Happy Accidents

Posted on 1/12/2015 07:47:00 PM In:
I accidentally left the flash on when I was taking photos of the Washington Monument the other night and the result was actually pretty cool.

So then I tried again.  It's like the Ghost of the Washington Monument is looming in the background in some sort of Paranormal Witness episode.

And then all I can think of is this SNL Sketch with Hugh Laurie and "Sounded more like Roger to me... 'Roooo-geeeer.'"

This was what I was really trying to do.

which is much more sophisticated and austere.

My thoughts: 

Sodapop and Ponyboy

Posted on 1/11/2015 05:04:00 PM In:
Not a great photograph, per se, but I love my two girls leaning against the Washington Monument at night like a couple of The Outsiders gang.  Posting for posterity... theirs.

My thoughts: 

Mt. Vernon at Sunset

Posted on 1/10/2015 04:59:00 PM In:
I mentioned before that we went to hang out at some of George Washington's old stomping grounds between Christmas and the New Year.  While my kids were busy trying to roll into the Potomac, I took some pictures.

Mt. Vernon is one of my favorite places in the D.C. area, though it had been a long time since I had been there.  Washington basically had four different farms and did different stuff on each of them.  You can go through the house and see a lot of his actual things, which have been recovered and returned to the estate, but no photography inside so you'll have to do the virtual tour if you want to see it.  If you go during certain times of the year, you can also go up to the third floor, which they don't let everyone do.  I've managed to do that twice, but there is only one single-file staircase, so you have to get pretty chummy with the strangers coming down as you are going up and vice versa.  I prefer a butt-to-butt technique, but not everyone follows that logic and it gets... weird. 

Washington's grave:

Interesting side.  Washington did not want a monument for himself.  So that giant Washington monument downtown?  He would have never gone for it.  Before he was even elected President, Congress planned one but when he became President, he scrapped the plans for that one, saying funds were simply not there and he did not want the nation to spend the money.  Which is true, the country was suffering budget questions even then, but I've also read some theories that suggest he would have simply hated the fact that so many Washington Monuments exist..  He just wanted to be buried here at home and simply, on the land that he was always trying to return to. 

Nearby Washington's grave, is this tree with brick inside its knothole.

I was fascinated by this and when I got home, did a fair amount of Googling Googleing searching the internet and finally learned that that's probably not brick.  This was a common style of filling a wound in a tree.  They would use pitch or tar to seal the wound and then after applying the patch of pitch they would gouge in the brick lines with a chisel before the pitch hardened.  I have no idea if that is correct or not as I only found one fleeting reference to this in the comments section of some website, but it sounds plausible.  So I'm going with it.

I like to sit on the back porch of Mt. Vernon and look out over the Potomac taking in pretty much the same view George and Martha would have enjoyed after dinner in the evenings.  Of course, back then, I'll bet there were a lot fewer chairs on the porch. 

This photo comes from Declan McCullagh Photography's website; I would never have been able to ask all the tourists to get up for a photo.
These photos, however, are mine:

My thoughts: 

You Know What's Convenient?

Posted on 1/06/2015 04:07:00 PM
A cat that puts itself away when you're done with it.

My thoughts: 

A Plague Upon Your Fair

Posted on 1/05/2015 09:49:00 AM
There is required cultural education that goes on in the Underground household.  Recently, we had the Shortlings watch all of the Star Wars films from our childhood - the original cuts, just as God and George Lucas intended (though we all know George Lucas is a little bit wishy-washy).  I have forced encouraged my children to watch everything from Charlie Chaplin silents and Abbot and Costello movies, to contrasting versions of Miracle on 34th Street, Annie, and Karate Kid, to E.T., to Les Miserables, (which, at nearly three hours running time, takes a really long time to watch when you have to stop every fifteen minutes to explain French history and philosophical dilemmas to a six and ten year old).  We have also watched an obscene amount of movie musicals.

