I wasn’t looking for a cat, had no desire to get one, and even made a list of the reasons I didn’t want one. My daughter, who is a card carrying member of the crazy cat lady club, called me to tell me her outside cat had just had a litter of kittens. Knowing I rather like orange cats, she kept hounding me to take the little orange one. She pestered me relentlessly, but I remained adamant that I didn’t want a cat. I have nothing against cats, it’s just that we have a Standard Poodle who thinks cats are fun to chase, and I was pretty sure things would not end well if he ever caught one. So, after a couple weeks of Brandy- our daughter- pressuring me to take a kitten I finally sent her a photo to shut her up. I told her that unless one of her cats had a calico- not likely, given their coloring, that I was not interested in getting a kitten. I’d had a calico kitten as a child and had always wanted another. So the photo -one I’d found on the Internet- was of a calico kitten like the one I’d had as a child, same specific coloring -vibrant blacks, oranges and whites- with a two toned face- black and orange. While not the specific cat I’d had as a child, the image was darn close. It worked, as she stopped pressuring me, other than sending me the occasional picture of the kittens doing something cute. Fast forward a couple of weeks, my hubby and I were visiting my parents in Kentucky when I get a text from our daughter saying, “Mommmmmmmm! Your kitty will be ready when you come visit!” My initial thought was Sheesh, here we go again. Then she sent me the photo! In the photo was a small calico kitten almost exactly like the kitten in the photo I’d sent her. The only real difference was the mask was reversed -black on the opposite side of the face. As soon as I saw her-I was fairly certain she was a female, as only 1 in 3000 calico’s are male- I knew I was getting a kitten. No doubts, no arguments, no decisions to be made, she was mine. Her story is a strange one, I truly believe she was sent to me-there really is no other explanation. I sent my daughter a photo of the only cat I would accept and said cat showed up on her porch. You see, even though she had two mama cats- both with kittens- this kitten was not a part of either litter! This cat-my cat- just showed up on her porch and was adopted by one of the mama cats. Okay, full disclosure, we later found out the kitten had appeared at the house across the road and was nearly breakfast for the neighbor’s two large dogs. The neighbor, thinking the kitten belonged to our daughter, had taken the kitten over in the wee hours of the morning, sat her on the porch, and watched as the mama cat welcomed her. So, she may have had a wee bit of help getting here, but seriously what are the odds the exact kitten I had asked for showing up where she would then be sent in my direction. I think it was divine intervention. Someone up above knew we needed each other. I then went from not wanting a cat to impatiently counting the days until she was safely in our home. We’ve been cautious in introducing Reggie to Oliver, our Standard Poodle, and so far things are going well. For me it was love at first sight. Seriously, I have loved her from the second I saw her picture. Maybe it was a holdover, a good memory from my childhood, but I just can’t get enough of this little girl. I may not have been looking for a cat, but sometimes the best kind of love is the one that just shows up. It’s safe to say that Reggie Love -named for a character in the movie, The Client, is truly loved. #calicokitten #lookingforlove ##standardpoodle #Divineintervention
We are in Michigan this week, hanging out with 6 of the 7 G’s, and checking on the progress of the renovations. Everything is coming along nicely, but is far from completed. The furnishings are sparse; we use a folding table along with foldable chairs to eat. We have a small couch that we brought from PA in the den. We purchased a bedroom suite for the guest room, so, at least we have a comfortable place to sleep. I smile as I write that, as the mattress is still covered with the noisy plastic that was placed during shipping. We have elected to leave this in place so as not to have it covered in drywall dust. It makes for interesting sleeping to be sure.
Each morning I pick fresh peonies and roses from the yard, which I place in a crystal vase that the hubby and I found in an antique shop. The hubby and I drink our morning coffee while watching the sun rise out our kitchen window. I marvel at the way our River Birch changes colors when the sun hits its bark. I watch as the birds swoop down to feast at the freshly filled feeders, and I feel content. For in those early morning hours, the house is quiet, and life feels so enticingly normal. It’s easy to forget the challenges we face, and the uncertainly of things to come. The what ifs remain, but seem to drift away for a brief period of time to allow the sunshine to spread through me and I give thanks for our many blessing. And there are many. No matter what the future holds, I am truly grateful for what I have now, here, at this very moment. Life has been very good to me.
