11741660_1_lA few months ago, I was at a thrift shop with a friend and I came across a vintage travel trunk.  It’s not the kind that went on a ship, but the larger-than-a-suitcase variety.  What drew me to it were the many stickers of faraway places which covered it.

When I was young, my family traveled for the purpose of visiting family.  No Disneyland or Grand Canyon – mainly Ohio and Pennsylvania.  Now, I love my family and the memories spent with my many cousins are treasured times…but I always wanted more.  I wanted to see the ocean and travel to exotic far-away places. Chalk it up to wanderlust.

As I looked at the stickers on the trunk, I realized that it has traveled more than I ever have. Time to change that.

There are people in my life who don’t care to travel, home is best for them, and I respect their choice.  However, I want to see how many stamps I can get on my passport while I am able to travel.  The world is so amazing and filled with wonderful things – I want to see them first-hand, not just in a book or on television.  I want to touch, smell and taste the sights of places like Tahiti and Paris and Rome.

Now I’m not complaining, we’ve gone to some amazing places and hope to return – London, Jamaica, Mexico, The Dominican Republic – but there are so many more to see. Our next stop will be Aruba.  Can’t wait. I wish there were still stickers affixed to our luggage to show the places we’ve been.  I’m sure someone complained about their “goods being damaged” which did away with such a nostalgic tradition.  *Sigh*

I sure wish that old trunk could go with us – although I’d have to find the key first – but oh, the places it’s been and the stories it could tell.


Each One Reach One

103862803There’s an African-American proverb that says, “Each One, Teach One.”  It originated back in the days of slavery and referred to the time when slaves were denied education. There was a movement among the people to help spread literacy, hence the saying. They all had to be involved, they had to help others face-to-face in order to meet their goals.

That being said, I’m altering it just a little bit today.  I’d like say, Each One, Reach One.

I was in a group recently in which the leader had us close our eyes and imagine the others in the room.  To feel their presence around us.  It was to remind us that we’re not alone, we’re in this together and we need each other.

It’s very easy, in today’s world, to become an “island”.  With all the false connections we need at the touch of a keyboard or the press of a button on the remote, it’s easy to feel less isolated than we’ve become.

My challenge today is to reach out to someone whom you know has created an island for themselves.  Give them a call, drop them a note, go and visit them.  Let them know that you are reaching out because you care.  Let them know they’re not alone in this world, even when they believe they might be.

We are becoming more and more isolated while the world, with all of our advanced technology, is actually becoming smaller and smaller.  We should use the technological advances to reach out and, well, touch someone – not to push ourselves further into a hole.

Let’s be mindful of the children who watch us.  They have never known a world without computers, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, DirecTV, etc.  We need to remind them that there’s a great big world out there – a real world – and it’s filled with people from whom they can learn things and they can teach things.  Make sure your actions support your words.

So, gauntlet thrown – each one, reach one.  Signing off now so I can do as I say.



Oh Yeah, I’ll Tell You Something…

default_pr_benson_beatles_04_sullivan_show_1206151347_id_577007It was 50 Years ago today…that these English lads began to play…

Began to play on the Ed Sullivan show, that is.  It was one of music’s most iconic events ever.  John, Paul, George and Ringo took the stage and played “All My Loving”.

 “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you
Tomorrow I’ll miss you
Remember I’ll always be true
And then while I’m away
I’ll write home every day
And I’ll send all my loving to you.”

There had been a somber mood in the nation for 77 days as it mourned the loss of President John F. Kennedy. The youth of the nation was ready to get ‘glad all over’ once again.

I was a very small child at the time and I remember listening to ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ on the radio in the kitchen.  It’s actually my first musical memory of all.

“Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something
I think you’ll understand
When I’ll say that something
I wanna hold your hand”

As I grew, my love for the Beatles grew as well.  When I was 6 or 7, several of the boys in the neighborhood behind us put on a “concert”.  They cut guitars out of cardboard and stood up on the porch and did some pretty great lip-synching to “Ticket to Ride”.  Although I do remember a good deal of in-fighting about who was Paul and who was John.

“I think I’m gonna be sad
I think it’s today, yeah
The girl that’s driving me mad
Is going away”

As I grew into adulthood, the Beatles remained a part of my life’s sound track.  “Paper Back Writer” holds a great significance…

“Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer”

I’m still seeking a “Sir or Madam” to read my first book.  Fingers crossed.

