No Shoes, Please: Santa Claus comes to town

When my daughter was in nursery school, I attended meetings with other moms who, like me, were active participants in the co-op school environment. I don’t remember how the topic came up, but during one group discussion, we shared stories of family holiday traditions.

One mother who had three young sons excitedly relayed the lengths to which she and her husband went to convince her boys that Santa had indeed visited their home on Christmas Eve. They provided the usual clues, of course. A plate of cookies, freshly baked, and a glass of milk left on the mantel, which by morning became crumbs strewn about the dish and a bare puddle of milk left in the glass. But that was only the beginning. The father got up in the middle of the night and made gentle noises on the roof to suggest the arrival of animals pulling a sled. (I can’t remember whether or not he actually climbed on the roof to do it, but I don’t think he went that far.) The mother sprinkled soot around the fireplace and Christmas tree as evidence of Santa’s journey down their chimney. Someone embedded at least one hoof print in the yard to mark where a reindeer must have trod.


Haugh About That?: This too

As I walked into my apartment, excited to spend time with Lauren and her new baby, Bowen, I was hit with the reality of her life. The little one, now 2 1/2 months old, was experiencing his first cold, thus forcing his schedule completely out of whack and turning night into day. On the couch, with eyes swollen from fatigue and tears, sat my sleep-deprived daughter. Remembering those early days with my eldest, I took her in my arms to soothe her tired moment and simply said, “Honey, I promise this will pass.”

A Piece of My Mind: Tradition

Just finished with Thanksgiving, just starting to get my mind set for upcoming Christmas, so it’s no wonder I’ve been mindful of traditions.

The Villaj Idiut: Disrespecting the flag

Virtually any time I’m driving the IdiutMobile around the Village these days, it feels like every street in the city has some form of construction – either of the road itself or a new building or a new home.

It’s a good sign of prosperity in our little bubble, to be sure, but you know what absolutely makes me want to drive rivets into my toenails and then stick my feet in a bucket of ice water? Flag men.

Haugh About That?: A piece of me

“Are you crazy?” a woman I’d just met began, perplexed. “Why bother writing if you can’t make a living at it?”

Back in 2001, when stories I had locked away in my brain found their way to paper, I felt God was giving me another talent to play with. From the time I was young, I was pulled to the arts: drawing, painting, sculpting, even sewing. Later, music entered with my first guitar, and off I was in folk land, singing the songs of John Denver, Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary. And while I treasured every moment of creation, even occasionally making decent money from each, I was raised to believe the arts were just a nice hobby. They couldn’t be the sole occupation for people who had bills to pay. So I understood her confusion, especially when writing can be a laborious process for little or no pay.

Life in the Hills: More than just books

A few weeks ago, I attended a wonderful luncheon for Narrative Magazine, an online literary magazine, organized by Los Altos resident Katie Dickson. From the opening comments on how the world of books came alive for Katie when she read “Harriet the Spy” and identified with “the intrepid, curious, young detective” to Narrative’s high school award-winner explaining how her grandmother wove stories while cooking for the family with her “gnarled hands” and Executive Director Carol Edgarian interviewing author Susan Orleans, who wrote “The Orchid Thief” and “The Library Book,” I sat on the edge of my seat.

For I have had my nose in a book from the time I could remember. Listening to Orleans describe her love affair with her local library growing up and everything it embodied for her resonated with me so strongly that I knew I had to write this column before I even read her book.

The Villaj Idiut: Greatest of all time?

Maybe Donald Trump is, after all, the greatest president of all time.

For a variety of reasons, he did encourage a record number of voters to engage in the mid-term elections to make sure their voices were heard. To me, that is his biggest accomplishment so far.


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