Ahhhhh, the dreaded task of choosing the right photo for the annual Christmas card. Not so easy this year, since I had “assistance” from my 15 year old. I thought it would be easy to put together a collage of vacation photos,and soccer & basketball action shots. No chance. The action shots were tossed out quickly. We finally agreed to use a picture that I took of the kids at the top of Mt Quandry. We reach the summit on a beautiful August day, hitting 14,265 feet. We truly were on top of the world! Quite an achievement too, and I don’t mind sharing that with our family and friends.
Dog days…. July 9, 2012
Today was the last day of Libertyville’s Dog Days of Summer. I collared up my two pups, and walked to the dowtown area. There I sat, with my two water-fearing labs, watching other dogs excitedly jump into a big pool of water. Sadie & Galagher objected much less to walking through Cook Park and being fed countless doggie treats, and the hugs from the kids who petted them relentlessly wasn’t half bad either. Galagher learned quickly that sitting nicely and offering up a paw to “shake” would often bring an extra treat. Sadie seemed to enjoy seeking out the ones that people had hidden in their pockets for their own pet. The weather was perfect, and my four-legged kids were on their best behavior. And, I couldn’t help but notice, that the dogs seemed to bring out the nice in everyone. Somehow, I think the world would be a better place if everyone had a dog 🙂
A few months ago I came home to see several police cars lining the street in front of my house, and an officer walking away through my front yard. As I pulled up, he told me that my neighbor’s house had been broken into. He had checked my house, and from the outside it appeared to be secure. I was still a bit unnerved as I walked in. As I looked at my kitchen, I let out a sigh of relief as I realized that the completely trashed chaotic environment was a product of my kids, and not some burglar. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had peeked in my house, thought that someone already had “hit” it, and walked next door. That, of course leads to an entirely different story…
The other thought I had came back to me today, as I was reading a friend’s Facebook post. She returned home after running some errands, and found that not only had her home been broken into, but the perp was still in the house. Fortunately, he ran out the back door before she had completely entered the home. But reading it caused me to raise a question, once again, what is it that makes someone feel that they are entitled to bust through someone’s door (or window), enter their home, and take their personal belongings? It is a question that has been gnawing at me for some time, and I still can’t seem to find the answer. I have worked hard to get where I am. So has my neighbor. So has my friend. But to be told that a “professional” robbed the house next door is very wrong. Professional?? Doctors are professionals. Attorneys are professionals. Teachers are professionals. But a bum who is too lazy to educate themselves to the point that they can provide for themselves and others, and instead resorts to stealing – well, all I can say is that the word I would use to describe them is definitely NOT “professional”.
What is your passion? February 27, 2012
Ten years ago, Terri & I decided that we wanted to give back to our community. After researching a number of charitable organizations, we selected Make-A-Wish. Starting in 2002, we made a monetary contribution after every closing, always in the name of our client. Over the course of the past 10 years, we have been fortunate enough to send over $75,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern Illinois. We have granted wishes for computer systems, new puppies, shopping sprees, meetings with renown athletes and singers, and more trips to Disney than we can count. Even better, we have had the chance to meet some of these remarkable children and their amazing families. I am not saying this to brag. Or to get praise for doing a good job. Or pats on the back. I am saying this to demonstrate my passion about this fabulous organization. Our wish children have touched our hearts. Their stories can bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your face, all at the same time. I still get choked up when I think back to a Make-A-Wish Ball (their major annual fundraiser) that Steve and attended a few years ago, at Union Station. The guest speaker was Ollie’s mom. Ollie was a little boy who lost his couragous battle with cancer. His wish was to be a train. Not to drive one. Not to ride one. But to be one. Make-A-Wish worked with Metra to make Ollie a conductor for a day. He sat with the engineer and dressed the part. However, the night of the Wish Ball, Metra made Ollie’s real wish come true. We all walked from the Grand Hall to the trains. And there was a great big new shiny engine – named Ollie. And there we stood. Adults dressed for a black tie affair. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the station. Ollie was a train! I still catch myself looking at the engine of every Metra train I see, hoping it is going to be Ollie…
This past December, we had a health scare when my 12 year-old son was diagnosed with a tumor in his leg. It was less than 30 days from the diagnosis to the surgery, followed by the welcomed benign biopsy results. December is still a blur. Sleepless nights, trying to stay positive while fear kept creeping in, the “what-ifs” that would not go away, the complete lack of control and inability to protect my child. The not-so-subtle message that sometimes our priorities get a bit out of whack. The realization that as long as my children are healthy – nothing else really matters. I am fortunate to have a once-again healthy child. I wish nothing short of the same for little Connor and his family. Make sure to read his story by clicking on the link below. Make sure to follow your passion