Valentine’s Day is Looming. Do You Care?

In less than a week, it will be Valentine’s Day. Tis the season for roses, chocolates, stuffed animals, wine, champagne, poetry, candles, bubble baths, dinner reservations and selfie-happy social couples… Blah. I’m not a fan of romance. At least, not the prescribed consumer-based type of materialism that’s pushed this time of year. I’m a campfire-over-candlelight type of girl, but I wasn’t always. As a child, I bought into the hype of Valentine’s Day. I longed for the day when some handsome prince would give me a heart-shaped box of milk chocolate truffles. Beyond that, I forget the details of the […]

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Love Makes a Family

Recently, I was (finally) able to watch the HBO documentary A Family is a Family is a Family. I’m sorry it took so long. It really was a beautiful little film. Through interviews and musical interludes, the movie displays and celebrates the connection enjoyed by people of various ages, colors, genders and legal affiliation. The message is clear:  it doesn’t matter what a family looks like; what matters is love. Love makes a family.  Not biology. Love makes a family.  Not country of origin. Love makes a family.  Not the number of people. Love makes a family.  Not gender or […]

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Thanksgiving And Divorce

From the time I was very young, my closest extended family members were a minimum two-hour drive away.  With the exception of vacations, I saw them only on holidays and special occasions. Before my parents divorced, we had a routine for this time of year:  Thanksgiving was always spent with my dad’s family, and we alternated Christmases between my mom’s and dad’s families. After the divorce, I assumed my holiday schedule would remain the same, and it did.  For me, keeping the same routine was important for two reasons: In the beginning, there was a comfort in keeping the same […]

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Your Heart… Is Something.

I was 544 words into another blog post when I stumbled across this plan-altering video.  To summarize:  in less than 3 minutes, a little girl explains to her mother why her parents should be friends. She doesn’t simply say, “Don’t fight.”  She puts forth the most heartfelt logic to back up her request: “My heart… is something.  Everyone else’s heart is something too.” Her words touched my heart.  Although this child was requesting that her parents lower the height of their conflict, her reasoning extends far beyond domestic disagreements. After watching the video, I thought about my neighbors.  I thought […]

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Communication Breakdown (in the woods and in the world)

The following tale of communication breakdown isn’t about divorce.  Except, it is.  It’s also about all other relationships… Once upon a time, I went hiking with a group and became separated from one of my companions.  When he didn’t meet the rest of us at the end of the trail, I backtracked, searching for him.  I called his name.  He didn’t answer.  I walked faster.  I searched harder.  I called louder.  No response.  I was on the verge of panic when I heard him yell my name.  “TARA?!”  I darted in the direction of his voice.  As I rounded a curve […]

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