Outside Looking In

Any book that references Dairy Queen is a book I’m going to love. And it was certainly true for The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. 


Oh Dally, Pony, Sodapop, Darry… your names, alone, slay me. I’ve been on the outside looking in. Plenty.

And writing really has been the catharsis to the angst that brings.

It was for Ponyboy, too.  “Stay gold,” Pony.

There were quotes upon quotes that moved me in this story of East side greasers versus West side Socs.

“Nothing sparkly can stay.”  Now, that one was a lie. As a parent, I now know that glitter can stay. Glitter ALWAYS stays.

Hinton packed a ton of wisdom into this short novel about outsiders looking in. “There isn’t any real good reason for fighting except self-defense,” is there?

But his insights into our common humanity, well… even in High School, I was desperately seeking the commonalities.

“It seemed funny to me that the sunset she saw from her patio and the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset.”

As years become decades, I’ve realized how beautiful it can be to acknowledge that we all see the same sunset. There is comfort to be found in that, isn’t there?

Yes indeedy.

Only a handful of days remain. If you’ve missed any of the posts in my Best Books Ever series, click the button below. I am writing these as part of the Write 31 Days Challenge.


Thankfuls – Maiden Voyage

I’d like to do something new around here.  Maybe you’ll like it.  Maybe you’ll think it’s drivel (I’ve been dying to use that word, lately – thank you Sherlock!).

It’s happening either way.

Every Saturday, I’d like to post a list of things I’m thankful for. They will be serious things, totally inane things, and everything in between. Sometimes, there will be pictures.  Or not. I’m borrowing the idea from my sweet friend, Monica, over at Elevate Ideas. She does a weekly “Thanksday” post that always delights me.  And informs me. And, maybe best of all, helps me get to know her better.

I want us to get to know each other better in this space, too.

Don’t you like the sound of that?

I’ll share with you. You share with me.  We’ll learn some things about each other, gain new tips and tricks, pick up great encouragement and ideas, and laugh along the way.

Doesn’t that just sound like So Much Fun?

Alrighty then… let’s get to it.

For the inaugural Thankfuls List, I give you:

1. This picture that Sweetgirl brought home from Kindy-garten last week? It sums her up perfectly. She makes me smile. glitter_garden_missindeedy

2.  Even before this “get healthy” endeavor began, I had this longstanding habit of putting 2 or 3 tablespoons of Hint Water into my plain old water.  It has no artificial anything and no sweetener – just essence.  It comes in all sorts of flavors, but this is my favorite, hands down.  It makes chugalugging the water that much more palatable. True story.


3.  It feels like the whole “Nespresso” wave is taking the world by storm.  I’m still over here, though, enjoying my Keurig, and loving the mug that a sweet friend gave to me recently. It soothes my still-raw spirit whenever I reach into my cupboard for my old favorite and remember how I recently karate-chopped it to death. Indeed it does.


4. My sister-in-love, The Italian, turned us all onto this Omega-3 supplement that is DA BOMB, I tell you! We have tried so many and they just taste funky as all get out.  This one? Delish.  Sweetboy literally asks me every morning when he can have it again.  Every. Single. Morning.  And if I was a swearing kind of girl, I’d swear it’s improved my mood and helped even out my sleeping patterns.  But hey, I don’t swear. Much.


5. And last, but certainly not the least, is the “Frozen” CD.  While Sweetman might tell you he’s going to pull the last remaining 26 strands of hair he has on his head, if he has to hear it one more time, secretly? I think he likes it too.  And there is nothing, nothing, I tell you, like hearing your 5 and 10 year olds belt out songs in unison that make them giggle and smile and sound like a choir of angels. Well, the first 18 times, for sure!

And that’s what I’ve got for you this weekend.

What are you thankful for this week?

Glittery Grace

I’m not a fan of glitter. No. That’s not true. I abhor glitter, usually. More because of the fact that it’s a never-ending round of 52,000 pick-up. When I taught Second Grade, my colleagues would relentlessly tease me anytime the glitter needed to be taken out. The panic attacks that would ensue as I calculated in my head how many glitter particles 24 students were going to generate in a 20 X 20 foot room. Stopping to consider, for even a moment, how long it would take for each last errant piece of glitter to make its way out of the classroom… sorry, I need to go hyperventilate into a paper bag for moment…
The Floridian in me has officially hit The Winter Wall. The all-too-short days and lack of ability to get out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air for long periods of time, is about to do me in. The Blues have been singing their sad woe-is-me song a little too often for my liking.The mornings have reached the point where I wake up and immediately want to lay right back down on the couch and wave the wintry white flag of surrender. My heart simply feels too heavy to try to move my body around with it. Depression, even mild depression in any form, can be irksome like that. Making your “get up and go”, lay down and stop.  And that’s just not me.  I’m usually a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and carry on” kind of girl.
That, I’m finding, is precisely when the glitter should make its grand entrance. Allowing the glitter to come out and play instantly takes my mind off of feeling blue. Now, instead of focusing on how dull and dreary the day is, I can focus on how in the blue blazes I’m going to contain the glitter explosion that’s coming.  And, it does. Explode.  (Why does it always have to explode?)
And when it does?
The day suddenly looks much brighter.  Sparkly, in fact.  Whether it’s simply because I’m now inundated with copious amounts of glitter, or my focus is no longer on myself and my troubles, or because I’m now in a cleaning frenzy, I find that my spirits are lifted.
It would seem to me that glitter is a lot like grace that way. It can take even the most dreadful-feeling day and make it all sparkly. Grace takes our most dreadful acts and covers them over like so much glitter; making us seem sparkly – when what’s underneath is still a sticky, (or worse yet, a hardened) mess.
Before I know what’s coming out of my mouth, I find myself saying things like, “Thank you, God, for glitter… and grace.”. Oh, yes I do.
And it sparkles! Oooh, how it sparkles!