One Ex-Hippie Trying To Say Good-Bye

Dear Fellow Aging Hippies,

It’s only my opinion and mostly it’s a lesson I need to learn myself but I think our time has come and gone, forever. It’s a tough thing to admit, believe me, I know. Maybe, it’s time for us aging Baby Boomers to finally accept it and let the new generation take over the world instead of us reminiscing about “The Beatles and Peace, Love, and Rock n’ Roll.” As special as it was for those of us in that generation it is time  all of us to move on, to look forward and not behind.

Painted Hippie Bus

Painted Hippie Bus (Photo credit: terbeck)

You’re talking to someone who has fought this for a very long time. I confess. I was born in 1956 and while I missed the really good stuff like Woodstock I still claimed fame to being a Baby Boomer and all the power the name itself implied. Sure, my kids grew up on The Beatles, CSN and Y, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens and the Rolling Stones but I am still playing that very same music today. Somehow it seems wrong. We are way too old for that now.Will I change my music listening preferences? Hell, no.

That’s the hard part. Figuring out what to do now. Most of us can’t retire yet, a lot of us have been laid off but still need money coming into the house, to pay many bills. How are we going to do that? We have no idea and it’s not for lack of trying either. There are no jobs around, at least for us and we will move anywhere.

My children are in their twenties, it’s their time. I don’t care if they have a special name or a title ( Gen X, Y, Z? ) but their generation is having its time now. We need to start thinking not about where to retire but how to have enough money to get through the next ten years to be able to retire if we are lucky enough to do so.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t want to move twice. These cold, harsh winters are killing me, I have a list of maladies as long as the East Coast, so I’d prefer to live someplace warm but it’s not exactly easier to find work there. We’re trapped, right where we are, unemployed, and passed over, like yesterday’s mail tossed and disregarded in a pile of junk.

English: Photograph of The Beatles as they arr...

English: Photograph of The Beatles as they arrive in New York City in 1964 Français : Photographie de The Beatles, lors de leur arrivée à New York City en 1964 Italiano: Fotografia dei Beatles al loro arrivo a New York City nel 1964 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s time for our sons and daughters to take over the world, we are the leaders no longer. They haven’t yet set us to pasture, we have a little wiggle room, but we are closer to the end then we are to the beginning. Does that feel good? No, it certainly doesn’t. The days turned into years turned into decades, flashing before our eyes as if we stood still and the world moved at a rapid pace around us.

We didn’t realize it was happening until it was over.  When you are young and married you are so involved with your young children and family and play dates and school plays you don’t have time to really hold on to those special moments for too long. Because all the moments are special. Now they are memories, enjoy them.

It’s a rite of passage we all go through. It’s how you look at life that will give you a positive or negative outlook, the choice is totally up to us. I’m not saying it’s easy. Believe me, it isn’t, but realistically we have no choice, no choice at all. Acceptance is a good way to start.

Love

Love (Photo credit: aftab.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Begging From Strangers On The Internet Now “In?”

The first time I saw an ad over the internet for a couple asking for money from complete strangers, all over the world, I thought it was a joke. I literally thought it was a spoof but it wasn’t April Fool’s Day so I didn’t understand it. Until I saw another ad asking people for money to pay their expenses to cover their credit card minimum. I’ve seen actual ads for couples asking people to donate for their fertility treatments, for their sick dogs and cats and yes, one for an ailing bird.

Money

My husband was laid off from his job10 months ago. He started looking Day 1 and hasn’t stopped. I am not able to work full-time due to physical limitations (numerous health conditions including Fibromyalgia, Kidney Disease, auto-immune disease, Hashimoto Thyroiditis, Syncope and Hypotension ) but even I am looking for part-time. We are not eligible for unemployment money. It never crossed my mind to put an ad on Facebook or anywhere on the internet to beg for money. Call me old-fashioned. When did this become a socially accepted use of media? Or, a personal standard?

I’m not judging (okay, I’m TRYING not to judge) but this is all so new for old-fashioned me. Is this the younger generation’s idea of problem solving? I sincerely hope not. So, believe me this blog post is NOT about asking for money. I would not do that. But, I am asking for a favor and while I don’t have high hopes I consider this networking because my husband gave me permission to put his résumé on my blog.

He does not want a hand out. We would not accept money to pay our bills. We would rather move (which we are talking about) anywhere he can find a job. Do I want to move? Not really. I have an elderly mother here and my sister, both twenty miles away from me, I’m in the middle. Our children go to SUNY schools.

Half Empty Or Half Full?

