Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summertime and the Hodgepodgin' is Easy

Welcome to another edition of the weekly Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then add your link IF you've played along. The first three questions are a tad heavy for early July, but sometimes that's how we roll. In my defense, they didn't feel heavy when I wrote them, and if it's all too much just know there's chocolate in question #4.

Okay here we go-

1. When did you last 'swim against the tide'?

It's hard to swim against the tide. Exhausting in fact, kind of like I imagine swimming against a literal tide would be. It does not come naturally to me, but there are times when circumstances force us to say/do the hard and unpopular thing. I suppose I swim against the tide in terms of prevailing political opinion on a whole host of issues. 

In my experience it's much easier to swim against the tide if you're part of a 'school of fish'. Much harder to be the lone fish. While it's not often I'm the lone fish,  a particular conversation does come to mind and what I remember most is that it absolutely wore me out. At the end of the day my integrity was still intact, which I think is important when you're swimming upstream.  

2. What's the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?

I'm currently reading Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. It's so good I had to grab a highlighter. I try to read my Bible every day which, if you're looking for self-help or self-improvement, is the very best book out there. 

3. "Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness." (Sir James Goldsmith)

Agree or disagree? Discuss. With civility please, because i think we have a good thing going in our very diverse (in geography, age, religion, political persuasion, ethnicity, marital status, upbringing, and cooking abilities) neighborhood here on This Side of the Pond.

I've really grown to hate the word. No offense anyone-ha! It's just that the word has become all jumbled up with judgement and name calling and the basest of the base. Ick. Tolerance is a virtue, but only to a degree. 

Tolerance is not demanding everyone be tolerant, bragging about how tolerant you are, and then when a viewpoint contrary to your own is expressed, calling that person a racist-bigot-ignoramus. Welcome to America in the year 2015.

Call me old fashioned, but I still believe there are some absolute truths in this world. Yes there are areas where we can agree to disagree, but there are also areas where we can't. And that's where I think the word tolerance gets lost. 

4. What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?

I have so many clear memories of the kitchen from my childhood home it's hard to choose just one. My mom still lives in that same house and the kitchen is the heart of it all. 

Christmas baking looms large in my mind (naturally!) and I remember standing on a chair beside the stove to help in the painstaking process of dipping freshly rolled buttercreams into silky melted chocolate. My mom's would be perfect, but I was impatient and mine often had a little swirl in the chocolate where I tried to remove it too quickly from the toothpick. 

I've carried on this tradition with my own girls, and I'm still sometimes impatient while daughter2 carefully waits out the minutes so hers are just right. Carousel of time people. 

5. How did/do your own children's summers compare with your summers as a child? If you're not a parent, answer as it relates to what you've observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.

Very similar I think, mostly in the way childhood summers felt. Mine were a delicious concoction of carefree, outdoorsy, sunshiny, hours with plenty of time for day dreams. As a child I spent a lot of time outdoors, playing made up games with my sister and friends, swimming, and riding bikes. We read a lot of books, colored endless pictures, spent a week at camp and a week in Vacation Bible School, and some years made a trip out west to visit our grandparents, although not every year. 

I think my girls would describe their summer experiences in much the same way. They might add something about our awesome beach vacations too. We didn't take beach vacations when I was a kid. My parents did take us to the shore for the day, but only now and then which felt like a huge treat.  Because it was. 

6. Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?

I'd love to be on 'our' lake. Technically it's not ours, but a small piece of the shoreline is. I'm more than ready to be sipping morning coffee on the dock. 

The dock which is not in place yet, but is under construction. Which is more than I can say for the house, still in the design-review-paperwork stage.  

If I can't be on our lake then I'd settle for my favorite Italian lake-Maggiore, or even a boat ride down the Thames. I'm not picky. 

7. Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it's title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.

A favorite song about the water? Sailing by Christopher Cross. 

A favorite song with water in the title? An old camp favorite-Come to the Water. 

Song to listen to as I sit beside the water? Beach music please...anything by the Embers, the Catalinas, the Drifters. Throw some Kenny Chesney into the mix and I'm good. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Today is my beautiful mother's birthday. Here she is at my daughter1's wedding-

Happy birthday mama! Thanks for loving me and Jesus and books and home, and for sharing those loves with me. 


