People expect certain routines at specific holidays.
They count on fireworks and sparklers on July 4.
Easter demands a basket of colorful eggs and candy.
Festive ornaments, angels, drummer boys and tinsel should adorn Christmas trees.
I enjoy messing with tradition. I’m an unconventional gal.
On Halloween, I passed treats out from old Easter baskets. (I’m sure kids thought, “That can’t be left from April, can it?”)
During one particularly snowy winter, I stockpiled two cartons of snowballs in my basement freezer. On July 4, friends and I pelted each other with my “Siberian M-80s,” chilling on a sweltering afternoon.
My Christmas tree features a Marilyn Monroe theme. Santa, snowmen and garlands get a rest while trendy Marilyn ornaments and figurines add elegance, glamour and sparkle to my season.
The Wise Men on my mantle approve.
I defy convention because, without realizing, our lives can become flat.
We just concluded Lent, a time to re-evaluate ourselves.
I learned a lot over the past three years. I repeatedly planned self-improvement efforts (start diets, exercise). But the start times were generally “tomorrow,” which never came.
There’s never a good time to begin things that are hard to do.
God put up with a lot from me: Apathy, procrastination, laziness. But then He gave me the solid kick in the dupa that I needed, and my life turned around.
Thanks to hard work and “after-market” body parts, I’m healthy, and it’s magical. Doctors scrutinized my organs with scopes, blood tests, X-rays and MRIs. Everything has either been repaired, removed, or replaced. God has a purpose for me or He wouldn’t have showered me with those blessings.
So, instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I decided to make Easter Resolutions.
Resolution 1: I’m more “portable” now, so I resolve to get out and meet folks, do some volunteering, help however I can. Since 2010, I learned that if you “believe” in yourself, you can do “unbelievable” stuff.
Resolution 2: I resolve to master walking a quarter mile (or more) outdoors, here in my ’hood or wherever I can.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
I bought a gizmo called a “rollator,” essentially a walker with wheels, brakes, a basket, a seat and a backrest.
It enables me to walk till I wear out.
Then I lock the brakes, sit down, catch a second wind and continue.
And it’s red!
I’m not where I was. I haven’t reached my destination. I’m not even sure where I’m going, but I’m on my way.
If you spot me out cruisin’ with my “candy apple red” 4-wheeler, honk, wave, or say “Hi.” Wanna join me? Pull over and stop. We’ll explore the ’hood and chat.
Maybe I’ll show you a new wrinkle.
Michele Mikesic Bender is a Johnstown resident and a member of The Tribune-Democrat’s Readership Advisory Committee.
- Michele Bender
MICHELE M. BENDER | Scenic road to recovery
I thought this busy summer wore me out.
Father’s Day afternoon I flopped in my recliner and forced myself to do some bookkeeping. I licked an envelope and gasped. No spit, only blood ... as if Hannibal Lecter just served me lunch.
Licorice lends a paw
I bet you expected to find Michele Bender’s column here today.
She just came home from the hospital. She’s doing fine but resting, so I thought I’d lend a paw.
MICHELE M. BENDER | Time to can clutter
I’m “downsizing.” Sixteen years ago, this house was perfect for me. I gave parties. Friends came and stayed for weekends. Great insulation protected visitors from highway noise.
Yep, I had the time of my life.
But I’m 16 years older, and my friends are, too. They no longer travel like they did. Parties wear us out by 10 p.m.
Those oldies, but goodies
Twice yearly Hollywood marches out a platoon of war movies.
Living life out loud
“If I make it to Medicare,” I declared, “I’m going to throw a party people will not forget! It’ll be something no one’s ever done!”
Well, I made it to 65.
Watch the stars come out
Every spring, I catch drive-in movie fever. We are blessed to have three outdoor theaters in a 30-mile radius. Movies under the stars … heavenly!
Bye, bye, Easter birdies
Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.
MICHELE M. BENDER | Whisper sweet nothings in my ear
“Your call is very important to us,” growled the crabby lady at the utility company. “Please wait for the next available representative.”
MICHELE M. BENDER | Sock it to me
MICHELE M. BENDER | What happened to Christmas?
Headaches rarely bother me. I always felt sorry for folks trapped in the Advil/Dristan web.
I woke up at 4 a.m. Dec 17 with a headache that probably registered on a Richter scale. (People in New Zealand experienced aftershocks.)
- More Michele Bender Headlines
- MICHELE M. BENDER | Scenic road to recovery