Wednesday, December 21, 2011

For Shuchi and her better half...

Wish you a Very Happy First Month Anniversary!!!

This is time when everything looks pink and perfect... 
There is a feeling of "love is in the air"...

The time when 24 hours ain't enough when together... 
And one minute seems a lifetime when apart..

Every little thing is cherished and celebrated and given more love...

The glow in the face and sparkle in the eyes...
More swing in the stride... More smile on the lips...

The feeling that every romantic song in the world was written just for the two!
The feeling that with you by my side I can win the world!
The feeling of oneness even in silence...  

The feeling that is more than love!
May you two live like this... always and forever!

Needless to say.. This post is dedicated to the two loving souls!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Knotty Tidbits: 10

Title: Moonlight Trail
A walk through the wild... In the moonlight... Hand in hand... 
These photos do not do any justice to what we experienced! It was such a wonderful feeling. 

The trail was lined on both sides with little serial lights. It was as though the little lights at our feet were leading us into another world...

At various spots on the trail, there were people with guitars, singing and playing their instruments. We were lost in the land of peace and calm.
There was light drizzle but the sky cleared up soon.
As an added bonus, we had a nice ride in the school bus from the parking lot to the moonlight trail. This happened at the Erna Nixon Park.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Where have I been?

It has been more than a month since I blogged! How time flies!

So what happened in the past one month? So many things! The long awaited return to California, our wedding anniversary, vacation, Black Friday shopping... Phew!

V got a bicycle for me! We bought it at Walmart on Black Friday. The bicycle was the only thing we did not buy online during the Black Friday! It was a struggle to get the bicycle into our trunk. And finally when we reached home, I rode the cycle in our packing lot. It still had all the pricetags, user manual and all hanging from it. :)

The last time I rode a bicycle was when I was twelve. Long time! I wasn't very good at cycling. I surprised myself; realized I could balance myself well enough! I was super excited! :)

I took it out next day too. We still did not have a helmet; so I was driving in the parking lot only. V was showing me how to apply brakes and I mimicked him...

... and fell down. Oh my God! As V said: "She fell off the bike in slow motion." I do not know if it was slow motion or not, but I hurt myself. I bruised my knee! Every time I bend my knee, the skin stretches and it hurts! It is not that bad now. It's healing!

By the way, in India, the back wheel brake is on the left handle bar. It is the opposite in the US! Little things... But they may have a greater impact while riding!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Landing a Plane

At the Astronaut Hall Of Fame, I tried a hand at landing a plane. Well! Not a real one! It was just a video game ;-)

In the very first try, I landed the plane smoothly, with no crash, nothing!!!

I felt so excited as a kid! Couldn't help taking a photo of it... and now... I am bragging about it in my blog! :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Miss you!

Wish we could catch up one last time before you both left for India... 
Missed you both... Miss you even more now!

Needless to say, this post is dedicated to Kash and Sravani!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Indian flag?

This was one of the first pictures that we took during our visit to Miami. We were overjoyed to see an "Indian" flag.

Later on we found the same flag on top of the Miami City Hall. 

Upon closer investigation, we realized that the centre of the flag was entirely different. And of course! It was flag of City of Miami and not our Indian flag. But it was nice to see something that reminded us of home! :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Pounding Flowers"

This was the title of the book that we came across in the Hobbies section of our library. The only tool required for pursuing this hobby is: a hammer!!!

What is the hobby about? It is to place a flower on a card or fabric, cover it up with a tissue  and hit on it with a hammer. The flower gets crushed and the dye sticks onto the card/fabric, making designs on the card/fabric. How strange!

So, if I understood the book correctly, to get a bouquet onto a card, I need a bouquet of flowers to stamp on! That seems crazy!

Monday, October 3, 2011


... from Sidney Sheldon's autobiography..

When your English has an accent, it means you know one more language!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Private Screening?

We did not even know where the cinema theatre was! With GPS for our guidance, we ended up at a AAA office. Google does not show it right! 

Then we decided to get back onto the main road and proceed further. It helped! There stood the theatre all alone with very few cars in the parking lot. We were half an hour early for our show. We wandered around the theatre for sometime... then we went in and spent some more time looking at the posters and chatting about this and that! The time seemed to stand still.. or was our watch not working?! We bought popcorn and waited right in front of the screen that read: "The Rise of The Planet of Apes"

I never wanted to watch the movie and Vikram wanted to watch it on a 3-D screen. That evening we were thinking of watching Smurfs on 3-D. However the shows for the day were over and our next choice was "The Rise of The Planet of Apes". Luckily for me, the show was not a 3-D one! I am scared of watching movie without animation on 3-D screen. They seem so real.. and so much more scary!

Well, now here we were inside the theatre, just two of us. A couple of minutes later, four more people joined. But none of them were in our row, not even in the row in front of us or behind us! 

And I was the only girl who watched that show at that theatre!!!

V and I felt that it was more like watching the movie at home. We could talk with each other (discuss the scene) while we watched and there was no chance of anyone getting disturbed!

We loved the movie! And that was not it.. We got a free refill of popcorn too! ;-)

I would love to watch more movies at this theatre! It makes me feel... I am the Queen of the world! :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vinayaka Chaturthi

Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi! :)

For the festival, I decided to make a Patchwork of Lord Vinayaka. It is still not complete with it borders, yet we used it for our puja this morning.

May Lord Vinayaka bless us with peace and happiness!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Egypt - Beer

Here is another post related to Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. Egypt's people got their drinking water from the river Nile. Nile carried a lot of waterborne diseases. To prevent them, the people drank beer instead of water! 

In some shops/bars, the beers were served in a cylindrical goblet made of clay. This goblet had a pointed bottom. This was to ensure that the customer could not put the goblet down and hence had to gulp down the entire beer.  And once the beer got over, he would want more! Nice business trick eh? :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

GPS! Oh Poor GPS!

Every time the GPS says: "Calculating" or "Re-calculating", we get impatient. During our previous long trip, it just wouldn't show the route. Finally, we realized the "Avoid Motorways" option was ENABLED! Hmm... And this time... the GPS was saying that the drive from Washington DC to New York would take 12hours. Why? Simple reason! "Avoid Toll" was ENABLED! We were cursing it so much. But a machine's mind is as intelligent as the human's who's operating it!!! :)

P.S: Finally when we disabled the "Avoid Toll" option, it seemed to show a route that had so many toll gates in between. We were wondering if the GPS was taking revenge on us! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Shoes Holder

We walk barefoot at home and I do not like loads of shoes right at the main door of our house. As it is a narrow corridor, there is no way I can keep a shoe rack. I had to think of some other option. Or may be my hands were itching to touch the sewing machine again! :)

Whatever be the reason, I can now proudly say that I sewed a shoes holder/organizer all by myself. Have a look at the tutorial here

P.S: I used to write the posts in Google docs and then publish them directly onto my blog. All of a sudden I do not see that button anymore. I verified in Google docs help. It says I can publish it as HTML page and give its link in my blogger. Alas! I can't directly publish from Google docs anymore! Hope the link works!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sahityamlo Hasyam

Every day when I open the youtube home page, the first thing that I search for is "Sahityamlo Hasyam" This is a Telugu program by Dr. Garikipati Narasimha Rao. It is about Telugu language and literature with a twist of humour. He recites a number of funny Telugu/Sanskrit poems and explains the meaning of those. It is very funny to watch. I love it. We are supposed to have one episode per week. However for the past one month, no new episodes have been uploaded to youtube by the Teluguone channel.

I replay most of the episodes. I know some of the poems by heart. I love watching them. I laugh at the same funny poems again and again. It does not bore me at all.

I am very happy that Aditya told us about Dr. Garikipati Narasimha Rao and this program. If we hadn't known, we would have missed all those evenings of fun. V and I sit and watch this program together. It feels nice to share similar interests. Lucky me! :)

Oh TeluguOne! When will you upload new episodes of Sahityamlo Hasyam???

Friday, July 29, 2011

Muscle Joke: Spiderman

We were wondering what would happen to Spiderman's powers in a desert or at the sea. He will not have any building or structure to stick his web to. And so he will not be powerful!!! What do you say?? :-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Almond Roca!

I can never stop with one piece of Almond Roca! It's just too tempting! Thanks to Cheenu Mama who got the first box of Almond Roca when I was in college. He had got dried prunes too! I was not a great fan of that! ;-)

Mmm.. Back to another piece of Almond Roca!! Got to stop this; actually got it for V, but I am the one having piece after piece! Thank God! We bought a bigger bag! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


"Bus Do Minute..." is the way the Ad goes. But I never think we can make Maggi noodles in two minutes. It takes two minutes just for the water to start boiling! 

I have never been good at making noodles. I like them when my sisters make them for me. Sometimes they add groundnuts and onions and capsicum to noodles. When I had to stay in Chicago for a couple of months, I made noodles every other day. It was quicker and easier to make; and also fulfilling!

Now I am back to those days... Sitting at home all by myself... I feel lazy to make a proper meal for lunch! Maggi is a nice option. I think it's been more than half a year since I has Maggi! :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Back to reading...

Yes, I am back to my long time hobby of reading... Over the period of time, I realize that I tend to read more of woman-oriented novels. Either the authors are women or the main protagonist in the story is a girl/woman. The previous two novels that I read (click here) were novels for young-adults. 

"The Summer Spies Moved In" (by Mary Locke) was about a Russian girl who comes to the US and is mistaken for a spy by a neighborhood girl. It portrays the differences between both the cultures. Ultimately the two girls become friends and they work together trying to uncover the actual spy!

The other one "The girl with the phony name" was a novel about a girl who was brought up in an orphanage and trying to come up in life. She does not know who her parents are and she goes in search of them. Meanwhile a person, who claims to be his father, tries to kill her. The one thing that made me feel sad: She is unable to apply for passport, as she does not have a birth certificate. Poor thing! This may be the plight of every orphan!

The latest book I read was "Triumph of Katie Byrne" by Barbara Taylor Bradford. I started this book while traveling from East coast back home during the long weekend. It is very different from the earlier books that I read of the same author. This may be her first detective novel and it did not have (m)any romantic scenes (you know what I mean! ;)) It is the story of Katie who aspires to become a theater-actor. She has two other childhood friends who share her same ambition. On a tragic night, her friends are brutally hit; one is murdered and the other lies in coma. Katie does not know if she can continue towards her goal of become an actor. It is her story, her triumph! 

I finished the three hundred odd pages in 2 days flat! Made V feel jealous that he is unable to give as much time to reading. He is reading a John Grisham novel ("The Rainmaker"). More on that novel later! ;-)

Monday, June 20, 2011


I always thought that wearing sunglasses was not my thing. To me, some one wearing them looked like a blind person. I used to wonder what made people wear them. Now I know why!

After coming to California, I realize how harsh the sun can be to our eyes. With the roads in the east-west directions, the sunsets are tough times for driving. Don't we face similar situations in India? May be the horizon isn't this vast ... May be trees or buildings keep blocking the sun when it is closer to the horizon... Or may be... The roads are never in east-west directions... Hee Hee.. I never faced this problem in India. 

But being in California is a different story altogether. I remember the time when V almost skipped a red light because the sun was shining right into the eyes! Since then, we have been planning to purchase sunglasses.

It is so tough to select the perfect pair of glasses for our face. Some make our face look so large and others make us look like a don or dada... And then there are others that make us look like a guddi moham. Finally V and I zeroed-in on a pair that suited the structure of our face. We can say we are a proud owner of a pair of sunglasses. This might seem very silly to some of us, but I think it is a huge change in my perspective, that made me buy one for myself.

It was so relaxing to wear them while on a drive.

I also noticed this... After wearing the glasses for a long time, when we remove them, the world seems more brighter and clearer. Ever felt this way? :-)

I am now into sewing a perfect pouch for my sunglasses!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Knock! Knock!

A knock at the door... at the wrong time. 

Who is it? 
A man with a scribbling pad. 

What does he need? 
Some information for a survey. 

The Q & A begins:

"Are you from India?"

"Which part?"

After asking N number of questions about where we are from, what we were doing, our interests in sports and exercises, he asks me if  I am interested in Acupressure and Massage. I say, "No" He asks me if my husband is at home. I shake my head yet again. He asks me if I would like to try a 5-minute demo of their Acupressure massage. I politely decline. Then he starts a lecture on how it can help my neck and back. I try to cut in and say I am not interested. Then he says he wants to get into the house to give a massage to me. A five minute one!

What nerve? He is also an Indian. In which case he should very well know that the Indian women do not prefer strange male hands on their necks... And trying to get into the house when husband is not around? Oh my God! I wish I had chain lock at the door!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Good Old Days - Parichay

Last night we saw Parichay - the old Hindi movie where Jeetendra is a teacher to 4 naughty children. The story line is similar to that of "The Sound of Music". My favorite song in it is Sa Re Ke Sa Re, Ga Ma Ko Lekar, Gaate Chale... Papa Nahin Ek Thaani Si Didi... Didi Ke Saath Hai Saarey!!

This song triggered a lot of childhood memories... The days when we all would go out for drive in our Jeep.. And all of us singing old Hindi melodies.. Appa would whistle along... 

Abhi Na Jao Chod Kar..., Tere Mere Sapney Ab Ek Rang Hai..., Jaaneman Jaaneman Tere Do Nayan..., Suhaana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen...

If Paati joined us, we would sing devotional songs too!

We would stop at a dhaba for dinner... Sitting on a charpoy under the sky and having garam garam rotis.... Mmmm... Yummyyyyy!

Carefree lives... full of innocence and childlike fun! Miss those days!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Early Flights!

He is up and ready to catch his flight...
I want to get up and be with him as much as I can...
It will be weeks before I see him...
Yet sleep overpowers everything.. 

Good byes and sweet nothings...
Nothing gets registered...

That's why they book on flights that leave at wee hours of the morning...
Everyone is half-sleep and probably in the middle of some dream..
There are neither teary good-byes nor longing faces...

If one accompanies to the airport, 
They just want to get back home as soon as they can...
Under the warmth of the covers... get lost in the land of dreams...

If not to the airport, 
Then there is a rush to shut the door and get back to sleep...

Sleepy eyes and groggy mind...
No one feels anything...
Everything feels numb...
Sleep is an escape from reality...

By the time I get up, I feel he's left for office as every other day..
And will be back soon...

But as night falls, realization dawns...
There is a long night ahead..
And many more long nights before I see this man...
... who's become my world now!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bun Certified Bava Programmer!

Only jokers from Mastimakerz can come up with a tag line like this!

We came across an old video of us taken during our trip to Nagarjuna Sagar. The video had Karthik looking at the camera and talking like a newsreader. He was teasing Spoo like this:
"She joined IMIS thinking it is IIMS. She is planning to do MBA from SBI. She knows a lot of programming languages like Bava 1.4, B, B++, B sharp, SQL, para SQL, MS home, FROG, RASCAL, Doors98. She has recently joined Macro Swift. She is Bun Certified Bava Professional!"

We could not help replaying the video several times and each time we laughed so hard that our tummies ached! Wish we could reverse the time and re-live those days again!

Even though the running commentary was Karthik's, this post has been dedicated to Spoo  because she is the one who always gives so many many chances for everyone to come up with new ways of pulling her leg!!! :-)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Birthdays with Mastimakerz!

The birthday celebrations with Mastimakerz were full of new methods... 

I can not forget the time when everyone snapped their fingers instead of clapping while I blew away the candles and they mouthed the happy birthday song silently while I cut the cake. What creativity!

There was also a time when someone stabbed the cake instead of cutting it. So weird!

Of course, there was a lot of running around for smearing cake on each others' faces... Nice facepack! And sometimes even on the dress or hair...

Gifts were never so easy to be got! The birthday baby had to snatch the gifts while the rest of us would keep throwing it around out of his/her reach. It was so much fun!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Threshold Hanging

This one is an example of how I love to reuse/recycle unwanted stuff.

With the packaging material that was a part of a postal parcel, I made a threshold hanging. It has been hanging across the entrance of our kitchen for the past couple of months. V does not like it and says it looks very childish. May be he is right; but till now, I was not able make up my mind to take it down.

I made garlands out of the U-shaped foam peanuts... each with varying lengths...

... And attached them to a horizontal strip of colorful fabric...
I made roses out of pink satin ribbon...
 ... And attached them to the fabric strip...
But it has to be taken down... And soon, a more beautiful ornament will decorate the threshold... V must be really happy with this decision! :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Special

Here is my contribution to the Earth Day: A doormat made out of jute bags.
The rice we buy comes in 10LB jute bags. I cut open a couple of those jute bags to use them a layers for the doormat. I used a yard of jute fabric as a topper for the mat.
I joined smaller pieces of the jute-bag fabric by hand. Then joined all the layers together. At regular widths of 4-inches, I made stitches along the length of the fabric. This is to make the doormat more sturdy.
Using a colorful shiny fabric, I made ruffles and attached it to the doormat at the centre.
I cut the same shiny fabric into thin long strips and attached them as borders to four edges of the mat.
The doormat is reversible too! Like it? :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Trip Around The World

As Donna said, this project is indeed a success! I finally completed the Trip Around the World quilt and it fits the top of our dining table too! :)

As mentioned in my earlier post, this quilt was for my dining table and it was short by a couple of inches and I was worried that it would end up as a decoration on the wall. 

But no! With Donna's help, I was able to get it into a better shape. I added 4-inch strips on either ends of the quilt to make it fit the length of the table.

I took help from Donna's site and also from this site. Without the links I would have been joining square after square and would have taken months to complete! 

I am on cloud nine today!!! :-)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lamp Decoration

This post has been long pending; but I thought better late than never! :-)

Around the time of our first anniversary, V and I painted with our bedside lamp with our palm prints. Ain't it beautiful?

You should have seen the look on his face when he pressed his hand on the paint. It was as though he was trying to swallow some bitter medicine. He never likes any mess!

But I had lot of fun doing it. It added a personal touch to our bedroom. Here is a before shot of the lamp - just for comparison!

If you are wondering about the lamp shade, click here for the post.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Project failed?

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have been working on a "Trip Around the World" quilt for the past couple of weeks/months. I always wanted this one to be perfect and I did not mind the slow-but-steady progress.

This quilt was intended for my dining table.

Yesterday, I joined the three layers (front, batting, backing) and trimmed the edges. Before finishing off the edges with borders, I placed it on top of the table. 

What do I see? 

The size is short by a couple of inches on each side of the table. All my months of putting up with straining eyes, aching neck, long hours at the sewing machine etc. etc. has all been a waste. I feel so bad. 

Of course, I can still use the quilt as a wall hanging but each time I look at it, I know it did not serve its purpose. I do need a nice table cloth for my dining table. And that will remain pending on my to-do list.

I feel so low. I had to start with another sewing project but I feel I have lost interest in sewing. What if the next one also comes up wrong? Hmm... Got to let go off this feeling soon!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Two books in a row...

The habit of reading is strange. There are long periods in time when no book excites me. Even if I start reading a book and keep it by my bedside; it may not interest me to take it up and continue from where I stopped. But there are other times when I pick up a book and can't put it down. I read all the time; all through the day...  and more during night until wee hours of morning... Most of the nights, my tired eyes shut and the book slips off my hand when I drift off to sleep. 

When I finish reading the book, if I find it exhausting/tiring, then I may not take up another book for days. But occasionally, completion of one book fills me with so much energy that I take up another book for reading immediately.

This week was one of those times when I read a lot. I completed two novels in a row and that too in just two days! More about the novels in my next post! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cutting mat

I did not know that a cutting mat could make my sewing life so easy! 

I have been working on a "trip around the world" quilt. Half way through cutting the strips using scissors or rotary cutter on my vegetable cutting board, I ended up with painful fingers and an aching neck. That was when I decided to buy a self-healing cutting mat. 

Now my life is so much easier. Something that took me a whole afternoon to cut, takes me less than 2 hours with my new mat.

Three cheers to my new mat! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Amma and Appa! 

I admire the way you both are perfect match for each other... with the same kind of thoughts and tastes.. ever present for each other... through all the ups and downs..
I remember the time during Raji's wedding... When you were on the mandapam and Amma entered into the wedding hall wearing the voilet pattu sari... The way your eyes lit up at the sight of her... the expression of love on both of your faces... and the way Amma blushed when we all teased you both with the song:

Bholi si surat aankhon mein masti dur khadi sharmaaye..
Ek jhalak dhikhlaaye kabhi kabhi aanchal mein chupjaaye...
Meri nazar se tum dekho tho yaar nazar woh aaye...

I can never ever forget that!

All songs of Guide remind me of you both... The song in the background.. with Amma singing along and you whistling the tunes...

Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hai..
Jahan bhi le jaaye raahein hum sang hai..

I am so lucky to be a part of our family! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Showers of rain...
And warm sunshine...
While the rain bows to the sun outside,
Happy and sad emotions stir up in me 
warming my heart and making me rain!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A year since...

A year since we both signed our names next to each other at the registrar office... Exactly a year!

A decision that has changed our lives forever! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Walking music...

yaanai varum pinney... Mani osai varum munney...

Loosely translated into English, it means: 
Elephant comes behind... The sound of the bells, presumably around his neck, comes ahead... 

These days, this Tamil saying seems to suit me the best! V knows wherever I am, by the tinkling of the little bells on my anklets! :)

Many many thanks to Mrs. Kash for getting me this nice gift!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Muscle Joke: Gopal

This muscle joke is not from me. It's from V...

Q: Which state does Gopal belong to?
A: Liquid state!

I am not responsible for the effects of this joke!!! :-)

For readers who are not conversant with Indian languages, Gopal is a male name and one of the interpretations of the name is Cow's milk (Go means Cow, Pal means Milk)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Iron On Transfer and Haste...

I bought some Rhinestuds online and I had wrongly assumed that the transfer paper will also be supplied with them. When the shipment reached home, I was more than eager to try out. But I did not have the transfer paper. I checked for them on online stores but was very reluctant to buy.

Then an idea popped into my head. Why not use the packaging tape that I have for transferring the Rhinestuds onto fabric. Now is where I have to mention how excited I become whenever I get new and/or crazy ideas! All the while an idea is into my head and is not yet put into execution, I keep visualizing how I would do it. And end up not concentrating on my present even when it is work!!!

So, this time when I got a new idea.. that is the idea of using a packaging tape in place of transfer paper... I could not wait at all! I had to try it at once.

So, I placed the rhinestuds on the sticky side of the tape.

Then I placed the tape onto the fabric so that the tape stuck to the fabric.

Then I placed a cotton fabric onto the tape and pressed the iron on it by keeping the maximum cotton setting on my iron.

Then comes the tricky part of peeling away the tape from the fabric. The Rhinestuds stuck. But as you can see below some of the goo from the tape also stuck to the fabric.

But I used a lint roll to remove the goo!!! Yipee I am done..!

But in my haste I did not place the Rhinestuds properly on the tape.. So the pattern is kind-of skewed. But that's okay. Now I know I do not need to buy a transfer paper for my Hotfix Iron-ons!! I am so happy... But of course, next time onwards, I should not be this hasty! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Touching mail..

I must have read this story several times through email forwards from lot of friends... Yet every time I read it, I can't help having a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes... It's so touching! In this times of professionalism and weaker morals, this is truly an inspiring incident... As they say in India: "There is still goodness in this world; that is why we still have rains!"

Here's the story:

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended.. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps..

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that=2 0 a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the  plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first!

Run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball . The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

 All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!