Day Six of rehab, fifty-nine years old and hopeful

wild grape vine: play toy of a border collie; Christmas tree lights reflected on the window


This picture shows exactly the status of things.  One can see the barbed wire of nature (wild grape vine) that mysteriously appeared on my front lawn just the other day, brought by our canine wonder, Ali.  It is sitting on top of the icy snow.  She had gotten frustrated at the fact that she couldn’t find the ball or Frisbee that she plays with.  She likes to hide toys in the yard and retrieve them for play.  She is ten and still plays like a puppy.  Her frustration led her to go up to the fence and rip down wild grapevine and pull it from the back to the front and play with it.  As I have said, there is always a reason for the things that happen.  I truly have some obsessive compulsive attributes, one of them being I don’t like a mess on my front lawn.  I haven’t removed the vine, though.  It is perhaps a subconscious reminder of what has been going on in our household.  It is something we have to deal with, the purity of the snow surrounding that annoying, clingy vine makes me feel that despite the evil web that surrounded our son, that we shall see spring and with it the hope of a new and better day.  So, for now, there it stays.

The night brought us at least six inches of snow.  I had quickly gone out when I sent Ali out last night before going to bed and started shoveling the two or so inches of fluffy snow on the drive.  I figured that I would be off the hook today, probably have nothing to do.  I paid no attention to the meteorologist’s reports as I have little faith in them.  It was a bit of a surprise to me this morning as I headed toward the front of the house to see that my son’s plow was attacking the six or so inches (more in some spots) that covered our drive and walkway. I was so thankful for that, especially knowing that he must be more than exhausted from a very early morning of plowing and that maybe he was headed home for some needed rest.  As I am proofing this now, I know that that supposition was wrong as I have seen his pickup truck go back and forth several times in my neighborhood, so much for rest!

Mary Kay is already sweetly haranguing me about the fact that it is my birthday, reminding me that my birthday dinner celebration should be put off until Mikey gets home.  My birthday is a family joke of sorts, always has been.  For some reason, I am a real holiday, birthday person.  I guess that since as a child I always felt overlooked by so many, that I clung to the idea that perhaps my birthday would be special.  Unfortunately, I chose poorly as it is on the day after Christmas.  Everyone knows of my sensitivity, but let’s be honest, who is interested in celebrating again the day after Christmas?  It doesn’t matter how we plan, it is always a strange sort of let down and invariably the plans are left to the wayside.   Mary Kay doesn’t really believe that I am finally resigned to its being the way it is, but I am.  I want it to be more special to me but realize it cannot be. 

My birthday feelings go way back to my youth.  My mom, despite the diminutive size of the house we lived in and the almost non-existent dining area, almost always had the Christmas celebration.  Her entire family came, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc.  We usually had turkey, as I recall, and I was always working, even at a very young age, setting the table, etc.  I remember fondly having to go down to the basement and set out the heaters so that we wouldn’t freeze when we sat down to Christmas dinner.   My mom didn’t receive a whole lot of help; virtually everything was made in her tiny kitchen, so when my aunt offered to make my birthday cake, my mom always accepted.  My aunt always made a cake that appealed to my uncle with little thought of what I might like, so that only added to the feeling that I was just an oversight. 

It is around nine o’clock in the morning and it has already been a full day.  Despite having my drive plowed, I still had a lot to do as I had to clean off a car in order to shovel around it!  It is not in the garage, there being no room in it at the moment, so I shoveled around it, cleaned it off and shoveled some more.  The snow, in the backyard is mounded to about thirty-six inches or so, taller than Samantha.  It took some time to get that clean and the walkways as well.  Now I am cold as the result of the early morning workout is taking effect.

We decided early on that our family trauma was going to be a part of the blog.  Initially, I had thought to not include it since perhaps some privacy would be helpful.  I am not and never shall be one to play the hiding game with stuff like this, so our so-called “dirty wash” is being displayed for all.  I mentioned it to Mikey that part of his rehab is going to be to read my entries.  He needs to know what was going on in all of our minds.

Because of the blog and because of the communications we have had via other vehicles with those we know, we have received an outpouring of wishes that are so much appreciated.  Last night Mary Kay’s cousin called, we hadn’t even realized that he had been reading all along.  This is just one example of how we are able to get through this, a note here, a message there, a phone call, an e-mail, all hugs of understanding that we are not alone in dealing with this and that we shall see another bright day.  The messages we keep receiving are taking a horrible nightmare and allowing us to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I continue to even receive messages from my French friends, having found out that they too are reading my blog.

Yesterday, I even spoke to a university classmate of Mikey’s who has been busy getting on with his life and not as active in Mikey’s life as before.  He, like everyone else, has offered to do whatever he can.  He and Mikey share the love of the outdoors; they did climbing, hiking, all sorts of things together.  H e is even involved in his love of the outdoors in his actual profession and is now employed by the university they attended as an instructor for the contract year.  He has some ideas for some outings and even some therapeutic good times together in the near future.  Mikey’s one great desire, as he explained it to us, is to put on his hockey skates and go skating, something he had put aside and never should have.

We haven’t yet spoken to him today, but I know he is better.  I am going to have a wonderful birthday!

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Day Four, Detox/Rehab, one day at a time…addendum

As usual, my whirring mind was going non-stop as I baked the final batch of cookies.  Meditation was at work as I rolled the sticky balls of molasses cookies and coated them with red or green sugar before baking.

I have said before that things happen for a reason and I firmly believe that.  It is not possible to comprehend and/or understand why these things occur.  In September, I started blogging, for the first time in my life.  I had tried it a bit before, but it wasn’t right and I gave up after a few entries.  This time, for whatever reason, it was right.

Everyone mourns a unique, special way.  We need to be respectful of that and, as in most cases in life, non-judgmental, something most of us have an issue with.  I see in my family that we are all in mourning.  No one has died, thank goodness, but a part of our lives has.  We can no longer go on and expect that everything in certain areas is going to be all right.  There is a new paradigm here and we all need to acknowledge it.  In my family, I see that each individual has reacted differently, some pulling inward, some expressing visible anger, some taking charge and becoming energized with things to do to clear things up so we can move on.  It is hard when we all come together because we might, full well, knock heads.  We cannot afford that reaction as we have to be on the same page.

I was very upset during the family dinner (on the evening of the day when we learned of the addiction) when emotions pretty much got out of hand and we “lost it” for a moment.  I was distinctly upset because I actually had a handle on it and it seemed like I wasn’t being heard.  I was being heard, but it was a delayed reaction of sorts.  It was very hard to take.  Again, now in retrospect, I realize that we all have to deal with things as our minds dictate and that often it is beyond our control.

I feel that things are coming together in a good way.  We have a long voyage ahead.  If one were to see me silently sobbing here as I write this, tears falling down my face, it might be a total surprise as I seem to be ‘in control.’  It is a momentary lapse and it is okay.  This isn’t the last time I shall feel like this.

Digression seems to be my modus operandi and I have gotten away from my original thought about blogging.  I am convinced that somehow I was mentally preparing for all of this when I started writing in September.  Something told me that this would be something of solace and catharsis for me and hopefully for my family members as well, if they are not angry at me for attempting to point out how they were reacting to all of this as we passed through it.  It is interesting that the word “catharsis” is actually on my home page.  We are all scared as we muddle through this, hoping that we make good decisions and choices and that their ramifications are good.   I am truly hoping that my youngest will read this at some point in time and try to get a better handle on how we felt as we went on this journey with him and hoped and prayed that he would recover and go into remission.

Fluffy, boy wonder!

As a parent there are things one must learn to say to the children regarding issues that appear on a day to day basis.  I was always hell bent on making sure that my boys didn’t suffer the way I had as a kid, I really felt that they should benefit from my own suffering.  In my opinion, parents need to carefully guide their children and intervene when necessary.  It is also important to allow them enough leeway to learn to deal with these things on their own without too much parental involvement.   Thus, enter the story of “Fluffy, boy wonder!”

Fluffy was a boy down the street who was my oldest son’s best friend for a time after we moved into our new home in the northeast quadrant of Deerfield.  My son’s age (and Fluffy’s as well) was around nine or so when they first met.  I don’t even remember the amount of time or span of their so called friendship.

At first, I think it was pretty equal, the two of them knew everyone in the neighborhood.  They would ride around the block on their bikes, play games, and just have a good old time. At this point, life was good!

There is always ebb and flow to friendship and for some reason, at some time, this “cool” guy that our son liked to hang around with began to look for greener pastures.  My oldest is and always has been a very take charge person, being the guy to call the shots.  Fluffy (and this became his code name in our household) decided to try and lord it over our son. 

I don’t recall too much of the drama that he created in our family but I do recall that he said things to our son that were no more than efforts to make him feel small about what he was doing in school, sports, and in life.  At the time, they were in the local middle school.  Fluffy was hanging out with a different crowd that he did his best to keep our son out of.  For one of the few times in his life to be affected by such nonsense, our oldest was somewhat devastated.  Truly, the nature of the silliness reminded me so much of what girls do to each other in mistreating their friends and making them miserable.

My reaction to this was the creation of the FGPA, the Future Gas Pumpers of America.  In the current day and age, for those who live outside of New Jersey and Oregon (where you have to have someone pump your gas for you, as far as I know), or are too  young to remember when we never sullied our hands with the essence of ethanol/gasoline, this is something to which you cannot relate.  I would also like to say, as well, that this is in no way an attempt to put down the fine people who do something most of us oh so hate. My goal here is to say that despite Fluffy’s apparent “cool guy” aspect and attitude, that very often such characters may soon dissipate into mediocrity.  This could easily be compared to those situations where one goes to a high school reunion (something I have never done, maybe I am afraid of it!) to find that the most popular people are overweight, rejects, and societal failures (I am really being mean this morning)!  Anyway, I made Fluffy the president of the local chapter of the FGPA and reminded our son that such a title was not something he should try to attain, for although it seemed cool at the time it was no indication of future success.

Fluffy actually did get into a little mischief in the neighborhood, even slinging water balloons at our house and destroying the door screen I had just replaced on the front of our house.  His parents are very nice, caring people who just really had no clue as to what was going on.  Fluffy and my eldest never did get to a point of reconciling their differences.  As with man y of life’s relationships, reconciliation just never took place. 

Christian did what he always does and this was just a blip in his life, and on he moved, never to look back.  Although I don’t think Fluffy actually belongs to the FGPA, I do understand that Christian experienced a great amount of achievement and success in high school, college, and life in general and I won’t even begin to comment on what little I do know of Fluffy’s experiences.  What I do know is that mean spiritedness at any age is something we all have to deal with and the FGPA concept served my purposes well and came to use with our two other sons as well.

Bud and Gladys and Eagle River

Bud with (from left to right) Richie, Mikey, Christian


Each year, we send out fewer and fewer Christmas cards.  One we always have sent out with great joy is to our favorite North Woods people:  Bud (who departed this world in 2004) and Gladys.  Just after Thanksgiving, I sent out the cards.  The other day, however, I received a sad Christmas card from Eagle River from the children of Bud and Gladys informing us that Gladys passed away last February after a long, courageous bout with cancer.  Thus ends an era for our family and a great one at that.  Bud and Gladys, caretakers for an Eagle River compound, would seem to most to be the least likely candidates to be of great influence to a family from the northern suburbs of Illinois.  Nothing could be further from the truth. After a brief explanation of the vacation spot, I will attempt to explain why.

 In 1989, our family started a tradition of a summer vacation that is iconic for the Koerners.  We found out about Gino the upholstery guy who had a place in Highland Park from our neighbor down the street.  Gino is one of those outdoor guys who had just the type of place to rent for a vacation that was just our style: a summer house on a private lake in Eagle River, Wisconsin.  The lake was a good size, but not too big and only had the over 100 year old house that we usually stayed in, a smaller cabin within walking distance which was available for rental, Gino’s newer cabin (which wasn’t there when we initially went), and, way across the lake on the other side, a trailer supposedly owned by a Chicago policeman who never seemed to show up.  Gino owns about 75% of the land surrounding the lake, which generally made for a very private family vacation. 

The beauty of it is that the minute we would drive up the long half mile or so drive, we would immediately begin to relax.  The kitchen of the house is somewhat primitive, but has a stove and a refrigerator and is supplied with dishes, silverware, pots and pans, and the house is able to sleep about ten or so.  There is only one bathroom, but that never seemed to bother us.   It has a small porch on the back entryway and a large one facing the lake.  Both are screened in. 

The lake is a short distance from the house, just a quick walk down a small slope and some steps. The walkway also leads to the upper level of the boathouse; the steps lead down to the platform dock.  The lake is suitable for boating, swimming (although it is not a sand bottom lake), and fishing.  There is a trail going around the lake through the woods in a very North Woodsy type of setting.  There is usually at least one loon and virtually every type of wildlife imaginable.  Essentially heaven for outdoor boys and during our stays there we had no access to television and rarely listened to the radio.  We would play games in the dining room or in the screened in room over the boathouse and do puzzles and such.

We always felt that the activities we had at this place were ideal to test women for suitability for the Koerner boys when they grew up. Not just anyone could deal being this far from “civilization.”   We always brought lots of books to read, crafts to do, and the like.    

It never seemed to matter what the weather was like, we always had something to do and the things we learned there were amazing.  The sky at night was amazing because the stars were so much brighter and seemingly numerous far from city lights.  I shall never forget the time that I had jogged in Winnetka one day in t-shirt and shorts only to experience snow in Eagle River the same day and the northern lights as well!

As mentioned, we had found out about this wonderful place from our neighbor down the street.  Her extended family used to rent both the large house and the cabin every year and go up and spend time together.  The odd thing, we found out very early on, is that Jan and family knew nothing of the caretaker and his wife.  They were essentially invisible.  They were always there for us, however.

The moment we arrived on scene, when we pulled up in our heavily laden Chevy Celebrity wagon with our kids and supplies, Gladys would show up, sometimes with Bud, sometimes not.  Or she might have been there finishing up the cleaning since we had a habit of getting there early.   I remember seeing her Toyota sedan that she had full of cleaning supplies.  Gladys gave us the “skinny” on what to do, what to avoid and always lots of fishing info.  It turns out that she was the one who really enjoyed fishing although both of them pretty much always knew what was going on in the lake and its surrounding forest..  They knew when there were issues with a snapping turtle who was creating havoc with the ecosystem, if the loon was around, what kinds of fish were being caught in the current year, and if the squirrels were going crazy and being destructive.  Gladys totally ingratiated herself to our family.  She and Bud were good friends to Gino and his wife and always talked about going to the Casino with them and doing other things together.

I need to express here that our family has always searched out people like Bud and Gladys; they fascinate us because they represent experiences and thoughts that we are not always able to connect with where we live.  Their knowledge base is oh so different and oh so enriching to us.  Gladys used to tell us as well about her experiences at the Vilas County Fair with the different things she entered into the competitions. She did all kinds of jellies, sometimes pickles, and the like.  As Mary Kay just stated to me, Gladys had a PhD in life.  When she talked to you, she always made you feel comfortable, respected, and interested.

Bud was a former lumberjack who walked around the land with the command of someone who seemed to know what every blade of grass was doing.  Bud and Gladys were diminutive in size but impressive in their command of their surroundings.  Bud hunted and spoke with great respect for nature and the animals that he killed and he did not just do it for sport.  He did it because of the overabundance of the deer or because there was a beaver that was destroying whole groves of trees to the point of decimating the forest.  He did not take the killing lightly and he explained his philosophy in great detail, as would a teacher, when he spoke to us and the boys.

When things needed attention, we would call Bud and/or Gladys and they would oh so willingly come over and “shoot the breeze” with us and take care of the issues at hand.  I remember fondly the excitement of the boys when either one of the caretakers visited.  We bombarded them with questions about all sorts of things, from the sounds we heard in the evenings to plant life we found on the edge of the paths.

Gladys showed us the wintergreen that grows in the forest and the little Princess Pine plants that she used to tie together to make Christmas wreaths.  There wasn’t a year that we went up that we didn’t learn something new from either of them.

Bud was the first to take my boys and show them how to shoot.  Mary Kay and I had always frowned upon the usage of guns, knowing full well of the abuses that occur in our society with firearms.  We had even decided not to purchase toy guns for the boys, something we tried oh so hard to enforce and finally gave in when one of our older boys ate his morning toast into the shape of a gun and “shot” his brother at the breakfast table.  Bud, very respectfully, took me aside one day and asked if he could show the boys how to shoot, well aware of how I might react.  I was much complimented and told him that I completely trusted him because I knew that he would go about teaching with a full dose of nature and the realities and safety of firearm handling.  He did exactly that and to this day all three of my sons, responsible hunters, will be heard spouting the advice of that great, reserved, wise man of the North Woods.

A few years ago, we were up once again at the compound and Bud, who was ailing once again from a cancer that he had courageously fought off for a time, stopped by to visit.  He made sure to see us that first evening, forcing himself to come over.  Little did we know that evening that that would be our last time with Bud, the next day we discovered that he had passed away during the night.  We were devastated, but thankful that we had had that last moment with him.

Gladys lived a few years beyond Bud.  In the succeeding years, it has been harder and harder for us as a family to get, as we call it, an “Eagle River Fix.”  We always talk about it fondly, we remember the way our dog Freckles used to go crazy with delight up there and how she spent her last year up there trying to fend off our Border collie puppy and even train her in some ways.  We remember the special time when Bud and Gladys and Gino and his wife invited us to have freshly harvested potatoes and homemade sausage.  We also remember the time that Bud and Gladys invited us to their Eagle River home and showed us the antlers from deer Bud had shot and folksy things that Gladys had made by hand.  We remember the year that we were up there with some family friends and experienced the trauma of a major accident in the other family. Upon the return from the hospital days later by me and our friend Gail after overseeing a quick operation in Wausau we experienced a microburst on our way back from getting pizza.  It forced us to leave our car on the driveway and crawl under trees to feed our children.  The next day Bud came, equipped with his chainsaw and took care of the damage. We keep wondering when and if we can get a chance, as a family to visit Eagle River. Although Bud and Gladys are both gone, the knowledge and the wisdom they possessed is in the hands of some unlikely people in the Chicago area.  It is also in the land and the area that they lived in.
We have been touched in a major way and we shall never be the same because of them and the great influence they have had in our lives.

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Another kind of Loss and Regrets


I have been a very blessed human being in so many ways.  I was genetically predisposed to so many little bits of negativity.  I sometimes think that it is in the often sad Hungarian blood that courses through my veins.  It is a sadness borne out in the violin music typical of my heritage.  But, I am blessed, blessed that I think that more often than not I have trained myself to look at the good side and keep the bad side in perspective.

I have had my share of ups and down in life.  Haven’t we all?  It is all how you look upon these events and I must say that my deep personal philosophy is that even the worst scenario has some shred of good, something to learn, something to move on from in a positive way.

I honestly thought I wouldn’t be here on this earth at the age that I wear.  From a very early age I pondered what would happen to me at the age of forty.  For some goofy reason, I felt that I was living in a time bomb.  We are all, in fact, living in time bombs, we just don’t know when they are going to go off and we put the idea on hold; we need to do that to go on.  My idea of a time bomb was that my Dad died when he was forty and that forty was my number.  There is no logical reason for me to have thought like that, but we are not always logical, reasonable creatures.  One call to a customer service number for any number of enterprises will make you well aware of that within seconds; just being on hold will do it.

My mother had always reminded me that I “was living on borrowed time.”  Even in her current state of memory loss, she will still tell me the story of how I almost died.  I was quite young, in a crib, and my paranoid mom (and thank goodness for paranoia) was in my bedroom checking on me during the night when she realized that I was very cold and had turned blue.  I had had a cold or something like it and was okay when I went to bed, but…  She immediately ran for my aunt, I am not even sure where my aunt was, I think that it was either in the upper part of the abode (it was a kind of duplex house with one apartment just above ground floor and one above that, type of situation).  I am not sure about where my father was, I do know my aunt and uncle had a car.  Well, this aunt, a very sad, flawed, wonderful person who had a short life herself, Aunt Helen, apparently gave me artificial respiration as they drove to the hospital.  She saved my life.

This all brings me to my regrets in life.  I really don’t have many, as I said, life has had its tough moments but I have been a lucky soul.  My regrets are quite simple:  relationships that have floundered and/or dissipated to the point of being empty.  I have a very French/European attitude about friendship and I truly feel that we have very few true friends. That is okay.  Most of our friends (in the American sense) are truly acquaintances or acquaintances plus, if I can say that.  A true friend will be there for you, like my aunt, when you really are in need, always, no questions asked.  I haven’t had all that many of those, which is very normal.  I have had family members who have not fulfilled my idea of how family should operate.  I have done my best to try and recoup family situational losses with mixed results.  With my acquaintances on the road to being friends and even with some friends, I have been at a loss because we have lost contact or our connections have weakened considerably. The Internet has been helpful because it can help us reconnect.  As a family patriarch, and I have to say I would never have believed that I would become one, I have been working hard at putting out little family fires that are malignant and causes of horrible and unexpected family strife when not dealt with, thank goodness for “pretirement*.”

A case in point just occurred last night as I once again, for the umpteenth time, tried to find a lost friend via an Internet social connection site.  Would you believe that I looked at the picture, showed it to Mary Kay and we agreed that it was him!  I have not heard from him in oh so long, had always thought (in my naïve way that we would always be in touch, and this was not the case.  I sent him an invitation to be my “friend” to see if, in fact, we were right, that that was in fact him and this morning I received a reply that it is him.  The reply came with a “we need to catch up” and a phone number.  Life is, as the old cliché says, GOOD!

*just in case this looks like a typo, it is not!  “Pretirement” is my way of saying that I have retired from my Educational career, but am in no way “retired” and have no intention to be.  I am still working (and currently looking for a main job, as the ‘Recession’ has hit)!

