- You’re writing your autobiography. What’s your opening sentence? See all answers
- Intro of Your Life
- Ravelympics: Premature baby hat
- I was born six weeks premature; when the doctor delivered me, my mother said I looked like a “plucked chicken…..”
I have written a lot about sunshine and the early morning sun. I’ve written about sunset, how the sun lowers itself gently, perfectly, into the night. But, there’s a time of day where the light has a special richness, a quality found at no other time and that is the texture of the afternoon sun. Buttery, intense, deep, like no other time, seen especially in the fall. We give up an hour, true, but to make us feel better, if only for a short while, we get this lovely luxurious hour of light. Treasure it, it makes the winter a little less dreary.
I like walking on the beach and collecting seashells. I love watching the ocean, any time of year. Sitting in front of a fireplace watching the orange flames flicker and dance in front of me; I sit so close that I feel the warmth of the fire on my cheeks, safe enough not to get burned. Familiar music playing that I sing along to, I used to burn candles but I don’t do that as much anymore. It used to be comforting and pretty but I’ve outgrown that. My dad used to buy me a candle for my birthday every year. Since he died eleven years ago, my mom and my sister try to do that, it’s so sweet but not the same. I love their intentions though, I appreciate it.
I’m looking forward to the special sweetness of a pit-free clementine, the happy, simple snack that I can just grab and peel. That is one easy part of the winter that I like. The winters are long here, way too long for me so I try to think of specific things that make it better like my home-made pea soup with smoked ham pieces and plenty of carrots so that it has a smoky-sweet taste. Or my home-made chicken soup that comforts us when we have colds and feel like eating nothing else. Our son used to crumble up Saltines by the handful and throw them into the soup so it was thick, the consistency of gruel but tasty. In the winter, I drink hot chocolate, in a steaming mug, sometimes with marshmallows for an extra treat and I bake my famous banana bread, with chocolate chips and raisins. I bake it for three out of the four cousins; my daughter will not try it.
I like having a flashlight right beside my bed every night and a tissue clutched in my hand. On my bookcase, along with many, many books I have photographs of my son, my daughter, my dog Lexi, and our deceased dog, Callie. There is our informal “engagement” picture of my husband and myself grinning so happily at the world. There is a basket of seashells that I collected from Florida and Rhode Island that I play with every now and again. I look at them all the time. Our dog, Lexi, lies on my bed, across my legs and sighs deeply and happily.
I have an anxiety disorder and recently I was so lucky to find a Psychiatrist who is lovely and gracious and someone who will not just dole out anxiety medications but will talk and listen. I told her today I picture her and her assistant as Glenda the good witch, all pink tulle and smiling eyes. I do not take this lightly having seen a couple of really creepy people. This is something I hold special in my heart, that there are still a few good people on earth, that do good things, whether you have the money or not. They will work with you to figure it out, there ARE a few people to believe in. I am grateful for you; thank you for helping me believe that there are good people left in the world. I am grateful and blessed.
Dedicated to M.E. and B.
Yet again, another startling report of a “safe and healthy” food proclaimed: DANGEROUS.” Yes, you heard me, it’s in the news, on television, probably messing up everybody’s head that RICE is very risky for your health. Why? ARSENIC. Arsenic? Oh yes, they say calmly, everything from baby food, to rice cakes, to white rice and more importantly, brown rice. BROWN RICE, you know, the healthy kind. Well, the kind that we USED to think was healthy. Nope, not anymore.(Probably never was either.)
What about eggs? Where do we stand on those “incredible, edible eggs” now? Because first eating eggs was just fine, then the yolks were bad for you and they told us that they should be limited and some people were all “I”ll have an egg white omelette with onions and red peppers, hold the toast and potatoes please” then after that it went back to the egg yolks were an essential part of a healthy diet and you really could eat at least 2-3 eggs a week, guilt-free and be super-healthy with antioxidants and all that. I have no idea what the most recent statement of the egg industry is, (I did look it up but it seems to be controversial and different depending on what country you live in) and I really don’t care. Now, organic food is not that much better (if at all) than regular (tell that to all the moms and dads and granola crunching people who have spent fortunes on places like Organic Only stores (you know which stores I’m talking about.)
First, people tell us to not to eat red meat (I eat it sparingly) then the say pork is the”other white meat” (who believes that?) I pretend to believe that but I really don’t, that leaves chicken and fish. If I could, I’d be happy with a small tub of egg salad (I know, I know) and some multi-grain (Oh, wait, have we gone back to Wonder Bread yet, because I’m waiting for that one) or “Potato Bread (how dissimilar is that?) and I’m perfectly happy.
