it worked.  Exactly twenty minutes later all of the binkies, minus one, and my keys had been retrieved without any permanent damage to the speaker, fabulous! We had conquered the unachievable and there was happiness and laughter at the carelessness of the event.  When I started up my engine that night I sighed, “I can’t believe that just happened?” I know, though, four years ago, with a toddler in tow myself, I wouldn’t have been surprised in the least bit.  I’d forgotten.

And so my tears for the lost pictures were not for the objects themselves but rather the memories.  I recognize the nature of one’s recollection and I know someday I’ll wonder, what was e like at three months, or how did he act?  I know though that certain photos will missing.  This isn’t a matter of trying, they’re gone and no amount of achievement can fix this particular experience.  But–I can take that CD from my mom and try again, burn the pictures I have now, and keep them in a safe place.  That is achieveable.

And words, I’ve decided to write a paragraph for every picture I remember.  I’m hoping that will, at the very least, keep those images active in my mind.  I never want to forget my bald head, blue-eyed, little e.  His infancy.  Ever.

a missing whit.

Daily Cupcake: What? Not Jewish Enough?

In Articles, Blogging, Blogs, Education, Faith, Family, God, History, Humanity, life, literature, Love, Men, Men, Mother, Musings, Parenting, Politics, Stories, Thoughts, Travel, Women, Work, Writing on November 16, 2010 at 7:07 am

It’s quite odd, during the Holocaust many struggled with the idea of being, well, “too Jewish,” or rather Jewish at all.  Lives were literally lost over Jewishness, whether you looked it, acted it, etc.

Well, now there seems to be a new crisis.  Now, we’re dealing with the issue of being “not Jewish enough,” put quite simply.

Check this out.

This post is dedicated to all of those who experienced, survived, or were lost in the horrific Holocaust.  If this is a historical event that interests you I highly recommend the two part comic narrative Maus.

God Bless.


Should I get Divorced?: Day Eighteen

In Articles, Blogging, Blogs, Dating, Education, Esteem, Family, Fiction, Friends, Happiness, Humanity, Laughter, life, literature, Love, Men, Men, Mother, Musings, Parenting, Politics, Romance, Sex, Stories, Thoughts, wit, Women, Work, Writing on November 16, 2010 at 6:51 am

It seems to me that after you experience divorce, that is, become a divorcee, you also become a magnet for those seeking “friendly” relationship advice.  Since my divorce, I have never had so many married friends approach me expressing their own personal marital woes.  Can we say smoke and mirrors?

So, what do you say to these helpless worshippers?  Their eyes pining upwards toward yours, in dismay, you (well I) certainly cannot leave them hanging.

So, I tell them what my mother told me almost four years ago–

“It’s time to evaluate.  There are thirty days in a month and if over half of those thirty days are spent in argument/fighting/retribution, then you seriously need to consider your life.”

So, I did the addition and I recommend it to my pleading friends as well.  If you’re in the negative then…

I guess this doesn’t necessarily mean divorce, it didn’t for me, marriage counseling can always be the next step but most I find have already given that a fair shot.  So, then I move to my next bit of advice.

It isn’t easy (divorce that is).  So, consider wisely.  This isn’t a life and death situation, in any sense of physicality, but it may be with regard to the soul, your soul.  If he doesn’t pick up his dirty underwear, empty the dishwasher, or clean off the toilet seat–you may want to hire a maid and get a good job with long work hours, instead.  No, but seriously, divorce isn’t easy and making that jump will most certainly change you in every way possible, good and bad.  It will also present a little addition to your life.  Something I like to call the “what if factor.”

What if he had been different?

What if I had been different?

What if the timing had been different?

What if that whore from the Nordstrom shoe department had never been working that Wednesday afternoon when my husband, on a whim, decided to go peruse for a new pair of penny loafers?

You’ll always wonder, what might have been?  What dreams might have come AND could things have worked?  This is what you sacrifice when you choose divorce.  You sacrifice ever knowing.  However, consider this, whose to say things wouldn’t have been different anyway because with every circumstance, every change, there comes a differing outcome.  So, maybe the Nordstrom girl wasn’t there that Wednesday, instead, five years later your hubby gets run over by a truck crossing the street–either way, you’re alone with accompanying heartache.  It’s all a matter of relativity and the passage of time, leading you this way and that, all dependent on varying occurences.  I think Robert Frost put it nicely, “And both [roads] that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black / Yet knowing how way leads on to way / I doubted if I should ever come back.”

So, finally when I have exhausted all the aforementioned then I end with this, “secure your finances before ever mentioning the word divorce.”  Trust me, it’s not being deceitful…it’s being smart.  If you have to, stick it out, until you have what you need to leave.  I’ve encountered many friends, with young children, no assets, no education, their husband(s) owning everything; having reduced them to the life of: housewife.  Just make sure you leave when the time is ripe, oops, I mean right. 😉  It never hurts to get a little legal advice prior.

A good friend from back when I was married emailed me the other day concerning a matter similar to this post’s topic.  I thought it funny, she, after all these years, my divorce from her husband’s friend, had returned to me for some semblance of hope.  My final words to her, “I’ll be praying for you and your little family.”

That’s how my advice column will always end, always.

A divorced whit.

Daily Cupcake: For the Homosaps.

In Articles, Blogging, Blogs, Education, English Major, God, Humanity, Laughter, life, literature, Men, Men, Politics, Stories, Thoughts, Women, Work, Writing on November 13, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I thought I would change things up a bit for today and provide you with an excerpt of text.  This one is from Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, which also means that this post won’t show up on several internet servers due to banning (not that anyone from the middle east reads my blog anyway).  For those of you seeing this, enjoy:

“Question: What is the opposite of faith?”

“Not disbelief.  Too final, certain, closed.  Itself a kind of belief.”


“The human condition, but what of the angelic.  Halfway between Allahgod and homsap, did they ever doubt?”

“…O God, he cries out, O allgood allahgod.”

Rushdie likes to use puns throughout his writing, created words, in this instance “allahgod” and “homosap” but these are just two of many examples, and they don’t come without intended meaning.  Suggestive of the word allahgod, through the combination of the Muslim Allah and the traditional Christian God is the creation of another dimension, a third space. A place where, perhaps, god and allah are one and the same, or they represent a new type of god  (perhaps any other god worshipped).  He also combines the words “all” and “good” adding emphasis to the fact that “allahgod” is “allgood,” and all encompassing.  Then what are we? “homosap.” This shortened version of our species describes us as “homo,” supposedly knowing; however, with the ending shortened to “sap” indicates a sort of foolishness.  So perhaps Rushdie is suggesting that we, humans, lack an open perspective/judgment concerning god and his universal nature, his allgood, allpowerful, allknowing, presence.

Just something to chew on.

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