Seeking Paradise OR Grieving Does Not Have A Time Schedule

Vegetables in a grocery store, Paris, France.

Vegetables in a grocery store, Paris, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m lying in my bed, still in my pajamas, it’s almost three o’clock in the afternoon. My husband and I had planned to go out to dinner tonight but there is no way in hell I’m going. He thinks I will change my mind. He tries guilt “but I’ m going to be disappointed….” Apparently he doesn’t know me as well as he thinks he does. I do not like to go out when I  feel blue.  I will not step out of my house today unless there is a fire, even then, I would find a cozy corner for me and my red dog that seemed safe enough. I would protect her.

Sometimes I get delayed reactions to things, things that I THOUGHT I had handed well, or maybe this is just a blip in the radar. I used all the right buzz words, “when one door closes another opens” I was practically playing Mother Abbess role singing out loud to “Climb Every Mountain” from “The Sound of Music.” Not now. I’m stuck in mud, not the kind that you can joyfully wade through and play in but the one you feel where you feel trapped in cement and cannot move. Yes, it will change eventually, Patience is not one of my virtues.

This is too familiar we’ve gone through this before. My husband got laid off from his job, I know it’s not his fault, the state of the economy is horrific. His age, doesn’t help, I’m quite sure. He is probably competing with 22-year-old youngsters, bright and bushy-tailed. that will accept less money. It’s those of us who are in-between that suffer the most.

Call us “Baby Boomers,” call us “Empty Nesters” but pretty much, call us what we are: F—ed. We’re taking care of or worrying about our remaining living parents, we have children in college, and we have no idea what to do ourselves. Where should we live? Should we stay, move twice, do nothing? Stress! I live in a town whose school systems excel, one that my kids both graduated from. The taxes are high but the thought of moving twice makes my blood curdle at the thought. I like a town that is peaeful, not divisive, where we help each other, not fight.

The only good thing for my husband and me is that we ARE open to moving, anywhere. If my husband got a job offer in California we would definitely consider it.(Sorry, kids) But, what are the chances?  Right now not very high at all. Besides, no matter where we end up, our children will ALWAYS  have a home. That’s one thing they never, EVER, have to worry about.

The days now are dreary, cold and grey. Wind is chilly and goes right through my winter jacket. I despise going out when the sun sets around four pm, even the grocery store is dull with its flat vegetables and fruit. I miss plums and peaches, cherries and magnificently bright-colored fruit that made summer so cheery. The ripe taste, juice dribbling down your chin, laughing. I’m stuck, we’re stuck and there really is nothing we can do about it.

I know, I’m procrastinating on writing my book. True. That is one thing I SHOULD do. It’s one thing I COULD do and have in my control. That, and what I eat. Food you can also control. I don’t have an eating disorder but it feels good to be able to control something. Yes, things will change, I need to be patient but it is okay to be sad. Dwelling on it, that’s a whole other story, I don’t want to go there. Tonight, I dearly miss my children, I can’t wait to see them in a few weeks, even when they make fun of me, especially when they make fun of me. At least, I will laugh.

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Maybe “Safe” Is A Better Word Than “Stuck”

English: The Mother Orange Tree, the oldest li...

English: The Mother Orange Tree, the oldest living orange tree in Northern California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I often refer to my husband and myself as Empty Nesters, stuck between two worlds. We still live in the home where we raised our children,  paying outrageous school taxes even though both kids are in college. My mother and sister both live nearby and my husband’s parents live close by as well. But, I know, deep inside, this is not where I want to end up for the rest of our lives.  I’m sure you have heard the term  “The Sandwich Generation” before, it defines us as it does most of the aging “Baby Boomers.” I shudder when I even think of the term “Aging Boomers.” Us? Really?

I have wanted to move to the West Cost for a long time since I was a kid and my dad mentioned he had a possible job interview in California. For someone who is not good with change, I was so excited about the prospect.  I imagined a little white house and garden with bright red flowers on the boarders, an orange tree in the back yard and a red dog named Rusty.