#puremichigan #countingmyblessings #givingthanks #retirementhome
As many of you know, due to some personal family issues I have been on a writing hiatus. During this time I've focused my energy on being with family and planning for the future. This time off has given the hubby and I some major together time and a chance to do things we have always wanted to do. One of these things was to embark on the journey of a lifetime. After thirty-five years of marriage we finally went on our honeymoon. In the planning stages we explored all options, from going someplace exotic, to staying closer to home. In the end, we decided to do something that has been on both our bucket lists for a very long time. We flew to Denver, where we spent two days in and around that stunning city. We even found ourselves on a train chugging our way up to the summit just below Pikes Peak. Once at the summit, we were thrilled to see a herd of big horn sheep. The views were breathtaking and actually brought me to tears on several occasions.
Next we boarded Amtrak's California Zephyr, and took a thirty-five hour train ride over and through the mountains our final destination San Francisco. If I thought the views traveling up to Pikes Peak were amazing, I hadn't seen anything yet. We traveled though tunneled mountains, and crept past massive walls of rock to elevations so high, with snow so deep that there weren't any animal tracks to disfigure its beauty. Up at Donner's Pass the snow was so treacherous our train was delayed for over an hour while we waited for a snowplow train to come and clear the way. Afterwards, the plow gave our train an escort allowing for safe passage over the remaining mountains.
We arrived in San Francisco during rush hour. It was dark, and the city inhabitants were scrambling to get home. Having never been to the area I found our trip to our hotel to be a bit daunting. I'm glad the hubby was driving, as I am not a fan of traffic, especially when I do not know where I'm going. In the two days we spent in the area, the traffic never really improved. Sill, we managed to find our way to the sites we wished to see. We had a seafood lunch at Fisherman's Wharf; saw the seals at Pear 39, shopped for souvenirs for all seven of the grandchildren, and even took a bicycle cab. Our driver did an awesome job of taking our picture, while still riding and guiding the bike. We toured Alcatraz-yes it is just as cold and eerie as one would imagine it to be. We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge multiple times- the views will take your breath away. We rode the cable car, and shopped at Tiffany and CO.- okay window shopped- but at least I can say I was there. We drove down famous Lombard Street, saw the Painted Ladies and drove on streets so steep they would put a rollercoaster to shame. We stayed up way to late and ate way too much. I got sick- of course I did, I was on vacation after all. We got lost, darn those navigators. Got caught in the rain- of course, it was San Francisco. And most of all we made memories to last a lifetime! That is what I will remember most, that we did all those things together. Just a reminder, never take a single moment for granted, you never know when you will no-longer have those moments to share. And don't wait until life throws you a curve ball to do the things you wish to do...
#Denver #PikesPeak #dreamhoneymoon #bucketlist #SanFrancisco #bicyclecab #AmtrakCaliforniaZephyr #enjoylife
On December 24th 1980-two months after my 18th birthday- Don, my soon to be husband and I, formed a plan to elope. There was no reason for a rushed ceremony; it was simply a plan we devised in order to have a small nest egg saved up before ultimately having a "real" ceremony. Don was in the Navy and if he was married he would get married pay. It was a simple plan. We would get married, not tell anyone, and save a little extra money.
Don was on leave from Norfolk and due back to the ship right after the first of the year, so we decided we would get married before he left. We chose December 30th. We had worked out all the details; we would drive to Tennessee, get married and be home by early afternoon, what could possibly go wrong?
I woke early on that Friday morning as Don was supposed to pick me up by seven for our secret rendezvous. I was ready on time but Don was nearly an hour late picking me up. Apparently unbeknownst to us another couple was having a house moved to its new location on that very morning, choosing to do so early so as not to inconvenience anyone. Yes, I am talking about a whole house. A single story, dark brown, brick ranch that was to be moved to its new location on that very day. The good news is the house is still there and every time we pass it we remember the day it found its new home on top of the hill. After that minor delay we were on our way.
We told my mother that we were heading to Bardstown to see Don’s father and would be gone most of the day, and had arranged for my then sister-in-law to join us as a witness. We drove to her house, waited across the street for my brother to leave, then picked up her and my nephew who was just a baby at the time. We dropped the baby off at his great aunt’s house and were on our way to Tennessee in our quest to become husband and wife.
