Plinky Prompt: Traveling

The final TWA logo

The final TWA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home. Down Under.
    • Up, Up And Away….
    • Being the daughter of an airline employee we flew often and for free. We were young and of course, we didn’t appreciate flying to other countries. We went to see Oma and Opa in Vienna, Austria or our (wicked) step-grandmother in Israel. Didn’t everybody visit their grandparents during Spring break?
      Airline employees lived a different life, we flew stand-by, so we never knew if we would get on a flight until the very last moment. My father would cross his arms into a triangle and we knew that was the meaning for “a cliff hanger” or a very close call, a “a very flight.” We had been thrown off planes or “bumped” before.
      My father worked for TWA and his best friend for Pan Am, and the rivalry was fun and real. We flew to France, Israel, the former Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Germany, Rome, Italy, an island off of Greece, a fishing village in Portugal.
      Years later, when I met my husband, we traveled too, some on frequent flyer miles to Hawaii and to Australia, and later on to France for our miserable, cold and rainy honeymoon.
      We were so lucky, as children, to have had those experiences in the days when flying was actually fun.
      Now, flying is a brutal experience, if we have to fly, we go. But, it is not like the old days where you would get excited to fly and look forward to the trip. In the old days, my sister and I HAD to wear matching sweater and skirt sets. I remember the buttons on them were like ceramic balls. The suits were identical, except for the color. We were NEVER allowed to wear anything less fancy, it just wasn’t done. Back then, you also got dressed up to go to the theater.
      We appreciated the traveling we did back when we were children and teenagers, because once we were 21 and the free tickets abruptly stopped, we missed them even more.

    11fp - Trans World Airlines Boeing 727-231; N8...

    11fp – Trans World Airlines Boeing 727-231; N84357@FLL;30.01.1998 (Photo credit: Aero Icarus)

     

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Yellow Magic Madness #24

Historieta_The_Yellow_Kid

Historieta_The_Yellow_Kid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sweet Little Man

I just needed someone to give me a cute, sweet, impish smile. Thank you little yellow guy.

Cheers!

Heat Wave

Sad and worried old woman

Sad and worried old woman (Photo credit: SalFalko)

Sitting on my bed, logy, tired but I can’t sleep, nauseous but I can’t eat, I force myself to drink ice water.  I make attempts to go out just to leave the house for a few minutes but all it does is make me appreciate my air conditioning at home. I don’t do anything worthwhile at home, I’m certainly not baking, cooking, turning on the oven or otherwise doing anything useful. I have done my laundry but it is cool in the basement and that is my incentive.

I don’t care about anything, am I depressed? Sure, a little. The other side is am I happy? Heck, no. Still, there are no strong feelings anywhere inside me, good or bad, I lack affect and interest. I can’t even blame my Fibromyalgia or my auto-immune illness (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) on this, sure they make me tired but I don’t think they make me blue. The fact that my husband has been down, lacking energy, and very tired has not helped, I am worried about him. I’m sure we feed off each other but I know I will feel a little better if he is alright physically. Men have a hard time admitting their feelings, trust me, he is no different. I just think I am more persistent and as my children call me a “touchy- feely person.”

Books, my passion, pile up and remain unread. This is unheard of for me. I am not afraid, I am not anxious, I am not in a deep depression or a feeling high. I’m just sitting, on my bed, pecking at the computers keys, like a woodpecker on a tree or a house, repetitive, sometimes annoying, it’s just a thing they do, over and over again in the background, like me.

The Slow Unraveling Of The Boomer Generation

Red Yarn | 331/365 (EXPLORED)

Red Yarn | 331/365 (EXPLORED) (Photo credit: mfhiatt)

Yes, it’s true. I know, I know, a lot of you are licking your chops. The baby boomers are getting old, who dared shout “you are already old?” Shut up.  What’s worse is that many people I know feel depressed  about it, and are whining, kvetching and complaining about it to everyone. Why me? Why us? Where did those last forty years go? Were we not just putting our kids on the kindergarten bus? Now our little ones are sophomores or juniors in undergraduate school or working at jobs they love or hate. How did it happen, more importantly, how did it happen to us?

Are we all having a later mid- life crisis together again? Didn’t Melanie sing that?  Hey, don’t ask me I have no memory left. I blame it on Fibromyalgia Fog but my memory is fading fast. Fibromyalgia just makes it a hundred times worse.  When talking to my female friends it seems we are all going through something. What the Boomer generation didn’t expect is that we would become the Sandwich Generation.  Caught right in the middle of taking care of parent(s) and still taking care of or paying for our not yet independent children.

