The Pie Baker

Fresh from the Oven

Birth of a Comedienne

I wish everyone could spend just one day with my kid. Not just because I could use the break, (because who wouldn’t?) but because she would keep you laughing until you pee your pants a little. The Pie is one of the funniest people I have ever personally known and the best part is – she doesn’t even have to try! Her innocence and sponge-like retention of the most trivial things makes her a treasure trove of hilarity. What follows is only a carefully hand-selected collection of actual things that have been uttered by The Pie.

My daughter loves to role-play and pretend, so oftentimes I find myself in some ridiculous situation feeding invisible apples to made-up bears; but on this occasion, I was the baby, and the Pie was the mama. She covered me with her Curious George towel, patted me on the head and said, “night, night.” She then sat on a chair and pretended to read, like her care takers are wont to do when she naps. After about 8 ½ seconds, she proceeded to “wake me up.” She asked if I had good dreams (like I always ask her in the mornings), so playing along, I told her of a fantastic dream that involved magical plants, flying cars, rainbow staircases, talking frogs, singing butterflies and shoes that exploded! With a very serious face and with deep compassion, she once again gently patted my head and said, “You really sick, Mama. Go back to bed.”

The Pie spends her days with her Mimi, a woman I consider to be a very good friend. We are so close, in fact, that we consider each other part of our families. Mimi’s son had been spending time with a young lady and she one day announced she was pregnant. It was shocking news in light of the fact that the young lady has spent time in Africa as a missionary and seemed dedicated to a “Christian” life-style. In the throes of Mimi’s apoplexy at her baby having a baby, she alluded to the fact that her son had “knocked up a missionary.” My daughter, who hears all and sees all, asked some time later: “Why Anden knock over a mush?”

The Pie likes her stories. One day as she pretended to be a giant, demolishing everything in her path a la Godzilla, the adults around her encouraged her with shouts of “Fee Fie Foe Fum…I smell the blood of an English man!” And because she repeats (sort of) everything she hears, she lets out the following cry: “Fee Fie Foe Fum… I smell a BUM!”

EASY AS 1,2,3
As most parents do at some point in their parenthood career, I have implemented the counting strategy to admonish the Pie into a desired behavior. As a child, I thought it was kind of goofy myself, but I see the value of it now. Well, I USED to. My daughter is painfully similar to me in that she is headstrong, stubborn and emotional. I have been working with her to ask for things in a nice manner – saying, “please” when she wants more juice, chewy snacks, noodles, whatever. Recently, she wanted more chocolate milk in her cup and proceeded to throw her cup at my feet and say, “More chocolate milk!” I assembled my face in the proper motherly gaze and inquired, “Is that the right way to ask Mama for something?” Her response? “1…2…”


April 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Letting Go…Or Not

Please forgive my woeful neglect of my blog….I promise to do better!

Many years ago, a friend of mine became quite emotional as she told me about a song called “Letting Go,” by a female country artist. It is apparently the story of a woman who learns to release her fears and anxieties about her life, trusting that it will all turn out okay. The song’s lyrics are simple, but impactful: “There’s nothing in the way now… There’s room enough to fly… and though she spent her whole life waiting, it’s never easy letting go.”

The story begins with a woman who is packing her daughter’s belongings as she prepares to leave home and attend college – she must let go of the relics of her daughter’s childhood and accept that the girl is now a young woman. Then the story turns to the empty nest woman whose husband suddenly leaves her; she must let go of the anger and betrayal in order to move forward with her own life. Finally, the same woman’s mother struggles for life in a hospital. Regardless of the pain of losing her beloved mother, she knows that it would be better to let her slip quietly away to a better place.

Letting go seems to be a really difficult thing for anyone to do. When we are small children, we want to hang on to our blankies and dummies (my word for pacifiers) because they provide us with a sense of security and familiarity. I think that’s the case for all of us even as we grow into adults. There’s the excitement and anticipation of something new, but when it becomes comfortable, well-worn and cozy, we attach ourselves to it – whether it’s a pair of jeans, a driving route to work, or a significant other. We can’t bear to let go of it either because of the memories attached to it, or the way it comforts us or the ease of it. In all those cleaning and organizing shows on cable, one of the things the professionals ask is “Have you used or touched it in the last 6 months?” Good question.

