Friday, December 11, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

My daughter's Wedding

These past few months have been a whirlwind of emotions. I've been stressed because of work deadlines and wedding preparations. But this past Friday, it was all worth it. My daughter was the most beautiful bride and I was a very proud mother. Words can't express the joy I felt watching her say those vows of commitment and listening while Dan's aunt who performed the ceremony talked about how she reminds me so much of my mother. She is and always will be the joy of my life. I wish my Mom could have been there...but she was in spirit, smiling from heaven and rejoicing that Jillian has found her soul mate.

There is no greater joy than to share this day with your daughter and to know that you were a part of making that day special for her. I will never forget the past few days we both shared together and the memories will last forever.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Remembering a Favorite Scripture

I was reading Jeremiah 32 tonight and I came across one of my favorite scriptures:

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

That verse brought back so many memories of times when The Word seemed so alive and powerful in my life. I remember finding that verse during a particularly difficult time. And I recall grabbing on to it and holding tight until I made it through to the other side.

It was a reminder to me that no matter what you are struggling with or how difficult the days are, there is nothing too hard for God. He can turn any situation around and give us victory. He can make what was once old, new again. And He can raise us up when we are feeling down.

Standing on the promises,
Walden Fan

Monday, August 17, 2009

Do women just want to be rescued?

I was watching "Sex and the City" tonight on TBS and that was Carrie's line. Actually Charlotte made the statement referring to a comment about why firemen are so cute. "Because women just want to be rescued." I got to we?

Here are the facts:
  • We dream about the day we will get married from the time we are little girls
  • We look for that special soul mate to complete us
  • We want someone to support us financially so we can be mothers and PTA presidents
Yep. The simple fact is that is true. I'd like a man to rescue me. I'll admit it.

Maybe that's because it's the way God made us. We are supposed to feel that way. Because honestly, if we didn't, He knew we would NEVER choose to live our lives with the male species.

That's certainly some food for thought.
Walden Fan

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Defiance"--A story about survival

I watched a movie tonight that has certainly driven me into deep thought. It was a movie about an obscure group of Jews who survived in the forests of Russia against all odds, hiding from the Germans. 1200 of them survived and those who did have grown to hundreds of thousands over the years. Three brothers led this community of Jews through ambushes, harsh winters, trekking through bogs and surviving on root vegetables. They rescued 100's of Jews from a village where the Nazi's were executing them on a daily basis.

It's hard to watch something like that and not ask yourself what do we really have to complain about. Yes, the economy is bad. Times, in our minds, are hard. But most of us have food, a roof over our heads, freedom and luxuries that the rest of the world sees and views us as spoiled Americans. It's a sobering thought to imagine having to fight for our very existence and we are complaining about not having any air conditioning, or broken hard drives, or cars with flat tires.

Sometimes I think God must shake his head and wonder why we can't see all of our blessings. It certainly is a lesson in thankfulness.

Walden Fan

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In the beginning...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1: 1-5

If I had to pick a favorite passage of scripture this would be it. I have always been in love with the Word. I can't explain how it makes me feel when I read it, or how I feel connected to the Father when it penetrates into my heart and soul. I've always valued "the Word" and always valued what it says about God.

I'm inspired tonight to do a study about "the Word" by using the Word. It's fascinating how Jesus was the living Word.
Walden Fan

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If money wasn't an issue...

...I would:
live in Paris.
pay off all my kids debts.
give my daughter the most extravagant wedding ever.
buy two miniature dachshunds.
self publish both of my books.
walk away from this house that is falling apart around me.
visit my friend in Australia.
have someone do my accounting and taxes.

If money wasn't an is ALWAYS an issue.
Walden Fan

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Shack

I just finished reading "The Shack". My brother gave it to me about a month ago. He wanted to see what I thought because he had read it and had some misgivings about the content. I had several friends who had read it as well and loved it. So I set out to read it and form my own opinion. After completing it, I can say it had an affect on me. More so than I had anticipated.

For those people who are not sure about how they feel about God, it's a must read. As long as you take it as fiction and an allegory of your spiritual walk with God. I've had friends ask me, "Why, when bad things happen, does God allow it?" This book does the best job of explaining that than any other I have ever read. Especially for those that have not been raised on the Bible or been taught scripture.

The other topic I believe was explained clearly was the "relationship vs religion" aspect of God. So many people look at God as a religion. This book explains very clearly what it means to be in a relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Since the main character asked many questions of God that we all have asked at one time or another, the answers laid it out simply and clearly: it's not about following a religion, it's about having a relationship with God.

That said, there were a few things mentioned that I had a hard time swallowing. But, for the most part, I found most of the answers to be Biblically based.