We also have the worst economic disaster and many of us have lost jobs, have been laid off and if we are lucky to have a job it probably pays two-thirds less than the last job but hey, it’s a job. You don’t love your job anymore, you just suffer through it. Why? because it’s a paycheck which is better than unemployment. I tried to get a part-time job, right, good luck to me, if it wasn’t so sad it would be laughable. A lot of us, unless we are independently wealthy, are scared.

As my husband and I approach our 25th wedding anniversary we look at each other, depressed, feeling alone, not particularly in love like when we got married but we DO love one another. We love each other and are grateful to have each other in our lives. We are also friends,companions, the parents of our children. Sometimes when he snores we sleep in different beds. Romance? Apparently I have watched too many movies. My husband never knew the meaning of the word and I sure as hell don’t expect him to learn it now. Let’s face it, it’s a fantasy.

My husband and his friends are stuck at jobs that they don’t like but have to stay in to earn money, retirement is not around the corner. They have settled like we all have settled and it’s not a good feeling at all. Women, trying to get back in the workplace are finding the same thing the men are finding: there are no jobs, especially at our age. Did you say age discrimination? You bet and nobody cares. You can easily hire a 24-year-old kid than us “alte kackes” (Woody Allen can you help me describe it to them?) who don’t know social media from the NBC Peacock.

We can’t retire yet, well at least not us, we didn’t sell out ( sorry for holding that grudge, I would have probably done the same thing) like our beloved Ben and Jerry.  It’s scary but we really are all alone in this world. Truthfully, we have no idea what we are doing. Some people look at that as exciting and starting another chapter in their lives, whoever you are, I salute you.

It’s a new step, another change, another phase, one we honestly don’t like but we have no choice. We’re getting old, older and while we try to be gracious sometimes it can just take our breath away. It gives us a quick pain in the ass and stomach or whatever ailments we have by now. In addition to that, and I’m just telling  you this, there is a slight case of fear, ice-cold fear running up and down our veins every once in a while. We seek our friends to talk to, to share our feelings, they are the only ones who understand. We unravel, slowly, together.

Talia Castellano, Rest In Peace

heavens

heavens (Photo credit: Mystic Musings…)

I just found out that Talia Castellano passed away this morning and I burst out in tears. It was a beautiful but haunting photograph of Talia, shown right in Facebook. We all KNEW it was going to happen and I am glad that Talia is finally out of pain but it is still a shock. The actual ending, that she really is dead is unbelievable. Repeat. Talia really is dead. I can’t stop crying and I didn’t even know her personally.

My condolences, of course, go to her family and to her friends and to the angels of mercy who were with her the last few months. Bless you all. It’s hard to see anyone die, but the death of a child, especially to a mother, seems like the worst death of all. I remember my mother telling me that there is an order in life, that parents should never have to bury their children, but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way and life isn’t fair.

Sweetheart, you will always be remembered. You made a nation smile, laugh and cry. You were an inspiration for all of us. I guess now I will finally have to learn how to put on make-up in your honor and believe me, for someone who has never worn make up, it won’t be easy. I will do it for you, just as you stayed strong and “kept swimming” for all of us.

Your sense of humor and intelligence kept us grounded, and you saw the positive in whatever bad news you got, we should all learn to live like that, we have all learned from you how to put a positive spin on something that is negative. You are out of pain, and I am grateful for that.

There is one thing I can assure you, you will NEVER be forgotten. You also have made way for us to help other children now because you started the fight and we will all continue it, for you, because of you, in honor of you.

Rest In Peace, sweet angel.

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels We Have Heard on High (Photo credit: Randy Son Of Robert)

It’s Really Not About The Chicken Soup….

Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food ...

Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food that might be found across cultures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just because my mom is not the type to drive over with a pot of home-made chicken soup when I am sick does not mean she is a bad mother. She certainly is a different, independent type of mother, but make no mistake, she is a mother who loves me and my sister very much. We grew up in the fifties and probably watched too many Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best episodes to think that baking cookies and meatloaf was the only thing a mother should do. She hated cooking and I inherited that except for my famous banana bread recipe, amazing guacamole and funny enough, my chicken soup and my pea soup. Once, when I was 4 or 5, she tried to make a pineapple upside down cake but it came out right side up. I remember her frustration and our laughter. It is one of my favorite young memories.

