Thursday, September 13, 2012

NaBloPoMo Sept 13 #500 For My Dad

I do not believe in coincidence. I believe everything happens at the perfect time. Like this blog post.

 18 years ago today, my Dad died very unexpectedly. Today is my 500th blog post. Look at today's writing prompt...

 Who is someone you wish you could see again?

At first, it blew my mind and then it made perfect sense. Of course I would choose Dad.
This is the post about what I learned from him. 
This is the post about the day he died 

I still miss him so much that it makes my heart hurt.  When he died, my kids were 6 and 9. I would want to tell him all about the adults that they are now. He loved my kids so much and he would be proud of them. Especially the part about how kind they are. I would also tell him about my brother's kids.All 5 of them were born after he died.

I want him to know that I read the Hemingway books, but just couldn't get through the C.S Lewis.
I still listen to the CD's that I brought home after the funeral.

He needs to know that Mom had a really hard time, but she deserves a T-shirt that says "You've come a long way, baby". She has become more independent than I ever thought she could be.

My high school friends still tell me things they liked about him.
We still watch Jeopardy! every night.
I still make that awesome Stuffed Quahog recipe he taught me.

I still tell people two of his favorite quotes..."The guy who graduated dead last in the Medical School class is still called Doctor" and "Hospitals are no place for sick people".

I remember when he used to call my pathetic Karmann Ghia "that little gem". (Imagine that comment followed by a sarcastic laugh). I can hear him every time I see one on the road.

He never met Tigger or Lily, but he would love them, because he never met a cat he didn't like.

On this anniversary, I'll be at Disney World. At some point during the day, I'm almost sure I'll see something that reminds me of him. I may smile through tears, but I will smile.


Monday, September 10, 2012

NaBloPoMo Sept 10

Different memories have different triggers for me.

 Mr Sunshine started smoking cigars and whenever he lights one it always makes me think of my grandfather. He smoked cigars the whole time I was growing up.  My grandmother comes to mind when I'm making a French Meat Pie. I learned to make it from her. It's the smell of the spices. Christmas Tree pine takes me back to picking out the tree with my Dad every year. Carnations are my wedding day.

Certain pieces of music remind me of times I sang in church or school concerts. Classical music and Big Band music were Dad's favorites.He was in the military, so parade marches and patriotic music makes me think of him. Hearing Southern Gospel makes me think of Mom. Norah Jones is the Bank Of America Pavilion on the waterfront in Boston, James Taylor is the Providence Civic Center, Kenny Wayne Shepherd is the Mohegan Sun in CT and Eric Clapton is the Tweeter Center in Mansfield MA.

Lobster with butter tastes like Cape Cod. Maple Syrup and Sharp Cheddar Cheese taste like Vermont.
Fried Clams taste like Massachusetts. Monkey Bread and Omelettes taste like Christmas morning. Fireballs taste like the candy store stop on the way to high school marching band practice.

Petting Lily's soft kitty fur makes me think about Buddy and Miller and Tigger.  I think of Mom when I'm rolling meatballs. Walking on soft white sand on the beach takes me right back to Cozumel.

Wordsworth called memory the "inward eye."  Are your memories more sight-based, or do they concern sound, taste, touch, or smell?

Friday, September 7, 2012

NaBloPoMo Sept 7

Today's question: Are you okay with letting people see you cry?

Funny question. I've been crying for an hour and there's nobody home to see!

Yesterday I was cleaning the floor behind the toilet. I was on my knees, lost my balance and cracked my head on the ceramic toilet paper roll holder. I had a medium-sized headache all day. Since I woke up this morning, I have been dizzy and slightly nauseous every time I move my head.


At any given moment I'm a minute away from crying. I wear my emotions very close to the surface. When my Dad died suddenly,18 years ago, I think I cried every day for over a year. I want to cry if someone raises their voice at me, criticizes me, I'm hungry, I'm tired, I have a hangnail.

I have learned to swallow my tears. It doesn't make me feel better to cry over small things and it just upsets the people around you.
I'm also on a really good medication for anxiety/depression. Let's call it FUKITOL (that's what we call it in our house). It keeps me from crying over trivial things (we're out of peanut butter) but lets me release the tears when it seems important for me to get it out of my system.

Like when I crack my head on the Toilet Paper Holder Of Doom.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NaBloPoMo Sept 6

I'm a day behind! My internet connection was wonky yesterday.

Today's question: Bob Marley asked: "Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?"  How would you answer him?

