Write a comment…
Happily tired, accomplished, cooking meals for others, gathering things for my children. My dog, Lexi, darts in-between my legs, she tries to fight with me as I dance, alone, to the music that is playing from my computer. After watching me dance, she gives up and looks at me quizzically, she doesn’t want to be involved in THIS game, her bone is definitely more interesting. If dancing is considered exercise then I am in pretty good shape. To me, music, my music, stuck in the 70’s and 80’s makes everything feel better.
I laugh aloud, if people would see me they would question my sanity but I really don’t care, I sing horribly, but at top volume, to any song that I know. This is the joy and wisdom of being over fifty.
Granted, if my children were home they would not find this amusing at all, so I would just shut my door and continue to dance, but I know I would not feel the same way. I would feel too constricted, like a bird with a wounded wing. I can ignore judgment from other people but from my children it is definitely harder.
Being healthy and happy is all that matters, taking life one step at a time. Once in a while I get ahead of myself, and I pay the price. Today, I am enjoying, my dog, the quiet of the empty streets, the smell of vanilla lingering in my kitchen and the sound of my laughter as I continue to dance around the fake Spanish tiles in my kitchen floor. The music is loud, everything is balanced; I appreciate what I have this moment.
“i’d rather teach one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”
little bird, you don’t have to apologize for having a new home, i understand completely. I said the same things to my parents when I was your age. I remember thinking that college WAS my home and of course it is. you come back for some vacations, you have moved on and will continue to move on and out. Don’t you think I know that, of course I do. I understand and I support it and I am proud of both you and your sister’s independence, the grown ups you have become. If I shed a tear or two at times, it’s okay, I’m not good at transitions, I never have been, starting from when I was a little girl. Don’t take it too seriously, please. You know I have always been the most sensitive person in the planet and always will be, at times it is both a curse and a blessing. believe me, I have tried to change myself for years but as you know, it really hasn’t worked.
i’ve told you before that I just need a little time to get used to things, even on vacation. when dad and I were dating long distance, he knew i needed 24 hours to get used to him again, some people are like that, its not better or worse, it’s a personality trait. not everyone is as incredibly adaptable as you and your sister,where you both got that trait from we have no idea (okay, maybe my mom) but dad and i are thrilled you both have it.
I was fine saying goodbye to you today until i heard your sweet voice asking “you’re not even going to hug me?” do you think i didn’t want to? could i say no to you? I ‘m laughing at the thought of me not wanting to hug you, of course i did, just didn’t want the flood gates to open up, kind of like now. waiting for that darn transition to kick in (it hasn’t been 24 hours yet) I am writing this for me and for you, and you know how i get when i feel like i’m writing something mushy…not a sight to be seen. you’ve seen it many times before, but now i’m also laughing at myself too which is a very good sign. I know that you are happy and independent and i am so proud of the person you are. my goal in raising a son, was to bring up a good man, truly. when i found out we were having a boy, i was honored, blessed that i could try to make a difference to help shape a boy to become a wonderful young man.
you have become all that and more. you know i feel that way. sometimes we don’t even have to talk, we know what the other one is thinking with a look, or a smile or a quick nod of your head. this gift will never go away, no matter where you or i live. we are connected. forever. so have the best time of your life, and, because i’m a mother, it’s in our handbook to also add “please be safe.”
i love you.
The air was thick with humidity, Emily hadn’t seen the sun in five straight days. To say she was going “stir-crazy” was the understatement of a lifetime. It was hard to breathe, harder to move. She was home with her teenage children, her husband worked long hours and while he used to call her nine times a day just to say hello, he had stopped calling altogether. She had signed up for a clay class but she just heard that it had been cancelled. Her volunteer work at the hospital had ended three weeks ago. She had nothing to do, nowhere to go and she was starting to feel bored, restless and just a little off-center.
She made dinner for the family, most of which was eaten in silence. The cat, Ivy, purred on the sofa, her head resting on a ball of blue yarn. Emily let out an audible sigh of envy, at least the cat was happy, she thought, at least someone was, she certainly wasn’t. What was it about this summer that seemed so different? She felt so closed in, none of her friends were around and there was nothing to do, no one to talk to. She wasn’t brave enough to fly someplace alone and even if she was, they couldn’t afford it but she knew it couldn’t go on like this, she needed to do something, soon.