Currently, the following are on my DVR-recorded-yet-still-to-watch list:
  • Annie Get Your Gun
  • Amadeus
  • Easter Parade
  • In the Good Old Summertime
  • Love Actually
  • Columbo episodes
  • Selected episodes of The Twilight Zone (there are just too many to watch them all and The Children claim they "creep them out" [*cough, wussies, cough*] so I just pick the best ones)
  • Finishing up the last few episodes of Route 66 (though that's more for me due to the fact that I have this recurring fantasy of buying a '56 'Vette and taking off to leave all my problems behind and drive around the country a la Martin Milner)

I'd add to this a list of musicals The KoH dubbed "the most annoying and repetitive thing ever," but I don't think an entire list of things can be "THE most annoying" thing ever and so I reject his premise outright.

I forced encouraged The Shortlings to watch Meet Me in St. Louis on New Year's Day morning.  They've seen the Wonderful Wizard of Oz before, but I guess I've been remiss in my Judy Garland training because they did not know who she was nor recognize her as Dorothy when they saw her.


After having to stop explain what a World's Fair was during the first number, why everyone was so excited about it (I told them to think of it as a big renaissance fair with modern stuff and that seemed to do it), and why they no longer hold them (answer: well, we do, kind of, we also don't, but we do) the Shortlings settled in and watched intently.  During Judy Garland's first solo number in the film, "The Boy Next Door," she got to the second or third note and The Dormouse, apparently new to the idea that Garland had a voice, exclaimed, "Woah!"

Love that kid.

Note to self: Add Andy Hardy movies to the list.

When we got to the scene where Mr. Smith told the family they were going to have to leave Saint Louis and move to New York after Esther had only just made friends with the Boy Next Door, I heard a sniff next to me and looked over to see The Caterpillar wiping away a tear.  In that moment, I had two conflicting thoughts:

I love that my seven year old is moved to tears by sad scenes in movies.  I do not understand it, but I love it.


Oh crap, we're never going to make it through the snow people scene are we?

But we did make it through Margaret O'Brien's tears (you know that Vincent Minelli didn't really tell her her dog died to get that scene, right?) and to the climax where the gut-wrenched Mr. Smith decides they're not moving after all and they get to stay in Saint Louis with their boyfriends and will go to the World's Fair.  Hooray!

A bumper slide appears on the screen that shows the house and says, "Spring."

Suddenly, The Caterpillar registers her discontent and we have to stop the film.

"But what happened?' she whines.

"Keep watching."

"But, I don't understand.  What happened?"

"What do you mean? It's not over yet."

"But they didn't finish telling the story!"

"Well, like I said, it's not over yet.  There's more, so just watch."

"But did she get married?  What is the sister gonna do? Is she gonna get married?"

"Well, not yet," I said, still paused on the "Spring" bumper slide, "but they're staying in Saint Louis and look, it's Spring.  Do you remember what was coming in the Spring?"

She looked up at me and smiled, "Cicadas?"

Yes. And that's when the whole town of Saint Louis was overrun by the 1904 swarm of bugs and everyone perished in a horrible slow death.  It was the feel-good movie of the decade.


My thoughts: 

7 Year Old Fancies Herself a Wit

Posted on 1/04/2015 02:46:00 PM

Each year, Santa brings a selection of mixed nuts for the stockings.  I doubt that even he realized how much entertainment they could provide.

My thoughts: 

Say Goodbye to Christmas

Posted on 1/03/2015 04:01:00 PM
The two best days of December are the day we put the Christmas tree up and the day we take it down.

My thoughts: 

Sour Santa

Posted on 1/03/2015 08:08:00 AM
For some good little children on Christmas Eve, Santa brings a Christmas orange.  

And for some others, Santa brings a Christmas lemon.

And those others are probably more excited about that Christmas lemon than all the other things in the stocking combined.  

Because they are weird kids.

My thoughts: 

This May Have Been a Mistake

Posted on 1/02/2015 02:32:00 PM

My thoughts: 
Mount Vernon at sunset

Maybe it's just the antidepressants talking but all in all, 2014 wasn't that bad for me.  Some ups, some downs, but that's life and life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.  The latter quarter of the year sucked a bit and caused us to change a whole lot of plans we'd made, maybe I'll write about that some later, but even that was a pretty small blip on the screen because we weathered it pretty OK after some initial kicking against the pricks.  It's not my worst year ever, by far.