The drive was uneventful, and we all arrived in high spirits. There was a line at the courthouse; apparently several other couples had hopes of getting married that day as well. When it was our turn, we told the lady at the desk we were there to get married. She smiled and said she needed our birth certificates. This was the second thing that nearly derailed our plans, as we had not thought to bring them. Before you chastise us for not being prepared please remember we were both very young. I had barely turned eighteen and my husband to be was twenty -one. This was way before the Internet was invented, so we had been unable to research what was involved. After a very tense moment it was decided that we could use our driver’s licenses since they had our pictures on them. We were lucky because at that time Kentucky was one of the few states that actually required photos on driver’s licenses.
After our identities were established she then requested the paperwork for blood test results. Glitch number three! Of course we had not thought to have any blood test taken. Things like this must happen on a regular basis as the lady was able to direct us to a clinic where we could get our blood drawn and returned that very day.
We drove across town and after several wrong turns -no GPS back in the day- finally found the clinic in rather run down section of Nashville. After arriving, and feeding yet another parking meter that seemed prevalent in the large city, we entered to find a sea of patients waiting to be seen. As we entered the building every person turned their head to watch us. I was terrified as all of those eyes followed us across the room, continuing to stare even after we had signed in and took our seats.
At the time I felt it was because somehow everyone in the room knew of our secret mission, but now as I type, I think it was more because we were highly overdressed for the area. Don was looking pretty dashing in his leisure suit. My sister-in-law had donned a nice dress for the occasion and I had on a new outfit. Purchased with my very own money from the new job I was working. I had on new blue jeans with a soft fur trim that lined the back pockets and a stunning black velour angel sleeve top. It was 1980 and this was extremely fashionable. Having just turned eighteen it never occurred to me that fur trimmed blue jeans and a black top may not have been the best choice of wedding attire. Besides, this was just our pre-wedding wedding.
Luckily we were only there for a blood draw and we were called back within a few short moments. They put us in separate rooms across the hall from one another where we each sat on an exam table and waved to each other like a couple of love struck kids. The nurse came into my room first, asked a couple of questions and then tied the tourniquet around my arm. As she was lowering the needle towards my arm I asked her when the results would be back. As the needle approached the crook of my arm she replied “oh not long, we should have them back in the morning.” I jerked my arm away just before the tip penetrated my exposed vein. “But, we are getting married today”, I exclaimed pulling at the rubber vice that still gripped my arm.
After a few moments of chaos we were sent across town yet again to a blood draw center that could accommodate a same day blood draw. After arriving and paying yet another parking meter, we made our way to a nice waiting area where we were met by a very friendly lady who assured us it would not take long to complete the process. After only a few minutes our blood was carted away to the testing area with the word STAT clearly labeled across each glass vile. We were told it would take about an hour and since it was now nearing lunch time it was suggested we take this opportunity to go and get something to eat.
I am not sure how much Nashville has changed since then, but in December of 1980 it was not easy for three highly stressed and very hungry people to find something to eat. We drove for a very long time before finally finding a Burger King. We ate burgers and fries and hurried back to the lab to get our test results. We had been gone for over an hour but when we returned the results had still not come back. After waiting well over an hour the receptionist finally called down to see what was taking so long. It turns out that our blood had been misplaced and no-one could find those two tiny glass tubes of blood. A trace was placed on them and we had no choice but to wait for them to be found.
After nearly two hours of panicking the blood was found and the results finally arrived. Don paid the fifty- six dollars and we were on our way. Unfortunately, instead of being on our way to the courthouse we were once again headed back to the clinic so the resident doctor could verify the results and declare us fit to be married. We returned to the clinic, walked back through the gauntlet of gawkers and spoke with the receptionist who in turn called a nurse who took our paperwork to the doctor. Forty minutes and Thirty- six dollars later, we exited the building, paperwork in hand which attested that we were in good health and genetically fit to become husband and wife, all signed by a doctor whom we never saw.
By the time we returned to the courthouse it was late, and all of the judges had left for the day. Feeling both physically and mentally exhausted I blinked in order to keep the tears at bay. Seeing my distress the clerk took pity on us and offered to call over to the night court and see if there was anyone who could perform the service. Luckily there was a judge there who agreed to see to our joining.
We made our way to the courtroom and opened the door. We were more than surprised to be met with a room full of people who turned to stare at the people who had suddenly disturbed the proceedings. We quickly closed the door without entering, fearing we had unknowingly arrived at the wrong court room. Within seconds the door opened and we were greeted by a distinguished man, with incredibly large ears, who assured us we were indeed in the right place.
