Tag Archives: traditions

Monday:) Memories and Traditions of 9-11

11 Sep

“September 11 is one of our worst days but it brought out the best in us. It unified us as a country and showed our charitable instincts and reminded us of what we stood for and stand for.”

 — Lamar Alexander


Sixteen years later, all those who lived through that awful day, will remember the pain, the anguish, and the prayers. There are ceremonies and memorials, but the greatest tribute to all those who lost their lives and the brave responders whether civil servants or cilivilian, is the silent reverence that we hold in our hearts. 

My tradition has always been to thank my local Fire Station with some home baked goodies for 9-11. I stop by at all different and random times of the year because 9-11 is just one day on the calendar. These firefighters would sacrifice their lives any day of the year for us.

It’s always a pleasure to see the smiling faces of my local firefighters. It’s good to feel appreciated. 

Thank you McKinney FD.

Saturday:) Starting A Sweet New Year With Old Traditions

1 Jan

“HopeSmiles from the threshold of the year to come, 

Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” 

― Alfred Tennyson


New Year’s Eve, a time for old traditions and new resolutions. I’m visiting my mom and sister for the holidays. They have an unwritten long standing tradition of making tacos for holidays. Forget the turkey, ham, sweet potatoes and pies. We have homemade tacos. Yep! Nothing beats homemade tacos. A good way to ring out the old year. And…time to start the new year, start a new diet, and start eating right. Nah! Never mind. Too many tacos and brownies, too little will power.

Mom and I are going down to the community room for their New Year’s Eve party tonight. She asked me to make brownies for the pot luck. Of course, I had to make my traditional brownie face. I couldn’t find a single bowl to mix in. Mom doesn’t bake anymore, so I used a large sauce pan. Still works.

I cut up some large marshmallows, layered into the batter and topped with chocolate chips. They turned out magnificently. (Remember: Always play with your food. I always do.)

Yum! Looks good! Happy New Year!

Sunday Sermon and Remembering 9/11

11 Sep

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”

~ President Barack Obama  2011 radio address.


A cool morning, finally, here in McKinney. While greeting before Mass, I noticed the normal scamper to get out of the heat and into the air conditioning, was replaced by leisurely strolls into church.

The Gospel today was the famous prodigal son sermon. One son demands his inheritance from his father and squanders it away, while the other son remains and works hard. The prodigal son returns impoverished and repentant. The father welcomes him, rejoices and prepares a feast. The faithful son is jealous.

My take on it…God’s love or a parent’s love is unconditional. The return back to the fold of a lost child, repentant and grateful, is worth celebrating. But, on the other hand, the faithful, hardworking son is not loved less and should not be jealous, he should rejoice too, because the Father has his family together. There is enough love to go around.

Gospel Luke 15

My son, you are here with me always;

everything I have is yours. 

But now we must celebrate and rejoice,

because your brother was dead and has come to life again;

he was lost and has been found.


9/11 is always a sad day. So many lives lost, so much heartache and senseless loss. Fifteen years later, the memory is still fresh in many hearts. There are always tributes and commemorative ceremonies. 

I remember going to the tenth anniversary ceremony in McKinney in 2011, with tears streaming down my face, I took pictures to share the day.

As is my personal tradition, I did my baking marathon and dropped off fresh out of the oven cookies and brownies to three neighboring fire stations.

This is an oldie but a goodie brownie funny face.

The house smelled of chocolate and oatmeal and yummy cookie goodness.

I delivered my treats last night while the cookies and brownies were still warm right out of the oven. I always love the smile on the young firefighter’s faces, especially when they say, “These are still warm!” I knew today, 9/11, many of the stations would be at ceremonies, so last night was a better day to deliver and say thank you. I shook each hand and knew that each of these brave firefighters would be willing to sacrifice their life for mine. There is no greater gift than that.

My old friends at Station 5. The counter was empty. I guess I was the first to drop off a thank you tray of goodies last night. I hope that today, all 8 fire stations have counters filled with offerings of gratitude from residents, neighbors and friends. If you didn’t get out there today, any day is a good day to say “Thank you.”

A couple of the guys at Station 2. Big smiles.

Station 1, right off the square, also houses a neat fire engine museum with memorabilia, photos and historical records.