Here's my favorite passage from the book:

Religion must use law to empower itself and control the people who they need in order to survive. I give you an ability to respond and your response is to be free to love and serve in every situation, and therefore each moment is different and unique and wonderful. Because I am your ability to respond, I have to present it to you. If I simply give you a responsibility, I would not have to be with you at all. It would now be a task to perform, and obligation to be met, something to fail. Let's use the example of friendship and how removing the element of life from a noun can drastically alter a relationship. If you and I are friends, there is an expectancy that exists within our relationship. When we see each other or are apart, there is expectancy of being together, of laughing and talking. That expectancy has no concrete definition; it is alive and dynamic and everything that emerges from our being together is a unique gift shared by no one else. But what happens if I change that expectancy to an expectation--spoken or unspoken? Suddenly, law has entered into your relationship. You are now expected to perform in a way that meets my expectations. Our living friendship rapidly deteriorates into a dead things with rules and requirements. It is no longer about you and me, but about what friends are supposed to do, ore the responsibilities of a good friend. Responsibilities and expectations are the basis of guilt and shame and judgment, and they provide the essential framework that promotes performance as the basis for identity and value. You know well what it is like not to live up to someone's expectations.

I've thought about this passage for days. I wish we could all grasp this in all of our relationships, not just with God, but with one another.

While you can't throw away the basic importance of gathering together with other believers for ministry, you also can't throw away the importance of that relationship with God. It's the basis of everything. There are some very excellent points made in this book. Organized religion may stand back and gasp, but, you can't discount the fact that there are many people who need to see that God is not a God of rules and regulations.

Decide for yourself. Pick up a copy and read it today. Let me know what you think,
Walden Fan

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two movies---two completely different endings

This past weekend I saw two movies; both of them love stories. One had a happy ending; the other ended tragically. I suppose somewhere in the middle of the two is real life.

The first movie, The Proposal, was your typical happy ending love story. The man and woman who started out hating each other, end up falling in love and ending happily ever after. They were from two different worlds and grew up in completely different family backgrounds. But somehow they found love in common and began to see that they really weren't that different after all.

The second movie, Revolutionary Road, was a love story that ended tragically. The man and woman fell in love quite quickly, but became disillusioned by the reality of life. They sacrificed their dreams and settled in a suburban lifestyle where the husband went off to work and the wife stayed home with the kids. Neither were happy and nor could they find peace with their choices.

While we would always like to believe that life is more like the first movie, and less like the second one, there were some realities that emerged from both.

  • Sometimes people from two different worlds can find happiness.
  • What you see on the surface is not always what lies beneath.
  • Compromising your dreams might cause you extreme unhappiness.
  • You can find value and purpose in your life, even though it's not what you expected.
  • If you have someone who believes in you, you can find happiness and regain your passion.

Personally, I go to the movies to escape. But, many times I find unexpected truths.

See you at the movies,
Walden Fan

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If I could turn back time...

...would I? Yes. I'd erase all the hurt. Take away all the pain. And go back to the time when we understood each other and knew what the other person was going to say before they said it.

But... can you really go back in time? Can you take back words that were said in anger? Can you erase the pain caused by those words? Can you change the outcome of something that seemed to be inevitable?

I wonder...
Walden Fan

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Non-confrontation Confrontation

It's always amazed me how easy it is for some people to fling veiled confrontations without saying what is really on their mind. Some people might call it sarcasm; I call it non-confrontation confrontation. Most of these are done in emails and text messages, and even on blogs. Why? Because it's easier to hide what you really feel when the person can't hear your voice or see your face. Plus it also shields you on some level from the response you don't want to hear. You can hit delete or ignore and the unwelcome message is gone.

Trying to decipher the non-confrontation confrontations,
Walden Fan

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Grieving can apply to so much more than a death. You can grieve over all types of losses: friends, jobs, and even missed opportunities. You can even grieve over what might have been. There is no hard and fast rule on how to deal with a loss. Some deal with it immediately, and others push it away for another day. Grief can take years before it subsides, or after a long, hard cry it can be replaced by peace.

Tonight, it just hit me. I don't know what happened except I read something that brought it all crashing in on me. It feels like a loss so overwhelming I can't recover. A hole is left that I know from experience will never be filled. All I can hope for it that in time the grief will give way to some peace and I will be able to move forward knowing that this loss was unavoidable. I can also hope that at some point God will take it all and make some sense of the "whys". But for now, the grief pushes in on my heart,

And you begin again,
Sometimes you lose,
Sometimes you win,
But you begin again.
Even though your heart is breaking
In time, the sun will shine
And you'll begin again.
You'll begin again.

Hoping that "in time the sun will shine",
Walden Fan

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Folded Napkin

Years ago, in ancient Biblical times, there was a tradition related to the cloth (napkin) that was used at mealtime. Tradition tells us that this napkin was used as a sign to indicate whether or not the master was finished with his meal when he left the table or was leaving temporarily and would return. If he was finished with his meal, he would crumble up the napkin and throw it on the table. If he was not finished, he would neatly fold the napkin and place it beside the the plate, signifying he would return to finish the meal.

