Happy Birthday Dear Friend Wednesday, Mar 19 2014 

For many years now, I’ve spent March 18th reflecting on my life and how I live it. I tend to feel a little guilty that I have the opportunity when someone I care for deeply does not. March 18th is Larry Churchill’s birthday, and if he was with us today, he would be 57. He is forever handsome and young in the picture on his headstone and in my fond memories.

Larry and I met when I was 14 and he 15. I had just moved to his hometown and had started attending the same small church he attended. The youth of the church were mostly female and Larry was a sought after young man. I think, even without the benefit of hindsight, it is safe to say that more than a few of the girls had a crush on him. On this point, I admit nothing. Larry and I become friends. We came from completely different backgrounds and circumstances but we connected. I enjoyed his take on things, so different from my own. I enjoyed his unabashed screams as we plunged over the hill of the roller coaster. I enjoyed his acting as the lead in the annual school play. I enjoyed the time we spent together, whether in group form or one on one. We shared some secrets. I’d found someone special. Larry made an impression on me that impacted my life. He was a positive influence.

Larry Churchill 1974

Larry Churchill 1974

My family relocated (again) after two years in Larry’s hometown. Larry and I wrote letters (remember those?) and spoke on the phone through the rest of high school and college. I married and started my family. Larry moved across the country and started his adult life. Contact became less frequent. Over time, we lost touch. I missed his humor and our connection. I neglected an opportunity to reconnect. I thought there was more time. There was not.

When I got the call he had passed away, I was knocked off my feet. Literally, I had to sit down and catch my breath. I cannot explain or detail my feelings other than to say I felt a deep loss and physical hurt. In these days before online availability, my husband wrote and requested a copy of Larry’s obituary for me from the small town paper. I just couldn’t grasp the enormity of my friend‘s death. It was a sad time.

I think of him often. When certain songs play, when his home state is mentioned, when someone uses sarcasm is the funniest of ways, select movie quotes. Whenever I am in the vicinity of his hometown, I stop by and visit his grave-site. I am always overwhelmed by how sad I feel when I visit, knowing that he died too young, knowing that he was someone I loved and let slip away. Staying in touch would not have stopped his passing, but it would have enriched my life and hopefully his. I regret that in my youth I took what I had with my friend for granted. I’ve tried not to make that mistake again.

March 18th was a special day for him and for many years now, for me as well, to reflect and remember. Larry is not forgotten.

If he could see this, he’d make a joke. And Laugh.

I Did Not Win the Mega Millions Lottery Wednesday, Dec 18 2013 

You heard it here first. Or maybe second because they announced where the winners live and I do not live in San Jose California or Atlanta Georgia and you knew I’m in Texas. I tried to win. Really. Well, what I mean is I bought a ticket or two, so that the dream could live for a day or two. And I did dream, mostly while driving on my long work compute, what it would be like to have that much money, or ‘enough’ money. I know money doesn’t solve problems but it would solve my lack of money problems. Money also doesn’t buy happiness. We’ve all heard that one. I’d like to give it a whirl myself, before making any snap decisions on its ability to make me happy. I bought my tickets early Saturday, just after the Friday night drawing that yielded no winner. I did not wait until the last minute. I had four days of hope that I could beat the odds and win. It was not to be.

In the meantime, my life continued as of nothing was pending. My grandson turned 6 and I survived his birthday party with all the other 5/6 year olds. Some Christmas items I ordered arrived. My hubs crunched the fender and removed the side mirror of his car by close encounter with a construction barrel in a construction zone, therefore damaging his pride more than the car. (Everything around this town seems to be under construction.) I talked my mom (over the phone) through changing the battery in her smoke detector. I am still working on getting the Christmas tree decorated. I work in little bursts and have the living room in complete disarray. Winning the lottery would not have changed any of this real life activity. Would today have been different? Yes. I think so. But how different, I will never know. I am like everyone else (except two people) in America today. Deep sigh. Life goes on. And even without winning the lottery, life is good.

What’s the Deal with Age? Tuesday, Sep 25 2012 

I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about my age.  Not because I feel old or that I am worried about my age. In fact, it is quite the opposite.  I don’t feel old, and I am not worried about my age.  I have found out recently that others appear to be worried about my age.  And I find that amusing.

All those platitudes about you are only as old as you feel and act young to stay young are things old people say.  The young people still cling to the idea that youth and acting young is for the young and  many look down their noses at someone my age (I have passed the 50 mark, but have not hit the middle of that decade) enjoying the same activities I did while in my forties or thirties.  Why would I suddenly stop liking some of the same stuff, I wonder?  But it really seems to befuddle some of the ‘grown-ups’ in that age group.

I do not have the desire to do the same things I did back then as often as I did back then, but not because I cannot.  It’s actually because my life is too busy to fit it all in, not because my advanced age makes me too tired, as the ones worrying about my age seem to imply.  My job is hectic and I shoulder more responsibility than I did during my 30’s and 40’s. I am still upwardly mobile in my career.  I upgraded my living arrangements from the average city dwelling to the home of my dreams in the country and the compute takes a bit longer, which is good in some ways and bad in others.  I have a grandchild that I adore and I spend as much time with him as I can.  I’ve bought into the whole social media scene and I’m online more than I should be.   I found out I love genealogy, and have become an addict.  (Intervention might be in my future.)  I own a second home about 4 hours away for relaxation and down time.  I have aging parents that require attention.  All that takes time, so I’ve shifted, adjusted and squeezed as much as I can into the space allotted me.  So, yes, I still do many of the ‘old’ things I used to do, just not with the same frequency that I used to do them.  And some of them are much less important as my ‘age’ (I prefer ‘wisdom’) has allowed me to determine some of those just don’t rate as high on the enjoyment meter any longer.

