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)

Plinky: If I had to evacuate my home, what 5 items would I grab?

  • Shell Necklace

    Shell Necklace (Photo credit: Seashore Love)

    If you had to evacuate your home in an instant, what five items would you grab on your way out? See all answers

  • The top five items
  • 1) My stuffed animal Nokey (couldn’t say Monkey) that my dad gave me when I was two.
    2) A framed photo of my father and me. (He died 11 years ago)
    3) My computer (has my blog on it so I can “read” my memories.
    4) A huge box of photos of my children, my husband, mom and sis, etc.
    5) My tiny shell (engagement) necklace.

On Valentine's Day

Do You Celebrate Valentine’s Day or Not?

Mini-rose

I remember answering this prompt last year and I wrote about the true love that my husband and I know we had for each other. We didn’t need gifts or mushy cards or expensive dinners (I still agree with the expensive dinners-I hate that restaurants jack up the prices like on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day too) and I was pretty blase about the “holiday.” We would always say “Happy Engagement Anniversary” because we did get engaged (in Hawaii) on Valentine’s Day 25 (wow, really??!!) years ago.

For a few years we did nothing, no cards, no presents, just an agreement not to buy each other anything. When my husband got me the same card, two years in a row, we took a break from cards too; we didn’t need them and it didn’t matter. Or so I thought.

To be truthful, I think we stopped caring a little and that’s not good. It was too comfortable, too much like an old friendship that we stopped noticing each other as the love of our lives and not the parents of our children.

We went through a lot these past few years. Two years of unemployment, our house fell apart (literally) we were forced to move to a hotel room for three and a half months with our high school senior daughter and our nine-year old dog. To add to this my husband broke his Achilles Tendon in the city while running to catch a train to come home the day before we moved to the hotel. It was also the day that we were supposed to drive our son to college. I ended up driving our son to college alone. At first a little nervous, I was proud and thrilled that I did it and did it well! Other people were so sweet to offer, but I WANTED to go and while it wasn’t easy, it was okay. Life isn’t always easy, we know.

Now, we are back in our house and my husband has a job where he has to commute to different places for work so we have no real schedule together. This year, I wanted him to be my special Valentine, all over again, and I wanted to be his Valentine. We stepped it up a notch. We did exchange gifts and cards and kisses and hugs. We remembered what it felt like to have a partner for life and not just a friend or a companion.He is the love of my life.

Sometimes life gets too easy or too hard; you have to work on marriage as you do everything else; sometimes we get complacent. Happy Valentine’s Day to my one and only, true love. I love you honey. More.

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The Donald, Oprah And President Barack Obama

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

Image via Wikipedia

I am not the only one who feels stressed out. It seems the world is in a very stressful and sorry state. Not just in our country (The USA) either, it seems that everywhere there are horrible natural disasters, wars in different countries, debt, unemployment and no hope for the near future. Instead of asking President Obama for reassurance, which I am sure he would love to do if he could, I’m asking Oprah for her take on the situation. I trust HER.  Oprah is the only person I want to run for President because I believe in her. So, right now, in the middle of many world crises, I choose her. I pick her. I want her to tell us that things will work out and that the karma that really goes around comes around because unfortunately I’m starting to doubt that. I’m just not one hundred percent sure if that really is true anymore but if Oprah proclaimed it to be true, now, I would become a believer again.

I saw Donald Trump being interviewed by Meredith Viera today. I was absolutely speechless but The Donald certainly was not. Even the looks and grimaces on Meredith Viera’s face were newsworthy. She was practically spitting at him. The Donald was saying that he is pretty sure that “Barack Obama” is not a United States citizen. Again. WHY, Donald, why? You were so emphatic on the show today that even I, an avid Barack Obama supporter, started thinking that maybe there was something behind that. (Did I just say that?)

I’m beginning to fear for my brain. If I am actually starting to question my judgment about President Obama that is a very scary thing. So, I will not be listening to Donald Trump anymore (except on The Celebrity Apprentice) and I will continue to try to have faith in this Administration. It isn’t an easy job, and we know what shape the world was in when the President took office. But still… I need some answers, I need some faith, and I need some hope and the only one who could possibly do that now is: Oprah. Oprah Winfrey for President of the United States, 2012. I’m in.

i want outta here

Fist by David Shankbone

Image via Wikipedia

i’m sicka my body, sicka my self, cranky as all hell for bein my age and my character and my illnesses. so sick i wanna steal someone else’s body and call it my own so i can feel myself for who i really am. know what i’m sayin? i don’t wanna be a granny, too old for who i am inside me. my body doesn’t match what i feel in my heart. i cant be happy anymore least not tonite because now my ear hurts and i dont wanna go to see my doctor cuz i am sick o doctors, doctors o every kind. i got lots of different doctors one for everything, and then some. none of them ever did me much good an i don’t care if they are hotshots. no cure, no care.

i wanta be another person in another place, or maybe me in a different time. i want ta be in hawaii like when i was 30 and in love and slim and my green eyes were dancing and my legs, arms, face, body was tan, like with healthy skin not like some tanner beds they have now. i was as brown as milk chocolate and equally sweet. i was someon way back when and i mattered.

