Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year

 I hope you each had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, and holiday season.  I can't wait to start on my next couple of posts.  I wish you all a very safe and Happy New Year.  See you in 2011.

I'm back from a great trip to California, both northern and southern.  We tramped through Disneyland in the flood of the decade.  It was a memory we will never forget.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Best Christmas Gift

Twenty Minutes A Day
Richard Peck

Read to your children
Twenty minutes a day;
You have the time,
And so do they.

Read while the laundry is in the machine;
Read while the dinner cooks;
Tuck a child in the crook of your arm
And reach for the library books.

Hide the remote,
Let the computer games cool,
For one day your will be off to school;
"Remedial"? "Gifted"? You have the choice;
Let them hear their first tales
In the sound of your voice.

Read in the morning;
Read over noon;
Read by the light of 
Goodnight Moon.

Turn the pages together,
Sitting close as you'll fit,
Till a small voice beside you says,
"Hey, don't quit."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas With The Fitzgerald's

Thanks for hanging on with me.  The past three weeks have been fun/crazy in my life.  We enjoyed Thanksgiving in snow covered Idaho then returned to Washington to watch our son play the Rabbi in Fiddler On The Roof.  Now turning our energies to Christmas I was reminded of a sweet parental lesson from Papa and Mamma.

In The Great Brain Returns J.D. happens on a conversation between Papa and Mamma early in the morning after Christmas.  The boys had worked hard to buy their parents good gifts.  From a boys viewpoint the gifts were wonderful.  From a parents - not quite?  The lesson of love though is the best.  From page 68,

"I know the boys meant well," Papa said, "but I wouldn't wear that necktie to a dog fight.  And as for that hat they bought you, only a dance hall girl from one of the saloons would wear a hat like that."
"I know, dear," Mamma said.  "But you will wear the necktie and I'll wear the hat."
"But what will people say when they see us?"  Papa asked.
"I don't care what people say," Mamma said. "All I care about is not hurting the boys feelings.  They gave us the presents because they love us.  We'll show how much we love them by wearing the necktie and the hat."
"You are right of course," Papa said.  "All we can hope for is that I spill some printer's ink on the tie and you get caught in a rainstorm and ruin the hat."
After overhearing Papa and Mamma, J.D. tried to sneak up stairs.  When Mamma called up to him, he said he just needed to go to the bathroom.

On that note I wish you all a Merry Christmas.  And another time to make wonderful family memories.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Hanukkah - Abie Glassman

Happy Hanukkah.  Today our Jewish friends begin their Festival of Lights.  Jewish people have a strong faith and honor.  To many of us outside they represent a people of remarkable resilience.  John Fitzgerald held Jewish men in high esteem also.  One of the tenderest of characters in The Great Brain Series was the peddler Abie Glasman.  Chapter 4 of The Great Brain is entitled Abie Glassman finds a home.  Its a chapter worth reading.  It reminds of the simple facts of the Golden Rule and the impact that following it can have in someones life.  By chapter 6, the remarkable Abie Glassman is laid to rest.  Again the Golden Rule comes to mind as the town reflects on their own actions toward Abie.  

I have not found an Abie Glassman match in my research but his characters story was vital to John. Abie Glassman can be found in both Papa Married a Mormon and The Great Brain.  Whatever his reasons the lesson of Abie Glassman can be good lessons for us.  

At this time I wish all of our Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah.