26May/17
kids having fun

The Carefree Summers Of Our Youth

you only get so many so enjoy them while you can…

kids having fun

Having fun at the beach…

Back when I was a kid the summers seemed endless. The longer days, the warm sunshine and time spent outside doing whatever it was we did back then. For some reason I was thinking about this last week when we had some rather warm and humid days. I thought about being that young again and what it was like to not have a care in the world.

When we are young we don’t fully realize we only get so many of those endless carefree summers. At the most we get 18 of them unless we start working over the summer while still in school. And then of course when we retire we have the free time once more, but do we ever truly have that carefree feeling of our youth again?

My parents took care of everything back then, the bills, the things that broke down, like cars and appliances, everything. I didn’t have a care in the world except if that cute boy was going to say hi again when I rode my bike down to the ice cream place. Speaking of which,  ice cream was even better back then. Everything was better.

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” ~ Charles Bowden

I remember I couldn’t wait for school to be over…listening for the final bell on that warm June day. My friends and I would race home to change into our swimsuits and jump in the backyard pool. The smell of honeysuckle and Mom’s baby oil laced with a little iodine lingering in the air. We all jumped in that tiny pool and it didn’t matter in the least how small it was, we had fun. We played games and then counted as we each took turns seeing how long we could stay under the water before bursting back up taking a few breaths and doing it all over again. We did this for hours until we were starving. Then we would finally get out of the pool, wrap our towels around us and line up to drink from the hose as Mom made us hot dogs on the charcoal grill.

All of the moms would all go inside to chat and we were left to our own devises, which back then consisted of playing hide and seek in the corn field and riding our bikes as fast as earthly possible up and down the nearly carless street. We would stay out there until the sun went down and the street lights came on. That was the sign we were to come inside for the night, No one had to scream and yell for us. We just came in when the street lights came on.

The neighbors all knew each other and they knew our names and where we lived. So if someone did something wrong or misbehaved in any way our mothers found out about it pretty quickly. And even if the neighbor took care of punishing us in some fashion first, we sure heard about when we got in the house later that night. Everyone watched out for each other. We all played together, all ages, boys and girls. There was never even a thought if the new kid was accepted into the group. I can’t remember a time that a parent had to tell us to stop fighting or to stop picking on someone. And there wasn’t a bully to be found.

“We thread our way through a moving forest of ice cream cones and crimson thighs.” ~ Jean-Dominique Bauby, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”

Getting dark and going in the house didn’t mean the fun stopped. I remember the  summer nights my next door neighbor and I would throw our walkie talkies over to each other through the windows of our upstairs bedrooms and we would chat for what seemed like hours until our parents would yell upstairs for us to stop and get to bed. The walkie talkies weren’t real, they were actually aluminum cans with string attached. But they worked and we had a blast…talking and laughing ourselves silly many of those hot summer nights.

One thing we weren’t back then was bored and we never ever asked our parents that question…you know the one…the dreaded “what can we do now” question…for if we even would think to do that, which we never would but if we did… they would have found some ungodly work for us to do…like paint the fence or mow the grass. So we just made our own fun and used our imagination to get through the long months of summer.

Thinking back, I remember in particular one summer day laying on the grassy hill in my back yard and wishing that summer could last forever. I wished I didn’t have to go back to school and I didn’t have to grow up and work and do all the things I saw my parents doing every day. Why couldn’t things just stay the same? Why couldn’t I stay this age and enjoy life? Why did I have to grow up and be like my parents who worried about everything? My Mom and Dad seemed happy enough I guess, but I always wondered if they secretly wished they could have been like us kids… enjoying the summer and carefree.

Do you miss those endless carefree days of the summers of our youth?

“How ungenerously in later life we disclaim the virtuous moods of our youth, living in retrospect long, summer days of unreflecting dissipation.” ~ Evelyn Waugh

 

19May/17
laughing

15 Words That Sound Dirty But Aren’t

and really, who decided to call it that….

laughing

now that’s funny…

I needed to change things up a little this week with some humor. I have been somewhat sad lately and writing sad posts… so I thought I would write a post that would make me laugh and hopefully you too! I have been thinking about this for some time now…how common ordinary words sometimes just sound dirty. I know I have a weird way of looking at things, ok…and maybe its just me, but I hope I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Here is my list of words that sound dirty to me…but really aren’t…

1. DICK’S (Sporting Goods) – It’s even capitalized. So someone somewhere thought this would be a good name for a sporting goods store. I don’t care if the guy who owns it was named Dick or not….not a good name for a store. I can’t even…and if I even wanted to, who can say this without laughing….”hey, wanna go to DICK’S”…

2. Cockpit – What, all pilots were men back then and so they named it this? Really?

3. Ding Dongs – Someone just decided to make a tasty treat of “chocolate with a creamy filling” (yes, that is what it says in the ad) and then someone else said, let’s name them Ding Dongs. Maybe they even hired an ad firm to consult on this name and paid them big bucks.

4. Cocktail – Every time I see this on the menu it makes me laugh. Maybe I am still 10.

5. Strip Mall – Why? I know the stores are all lined up in a strip, but really?

6. Corkscrew – This is just wrong…and I use one all the time to open my wine. But every time I do I laugh. And I use one quite frequently.

7. Fracking – I know it is a hotly debated issue…but that name…it just sounds dirty.

8. Tight End and Wide Receiver – I put these two together since they were both football terms. And of course most football players are men..so they most likely came up with these terms. I have however seen a few cute “tight ends” when watching the games on tv.

9. Dickies – Not sure if the younger generation knows what these are but we older women wore them under sweaters..they were a fake turtleneck kinda thing, so we didn’t have to wear a real turtleneck. Do you understand this…cause I didn’t and I don’t think I wore them cause I never liked turtlenecks. Also there is a line of mens work clothing called this…Of course there is…

10. Uranus – No explanation needed…

11. Clematis – It’s a very pretty climbing vine…but it sounds like an STD. Did you ever have clematis?

12. Angina – I know this is not a funny term for those who have it or experienced it but really they couldn’t have called it something else.

13. Rear Entry – As in when you get there, try the rear entry. Or the car has a rear entry door… but seriously…

14. Jiffy Lube – It’s great if you are in a hurry… And..NO Appointment Needed…

and last but certainly not least…

15. Volvo – Those Swedes!

“There are no dirty words, only dirty minds.” ~ Lenny Bruce

Are there any I left out? Can you come up with a few more…post them below in the comments.

 

14May/17
Mom

What Is A Mom?

 and are we still a Mom after losing a child?

Mom

Mom…what a wonderful word…

To hear your child call you Mom is the most wonderful sound in the world…unless they say it repeatedly until you want to scream. Seriously though there is nothing better in this world than being a Mom. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this with Mother’s Day being today and having lost one of my children. As people have told me, “it’s so great you have two other children.” Yes, I am so very happy I have my two wonderful daughters. But that doesn’t make up for losing one.

A friend commented the other day she was dreading Mother’s Day this year. She was a mother and a daughter, now after losing both her mother and her daughter she was neither of them. I thought about it and then told her she was still both, she “was” a mother and a daughter…but her child and Mom just resided in a different place now.

On this same note, someone recently asked me how many children I had. Before I realized it I said 3 and then stopped quickly and looked at her. She asked me what was wrong and I told her I had lost my son several months ago. I told her,  I’m sorry I don’t know what to say…. do I still say I have 3 children? Do I still have 3 kids? Do I have to clarify and say I had 3 and one passed away and now  have 2 that are living? I don’t know how to answer that question. And.. I really don’t want to.

Then there are these so called holidays…Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. They make it very difficult for people who have lost loved ones. I never really gave it much thought before I lost my Father and Mother and now my son. I am very grateful I still have my two daughters but what about those people who only had one child. Are they still a “Mom?”

“Being a Mother is not what you gave up to have a child, but what you’ve gained from having one.” ~ Unknown

The question is…are they still a “Mom?” Yes, my answer is a resounding yes! They are still our children wherever they are. I choose to believe my son is in heaven. But where ever they are, they are still our children and we are still their Mom.

It has been hard for me to celebrate these “holidays” after losing my parents. But I had children and grandchildren of my own to celebrate my day with. Now after losing my son it once again forces me to see the day is somehow different. My son won’t be buying me flowers or a beautiful card or putting in a new kitchen faucet for me this Mother’s Day. I don’t really care about any of those things no matter how wonderful and sweet they were. What I “will” miss today is the hug and him telling me how much he loved me. My son gave the best hugs in the world. I felt it all the way to my toes. He was always a hugger. I will miss those hugs forever. But I’m still his Mom.

I always see those poems about if we could spend an hour with someone you love and lost, what would you say…I wouldn’t say anything I would just ask him for a hug. I hope he is hugging my own Mom today and my sister and I hope he knows I’m still his Mom. We are still Mom’s, we love and we are loved…sometimes the person we love just doesn’t live here anymore.