The man introduced himself as Judge Doty and beckoned us to follow him. It was terrifying being led through that sea of faces in the court room and into a back chamber of the building. Judge Doty was a sturdy, kind, older man, with dark eyes that looked as if they had witnessed many years in the judicial system. He seemed rather pleased to be doing something as mundane as performing a simple marriage ceremony. When he asked which one of these pretty ladies was the bride, Don clutched my hand possessively, and proudly stated that I could cook too. He knew this for a fact as I had made him a spaghetti dinner only a couple of short months earlier when he was home on leave. What he neglected to say was that I had used boxed noodles, sauce from a jar, and he never even touched the homemade meatballs that I had slaved hours to prepare.
As Judge Doty began the ceremony he was interrupted by a phone call. After answering and assuring his wife he would bring home a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk he continued. A few seconds later a second call had been answered. This call was of greater importance as it ended with the promise of a fishing trip to take place the following day. When the service continued Judge Doty got to the part where a ring was needed and in one smooth motion without exchanging words, my sister-in-law slipped her own wedding ring off her hand and passed it to Don who then slipped it onto my waiting finger. Apparently in our haste to get married we had overlooked this minor detail. At long last, and without any further interruptions, we were finally pronounced husband and wife. It was official-after we handed over a forty dollar ceremony fee.
Upon surrendering the borrowed ring, and returning to the van, the first major test of our marriage was soon at hand. The van was nearly out of gas, we were over a hundred miles away from home and Don was nearly out of money. Between all the parking meters, blood test, doctor's signatures and ceremony fees, his cash was nearly depleted. He had a bit of money in an account at home, but that was way before the invention of the universal debit card. I had not thought to bring any money and my sister-in-law only had a couple of dollars on her, so we were frantically trying to figure out how we were going to get back home.
As it turns out Don had a money order in the van for the amount of six dollars, which he had yet to fill out. He took the money order to a bank across the street, went into the bank, walked up to the teller, slid the money order under the window, and told her he needed money. It was at that time that the guard saw him at the window, watched him pass the note and assumed he was robbing the bank. Apparently the bank had been closed for several minutes and somehow no-one had remembered to lock the side door. After a few tense moments my new husband was able to convince everyone he was not a bank robber, had just gotten married, and needed to cash the small money order in order to get his new bride safely back home. The teller, who had already closed out her drawer, took pity on him and gave him cash for the money order out of the money she had in her own purse.
With the funds from the money order and the small amount of cash on hand, Don was able to purchase gas which he prayed would be enough to get us all safely home. During the drive home, I having reached my limit proceeded to crawl into the bed in the back of the van and sleep most of the way home.
Needless to say we arrived back at the aunt’s house to pick up the baby much later than we originally intended. As we reached the back door my brother greeted us humming the hymn to the funeral march. As it turns out the baby had gotten sick, and his aunt had called my mom looking for us. When my mother questioned why we would take my sister-in-law with us to visit Don’s dad her aunt had jokingly stated “maybe they eloped.”
After gathering my nerve I called my mom, who demanded to know where we had been. There was no reason to lie so I told her Tennessee and when she asked why, I said “why do you think?” The next thing I heard was a dial tone. At that point I was very glad I had taken that much needed nap. My brother congratulated us, we had a celebratory glass of wine and we left.
After once again gathering the courage to call my house my younger brother answered the phone and wanted to know why mom had been crying ever since hanging up the phone with me. She refused to answer and told him to tell me if I wanted to speak with her I knew where she lived. An hour later we parked at the church next door to our house and, feeling as if we were facing the firing squad, slowly made our way across the yard and up the incline to our house.
My mom was still crying. My dad, not typically known for his patience, was so calm it was frightening. He wanted to know why we had eloped. Don spoke up and simply said “because we love each other.” Dad then asked the million dollar question, which was whether or not I was pregnant. We of course told them no, which was the truth. Dad visibly relaxed, slightly, at that point and left the room. Many years later I was told by my brother that he had seen dad with a loaded pistol in his waist band before he himself had been ordered to leave the house. I do not know for certain if this was true but I think it was a very good thing that an impending pregnancy was not the reason for our hasty elopement.
When dad returned to the room, both he and mom then attempted to make us see the error of our ways and get an annulment. They claimed that neither of them objected to the marriage, just the way we had gotten married. They wanted us to get an annulment and then go back the following weekend to get re-married with them beside us. I was afraid if we agreed to this they would find a way to keep us from a second ceremony. Dons refusal was because he was not about to relinquish his well earned prize. He had nearly been shot at the bank just a few short hours earlier and he was not about to let that experience be for naught.