When I was teaching the Pie to walk, her first steps were equally exciting and painful for me. She was moving toward a certain level of independence and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it. I took her tiny hands in mine and felt her pulse race as she tentatively stepped forward. Her eyes shone and her grin lit up and I could feel her subtle tug against my hand, quietly asking me to let go…to let her strike out on her own, regardless of boo-boo potential. But I couldn’t do it. I could not allow those pudgy little fingers to slip through mine so soon…it seemed the last vestige of our invisible bond was slipping away. Eventually, of course, I did let go and she hasn’t been still a minute since!

I now find myself faced with another kind of decision about letting go of something. It’s not tangible object: an old pair of shoes, a cherished photograph, one of the Pie’s toys. It’s something that at one time was integral to my life on a visceral level, but that now serves only to frustrate and anger me.

The answer to the question of having touched it in the past 6 months is a resounding “No.” Nor has it touched me. It seems to have disappeared into a cocoon, slowly mutating into something unrecognizable and certain to never be the same again. But even as I walk right up to the precipice, dangle it over the abyss and prepare to release it from my grasp…I can’t. I don’t know why, but I can’t throw it away. As much as I need to – want to, even – I can’t.

I hope she knows that.

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maybe It’s Just Me

Contrary to what one might believe, I do actually have small windows of time when my mind begins to wander…usually when I’m taking a shower or driving home from work. It is during these times, that a vapor lock occurs inside my cranium that refuses to let rational thought inside. Topics that manage to invade my gray matter include, but are not limited to, conspiracy theories, invention ideas, recipes, craft ideas and fantasies. Don’t get excited, not THAT kind of fantasy! They often involve mundane tasks such as painting the walls or mowing the lawn. But maybe it’s just me…

For example, this morning, in the shower (one which I actually got to take by without the presence of my daughter) it occurred to me that Anthony Sullivan – the British guy who pitches products like the Super Snake and was on the show “Pitchmen” with the late Billy Mays – could theoretically be responsible for Mays’ untimely death. Ok here’s what happened: my alarm went off to the radio blaring one of Sullivan’s latest commercials and as I stumbled to the shower, I kept thinking how his voice was just as annoying as Billy Mays’. Then I remembered that Mays was dead and how it seemed that Sullivan was snatching up all the ad time for the “incredible new products” to hit the market. Even that Sham-Wow guy is in jail (icing on the cake for Sullivan), so the market is now saturated with guy! What if he orchestrated something to take out his biggest rival? Autopsy reports state that there was cocaine in Mays’ system, but his family adamantly denies any drug use. Knowing his nemesis had a heart problem, Sullivan could have mixed a little Bolivian marching powder in with the Oxy-Clean and “accidentally” blown a cloud of it into the air, which Billy inhaled and, after a bump on the head from a suitcase in an airplane, he buys the farm. I am NOT saying that anything like this actually happened. I sympathize with the Mays family and couldn’t care less about Sullivan – I have a MUTE button. Maybe it’s just me…

And here’s one…as I was getting dressed, I wondered what feat of German engineering had occurred to keep Mariah Carey in her dress at the Golden Globes. That joke is just TOO easy, so I won’t even go there! Some of the clothing that stars wear is so beyond the ridiculous that I wonder what they are thinking when they don a fluffy confection of sheer lace, blinding sequins and high and/or low cut cloth swatches? Do we really need to see the breasts of these women? And why don’t the men do something similar? I wouldn’t mind if Hugh Jackman (my close, personal friend) showed up shirtless in a pair of tighty-whities and flip-flops!! Come on, what these women wear is tantamount to that, so why the double standard? Maybe it’s just me…

On another note… don’t you think it would be FANTASTIC to have a 24 hour drive-thru convenience store kind of establishment? Here’s the scenario: You need diapers, smokes, pop and juice in the middle of the night and you’re in the middle of a downpour of epic proportions. You also have a baby (or toddler) in the car with you. Do YOU want to get out of the car, run around to the other side to get the baby, cover the baby in a blanket, run into the store – already soaking wet – get the needed items, run back out into the rain, put the baby in the seat (getting further soaked from the waist down while buckling the straps), open the trunk and put said items in, run to the driver’s side and hop back in? Yeah, me neither. Which is why we need a place where you can drive up to a covered menu board, you can poke buttons for what you need, then pull up to a window where you pay for your order. Then once payment is received, you proceed to another window or door where the items you ordered only moments before are delivered to your warm, dry vehicle. Beauty, right? Maybe it’s just me…

Does anyone else have these strange moments where your brain takes flight and the craziest thoughts enter in? Care to share? Oh, maybe it’s just me…

January 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tricycle Triumph

Shortly before the Christmas holiday, during a stroll through a superstore, I glimpsed what I thought would make the perfect gift for the Pie: A Barbie Kid-Tough Tricycle. The two shades of pink and purple hypnotized me into believing that my daughter simply could not exist without it. And it was on sale – so I bought it and hid it in the laundry room closet.

