My Intentions

Here it is, on paper. I want to live in a state where there is much more sun

than there is rain. When the thought of Winter is a warm sweater or a light jacket. I don’t want to worry about sliding on the ice and breaking my bones, I can do without the word snow and wind chill for the rest of my life. Truly.

I will not miss the harsh wind howling through the trees and knocking furiously at my windows, tree branches attacking my house. I know that wherever I live there will be compromises I will have to make. There is always a trade-off.

Maybe there will be tornadoes that will scare me or hurricane season that I am certainly

not used to, I am pretty sure I would cower with one of those. I would want a safe room, stocked with canned items and a can opener and frozen bread I could defrost quickly, cereal and small boxes of milk.

It’s funny, when I pictured that I saw myself surrounded by my two little children but I don’t have little children anymore. Sometimes I miss that. My children are perfectly wonderful grown-ups and I am not thirty anymore. I am closer to sixty.

I probably should look for a town that has an active “Senior Center” (sorry, I just threw up in my mouth for a second) and good hospitals. It would be nice to be in a college town so I can be around all age groups.

The MOST important part is that I need to live by water, some coastal town. I don’t mean swimming pools, sorry hon, a desert town does not count. Anywhere along the coast

English: Beach at Sullivan's Island in Charles...

English: Beach at Sullivan’s Island in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

where it is warm (‘wrong’ Freudian slip.) I don’t want to leave my mom….but I will know when the timing is right. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, it can be in five years, we will work something out. I will FEEL when it is right.

Something will come up, something always comes up. Eventually. Deep breathing and mindful meditation. My heart is open to new things. I’m not sure my husband is as ready as I am but when he is, when we both are and the opportunity presents itself, we will know. Well, one of us will for sure, and the other one will know when he takes time to get more comfortable with the idea. There’s nothing wrong with that, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We have been married for twenty-six years,  we’re a team, we are going to stay that way.

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Haiku Horizons, Cut

 

Cut slashes, deep, wide 

 

Red blood blooms, my opaque skin

 Silver, metal, blade.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

 

 

 

Heart turned inside out

 

cut vows with betrayal, lies

 I trust no one now.

 

****************************************

Freshly cut flowers

 

blue vase sitting in the sun

Enjoy time and place.

 

 

Doing The Laundry With George

Growing up, my family lived in an old red brick apartment building in Queens, NY. The apartment building was its own little village on six floors. There was a feeling of comfort and safety having neighbors and friends around us.

I had good friends in the building and I ate many meals in my friends’ homes. In Lotti’s kitchen I always ate home-made matzoh ball soup, the matzoh balls light and airy. She introduced me to my first milkshake, made with chocolate and vanilla ice cream and served in tall, cold glasses.

Vanilla Kipferl (Vanilla Crescents)

Vanilla Kipferl (Vanilla Crescents) (Photo credit: sharon.schneider)

In Omi’s house, (my friend Linda’s grandmother) we settled into over sized chairs and we ate many home-baked cookies: granulated sugar-coated vanilla crescent cookies and chocolate kiss surprise cookies. To this day I can feel the taste of the melting sugar on my tongue, I have seen several duplicates in stores but they missed a very important ingredient: Omi’s special kind of love. I didn’t have grandparents and Omi made me feel like part of the family.

English: Windows in the red brick wall of an a...

My older sister and I, individually, had to do the laundry as our chore. In an apartment building, a couple of old washing machines and one dryer lived questionably in the basement. The basement was dank, dark, dimly lit and uninviting. Thinking back, there never seemed to be anyone else down there doing laundry, it was an experience you just wanted to hurry up and finish, it felt scary being there alone.

I would lug the metal shopping cart, that we also used for groceries, and hold on to it with both hands grasped behind me. It always left a lingering metallic smell on my fingers.The elevator always shook and made loud scraping mechanical noises as it bumped and lurched to a stop in the basement.

The only person who lived in the basement was George, the handyman.  We assumed from his accent he came from Romania or Russia but that was never confirmed.  George was a happy and unconventional man. When you talked to him, most likely he was upside down, standing on his head. There was nothing scary about him, in fact, when the door to his room in the basement was ajar we always felt safer.

