Monday, June 27, 2011


Oh technology, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. We all have Internet these days. We need it, right? We have computers and phones and all sorts of other do dads. So what's my gripe today about technology? It's that it doesn't work half the time. And those times are always when you absolutely have to send an email, download a resume or write the blog that you promise to post on Mondays.

It started at our house last week. It was as if our Internet was possessed. It quit. Went kaput. Kicked out. You get the picture. No big deal. Just shut it all down and restart. Everyone has a need to do that. Five minutes later same thing. Total shut down. And this went on and on all week long. Scott has tried his best to diagnose and fix this issue for us, but nothing has worked at this point. Honestly, the fact that I am actually typing at lightning speed and this thing hasn't kicked out is amazing me. What else is amazing me is how much I truly rely on the Internet these days. My blog is on it. My banking is on it. I communicate with friends and relatives by it. Frustrating when it doesn't work. I try not complain much, but this one has me a bit nutty. Especially since right this very second my computer kicked out again. For such a simple girl, this computer business really complicates my life.

Computers and cars. One of my windows in my car inexplicably dropped into the door and refuses to return. It will be fixed in a day or two to the tune of a bazillion dollars. These two things can really get me going. I'm venting a bit here. We all need them. Some would say that we can't live without them. Well, I'm still alive, but couldn't be more frustrated. Oh wait. Yes I could. The trifecta was complete this morning. The dryer decided to go on strike. So here I am in the library posting my Monday blog on Tuesday. I am now breathing deeply and searching for my zen place. Actually, I may have just found it. It's in the library. It's for adults only and it's called the "quiet room". Ahhh.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Need Someone

Today I was needed. Just a little. By my daughter. I loved it. She is at the age of massive independence. I love that, too. And yes, she needed me to get her moving this morning. It had been a fun and long weekend. Plus it was foggy outside. Who wants to get up under those circumstances? Not me. But I did. So did the rest of the family. This was Gracie's first day at College for Kids. I drove her with a friend to the meeting place for the beginning of this extraordinary three week school. I was excited. She was excited. Her friend was equally happy.

We left early and got there on time. With a few minutes to spare. Thankfully, because when we parked I led them in the wrong direction for a block and we had to turn around. Oops. Far from perfect am I. We arrived and found the assigned lines/meeting areas for each group. The girls had to part ways and wished each other well. I had one of those moments of not real panic, but just an uncomfortable feeling. I looked around and saw not one familiar face. All new to me. They were nice faces, but new ones just the same. I thought silently, my baby is off to be with complete strangers. I know, they are all decent, screened and fine individuals, but...

I had this overwhelming thought that projected me into the future and also helped me revisit the past. This is my job. To guide Gracie to new things. To expose her to the world. To give her opportunity. Like her first day of preschool. Like the first day of kindergarten. Like the first day of school last year in a new town. I will get her there. That is my job. What she does after that is her job and hopefully her joy. It is my joy to see her grow up. Very soon she will be off to real college. Not just a three week class in the summer. I know, this is a few years into the future, but it will happen so fast.

So, it was time to leave. I had calmed my internal freak out down and turned to Gracie to say have a great time. I said I will pick you up right on time. She said ok. I turned to leave and felt a light touch on my arm. Mom, will you stay a little longer? Of course I will. All she needed was a few more minutes. A few more kids arrived and she got her tshirt and folder. And I stepped back just a little. She turned and gave me the signal. The I'm ok smile and a little wave. My job was done. I walked back to the car with a huge smile on my face. My girl will have a terrific time. I know it. And I was needed. She still needs me. My day has been made. Make some one's day today and need them.

©2011 Ann M. De Broux

Saturday, June 11, 2011

One Question

It all started with one question yesterday. I was subbing the last day of school. Our class was returning from gym and one of the students I was with was tired. She was slowly climbing the stairs to the second floor, when she turned to me and said, could I get a piggyback ride? I said this back is way too old for that. How old? she asked. Now I need to interject that I am not too old, but what you do for one may have to be done for all and this was a class of 26. My back is definitely not up to that many piggyback rides. So back to her question. I turned it back to her. How old do you think I am? She said 30? I said to her, you are my favorite. Disclaimer: I say that to all of the kids.

As I sat in the class during the last few moments, I thought of these amazing little lives. I hope that they live well. I hope that they wear sunscreen all summer. I hope they laugh every day. I hope that they eat a healthy breakfast each morning and have someone who loves them tuck them in each night. I hope they are imaginative and make crafts out of boxes and recycled bottles. I hope they breathe fresh air every day and don't get too buggy eyed from computers and televisions. I hope that they go to the library and read and get lost in the world of fact and fiction.

I hope that these beautiful little minds stay engaged. I hope they get dirty and muddy and silly. I hope that they dance in the rain. I hope that they don't grow up too fast. Just at a pace that is normal for their age. I hope that they snuggle with their cat or dog. I hope that they get to drive somewhere for a vacation. Even to the next town over. And I hope I get to see them next year so I can ask them one question. How was your summer?

©2011 Ann M. De Broux

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Favorite Dish To Pass

So this story takes me way back. Scott and I were invited to a party in the second year of our marriage. This party was of the annual kind. Same place, same time, always once a year. It was a party with a great group of people. I was excited to go. Scott said to me the day before that he had signed me up to bring a salad. I worked the day of the party and I was at that time extremely kitchen/cooking challenged. What to do, what to do? Well, I put it out of my mind is what I did. Until I got home from work, changed clothes and announced to Scott that I was ready to go to the party. He said, where's the salad? Oops. Don't worry he said, let's rip this head of lettuce up and put it in a bowl and off we go. Silly man. I'm pretty sure that isn't the type of salad that they would be expecting. Now what do we do? I grabbed a big bowl with a lid and we drove to the grocery store.

Upon arrival at the deli counter, I did a wonder woman scan of the salad. That one? Too expensive. This one? Who would eat that anyway? Then I found the one. The price was right and the quantity was available. Perfect. I bought three pounds worth and ran out to the car. When I got in I proceeded to dump my purchased salad in my own bowl and fastened the cover. None the wiser would these party goers be. We made a normal entrance to the party and had a fabulous time. At the end of the party the containers/dishes had all been washed and lined up on the buffet. I grabbed my bowl and Scott and I went home. I was about to put my bowl away when I noticed a note inside. I pulled off the lid and there, written in beautiful penmanship, was a request for my recipe. What? Now what do I do? I'm ashamed to say that I ignored the request and hoped that this incident would never rear its ugly head again.

Fast forward to the next year. We received an invitation to the same party. I contemplated not going for fear of the salad and recipe debacle. Instead, I went to the same grocery store and bought three more pounds of that salad and brought it to the party. We had terrific time. Again. This time I came with a few printed off recipes of a salad that closely resembled the one I brought. Sure enough. The recipe was asked for and I gave it out. Over time I have found a couple of recipes that are my stand by dishes that I bring to potlucks. They are easy and are almost always gone when I go to retrieve my dish. That makes me feel good. And now I feel even better because I actually do make them.

©2011 Ann M. De Broux