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No Place Like Home
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North was right-there really isn't a place as wonderful as home. No matter how much you love where you visit, no matter how much you'll miss those you leave behind or the sites you wish you could just look at for a bit more, once you're on your way home, you can't wait until you've arrived. It doesn't matter how you want to drink in every moment of your time with those you love and no longer live near you either.
At least for me it works out that way. I could hardly wait to see our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids. Really. I was doing a countdown. The bags were packed, I was on the airline site 30 seconds before the 24 hour mark to print up my boarding pass and I could hardly wait until I saw our daughter in the pick-up lane of Sky Harbor Airport.
The week went by so fast I thought it was the clichéd "blink of an eye" and then, before I knew what was happening-I found my alarm going off at the ungodly hour of 5:20 a.m. and there I was back at the airport!
I found that first I missed my husband's snoring. That happened on the second night. Then I realized that despite our daughter's little American Eskimo cuddling up to me all night long-she wasn't the same as having my arm pinned into a position that allowed our tabby to sleep alongside my body with his paws wrapped around my neck while he slept and sighed in my face all night.
Nope, not the same.
It was also not the same to have my precious little dividends come in at 7:30 and ask me ever so quietly, "Grandma-is that you in there sleeping? Are you up yet Grandma?" instead of hearing my husband's ringtone of an Avril Lavigne song jar me out of a sound sleep.
Nicer, but definitely not the same.
And despite the trip to Wal-Mart to buy myself a mock version of the temper-pedic pillow like the one I sleep on at home-it was not the same to my neck and back as the authentic one that allows me to wake up without feeling as if I've somehow medically severed my neck from my spinal column. The bed wasn't exactly lulling me to sleep either.
Skyping isn't the same as talking to my husband face-to-face or kissing him goodnight. Making dinner in our daughter's kitchen doesn't have the same appeal as working in my own space either. And I'm not even going to discuss the differences in the master shower or the laundry room.
Having our daughter live so far away is lonely and troublesome-I miss her and the family desperately, but when I'm there, all I can think about is that I miss my husband/home and my life in Orange County.
I'm a creature of habit as well as a complete and utterly boring homebody-in a good way.
At least to me.
I was on Twitter earlier this week and someone commented on being embarrassed.
Looking at my life, I started thinking-embarrassed? Maybe it's my life's experiences, but I don't think I've been caught red-faced or shamed.
Angry, yes. Disgusted, definitely. Frustrated? Hey, I'm a parent. But not embarrassed.
I know what you're all thinking; I can "see" it. You're thinking, "Her memory's gone, I'm sure she was embarrassed when 'child' (fill in the blank with one of the names you've heard over the years) decided to break free and get lost in the mall.
Nope. I was frustrated and scared-not embarrassed.
One of you out there is probably thinking back to one of my anecdotes about a certain older person who we've been asked not to bring back into any given establishment.
Nope. I was disgusted and angry, not embarrassed. Let's face it-I didn't behave poorly and I'm sure, as is the norm, we apologized before, during and after as well as over tipped for the situation.
But embarrassed? Nope. Not a lick.
I did come close once-and now looking back, I'm thinking it was mighty darned close and I'm so glad the place was a tad on the dark side.
It was a very long time ago; I think our kids were maybe 6 and 8. We had family passes that year for Universal Studios, so we'd sometimes go to just see one of the shows. This was one of those times.
As we got into the park, one of the local game shows (The Match Game, with Gene Rayburn) was giving away passes to a taping later that afternoon. We decided that would be fun, if they'd allow the kids in. The crew giving out the tickets called and got the okay and we were off!
We got there; the kids were excited to see how a TV show was actually done. We took our seats. The stage had a few spots on the audience, but we were put in the back so it was pretty dark.
That's when it happened. Sigh.
The warm-up comedian started asking everyone questions and people were shouting out what they must have thought of as being funny answers and people were giggling.
For whatever reason, the guy suddenly blurts out, "So was anyone here conceived in the back of a cab?"
You know what's coming, don't you? Yes, our younger dividend raised his hand and shouted, "I was-do I get a prize?"
The entire room busted up. Steve and I looked over at him and we both grabbed his arm and pulled it down.
Too late, everyone (at least it felt like everyone) turned around and looked. The comedian deadpanned it and said, "Sorry kid, this is a cheap set and I can't even pay you for the great comeback."
We hissed through our breath-"What on earth made you say that? What were you thinking?"
Being 6, he was thinking he wanted to win a prize. And NO, he was not created in a cab or any other public place. Let me make sure that part is perfectly clear.
And now, I leave you all to ponder as to whether or not any of you will ever take any of your living genetic material to a taping of a TV show ever, or at least until I get back from visiting our daughter and grandkids.
I'm Just Saying...
Have you actually thought about why so many people have problems understanding the basics of life?
Things such as:
1-To lose weight; eat fewer calories that you burn.