Half Empty Or Half Full? (Photo credit: MarkyBon)

I am not asking for pity but a connection would be lovely. The following link is my husband’s resume, please read it and pass it along if you know anybody. Anybody who is somebody is even better!

http://www.proj-mgt.com/dfriedmann.pdf

If you can find it in your heart to take a minute to read his résumé, we would greatly appreciate it. I’m not too proud to network for my family, that’s what families do, we stick together. We are trying to stay positive, truly. Today was rough, maybe tomorrow will be better.

Thank you for reading my blog and for any help you can give us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Grows, Life Changes

Toothbrush, photo taken in Sweden

Toothbrush, photo taken in Sweden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It takes but a minute for everything in your life to change your life completely.  It hits you with a tremendous blow, shock, grief but you can get used to that since you have no choice, you are completely unaware. No choice is not a world I want to live in either.

When I travel now, I usually forget to bring my blue toothbrush and white bristles, so too, the tooth paste. I never needed it before, it was a silly tradition, I know, but one that delighted me. Knowing that I could always use your toothbrush when we were away together. That was the type of intimacy that I knew about. Silly things like that.

Now, I can’t. I understand that you didn’t want to leave me, that your heart was very sick,  clogged arteries that were too far along to be saved but I wished for it anyway. I was in the in-between place of hope and reality. “Please, please, please” I would murmur under my breath in a chant as if maybe God would tune in faster or adjust his schedule but nothing changed.

It was your time, my love, and you knew it as well as I did. Imagine, trying to cheer me up when you were about to die and leave me hanging here like a piece of dangling thread blowing softy in the sunshine, back and forth, back and forth.

We came in together, arm in arm, walking slowly through the mushy gray snow and yet when I left there was nobody beside me, nobody to take my hand, nobody to put their arms around my shoulders, to reassure me.

Our children called but they were not here, they had their own families and excuses now. I understood completely how their husbands and wives did not want them to cross to the other side of the country as well, to get soaked up in my misery and the lost of their daddy. Nobody knew that more than I.

Yet, I thought death would come, most certainly, in the middle of the night, my naïve silence and undisturbed sleep, awakened by the shrill of the old yellow phone I still used by the bedside. But now, in reality, it didn’t work that way, I was right by your side, as you took your last breath and calmly closed your eyes.

English: Portrait of old woman sitting by a wi...

English: Portrait of old woman sitting by a window. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“That’s it?” I thought to myself? Death could slip in on soft kitten feet and steal away my husband with no big fanfare at all? Steal his loveliness, the color of his lips and cheeks and joy for life in a matter of seconds, while I stood there watching, watching the blood drain from him?

I put my head on his cold chest and I cried but I knew his hands couldn’t comfort me, or hold me like they had. From now on, I was no longer part of a couple, I was alone. My name was now “Widower.” It stayed that way for a very long time until I too decided it was time enough to join your father, there was nothing useful about me without him. He was my life.

I said goodbye to all the children and grandchildren with a long good-bye and gave each special hug.

It took too many weeks to get my affairs in order but I would know when the time was right. One day they all came in for Christmas, I saw each child and grandchild. After they left, I knew it was my time to go.This has been planned before the death of my husband Harold, he would do the same if I had died first.  It wasn’t hard at all but it was something we needed to do, I was only sorry that I had postponed this day for so many long weeks. Let’s face it, I had no regrets. Ever.

I had no interest in living a life without my other half. It was like living empty, physically here yet without a soul. No, I didn’t want that at all.

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Take Me Home

Members of the United States Navy serve the ho...

Members of the United States Navy serve the homeless at Dorothy’s Soup Kitchen in Salinas, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had run into each other before a couple of different times, I just didn’t who she was. I saw her at the food pantry waiting in line with her kid, one day we saw each other at the soup kitchen. We knew each other, all of us. We just didn’t acknowledge each other, we kept ourselves private, looking down at our kids or in our bags of free food or me, down at my worn pink sneakers. I heard her name once but nothing else. She was so tall and skinny why I could almost see through her, she looked so frail, like a bird thats broken. What I remembered of her were her frozen green eyes that seemed like they were stuck in her head with glue, like they never moved or blinked.

I guess the only thing we had in common was we were both moms on a mission to protect our children, to protect ourselves. Months later we met at the shelter, The Home For Abused Women And Children. I had been at The Home for a month now, she was just coming in. As soon as we saw each other we nodded, she took the bed next to mine. Her daughter and my daughter looked about the same age and they hit it off,  children were great like that, they were best friends in less than five minutes.

She and I probably took a good couple of hours to speak, none of us were good at trusting but we were  friends pretty soon. Once she made up her bed, with me helping her, we started talking. Not good stuff like you see on funny television, that’s for sure, but stuff we had in common. Both of us had been in abusive relationships; I felt guilty being here but she felt proud. That was what she was like, all the time.