After a long stalemate, it was decided that I would retire to my room for the night and Don would go home. All parties involved would discuss it further the following day, when hopefully calmer heads would prevail. I know there are some that would think it utterly absurd to sleep alone on ones wedding night but by this point Don and I were so exhausted it seemed like the right thing to do.
The final agreement was that we would follow our initial plan to keep the marriage a secret and plan for the big wedding in the summer. As with our elopement, things did not go as planned. We never had the big wedding, nor did I get the white dress. I am happy to report that I did eventually get a wedding band that many years later was replaced with a lovely diamond set. When we first got married several people expressed their disapproval, telling us it would not last six months. Thankfully, their predictions did not hold true and today marks our 35th wedding anniversary.
I guess, truth be told, one does not need a fancy dress, a shinny bauble or even a lot of money to get married. You only need perseverance, a trip across the state line and enough money for gas to get you home….
Our culture has become sue happy. There are lawsuits filled every day, some unmistakably warranted and others which are extremely far reaching. Some people have legitimate claims, others are hoping to be so far reaching that companies offer them a settlement just to make them go away. It helps that many attorneys have jumped on the proverbial bandwagon and are quick to take on even the most bizarre case. One man filled a lawsuit because his hamburger was served with cheese when he'd ordered it without. His claim, the restaurant had assured him his sandwich would not have cheese. The man ate the burger and had an allergic reaction, according to the suit.
One lady went through the drive thru and ordered a cup of coffee. She then knowingly placed that hot beverage between her legs, causing significant burns. But instead of suffering her own negligence, she filed a million dollar lawsuit with McDonalds for serving her such a hot cup of coffee. Most assuredly, had the coffee been handed to her at room temperature she would have returned and demanded a steaming hot cup. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
In 2007 a former DC Judge won a 54 million dollar lawsuit over a pair of lost pants. That's right; he won a lawsuit because the drycleaners lost his prized pair of trousers!
These lawsuits are amusing to read, yet them and many like them are filed and won on a daily basis. But what of the lawsuits that cannot be filed? The ones that are more "legitimate" in nature. I'm speaking about the ones that involve our service members. Did you know that if a service member is injured while on active duty he cannot file a lawsuit? Now before you flame spray me let me qualify this statement. Every military service member knows, or should know, what they are getting themselves into when they enlist. Each sign up knowing they could be placed in harm's way, while on deployment or in training. But what of the other situations, such as medical care? If a military service member goes to the doctor shouldn't they expect the best care? Shouldn't they feel confident that everything that can be done will be done to ensure their health and well being? Do they not deserve to be adequately cared for? So what happens if the care they receive causes more harm than good? What can an active duty service member do if a doctor or surgeon's actions- or lack of action -causes more harm than good? Nothing! Under the Feres Doctrine (1950) a service member cannot sue the government for injuries incurred while on active duty. This includes medical malpractice. Instead, they are offered a pow wow, the opportunity to sit across the table from the doctor who wronged them so they can tell them how they feel. Time has come to repeal the Feres Doctrine and hold the medical professionals to the same level of accountability as their civilian counterparts. Military doctors need to know that they can and will be held accountable for their actions. Maybe then our military service members will get the care they deserve. Isn't it time service members are granted the rights of the citizens they are protecting?!
#feresdoctrine #militarymedicalmalpractice #servicemembersrights #militaryinjustice #isthereanattorneywillingtotakeontheferesdoctrine #yesthisispersonal
When I started writing this morning, I was extremely surprised to find that after writing the first two paragraphs, my story had ended. Just like that, I had the final words of my final chapter. Something which caused a bit of concern, as the main conflict had not yet been resolved. But it had to be the final paragraph, as it was the perfect ending! So, I pushed it to the end of the page, and went to work resolving the other issues. I had to resolve the conflict, and take the story to its final conclusion. Thankfully this was much easier than it sounds, as it seems as if the manuscript is at long last ready to be completed. I never know when it will end until I get there.