As with all traditions, their significance is always important.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the napkin that had covered Jesus’ head was
folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings.
(John 20:6-7)

Have a blessed Easter!
Awaiting His return,
Walden Fan

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Today...I need to write. It's an outlet for my emotions; and today my emotions need an outlet. Why? Because I'm perplexed. I consider myself to be a good communicator. I can usually take words and use them to formulate an argument, explanation or get my point across. At the very least, once they are read they are usually understood for what they are meant to express. Today. Not so much. Today I tried as hard as I could to write the words my heart was feeling, and for some reason, I came up short. I've been coming up short quite often lately with my words, and I'm not exactly sure how to fix it or change things.

I feel like Helen Keller. Trying to communicate and yet unable to because there's a barrier there that's keeping my words from penetrating into the heart. Each time I try, I fail. And each time I fail it evokes anger. It appears that the barrier will not come down, so I'm faced with failure and an unresolved conflict.

Walden Fan

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Today would have been my grandmother's birthday. We shared the same birthday and every year I would forget hers. I'm not sure why. But I did. You would think that it would have been the easiest birthday to remember, because we shared the same day. But every year I would call her a few days later and plead stupidity because I forgot.

The funny thing is, that since she's been gone (almost 20 years) I always remember. And it makes me a little sad. Sad because I didn't value her enough while she was here to make it a priority to at least remember her birthday. I wish I could get back all those missed opportunities, but I can't. So here, today, in my own way, I'm letting her know that I miss her. And if I could, I'd give her a huge birthday hug and kiss.

Happy Birthday Grandmother (give Mom a hug for me today too...I miss you both)
Walden Fan

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Struggle

"For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do,
that I do not practice;
but what I hate, that I do...For the good that I will to do, I do not do;
but the evil I will not to do, that I practice."
Romans 7:15, 19

It's the classic struggle we all face every day. Our human nature, apart from God and His influence, tends to veer toward the dark side. We want to do what's right, but sometimes we find it hard. Our sin nature pulls us in and drags us into behaviors and actions that we know are wrong and harmful to our body, our soul and our spirit.

Every day we have to choose: will we obey God or will we obey our sinful nature. That nature that only brings us down and pull us away from our true purpose in this life. The path of righteousness is not easy. But the rewards we will find in this life and in eternity, make it worth the struggle.

Texas Fan

Monday, March 23, 2009


"If I could find a real life place that makes me feel like Tiffanys
I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name"
-Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys

My daughter and I have a thing we do. When we travel to a new city, we look for a Tiffanys store. It's tradition. Our very first visit to Tiffanys was in New York City on our first trip there after her high school graduation. We had to go. That movie was our favorite Hepburn classic and we wanted to see for ourselves if it was true. Could Tiffanys possibly be as magical a place as it seemed in the movie?

"Nothing bad could ever happen at's the ONLY cure for the mean reds!" And you know, Holly was right. Over the years, Tiffanys has been that place for us. In New York. In Boston. In Paris. In London. In Dallas. In Las Vegas. In San Antonio. They are there waiting to wisk us away into a place where all is right with the world and nothing bad ever happens. When we walk through those doors, as we have so many times, we smile and remember that first time we entered the one on 5th Avenue. It was one of those moments that you never forget. A moment we shared. A moment that reminds me of how wonderfully simple life can be at times.

Wishing I were at Tiffanys tonight,
Walden Fan

Friday, March 20, 2009


Our words can encourage, discourage, destroy, uplift, hurt, enlighten, help, and most importantly, be misinterpreted or ignored. How do we avoid having our words perceived in a negative way? How do we say what we mean and mean what we say? How do we get those people who mean so much to us to truly listen to what we are saying?

Because honestly, I'm wondering. Sometimes we talk until we are blue in the face and those closest to us don't listen. Then other times we say just one thing in a vulnerable moment and it gets taken out of context and blown out of proportion. How can you commit years to a relationship and that person not know you? Is it because you never said what you felt? Or is it because they just didn't listen?

I'm just wondering...
Walden Fan

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Basement People

One of my mother's favorite books during her long battle with cancer was "Balcony People" by Joyce Landorf. It wasn't a very long book, but it became priceless to her during those four years and after she passed away, I inherited it. In a moment of sentimentality, I passed that book on to someone. Today, I wish I had it. I sure could use it's words of encouragement.

