Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn's Beginning




~Stanley Horowitz

Yesterday was the first day of fall and today my sister's birthday. I always associate the two together. She actually was born on the first day of fall back in 1980 and came close to being named Autumn which I always found kind of fascinating, knowing a name you were once almost called the rest of your life.

We have always been close. Always. She is the kind of person that when I am with her, I feel more confident in myself just by her presence. She is my person. My best friend. My phone call after work to vent after a hard day, my fashionista guide through the styles of life, my spiritual role model, and the most beautiful person inside and out that I will ever know. She is the oldest of 5 siblings and a leader in every capacity. And although I have 3 sisters, she is my only big sis, for I fall in place right next to her and have stayed close by ever since.

I see her at least one or twice a week and last week on this particular visit to her home in Spartanburg we were both in crabby moods, kinda fussing at each other and short with each other after the long work day. We decided to play this game to get us in better moods and went back and forth saying reasons we love the other person. We have never done that and it was an interesting insight into how she sees me and vice versa. Here is only a couple I came up with:

  • I love how driven and goal oriented she is. She is an English high school teacher and while she's been teaching shes gotten one masters and is working on her second one currently. She then is getting her doctorate which is her educational goal. She also has a list of life goals she keeps on her refrigerator door.

  • She loves her students. She goes to most of her student's sporting events after school and was even the stat keeper of the basketball team for a couple years. She currently is in charge of the teachers' "Stan Fan Club" where they cheer on their students. She takes her kids to Europe in the summer to show them in person what they've been studying all year. She always is one of the first teachers to get to school in the morning because she is the best. She wants to be the best. And its because she really loves her students and wants them to succeed.

  • She is very wise, she is able to read a person and analyse their personality. She gets that from my dad.

  • She has great hair! She can wear it curly or straight and can have many blond highlights or wear it severely dark and it always looks great.

  • She likes to be the center ofattention. But not in an annoying way. It comes naturally that she usually is the center and she can handle it. People are drawn to her because she is a natural leader and communicator. I get nervous when I have to be the center and its easy for me not be when she is there.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Becoming Jane

Two enthusiastic members of the Jane Austen book club met together last week ready to dive head first into the head of the wonderful and talented Miss Jane Austen. For inspiration and to get things rolling: one of my favorite movies, The Jane Austen Book Club! I first saw this movie last year and fell completely in love!

My sister, the schoolteacher, and I have always been HUGE fans of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Were first introduced at a very small age to the 1940's classic version staring Greer Garson as Miss Elizabeth Bennet and I must confess our love affair with the tale never ended. From the 1995 adaptation to the newest release with Keira Knightley, my sisters and I are still enthralled with the love story between Elizabeth and Darcy. What is it about the story that makes me read the book and watch the movies over and over again? Even my fav Kathleen Kelley in You've Got Mail is hooked!

While Pride and Prejudice has stayed near and dear to my heart I am ashamed to say that I'm not as familiar with Jane's other classic novels. And so, the Jane Austin book club has commenced. Emma is first on our list and I better get reading. So let me light a candle, fix a pot of hot tea and snuggle in for the first four chapters.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Taste of Fall

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, its official. Summer is now over and fall is here! How do I know, you ask? How does someone know the exact moment summer officially ends and the fall season has arrived? Well, I have checked off all the items on my mental checklist that insures that fall has arrived. This list doesn't have to arrive in any particular order, but all must be checked before I can make such a bold statement.
No. 1: A scattering of brown leaves on the ground

A few weeks ago I went home for a little visit. I drove down the long gravel road, turned into the driveway and saw dead, brown leaves scattered over the green front lawn in front of my house. The home I grew up in sits on the edge between woods and a field. Directly behind the house there are woods, and in front strictly green grass , a fence, then open fields. At the end of summer there is enough breeze to carry a few dead leaves from the woods to the front yard. When this happens I know fall is on its way.

No. 2: A fresh crispness to the air in the morning
After hitting the snooze button at 0530 on my alarm clock this past Thursday morning I received a phone call directly after from my hospital telling me if I wished I could be down staffed and not come into work that morning. This rarely happens and I always jump at the opportunity to snuggle down into covers and fall back into slumber. Well this particular morning sleep evaded and so I put on my tenni's, stepped outside and went for a morning stroll around the track. And what a morning... BEAUTIFUL! The perfect fall morning: cool, crisp, breezy and refreshing. As I soaked in the morning air I knew fall was on its way.

No. 3: Football season has arrived

I have grown up watching my brother play football. He has played the game practically his whole life. He has given me a great appreciation for the game and I love football season!! I love everything the football season brings: tailgating, cheering for the team, cool, crisp nights in the stand. This past Saturday was my brothers first game of the season. And, although it was steamy on this particular day I knew fall is on its way.

No. 4: Labor day cookout at my parent's home
Every Labor day my parents have a cookout at the house. It all started because my brother's birthday landed on the holiday and so every year there is a cookout/birthday gathering of the family and close friends. Sometimes the event is held down at the pond with fishing and a bonfire, sometimes it is held in the front yard beside the big red barn. The evenings are perfect for the gathering because there is always a hint of coolness in the air. It kicks off the official fall cookout season and I love it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Begin Again, Its a Brand New Day

I LOVE my ME (Mary Engelbreit) daily calendar. I love it! I love waking in the morning, heading still half asleep to my small apartment kitchen and seeing my ME calendar on the counter. I feel an underlining of great satisfaction in seeing that I've made it to another day, to see that yesterday is gone, its time to tear away the old and look forward to the new.

I love to see the creative artwork or read the short clever quote that will grace my kitchen counter for the day. Although each day is unique and some days are more exciting than others, mostly the yesterdays get thrown in the trash and I move on to the today and life goes on... BUT, there are a lucky few days that are super special and instead of those days disappearing forever into the trashcan they go to a place of honor on my refrigerator door.

There are 4 days currently cluttered among my special magnets, family pics and my grocery list. My favorite, and the day that has lasted the longest comes from May 11th. It shows a young girl looking down into a small hand mirror with the quote:

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness
~Marguerite Gardiner Blessington

From May 26th it says:
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with what happens to you.
~ Anonymous

August 3rd:
Begin Again, Its a brand new day

And yesterday, September 2nd:
Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is.
Mark Twain