July 2015 Blog Archives
July 31, 2015
Bring me your tired........
We picked our son up from band camp sunburned, sleep deprived, longing for a 'real' shower, and powerfully hungry. We did not send him in that condition! But it was a wonderful experience for him. We went straight to Pizza Hut and fed him a whole lot of food! Then straight to the house where the shower was well over half an hour and then he slept for 24 hours....... We decided he must have had a great time!
Isn't it interesting how we work so hard to make it all right for our children, only to find out they are much more resilient that we had ever dreamed? And according to Kelly Clarkson, what doesn't kill you does make you stronger.... So here we are all new people, with new information, having climbed yet another mountain in life and survived it. And look! There is a full mountain range ahead of us yet to come! Oh boy, I can't wait.......
Rest up this weekend, you have mountains in your future, too!
July 30, 2015
Lessons all week long.......
This week I connected with a guy I dated in college, way back in 1974! OMG! He was my first love and he broke my heart when he left me for someone else. I survived and went on to live a wonderful life with another great guy, but it was a real lesson in life to look back. When I tell my clients that you can survive a breakup and move on, I'm not just (as my grandmother would say) whistling in the wind!
It's also been a week for a lesson in letting go. Our son went to band camp for 6 days and this is the first time he's been away for more than a sleep over. Couple that with his teenage lack of communication and it's been really quiet around here! When I tell my clients I understand about letting go, I've been there. I so learned that lesson when my husband left for the Gulf War......
A friend sent pictures she had of our son 13 years ago, when my husband and I were so much younger! That walk down memory lane was fun, a little sad (where did the years go?), and a real lesson in blessings. A sure reminder that yes, there have been miracles.......
It's Thursday and I've got a few days to go. The boy doesn't get home until Saturday and I know I will survive. Is it me or are the days getting longer? I wrote a gracious note to my first true love, chided him a little for breaking my college heart and wished him well in life, cried a little over the pictures, and spent some real time thanking God for my opportunities.
As my very wise grandmother would say, "You are tough and you can do this!" I like to think she's right and I hope there is not an expiration date on it!
July 29, 2015
There's always someone demanding in life.....
I scored two whole days alone at home and nearly wore myself out trying to decide what to do with them. Pedicure was high on the list, soaking in the tub, some shopping, maybe even a lunch with friends if I could round them up. Turned out the fun was in the planning..... Instead the days were filled with laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, pulling weeds, and a little binge watching 'Friday Night Lights'. Oh well, at least I didn't have to cook!
I thought there would be no one needing my attention, but I had not figured our cat into the equation. Crush is spoiled to be sure and used to a whole lot of attention. When the humans in the house got down to just one, the burden of attention multiplied significantly! He has chased me around the house biting my feet, pounced on the bed and looked me straight in the eye meowing, walks all over the desk while I work on the computer, and literally stood in front of the television screen in a decided act of defiance. So home alone? Ummmm, NOT!
It's okay, I was ready for a break anyway. I do have to admit that being alone was not the fun time I had anticipated. I miss my guys, noise, and hugs. And apparently..... the cat does, too!
July 28, 2015
You don't know what you don't know.......
I assumed all internet technicians just know everything I don't know and need to. I asked a friend who does 'something with computers' if he could fix mine or help me purchase a new one and he said no, that was not his area of expertise. What the heck? Computer geeks have become Gods to the world, because they are the only ones who can get us out of technology jams and freeze ups and they have specialties? We are all doomed!
He did spout some things about gigabites, servers, hard drives, and something else I immediately forgot and told me to be sure to remember that when purchasing. Honestly? Without him or someone else telling me that, I haven't got a prayer. Which is exactly why Best Buy would really have to screw up to go out of business! He suggested I research it first, I managed to get to the Dell website before succumbing to the urge to go get ice cream. Not likely to help me.
Can't it just work? Is that too much to ask? I said my computer was 8 years old and all the people around me gasped like I had given up top security secrets. I confess! I'm not a computer geek! So here's to those of us who don't know what we don't know...... may we be content in our little worlds anyway and may the geeks who can save us be benevolent.
July 27, 2015
Old parents rule (at least to them).......
I was the oldest parent at a recent school function and it did not escape my son's expert eye. I realize young parents are amazing and probably have more energy than I do at any given moment, but I think it's best not to underestimate those of us with the wisdom of the ages in our hip pockets because:
- We are less dramatic, mostly because we don't have the energy and because we know if you stick around things will change.
- We don't take things away that are important as a punishment, like going to the prom or homecoming, because we know they will
make great memories for later and that will matter.
- We know there is plenty of time to worry about what you are going to be when you grow up because we are still trying to figure it out.
- We remember being your age, those of us still agile enough to remember, and know you will survive it.
- We realize an extra twenty dollars or an hour over curfew can make all the difference and if you are going to get in trouble, midnight
versus eleven doesn't matter, it could have happened at six or eight.....
- We can throw an impromptu party for all your friends because we know paper plates and hot dogs are not the most important thing,
the memories and the music are!
- We know that soon enough you will be traversing life and worrying, but now? Now is a great time to enjoy your life and maybe, just
maybe you will learn to keep it up through the tough times.
- We know that you can play in the rain, go barefoot, swim in your regular clothes or nothing, eat dessert before dinner, and you won't die, go blind or get sick.
- We can see your possibilities. You may be thinking rocket scientist today, but we know even if that falls through, you can still rock this
world and probably will given the opportunity from some old geezer like us, who is willing to take a chance on youth.
- We've experienced loss, so we love fiercely.....every day no matter what.
We might be old, but we've still got a healthy perspective on life and faith. So I'm good with it! Geezer out.
July 24, 2015
I loved Kid Rock's 'All Summer Long' when it came out.........
Because I was thinking about my teenage summers. But now that I have a teenager with summers of his own? The song is not as much fun. And yet, they were some of the best times ever!
Remember when you didn't have bills to pay and someone else was responsible for all the difficulties in life? Remember when the most important thing was who to date and where to go? The days were more fun then. And later in life, they still ring true, even though some of us are still incredulous we lived through them!
It was 1989, my thoughts were short my hair was long, caught somewhere between a boy and man...... Splashing through the sand bar, talking by the campfire, It's the simple things in life like when and where. We didn't have no internet, but man I never will forget the way the moonlight shined upon her hair........
I did sing 'Sweet Home Alabama' all summer long....... And no matter what, I want some of those wonderful memories for my son, too.
Have a great weekend!
July 23, 2015
My friends just discovered they have lips.........
The teenagers went to a bonfire at a friend's house and apparently two of them discovered kissing. My son said, "It was like, "Hey let's try this!" and they did and they liked it and then they would not stop!" He's not there yet, so he was disgusted along with his friends in the car. They all vowed never to do that! I thought my husband and I would have to pull over and get out to control ourselves!
The dad in charge of the bonfire said he spent the entire night separating them because they were not going to do that sort of thing on his watch! He has an older teenager, surely he knows this is just the tip of the iceberg? Time to talk to everyone again about birth control I think, because the love train is bearing down on them all........
I liked it better when I was on the teenage side of this issue!
July 22, 2015
He slept how late?
We were talking to another parent and her daughter. The subject came up that our son had slept until 1:00 in the afternoon. The mother was appalled! He did what? I could see her processing that he was lazy in her brain, which would not make him good marriage material for her daughter. I laughed right out loud! Please, there's plenty of time to worry about that!
It got more interesting later when her daughter admitted the two were on their phones together at 2:00 am the night before...... She said incredulously to her daughter, "You were up at 2 with him?" Now that changes everything, because the daughter said, "Well, I wasn't with him, we were just on the phone texting." It's not the world you grew up in anymore......
Yes, I've noted to him that cutting off the phone at 9:00 pm is more than appropriate, but no, I'm not staying up to monitor it. One of us has to sleep and get up in the morning.......
July 21, 2015
I forgot about how to choose boyfriends......
One of my sons friends was in the car and going through the decision making process of picking a new boyfriend. It seems her current victim has opted for home schooling and so won't be around enough to be the perfect guy, so it's time for a change. It's a tough call, in the summer the pickings are slim......
Thankfully, high school is just around the corner and new guys will come to choose from. Smart girl that she is, she is putting together a list of what she is looking for...... Hair, eyes, height are a given, but he also has to have classes as least close to hers, because she will need an escort and he won't want to be late to class..... So many things to consider!
High school may as well be a whole other planet and parental types are clearly not in the know about it. She did note that our son was a good candidate for dating though, so we are taking solace in that..... Remember when life was just that simple?
July 20, 2015
So I'm packing a teenager for a new experience........
I've been to camp, granted it was not band camp, but I've done the camp thing. I've packed for all kinds of occasions and I like to think I have a skill or two in that department, but not according to my teenager! I suggested all kinds of things, but got shot down at least half of the time. He allowed me to roll up his clothes and I snuck in 6 ice packs, but after that........not so much.
Well, hello! First day at camp required an ice pack! Mom might have been right? Why didn't I pack snacks? The vending machines are a long way off...... He wouldn't let me (but there are quarters in the luggage). Mom might have been right? I bought stretchy sheets so they would surely fit the college beds no matter what..... Some roomates couldn't use their non-stretchy ones...... Mom might have been right? And I tucked in extra sunscreen....... Someone forgot theirs...... Come on you know I was right about that one!
Good thing I remember being a teenager who knew everything. I also remember that learning curves can be really steep!
July 17, 2015
Reason #2,936 for why to marry a Marine..........
So I found this little smattering of rock peaking up out of the grass perhaps 12" x 8" and decided to dig it up for my flower garden. I dug for awhile but couldn't seem to touch bottom, so asked my husband to bring a shovel and help me. An hour or so later, measuring easily 3' x 2' and weighing in at well over 200 pounds, we managed to uncover the treasure. Then it had to be transported about 100 feet uphill to the flower bed. Even our neighbor came to help and brought more tools, our shovel snapped in half......
My husband, who had clear evidence to divorce me, persevered and not only got it out of the 4' x 4' hole, but put it exactly where I wanted it and with a smile! No question about it, that's true love.
It looks great and every time I see it, I am reminded that love comes in all shapes and sizes. Some people just tell you they love you, others do that and act on it. It's not just a theory..... I have a very large rock to prove it. I love you Keith!
July 16, 2015
How do you see the world?
One evening at dinner, we met a man who had an interesting philosophy about life - and that's saying something from someone like me! His philosophy was simply that he would pick two places in this world to be and publicize where they were, then he would just wait for whoever needed to see him to come. He was happy that we came, even though we didn't know about him. His job was to run the small cafe at the campground we stayed at. He said some days very few people come, but other days were full. He surmised that the few days were by design, so he could talk more openly to those who did come. He was filled with anecdotes, ruminations, and laughter. He had little time or energy for sad, difficult or bothersome things. He was uniquely a bright spot in the world.
I'm a traveler by nature, I love new places and people, so I guess the two places theory won't work as well for me, but I do see his point. He said when he traveled, he often encountered people who didn't want to see him, hence the theory of letting them come to him. I love that it is a whole different take on what some people think about pleasant encounters or traveling!
Which side are you on? How do you see the world? It makes all the difference in our success and philosophy.
July 15, 2015
On the road again........
In the summer, whenever possible, we travel. My husband spends most of his work life on the road, so when our schedule permits we go with him. It gives him a break from the loneliness and we get new places to explore. This week it is Terra Haute, Indiana and then Indianapolis, becuase I will be working and they will be chilling out in the RV.
When we travel, we try to contact friends and family and ask them to join us. Let's face it, Michigan is not typically on anyones way to anywhere but Michigan! Those hookups with friends are often difficult, but oh so worth it. We love catching up with their families and seeing how much the children have grown......
Consequently, our son believes his world is as big as, well whatever we can get to in the RV. So while moving was difficult, he still retains most of the friends that mattered. In a world where texting and emailing has replaced written letters, just dropping by on a trip seems to put the personal touch back in place.
This summer, contact someone you miss, enjoyed spending time with, and want to get caught up on. Call if at all possible, go visit if you can. People really do matter and they are the things in our life that endure and help us make the best memories. Start making yours today!
July 14, 2015
Leaving on a jet plane........
We took my mother to the airport headed back home to Georgia. It's been about 6 years since her last visit to our house, so we can assume it may be awhile before she returns. It's always difficult to say goodbye to people you love, but there is a saying I love for just such a moment from Dr. Seuss: 'Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened!" And that's what I chose to do.
When you move away from your family, visits are few and far between. It is a sink or swim type of thing and you have to make your own magic going forward. You begin to realize that if you don't see your family on holidays, you can make a holiday when you do see them. It's not easy, but then life isn't easy.........
You can make a family out of those around you. My mother said the people she works with are a family to her and I bet they are. They know her day-to-day struggles and triumphs. They celebrate, mourn, encourage, and care every single day. It doesn't mean the rest of us don't care, just that hopefully we are enjoying the same support where we choose to be.
No matter where your friends and family are just remember to call, write, and share. Let them know that you are thriving and happy. Support each other as much as you can from your respective points of view. Put it into prospective. We all need a family to begin our journey in life, and we can honor that anytime and from anywhere.
July 13, 2015
Dancing in the moonlight.......
I am a seventies music girl and I have about 500 45's to prove it. We pulled them all out and rocked away the morning today. As always, it was so much fun! Those songs were the soundtrack to my teenage and college years and I love them. My mother, who suffered them gladly, sang right along and danced a step or two......
My son has introduced me to a whole new world of music (pop, alternative, band, and orchestra) and I love it, too. I was brought up on country music and always loved broadway musicals, so I think I am well rounded, but the seventies bring it all home for me. Back then, I got 'Tiger Beat' magazine and kept up with all the artists, movie stars, and more. I remember being devastated when I found out that Bobby Sherman was significantly shorter than me and I had to give up on that possibility of happy-ever-after.
My son said, "What makes girls think movie stars will date them?" And I said, "I honestly don't know, but it's fun to imagine that it might just happen to you!" He just shook his head. Face it, there's no real sensible explanation for that.
I still love to hear Donny Osmond sing, 'Puppy Love', but I don't want to marry him any more. I am comforted to know I picked someone so kind, who turned out to be a good father, son, brother and husband. I'm taking credit for that and entering it as 'Exhibit A' for my brillant teenage years. You know, back when everybody was dancing in the moonlight........
July 10, 2015
Teenagers run the world........
As the mother of a teenager, I am always introducing him to new responsibilities, ideas, and challenges. Some work out right away, others not so much and require a little more finesse. But go out into this big world in the summer and the whole place is run by teenagers and young 20's! We were in a boat on choppy Lake Superior and the pilot and crew were in their late teens/early 20's. There were over 100 people on that boat and he drove it right up into a cove surrounded by high rocky cliffs...... Impressive to be sure.
When I see all the young people (that sounds so old) running things I am reminded that they truly are capable of so much more than we often expect from them. I am glad others rise to the occasion and push them, but I confess sometimes I want a more seasoned veteran in charge. My son observed that a teenager was running a restaurant and seemed to be doing a good job. He was and we all agreed. My mother pointed out that I had a lot of responsibility when I was that age in our own family restaurant. My husband was roofing houses on his own! So we conceded and told our son that he could begin to rule the world whenever he wanted to....... lol
I guess I was postponing huge responsibility for our son, because I know how long it lasts. And yet, perhaps his prime has already started. Points to ponder for the weekend!
July 9, 2015
New love is everywhere and still scary.......
We took a tour of pictured rocks in Munising, Michigan and of course, I talked to the people around me. One such couple were in their late 60's and dating. They had been seeing each other for awhile and that week were going to their respective children to introduce each other in hopes that one day...... they could be married. I didn't tell them what I do when I'm not vacationing, but she said, "What do you think about our decision?" And without hesitation, I said, "I think it is wonderful."
Well, as you might imagine, her daughter was not so inclined..... And his sons were mildly supportive, but not so sure that love could be found and secured at such a ripe old age. Oh for goodnes sake! Truth is they are both going to be around to celebrate their twentieth anniversary together, if they can just be courageous enough to take the first step. I wished them well and told them love doesn't come only to those who are young. And isn't that a good thing?
Here's a toast to their wedding day and I hope it is soon. May they show all their children how versatile, wonderful, and necessary love actually is and may they celebrate their twentieth in more love than ever. I'm so glad they shared their story with me!
July 8, 2015
Who gets the leftovers?
Let me just put it on out there...... I love fudge. There are at least 16 places on Mackinac Island who make and serve fudge. One of our tour guides said if you ask for a sample in every fudge shop you could actually end up eating 1.5 pounds of fudge. Sounds like my kind of challenge!
The first place we went to, they were making the fudge right in front of the customers just over a small rail fence. The worker was slicing the finished product for sale and every time he sliced one, he cleaned the knife with a putty knife getting the excess fudge off for the next cut. As you might imagine, the excess began to build up into a nice palm sized ball. So I said, "Who gets that leftover fudge?" And to my delight, he said, "Well, it has to go somewhere. Do you want it?" And you know I said, "YES!" So I think I actually improved on the sample theory. More importantly, I acquired a new favorite fudge flavor: Chocolate Cookie Crunch. Yum! And even more so when it's free!
And as promised, I think JoAnn's Fudge should promote Greg to head chef......just saying.......
July 7, 2015
A bicycle built for one and a half.........
My mother is 79 years young and wanted to take a bicycle around Mackinac Island, but didn't want to power it herself and most importantly, didn't want to fall or hurt herself. So we called in the Marines! My husband the retired Marine graciously agreed to the front seat on a bicycle built for two. We left the bike rental place with him pedaling and mother's feet propped up on the bar between the handle bars and seat. It was her very specific job to hold on and have fun.
She did agree to help him once we all got out of the crowded main street, but only when she felt comfortable doing so. We made quite a few stops to enjoy the view and cool off our feet in Lake Huron, and of course, to stack our own rocks for posterity. Mother totally enjoyed the view and my husband got a workout. But together, they had a great time. It's not often you can say that you had to call in the Marines to take a bike ride!
Kindness, whatever form it comes in, is always welcome. When it makes dreams come true for someone else? It's a labor of love.
July 6, 2015
So I went on a vacation to the Upper Peninsula.......
Such beautiful country and we were welcomed with pristine weather. We took in all the sights and ate some really delicious whitefish from Lake Superior. We won't talk about how much fudge we ate, but suffice it to say that we more than enjoyed our share! I learned to turn my had sideways to tell you where I was in the Upper Peninsula and of course, had to use the right hand to tell the youpers where we lived. That's hysterical to this Georgia girl!
My mother truly seemed to enjoy herself, even if she was taking the UP by storm. Life was pretty fast paced to cram in a Mackinac Island visit, a trip through the Sault Ste. Marie locks, a lumberjack show, and a trip to the Pictured Rocks in Munising. We had a lot of time in the vehicle, but it was all worth it.
I learned some new things (I always do when we travel), Ojibwa Indians are the nicest people and so talented and even though the Cherokee Indians in North Carolina told us most of them were no longer full blooded, most of the Ojibwa are, the water in Lake Superior is much higher than in Lake Huron, whitefish are preferred there because of their abundance and even flavor, and hot dogs are so expensive you would consider them a delicacy.
All in all, a great time and don't we all need a fun diversion!
July 3, 2015
Gearing up for the holiday.......
I've been cleaning, cooking, shopping, and organizing all in preparation for July 4th. And really? It's an extra day off! I'm acting like it's a month of vacation! I can't wait to get to the fun part, the build-up is wearing me out!
Holidays are fun and it is great to have friends over to visit and play with. My through-the-woods neighbors started early as usual, last week they were setting off fireworks at midnight on a Wednesday. They will be out of control by the fourth. It promises to be nice weather, and in Michigan that means not raining. So that will be fun. We are all set for fun. Now we just have to have it.
I hope your holiday is all that you want it to be whether you are curling up with a good book, dodging your neighbors fireworks or going to some raucous party. Just be safe and make great memories! Happy 4th of July!
July 2, 2015
My mother is coming to visit!
I am cleaning everything in sight and trying to lose ten pounds before 10 tonight. She is flying in from Georgia and will be here a whole week. That hasn't happened in years, so we are all excited about her visit. She wants to go to Mackinac Island, and we have planned a trip up there next week after the holiday. Will she enjoy her visit? I sure hope so.
My dad died unexpectedly when he was 41 and my mom remarried a few years later. It has been a difficult road for us all, so visits are few and far between. When she comes to visit us alone, it is like it was before all the sadness occurred and changed our lives. So that makes it special. Our son doesn't get to see his grandparents much, this one-on-one time is a gift we want for him. Let's hope the teenager and senior can find some common ground to talk about.... Lastly, there are rules only about difficult things. We are all checking them at the door. No drama, no rehashing, no reason to try and reinvent history. Sometimes you just have to start from now.
All wrapped up in this visit are the expectations I have for my son and myself. I hope he always knows the door to my house is wide open and the road to his house will only require a phone call. I hope he knows that I love him more than I can express and that no matter how old, how tired, where I am or what I'm doing, he always comes first in my heart and life. I hope he knows that the love he and I have is our own.
Beyond that, I am hoping for the best and like a little kid, I am looking forward to seeing my mother.
July 1, 2015
I want to see you be brave............
What is brave to you? If I kill a spider all by myself and survive, I think I have been brave. When I went zip lining with my family, I felt really brave (and glad I survived). I thought it was brave to drive from Michigan to Florida with just my son a few years ago, other people were not so impressed. Every time I stick my neck out with my intuition, I feel brave even though bravery may not be the key element. And when I survive every winter in Michigan, alive and mostly intact, I feel extremely brave......
I find it easier to see bravery in other people. When my son performs a solo in an orchestra or for competition, I see bravery. I knew my Marine husband was brave from the moment I met him and I admire that. My friend Lori is battling breast cancer, my friend Bekah is watching her mother die slowly from colon cancer, my friends who battle traumatic brain injury always choose to be brave, and of course, our military impress me every single day, as do their families. My friend Lisa is blind and has cerebral palsy. Her whole life is bravery although she doesn't seem to think so. Steven is getting his doctorate to help injured people with therapy, he is smart and could do a million things that were easier, surely that's bravery. Tom and his wife are moving to the other side of the United States, I know that takes bravery, I went from Maine to Texas....... There are so many ways to find the brave in those around us. How could we not live inspired?
Whatever brave is for you and no matter what other people think about it, just be that even for a little while. Acknowledge it in others, because I don't think we honor those obstacles we watch people overcome enough. And know that it is born of wisdom, courage and a little insanity!
Go ahead. Change your perspective on the world and be brave.