Welcome To St. Croix, As If

Old Danish Customs House, Christiansted

Old Danish Customs House, Christiansted (Photo credit:

Dear VERY KIND, RICH PERSON,

Is it May yet? I know, I’m daydreaming. I know it isn’t May, its dull, depressing, December and I know pretty much everyone is on vacation except for me and my family. I am grateful for what I have, truly. However, I am a tiny bit envious of all who are vacationing in warm climates while my chronic, painful bones tighten up. In my mind I am trying to conjure up some images that A) might torture me for months or B) give me the impetus to get through the ugly, soggy mushy yet cold winter. Either way, it’s something to do.

I just want to talk. I don’t believe in miracles, trust me, like I didn’t really believe I would win the lottery but it’s fun to think about so here we go: It’s only December and just because we had one day, sorry, two days with 20 more seconds of light it doesn’t mean it’s time to celebrate and dance barefoot in the grass with flowers entwined in our hair. It’s twenty bogus seconds, that’s it. But, we take what we are given, no, there are no hot dogs on the grill or s’mores from the barbecue just quite yet. Get inside, it’s freezing.

We eat tomatoes that look and taste like wax, they are not even orange-red but some pale combination of yellow and green and plastic, utterly tasteless. The fresh fruit that we long for in the summer has whittled down to apples, oranges, a few mangy grapes, drooping from their spines as if they were just begging to be put out of their misery. Do these grapes really look like they have the will to live? No, poor things, just put them in the back and don’t let us witness their slow, disintegrating death, it’s just too sad.

The sky, again, is white and black, sometimes blended into gray. I’m staring into my yellow pillow that I bought to conjure up what I remember as sun but it doesn’t do the trick. “Surround yourselves with things you love” is not always easy. I love the ocean and sand and seashells but even my globe filled with delightful seashells and sand does not make me feel like I am on vacation in St. Croix, or any of The Virgin Islands, Mexico, or anyplace warm. I’m woefully stuck in reality.

Most people are away for this long holiday break to places I’ve never heard of much less been to. Families with a lot of money book places far in advance so they have vacations to look forward to, I envy them. I rationalize my thinking: if this was my norm, flying somewhere every break, would I take it for granted? I admit, I wouldn’t mind finding out.

In my mind, I’m vacationing in St. Croix, or Jamaica, Hawaii or Australia. These old weary bones that ache constantly would just have to settle in for the long flight and suffer, knowing that in the end, I would see skies a beautiful shade of blue, silky, soft sand and walking on the water’s edge. My only goal is to worship and enjoy the natural elements of life. Given the chance, my family and I can be packed in ten minutes and we thank you so very much.

English: St Croix

English: St Croix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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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)

     

An Open Letter: To The DJ’s In Austrailia

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace ...

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace balcony after Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. Kate wears a wedding gown by Sarah Burton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Call it whatever you want, a prank, a practical joke, a hoax, but now, one person is dead, DEAD, because of the “prank” that she fell for at the hospital where Kate Middleton was staying in Britain. Do you think it’s funny now? I don’t care how you thought that you wouldn’t get through, you did get through and if you were so concerned, you should have hung up right then and there saying “Sorry, wrong number” or just about anything instead of belaboring your joke. Your joke has just killed someone’s daughter or spouse or mother or sister. As you can tell, I don’t think it’s funny at all. I’m sure her family would agree with me.

What do we need to do to shake up the world and make people THINK before they do things, think before they speak? Does anyone ever think about consequences anymore? Did these radio personalities ever think that this could go wrong? Probably not. How do they feel now? Fine, keep following your instinctual “Don’t you think it would be hilarious if……” but then pause, sit back and go around the room and say “what could go WRONG?”

I don’t think these clowns at the Australian network set out to kill someone, definitely NOT. But, when they said they thought for sure no one would put them through, why didn’t they stop right then? They did get through, they embarrassed everybody and the person they blamed for her indiscretion (which really wasn’t her fault at all) killed herself. KILLED HERSELF over a prank.