She made me promise to talk to her first if I was ever tempted to run away from here and go back, and I was tempted often. So, when my kid said she “missed her daddy” I would want to leave straight away but Alison always knew before I even packed. She would come over, sit me down and she would not let me leave. We would go back in time, and tell her out loud when Brian hit me so hard my head cracked open and blood was everywhere, how I  saw it on the green tile linoleum, thinking it would be hard to get out. It was kind of out of my body, why would I be thinking that?  The pain so bad I wanted to die. She reminded me of what he said he wanted to do to my daughter and what he had done with my niece and that stopped me cold.

That changed my mind back to reality and she started reminding me of why I had left him and how he was still the same monster he was when I finally got out. Then she and I would hug and I would thank her until the next time it happened and I’d like to say it never happened again but it did. Lots of times.

We stood by each other, like real friends, and we joined a job training group together so we could get jobs somewhere. We all moved to another state, changed our names and started fresh. We shared a one bedroom apartment but we made do; the girls slept in the living room, we shared the bedroom working different shifts. We had “beat the odds” they said at the shelter, we were safe, we had our own home and we were proud.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND HELP:

The hotline number is (630) 469 – 5650.
Why should you call Family Shelter Service’s hotline?
  • You want to talk about your situation with someone who understands, or
  • You want to learn more about services and how to obtain information and help.

I like knowing there is somebody I can call at any time.”
- A Victim of Domestic Abuse

Free Write Friday-Kellie Elmore: Coyotes Are Not Dogs

Coyote scouting around

Coyote scouting around (Photo credit: jibber11)

It’s high noon. Sun blazing. You awake in a field and birds are pecking your skin… GO!

I know that human people were making noise and complaining about us, we know, all of us. But hey, that’s what we do to survive don’t  they understand that? If they left their “fur babies” (what an obnoxious title) outside alone to play, than it’s anybody’s game. Can you believe there were towns that were thinking about hazing us? Actual plans to get rid of our pact. On purpose,  We are a species of animal, just like everyone else. People have dogs and treat them well, why don’t they respect us, the coyotes, the champions of the world? Snatching their little puffy dogs is just in our nature it’s not something we plan to do, it is instinctive. Can’t you human people consider that? It’s our food just like the food you crave.

We know that we have the been in the news, in the papers, that town meetings overflowing with people wanting to destroy us, make us extinct, that’s a little harsh don’t you think? We are just following our nature, is following your nature to kill and destroy us? That’s what it sounds like to us. I’m not going to lie, we do get some enjoyment of seeing the terror in your eyes at first sight but that is like a game for us, we really mean to do no harm. Just go calmly back inside. I know there was some person who said that you should come at us yelling and screaming, making noise and clapping pots and pans together but do you really want to annoy us? It’s your choice. I can’t promise that if you do those things we will back off immediately. Sometimes yes, sometimes,no. Here’s the thing, we are not dogs, we are not reliable, we are not dependable and we don’t like you or love you. We care for only ourselves, that’s right and we would never deny it. That is who we are. Do you get it now? We will never be your pets, your brothers and sisters, we are your enemies and we will eat your little doggies or your diapered babies as fast as we can grab them in our steely mouths and fly away with no remorse whatsoever. That is the nature of our life.

So, I perfectly understand that the crows are now pecking at my skin, it’s not a bad feeling, just a bunch of pinches and I know I will die. I don’t have a problem with that at all. See, coyotes don’t expect to live forever, problem free. We know we are here on earth for a short time but it is a time that we spend in adventure, a fast life, a one only based on our needs and wants. Am I happy a bigger lion caught meand brought down? No, I can’t say I am but it was inevitable and I understandable. It is what we do. The crows pecking at my skin, well, they are just doing their job, to survive, to eat their meals as fast as they can.

I’m dying now, I can’t move anymore.

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Coyotes running

Coyotes running (Photo credit: Nature Pictures by ForestWander)

Photos are property of the owners.

The Prayer

prayer..

prayer.. (Photo credit: aronki)

Grieve, not for those

whose souls have been lifted, remember them with love,

but for those who remain here on earth.

Grieve for the people left behind and show them kindness,

offer them to cry unto you, wrap your arms around theirs, allow them to weep.

Show them tenderness.

For we are not put here on this earth beholden unto ourselves

No, we are here for the people of the world and the beautiful nature surrounding us.

Be truthful, be kind and if you cannot be either of these, be silent with thought and regret.

Remember your time here on earth is short, it is just for a visit, spend it well.