She thought about it that week and slowly she came up with an idea, an idea that made her smile inwardly. She came up with a plan that involved everything she loved, didn’t cost a lot of money, gave her independence and a mini-vacation. She didn’t ask anyone’s permission, why should she? She had waited on her husband and family for years but one night she told them, not asked them, that she was going to be away for a few days, with her old college roommate. They barely even acknowledged what she said, they mumbled “ok” and her son asked ” Who is going to cook us dinner?” was the only question asked by her son. You’ll figure it out, ” she said calmly, “Dad can give you extra money for pizza.”
The next morning, after everyone had left she packed her car, turned on the music, her music, on loud and headed to meet her old friend in Boston. She knew they were heading to the beach, which beach she wasn’t sure. She would stop at a motel or an Inn, whatever appealed to her on the way. There were no rules, no rules except for her to have fun and to do whatever made her happy. She had packed a few books, she had her radio and she felt peaceful. She was going to pick up Jane and then Jane would take over the driving. Leaving had made her happy, that was something to think about on its own.
They hugged tightly when they saw each other, it had been years since their last reunion. Jane took over the driving while Emily, now wearing her new sunglasses, put her arm and hand out the window in joyous rhythm to the music she loved. She tilted her head back, grinning, laughed happily and sang, loudly off-key.
You receive a call from an unexpected person. Who is it, and what is the conversation about? Go! See all answers
- The Phone Rings………
I’m sure you don’t remember me but my name is Steven and we met in an airplane many years ago flying from Boston to New York. We dated a for a while and even though our chemistry and apparently quick friendship was amazing, I was a complete jerk. I remember I had an office trip for a month after (which I’m sure you thought you would never hear from me again) but I was utterly taken with you. Maybe smitten is a better word. I sent you postcards, several postcards if I remember. We had a quick and easy banter and a similar sense of humor, and I remember how quick you were with answers, nobody had ever come back as quickly as you and I was enthralled by your wit and by your open smile and dancing green eyes. I can still picture them. It was a tough combination for me to ignore and I knew I couldn’t do it.
Apparently, over your vacation at home, you had just gone through an extremely difficult situation with your family. A devastating one. You never told me what happened, you couldn’t at the time, you were bleeding still and raw and I was impatient. I forgot you were young and that my track record was really not good, that was my fault, entirely. I totally messed everything up.
I would call you to say I would be there at your house at 8pm and I would not show up until 12 midnight, this happened more than once. You should have slammed the door in my face, I DID deserve it, I almost wish you had. You probably felt the same way. I remember you told me what your best friend said about me, it hurt but it was true: “There are NO MORE excuses, not even if his family was decimated in a fire, there is always time for a ten second call.” She was right, you were right. T
I was a selfish, rich, overachiever who thought he had to prove himself in this world. But, that’s what I loved so much about you. Remember when you said your most favorite time with me was when we ate Frosted Flakes in my living room? That was YOU in a sentence. Your grin, your sparkling green eyes, the way you threw your head back, laughing. You didn’t care if I had a BMW or any kind or car, or the prestigious job I had. All you cared about was me, the real me. You saw the unguarded moment that no one else had ever picked up on, except for you. Eating Frosted Flakes in the living room, me trying to explain football to you!! ( Sorry, I couldn’t help that one)
I’m here now to say, I deeply regret how I treated you. I saw on Facebook that you are married with two beautiful grown-up children, and of course, a dog. I’m glad and somehow I knew you would keep your last name! I am still single but I am in the beginning of making amends. I knew I had to start with you. Even though it was just a short time, thank you for being in my life.
- special thanks to Frosted Flakes
IN MEMORY OF THE CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND STAFF OF NEWTOWN, CT.
Trembling hands, shooting
Children cowering, crying
I pray for time, peace.
taut, rope fraying, neon bright
Seen by only one.
I bounce in freedom
Gold coins fall into my hands
Young lovers twisted
shiny, sparkling, delighted
Old age settles in.
Sparkling green eyes flirt
my head tossed back with laughter
Looking back in time.
I know you’re smiling, I’m tickling you under your chin, come on, you know you love this movie too. Am I right? Just look at the picture of Mary Poppins, I can tell you are melting. I know every word and song from the original movie “Mary Poppins” and I’m 56 years old. Hopefully you remember it with great fondness like I do or maybe your parents showed it to you, (or dear God, your grandparents.) It is an absolutely FANTASTIC movie and, in my opinion, one of the best made films I have ever seen. It was filmed in the early sixties and I still watch it from time to time. I felt so hum-drum today that I wanted to laugh, I miss laughing.
