Carry on Tuesday: Rain, rain, go away

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds (Photo credit: freefotouk)

Scott and Sarah were days away from their honeymoon, excited to be going to Paris, France after their  sunny and warm wedding reception in Boston, MA. They couldn’t think of a more romantic place to go than Paris. To be in love and to be in Paris, enchanting and delightful, they imagined long walks, holding hands on the small, cobbled streets and kissing furtively behind hidden doorways. They couldn’t wait for the chocolate croissants, standing in the sunshine,  many cups of lush, thick coffee with cream, a different apple or pear pastry for every meal…..the intoxicating smell of freshly baked bread wafting on the side streets.

They arrived two days after their wedding reception, having spent one night in a luxurious room overlooking the Boston Harbor, a gift from their friends. They had been driven there from the reception, Sarah, still in her wedding dress and white sneakers, Scott in his immaculate dark blue suit and maroon tie. Sarah refused to change into another dress, it was her wedding after all and she delighted in seeing other people point at her and gasp: “a bride!” When little girls with pigtails looked at her in awe she smiled and waved at them. Watching a bride, when she was a girl, was always magical.

Their plane left in the evening and they flew on TWA straight to Paris. They arrived, excited, happy, in love, dreams dancing in their eyes. The weather the first day was colder than they thought it would be. Sarah, secretly thanked her mother who had insisted she bring a raincoat in her luggage.

The sky was gray and dark, winds were chilly and it rained within the hour. They made their way to their tiny hotel, dragging their suitcases through city streets until they finally reached their destination. Sarah was not happy about that, there were no rolling suitcases back then and she was tired, cranky and hungry and just wanted to close her eyes. Scott refused to take a taxi, absolutely refused, Sarah was furious and thus their honeymoon started.

Every day of their vacation in France was cold and it rained every single day. “Rain, rain, go away” Sarah sang out loud but she only got angrier when the rain did not let up. To try to get away from the weather they decided to rent a car and head South, they would salvage their honeymoon. However, wherever they went, the rain followed, the winds blew freezing air and the skies were dark gray.

Sarah was there over her birthday and they had eaten lunch in a rest stop on a toll road. They both ate chicken with rice pilaf. It tasted fine, but within an hour, Sarah was throwing up violently, over and over again. It was the worst case of food poisoning she had ever had. “Happy Birthday, ME” she muttered to herself, swishing her mouth out with Coke. They cautiously drove to a quaint, old town in the country where they stayed in a beautiful, old castle. From the outside it looked like a movie set but once inside it was eery and dark. There was no light in the hallways and in their room except for one hanging bulb, swinging from a thin rope.

They called it “the honeymoon from hell”, they couldn’t wait to get back to the US and their apartment. It was the worst vacation they had ever taken. Once home, Sarah, who had packed only one warm, black sweater as an after thought, ended up wearing it every day for two solid weeks. The first time they lit a fire in their fireplace, she tossed the black sweater in the fireplace, along with their memories and happily watched them burn up in flames.

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Living in Other Countries

Bruce Springsteen - Born In The USA

Image by Piano Piano! via Flickr

I had the proud distinction when I was little of being the “only born American” and I wore that honor with pride. My parents and my older sister were all born in different countries and even though my parents and sister came to the United States when my sister was 9 months old, I still felt special.

At this point in my life, with my husband and our two almost grown children, I would love to live in another country for a few years. Italy, Spain, England, Holland? Greece, Israel, Japan? I love to visit different countries when we can afford it. The only place I wouldn’t want to live? Paris. I would be such an American outcast, wearing my blue jeans and long-sleeved gray GAP shirt, sneakers and clogs. There’s no way I’m wearing high-heeled stilettos and expensive outfits for any city. However, the French countryside is breathtakingly beautiful and I wouldn’t mind learning how to make cheese. For now, I think I’ll stay right here in the USA where I can wear what I want and still drink strong coffee and pastries. If, however, the opportunity came up…..I can pack quickly.

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Worrying, Lamb Souvlaki And Pollyanna

Pollyanna (1960 film)

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve had way too many changes in my life in a short period of time and I feel unsettled. Anxiety attacks have crept up on me like the sting of bees approaching quickly, out of nowhere.  I feel anxious, on and off, and I am not too proud to admit it. A lot of people have feelings of anxiety, that’s why there’s medication and breathing, writing and music, and today, cleaning and keeping busy. Usually there are friends to talk to but my dear friend is in England having a great vacation and others don’t really make the effort or are just too busy with their own lives. My worry and I are together, we’re holding hands.

My mom has been sick and I am worried about her; her anxiety is fueling mine. My mother who was always seemed so strong and energetic seems  more vulnerable now, she’s had a horrible year and she’s scared, we both are. I’m “meeting worry half -way” as my old friend, ex-nun, lesbian and former boss used to say. That’s not doing anyone any good. I am scared for my mom and for me,  I think she is too.  My sister is usually the Pollyanna type in the family so I just wrote her and asked how she felt, maybe she can comfort me. I know she is not a worrier, and even though she is extremely positive about these sorts of medical situations I’m not sure it will rub off on me though I hope it does.

I have a wonderful husband, two great kids, a lovable, sweet dog; I have a home to live in and food on the table. So, why am I so unhappy? Better yet, why am I feeling so anxious lately?  I know I am worried about my mom but things have also been changing quickly.  My son graduated High School and is at his second home in Connecticut being a Counselor at his old sleep away camp. I’m told he’s very happy, we haven’t heard from him. I wonder if it will be the same way when he starts college in September but I am not ready to go there mentally yet.

When did fun flee from my life, like people racing out of the water at the mere hint of a shark sighting? What is happening? Last night was different and I was thrilled.  My husband and I went to an old, small, family -owned Greek restaurant, I ate Avgolemono soup (Greek chicken, rice and lemon soup) and pita bread, he ate lamb souvlaki, big, fat, french fries and a salad. Afterwards, we saw the new Woody Allen movie and ran into friends. Throughout the movie I did not worry, I was entertained and charmed by Midnight In Paris. Welcome back, Woody Allen.

Xanax is a prescription medicine that just takes the edge off of being worried, it doesn’t fix things, it smooths the sharp edges like green and blue sea glass. My feet ache, I think I have a broken bone in my left foot, it is hard to walk up stairs, it is hard to walk, it is hard to breathe. There is no way I can hobble around in the city, as planned, I will postpone it until after the X-ray next week and the results of my mother’s tests. More importantly,  I will  “talk” to my deceased father, sending messages and prayers into the dark sky like shiny, silver helium balloons. I hope you are right Pollyanna, I really, truly do.

Nope, I Still Haven't Seen It

Cover of "Last Tango in Paris"

Cover of Last Tango in Paris

My husband and I just talked about a movie that was a classic and neither of us have ever seen it. It’s called “Last Tango In Paris.” I don’t plan to see it “for myself (?)? but we do plan on seeing it together sometime. It’s so expensive to go to the movies that we haven’t been to one in a long time. However, we do have Netflix and have found that really helpful. It’s nice to watch a movie in our home where we can pause to get a snack and not miss anything or just take a break if the movie is too long. This is a movie I haven’t seen, it’s even nicer that my husband hasn’t seen it either. It will be our movie date.

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