Christ-más Traditions

Most of us have heard the slogans “Jesus Is The Reason For The Season” and “put Christ In Christmas.” I first heard them as a child, so they have been around for quite some time. I thought they were snappy reminders that Christmas is more than Santa Claus and eight tiny reindeer.  After all, Clement Moore did not invent Christmas; God did.  And Christmas is just one chapter in the wonderful story of God’s love for us.

I don’t want to dismiss the merry moments that we enjoy as part of our ho-ho-holidays. Most of us cherish memories of family traditions and secularized celebrations of Christmases past.  We also cherish the beauty and mystery of the Nativity- the unimaginable wonder of the birth of a Savior who would bring an eternal Light to a World suffering in darkness.  We understand that the true meaning of Christmas fills the heart with way more warmth than the most sentimental Hallmark Christmas movie.  We understand that the true meaning of Christmas is a more miraculous gift than the most elaborately wrapped Christmas present.  We understand that the true meaning of Christmas is about more pure Joy than the shiniest Christmas tree can provide.  We know that Jesus is the reason for the season, and we put Christ in Christmas. 

I still don’t want to give up my secular Christmas traditions.  It is fun to decorate for Christmas. I get giddy about hunting for my elf on the shelf.  I disregard my regrettable lack of musical talent when I go Christmas caroling. I love dedicating some special festive time with friends and family, allowing overwhelming waves of affection and gratitude to wash over me.  I enjoy giving and receiving presents. I willed myself into believing in Santa Claus until I was eleven years old, so it is unlikely that I will kick him to the curb at this late date.   

I think we can center Christmas on Christ and still enjoy favorite secular traditions.  In fact, I think we can enjoy those secular traditions even more by making them Christ-más (more Christ) traditions.  With a few simple hacks, we can enrich some of our more familiar secular traditions with fortified Christmas spirit. 

For instance, it is easy to add the true meaning of Christmas to our holiday decorating.  There are all kinds of beautiful Nativity decorations.  Also, some families make a Jesse tree early in Advent.  A Jesse tree is named after the reference in Isaiah 11:10 which indicates that the Savior will spring from the root of Jesse.  The tree is usually leafless and scraggly looking, much like a tree in the desert battling against the harsh earthly elements and holding on to life only by a strong root.  It is decorated with ornaments that tell the story of salvation.  The ornaments may include symbols from the Old Testament, like Joseph’s coat and Noah’s ark, as well as ornaments depicting important events in the life of Jesus, such as the Star of Bethlehem, the dove, and the cross. 

If a family likes their elf-hunting or opening boxes on an Advent calendar to reveal candies or toys, it might be a good idea to incorporate other “readiness” activities during Advent. Some Advent calendars reveal Scripture quotes or part of the Nativity story each day rather than candy or toys.  In my case, I have an advent wreath.  Each night, I light the weekly number of candles and read a devotion.  The time leading up to Christmas is about building excitement and getting ready to welcome our Savior.  There is nothing wrong with hunting for elves on the shelves, but why not also spend some time exciting the soul, as well?

There are many Christmas carols that focus on the birth of Jesus.  I think we are sometimes a bit tentative about those songs, as if we might offend people who are not believers.  I guess it is good to be sensitive, but that doesn’t mean we should keep our love of Christ hidden.  I remember caroling one year when we visited a house where a Jewish man lived.  We were somewhat reluctant to sing Christmas songs because he didn’t celebrate Christmas.  We went ahead and I was so glad we did because he was so touched.  He even thanked us for generously sharing our joy and tradition with him.

Spending time with family and friends at Christmas is wonderful.  There are plenty of people who don’t get to share Christmas with loved ones.  We can celebrate Christ-más by enlarging our family circle to include an outsider.  Hospitality is a gift of the Holy Spirit and love is always meant to be given away.  Giving love away to people who are not in our immediate network of friends and family can make our Christmas more joyous and more Christlike. 

There is nothing wrong with presents, either.  I love shopping to find just the right gift for people and I enjoy the surprise of opening a package addressed to me.  I do think it is valuable to add one more gift under the tree, though.  You can wrap up a check to your church or organization that provides comfort to the suffering in the world and open it on Christmas Day to remind you that being able to give to others is a wonderful gift in itself. 