2-Don't spend money you don't have on things you don't need.
3-If you take care of what you have, chances are-whatever it is will, in fact, take care of you.
4-When your doctor says you need to exercise; you really need to get up and move your extremities.
5-It's an unwritten law; every family has to endure at least 1 member that makes life harder than it really needs to be.
Those are just five.
It never fails, when the obvious happens because of any of the above, whatever number-someone is flabbergasted by the outcome.
Let's explore, shall we?
1-This is a given. Don't blame the holidays, your unsupportive significant other, and your unfortunate set of genes. You gained weight because you ate more than you should-period. Accept it and either go out and buy a bigger wardrobe or (depending on just how much you've padded your body) spend the money on joining a gym, buying a new set of walking/running shoes, signing up with WeightWatchers (Jenny Craig, Nutrisystems, etc.) and do something about it.
2-This one is a bit tricky due to so many people being down-sized out of their jobs, but I'm not talking about this type of debt. I'm talking about a person who knows that every month, come hell or high water, that they only have a certain amount of cash and still spends more than what's there and wants someone to "bail them out", since the government won't.
We have someone like this-they've been told they can't afford to go to the movies more than once a month-and that it needs to be done without the purchase of soda, popcorn and candy. Yet, there it is when the account is checked-4 trips with amenities.
Why is this person surprised when the bailout isn't to be and then they are chewed out? If you don't like being in debt-stick to a budget.
3-This goes for cars, appliances, clothing and even relationships. My example-we were visiting someone for a few days and for the umpteenth time saw that they were using their washer as a hamper as well as an appliance. The method of laundry? Stuff it until the door won't close, fill it with soap and turn it on.
No sorting. Problem-besides the expected white items turning other colors? The dirty and damp items cause the house to smell of mildew (actually reek), plus the washer itself groans. It's a front loader-it needs to be wiped out at the end of the laundry session and the door should be left open a crack to let it "breathe". The result-complete surprise when after a year, it broke down.
Don't blame the machine-as with most situations like this, it's the operator at fault.
4-For years, I tried to encourage my husband to do regular exercise. I told him it has nothing to do with weight. In the 31-1/2 years we've been together, he's never been anything but perfect weight wise, but last year, he went for a physical and was shocked to hear, "Steve, I'm going to have to treat you for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I want you to start watching what you eat, only 4-6 ounces of red meat in a week and you need to eat more fruits and vegetables."
He was shocked! Dumbfounded really. I looked at him and shook my head. "what have I been telling you all these years? How can you be surprised at this?"
I must say though, it's been a year and he's still using the treadmill 4-5 times a week. One person on the "lesson learned" list.
5-This is a pesky problem. My feeling is this, instead of giving the person a "buy" and let them continue to embarrass, hurt, take advantage and disgust us-I say we all stand strong and together and do the famous Peter Finch line: I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.
Then let's give each other the strength and permission to not feel the least bit guilty about making the trouble-causers take responsibility for their lifetime of bad behavior (no matter what their age may be) and learn to live with the mess they've created for themselves.
And now, I'm going to munch on some celery while clipping coupons. I deserve it after my 45 minutes on the treadmill and cleaning my stainless steel appliances and ignoring the "problem" who lives 4 miles from my door.
I'm So Ready
Thank goodness, I'm ready for 2012. 2011 was a very rough year. My husband was one of the few who "kept" a job when the owners of his company retired and corporate bought them out. Our son survived the cut as well-BUT it's not the same.
Steve was told his position wasn't viable anymore, so he's back to sales manager and all that entails: working nights, working weekends and making almost the same (almost being the operative word). His stress level is way too high and his satisfaction is way too low. Our son has been working 80 plus hours a week, he too needs a break.
My health was a huge issue most of this year-not pleasant and I'm still trying to work at regaining just my "life" in general. Probably won't go back to where I was a couple of years ago, but I'm at least seeing some actual improvement. Thank goodness for my various doctors and new meds-with them on board, life will hopefully keep on an upward spiral.
Our big upheaval was the loss of our beloved Sunshine. I'm missing her terribly. I'm still trying to explain to Steve how much I need more than an 8 pound lovable tabby to make me feel secure during the nights I'm all by my lonesome. Plus, Pepper is still crying and searching-he too needs a "fill-in" canine mom.
Steve's holding firm that between his job "insecurities" and what I'm thinking is the grief of watching life ebb away-he's just not budging. Sigh.
We've also had parent health issues to deal with and major expenses with our cars. All not unexpected-let's face it our parents are all in their 80's and our cars are over 8 years old.
What do I hope 2012 will bring? What everyone else wants of course-some peace of mind, less stress, better health, less hatred in the world, prosperity for all, more job satisfaction for my husband and definitely more assignments or a new "day job" for me.