Clowns Upside Down on the Ceiling

Clowns Upside Down on the Ceiling (Photo credit: wht_wolf9653)

George spoke little English but every so often he would determinedly either call himself Mr. Rockefeller or call my father Mr. Rockefeller; why we don’t know.

We accepted George the way he was as if he was a character jumping out of the pages of a John Updike novel, smelling slightly of old, cheap wine. All the mothers said “he was harmless.” Back then, he was.  In the sixties, that was normal, we trusted people. We didn’t even question his unusual style, we just laughed with him.

If you were lucky the two washing machines would be free when you had to do the laundry, the sense of achievement and happiness would be intense. I would dig my sweaty fingers into my jeans pockets, front and back, to find three quarters for each machine. The smooth shiny coins were placed in the slotted circles, I waited to hear the metal clinking sound as they dropped down.  Once I put in too much soap and bubbles, huge iridescent sudsy bubbles, started cascading down from the machine, everywhere. I was both thrilled and terrified at the same time. I ran for George.

There was one large dryer but more fascinating were these huge hanging racks that we would have to pull out of the wall and drape clothing on the clothing rods; how this was allowed and sanctioned by the fire department I will never know. Once we pulled back the steel rods and draped our clothing we could see the individual fires blazing. After we pulled our clothes from the hanging rods the clothes were stiff and scratchy. There were no fabric softeners, anything that was on those rods to were as crisp as burned toast.

Chemical Brothers

George lived in our building for many years, we would try to get  in touch with him by phone but he generally didn’t pick up. More often one of us went to his room and knocked loudly on his door.

One day, he disappeared, no one had seen him for a while. Everyone was talking about it but he literally vanished from one day to the next.

In my young imagination, I decided he must have rejoined the circus, as of course, a clown. He already had the sweet smile, the jolly personality and the impeccable skills for standing on his head.

When I remember George I remember him upside down, firmly saying “Mr. Rockefeller.” Why he did this nobody knew, but we all accepted him for who he was.  No one ever heard from him again but after all these years, I never forgot him.

 

Sending Love Into The Universe

 

I have just changed my life. It is Monday and I have just sent off a piece of the new me, courageous, CONFIDENT, CHANGE MY LIFE – ME into the universe, the big, bright blue sky.

 

Angel-wings

Angel-wings (Photo credit: johnb/Derbys/UK.)

 

Yes, I’m taking a chance at doing something different. At least, I am trying. I’m sending this with a hug and a wish out to the atmosphere, with the Spirits that I believe in, with my Angels and my Dad to help me when he can “there is only so much he can do. His hands are tied.” I don’t doubt that for a second, I trust you implicitly. Just so you know. I love to imagine that you are not in pain anymore and that I can almost hear you laugh, and I can practically stroke your soft, sweet face, I would smell the shaving cologne as strong as you used to splash on your neck.” The perfume factory.”

Angel

Angel (Photo credit: Stephie189)

I’m trying, to rev up, like the motors of the airplanes you used to love, worship. The rumbling has started within me. For the first time I am trying for lift-off instead of being grounded forever. I too, need a change. I need to get out of the shadows and into the sunlight and through my chronic pain. I can do that.

I know I come across as pure emotion but as you know, deep down inside me, I am very, very strong, I will come through. I can handle what the world gives me, I should certainly be able to handle change, a new direction, movement, and climbing out of my comfort zone. I will do it with Faith and Spirit on my side.

Let it begin. I’m Ready.

 

 

 

Miley Cyrus, The Climb

 

 

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Kellie Elmore, FWF

Lady wisdom (2)

Lady wisdom (2) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t understand it then, but I understand it now…

…though I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take a very long time. Truly, it took almost my entire life to learn this lesson that I so desperately needed to learn. I guess you get small signs at first, maybe you trip you have a pebble in your shoe,a week later you trip over a rock. You, again, think it’s you being clumsy. Still, it’s a coincidence, you barely notice and of course you’ve always been clumsy.

A week goes by and during a heavy rainfall a few small branches from a tree break off and land on the ground but you are not looking so you fall and stumble on them and wind up, wet with sore ankle. Turns out that your ankle was fractured and it has to be in a cast for 4-6 weeks.

