Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Three Most Influential Books

Last Friday another high-profile politician had a cringe-worthy moment in an interview.

Senator Mark Udall of Colorado was asked what three books have been the most influential in his life. The Democrat Senator stumbled for an answer before asking to re-tape the question and admitting he was currently "brain-dead."

I'll be the first to admit I probably wouldn't have escaped the question any more gracefully than Senator Udall. But after the initial discomfort of watching a fellow human flounder at what wasn't even a real 'gotcha' question, I was intrigued by the query.

What have been the three most influential books in my life?

Now that I have had the luxury of ample time to come up with a response, here are my three books (aside from the Bible):
  1. Where the Red Ferns Grow by Wilson Rawls. I read this book in probably the fifth grade and it sparked my love for reading. It's the touching story of a boy and his dogs and their adventures together. I still love stories about dogs. Greyfriars Bobby is another dog story I had an emotional response to as a child and will never forget. 
  2. Texas by James Michener. As an eighth-generation Texan, the history of my great state has always intrigued me. But when I read Michener's Texas, the history came alive. I remember reading an interview with David McCullough once where he stated something to the effect that history wasn't just names and dates, it was people and their stories. Texas humanized the history for me and deepened my appreciation for it. I still enjoy reading Texas history books.
  3. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Aside from the Book of Proverbs, Franklin's autobiography is the greatest self-help book of all time. I enjoyed it thoroughly when I first read it in my 20's. I have picked it up and thumbed through it numerous times sense. A few bits of advice from Franklin that stand out: "Never confuse Motion with Action," "There will be sleeping enough in the grave," "There are no gains without pains," and "When the well is dry we know the value of water."
Well, there they are. The three most influential books in my life. Should I now run for the Senate?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Quick Thought On Hobbies

No kind soul ever asks a full-time mother about her hobbies.

About ten years ago Chris and I officially joined the church we had attended for years, and one of the prerequisites was answering a few personal questions on a membership form. The answers were shared in the church bulletin as a way of introducing new members to the congregation.

One of the first questions on the form was, "What are your hobbies?" I remember staring like an idiot at the question.

For a part-time working, full-time mother of three, "What are your hobbies?" is a humiliating question.

I was still in the diaper stages with our third, which meant I had changed well over a couple thousand diapers. Should I put ass wiping as my hobby?

What about the scores of burp-up and projectile vomiting stains I had meticulously cleaned from clothing and carpet? Could cleaning be a hobby?

Then there were the hours spent examining and analyzing the endless varieties of baby food. Baby food in jars, baby food in boxes. Crackers that help teething. Juices that replenish electrolytes. (What the hell is an electrolyte?) If I put "shopping" as my hobby, maybe people would assume it was shopping for Valentino gowns or Hermes Birkin bags? That answer had some possibilities.

What did I end up putting down as my hobby? Reading.

I just didn't tell them what. What to Expect When You're Expecting, Baby's First Year, Good Night Moon...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Night Lights

Tonight is the big game. Stratford plays Brenham in football, and Stratford is expected to lose. But just maybe this will turn out be one of those great "Underdog Wins" stories. Keep your fingers crossed.

Oldest is a junior at Stratford. He's also the starting tight end.

Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts graduated from Stratford. Now Oldest might not be Andrew Luck, but he's pretty darned good. He played both ways on varsity last year as a sophomore.

At 6'4" and 220 pounds, Oldest hasn't met a defender he couldn't block. But the Stratford Spartans go up against some pretty big boys on the Brenham Cubs tonight. I'm nervous.

I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE: The Spartans pulled off an upset win of 56-31, including Oldest's 44-yard touchdown reception. Stratford advances in district with a record of 3-0. It was a great night.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Trying Out This Blogging Thing

I want to write, but my kids don't approve.

What does Mom know?

So my blog is a secret. I'm not sure how long I can keep it a secret, but it'll be fun trying.

I'll write at night, and when they're at school. Maybe I'll write in my closet sometimes. I will for sure write about them some. They would really hate that.

But for now, it's a secret.