The premise of the book was this--we all have two kinds of people in our lives: basement people and balcony people. The basement people spend their lives dragging us down into their pits of despair, discouraging us, throwing cold water on our dreams, and for the most part, making us miserable.The balcony people are the ones who encourage us to dream, believe in ourselves, and boost our self esteem by cheering us on. According to the author, it takes about 20 balcony people to counteract the affects of one basement person. And...we all tend to have more basement people in our lives than balcony people.

One of my friends likens those basement people in our lives to albatrosses around our necks, weighing us down. I like that analogy. I know that's how I've felt at times. And when you feel that way the hardest thing to do is look up in the balcony and see those cheering. The Bible speaks of these people in Hebrews as a "cloud of witnesses" who have been there, done that, and are in heaven cheering us on to "run with perseverance the race marked out for us". I know my mother, father and great aunt are standing in that balcony in heaven cheering for me every day.

So even though I feel dragged down at times, I know that there are those in my life and those who have gone before me, cheering me on.

Looking up,
Walden Fan

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Are we slaves to technology?

We went to the movies this weekend and two teenagers spent the first 30 minutes of the show texting. After having to stare at the bright screens in front of us, someone went to the management and they were asked to leave. It never ceases to amaze me that people can't turn their cellphones off for 90 minutes and watch a movie uninterrupted.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like a slave to all this new technology. We can't go anywhere without our trusty cellphones. We can't turn the computers off for 24 hours. We have to notify everyone of what we are doing on Twitter and Facebook. We have to check our emails every morning or our day has not begun. And heaven forbid if our computers crash. We are all out of whack until it is fixed.

There are days like today that I long for the days when I didn't have an internet connection, email account, Facebook page, or cellphone. The funny thing is that now that I have them, I think I can't live without them.

Here's a question for you: is technology helping us or has it become our master?

Friday, March 13, 2009

When you hear those words

On Wednesday evening my phone rang and when I looked at the incoming number I saw it was my daughter. She said, "Mom, I have some news." I have to tell you I wasn't expecting to hear the next words that came out of her mouth, "I'm engaged!". Wow.

I can't tell you the emotions that came over me at that moment. I was excited. I was happy. I was overwhelmed. I was even sad. Excited because every parent wants their child to find their soulmate. Happy because I could hear the excitement in her voice. Overwhelmed because my mind rushed ahead to all the preparation, planning and expense involved with a wedding. Sad because my Mom and Dad weren't here to share this moment with me.

When your kids are born, especially your daughters, you dream about that moment. The moment when they find love and are so excited about their future. The reactions I've received have been mixed from family and friends. Some said, "it's about time". Others were overjoyed. And still others were skeptical it would happen. I wondered how you can take the joy out of this moment with such skepticism and negativity. But I guess when you've lived life sometimes you don't have so much hope in true love.

For me, hearing my daughter tell me all about the proposa
l and how "different" she feels made me realize that love does still exist in its purest form and she has truly found her soulmate.

The happy couple

Proud mother,
Walden Fan

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Surburban Life

This morning I was awakened by an annoying neighbor. My husband has nicknamed him "Bumpkus", after the infamous Bumpkus neighbors on A Christmas Story. When he first moved in I knew he was a strange sort as he proceeded to grind the bricks on his entire house and paint them orange. Then he proceeded to replace the windows in front, which is perfectly normal, but he replaced them both at odd angles. He proceeded to chop the tree down in front halfway, leaving a trunk (not a stump) but a trunk. And finally he removed all his grass with a rototill and did not replace it. It resembles a Dr. Seuss house now. Something you might find in a children's novel.

His latest activity involves car collecting. I wouldn't mind so much if he worked on one at a time, but he has managed to put 5 clunkers in his front yard, along with a camper shell trailer wedged in between the tree trunk and the crooked windows of the house. This morning he was under one of his clunker cars grinding away at 6am. He wears earphones. The rest of the neighbors have to endure this noise for hours on end. It's much like the constant drip of a faucet that causes mind-numbing histeria if listened to without any break.

It never ceases to amaze me that every neighborhood always has one noisemaker. We are blessed with a plethora of annoying sounds. A barking dog that is tied up outside and yaps all day and night. A house filled with gangster rap loving teenagers and their low rider cars that blast the music all hours of the night. And now Bumpkus, who seems to find pleasure in rising early and cursing us with his constant grinding, drilling and sanding.

The joys of suburban life...
Walden Fan

PS Now I know why Thoreau went to the woods!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Queen of the Moral Majority

This past weekend, on a fan site that I frequently visit and comment on, someone gave me the title "The Queen of the Moral Majority". I'm most definitely sure it was not a compliment. It was a bash at my attempt to try and provide some much needed common sense to a "girls gone wild" event online.

It seems no matter how hard so many of us try, they just don't get it. They don't understand that you can fantasize all you want in private, but to put those fantasies online, you open yourself and the person you are fantasizing about to attack from the media. Unfortunately, it's a vicious world out there and many journalists are looking for any and everything to use against persons with integrity. They want the scoop: that story that will get them noticed. Even if it's a story about a group of well-intentioned women expressing their love for a male celebrity.