The other night, I helped teach a lesson on goal setting to some teenagers and we asked them to imagine where they wanted to be in ten years.  What did they want their lives to be like? What did they want to be doing?  What did they want to have accomplished?  And then based on that, we asked them to back up five years.  Where do they need to be in five years, in order to be where they said they wanted to be in ten years?  Then back up to next year.  Then next month.  Then next week. The adults in the room walked through the exercise as well to set an example and I was thinking about my own goals, all I could think of was this:

Oh dear. 

The truth is, I am a fairly goal-driven person and yet, I have no idea where I want to be ten years from now.  I could not think of a single thing that I don't have now that I want to have then.  Oh, I have lots of ideas about doing random projects and education and new experiences, but none of them was an overwhelming goal that I really cared about enough to write down.  If those things were to happen, that'd be fine, and if not, well... that'd be fine too.  I can't decide whether this means I'm not excessively materialistic and I kind of like my life, I've accomplished all the things I want to and now I just want a vacation, or I've just grown so apathetic I can't articulate anything.

Is this what happens when you get old?

Perhaps my goal for 2015 is to get a goal.

Either that or my goal for 2015 is to refrain from eating fiberglass insulation and to wear my shoes over my socks.  Because that seems easy and I think I can accomplish that.

My thoughts: 

Tilt Your Head 45 Degrees to the Left

Posted on 12/31/2014 02:01:00 PM In:

One of the few clear shots of the currently-scaffolded Capitol Building dome I was able to get the other night.  I really should just leave my tripod in the car.

Here are the only other two.

My thoughts: 

Never Seen Them Before in My LIfe, Mr. Park Ranger

Posted on 12/31/2014 12:23:00 PM

Whose ill-mannered kids are rolling down the hill in George Washington's back yard?

 Oh wait...

My thoughts: 

Christmas Isn't Complete Until You've Visited the Christmas Camel

Posted on 12/31/2014 12:08:00 PM In:
The day after Christmas was nice so we all headed out to George Washington's Mount Vernon to hang out with the Christmas Camel.

Never heard of a Christmas Camel?

Aladdin is so disappointed in you.

George Washington, like many of his contemporaries, enjoyed the entertainment of exotic animals.  Washington recorded paying to see a "Lyoness," a "Tyger," and even spent $1.75 to see an elephant.  During the Christmas season of 1787, Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to Mount Vernon for the enjoyment of his family and friends.  Aladdin, a seven-year-old camel, from Virginia, will live here at Mount Vernon until January 6th.

This is actually something I've heard of in the past but never really made note of it in my brain until we happened upon the Christmas Camel.  Some part of my brain thinks Aladdin should be wearing a Christmas wreath, but I'm guessing at some point, someone tried and he'd had none of it.

My thoughts: 

In Lights

Posted on 12/28/2014 03:42:00 PM In:
It's by no means a unique shot around the D.C. area, but I'm just so impressed that I could get this good a quality nighttime/Christmas lights photo on my phone, I'm gonna go ahead and post anyway.

My thoughts: 

A Very Special Christmas Edition of Hoarders

Posted on 12/27/2014 03:31:00 PM
Someone seems to need an intervention.

My thoughts: 

Merry Christmas from the House of OCD

Posted on 12/26/2014 02:40:00 PM

My thoughts: 

Merry Christmas Earthlings

Posted on 12/25/2014 03:21:00 PM

My thoughts: 

So This Is Christmas

Posted on 12/24/2014 09:01:00 PM
December has been a whirlwind, hasn't it?

This is one of my favorite Christmas decorating traditions.  In a sweatshop I set up in the living room, I made the Shortlings string these popcorn and cranberry garlands while watching a A Christmas Carol with Sir Patrick Stewart, which is wonderful, but we all are compelled to randomly yell, "Make it so, Tiny Tim" in our Captain Picard voices (which sound surprisingly like our Sean Connery voices; we are not good impressionists) at the television every few minutes during the viewing, which I don't think Dickens intended.  And then we watched this.

Shut up, Wesley.