Then, there is Santa Claus.  I’ve always loved the rendition of Santa Claus kneeling, hat in hand, before the Baby Jesus.  It reminds me that Jesus, not Santa, is truly the Spirit of Christmas.  This year, I think Santa is going to bring Scripture cards to stuff in the stockings, in addition to the ubiquitous sugar plums. 

This year let’s take “Keep Christ in Christmas” to the next level.  Let’s infuse our secular holiday with Christ-más

Merry Nativity, everyone!

Precious Lord,

Thank you for all Your many blessings.  Help us to keep You at the center of our Christmas celebrations and the center of our lives.  The only gift we simply must have this Christmas is Your love in our lives.  Come into our lives and share Your light with us.  May we bear that Light to the world, to the glory of Your name.

In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen

Your turn… what Christmas traditions do you observe? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at

Have a joyful day!


Return On Investment

I think I’m going to venture into weird territory today.  Get ready.

Ever since my mother died and, most especially, since I turned 60, I’ve been looking at life differently.  In particular, I’m looking at money differently.  I’m not sure it is healthy.  I’m bringing it up in the hope that you all can provide some perspective to keep me off the ledge.

I am not wealthy.  There have been times in my life when I’ve had to make choices about what bills to pay and what food to buy, based on my financial situation.  I consider myself very lucky because I’ve always had a secure job and a paycheck that represented a living wage.  Despite that blessing, I have never made enough money for finances to be a non-issue in my life.  The good news is that my needs and wants are fairly modest.  As a result, my income is more than sufficient to cover my expenses without privation.  It isn’t that I can afford to do everything.  It is more that my tastes usually fit within the confines of what I can afford.  Also, from my younger years when I had to be careful with money, I’ve learned how to defer gratification and save for big ticket purchases.  I’m very, very grateful for my economic blessings. 

Lately, though, a new sensation strikes me when I think about purchasing big ticket items- a larger dining room set, a new driveway, a renovated bathroom, new kitchen appliances, etc.  I find myself wondering if I will get my money’s worth from the investment before I die. 

I’m not sure why I should limit myself based on life expectancy.  My mother lived almost thirty years beyond the age that I am now.  My father, who died quite suddenly, lived past his 72nd birthday.  I am in reasonably good health and don’t engage in extreme sports.  I’ve no reason to believe that my death is imminent.  Certainly, I could get run over by a bus or suddenly contract some fast-acting fatal disease.  However, those possibilities have existed my whole life and they never stopped me from spending money in my younger days. 

Also, should it really matter how long I enjoy some acquisition before kicking the bucket, if said acquisition gives me pleasure?  First, if it turns out that I don’t get a lot of bang for the buck before the bucket kicking, I’ll be dead and won’t care.  Secondly, as I get older there will be fewer opportunities to enjoy spending money.  I have a secure income that meets my needs. I have a good medical plan.  I think I’m generous to others. I have long term care insurance.  Theoretically, I should not have to rely on the kindness of strangers (that is, the government) to pay for my care if I need to go to assisted living or a skilled nursing facility at some point.  Third, it isn’t like I limit myself when it comes to buying the everyday, routine, unnecessary stuff that I purchase all the time.  When I really think about it, eight or nine trips to Penney’s or Belk’s probably often add up to the same amount as it would cost to buy a new refrigerator.

I understand that it isn’t rational to consider my life expectancy in deciding whether or not to make a large purchase.  I get that.  Obviously, I can make an effective argument about why life expectancy should not be a factor.  However, I still have this nagging doubt when deliberating whether to make one of those major purchases.  In the past year, I did get a larger dining room set and I did get the driveway repaved.  Both were major expenditures.  I love the new dining room set and I love the new driveway.  Still, every time I look at them, I get this feeling that is almost shame-like.  It feels like I had no right to buy them because of my advanced age. Some part of me seems to believe that, if the useful life of the purchase is going to outlast my own useful life, I should not waste the money. 

I told you we were going to venture into weird territory today.