Even after having written five novels, it still amazes me at how little control I have over my manuscripts. When I was given this one -by my voices- I honestly thought it was going to be a simple short story. Wrong. Then I thought it was going to be a novelette. Wrong again. It turns out this one wanted to be a novella, which is in between a novelette and a novel. How wonderful we authors have so many options! I expect to finish with the first draft tomorrow, after which time I will start my final edits. Since the story has taken so many unexpected turns, I have things I need to fix. The main heroine has undergone a name change-of course she has- they always do. There are other changes, nothing major, but enough the reader would catch them if not corrected. #almostfinished! #Listeningtomyvoices! #Ilovewriting!
What a difference 17 months can make. Late March of 2014 to August 1st 2015 I've only changed two things. First and foremost is of course, letting God choose the color of my hair. Second, I've been following the 5-2 diet, where you #fast (500) calories twice a week and eat what you like the other five days. Before you say you can't do it, I honestly didn't think I could either. BUT, I can honestly say I have never felt better in my life, and I've only been #fasting for four weeks.
#lovingmysilverhair #dyefree #5-2diet #naturalhair
Today marks my one year anniversary of the day I had the last traces of dye cut from my hair. My transition day as it is called. I went cold turkey. Going about my life with my skunk stripe blazing-and boy did it blaze! Trust me; I have the photos to prove it. My stripe is apparent in family photos, taken by the lake. As well as my passport photo-not to worry that thing is only good for ten years. I can say, with complete honesty, that I've never once regretted my decision to let my natural color shine. Nor did I have an issue with my skunk stripe during the transition. The only issue I had was during the first part of the transition when I tried to cover it up. I felt awkward, as if I were hiding. When I mentioned it to my hubby, his advice made all the difference in the world, "loud and proud baby." (Yes he is a keeper.) So, I stopped hiding and to be honest it felt much better. Most of the time, I would completely forget about my hair until I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror. Even then, instead of panicking, I would stop and pull my hair back, to see if it had grown any since the last time I checked.
I love short hair, always have, but I've been afraid to go to short given I have such a round face. But the day I got my pixie- boy was it short- was one of the happiest days of my life. For the first time in a long time, I was free! More importantly, I was me, all me. Even better, I was no longer a slave to once a month coloring that would zap my time, wallet and irritate my scalp for weeks. I've had my hair cut multiple times since that day, enjoying the added freedom of carefree hair. Today I find myself on a different journey, growing my hair out. Funny, I find I've struggled more with this decision than I ever did about going natural. You see, I love short hair, always have. And to be honest I really dislike long hair. It wakes me up at night, and blows in my face when I'm driving, or working in the yard. So, if I like short hair so much, why the decision to let it grow out? Simple curiosity. I love my color and want to see what it will look like with some length on it. I have seen so many amazing ladies with long, natural hair, that I'm afraid I will regret the decision if I don't give it a try. If I don't like it, I can always get it cut again. The exciting part is that when the time comes I will be able to pull it back without worrying about my roots showing. Maybe, deep down that is the true reason I want to grow it long, to pull it back and say, it's real, it's beautiful, and it's mine. Best of all, it didn't cost me a dime!
#silversister #lovingmysilver! #naturalhair #nomoreroots!
I realize I've been a bit inconsistent in my blogging of late, but truth be told, I've been on a bit of a writing hiatus. That is a tough thing for me to admit, and something I've struggled a great deal with. It's just that life has thrown me some pretty big hurtles over the last six months -longer since I am being truthful. But the last six months have been the true test. It all started with my husband's first heart attack. Yes, I said first, as he has now had two of the buggers. Thankfully, he has had a fantastic team of doctors who have not only put him back together but also, installed four stents to insure-God willing- that he will be around for many more years to come. Now if my hubby's health issues were not enough to stress me out, a job change for him demanded we had to sell our home and move to Pennsylvania. Never one to take the easy way out I convinced my hubby that I wanted to do a for -sale- by- owner. The practical side of me knew that I could do it, if given the opportunity. At first my hubby baulked, while he has faith in me, this was a huge undertaking-one I've never done before. So I did what I'm best at, I did the research, wrote out the pros and cons -there really weren't many cons- and stated my case. Much to my delight and horror, he agreed to let me have a go at it. To tell the truth, it was not a horrible experience. Unless, you count the fact that the hubby had his second heart attack two weeks after we put the house on the market! Maybe he was more stressed about my trying to sell the house than he let on. He shouldn't have been, as it turns out the universe had our back and things worked out just fine. We not only had an offer on our home within eighteen days of listing it, were also able to make an offer on a beautiful new home in PA. It was a scary thirty days, hoping that the planets would continue to align, but align they did. We closed on our old home and had an offer accepted on our new home, and for the most part, things went smoothly. The move was stressful; they always are, but this one even more so. On the day our furniture arrived, I received a phone call. It was one that I expected, but one I prayed would never come, the passing of my favorite aunt. A long term breast cancer survivor, she'd been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer last year and given six months to live. Those doctors sure are accurate. So, a couple days later, with my house still filled with boxes, I drove to Kentucky to say my final goodbyes. The drive there was not so bad. I think I had tunnel vision, my only focus getting to my destination. The drive home on the other hand felt as if it took forever, my loss weighing heavy on my heart. When I returned home there was so much left to do. I think in some ways unpacking helped, it kept me busy, made me focus on what needed to be done.