The Shortlings have each prepared a Christmas wish list for Santa.  Which I shall share for posterity's sake.  Here is the Caterpillar's, sic in [ ]:
  1. Goggle Eyes [google]
  2. Hihels [high heels]
  3. Malifasint [Maleficent]
  4. Fary pack [fairy]
  5. Nfer bellow from brave
  6. Pet
  7. Playdow cake mownten
  8. Mrkr makr [maybe I could just ask Santa to bring her some vowels?]
  9. Stretchins
  10. Dowvenchy
  11. Phone
  12. Magic
Some notes:
#5 = the KoH seems to understand this one so he's handling that. 
#10 = neither of us knows what that is. 
#11 = no way, José.  
#12 = My coworker was looking over this list and when she saw that item, said, 

"Oh, so she wants a magic set?"

Me: "No. Pretty sure she just wants actual magic."

Coworker: "So are you going to get it for her?"

I actually think number #11 pretty much is #12.  But she's not getting either one.

The Dormouse's list is a little more complicated... and demanding.  Parenthesis are hers:
  1. My ears pierced; two on the right, one on the left. And earrings.
  2. A blue scrapbook
  3. A chinchilla and the necessary things (food, cage, bowl, etc.)
  4. Lots of different tinted blue sparkly tulle
  5. Lost of white sparkly tulle
  6. A paint & oil pastel set
  7. Horse riding lessons (English style) (The pommel gets in the way)
  8. Dark blue (semi)-permanent hair dye
  9. Gel pens
  10. Labeling tap (4 a scrapbook)
  11. A good (not cheap trash) Elsa dress & wig
  12. Black tennis shoes
  13. Black & silver rinestones
  14. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  15. Kindle (original) (just 4 reading)
  16. A #20 gift card to Michaels
  17. UNO cards
  18. Reign by Chanda Hahn
  19. To get to spend more time with my friends
  20. Another invisible ink pen/marker (mine is running out)
The Caterpillar has been struggling with Santa this year (though really, we thought she'd worked that out last year, so apparently she's also struggling with memory) and declared that she was uninterested in going out to visit Santa this year.  I asked why.

"It's just some random guy in a suit," she said.

We'd just had a church party where one of the guys we see every week was the guy dressed up as Santa and she was unimpressed. So we had a talk, leaving the door open for her to draw her own conclusions and then we dressed up in all our finery to go to meet Santa at the mall. The Caterpillar was uncharacteristically quiet and wouldn't even look around the corner at the man while we were waiting.   But then it was almost our turn and I said, "Look her waving at you."

She peeked around the corner and took a look.  Then she looked back at me with wide eyes.  

"I think he has a real beard."

"Hmmm," I said, "So he does."

She went over to sit with him and pose for a picture and immediately started stroking his beard.  She did not stop stroking that beard the entire time she sat there.  

At some point, I walked over from dealing with the photographer and said, "Did you tell Santa what you wanted for Christmas?"

Santa said, "Not yet, we've just been talking about my beard the entire time.  And that's just fine."  

He spent a lot more time with them.  I don't know what she asked him but I have an idea.  I'll always be grateful to that man for being so sweet with her.

The next day we went on a little adventure to help Santa and maybe learn a little bit about what it might feel like to be Santa and bring things to others. The Dormouse declared this to be more fun than all the rest of the Christmas preparations put together.

We are heading to bed for the evening with a plateful of cookies and milk and tiny origami frogs named Norbert being left out for Santa.

Because what else would Santa want, really?

Merry Christmas one and all.

My thoughts: 

Santa's Little Helper

Posted on 12/24/2014 03:55:00 PM

My thoughts: 

And Now for the Feats of Strength

Posted on 12/23/2014 03:48:00 PM
This little Christmas village has celebrated Christmas for somewhere around forty years. I've always loved it and how simple it is.  The little people are made of pine cones.

This year I thought they could use a new festival in their town and taught them the tradition of Festivus.

Perhaps next year, I'll teach them to worship The Claw.

My thoughts: 

Hell Has "Frozen" Over

Posted on 12/15/2014 11:24:00 PM In:
The Ornament Quest this year proved to be difficult.  I could think of a lot of things that might speak to who each of The Shortlings is this year, but they'd also been done in previous years and I like to think I'm better than that.  We all know it's not true; I am better than no one, but I tried anyway.  I spent many a late night (because that's just how much I've been sleeping lately) scouring the Etsy for ideas. 

