Monday, May 31, 2004

So long, May!

They say April showers bring May flowers. May showers this year in the Midwest brought an almost daily deluge of rain, thunder, lightning and tornado sirens.

Even with normal spring weather May has never been my favorite month. It has always been far down on my list for one reason...Mother's Day. I haven't had a mother since she died nine years after walking out on her family. And at this point I'm pretty sure I will never be a mother myself.

Adding to the annual pain of May is Daniel's birthday, May 17th. He would have been 43 this year. Enough said there.

And this year May brought a bittersweet event...a 50th Wedding Anniversary. It was a wonderful celebration, and I love the couple dearly. But watching them gaze lovingly at each other while they danced overwhelmed me with feelings of loss.

May does bring some smiles - warm breezes rustling through new green leaves, and the birthdays of some of my favorite people in the world (you know who you are).

But this year it also brought lots of rain and too many tears. I'm glad to see it go.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Book Suggestion - POLAND

My first book suggestion is the novel "Poland" by James A. Michener.

Although a novel is considered fiction, this book is historical as well, blending real events and real people with some that are fictional. At the front of the book is a chaper-by-chapter guide to what is fiction versus what is historically accurate.

The nation of Poland has been overrun, partitioned and erased from the map multiple times. That Poland exists at all today is a testament to the pride and faith of its people. But as I learned reading this book, the pride and greed of some of the people (particularly the rich land owners or "magnates") was the primary reason Poland was too weak to defend itself against its many enemies for so long.

Too often we think of history as only what has happened in our own lifetimes. To understand a nation or a group of people you need to go back centuries. "Poland" answered a lot of questions for me about my ancestors' homeland.

Don't let the length (556 pages in hardcover) scare you. Take your time and enjoy.

Aunt Judie Book Suggestions

I thought I might do a book review section, since I am reading whenever I'm not working or watching a DVD movie or on the web. But books are very personal things and, like art, everyone reacts to them differently.

Take "The Lord of the Rings" books/movies. Biggest thing since sliced bread for the last few years. So I tried - I really, really tried - to read the first book. It put me to sleep. For some reason, I just could not get into the characters and care enough about them to keep turning the pages. So then I watched the first movie. I didn't fall asleep, but I found it long and boring and I was glad when it was over.

But so many people love Frodo and the gang that I feel I'm somehow missing something. So I'm going to borrow the "book on tape" version from the library and listen when I drive. Since I have a five minute commute to work, I figure it will take me about three and a half years to finish. So I'll get back to you on how that works out.

Anyway, instead of calling these "book reviews", I'll just make suggestions. If I read something I like, I'll tell you about it.

I read three novels last week, and will post a suggestion on one of them later today.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

I'm baaaaaaaaack

Due to popular demand (over three requests), here I am back at the blog.

When I first started writing this journal, I had so much to say. I woke up every morning and couldn't wait to get to the computer. I would read a newspaper or website or hear something on the radio and think "I gotta write about that". For the first few months I thought I would never run out of things to talk about.

Then...nothing. I suddenly had nothing to say. Or to put it more accurately - I felt like I had nothing to say. Well, I'm still sort of drawing a blank, but I think I know why.

Without going into several boring paragraphs of self-analysis, let me just say this - sometimes when I start to feel pain my emotions get their wires crossed and instead I feel nothing. I don't want to do anything, see anyone or communicate at all. I just want to sleep (too much) and eat (way too much). If I didn't have work and family and church obligations I would never leave my apartment. In that state of mind, what little desire I had to write was always defeated by the thought that it really didn't matter.

Writing about my own pain seemed to be a bad idea, because this blog was supposed to be a positive place. But pretending to be happy and cheerful all the time would be dishonest. So I either have to be honest with you or not write at all.

It is important to be honest, especially with the people you love. So I will write, no matter how I am feeling. I hope you will continue to read. I need you there to wake me up from this emotional hibernation.