Tent Holes

“What do you need at the Goodwill? I ask John. “Tent holes.” He says.
“Tent holes? What are tent holes?” I’m thinking. I can understand needing 50 toy animals that are all white and no more than 1 ½” tall, which is what I need. I guess tent stuff appeals to guys so I ask does he want TENT STAKES and he says, “No.” To be fair let me explain he just woke up 4 minutes ago and all he can say is “tent holes”.
Actually I don’t want him to explain now. Because I’m imagining what these things must look like; someone plants a tent, then pulls it up, digs around the holes left by the stakes, and carefully transplants them to beautifully decorated clay pots. This is the only first to appear to my mind’s eye but, while I’m imagining more exotic explanations, my mind overlaps my thinking with the questions. So I ask, “Are you going to plant possums standing up stiff on their petrifies tails in those holes? When you catch the critters are you going to soak them in starch to keep them stiff?”
John keeps reminding me he just woke up. “I’m just playing with you brain.” I answer and get a cock eyed smile.
I don’t want to discourage John but I hope he never finds tent holes, I’d only be disappointed.  nancymauerman.com

The Hobby Horse, The What?

If I understand it correctly, a bunch of men get up at about 4 AM to perform this age old custom and the activity continues until dark. Some guys beat drums in a very, very simple but repeating rhythm all day. Others squeeze accordions but creating no tune what so ever and they all follow one fellow wearing a clown type mask. He’s also dances around the streets in a boat shaped costume with streamers hanging down and a horse head up front. This hobby horse chases women and children and expects to collect money from men. Up until some time in the 1800s the hobby horse had also been followed by men carrying tongs and whips but this was discontinued because these guys sometimes killed the men, I’m guessing for being stingy.
All this oddness starts on May 1, every year, and continues for three or four days. And it looks to me the people are standing around pretending to almost celebrate. It’s very clear there’s a great need, longing, and dedication to tradition because the crowds that show up are not there to admire the beauty of the dance which is hap hazard hopping, or the wandering, noisy followers.
What does all of this symbolize? No one has a clue! Who started it, why, and when? It’s older than these people’s memories were never written in a book and they can’t even guess. There is no understanding at all. I STAND IN WONDER AT THE STRENGTH OF TRADITION!
I stand in WONDER at the need for tradition. I can see the power that a new family tradition will have when it has UNDERSTANDING behind it. Create at least one new holiday for your family and share your ideas here. Submit your entrees for the Create a Holiday Contest through my comment section of this blog. See other invented holidays in the books, ‘Dragon’s Tales’ and ‘Eagle and Banana Peels’, at Amazon.comnancymauerman.com

Responsibility Is Power

“Give men power and almost all will misuse it,” people have said down through history. They will use the power to do two things; create even more power for themselves and secondly, to hurt most everyone else. I don’t see that much has changed.
For the last ten years or so I’ve heard the following statement from the women in favor of big government on the TV program ‘To The Contrary,’ “Just because you HAVE children, doesn’t mean you’re RESPONSIBLE FOR RAISING them! From the age of two years the government should do it.” The women are CEOs, Senators, and Representatives. They also say they have run surveys and found that the public does not like certain words and phases including the one I cited.“We don’t use those words any longer!” then they laugh and add, “But we keep the policy and CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE! Ha ha ha.”
Let me ask you; wouldn’t you say these women, who pay lobbyists to write laws or actually write them themselves, spend the associated money are powerful?
I write my books to support and encourage parents who assume the responsibility of the most difficult job on earth.  nancymauerman.com

Box Up Your Family

My grown son brings his favorite people over to show them his BOOKS. As he and my daughter were growing up I took pictures of their celebrating our two important holidays a month. I took three picture of each important moment and our daily surprises. I put them in three books, one for each of us. On Sundays I cut paper triangles, glued them to cheap paper to hold the photos, three- hole punched them and inserted them into second hand binders. The binders aren’t much to see but it’s the memories inside my family is hungry for.
As life got more hectic I filled a box for each of us with the pictures, scout stuff, homework, letters to the president, etc.
There is nothing in this world more powerful than to know you were loved and still are!  nancymauerman.com

Invent A Holiday Contest

Submit your ideas here for new family holidays. Be sublime, silly, or educational. My kids celebrated Rock Day, Frog Day, Bad Manner Day, and others. On May Day we would sneak up to neighbor’s and friend’s doors, leave hand made paper baskets, rang the bell and hid. The baskets were filled with small flowers and candies.
Wouldn’t it be great to look forward to two holidays a month! Men tend to like traditions, kids love fun, and women create and we all have ideas. What would you do on Rock day or Dinosaur Day?
Submit your ideas in the comment section of this blog; awards will be presented at the end of next month.  nancymauerman.com

Burnt IS Better

The first time John cooked for me he carefully cut and arranged things on a pizza then left the pie in the oven until everything sticking up was burnt. He preferred his this way but had decided to serve it baked “normally” to impress me and forgot to adjust the timer to his new idea. But I loved it, having already learned the joy of bringing many foods up to dark brown, then just around the corner from black.
When I was younger I was afraid to commit, afraid being wrong of being bad. I never finished any art ideas didn’t believe in God and even as a teen was terrified to order at restaurants. John was not afraid to follow through an idea in his teens. He jumped out of a friend’s car while it was moving just to see if he could do it, then they’d drive faster and he’d do it again.
He’s still surprised I like burnt food and wrote me this love poem:

My wife says, “I learned to fry cheese toast from you, the outsides are both black, the insides are goo.”  nancymauerman.com

I Learned Something I Forgot

“I learned something I forgot, I must have learned it as a baby. Don’t burp and inhale at the same time!” John announced.
I relearn the same principles over and over in my art. At church I notice bits and pieces of truths and they line up to form new insights. These insights are often the same ones I learned the year before but each time I learn them at a deeper level.
In my book ‘Dragon’s Tale’ my daughter Anna tells the doughnut lady, ” My dragon’s outside and she’s six…She’s growing down right now.” Anna’s theory was that her dragon, who had been twenty-six, “was born in an egg, she grew up to first grade size, to mommy size, then down to grandma and all the kid sizes then back up to mommy again. Up and down like everybody grows”
As I learn the same things at deeper levels every year I suppose I’m growing down and I think I’m getting shorter too!  nancymauerman.com