What do you think?  Do you ever feel like you should be considering your useful life when deciding whether to spend large sums of money?  How weird is this?  How do you get past the feeling?  Please leave your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Have a useful day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

Thanks Again

Believe it or not, I’ve been publishing this weekly blog for nearly four years.  In all that time, I don’t think I’ve ever repeated a post.  As tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I wanted to do something special to acknowledge my multitude of blessings.  Several years ago, I posted about my Thankful Thursday project.  That piece is still one of my absolute favorite blog posts.  I recently presented a devotional based on that piece at a church women’s meeting.  Because that devotional seemed to strike such a melodious chord with my sisters in faith and because that piece is still one of my favorites of all my posts, I decided the post merited an encore performance this Thanksgiving week. 

Thankful Thursday

When I was working, I used to sponsor a weekly “Thankful Thursday” event in my office.  Each Thursday, I would send an email to my entire staff, listing five things for which I was especially thankful that week and inviting everyone to come to my office for a cookie or donut or some kind of treat I brought to work.  The price of admission was simply to share one thing for which the worker was thankful.  I tried to be strategic in my five weekly “thankfuls,” using the opportunity to recognize employees’ exceptional efforts or to reinforce some key message to the staff.  I also included some thankfuls that were “just for fun.”  One day, one of my subordinate managers came to see me before “thankful time” and said, “You must be having a bad week.”  When I asked him why he said that, he explained, “When you said you were thankful for the color pink, I figured you must be scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

The color pink notwithstanding, Thankful Thursday was a positive experience.  Usually, about a third of the staff would show up. I think it was an opportunity to leverage positive energy and acknowledge what was truly important in life.  Even if I am fooling myself believing it was helpful to my employees, it was rejuvenating and uplifting to me to have a dedicated time to revisit my blessings each week.

Now that I am retired, I think it is important to continue the tradition.  I have gone too long without remembering the bounty of things for which I am thankful.  Here goes….

  • I am thankful for my retirement and the luxury of not having to do everything in the most efficient way humanly possible.  When I was working, I craved sleep like crack addicts crave cocaine.  Now, I rest and putter through my existence at a pace slow enough to live mindfully and fast enough to avoid stagnation.  I am also thankful for my career.  The years of labor that led to my retirement were filled with meaningful, interesting work.  Although responsibility and leadership are stressful and exhausting, it is also incredibly rewarding.  I had the opportunity to nurture strength, kindness, and integrity in myself and others.
  • I am thankful for the financial stability and economic benefits I enjoy.  I am thankful that I can meet my basic needs with abundant food and safe shelter.  I am thankful that I have the resources to give to others.  I am thankful for the plenty that allows for little extras for leisure and pleasure, like books and movie tickets, modest shopping sprees, vacations, and day trips to explore the interesting adventures of my new state.
  • I am thankful for my country and the freedoms it provides.  I am thankful for the men and women throughout our history whose courage, honor, imagination, intelligence, and decency created the rich, intricate fabric that we now know as the United States of America.
  • I am thankful for the people I love and I am thankful that love has no boundaries. I am thankful for the people who live close by, filling my daily life with grace and love.  I am thankful for those who live far from me but whose spirits are never far from my heart.  I am thankful for those who have passed from this life.  They live in my heart and continue to enrich my life each day. I am thankful for my readers, who fuel me to explore my mind and to create.
  • Most of all, I am thankful for my good Lord from whom all these “thankfuls” generate.  I am thankful that I am a child of God, who has saved me and blesses me constantly in strange and mysterious ways.  I am thankful that He has chosen me to be His light unto the world.  And I am thankful that, when I let that light fade, He patiently forgives me my weakness and rekindles my flame… again and again and again.
  • Despite the challenges and stressors that exist even in retirement, there are blessings everywhere.  An attitude of gratitude does wonders.

P.S. For the record, I’m still thankful for the color pink, too!

Thank all of you so much for reading and sharing. You have no idea how grateful I am for your interest and support.

Now it is your turn!  Double extra bonus points for adding your thankfuls!  Please share by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Terri/Dorry 😊


My brother has long maintained that my mother and I are basically the same person.  I am not sure how the metaphysics of that assertion work exactly, but he is adamant on the point. 

As much as I loved my mother and admire her many excellent qualities, I’m not sure I want to be the same person she was.  For one thing, it seems very disrespectful of who she was as a person to suggest that anyone else (myself included) could be her as effectively as she did.  Secondly, it seems a rather lazy approach to life to just duplicate someone else’s protoplasm.  Thirdly, I do believe that God made us each uniquely and we are fitted for a specific purpose.  I’d like to think that I have something to offer the world independent from being a pale carbon copy of my mother.  Basically, the world was lucky enough to have one of my mother.  She was so special that no one could ever replace her.  The world doesn’t need me to be a replica of my mother any more than diamonds need cubic zirconia.  The world might need me to be cubic zirconia, though.  You never can tell. 

