There is no magic to forgive and forget

broken heart love sadI read another sad post the other day about relationships and the conundrum/riddle of forgive and forget.  I believe one can forgive someone for hurting us and continue life without resentment or hold a grudge toward that person. Without going to any textbook explanation, but rather based on pure personal observation, I believe that not forgetting what has hurt us, is merely an instinct for survival.  We need to remember danger to learn to avoid it.

My dog hates medicine for her ears, it fizzles in her ear as it goes down.  It has been years since she’s had an infection, but if she hears me shaking a bottle with liquid, she stands by the stairs waiting to see if I am going to come after her. If she sees me taking a step in her direction, she runs up the stairs and under my bed.  If I give her a piece of cheese or meat, she will smell it first to make sure there isn’t medicine in it. She had a treat in her mouth once, tasted the medicine, promptly spit it out and ran up the stairs and under my bed.  I also have a seven-year-old niece that has severe allergies that sometimes cause anything from severe swelling to seizures.  From about age three and a half; she understood that some foods make her feel very sick.  Before she orders at a restaurant or any new environment she will say: “I have allergies, does this have…” It is truly a matter of survival for her.

While the breakdown of the relationship can refer to romantic partners, parent-child, siblings or best friends, the premise is the same. One person hurt another, and a trust was broken. Does it really matter why?  I believe that to expect a person to forget is selfish and would appear that your wishes, personal need to feel better or comfortable with the situation, are more important than the other person’s healing process. 

I often hear “I apologized and promised not to do it again. I’m trying to make it up to him.  What more does she want? Why does she/he keep bringing it up? ”  News flash, It’s not about you; it’s their healing process. They want to be OK. They want to stop hurting,  to heal, and be able to trust again.  You can’t speed it up, and you can’t make it better.  The process needs to come from within the person.  If you are honestly doing all you can do, keep doing it and wait it out.  There is no quick fix or magic potion.  Sometimes on the other side healing, that person may decide they are OK, but they don’t want or can’t be OK with you, and you will need to accept that.   

We are all selfish to a degree. I like the analogy that we are all protagonist in our very own movie.  We all wish life was perfect; that the sun would shine brightly every day and that it rains only on our flower beds.  No one wants to feel pain, and we all wish that our happiness is all that mattered to anyone we encounter.  Even the most loving, giving person hopes that someday, out of the blue, someone would do something special for them in appreciation.    

I believe time does heal but doesn’t mean things go back to the way they were. When a broken bone heals, there are signs that healing took place.  When something is mended, the repair makes it stronger; but sometimes it continues to be weak in that area.  Some people do manage to find that special place again but it takes work, and it takes time to rebuild that trust and with it to restore that loving feeling. 

writing muse

I used to hate it when my friend would say “It is what it is. There is no magic.”   One year I gave her ruby-red slippers and a magic wand from the costume store with a note that said “BELIEVE” written in fairy dust sprinkle.  I still believe in the supernatural power of love but sometimes, it is what it is, and there IS no magic wand.     

 

 

Just Friends, For all Time

Alondra Elena Delopas sat on a swivel chair in her lanai listening to the rain as the winds picked up and thunder clapped in the distance.  Baby Girl lay with her legs sprawled but her nose pressed against the screen. She struggled to see what was moving in the conservation land that bordered the small condo-villa community where they lived.  If Baby Girl saw something coming closer, she jumped and whimpered excitedly thinking she would get a chance to run out to chase after it.

Can’t Turn Back Time

shallow focus of clear hourglass

Alondra or “Lonnie,” as close friends and family called her, was having a rough week.  Today, clients canceled the only two appointments she had scheduled.  They didn’t want to look at houses in a storm; maybe they just weren’t ready. It’s happened before.  She usually found listening to the rain soothing, but today, the stormy tropical weather didn’t help her mood. She felt tired, cold and lonely.  She went back inside to read but couldn’t wrap her head around on another “kick your business into high gear” self-help book.  She turned to the mindlessness of surfing the net on her phone where she found the same stories, memes, and jokes all over again.

One story caught her eye.  It was another of those stories where old friends from high school find each other and decide to spend the rest of their days making up for lost time.  All of it made possible through the magic of social media.  The funny thing is that she recently had been thinking about her friend Bobby from high school. They had been in school together since seventh grade.  She’d adored him during high school and college but never in a romantic way.  Outside of school, they were part of the same social group from church, and they worked at the same summer jobs. Bobby and Lonnie enjoyed a lot of the same things, and she liked hanging out with him.  He was smart, witty, and amusing; they could talk for hours even when everyone else had gone.  Bobby had introduced Lonnie to her boyfriend Harry, and he started dating Bernice.

