January 01, 2009

A melancholy post.

I’m a pretty holly jolly person, so I feel a little bad about being a bloggie buzz kill on this happy new year day.

There’s a lot about the transition to a new year that tends to make me a little sad. I think it’s realizing another year is gone, and when time passes it drives a larger wedge between us and the past. Like, I still remember my dad vividly. But a little less vividly, because now it’s years and not days since he passed. And I hate that.

I was honored for the invite to participate in the Do Not Leave Unattended project. Given the time of year I chose to pay tribute to my dad. It’s a little sad to read, which is OK. If you’re not familiar with Do Not Leave Unattended, click here to read more. It’s a wonderful project, and the participants are amazingly imaginative. Check out Please’s Sir’s, one of my favorite bloggers, contribution. So creative!

There’s a couple of other links I want to share to kick off the new year. Please take a minute or two to visit them.

-- Jean Martha from Renovation Therapy is hosting a fundraiser for homeless teen Katy Hughes. Katy started blogging when she and her mom, Elizabeth, were evicted from their apartment earlier this month. Check out Jean’s items up for bids here, and learn more about Katy here.

-- Dana Canedy, a New York Times reporter, lost her fiancé first sergeant Charles Monroe King in the Iraq war. I learned of Canedy’s story two years ago today, in her Times’ article. The precious words this life-long military man shared with his infant son in the pages of a journal Canedy gave to him are more stunning and passionate than that of many seasoned writers. The beautiful book that results is A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor.

-- Speaking of the Times, the chorus at P.S. 22 in Staten Island, NY, was featured in the paper last week. Check out videos of these amazingly harmonious kids on the P.S. 22 Chorus blog, and plllleeeaaaassseee be sure to listen to them sing Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, also over on The Lil Bee’s blog.

When I hear about funding cuts to public schools’ arts and humanities curriculum, I kind of want to poke my eyes out with a classroom sanctioned number two pencil. The P.S. 22 chorus is a good reminder of why it’s so important to teach kids to embrace their artistic sides. ‘Cause I do believe the children are our future.

P.S. 22’s teacher makes me proud (almost) to be from Staten Island (many of us usually don’t admit to being from there ;-). Plus he’s pretty hot. (See…there’s the holly jolly Laura you’re used to!)


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Laura, I will certainly take the time to read your article, and I understand what you mean. Been there with both of my parents, and miss them SO much. You're allowed. It shows that you are a caring, loving person. I look forward to reading all of these great offerings, but if I don't go to bed soon, I'm going to turn into a squash with no brain. I want to take my time and read them and give them the time they each deserve. Sounds like some good reading. Thanks for the heads up, and Happy New Year, my friend. You're over here writing things of depth and quality, and I'm dressing sock monkeys in dinner napkins. What's wrong with my picture??? ;-)



pve design said...

One of my dear friends daughters who is years beyond in terms of her language skills asked her Mom for some "watermelonkelly" (at a young age) and whenever I hear the word "melancholy" - I think of this. Often with the ending of all the busyness of the holidaze - and missing those that have gone before is perfectly normal and how sweet of you to honor this.

Lorrie said...

Laura, I do understand what you mean about feelings related to the transition to another year and the loss of your dad and I'm grateful that you feel able to share that, because that's what real life is... I plan to read your article and check some of the other links this evening when I have some more time.

heidi said...

Gotta save the arts. Seriously! I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for public school art programs. Thanks Laura... xoh
p.s... i bet your Dad is pretty damn proud of his daughter right now.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Laura, I haven't lost a parent, so can't totally understand what it must feel like, but one of my best friends just lost her dad. I know it's going to be such a sad time in my life when one (or both) of mine are gone. A huge hole that can't be filled.

My stepson works in Manhattan at a Korean rest. called Momo Fuku (means lucky peach). I have no idea where it is, but I know the owner just opened a bakery right next door & Nick goes back & forth between the 2. From what we hear, it's been a very successful restaurant & the bakery sounds to die for. I'll still let you know when we make our way up there...during warmer days, we are wimps with the cold weather!

So glad I have gotten to know you this year too, you've been a delight! I hope you get to go shopping with Eddie too, I know it's gonna be a blast! xoxo

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Somehow I missed the whole "Do Not Leave Unattended" thing, so it was a new site to me. Very cool. I loved yours with your tribute to your dad. It made me cry.

I'm way behind on my blog reading, so I just now saw your post about the house portraits you got. Love those! And congrats on your one-year anniversary in the shore house.

I for one am very glad you bought it and started blogging about it so I had the chance to meet you. It's been so much fun getting to know you!

Happy '09! -Julia

Joyce said...