I can think of a few simple differences between me and my mother right off the bat.  My mother never met a stranger- only friends she hadn’t met yet. She loved meeting new people and reveled in conversation.   I live in a world of strangers.  My ability to communicate, even with people to whom I am close, can dry up like a riverbed in Southern California. My mother could do arithmetic in her head.  I can’t be sure of a reasonable amount to tip without a calculator, pencil, and paper.  I got excited when I learned that doubling the tax in California gives you a good approximate tip amount.  The only problem was, once I determined the tip amount, I then had to mentally add it to the bill in order to know how much money to leave.  My mother would have been able to take the check, compute 15%, add the 15% amount to the total, pull out enough cash to pay, and know exactly how much change she had coming back.  My mother did not eat pizza.  I just can’t fathom how someone could live over 85 years on this planet and never eat pizza.

You can see that we are not, in fact, the same person.  Still, I understand my brother’s point.  There have been many times, especially since my mother died, when I have caught myself in an expression or gesture that reminds me so much of something my mother would have done.  When my mind is playing tricks on me, I find myself wondering if I got a particular mannerism from her or if she got it from me.  It is very confusing.  It seems likely that I somehow picked up traits from her by osmosis, just from having been around her so much.  What I find really weird is that I sometimes recognize myself doing a mannerism that she did when I never even realized she had the mannerism while she was alive.  For instance, there is a particular face I make when I am stumped by a question.  I never particularly noticed that face when my mother was alive, but, now, I clearly remember her making that face. 

Is it a good thing or a bad thing, do you think, that I seem to be turning into my mother?  My brother would argue that it isn’t a case of me “turning into” my mother, but that I always was my mother.  That whole notion contorts my brain into a very uncomfortable position.  It is sort of like looking at the little girl on the Morton salt container and seeing her picture on the Morton salt container she is holding, where that tinier little girl is holding a still tinier Morton salt container… etc., etc., etc.  Help me!

The thing is, I do want to be a unique person, but I also love that I may be growing some of my mother’s wonderful traits within myself.  Maybe there is no way to know if it is good or bad that I am turning into my mother.  And maybe it doesn’t really matter because it is happening, whether I want it to or not. Let me explain.  I realized something the other day which firmly convinced me that both nature and nurture are far stronger than I ever understood.

We used to laugh at my mother and her novel approach to flatware.  I remember a day when I brought my mother a dish of ice cream and a spoon from the kitchen. She looked at the spoon and pointed out that it was okay, but that I had not brought her “favorite” spoon.  I looked at her as if she had suddenly grown another head and asked how she could tell the difference between the spoons.  The teaspoons all looked alike to me.  As it turned out, she had a few spoons from a mismatched set of flatware she bought at a thrift store that were much smaller in size.  Those were her “favorite” spoons because she said they fit in her mouth better.  From that day on, I tried to remember to fetch the “favorite” spoon when serving her something that required a rounded utensil. 

The other morning, I realized I was rooting through the silverware drawer looking for my favorite spoon with which to eat my cereal.  In my case, it is actually the sugar spoon that came with my flatware set.  It is a better fit for the shape of my mouth than the teaspoons.  I wasn’t laughing.   

Do you think you have inherited any traits or tendencies from a parent?  How do they manifest?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Have a natural, nurturing day!

Terri/Dorry 😊


WHO:  Terri LaBonte, AKA Dorry Curran, AKA Dorothea Therese Curran, AKA Tinker Bell

WHAT: Subject has slipped her leash and disappeared from the blogosphere.

WHEN: She’ll be back next week with more random musings.

WHERE: She has been sighted in the vicinity of Southern California.

WHY: She went to visit her brother and some dear friends.

HOW: In an airplane, of course…. Did you think she used the power of pixie dust?