“We never die…we become the sand on the beach…the waves on the sea…the voice that resonates from the seashells…we live forever in the hearts of those who remember us…” ~ Unknown

09May/17
Sh*t house

Can We Ever Really Get Our Sh*t Together?

and does it matter if we don’t…

poop house

might be the only place to get our sh*t together…

My youngest texted me the other night and I asked her what she was doing. She said she was “working on getting her sh*t together.” I texted her back and said, “honey, I’m 67 and I still don’t have mine together. In fact I don’t even know where it is.”

Since I was at the beach with my girl friends we all started talking about this and every single one of them said they didn’t think we ever really get it all together. So my question today is….Can we truly get our sh*t together or do we spend our entire lives trying to do this? It seems to me and this is just my own personal experience, whenever I think I have it all together, life goes…”not so fast there girl”…and something happens to let me know I don’t.

I’ve spent most of my adult life working on “me”…trying to be a better person, figuring out who I am, and what I want out of life. And honestly I think I know less now than I did when I was in my 30’s. I read all the self help books back in the 80’s and 90’s…books by Norman Vincent Peale, Dale Carnegie, Steven Covey and more… they all helped me be more positive after my divorce and even do some of the things I always wanted to do, like have my own business. But now in my 60’s I have no clue how to get it together. Could it be because we think we know everything when we are younger and as we age we figure out…we don’t.

Maybe the answer to this question is that as we age we know we don’t have all that much time to figure it out anymore? That the life we have left is growing shorter every day and we won’t ever figure out what we really want or desire. I’m not saying by any means that I am unhappy or feel “less than” for not figuring out my whole existence by now. But I really would like to know what I’m here for, why am I on this earth and what am I supposed to do…or have I already done it?

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” ~ Jim Rohn

I still think I should get my sh*t together once and for all at this point in my life. Really I should. I just don’t think it’s possible. However, I did come up with a theory of why we can’t while we were all discussing it and this is what I came up with….Hope you are ready for this one…Maybe we work on our sh*t our whole lives and that is what we are meant to do… and then when we finally, once and for all get it together and figure it all out…we die. I know…I know…but it does make some weird cosmic sense that this may be the answer. We finally have attained the unattainable… so what is there left to do?

After coming upon this life altering thought… I then decided not to work so hard on getting it all together any time soon because I want to be around for a while. I am just going to enjoy my life, have fun and give up on trying to figure it all out. This isn’t easy for me to do because I have this deep seated need to be aware of my reason for being here. I always have. I don’t know if I can really do this or not. But I’m going to try.

Having said that I am going to give up trying to figure it all out also means I can not waste time on the “why’s” in my life…why don’t I still have the marriage I thought would last forever, my family that is gone and the money I was told I would have is not there. Things like that. Thinking about things such as this drive us crazy. Change happens through out our entire lives, as we well know “the only constant in our lives is change.” Sometimes we just have to deal with the cards we are dealt and move forward. It’s the same as constantly trying to get our sh*t together.  We need to learn to live with the fact we may never get it together. And that’s ok!

Ok, I’ve decided getting my sh*t together isn’t important! Life changing decision for me. I hope I can do this. So then what is important? What is important is being able to live in the moment. Don’t try to live in the future and worry about what is to come or dwell on the past and think about the “why’s and “what if’s.” Live life fully, enjoy the people we love and who love us. Dance to the music, walk in the rain and lay on the beach listening to the waves and just “be”… Live!!

Do you have your sh*t together? If you don’t, does it matter to you? If you do, please tell us how you did it?

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” ~ Mark Twain  (maybe this is why I felt like I had it together back in my 30’s..I was very self confident then…and also very ignorant)

 

 

 

28Apr/17
clock is ticking

Don’t Wait Till I’m Dead To Tell Me You Love Me

tell me how you feel, bad or good, just tell me now…

clock is ticking

time is running out…

We had my son’s “Celebration of Life” this past Sunday and everyone told such wonderful stories about him. Things I never knew that he did or how he made people feel. The stories they told made me cry and truly touched my heart. He was a good man and people knew it. People really did “get” him. I loved what they all said but It also made me think…”why didn’t we tell him this while he was alive?”

Yes, we tell people we love them and sometimes even thank them for being in our lives. But do we tell them how they make us feel? I think as we age and start losing people, we start to realize life is short and may not have the opportunity again to say the things we want to say. We may have missed the chance to tell them we cared. And “why” we cared…

I have a wonderful family and friends that I love like family. I have lost so many people so I make sure to tell each and every one of them every time I see them or talk to them how much I love them and how happy I am to have them in my life. But I may be lacking in telling them why. I need to start doing that more. From now on, I plan on telling my friends and family what they bring to my life…. how they make me feel, and why I love them.

