Posts Tagged ‘Big Sis’

Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?

My Sweetie. And my Big Sis.

If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?

I think, to learn about my own heritage, I would choose Geneva.

Some history:

Geneva was the name of a settlement of the Celtic people of the Allobroges. The name of Genava (or Genua) in Latin appeared for the first time in the writings of Julius Caesar in De Bello GallicoGallic Wars., his comments on the

After the Roman conquest it became part of the Provincia Romana (Gallia Narbonensis). In 58 BC, at Geneva, Caesar hemmed in the Helvetii on their westward march. In the 9th century it became the capital of Burgundy. Though Geneva was contested among Burgundians and Franks and the Holy Roman Emperors, in practice it was ruled by its Prince-bishops, until the Reformation, when Geneva became a republic.

The first of the Geneva Conventions was signed in 1864, to protect the sick and wounded



One of the most important events in Geneva’s history is l’Escalade (literally: “the scaling of the wall”). For the people of Geneva, l’Escalade is the symbol of their independence. It marked the final attempt in a series of assaults mounted throughout the 16th century by Savoy, which wanted to annex Geneva as its capital north of the Alps. This last assault happened on the night of 11-12 December 1602 and is celebrated yearly in the Old Town with numerous demonstrations and a parade of horses, cannons and armed men in period costumes.

Geneva, or officially the Canton & Republic of Geneva, became a canton of Switzerland in 1815.

The first of the Geneva Conventions was signed in 1864, to protect the sick and wounded in war time.

What is the most exciting event you’ve ever witnessed?

Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love concert. Yeahhhhh.

Main Course
If you were a celebrity, what would you do for a publicity stunt?

I would attend a church service. People wouldn’t know what to think of it. A celebrity?! She walked into this big building….with a…..oh what is that?……a steeple…..and what the heck is that?…….a bell tower?…….and what are they doing?…….they are talking, and listening, and singing!…..the scandal!……and she���s saying outrageous things like “Don’t get high and then drive your car!”….and ���Don’t neglect your own kids!���…..we’ve never seen a celebrity act this way! Holy crap.

What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?

uhhh…..what? Whenever two parents are somewhat financially, emotionally, and mentally ready. Not that any couple is ever exactly ready. But once you are – go for it. Be you 22 or 32 or 42.




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My Big Sis (and mom and two old college roomies) hosted a wedding shower for me today. It was completely wonderful.  There were vases and vases of fresh flowers, which I totally love. Tons of good homemade food. Fantastic people. And a good reason to celebrate.


It’s one of those instances where I totally enjoyed the day, I was thrilled to see my friends and family members,……..and I had this surreal feeling – like I wasn’t quite sure why everyone was gathered at my mom’s house at the same time. Towards the end of the day, someone said “That was a nice bridal shower,” and I just looked at her in surprise. A what?! Oh yeahhhhh…..that’s what everyone was doing here. It sounded almost like a foreign word when applied to me.  It’s kind of like when I tried on one veil after many wedding dresses. For some reason, seeing a veil on top of my head zapped my brain cells. I think I was in a haze while my sister planned this shower. So much so I can think of a couple of people I absolutely should have invited who never got an invite. Oooops. Also, I was probably a bad bride today and didn’t spend enough time mingling with everyone. But, again, I think I was forgetting the reason why everyone was here.


So, I have a confession to make.


I (this is not the confession) really, really dislike excessive self-deprecation, so I’m going to try not to overdo it here. But (here’s the confession, of sorts) there are times in my life that I look around at the people who consider me a friend, and I am just amazed. It’s not that I’m not a good friend. I am fiercely loyal. And, though I have lapses of laziness, I work hard to keep in touch with good friends wherever they may be.


But……well……how do I say this? I’m a bit of a geek sometimes. Plus, I can be a bit pushy with people I’m very comfortable with. Maybe pushy is not the right word. I tend to talk a lot (again with people I know – don’t expect to hear a peep from me until I know you). And I probably talk over people too much. And I’ve seen myself on video. I cringe. I mean, I’m a sincere gal, but I’m a big geek!* The first time I saw myself on video, I thought “Ick! How do my friends put up with me?!” They’re so……so……so NON-geeky! This is probably twice as true for the work friends I’ve made over the years. These guys had no choice but to put up with me through thick or thin in a very, very deadline driven, often stress-full, workplace. But many of us were lucky enough to truly enjoy each others’ company. I used to spend so much of my time outside of work with these folks. Drinks after work. Hiking. Book club. Halloween parties. Dinners. I suppose after spending so much time with them (some of them for almost 10 years now), I shouldn’t be surprised that they like me. But, well….sometimes it surprises me. It’s like – hey! You’re not being paid to spend time with me anymore. What are you doing here? Thinking about it – maybe I should give the most credit to my college and school friends – who had the chance to bolt when they met me, yet didn’t. And then, there is my family. Who, kind of like work folks, are sort of stuck with me. But who are more than just family – they are my friends. Which goes triple for my mom and sister, who are my best friends (along with my Sweetie). Who have been more than family to me for 36 years.

