A Day at the Beach – Another Challenge

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Another fun writing challenge!  A One Hundred Word Challenge for Grown Ups.  This one courtesy of Lisa Cramer: Woman Wielding Words, a wonderful blogger! Check out her great 100 word challenge entry & blog: 

http://www.lisaakramer.com/2013/07/30/conscious-creativity-100-wcgu/

She got it from Julia’s Place @: 

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The roman numeral for 100 is C so let’s make it the ‘Big C’. It can be any topic, any genre but to add a twist, each line must begin with a word beginning with the letter ‘C‘!

 
A Day at The Beach

Come on over and have a seat

Comfort awaits you here at the beach

Climb over the sand dune and hop on by

Careful you don’t drop that good piece of pie

Crabs may nip at your little toes

Crustaceans are among us scurrying on by

Create a sand castle is what I’d like to do

Caution to others, we cannot use glue

Covered in sand we both are now

Counting the shells way down low

Catching the waves is so much fun

Can you surf this next one, my dear son?

Cherish your existence is what I have done.

Bad Days -Good Days A-Z

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desktop.com

“Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

Bad Days:

Arthritis was never invited

Bone Spurs were never my thing

Comfort is hard to come by

Depression always slips in

Empathy comes in rare moments

Fatigue decides she’s in charge

Gambling with medical cures

Hoping the day will come

Images of painless days

Joints magically healed

Knuckles inflamed and on fire

Lungs filled with fluid and pain

Motion is what I strive for

Napping is what I need

Oxycontin becomes my friend

Puzzles become my game

Quietly enduring the aches

Refreshments to numb the pain

Stiffness is lurking near me

Trying to ruin my day

Useless I now become

Vertical I cannot be

Wondering when it will get better

X-rays reveal the unwanted

Youth has been ripped at the seams

Zero relief is in sight

Good Days:

Arthritis does not own me

Better days are ahead

Coping is what I am doing

Dancing is what brings me joy

Easing into reality

Fighting like a young boy

Grateful for what God has given me

Healing day by day

Informed and educated

Justifying my pain

Knowing I am loved by so many

Loving them just the same 

Making the best of my life

Never ever giving up

Older and wiser by the minute

Pushing along to the top

Quietly saying a prayer

Relaxing as much as I can

Sorrow does not consume me

Tenderness fills my heart

Urging others to accept

Venom will make me regress

Words cannot express my gratitude

Xs and Os for you all

Young and alive I am feeling

Zestfully plugging along

They Waited

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blogspot.com

They waited.  Actually abstained from doing it, the entire six years they dated.  Not to say they did not fool around, but she wanted to wait until they were married.  Being the gentleman that he was, he obliged.  He did not pressure her, ever.  He respected her and would patiently wait. She had her reasons and that was good enough for him.

After much anticipation, their wedding day came and went without a hitch.  What a beautiful event it was.  Her dress was perfect, the food was delicious, the guests were dancing and they were madly in love.  She looked like a real princess for that day and he, the handsome prince. They were finally married.

The inevitable would soon follow.  The eve of the wedding.  D-day.  The time had come to consummate their marriage, after a very, very, very, very prolonged sexual attraction.  They would be together as one, at last.  The evening brought with it exhaustion from the day’s activities and much-anticipated excitement, followed by nerves for what lay ahead.  They were free of guilt now.  Legal.  All was allowed, finally.  The pressure was on.  

After settling in, they laid their heads on their pillows and began to cuddle.  They tried with all their might to fight it, but reluctantly succumbed to what their heavy eyelids were telling them.  The exhaustion proved to be more powerful than their desire.  They both fell heavily into a blissful deep sleep.  Consummation, would not occur on that lovely evening, at the airport hotel.

The flight was scheduled to leave early the next morning and they did not want to miss it.  They sat wide-eyed at the gate, she staring at the two beautiful diamond bands that snuggly hugged her left ring finger and he, fidgeting and rotating the gold band which would now occupy his previously naked ring finger, for life. They were on their way to paradise for a week.

What a gorgeous island.  Clear blue skies and miles and miles of white sandy beaches.  The perfect getaway on this unusually cold November day.  They would miss Thanksgiving with the family back home but it did not matter, they were together at last.

