Magic Wands, Fairy Godmothers and the NAVY?

While on Facebook the other day, I stumbled across a friend’s Mother’s Day status. Kim is a hard-working, married grad student who is “temporarily” functioning as a single mom. I use the word “temporarily” because her husband, Steve, is serving in our Navy overseas in KuwaitHe is sweating in the sandbox, trying to stay out of sandstorms (sometimes driving through them), risking his life and missing his wife and child.  She is working as a grad assistant, studying for her own classes, is mom to their adorable little boy and misses her husband. Since she is “sharing” her hubby on behalf of our country, she is winging it solo until his return. What does this have to do with Mother’s Day (stop the impatience)? Come on, you should know me by now! I’m getting there!                                                                                                                         

Anyway, she and her son headed to Disney on Mother’s Day. Kim just finished up a semester and needed some time to unwind. What better place to relax than DISNEY? After a fun day in the Magic Kingdom, they headed back to the resort.  Once inside, Kim discovered some Disney magic right in her hotel room. Awaiting her was a Disney tote bag embroidered “Mommy” overflowing with goodies and snacks she and her son like. Nearby was The Box. The Box was nestled atop a magic wand (yes, it looked like the Fairy Godmother’s) and inside was a beautiful bracelet adorned with a heart. Romantic enough? Nope. Along with the tote, treats, bracelet and sparkling wand was a note. Not just any note. It was written in golden calligraphy and looked like a wedding invitation. It was a “A Magical Wish.” Part of it read:

Disney is known for fairy tales/ and making dreams come true/ For the Fairy Godmother in my life/ is someone I love. . .that’s you!/ You’ve inspired me to dream/You’ve encouraged me to grow/Your time spent with me means far more than you know.                                                                                                                    

Jealous? You shouldn’t be (kidding). Here is a deserving woman whose husband loves her so much that he planned and executed a surprise from another country in the middle of sandy somewhere! They’ve been married for long enough (six years) and were friends for long enough before marriage (sixteen years). Long enough for the “I love you’s” to wane, long enough to get so caught up in the daily grind that he could forget to appreciate her. But he doesn’t. It’s not magic. There’s no wand to wave to make relationships easy (especially being apart for lengthy time periods). There’s no Fairy Godmother to bring Steve home when she needs someone to hold her or he has had enough of 100 degree temperatures and needs some loving. They just make it work (and make it work well).  

So kudos, Kim and Steve. May you celebrate many, many more happy years together and may your son enjoy the stability of growing up in a loving home. Here’s to great marriages, friendships, inspiration and hope!

P.S. Steve, thank-you for your service!

Loving Legacy

sometimes tucked
arms entwined hers
looped through his
crook a lady and
gentleman sauntered

other moments
gentle hands held
her right his left a
living bridge built
spanning 64 years

once in a while her
shoulder brushed his
while they traipsed
side by side a secure
distance between them

always for richer or
poorer in good times or
bad sickness or health
loved and cherished not
even in death did they part

~Pamela



The Brownings

Okay, I know love letter fest is technically over.  HOWEVER, I could not resist posting two, short letters exchanged between one of the most romantic, literary couples  (Robert and Elizabeth Browning) ever  (in my book THE most romantic, literary couple).  Of course, Elizabeth wrote my favorite poetry collection, Sonnets from the Portuguese, for her husband Robert Browning and I believe them to be the most beautiful poems (especially numbers I, XIV, XX, and the best, XLIII).  So enjoy and keep that passion alive every day, not just on Valentine’s Day!!!!

To Elizabeth Barrett Browning:                                                       

…would I,  if I could,  supplant one of any of the affections that I know to have taken root in you – that great and solemn one, for instance.
I feel that if I could get myself remade,  as if turned to gold,
I WOULD not even then desire to become more than the mere setting to that diamond you must always wear.

The regard and esteem you now give me,  in this letter,  and which I press to my heart and bow my head upon,  is all I can take and all too embarrassing,  using all my gratitude.

- Robert Browning
(1812-1889)


To Robert Browning:

And now listen to me in turn.
You have touched me more profoundly than I thought even you could have touched me – my heart was full when you came here today.
Henceforward I am yours for everything.