For the good of all humans, animals, nature, for the good of yourself

Remain for each other, never against each other

This, is our prayer.

Haiku Heights: Alien

Bill is alien

Bill is alien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Outer space farm-land

Purple lambs eat white star cake

Wearing red lipstick

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Huddled in masses

a grip, shoulder pain gasps blood

wrenched from your lover

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Unknown desires

slipping through smoky windows

the concept of sin

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Stand alone, sweet soul

Evil corruption buys cash,

Poor with dignity

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Haiku Heights – Vital

Butterfly-Kisses

Butterfly-Kisses (Photo credit: MissTurner)

Breathing room, space, life

needed, like air to survive

Compression is bad.

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The safety of arms

Folded across my body

To sink in sadness.

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Kisses on my eyes

butterfly softness, wispy

A prayer of love.

On Healing

Window view of dead end road to Port - geograp...

Window view of dead end road to Port – geograph.org.uk – 1156081 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the first day I have felt stronger; strong enough to help myself heal from a very rough few weeks. I felt the urge to get out of my house. I went to a store and talked with the owner, a woman my age, and I bought myself a necklace that has a wishbone on it and a small mustard colored pocketbook. There was no occasion other than I wanted to make myself feel good and they were both on sale. It was so good to be out of the house, talking to someone new; even though the clouds and rain have been non-stop for two weeks, I felt my heart start to brighten, just a tiny bit. I had done something different.

I posted a sign in my neighborhood to ask others if they wanted to help me help others, to brain storm, ( ideas welcome here too) to perform acts of kindness; something I have always wanted to do but never really knew how to get started. I don’t know if I will get a response but I like the fact that I initiated it. I’m not usually an initiator but it’s about time I became one.

My husband and I drove and rejoined Costco, it doesn’t take much to please me. I actually used the electric cart so I didn’t have to walk the long aisles where I know I get tired and cranky (thank you, chronic pain) and I was proud of myself for the idea and figuring it out on my own. I was proud not to be afraid, proud not to be ashamed. Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, take a hike, me-1, them-0.

Since my son was not home on Mother’s Day, we celebrated Mother’s Day tonight and went out to dinner. The four of us had “Fother’s Day” (Faux Mother’s Day” ) in a restaurant that I chose. It was lovely and there was no fighting and GASP no cell phone use. My daughter complimented me on my hair and I was thrilled. We weren’t going to order dessert but lo and behold, on this day, every week, (yes, it’s going in my calendar) you get free dessert if you order an entrée. How could we possibly say no? One chocolate cake, one banana bread pudding (with almond ice cream) and one apple crisp (with almond ice cream) later we were completely full, unable to move but incredibly happy.

Bandages on wounds, kisses on boo-boos, soft, warm blankets for being cold. I sensed I needed a sign, a cosmic sign and I contacted a friend, a famous medium, Roland Comtois, who was kind enough to answer me but there were no signs from him. Later in the evening I got my sign on my own telling me I was on the right path: getting out more, being with people, feeling stronger and doing for others; my dad checked in with me from heaven. His initials, as always, blue on orange license plates, on a car parked in front of me, FBF. I should have been more patient for my own signs. I should have trusted myself. Thank you, Roland for listening, you are a gentle, sweet soul; a gift to both worlds.

I’m on my way back, stronger. There will be days when I feel unsteady. I’ve been through an incredibly rough year. It was bound to come out at some time. We had no home for over three and a half months. I had a despicable doctor who was cruel. I felt ganged up on by my mother and sister and that is a horrible place to be. I am stronger now, I will not accept being ganged up on anymore, ever. I have my own boundaries. I am on my way; I will allow myself a bad day or two now and then. That’s okay.

What I'd Name My Own Clothing Line

Donald Trump

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Real People Inc (RPI)

My clothing line would be called Real People Inc. (or RPI). It would cater to all of us so that all men and women from teeny- tiny to large and extra-extra large would be accommodated in the same store. Why should people have to go to different stores to buy clothes? I think it is unnecessary and I also think it categorizes people into groups. There’s no need for that. We need to encourage tolerance for everyone. This is for men and women, young and old, boys and girls.

My style is comfy, with a touch of bright color, usually in an accessory (my 17-year-old daughter taught me that.) Take all the Big and Fat, Husky and Hot, Size 00, 0,1 and 2 stores and blend them together. It’s one way of not dividing people but including and appreciating everyone. We all need to embrace TOLERANCE. This would be a start. If I had the money, I would design that line and build that store. If either Oprah or The Donald needs a new investment, please have your people call my people. ( I don’t really have people but I can pretend!)

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