Gray Skies, Blue Ahead

English: Yosemite Meadows – Half Dome in...

English: Yosemite Meadows – Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Français : Le Half Dome vu de Yosemite Meadows, les prairies humides qui couvrent le fond de la Vallée de Yosemite, dans le Parc national du même nom, en Californie (États-Unis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I miss the lemon color of sunshine, the way it warms my shoulders or how it feels when I lift my face upwards. Blue skies too, I long to see them and not look at gloomy gray skies. I would consider it to be a gift to see the sky a robin egg’s blue without a single cloud. How can you feel incredibly happy when you look up at the sky and see bare, brittle branches leaning against a milky, dull sky. It’s not white because that could give one hope, but a color between white and gray; I’m looking at it right now. I’ve been looking at it every single day for three months.

I have no plans for today, I could have scheduled some but I didn’t want to have any, it’s one of those days when I wanted to do what I had to do in “me” time. For me, that’s slow. Perhaps, slower than most. I still need to shower and do all of my laundry and I haven’t started anything yet. The only thing I have managed is to sip my blessed cup of strong morning coffee in my bright flowered mug and toss a ring to my dog a few times. Now, her curled up against me on the bed is not a great motivator. I need to get up.

I have told myself to get up for the last hour. I cannot even blame my illnesses for this. This is just laziness and comfort and a question mark. Why do I have to get up? There’s really no good reason that I can figure out, but yes, it’s self-indulgent. What’s the matter with self-indulgence now and then? I’m not watching television or eating bon- bons, no one is here to give me a manicure or pedicure. I’m here, alone with my silence, thinking. My sister always has to be moving, doing, acting, she can’t stay still, I am the total opposite. I can sit and dream and read, be still and think. It doesn’t bother me; I hope I stay this way. It comes in handy. I don’t “have to get out of the house” like my mother who seeks entertainment as much as possible.

My husband and I had tentatively planned a vacation, not one that we are really interested in so we won’t pursue it. I decide I need to be closer to nature, something I have stayed away from for many years but I know the time is right He is absolutely thrilled but thinks I’m kidding. I’m not. I have felt the pull for months now, two of my friends, Ash and Michelle have inspired me  I don’t want to camp out (let’s not be crazy) although that is a funny thought, but I want to be surrounded by trees and waterfalls and the smell of the good, clean earth. I want to go someplace (I’d prefer to drive than fly but that’s unlikely) where all I need to think about are the different types of birds, how many shades of green there really are and the taste of exceptionally clean water. I want to see wildflowers and butterflies and rocks.

Waterfalls, mountains, slow hiking, the sun warming me like a light blanket, taking deep breaths that fill my chest like eating honey slowly. I want to see the stars at night, it is startling to say I have never seen a shooting star; it’s always been one of my goals. It is something new to try, something new to love, that is what I am ready for, that is what will happily get me out of bed.

Yosemite Wildflowers

Yosemite Wildflowers (Photo credit: Selected Pixels)

Monday Mellow Yellows: Sunset

The Final Setting of the Sun at Birling Gap

The Final Setting of the Sun at Birling Gap (Photo credit: antonychammond)

Living in the Northeast, my soul longs for a sunny, warm day. These past months have been nothing but bitter cold weather and gray skies. I long to feel the warmth on my pale shoulders, to lift my head and feel the soft glow of the summer’s heat. I want to stay at the beach all day with family and friends and be there for the show that the sunset brings where everybody watches and when the sun sets, we all applaud. A free, masterful performance, once again. Thank you, dear sunset for that magical show.

My Fibromyalgia Vacation

Rhode Island Retreat 2983

Rhode Island Retreat 2983 (Photo credit: WebAdvantage.net)

I bet for a second you actually thought I got a vacation from Fibromyalgia and ALL my aches and pains. Oh, silly you, you know THAT’S not possible, that’s not even a thought that enters my sane mind anymore. Actually, it doesn’t even enter my insane mind. I’m stuck with this horrid disease, as I know so many of you are, and we are going nowhere, well, not fast. Fast is a past tense word. I don’t do anything quickly anymore, with the exception of napping and eating.

My husband and I went away for a couple of days, it was a short car ride that we broke down in two days. Yes, we stopped overnight so I wouldn’t have to sit in the car for four hours which, I thought, was extremely sweet and generous of my husband. After all, money is tight and in August we are sending two kids to college (state schools, thank goodness, but two in college at the same time.)

