Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Thief In The Night

It’s almost a week later and I’m still worn out. My feet are still draggin’ and my eyes are still burning and wanting to nap at weird times of the day. Everything is all out of whack and it’s going to take at least another couple of weeks for me to level out and feel normal again.

It’s black as smut when the alarm goes off, and internally, my body knows it should not be time to rise and shine; especially when there is absolutely NO shine going on. The afternoons are far too bright for far too long, making me ashamed for not being productive longer and later into the evening.

I keep hearing these nasty, nasty rumors/ news reports, talking about this is the way it will be / should be all the time! For goodness sake – whose bright idea was that? I mean what good could possibly come from that?

We already don’t have four real seasons in the state of Florida. We have about three weeks of what some people would call winter. I mean seriously folks, what do we need with year around daylight until 9pm every night?

My body and soul looks forward to the Fall Back time regression. I need that down time to regroup from the long, awful summers we have here. When you have temperatures up near the 100’s for the last several months of summer, you should be ready for darkness to fall a little bit sooner by the time November gets here.

We barely even have a fall season; as a matter of fact, it goes from straight up burning-flames-hot to winds that feel like the heat from the flames of the dying embers.

I need the comfort of the difference. I need a break with the time change so that I know that winter is really coming, whether we ever see a real one here or not.

So yes, not only am I tired and worn out from the hour that was just stolen from me with all that Spring Forward mess we choose to participate in, I am also worried that I will be expected to Spring Forward for the next 365 days and beyond.

I’m here to tell you all, it may not seem like much to some, but for us older folks, a lost hour is a lot. I already sleep in a hit and miss fashion as it is; you know with menopause and all. I’m up some nights staring out windows and wandering the floors looking for something that will send me to sleepy-land. 

And now, I’m not only losing normal sleep at any given time, but I’ll also be lacking that one hour that was thieved in the middle of the night.

No, I’m not happy at all. I’m not 25 years old anymore, loving the extra light added to the daytime hours. I’m old, I’m tired, and I’m grumpy; which leads to sleepy, dopey and whiny as well. I’m basically the entire Seven Dwarfs all rolled-into-one. But I’m mostly just mad, and by golly, I want my hour back!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Until the Air Clears......

As I look over into the lane next to me, the driver of the bright blue vehicle, also sitting at the red light, patiently waiting for the light to turn green, is staring at me with a sad look on her face. I turn my head back forward to check the light status which is still red, then I glance bank to my right again, and she is still staring.

My vision isn’t as clear as it could be on this fine, beautiful day, but there is no mistake about it, she is indeed staring.

As I pick up my tissue to once again, dab these crying eyes, and blot my snotty nose, it suddenly occurs to me what is happening. I have been crying and snotting all up and down HWY 90, and the sweet person riding parallel to me the whole time, thinks that I’m upset and am crying!

I tried to smile when I thought she was looking again, to assure her I was fine. Because I don’t know about you all, but when I see things like that, I sometimes make-up my own story as to what is happening; and it sticks with me the rest of the day. I’m pretty sure whatever she had in her head, my smiling didn’t convince her as I was having to dab my eyes and nose through the entire smiling performance.

As the land and its entire atmosphere is coated with shades of green and yellow, so is my head, eyes, and my nose. I knew the seasonal ritual had begun weeks ago, as each morning, I would see smaller doses of coverage on my vehicle each morning when I was leaving for work.

As a matter of fact, I had my annual eye appointment about that time and I was actually “crying” in his office that morning as well. He asked me what was going on, and I told him, “oh just the normal allergy thing that happens every year”. He said “No, I think it’s still a little too early for all that.” I looked at him with my face saying what I was not – which was – think again Doc, it’s happening.

And now, oh my grand, absolutely everything is covered. I attempted to sit on my front porch last night, and ogle at the birds that are all but attacking my feeders once again; and I was out there barely 10 minutes before the sniffling began. So back inside I went, camera and all, and hoped for another small rain shower to settle it down again.

  For all who took a science class, you know that every living thing needs pollen to procreate; without it, there would be no beautiful flowers.
But pollen has a wonderful purpose albeit it can feel deadly and debilitating for us mere humans.

So, I’m thinking we can all live in distress for a short period of time each year in exchange for the beauty it affords us. So keep plenty of Kleenex on hand, eye drops in the medicine cabinet, and allergy meds to keep the sinus infections away.

Friday, March 2, 2018

You Can Always Go Back Home

It’s hard moving to a town where you know no one but the people that you work with; the people that work for the company that you made a decision to transfer to, twenty years ago. Especially when the town that you leave behind, holds all the people that you grew-up with, went to school with, and learned how to become an adult with.

All those people who knew you as a chubby, snaggle-tooth young girl, then as a teenager who was slowly slimming-up and wore braces, to the high schooler who had finally come into her own skin and was comfortable with most any group she should find herself standing in.

All those people, all those kids/teenagers/now adults, know you better than most anybody. They know your sense of humor, your shortcomings, your failures and your successes. They were with you through skipping classes and getting caught and through figuring out what school was supposed to be about and how to make the most of it.

They were with you through your break-ups and heartbreaks, and cheering you on when you made editor of the high school newspaper and wrote an article that would turn the school on its head and show the adults that “kids” did have something to say, and that sometimes it paid to listen.

They were there when a gang of you went to see Halloween at the movies in 3D and you were too scared to drive home alone afterward.

They were with you when you got your first real job, your first real car, and made your own money while still in high school.

They were with you for summer trips to the beach, getting too much sun, and meeting so many cute boys. Cooking out on camp fires and sleeping in tents on St George Island. And for you people who didn’t know, it really used to be a pretty desolate island. No houses of any kind, no hotels, no food places; just one general store and place for showers. All that ever came there were people to camp, either inside mobile campers or on the beach itself. What a time that was to be a teenager!

All of those things and so much more, I left behind when I moved. All of those people I left behind; my friends who went on with their lives making families, making babies, and working jobs.

By the time you all are reading this, I will have already been back home to have lunch with a few of my girlfriends from home. I try and go home for those lunches a couple times a year, because I miss those people, my friends.  I miss the familiarity, I miss the laughter, and I miss the girls who know me the best.

I miss the folks who can tell by my tone over the phone when something is wrong, and who won’t rest until I open-up about it and they try and help me out.  I miss the girls who loved me first, who love me now, no matter the distance in between, whether it be in miles or minutes of time.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Presentation is Everything!!!

So in between the freezing cold and tolerable coolness this is what I do: I buy bulbs, on-line, through the Holland Bulb Company, and with visions of Amaryllis in my head, I began to plan the expansion of my Amaryllis flower bed.

Although I only ordered ten bulbs, they came in two huge boxes which of course set off major alarms for my husband the day they were delivered to the house. He of course, saw the labels on the top of each box, and I admit, I thought to myself when I saw them, (because I really couldn’t remember, as it had been months since I ordered them) just how many bulbs DID I actually buy?

As I entered the back door that afternoon and saw the boxes sitting on the kitchen counter, I began to mentally back-track so that I was ready with an explanation as it always best to not let on that even YOU can’t remember what you did, especially where spending money is concerned.

So, I casually announced “Oh! My bulbs finally came in!” like it was the most natural thing in the world to see two huge boxes marked “bulbs” sitting on my counter, and then proceeded to cut them open with a pair of scissors from the kitchen drawer; all of the above happening in one smooth motion. And let me tell you folks, the relief on my insides, (which I tried to hide from my facial expression), to only see five (WHEW!) smaller boxes inside each big box.

At any rate, my next battle, as I had not prior discussed this bulb order, was to explain to my sweet, sweet husband this whole “vision” of mine. I flowered it up with the same colorful imagination in which it was originally created in my mind, but somehow, the look on his face didn’t quite equal the joy of the story I was telling.

Matter of fact, I’ll just tell the truth here and say his “face” showed absolutely no joy at all. Even when I told him there would only have to be ten holes dug – nothing. I got nothing. Zero joy.

However, a week or so later, we had the perfect Sunday morning to set about our planting. Granted, he had worked a six-day work week prior to; so that he was holding a pair of hole diggers and they were entering the ground instead of the side of my head – well you can understand the irony there, and very possibly the miracle of it all!

But together, without any fuss, muss or injury, we planted the ten additional Amaryllis in the bed by my mailbox, that will accompany the other eight bulbs or so that have been there for years. They should all bloom come early Spring, a mixture of solid red and red/white striped.

I would tell you all about the other HUGE box of Gladioli bulbs that I have stored in my shed right now – that can’t be planted until after the last frost, and all my plans for those; but obviously, that’s still a secret…ssshhhhhh.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

♫ If you Love Somebody, Clap Your Hands ♫

When I was a little girl, the best Valentine experience was in direct proportion to how many “secret” valentines I got in my decorated bag at school. And if was a really special valentine, there would be some kind of candy attached to it as well.

I had absolutely no experience with Valentine’s in Jr High School. I guess I’m going to have to say it was because I had no boyfriends from the 7th to the 9th grade. None that were willing to spend any money on me anyway. What can I say, I was a late bloomer.

But then there was high school and the ever dreaded/popular carnation purchase and swap deal on Valentine’s Day. All the different colors of the carnations meant silly things, but I can remember getting my fair share of them, mostly from my girlfriends.

Because that’s the silent agreement that goes on between females at that age. Girlfriends swap and exchange among one another, that way, no one really knows who did or didn’t get anything from a boy.

And of course there were always the lucky girls who got the huge stuffed teddy bear or a dozen roses that the florist delivers to the front office at school. Although, the boys that were brave enough to drag those stuffed animals to school were the real hero’s.

These days, the gifts have changed and more money is involved with these young kids – but hearts hurt and break just the same whenever anyone is left out or ignored.

It’s so funny how it seemed like life and death back then, depending on whatever happened when Valentine’s Day would roll around each year; that your fate was made and decided that day.

But now I’m a grown-up and it’s even crazier how much my idea of what would make a good Valentine’s Day for ANY day is to me now; like:
1.           When my oldest child comes home for Christmas, and always tries to plan a movie day just for me and him, because he truly likes to do things with me.  
2.            When my husband has worked a six day work week for two months straight, but helps me plant flower bulbs on his only day off.
3.            When my youngest child calls me on a Saturday night, invites me over to eat and play pool with the rest of his friends, even though I’m his 54 year old mother.
4.          When friends send me just-because-cards and surprises in the mail for absolutely no real reason at all.  
5.          When no matter my age, and my parents know I have been sick, they call every day, without fail, to check on me.
6.            When the ever-continuing string text between me and my children sits stagnate for days, then erupts one night in totally inappropriate humor that lasts for hours, because that’s how we roll.

Those are my favorite kinds of expressions of love. Just show me that you love me, show me that you care, listen to me when I talk, and I will listen to you. Valentine’s Day is about love – find a way to show it.  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Diary of an Amateur

Several years ago now, I was at the hairdresser and we were discussing my hair. The how’s and why’s of its unruliness.
Back story: when I was about 35 years old, my hair just went berserk. Curly berserk. Before that it had a lot of body, but it was straight as a board. I have an old set of hot rollers and my previous hairstylist from home who can attest to that; as well as all the perms she gave me over the years prior to that.
Now when I went curly, it didn't just get a little curly, it got that tight, knotted-at-your-scalp, needs five different kinds of hair products, curly. My hairdresser at the time said there was a chance it could possibly one day revert back because of hormones etc. Regardless, this is not the hair I would have picked to have for all time – as it’s just too much work.
However, the reason for the whole visit, was that I was having my hair professionally colored.  As the processing part of my color was happening, I was looking at my phone, and I saw some Snap Chats from my kids.
I don’t do Snap Chats.  I would look at theirs and laugh, but I had never reciprocated. But for some insane reason, all of a sudden I thought, why not?! So I took a picture of myself, all "colored-up" and sent it to both of my children.
Finally my hair was done, and I was driving home and song that I loved at the time begins to play on the radio in my truck called ‘Shake It Off’ by artist Taylor Swift.

All of a sudden, my hair is young, I am young, and I am remembering how on my previous two hair appointments; my oldest child J was home and how he went with me to those appointments, also getting his hair cut.
As the memories began to flow, I started to get a little weepy; it's strange without him, and I am remembering him "car-dancing" to that song when he was home. So what to do but do the same; I am dancing all over the place inside my truck, in the dark, with my young hair, all the way home, with that song on repeat.
Finally I am home, I'm feeling good about myself and my young hair, I walk into the house and my youngest son Zach is already home.

He’s standing there laughing at me and starts talking about my prior snap chat. I was like "so you saw it?" Still laughing he says "Oh yeah, you sent it as a story, so everybody saw it".

I went nuts! Shouting for him to delete it for me, he’s laughing, practically crying, as he is trying to tell me who all had already seen it.

Technology has not always been kind to me. All these new-fangled apps on these phones, mostly just leave me befuddled. I have since become somewhat educated, enough to not send them to the world anymore, but I still pretty much stick to being a viewer and not a film-maker.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Now THIS is Winter!

Alright folks, I am about to admit an absolutely unbelievable happening. It never even enters my mind to be a potential problem. I can honestly say, I don’t remember the last time it even presented itself; yet here it is, in all it’s glory, bringing me to my knees.

My knees, that I am double-layering with knee socks under my pants! I, Michelle Mims, of sound, mind and body, have been LAYERING my clothing! And, I have worn a winter coat at least five times in the last two months!

When this freeze-out first started, I wasn’t even sure I had a winter coat! I hadn’t even come close to wearing one since my youngest son played high school football. As a matter of fact, that’s honestly the last time I can remember being so bone-chillingly cold; sitting on those aluminum bleachers, which felt like absolute ice under my legs, and ducking wind from whichever direction it came, and many times, draped in a blanket that we had brought from home!

And if you all have been following me each week, you will also remember me mentioning that whole “key fob – automatic start the vehicle” nightmare, which was all because I was actually warming-up my vehicle before I dared to climb into it. And don’t tell my husband, but it was not really to warm that dang engine-up, so the oil would warm-up and circulate, blah, blah, blah, like he asked me to, as much as it was to have that heater running on high-blast when I got in it!

In recent days, I have in fact, raised the heating temperature level in our house to a whole 72 degrees, BECAUSE I WAS COLD. Now you talk about making heads snap around on their shoulders – let me rise-up from my chair to head to the thermostat in our hallway, and watch the eyeballs bulge when I answer them that “no, I’m not turning it down smarty pants, I am actually turning it up!”

I will also add, I have been asked several times if I have a fever as well. Well, no I don’t Mr. Wise Crack, but a house can only stay so warm inside when it’s 21 degrees outside! And yes, contrary to popular belief in my home, I am human, not an Eskimo-Zombie who can withstand any degree of weather, icicles hanging from their noses and never flinch.

I’m just gonna say, hot-natured people like me take a lot of flak. We gripe so much about the heat, people almost dare us to fuss about the cold as well. And I really do say very often, ‘if this heat ever passes, I will never say a word about the cold’, but this winter season is trying me. It’s really trying me.

Earlier last week, very possibly the coldest day yet, I was outside for about five solid early-morning hours. I could not feel my legs when it was over. I seriously considered whether or not medical attention would be necessary. But I wasn’t going to whine about it like a little girl; no sir. Not even if my legs had fallen off.