This past weekend, one month to the day of my aunt's passing, I was in Kentucky signing books at the Southern Kentucky Bookfest. I had thought of my aunt multiple times over the course of the day, had even brought along a satchel my aunt had made for me. Still, that did not prepare me for my aunt to walk through the door. Okay, obviously it was not her; however this lady looked so much like my aunt that tears instantly welled in my eyes. I watched as she walked down the aisle across from me, and then made her way back towards me. As she approached I spoke to her, telling her she looked just like my favorite aunt, saying she'd recently passed away. The lady said she was sorry. To which I assured her that her resemblance was a good thing, then asked for a hug. I think it's safe to say my emotions got the best of me. Thankfully this complete stranger did not see anything wrong with my request and complied. We chatted for several moments before she continued on her way. Moments later my husband, came in to check on me. I told him what had happened, and before I could point the lady out, he found her. She returned and spoke with the two of us, My husband agreed that this lady not only looked like my aunt, she sounded like her and had the same mannerisms. As crazy as it sounds I feel the lady was sent there that day to help heal my heart. It was good seeing "Aunt Dianna" once more and watching her walk around the room. Maybe it is because my "real" Aunt Dianna has been in a wheelchair in recent years. I feel as though this was my aunt's way of letting me know she's doing okay. More than that, her way of letting me know that I'm going to be okay too. As of this writing, things finally seem to be returning to normal. The boxes are unpacked, my office is officially put together, the husband is settling into his new job and on the road to recovery. The new house is fantastic, the view even better, and while I still miss my aunt I know she is near. Sometimes near enough to touch.
#hugfromastranger #dearlydeparted #Pennsylvania #healthyheart
My most memorable date was with a man I'll refer to as LB. It was late in my sixteenth year, LB was three years older than I. LB was hot and had an even hotter car- a red and white sixties model Ford Fairlane. I was ecstatic when he asked me to go out with him-my girlfriends were going to be so jealous!
On the way to the movie I decided LB might not be all I expected him to be. Maybe that was because he showed up in a red suit that matched his car-one that was specially made just for him. Or maybe it was the white blousy shirt and matching scarf. Okay, it was the late seventies, so maybe not all that crazy to some. However, to me it was clear that LB was very into himself, and REALLY loved his car. By the time we reached the movie theater it was raining. LB gathered his umbrella, shielding HIS head as we walked towards the building. Once inside, the first thing he did was check to make certain he had not gotten his hair wet. I honestly cannot remember what movie we watched, hopefully he sprang for popcorn so the evening wasn't a total loss, again I do not recall.
By the time the movie let out the rain had passed, but small puddles still pooled in the parking lot. Once inside the car LB turned the key, but the engine refused to start. To my utter delight LB then had to scoot under the car to fix whatever it was that kept it from starting, so much for him not getting wet. I wonder if he was able to hear the giggles that escaped me, as I heard him banging on the undercarriage of the car.
While he was not happy, he did shake it off, and stay in good spirits for the drive home. At one point he commented to me that I did not need to sit so far away. A comment I pretended not to hear. It was a bench seat and I had pressed myself against the passenger door, having no desire to get any closer than necessary during the drive home. Something good did come of that night, as LB taught me a cute limerick on the way home. Funny, I still remember how it goes. Be warned, it's not for the faint of heart.
I'm standing over my dead dog Rover that I overran with the mower.
One leg is missing the other is gone.
One leg is scattered all over the lawn.
I'm standing over my dead dog Rover that I overran with the mower.
What a memorable ending to my date with the hot guy...Thanks for the memories LB.