The hotel was beautiful.  Open, breezy and tropical.  It was buzzing with excitement as happy vacationers in their bathing suits came in and out of the open doorways leading to the turquoise color waters ahead.

The hotel bellhop escorted the happy couple to their reserved exotic honeymoon suite.  Oh, the excitement was more than they could handle.  They giggled like two kids secretly walking to a forbidden place.

The doors of the suite opened and they stood in the doorway of this spacious, luxurious room.  In the space ahead, they noticed the ever so inviting king size bed, the plush sofa and chair, the fully stocked bar and the beautiful french doors leading to a large balcony.  A newlywed’s dream come true.  A bottle of champagne lay chilling in the icy sterling silver bucket, patiently waiting to be popped open by the love birds.

Tonight would be the night.  The night that would seal their long-awaited union.  The love for each other would finally be expressed in a way it had never been expressed before.  Ah, the thought made her feel a strong desire to be with him at once.  She was ready.  He was happy that she was ready.  Finally, together as one.

As she entered the room, she came to a halt and gasped.  Oh My God.  This could not be happening.  At first, she was not entirely sure of what she was seeing but after a more careful and detailed look, she knew it was true.  The beautiful comforter draped over the luxurious bed which matched perfectly with the flowing drapes outlining the large windows that faced the calm ocean below, were both in fact the same exact fabric and pattern, as the favorite and luxurious bathrobe worn by her mother, every single day.

She felt a sudden rush of blood escaping her head and became light-headed. She had to sit down.  Her mother’s presence was palpable.  Her mother was inside the room. With them.  On their honeymoon.  Vibrantly visible.  She looked at the comforter and could visualize her mother back at home, happily making the family breakfast and smiling, in her bathrobe.  She glanced up at the drapes and there, she saw her mother’s spirit dancing along with the breeze of the ocean, staring down at them, watching them, policing them and making sure no consummation, would take place.

How was she to relax and let him take her into his arms and make love to her for the very first time?  To finally give in to his manly ways and be completely his?  The comforter, the drapes, her peering eyes and her presence.  All there in the room, with them.

You will be happy to know that after the initial shock of feeling her mother’s presence in their suite, they soon relaxed.  The bottle of champagne was popped open and they watched in anticipation as the sparkling foamy and rich liquid erupted and cascaded down the firm bottle and was quickly consumed by both. Mmmm.  It was smooth.  It was rich.  It was perfect.

Twenty four years later, they remain happily married.  Very much in love and consuming many, many bottles of guilt-less, tantalizing champagne.

How To Survive a College Visit With Your Teen

Here we go again!  The hubster and I.

Two summers ago, we took child #1, college visiting.  Last summer, we took him for a weekend long orientation at the college of his choice and were fortunate to re-live our college days, by staying in a real dorm room and sleeping in a prison cot dorm bed.  Except for this time, we didn’t get to make out.

They didn't even provide us with blankets...

They didn’t even provide us with blankets…

This summer, we are college visiting with child #2.  Help me.  Somebody.  Anybody?

Not to say there is anything wrong with child #2, except that girls can be…a bit different at times (a lot different a lot of times).  This experience has inspired me to write a survival guide for parents taking their teens on this, oh so lovely, experience.

Trust me, you will need this survival list:

The list you are about to read does not necessarily reflect the actual actions of all the parties involved and may have a tad of exaggeration in order to make it blog-worthy.  Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

1.  Do not expect your teen to have read the information about the college/s you are about to visit – until that day, in the car, during the drive, on her smart phone.  Most likely, she will only look up the boy/girl ratio and how the food at that college ranks.

2.  Do not wear any item of clothing that is even close to her fashion.  Moms, no belly shirts, short skirts, skinny jeans OR  owl shirts (especially if the owl eyes fall right over your large breasts.

“Mom, why are you wearing that owl shirt?”

Dads, for the love of God, do not wear brown or black socks with shorts and sneakers.  It is never fashionable (by the way).  Fanny packs and visors are banned from all campuses.

3.  Expect to either not have a conversation with your teen while driving to the designated college, or if you do, it will probably be a fight about why you cannot afford the college you are about to visit.

4. Insist that your teen bring a sweater/jacket even if it is 120 degrees out because this way, you won’t have to listen to her complain about how cold it is at the Admission’s Office.  

5.  If you have a death wish, then by all means take your camera out and attempt to take a picture of her while at the new college.  