Here, in the Northeast the weather is too cold and I’ve always hated cold weather. For those of you who enjoy the cold and love its sparkling freshness, enjoy it. For all you skiers out there, have a great time racing down those sleek, icy hills, I would be in the chalet drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream anyway. The cold weather makes me hurt all over in general and  living with the chronic pain illness, Fibromyalgia, the cold, bone-chilling weather makes my bones and muscles hurt even more. There is nothing I can do about that except accept it.

I admit, I used to feel closed in not knowing when and where we would move in the future but now it feels alright, in fact it feels safe. Chaos will surely occur if there is any major change and for someone like me, change is always hard. For me, ” A Good Change” is an oxymoron. For little things, I need 24-48 hours to get used to change that is even mildly disturbing, imagine a huge change? The mere thought of moving away from my sister and mother brings tears to my eyes. My children will come visit when they can, it is their turn to live now. So maybe being “stuck” is not so bad, maybe being stuck is just being “safe.” If I look at it that way,  I’m doing alright. Actually, pretty good. I’m enjoying nature in the suburbs, the sweet red cardinals chirping in the trees, the changing of the leaves, the different seasons. Change will happen by itself, there are things we can’t control, health, employment, our children moving away, us moving away, sickness, death. Life brings us one change after another, so right now where we are “stuck” is really a time to rest and appreciate. Whatever comes next, will be very, very different; we will get used to it in time but it won’t be easy to call that place home with all the pieces in the puzzle fitting right into place for a long time. I’m just going to appreciate what I have now, not look backwards and not look forwards, be in the present. Sounds good, right? I’m trying the best that I can.

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cotton Candy Grapes. (Food Pop)

cotton candy grape

cotton candy grape (Photo credit: bubbletea1)

Yesterday after I read about “cotton candy grapes” all I wanted to do was live in California where they HAD them. Why don’t I live in California? That is a question I have asked myself my entire life. So, if someone would please give my husband a hefty paying Software Engineering Managerial Job or something like that then we can move and I CAN be one of the first people to eat these grapes. You have no idea what this would mean to me. You know I am the ultimate CONSUMER and that I adore sweet things, so please can someone at least send me some? Pretty please with sugar on top? Oh right, you don’t even need sugar with these sweeties from what I’ve been told.

I need to google. I need to google NOW. Are they in New York yet. Hang on, I’ll let you know. Wait, I’m selfish when it comes to food, I’ll let you know after I find them and buy them. I’m sorry, sometimes it has to be like that. Food First. I am the new product consumer of the world. Someone should hire ME for that job. I’m obsessed with food. (Can you tell?)

I googled these Cotton Candy Grapes and found that they were available in a few select stores in my area. I posted a question on a mom’s group if anyone had any connections. I could not believe that everyone knew about these babies, I was the last to know. There were sightings. This morning, not feeling my best, I took my dog for a ride, having no sense of direction ( I would only do this for food ) jumped into the car and headed to unknown territory. I asked a very nice person (stranger) for directions to the new supermarket in the other town and wouldn’t you know it, I was only a block away!

With the window open for Lexi, my dog, I ran, literally ran, to the entrance, got a cart for balance and breathlessness and entered directly into the produce aisle. Oh, My God. Right in front of my face were green grapes that said “Cotton Candy” on them. This, people, made me so happy. I immediately stole, I mean tasted one and I was in my glory. Two bunches later (they are very expensive) I was back in my car heading home.

I know that some people (my sister) will hate them and others will love them. I put mine in the freezer for sweet treat. I posted them on my Facebook page. I got a lot of “Huh?”  “What” and “I don’t understand.” comments. They could not grasp the concept of a grape that tasted like cotton candy. Pity. I also got a comment from one old friend who said “I was a pisser.” Thank you, Lisa K. You make me proud. (We have known each other since grade school.)

In the meantime, keep your eyes open, for those green grapes with the pink lettering: Cotton Candy Grapes. You have to try them, even if it’s only once. And, if anyone knows of any new products coming out or if they have tried any new product please email me, you can reach me here at hibernationnow.wordpress.com in the comment section and I will definitely reply.

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Gray Skies, Blue Ahead

English: Yosemite Meadows – Half Dome in...