I’m glad it didn’t happen here in the States. We’ve made bullying a high priority here but it still happens. I hope schools can use this as a teaching lesson about pranks and jokes that seem harmless,  the emphasis on “seem” harmless. Think about the whole picture, think like a lawyer, ask “what if” from every single angle. If it’s safe and no one could potentially get hurt, wronged, embarrassed or ashamed, you have your answer.

In this situation, the answer is quite clear. Guilty, as if you had shot her in the head. Next time: THINK before you SPEAK.

That’s just MY opinion, but then again, I’m still fuming.

Oprah, Please Reconsider, It’s Not TOO Late

According to Keirsey, Oprah Winfrey may be a T...

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Oprah,

NOOOOO, DON’T GO!!! The countdown of shows is really affecting me. I’m an ultimate, ultimate viewer and I’m not asking for a ticket or a vacation to Australia or a car or even the 3-pack of beauty products you had on today’s show. Just one thing, don’t go. PLEASE don’t go. Change your mind. ( It is NOT a sign of weakness but of strength.) I’ve gone through every part of my life with you, you were the only one who had the grace of mind and spirit to say “Stay at home Moms have the toughest jobs.” Thank you for that. When people looked at us stay at home moms with real attitude, I didn’t argue, I knew what the right thing was for me and my family, and yes, you admired it. It made me feel validated, it made me feel like a beautiful queen. I have two amazing children that I love and that I like, they are my gifts to the world. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the world will be a better place because of them.

I was your viewing audience every day from home. I was happy to just watch your “Favorite Things” shows because I loved watching the audience members get so happy. I can’t imagine how you felt, that times a billion, I’m sure. I know you are not disappearing and I have watched OWN but it’s not the same. I taped your show every day for years and when the kids were young and finally in bed I would watch your show, relax, learn, be entertained and I would feel better.

So, my teacher and friend from afar, I am trying to say good-bye graciously because you always want what your friends truly want. But, I confess, there’s a 5 year old inside of me that has thrown herself on the floor, kicking and screaming with disappointment and sadness and stubborness.

I can’t wait to see the final show and at the same time I really don’t want to. I’m obsessing that if I am away for a few days my DVR won’t record and there are only so many times I can check.  I will cry, probably hysterically, but I am not ashamed of that. There really is no such thing as the “ugly cry.”  But, you know that. The last few weeks I have cried spontaneously as my son decided on the college of his choice and while I know he will be so happy, it will never be the same after this. Change. I’m not good with it, I admit it. I know I have no choice to accept change; I’ve learned that I need 24-48 hours to adjust, but it’s just not working with your show ending. I’m having a hard time accepting it (can you tell?)

Oprah, I was always the one in the viewing audience that was totally confused when you said “Do what you love to do.” I spent years figuring that out, until I went back in time and remembered my love for writing in High School. That was a really long time ago and I had NOT written much since 1978. I took a chance and started a blog and I was so afraid. I did it though, slowly and while it isn’t bringing in the money (yet?) I am doing something I love. Because of you. You were a comfort to my heart, you were the teacher of my soul.

Goodbye Oprah. G-d bless you for all the things you have given us.  I don’t need to wait till the last show, I’m doing the “ugly cry” now, and that’s okay.

I will miss you dearly.

Love,

Your biggest fan

Hibernationnow

https://hibernationnow.wordpress.com

I’d Be Lost Without You

2008-10-22 - 010 - Kona, Hawaii, snorkeling, f...