6.  Do not arrive on time.  It is so NOT cool.  Arrive a little late and saunter over to the auditorium for the long information session followed by the long tour.  Don’t even think about sitting in the front row (are you crazy?)  Sit in the way back where you cannot hear or see the speaker, because that’s where she wants to sit.

7.  Do not make the mistake this poor dad sitting in front of me made.  He heard me take out some mints, turned around and asked me for one.  Yes.  I swear.  He actually turned around and talked to a stranger.  The look on his son’s and my daughter’s faces, said it all.  They were mortified that their parents had the nerve to speak with each other.  Oh, the horror.  In other words, do not speak to anyone near you, do not introduce yourself or extend your hand.  Sit quietly in your seat, act like a robot and do not move.  NEVER look at your teen while sitting next to her. Gag your spouse if he/she attempts to tell a joke or make a comment.  And as I learned the hard way, whatever you do, DO NOT HUM as you are waiting for the program to begin!  

8.  When finally on your walking tour, try to keep up with the group so you don’t fall too far behind (even though you will be huffing and panting because you are out of shape and these tour guides are way too spunky and fast), but make sure you are not right in front, brown-nosing with the tour guide or becoming her new bff.  DO NOT ASK any questions.  Let your teen ask (even though she never will).  If for some reason a dialogue begins between the tour guide and some parents, just agree and nod your head.

9.  If you must ask some questions, make sure they never include what the alcohol policy is at the college and where the “dry” dorm is.  Do not ask where the health center is or if the campus has emergency phones outside. And, NEVER ask how long the library is open ’till.  Duh! 

10.  When visiting a dorm room, do not comment on the package of condoms you see on the desk or how filthy the room is.  Never ask about curtains, hampers, matching comforters or coed bathrooms.  

11.  If lunch is provided, eat as much as you can because at least something in this world is still free  do not serve yourself a ton of food and look like a pig.  Do not introduce yourself to the other parents at your table,  and avoid the urge to hit encourage your teen to be nice and actually speak to someone/anyone. In addition, please check your teeth for any spinach remnants that may be trapped, before moving on.

12.  If you happen to LOVE the college you are visiting and you think it’s a perfect fit for your little bundle of so much joy, do not be an idiot and actually express your feeling to your teen.  If you love it, they will hate it. Duh!

13.  Do not be the parent who asks about financial aid or scholarships.  Smile and pretend that you too, can afford the 60 K per year.

14.  On the way home, do not ask your teen to tell you the 5 best and worst  things they liked about the college (just because they behave like two-year olds does not mean they like playing that game anymore.)  In fact, do not ask her anything at all.  She is already over it, texting her friends and listening to music as loudly as she can in the event you try to ask her questions about the visit.

15.  Get home.  Run to the liquor cabinet.  Serve yourself a stiff drink. Sit and sulk for endless hours.  Numb the depressing thoughts twirling in your head about you having to re-mortgage your home for the 3rd time and selling your car and all belongings on Craigslist,  just to afford the application fees to apply to all the wonderful colleges, you can’t afford.

The sooner you can escape from reality, the better.

Should I or Gluten-I?

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indirectasdemiparati.tumblr.com

I was put on this earth for one purpose and one purpose only.  To eat.

I. Love. Food.  Plain and simple.  I am one of those people who savors, licks, moans and ahhhsssss when eating.  I don’t know if my taste buds are super sensitive or what, but eating yummy food is an orgasmic experience.  In my own defense, I don’t eat a lot of junk food.  I just eat big portions of yummy real food.

I do not consider myself overweight…more like a bit over my ideal weight.  Maybe a little round, plump, hefty healthy, but not over the top.  More out of shape recently since exercising has not been possible due to my d%*#@ cervical stenosis.  It hurts when I walk or…move.

In the past, I could maintain my semi-ideal weight because I could exercise some.  This kind of sucks now.  Because I am eating the same amounts.

I have a wonderful, funny, teeny tiny, skinny, health conscious dear friend who has a teeny tiny stomach who also happens to be an awesome nutritionist.  She works with very poor families trying to help them eat better while the federal government continues to cut the program she works for.  She is compassionate and is truly making a difference in this world.