Many years later a co-worker told her that it was impossible for men and woman to be “just friends.”  She had started to argue the point by bringing up her friendship with Bobby, but before she opened her mouth, saw a memory flash before her.  It was a crisp autumn day in Upstate New York when Bobby’s parents invited her to drive with them when he returned to the State College after the break.

Trip Back to School

It was a two-hour ride, and his parents had made plans to stop at their friend’s house for lunch along the way.  Afterward, while they waited for his parents to finish their visit, Bobby and Lonnie went for a walk in the wooded land behind the house.  They chatted talked and laughed like so many times before, but in some way, Alondra sensed that it was not a day like every other.  At times she could be intuitive and sensitive to subtle changes in her surroundings. There seemed to be something in the air made her feel obligated to comment that it was too bad that Bernice could not come along.  She believed Bernice would have enjoyed the beautiful landscape dressed for the fall.  Bobby quietly agreed, and they walked on.

They stopped on a small wooden bridge as they crossed over the swollen creek.  A burst of cold air made Alondra regret that she had left her jacket back at the house.   Bobby stepped closer and put his arm timidly around her shoulder.  She felt his face so close to hers, and then as he gently turned her toward him, she felt his soft lips lightly brush hers.  Her immediate impulse was to push him away.  “What are you doing?” she reprimanded.   The hurt in his loving eyes pierced her heart, and she took his face in her hands and looked tenderly into his gentle mismatched eyes, one blue, and one hazel.  She told him she was crazy about him, how could she not; he was her dearest friend, but they couldn’t do this to Bernice.  Bobby nodded in agreement, and they started to walk back to the house in silence.

Awkward quiet moments always made Alondra respond with humor.  She elbowed Bobby in the ribs now and said jokingly that the bridge must have been bewitched because she had felt something strange too.  He sheepishly chuckled and added that without a doubt the setting was perfect for a romantic moment.  “What were we thinking? “  They said in unison, which caused them to laugh again and end the uncomfortable moment.  When they got back, his parents were ready to continue the trip.   At his dorm, they said their goodbyes as old friends do.  They promised to stay in touch and would see each other when he got back at his next school break.  And so it was until she left the state.  Their friendship survived.

That’s What Friends are For

Alondra never told Bobby of her conversation with Bernice several weeks prior.  Bernice told Alondra that she was feeling insecure about her relationship with Bobby.  She confessed that she wondered if Bobby, by spending so much time alone with Lonnie was feeling an attraction beyond friendship.  “You know, you are cute, petite and always dressed nice. Maybe…”   the words were left hanging in the air.  Alondra looked at her friend as if with disbelief.  First of all, Alondra considered herself too short and was often frustrated with her thick and wavy brown hair. Although she filled her clothes in all the right places, they were just hand-me-downs from her older cousin which she had adapted with accessories and trims from the five and dime so that they looked more age appropriate.

Bernice had powder blue eyes and baby fine blond hair that she always wore straight down as was the norm among their group.  She was tall and lanky; sometimes it seemed that she was still getting used to her young-adult body.  Alondra found the whole idea absurd and pooh-poohed Bernice’s fears.  Although she and Bobby never spoke of such things, Alondra reassured Bernice that Bobby loved her; that he was just a supportive friend who didn’t want Lonnie to deal with her recent break-up alone.

On her way home from State College with Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Alondra played that conversation over in her head.  She didn’t see it coming but did Bernice know anything before. The incident was never spoken of again by anyone.

Not that Person

Alondra didn’t know if it was the rough week that just past combined with the dreary, stormy weather that made her feel vulnerable enough to want to reach out to her old friend.  She had to admit that after that day in the woods, the “what if” would haunt her now and then.  Lonnie got a cup of tea and found herself searching Facebook profiles for Robert James Smith from Brooklyn, NY. She quickly became overwhelmed by the number of profiles with the same name all over the world.  She scolded herself and gave up the search. “This is ridiculous.  I will not be that person.”

Alondra Elena Delopas was not one to let a life lesson slip by.  Her life experiences had taught her that.  She remembered from somewhere a suggestion that moments stay in our memories so that we could retrieve their message when we need them.  She was sure these vivid memories of her friendship with Bobby came back to her so vividly for a reason now. Maybe, she thought, it was merely to confirm that Karma is a b!+@h.   “Hum,” she thought. “so this is what it feels like?”

Another verifiable cliché

Indeed the story seems familiar, almost too fresh in her memory. It seemed played out in reverse with older actors.  As she considered the analogy, she realized that her friend Nan was right when she paraphrased Gabriel Garcia Marquez. “Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have to give.”  Remembering her platonic love for Bobby helped her understand what confused her for years.  Remembering her relationship with Bobby was the missing piece of the puzzle.  As she accepted this truth, she let go of the pain and hurt.  She became aware that there was nothing to forgive. At that moment, she chose to remember the good times, the adventures, even the caring and affection.

