I Really Don’t Want to be a Grinch

I’m not sure when it happens, exactly. But, one by one we all grow up and the magic seems to slip away just a bit. Why is that?

While I was sweeping up the sugar granules crunching under my feet on the kitchen floor, Connor decorated Christmas cookies this past Saturday.  It made me recall how delighted my own daughters, nieces and nephews were “way-back-when” as they participated in Cousin Cookie Day. As I put everything away later that night I realized how beautiful his over-decorated, bumpy cookies were.


Sunday, we attended my husband’s family holiday gathering held at a meeting hall. Afterwards, in my haste to clean up and get home, I threw out my car keys. Without complaint, George and my brother-in-law went on a dumpster-diving rescue mission. 

I was in a hurry to get to school on Monday as there was a lot to do. School-wide Advent wreath lighting. Carol Night and Live Nativity rehearsal. Santa Sale. Tic-Toc! I rationalized as I cut in front of another driver in the fast food drive-thru lane on my way to work. 


I was late for the second time this week, when our neighborhood lost electrical power during the wee hours of Wednesday morning. I threw on clothes in the dark, cold silence and raced off to work. Because of my rude behavior on Monday, I chose a different drive-thru on the way to school. 😉 “Are you ready for the holidays?” asked the cashier. “Nope.” She responded with, “Well, I’m asking everyone today. I’m letting them know that I’m not and that’s ok.” She admonished me to have a great day and genuinely wished me a wonderful holiday.  

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Then, it hit me – this stranger’s wisdom was exactly what I needed. Slow down. Be kind. Why rush? What’s the point of it all? I needed to slow down. It’s not about checking off lists. It’s about wonder and dreams and enjoying what we have. With wonder sparkling in their eyes, the little ones help keep us focused on what’s important.


Children, sleeping.
Snow is softly falling.
Dreams are calling,
Like bells in the distance.
We were dreamers,
Not so long ago.
But one by one, we
All had to grow up.

When it seems the magic slipped away…
We find it all again on Christmas Day.

Believe in what your heart is saying,
Hear the melody that’s playing.
There’s no time to waste,
There so much to celebrate.
Believe in what you feel inside,
Give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need, if you just believe.

-Believe, Polar Express. Written by written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri

I’m reminded to slow down and enjoy my family’s health and happiness. Have a great holiday (whichever holiday you choose to celebrate)! – – Joanne

I get by with a little help from my friends…

When our children were diagnosed with cancer (one as a toddler and the other as a young adult); generous-hearted people from all over helped us out – even some whom that I have never had the honor to meet. I am forever grateful for the prayers, well wishes and help given. People are wonderful.

A young family from my school is facing an uphill battle for their husband/daddy to recover from a recent terrible car accident. In addition, they are expecting a little baby in a few months. As soon as he is able, Kris will travel to Georgia for intense therapy. I think we’ll all agree that energy should be spent in recovery, not dealing with emotional stress that financial strain can bring.

So, I have a favor to ask any who stumble upon this humble blog. Dear Reader, if you can send prayers or good vibes or financial help to this family, it will be much appreciated. To help financially a charitable website, Give Forward has been set up for this family. Thank you for whatever you may offer.

Have a good week! – – Joanne


::A Wonderful Day::

Bear with me. This is NOT a DIY, artsy or home post; but a “things I love” post.

The alarm sounded. I grumbled. It was cloudy and breezy out. Another indoor recess day? *sigh* Didn’t bode well for our annual One-Mile Run.

For the past 20+ years, our school has participated in the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, running along the Atlantic on the boardwalk located one block away. So, today as I manned (err, womanned) my post, I took a few photos with my cell. Still a little worried because of the clouds and breeze. Little did I know that a wonderful day was in store . . .


MileRun 1


Starting at the old fishing pier the kids took off, blasting by the now empty hotels. They ran past the old 1895 deWitt cottage (my post), sandy play areas, surfers and die-hard beach goers.




Runners sprinted under the scaffolding for holiday light show (Up already? It’s still October).




These fish sentinels watched over the six- through fourteen-year old student runners. 

So what was the wonderful part?




Witnessing older students enthusiastically cheer on and escort students who find physical activities extremely difficult. I love kindness. Kids can be so cool.

AND, recess was outside today! 🙂


Note: All students depicted have a signed media waiver. However, I chose to use ‘back-of-head’ images!

Have a good week! – – Joanne