LIFE STORIES

Whirling dervish. Adventurer. Reformed helicopter mom. Fighter.

Photo of author and her dog by the author

Chapter 1: On the Move

I was born in White Plains, New York to Canadian parents. Both of my parents came from big Catholic families and had 5 brothers and sisters apiece. Interestingly, my father’s sister also married my mother’s brother. This just goes to show, you don’t have to go to Tennessee to see people keeping it all in the family.

Our family stayed in New York for a year before moving to Rotterdam, Holland. Fun fact: our house in Holland had a secret room in the attic that had once used to hide Jewish children during WWII. Our house also looked out onto…


OPEN LETTERS

Who needs “Goodnight Moon,” when you can have this

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Dear Josh,

You sit on my lap in your PJs. Your blond hair is slightly damp from the bath. Your big blue eyes are shining up at me as I pull out a new bedtime story.

You take a big gulp of milk from your sippy cup and wait for me to start. I also have drink in tow — a glass of wine. It’s what I like to call, “mom juice.”

We open the book, and I begin to read. The author has transported us to the zoo, and we are bidding all of the animals good night.

“Good…


OPEN LETTERS

Thanks for getting your priorities straight. The porcupines applaud you.

Photo by Done By Alex on Unsplash

Dear Florida Man,

I know you have been lambasted in the news recently. People have called you, “dumb” and “deadly”. But Ronny boy, you clearly are just misunderstood.

Because like all Florida men, you beat to your own crazy drum. And in banning mask mandates in your great state, you are just helping all your Florida male and female brethren who prefer to parade around without the confines of shoes, clothes, and masks.

Am I right?

Just peruse the headlines and you can find stories about a 380-pound Florida man who was recently caught nude with meth in his belly…


OPEN LETTERS

Let’s talk about that California roll

Photo by Sunguk Kim on Unsplash

Dear California Drivers,

Your roads are vast and wide. In fact, compared to the roads in Japan or Italy, you have enough space for double-decker buses. And yet, you still seem to want more. Why stick to one lane, when you can drive in two at the same time? I get it, really, I do. But sometimes more is not better. Trust me.

Over the years, I have seen it all in this fair state. You have opened my eyes. Your driving is legendary. But not everyone is in the know. …


TELEVISION

Why this Netflix show made my brain hurt

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

I was in search of mindless TV. I didn’t want to think. I just wanted to give my brain a rest and dive into Netflix headfirst. I stumbled on a show called Sex Life.

And of course, I was reeled in.

With a title like that, who wouldn’t be? But as I started to watch, a big part of me, the one which has been a mother to two young children, couldn’t help but tear apart every little detail.

This is because Sex Life seems to be so far from real life, it is almost laughable. …


PARENTING AND PSYCHOLOGY

And how to ensure your kids don’t lose their sense of wonder in the process.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Have you ever stumbled across a mom with a crying toddler in tow trying to run out of the local toy store? The child, a little boy, is screaming at the top of his lungs because his mom refused to buy him a toy. The poor mom is sweating profusely and has her eyes averted to the world as if to say, “please don’t judge me.”

Some bystanders may even be milling around shaking their heads, clearly sympathizing with the mother. …


LIFE LESSONS

Moon River, memories and the life lessons I hold dear

Image via author

I watch her take a seat at the piano. It’s old and slightly out of tune, but it still works. Her fingers dance across the keys as she starts to sing,

“Moon River, wider than a mile. I’m crossing you in style, someday.”

She’s a small woman, no more than 5'3". She is older now. But her voice fills her tiny apartment. She plays by ear. I am tone-deaf and not sure what happened as she has so much musical talent to share.

Her eyes are twinkling, and she is lost in the music.

As I listen, I forget about…


HUMOR & WRITING

Because we all need a little more laughter in our lives

Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash

I love humor. In fact, satire is one of my favorite genres.

But good humor is incredibly difficult to write. Go too far and you can insult your readers. Don’t go far enough, and your humor will fall flat. Wait too long to get to the punchline, and your readers may never get that far.

It’s an art form. And one we all need. Because as Charlie Chaplin noted, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Fortunately, Medium has some fantastic writers of humor, satire, and comedy. …


HEALTH AND WELLNESS

What I learned the hard way and what you can do to heal

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Two years ago, I suffered not one, not two, but three concussions. That’s right, three back-to-back concussions.

Now before you start wondering how I could be so unlucky (I’ve asked myself that many times) — you should know that the likelihood of getting a second concussion once you have had the first one is extremely high.

In fact, the British Journal of Sports Medicine recently studied this in children and found concussed children are four times more likely to sustain a second concussion. And the odds of getting a third or a fourth are higher still.

I was fortunate because…


OPEN LETTERS

#1. That thing on top of the toilet is what you use to flush

Photo by Marc Schaefer on Unsplash

Dear Teenager in Training,

You’re 14 years old — practically an adult. You are almost ready to go into the world and make your mark. And yet, I do worry about you. Our bathroom worries about you. Our shower, sink, and toilet downright shudder when you enter the room.

Because let’s face it, your bathroom etiquette has a long way to go. In fact, I’m not sure you know what everything in the bathroom does, so I thought I would take this time to spell it out for you.

Top 10 Bathroom Basics

1. That thing on top of the toilet — that’s what…

Courtney Burry

5X top writer. I love to use satire and humor. I write about travel, politics, family, feminism, sports, health & music. So, basically everything.

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