Alondra Elena Delopas realized that she had been more fortunate than most. Love is meant to be shared, offered expecting nothing in return. She had shared something special and given her love more than once. Each time in a different way, with a different purpose and intensity but authentic, it was a true love.  No one could say differently.

She added another verifiable cliché to her list: “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. “

A couple of years later she felt that restlessness to try to find Bobby again.  For the sake of their friendship, she wanted to connect to see how his life had turned out.  She found him and wrote a letter that she never sent.

Read it at this link from a previous post.  https://rosalind.life/2018/05/28/the-letter-i-never-wrote/

#shapingyourstory  #DigDeeper

Just Do It! Dream Crazy.

 

Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt

A few months ago I wrote a post about Freedom of Speech which included Roseanne Barr, Samantha Bee and of course a section on Collin Kaepernick.  In light of Nike choosing to work with Kaepernick for their 30th-anniversary campaign, and people burning their sneakers or cutting up their clothes, I felt the need to speak my mind about the way I see it – well because that’s what I do.   You’ve been warned!  (previously mentioned post can be found at the end of  this one)

How much “sacrifice” is enough?

silhouette of people beside usa flag

Let me start by saying that I support our Military and veterans.  I believe our veterans and their families make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  Not just freedom for a handful of power-hungry individuals, for but for all Americans. I will add that it’s a shame that the money generated by owners of professional sports franchises and professional athletes themselves is obscene compared to what “benefits” our active duty military and veterans get.  I believe that one does not “honor” our country, our Republic by honoring a piece of cloth waving on a stick.  We honor our country by honoring its people – all of our people, all the colors, shapes, sizes and abilities. The dreams of our people have made us a great nation. We celebrate strength and persistence in our people. I believe that is the message of the Nike campaign. 

Let me follow that by saying, just to be clear; I do not purchase Nike products.  Not now, or as long as I can remember.  They don’t suit me.  The shoes are too confining, the shirts and pants geared to more athletic types, which I am not.   It’s a personal choice to be comfortable especially when I’m paying my hard earned money for a product.  

Having said that, I have to admit that Nike has excellent marketing and a catchy slogan.  I’ve used it myself when I’ve been obsessing about something I want to take on; for example, a new job, a major move to a new city or merely to get back on the treadmill and be more mindful of my food choices.  Usually, it happens that after weighing all the pros and cons, sleeping on it, consulting each and every one of my friends and family, I get up one morning and after I’ve brushed my teeth, I stare at the mirror and say sternly to myself “JUST DO IT!”   Suddenly I’m all pumped up and feel strong and confident like an Olympic athlete.  Actually, that’s how I started blogging one day. 

I want to share the full commercial that Nike is putting out as part of this controversial campaign.  I find it pretty neat.  It’s bigger than Collin Kaepernick, and it’s bigger than DJT.    https://youtu.be/Fq2CvmgoO7I

Over the past couple of days, the networks and all kinds of social and news media have had lots to say.  One of the first conversations I heard was that people took offense to the slogan that suggests that Kaepernick lost everything, but they contend, that Kaepernick had nothing to lose.  I don’t know much about the game; the sports reports indicate that he was a second-rate quarterback that had one good season and then was underperforming each year after that. That may be true, but I think sitting on a bench and getting an NFL paycheck is better than being without a job or sponsors even if you did walk away with one-third of your original signed contract.  ( ALL these sports guys get paid way too much anyway, but that’s another story.)

I also want to make clear that I am not a football fan, never have been – except maybe in high school because I was crushing on a couple of football players, but the charm wore off quickly as I realized I had more in common with the philosophers and artists.  The sport doesn’t hold my interest long enough to understand why all these guys run and pile on each other over and over again.  People have tried to explain it but – well let me be frank, I’m just not into it. 

I give Kaepernick credit for feeling so strongly about something that he was willing to risk the dream he had worked for since the fourth grade.  Maybe he just decided there was something better to wish for, like equality and justice for all.  2016 was a terrible year for high profile police shootings of unarmed African American men.  I went back to look at the disturbing footage before I wrote this piece but I will not engage in rehashing the past.  I will say that based on my experiences, I can appreciate the fear, the pain and the rage at the loss of life in an undeserving way.   

What is the issue?  

The other opinion I will share is that I believe the situation became toxic once DJT decided to make it an issue.  I watched his “get that SOB off the bench, he’s fired! ” speech in Alabama in 2017 in which he also complained that the game was losing popularity because when the players hit too hard, they get a penalty. When the not so subtle hints didn’t work, he started putting more pressure on the team owners because as he said, “…It will happen…most of them are friends of mine”. 

