#FWF Kellie Elmore

Frühlingsblumen verschiedene Krokusse

Frühlingsblumen verschiedene Krokusse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Circle of Life: Death & Rebirth

This is the time for introspection, to put things in order not just for my house, but for me. My life lesson: I have clung to old friendships far too long, they are dead, like the crumpled crisp brown leaves on the yard. Friendships where I am the only one who is trying.  You can’t force a friendship and your real friends, your true friends are always there. “The past” is a nice memory not a basis for friendship.

It is the second week of November, I look out my window and see gray skies and naked trees. There is no more sun peeking from behind blue skies, I mourn the sunshine, the flowers, the bright, orange, red, yellow leaves of the Fall that used to embrace the trees. What was once my favorite season is now seen as the precursor to the worst season, Winter.

Winter is on its way, people are dismissive and say “add layers of clothing” as they stuff themselves into scarves and hats, mittens and feel warmer but not me and not anyone who shares the chronic illness of Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Disease. Those words taunt us, they are a  joke, a cruel comedy, a farce. Nothing helps, the winter chill goes through our bones and latches on like a one huge tick, sucking blood. We are always exhausted, we have no energy, we have what seems like the flu without the fever, every day of our lives. In the winter our bones and muscles are stiff, unyielding and painful.

Many times I don’t get dressed. My nightgown becomes my party dress and my pajamas serve as my jeans and sneakers. I know when I am in a ” Fibro Flare” when I cannot wear anything, that strains against my body. My body is bloated and the jeans make angry red imprints on my stomach even though they are the right size for me. If I have to be outside, as soon as I  come home I literally rip the tight, restricting clothing off, my bra, my pants and change into loose, soft pajama bottoms and a well-worn tee-shirt. It is only then I can breathe. To people with chronic pain, Winter is a slow death, a Tragedy.

After a long, bleak winter, when the temperatures get higher and we have weeks of rain, my body and mind change. My body hurts because of the dampness and the changing weather but my heart knows that soon I will see buds springing from the ground to show off the first fashions of Spring. One day out of the corner of my eye, I see several bright, green buds pushing their way from the deep, dark earth. It is the promise of Spring fulfilled, crocuses have pushed their way above ground: Hope. Once the crocuses have sprung forth, soon we will see the burst of color dancing before our eyes.  It is a ballet I love to watch.  I never get bored. In a matter of days the forsythia bush in my back yard has sprouted brilliant, bright yellow lights, buds and I know that we are safe and loved.

One day, the sun pulls out its lazy arms and stretches, beams its beautiful smile and soars to the top of a deep blue sky. It is officially Summer, It is time to Rejoice, to take advantage of every single day that we have been given, a reprieve, from pain, from gloominess, a treat. I enjoy the summer as much as I can. Even though extreme heat is not good for chronic pain patients, it is good for my soul to look outside and see the painting of flowers and sun and hear the laughter of children riding their bicycles in the neighborhood. The sun, makes me happy, it does affect my mood. It softens the world around us, like a soft, romantic filter on an otherwise hard life. I am grateful for the sun, every single day, it is time to Celebrate with friends: joyous laughter, food, children selling lemonade, dogs running around outside, people holding hands. This would be my final act.

Plinky Prompt: Escape!

  • English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C...

    English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. closeup view of vocalists Joan Baez and Bob Dylan., 08/28/1963 Español: Bob Dylan con Joan Baez en la Marcha por los Derechos Civiles en Washington, D.C. (1963) Italiano: Joan Baez e Bob Dylan durante la marcia per i diritti civili a Washington, 28 agosto 1963 Polski: Bob Dylan i Joan Baez w 1963 Deutsch: Joan Baez und Bob Dylan beim Marsch auf Washington am 28. August 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Live at the Troubadour (Carole King and James ...

    Live at the Troubadour (Carole King and James Taylor) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from). See all answers

  • Escape!
  • I’m escaping from STRESS and I’m taking my husband with me. I can’t possibly hang on much longer with my twisted, achy stomach which might very well be an ulcer or worse, losing weight, and being tired and upset. I’m watching my husband feeling down and defeated and unhappy too. I’m taking my husband, my best friend, whose stress level I share and intensify, out of here.He needs a new, good job PRONTO, in the computer field (something about Software and Engineers and Project Management) where people are not mean but decent and NICE. It’s been too hard, waiting for the pink slip which is coming except they don’t even GIVE you a pink slip anymore. Now, they just take you into a room, avoid your eyes and mutter about lay-offs. The unemployment drill.
    Let’s sell the house, then tell our kids in college, take the nutty dog with us (she’s always up for an adventure) and rent a van, or small mobile home. We can become the baby boomer hippies we never were. Let’s go down to the basics, we don’t need all this “stuff” that you, okay WE cling to. Imagine, having no agenda, no plans, no watches. We’d be living on money from the things we sold. Our college kids might even have to work (Gasp, what’s that??) Let’s go cross-country (you never believed me but I meant it.) Maybe somewhere we can settle down and open a breakfast place or lunch, maybe ice cream?
    Let’s go now, before we change our minds. We won’t sell the CD’s, because the one thing we need, wherever we are, is music. Music makes us happy and we need to sing loudly out the windows with joy. Our dog, Lexi, hanging out the window having a blast. We will sing all the oldies, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Carole King, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez….just to name a few. No stress? Sounds like heaven to me.