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(1806-1861)

Mirror Mirror

Well, it’s Monday and sad to say no humorous blurbs to post (at least not yet).  Too much time apart from my niece and nephew and my big kids. . . grown ups just don’t bring it like the children do!!!! So, this is more of a reflection blog.  My best friend and I were talking till late last night about many things (sorry mom and dad for hogging the phone).  We ended up able to rant, laugh, cry, and get serious all in one conversation (isn’t that what best friends are about? you can completely be yourself and you’re not nuts)? Towards the end of the conversation, something struck me that was pretty profound.   We started our adult, married lives back when (before we met) in completely different places, yet, through the years, traveled similar roads to where we each are now. Today, we are in comparable spaces in many aspects. Each of us wanting to be loved, to keep our families intact despite extenuating circumstances, to be secretly rescued without having to compromise values like honesty, communication, and self-awareness (although, we know our knights most likely won’t be individuals in gleaming armor who guide their horses over hurdles, deftly climb turrets, and profess poems of endearment).

Despite the similarities, we are often in opposite mind sets (and places, she’s married, I’m divorced).  During these times of differences, we realize that we are mirrors to one other.  Depending on who is gazing into the mirror and who is being gazed upon by the reflection, we end up like yin and yang (for lack of a better metaphor).  Our life experiences, dreams, hopes, darkness, failures, defeats, injustices, joys, sweetness bring us to these places where we can look at each other and see (cataract free) from the viewpoint of the other.  This constant viewing of life through the lens of friendship (and the other’s situation) helps us to more clearly define who we want to become as individuals.  To be strong women.  To have hope.  To be self-aware.  To not be so jaded that our hearts become hardened to truth and love.  To know that our journeys are really just beginning (even though we often feel like we’re smack in the midst of them).  To know that we are granted this gift of one another and, through each other, we can support ourselves, our intellects, our emotions.  To recognize that we are part of a larger, global community.  To know that we can make differences in our own lives, each other’s lives, and touch other people as well.  This friendship, micro extending macro, can impact other people for the better.  We’re learning what must be learned and, at some point, we will become teachers of positive change.  Wow, I can end this here on a sociological note (since we both share the same degrees too), it’s late, and I’m not sure I’m presenting this observation too clearly.  Good night friends (or good day)!

P.S. youtube’s copyright issues are more than annoying. . .nearly every good video is being pulled b/c of infringement!  Grrr!


To Spoon or not to Spoon

As I picked up my wooden spoon tonight (to stir the pasta), it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend earlier today that dished up an interesting topic, spooning.  Naturally, we were discussing the modern definition.  According to Urban Dictionary, it means a “form of affection between a couple.  Where the man lays front to back with the girl. They fit together like spoons.”  Apparently, my friend’s facebook repost of Make Lust Last, an article targeting married couples trying to spice up their intimacy, sparked a “spooning” debate (the article recommends spooning a.k.a. cuddling). Then, her You Tube link entitled How to Spoon really got the pot boiling (yes, still chuckling). What is it about Catholics that some of us get verklempt when a simple topic such as spooning is mentioned (historically, some of these same women gave spoons bad reputations)? And we wonder why people think we’re rigid and repressed?  Hmm.  .  .

Anyway, I was fascinated to learn the alleged history of the term.   Spooning is derived from an old Welsh tradition in which a young man would wile away his time, whether on sea or on land, in the evenings, carving an elaborate “love spoon” for his beloved.  Certain symbols were created in the handle of the spoon and represented different meanings:  bells for marriage, hearts for love etc.  This “love spoon” was a symbolic gesture of affection for the young woman.  It also informed her father that her suitor was capable of providing for his family.  The oldest love spoon dates back to 1667.

Kind of an endearing tradition, don’t you think?  I’m not sure what my dad would have thought back when if a boy I was dating showed up at the door, intricately carved spoon in hand. However, the symbolism  it stood for within Welsh culture was sweet.  So, the question is, to spoon or not to spoon?  I say spoon (in the modern sense) and do so with great frequency.  Who knows?  Maybe “those people” were correct by being so concerned about “the big spoon” and “the little spoon.”  It could lead married couples to have S-E-X (gasp, a topic I’ll reserve for another  blog).