1. I was born the same year as the peace sign, 1958, which was a very good vintage, I think, full of mischief and laughter.

2.My husband and I have four children 20, 19, 17, 16 yrs old, who have raised me well, each adding to my education and growth with their own special gifts and challenges. I don't know any other folks I'd rather hang with, and it's a good thing, too, as we've homeschooled for years.

3. My best friend and I met in kindergarten and have been through 45 yrs of everything life could throw at us together. I cherish her love and loyalty. I have only one friend whom I have known longer, but never been as close. My best friend is closer to me than either of my sisters.

4. My husband of 21 years is my other best friend and sometimes jealous of the first one, though I never go fishing with her!

5. I have ADHD and love a conversation that works on seven or eight levels and subjects simultaneously, which is helpful when conversing with my four highly gifted kids at once, three of whom are ADD and all of whom have IQ's ranging from 130 to 210.

6. Holidays are too stressful, so I created the anit-holiday for my children when they were high needs babies. At our home, you can stay in you pajamas or even wash on a holiday. We never plan dinner for any special time and we do not go elsewhere. We wake up whenever we wake up and have breakfast, then relax awhile, then my husband and I put a turkey in the oven when we get to it and whenever it is done, then it's dinner time. In the meanwhile, we make hors d'ourves for the kids and play games with them all afternoon. Sometimes this includes football outside in pajamas. The point is that holidays are for enjoyment, not for stress.

7. I am a great cook, but never close a cabinet door, lol, so if you are taller than my five foot standing and less than 4foot in my wheelchair, I suggest you be wary in my kitchen. My husband has been fortunate to avoid permanent damage. I also think a small dinner should be a celebration of the day whenever possible and host to as much laughter as possible. In my family an intimite dinner was anything less than 35 people. I am happy to have only 8 or so these days.

8. I was in NYC for my mother's funeral beginning 9-11-01 and spent that week. My kids, husband and I all suffered PTSD, which was revisited when our house burned.

9. I believe if all humans were to get in touch with their souls we would all recognize the longing inside each of us for world peace and it would be realized. I also believe it will happen before I die.

10. Although I grew up in New York City and worked on Wall St in the 80's, I am sure I never belonged in the city and should have been raised on a farm and homeschooled where I could run wild with the seasons.

11. After years of trying, I finally caught my first trout last spring. I ate him. Now back to catch and release bass.

12. Beautiful music, art or light landing just so on a field can make me cry.

13. Living with extreme chronic nerve pain has taught me that narcotics don't help. I find that music, deep thought provoking discussions with a friend online and mm's are more effective for pain relief. Seriously.

14. I am certified in commercial photography, although I never did that for a living.

15. I am very politically active as the Vice Chair of Southwick Democratic Town Committee, Coordinator, Southwick for Barack Obama, Dickinson School Trustee, MoveOn.Org member, and delegate to the MA Democratic Party State Convention.

16. I have more bumper stickers on my van than the total stickers on my street( which is a state route). I also have two hand made signs in the big back windows saying " drill more sun and wind"

17. Each summer my kids and I volunteer as staff for the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival with my brother and his family. My husband refuses to go "anywhere where men wear dresses", but we're working on him. This is the week I see my Falcon Ridge family of 1000 volunteers. My year spins on an axis, the other end of which is Dec 23-24, when I go to New York to see my birth family.

18. Having beaten cancer, so far, I have no fears anymore and feel I have earned the right to do as I see fit and express my views as long as I do so without being hurtful. There is a real sense of emancipation with having faced your own mortality and gotten over it.

19. Although I can think about lots of things at once and my mind is not ever still, apparently I cannot multitask anymore, or so I have been told by my best friend and I have to believe her, she knows me best.

20. I hate having gotten fat, having to be so inert when I was so athletic before and think that is the one thing I still have to overcome - my frustration with my physical looks and missing movement. It's not easy to be hyperactive in a wheelchair!

21. My parents had seven kids, of which I was the sixth. They were the most full of grace folks ever. They took the seven of us cross country, camping in National and State Parks, for six weeks each summer for 10 years. I learned more during those summers than I ever could have in school.

22. I think all gloves should be red and all socks should be very colorful, just because.

23. There are loads of rubber duckies in our bathroom, which I have collected and friends have given me, and even more on the walls, floor and shower curtains, etc. The chlorinator in the backyard pool is a big rubber ducky, too, lol.

24. Whenever I see folks walking in the cold, I like to offer them a ride. This makes my husband crazy because he thinks one of them will kill me, but I am certain that I am divinely protected.

25, I can honestly say I have never met a stranger and will talk to anyone anywhere for any reason, especially if I can be of assistance to them. I am very compassionate and kind.

26. I talk to the trees and plants and animals I see.

27. I have always wanted to learn to paint and throw pottery.

28. I have been known to bake brownies from scratch then serve brownie sundaes for dinner, much to the delight of my children.

29. It is a strict rule that the day after a birthday celebration, breakfast will be cake!

30. When facing an anxiety riddled challenge in life, I always advise my children to treat it like a kiss and just relax and lean into it.

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Comment by dear james on February 22, 2009 at 3:57pm

hope this message finds you in good health and spirit
may all your dreams come true

Comment by Daton O Fullard on February 22, 2009 at 2:53am
Marian my dear you ought to be declared a state holiday for you my friend are a national treasure..enjoyed reading you have a wonderful and engaging sense of perspective and humor..Your outlook and philosophy is inspiring..
Comment by susan chandel on February 18, 2009 at 3:01pm
Southwick southwick I think I have been there...is it on route 9? Could be I'm thinking of Hardwick Its been a while since I took the long way in those parts.

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