Top Albums I Listened to While Growing Up

We Listen To The Same Music Now…

Sexy Boys

I started listening to my older sister’s music: The Mama’s and the Papa’s and Chad and Jeremy (does anyone else remember them?) When I was in high school I listened to John Denver, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel, Carole King, Carly Simon and Cat Stevens. I still listen to all of them with the exception of Chad and Jeremy, but I am going to listen to them now, because whatever was old can still be new. Enjoy.

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Dedicated to my sister, Emma

What Was The First Album You Bought? (Plinky Prompt)

  • My First Album
  • “They will take your soul if you let them so don’t you let them….”

     

    Carole King – Tapestry

    The first album I purchased was a record, a 33, not that it would make sense to anyone in any generation other than mine. It was Carole King’s Tapestry and I remember sitting on the hard, steel beige cover of the radiator in my older sister’s room filled with full-fledged teenage angst. I sang along to “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “You’ve Got A Friend.”
    I sang the verses of “You’ve Got A Friend” focusing on “people can be so cruel, they hurt you and desert you”….I had a good friend who moved away and she swore to keep in touch with me. It didn’t happen for many, many years and I was hurt. Deeply hurt. I sang that song, over and over again,while I peered out of the dirty window from the sixth floor apartment building to the dark, empty and cold pavement below.

Music Therapy (aka as cheaper than the other kind)

Ever since my  friend Linda and I were eliminated from singing in the chorus in seventh grade (with mean Mr. Patterson) I haven’t been the same and still  think he was totally wrong (not that I hold a grudge).   I have moved on and his mistake did not stop me from singing out loud and enjoying it but even being placed in the chorus?  How bad were we?  I love to sing and while I may not have the BEST singing voice I’m not horrific. I think I can carry a tune fairly well, I don’t shriek or scream, doesn’t that count for something? People don’t look askew when I sing or give me dirty looks. I have said before I enjoy it no end; the world needs people who love to sing.   Music makes me feel better and since I can’t afford therapy as much as I would like or need,  I have relied on this blog ( which has gotten me into serious trouble with some family members) and music. Music, trust me, is much, much safer.

I know I am dating myself and calling myself a nerd at the same time but in the early seventies, John Denver could take me out of any vile mood and make me smile and sing along. No, I was not “passing the pipe around” as he sang but he could always make me feel better. Always. Until he divorced Annie and then when he died. My best friend Paula and I were devastated. After not being in touch for months, we called each other that day. How could John Denver die?  We barely had forgiven him for divorcing Annie. She “filled up his senses,” he named the song after her, they adopted children ( oh wait, am I confusing him with Tom Cruise again?) Apparently  after the divorce from Annie, who we felt we all knew I think he remarried.  I mean, really.  Then there were viscous rumors, a lot of rumors about his excessive drinking, cavorting and doing major drugs.  Allegedly. That was when the John Denver fan club ended.

But dying?  That was a whole new and last chapter and one that was really sad and unbelievable to us. How could he have died in an airplane? What was he thinking? It seemed too horrible to think about; after all he was our first musical crush and the first ever concert we went to.

It took a long time after his death to play his music again. First it made me sad and angry and then with time, like everything else, I began to remember the John Denver that made me happy when Paula and I were in High School filled with some type of drama. Now I can still play his music  (and yes, I do still play his music) and feel the happiness I felt when  I was 15; kind of.  It’s not  really the same, of course, but now it’s better and soothing and I know every word to every song he ever made. RIP.

My latest choice of songs to make me forget my troubles and to smile is a song by The Kinks called “Better Day” which I have been playing every day since my friend Scott posted it. It is going to be my theme song for 2010. It’s upbeat and it makes one feel happy and hopeful like no other song.   For variety, my happy mood music always includes Bruce Springsteen( that’s for you Claudine).  I have different music for different moods; there is Josh Groban, Neil Young,  CSN&Y and of course The Beatles. There’s also time when you just need girl music: Sarah Mclaughlan, Sheryl Crow, Wynonna, The Corrs, Carole King and Carly Simon, Madonna and yes, Barbra Streisand.

Of course this is all biased but we should never, ever forget Simon and Garfunkel whose songs I think should follow the National Anthem o or at least played in the Smithsonian.  They sing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline at Red Sox games, there should be a place for Simon and Garfunkel, somewhere.

There aren’t many people I would see in concert again. Saw James Taylor and he was rude and sarcastic, saw Crosby, Stills and Nash and their voices were….umm…different.  There is/was  Peter, Paul and Mary who I could not enjoy since another legend, Mary, died.

I would see Simon and Garfunkel again (perfection)in concert and maybe Carole King. I leave the Rap bands to my 2 teenagers, I know they like it but they also like that we hate it. Works every time.  It would give my husband and I a headache to go to a Rap concert, but it might be worth it to totally embarrass our kids!

So next time, before you head for the Xanax container or your favorite cocktail or 5, take a deep breath, turn on the music and listen. Listen until you find the song that makes you feel good, or if you want to cry, try a sad song. Therapy is very expensive and it is worth it bu give music therapy a try first.  Music therapy, the first step for intervention, give it a try. Because even though it helps to have someone nod his or her head at something you said, music is relatively cheap, it’s always available and you never get charged for an appointment if you don’t cancel 24 hours before the session. Try it because the beat of music, really does go on and on….

For Paula, Scott and Claudine