Signs Of Life On The Satellite


If an alarm is screeching and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

It depends.

If I am deciding if I want to get up preparing to face the day, then the answer is yes. The alarm my son has set to wake the dead, even though he isn’t home, finds its way into my peaceful slumber. If however, the alarm sounds once I’ve achieved blanket control and made my way downstairs, then the answer is no. My office is in the far reaches of the house. I say far reaches, there really is no far reach in our house, but the office is the farthest from my son’s room.

Plus, I’m usually wearing headphones.

My son is one of the five smartest people I know. Even with the handicap of having my DNA, he’s pretty remarkable in the brainiac department. He talks to me (sometimes) about calculus and chemistry (and some other stuff too). I feel my brain begin to bulge, but it isn’t long before the bubble bursts and I realize he is smarter than me. It truly blows my mind when I hear him talk excitedly about what he is learning.

As moms go, I’m average, somewhere on a sliding scale of over-protective to flat-out oblivious. Try as I might, I win no June Cleaver award. I often wonder if my family wishes they had a reason to brag about me.

I don’t long for the days of mommyhood. Those days are gone. I also do not yearn to be a grandmother. In fact, the only thing I have done in preparation for that eventuality is decide what I want to be called. Honie. That’s right. (In case anyone was curious.) Not Gammy, GG, Me Maw, Nanna, Gram or any of the other terms of endearment for the one who feeds children ice cream for breakfast, sends them home with a dollar in their pocket, and buys one (or two) of every variety of whatever they happen to be selling.


Yes, the sole reason for the Honie in HonieBriggs was for future grandchildren to call me something I will actually answer to. Now you know.

Until then there are many things that fill my life with joy. Just last Friday I attended the 14th annual Empty Bowls event to raise money for the North Texas Food Bank. Empty Bowls is a grassroots effort which began with a group of high school art students in Michigan, who had the idea to host a fundraiser where people could come together to enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread served in bowls created by students. Guests were asked to keep their empty bowls as a reminder of those who suffer from hunger in communities across our country. Empty Bowls events are now held all over the world and have raised millions of dollars for the fight against hunger. Will this end hunger? I don’t know. I believe it is a worthy endeavor.

Last night I attended a class where I learned that law enforcement officers working to stop a different type of hunger believe the tragic realities of human trafficking and drug smuggling will be never ending. Still, they know their work is a worthy endeavor.


There’s more, of course, but these are the week’s highlights. Comparing my life to the women of Downton Abbey is on hold until next season year. In the meantime, I endeavor to use my powers for good, ceasing unnecessary alarms, tethered to that which I love by an invisible force. I am the satellite.


17 thoughts on “Signs Of Life On The Satellite

  1. NIce. I have a grandmother moniker story. The first and only time I met my mother’s grandmother I had been carefully prepped – she was not Nana, Granny, or Grandma – she was Mrs. Goodson. I think I was about 4 and this confused me, but I practiced saying it as we drove to her house. When I set eyes on this old woman with perfect silver hair and a flowered dress with her hands extended towards me I forgot my training and called her Granny. My mother and her sisters gasped and hurried to correct me – the old woman looked me in the eye and said “My great-grandbaby can call me whatever she likes.” Mom never got over it…

  2. Cool post. Love that 3rd paragraph ( achieved blanket control!) and your take on life. All this and “empty bowl” and law enforcement with dog (it is an uphill battle with human trafficing and smuggling) AND eclipse picture with sail boat. The perfect overload! Thanks

    1. It is a bit of an overload. I seem to function better that way. I remember once when my son got irritated with me for wanting to know what was going on in his life. I asked invasive questions like, “how was your day?”. He told me I needed to “get a life”. So, that’s what I did. Now he actually tells me what’s going on without my having to ask. Too funny!

  3. My 4 year-old grandson asked why his father had 2 mothers last Christmas. My wife-in-law and I sat on the couch patiently waiting for the answer and giggling. His answer? “Just lucky.” What a brilliant son we raised.

    You will be a brilliant grandmother if you raised a son smarter than you. This is the litmus test, I am certain of it.

    You and I really must talk sometime soon, I am looking for things to spread my wings into here in NTexas. Things that do good and feel good.

  4. Honie, I have no doubt you’ll make a spectacular grandmother, just as you’re a great mother. Just not too soon, right. I love being a grandmother. Now I’m looking forward to days as a great-grandmother, though not too soon, preferably in 10 years time though I don’t think they will wait that long. I’m Nana now. Wonder what I’ll be then? We don’t discuss calculus but we do discuss literature and history and sometimes science, physics and chemistry and biology, the granddaughters and me. My daughter and I discuss the granddaughters and her job. You’re a good mom for turning off the alarm and not cursing your son for leaving it on! I curse myself for leaving my own on sometimes!

    1. I appreciate your vote of confidence M~. It is important to me that people who bring other people onto the planet take responsibility for them and teach them to take responsibility for themselves. I am flawed, as everyone is, parenting mistakes (real and perceived) have caused me to doubt myself. At times, my life has revolved around my son. Now not so much, but I will forever be a satellite.

  5. That last photo is spectacular.

    I’ve long said I want my grandkids to call me “G-Pop.” Barring that, I too would like to be called Honie. Or…well…Mark will do, I suppose.

  6. I’d give you the June Cleaver Award, just for “ceasing” the alarm. Especially for your being so in awe over how excited your son gets when talking about what he’s learning. For Empty Bowls. And, because I recently read a sci fi book in which satellites were attached to the planet by a tether. And finally, because you wrote that you appreciated my re-posting someone else’s blog about inspiration when you truly didn’t need it.

    1. I’d humbly accept that award. I’d even bake you some cookies for the occasion! Being a parent has been the most amazing and difficult learning experience of my life. I am no math whiz, but I bet Calculus would be a snap in comparison.
      For the kind comment, He Who, thank you.

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