I call her, Mama.  Just for fun.  She calls me that too.  So, Mama as I said earlier, is teeny teeny teeny tiny.  She looks at food and immediately feels full.  She is basically my opposite.  We often go out to eat together and it is guaranteed that she will have a doggy bag to take home whereas me…not a chance.

Mama goes to many seminars to stay updated on the latest nutritional information.  She hates to see me suffer in pain, so she looks out for me.  She has read several articles stating that a gluten-free diet has been known to help patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  These patients have felt a significant difference once they are gluten-free.  Mama keeps gently letting me know this information and says, “I’m just throwing it out there”, for me to consider.

Ay.  Help.  Me? The Queen of bread & pasta,  gluten-free?  Me?  The one who loves ALL foods?  Me?  The one who hates grocery shopping because it is exhausting – and would now have to shop for hours looking at the ingredients?  Me?  The one who can barely muster the energy to cook because standing for too long in the kitchen hurts my feet?  Me?  Who is Puerto Rican and loves fried Puerto Rican food?  Me?

Ay.  I suppose I should try it.  If people are experiencing an improvement in their symptoms, then it must be worth it.  Maybe going gluten-free would give me more energy so that I could shop and cook more often.  Maybe…but, did I mention how much I love food?

I know it is much easier to go gluten-free these days.  There are plenty of labeled foods and special areas at the grocery stores…that’s a good thing.  It is easier to order gluten free meals at restaurants as well…another good thing.

I could try it for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.  Ay… I don’t know.  Maybe I could hire a personal chef who will buy all the food and cook it for me.  All I would have to do is to walk to the dining room, sit down and eat.  That sounds wonderful!  Ay. 

Should I, Could I or Gluten I?

Why My Husband Hates Going to The Movies

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blogspot.com

He actually loves movies.  Really.   He looks forward to the great savory and buttery trans fatty popcorn, the (Oh My God I’m going to miss half of the movie because I’m going to have to pee for the whole two hours) supersize soda, the previews (trailers now) and the big screen.  

What he is not a fan of, is what happens inside the theaters.

It is usually nothing tragic, mind you, just a bit uncomfortable and annoying.

Like the time he was sitting in a crowded dark movie theater ready to watch the feature of the day, when he smelled something…foul.  He turned his head to the right – nothing.  He turned his head to the left and – THERE THEY WERE!  Bare Feet!  Big Ugly Bare Feet.  Big Ugly Masculine Bare Feet.  Big Ugly Masculine and Stinky Bare Feet.  Right by his left ear.  Really?  He asked the person to move them the hell away from him – but the guy kept the shoes off and the aroma was still lingering, in the air.

Another time, in the middle of an important scene, the lady two seats over, began to unwrap her foot long Subway sandwich for what seemed to be an eternity.  “Crinkle crinkle, rustle rustle, rip rip, crinkle some more”.  Then, as if that was not bad enough, the hungry lady had asked for ONIONS on her sub!  That stink bomb aroma lingered in the air…as well.

Or the time when a couple from Russia who did not speak English, brought all their young kids to the R-rated movie my husband was looking forward to watching, including their infant son, who began wailing.

The best incident by far, was the one at our local “earthy” theater. As he sat happily munching on his popcorn waiting for the movie to begin, an earthy-crunchy Woodstock sort of man sat in the seat directly in front of him.  When the man leaned back to rest his head on his seat, his grayish and frizzy loooong braid, fell right inside my husband’s tub of popcorn.  Let’s just say there was now extra oil in his already buttered corn.

Being the great husband that he is, he will still take me to the movies, but the necessary prep that goes into securing that he has a pleasant, stink-free, noise-free and oil-free movie experience, is a lengthy one.  

We get there early.  We scout out the whole theater.  We profile all the suspect movie goers that enter.  We check out what they are carrying into the theater.  We look for any 5 course meals they may be hiding in their pocket books.  We make sure they have crew cuts, clean crew cuts. We look down at their feet.  They must be wearing socks, absolutely NO flip-flops.  We make sure there are no young screaming children. Then, we give everyone the evil (don’t you dare sit next to us) eye, and stare them down.

 Once all that prep is complete, we pray that the people who are sitting near us, do not have a huge bag of unopened peanut M&M’s which they will undoubtedly open during a quiet scene in the movie.  We look out to make sure our movie “neighbors” are not holding the cardboard trays filled with movie theater fake-cheesy nachos or bright blue frosty frozen drinks they will be slurping, in no time.  