Can we really get so caught up in our busy lives that we forget to tell the people we love that they matter? That their very existence is a reason to celebrate…and how much that existence means to us. I wish my parents were alive so I could tell them what a wonderful life they gave me and how I felt secure and loved every day. I wish my sister was alive so I could tell her how her kindness and goodness has inspired me to be a better person and how I look for the good everyday because of her.

“The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how they love them while they’re alive.” ~ Optimus Prime

I would love to be able to tell my son what a good, loving person he was and what a wonderful father he was to his two children. One of my favorite stories on Sunday was the one his first girlfriend told. She said she always loved the way he treated me and how much he loved me. He was her first love and she still remembers that almost 30 years later. The story she told touched me deeply. And I know he would have loved to hear what she said. My story was about the day I dropped him off at YMCA Camp and he kissed me and hugged me in front of all his buddies…..not caring what they thought or how they would make fun of him after I left. I always loved that and never forgot it.

The other story that touched me that day was when his uncle said, “if you ever needed to talk or were having a bad day, you knew you could pick up the phone and call Dave and he would be there for you. No matter what was going on in his life, he would be there and just listen.” What more could someone say about you? What could matter more than someone knowing this about you? That you would be there for them no matter what was going on in your life. And believe me, my son had a lot going on in his life. But he was there for his friends and family. They came first, sometimes maybe they shouldn’t have. Maybe he would still be here…

My point is tell the people you love what you love about them. Do it while they are here…don’t wait until you are standing over their grave or at their funeral when asked to speak. I want to clear something up here before anyone takes this post the wrong way…. my family and friends do tell me they love me. They show me they love me in so many ways. I know I’m loved believe me! These past few months have shown me just how much the people in my life care. People that I hadn’t seen for years, people that moved away, people that weren’t even that close to me. They were and are here for me and I know I am loved.

I just want us all to be more aware of how much it means to someone to hear not just that you love them, but also why you love them. How much it means to hear I love you because you have a caring heart. How much it means that you always check up on me and make sure I’m ok. How much it means that you know what I need before I know I need it. How much it means to me that you remember little things about my son and talk about him with me. How much it means that you send me texts about seeing a butterfly and you thought of Dave.

I do think the people we have lost know how much we love them and why. I think Dave heard all of us on Sunday. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to say it to them in person? To see their face and feel their joy. So I plan on telling my family and friends why I love them. I want to let them know just how important they are in my life. I don’t want to wait until it’s too late.

Do you let those you love know how much you love them? Do you tell them why…

“Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell someone how much you love them and how much you care about them. Because when they’re gone, no matter how loud you shout and cry, they won’t hear you anymore.” ~ Unknown

 

 

 

22Apr/17
Beach living

After 50 Years Some Things Stay The Same…

and it makes me feel sad but also happy…

Beach living

My Aunt and Uncles house in Florida

I know it kind of sounds weird that it can make me sad yet happy that things stay the same after 50 years… but let me explain. I went to Florida this past week to visit a friend. I have been in Florida a lot but always on the east coast, this time I was on the gulf coast. In the 60’s my parents took my sister and I to North Redington Beach every single summer to visit my aunt and uncle who lived there. After a few years my grandparents also moved down and lived there as well. So I visited there quite a lot and I couldn’t wait to see how things had changed or if anything was still the same.

I had thankfully found a letter my aunt wrote Mom with the return address of the house my aunt and uncle lived in and my friend and I drove by. Surprisingly the house hadn’t changed at all. It looks exactly as it did in the 60’s except the carport is now a garage. We sat there for a little while parked in front of it while I stared at the house I had spent so many summers visiting. I was immediately taken back to that time of my life. I was about 8 the first time we ever went there and I think I was around 14 the last time. My parents and sister continued to go but I had gotten married and had a child so I no longer went with them.

The whole street around the house looked almost exactly the same except for a few large houses that had replaced the 50/60’s looking houses that still stood today. It somehow made me feel good that these places were still the same. That some part of my childhood was still in place and hadn’t changed.,,and it hadn’t.  Another part of our journey was to check to see if the bar my aunt and uncle worked at still stood at the end of the street. For some reason this place was important to me and I really had been looking forward to seeing if it was there. When we drove by and I saw it still standing I couldn’t believe my eyes. I honestly wanted to cry. It was run down and empty now but it was still there.

dilapidated bar

The Zebra Lounge

My friend and I did some research and found out the bar had been foreclosed on recently. I couldn’t remember the name of it but thought it had something to do with a “zoo”. I thought the name was The Monkey Bar, but we found out it had been called the Zebra Lounge(hence, the “zoo”) and later The Wine Cellar. It was both a restaurant and bar. I thought it was cool that we would go eat there and that my aunt and uncle worked there. I remember there were murals of animals all over the walls. It was a very hip spot in the 60’s. It was exciting as a kid being able to first of all go to a bar and then secondly have people I knew working there. We went there so many times over the years and I loved it..so I just couldn’t believe it was still there.

