Randomness

How can this happen?

  It began well enough. A blue sky day, windy and great for sailing. The original plan being cancelled for a new one, yet everything working out, somehow. Off we go in a flurry with a cooler full of sandwiches and salad and ice cold beer. We watch excitedly as they lift and launch our old sailboat into the rough, churning waters of Puget Sound. She looks good, all freshened up with a new coat of paint. The main sail is caught, stuck, won’t go all the way up. There it is, the culprit; some twine tangled around the lines and the cross bars. Nothing works. There’s nothing left to try. The waves are huge and my stomach is churning because we lack direction, thrashing around as we plead for the sail to go up, jerking and pulling, then finally giving up. Down comes the main. Down comes the jib. We are relieved the motor has just been  serviced and there is plenty of fuel. We sigh. It’s a beautiful day on the water wheather we are sailing or motoring, it doesn’t matter. We sit back and relax and putt-putt our way home. The food is good and a cold…

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Randomness

Failure to Blog!

I was out of town for about a week and didn’t get to my usual Tuesday blog. I missed it, but now that I have time to get down to business again, I can’t think of much to say. I spent the time with my daughter, Staci. She and I hit the road for Boise, Idaho. The sun always shines in Boise, did you know that?  It was great to be there and catch up with our dear old friends and meet a very special new one; a sweet little two month old baby girl named Lottie.  We spent every minute together, shopping all day every day, fixing dinners together and toting baby Lottie with us everywhere we went. Four sets of loving hands made it pretty easy on new momma, Kelsy. As Kathy and I followed behind our daughters, my Staci snuggling the newborn daughter of her best friend tenderly in her arms, we found it hard to hold back tears. Wasn’t it just yesterday our two girls were in fourth grade, silly little girls having the time of their lives. How is it that they are married women now, and one with a daughter of her own? Time…

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Randomness

Who’s Business is it Anyway?

When it comes right down to it, the only business we should be in is our own. Every time we decide to get into someone else’s business, we create a problem, more for ourselves than for anyone else. Why do we do that? It serves no purpose but to frustrate both parties. The way I see it is there are three kinds of business in the world; my business, God’s business, and everyone else’s business. Problems and frustrations arise when we intrude where we don’t belong. If you don’t agree with me, try it out. For example, I made it my business to insist on greeting my neighbor even though he has never wanted any kind of a greeting from me. When I finally realized I was intruding in his business, the business of keeping quietly to oneself, I quit and was left without the disappointment of believing I have an unfriendly neighbor, without the perceived insult of being snubbed, without any anxiety over my not being able to win him over to the friendly side of life. I am actually happy to see him now and make no attempt to greet him. He is visibly more relaxed and spends…

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Randomness

The “Good Place”

  I had my “annual” physical last week although it has been three years since I stepped through the clinic door. My doctor apologized for whatever it is that keeps me away for so long, but it’s really nothing to do with anyone but me. I just don’t like being poked and prodded I guess. The end result was as good as a person can hope for; all labs within range, blood-pressure low and cholesterol right where it should be. On the way out the door, my doctor smiled and said, “You’re obviously in a good place in your life right now. I hope it continues.” I hope it does, too! A few days later I was talking with a neighbor and the conversation ended with her saying, “Your life is good right now, isn’t it? It shows.” Life is good right now, even as I approach my fifty ninth birthday. I’m not nearly as freaked out about age as I used to be. When I turned forty I could hardly get out of bed I was so bummed. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine being so ridiculous. Age, I agree, is truly a state of mind. Of course, there…

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Randomness

Happy Birthday Baby!

You not the boss of me!” she scowled, tiny forehead pinched, pouty angry face glaring our way. “Oh, yes I am!” Where had she gotten that? What made our adorable three year old defiantly stomp her itty bitty foot and say such a thing while pointing angrily at her parents? We exchanged puzzled glances. “Did you…?” “ No! Of course not!” “Then where did she get it?” We shrugged helplessly at each other. Where indeed! This was the beginning of many defiant years with a daughter who refused to acknowledge accountability to anyone, until recently that is. She was recently heard saying something about her boss. We snapped our heads around. “Did you say someone was your boss? Is someone finally the boss of you?” She laughed and sighed, “Yes. Someone is the boss of me. I have no options left. I have to acknowledge it or lose my job.” These were words we never thought we’d hear. Even as young as three years old she was determined to be her own boss, to stretch mind and limb for independence. One day, when Patrick and I were a young married couple, we’d spent a Saturday afternoon setting up our new…