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sodahead.com

Once we are finally settled in and the movie has begun, my husband has to excuse himself and shimmy his way through the people in our row, stepping on their toes, almost spilling their popcorn and blocking their view, as he tries to make it to the men’s room to relieve himself of the 100-ounce (banned by New York’s Major, Bloombergsupersize sugary soda he drank, while looking for evil movie goers.

What horrid movie experiences have you had? 

Sadness, Despair & Anger

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sodahead.com

Most of my posts are of the humorous kind (perhaps not funny to you but…), because I am generally a pretty happy person.  I have been dealt with some not so good cards in my life,  but who hasn’t?

I do not know how this came to be, but I have a pretty good attitude towards life.  I often feel that things could always be worse.  I feel blessed to have my wonderful little family, my relatives and amazing friends.

On June 12, I wrote one of the few non-humorous posts I have written titled, Help Her, No More.

https://swimmingtomy50s.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/help-her-no-more/

It is about a loved one I took in as my own child and devoted 6 months of my life trying to help.  And how her mental illness proved to be much stronger than all the therapy, medications, and hospitalizations put together.

She left my home and continued to self destruct and to hurt others in her path.  That she hasn’t yet been arrested, is truly a miracle.   Sex, drugs and alcohol are all that consumes this 18-year-old.  No one can reach her, to me, she is a lost cause.

I have gone through all of the stages one goes through when experiencing a loss.  The latest stage being anger mixed in with indifference.  I am trying to hold on to these feelings in order to protect myself from further pain.  I cannot get sucked in by her again or I too, will go down.

I have not seen her for about a month.  She is living in the streets or with various men she meets.

In spite of the tough shell I have built around me for my own protection, I know deep inside, I love her and I care.  I hate that this is a fact.  I’ll tell you why.

In a moment of weakness, I decided to reach out to her one more time to see if I could get through to her in hopes that this time, something would change.  It proved to be the second biggest mistake I have made right after inviting her into our lives.

After sending her a long message telling her to please reconsider her life style and telling her I was praying for her, she responded with, “Ah fuck you-ya dumb bitch”.  Then she wished death upon my children and that my husband fall down a set of stairs.

I am in shock although I should not be and am not proud of my responses to her threats and insanity.

I acted defensively and insulted her back.  It was my knee jerk reaction to her wishing harm upon my family.  It was all I could do to control what I could have said while in this state of anger and shock.    It stung – big time.

This only magnifies the state she is in.  

Thank God for my amazing younger brother who wrote to her in response to her crazy messages.  I thank him for being who he is.  Loving, forgiving, spiritual and God-like.  Really.  

He defended me to the moon and back in his message to her, without judgement.  He reminded her how much we love her and told her he had faith in her.  He did not attack – like I did.  He did not stoop so low as to insult her and act defensively.

Even if these insults and hatred had been directed toward him, he still would not have reacted the way I did.

I am saddened for her and for myself.  For myself because I was not able to find the strength, my wonderful brother has.  

I have a lot to learn from him.

We Forced Our Teens to Hang Out With Us

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I’ve got myself some pretty nice kids.  They both have a strong work ethic and have had jobs since the age of 14.  They work at the same market a few miles from our home and are fortunate to be getting plenty of working hours to fill their summer days.

It is nice not to have two sleepy, cranky teens hanging around the house all day long, eating everything in sight, watching endless episodes of Honey Boo Boo and telling me how bored they are.  Phew!

Last Friday, I warned informed them that since neither of them had to work that Sunday, we were going to spend the day together as a happy little family and go to the beach.  How awesome does that sound?  

Well, they both chose not to tell me what they really thought of my great idea (smart kids) and gave me a fake (do we have to go anywhere with you and dad) smile.  I reminded them that since one of them is already in college and the other a senior in high school, our vacationing-together days were limited and that we had to take advantage of the time we had now.

Besides, it was the perfect time for me to debut my new shiny blue skirted bathing suit I so agonized over.  I was going to wear that darn thing if it killed me (which it almost did).

Sunday morning came around and we woke the kids up early (just what they want their parents to do on a summer day off).  I packed up lunches for the four of us.  The bread was a bit stale but I figured the peanut butter would mask the staleness and they wouldn’t notice.