So, do you miss me?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Have a newsworthy day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

Stalking The Scone

Last Autumn, I was in New England.  I fulfilled a lifelong dream to see the Fall foliage and experience the New England culture.  I loved it.  My spirit could not contain my joy.  My enthusiasm exploded outward the entire time we were gone.  I loved how beautiful everything was.  I loved exploring the history.  I loved the small-town vibe of the places we visited.  I loved the Fall decorations and merchandise.  I loved wearing jeans and sweaters and sweatshirts.  I loved wearing a jacket without sweating.

What a difference a year makes! In Florida, the weather doesn’t give us a Fall.  If we are lucky, we get a Stumble.  The Summer weather doesn’t change much until December.  When my compatriots in New England are putting on their snow boots and shoveling snow, I am making the transition to long pants.  Actually, the New Englanders probably start shoveling snow long before I start wearing long pants on a regular basis. This is probably no big secret, but it is hot in Florida.  And it doesn’t stop being hot on the autumnal equinox. 

Fall has always been my favorite season.  The fact that Florida weather does not provide for a Fall is patently unacceptable in my book.  If Mother Nature does not provide a Fall, I am going to create one. 

I put up Autumn decorations a few weeks ago.  I did that in the comfort of my air- conditioned home.  I keep struggling to resist the compelling urge to purchase sweaters, sweatshirts, and jackets… and I keep losing the struggle. I am a huge fan of French terry and lightweight knit fabric.  It gives the illusion of cozy clothes without the pesky warmth.  The other day, I indulged in a monumental act of faith that the temperature will eventually drop.  I bought a new pair of jeans. 

Last year’s Autumn vacation gave me the opportunity to indulge my Fall obsession.  Not so much this year’s Autumn vacation.  We went to Las Vegas.  Las Vegas is not known for crisp weather, changing leaves, or apple cider.  There was one hallmark of Fall that we did encounter there, though…. The first Starbuck’s pumpkin scones of the season.

Max and I look forward to the Starbuck’s pumpkin scones all year long.  During scone season, we will look for any excuse to go to Starbuck’s and share a scone. We decide which movies to see based on what is playing in theaters near a Starbuck’s.  I think the only reason Max joins me in my charitable work delivering food to the homebound is that there will probably be a scone stop somewhere along the way.  Even though we each eat only half a scone each time, I am sure we eat more than our share of iced pumpkin spicy sweetness throughout the limited run the scone enjoys.

One year, the pumpkin scones disappeared only a week or two after we first tasted their seasonal delectableness.  When I asked the barista about them, she told me that there had been a fire in the factory that produced them.  It was so sad.  I was afraid that we would never see the scones again. I went into deep mourning.  Happily, the scone bakers must have repaired the fire damage.  The next year, the scones were back.  I think we ate double our usual unreasonable number of pumpkin scones to make up for lost time. 

The first scone sighting of the season is always exciting.  It was doubly exciting because this year, it happened at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.  I imagine it felt something like the feeling northerners get when the first snowfall of the season comes on Christmas Eve.  We were on vacation.  We were in Las Vegas.  We were walking hand in hand under the fake Roman sky in the most iconic hotel casino in the United States.  Then, there they were… pumpkin scones in the Starbuck’s display case.  It was a magical moment. 

Since then, we’ve been stalking the scones.  We must not be the only ones because sometimes there are none left when we get to Starbuck’s.  We went to the Florida Mall a couple of weeks ago and went straight for the Starbuck’s.  We were disappointed to see the earlier birds had gotten all the scones.  We settled on a pumpkin muffin and nursed our disappointment. Later in the day, we noticed that there was a mini-Starbuck’s counter inside the Macy’s, and they had the pumpkin scones.  We felt distinctly sulky and resentful that we missed our opportunity. 

Soon, pumpkin scone season will be over.  It is sad.  I do not despair, however.  In fact, I look forward to the middle of November, when the pumpkin scones disappear.  You see, after pumpkin scone season comes…. Gingerbread season!

Your turn… what means “Fall” to you?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can send me an email at

Have an au-tummy-licious day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

I understand there may be something wrong with the comment feature. I didn’t see any immediate problem when I looked at my settings, but I know at least one reader got an “access denied” response. I’ll check with the web hosting service. In the meantime, you can contact me at If you have tried commenting and been thwarted, I apologize. If you would be kind enough to email me and let me know what happened when you tried to comment, I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

UPDATE: I think comments are working now. Hooray!


