Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Everything You Own, Owns You Back a Little Bit

One way or another, this picture to the left probably looks familiar to you.  If you are lucky, it will bring back fond memories of watching your favorite cartoon beagle retrieve a ping-pong table from a detached garage for Thanksgiving dinner. If you are not so lucky, it may hit closer to home.  It may be home.

I recently helped a friend sort through two storage units that looked pretty similar to this. They had been collecting dust (and rent) for years.  No pun intended, it was a weighty experience.  

Weighty because of the significant time and physical expenditure involved, and weighty because of the mental and emotional toll as well.   As the lock came off the door and it rolled out of the way, I knew immediately that I had to take a backseat role.  I would be there for support; to "grab that end while I grab this one".... but that was all.  My friend had to do all the driving.  This was his "stuff journey" and it started well before I came into the picture.  

Two days and two swept-clean storage units later, I came away from the experience even more convinced than I was before that everything you own, owns you back a little bit.  Possessions possessed possess. That is why we call it a vacation when we go away.  We vacate, abandon, and relinquish not just our jobs and daily responsibilities, but the ties to our other obligation ...our things.
And boy does it feel good! Anchors aweigh!

Think about it.  When you buy something, you agree to give up things you already own for that new thing: Your money and your space.  You sacrifice for it. It has taken something from you.  But it goes deeper than that... then you have to care for it: Clean it, store it, insure it, and nowadays...update it.  Heaven forbid you have to relocate.  Then you have to pack and move it.

What if a new "need" comes along and requires the space that your old "want" is taking up?  Like a crib or a work table?  Then you have to go through the mental exercises of lament or compromise or maybe even resentment.  I have done that before and it's a workout.

So this Christmas, instead of gifts, I am giving experiences.  I realize that this is a total Grandma-move and that yes, I am being that Grandma.  I am spending just as much money on my lovelies, but I am not burdening them with things.  They will get life instead.  Memories, interactions, etc.  December 26th will come and they will awake with happiness and freedom, instead of happiness and burdens.  Well, that's the plan at least.

“The wisdom of nature continues to teach humanity that the material...is immaterial.” 
― Jason Versey


Friday, November 23, 2018

Gravy Baby

We did a lot of shopping yesterday morning.  Jumping into the car just to go and grab one or two items at the market; only to return an hour later to grab one or two more. It  probably looked a little schizo to some people.  OCD to others.  But it was time to create and our errands were to us as the thumb is to the artist.  Details, vision; a little more of this here, a little dab of that there....

That's how you get ready for Thanksgiving dinner when family is coming over.  You prepare the canvas with aromas and sounds, flavors and illumination.  And then you sit back and wait for the medium to arrive, and they do.

A pile of coats no sooner builds up on a chair in the den than the hues of each individual begin to blend, compliment and contrast with each other.  Laid out.  Trusting. The space fills rapidly... but at the same time, love allows it to expand. Yes, love will ensure there's room for every different palette and brush stroke, where expectations would have otherwise stifled.  The coats soon end up on the floor because the desk chair is now needed at the table.

In the end you don't see, but you hear the masterpiece... and it sounds a lot like laughing.
 "Good art is art that allows you to enter it from a variety of angles and to emerge with a variety of views."    -Mary Schmich, American Journalist



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Love is Blind

I had come to the end of a long day of pickleballing and poker when I fell into bed, a happy but exhausted little camper. Oh, and don't forget beautiful. I was was a happy, exhausted, beautiful little camper because without thinking, I had hit the sack that night with all of my jewelry and my fake eyelashes still on. As soon as it occurred to me that I was still all blinged out,  I rolled over and carefully removed the adornments and set them on the table for the next day.

At least that's what I thought.  I thought I'd wake up and find everything as I left them, but I was wrong.  The next morning one of my eyelash pieces was missing.

For those of you that don't have any experience with false eyelashes, there is one thing you should know....they don't walk away. In fact one of their best qualities is their inanimateness. So, finding one of them missing, as you can imagine, was unusual.

The list of possible scenarios leading up to it's disappearance was almost non-existent.  In fact, I could only think of one. Perhaps a modest breeze blew it away, unless you consider the facts that: 1. Other items would have been blown out of place as well and everything else was still exactly as I left them.  2. There was nothing in the room that could have produced such a breeze in the first place.

So without a plausible scenario, I was left to focus on a plausible culprit instead. Some"thing" didn't happen to it; some"one" did.  And...because I am unfairly prejudiced against spiders I had no other choice than to blame an arachnid.  Species profiling.  It happens.

But don't get me wrong.  I am quite generous when it comes to the scapegoats in my life.  This spider, this eyelash thief, isn't to be condemned for his actions.  He is to be understood.  My eyelash has flittered it's way in to many a lonely man's heart.  It is beguiling and sensuous.  And from a spider's perspective, quite leggy.

So who's to say that when this eight legged culprit met my eyelash and realized almost immediately that she wasn't going to eat him alive after sex or lay eggs on his head, that he didn't fall madly in love with her and that the two of them aren't right now at this very moment sitting across from each other at a romantic table for two somewhere...utterly twitter-pated?

It's "awe, how sweet" and "awe, how sad" all at once, isn't it?  A broken heart looms glaringly in this little critter's near future. Because love is blind and SO very drenched in optimism, we can...

Oh hey...my eyelash.  I just found it stuck in my hair.  Nevermind.

 

Friday, September 21, 2018

My Top Movies

Seen and Loved:
Dan In Real Life
Groundhog Day
Princess Bride
Life Is Beautiful
It's a Wonderful Life
Where Do We Go Now?
Forest Gump
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Walk the Line
Cinderella Man
Slumdog Millionaire
Goodwill Hunting
Shawshank Redemption
Cinema Paradiso
12 Dates of Christmas
Phenomenon
Iron Giant
Lego Movie
Valentin
Mustang
I Am Dragon
The Help

Movies I Would Like to See:
The Patriot
Twelve Years a Slave
Taxi Driver
Fargo
Eternal Sunshine....
Tootsie
Kes
Room for Romeo Brass

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Top 25 Random Things about Me...Then and Now

I wrote this in 2009, before my cancer diagnosis and divorce.

1. I love surprises...love being surprised, love surprising others. 

2. My perfect day starts with waking up early on a summer day in a cabin in the mountains. 
3. I can sleep through almost anything. 
4. My dream car is a 1954 Chevy 3100 (stepside pick-up) any color. 
5. I am a germaphobe. 
6. I was raised by the BEST parents in the world! (who are now the BEST grandparents in the world. 
7. I was interviewed by Greta Van Something live on FOX News. 
8. Band-aid Politicians irritate me to no end. 
9. Road trips make me happy. 
10. I have lived in 9 different states. Washington, Maryland, North Carolina, Utah, 
Colorado, Missouri, Florida, California, Georgia (in order of most loved to least) 
11. I belive in mind over matter. I can go for years without getting sick. 
12. I go indoor skydiving any time the opportunity presents itself, and some other times too. 
13. I like to be on time. 
14. I have won over $5k on silly call-in radio contests in the last ten years. 
15. I have reported all of that to the IRS 
16. I hate the IRS 
17. I love the smell of hotels. 
18. I coach basketball for 8 year olds. 
19. I think Jim Henson was a genius. 
20. I am an optimist. There is ALWAYS hope, ALWAYS! Just wait. 
21. I know that God lives and that His son is my Savior. 
22. I want to be better about doing things His way. 
23. I'll take good memories over money anyday. 
24. I am an audiophile. Give me 24 hours after I hear a song that I like and I'll own it.  iTunes has made that affordable now. Thank you Apple! 
25. More than anything, I want my children to leave my home as adults who know how to love people. 


This is me now.  Some has changed, some has stood the test of time.


1. I love surprises...love being surprised, love surprising others. 

2. My perfect day starts with waking up early on a summer day in a cabin in the mountains. 
3. I can sleep through almost anything. 
4. My dream car is a 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Dover Gray.
5. I am a germaphobe but to maintain balance and not give up my power, I will drink often from the cup of another.
6. I was raised by the BEST parents in the world! (who are now the BEST grandparents in the world.) 
7. I was interviewed by Greta Van Something live on FOX News. 
8. Band-aid Politicians irritate me to no end, but I am NOT political anymore.
9. Road trips make me happy. 
10. I have lived in 12 different states. Washington, Maryland, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Utah, Illlinois, Virginia, Colorado, Missouri, Florida, California, Georgia (in order of most loved to least) 
11. I believe in mind over matter. I can go for years without getting sick, except I got cancer
12. I play pickleball any time the opportunity presents itself, and some other times too. 
13. I like to be on time. 
14. I have won over $5k on silly call-in radio contests in the last ten years. 
15. I have reported all of that to the IRS 
16. I hate the IRS 
17. I love the smell of hotels. 
18. I coached basketball for 8 year olds. 
19. I think Jim Henson was a genius. 
20. I am an optimist. There is ALWAYS hope, ALWAYS! Just wait. 
21. I hope that God lives and that His son is my Savior, but I am wary of ANY religion. 
22. I want to be better about living in the present with LOVE.
23. I'll take good memories over money anyday. 
24. I am an audiophile. Give me 24 hours after I hear a song that I like and I'll own it.  iTunes has made that affordable now. Thank you Apple! 
25. More than anything, I want my children to leave my home as adults who know how to love people. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

My Broken Umbrella

I should just believe you
When you tell me
That I'm beautiful

I should be mature
And confident
And past self-doubt

I should love me
Even when
I'm outnumbered by she

And you leave
And love
What I'll never be

I should
I can
And I do.

I can handle
Some rain.

But not
A typhoon.






Wednesday, September 13, 2017

As a category 3 germaphobe, the advent of the self-flushing toilet was significant to me.  Sure, I had long since mastered the one-legged-foot flush but now not even the bottom of my shoe had to touch the toilet.  Brilliant! Or at least that's what I thought.  As awesome as these fecal-focused feats of technology are, it has become apparent to me that we need to change at least one thing; voice activation instead of motion activation. Here's why: You know how sometimes after you have done everything on your part to "close the deal" but it’s still not flushing so you’re waving your hand in front of it and pushing things that look like they should be buttons but they’re not buttons and before you know it you realize that you have touched the toilet way more than you ever touched a manual one? Clearly, no matter how many times you reenact the lifting of your tooshie off the seat for the sensor device, motion activation isn't the most reliable approach.  And you can't just leave.  You can't just abandon shit, so to speak.  You have to stay. So what I'm saying is let's make them voice-activated. When you are ready to wrap things up you could just turn around and say “get out of here”, or “it’s go time” or “bye”. "Pee you later?"

I think it would be a good change; and quite empowering too. Just think of how accustomed we'd become to telling crap to get out of lives.  Because frankly, turning our toosh to the problem sometimes doesn't work; it can be too subtle.  Sometimes to avoid being 'stalled in the stall', we just need to say what needs to be said and hear what needs to be heard.  Kerplush!  Time to move on.