On Christmas Eve, while my daughter slept snuggled with her dolly and stuffed Curious George dolls, I snuck into the laundry room to assemble the glorious trike. As the pieces emerged from the box, I began to worry that I had undertaken a strictly masculine task and that my lack of a penis would surely inhibit my completion of said task. Before me lay the following: a straight axle, wheel hubs, pedal axle, nut caps (which sound to me like something men need in the winter), bushings (I’ll leave that one alone), fork arms, a seat unit and handlebar assembly. I recognized each of these words, but not how they were applied to the detritus that scattered my laundry room floor. So rather than freeze to death or end up throwing a nut cap through the window, I replaced all the items into the box and returned it to its hiding place in the closet. I was beaten and I knew it. It would have to wait until her birthday…or maybe next Christmas.

Fast forward to New Year’s Day. The Pie enjoys helping me with laundry – she pushes the hampers to the laundry room and hands me the clothes to place in the washer. So it was during one of our laundry trips that she got curious and opened up the closet door. At her eye level, there gleamed an open box of pink and purple plastic thingies that in her estimation were created exclusively for her immediate enjoyment. “Mama, make this,” she cried as I looked to the Heavens and questioned why I ever bought the thing in the first place. The Pie likes to help, at least what she thinks is helping, and she promised she would help me make the tricycle. “Okay,” I thought. “This might be a good mother-daughter bonding moment where she can understand that girls can do anything.”

Yeah, right. What she learned was that Mama knows a lot of dirty words and she’s not afraid to use them! While the directions for assembly were fairly straightforward, the application of them became inhibited with the presence of my “helper”. The instant I snapped the seat into place, she wanted to sit on it. The moment I installed the back wheels, she wanted to ride it. I temporarily placed the fork arms and was about to screw in the covers, when she hopped on and the whole thing blew apart underneath her. To an onlooker, the scene probably would have incited laughter of the gut-busting variety, but I was not amused. At some point in the assembly process, the Pie located the handlebars, hoisted them above her head like a WWE Champion and marched around the house screaming, “HANDLEBARS! HANDLEBARS!” Yeah, yeah … it sounds cute – but believe me, it was not. Nor was it easy talking her into handing them over when it was time to attach them to the trike. Just the threat of not riding the toy was enough to do trick, however, so we neared completion of the Barbie Kid-Tough Tricycle.

As I tightened the final screw in the beast, I felt awash with pride and accomplishment. I did something I thought I would never be able to do – all through the encouragement from and love for my daughter. Seeing her pedal around the house on her new trike is reward I never imagined. I triumphed over fear and apathy for the sake of my child and learned a lesson in the process: don’t buy anything that comes in a box with the words “Some Assembly Required.”

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The 5 Signs of an Idiot

While reading the following account, you will no doubt mutter to yourself, “What an idiot!” You won’t be the only ones with the opinion. I even said it to myself during the adventure, so I am aware of the idiocy that enveloped me. But here’s the good news: I survived.

On Christmas Eve, the Pie and I visited Mimi and Poppy for a Christmas celebration. During the festivities, the region was hit with an historic blizzard that made traveling quite dangerous. Mimi and Poppy both insisted that we spend the night in their warm, dry, and comfortable home, but I apparently had taken leave of my senses and decided to drive home. The first sign that it was a bad idea was when I found myself lying prostrate in their snowy driveway. The second sign was my inability to open the car doors. The snow and ice had frozen them closed, but in my ever resourceful manner, I removed my shoe and banged on the door casing to remove the ice. When I eventually accessed the car, I grabbed the scraper and began my exercise in futility. The snow was coming down so fast; it simply replaced what I removed in a matter of seconds. Once I got the Pie into her car seat, we were on our way.

The third sign that I was a moron arrived about 40 feet later, when I attempted to stop at a stop sign and simply sailed on through the intersection. Thankfully, there were no other dopes on the road, so we were OK. Less than a mile (and 10 minutes) later, I had to pull into a gas station and knock the accumulated ice from the wipers. Winds blew at close to 50 miles per hour and in the few minutes I was outside the car, I turned into a middle-aged Frosty the Snowmommy! The Pie asked if I was OK, and not wanting to alarm her, I said, “Sure!” We were off again at the sound shattering speed of 11 miles per hour.