With Halloween coming up tomorrow, I thought it would be a good time to talk about skeletons… skeletons in the closet, to be specific.

Those of you who have been reading my blog probably think, with the amount of oversharing I do, that there can’t possibly be any skeletons left in my particular closet. I think you are right.  I think I’ve pretty much outed any old bones that have been lurking amongst the dust bunnies.

That hasn’t always been the case, though.  I haven’t always been so good at being transparent.  I guess being transparent makes me more of a ghost than a skeleton, doesn’t it?  Either way… I should probably find a house to haunt.

Anywho, there have been times in my life when I have stuffed the secrets into the darkness.  Part of my motivation was that I couldn’t understand why anyone else would be interested in my dark and moldy internal life.  You might think this is a valid point, but since you are still reading, I guess you find some fascination with my skeletons.

Another reason my skeletons were not familiar with the light of day for so long has to do with my shame and embarrassment with being so different from the rest of the world.  It was easier for me to pretend that the oddities weren’t there if I kept them hidden.  When I was hiding my abnormality from the rest of the world, I was trying to hide it from myself.  Unsuccessfully, of course.  In fact, skeletons become scarier when they are relegated to the back of your mind… or the back of your closet. 

When I was working, it was more important that I try to fit in with others in my work world.  A skeleton was a weakness… a reason I was not good enough for my position.  In some ways, as I advanced in my career, I saw the fallacy of that approach.  As I learned more about what was going on in other people’s lives, I realized that everyone has their skeletons. Some secrets are more toxic and difficult to manage than others.  Some people are just better than others at ignoring secrets.  Some people are better at making peace with their skeletons. 

Mine weren’t such horrible skeletons. Still, it was hard for me to let them show.  I never wanted to be needy or difficult.  On the other hand, I am a pretty open person with my feelings.  I think most people who have known me for even a short time can tell how I feel at any given moment.  I am one of those people who physically can’t control tears.  I weep easily and don’t seem to be able to prevent the tears from flowing when my physiology demands that I cry.  The magic of modern psychotropic drugs has relieved this problem somewhat in recent years, but, overall, my entire demeanor is just one big mood ring.  I’m sure I seemed even weirder and crazier to people around me who didn’t know about the skeletons I kept locked in the closet.  My emotional reactions to everyday life must have often seemed wildly out of proportion to the actual circumstances. 

As I’ve matured and let go of my career, I’ve also let go of some of the pressure I put on myself to conform.  It can be difficult to be different sometimes.  It can even be scarier than skeletons some of the time.  It can be uncomfortable. Sometimes I can be just living my ordinary life and realize that everyone around me is staring at me with an appalled, “WTF” look on their faces.  On the other hand, as my father used to tell me, “They can kill you, but they can’t eat you.”  I’m not sure why that was comforting, but it was. 

All in all, skeletons are important.  It is kind of fun to know that I can shock people every now and again. I’m usually predictable to a tedious degree.   Maybe the ”WTF” look is a good thing.  A skeleton holds a person upright.  It gives structure and shape to a lifeform.

I used to think that, if I had the courage to pull the skeletons out of the closet, the brittle old bones would crumble to dust right in front of me.  For better or worse, they would be gone.  I’ve found that isn’t true. Even though I don’t work so hard to keep my secrets hidden anymore, my skeletons still provide a part of my framework.  My skeletons help make me who I am.  Since I kinda like who I am, I’m okay with that…right down to the bones!

What skeleton in your closet have you released?  Did it help you or hurt you to let people in on the secret? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Have a sensationally spooky day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

We’ll Be Right Back After This Commercial Message

Please don’t hit the skip button.  Please don’t go make a sandwich.  Please don’t decide that now is the moment to take the dog out for a walk.  Please stay with me while I engage in a little crass commercialism.  I realize that this is not the Super Bowl and the chances are nil that you will enjoy this word from our sponsor more than the planned blog content. Still, you never can tell, can you?  Who knows?  I might come up with a clever talking lizard or a miniature donkey colt who dreams of becoming a blogger one day.  I might even get a celebrity endorsement… if I knew any celebrities, that is. 

