Hishtadlus (It Means Effort.)

Effort = Success*Happy New Year.

January 1 seems like a while ago already. Doesn’t it?

Think hard and remember those resolutions, ideals, goals, objectives, etc. This was the year you promised to put in the effort.

To make a change, whatever that change may be, is hard. Challenges will arise. Frustration will come. Days will arise where you just don’t feel like doing what you proposed to do. The willpower will not be there.

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A Dog is Not Every Man’s Best Friend.

A dog is not every man's best friend.The dog, Pearl, a pitbull, licked SJ’s pant leg. SJ’s eyes met Pearl’s, and a moment later, the dog wandered off. SJ went back to playing as if nothing had occurred.

This innocuous moment was a long time in the making.

This year before my family and I became dog owners. BR, SJ’s older brother, loves dogs. For three years, he begged my wife and I to get a dog. While both my wife and I like dogs (she had one growing up), neither of us wanted one (I was more interested in being a grandparent to a dog. Less obligations.).

Yet, we cracked.

Her name is Leila, and she’s a rescue. A mixed breed of Shitzu and Bull Terrior, Leila is 12 pounds. She has white fur with a brown spot near her butt and black fur mixed in on her ear.

She looks sweet. People walked up to her expecting her to be friendly. But she’s a barker. We learned this early.

A few days after we get Leila, SJ was talking to my wife, “I didn’t ask for this.”

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It’s Time for a New Tradition


SJ and I enjoying the Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeHe wanted me to say it was okay. But I wouldn’t.

I could have insisted. But I didn’t.

It was just less than two weeks till Thanksgiving. I was driving the boys to school, and I broached the topic.

Since BR was six years old, we have  had the tradition to go to Manhattan on Thanksgiving to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. SJ had been an attendee of the parade since he was seven.

In 2016, when he turned twelve, BR decided he was not interested in going to the parade. At the time, I was surprised. Disappointed. Hurt.

But a year had passed. And while I asked the question of ‘do you want to go to the parade?’, I was sure I knew the answer. I just hoped that SJ would also not answer in the negative.

However, both boys said yes. And quickly. I was excited.

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The Empty Streets of Halloween

We were boys on a mission.

It was Halloween night, and my dad was late picking NG and I up. We stood waiting and waiting for him. But it was the pre-cell phone era, so all we could do was tap our feet impatiently and mutter under our breath.

Dad finally showed up – a miscommunication apparently – and got us home just before the unofficial start time for trick or treating time in my neighborhood.  We quickly changed into our costumes, grabbed old pillow cases (which we used to hold candy) and started running from house to house.

Our neighborhood.

We said it was all about the candy. We didn’t care about dress up. We had no patience for a costume that would slow us down. We had no interest in wowing our friends with our creativity.

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