The drive from Mimi and Poppy’s house is mostly dark highway with few retail or residential areas. I convinced myself that the darker the better, so there would be no glare off of the snow. That was the fourth sign. I discovered that in limited light, I was unable to see the tracks from previous traffic, so I wandered all over the road. At one point, I noticed a pair of headlights bearing down on me – I realized I was driving on the wrong side of the highway and was about to turn the Pie and myself into a tragic headline. Fortunately, I maneuvered the car back into the appropriate lane and into another gas station parking lot to again knock the ice from the wipers. Each time I left the car, the snow blew onto my head and instantly froze in my hair. It was not a pretty sight.

It occurred to me that I should follow an SUV for as long as I could. I waited until one passed me and pulled in behind it. I focused on the taillights of the vehicle in front of me, certain that they were going the same place I was headed. Nope. When the SUV turned off the highway, I no longer had guiding lights. So, I pulled over again, knocked the ice from the wipers and waited for another large vehicle. Personally, I thought this idea was truly inspired, and should negate at least one sign of my idiocy.

After about an hour of driving in the blowing snow, feeling disoriented, cold and frustrated, I pulled into an oasis: Quik Trip! During the by now old hat ice whacking, I somehow inspired the windshield wipers to stop working altogether. This meant that I had to drive about 4 more miles with no wipers. And so I did. That would be sign number five. Traveling at no more than 15 miles per hour at any given time, a trip that usually takes 15 – 20 minutes, took a total of one hour and 12 minutes.

The one good thing about the drive was that the Pie was asleep for almost all of it. It’s like she knew that I needed no distractions and so she just nodded off. She awoke just as I pulled into our driveway. I’ve said it before: she’s a smart girl!

We made it home safely, took warm showers, drank cocoa and ate popcorn while we watched TV. I was never so happy to be home, snowed in with my baby girl. And I was never so mad at myself for risking both our lives needlessly. I learned that I really should pay more attention to signs!

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gotta Have a J-O-B

Starting a new job carries with it a number of emotions: anxiety, excitement, fear and frustration are foremost. Leaving what has become comfortable and familiar incites great anxiety – I think that applies to almost any life situation. There are things you leave behind at the old job – most notably, a little piece of yourself. For months to come, my former co-workers will see my name pop up in the computer system, just as I saw former employees’ names. New workers will wonder what happened to me, why I am no longer employed. Who will tell the true story in my stead?

I was excited to begin a new job with different people and environment. I was going to work for a stable, nationally recognized company and the money was just a little bit better. The drive time was significantly lessened and the job description was up my alley. Anything new creates some degree of excitement – just because of its newness. The problem is, it is eventually replaced with fear.

I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in with the other office staff. I feared that once I finally got to the office, the job wouldn’t be what I thought it was and that I had made a huge mistake. I was scared that the person who hired me decided that he had made an error and I would be without a job entirely! Eventually those fears subsided and were replaced with not a little bit of frustration.

When I arrived on my first day, there were “steps” that had to be taken to acquire a computer login, access to systems, establishing email, and other little logistic demons that took quite some time to line up. For the first week, I have done very little actual work and have been only minimally trained because of my lack of computer access. Sometimes the word “corporate” can sound like a curse. “Have to wait for corporate to handle that.” ARGH! I want to do my job. I want to learn to do my job. My enthusiasm may begin to wane if I am not able to get a handle on the tasks soon. I worry that I will get behind and spend the rest of my employment trying to catch up! Fortunately, I have a great office mate/co-worker who has shared all she can about procedures and I understand that I will begin training in earnest next week. Fingers crossed!

December 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Looking for a Family?

Strap on your boots, friends because this one is about to get pretty bumpy! I wish to share my musings on the newest ABC “reality” television show to really piss me off. If you have missed the alphabet channel’s latest installment of entertainment exploitation porn, then consider yourself one of the fortunate ones. I admit I was mildly curious when I saw the ads appear during my guilty pleasure Dancing with the Stars viewings, so I gave the sneak preview a little look-see. Color me horrified.