Finally you start thinking, what on earth is going on?

What is happening? There is a message waiting for you from whatever God, Spirit, Nature or Force that you Believe in. I never used to see the signs to change my patterns when I was younger, maybe I was too self-absorbed but now in mid-life I pay attention to what the Universe has to tell me and I am grateful.

I used to think everybody acted like me because I was the only person I really knew. My standards were high, different, my style was individual, the friends I connected with were similar; but others weren’t. Some of their styles like empathy and compassion are the same but how they displayed it or didn’t was very different from me.

It’s very hard to get used to, very hard. So you need to trust, trust your instincts and know in your heart that even though D. or C. or M. may love you, they can’t show it to you in the way you need to hear it. It isn’t that they are being obtuse or stubborn it is not something they can do, certainly not easily if at all.

Is that a deal breaker? It used to be, for me. Does it have to be? Absolutely not. Does that mean you need to break up a friendship? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. If you feel you are giving ALL the time and not getting anything back, maybe. No friendship can sustain 100 percent on one person doing ALL the work.

But if you know in your heart that if you called said person at 3AM and desperately needing them and you know without a doubt that they wouldn’t hesitate getting dressed to come to you, you should know better.

It’s the measure of Love.

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Kellie Elmore, FWF. TRUST

Trust (Low album)

Trust (Low album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t trust anyone, anymore. Nobody. What, you expect me to? What the hell do you want from me. If you can’t trust your own parents then who can you trust?  My old shrink told me I have

Don't Trust Anyone But Us

Don’t Trust Anyone But Us (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“trust issues.” No shit, bitch. I could have told you that first.

I trusted people when I was a kid, I was happy before I knew it was all bullshit. I used to laugh a lot too. I was innocent, maybe stupid. I played with my little brother Stevie and our dog Ginger.

Turns out my whole life was fake because I was living on a whole bunch of lies. I hate liars and I hated my parents. I was caught up in their friggin drama, those lying pieces of shit, crack heads, dealers.

Strangers started coming to our house, they looked scary, but mom and dad just told us to stay upstairs and shut our doors so they could be with their “friends.”

Our parents looked funny sometimes, it’s hard to explain. They slept during the day and were awake all night. I thought parents were supposed to protect us kids but it didn’t feel that way. My brother and I would make up stories about death,  knives with bloody edges, the sound of gunshots exploding, holes in people’s heads, murders and mysteries. I don’t really know why.

Finally, their friend Bobby told me all about the drug scam and why we had the money we did. He trusted ME and told me things, he became my friend, not theirs.  He used to play with my hair and call me pretty.

I was fifteen when I ran away with him because he said I was special. I wanted to bring Stevie but he said “No way” so I left home with him, promised Steve I’d come back for him and left in the middle of the night.

A year or so later I heard that our “parents”were busted and were in prison for grand theft, possession of drugs and drug running and I didn’t blink one eye, much less two. Let those bastards rot in hell is what I thought.

But, I cried for Stevie and the dog, all alone somewhere.
I stayed with Bobby for about a year but I knew Bobby was no good either. One night when Bobby was out of I escaped. I didn’t even care about Bobby and I just wanted to go home. I needed to go home. I knew my parents were in lock up because I sure didn’t want to see them. Not once.

When I got home I went to the court-house, trying to find my brother but they had no records. I was eighteen working at a local restaurant as a waitress, every night and taking a business class during the day.

After working there for almost a year,  I had adopted a new dog  called her Ginger 2 and was renting a room over the restaurant. I didn’t believe in happy or unhappy anymore, I didn’t bother anybody and they didn’t bother me.

I was working one night around 7:30  when a customer walked in. He took a seat at a booth and I was too tired to tell him booths were for two people or more. I went over to him to him to take his order his head buried in the menu.

Finally, looking  up at me were the same blue eyes and long eyelashes that I knew so well. We stared at each other for a few seconds in total silence. Then, we both burst into tears and hugged. We called each others name not letting go and sobbing. It was my baby brother all grown up.

Sure, I made a lot of mistakes in my life but the one, good thing I did was to keep my promise. Me and Stevie were together again, he trusted me, he knew that I would find him and I did.

