Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for...a peaceful holiday season

my dad made this nativity creche in the seminary
Last year,  the holidays were hard.  Almost unbearable.  I remember driving through my favorite shopping center with Chrismas lights,  music,  and decorations,  and furtively fighting back tears. It sucked.  I hated being depressed and did my best to rise above it.  But when I would least expect it,  grief would take hold and ruin the moment.

I'm ready to party this year. My family and friends are healthy.  We are all gainfully employed.  My loved ones are all in a good place.

The tree is up already.  The lights are on.  I am almost finished with my shopping.


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for.. BBQ chicken sandwich, spicy beans, and the whole darn day

Some fine grub to be had here- "mmhmmph" (voice a la Billy Bob Thornton in Slingblade)
Sometimes a day goes so perfectly.  It's always the unplanned ones that are the ones you remember forever.  Today was one of those.

- mocha peppermint Coffee Mate
-2 children who woke healthy and went to school
-a run with Coldplay
-warm shower
-lunch with brother Tim,  SIL Cindy, mom, and Scot at The Barbeque Co. 
-DSW shoe store
-beers with the family
-a friend giving me a wonderful furniture hand-me-down :)  
- chilly sleeping weather with a down duvet 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful for... my husband

Yes I understand that every life must end, aw huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw huh,..
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love,..
Some folks just have one,
Others they got none, aw huh,..
Stay with me,..
Let’s just breathe.
Practiced are my sins,
Never gonna let me win, aw huh,..
Under everything, just another human being, aw huh,..
Yeah, I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed.
Stay with me,..
You’re all I see.
Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.
I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face, aw huh,..
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take, aw huh,..
Nothing you would take,..
Everything you gave.
Did I say that I need you?
Oh, Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one know this more than me.
As I come clean.
Nothing you would take,..
everything you gave.
Hold me till I die,..
Meet you on the other side.

I was driving to a hair appointment the other day when this song came on the radio. I had heard it before and liked the tune.
I parked the car,  and listened to the words. What a beautiful song.

Today, and always, I  am thankful for my husband.  He spent the entire weekend doing my dirty work. On Saturday he spent two hours putting lights on the Christmas tree.  Yesterday he decorated the back fence,  and strung-up lights in the front trees.  I'm sure that's not he imagined spending his weekend,  but a trip to Bangkok was out of the question.

He does no taking, only giving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankful for.... time, and a slow head

Davy Crocket and Mary
  Verbally,    I  cope with turmoil inappropriately.   I don't think,  I just say it.    My vocal audit button gets stuck.   I cry, scream,  and let the F-word fly.  Just last week in Macy's I flipped out when I wasn't serviced to my satisfaction.  This impetuousness had led to many hurt feelings and embarrassment.  

 I can't write when I am upset.  The words seen to fall out of my brain and swirl around my feet like leaves in a storm.  I can't catch them,  and if I were to,  I wouldn't know what to do with them.  This is probably a protective mechanism that stems from the greatest lesson my dad ever taught me; never put anything in writing that will come back to haunt you.

So,   I'm sorry I dropped a juicy romance bomb on you all and then vacated.  At the time,  I didn't know what I could properly share with you,  or even how to put it in words.  But it's really for the best that my mind works this way. 

After my last post,  my mother informed me that  she loved David.  She also announced that David Carpe Diem  would be coming to live with her for the winter. This announcement came on day 5 of my mom's trip to the North Woods. In the form of an email.  HUH?  

  I had a meltdown.  It was mental,  and verbal.   In written form,  it went something like this: 

This man,  this man I had  never met would be hanging his hat in the closet where my dad's sweaters still sit on the shelf.  This man, this man  I had  never met, would be sitting in his jammies watching the 58 inch TV my dad bought and never got a chance to enjoy.   This man, this man I had  never met,  had so quickly worked his way into my mother's heart.   I didn't know him,  he didn't know me.  WTF?

The same person who had set-up her mother  on Match.Com  was now fuming because she had gone and found love.  How fair was that?  But lines get blurred when your best friend is your mother,  and yet you will forever feel like her eight-year-old  child.   For so many reasons,  this announcement was threatening to me.   Was my mom  abandoning me, sacrificing our time together,  and forgetting the  memory of my father? And how did all this happen in five days?  Did five days instantly diminish the meaning and depth of forty years with my father?   For the next day,   I wallowed in my own little pity party,  waiting for my mother to return to Arizona and some form of  reason.

David will still be coming out to stay for the winter. But he won't be a complete stranger.  One of my Peace Treaty Rules is that Davy Jones( it's what I call him) come out to meet the family before he moves in;  it seemed like an acceptable demand.  He is coming out next week.  I'm opening my heart and head to this man but will be watching him like a hawk.  If he's quick to use my mom's money and heart,  I'll just as quickly substitute Bernice's Alpo next month.  If ya catch my drift...

  Time  home ( and the telephone )has brought my mother and me   the clarity and  rationality that seemed to be strangled in red wine, and warm blankets in Wisconsin.   My mom is still my shopping partner,  and she still holds a place in her heart for my father.    My mom talks to David every day,  and they sound very sweet and loving  on their phone calls. They are getting to know each other,  better. They are sharing histories, likes,  dislikes.  It is a reverse courtship of sorts,  and   I am overjoyed to be a witness to it.  I am ecstatic that my mother is happy.

Today,  I'm grateful for  time,  and my  inablitly to write in times of stress.  Things have  unfolded rather nicely around here.  I would have hated  to have to issue a retraction for something I wrote prematurely.   I do enough apologizing for my sailor's mouth. 

Please read Jen's blog,  and Liz's, too.  They are my blogger buddies,  and have lots they are thankful for, too. ->

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Seize the Day (and the stranger)

My mother met a man.  Last week.  Online.    Half the year he lives in the house he built with his own hands,  on a lake in Wisconsin. The other half of the year he lives with his son,  here in Phoenix.  That's how he found my mother.  

Harry bikes.  And travels.  He's fit.  We is a widower. And 73. His profile on says "Carpe Diem".  Coincidentally,  my mom's  profile says "Carpe Diem".  In the space of a week,  they emailed a couple of times and  spoke on the phone for an hour.  That's all any of us (my mother included)  knew about Harry.

On Wednesday,  my mom left the house,  without intending to return for five days.  She took 2 airplanes,  and a one-hour car trip.  To get to Harry,  and his house in the middle of nowhere.  She did this after talking to this man for one hour.   Without knowing his political leanings,  education,  or prior employment.  We,  her family and friends,  were freaked!  In the space of a day,  two of us ran background checks on strange Harry. 

I spoke with my mom today,  24 hours into her trip. She is happy,  and I could hear Harry laughing in the background.  As much as I wanted to remind her (again)  about lessons she taught me in my youth about strangers and dangers,  I  refrained.  This spontaneous trip was something she had to do.  Maybe after 69 years,  she knows something I do not.

Today,  I talked to the mystery man myself.  

"Your mother is a fantastic woman,"  Harry said.  "I don't ever want her to leave."  "She is wonderful."  His voice sounded old and sweet,  with a charming mid-western lilt.

Who knows where  this frenetic,  crazed relationship will lead.  As long as it's not in a dozen trash bags at the bottom of the lake,  I will consider it a success.  

We got off the phone with  my mom sounding relaxed and joyous  in  this strange man's house.  I heard this strange man giggling in the background.  He was making her a salad  for dinner.  They were drinking red wine.  And planning a hike through the snow tomorrow. 

  Carpe diem,  indeed.