Saturday, November 5, 2011


I have always been struck by how timeless the words and themes of William Shakespeare are, even to the present day. Strains of the all-too familiar - love, deceit, murder, jealousy and guilt - run through every play.

My own experience of watching Macbeth it rendered it the bloodiest play I've seen of the bard's.

Friday night, I went to a high school production of Macbeth, and was once again astounded at how many phrases from Shakespeare's scripts have trickled into common usage. 'Double, double, toil and trouble',  'what's done is done' and 'screw your courage to the sticking place', are a few that I heard.

I went with my college age daughter, who is a thespian, and needed extra credit for her theater class. We had just settled into the first twenty minutes or so, about the time the show becomes quite ominous, and the stage filled with fog when Macbeth got even bloodier. "I have a bloody nose!" she whispered. I fumbled in my purse for a non-existent tissue. "Use your scarf!". I urged. Actually it was my scarf, and it was all we could find to staunch the dark red flow that we were trying to hide from the audience around us.We had chosen a seat that was far away from the exit, and a front row at that. There was no chance of going out without being completely disruptive. Finally, it stopped. We found a bottle of hand sanitizer and washed our hands multiple times.

The killing continued onstage. Macbeth and his wife were exposed as the murderers they were.

"I feel like I still have blood on my hands." My daughter whispered. When we got home, we noticed there was a spot of blood on the program. "I can't wait to hand this in to my teacher!" She said, delightedly. Four centuries later, and how relevant the bard is!

(Good thing we're not superstitious!)

Day What? Lake Tahoe From 33,000 Feet

Okay, I'm slacking off. I've skipped a whole week of posting. I could offer excuses, and this video will show one of the things my husband and I were doing this past week, but nonetheless, I'm back. The perspective a little mini-trip gives is so refreshing, isn't it?

Today, I'm thankful for you! Those of you reading this post. I'm humbled that you took the time, and I'm hoping that you'll share a word or two with me. Your feedback is invaluable. Your unique perspective is needed in the lives of those around you!

What are you thankful for, and why?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 7: Thankful For Family

I was a Hamilton for 27 years. I have always been proud to be a Hamilton. I have been equally as proud to be a Maris for 25 years. Both heritages consist of creative, God-fearing, hard-working European-American immigrants.  By next year I will almost have been a  Maris for as long as I'd been a Hamilton.

This weekend I spent time with more Marises than I'd ever seen at one time.

We celebrated Dad Maris's 80th birthday with most of his brothers and sisters, and all six of his children and most of their spouses. My mother-in-law and my sister-in-law tease each other by calling one another 'Mrs. Maris' because  it is our married name and we share it. More Mrs. Marises joined us! There were 5 of 7 original Marises present as well as all 6 of grandpa's children, and the in-law Maris wives. (This is beginning to sound like the St Ives poem about wives and cats!)

After several decades of people hearing my married name and asking if it had two r's, I was surrounded by a roomful of people who knew my name and shared it. There's some sort of gratification in that, you know?

To top it all, I discovered what I suspected. They're all lovely people with whom I would have wanted to spend time, even if I wasn't related! 

The party included lots of food (surprise) and lots of stories about Grandpa and their life in rural Kansas. There was some discrepancy about the memory of a butchered hog being hung in one of the bedrooms to cure, and a highly corroborated story about Grandpa (Robert is the oldest son, after all) being some sort of family policeman, keeping kids in line. No surprise there either.

Grandma Maris worked very hard to put it all together and bring people from multiple states in one month's time without Grandpa knowing!

But the best part of all was the signature half-grin on Grandpa's face all weekend long. It was a memory for a lifetime, and I'm honored to be part of such a wonderful family!