now im just old and hurting and i ache so much all the time that it makes my mind go unhappy and a little nervous ass too. who am i now, i dont like this stranger, this whiny mess, she is not me but afraid she is me. i just dont like her anymore, not the way she is today. bring back that girl with the twinkling, brazen green eyes and the perfectly shaped lips. replace her sagging jowls with happiness and the black circles under her eyes, make them disappear too. you are old now and sick and there will never be a witness to who u were before you got these chronic illness like fibro and hashimotos thyroiditis. you know what it means. it means you hurt all over, all your muscles and all your bones and nothin makes you feel better any of the time except maybe when you sleep. sometimes when i sleep i wake up at 3am and then everything is just worse than usual because things get scarier and you feel really alone. try to sleep tho, because its your only escape from relentless pain. try.

jus remember in the mornin, you gotta start all over again, cuz there never is a tomorrow that is different than today. because sometimes life is not so fair even tho there are people that have it worse. but after awhile when u don’t get a break you think you gonna just lie this way forever and someday get smaller and smaller but you will still be lying on that bed, under blankets except the bed will stay the same but not you, no will just go on and disappear, like angry dust in the air.

My Thoughts On Valentine’s Day (Plinky Prompt)

Heart-shaped cake with Roses

Image by Taariq Maruzook via Flickr

  • Kiss Me, Hug Me, Tell Me That You Are Mine……….

    February 14, I feel like I should be writing this with red kissy hearts all over the page. ❤ How I feel about Valentine’s Day depends on the year. When I was single, I hated Valentine’s Day, I thought it was overrated and commercial and totally depressing. However, my husband and I got engaged on Valentine’s Day in Hawaii, not at dinner overlooking the magnificent sunset (he didn’t want a scene!) but back in our rented condo, in the kitchen, sharing a Diet Coke. I am sentimental (sometimes) about Valentine’s Day but this year my husband has a meeting with his boss so we will celebrate it two weeks later. After his being unemployed for about 18 plus months, his new job is our joint Valentine’s Day present.
    My husband is NOT well known for his romantic side,(sorry hon, but you KNOW it’s true) I’ve learned to accept that. He’s a more matter of fact, computer/ intellectual person while I am pure, mushy emotion. Sure, I used to dream about red roses coming in a white box delivered by a florist but it’s not his style (and it’s expensive on Valentine’s Day too.) It matters more to me that he is always here for me when I need him, that I can count on him one hundred percent and that he is my best friend and companion. He brings me flowers other times just because he knows I love them, for no “holiday” at all except to make me smile.
    Romance, flowers, sweets are nice, so are red hearts and chocolate covered cherries, and cookies dusted with pink and red sugar. Deep down inside, I am married to the most wonderful man on earth and he is my ultimate gift and so too, I am his.

  • Previous Answer

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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My Ultimate Keepsakes

:. via Flickr”]Zip

(Hey, Plinky: Is this a Plinky Prompt Repeat?)

Nokey. (Monkey)
This is the most sentimental item that I have. My father bought me this stuffed animal, a monkey, when I was two years old. I couldn’t pronounce monkey so Nokey it was. Nokey came on every trip with me, sat on my college bed and was there with the birth of my children. He now sits in my bedroom, wearing a Newton-Wellesly newborn shirt, the same shirt my children wore when they were born. He is barely stuffed anymore but still has his wide, open lipped, red smile. My father bought me Nokey at Lamberts; Nokey is now 52 years old. When I die, Nokey will be buried with me.

A ceramic, green 8
Eight was always a special number when I was growing up. It was significant to me as a child, a code between my father and myself. This is less about my dad and more about my daughter. She once made me a green, ceramic 8 when she was in sleep-away camp. I look at it every day and every night. The fact that my daughter made this for me means everything to me.

Photographs
I would scurry around my house ducking in and out of the flames so I could carry as many photographs as possible. A photograph taken on Cape Cod of me and my children when they were young, a photograph of my husband and I when we were first engaged, one of my dog, Callie, looking straight into the camera with a sweet, panting smile. A photo of my mother and I when I was a newborn, my sister and I when we were young and she was my world, my father and I hugging when I was pregnant with my son, pictures of family, friends, reminders of good times in the past.

A Wooden Heart
My mom gave me this heart many, many years ago. It says “I Love You” on it and it is very special. My mother, not an emotional person in any way, gave this to me as a gift. It was her way of showing me how much she loved me, I keep it to remind me that while she doesn’t always show it, I know she loves me deeply.

My Clam Engagement Necklace

My boyfriend (now husband of 22 years) and I went to Hawaii over Valentine’s Day many years ago. He proposed to me on Valentine’s Day, while we were in the kitchen of our rented condo, sipping Diet Coke. While he didn’t have a ring (he thought I would want to pick it out himself) he bought me a delicate gold, clam shell necklace. I call it my engagement necklace and while I have jewelery that is far more expensive, this means the most to me.

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