English: Yosemite Meadows – Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Français : Le Half Dome vu de Yosemite Meadows, les prairies humides qui couvrent le fond de la Vallée de Yosemite, dans le Parc national du même nom, en Californie (États-Unis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I miss the lemon color of sunshine, the way it warms my shoulders or how it feels when I lift my face upwards. Blue skies too, I long to see them and not look at gloomy gray skies. I would consider it to be a gift to see the sky a robin egg’s blue without a single cloud. How can you feel incredibly happy when you look up at the sky and see bare, brittle branches leaning against a milky, dull sky. It’s not white because that could give one hope, but a color between white and gray; I’m looking at it right now. I’ve been looking at it every single day for three months.

I have no plans for today, I could have scheduled some but I didn’t want to have any, it’s one of those days when I wanted to do what I had to do in “me” time. For me, that’s slow. Perhaps, slower than most. I still need to shower and do all of my laundry and I haven’t started anything yet. The only thing I have managed is to sip my blessed cup of strong morning coffee in my bright flowered mug and toss a ring to my dog a few times. Now, her curled up against me on the bed is not a great motivator. I need to get up.

I have told myself to get up for the last hour. I cannot even blame my illnesses for this. This is just laziness and comfort and a question mark. Why do I have to get up? There’s really no good reason that I can figure out, but yes, it’s self-indulgent. What’s the matter with self-indulgence now and then? I’m not watching television or eating bon- bons, no one is here to give me a manicure or pedicure. I’m here, alone with my silence, thinking. My sister always has to be moving, doing, acting, she can’t stay still, I am the total opposite. I can sit and dream and read, be still and think. It doesn’t bother me; I hope I stay this way. It comes in handy. I don’t “have to get out of the house” like my mother who seeks entertainment as much as possible.

My husband and I had tentatively planned a vacation, not one that we are really interested in so we won’t pursue it. I decide I need to be closer to nature, something I have stayed away from for many years but I know the time is right He is absolutely thrilled but thinks I’m kidding. I’m not. I have felt the pull for months now, two of my friends, Ash and Michelle have inspired me  I don’t want to camp out (let’s not be crazy) although that is a funny thought, but I want to be surrounded by trees and waterfalls and the smell of the good, clean earth. I want to go someplace (I’d prefer to drive than fly but that’s unlikely) where all I need to think about are the different types of birds, how many shades of green there really are and the taste of exceptionally clean water. I want to see wildflowers and butterflies and rocks.

Waterfalls, mountains, slow hiking, the sun warming me like a light blanket, taking deep breaths that fill my chest like eating honey slowly. I want to see the stars at night, it is startling to say I have never seen a shooting star; it’s always been one of my goals. It is something new to try, something new to love, that is what I am ready for, that is what will happily get me out of bed.

Yosemite Wildflowers

Yosemite Wildflowers (Photo credit: Selected Pixels)

NaBloPoMo November 2, 2012

Castaway Beach #2

Castaway Beach #2 (Photo credit: palestrina55)

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Sun on my back, gently crisping up my shoulders without burning, I  look healthy not like the cream cheese complexion I always look like here in New York. I love being near water so anywhere in the Caribbean or one of the Islands, for me would be ideal. I’d consider San Diego, California too but my mind goes first to a wonderful island where you just dream about but think you can’t ever do.

In my soul, I need to walk along the beach, collecting a stray seashell or two, not too many, just special ones that have meaning to them. The color of the water is a deep blue/green. Almost indescribable in words’; when people come for the first time they just gasp. Imagine not having to leave such loveliness, such wonder. I would nap every day after a light lunch of fruit and then I would take my mask and flippers and look at the amazing array of bright, beautiful fish that would dance around me as if we were all playing a game. I would be standing still, I didn’t want to interrupt their performance and so they danced around me; we had our routine, the fish and I. I came every day, at the same time and after a few weeks, I like to think they trusted me. I would give them some food and I had access into their world for just a little bit of  time.

I felt privileged just to see them in their colorful splendor; I was the intruder here so I kept myself quiet and very still. After that, I got out of the water and sat on the sand, until the sun warmed my body and my dripping wet hair. Nothing felt more right than sitting on the beach, calm, happy, watching the sun lowering itself into the water. The next morning I’d wake up and the climate would be the same, sunshine, freckles coming out on my skin; I rubbed lavender moisturizer all over my body and face so it would feel creamy and not like parchment paper. I didn’t care how I looked, I cared how my skin felt, I wanted it to feel well nourished and happy. Everything in life connects; I’ve learned that here.