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picturesof.net

We packed the car like we were going to be away for months, in a remote location with no running water or electricity.  We had to make sure to pack our beach umbrella, 4 beach chairs, paddle ball racquets, a cooler, towels, a beach blanket and about 500 different sun tan lotions which had probably all expired.

We were on the road by 8:15 am which is quite an accomplishment considering we had two cranky teens with us and that my aching stiff body normally does not start functioning until noon.

We were not 100 feet from our home (basically still in the driveway) and the kids were already plugged in.  Out of commission.  Unreachable.  Gone Fishing.  One listening to her favorite country tunes and the other, his alternative screaming, guitar smashing and cursing, noise.  It was clear that we were not to have any kind of family conversation or chit-chat during our two-hour trip.

Lucky for my husband, I turned to him and began chatting away.  If he owned an Ipod, he would have been plugged in before leaving the house so he wouldn’t have had to listen to my array of fun facts I like to enlighten my family with, on trips.  I often read to them from brochures about the places we are about to visit and they…so love to listen.

 Two hours later we had reached our destination.  A beach we had never visited but highly recommended by my sister-in-law.  It was one of those horrendous muggy, sticky, mad hot days and we could not wait to freshen up in the water.

For the love of God.  The entire State was there.  At that beach.  We dragged all our beach paraphernalia through the burning hot sand looking for an empty spot.  A gap between the thousands of people already settled in their blankets and chairs sweating away, was all we needed.  After searching for what seemed like 55 hours, we found a little spot.  Not the prime real estate needed to house all our stuff, but we took it anyway.

After getting some dirty looks from our very close-to-us, sand  neighbors, we settled in.  Ahhhh….finally relaxing at the beach.    My daughter decided to lay down on the blanket but could not get comfortable.  My son was mortified when he noticed that her foot was resting on someone else’s blanket and told her to move.  But there was no place to go.  She returned to her chair in a…not so happy mood.  

We have never been in a beach this crowded.  We often vacation on Cape Cod and have plenty of room to spread out.  It was crazy.  We could hear all the intimate conversations of those around us, could actually read their books right along with them and check their incoming texts on their phones.

We decided to go in the water to cool off.  My cover-up hiding my new skirted suit stayed with me while I waded in the refreshing water.  I got stage fright and could not take it off.  I know I would have blended right in among the massive crowd and that I should be over this skirted suit issue, but I kept the damn cover-up on the whole time.

My kids tried to play paddle ball, but it was an impossible feat being that they had zero elbow room.

After a couple of hours, being drenched with sweat and feeling claustrophobic (and the fact that my kids were hungry because the stale bread didn’t cut it), we decided to head home.

But the day was saved.  We stopped at a famous Clam Shack on our way home and had the most delicious fried clams, fries and onion rings we have had in a long time!  YUM!  

After some very fully satisfied bellies, an air-conditioned car and the fact that we were headed home, everyone seemed happy.  There was a lot of chatter on the way home and we even got a Thank You from the kids for taking them on this day trip!  

It’s amazing what eating good food, will do.   

 

The Most Incredible Woman in My Life

This post is dedicated to my wonderful and beautiful mother whom I admire greatly.  She is the strongest and most resilient person I have ever met and one who continues to make my boo boos (and there are many), all better.

What a beauty she is and has been, all of her life.  The youngest of three (all girls) she learned from the mistakes of her siblings and stayed out of trouble, always under the radar and on her own.  Her sisters were too busy doing their things and were considerably older.

Growing up on a beautiful farm, she had the luxury of calling the many acres they lived on, her playground.  Loneliness introduced her to her imaginary friends (Betty and Mary).  They played with her, came over for parties she hosted and kept her company.

She learned to drive the farm equipment at a very young age and would take her “friends” on excursions throughout the grounds on many occasions.  She was young, she was innocent and she was happy.

She met my father through some real friends she had while visiting the city, 70 miles from their farm..  They fell in love at the age of 15 and married in their mid 20’s.

They were devoted to each other and worked hard, but life proved to be very hectic with three young children.  My father struggled with different jobs and finances were tight.

Depression hit my mother hard at the news that she was pregnant with her fourth child.  There was a 4 year difference between my youngest sister and our new member to-be.  My mother was overwhelmed and could not imagine having any energy left, and another mouth to feed.