When I think about all the bashing I got over the weekend for posting a blog about respect, I realize that they actually paid me a compliment. I'll take that title and wear it proudly. After all, someone has to be the voice of reason. Someone has to tell them to "put a sock in it". They may not listen or change their behavior, but at least I (and several others) spoke the truth and tried, however futile, to stand up for what was right. I learned many years ago that when you stand for what is right, you should always expect to be met with opposition. It comes with the territory.

Wearing the title proudly,
Walden Fan (aka The Queen of the Moral Majority)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My pin collection

I'm sitting here in my comfy chair daydreaming. I don't do that often. But this morning I'm having one of those deep-in-thought moments. And my eye is drawn to my pin collection. It's a rather odd sort of hobby. I have no idea when I started collecting them. But about 2 years ago I decided to put them in a display case so I could admire them more easily. When I built the case I had no idea how many I had collected over the years until I started placing them in the frame.

It's not so much the pins that give me joy. It's the memories attached to them. There's one in there from Atlantic City that I got when I made a trip there with two friends after seeing Barry Manilow in Philadelphia. There's a pin of the Eiffel Tower that I picked up when I was in Paris visiting my daughter. I have a pin commemorating my one perfect family moment at WaltDisneyworld before my son left for the Marines. My son brought me one from Bavaria when he was there in the military. I have a pin I purchased when my daughter and I went to my first Red Sox game at Fenway Park. And one I got when my son and I saw the Rangers play the Astros in Houston. I have a pin that I purchased when I flew to London to celebrate my daughter's 21st birthday at the Ritz Carlton. All my Las Vegas pins are in there as well, commemorating some of the best times of my life. And there is a corner that displays my father's Gideon, Lions Club, and Chiropractor pins.

These pins hold my memories and they remind me that it's not about what you accumulate over your life that matters. It's about the people that you love and how you spend those moments that truly count.

These pins represent my treasured moments,
Walden Fan

Monday, February 23, 2009

Texting, Emailing, IMs and Tweets

Today has been an interesting day for me. I've realized with a bit of alarming concern what is happening with relationships. We just don't talk any more. We text. We send Twitter messages. We email. We instant message. We leave comments on Facebook and MySpace.

I was chatting with a friend who had a fight with her best friend last night, all on text messaging. It never occurred to them to pick up the phone and talk, or just drive over to one another's house and hash it out when they lived blocks away from each other. And this is not the first time she has fought with someone via text messaging. While she was explaining to me her conversation, and the implications she perceived coming from the other end of the cellphone, I began to realize how absolutely insane it all had become. You can't tell a person's true feelings in a text message. You can't discern their intent. You can't know what they were trying to say or felt. You need to have an actual conversation, in person, with back and forth interaction to truly communicate.

I fear our relationships are suffering greatly because we're mistaking communication via technology for relationships. Can you really discern a person's true intent from any of these mediums? I have to wonder.

Here's an interesting article on this topic: Social websites harm children's brains.

Walden Fan

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Enough Already

Ok. We get it. Times are tough. Vegas is hurting. Banks are going under. The economy is in the skids. The Dow keeps falling. Enough already.

If I have to turn on one more news program discussing how horrible things are right now I'm going to scream. You know what I like? The Allstate commercials. They are my idea of how to handle the current signs of the times.

Let's all stop talking gloom and doom and start focusing on the positive. Negativity never helps. And if I remember correctly President Obama said something along those lines on January 21st.

Back to Basics,
Walden Fan

Friday, February 13, 2009


This past week has been riddled with tragedy for me. Not personal, but shared. Shared with the Australians of whom I feel a small kinship because of my close friend who lives near Melbourne, and shared with the families of the passengers of the Continental flight that crashed last night in New York. Even though I don't know these people personally, my heart breaks for their losses. And I search for reasons. And I ask myself why. And I am reminded that life is so incredibly fragile.

Late Saturday evening I opened up my email to find a story about the Australian fires. And my heart sunk. I was not sure how close they came to my friend, knowing she has been fearful of the fires for weeks now. I couldn't sleep the entire night and my heart breathed a sigh of relief when I opened my email the next morning to find a message from her. I can't even begin to imagine how all those families feel, waiting for news of their loved ones. Hoping they are safe somehow in the midst of all the tragedy.

Last night I turned the cable news on before retiring to hear about the plane crash. I don't care how old I get, news of this kind just cracks my heart in two. I think about all the times my children and friends have flown and how I can't wait to hear from them that they have landed safely. Just recently my daughter flew home from Boston and encountered so much turbulence during the landing in Dallas the entire flight filled with passengers was shaken.