Friday Night Light…of the Silvery Moon

26 Sep

It’s always difficult to keep Fridays confined within themselves..they tend to spill over..~Kai Sinclair


Fridays not only spill over, they get jumbled tumbled and all mixed up with all the other days. 

Traditions and rituals are important. When the boys were little, we had a Friday night tradition of having pizza and watching the TV show “Dallas” and marching around the area rug in the family room to the opening theme song. Do you remember that song? 

Now, the boys are grown and gone. “Dallas” is gone. The lying cheating husband is gone. No more pizza tradition. I have my own ritual. Black Russian Friday!  Kahlua, vodka, and chocolate ice cream. It’s not the same, it’s not as special, but it’s mine. 

Oh yes , I’m doggie sitting this weekend for a friend, so I have some company tonight. 

Friday night lights and a cloudy moon. 

Evening sky by the pond. 

Tuesday: Timeless Memories, Tackles and Touch Downs (Notre Dame vs LSU)

31 Dec

“You get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide from a problem. Like the defense on a football field, putting all focus on evading only one defender is asking to be blindsided.”
― Criss Jami
Notre Dame Fighting IRISH beats LSU in the Music City Bowl.
Final score 31-28. Yeah!!!!!

I am not a big football fan, but I do watch Notre Dame football. My son, Matt, was a fan from the time he was a toddler and Joe graduated from Notre Dame in ’03, so I appreciate the game and the university. ND football isn’t just a game. It’s a tradition, a feeling of comaraderie, a spiritual experience. This is a university that literally means “Our Lady” and it’s not all about football.

Like I said, I’m not a big football fan. I’m a fan of family. I remember when we would drive to South Bend for tailgating, and watching games with family and friends. I remember freezing, shivering, and screaming at the tiny specks on the field. We also watched a zillion games at home on TV. Our family is no longer together, we will never have those days again, but I’ll have those memories. That can’t be taken away.

This afternoon, Joe, Lindsay and I drove down to Richardson to watch the Music City Bowl Game at the Dallas Notre Dame Alumni game watch at Fox and Hounds restaurant. There was a nice turn out, and it was a way-to-close-for-comfort game. There was a lot of cheering, and a lot of groaning, but Notre Dame won in the last few seconds. Win or lose, I would feel like a winner being able to spend time with Joe and his fiancée, Lindsay.

Old traditions and old memories make way for new traditions and new memories. Touch Down!



Friday Night Lights, Firemen, and Farewell

26 Dec

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away.
~Eva Logue
The last few days have been filled with holiday festivities, enjoying family and friends, and massive quantities of good ol’ homestyle cooking. Joe, Lindsay, Matt and I strolled around the Square on Tuesday night and enjoyed the sparkling lights.


Last night, after our Christmas dinner, we strolled around my neighborhood to see the houses all decorated and lit up.


Christmas Eve, I did my traditional holiday baking and taking a hand-painted ornament over to Fire Station #5. Firefighter/paramedic Crump answered the door. I just so happened to stop by at the same time as a gentleman carrying a big platter of cookies. He said, “I guess we had the same idea.” It was nice to see a counter full of goodies and baked goods for our local station. Yes!

I asked if I could see their tree. He said it was kind of small. I guess they didn’t get a large tree this year, and the annual ornament that I’ve brought for the past ten years were not there, but the guys all new me from many previous visits. This year’s ornament found a place of honor on the tiny tree.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Why is that? Matt had a 6am flight back to Chicago this morning. But, Joe and Lindsay are here for almost another week. Yippee!!! I’ll try not to think about when they have to leave and just enjoy our time together. No sad farewells, just…until we meet again.



Friday Fraught With Tradition

12 Jul

“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti
Let my mind be secure and in decay…that’s OK. Some traditions are worth the price. Friday night always used to be family pizza night for a zillion years, but the kids are gown, gone and far away. The family is not a family any more. So, when my friend, Linda Grossman, invited me to stop and grab a bite after her long day, I thought, “Pizza Friday!” We stopped at Rosati’s Pizza in McKinney, and got their smallest deep dish pepperoni pizza. It was huge!

Nothing will ever taste as good as REAL Chicago deep dish, right out of the brick oven pizza from Uno’s or Lou Malnati’s on “da sout side,” but for a Friday night in McKinney, Texas, it was delish! It was Friday, and almost felt like tradition.