My mom had no role models to learn from, no one. How COULD she know? Both her parents died when she was very young, her mother died when she was 5 and her father when she was 14. She had only  a wicked stepmother and a horrendous stepbrother. She thought she was loved by her step-mother but she wasn’t. She just clung on to the hope, I could see through that wicked old woman at the age of eight. My mom needed to cling on to the only source of love she had known.

She is exceedingly charming, people fall in love continuously. Strangers flock to her, people adore her for her intelligence and wit. When she was younger she traveled the world as an interpreter (French, German, Hebrew, English) with important people and saw many incredible sights in different countries.  She once took me to what was known as the former Yugoslavia on a tour. We walked around and heard noises from a big open garden, we heard the words “kicki-ricki” over and over again. I wanted to run and hide, my mother? She followed the noises determined to find out what “kicki ricki” was. I was sure it was heroin or crack cocaine, something illegal. I never was a hero but my mother was and she linked arms with me and said “we are going to find out what this is.” I begged her to drop it but I knew I had no chance. We entered the garden and started hearing the noise again, “kicki ricki.”  My mother marched up to the man and directly asked him what kivki ricki was: he smiled, held out his hand and showed us the bag of peanuts he was selling. Of course we bought a pack, my mother triumphant and incredibly pleased with herself. If I could sum up my mom in one example that would be it.

She may have not been the stereotypical mother who made chocolate chip cookies while I was at school but she taught me so many more important things: to be independent, to keep a little money for myself aside from my husband, to be strong. Mother-Daughter relationships have never been easy, entire books have been written about them, songs have been sung, movies filmed, feelings hurt but the bond is undeniably strong, one of the closest bonds you will probably ever know. I’m sorry my mother never knew that bond, that bond of safety and love with her own mother. I have that bond with my children, I would do anything for them, at any time. They are my life.

I love you mama with all my heart, even though you don’t bring chicken soup.  I know you love us deeply and would do anything to help us or make us happy. Your love, mama bear, is protective and I know you love both of us with every fiber of your being and with all your heart. I love you the same and more. This song is for you, it’s our song, it always has been.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Photo credit: jeffrey.kohn)

Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore: Tulips

English: Cultivations of Tulips in South Holla...

English: Cultivations of Tulips in South Holland Italiano: Coltivazioni di tulipani dell’Olanda Meridionale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Today you have been granted the opportunity to go anywhere, do anything, meet anyone, travel in time…whatever you wish, it is yours. Now, there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always?) When you wake up tomorrow… you will not remember any of it.Would you still choose to take the offer? Can you drink in the moment and enjoy it knowing you will have no recollection of what happened? Think about it?  How important is a memory?”

Part 1:

I would hop on a first class plane, sipping orange juice and amaretto on my flight to Holland. I stretch my legs and marvel at how wonderfully everybody treats you when you are sitting in first class. I have a menu in my hands and I need to pick what I want to eat for dinner. I decide on the Surf and Turf for my entrée, happy not to have to pick just one item. After the flight attendants take everyone’s order they pass around trays of appetizers: mini lobster rolls, Brie or St. André cheese and crackers, pulled pork sliders and chicken salad with chutney in phyllo dough. Loving food, as I do, my tastebuds are dancing with joy loving the different sensations in my mouth.

I sleep for three hours and by that time the pilot announces our descent which brings me right into the airport/and waiting limousine to take me to the Tulip Festival, now in full bloom. I bask in the beautiful scenery, the rows of color: red, pink, rose, orange, green that stand in line like tiny soldiers. I drink up the sight and as fresh, cold bubbly spring water quenches my thirst, these rows of tulips fill another need. The primordial need to see beauty .  Rows upon rows of beautiful tulips, in every color, so vast that you think it is a prop from a movie. Yes, it is real and the gigantic proportions make me feel like an insect crawling on the freshly mowed grass. The scent of the grass tickles my nose and I laugh.

I am here, at the tulip festival, a place I have always wanted to see. I am giddy, my cheeks are pink from the excitement, like the color of one of the rows of tulips, my body trembles. I sit down on one of the many benches they provide for tourists, wooden slated benches, simple, nothing overdone, they mustn’t out-do the beauty ahead of them. Looking around me there are other people, each one, staring at the beautiful scene in front of us. There is no litter here, just rows of flowers, tilting their heads to the sun. Some tourists try to take photographs but you can’t capture an entire field in a photograph. Or the smell. The smell in the air is clean, fresh, with a hint of sweetness, freshly moved grass, and sunshine.