Having lost loved ones over the years and some to unexpected tragedy, I can sense the pain these families all feel right now. When these things happen we look for the smallest of triumphs and victories and try and focus on those. And even though the loss of human life can't begin to compare, the country of Australia has found comfort and solace in a koala named Sam. Somehow, in the worst of circumstances she managed to survive the fire and is recovering in an animal shelter.

If you want to help our Aussie friends, click here to link to the Victoria Red Cross. They can certainly use our help. After all, God created all of us and we are all family in his eyes.

God bless and comfort those who are suffering today,
Walden Fan

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Kind of Town

It's no secret that I ADORE Boston. And while it's gorgeous in the summer, winter in Boston is the most wonderful time of year for me. Probably because I've never lived there. Those who do hate the winters. It's one of the reasons my daughter moved back to Texas.

At any rate, I'm on my way up there this weekend to spend a few days in my beloved city (if the airlines cooperate-I'm stuck in Houston as I write this). I'm attending the 30th birthday party of one of my "adopted" daughters. I met her while my daughter was in college up there and she and I instantly clicked. That just happens with some people. We have our own "language" and she loves me unconditionally.

So what could be better? Seeing one of the special people in my life in the city I love has to be at the top of my list of great ways to spend a weekend. On my list of things to do: Stephanie's on Newbury Street, a party at Patriot's stadium, a stroll in the Back Bay area and a drive through Bentley College (now a University) to reminisce.

My kind of town...Boston,
Walden Fan

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Here's a good laugh this morning

For those of you that have elderly parents or grandparents you will be able to relate to this. I can't tell you the times I tried to get my father and great aunt to understand technology. Their brains were not made that way!

One day, this will be me!
Walden Fan

Monday, February 2, 2009

Some Days are Like That

"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there is gum in my hair...
I knew it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

When my children were little, one of their favorite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. There's something about this book that everyone, even adults, can relate to.

This morning, I felt like Alexander. I woke up with a sore back out of a lousy dream, feeling overwhelmed. When I went outside to replace my flat tire on my bike, the other tire was flat. Then I decided to hang a new erase board and dropped the nails for it somewhere in the carpet (which I cannot find). After aborting that project, I moved on to my color printer/scanner in an attempt to make a birthday present for someone, only to find the printer and the computer were unable to communicate. Abandoning that project, I phoned FedEx to sit on the line with them for 30 minutes trying to ship 3 boxes from one person to another using my account, only to discover that it could have been done 3 days ago if the inept FedEx rep had known what he was doing. All of this before 9am.

Every time Alexander had something wrong happen to him that day he told his Mom he was moving to Australia. Well move over Alexander, I'm coming! (Kim...get that room ready!) I can't help but wonder what the rest of the day has in store for me. Alexander's Mom had an answer for him...

Some days are like that, even in Australia,
Walden Fan

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I heard this today. And it seemed to fit what I've been feeling:

I don't want you to walk in front of me so I have to follow;
Or behind me so I can't share the journey with you;
I need you to walk along side me and hold my hand so we can travel the road together.

If you have a friend that does this with you, they are worth their weight in gold. Friendship never really can be over or underestimated.

Walden Fan

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mothers and Sons

This week has started off rather odd for me. For some reason I woke up feeling a bit sad. Everything all day was bothering me. Then I suddenly realize what might be wrong--I miss my son. This week he will turn 30 and while it might be a milestone for him, it feels like a milestone for me as well.

Sons are a unique breed. From the time they are born they are moving toward independence. And while every parent wants their children to grow and move forward, it's hard with each life passage: school, graduation, the military, moving away from home, college and final independence. Even while he was in the Marines he phoned home periodically and checked in with us on a regular basis. At several points throughout his quest for independence he moved back home and I grew accustomed to having him around.

This last phase of complete independence (and much needed on his part) has been the hardest of all for me. I miss our chats, and debates. I miss cooking together and talking about life during the process. I'm sure there are many reasons why I rarely see him any more. He has his friends and his life and works more than 40 hours a week. His life is busy and there's little time for much else.

It's hard to believe that 30 years have flown by this fast. It was only yesterday he was playing wi
th GI Joes in his bedroom and dreaming of being in the military one day. It was only yesterday that he talked about going to college in Boston. Both dreams came true for him and I'm sure he has even more he has yet to see fulfilled.

So even though I might be sad today and miss having him in my daily life, I'm also proud of what he has accomplished and pray for him to find his place in this life and have all his future dreams, goals and aspirations come true.

Happy Birthday Ryan,
Mom (Walden Fan)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Future of America

The past few days I have watched with mixed emotions the events that have unfolded in Washington. I understand that it was a very proud day for African Americans. As well it should have been. I understand that so many people were tired of the current administration and just wanted a change. I get it. I really do. But it just bothers me that so many of the proposed policies of President Obama and the democratic party are pulling this country further and further away from God and into the hands of big government.