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I’m So Sorry, Puppy

Dear LexiI am sorry Lexi

I admit, you were a very bad puppy when you were young but I’m sorry I called you Lucifer and the “Puppy From Hell.” You really acted like the devil incarnate but I should have kept those feelings to myself.  I thought you would never change from that biting, horrific puppy you were, EVER. My friends told me you would grow up but I honestly didn’t believe them; you were nasty and mean and had that defiant puppy look in your eyes, that “dare me” look.  I remember screaming out loud in agony when your dagger like teeth would bite and hold on to my flesh. I had red, swollen welts and scratches all over my arms and legs. We all did.

My mother would be on the phone and I would shriek in pain and would have to hang up and call her back because I had to physically detach your teeth from my wrist. I swear you were out to kill me. My mother, protective as always, was completely direct and told me to “give you back.”  “Return her, right now” she said, “before you get more attached.”

I couldn’t do it. I just did not have the heart to return you to the shelter, it’s not who I am. But honestly, you were a living hell. We had trainers come, one after the other, some of the best in the United States, all of them shook their heads and said “she’s a willful thing, isn’t she?” We already knew that. You had dragged me into a dirty pond when you were six months old, I hadn’t realized your strength. I didn’t give up the leash because I had no idea where you would go, so you pulled me in after you. I have a photo of you and me, me and my white, muddy pants coming home with you, puppy, looking quite pleased.

You went into our garbage cans, and ate used tissues and ballpoint pens, leaving ink stains everywhere. You were always wild, once you got yourself stuck in a fence and I thought for sure your head would be decapitated but your “sister” figured out a way to dig you out. Thank her, I was useless. You always ran away, we could never find you, though you always loved food and would return for a nice, big, juicy treat. “Breaking Bad” was the name of a popular television show, “Being Bad” was your personal motto.

Then, from one day to another, I couldn’t even pin point the time, you changed. All of a sudden, you calmed down and were always near me. If I was sick, you would jump on the bed and lie with me, part of you always touching me. With a chronic pain illness, Fibromyalgia, I’m in bed a lot and you are at my side, always. In the living room you would always climb on the couch and settle down right next to the person sitting there. After that you settled down and gave sweet kisses and charmed everyone. You love people. You even offered your paw, like Lassie.

But when a stranger passes or someone knocks on the door, BEWARE!  You growl, bark, show your teeth, protect us. A car door can slam and you are on the job. But, now, you are one big love, one sweet endearing, mush and I appreciate you every minute. I guess we both needed to learn to be more patient.

Now, you are in my lap and I’m giving you pieces of chicken, it’s just you and me. I love you, Lexi but you know that and I know you love me too.Lexi 2

Take Me Home

Members of the United States Navy serve the ho...

Members of the United States Navy serve the homeless at Dorothy’s Soup Kitchen in Salinas, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had run into each other before a couple of different times, I just didn’t who she was. I saw her at the food pantry waiting in line with her kid, one day we saw each other at the soup kitchen. We knew each other, all of us. We just didn’t acknowledge each other, we kept ourselves private, looking down at our kids or in our bags of free food or me, down at my worn pink sneakers. I heard her name once but nothing else. She was so tall and skinny why I could almost see through her, she looked so frail, like a bird thats broken. What I remembered of her were her frozen green eyes that seemed like they were stuck in her head with glue, like they never moved or blinked.

I guess the only thing we had in common was we were both moms on a mission to protect our children, to protect ourselves. Months later we met at the shelter, The Home For Abused Women And Children. I had been at The Home for a month now, she was just coming in. As soon as we saw each other we nodded, she took the bed next to mine. Her daughter and my daughter looked about the same age and they hit it off,  children were great like that, they were best friends in less than five minutes.

She and I probably took a good couple of hours to speak, none of us were good at trusting but we were  friends pretty soon. Once she made up her bed, with me helping her, we started talking. Not good stuff like you see on funny television, that’s for sure, but stuff we had in common. Both of us had been in abusive relationships; I felt guilty being here but she felt proud. That was what she was like, all the time.