There's more-continued happiness and good fortune for our kids and grandkids, our son getting a hopeful different position where he'll feel more worth and our daughter-in-law to enjoy and flourish in nursing school. I'd love for my mom not to have to worry about her eyesight and my father's failing memory.
I'd really love for a problem we've had for years to move and learn to live within the person's means.
My husband turns 55 this coming week-so I really would love it if he could find his former satisfaction and joy in the job he goes to 5 days a week.
And last, may all the same wishes on health, wealth and satisfaction carry over in to all of your lives.
Good-bye 2011 and Welcome 2012!
Thanks I Needed That!
My kids are overly generous. No matter how many times we beg them to not buy us gifts-they do.
Many parents would say "just enjoy it, I wish my kids wouldn't listen to me about this problem you're having."
You see, we tell them this because we know how hard they work and we just want them to "gift" us, by putting it away for their retirement. We want them to actually have a chance of having one.
Our son Adam and daughter-in-law Sam surprised me (bowled over really) by getting me an all leather version of my barely one year old La-Z-Boy rocker. (Extra info: both our son and my husband work for LZB, Inc.) I really love my even newer chair, really! But all I could think and dream of was-oh my, they spent all that money on me-what if they need it for some emergency??????
And they did. Billy, the younger of their two shelties, had to have some mighty expensive surgery. While I love them both dearly for doing this for me, I also feel terribly guilty.
Our daughter Sarah and son-in-law Alex, along with the grandkids bought me a group-on for a massage and sent me a beautiful bouquet. I must say, I had the same gut reaction. What if they had an emergency????
Guess what? They did. Even though it's usually quite warm in Phoenix, they had some mighty close to freezing nights a couple of weeks ago and the pipes in the attic froze. They came home and were greeted by a fallen ceiling, wet insulation and a flooded kitchen and living room. Yes, they had insurance and a homeowner's policy, but that still was enough to have me cringing.
All 4 told me to just enjoy-please.
I am. I came down with a head cold this week. So I'm in my rocker, drinking hot fluids and blowing my nose in between sneezes. I had already made the appointment to have that chocolate massage when the 24 hour cancellation time passed and couldn't re-schedule.
Off I went. Garrett, the therapist assigned to help this arthritic granny with the monstrous head cold, was really nice. He asked, "I know you're supposed to have the chocolate oils, but with that head cold, if you're not allergic to peppermint, may I suggest my using that? It will help your muscles, joints and especially your sinuses."
Bless him. An hour later I came out a tad less "tight and knotted" and my head was a bit less clogged. He warned me I'd be sore and apologized.
Apologize? What for? My head still hurts and the post-nasal drip hasn't left the building but I do feel better-all over-except in the recesses of the ever-present guilt gland.
Happy Holidays to Everyone! May 2012 see us all having better health, much love and hopefully gainful and happy employment.
My Mind is Cloudy with Wishes for a New Day of Sunshine
I realize I've been a drag since Sunshine's passing-sorry, it seems to be getting worse.
There are reasons for this continual "cloudy" mood:
1-Pepper still cries while he sleeps and slams into the walls and windows hoping to see her in the yard.
2-I've had several very large men that come in pairs, come to my door at night and knock on it while my husband works late. Two of the duos knocked on the door the way my brother-in-law would. This creeped me out. One didn't leave the archway for almost 5 minutes. He just kept on knocking. I had phone in hand and was ready to phone 911 when I saw him leave.
(I phoned hubby at work and told him he could get the mail, as I no longer felt near as safe in our very suburban block about going out in the dark)
3-While using the 20 year old treadmill gets the "job" of exercise done-I really enjoyed my walks with Sunshine and my IPod Shuffle in the actual out of doors and miss it, a lot.
And last, this time of the year the little bit I watch TV seems to show those heart-wrenching commercials with the abused dogs asking if you could be an angel and as soon as I hear Sarah McLaughlin cue up the song, I'm a basket case of tears. In fact, I'm welling up now.
My favorite rescue center (those interested:
www.PetRescueCenter.org), run by Dr. Matthew Wheaton and his wife Blythe, has been having a certain 1 year old lab/shepherd mix named Miley at the facility since August 29th. Her family turned her in because of hip/elbow dysplasia. She's fine with pain meds, house-broken, loves kids and cats and other dogs.
Shame and a pox on that family I say.
Seems to me that she's been waiting on us to just go get her. I keep mentioning this to my husband.
He's seemingly deaf to this entire subject. He says it's because we can't afford another mouth right now. I know of one we could easily ditch.
Personally, I think it's due to his witnessing the "letting go" of Sunshine. As I've mentioned before-the kids and I handled our darlings, Snowy and Lucky while he stayed behind with the day care. So he only knew what a mess we were when we came back.
His way of grieving (again as I see it) is to insist we shouldn't adopt another pup.
So, instead of Sunshine-I'm feeling Cloudy with a huge chance of continued salty showers.