A few months ago I was reminded of these verses:

I Samuel 8:4-10, 19-21
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up over Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do." Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king...But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord answered, "Listen to them and give them a king."

When Saul became king he did exactly what God told Israel he would do. He took away their land. Put their children to work and into military service. Used all the country's resources to wage his own personal battles. The nation of Israel suffered greatly at the hands of Saul until Israel realized they made a terrible mistake and pleaded for God to intervene.

I fear our country got exactly what they asked for: a king. Not in the literal sense, but in the figurative sense as it relates to these verses.

Praying for President Obama and America,
Walden Fan

Friday, January 16, 2009


I've been rereading Walden by Thoreau. The man was a considered a simpleton in his time. And if you read this book, you'll understand why. However, in the midst of his simple ramblings about life, there is great wisdom and truth. He gets to the bare bones of what life is about and finds the words to simply state what we can all easily understand. One of them, has definitely sparked my thought process over the last few days:

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates his fate.

We all define and determine our paths in life by the the opinion we have of ourselves. Can we succeed? Are we capable of overcoming? Are we good enough? Do we have what it takes to start over? Is it possible to be a winner? There is great truth in Thoreau's observation.

Those opinions drive us to succeed or fail. They make us keep trying or they cause us to give up. They mold and shape our futures based on what we believe we are capable of pursuing. The question is and always has been, can we change how we feel about ourselves?

Pondering the question,
Walden Fan

Monday, January 12, 2009


I just received the news today that my last living aunt passed away. It hit me hard because of two things: she was the last living relative on my mother's side of the family other than my generation, and it made me aware of my own mortality.

I guess I've been aware of it for quite a long time. I was fairly young when my mother passed away and that began the realization that we are all here on this earth for a short time. When my great aunt passed away a few years ago at 96, we all stood at her graveside and recalled all the great memories we had of our lives with her. She was the matriarch of our family. The solid rock that kept all of us together and afloat. Her passing was a tremendous loss in the family. And today my aunt's passing is as well.

Thoreau says, "most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them". The lesson in death, is to live. Live your life to the fullest so that when your day comes, you have "lived deliberately". Live your life so that those you leave behind are left with your legacy and the memories that help them through the grief.

I wrote about my aunt months ago in a book I am writing. Here's the excerpt:

One particular day we had all gone to the beach, as was our usual practice in the summers. I had just been given one of the newest types of Polaroid black and white cameras: you could develop the picture immediately after it was taken. I was making my way around the beach, taking photos of all my aunts, uncles and cousins. One of my aunts was particularly camera shy. She kept running from me, avoiding the inevitable. I was a persistent little kid. I was determined to get a photo of my aunt with my new camera. After thinking I had given up, she walked away from me, confident that she had won the battle. I quickly snapped my camera, getting a lovely picture of her backside. Once the picture was developed, we all laughed and laughed about the “family photo” of my aunt’s posterior. I know she laughed so hard she peed in her pants that day. I still have that photo and smile every time I remember her laughing as I developed it.

I have wonderful memories of my aunt as a child. And I will keep those memories with me forever. Her legacy? She always made me laugh. What a GREAT legacy!

Rest in Peace Jodee...I will miss you,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

I've never been much of a follower. Or one who conforms to the crowd. I've always taken the road less traveled, not the path of least resistance. Many times I throw away reason to follow my convictions. This path is never popular or well-liked. I've been given all kinds of labels because of it: rebel, trouble maker, infidel, jealous name it. It's hard standing on principle and even harder when you get personally attacked.

Sometimes the road less traveled can be lonely as well. Those around you get gun shy because they don't want to get caught in the crossfire. So you stand on the mountain with your convictions and brace yourself for the onslaught. It always comes. But no matter how much attack or verbal abuse, I won't veer off that road or take the easiest way. Because there are battles to be fought, principles to stand on and values to be held up.

Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost

Traveling that road less traveled,
Walden Fan

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My List

I'm not big into lists. But today I had a million things running around in my head and I had to put them down on paper. I was hoping that once I did I wouldn't feel quite as overwhelmed and be able to make some sort of order out of it. Once I made the list, I thought I'd label each to do item in the list: daily, weekly, monthly, and big project.

When my son was in the first grade, we determined that he had a learning disability. I think he must have gotten it from me. He used to get overwhelmed with his assignments. So much so he couldn't complete any of them because seeing the entire list of them on the chalkboard overwhelmed him so much he just gave up before he started. I sat there and looked at my list and I just wanted to give up.

But...there is a solution. Cover all but one item and focus on that one item until you get it completed. Then uncover the next. It was a lifesaver for my son and it may be the lifesaver I need as well. It might just be why I can't seem to finish one thing because I "multi-task". I do 100 different things all at the same time and can't focus on any of them.