We arrived at our lovely Bed and Breakfast and it was the first time I noticed someone actively noticing me. The Inn Keeper was watching me, she stared at me, not unkindly, but with acknowledgment. I only had one computer bag in my hand and she said “let me take that for you, it’s easier for me.” This was not a woman who was much younger than me but when I saw her sprint up and down the stairs like a youthful kangaroo I realized how old and how sick I must look and seem. It was devastating to me and quite alarming.

I am used to my small circle of friends and family who are with me all the time and know about the chronic pain and illness. The stiffness in my bones, muscles, the nerve pain, the imbalance, the awkwardness of going up stairs (and these were deep and wide stairs.) My husband’s arm was always at the ready and I’m sure she noticed that too but I felt so conspicuous. I felt like I had a sign on my back that read: DAMAGED GOODS. Apparently, I did.

I have other tests coming up soon and if those are okay I know I will be thankful for just having Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an auto-immune disease of the thyroid.)  I am not complaining about how I feel physically as much as the shock I felt when the inn-keeper looked at me, with equal parts of pity, kindness and sorrow. She was NOT trying to make me feel bad in any way, but bad is how I felt, I’m so used to feeling physically bad that I don’t know what physically good feels like anymore. Physically painful is my new normal. I felt emotional pain from a stranger for the very first time and that hurt.

Plinky Prompt: When Was The Last Time You Said A Tough Goodbye?

  • sadness

    sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    A Tough Goodbye

  • Saying Goodbye Is Always Hard For ME
    Every goodbye for me is difficult. I have never like saying goodbye to anyone. The last hard goodbye I said was to my friend Sarah who goes to Rhode Island for the summer. I know she will be back in late summer and maybe I will see her during the summer once or twice but I hate saying goodbye and I’m not a big fan of change.
    I get teary eyed and my emotions just surge to the surface and I feel upset. My pale, cream-cheese complexion gets flushed and I need to stop myself from wailing. It doesn’t last more than a few minutes but it’s always there. When my husband travels and shuts the door behind him, when my kids leave for college and before that, dropping them off at camp….all painful and difficult.
    I think it started when I was a teen and my parents traveled a lot on vacation and left me home, alone. We lived in an apartment building and even though my neighbors lived nearby, it was very hard for me when my parents left; I felt abandoned. I remember each time they left I would cry and look at them entering the bright yellow taxi that waited for them on the street.
    I don’t hide that I am not fond of goodbyes, I know better now. I tell people the truth. I hate saying goodbye; it’s just part of who I am.
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Plinky Prompt: Would You Ever Take A Cruise?

  • Cruisin’
  • “The Love Boat”
    DSC01216, Midnight Buffet, Celebrity Cruise Ship Century I have taken a cruise and yes, I would go again. If you are on a cruise it really doesn’t matter what the destination is, it’s the journey there and back that truly counts. I’m not sure I would do it again for a long time. Cruises, known for their gastronomical, orgasmic and plentiful meals are both aphrodisiacs and toxic for people like me. I’m not sure I could resist overeating and gluttony on a cruise (let’s face it: no way) and lately I have been eating healthy foods. That said, I think everyone should go on a cruise once. Being out on the water, is so peaceful, I can’t think of anything better than watching the waves from your deck chair in the sun. Take advantage of the shows that the cruise offers too, they are often very entertaining.
    As long as I am still able to travel and fly, I would like to go to another country and explore it instead of cruising to a destination for a few hours, shopping at a local tourist shop and heading back. Cruises can be magical, the midnight buffets with the ornate ice sculptures are overwhelmingly beautiful; everyone should experience that, at least once.

Winter Sports

Tropical Menagerie
Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream
Skier carving a turn off piste

Don’t Call Me “Snowbaby”

I like winter sports when OTHER people are doing them; I hate to be cold and wet. My favorite destination is the ski lodge where I can sit beside a burning, magical fire and talk to the flames that warm my face. My favorite beverage is hot chocolate with whipped cream so I can wrap my hands around the cup like a hug and sip the sweetness very slowly. When I imagine a get-away it is never to someplace cold and snowy; it is a tropical island where the clear aquamarine water and tiny striped fish nibble at my pink, polished toes.

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How I'd Spend a 28-Hour Day

A Sleeping moon in a cap.

Image via Wikipedia

Is There Any Other Answer?

