Hanukkah: The Hidden Truth Teaching Review

Hanukkah is nearly upon us!!  Read my Archived Teaching Review BEFORE you purchase any Hanukkah paraphernalia. I can get easily distracted by adults and children in front of me at the teachings, so I like sitting near the front.  I am usually in the second row.  That way I am assured I won’t miss a bit of the verbal and nonverbal message.  Read more

Choosing Sides

A situation with Floyd during the 2017 Basketball Finals made me think of repentance.  Repentance means to turn from sin and turn to righteousness.  Floyd was sitting in his favorite stuffed chair, with snacks on the table, waiting for Game 5 of the NBA Read more

What is the Reason for the Season?

As a child, only once, did I question the honesty and integrity of my maternal Grandma. Even then, when I reflected on all the facts, Grandma was absolved. I remember the incident as clear as if it were this morning. I was playing in the front room (living room) and our German neighbor, Mrs. Raymond, came up on the enclosed Read more

Faith Means Action

The six weeks between June 22nd and July 30th 2013 were loaded with change, chaos, miracles, and a lot of stepping out in faith. For two years, Floyd and I had been hoping and praying that Yehovah would make a way for us to move from Alabama to be near Charlotte, NC. We wanted to be a part of the Read more

Pet Enticed into the Arms of a Neighbor?

In the fall of 1995, Floyd and I (before children) purchased a home on 5 acres in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The house needed cosmetic work: vinyl siding and repairs to the upper porch. Early one morning, a construction worker found two abandoned kittens on the road and brought them to me. I immediately took them in and gave them food Read more

Secrets in the Buffet Drawer

My father's mother, Grandma Berry, as we called her, was born in 1909. Grandma was divorced when my dad was about five and later married Gerald Berry. He was a kind, easy going man that worked at one of the Ford plants in Detroit. I remember his metal lunch pail. It was black on the outside and shiny metal gray on Read more



Read Dormitory. When I lived there, a double room and meals were about $1,600/year. Now, the room alone is $5,853 for the year!

Read Dormitory. When I lived there, a double room and meals were about $1,600/year. Now, the room alone is $5,853 for the year!

During my freshman year in college, I lived in one of the female dorms at Indiana University on the Bloomington campus.

There were several good-looking guys on campus.   In the 60’s vernacular, Victor would have been described as “fine”.  He was about 5’8”, dark brown-skinned and had a very smooth vocal delivery.  You get the picture.  He was swoon material.

So, when I got a call from Victor asking me to go out on Friday night to see Agony and the Ecstasy at the movies, I near-bout died!!  I was so excited I could hardly think straight.   Of course, I told all my friends and roommates.

On Friday night, he was late.  I began to think that he had changed his mind about me and had stood me up.  The movie started at 7:30 PM.  No one had cars as freshman and the dorm was a 15 minute walk to the movies.  At 7:15 PM, I was really discouraged. Then at 7:17PM, he rang me from the dorm lobby to come on down.


Shar during her Freshman Year at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

I was exhilarated and redeemed from utter embarrassment.  I rushed to the elevator and went down one flight to the lobby of Read Dormitory.  I was floating on air and shaking with excitement.  In the short elevator ride,  I had practiced several poses, smiles and opening lines.

When the elevator door opened, I was beyond shock.

It was the wrong Victor!!  Where was the “fine” Victor?  This Victor was short, stocky and nothing to write home about.

I felt like I had been body slammed!

Luckily, I saw him before he saw me.  Well, I could have won an Academy Award for the quick change in my expression. I was friendly and polite to Victor.  After all, it wasn’t his mistake, it was mine.

He apologized for being late.  He said we would have to hurry or we’d miss the start of the movie.  He headed towards the door where you could get a taxi.  I thought, “Well he has class and some money.  We are going by taxi.”

When we got to the door, he opened it for me and said, “We’ve got to run so we won’t miss the start of the movie!”

I was so dumb-founded that I couldn’t think.   So I just ran along with him.

We made it to the movie on time.  The run wore him out.   So…. he snored through the 3 hour movie.  I couldn’t concentrate on the movie for thinking about my predicament.

YES, I laughed my head off about my mistake when I got back to the dorm.   And NO, I never went out with him again.


I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life’s experiences, bad and good, make you who you are. Erasing any of life’s experiences would be a great mistake. – Luis Miguel

Posted on by Shar in Dating, Mistakes 3 Comments


We all make mistakes.  Some folks learn from them. Some folks keep repeating them.  Steeley Dan had a record out when I was in college.  It was about a guy who committed a crime and was let go because the lawman wasn’t hanging that day, but the guy went “right back Jack, and did it again”. 

Now I have made a ton of mistakes in my life.  Some silly, some foolish, and some accidentally.

For instance, I was allowed to “receive company” when I was 16 with my parents in the house and my 14-year old sister present in the room.  I rarely invited a boy over to the house.


Shar in the French Lab at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana.

However, there was one boy who was friendly, nice and he liked me a lot. So I invited him to our house. My sister, Laurie, enjoyed being the chaperon. She had control in a way. I couldn’t tell her to leave the room or to stop making a nuisance of herself.

Marty Feldman!

Marty Feldman!

Now, Robert had bulging eyes like Marty Feldman and had false teeth. It was rare for a young person to have false teeth. I think he was in a sport’s accident. Well, Laurie wanted to see his teeth! And do you know, he took them out!!!

I was flabbergasted … outdone … fit to be tied!

I figured that was a one-time event, but the next time he came to visit, my sister asked to see the teeth again, AND HE TOOK THEM OUT!

Well, inviting him over was a mistake I didn’t make again.

Often we speak mistakes. We sometimes say things that are true, but they are received differently by others. In the 90’s, I worked for Wayne State University in Detroit.   After four years, I was burned out. I was bringing too much of the job-stress home. So much so that Floyd, my husband, asked me to quit the job. That was all I needed to hear. I resigned.

At my last staff meeting, I made the obligatory speech. At the end of the speech, one of the 30 or so staff attending asked what was I going to do now. I was so glad to be leaving, I said, “I’m going home and let my husband take care of me.”


Shar circa Wayne State University days.

Denna, the Department Executive, stood up and said, “Shar, you just set the women’s liberation movement back 100 years!” 

Let me tell you about another type of mistake, a written communication mistake. I had a great-great uncle, Uncle Luke, who lived to be 108. He was born in Alabama, but lived most of his life in Lima, Ohio. When he was 99, he asked to come and live with my mother in Indianapolis. He was in good health and got around well.

My mom used to spend time with Uncle Luke and Aunt Lena in Lima when my mom was growing up in Detroit. Aunt Lena died in January 1949; just three months after I was born. My mom has often spoken about how sad she was that Aunt Lena never got to see me, Mama’s first child.

Well, Uncle Luke was more than a notion to live with. He and my Mom had worked out room and board arrangement. Uncle Luke insisted on having receipts! Who knew why? He had his own room, was well fed and his clothes were washed and ironed.

Uncle John 001

Uncle Luke in his 90’s

Uncle Luke also had a deep mistrust of banks. (Now on this, I can relate.) He had my mother help him open a saving account at the bank. He had $2,000. A few days later, he took it out the bank. Soon, my Mom convinced him to put the money in a safety deposit box. Then, Uncle Luke insisted on going to the bank everyday to check on his money. This was driving my Mom insane! They ended up putting his money under his mattress.

These were only a few of the “worriments” dealing with Uncle Luke.

Eventually, Uncle Luke decided to move back to Alabama and stay on family property. He decided to take the train home. He asked my Mom to send a telegram from the train depot to his great-nephew, Chester.

Meet Luke at the train station on Monday at 2 PM.  He is coming home.

Chester just happened to be the local undertaker. Well, as old as Uncle Luke was, what was Chester to think? Chester went to the train station with his hearse to pick up the casket. Chester was in total shock when Uncle Luke “walked off” the train!  

These incidents were harmless mistakes.  They are the kind you laugh at yourself about, but make a mental note not to do again.  


“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Avonlea

Posted on by Shar in Family Life, Mistakes 3 Comments

The Tooth Fairy

According to the Original Tooth Fairy Pollthe average gift from the Tooth Fairy climbed from $2.10 in 2011 to $2.42 in 2012, a 15.2 percent gain.

Other interesting findings from The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® (http://www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com/news-release/), which surveyed more than 1,200 parents nationwide, include:

  • The Tooth Fairy visited nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
  • The Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 98 percent of the homes she visited. Two percent of children received toys, candy, gum or other gifts.
  • The most common amount left under the pillow by the Tooth Fairy was $1 (51 percent).
  • Twenty-two percent of kids hit it rich and received $5 for each lost tooth.”


In my maternal family, the Tooth Fairy didn’t appear until my generation. I was the first to receive the quarters for lost teeth. I found this out when I asked my Mom if the Tooth Fairy had visited her when she was a child. She chuckled and said, “Nobody had money to throw around for the Tooth Fairy! We didn’t play those games.”

Generally, children lose their baby teeth between the ages of five and eleven.  I never really believed in the Tooth Fairy. What I mean is, I believed my mother was putting the money beneath my pillow. 008When I placed the tooth under my pillow at night, in the morning the tooth was gone and I found a quarter. When I recently asked my Mom about my baby teeth, she said she had thrown them away right after retrieving them from under my pillow.

My children still have their jar of baby teeth. I guess I’m more sentimental about saving baby mementos.

Getting the money was always a treat to look forward to receiving. Losing the teeth wasn’t. They were either pulled out by the dentist or Slow Poke Suckers; yanked out by pulling on a string tied around the tooth; or they just fell out while I was eating a meal (I was so glad I didn’t swallow them!).

My sister, Laurie, shared a Tooth Fairy story about her daughter, Annette. Alissa Hayden 2 002The two of them had gone to the Disney Store in the mall. Annette was trying to persuade Laurie to buy a toy that Annette wanted. The conversation went something like this:

Mommie, I really want this toy. It is just what I’ve been wishing I could get. Will you please buy it for me? Pretty Please?”

Annette, this toy costs more than what I want to spend on a toy. Why don’t you buy it with the money you have saved?”

Uh! Uh! “No, I can’t spend my money! The only way I can get more money is to lose teeth!!”

Now to my experience of being the Tooth Fairy.

Because Floyd, my husband, and I wanted to be “good parents” we had 50 million discussions about what to do and what not do to with the children. We had eliminated telling the children that Santa and the Easter Bunny were “real” from the “get-go”, but we still had the tree and gave gifts.  In December 2009, we pulled away from the “traditional holidays” that weren’t commanded in the Bible.

The Tooth Fairy was in a non-religious class all by herself. We figured it was cute (Here we go!), and that the kids, by the time they started losing teeth at 5 or 6 years old, they would know it was just a game.

024So, when Joel lost his first tooth, circa 2003, we made a big deal out of the Tooth Fairy coming that night and Joel would get some money. Well, that night, we slipped a quarter under his pillow while he was sleeping.

The next morning, Joel wasn’t overly surprised, but pleased to get the money. However, at the breakfast table, he made a comment about how little the Tooth Fairy left for him. We said something like,

Well, you know that’s the going rate for teeth these days. Besides, the Tooth Fairy didn’t take the tooth, we can save it.”

This only produced a shrug on Joel’s face and he went back to eating.

Now Floyd and I were disappointed that the quarter and our midnight ruse hadn’t produced the jubilance from Joel that we had anticipated. So the next time we upped the ante and left $1.00. This brought the jubilance, but somehow I had the feeling I had been hustled by “the kid”.

When Joel was 7 years old, by this time a seasoned Fairy money receiver, he began to overtly talk about knowing that we were the Tooth Fairy. Floyd and I never admitted it, because we wanted to keep the game going.

However, we knew we had to be careful and not get caught at our own game.  When Joel lost the next tooth, we debated who would be the best “secret agent” to deliver the 

021money and escape undetected. We both wanted the challenge.   When I figured out that the agent would have to wait until near midnight to make sure Joel was in a deep sleep state, I quickly acquiesced.

Floyd waited until after 11:30 PM and tiptoed down the hall into Joel’s room. Floyd carefully slipped his hand under the pillow and as quick as a flash, Joel grabbed his hand and said,


As I reflect on my Tooth Fairy experiences, I think if I had it to do over, I would not continue to perpetuate this fantasy. Truth and honesty are such a rare commodity that I wouldn’t sacrifice them for a temporary pleasure. This story is not an indictment against having fun with your children, but exposes one type of “little white lie” in the hopes of eradicating all falsehoods from our lives.


A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb

When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback. ~Bill Copeland


Posted on by Shar in Children, Family Life, Mistakes, Parenting, Tooth Fairy 6 Comments
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