Saturday, May 31, 2008

Photo Mosaic

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker).

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? right now?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Anniversary

So tomorrow would have been my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. This fact didn't hit me until this morning when I was driving to work. I have an interesting story to tell about my morning...

Early this morning as I was getting myself and the children ready to start our day I noticed a beautiful red cardinal outside in the woods behind my house. Usually when I see the cardinals they are at the edge of my yard close to the street, so I was surprised to see this beautiful creature in my back woods. Cardinals are special to me because they were one of my Mum's favorite birds and every time I see one I feel her spirit close to me! So I acknowledged the bird said 'Hi' to Mum and went about my day still not thinking about the 'date'. After I dropped off the children I made my way to school. It is about a 25 to 30 minute ride depending on the traffic. As I drove I called Dad on my cell phone, just to check in with him and make sure he was doing what he needed to do before his CT scan today. As we were talking he asked me if I knew where there might be a wedding photo that he could put up on the wall. Mind you I still have not realized the significance of the date. I told him that I was sure that there must be a photo around and that I would help him find one to put up on the wall. As soon as I finished this statement the traffic slowed to a stop and I slowed to a stop behind the green SUV that had been in front of me for this entire time. Don't I look up at the SUV's licence plate and see the name JOANIE! I totally freaked Mum's name was Joan and many friends and family called her JOANIE. How many people in this world have that name for their plates?? And what were the chances that they would come to a stop in front of me! I told Dad and then had to get off the phone as I was about to pass several police officers directing traffic and wanted to pay attention to what I was doing. As soon as I hung up the tears came and didn't stop and then the realization hit that tomorrow would be their 40th wedding anniversary. Tears are coming now. Even after more than seven years I still miss her so much! It is comforting to believe and know in my heart that she - her spirit speaks to me.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Upcoming Gigs in 2008

May 30 Anvil Pub Wrentham, MA
May 31 Players Rockland, MA
June 6 R&R Tavern Rockland, MA
June 7 Diamonds Grille Stoughton, MA
June 13 Lucky Dog Pembroke, MA
June 14 Christine's Raynham, MA
June 28 Huckleberries Middleboro, MA
July 12 Slaphappy's Bourne, MA
July 18 Lucky Dog Pembroke, MA
July 19 Huckleberries Middleboro, MA
July 26 R&R Tavern Rockland, MA
August 2 Block Party
August 8 Huckleberries Middleboro, MA
August 29 R&R Tavern Rockland, MA

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moving forward

So today was the last day of school for our class. The morning was more emotional than any other 'last day' I have had. Several of the families are leaving our schools as their youngest children move on to public school Kindergarten. I have had the privilege to be involved with three such families as several of their children have moved through our school. The parents were very generous with their thanks and praise for all the work we have done for their children this year. There are many children that I will miss greatly as we move forward. For the afternoon class many children will be returning for which I am happy. Others are moving on to Kindergarten. It was a long challenging year with that group and I almost feel a sense of relief as this year comes to an end.

So some interesting news...I have been participating in Stand for Children e-action regarding our the MA budget. The emails that I sometimes personalize and other times send as they are received go directly to Senate President Murray. Well yesterday when I got home there was a message on my answering machine from a member of her staff informing me that he had indeed received my email regarding the concerns I had about the budget and the amendments that Stand for Children is supporting. He said he made the Senate President aware of my concerns and that if I had any more questions or comments that I could call him. He even left me a specific phone number. I was so stoked! I know people who don't even get a phone call back from that office never mind a phone call regarding an email with a contact number to call. I emailed Katie our organizer and she indicated that she did not think this was a typical call. She and I are meeting tomorrow and will discuss it further. I'll keep you updated.

More news about Dad. He met with his primary care who indicated that his white count is up and he has a high sediment count. His CT scan is scheduled for a week from Friday and I will be able to bring him so that is good. I don't like it when I feel out of the loop regarding his health care. We'll see what the new CT scan says.

Time to go check in on all of my favorite blogs.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Odds and Ends

So it's been busy around here lately and all that business has tired me out! So some of the things going on are within my control while others are not. Some of the things that are creating business are things that I have chosen and could eliminate from my life but I enjoy them and want to participate: this would include my work with Stand For Children and the school council at my children's school as well as taking on additional responsibility at my workplace. With these commitments I am out of the house 1 to 2 times a week for evening meetings and am going into work on my day(s) off to keep up with those responsibilities. Summer will reduce the frequency of meetings as well as the workload at work. I am happy to say that I only have 1 week left in the regular school year calendar. Check out our new website:

So on to the things that are out of my control; Dad has been having more of the same medical issues. He has been back to the doctor and has now been sent for a pelvic cat scan that will have to be repeated again after a second appointment to his primary care next week. We are unsure as to why the test has to be repeated. We are hoping to find out more at next week's appointment. His chronic health issues just seem to be getting worse. It is frustrating because he is not always willing to do his part in taking care of himself. There are other issues surrounding Dad and his care that would be too much to go into in this forum but suffice it to say that all of this combined is quite taxing.