So bottom line, worriers, don’t worry. Yes, I’m older than I used to be.  Who isn’t?  However, just because you continue to indulge in the same activities at the same pace, and I’ve slacked off those activities, doesn’t mean I’m tired, ill or out of pace with the world.  It means my life is full of other interesting things and activities I like and people I love.  It means I’m putting my experiences to good use.  It means I am vital and alive.  It means I’m not worried.

Now where are my keys?

Double Life? Really? Wednesday, Jan 6 2010 

It’s taken me some time to admit it (and I’m not sure writing it here counts since I’m not admitting to anyone that knows me) but I am leading a semi double life.  And the more I think about it, the more I wonder how many others out there are doing the same thing.

It started innocently enough I suppose.  I do one type of activity with one group of friends.  And other type of activity with another group of friends, which happens to include my husband.  And the two don’t mix.  And I don’t talk about the one group to the other, because I know there would be disapproval.  AND, here I am, at this age and I’ve  never told my parents about one set of friends, once again because of the disapproval factor.  I feel the need to point out it’s nothing sinister, I just know they wouldn’t approve, and I just don’t need/want that situation to cloud anything else.

So in a strange way, I have a “closeted’ life.  There is the life I show to others and the life I don’t.  The life I share with some, and the life I share with others.  The life I talk about, the life I don’t.

My double life.  You want details?  Do you do things you don’t share with others in your life?

I wonder.

Tis the Season…Stress Out…Tday Plans….Vote yes for Pie Wednesday, Nov 25 2009 

I don’t recall the ‘season’ being so stressful when I was a child, but then again my small slightly dysfunctional family didn’t live around the rest of the larger dysfunctional family, so maybe we didn’t get the larger nuclear blasts.  Or maybe the holidays didn’t come with so much expectation.  All I know for sure is that the holidays are now stressful and not as much fun as I think it should be by definition.  The tension starts when we have to figure out where Thanksgiving will be, which side of what family will be doing what with whom.  His side and my side rarely tangled well-so we’ve always avoid having them tangle and now the family has expanded with married ins.  Our kids are grown, so we mix in their new other halves and families, which may or may not have multiple steps involved.  At least with Scott and I, we did not have split family situations to include.  It was just his pushy, bossy ‘want it all’ side and my quiet, reserved side.  (okay that was a little dig).  I wonder if there are more stressed out holidays than pleasant, peaceful holidays out there.  And I also wonder how much of the stress is self-induced.

We are having Tday at our house this year.  It’s not really much of a mix of sides this time, since none of ‘his’ side will be here (that I know of, so far, yet, things could change, it’s still early).  My parental units, one of my brothers and his family, one of our sons and his family (including his mother in law) will be here for Tday.   Enough to make it interesting.  The strange part is, we volunteered.  Crazy, I know.  Obviously we were not thinking.  Brought this down on ourselves. Scott has started baking…he’s the cook, not me…and the place smells wonderful.  I’m cleaning (when not blogging).

We see much more of his family than mine.  That is to say we are more involved with his family than mine.  So although I see/talk to my parents quite a bit, I am not in touch with either of my brothers very much, and haven’t seen either of them since August, even though we all live around the same area.  And August was because a niece got married, otherwise it would have been last Tday.  Yes, that is shades of dysfunctional.  We don’t fight or anything.  Actually, that’s it.  We don’t do anything.  Never have been quite sure why.  But everyone is busy, right?

The signs of stress are showing. And I know it will get worse before it gets better.  So, today is house cleaning and stuff.  And trying to decide what ‘story’ to tell for why our other son will not be around for the gathering.  Because it is not anybody’s business. But it will be glaring that he is not here. And will add to the stress.  I’m just sayin’.

Scott says he recalls when he was a kid Tday was all about hunting.  The men would all go hunting for the whole week if possible.  If they couldn’t be there the whole week, it would be come and go sort of thing, with the ‘women’ showing up for Tday only, with food.  When our boys were young, Scott and male relatives used to go hunting over the holidays sometimes.  They didn’t ever come back with anything and I never got the impression it was really about actually killing anything anyway.  Maybe it was just the old fashion way men did man type things.  Oh well, doesn’t really matter much now.  It’s about football and pie now.  I vote yes on pie. You?

Checkin’ In Friday, Nov 13 2009 

No Fables, No Stories, just me.  Practicing blogging.

It’s been a long week.  Even with the day off in the middle.  I’m looking forward to the weekend.  We’ve recently had some interior work completed in the house and the place was pretty torn up, dusty, items out of place etc, and we’ve just started trying to put things right.  I plan to spend some time this weekend working on that, and trying to make the place look like normal people live there again.   Normal being relative and all. 

Dinner tonight is standard Friday night fare. It’s with the Friday Night Supper Club.  I’ll drive straight to the restaurant from work on tonight.  I won’t have time to make it home first. We have five couples in the group and each Friday night we eat together.  Sometimes one or more of the couples cannot make it, and that’s fine.  Sometimes a husband or wife cannot make it and that’s fine too.  Whoever can make it is there and whoever cannot make it is not.  We switch around to different restaurants.  Repeating the places we like, skipping the ones we don’t.   We’ve been friends long enough now, and eating together long enough now to know each other pretty well and we always have fun.  We all have much in common, kids about the same age etc, and at the same time not so much in common. There is always much to talk about.    We are lucky to have friends and this night out each week. 

Short practice session.