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36 – There’s No Place Like Home

Home means something different for each and every one of us.

There are several ways to define home in the dictionary, but my favorite is “a familiar or usual setting“.

For some, it will always be their childhood home. For others it will be the home they built for themselves. And sometimes, home is as simple as being inside of someone’s arms.

I used to think home was best explained as a building with four walls and a roof. A solid structure where I felt like I belonged. A safe fenced in yard, where many memories were made. A place I always looked forward to visiting. Somewhere that no judgements were made, and everyone always had good inside of them. And, once in a while, someone would get called a scheister.

It was my Omi and Opi’s home, and although it did not live there, for all intents and purposes it was my childhood home. It was a part of our family for more than 50 years.

It was sold in 2016, and I had to go through the gut wrenching process of moving Omi and cleaning out the house. Watching her give away all of her possessions was not an easy thing to do. Omi lost her home that day, and I thought I had lost mine too.

Since then, I have started to view things a little differently. Home has becomes nothing more feeling.for me. It is the place I feel most safe and most comfortable. Often, I find it where I would least expect it to be, but it fills me up with a kind of calmness that I have never found anywhere else.

No matter how you define it, there really is no place like home.

I am counting down the days until my 40th birthday with 40 Things.

37 – Red Wine Is Best When Consumed In Moderation

Dear Red Wine,

You and I go way back. You played an important role in some of the craziest and carefree moments of my life. At weddings and Christmas parties, you were the liquid courage I needed to get on the dance floor.

You were able to convince me, that my awkward and oaf-like movements, were actually graceful and coordinated. With you by my side, I was bold and confident, and was certain I had Moves Like Jagger. We were always so much fun together.

You were so smooth, and each glass left me wanting more. I could feel my cheeks start glowing at first sip, and by the time I was a couple glasses in, I would be warm and fuzzy all over. I always meant to alternate you with water, but somehow that always felt like cheating.

The problem was, there was never any moderation with you. It was black or white. Either I was all in, or not at all.

There are many occasions I did go all in. Just you and me. My brother’s wedding comes most clearly to mind. Perhaps because that was the beginning of the end of our love affair.

You were the cheapest choice at that wedding, and many of us chose to polish off the remnants from other tables. It was fun, and seemed logical at the time. It is however, impossible to know just how much red was consumed that night. In hindsight, I can safely say, it was far too much.

The aftermath included a rough night on the bathroom floor, and a hangover that felt like it lasted for days and days. Like most of my dates with you, this was a common occurrence. They always started fun and exciting, and ended with a self inflicted kind of misery.

Since that wedding, we have rarely met up. I think there was one more Christmas party that netted similar results, and finally had me swearing you off for good.

Nowadays, you assist with cooking and marinating. It is a lesser role, but one that I truly appreciate. If I am persuaded to have a drink, it is exactly that.  Just one small glass for memories sake.

You and I had a lot fun, but you are the kind of friend who is best enjoyed in moderation.

Thanks for the memories,


I am counting down the days until my 40th birthday with 40 Things.

38 – There Will Never Be A Perfect Time

Too often, we put off the things that we really want.

  • These are things we dream of at night.
  • The things that make us smile and laugh.
  • The things that make us happy.
  • The things that satisfy us.
  • The things that fill us with hope.

We put them on the back burner for any number of reasons.

  • We don’t believe we can do it
  • We are afraid of taking a chance
  • The timing is just wrong
  • Money is too tight
  • Someone else’s needs trump our own

Even though we know how badly we want it, we find reasons to justify waiting and putting it off. We use every excuse imaginable. But, we still dream and hope and want.

The truth is, there will never be a perfect time.

Life is shorter than short. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. Be in the moment. Realize that there has never been a more perfect time than right now to live your dreams. 

Take a chance, before it is too late.

I am counting down the days until my 40th birthday with 40 Things.

39 – Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

One of the biggest mistakes I have made in the past, is to judge people by the first impression I have of them. Let’s be honest, it is hard not to.

Imagine a guy at a party drunk as a skunk. He’s drinking his face off, slurring his words and can barely stand straight. He is fun, but over the top. What would your first impression be? Would you avoid him at all costs?

Now picture this. You meet a girl at an event. You have things in common, but she is loud, a little obnoxious and just has to be right. She also argues her point of view to death. What would you think of her? Would you meet her for coffee?

In a really short period of time, it is easy to pass judgement on someone you don’t know, based on their behaviour. That first impression comes from our perception of what we see in that moment.

Maybe the drunk guy has had a really crappy day, for any number of reasons. He has been drinking to lighten his mood and feel a little better. Perhaps the girl has a lot on her plate. Family and finances may be eating away at her, and she needs to feel that she is right about something.

My first impressions were no different then yours. In the past, I would have trusted my gut and shut down. The familiar comfort of my hard shell used to feel a lot safer than opening up and giving someone a chance.

Life is funny though. As we get older we start to look at everything differently. We see things with our experience, and our perception changes. Suddenly we are able to relate to that guy and that girl. We learn to let those first impressions go.

For me, that guy and that girl have both become good friends. The kind of friends I know I can lean on if I need something. That would have never happened if I trusted my initial feelings about them. I would have never spoken to either of them again.

It’s certainly cliche, but still very true.

Never judge a book by its cover.

(Unless it is a real book. If it is a real book, judge away. Some of my favorite books are ones I chose because the I really loved the cover art.)

I am counting down the days until my 40th birthday with 40 Things.

40 – It Is Important To Have A Creative Outlet

Once upon a time, I had a blog.  Two of them in fact.

The first one was called Little Moments. I set out to create a photoblog. Through it I learned a lot about blogging, websites and even some coding. After 2 years, I realized that there was something missing from the site though. ME. I wanted it to convey who I was, not just showcase my pictures.

So naturally, next came I started it in 2010, and I blogged a lot. Sometimes daily. I upgraded the site a few times, tried different themes and learned as much as I could about what I was doing. It was something I was very proud of.

I shared pictures and stories. Sometimes my pictures alone were enough to tell the stories. I vented and shared my pain. I wrote about happy times, vacation times and exciting times. My blog was about me, and for me. It was my creative outlet.

Then life got busier. My job changed, my life changed, my boys were growing up and creating havoc at times, and I decided running and racing was something I needed to do. In addition to all of this, my laptop was getting old, and made the entire process of blogging – from writing to editing pictures – very frustrating. I no longer had extra time or even will to keep it up.

I tried to fill the void with Instagram (and Twitter and Facebook). While they are all great places to microblog, and very visual, I never found a suitable replacement.

So, here we are – 2.0. A new look and a completely fresh start. Blank pages ready to be filled with photos, writing and creativity.

I am counting down the days until my 40th birthday with 40 Things.