Imagine this gift as you wake up every day of your life. Paradise. It is possible.

Plinky Prompt? Which two favorite far apart cities do you wish you could move close together?

Orange Tree

Orange Tree (Photo credit: amycgx)

  • Which two cities do you wish you could move right next to each other? See all answers
    • Favorite Far-Apart Cities
    • California Dreaming
      New Yorker Hotel building from below

      New Yorker Hotel building from below (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      orange tree New York and California

    • I grew up in NY and still live here but have always wanted to live in California. Part of my heart will always live on the East Coast but part of me longs to live on the West Coast, on the water. I can’t take the winter weather in NY, but the fall and the spring are magnificent. Likewise, I’d like to be near the ocean or any body of water during the summer (or ALL the time if I could).  If I could live in both of these states, I’d be an incredibly healthy and happy woman. I’m too laid back to be a New Yorker and too impatient to be a California citizen, I need STRONG coffee (NY) but love the salad bars in CA. Bagels are a NY MUST, as are egg creams. But imagine, having a lemon or orange tree growing in your back yard in California……to me, that would be like living in a dream.
    • Previous Answer

Daylight Saving Time

Turn Daylight Saving Time Into SUNSHINE

Sunshine

I hate it. It’s not good for my brain or my bones. I think we need more sunshine and more warmth all through the year. Granted, I live in part of the country that gets snow often, and dreary weather and I resent it. I want to move someplace warm and perhaps winter on a beach in the Northeast. I want to be a classic “snowbird” and be proud of it. The freezing cold temperatures makes it difficult for me to move with my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia where every muscle and joint pain ache miserably. My mood is happier when there is sunshine, my bones are happier when there is warmth. What’s not to like?

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Why Lindsey Lohan Isn’t In Jail NOW….

My files (found the original; it's not much be...

Image via Wikipedia

This mugshot is found from http://www.perezhil...

Image via Wikipedia

The explanation? Double standards.

I should not even be wasting my time to post another article about Lindsey Lohan, but, I can’t help myself. She has such a sense of ENTITLEMENT and no wonder, everyone seems to handle her with kid gloves. Judge? Lawyers? LA County? I’m sorry, (heavy sarcasm) she missed the first day of her volunteer commitment in the morgue. Oh, she was just late , well of course, let’s give her another chance. NO. They should have thrown her Versace backside into the slammer right then and there. Done. Over. No more chances.

Give us, the real population, a break. She is a washed-up child star who is begging for attention by her behavior. Fail a drug test? Maybe she ate a bagel with poppy seeds by mistake. Oops. If you or I, or any member of the general public had failed probation once we would be in deep doody. Lindsey? Nah, let’s give her one more chance….and another one…why? Because she is/was a celebrity.

If she wasn’t a “celebrity” would she have gotten all these second, third, twenty chances? NO, if a regular person, with a real job had screwed up this many times, they would have been in lock down years ago. Did you know she ordered cupcakes and burgers to the staff and volunteers at the morgue as an apology for being late yesterday? Yes she did and OH NO SHE DIDN’T! Apparently the cupcakes were not accepted (not sure about the burgers.)

Does this not show everyone (hello Judge?) that she still doesn’t get it?

With all the times she failed probation, drank when she shouldn’t have, failed sobriety tests. California? What?  You didn’t learn from the OJ Simpson trial?  Apparently not. It seems like all you have to be in California, is a celebrity, preferably a rich one.

Let her keep on getting away with things, and then start planning her funeral.

Paging “Mr. L” (Repost with Addendum)

kew gardens queens

Image by silatix via Flickr

I had a friend on my blog who once lived in the same town that I grew up in at different times. We both lived in Kew Gardens, Queens.  He would read my blog fairly consistently and would always comment with his classic signature “Mr. L.” even though I knew his first name was Abe. When I wrote about our old neighborhood, he loved it. I wrote a few posts on the now dissolved oldkewgardens.com about what it was like growing up in that sweet town and that is where we first met. He contacted me after that and we stayed in touch.