After looking on Youtube and finding foul-mouthed comedians, which did not amuse me, I gave up. I gave up until I remembered Mary Poppins and the scene with the laughing man on the ceiling. Sure enough, Youtube (thank you) found it for me. Whenever that man laughed so hard, he flew up in the air. To this day, when I even think about that scene I smile. That glorious feeling when your belly whoops in laughter that comes so fast you can’t take a breath and it actually hurts. Where tears roll down your face and your nose gets kind of snotty, in a good way because no one else is around you. Even writing this is making me smile and believe me, that’s better than nothing. The last time I laughed heartily, I think, was on the phone with one of my kids. I don’t remember what it was about, I just remember the luscious feeling of having laughed so hard. Hey, I’m old and getting old is no fun so you need to forgive a gal. Did I just write “Gal?” I couldn’t sound older even if I tried. Do my children even know that word? I sound old, like a granny in a rocking chair with her white hair tied up in a bun. Whatever. Who cares?
I want to knee-slap, guffaw and double over with laughter. It’s such a serious world, a tremendously serious and dangerous world that I don’t know how to have fun anymore. An old movie? Old reruns of classic TV? You know you are getting older when you watch comedians and when they just curse, word after word, you don’t find them funny just vulgar. Get over it, honey, you need a new schtick, this one is too old and unbecoming. (You know who you are) and you know (Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Ellen Degeneres) we love you, because you are very funny and seem to be nice people as well. We need that.
The answer? Since I haven’t come up with anything original, I’ll have to pop (pun intended) in the DVD I have of Mary Poppins and watch the movie now. Who can resist? I know I can’t. Watch the clip, join me for a couple of minutes, I hope you laugh.
- Describe your perfect Sunday morning. See all answers
- My Perfect SUNDAY Morning……
- THIS IS PURE FANTASY
Mimosas My perfect Sunday morning would be in mid-May. The winter would have passed and now the mornings are bright, the air is filled with sweet songs from the birds chirping in the bright, blue sky. I would sleep until at least nine o’clock in the morning and I would stretch my arms and legs in my bed like our black and white cat who just woke up too. His name would be Felix and I would not be allergic to cats anymore.
My husband would make me coffee, just the way I like it, and would bring it to me while I was still in bed, for a special treat, and he would sit at my side and talk to me while I sipped the PERFECT cup of coffee. Both the taste and the scent of the coffee are intoxicating. Mmmmm. Our dog, would be at our side, giving us kisses and not licking my coffee cup (not to say that this has EVER happened before….) and we would talk to our children, away at college, on the phone and both of them were happy and having a good time.
We would then get dressed and meet friends, at a nearby restaurant for an elaborate, champagne brunch buffet. I would have a mimosa (or two), eggs benedict, pancakes, chocolate chip loaf, (I just had to put that in) very crisp bacon, raspberry scones and a sample of whatever I wanted. No one talked about illness or getting older. This was a special occasion, a joyous occasion and we all laughed and celebrated whatever good news it was!
Staying in my house, bored, is utterly detrimental to my health. I know this for sure. I need to get out, to have adventures and while I used to have more people to have adventures with, I now have adventures with myself or…..with my dog, Lexi. Maybe this is the bonding she and I need, maybe our adventures together are her way of showing affection. I really don’t know.
Today was a lovely, breezy summer day; the sun was shining, the sky a brilliant blue and clouds formed to make unusual, thick shapes. I took our 4 and a half month “mutt-a-gree” puppy (so much nicer than saying mutt, don’t you think?) and opened the back door of my car for her. “Come on, Lex, we’re going for a ride.” We ended up in a park that has trails and a walking path, a pond, a playground for children and an ice cream truck. What could be better?
We met a few other dogs, white curly-haired dogs, large, german shepherds, a couple of big dogs in various shades of gold, red, brown, beige and white. Some were big and fluffy with full coats, others were small and yappy; some were off leash, others were on. Not every dog was happy to see a puppy, an (over) enthusiastic four and a half month puppy but a few dogs put up with it. Lexi is like a politician and very much like our son when he was three years old. Our son would say “Hi” to everyone who walked by and would wave his chubby hand, if people didn’t stop to chat, admire, wave or smile, he was personally insulted and it showed on his face. Lexi is the same way, she takes all rejections personally and gets upset when a dog doesn’t want to play with her.