I could picture in my head the way it was back then in the 60’s. So full of life and exciting. People would dress for dinner in those days and even though it was the beach they would dress very chic. There wasn’t a lot to do in that area back then so this was “the happening spot.” My aunt and uncle said they made good money working there and they loved their jobs. My aunt was a waitress and my uncle tended bar. He was quite the looker back in the day and had a way with women so I’m sure he made good tips. They both worked nights so we could go sight seeing with them during the day or go out on their boat.

We would walk the two blocks up the street to go to the bar. And also right across the street was the gulf and the beautiful beach. There was nothing else there at that time, nothing to restrict the view. You could see the sand and the water from the main street. Now the area was filled with hotels and condos. So that was different… but yet it was still the same. It somehow felt like I had come home. Like I had gone back in time and I was that little kid visiting my aunt and uncle and listening to their stories of working at the bar. I could even smell the jasmine blooming outside the bedroom window where I slept each night while we were there.

The sad part to this story, if there is one, is that I can’t share this with anyone who went there with me. I wanted to call my Mom, Dad or sister and say “you won’t believe what I just saw today….the bar we used to go to in Redington Beach is still there”….But they aren’t here any more for me to share this. It’s ok though since I have told my kids and my friend about it, so I did have someone to share it with. I also have a cousin that may remember this. At least I hope she does. It will make this so much more worthwhile to have someone who actually went there be able to share this exciting news.

I think as we age and with everything constantly changing, it is hard for us to see the things we enjoyed as children and even young adults no longer be there for us to enjoy. It is like we are that kid again running down the dock in back of my aunt and uncle’s house. Or sitting in their yard smelling the jasmine waiting to go to dinner at the bar. Do I want to be that kid again? Maybe, just maybe I was for a brief moment this week in Florida.

in the backyard at my aunt and uncles

I know that seeing this house and the bar still standing after over 50 years really blew my mind. Have you ever gone back to a place from your childhood and found out that nothing had changed at all? Is this story of mine unique? I would like to hear if you have a similar story.

“The only constant is change.” ~ Heraclitus

 

 

14Apr/17
cross

I Don’t Want To Celebrate Easter This Year!

Does that make me a bad person?

Our family always celebrated the holidays and Easter was no exception. We would go to church and then have a huge home cooked meal and the whole family would be together. We used to have it at my parents house until it got to be a bit overwhelming for them and then we would go to the club. But it didn’t matter where we had it.. we would just have a wonderful time celebrating the day. We would stuff ourselves with food and then everyone would head outside. The kids would find the colored eggs we hid for them over and over again and they would eat a ton of chocolate. It was always a great day and we were blessed to have the family all in one place.

I don’t feel much like celebrating this Easter. My parents are no longer alive and my sister is also gone now. The family is much smaller this year. It is also my son’s birthday and he isn’t here this year to celebrate Easter or his birthday. My son died in July of last year. The holidays and “firsts” are always the hardest. Everyone has told me this is the case and I was amazed I got through Christmas. Going to Vermont to visit my youngest child and my 3 grandsons made it a little easier since I wasn’t at home and doing Christmas as we had always done in the past. This is a new year, a year without my son in it. So everything will be different, Everything has changed.

I don’t know why this holiday is affecting me so much. I’m guessing that its the combination of Easter and my son’s birthday all happening on the same day. I won’t be able to see him or pick up the phone and call him… sing Happy Birthday to him and tell him how much I love him. Every year since the day he was born,  I have either seen him in person or talked to him on the phone and wished him a Happy Birthday. Every single year. Birthdays and holidays are special in our family. We make sure the person celebrating the birthday knows how much we care. I don’t know how to show him how much I care this year. I don’t even know how I feel this year. I think to myself, what would I have done last year if I knew it would be his last birthday? What could I have changed to make it even better? Did I tell him enough how special he was, did I make him feel loved that day? I saw him in person last year on his birthday. I know I told him I loved him and I hugged him very very hard.

I don’t recall my son’s birthday falling on Easter in the past. I remember it happening that same week or the day before or after but not the same day. He really would have loved that. He loved Reese’s peanut butter eggs and would eat the whole box in one sitting. So he would have really loved the fact that he could have had both his favorite chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and his beloved Reese’s eggs all on the same day. And believe me he would have eaten every last bite of both.

My son would not want us to mourn his death and I know he would want us to enjoy our holiday like we have in the past. I don’t know if I can do that but I will try. Have you lost someone dear to you and it was hard to celebrate a holiday or their birthday?

Easter Outfits

My 3 kids in their Easter outfits in the 70’s.

“Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.” ~ Mitch Albom

 

 

 

07Apr/17
stop sign

Just Stop Talking To Me!

everyone and “everything”..take note, just stop.

stop sign

Just stop…please

I don’t know why everything has to talk to us these days. Do we really need to be spoken to by our phones, our cars, and our computers? I did an upgrade on my computer and it asked me if I wanted Siri. I said no, it came back and said why…I said because I don’t want my computer to talk to me. I have enough things talking to me. People in stores, people I don’t know or want to know feel like they must tell me their whole life story. I somehow bring this out in people. I must look like I care what they have to say.

Ok, those of you who know me or follow me know I do care. I care deeply about people, my friends, family and neighbors, etc. I’m a caring person. I really am. And I want to know everything about them and what is going on in their life. They can call me any time day or night and I will be there for them.  But if I am sitting in the car repair place reading my book, then NO.. “Mr Bald Guy with the big glasses”(I also have a thing where I give these people names)I don’t want to know what you are having for dinner later or guess where you were earlier in the day or where you are going on vacation next week. No…I don’t need to know that. I am reading a book. One time I was on a plane and the guy next to me constantly tried talking to me even though I was making believe I was asleep to try and stop his constant chatter. It didn’t work or stop him from going on and on endlessly about the problems he was having in his marriage. What idiot talks to people when they are clearly trying to sleep?

I also hate when I am in the grocery store and people I don’t know want to stop and talk about how they make spaghetti. I am here for a reason, I don’t like grocery shopping, I want to get in, get my stuff and get out. As stated, I don’t like people and I don’t want to talk to you about making spaghetti. Ok, I know all of this sounds somewhat harsh and maybe mean spirited. It isn’t really just people, it is all these gadgets we have vying for our attention and screaming at us everyday that is really the cause of my ire.

“Talk low, talk slow and don’t say too much.” ~ John Wayne

I”m a somewhat normal person. I like parties and having fun and sometimes I throw caution to the wind and dance and sing out loud. But the majority of the times these days, I like my peace and quiet. Been there done that, if you know what I mean.  But every direction I turn lately I have someone or some “thing” trying to talk to me. The ATM asks, do you want that cash a certain way? Its $20…just give me $20. My daughters car talks to her constantly. I can’t stand that and its not even my car. I am glad mine doesn’t do that. If it did I may have to take out its speaking thingy. If I don’t want to get my oil changed right now when my car says its time I won’t. And it can beep at me all it wants to but it can’t make me. The watches that talk and tell you stuff annoy me. Who needs that? All you need is a watch that tells time. Thats it… that is why God created watches.

And then they created the talking tube. The round thing that sits in the middle of your living room you talk to and it answers every question known to man…or woman. It reads books and plays songs and tells you the news of the day. Ask it anything and it has an answer. The Echo…Who needs this and why? I don’t like real people talking to me and now we have this. There is Google Now, Windows Cortana, and of course our dear sweet Siri..all of them trying to one up each other and answer the questions the world needs to know and then some. Maybe we should put them all in a room together and let them talk to each other until they run out of answers.

I don’t have Siri on my new iPhone, I mean she is there lurking just waiting for me to push her button and “need” her. Last week one night my grandson was showing me how to use my phone and he told me to push the on button twice, I did that and Siri came on happy as a clam that I had asked her something. Of course I didn’t ask her anything I was talking to my grandson. So I said “oh no there’s Siri. I hate her.”  To which Siri replies, “Well, I’m still here for you.” She made me cry. Maybe I’ll talk to her one of these days.

Do you like “things” talking to you? Do you use any of the things I mentioned? Please tell me one good reason to use them in the comments below.

“Sometimes it feels better not to talk. At all. About anything, To anyone.” ~ Bryan Cranston as Walter in Breaking Bad

31Mar/17
what do you want to be

What Can I Be When I Grow Up?

what is left that I haven’t already done…

what do you want to be

Do I look like a nurse in my bikini?

I’m the one on the far right in the bikini. Not even sure it was a bikini, it was a two piece bathing suit. But that’s not the topic of this post. I loved my friends and the lazy summer days spent in our pool. We didn’t have a care in the world.  As you can see my friends had a dog. I wanted a dog too. A poodle..a toy poodle. My parents said they couldn’t afford it and if I could somehow find the money I could have one. I think they said that knowing full well I couldn’t possibly find the money. I was the oldest in the neighborhood and was also kind of bossy. So I told all the kids they needed to give me money so I could buy a poodle and you know what…they did. And their parents didn’t even seem to care. I got my poodle too as you can see in the picture on the right of The Helpful Hellion. I was such a little entrepreneur.

It was around this time in my life that I decided I wanted to be was a nurse. Mom’s best friend across the street was a nurse and I for some reason thought that sounded like something I should do too.. My Aunt Norma was also a nurse and she was awesome. So that was it…I was going to be a nurse. Every time I went to the doctor’s office all I would do was watch the nurses in their starched white uniforms and little caps go about their business and think someday that will be me.

That was the plan until I turned 13. I was going to be a nurse. However my teenage angst and thoughts of far away places changed all of that. Far away as in getting out of the house and moving somewhere exotic and doing something artistic. Since I didn’t have much artistic talent that anyone could see, even me…I decided I was going to be a writer. I was going to write and live in Paris. Yeah, I know…but it was the 60’s and people were doing all kinds of crazy things. So that was it then at 13, I decided to move to Paris as soon as I graduated and write. I started right away, every day when I got home from school I wrote. I was writing the next “Great American Novel.” I called it, “I Walk Alone.” It was about a woman living alone in of all places Paris. I still have it somewhere around here.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Elliot

I kept the writing thing going and really worked hard in English class until around the age of 15. After that, what I was going to be wasn’t as important as all the cute boys I had started being attracted to. When I got pregnant and married at almost 16, my future was decided for me. I was going to be…a Mom. Having 3 children by the age of 21 didn’t allow much time for anything else. I was a stay at home Mom and I loved it. I guess it was around that time I started working outside the house a few hours to give me some spending money of my own and a chance to get out of the house a bit.

I continued working a few part time retail jobs while the kids were growing up and enjoyed the interaction and loved the retail environment. I loved clothes and shoes and I got a discount and money to spend. I got divorced at age 27 and went to work full time. This time it wasn’t so much a choice of what exciting thing I wanted to do, it was what can I do that I can make the most money and be there for the kids. I got a waitress job and was home by 3 when the kids got home. I made good money and had benefits. So it worked well for all of us.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”~ E.E.Cummings

I am not going to list all the jobs I’ve had over the course of my years because it would take forever. Let me just say, I had more that 20. I have also lost a good majority of those jobs due to a changing work environment. One where companies get bought out or close and people lose their jobs unexpectedly. I had several that I really loved and with no warning whatsoever the company just left all of us go. Early in my 40’s I grew tired of working for other people and decided I want to have my own business. So I thought, what was it that I loved and had always wanted to do? The answer wasn’t hard to come upon as I for a number of years had wanted to have my own clothing store.

Once I decided this was what I wanted to do it didn’t take long for everything to fall into place. One day at work I was looking in the newspaper and saw a local boutique downtown was for sale and couldn’t believe my eyes. I loved this store. As soon as I got off work I went there to talk to the owner. A few days later I put a business plan together and presented it to the local bank. They accepted it and gave me the money to buy the business. All this occurred within the span of a few weeks unbelievably.  The day the previous owner turned over the keys I stood in the middle of the store…my store and thought to myself….this is mine. This is what I have always wanted. I am living my dream.

working in a store

Me.. in my store…living my dream.

My dream lasted for a little over 4 years. I loved owning that store, the buying trips, merchandising all the clothing and accessories and helping women look good. Both of my daughters worked there with me and it was fun. I couldn’t see myself ever doing anything else. Sadly, the climate of the downtown changed and in 1990 when the recession hit, it hit 20 stores plus mine. I had to close my store and lock the door for the final time. It is hard coming back after that. What do you do when you have your dream? Where do you go from there?

Being in the downtown area I got to know people in the community and was offered several jobs, thank goodness. I appreciated every single offer and worked hard over the next few decades. I thought I had found another dream job about 7 years ago in the jewelry business. I was merchandising and traveling to stores all over the place. I loved it. Again it wasn’t to be and I was left go. While working at a few of the jobs I have had over the last decade I had also decided to keep my one part time job as a vendor of a large cosmetic/perfume company. I kept it due to the money, the people I worked for and with and basically being able to make my own schedule. Well as of 2 weeks ago that job has now also gone the direction of so many others I have had due to a recent buyout and reorganization…so here I am at 67 looking for a job.

“Do something. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t , do something else.” ~ FDR

I know you’re asking yourself, why is she looking for work at 67?..well, I enjoy getting out of the house and being with people…I enjoy working at a job I love and doing it well. I like the satisfaction of a job well done and feeling like I am still able to accomplish something even at my age. I am asking myself once again…what is it you always wanted to do and haven’t done that yet? Anyone that follows this blog knows I love to write and started doing that when I lost the jewelry job. I do love it and I am not planning to stop. I don’t make any money doing this and keeping a big old house going takes a bit of money.

