Introspective Sojourner

The journey inward following Christ’s path to that person I was uniquely created to be.



A Unique Playground

My kids are the best.  They are individually awesome. Yet collectively they are the cats meow. You may have great kids too.  You may even think your kids are the best that’s just because you haven’t met mine!  My kids are all smart, like wicked smart in different ways.   They can be really philanthropic and kind too.  They are hard workers and yet have balance to their lives.  They are all fiercely loyal, faithful and have strong family ties.
Oops. Fell off my brag box.

What I love most about my kids is we have our own playground.  If you have been invited in, you know that we are good at the games here.  It’s a playground of wit, humor and sarcasm.  Well, my kids are darn good at it.  They will send out a test fire to see if you want to play in their playground.  If you do not have the skill set for whatever reason; you weren’t born with a sense of humor, you are too naive or you will get hurt in their playground, then they will leave you alone.  That last one is kind of “iffy”, depending on your persistence.  If you don’t have the skills, they will leave you alone, as a cat walks away from a dead mouse.  Your hold no interest to them,  that’s not fun to play with.

I’ve been told my kids are “mean” and I take exception to that word.  Webster defines “mean” as “unkind, spiteful or unfair”.  My kids are smart.  Don’t go into their playground unarmed and without an armor of thick skin.  They are just showing you “love”.  They don’t play unfairly.  They are not spiteful.  I’m sure that the first word is where I have to defend, but I don’t think they are unkind, not deliberately.   There are rules on the playground.  I would say that those rules keep them away from being unkind.  We assisted in building this playground and put the rules in place.  It can be fun to play in.  Actually I am their favorite target.  I don’t mind.  Usually.  I do have a good sense of humor.  You have to be really good at wit and sarcasm to play in their playground, especially if there is more than one of them.  I’m not very good.  They think randomly.  They are uniquely designed to play well with each other in that playground.  They expanded on the original design.  I think possibly into a different dimension.  Ok, it’s possible if you get the oldest two together there may be cheating.  Your sides will hurt from laughing if you get three or more together.  The boys are more unruly, but let’s face it, it’s a family trait.  It’s good to be family at that point.

Although everyone will be laughing in no time, family or not.  That is their favorite goal in the playground.  Never to pick on anyone.  They aren’t spiteful or unfair.  Their goal is to have the entire group having as much fun on their playground as they are.  Somehow they always do it.  People adore my kids.  If they didn’t manage to play nice on that playground, in the end no one would like them at all.  No one would come to play on the playground a second time!  And what fun would that be?  People adore my kids.  They make life long friends of all ages.  They are really great kids and you will laugh until your sides hurt.
Oops. Fell off my brag box again!

It’s an excellent playground.  Unconventional for sure.  We enjoy it nonetheless.  Some of us are “better” or have logged more hours on the playground than others.  Some of the kids move the walls occasionally and I have to reconfigure them to be careful of that “mean” line.  You will know if my kids love you (and you have a sense of humor) because you will walk away smiling!

My kids really are the best.  I know yours are probably awesome, they should come to play with mine.  We will all leave laughing as we collectively fall off our brag boxes.  I need to be more careful!  I’m going to break an ankle.


by Vicki L Pugliese


And We Laughed

It was a trip where life was celebrated.  My father passed away in March 2014 and on what would have been his 85th birthday just a few weeks later a great grandchild was born!  She shares his blue eyes and wavy blonde hair as well his birthday.  My family, my husband and I, all of my grown children and grandchildren do not live in the town that I grew up in, the town my father lived in.  We had planned a big trip over Fathers Day that same year hoping they would get to see him one last time, knowing we might be celebrating his life without him; and so it was.

All of my family, my youngest sister’s family, my oldest sister and her husband and my stepmom, got together on Fathers Day.  And we laughed!  Cousins who had lived so far apart that they had never known each other, told stories, and jokes, shared YouTube videos, and they laughed.

My baby sister Julie and her husband Keith are probably the two people that are the closest to perfect on earth.  They were the perfect hosts the entire night.  I don’t know how they do it!  Their home was filled with smiles and memories and everyone held that precious new life!  We have pictures to prove it!  We sat around tables and on couches and talked.  Kids told us of their plans for their futures.  Parents bragged on the great accomplishments that their progeny had already completed.  And we bragged about the good people these kids had become, perhaps in spite of us.  And we laughed!

We laughed about everyday things, and things we remembered from days gone by.  We laughed about how great it was to see kids get to know each other.  We laughed about her enormous dog and its baby blanket.  The irony that such a big dog could have such a sensitive heart.  Unless of course, you threaten my pocket sized sister, and then that enormous dog finds every pound of its size in courage.  Later we could worry if what connected us was that great man, or the love he taught us to have for each other.  On this night we loved, and we laughed and we remained connected.

My family spent two weeks back home catching up with best friends, and old friends.  We spent time with family.  And everyone, everyone held that precious little baby!  I have the pictures!  We even took family portraits and our poor photographer could not get my family to behave.  We had a wonderful time!  Our trip was filled to the brim with laughter!

The following year or so would have its grief.  We would feel the loss of this great man.  But this one brief moment, we celebrated, his life, and new life.  And we laughed!


by Vicki L Pugliese

Cover media by:  CheriAnn Photography

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