Before NFL team owners started getting pressure from the Administration to discipline, fire or get “control” of their players, it seemed that each team addressed the issue and the players’ right to “free speech” was respected. It was obvious to most that players were not disrespecting the veterans, the military, the country or the flag.  They still “worked,” paid their taxes, and obeyed the laws of this country.  Some commentators say the uproar over “taking a knee” would have eventually died down.  Of course, that didn’t happen. The team owners felt obligated to play the other game and drew up rules to appease the rhetoric.  Essentially they said, we don’t care, what you do, just do it where the public doesn’t see you

Let’s not forget after all, that there are groups that do not salute the flag, for example, the Jehovah’s Witness or the AnaBaptist like the Amish or Mennonite groups.    

 Jehovah’s Witnesses intend no disrespect for any government or its rulers by a refusal to salute the flag. It is just that they will not, in an act of worship, bow down to or salute an image representing the State. They view it as similar to the stand taken in Bible times by three young Hebrew men who refused to bow down before the statue raised up on the plain of Dura by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel, chapter 3) – From Watchtower Online

and,

“The flag is fine, but we’re the only nation that worships the flag. It’s very heathen. The kingdom we live in, we pledge our allegiance to God, not the flag.” – quote from the PBS film “The Amish.”

All this research today, trying to get to the bottom of this leaves me with questions instead of an answer.  If Collin Kaepernick said was on a jet plane, and God spoke to him and told him to kneel before the flag instead of pledging, would it be OK? If it were Tom Brady, the number one quarterback in America, and who decided to take a knee to protest something that he felt strongly about would it be an issue. Maybe a better comparison would be Tim Tebow as another controversial figure and a mediocre quarterback who brought his personal beliefs on the field each time?  Is it really just a racial issue?  Was it more about saying “there is no problem here.”   Does Nike really aspire to inspire to unite?

Any ideas?

https://rosalind.life/2018/06/03/roseanne-samantha-and-free-speech/

 

Weeds and Flowers in our Life

 

As I mentioned the other day, I am doing an editing course right here on WordPress called “Writing: Shaping Your Story.”  I have re-worked one of my most recent stories looking for an angle to develop a unique voice in telling stories of ordinary life.   Enjoy.

Love who you are and what you are and what you do. Laugh at yourself and at life and nothing can touch you.   Louise Hay from AZ quotes

The other morning I had one of those incidents where I had to laugh at myself or in spite of myself. I find I do it quite often these days; I believe it’s one of the perks brought on by aging and the wisdom of our years.  I do think if you can’t laugh at yourself, maybe it’s time for soul-searching.  No one is perfect, and if we can forgive ourselves for that, if we can be OK with our shortcomings, we become more tolerant of others.

dandelion flowers

I started my day, unlike other mornings.  I had my mind set to do a little weeding in the yard.  I’m house sitting while taking care of my daughter’s eighty-five-pound furbaby.  She and her husband have their hands full with careers and a toddler size human baby, so I decided to make use of idle time and clean up the yard a bit before they got home.  Nothing major, I’m not a gardener. I had a flower garden once which was mostly landscaped already when I bought the house.  With minimal fuss, that garden managed to come back and thrive every year from spring through fall. These days I’m working on trying to get a potted orchid to flower again or at least to give me hope by staying alive.

I was up and dressed bright and early with my improvised gardening outfit.  Yes, I needed a gardening outfit, like I use to have one for walking the dog or play clothes after school. I wore comfortable workout shorts, t-shirt, old sneakers-without socks and a safari hat. Perhaps I should have taken a selfie, but you can probably visualize the image.  We live near the southernmost part of Florida and I wanted to get weeds out before the temperature became unbearable but I couldn’t find my daughter’s gardening gloves. I have allergies and an intense dislike for creepy crawly things, so I wasn’t going out there without gloves.  What a dilemma! I was going to have to run to the store to pick up a pair of gardening gloves, but I was dressed for tropical weather gardening, not shopping.  To quote the grown-up Christopher Robin,  “What to do, what to do.”

Some may say my quandary was “just a girl thing” but to understand my problem; we’d have to go back to my family of origin where the mantra was “We may be poor, but we are proud!”  Mom always made sure we were with hair combed, clean hands and nails, our clothes ironed with starch and our shoes polished.  When we went to church on Sunday, she had to make sure that we looked ready to visit The King of Kings.  She learned from her mother to check us out before we walked out of the door to make sure we were “presentable.”   

My grandmother was an adorable, plump little woman. Over the years I’ve mentioned that someday I wanted to be a loveable, little old lady like her. (I’m practically there – wink).  She wore her thinning white hair in a small bun at the nape of her neck. Her back slightly curved from years as a seamstress. In her late 70s, her alabaster skin was without blemish and smooth, and her eyes were a light turquoise green like the tranquil waters of the Caribbean Basin in the early morning. It had been just recently that my aunt had convinced her that she didn’t need to iron my grandfather’s boxers or her bed sheets because of the new permanent press fabrics. She still starched and pressed her house dresses and my grandfather’s white cotton shirts and khakis.

One summer when I was visiting, my grandmother asked me if I wanted to go to town for some shopping. She was walking to town and wanted some company. We were already in town, but she meant about a 20-minute walk to the stores on the main street, more if she saw friends along the way. I dressed quickly and waited for my grandmother on the porch.   This was in the era before cell phones so to entertain myself in the meantime; I checked out the boy next door who was about my age and helping his dad bring things in from the truck.  When I saw him, was glad to be feeling cute that day.  Little did I know that years later, he would become my husband. 

My grandmother, Mrs. Plumeria Martin-Ponte put one foot out on the porch, looked at me and stopped in her tracks. She looked up and down at me, and I noticed the tranquil waters in her eyes were starting to churn like angry waves before a storm. “Go in and change. I’m not taking you with me like that.” Period and end of the story were implied in her tone.  Of course, I was young and feeling cute, so I needed to ask why: “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” At the time, I thought it was cool for a girl from the big city to wear overalls with a T-shirt and sneakers. My question triggered a lecture on the proper attire of lovely young ladies going into town. She didn’t want to hear what I did back home, so I went in and changed to a sundress, ladylike sandals and wore my long dark hair in a side braid.

Fast forward to 2018, and I’m standing at the doorway with my car keys in hand, ready to go to the Town Center in workout shorts, a sleeveless t-shirt, sneakers without socks and my wild hair particularly unruly this morning. I was just going to run in and out but what if I saw someone I knew? Well, I don’t know many people in this town, I thought as I encouraged myself. Besides Hollywood A-listers do it all the time, I just won’t take off my sunglasses! That’s when it happened; I laughed at myself for giving so much thought to explain my options as if to my grandmother.

As it turned out, once I was at the Town Center, I remembered a couple of other things I needed and made another stop. I was not just in and out at either store. I chatted with the clerks and a woman behind me in line. No one asked me why I was wearing comfortable workout shorts and sneakers without socks to the trendy Town Center.

At another point in my life, I probably wouldn’t have gone out, or if I had to, I would have changed to something more “presentable.” I realize though that if anyone passes judgment about me because of the clothes I wear, then they don’t value me for the person I am. I am beyond the point where I feel the need to prove my worth. I am what I am, and it is what it is.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”   Wendy Mass, The Candymakers from Goodreads.

Since it’s my nature to ponder, I reflected on how time and again we judge others by their appearance. I often say that it seems like the experiences from our school years play out throughout our lives. We see the same behaviors at work or in social groups. Only the names and faces change. Naturally, whenever this topic crosses my mind, I am reminded of a young girl, a classmate from my middle and high school years, he name was Grace Fore.

I was an average kid. I managed to stay under the radar and out of trouble. I wasn’t especially popular but had friends from different groups that I had met through various activities like art electives, tutoring, orchestra, boosters, yearbook, and church. 

Grace Fore was a loner. She was a good looking girl with her blonde hair and big, blue eyes, but something always looked “off” and not quite right.  I didn’t know anything about her home life, but I knew she played the viola beautifully with sentimentality that it moved me. I remember that it was often apparent that she was trying to “fix” her appearance.  The kids in school teased her when she tried a new hairstyle and her hair still looked disheveled or when she wore a misshapen dress that she made herself in sewing class. They called her Grace Forlorn. I never actually defended her, I usually just moved my friends along before the taunting got worse. I always wished I had been braver. Can’t help but wonder what it would be like in today’s social media era.

As the world turns, a few years ago, I received a Facebook friend request from Grace Fore with a simple question “Do you remember me?” “Of course,” I answered, “you played the viola beautifully. Do you still play?” She wrote to me about the difficult life she had growing up and how it turned out not much better as an adult.  No, she didn’t continue playing, but she wished she had.  And then she broke my heart when she said: “but you were always nice to me, and it meant so much.”  I never really went out of my way to be nice to her, but I was taught to be kind and not do harm. 

If she hadn’t reached out, I would have never known that one small kindness would mean so much after all these years and all she had been through. She unfriended me shortly after over differences in political ideology, but I’m glad we connected. It validated my core beliefs that I continue to develop through my life.

beverage breakfast cake chilled

After driving back to my daughter’s house in this meditative state, I decided I needed a drink before I tackled the yard. It was the middle of the day in Florida with temperatures in the triple digits. I poured a tall glass of iced tea, put my feet up and stared out into the yard. 

I remembered that in another life during the summer, I would frequently get small bouquets of yellow dandelions from my daughters.  They would run into the house filled with love and anticipation.  Despite my allergies, I would marvel with oohs and aahs as if they were a dozen long stem roses from a long lost lover and put them in small cups of water till they shriveled up.   Sometimes they would bring them one by one, white and puffy so that we could make wishes together.  As they blew around the backyard like snowflakes, I wondered how many more weeds I would have to deal with next time. 

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”  Quote from Pinterest attributed to Eeyore. 

What a perfect quote from Eeyore.   Isn’t it the truth?  Yes, dandelions are weeds, but they are bright yellow flowers and conduits for wishes.   In the real world, we have found that they also have healing properties and are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

What great lessons we learn every day, I pondered as I continued sipping my cold drink.  I shook my head in amazement and snickered to myself as I closed my eyes and decided I would start fresh tomorrow. 

#Shaping your story  – Week One

 

The Practical Aspect of Romance

I like to read other bloggers stories. I truly believe the human experience is one.  Often I find something in the blog that resonates with my spirit.   Yesterday I was visited by Simplytrizah, and when I visited her page in return, I was quite amused.  In Trizah’s Random Thoughts, she tells the stories of her adventures looking for romance from the perspective of a millennial newly cast in the adult world.  As I commented on one of her posts, some things about dating during this time period are the same regardless of age.  

I was reminded that on my trip back from visiting my family, I had a three and a half hour layover between flights and I started looking for something light and funny to read.  I came across an e-book that looked promising.  It was supposedly a humorous look at romance in the Third Age.  I enjoy romantic comedies with the likes of Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and of course the adventures of Grace and Frankie.  When I looked at the reviews, however, I was discouraged.   It seems that some readers were disappointed that the protagonist did not exhibit or reference any signs of aging.  I suppose the idea aging gracefully is subjective, but it did get me thinking about the message we are leaving for the young woman.  What have we learned as the generation who created the sexual revolution is aging?

I decided to share a portion of a short story that I’m working on.  I’ve enrolled in an editing, and re-writing course and this is one of the stories that I want to do.  I might even work it into a longer piece about One Ordinary Life.   This part of the story centers around a modern tribe of women who periodically get together for support and encouragement – think Red Tent in modern day New England.  The friends are gathered to make a large pot of fish chowder on a cold winter night; add a little wine and conversation and I have a story!

Is it possible to be practical and a romantic at the same time?

 “At this stage of the game,” Nan continued her lecture, “dating is all about the practicality of the matter. It’s not about Disney princesses or Hollywood’s love stories. That doesn’t happen in real life and much less at our age. Before you step into the labyrinth called dating, ask yourself why do you want a man. Do you want entertainment, part-time companionship, just sex, financial security? Determine that first, and then go after what you want…”

Examples and testimonies followed, but Clotilde was unusually quiet and had stopped listening. She sipped her wine and chopped her vegetables as her mind wandered to places where her friends could not imagine.

That night she wrote in her journal:

“They tell me that there are no castles in the clouds, nor do valiant princes exist who ride on white stallions and risk their lives for fair maidens. They tell me it’s all a question of convenience, the practicality of the matter. They say that the years pass us quickly and if we don’t act with good judgment now, we are weighed down by life’s regrets. 

I was a lonely, caged dove unable to spread my wings, imprisoned by fear. Your eyes sparkled with mischief, and I said “Who cares! Let’s fly!” With you, I believe there are indeed places where dreams come true.  Your warm breath touches my cheek, and your kiss awakens the sleeping beauty of my soul. My spirit flies like an eagle! The years fall away. I transcend the clouds safely nestled in your arms to find that castle where dreams become a reality.”

Nan and her friends were too late with their intervention that night; for Clotilde had already crossed over to the land of unicorns, rainbows, and pots of gold.

A PRECIOUS Tribute to Mom

This has been a week of anniversaries for me.  I’ve come to a place where I am at peace with each one.  I’ve reposted this in remembrance of my Mom.  I know she is free and sometimes I feel her so close to me.   I am forever grateful for her.  She wasn’t perfect and yet she was wonderful.  I hope you can enjoy

via AtoZ Challenge P is for PRECIOUS

The Girls were home today

alarm alarm clock antique bell
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The alarm went off as usual at 6:30 AM even though it was the weekend.  She heard Cason go into the shower and wondered where he was going so early today.  She rolled over got comfortable again.  It was too early to the day to start.  She heard him getting dressed and in a short while he mumbled something about the Club on his way out the door.  Whatever the reason that got him up and out this morning, she was grateful.

Time to get moving

The sun peeked through the blinds, and Arielle Delsapo jumped out of bed with excitement.  It was already 7:30 in the morning!  The kids were home for the weekend, and she loved it!  She planned to cook their favorite meals and pour on the loving.  Arielle still liked to make everything special for them whenever she had a chance.  She believed that if they found love and tranquility in their home, the world would seem like a better place.   

Not ready to tell them

Arielle pulled the curtains and opened the windows.  It was important to let the bright morning sun and fresh spring air fill every corner of the house with the beginning of a brand new day.  She quickly stuffed the bed covers in the hall closet and arranged the cushions on the couch.   She wanted to enjoy the day and not waste time explaining why she was sleeping on the sofa bed.  Satisfied that everything looked, as usual, she went to the room to shower and change.

Time to Cook it up

She looked at the time. She was glad Cason has gone to the club early this morning; he would probably be gone all day. That worked out fine.  It was 8:30 AM, surely the girls were awake already.  Like her, they were early risers but were enjoying a lazy Saturday morning, reading in bed and cuddling with the cats.  She knew once she started cooking, the smell of all their favorites would make it impossible to stay in bed.  She lovingly prepared pancakes, scrambled eggs, crisp bacon.  Her Dad would be here soon with an Italian breadstick warm from the bakery, and they would have real butter. 

She knew the kids would want coffee.  She took out her mom’s stovetop espresso maker for some old fashion “café con leche.”  The coffee would go on last to make sure they had a freshly brewed pot. She knew they would be out in the kitchen as soon as the fusion of aromas reached the bedrooms and announced that breakfast was ready.  She put out food for the cats and sat to drink some by the window as she waited for them all to get up. She enjoyed the smells and the sounds of a peaceful house. The curtains waved gracefully in the morning breeze hypnotizing and transporting her to another place full of anticipation and hope. She sipped her tea and let it take her away…..

The Kitchen smells of love

Arielle was snapped back to her kitchen as quickly as she had slipped out.  Lovey came into the kitchen sniffing the air with her eyes closed. “The cat wanted to get out. Hmmmm, yum  – where’s the coffee? “ Annie followed shortly after, she put her head down on the kitchen table and grumbled, “coffee?” Relieved for the interruption of her thoughts, Arielle jumped up to get a couple of mugs. 

The Grandpa and the fresh bread

As expected, her Dad arrived on cue with the warm bread, at 9:30 am. The girls were always happy to see him.  “Abuelo!”  Hugs and kisses all around.  Lovey grabbed another mug and plate, and Annie got the milk. They all sat around the table. They ate, laughed, and put on another pot of coffee.  Before they knew it, it was almost noon, and the girls were still in their pajamas.  Her Dad said he had errands to run and managed his goodbyes, without shedding a tear but he marveled one more time at how grown-up they were. 

An eventful day

 The girls wanted to get some things before they got back to school.  All three headed to the Mall.  The warm Spring weather was encouraging as they searched for jeans, sandals and sleeveless shirts.  It was 1:30 PM.  They were just about done but decided to check out which movies were playing.  Surely they could get a matinee in before dinner.  The girls had planned to meet up with friends afterward, and they tried to negotiate a time.  Arielle called Cason to see if he had a preference for dinner, but he said he couldn’t make it and they should make plans without him.  

Matinee and dinner

They picked a “chick flick” a romantic comedy about mothers and daughters adapting to major life changes.   It was almost 7:00 pm when it was over. They chose a new restaurant nearby.   It was trendy with just the right lighting, music and the food was good.  While they were waiting for dessert, Ariel took a deep breath and said “I’m done. I’m getting a divorce.” The girls looked at each other and finally Annie said, “Well its about time!”.  “No kidding” echoed Lovey.   They hugged their mom. They were not children anymore.  They had seen the writing on the wall. 

They enjoyed their desert and headed home. Lovey and Annie crossed paths with their step-dad Cason, who was going out for the night.  The girls decided to stay home with their mom and played Forty-Fives for awhile before going to bed.  Arielle went to the hall closet and took out the bedding for the sofa-bed.   She was glad to have spent another great day with her girls.  She went to their rooms and kissed each one good night.  They were reading, and each one had a cat snuggling under the sheets. 

Day Fourteen: Recreate a Single Day   #everydayinspiration   

True story in One Hundred Words

black and white hand raining
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

 

“I love the summer rain!” I shouted in my head. It was because of him. I stood there for a moment in the pouring rain; long enough for the video to replay in my mind. 

He was fiftyish, receding gray hair, twinkling eyes, and crooked smile. He had lost his shoes on the porch. He skipped and twirled as his granddaughters joined him. 

I wished him here today to hold him tight like I couldn’t do on his last night. I am grateful for all he was and all he left behind including that little bit of him in me. 

Day Thirteen: Play with Word Count   #everydayinspiration

If we were having coffee right now

two brown and black ceramic teacups filled on black saucers
Photo by Jana on Pexels.com

If we were having coffee right now, it would indeed be a special event.  You see I consider myself a social drinker.  I don’t drink coffee on a regular basis, only on occasion.  Every morning I drink hot black tea in round bags with boiled water from my teapot.  I let it sit for several minutes so that the caffeine is extracted and then I add a drop or two of milk.  During the day I reach for green tea –hot or cold, sometimes I pop in some raspberries for a different flavor. 

If we were having coffee right now, I would have been tempted by the rich aroma of the Arabica beans filling the air.  I love the smell of coffee brewing, especially the espresso method that seems to squeeze out every bit of flavor from the finely ground beans.  Coffee fills my senses and reminds me of home; of my mother and both grandmothers who sometimes had sweet bread or pastry with coffee or café con leche in the afternoon. 

If we were having coffee right now, we would be sitting in your kitchen as we had many years before.  We would catch up with stories about our children, siblings and rest of the family.  You would have shown me that you’ve started working on your garden after the harsh winter. I would tell you I’m still trying to get my orchid to bloom after all these years.  We would reminisce about the fun times we had as a group of women getting together to laugh and share our personal philosophies of faith, love and the quest for happiness in our lives.  How I’ve missed that camaraderie with like-minded women!  I consider it one of the blessings in my life to have you all when in time of need. 

If we were having coffee right now, we would talk about our busy week.  You would tell me about your travels and the interesting people you’ve met.  I would tell you that I’m writing a blog for fun and sharing of ideas.  It’s a journal sprinkled with creative writing, poetry, and essays.  You’ll tell me you’re working on another book about the program you’ve developed with your longtime colleague at the Institute.  It will undoubtedly be just as successful as the first one.  I still have my autographed copy.

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I’ve started going to town meetings and focus groups in preparation for the coming elections in August and November.  I have found people and politics so different in my new city in the southeastern part of the country.  We would both agree that it is never too early to start examining the candidates, there is too much at stake.  You would get me up to date on the issues in your city, which in large part have not changed much since I was here.  Politics usually leads us to religion.  It’s so refreshing to talk to someone with the same values and level of empathy for our fellow compatriots.   

If we were having coffee right now, I would treasure the moment and file the memory like a snapshot in my mind.  I would save it and document it until we can make it a reality again.   Social media, phone calls, and emails can’t replace the joy of sitting to have coffee with an old friend. 

Day Eleven: A Cup of Coffee   #everydayinspiration

Beach after the Storm

Beach and rain
a hint of sunlight in the distance in an otherwise gray and dismal day.

Even though we have had severe weather warnings and plenty of rain, I decided to take the scenic route this afternoon. Rather than go a short ride up the Interstate, I decided to drive along the shore to one of the only beaches in the area where I can go with my Baby Girl. She’s not a fan of the beach or too much sun and heat. It doesn’t matter that she was just groomed and her hair is short. She hates getting her feet wet or walking for too long on the hardened sand that still manages to get in between her toes and stuck to her.

Eliza chillin' in the shade@ Honeymoon Island

I have to excuse her; she is a mixed-breed, and her identified ancestral lineages were designed and destined to be lap dogs for royalty. She likes to play catch and tug-of-war, but she is perfectly content if she is cuddling with a human on the couch or in bed. I don’t usually take her to the beach, but if the weather is right, she doesn’t mind the outdoors and is happy to sit quietly with me to people watch.

We saw the black clouds hanging in the sky at a distance as we crossed the bridge to the island. It’s always a treat to look over the bay and inlets as we drive over. We noticed that water was starting to accumulate on some of the front lawns and gardens. I was wondering if any streets were going to be a problem, although it was probably too soon for any roads to be underwater. I was hoping we were driving just behind the rainstorm so that we could stop in at the beach and sit for a bit. We opened the windows to smell the ocean air and minimize the wet-dog smell.

The beach was gray today. On the far end of the shore, the clouds parted to let the sun peek through, but here the sky and the water, even the sand took on the gray tinge. The wind was steady and strong; it seemed to have rummaged through the depths of the sea to bring up the pungent smells of musty seaweed and briny marine life. My Baby Girl didn’t like that either; she squinted her eyes when the wind picked up around her and sniffed the air. Not far away another dog barked excitedly when he saw her, but she prefers to play with people. She looked up but ignored him and continued on her way examining all the smells along the shoreline as we walked.

Except for the wind and crashing waves of the unusually turbulent surf, the beach was quiet. Snowbird season is over, lawn furniture was put away, and many houses looked vacant. There were people sprinkled about on blankets and a few walkers near the water. There was not the usual laughter, the noisy buzzing of conversations or music playing. A group of young people talked among themselves trying to decide if it was worth it to put up the volleyball net. They seemed to have decided it was. Baby Girl and I sat on a bench for a little bit longer but she was getting restless, and it was getting late. We could hear the traffic start to form on the road, so we packed our things and headed home.

Day Ten: Let the Scene Write Itself   #everydayinspiration
Please remember that I am looking for ideas for my assignment #15. What do you think I should write about and how? Add a comment to this post or go to Contact Me at the top of the page. Thanks, much appreciated.