Posts Tagged ‘NaBloPoMo’

Calling All “Relatives”

February 1, 2012 2 comments

The first day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month) is officially begun. This month’s theme is “Relative,” which means daily posts related to one’s family, however the writer defines “family.”

I will say up front that my definition of “family” is a bit broader than many, but more limited than some. Confused? Don’t be. I figure that if I love, care for, and am concerned about, a person, I consider them family in one sense or another.

Also, I’m a perverse person at times, who regularly reads magazines and catalogs from the back to the front. While I know that today’s suggested prompt is “mother,” I intend to save her for last.

Having said all of that, I’m going to begin with surrogate family, before moving on to real, blood-related people.

Many years ago, I was privileged to teach at a small Native American College here in Montana. The first class I taught there, Intro to Sociology 101, was peopled with mostly matriculated students, both Native American and White.

One who sat close to the front was a marvelous character who had an imp of the Irish within and a laugh that carried everyone along for the ride. Lou was bright, inquisitive, and talented. He played guitar in a band to help support his family while he went back to school for a degree.

A couple of months later I found myself sitting at Lou’s dining table for a Thanksgiving dinner. There was always room at the family table for another diner, with/without an invitation. Drop in and you were invited to partake in whatever meal was being served.

That was a marvelous day, filled with laughter and discovery as to who these new friends were, who were making a place for themselves in my heart.

Over the next year, Lou and I discovered some peculiar links between us. The more we talked, the more “deja-vu” things became. We’d both lived in Jackson, WY, at the same time, went to the same places, knew some of the same people, and yet, had never met. We knew the same woman in Detroit who owned a business just outside the boundary of Greektown. I’d been there several times during a period of residency in Rochester.

Those were just two of the oddities. It was as if our lives had been entangled in this family way for so long, while neither knew of the other’s existence.

There are those who posit that people connect with those whose souls have always been close to them over time and in past lives. I cannot refute that any more than I can prove it.

All I can say is that this man is as close to me in some ways as a brother of blood would be, that I hurt if he’s in distress, and that his family is as dear to me as the one into which I was born.

I don’t get to see him often enough. We live hours apart now, but when schedules and weather permits, I go to see this other family of mine. I get to talk with both Lou and his wife, two of their children, and get to know the grandchildren now. And while their trials are their own, as mine belong to me, they will always hold a piece of my heart and thoughts and reside in my prayers each night.

I love you all, Lou, warts and all.



January 29, 2012 8 comments

Yes, folks, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. There is yet another challenge for the writers who just can’t stand going without one.

I found this particular one when I joined the BlogHer Network a couple of days ago. The challenge is to write a themed blog post each day for the given month, in this case, February.

BTW, this should in no way intimidate or discourage any writer from picking up the gauntlet of that which has beaten back many a writer. After all, there are many writers and other bloggers who already post each day. I know, because I used to be one of them.

According to the BlogHer challenge, February’s theme is “Relative,” meaning that each post must have something to do with family in one form or another.

Now, having redefined what constitutes “family” many times across the span of my life, I don’t seriously feel challenged as to topic. I have entire state’s worth of pseudo-family to draw from.

What might concern me, if I allow myself to think about it for more than a nanosecond, is the fact that I have three blogs—not counting an inactive one in the UK—which might, technically, fall under the auspices of this challenge.

Should I be held accountable for only one of my blogs each day, or, do I have to include all of them in the challenge?

That’s a big question and one I have only a few days to answer before beginning the keyboard shuffle.

I’m counting on all of you to help me with this decision. Am I supposed to do all three—that includes Trailing Inspirations on WordPress—or can I muddle through doing only one of them? And if only one, which one—Claudsy’s Calliope on Blogspot, or Claudsy’s Blog on WordPress?

Comments are encouraged, indeed, required on this one, peeps. HELP ME DECIDE!