The premise of this treacle is to reunite biological children and parents who were separated because of adoption. Before I go any further, I need to clarify that I am a part of the adoption triad: as an infant, I was placed for adoption because my biological mother was just 16 years of age. And in the 60’s it was quite the blight on a family to have an unwed pregnant daughter. There are myriad reasons why women choose to place their unborn children for adoption and far be it from me to judge anyone for making the choice. I even considered it briefly when I learned I was pregnant with the Pie. So to me, the issue is not the irrelevant WHY a child is placed for adoption, but WHAT did the biological mother do with her life after giving birth? But I digress…

The show begins with a man whose teeth are far too big for his mouth explaining what the show is all about and showing off a remarkably cheesy “family tree” under which reunions will take place. He introduces the viewing audience to the victim…er, participant who has expressed a particular interest in locating a biological relative. Sappy music underlies the narration as we view photos of innocent youths who have no clue that someday they will pimp their personal business on national television. There is a thinly veiled suggestion in the show that every adopted child should feel compelled to find his or her biological parents, and that aforementioned parents should yearn to fill the void the adoption created in their lives.

We hear both sides of the story, music swells and each party tearfully runs toward the other beneath the tree. The emotional manipulation continues as they both sob “I love you” (to a total stranger, I might add…) and then everyone lives happily ever after. Right?

Umm…not so much. While I can certainly understand having questions, I never wanted to meet my biological mother. I was curious about what she became after school and what opportunities she had, but I never desired to show up on her doorstep one day and potentially ruin both our lives. Unfortunately, I eventually learned that she went on to have 4 more children and gave 3 of them up for adoption. Each child except the last one had different childhoods because the girl couldn’t seem to keep her legs together. The boy born after me is only 11 months younger. The youngest girl is 9 years younger than me. It seems to me that the egg-donor has some issues.

My parents supported the idea of searching for her if it was what I wanted, but I didn’t. When members of my biological gene pool came looking for me, it was not happily ever after; it was awkward and suffocating to face people who wanted desperately to be my family when I already had a right fine family, thank you very much. The only thing I ever wanted to tell the woman who gave birth to me was “Thank you.” And I did so clutching the hand of the woman who raised me – my mom. People speak of closure or completion when they meet their biological relatives, but to me, I experienced confusion and unease. I never felt comfortable in the years that followed our “reunion” and have since ceased contact with all of them. I know I have half-sisters and half-brothers out there, but I don’t feel like I am missing anything. If they do, then that’s their problem.

So for people who want to “find their families”, I suggest some wisdom from The Wizard of Oz: don’t look any further than your own back yard. I know where my family is and I always will. They’re in my heart where they belong.

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Remember the Time…

It is World AIDS Day and I am proudly wearing a red ribbon to show my support for finding a cure for the disease and in honor of friends I lost to its ravaging effects. This is the story of two of my friends who valiantly fought against the enemy and are gone but never forgotten.

The very first gay man I ever met was a student at the local beauty college and regularly did my mother’s hair. She talked me into seeing him for a haircut, but what I left with was a beautiful and sensitive friend. It was 1984 and I was fascinated by Jon. He was funny, artistic, attractive and mysterious. He was a bit older than I, so I looked up to him for advice and counsel – and to buy me booze. He lived in a funky little apartment that was dominated by a baby grand piano and featured little else but metal drink tumblers and pieces of his extraordinary art. One life-changing night, he and I sat with two other friends and shared laughs, bared our souls, wrote poems and shed tears.

I did not know until later that he had been diagnosed the HIV virus a few days before. He was the only one to know that our night together would be our last. It was his going away party… he was moving back to the Pacific Northwest where he grew up to seek treatment and eventually leave this world. It was my only chance to say good-bye. We managed to keep in touch through mail and phone calls here and there, but as he weakened, our correspondence waned. One evening in April of 1986, his partner called. He said that Jon had passed away on March 2 and it taken him nearly a month to garner the courage to call with the news. What the media was calling “The Gay Cancer” had stolen from me one of the most amazingly talented, keenly intelligent and smartly witty people I had ever known. A couple of weeks later, I received an audio recording of a song Jon wrote especially for me and I grieved…and finally found closure.