Tomorrow, it will be two months until Christmas Eve.  It isn’t too soon to start shopping for your holiday gift-giving.  The home décor stores have been displaying Christmas merchandise for weeks now.  The shop-at-home catalogs that jam my mailbox are becoming more and more festive-looking.  QVC has been hawking partridges and pear trees since June.  Disney World starts their Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parties the night after the last Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party.  I figure, if the big boys are pushing Christmas, who am I to argue?

I’d like to suggest a gift that I am sure will delight everyone on your list. How often do you run across a gift that is appropriate for everyone from your mother-in-law to your plumber?

Please consider purchasing mass quantities of my book, Changing My Mind: Reinventing Myself In Retirement by Dorry Curran to give to all your friends and family members.  Just go to or or any other online bookseller and get those keyboards smoking! I realize that the focus of the book is retirement and some of your giftees might be several decades away from leaving the workforce.  It is never too early to plan.  Also, while the framework of the book is retirement, most of the content can really apply to anyone who is going through any kind of life transition.  And isn’t that everybody?

Peace on earth, everybody.  Peace on earth. 

Come on, show a girl a little love! For those of you who have already read the book, please give me a plug.  You can share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at

Happy Shopping!

Terri/Dorry 😊


Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living.  Far be it from me to argue with Socrates, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

I think most people think I think too much.  Heck, I think I think too much.  Is that an oxymoron?

I tend to be a little overzealous in examining my own navel.  As I surf the crest of another decade, I think I am thinking more strenuously than is good for me. 

It isn’t that I think I am old.  It is more that I think I can see the dream of what I thought my life would be fading from the realm of possibility.  I thought my life would be a little more traditional (while also being deep and meaningful) than it has turned out to be.  I thought I’d get a romantic proposal and have a beautiful wedding, crammed filled with memorable, sentimental moments that everyone would think back on in reverie as the years passed.  I thought I’d have a family of kind, smart, courageous children, who I would gently rear into successful human beings. I thought those children would go on to restart the cycle of landmark moments and family celebrations, so that I would continue having new magical memories throughout my life. I thought my husband and I would work as a team. I thought we would share a world view and a rhythm of life.   I thought we would think in tandem. 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think I’ve run out of time. 

I think most people in my circumstances would have had a moment of clarity long ago and realized that the clock was ticking away any opportunity to create that dream.  At some point, I would have had to blow up the life I had if I wanted to roll the dice on that dream life.  I didn’t think I wanted to undergo a violent overthrow of my happiness at that time.

Truthfully, I still don’t.  While I didn’t get a romantic proposal and don’t have a husband, I have a partner in life who loves me.  Our relationship may not be romantic in the same way as movies and reality television shows, but we do have our own brand of romance and affection in abundance.  I don’t have any children, but I think I have made a positive impact on other people even if I did not give birth to them.  I’ve also had more time, energy, and money to pursue charitable endeavors and fulfilling, satisfying activities in my own life. I may not have another generation of people creating new memories and celebrations for me, but that motivates me to create my own.  I don’t think Max and I share all the same opinions, thoughts, routines, rhythms, and conventions, but I think we do pretty well as a team. 

Still, I have been thinking a lot more about the “what ifs” as I orbit around my 60th birthday. I try not to feel sad about the dream life that will never be because to do so would seem ungrateful in the extreme.  Sometimes, though, I get stuck at the intersection of Wistful and Regret when the light turns red.  I have a moment to pause and consider the scenery of the place I might have been.  Then, the light turns green and I go on with the wonderful life I have.

I do think I am exactly where I am supposed to be. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think about the other paths that might or might not have played out even more happily for me.  I understand that some people believe in moving heaven and earth to craft the life they want.  I admire them, but I also think that isn’t me.  I think I’m more of a “bloom where you are planted” kind of girl.  I think God put me on a particular path and that He curves that path as necessary, depending on the choices I make.  The choices I make may alter the details of my life a little bit, but the basic journey is going to be the same because that is what God has in mind for me.  

This is a comforting philosophy. I’d like to say I adhere to it all the time.  If I did say that, I’d be lying.  No matter how much certainty I muster that I am living the life I was meant to live, I still sometimes covet that other dream life that is slipping away… no, not slipping away… more like crashing down a cliff in a giant landslide of age!

What do you think?  Do I think too much?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you cane email me at

Have a thoughtful day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

Turns Out I Speak Caveman

To all you fine folks who reached out to assure me I am not abnormal after my recent post, “Different” Doesn’t Always Mean “Worse” (, I appreciate your support.  You are, however, wrong. 

Let me tell you a story which I hope will put to bed all protestations that I am perfectly normal.  Something happened recently that demonstrates the cherry on top of the sundae that is my abnormality. 

I read that Disney World is going to completely renovate and refurbish the Spaceship Earth attraction at Epcot.  Spaceship Earth is an iconic Epcot experience.  It is one of the few original Epcot rides that still exists, 47 years later.  Many people don’t even know that the ride is called Spaceship Earth.  People normally refer to it as the “golf ball” ride or that “ride at the entrance of the park inside that big geodesic dome thingy.”  For the uninitiated, the ride is a slow-moving exploration of the history of human communication.  Currently, Dame Judi Dench voices the narration.  Like many attractions in the “Future World” section of Epcot, the ride is starting to fray around its cutting edges.  Let’s face it, the future becomes the past rather regularly in a 47-year time period.  You may ask, if the ride is about the history of human communication, how does it become dated?  The problem is that this history stopped in 1976 when Steve Wozniak developed the first home computer.

Anyhoodle, when I read that this bastion of Disney attractions was going to be closed for two years to reimagine it, I knew I wanted to experience it for about the hundredth time on my next trip to Epcot.  Max and I went to Epcot the other day, Fast Passes for Spaceship Earth locked and loaded on our annual passholder cards. 

As we began our trip back into communication, there was a scene showing cavemen developing a spoken language.  I listened to the cavemen speaking and kept hearing the word “umboday” over and over again.  In a split second, my mind took a rollicking tour through weirdness and reached an incredible destination.  “Umboday” is Pig Latin for “Dumbo.”  Hidden Mickey Hunters, eat your hearts out!

It is abnormal… no, bizarre… that I had this revelation.  The real question, though, is how my disturbed mind got from “I wonder how we know what spoken language the cavemen had?” to “oh my gosh, that’s Pig Latin for Dumbo!”  It’s creepy, but I can even tell you, roughly, how my mind processed all this.  Here are some of the thoughts that shot through my brain, rather like the data points zipping through the “modern” super computer the size of a building that is featured on the ride:

  • I know Disney did a lot of technical research when they opened Animal Kingdom to make sure the park was accurate and sensitive to the cultures it represented.  Did they do the same for this ride?
  • Wait; how could they research the spoken language of primitive man?  How would we know before there were any written records?   
  • There were no tape recorders, nor surviving eye witnesses, right?
  • Does archeology know anything about languages before the writings on cave walls?
  • On the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ride (for those of us with a memory… the PeopleMover), the soundtrack includes an announcer paging “Tom Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow” (Tomorrow… get it?). I heard something about a project or company or character called Yisned (Disney spelled backwards).  Is the “umboday” thing a trick?
  • They are talking about the fact that the world’s body of knowledge was preserved after the fire of Rome because middle Eastern scholars kept copies of most of the books in their libraries.  I wonder if any of the titles on those books shown in that scene mean “It’s A Small World” in Hebrew or Arabic or something.  That would be cute.  They should totally do that in the redesign.
  • Hmmm… “umboday… umboday”… oh wait, that’s Dumbo in pig Latin!

There is so something wrong with me!  I am definitely abnormal. 

I went home and posted my observation on Facebook.  I belong to a couple of Disney passholder groups.  I thought my fellow Disnerds in those groups would get a kick out of the information.  Either that, or they would tell me I was late to the party and everyone who is anyone already knows this.  It turns out that I have never before posted ANYTHING on Facebook quite as engaging as this.  As I write this, over 125 people have already reacted to my newsflash and that number is growing.  

I am sure that many of you are reading this and thinking, “she’s a total loon.”  On the other hand, I seem to belong to quite the flock of loons, given the Facebook response.  Maybe I’m abnormal, but maybe I am also rare and exotic.

Is it bad that I want to go back on the ride to see if I can translate the rest of the caveman conversation?  Just what are they saying about Dumbo?  Maybe… “your children will be scarred for life if they don’t get to ride Dumbo?”

What is the weirdest thought that has ever struck you?  If that is too broad a question, how about the weirdest thing you’ve thought this week?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement 

Have a weird day!

Terri/Dorry 😊