Image by cfinke via Flickr

Every morning I am greeted with a smile, a hug and a freshly brewed cup of coffee. He even sniffs the milk before he pours, knowing I have a super-sensitive nose and will gag if I even think something has gone sour. Today there was a small fruit cup with blueberries, strawberries and cantaloupe, sliced with love from a steady, beautiful hand. My hands shake so he carries the full cup of coffee to me, so I don’t feel bad and so there will be no spills on our fake linoleum Spanish tiles in the kitchen. In the middle of the night our feet or hands search for each other for reassurance and comfort. I don’t even mind when he snores loudly, though I do punch him lightly in the arm. Without protest he turns over. I used to say “turn over” but with our marriage code I have shortened the phrase to “apple” as in apple turnover and he knows exactly what I mean.

We have our own language, he and I, built on twenty-five years of togetherness, love and friendship. We are each others’ best friend.  I am not saying we have always had the perfect marriage because no marriage is perfect. We have had our rough years, our tough times but we struggle through it together, knowing that home is not just a place but a feeling. I sat through a Gordon Lightfoot concert for him, he came to see Neil Diamond for me. Sometimes he blurt things out that are supposed to be secret; sometimes I reveal my feelings when I shouldn’t. Sam Adams for him, Diet Coke for me. His Scotch is my Yoo-hoo, his dark chocolate is my milk chocolate.

I want our children to see that our marriage is strong, loving, yet not without flaws. I want them to know that marriage, like any relationship, needs work, a strong commitment and loving companionship. We help each other when difficult situations arise, and in life, they always do. When we were first married, we went through the infertility process together; it breaks many couples apart yet it brought us closer together. We share pain and joy, I am more emotional, he is more practical. We balance each other like a delicate balancing toy, sometimes tipping over, always able to right itself to startling precision.We try to laugh even during hard times. He has taught me to be less pessimistic; I have taught him that it is okay to be vulnerable.

Through the 25 years of our relationship we have grown closer together even after we have grown apart. He likes skiing, I like sunshine, he plays racquetball, I need to write. For a little while we thought it was odd that we did not share activities in common but we adjusted and compromised. We trust each other so that if he wants to go skiing, he goes with a friend. If I need sunshine in the middle of a gray, cold winter, I have flown to Florida for a few days. We can be independent of each other yet always happy to reconnect. We share the joy of traveling together, France, Australia, Amsterdam,  Aruba, Rhode Island. We held hands when we snorkeling on our engagement trip in Hawaii, my most favorite memory. While he would prefer to stomp through old ruins, I would rather walk on the beach finding seashells; we compromise.

He is an atheist, I believe in G-d. We have two amazing children, a boy, 18 and a girl, 16. We share their triumphs and their pain; we help each other deal with our ever-changing reality. If the children attack us, as teenagers often do, we immediately look at each other. The silent language of marriage is a subtle one, but we speak it fluently.

I fear the day that one of us is left alone. I pray it won’t be for a very long time yet thinking about it frightens me. He is the one person that I trust with my life, that I can count on without question. He feels the same way about me. We know the best and the worst of each other and accept and acknowledge both. If I had to, I know deep down, that I could survive without him; I just don’t want to.

The Best Road Trip Ever

Road trip? Me?

 

Australian countryside 🙂

Road trip AND Me = oxymoron. I don’t generally like to sit in cars for a long time, both because I have Fibromyalgia and it hurts, second, because I get impatient and childish. “Are we there yet?” comes from me and not my children but they do chime in. The one road trip my husband and I went on was when we were in Australia many years ago. (I admit it wasn’t by choice) I had a traumatic airplane experience when we flew from NY to Australia which stretched my ear drum. The pain was horrendous and wouldn’t go away. I had to see a Dr. in Australia and when he found out we were supposed to fly to Hawaii (frequent flyer miles people!!!) he said “No way.” While we hadn’t planned on this road trip, I wasn’t allowed to fly. We stayed in Australia and drove to other cities, to the beach, to the countryside. I gained a beautiful experience on the road even though I lost most of my hearing in my left ear. While I admit it wasn’t my first choice, I was so grateful that this happened. Road trip took on a whole new meaning for me; I loved it.

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