Anyway all of these things create a level of business in my life...the first type feeds my soul the second drains all of that nourishment away. Sigh...

This post has gone in a direction that I had not intended but maybe it is something that just needed to be said.

Here's to the upcoming summer months that will bring a slower pace, more time with my children and husband and time to reflect on a very busy year and how to create balance as I move forward.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

In Honor of My Mom!

I was just visiting a new journal and saw a posting of an old picture of the author's mom and it inspired me to share a couple of photos with you...My Uncle Paul, who is in his 80's, recently sent me a couple of pictures of my mom as a young woman long before she met and married my dad and had my brother and I....

In the first picture Mum is on the right in the beautiful Asian dress. She is standing with her best friend, Franny. Franny is my godmother.

In the second picture Mum is in the middle. She is dancing with her sister May(left) and her niece Mary(right).


Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

To all the moms out their I say Happy Mother's Day! We had very simple plans today. A trip to D&D for coffee and donuts and then time spent on a beach south of here that is said to be covered with sand dollars and other shells. This is one of my favorite ways to spend time with my children...searching the local beaches for special treasures! Unfortunately like many plans these were not to be as my eldest child has come down with a fever and stomach bug! So I am spending Mother's Day doing what mothers do and I have to say that I am fine with that!

For many years Mother' Day has been a tricky day for me for many reasons. As a young adult there was always a level of expectation that something extraordinary must be done or given to my Mom in order to keep the peace. It was always difficult as she had all that she needed and whatever we came up with never seemed to be adequate. R's mom was never as high maintenance as my mom but nonetheless we would be running around at the last minute trying to do or get or plan something special for her too. Looking back seven years after both of their deaths I wish that we had the foresight to just 'be' with our moms!

I read a wonderful article in the Boston Globe today that really touched my heart. I'm including it here because I found it so poignant. I hope you enjoy!


Better memories eclipse the sad this Mother's Day
Dorothy Haley Curtin, the columnist's mother. (Beverly Beckham)
EmailPrintSingle Page Text size – + By Beverly Beckham

May 11, 2008

I don't think about her every day. And I don't cry for her anymore. I can look at pictures of her young and smile. I can read what she wrote in my baby book and not fall apart. I can even listen to the record she made for my father when I was 9 and she was 31 - "Happy anniversary, Larry," she says at the end - and not feel my heart breaking.
more stories like this
And all this is good, I guess. But for many, many years, I couldn't do any of these things. My mother's voice, her handwriting, every black and white picture in which she is smiling, all the color slides that my father took and labeled, "Dot. Easter, 1957"; "Dot and Bev. August, 1959" - all these things, anything, could make me sob.
She said I was enough. She said she had my father and she had me, and there was nothing else she wanted. She said this all the time.
But I heard her crying in her room and I heard my father say: "It's OK, Dot. We'll try again." And they tried again.
There was music in our house every time my mother was pregnant, the record player on, my mother singing "Nevertheless" and "Little Things Mean a Lot," hope, like perfume, filling the air. But then there was always a trip to the hospital and my grandmother or my aunt or Mona, a neighbor, at the kitchen table and my father sitting there fighting back tears.
I wished for a baby all of my childhood, on every first star, on every wishbone, on every birthday cake. I lit candles at church. Faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains, Father Finn told me. Ask and you shall receive, he said. So I asked. I begged.
I asked and I begged years later, too, when my mother fell down her cellar stairs. She was 46 and in a coma. I was 24 and had just had my second child, a girl whom I placed next to her, in the crook between her arm and her body. "Wake up, Mom," I begged. "Here she is, the little girl you wanted. Our little girl."
Time heals everything. It must. Because I can go back to this moment now without weeping.
That first Mother's Day after her fall, she was a patient at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain. She'd been there five months. She couldn't sit up so she had to be tied in her wheelchair. She couldn't lift her head so she had to wear a neck brace. She couldn't hold a spoon so she had to be fed. She couldn't stand or walk or speak.
I remember envying all the people whose mothers weren't broken.
Sixteen years later, I made a videotape for my father. My mother was living at home then and had been for years. I found dozens of old pictures of her and my father young and healthy and set them to the tune of "They Can't Take That Away From Me."
It was the dumbest thing I've ever done.
Because something did take away all the good times. The way she wore her hat? The way she sipped her tea? All the while my mother was alive and struggling to get out of a chair, to get into bed, to walk more than a few feet, to do, to be, the good times were gone for my father and me because they were simply too painful to look back at.
My mother died nearly 20 years ago. Finally, she was free. Now, finally, I am free, too. I can remember her without crying. I can look at old photographs, caress her handwriting, read her words, and think about all she meant to me and all I meant to her.
I listen to her sing on a warbly 78, the song she made for my father, "Why this feeling? Why this glow? Why the thrill when you say hello?" I think about the day she made this record. I think about watching her through glass. I think about how she had to sing alone because she didn't have five extra dollars for a piano player. I think about my father's face as he listened to this love song.
And I don't cry anymore. I turn up the volume and smile.
Beverly Beckham can be reached at
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