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Showing posts from December, 2010

Holiday Cards; a Retrospective

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Every now and then I feel I've accomplished something of note: writing a pithy blog entry for instance, performing for an audience who's clung to my every word, even cooking a mean pot of red beans and rice can make me giddy with pride. My list isn't terribly long, in fact some of my talents have waned over the years (these days I swim more like a geriatric manatee than the sleek porpoise of yore.) But I have recently acquired a later life skill which I would like to share with you. I have developed, if I do say so myself, an eye for constructing a heckuva good Hanukkah/Christmas/Winter Solstice/Kwanzaa/ Boxing Day/New Year's/and any other end of the year celebration you can think of holiday card.
All year long I keep an eye out for a unique opportunity that just might be a photo op for a possible kick ass card. And if no picture presents itself, well then, the Foster-Shepperds will not be representin' and mailboxes will be less full that year.
From four years ago...

Shake the Waffle

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On this, my son's eighth birthday, I made waffles. One would think I planned waffles as a special birthday breakfast. (When I was a kid my mother's birthday breakfast for us was oatmeal with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, sprinkled with brown sugar. Absolute heaven.) But no, the idea behind waffles had nothing to do with "birthday breakfast," it was born out of necessity. We are going out of town for the holidays and I'm trying to make do without going to the market. We have no milk, no eggs, no bacon, no oatmeal and for that matter, no vanilla ice cream. And so, the only breakfast staples I could think of that didn't require any of the above were waffles and that frostbitten package of sausage links stuck to the back of the freezer, purchased in aught eight.
I did have my concerns. For some unfathomable reason my children have professed a dislike for waffles. I know, how can they not like waffles? If I had my way as a kid, I would have eaten them t…

Soldiers and Bullies

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Michael's nephew, Chucky, went to war. He served our country faithfully, rounded out his tour of duty and when he came home he was different. Friends and family noticed the change immediately. Chucky was more withdrawn and depressed. And there was something else...a quiet desperation, which I believe you can see in this photo. Look into his eyes. It's as if he wore a mask to cover the suffering within.
Michael's family used the tools they had at their disposal to help Chucky. His sister took him to the VA Hospital to get him psychological care, but since Chucky refused to admit himself the VA couldn't help. His parents tried to get Chucky to embrace religion, his mother is a Jehovah's Witness, his father Baptist, but it turned out getting on his knees and praying couldn't help either.
Sebastian loved his older cousin, and at the family reunion four years ago, the only person Chucky could comfortably relate to was my then four year old son. Interacting with Sebast…