A New Excuse for Messy Bedrooms — Remembering February 22, 2011

"Clean your room. You know my rule."

The children bowed their heads, forlorn as a result of their mother's scowl. "Yes, mum. There must always be a clear path from the door to the bed."

It wasn't much to ask for as far as the mother was concerned. It really was just for a matter of safety. But the children went about their chores, knowing the consequences if they didn't. Their mother's wrath was not something anyone wanted to wage war with—and she knew it. Smiling to herself, she left her children to tidy the messes that they called bedrooms.

Sunday afternoon bounded along and it was time for inspection. The son had everything in its place: books on the shelves, desk clear, laundry in the hamper, and the bed made. He had even vacuumed. The daughter… Well… The mess had been carefully stowed away in the cupboards and stacked in unstable piles. The laundry was pushed under the bed and the covers were pulled back to give the false impression of a made bed. The mother shook her head in dismay.

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They Fell Like Dominoes — Remembering February 22, 2011

Recently, I sent out a request for others to share their memories of the Christchurch earthquakes that occurred five years ago. To my pleasant surprise, some have come forward with stories so moving that I felt it was important to share them with the world. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the stories sent to me about that day as well as sharing a few of my own. The February 2011 quake changed our lives forever, but has made the city of Christchurch a stronger community.

Christchurch Cathedral After Feb 2011 Quake (Source: bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz)

Christchurch Cathedral After Feb 2011 Quake (Source: bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz)

Julie Miller was in the heart of the city when the February quake struck. Here is just some of the things she had to say about the experience.

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I’m a writer… Juggling is a necessity.

It’s the life of every working mother, to become the taxi driver. Let’s face it, my son is currently 14, a freshman in high school, and fills his free time with swimming training, archery and scouts, and of course computer games, but I’m not going to talk about those. My 10-year-old daughter, just starting junior high, does ballet, contemporary, scouts, art, kapahaka, and until recently guitar and swimming. And this says nothing of my own activities: writers’ groups, committee meetings, scout leader… (Wait… I’m not a scout leader anymore. I have my Thursday nights back, but I’m sure I’m missing something.) There are days when I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.Read More

When does school start again?

The real torture for a parent starts long before school lets out for the holidays. The anticipation of that long awaited break is almost too much to bear for the child. But a long break from school, like the summer break… Please! Save me now!Read More

The lights go out, but it’s still the season of cheer

Winter was upon them and the chill leaked through the walls and windows. The young girl shivered, wrapping herself in the blankets that her mother had laid across her shoulders. The candlelight flickered across the table. She picked up the paintbrush, yellow on its tip. As carefully as she could, she painted the stuffed solider doll.

Every night that week, she had decorated another ornament for the tree that sat in the corner. Every night, it was only a candle that provided the light to see by. Every night, she beamed with pride with another creation hung.

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