The song, “I Saw Her Standing There” fits perfectly with the way my husband and I met and began dating in High School and went to prom together…

“Whoa, we danced through the night
And we held each other tight
And before too long I fell in love with her
Now I’ll never dance with another 
Since I saw her standing there”

(Of course, I’d replace the hers with hims 😉

As for the rest of the Beatles’ songs, well…

“In my life, I’ve loved them all.”

Now here’s a little bit of my favorite memory…



I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

6a00d83451fd9b69e20105361a71c4970c-320wiAs we are preparing to move, the task of packing and sorting gets pretty tedious. Today, I was given the gift of time from a long-time friend. Another pair of hands to help wrap and box up, to help make the job a little simpler and a lot more fun.

Thanks to Laurie for the friendship and the time.  Thanks for the laughter and the memories. Time spent together is priceless.

Nothing else to say today. Short post, I realize, but lots of packing left to do!

Draw a Doodle. Do!!!

bevanschiffli-branchoutfinalist131116_nc_salli-600If you use Google, you’ve most likely seen some of their cool “Google Doodles”.   These are artistic images that take the place of their usual lettered logo.  Most of the time they have to do with a special holiday or a memorable person or event.  No matter what the doodle is, you can always find the letters G-O-O-G-L-E in there somewhere. Look closely at the tree branches above and you’ll see the word “GOOGLE”.

If you know of a creative student who would like to create their own doodle and win some money while doing so.  Here’s your chance!

This year’s theme is “If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…”

  • Simply click the link:  http://http://www.google.com/doodle4google/start.html
  • Download the entry form and create away! Applications can be submitted by parents, guardians, teachers and after-school programs. All applications must be accompanied by a completed official entry form signed by the student’s parent or guardian. All entrants must be be enrolled in a U.S. based school that is serving grades K-12.
  • Submit before March 20, 2014
  • One talented young artist will see his or her artwork on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for his or her school.

To get some inspiration for your student, Google “Best Google Doodles” in the image search and you’ll see some creativity at work.

Please share this with the teachers and students you know. All the best to you and your artists!

Now, doodle away!



The Sound of Feelings

o-JACKSON-EMOTIONAL-facebookThe author Georgia Cates wrote, “Music is what feelings sound like out loud.  I sing songs that speak from my heart.  They tell my story, how I feel.”

I can relate.  Sometimes I cannot find my own words for a particular situation I find myself in, but I can always find a song.  Somehow, it’s as if the lyricist and composer were peeking into my window, into my heart and together they pulled out just what I felt and could not verbalize.

This little boy in the picture is named Jackson.  Jackson learned, at the young age of 4, how music stirs a soul.  A man, that I imagine to be his dad, is filming Jackson’s reaction to the song, “Say Something” by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera.  I totally get it, Jackson. This one makes me cry too.

This is one of those songs that strikes a chord.  It’s heartbreakingly  simple, yet profound in it’s tune and lyric.  Give it a listen and cry along with Jackson.


May the Froth Be With You

74a63bc365a0d4b8c500e3d8fe3b769dI love everything about coffee.  The aroma…the warmth…the taste.  I also love coffee shops.  It doesn’t matter which name is on the door, I’ll probably go inside to check it out.

A few years back, I was a barista.  It was a fun job, for the most part, and I always went home smelling like coffee.  In my book, that was a good thing. Now that I’m on the other side of the espresso machine, my favorite thing about coffee shops is that I usually meet a friend or two there.

I’m not sure what it is, but when we sit and chat amidst the sound of grinding beans and murmured chit-chat, it feels like I’m getting a giant, invisible hug.  It feels comfortable and homey.

Over the years I have laughed, cried, wondered, dreamed and shaken my fist at the world in coffee shops.  The confidences shared, the disappointments spread over two sets of shoulders instead of one, and the memories made,  supercede the beverage.  Yet, I cannot imagine recalling the time without recalling the coffee.

While I love tea a whole lot, tea is more of a solitary beverage for me.  Coffee begs to be shared with a loved one.  And now I must excuse myself.  I’m off to meet a friend at a coffee shop.  Big smile.