I have had so many jobs I loved and would go back to them…if they were still there to go back to. People keep saying to me, “oh, don’t worry, when one door closes another opens”… I have had so many doors close on me I think I will have to hire a locksmith this time. At this point in my life I want to be happy and want to do something I love doing. I also would like to make a difference in some way. So here I am asking myself, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” And I honestly don’t know the answer this time.

So here is the question of the day..What do you want to be when you grow up? I asked my grand daughter this questions today and she said… “a park ranger.” Sounds good to me.

“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.” ~ Carl Jung

 

 

 

 

 

24Mar/17
older women

15 Signs You Are Getting Old…er

how do we know we’re getting old, let me help…

older women

Do you think we’re old?

As usual this topic came up in conversation with some friends the other night at dinner. Well we really didn’t talk about getting older, we like to avoid that subject, but so many of our topics of conversation that night made me think about this. I thought about it the whole day and decided to put together this list of 15 signs you are getting old..er. So if you’re in doubt this may help.

1. You used to love going to crowded places like bars and concerts, but now if someone is even in the same aisle at the grocery store as you, it bugs you. Why is it so peoply everywhere these days?

2. You have to sit down to put on your socks or take off your pants. If you don’t you may fall over. Remember the days when we had perfect balance and could take these things off while standing up? Yeah, me neither cause I can’t remember a damn thing.

3. You print out the map quest directions when going somewhere you’ve never been before because you can’t see the tiny map or directions on your phone. And quite honestly I don’t trust those GPS things anyway. Remember those people who drove into the water cause the GPS told them to go straight…and they did… Straight into the water. Yeah, that ain’t happening to this girl.

4. When any of the music awards shows are on TV you don’t know who half the artists/bands are that are up for any of the awards. Really, who are these people and why haven’t I heard of them? I watch The Voice, I listen to the radio… I’m guessing listening to the oldies station doesn’t help.

5. When you get together these days with your high school friends… instead of talking about the cute guys you are dating you talk about your aching joints, back spasms, recent doctor visits and your upcoming cataract surgery. I want to talk about the cute guys I’m dating again…

6. You avoid people in the store when you see them because you can’t remember their name…and you know they remember your name because they did the last time you ran into them and till this day you still can’t remember theirs. It’s easier for everyone if you just avoid them altogether. 

7. Everyone is speeding by you on the highway. Remember when it was us speeding down the road yelling at all the old people to go faster or get off the road. Yeah. Karma…

8. When you can’t lose 5 pounds in one day anymore by just cutting out one  thing like soda or ice tea. Now I couldn’t lose 5 pounds in a year if i stopped eating entirely.

9. You tear up at almost anything these days. TV commercials, Hallmark movies, puppies, babies…Folgers commercials…yeah, I get all teary at coffee commercials..

10. Your sentences these days go something like this…”where is the thing that goes in the whatchamacallit?” And sadder still is the fact the “old” person you ask this question knows exactly what you are talking about.

11. You wish you could trade some of your body parts in on new ones. Your ears have gotten bigger, your hair has gotten thinner(some places have lost all of it) and your feet don’t look cute anymore, they look like something the Hulk walks on. And speaking of feet, no more high heels. You know I think maybe they are to blame for the “Hulk” feet.  Sneakers and really slippers are my best friends. 

12. You make those horrible old people sounds when you get up off the sofa. I remember looking in horror at my Grandfather when he did this. Now I do it. Where do these noises even come from? Do they help us to get up?

13. When you and a group of your friends are at dinner and every single one of you have special requests of the waiter when ordering your food. Can they hold the sauce.. is it gluten free… dressing on the side, please… what kind of oil is that fried in? You get the picture. Remember when we went to the old burger place and just ordered a burger and fries. No questions asked…those were the days…

14. You are filling something out online and it takes forever for you to scroll down to the year you were born. You could leave the room and get a coffee and come back and it would still be scrolling. Sometimes it doesn’t even go that far back, you have to fill the year in yourself….very disappointing.

15. And last but certainly not least…you have a note on your front door that says, “Did you remember your cell phone?” It was written by your grand daughter because you have forgotten yours so many times. And even worse is when you look at the note on your way out and still forget it.

That’s my list. I am sure there are many more you can think of. I would love you to leave some of them in the comments below. What’s a sign of growing old? And remember old is always 20 years older than we are….

“The older you get the better you get unless you’re a banana.” ~ Betty White