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My Blog

November 2012

Black Friday

Today is Black Friday and the first day after thanksgiving to prepare for Christmas. Thoughts race through my head as I review the past and the present. Ah...present...ergo Black Friday. How black this day has become. Everyone out there trying to get the best deals for presents...only not just for others, but also for themselves. I recently had a conversation with my eldest granddaughter who is 16. She informed me that we would be going handmade this year...imagine my surpirse! Oh wait, that isn't all there is to this story...she also informed me that the handmade is only meant for the old folks....anyone over 30. It made me go back in time and remember al the handmade items I had made when I was yound. the ways that I would go and stay for a few hours at an aunts house so that I could work on something for my mother or grandmother. I remembered sitting in the living room crocheting slippers for my mother to give to her co-workers...not to mention the hats with the bangles...anyone remember those?
When I was younger and the Friday after thanksgiving came...we put up our Christmas tree...decorated the house while singing Christmas carols. We strung popcorn and wrote out Christmas cards and in the evening we gathered around our leftover turkey dinner on tv trays....(this was a treat for my girls) not to have to eat at the dinner table, and watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on TV (this was pre-VCR/CD days). It was a tradition of love, joy, family. I remember that to save money, I made gifts. Even during the years when there were crazes like the Cabbage patch dolls. I made all those tiny pieces of clothing and even painted a rocking crib with the cabbage patch face on it. It came out of a show of love, not greed or desperation. Please, do we really need stores to open at 8 on Thanksgiving day??? What about the families that are broken apart that day. the moms that have to go into work?? The dads?? Are we really that desperate?? It used to be that Thanksgiving day was all about the food and family. Well, not anymore!! It's now about the frenzy!!
My thoughts are...what will your thanksgiving memories be about? The prayers, the thanks and the family and food? Or will it be about the deal...the pushing crowds...or the rude things that happen in the store. I guess my day after Thanksgiving will be spent in rememberance. Remembering the good old days. The days before the HAVE TO HAVE ITS!
I move on with thoughts of Christmas. As I prepare all the stories for the up and coming performances, I am thrilled for all the people that my stories touch. I look forward to the twinkling eyes on the faces, both young and old. The smiles, the laughter, and mostly the knowledge that the stories I tell help them to revisit a time when things were all about the holiday.
This year, why not try taking a walk into the past. Make something special this year. This will leave you will stories for the future. The greatest times I have ever spent during this time of the year was putting up our MEMORY tree. My family and I donned Christmas hats, drank hot chocolate, played christmas music while we revisited our past with all our memory ornaments. Each one had a story attached to it. I had always given a new ornamnet each year to each family member that represented whatever special thing there was in there life for that year. As years went by, it was a treat to revisiti those past years and accomplishments. There were ornaments for those who had past. And we sat around the tree and spoke fondly of the memories we had of them.
Stories...they have been in my life forever. My wish for you all this year is the time to make your own stories. Something that no one can ever take from you...something that is priceless. Happy holidays to all. Feel free to share your special holiday stories here.

Be thankful

Today is November 12th and I am working on Thanksgiving stories for my visits to many of the areas Senior Living Centers.  There are not a lot of stories that are for this specific holiday so I have decided to contemplate the many things I am thankful for.  In this process I have discovered that if one only stops to think for a moment....they can list so many that they could write a book.  For starters....just the fact that I was born and raised in Chicago and have had the experiences of my lifetime to explore this marvelous city makes me very grateful.  I have taken tours of many amazing places and am so grateful for them.  Just thinking about my youth and all the places I have been downtown and then comparing them to the same visits as I have had the opportunity to do in my latter years.  The ability that I have to be able to compare them and remember some that have gone by.  My numerous trips to Marshall Fields for example....the lunches there in the Walnut Room..as a child, with my children and now with my grandchildren.  The amazing Christmas windows that I enjoyed for decades.  This is a sad moment to realize that they are gone, but not in my mind or my heart.  They will live on because I live on.  In my Handkerchief program I have a CHICAGO handkerchief that was from Marshall Fields and still has the Marshall Fields price tag on it.  I even have the handkerchief with the Marshall Fields clock on it...only to remind me of "times" gone by.  I am so grateful at this time of year to have been able to have had the experiences that I have had, and even more grateful to share them with my stories. 
What kind of story can you share about Chicago?  To help you out..think about all the changes in the skyline....Navy Pier  Can you remember the Linco Man?  How about the back alley Peddlers?  Homemade bread and jam?  How about Santa's Village...KiddieLand or Adventure Land?  Remember the Ground Round? Shakee's Pizza and then their movie nights?  Drive Inn movies?  Share the memories with your loved ones and with me as well.  I would love to hear your stories.  They may add something extra special to mine that I have the opportunity to share with others.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Remember....Be Thankful. 

Ghostly Whisper Search

I am very excited to share a new project with everyone.  I have currently started to write a book about ghostly hauntings and ghostly whispers in the Northern parts of Chicago and in the nearby suburbs. ex: Niles, Skokie, Glenview, Evanston, Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Wheeling, Lincolnwood, Edison Park, Norwood Park, Edgebrook.  I would love to hear some of your encounters and stories.  If they are plausible and checked out by my historic ghost team...your story may be added to the book with credit to your name, of course.  Please email me if you have a story to tell about a haunting in and around the area.  There are ghostly whispers everywhere.....are you brave enough to listen???  There are sometimes legends and stories of ghostly appartiions as well....have you been touched by one.  Can't wait to hear your stories. 

November Thanks

The month of November
This is an exciting month.  Today, November is Nationa Picture Book Month.  Why not
visit your local library and take out a new book.  Read to your child ,parent, grandparent or just anyone who might want to listen to a story.  There is no better way to share! 
This is such a marvelou smonth to be greatful....thanks to Sarah Hale's 39 years of writing to presidents in the US....we finally got a special day to sit together with family and  frineds and officially give thanks....thanks President Lincoln and Sarah Hale. 
Why not pick up the book and read about them.  Even pick up a book right now to make some wonderful decorations for the holiday. 
I am greatful for the performance opportunities that I have this month to do the Thanksgiving holidays at a number of the Sunset Senior Centers.  I love performing there and seeing the faces of those wonderful residents with a youthful twinkle in their eyes.  Last month, at the Alzheimers facility in Wilmette, the residents were so inspired by my stories  that after I left, they decided to remain in the room and make up stories.  How very cool is that? 
November 17th I will be riding the Polar Express in Downers Grove all day.  I get to tell the story from the wonderful book "The Polar Express",  along with many exciting holidays stories of my own. 
I am very excited about performing Holiday stories at Kappy's Restaurant in Morton Grove.  George Alpolganis is so family oriented that he thought he would treat his patrons with stories while they enjoy their dinner.  I will be there on Thursdays starting with the Thursday after Christmas until the end of the season.  Hope to see you if you are there...PS...I will be there as Mrs. Claus. HOHOHO.
December promises to be a very busy month as the Holidays come upon us.   Some days I am double booked and so looking forward to the sharing. 
Well, for the time beiong, let me say that I hope you get yourselves to the library, book store or even your own book shelf and read a book.  Then try closing the book and tell the story to someone. Happy Thanksgiving and  Happy storytelling!
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