I’m tired of people, agencies, telling us things AFTER THE FACT. CAN’T THEY GET THINGS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME? Apparently not. Here is my theory: eat what you want, in moderation. Have fruit, vegetables, a little meat or chicken, (take note of the rice dilemma) some really good multi-grain bread and a small dessert so you don’t binge later (guilty as charged.) Allow yourself a snack (a small cup of cereal, or fruit or both if you are hungry later in the evening). Done.
I say to hell with it all. Napoleon Dynamite had the right idea. Forget rice, replace with tater tots. Tots. I grew up on tater tots, as did my children. Try to forget about the hysteria they spew on television and in the news. Do what feels right for your body. Me? I’m trying hard to give up diet soda because of all the nasty chemicals in it and it is not easy. I’ve tried to drink water with lemon instead but it doesn’t make me happy. Here’s a tip, don’t get freaked out immediately like “yours truly” allow yourself some slack, eat things in moderation and always, and I mean always, eat a small dessert.
I gave my diabetic mother a present the other day, sugar-free Oreos, even I could handle diabetes with that!
Carly was only nineteen years old, but she felt older than that, just having had a baby. She had given birth yesterday and she hadn’t wanted to see the baby much less name it. She didn’t know what to do, people were talking at her from all sides; the nurses, social workers, people from an adoption agency, her mother, until she had to cover her ears it was so loud. Finally, she started crying because it was all too much pressure so the nurse made everyone leave. Carly crumpled and forced herself to relax.
The father of the child, her ex-fling Rick, a musician didn’t even know that she had been pregnant, much less had a baby. She didn’t even know where he was, probably hitch-hiking in the mid-west with his band. She had slept with him a couple of times but she was just one girl in a series of his ardent admirers. She had been SO stupid.
“Just give it up” her friends had said to her like forfeiting a game, or tossing an unwanted ham sandwich. Sure, this kid hadn’t been planned but just to give it away, like an unwanted present? It wasn’t the baby’s fault that she had come into the world. The adoption agency assured her that the baby would be placed with a “lovely family” she could even choose the family if she wanted to. Did she want to keep in touch with the family and have an “open adoption?” Or, she could have a “closed” or private adoption and then she could give up her rights to the baby and start over again.
She did like the idea of starting over or as her friends put it “with a fresh start.” She could move to a big city and no one would ever have to know about this if she didn’t want to tell them. She could be whoever she wanted to be, she didn’t think she loved this child, she hadn’t even SEEN her. She decided that she was comfortable with this decision. She flipped off the light switch and then promptly fell asleep.
Carly woke up, startled, at 3am; she put her bathrobe on and decided to go for a walk down the hall, slowly, gingerly, she was still in pain. She didn’t know where she was going but subconsciously she knew where she would be end up. It was late, most people were sleeping, she stepped quietly up to the nursery window and a new nurse had just started her shift. She smiled brightly: “Hi, do you want me to get your baby?” Carly froze but instead of saying “No” she said “Yes” they checked her bracelet, and in a minute, this precious little pink bundle that she recognized immediately in her arms.
“Oh, she’s so pretty, she’s so pretty” Carly cried, as she held the baby up to her and rocked her gently. The nurse said “we sure can see someone who looks just like her pretty Mama.” At that, Carly looked in the nurse’s eyes, smiled and straightened up, “Thank you,” she whispered as tears streamed down her face. Carly asked if the baby could go back to the room with her so the nurse signed some papers and they moved the cradle on wheels into her room. The same nurse helped her get settled, showed her how to breastfeed, sat with them and talked for over an hour. It was a slow night and Carly had been the only person in the maternity unit.
Later that morning, when people started to fill her room, Carly, feeling ten years older, took control. In a clear strong voice Carly announced, “I’ve decided to keep my baby, it’s a girl and her name is Isabella. A clamor started in the room, all negative, telling her she was a fool. Carly stared at them all and in a clear, bright tone, like the ringing of a bell said: I love her and I will take care of her. It may take me a little while, a little while to get used to things but NOBODY will separate us. My mom has agreed to help us until we can find our own way. Thanks, Mom!! I can’t pretend my baby never happened and have a “fresh start,” that is great for some women but not for me; I would be looking for her for my whole life. We are family now, the three of us. Three generations of strong women. Now, I think it’s time for the three of us to go home!
Dedicated to Nurse Bella who has agreed to be Isabella’s Godmother
There’s a little chill in the air now, summer is over. You can smell it in the air. When the summer
starts to end, you feel the crispness of apples in the air. Suddenly, you feel like a cup of hot cocoa in the late afternoons, or a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. Apple strudel/cake or the German “Apfel Kuchen.” A lovely tradition in Europe, one I respect very much!