Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Lesson I Did Not Learn

My parents are in their mid-eighties. They have lived through a lot in their lifetime and managed to survive it all...however, let it be known that their life experiences have formed them into who they are today. Isn't that true of all of us?

My parents try to keep up with the times...actually they do quite well for their age. They can work a TV remote...a VCR machine (I know this is a little dated, but still pretty recent given the 80+ year span)...and a computer. My sisters and I just gave them a cell phone "for emergencies" which, thankfully, they are willing to try to learn to use. They have learned to operate the chair glide just installed on the stairway to their apartment...and are experiencing a new found freedom. They still have not tried to tackle the dishwasher (having never had one growing up...I could not live without mine) and therefore use the racks to store their snacks and plastic containers...given there is very limited cabinet space!!! They are resourceful.

Which brings me to the reason for this blog of thought today.

My mom was telling me yesterday about a pair of shoes that she took to the shoemakers...I really don't think they actually "make" shoes anymore, but the repair part is almost a lost art! Anyway...this particular pair of shoes needed to be dyed. My curiosity got the best of me when I heard this, as the only time I ever dyed shoes was "back in the day" to match a gown...for a prom...or wedding I was in. So...why did she need to dye shoes? Well...Mom said that "the color on the sides of the shoes was beginning to 'rub off' because, they were, imported shoes." IMPORTED SHOES??!! I guess she means from China or Japan. What a character!'s the lesson I never learned. My "imported shoes" would probably end up in the trash if the "color was rubbed off" and I would be off to Payless for a new pair...where Mom takes the thrifty approach and wants to salvage what she has instead of replacing with new. You must remember your mom or grandmother washing out bread bags...reusing foil and wrapping paper... and keeping every plastic cool whip or margarine container for left overs...just to name a few.

I never had to stand in line for hours waiting for bread or cheese. I never had to share a pair of shoes with my sisters...although I did wear all their hand-me-downs! I never had to walk the neighborhood peddling peanuts that my mom spent hours roasting so that we would have money for groceries. I never had to catch eels in the river, skin them and cook them for dinner. Yuck...that thought really creeps me. But my parents did.

So every little thing they have is appreciated. They waste little and "want" for even less. I grew up in a wasteful generation...where there was always "plenty more where that came from." I was not spoiled or rich...just not "needy". parents were resourceful.

I did not learn how to be resourceful...I just learned how to "have".

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Cheeks Hurt

Have you ever laughed so hard that your cheeks actually hurt? Well, I just returned from a week of belly laughing with 4 of my dear high school friends, Gerrie, Roseann, Connie and Theresa. We all met at Gerrie's home...near San celebrate our "double nickle" birthdays...and the week was filled with both laughter and tears...some tears caused by laughter!

I love my girlfriends...they are good listeners...they have experienced many of the same things that I have as an "adult" (I think we are officially in that category now at 55)...they like to eat...they like to shop...they like to pose for pictures... they like to sing...they like to be goofy...they like to hug...and they like to laugh...A LOT!!!

We shared some leg-crossing...cheek hurting...belly laughter moments. Like the night we bought our matching tee shirts that said "Group Therapy" and posed for pictures wearing big red wax lips! Or in the limo (read on) singing theme songs from old TV shows like Green Acres, Gilligan's Island and Patty Duke. Or at the well-known comedy show "Beach Blanket Babylon" in San Francisco. Or reading the "Pat, the Husband" book (a parody on the "Pat the Bunny" book we all read to our kids), a b'day gift from Connie, I might add. Or posing for pictures and telling Ger's son to "take one without pants". ask...what is that all about? Really...quite innocent...I assure you. Ger had gotten us matching shirts that said "Old Navy San Francisco" (coral in color)and we all slipped them on right away. None of our pants matched the shirt. So...we wanted Jeff to take the picture from the waist up...the request just came out wrong!!

We also had some memorable moments this past week..."hot tubbing" in Ger's heated pool...bumping into an actual photographer who (using all 5 cameras) "posed" us for pictures at the coast saying he was helping is to look thinner (what was that all about?...we look darn good for a bunch of old ladies!)...riding in a limo (Ger surprised us!) through the wine country and stopping at a few vineyards along the way (meeting a group of women from Wisconsin where - in their words - "the men are men and the women are men") until our feet, knees and shoulders ached (that could have something to do with the "55 factor")...riding on a cable car (our driver claimed it was his first day)...and touring San Francisco with our guide, Patrick (who can be seen as a fireman in the new show "Trauma"). Creating perfect memories from a perfect week.

I can not wait for the next time we get together. We are thinking about Boston and Vermont...Connie's stomping grounds...maybe two years from now.

I hope by that time my feet, knees, shoulders and cheeks will be rejuvenated!

Friday, September 11, 2009

OK!!!!! I GIVE UP!!!!!

Now, if you really know me well you know that those words rarely come out of my mouth! Just ask my honey...he can attest to many arguments...ahemmmm...slight differences of opinions...that we have had over the years where I just have to have the last word...and the next to the last...and the one before that...and before that...etc....etc...etc. Or, you could go ask Alice...isn't that a song???...who I worked with for 5 years at the best job I ever secretary. Alice can attest to the fact that if we had something go wrong in the office...or couldn't figure out something on the computer...I would dig and dig and dig until I got a resolution. I am not sure if this is a personality trait to brag about or not!!!

Well...I give up! I spent the last 2 hours at my pool battling with leaves. Yes, I know...we do live in the middle of the woods...and yes, I is fall...and yes, I one is even swimming anymore...BUT HEY!!!...what the heck happened to summer???? Where did it go???? Did I miss it???? Instead of a warm sunny...even Indian Summer day...I am out there in a sprinkling rain...with a gusting wind...skimmer in hand...trying to remove all the leaves. Out seven...out two...out nine! You do the is a LOSING BATTLE!!

Even Sebastian is out of breath!!!

Time to call the pool guys and get the cover installed for the winter. I was really trying to keep it open so that my Minnesota friends could enjoy a little dip in the heated pool when they visit in October. Sorry to disappoint, guys. However...the hot tub WILL stay open until the end of October.

I certainly think I can manage the leaves in that!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Quietness of Fall

Unlike my cool cyberfriends Sarah and MaryLisa, I do not seem to blog regularly anymore. I guess my life was a bit more eventful when I was packing, moving, stepping over contractors and unpacking. Now my life is just...quiet.

Quiet is good...quiet is restful...quiet is peaceful...quiet is calming...BUT quiet can be lonely.

I have read more books this past summer than I have read in the past 5 years! Love to to get "lost" in a book. Have lots of quiet time to do it. So what am I complaining about? Sounds like Sarah and MaryLisa would kill to have time to sit and quietly read a book...uninterrupted...but instead their moments are filled with "back to school blues". I remember those days well.

But my little birds have long since dropped out of the nest. Their school years are a distant memory...found only in little books marked "School Days" which I lovingly filled each year with pictures and mementos from K-8th grades. The high school years I chose not to commemorate in this way...except for Will's acting/musical accomplishments and Carrie's basketball. Sorry Leigh and Jessie...but I AM equally as proud of you!!!

So...does fall make me think of bus lunches...PTA?? You betcha! But I would not trade places with my friends who are young mom's for anything in the world!

After all, I have four beautiful little birds that have grown into strong, independent adults, a husband who I adore...and with whom I get to spend some of my quiet time, two of the most precious grandlittle birds in the world, a beautiful home which is truly a BlessInn', and many friends I have collected over the years who are scattered across the country...and even in Australia.

Life is good...and quiet.

Shhhhhhhhhhhh...I can hear the leaves falling to the ground.