Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Hints of Fall = Memories of Summer

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It's almost mid-August; my children's day camp finishes next Wednesday; school supplies have to be bought; uniform blouses, shirts and pants have to be clean; dentist and doctor appointments have to be made.

Yes, there are still shul soccer games to be played by both my sons; yes, there are still our shuls bringing Shabbos in early on Friday nights; there is still yardwork to be done; bike riding to be had; and basketball nets to reach for.

But hints of fall are already under way -- school supply lists and admit-to-class cards in the mail; back-to-school flyers in the newspapers; free-standing signs advertising High Holiday seating tickets; the sun sets earlier; the evening cools down; the car windows have to be wiped down in the morning because of the dew. Fall is just around the corner, and so I think about this past summer.

* My parents celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary; my father celebrated his 85th birthday; my son celebrated his 10th birthday; my daughter will, G-d willing, celebrate her 8th birthday

Celebrating is good. Celebrating is a bracha.

* I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who, until this summer, had mainly been a name or a pseudonym to me. I recognized that these people, aka bloggers, are as welcoming, warm and wise as their words on-screen and off-screen.

The pleasure was all mine.

* Our pug, Tyson Pugsley, died in June, on a Shabbos, the day before Father's Day. Nobody was home at the time. He left this world just as he lived in it: quietly.

We miss Tyson -- his comical face and body; his wiggling tushy; his hovering, waiting underfoot for someone to drop a crumb; his ability to make people stop and pet him because he was so "cutely ugly"; his snoring.

* Our first family holiday. A packed van full of kids, DVDs, clothing and kosher food and snacks -- and maps!

I took a solo holiday before the family holiday. I could have stood to use another solo holiday AFTER the family holiday.

* An observation I made on this family holiday: the U.S. is plentiful with travelers who own RV's -- not just simple Winnebago-type homes on wheels, but extended, magnificent-looking family chariots. These are personalized vehicles that stand out on the highway because of their size and their elegant designs. They are all rather rich-looking.

Many of these RV's tow vehicles behind them; just like the RV's, most of the vehicles are designer cars and SUVs. Often the exterior of these cars match the exterior of the RV towing it!

* I have watched as my children's sport skills improve -- basketball, soccer, baseball. Boys against the girl; girl and friend against the boys.

My sons' knowledge of baseball has also improved -- thanks to TV sports channels, Game Cube games, the radio and the newspaper. Oh, no, hockey season is just around the corner...

* My blog writing/reading/commenting has intensified over the summer. I thought that with the extended time away from the computer because of the out-of-town trips, my interest would diminish; unfortunately, it's accentuated -- and more hours are spent at my computer.

I do have a life outside of the blogging world, and a very lovely life it is, but this writing has brought me much pleasure, has helped keep the writing muse active and carrying over into other personal writing, has let me captivate an audience, and has been good for the soul.

"Summertime....and the living is easy...."

A Secret Admirer

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I received an e-mail today; the subject line said "A Secret Admirer" so I was hemming and hawing whether or not I should open the mail. I was afraid it might be a virus. But curious me did open it and was most happy that I did.

It was a lovely message from a New York woman who told me that she's been reading and enjoying my blog since day 1 -- over seven months ago. I have never seen a comment on my posts from this person, so she is indeed a secret admirer.

She introduced herself by name and asked if it was familiar to me. In my early months of reading blogs, I used to read her comments on another well-read and very popular blog. She and her husband even received a honorable post on that blog, and it stands out very clearly in my mind. I could even put a face to the name because there had been accompanying photos with the post.

She went on to compliment my writing and praise me as a person, and I was clearly moved. Not to discount any of your warm sentiments in online or offline comments... Yes, I appreciate and truly enjoy any and every comment/compliment I might get about my posts, but receiving a warm letter like this has true merit for me. It was as if I was a pretty new author with only a couple published books to my name, and she was a reader-fan who came out of the woodwork and took the time to write and say what kind of reader she was and what kind of writer I was.

It is clear that I did not forget who she was since I first learned about her. It is clearer that having read my words over these past few months, she has gotten a sense of who -- and what -- I am.

And to this woman, I once again write, "Thank you...for I am deeply moved by your words...and your experiences."

Signed: "Your Secret Admirer."

Too Much Information

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I'm always told I give too much information. Too many details. Too much too soon.
So I won't...THIS TIME. (or maybe I just did!?)