She made me promise to talk to her first if I was ever tempted to run away from here and go back, and I was tempted often. So, when my kid said she “missed her daddy” I would want to leave straight away but Alison always knew before I even packed. She would come over, sit me down and she would not let me leave. We would go back in time, and tell her out loud when Brian hit me so hard my head cracked open and blood was everywhere, how I  saw it on the green tile linoleum, thinking it would be hard to get out. It was kind of out of my body, why would I be thinking that?  The pain so bad I wanted to die. She reminded me of what he said he wanted to do to my daughter and what he had done with my niece and that stopped me cold.

That changed my mind back to reality and she started reminding me of why I had left him and how he was still the same monster he was when I finally got out. Then she and I would hug and I would thank her until the next time it happened and I’d like to say it never happened again but it did. Lots of times.

We stood by each other, like real friends, and we joined a job training group together so we could get jobs somewhere. We all moved to another state, changed our names and started fresh. We shared a one bedroom apartment but we made do; the girls slept in the living room, we shared the bedroom working different shifts. We had “beat the odds” they said at the shelter, we were safe, we had our own home and we were proud.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND HELP:

The hotline number is (630) 469 – 5650.
Why should you call Family Shelter Service’s hotline?
  • You want to talk about your situation with someone who understands, or
  • You want to learn more about services and how to obtain information and help.

I like knowing there is somebody I can call at any time.”
– A Victim of Domestic Abuse

Plinky Prompt: Simply Be Thankful For Something or Someone

  • English:

    English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone). See all answers
  • Thankful
  • I am thankful, every single day and night, for my husband, Dan. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary together, focusing on what we feel is important: Love and Good Food. We went away to a Bed and Breakfast for two nights and spent two dinners at the Culinary Institute of America. In all these years, it seems like we blended into one person. I love him and appreciate him in every way, he is my best friend and the thought of losing him brings me to tears and I panic. I try not to dwell on it. He is the one person that I feel the most comfortable with in the world.
    Being married isn’t always easy, nobody said it would be. People stop us and are amazed that we have been married for so long. One friend told me that all her friends get married for two years at the most, they get divorced, they try again. Marriage vows are not about just “trying” they are about sticking it out and working things through.
    We are NOT talking about a pair of shoes or next year’s jean style.
    We have two wonderful (adult) children, hopefully one day they too will find the husband or wife of their dreams and will treat their marriages with the same respect, friendship and love that we have for each other.

Happy 25th Anniversary To Us

wedding flower preview: my sample bouquet

wedding flower preview: my sample bouquet (Photo credit: Amber Karnes)

Today, October 2nd 2013, Danny and I will have been married for twenty-five years. Wow.  I can hardly believe it myself.  He truly is the best friend I have in the world and the love of my life. There is no one I’d rather be with than him. The thought of not being with him in the future makes me weep. I know it won’t be anyone’s fault but you know me, I worry in advance.

There’s something about being able to trust someone completely without embarrassment that is so intimate. It’s like branches of a tree, the trunk is the center, solid and strong, branches, different personality traits that co-mingle over time. We look at each other sometimes and say “Who ARE you?” and we laugh because we, somewhere along the way have become each other. He makes me feel safe, I feel better with him, together.

Of course, there are our beautiful “children” who by now are adults which is more shocking than most things. We feel so blessed with two amazing adult children, Tim and Jillian. These magnificent kids are our life’s work, to me they are what I have wanted my entire life. If  have contributed nothing else in this world, I am proud, overjoyed to bring two wonderful, smart and kind people to this world. The purpose of my life was to be their mother and I’m so proud of both of them.

Dan and I usually agree on most things, especially on child-rearing. We were always pretty strict, European raised, that’s how we brought up our children, with manners. We did a great job with our kids, and we did it together. We stuck together on issues and we tried not to let the kids play games with us. It worked (mostly.)

Dan is the one true love of my life, he is warm and genuine and a deeply caring person. I like him very much (personal joke.) I can definitely say I am happier now than I was  when I was younger.

Sweetheart, thank you for the best 25 years of my life. I love you with my heart and soul. Truthfully, I love you more than that and then some. Happy Anniversary to my most favorite person in the world. All my love, Me.

Photo credit noted above, Amber Karnes.