Having an epiphany,
Walden Fan

Friday, January 2, 2009


I was sitting in the drive-thru line at the bank this morning and I realized just how inconsiderate most people have become. They rarely put anyone else first or let someone go ahead of them at the grocery store if they only have a few items. I have to say that lately I've been shocked when someone actually offers me some courtesy. It's a sad state of affairs when it's an abnormality and not a common occurrence. Lately it seems it's gotten worse and that our world has become a "me" place and not a place where we care about others. Here are some of my observations:

The Bank Drive-Thru
Here's a place where people have absolutely no consideration for anyone else's time constraints. It's a drive-thru. Not a teller to transact numerous bank transactions. Inevitably there is someone in line that a/doesn't have a deposit slip, b/doesn't have a pen, c/wants to ask umpteen questions d/has to send the request back and forth 3 or 4 times to the teller before it's complete. These type of transactions should be handled INSIDE. But...why do they care? They are being helped. It's not their problem.

The Toll Booth
Here's the place where people find it necessary to fumble around in their pockets, purses, change cady and even on the floor of the car to find the appropriate toll. If you know you're going to be going on a toll road, why is it so hard to have that change ready when the toll booth appears? It's a simple act of consideration for the cars in line behind you and the toll person.

The Movies
This is where inconsideration abounds. Why is that people can't get there on time? They arrive when the movie starts and cause all kinds of havoc trying to find 5 seats together. Then they proceed to ask people to move to accommodate them. Not to mention the lack of consideration with the noise level they make eating, drinking, talking, texting, answering cellphones, etc. I do not understand why it is so hard to consider there is a theater of people around you trying to enjoy the movie.

The Highways, Streets, and Parking Lots
Why is it necessary to be first? I don't get it. Is it so difficult to let someone in when you're in line for a light, a freeway entrance, or a parking space? This is one of the easiest and courteous things we can do while driving. And yet, people refuse to budge most of the time. When they do, the other cars honk and complain. Honestly...this one just goes beyond all understanding with me.

The Stores
Lack of consideration abounds in the grocery store. People stop in the middle of aisles to do all sorts of things, blocking cart traffic and making it difficult to get to the shelves you are seeking. How hard would it be to find a non-traffic area and have a conversation? Or move the cart to the side to let someone pass? It's just a simple question: am I in the way? If you are, move.

The Airports
I used to call Southwest the cattle plane. It was always a made rush to be number one in line since they didn't have assigned seating. Now, it's improved somewhat with their numbering boarding pass system. However it still amazes me how people will get so angry because they are number 12 and you are 13 and you are NOT standing behind them in line. It happens with other airlines as well. People push and shove to be at the front of their boarding groups. Get out of the way or you will be plowed down.

I don't know what has happened to this world of ours. People used to say "please" and "thank you". People used to hold the doors open for others. People used to let someone in front of them in line if they saw they were in a hurry or had fewer items. Not any more. It's all about "me" and what do I get out of it and am I going to be inconvenienced because I show a little consideration.

Try something in 2009. Let someone in front of you in line at the store. Just do it because you can. Be considerate at the movies, when you're driving, when you're flying, when you're shopping or when you're out in public. People might look at you like you're a zombie, but who knows, maybe your act of consideration will cause someone else to do the same.

Think about it,
Walden Fan

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My 2009 Not-to-do List

It's that time of year--the infamous New Year's resolution lists: lose weight, exercise, stop smoking, diet, learn a foreign language, finish that book. We've all made them. Every year we pull out the pencil and paper and we make a list. And by about January 20th we realize we have no intention of doing any of it and that list has become nothing more than a reminder of how we fail.

So this year, after reading an article in Real Simple magazine, I've decided to make a Not-to-do List instead. I challenge you to do the same. Break the pattern of frustration and failure!

1. I won't let myself be caught up in things I have no control over.
I've realized that most of the things I get stressed out about never happen.

2. I'm not going to worry.
It may give you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.

3. I will not try to please everyone.
I've finally realized it's impossible to make everyone happy.

4. I will not save things for "special" occasions.
Every day is a special day and those things can make a routine day more joyful.

5. I will not give in to peer pressure to die my hair.
I've earned every last one of my gray hairs!

6. I won't waste my time with negative people.
It's time to surround myself with people who see the glass half full.

7. I won't over commit.
I'm going to weed out things in my life that are only obligations.

8. I won't say "someday" any more.
Today is the day...carpe diem!

9. I will not take the blame for things that aren't my fault.
Heaven knows there are plenty of things that are.

10. I'm not going to freak out about the economy.
I'll use this time to be more frugal and get back to the basics.

Happy New Year!
Walden Fan