I feel like I've spent a big chunk of my adult life helping people. I raised two kids. After my Dad died, my Mom needed a lot of attention. I had a job doing home care for people with Alzheimers, dementia and a variety of physical illnesses. Some of my patients ended up being Hospice cases and I stayed with them through their final days.

When my kids were young, I was mostly a Stay-At-Home Mom. I was a Co-op Nursery School Mom, I taught 1st and 2nd graders at church and spent a lot of hours swimming in the car pool.

My brain was satisfied with the life I was living. Everyone told me I was blessed with a "caregiver gene". 
I wasn't making a difference on a global level, but the people in my life knew I cared about them.
On a local level, I  put in a few hours at a food pantry and the county volunteer services.

The only person I wasn't caring for was myself. I have Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia. I haven't experienced a day without pain since 1980. I finally ended up weeping at a therapist's office. She asked me to list all the people I take care of and pointed out to me that I wasn't even on the list.

Fast forward to Dec of 2010. I put myself on the top of the list. I quit working. I take care of myself. I'm 55 and my "caregiving" consists of making sure my husband and daughter have clean clothes. I pick up their prescriptions and cook (most days). Next week, my son is moving in with us and I'll have another person to take care of (He's in need of some mothering these days).

If I think about whether I'm making a difference in the world, I'm not satisfied.

I'm making a difference in the life of my family by being a better wife and mother. I have to be satisfied with that.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NaBloPoMo Sept 4

Today's question: When you are speaking with someone, do you prefer to look them in the eye or talk over the phone?

What? What did you say? Say that again?

The hearing in my right ear is not 100%. I blame it on the crunchy granola OB-GYN who wouldn't let me take a decongestant when I was pregnant, 27 years ago. I rely a little on lip-reading when I'm having a conversation in person.

I like seeing a person's face when I'm talking to them. When you're on the phone, you can't see if they are reading the paper, rolling their eyes or even walking away from the phone when you're in the middle of an interesting story.
Don't even get me started on people that use the toilet while they chat with you. Especially the ones that TELL you they're on the toilet. The only person that gets a pass on that situation is my Mom and her 78-yr-old bladder.

There's another person that keeps me from being on the phone a lot. Meet Wilma...
Her full name is Wilma Flintstone Phone. I'm not saying Wilma is dumb, but she is certainly NOT a smart phone. Her (ummm, my?) biggest fault is that I forget to lock her when she's in my purse and she takes advantage of the situation by making calls without permission. She also makes my ear really hot when I talk and I get all hypochondriac about frying my last remaining brain cells.

Let's have a chat. But not on the phone. I'll take you out for frozen yogurt.

Monday, September 3, 2012

NaBloPoMo Sept 3

I haven't done a NaBloPoMo for a long time. The September prompts are all about the senses, so I'll be writing about photos, memories,tastes, beauty and colors.

Today's prompt: Write about one object you see at this exact moment.

On any given day, if you ask me how I feel, I'll say "fine". Truthfully, I probably feel like crap. It has turned me into a hermit. I'm perfectly happy if I only leave the apartment once or twice a week.

My computer is my tether to the outside world. I don't have a smartphone. My phone is so old that I call her Wilma Flintstone. I have  family and friends who might get on their computer once a week. If you send my siblings an email you might get an answer next week.

If you looked at my bookmarks you would think I'm on the computer at least 8 hours a day, and you would be pretty close.

Every day I read at least 15 or 20 blogs and my blog bookmark has at least 65 entries. I have newspapers and magazines, craft websites, pinterest, diabetic cooking, Holiday cooking, Dinner recipes and Dessert recipes. Do you need some Florida Tourism info? I have sites for that. There are organization websites, airline websites and the manual for my 35 yr old sewing machine.

The last time I took a typing test for a job interview, I clocked in at 85 wpm.

I heart my laptop.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Basket Of Lost Causes

I have a basket by my favorite chair. Things get tossed in there and I forget they're in there.
It's like The Bermuda Triangle. Let's peek at what's in the Pit Of Procrastination!
I haven't done any scrapbooking in over a year.

I didn't buy anything from L.L.Bean last Christmas and I don't have a Dream Home to design.
I live in Florida. Am I planning to wear mittens? Or go on a Northern Winter Vacation?
Speaking of vacation, I spent 3 days researching Caribbean September...during Hurricane Season. Vacation has been cancelled because CAPE COD KID IS MOVING TO FLORIDA!
2011 Christmas Letter was never written.
Why is the September Vogue in the bottom of the basket? OHHHH, that was September of LAST YEAR!
I must have despaired of ever making it through the entire issue. There are still 3 days left in August. I could DO IT!

I put it back in the Basket Of Lost Causes. On top.