Their little “oops” soon came into this world to join his older siblings.  As soon as he was born, everyone knew he was far from being an oops and closer to being a special miracle we had been blessed with.  We almost lost him to Steven-Johnson‘s Syndrome while still a baby and my parents never left his side during the weeks he was in critical condition at the hospital.

We were now 6.  Our parents, two boys and two girls, evenly matched.  A job opportunity for my father plucked us out of Puerto Rico and to the States to live.  Life was better for us all and we all thrived.

As a little girl, I idolized my mother.  My favorite pastime was to sit on her bed and watch her get ready for the endless parties and events my parents went to.  They were a very social couple and the invitations were always pouring in.  I would watch her with intensity as she applied her make up on, flawlessly.  She was a natural beauty but the make up would amplify this beauty and bring it to life.

Her long fancy gowns fit her petite figure like a glove.  The sweetness of her perfume lingered throughout the house for hours after she left.  Often times the scent of her perfume would intermingle with the musky cologne my father would wear.

Throughout the years, I continued to watch the patience, calmness, love and commitment she displayed toward all of us.  My father, though a very loving man, was not an easy man to live with.  But the tough times were no match to her incredible strength that kept our family afloat.

Even after I married and had children, I witnessed her devotion, care and dedication she showed my father as he battled, in defeat, his bout with cancer.  She was there at his side until the very end.

As a widow, she struggled to make a new life for herself and had to reach deep into her heart and soul to find the ability to go on without her life-long mate.  She hurt, and was overcome by sorrow but persevered, as she often did.

Twelve years after the death of my father, at the age of 73, her life changed, once again.  Not able to fend off the persistent courting of a very nice man who was smitten with her, she re-married.

Watching their courtship and her regression into a teenage girl in love, was amazing.  She held on to her old-fashioned values and her faith as they courted.  Catching her sneaking down to our basement (she was staying at my home while I recovered from surgery) to Skype her new crush, who at the time lived 3000 miles away, and hearing her cell phone light up and beep away as he texted her all day long, was surreal.  My mother was behaving just like my teenage kids and I was loving it.

They have been married for two and a half years now and she could not be happier.  What a wonderful sight for her children to watch this adorable and loving couple holding hands all the time, doing everything together and talking into all hours of the night – never running out of things to say.    

We soon felt a great affection toward him, which was not difficult to do, as he is a kind and loving soul who treats my mother like the queen she deserves to be.

I watch with pride and happiness, this elegant woman who endured her share of challenges and sorrow, now live a more stress-free life filled with love and adventure.   Not burdened with the angst that goes along with being a young couple raising four kids.

Her happiness brings us all an abundance of joy.  To see her embrace life once again and thrive, is wonderful.  She never imagined she would remarry or would find such happiness at this late stage in her life.

She continues to rely on her strong faith and has no regrets or doubts about her younger life.  

As her daughter, nothing could be more reassuring and tranquil than knowing that she is happy and taken care of.

I can only hope that some of that strength, faith and ability to persevere has trickled down on to me, so that I too may embrace life, move forward as I age and live with no regrets.

 

Happy “Twerking” on the 4th of July!

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As you gather with your friends and loved ones today to celebrate our independence, by grilling, eating burgers and hot dogs, having a huge piece of Aunt Maude’s flag-shaped cake,  downing some store-bought star-shaped cookies, having two helpings of over-mayonaised potato salad, lot’s of chips, beer, lemonade and candy, don’t forget to twerk!

Everyone is doing it and so can you.

Although Twerking has been around since the 90’s and originated in New Orléans (at strip bars),  it’s another new craze (Darn it, I should have included it in my New Craze Post,

https://swimmingtomy50s.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/the-new-craze/

Miley Cyrus is doing it.  

mycolumbuspower.com

mycolumbuspower.com

Rhianna‘s got it going on.  

urbaninformer.com

urbaninformer.com

Even the group, One Direction, is twerking away!  

justjareddjr.com

justjareddjr.com

It’s the activity of the Summer of 2013!

Never mind potato sack races or egg toss challenges.  Twerk, instead!  Here is a video demonstration: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVfWWGNKFUY

Got a pool?  No problem.  You can twerk underwater!

twerktweet01-412x500

You can all thank me later for enlightening you, once again,  with the latest craze.

Happy 4th of July!