The summer after Jon’s death, I met a breathtakingly beautiful young man named Rob. He shared an apartment with a friend of a friend, but didn’t seem to fit into that teeming puzzle of guyness that permeated the place. He was tall and tan, blond and built. I was mesmerized by his ice blue eyes and beaming smile. He was the first of a long line of gay men that I would find myself in love with…and that’s another story entirely! Rob and I quickly bonded and found ourselves sharing more and more time together. He eventually shared his sexuality with me and introduced me to the man in his life…which brought me even more good friends. Rob brought nothing but goodness to my life in everything he did. We understood each other like we shared a brain and I loved him deeply. In an effort to spare me worry and concern, he chose not to reveal his HIV diagnosis to me. Over time, he didn’t really need to…when we visited, I could see the cloudiness behind his eyes, his body was changing and he was rapidly losing his hair. He complained of stomach aches, but had no explanation for them. When my mother died, he was not able to attend her funeral because he was too ill. I admit, I held a grudge.

But when Eddie called from the hospital in July of 1995, I let it go. Rob was fading fast and I needed to see him. I drove two hours to find him emaciated and unconscious. One machine removed the fluid from his lungs while another pumped oxygen into them. I asked if I could spend a few moments alone with him and I held his hand and told him he was the best friend a girl could ever have and that Heaven was certainly going to be a much better looking place with him in it. As the end neared, we gathered around his bedside, each one of us touching him gently. We cried, but we let him know that it was alright to let go – to release the pain and anxiety that plagued him. I sobbed as I watched him take his last breath, his eyes opening slowly as a reflex. Oddly, I saw not cloudiness as before, but a clarity I had never witnessed. He was finally at peace.

Take a moment today to remember those who lived with AIDS and died with dignity.

December 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lyrics of Life

I have forever been in awe of songwriters, especially lyricists. The way they can capture a mood, a moment, a feeling in words that make up a three and a half minute song is, to me, simply astounding. Of course, the perfect accompanying melody can make all the difference, but to me, it’s the words that carry the greatest influence. Most impressive to me is the collaboration of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, who together have written scores of hit songs. While Elton John is an amazing musician and performer, Bernie Taupin carries the burden of stringing together lyrics that make sense, create a scene and touch the listener.

I have compiled some song lyrics that I personally find particularly resonating.

“… I don’t know if I’ve ever been really loved by a hand that’s touched me.” Push, Matchbox 20

“… in my daughter’s eyes, I am a hero.” My Daughter’s Eyes, Martina McBride

“… doesn’t anybody stay in one place any more?” Far Away, Carole King

“… I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. Sinners are much more fun.” Only the Good Die Young, Billy Joel

“… you raise me up, so I can stand on mountains.” You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban

“… this is the moment. Destiny beckons, I never reckoned second best.” This is the Moment, from Les Miserables

“It’s….the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live.” The Rose, Bette Midler

“… the love you take is equal to the love you make.” The End, The Beatles

“… when my soul was in the lost-and-found, you came along to claim it.” Natural Woman, Aretha Franklin

“ … hello, darkness, my old friend…: Sounds of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel

“… if I leave here tomorrow, will you still remember me?” Freebird, Lynyrd Skynyrd

“ … it is well with my soul.” It Is Well, Christian Hymn

“With an iron-clad first, I wake up and French-kiss the morning.” Bed of Roses, Bon Jovi

“I have to find the passage back to the place I was before.” Hotel California, The Eagles

“For once in my life, I have someone who needs me.” For Once in My Life, Frank Sinatra

November 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What it Means…

Many, many years ago, I watched a television clip of classic comedian Red Skelton relating a story about his grade school teacher who, after years of observing his students recite the Pledge of Allegiance, felt compelled to explain to his pupils what they were actually saying. The law banning the recitation of the Pledge had recently passed and he hoped to bring about awareness of the symbolism of the Pledge. In honor of Veterans’ Day, today’s blog entry is a reprint of Mr. Skelton’s story, originally told on January 14, 1969.


I: Me, an individual, a committee of one.
PLEDGE: Dedicate all of my worldly good to give without self-pity.
ALLEGIANCE: My love and my devotion.
TO THE FLAG: Our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there’s respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job.
UNITED: That means that we have all come together.
STATES: Individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that’s love for our country.
AND TO THE REPUBLIC: A state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chose by the people to govern. And government is the people, and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION: One nation, meaning “so blessed by God.”
INDIVISIBLE: Incapable of being divided.
WITH LIBERTY: Which is freedom, the right of power to live one’s own live without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
AND JUSTICE: The principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
FOR ALL: For all, which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.
“Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: UNDER GOD. Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools, too?”

If you enjoy the freedoms provided to us as Americans, please take the time today to thank a veteran or an active-duty soldier!

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment