How to Ruin Your Thanksgiving Day

DO YOU KNOW how to ruin your Thanksgiving experience? Because when I was a few years old I ruined many good meals for my family, and they ruined many for me.

Kids at the Thanksgiving table, especially if they are tired, sick, on sugar or starving for attention, whine and cry and are picky eaters. 
I heard so many, “You can go and play when you finish your green beans or glazed carrots.” Meanwhile, all the cousins around play and have fun, while you have an unhappy child kept captive and crying at the table.

Bringing up politics, the midterm elections, the borders, “the left” and “the right” may ruin everybody’s Thanksgiving as well. Making a point may not be worthy if your brother and his family leave unexpectedly. If uncle George has something to say about the president, ask him to discuss that after the party.

Turn your Thanksgiving in a sweet time that everybody would remember. Do you know that, when family pray together for a special need, right there on Thanksgiving, you may see miracles? 
Is aunt Becky suffering from back pain? 
Are cousins Jim and Jill longing to have a baby? 
Is nephew Bob stressed out because of his LSAT test?
Family, pray together. You will see God stepping in and bringing His favor over everybody around the table.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!


One Delight per Week


SATURDAYS WERE SCHOOL days for me and work days for mom and dad. Anyway, there was that sweet feeling in our hearts that, after coming home from school and work, we would have one day and a half just for ourselves. From 8AM-12 at noon, that was the shortest school day of the week. Even the teachers were more relaxed in the classroom and never asked us to do big projects or tests on Saturdays.

When my parents worked first shift together – which happened every other week – I knew they would be late home. Because they would do grocery shopping on their way home. During the week, the shopping for food was limited to fresh bread and vegetables, but on Saturdays and maybe on Sundays was different, when we had the money. They stayed in long lines to get meat for our Sunday meal and cold cuts for my lunches for school.
We were blessed to have my grandparents from my mother’s side who sustained us with food basics from the village.

I was playing outside with my friends on our beautiful street that had a wide area of grass, flower gardens and maple trees all along from one end of the street to the other.Then I would see my parents walking at home with heavy bags reaching down to their ankles, and barely keeping their balance. That was a good sign, a sign that we were rich.

And I got to be the envy of my friends that day.

The Midterm Elections 2018


DON’T FRACTURE your relationships over politics. At the end of the day, you don’t move out to live with your favorite politician. After these midterms you’ll still eat at the same table with your spouse, have your in-laws visiting to see your kids, go and see your mom when your siblings are present and ache when your cousin is in the hospital. When passionate conversations arise, you be the wise one to keep silence when the back-and-forth words gain too much weight. Life is more than this.

Huge Problem – The HOUSE – 36


( Continuation – Read “Back Underground” first )

Then it stroke me.

I clang to the rail and just stood there in disbelief. How in the world didn’t I think of that?

“What’s wrong?” The young man was still admiring his piece of art imprinted on the chewing gum.

“We are screwed.” I never used that word before, but it just came out of my mouth.

Phillip gazed in my face, still happy about his newest accomplishment. “I don’t understand.”

I couldn’t wrap my head around of what we’ve done without taking any precautions. “I’m sure these guys, whoever they are, have cameras all over the basement and they know we are here. They will report us to the police.”

That was a surprise to my neighbor, as well. I could see him getting nervous, and he bit his lips. Then he made a sign to move forward. But I didn’t want to go upstairs. I wanted to go back.

I passed by him and rushed down the stairs to the poolroom. Maybe I was wrong and the owners didn’t have cameras. But I needed to see and prepare myself for what to expect.

If I wouldn’t have been that stressed out, I could have sworn I heard the door we’ve tried to open, hitting the wall. But because of my erratic state of mind at that moment, I couldn’t guarantee that was what happened. The door was closed.

Phillip was one step behind me.

Then my heart fell into my stomach. There were at least four cameras on the ceiling, one in each corner. How brainless was I to put us in such a mess?

All my life I stayed out of trouble. I taught my son to be a man of good character, to tell the truth, to respect other people’s property and the laws, and here I was becoming a criminal.

Our clothes were still dripping water on the floor and I was cold, so cold.

Phillip placed his hands on his hips and started pacing up and down.

“What now?”

( To be continued )

Back Underground – The HOUSE – 35


(Continuation – READ “Wave Breakers” first )

Phillip didn’t leave me a moment to doubt. So, I followed him. At least I knew the way and that I wasn’t in danger of dying on my way back.

I was still shaking and my fast heartbeat was giving me a little fret, but I pushed through. Phillip looked at me once or twice to be sure I was on the track, and kept swimming forward up to that point where it was easier to walk than swim.

The smell of the chemical I sensed in the poolroom was strong.

“Something is not right here,” I said getting out of the water.

“Maybe we should check this door,” my neighbor suggested heading to the far area with a closed entering. I walked behind him. He went and knocked at the door.

“Is anybody here?”

He tried the handle, but the access didn’t open.

“This weird odor is much stronger here.”

“Maybe it is the pool, the antiseptic they put to keep it clean,” the man answered.

“It’s not the pool, event though there is some chlorine in it,” I added. “Definitely, the smell is coming from behind this entry.” I paused for a second. “I wish we have a key.”

At that, Phillip pushed with his shoulder into the wood. Not too hard, only to see if it would open. It didn’t.

Then this thought came to me. Did I want to become a felon and spend time in jail at my age? The horror of being put behind bars brought some common sense to me, and I started walking to the stairs. “We should leave.”

The young man strolled behind me and whispered in my ear, “I’ll be back with a key.”

That made me pay attention to him and slowed down. “How?”

“How what?” he asked me.

“How are you getting a good key?”

“I’m going to make it.” He pulled some chewing gum in a small bulk from his pocket and showed me the imprint in it. “This is the shape.”

I was amazed. “Aren’t you a smart young man? Just be careful.”

-To be continued-

Wave Breakers – The HOUSE – 34


(Continuation – Read “The HOUSE -33” first )

While resting to gain my strength, my neighbor went on a scout. He swam to the end of the blocks and managed to get out of the water.

These constructions built from the shore to some length into the ocean were open for the public most of the time. But when the waves were too big or during high tides, the lifeguards on duty kept the people away. Otherwise, audacious tourists liked to take a chance to climb and walk all the way to the end.


I pulled myself up on another rock to try to see the shore. I couldn’t recognize the cottages afar. If we came on a straight line from the house to the ocean, the closest way to get to the water was under the street ending with a couple of palm trees. I looked for the palm trees and they were pretty far, at the end of the sidewalk.

From that point further there were the cottages with a semi private shore. I’ve never been there before.

Then I remembered.


There was one time when soon-to-be my ex took me to a beach party a while ago. It was dark when we got there and I couldn’t recognize the house, but it was on this beach, on the outskirts of Newport. When we got there, a few couples had had already too much to drink and looked overjoyed to see us. One man seemed sober though, my ex’s new business partner, as my ex introduced him to me.

“Phillip, ” I called as I saw the young man swimming back. “Did you find anything?”

“I don’t know.” He blew his nose and held on to the rock near me. “Everything looks normal, but one thing.”

I waited.

“Someone took the time to paint the end of the blocks in white.” He paused and waved his hand. “Anyway, maybe this is the norm and they do it to every construction, ” he continued.

“How about when you go surfing?” I asked. “Do you remember any of these blocks in Newport Beach being painted?” My question didn’t bring too much light. “I don’t remember. I don’t do surfing at the end of the wave breakers, but between them.”

Great! After the ordeal I went through trying to stay alive while swimming under the water, we had more questions than answers.

“What now?”

The man let his body in the water and called. “We go back.”

-To be continued –

On the Other Side – The HOUSE – 33

Blue planet

CONTINUATION (Read “Shred of Light” first.)

Phillip saw the despair in my eyes and reached to my face, in a gesture of tenderness. “Sophie, I will not let you drown here. Be sure of that.”

I needed that. “Come,” he commanded and pierced with his body somewhere to the other side. I took a deep breath and said a short prayer. I followed him. Starfish and shells were attached to the blocks all the way. I fought to keep my mind calm and let myself watch the beauty under the waves. It didn’t take long until I started to swim up, to the sunlight. I could see Phillip’s legs moving under the water in front of me. Then they stopped.

I fret. The oxygen in my lungs was gone. Would now be the moment when my brain would blackout and I ‘d faint? There were a few seconds when my whole body moved chaotically to get out of there. I screamed from inside, but nobody could hear me. I struggled to move myself up pushing into the rocks on the side, when two arms reached to me.

“Adam,” I called without a sound.

“Sophie,” I heard like from a mile away, and I closed my eyes.

Shaking, I took my first breath of fresh air.

“Adam, ” I called again.

“It’s Phillip,” I heard and clang to him with both hands.

“Easy, easy,” and he helped me lean my body weight on one of the rocks. “Are you O.K.?”

I nodded my head, busy to take in more air. It was so good to hear his voice again. The imminence of unexpected death was terrifying.

I looked around. We were at the end of one of those rock constrictions built to break the waves. I couldn’t see where we were exactly, but somehow I knew we were still in Newport Beach.


-To be continued –