  1. Yes, a thinker this week Joyce. Some beautiful descriptions you have here and your mother sounds like a wonderful lady. What great memories you have. I had my husband in on the action too as I was pondering my answers. It started a great debate, especially on question #3. Have a good week.

  2. Mornin! I am getting ready to head to Ohio to see my family members (my side) and we have some really varying political views. There's always an hour or two that comes up and I feel like I am swimming against the tide. I have learned you can never sway someone when it comes to the core beliefs. Your mother looked beautiful on the wedding day! Happy birthday to her!!

  3. The pic of your lake looks so serene! I don't blame you for wanting to be there.

  4. Happy Birthday to your Mom! I love the view from your property. Have a beautiful day. Blessings

  5. Happy Birthday to your beautiful mom. I saw the IG photos you posted. A fun, fun time. :-))

    You answered #3 well. In raising up two boys, this is an area that we are trying to do our best on.

    Have a great week!

  6. Hi Joyce! First of all... what a darling pic of your Mom! Happy Birthday to her. I bet it's hard to be patient for having your beautiful house built. It will be worth it, tho. Great questions, as always, on HP! Enjoy your week!

  7. Happy Birthday to your momma!!!

    I cant wait to read everyone's thoughts on the tolerance question :)

  8. Totally agree on #3. That's what I'm writing about, too. :)

  9. Happy birthday to your mom, Joyce. And your new place is going to be wonderful! Morning coffee at the dock sounds wonderful.

  10. Those first 3 questions, especially 1 & 3 were zingers. But the rest were fun. Thanks for the mix. Your words on tolerance are pretty much how I feel. I just didn't have the words to express it the way you did.

  11. Sure did miss the HP this week but think I picked a good week to lay it aside with those first 3 questions. They might have been more than my brain could have handled right now. Our little man is here and our daughter arrives later today and between them and the new house, it's all hands on deck around here. I can't wait to be sipping coffee on our little pond! Happy rest of the week!

  12. Happy Birthday to your mom. She is a very beautiful lady!

  13. Amen to #3. And I loved your answer to #4!

  14. Your Hodgepodge answers are excellent and I especially agree with you about swimming against the tide and also tolerance. Your kitchen memories and childhood sound very similar to mine although I never saw the ocean or a beach until I was in my 20's. Great questions and I am anxious to read everyone's answers. Thank you. Your lake is beautiful. I would like to be there too.

  15. Happy Birthday to your mom! Re: seems we have become so afraid of being called intollerant that we shy away from telling the truth of our beliefs. Sad! "Sailing" by Christopher Cross is a wonderful song too! Thanks for another thought provoking Hodgepodge!

  16. I feel like I need some of that chocolate after those first 3 questions! I answered #1 in a different way, because of my personal circumstances, but, otherwise, I would've said the same thing you did--just not as well.

    These days Ed and I scratch our heads, wonder what is up with the world! We definitely feel like 'lone fish' sometimes.

    Wishing your mom a very happy birthday! Now I know where you get your youthful good looks from :)

  17. I love the song "Sailing". It's funny how I think I've first heard many songs as a kid while my parents were listening to them. I still like that music better than today's :)
    Happy Birthday to your Mom.

  18. That is a lovely memory in the kitchen with your mother. I'm happy to hear that your girls grew up with summer memories like you, mine did too! I like that your dock is being worked on. You will be able to enjoy it while the house is being built. Happy Birthday to your Mom!!!

  19. A very thought provoking Hodgepodge this week Joyce. But enjoyable all the same. Happy Birthday to your Mom, hope you all have a great day and I'm sure keeping in mind how lovely it will be to sit on your dock on "your" lake will keep you sane during the building process.

  20. I so agree with your answer to #3. What have we come to? Summer memories for me are so similar to yours. Play and pretending was such a big part of our day. I took many an adventure on my bike. There is just not much outside play for kids any more. Sad! Wishing your beautiful mom a very Happy Birthday!

  21. Happy Birthday to your mother! I hope she's had a glorious day! I'm so excited about your new house and the fact that's it's on a lake! My dad lives on a lake in NC and I LOVE it! I will say, though, it's difficult to do anything other than sit and look at the water. You have been warned. LOL

  22. Happy birthday to your beautiful mother!!

  23. Questions were tough and thought provoking. I loved your answers and borrowed part of a couple because it was like we were one mind. Loved the last picture in number 8.

  24. Christopher Cross played our prom at high school just before he became famous! Great choice!