He hasn’t been on in a long time and I’m beginning to get worried about him. He was last living in California, I believe, and was contemplating whether he wanted to continue living there or not. Mr. L. to me, was like my substitute dad or uncle, since my dad passed away ten years ago. We used to kid around a lot and talk about our favorite gourmet delicatessen, The Homestead. I still dream about their Polish rye bread, sour and chewy and their faux Sachertorte cake made with many layers of raspberry jam between layers of creamy, sweet, chocolate cake. When I lived at home, every birthday cake was this particular cake inscribed with “Happy Birthday.” A real Sachertorte from Austria is drier and has layers of apricot jam but this was sweeter, this was MY cake.

When Mr. L talked about his deceased wife it was with such emotion, always, he still missed her so very much. From what he told me he absolutely adored her. In every “conversation” he would bring up his wife and talk a little about her; those little things that really make up a great marriage, sharing breakfast, the same bed, holding hands.

I know this blog post isn’t going to win any awards, nor will it attract a lot of people but that’s fine. I know Mr. L had adult children but I don’t remember where they live. So, if anyone knows him (and yes, I do know his full name) please let me know. I know I am overly emotional and sensitive, that’s a big part of who I am but I care about him and hope he is alright. I don’t want to lose Mr. L if I don’t have to. Mr. L. please come back and say hello.

ADDENDUM 10/19 2011. I HEARD FROM MR. L TODAY!!!!!!!!!!

Lost And Found

Tulips from Keukenhof Gardens, Lisle, Holland.

Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t been writing at all and I don’t know why. It’s always a bad sign if I don’t write. Now, I need to question myself, in public, about what’s going on. The past week has been filled with pain, intensely painful legs out of nowhere with nothing to help dissipate the pain. Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, even Tramadol which I have been taking twice a day. Of course, I thought, I jinxed myself when I wrote that I was “lucky”that my pain was less intense than some.  Past tense. Now I have a new pain that I didn’t think was possible and I don’t know where it came from or why it still exists. That new pain jolted me to a new reality and I hate it.

I’m bothered that my sister is my sister and not a friend I would pick and that the best friend I had picked has completely lost herself,  in her marriage and her children and has not resurfaced for years. The stress in the house has become unbearable at times, with my husband unemployed and a Junior and Senior in High School. They have essays to write, exams to study for, colleges to apply to, jobs, appointments, homework, studying. We all feel the stress around us, inside us, despite of us. My children and husband are what keep me going; I not only love these three people, I adore them. They make me laugh, they make me smile and when I was about to cry today, they knew it long before I did.

Yesterday I laughed so hard I had a stomach ache, my kids put up a fake unicorn tapestry to prank their father for going to the Cloisters. After dinner with our friend Janis from California we all ate chocolate, one with a spice called cholula. We laughed and gasped through the pain and I downed two glasses of Arnold Palmer lite iced tea and lemonade afterwards. I went to bed smiling, the laughter being a delightful and unexpected present.

The holidays are almost upon us and I start thinking of my dad, who passed away 8 or 9 years ago. Why is it that I can never remember the year he died? Not being good with numbers has nothing to do with it, it’s a mental and emotional block that I can’t seem to get over. My father was the buffer in the family, the diplomat, the peace-maker. Without him the rest of the family is a triangle of raw emotions.  I was the one who lost the person who understood me the most and who thought identically like me. There is a gaping hole in our family and as everyone who has lost someone they loved knows, there is nothing to heal that pain. It’s like a festering, open wound and once in a while someone tosses in a cup of salt every now and again. There is before and there is after. Your whole world changes forever.

My birthday is coming up and as much as I used to love my birthday this year it feels like a dull ache. I don’t care that I am another year older, I was never concerned with age. Whether I am 53 or 54 doesn’t mean much to me at all. I don’t hide my age and I don’t erase my wrinkled forehead. These fine lines come from experience, both good and bad, they are here to stay. Earlier today I was thinking of my “bucket list”.  The first thing that came to mind was a tour of the tulip season in Holland and snorkeling in  some Caribbean Island so I could escape the long, cold, snowy winters.

Life is short, I am trying to make it fun. Every day is a gift and I should appreciate it but sometimes I get swept away by all the negativity and I need to pull myself up and out of that empty hole in the musty, brown earth, inch by painstaking inch. I think I have found my voice again so after I dig myself out, I will be facing the sun.