Then it hit me.  The one consistent thing that my kids have focused on since late last year is that horrible movie that I kind of liked when I saw it in the theater, but I don't care how great a movie is, when you hear it repeated and acted out and sung and referenced in front of you eleventy-billion times, you get a little sick of it.  So.  No Frozen ornaments was my mantra.

But then I perused about eleventy-billion pages of handmade ornaments on Etsy and Amazon and I even went into a Hallmark card store to look at their 2014 ornament collections and I could. not. find. one. ornament. that pleased me enough to call it "their ornament" for the year.  The only thing that I could think of that really made sense for either one of them this year was that damn movie.

So I went back to Etsy and found the least objectionable Frozen-themed ornaments I could because this really is the best thing to represent who these girls have been this year and in the end, it's not about me.

The Dormouse's ornament had to be Elsa because she identifies so strongly with that character.  But I wanted something more than just a decoupaged picture cut from a Disney indicia box, stuck on a styrofoam ball.  I happened upon this Elsa-inspired doll ornament and I think it's fantastic.  She's definitely Elsa, but she also kind of reminds me of one of those Amish dolls.The Dormouse loves her.

I also acquiesced to Frozen with The Caterpillar and this Olaf ornament.  This, The Caterpillar says, is her second favorite line from the movie, "Some people are worth melting for..."  Her first favorite line is, "I don't have a skull... or bones," but it's surprising how few touching keepsakes are created with sporting that line.

For my birthday this year, The Dormouse decided that I should also be in on the ornament tradition (I am, actually.  I have a box of them from my childhood.) so she got me my very own 2014 ornament as a present.  I was touched by this because I've become convinced in recent months that if I were to die in the house without anyone else noticing but the children, my money would be on this one to eat me and then learn to write checks from my checkbook rather than alert any emergency personnel.

So now.  The tree is up.  The lights are lit.  Ornaments are on the tree. Cards sent. That's about all you have to do for Christmas, yes? 

Wait, what? There's more?!?

I'm gonna have to enter a mall this December aren't I?

My thoughts: 

Christmas 2014

Posted on 12/13/2014 07:18:00 PM In:
I had the idea for this photo on this card quite awhile ago, maybe even last year; I just could never came up with the caption inside in a way that was brilliant or made sense.  Then this year came around and I still couldn't come up with anything clever, so I just relied on my weird, genetically predisposed, quirk of knowing every movie made before my birth, but not so much what's in the running for this year's Academy awards.  In the end I just put my kids in the Robert Mitchum role and stole the title.  So if you're older than me, you're going to get the joke right away.  If you're my age, and watch too much reality television, you're going to think I stole the idea from Duff Goldman.  If you're younger than me, you probably are too busy texty-talking on your smarty-phone to care one way or another.

The best part of this year's Christmas card was that it took a sum total of one hour to plan, pose, take the picture, Photoshop and upload to Snapfish to place a card order.  The cards arrived neatly packaged in the mail four days later and I stuck labels and stamps on.  I love love love how little time this took because I am LAZY. 

If you, like some of my family, take exception to the "Happy holidays" on the inside of the card, may I remember you to the fact that we are also wishing you a Happy New Year, so whatever holiday you celebrate, this is basically the plus one.  Also that word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg (hālig "holy" + dæg "day"). The word originally referred only to special religious days. In modern use, it means any special day of rest or relaxation, as opposed to normal days away from work or school.  So if you like, you can consider that I've wished you a happy Holy Day, rather than declared war on Christmas.  Does that make you happy, Kirk Cameron?

I took a total of seven pictures and the first one I snapped ended up being the best one. But some of the others are quite fun, if only because of the expressions on The Caterpillar's face when I told her to "look menacing."  So here are extra bonus shots for you, internets.  Because you're so special to me.

Merry holidays from all of us, but mostly these two hoodlums.

My thoughts: 

This IS the Status Quo

Posted on 12/12/2014 05:27:00 PM

I've been taking a self-imposed break from the interweb lately, because the status is... NOT quo and because the world is a mess, but I have zero desire to rule it.

Two Dr. Horrible references in one sentence.  That's gotta be some kind of record.

Smells like cumin.