There is nothing else I want to do but sit back, stare and breathe, long, take long, deep breaths.  I do not want to sit on a bus like some of the other people, seeing churches  and old houses and attractions. I am where I want to be, in the garden of beauty, nature’s beauty and I, a quiet admirer, overwhelmed by this magnificent sight. There is nothing else I want to do but stare and take in this picture of magnificence and beauty.  I am where I want to be, in the garden of beauty, nature’s beauty and I a shy yet ardent admirer.

****

Part 2:

It’s early morning in our house. My husband, Steve, has already left to go to work by train. He has left me coffee to drink in the machine and I greedily reach for it and drink it in two or three big gulps. I go about my chores as usual. I wake up the children who need to get ready for school. Fortunately, I always make their lunches the night before so I don’t have to do it in the morning. I don’t tell the kids but I hate mornings too. I pour cereal and milk, my two kids, 8 and 11 are loud but we laugh a lot. I rush them outside to wait for the bus, get them on the bus and I wave as the bus leaves. They still wave back to me, I know it won’t last very long, they are growing up so quickly.

I go to the grocery store with my list, a long one for four people in the family. I start checking off items on the list. Milk, bread, chicken, cheese, steak on sale, and about ten other items.  After I am done I wait on a very long line, reading a trashy Hollywood magazine that I refuse to buy but actually love to read. Finally, it is about to be my turn, I start unloading my cart. I add a pack of sugarless gum because I can’t resist those items at the end  of the aisle where their placement seems to stare at you, practically begging you to buy them.  My husband calls me”The ultimate consumer ” because I love to see new products at the store.  At the very last second, I reach over the counter to stretch and grab just one more thing. It’s something I never do, but I didn’t even think about this, it was impromptu. I reached over the counter and I bought tulips.  Pink tulips.

Pink Tulip 2 of 3

Pink Tulip 2 of 3 (Photo credit: krispijn.scholte)

Haiku Heights: Swing

Bipolar

Bipolar (Photo credit: Jack Maurice Lesage)

swing

swing (Photo credit: emurray)

Drunken, sick, green face

low, high, eyes soar beyond clouds

coffee alone, sad

************

Manic, down, up high

fetus shaped, tears, buy diamonds

Praying for balance.

The Sanctity Of The Sauna

Sauna in Pančevo, Serbia

Sauna in Pančevo, Serbia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We tiptoe in, mostly we avoid eye contact but if we make it we acknowledge it quickly with a nod of our heads; dressed in white towels, the room is absolutely silent. Nobody breaks these unwritten rules either, you just know them. No talking in the sauna. Not one word. Someone leaves, they don’t say “good-bye and have a nice weekend,” that would be against the rules. ” She exits silently, closes the door quickly behind her and disappears into the locker room.

We know the procedure, even if it is our first time, we know what to do and what not to do. Is it in our genes? How else would we know? Perhaps it’s passed down from our mothers?  I have seen the occasional aberration from the norm, but mostly one evil look, or two, will silence the uneducated. Oh, they will get the message.  Don’t do this again, if you want to chat, go to Starbucks.

I go after a swim, where I feel that I am getting some of the chemicals out of my body, making my body glow naturally with heat. I can only stay inside for about five minutes, there are no watches or clocks, you need to know your own body and your body tells you when it’s time to leave. Don’t fool around with that. Drink a bottle of water right away to hydrate your body. It’s your own, private club, or at least that’s what you pretend. Other women work painstakingly with their hair and hair dryers for a long time trying to straighten their hair, but once I’ve showered I’m relieved to go out into the sunshine where my hair will curl naturally by the sun. I should pay more attention to make-up and clothing and accessories, I know, but to me, a little lipstick is all I do. It’s all I care to do.

Maybe the sauna takes us back to a place where there are no phones, no meetings, nothing to do in today’s ever so quick, changing lives. I admit, I have a cell phone but only use it for my children, it is usually turned off. Perhaps the sauna brings me back to the quiet, to the way things used to be, before the latest technology. I like it there.

Yellow Magic Madness # 23

Misumena vatia

Misumena vatia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been cloudy, humid and gray for the last two weeks where I live. No sight of the sun, anywhere. I desperately need to see some bright “YELLOW” to cheer me up.  This is my contribution for this week: I like how the different colors play off each other. Have a happy, yellow week.