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Randomness

The Grandma’s – Part 2

When I was in grade-school, my classmates often spent weekends with their grandparents, the girls having wonderful bonding times with their grandmothers. The following Monday would be a brag session. Their grandparents took them out to dinner and to movies and an assortment of other enviable things. I often wondered if my grandparents had any idea what they were supposed to be like and that they were failing miserably. One day, my best school friend asked why I never spent the weekends with my grandparents. I was at a loss not having any idea of why not and how to explain it.  After school that day, I asked Mother. She stopped what she was doing in the kitchen and looked at me, sighed deeply and wiped her hands on a dish towel. She folded her arms across her chest and thought for a minute. “Well, you kind of got gypped, I guess,” she finally said. “I don’t know what to tell you, Mary Ann. You have one grandma who just isn’t much of a kid person and another grandma that’s too old to do anything with any of us. I’m sorry.” She shrugged and went back to making dinner. Well,…

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Randomness

The Grandma’s

My father’s mother was Italian. She was really old the day I was born and realy old twenty years later on the day she died. My Italian Grandma wore a dark dress every day of her life, a dark knitted shall, and support hose that came up to her knees. Her shoes were sensible black blocks, manish looking to me. She had a funny hair net she kept her silvery-gray bun in, she stuffed tissue up her sleeves, and was always clutching a rosary. We didn’t exactly have a “relationship”.  I don’t remember actually having a conversation with her, ever.  My dad would fetch Grandma from her house on Sundays and bring her to our house for dinner. We kids were always told to remember to talk to Grandma. This was kind of tough to do as she spoke Italish; a combination of Italian and English. Understanding her was a challenge. I always asked Grandma how she was doing. “Ohhh…she would groan, “Denise! Denise!” I had no idea who Denise was and why that was her answer. I would ask my dad time and again who the heck was Denise? He had no idea what I was talking about until…

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Randomness

Road Trip

My friend Kathy has a brother-in-law who shot an alligator once and took it to a taxidermist. The taxidermist preserved the alligator in a posture that made it look as though it were getting ready to jump up and bite someone. It appeared to be lunging forward, slightly elevated on its front legs with the head thrust forward and upward. The huge jaws were wide open exposing a mouthful of menacing teeth. If a person were to stand in front of the alligator, turned around and bend over, it would appear as if the alligator was about to take a large chunk from said behind and quite possibly leave the person with one less cheek. Kathy and I thought this was the best photo opportunity, ever. We took turns posing, bent over with our rear ends in the gators face. One of us would feign expressions of terror and shock as the other one captured the Kodak moment, over and over again. We let our imaginations run wild and made continuous attempts to out-do each other in creative poses and expressions. The pictures are ridiculous and hilarious. It really looks as though we are getting ready to lose our derrieres.…

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Randomness

Contentment Anyone?

I recently spoke at a woman’s retreat on the subject of contentment: a tough subject for most of us. Our gathering was small, about thirty five women in all. Yet it was exactly right. One by one, we opened closed doors and introduced each other to the person hiding behind them. One by one we admitted to the discontent in our lives and of the challenges we face daily in accepting life as it is. The decision to be content is as life altering as the decision to love. And yes, it is a decision. Does the honeymoon go on forever? Do the babies have that wonderful smell, that sweet fuzzy head, those eyes of shear adornment all the days of their lives? Do our strong young bodies stay the same, regardless? Because we have no choice in the matter, we struggle to accept these changes with grace. The only choice we really do have is in how we, as women, chose to react to them. I’ll never forget the day I realized I was no longer the object of mens admiring eyes. My daughter was. It was literally shocking to me. She was blossoming into quite a beauty and…

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Randomness

Me & Sue (continued)

As the little girls grew up, they became clever and mischievous. One day, toward the end of their first grade year, Sue called and asked that I go to the school and pick our trouble-times-two, up from the nurse’s office. Apparently they were sick. I can’t tell you how many times the two of them were sick together. Never did one get sick without the other which worked to our advantage. That way, only one of us moms had to take time off from work. I’d stay home for one illness and Sue would stay home for another. As employees go, we were pretty reliable, taking about half the time off mothers normally do in order to care for sick children. Yet, the school often questioned this joint sickness thing. I guess they doubted these two little girls were always legitimately taken ill with the same thing at the same time. But Sue and I liked it. It just made life easier for us a lot more fun for them. On this particular day, Sue was laughing when she called and told me the girls were claiming to be sick and had gone to the office with a note supposedly…

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