I've fallen into the trap that bugs me so much when people at church do it, where they can't focus on or talk about anything but how awful everything is right now and how they need to shield their children from the evils of this world and how this clearly means the End of Times and how we should all just hunker down in the basement with our food supply and our homemade bullets and pray until Armageddon is over.  When the reality is that this time? well, yeah, it sucks... but once you live a few years beyond early adulthood, you realize that, hey, remember that time a little over a decade ago when planes flew into buildings?  That time sucked too.  And remember that other time a couple decades before that when there was a plane hijacking or a terrorist attack per week?  That time sucked too.  And remember that time when a President was shot and most of your seventh grade class applauded?  That time sucked a lot as well.  In fact, all of those times sucked just as much as this time.  Maybe in different ways, but not any worse or any better. (Can things actually suck better?)  But interspersed with all those sucky times were some true moments of charity, love and understanding. Many, in fact.  The moments where someone I know who lost their entire home and all their belongings in a fire and was benefited by the disaster response fund I help manage, turned around in the following year and donated hundreds of dollars to that same fund to support people who lost their homes in a super storm.  There are a lot more of those moments, in fact, than the sucky ones and you have just been focusing on the bad stuff, dumass.

I'm usually the one who speaks up in Sunday School to contradict the fearmongers, but it's been hard for me to stay focused on that lately.  Not even because such horrible things are happening, but because I'm worn out by it and I wished for better from us by now.

But then one of the girls I teach at church had some stuff happen, which is not my story to share, and while I was trying to help her through that, she tried out for a special touring sports team and made it.  She was ecstatic.  This kid is smart and totally capable of going to college after high school, but finances are going to be an issue and this will be the best chance for her to work toward a college scholarship.  The euphoria of that lasted for about a week until she realized that it would cost almost a grand to participate.  Money she did not have.  And she needed it in a week.

I helped her with some ideas for ways to raise money, garner sponsorship and with online fundraising websites.  She worked hard, but still only had a fraction of what she needed.  So I shared her website with my friends and family and I sent an email to my workmates and promised them that if they simply read my email, I would consider this a replacement for whatever school fundraiser/wrapping paper/cheese pot/pizza dough sale my kids' school was having this year. 

And you know what happened?  People came out of the woodwork.  The donations came rolling in, slowly at first, but then a couple of my friends took a real interest in this girl who was not my kid, but somehow connected to me, and kept asking about her.  They told other people and dug into their pockets to throw a little cash her way on my recommendation and suddenly, she was within a few hundred dollars of her goal.  And then the other kids at church all decided to babysit for a week and donate the money they earned to her fund and then a couple of my friends and coworkers donated what I would consider large sums of money.  Between that and the money she earned off line, she got close enough that she was able to be a part of the team.  Oh there will be travel expenses to come, but there's a lot longer lead time on that for her to plan on earning it.  

It was wonderful to see, yes, because my friends stepped up to the plate when I asked, but mostly because I watched this kid who thought no one, including close family members, cared about her and her aspirations, and then she just observed while anonymous people donated to help her out.  You cannot believe the change in countenance that happens when someone thinks others believe in them.

I was touched by a couple of these donations in particular.  They were made anonymously online, so my little friend had no idea who they were, but I knew who and in some cases how much because of the string of events that happened.  And because I know these people, I also know how much of a privation a commitment like this might mean.  I wrote to everyone I personally knew who had donated to thank them, a) for making a very real difference in this girl's life and b) for helping me to see some good in the world during a much needed time too.  One person wrote me back to basically say, "You're welcome; I decided to put another couple hundred dollars in."

Wait a second, I thank you for doing something good and you respond by doing some more good stuff?  People, what am I gonna do with you?  This is not the narrative I hear when I flip past the block of news channels on my cable box.  

But what they reminded me was that this... this is far more my experience with people in the world than not.  And if I don't like the world the way it is, well I need to work to change it.  It doesn't have to be hard.  I might not be able to do everything to directly affect issues of social justice and fairness that I feel need to be addressed. But I can do something.  

It might not make a difference to everyone that I tried to do something, but it does make a difference to the ones for whom I do it.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.  

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “But it does make a difference to the ones I throw back!”

- adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley

My thoughts: 

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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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