Determined to take her for a walk, I pulled her away from the other disinterested dogs and off we went. About five minutes into the walk we came upon the smelly, dirty, big pond (I’m being nice, it was a huge, disgusting swamp). I love water and had always hoped my first dog would love water but she was terrified of it. Lexi was not. She went to the edge and was fascinated by the muddy water. She played in the water with her paws and we both were thrilled. Yes, I was encouraging her, I admit it. She went out a little further but I still had the leash clutched in my hand. (Another mea culpa I had not brought the long leash with me since this was an impromptu adventure.)
The next part I see in slow motion. Me, wearing new white pants and a navy and white striped tee-shirt and my favorite and expensive sneakers (that are the only kind that fit my old lady messed up feet) were at one point standing at the edge grinning at MY dog, proud, cell phone in my pants pocket. Half a second later, my super-strong puppy pulled me in with such great strength that I fell into the stinky, grimy water. My first thought was “my husband will kill me if my phone is broken” my second thought “who saw me because this is so embarrassing?” and finally after the nice gentlemen in back of me asked if I was alright, I said some silly thing like “well at least she likes the water” with an embarrassed, goofy grin. The entire left side of my body was drenched in black slime, my right side apparently hadn’t made it in the water.
We stank. Both of us, like dirty, muddy, black-stained sea urchins. Lexi was wet and wild. I laughed the entire ride home calling our friend Christina to ask her to take a picture on Instagram for Facebook. If I can figure it out, I will try to repost the photo here, if not look there! it’s worth it. My son and husband’s first question was:” Why didn’t you let go of the leash?” “Because I’m a mother, that’s why!” I didn’t know if she could swim, and I didn’t trust her if she could swim not to swim to another state. It seemed instinctual to stay by her side, and so I did.
No anxiety today! I had an adventure, with my puppy who is way too strong and needs discipline. Puppy classes start Sunday and I can’t wait. Now, I need new sneakers (I’ve already tried washing the ones I had on) the cell phone is nestling in rice and the dog had so much excitement she is sleeping, down for a nap. I still smell like the swamp lady but I had fun, a lot of fun. We should do this more often, though next time I will bring a much longer leash and a few, old towels. All in all, I have to admit, I haven’t had this much fun in a long time; it was a perfect day.
The sun is shining, I have my ready-for-Spring green jacket on and I am gathering my blessings like a girl in a field of wild flowers: purple, pink, apricot and blue arranging them in a wicker basket. Today, my heart feels light, my steps seem smooth like I was on an invisible ice-skating rink and my elbows, fingers, knees are relatively pain-free. This is a gift from Spring, at least for the day and my body rejoices. Will I pay for this feeling tomorrow? Probably, but right now I don’t care.
I raise my face to the sun and delightedly close my green eyes. My hair hangs around my shoulders loosely. There, right there, the first hint of Spring in the suburbs. My nose gets kissed by the morning air, the 70 degree temperature makes me wrap my arms around myself and I eat golden honey on toast with butter and slices of a green, tart, Granny Smith apple.
I am not in pain always, I just write about it when I am. This is my apology to those who think I have NO good days or at least some better days. I am here today and I am enjoying life. A purple crocus is peeking from the earth, my beautiful, shiny nine-year old dog is ecstatic to be on a leash and outside for a leisurely stroll. I am as excited for her as I am for myself.
The snow returns tomorrow and the day after but that happens every year as March comes to an end and the pranks of April Fool’s Day come early. The one day of warm springtime teases us like a devilish child that loves to taunt and run away to safety. We have all known and loved that twinkling, mischievous youth. We know that there will be a few more days of snow and many more of rain and gray puddles. But, since we have tasted Spring on our lips, like the first soft-serve vanilla Carvel ice cream cone of the season, we know that it will come back to us soon. It will be even warmer, and lush, with green velvet grass sprouting and windows wide open to chase away the miserable coldness and stuffiness. Once we have sniffed the Spring, we embrace it, when it returns, like a lost puppy. Laughing now, we drink iced tea and grin widely as we look at a bowl of lush lemons gleaming in a simple, blue glass bowl.