To see all these different parts of my life combine today – grade school, high school, college, work, old family, and new family – was wonderful and humbling. It really brought home how lucky I am, and motivates me to continue to work as hard as I can (harder than I have been lately) to stay in touch with everyone and let them know how important they are to me. To my sister, who made it all happen (today – not the wedding itself – for which I have to thank my Sweetie), THANK YOU!

*I am in no way trying to imply that being a geek is a bad thing, but when I was a kid, it tended to lead to a lonely social life, and that’s just what I was used to. It’s refreshing, as an adult, to learn this isn’t the fate of geeky kids. I wish all kids could learn this at an early age.

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I think that, sometimes, I become too attached to things. Things, such as ideas that I have. And things, such as physical objects. How do I know the second is true?


I have a house-full of “stuff” in Maui, half a room-full of “stuff” at my mom’s, and an entire rented storage container of “stuff” waiting for me (plus one couch that my future MIL (mom-in-law) is holding for me). Yeah….it’s hard for me to let go of stuff.


The Dalai Lama, on his own website, says the following about attachment:


According to Buddhist psychology, most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities. The pursuit of the objects of our desire and attachment involves the use of aggression and competitiveness as supposedly efficacious instruments.

 The Dalai Lama talks about attachment quite a bit. I should think about it more myself. I think too much attachment to stuff, including my own brain-full of notions, is sometimes detrimental.


Why do I think about this now? My nephews were playing in my mom’s house tonight before dinner and broke one of Mom’s Hummels. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but my mom is not one of those people that has dozens of Hummels lined up on every inch of flat surface in her house. She only has a small handful, and two of them were from her mother. It was one of those moments where I could see it happening across the room and knew there was no way I could leap across a table, two chairs, and a piano bench in time to stop it.


It was a sad thing. But you know, I think I was more upset about it than Mom was. Maybe because of her typical low-key reaction to things. Maybe because, as she said later, “There’s nothing you can do about it.” And maybe because Mom just doesn’t get as attached to “stuff” as I do.


My nephews were upset also. But what happened was truly an accident, and they weren’t really playing in a manner that is not allowable in the house. It was just an accident. And here’s where a good example came in. My Big Sis handled it like a pro. Which, hey, I think she is. She’s been a mom long enough to know when something bad is an accident versus when she needs to really get to the bottom of what her kids are doing. Despite having something hot on the stove, and having me sitting on the floor lamenting the headless Hummel, she handled the situation calmly and finished making dinner. She knew the boys understood something wrong had happened – there was nothing she could add to that feeling. And she knew nothing had happened out of ill intent. She didn’t lash out at the boys, or even at me for sitting on the floor like a lump. Our mom didn’t lash out at anybody or even ask who was responsible or how it happened. She just said “Well, let’s glue it back together.” And I think both moms were very Dalai-Lama-like tonight by their patience, calm, and compassion. The moment of stunned silence around the broken figurine probably gave my sister enough time to say a prayer to help her. A few extra moments gave me enough time to try and re-engage my oldest nephew who still looked crestfallen about the whole thing. I wish I had been able to gather myself as quickly as my Big Sis did (although she did scald herself cooking, so maybe she wasn’t as composed as she looked). But, I’m trying.

Tonight, Mom and I watched the news about a big fire up near Lake Tahoe. By 11:00 p.m., over 150 homes had been destroyed in this fire. I thought how much worse that would feel than just losing one family keepsake. But then I thought about how miserable I would feel if my own home were completely destroyed. While I don’t think I’d be too off the mark to be sad about something like that, I still need to learn more about letting go of some of my attachments. I won’t even get into the problems that come about because I’ve become too attached to an idea in my head. It’s generated more arguments (many with my patient Sweetie) than I can count. And it often comes down to, I need to let things go sometimes. Hopefully, with more study, lots more prayer, and more good examples in my life, I can improve on that. Maybe. Someday?

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