Laura- I'm going to grab a hot cup of coffee and read the links in your post.
Yes, I bet a special angels is grinning ear to ear of one of his greatest accomplishments and the lives you are touching!!
It is still new to me, but even after shy of 4 months I too try to remember the gentle touch of my dad's hands, his "I love you" etc...
Thank you for adding a ray of sunshine to many!
I can't remember how I knew of your blog, but I'm glad I did!! Plus your sweet comments and emails add a smile to my day.

rh said...

I come here for some cheering up and this is what you do?

Well, I hear ya. Thanks for sharing.

desiree@lookiloos said...

Your story is very touching. I understand what you mean about remembering. My Dad passed away 22 years ago and I still miss him tremendously...it's just different now.

Diane said...

Laura.... I love the post ... it is sad but everything you said is important to remember. My Dad too has been gone for awhile now... but I see him more every day in my mind and in my actions..
And we must save the arts.. I volunteer at my local high school and mentor 3 girls...however maybe as a group we can think of some way to make a bigger influence... any ideas out there?
One more note
I have been very delinquent about my blog due to the fact that we went away to Mexico for a week and we returned just a few days before Christmas... so much to do so most of my post were pre written and I am just now getting back to viewing everyones blog and their comments on mine. Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my blog

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

Thanks for the touching links, Laura. I'm at a loss for words. But I am thankful.

Liz@Violet Posy said...

(((HUGS)) I know what you mean, I feel the same way about my Grandmother who raised me. She died on Boxing Day many years ago and she doesn't have a grave because she was cremated. Now it's like she never existed except for the box of family photos she left me.

I think this time of year makes us think about the people we've lost and it's totally a human thing to feel. Thanks for sharing those links, I'm off to have a look now.

Oh and thanks for leaving such a lovely comment on my blog, if you need to know anything tech related, drop me an e-mail and I'll try and help.

Liz x

A Day That Is Dessert said...

Your post is very moving, Laura. I will sit down and read your article tonight.

Femin Susan said...

I took time and read your article.you are right we forget them when the years pass.

Blondie's Journal said...

What a heartfelt post. I want to wait for some qiet time I'm sure your article will require. Don't be afraid to "Let your hair down" here, so many of us can identify and others may just feel compassion. But we ARE listening.

Sue said...

Hi Laura...just got back from Jersey and wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy New Year...Hope your mom is better and I will come back and check out your links when I can keep my eyes open....Hope your holidays were special and I look forward to continuing our new friendship into the new year....SUe

Linda Lou said...

Happy New Year Laura, I lost my father when he was only 51, my mom at 64, I am sure I have never expressed the extent of those losses, I will definitely read your article....I so appreciate your involvement in helping others out there in the blogging world...that might be a good resolution to add to my blog...find a need somewhere and then share it with everyone.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Wishes for a happy and healthy New Year, Laura. One of the things I love about your blog is that you open my eyes to things that I want to be aware of. Thank you for that. I will read all of the links from this post.
♥, Susan

black eyed susans kitchen said...

I never leave two messages, but on the choir, the kids brought tears to my eyes. For me, happiness was orchestra, playing the cello, right through the end of high school. Without music and art, the kids wither. I have always been a big supporter of the arts at public schools. It gives the children a more rounded education and the "square pegs", a comfortable place to land for a period or two every day at school. Everyone should feel at home, somewhere. Again, thank you for bringing this to my attention.
♥, Susan

Maureen said...

I love what you wrote about your dad. What a tribute. Well, the person you are and the actions you take are the tribute.

The passage of time will not diminish your love. Especially given your talents for sharing your thoughts (including your thoughts about your dad) so well.

All the best to you in the new year. I am so glad we've been able to connect via the blog world.

Renovation Therapy said...

Thanks so much for highlighting Katy. Appreciate it.

I'm in the sad boat too. Christmas Day marked the 7th anniversary of my Dad's passing.

Another cup of tea, please...

please sir said...

I understand what you mean about the New Year. I get the same emotions with a bit of this year will be better feeling too. Here's to the start of something new!

muralimanohar said...

I love those kids. Make me tear up every time. God bless that teacher.

Happy New Year to you; here's to a great one. :)

The Lil Bee said...

Thank you for the link:) I couldn't agree with you more about how the new year brings mixed emotions. Also, my dad died when I was five but I still miss him. I am going to read your post to him now, even though I'm sure it'll make me tear up. I will come back to visit:)

Laura @ Shoot-Scoop said...

How beautiful, I'm very touched by this, Laura. What an amazingly expressive tribute to your father. I'll say it again, you done good girl, you done good.

Rue said...

Hi Laura

Your dad must really have been a very special man to have a daughter as sweet as you are. I'm sorry he's no longer here, but I know he's up there watching you.

Thank you for sharing this with us.