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