First, I would make my fantasy bedroom really, really dark. Then, after having a leisurely breakfast, doing some errands and having lunch….I would NAP. That long three to four-hour nap that makes you feel so refreshed it’s as if you have been on vacation for two weeks in Europe minus the traveling headaches. I would plump my cool pillow into the exact right place, move my feet in their rhythmic beat to get into my perfect sleeping position. I would start on my back, think about my day, then slowly, slide to my stomach, one arm around the pillow, legs straight, blankets never tucked IN to the bed and sigh happily. You know the news organization that says something like “give us ten minutes and we’ll give you the world?” Mine would be simpler, give me four hours so I can take a really nice, well-deserved nap.

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The Worst Flight I've Taken

_ People _

My husband and I and our two-year old son were flying home from a vacation in Oregon headed home to Boston, Massachusetts. Normally, we are the loving, sweet family but on this trip we were the couple to HATE. I wish I was kidding but I am afraid I am not. There are always people who roll their eyes, make nasty comments or try to change seats when there is a baby crying; we were the couple with the child that you wanted to stay far away from. I promise you, we tried EVERYTHING possible to stop our wailing, crying and screaming son and show you the quiet, tranquil, Buddha baby that he usually was.”Yeah, right” I’m sure you muttered under your breath. I know, you hated us; you even hated our poor innocent child. Frankly, I don’t blame you. Just remember, we tried so HARD; we walked our son up and down the corridors, we tried pacifiers, bottles, new diapers, toys, anything and everything to, well, put it bluntly, shut him up. I know you, fellow passengers, felt angry and bad but honestly, we felt worse. We didn’t want to inflict this pain on anyone, including our precious boy.
My husband and I (now that the precious child is 18 and graduating) still make faces when there are screaming children aboard, but we always remember the plane ride when we were the family to HATE, the couple from hell, and We try to have a little more patience and understanding.

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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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I Am A Whore…

A vacation whore that is.  I love going on vacation so much that all I need is an invitation and I RSVP “yes” joyfully and immediately. Vacations, especially family vacations with our two teenagers, are hard to beat. I will be with my loved ones where I don’t have to do the laundry, dishes, cooking, dusting, daily errands to the post office, drugstore, library, and grocery stores…etc.

Generally I worry about the outfits that I don’t have for a cruise.  Those elegant gowns women parade in, with diamond tiaras, so not me! The task of packing ( I am the worst packer in the world) is always tortuous for me. Fashion-wise, my 16-year-old daughter,  will give me her unwavering and brutally honest opinion of what to wear and what I absolutely can’t wear or basically what she won’t allow me to wear. To her, the color black is not elegant, it’s purely for funerals and old ladies (I am in this category), or old lady funerals. Same thing.

We are being  treated by the in-laws for a cruise; a cruise to Bermuda and I can barely sit still;  I am smiling even as I am typing. Five glorious days of sun, on the ocean, my most favorite combination in the world, second only to peanut butter and jelly.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the food on a cruise which is totally unbelievable, my mouth is watering as I picture the flaming desserts being carried out by waiters, the incredible amount of different dishes, filet mignon? Lobster? Both? “But, of course.” The quantity and quality of the food is clearly overwhelming.  If I don’t have the midnight buffet, I will just lovingly look at it (oh please, who am I kidding??) I can see the chocolate covered strawberries, the chocolate fondue, platters of cheese and French bread and the European pastries shining up at me. Winking.

Nothing makes me happier than the beach and the water in any combination. Being away with nothing to do except have fun, to me, is absolutely absurdly wonderful.  There are no dishes in the sink, no laundry to wash or fold, the dust can accumulate up to 3 inches….who cares? Everything is done for you and you feel like royalty, for a little while anyway.  Here at home I can be found curled up in bed watching Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice; I’ve even watched  Survivor this season. Television has become my night-time world, my pleasure, my escape.  I don’t venture out of the house once I am in my night-time attire (ok, a ripped T-shirt). On the cruise I imagine sitting royally overlooking the aqua-green waves in their library and at night  I will rush to get good seats for the comedians or silly game shows. New experiences, new people, a new life to live for a few days.

I will be poolside with a Mojito,  happy and appreciative of every minute. At the end of the cruise I will have many new memories and I will be eternally grateful to my in-laws. I wonder if they know how much this really means to us.

Once home I will wait and save up every penny that we have, so that maybe in a year or two we will have the money to go, as a family, somewhere else. It surely will not be a luxurious cruise. These memories are truly treasures to me because our children will soon be off to college.  My husband and I,  our almost 18 year old son and our 16-year-old daughter will have more time together. I hold on to these precious moments before the kids leave us, like little birds, racing, dancing, and singing out of our nest and into the world. On their own.