My supposed Midlife Crisis

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I was on the treadmill at the gym and for some reason thoughts of my car came to mind.  I don’t know why.

My car is pretty cool, very cool, when you consider who I am and the cars that I have driven in my lifetime.  Teaching in an affluent school is fun, especially when you drive up in a car that has more rust than any beater on the road.  Frankly, I didn’t care.  Didn’t care as well when we, as a family, were down to one car and I actually managed to walk to the bus stop, take a bus, and walk the rest of the way to school.  It was particularly funny since the kids recognized me on the local bus and questioned me consistently as to whether or not I was a “narc” paid to make sure they were behaving.

So, in 2005, in need of a car, I went online and found a great deal in Evanston, a bit south of me.  It was a Subaru Impreza WRX, a very cool car which is almost not cool in that I really don’t think most people would recognize it as such.  A Subaru, with all wheel drive, black interior and in the infamous Subaru blue, I bought this car at the boys’ recommendation.  They study vehicles and knew of it, knew that it was a rally car, usually known for the Paris-Dakar (Senegal in Africa) Rally.  Although it doesn’t look fast in my eyes, per se, it is turbo charged and moves swiftly.  I test drove it and bought it on the spot and we never had any regrets.

It turns out the blue color is cool and the car is amazing.  It is also stick shift, something I love in a car.  Forced at the age of eighteen to learn how to drive it, the only car I could borrow from my sister to get to my educational internship, I learned on the hilly part of Cleveland, of course.  I remember hating left hand turns and also that intersection in Parma where the light turns red right in the middle of a relatively large incline.

The car is the one everyone wants to borrow, black leather seats that are heated to keep you warm in the winter and damn it knows how to hold the road!

My pretty car has a story as well.  In 2008, one of the boys borrowed it to go to his warehouse.  It was December and weather was cold but uneventful, or so we thought.  We were waiting for his return in the evening .  We didn’t hear from him, he didn’t answer his phone.  I think it was around 11:00 pm and he walks in the house.  He seemed a bit out of it.  It turns out he had been going north on Route 41 and was in Park City, south of Waukegan.  He apparently hit “black ice” and lost control of the car.  He ended up in the ditch adjacent to the road, in the center after rolling twice.  The cop who stopped to see what was going on said later that he was really upset at having a rotten start to his evening, he was thinking the worst.  Lo and behold, he walks out of the car with nary a bruise.  The only somewhat substantial injury was a cut above his eye from where the rear view mirror tagged his after being detached.  The trunk had flown open and its contents dispersed (we picked them up the next day, included in its contents was my favorite, “Merde, il pleut” umbrella) all over, the only real loss there was a cell phone.  The interior of the car was seemingly untouched, the airbags didn’t even go off; the little impact from rolling wasn’t enough to cause airbag inflation (I called Subaru on this and that is their take). We did force Richie to go to the hospital to be checked, he was very sore for days, but overall, absolutely fine.

We dealt with the insurance issues, and within days I had the 2008 version of my 2005 so-called midlife crisis car.  I figure, not only is it one cool car, it had saved my son.  Koerners can get upset.  Usually it is for things that are unimportant.  With things like this, our thought is that cars and materials can be replaced but human life cannot.  The safety record of a Subaru is well known so another “Blue Demon” was added to our long list of cars we have had in our fleet.  I have certainly come a long way from my first car:  a yellow, stick shift, Ford Pinto!

Happy Feet and Le Petit Prince

As I am watching bits and pieces of the movie Happy Feet, I cannot help but think of some similarities between it and Le Petit Prince.

Not that they are the same, but I find that both are multi-level works.  Each has a decidedly “children” look to it but yet has other levels that are seen by the older crowd.

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Le Petit Prince (here are a few of the adult themes that immediately come to mind):

  • organization
  • friendship
  • loss
  • love
  • dealing with problems
  • incomplete people who don’t realize it
  • imagination
  • being stifled by others because of their “tunnel vision” and/or narrow-mindedness
  • creativity
  • art as something for everyone

Happy Feet (some of its adult themes):

  • being different and not accepted
  • learning disabilities
  • ecology and the effects of the modern world on the environment
  • society values which may not encompass all they should
  • loss
  • love
  • dealing with problems
  • incomplete people who don’t realize it
  • imagination
  • being stifled by others because of their “tunnel vision” and/or narrow-mindedness
  • creativity
  • art as something for everyone


As I look at them, I see more and more in common.