Saturday, August 27, 2016

Danger Zone

There are just some places people like me, with my kind of addictions can’t go. It’s horrible because I can’t control myself, the urges, the tugging need to have what I want when I want it – almost to the extreme of harming myself.

And this time of the year, oh my grand, it’s so much worse. You’re absolutely surrounded by it, no matter where you go; you can spot that special gleam in other people’s eyes. All of them enjoying themselves, and it makes me think to myself, “Why not me? Why should I be left out of all the fun? I think if I really try, I can control myself.”

Well let me tell you all something – I CAN NOT. I cannot control myself. And they mean for you not to be able to control yourself. Right when you walk in the door, it’s all right there, rushing to greet you. 

Pumpkins of every shape and size, every color, and every styled/carved face imaginable. Door 

decorations, house decorations, table decorations; you name it and they have it on display.

Hobby Lobby is the worst/best! Every aroma of fall smell you can think of wrapped up in a candle, in a potpourri bag, or in a scented decoration. Fifteen styles of table napkins for your Thanksgiving table – which is exactly why I have about 4 full packages all in different designs in my holiday decoration’s right now. I get blind, deaf and dumb once all those sights hit me and I can’t remember what I have and what I don’t, and I buy it again, just in case.

Today I went to Pier One in Tallahassee. I was only supposed to be returning an item. A lamp I ordered on-line finally arrived but it was broken. I thought I would have to ship it back, and then wait for it to be received before I would regain that money into my checking account. Imagine my surprise (but mostly ecstatic delight) when the lady over the phone said “No ma’m, you can just return it to the nearest store and receive your refund immediately!”

Oh yes! Right then, the bells started dinging and a ’whistling, because I KNEW how exciting that trip had the potential to be.

So my husband and I (or rather he did) lugged that big, cumbersome box all the way to Tallahassee earlier today. I could barely contain my excitement of what was yet to come, and you know you can’t let on about those things ahead of time or you won’t be going at all, let alone with your husband’s accompaniment. Those kind of places are the LAST places my husband wants to be.

And it happened. I could see it all through the window before I even opened the door. Autumn extravaganza galore! Oh it was a sight for the holiday-homesick eyes to behold.

I am proud to say I returned my item and ALL I bought were some new holiday placemats. BUT – I did scope out the place so I’ll be ready for my next visit – ALONE. SOON. REAL SOON.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


I’ve been actively watching the Olympics since 1976 which would have made me 13 years old; one year younger than one of the most impressive gymnasts of my lifetime – Nadia Comaneci. That year she became the first woman to ever score a perfect 10 in an Olympic Gymnastic event. I was absolutely enthralled with that Russian fireball-force who would not only take over the stage floor, but she would also take over our hearts.

I can distinctly remember watching it on television at our neighbor’s house for a couple of nights. I have no real memory as to why we were watching it from there but either way, it was quite the experience, watching it like that with other people – everyone who was just as excited as I was.

From that year forward I have been one of the biggest fans of watching the greatest of the great performing their hearts out every four years – to prove they are the best at what they do, in the world.

Fast forward to the year 1996 and I was in Phoenix Arizona for the week, traveling with my job. I was staying at a hotel in downtown Phoenix when the Olympic torch runners came through – and as I looked out the window – I realized I was a part of history. Had I known earlier that where I was would be one of the points of attraction, I would have been front and center. But as it was a surprise, I watched from my window on the fourth floor in total amazement to that which I was bearing witness to.

That same summer, weeks later, I would find out that their run would also bring them through our little hometown of Leesburg Georgia! I cannot even tell you how excited I was to know they would be right at my finger-tips – even if the time schedule turned out to be 5:00am.

I got up EXTREMELY early that morning and put my 1 year old in a stroller, and me and my baby and my 10 year old walked up to the main highway that dumped into my neighborhood, and waited with the rest of the crowds that lined the main street into our little town.  It was still dark of course, so it was a magical moment in time when they came running down the road, with side cars flashing lights for their protection, and that one lone person in front carrying the lit torch.

That same summer the Olympics final destination was Atlanta, Georgia, but even just our little parlay of participation would make it such a memorable experience.

Today ends the first week of two weeks total and I’ve already stayed-up WAY past my bedtime every night just trying to cram in all the watching I possibly can.

To watch the jubilation and the tears as they compete gives you a window into lives that strive for true excellence with every breath they take. It’s certainly a privilege to be able to see all of that – I hope you’ve been watching with me.  GO USA!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Uncanny Reflections

There comes a time in life when you are walking along, carrying on conversations, discussing serious subjects with people, seemingly feeling pretty confident about your thought processes and your point of views; and then, it just takes one person to put you back into your place. Make you think a little harder about something you said, and very possibly, just possibly, admit you could have been wrong.

This election year has people disenchanted, disappointed, unbelievably angry, and some, ready to physically fight. It has been one of the most volatile and downright rude and outspoken elections I have personally been witness to yet.

But it has also been one of the most passionate, bare-bones loyal, and in-it-to-win-it elections that I have ever seen as well. The young people that have been inspired to come out, to march, to vote, to carry signs, and stand there and cry – as their prospective elective is beaten and out-numbered – is a truly inspiring sight to witness.

I made the mistake of sorts on a Face Book post a week or two ago. I have truly tried not to put myself and my particular opinions out there, because number one, nobody really cares, and number two, it always seems to lead to a free-for-all before it’s over with.

At any rate, during the Democratic National Convention (and I watched both conventions – I like to be informed) I watched as everyone waited with bated breath to see if Bernie Sanders would truly graciously concede, and I also watched as groups of his supporters threatened to not go down as easily should he do just that.

Many were saying that they refused to shift and vote for Hillary Clinton, and I made the statement that if they were true Democrats, they needed to get on board. Quit thinking about voting for the Green Party, or worse, no party at all, because every “stray” vote is a vote toward the Republican Party, and in my mind that was the last thing they wanted to happen.

Well you know, I was quickly set-straight by some very young and passionate moral compasses about why their “stray” votes were not to be considered as wasted votes. I was reminded very quickly, just how fresh-minded and liberating 20 something year old’s can be. I was reminded of when I was 21 years old and I believed we could change the world, could make a difference, and that any vote for a decent human being was a vote in the name of justice and all that was good.

My hope is that these Millennial’s can show us all a thing or two about discrimination, love for all, the real meaning of Black Lives Matter, that every Muslim is not a terrorist, and that this world cannot survive within the sheath of hate that seems to be covering us now.

My hope is that they are all right, and that there is hope left in this world. And I hope, truly hope, that I am just old, disillusioned, tired, worried, and wrong. I really, really want to be wrong.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

It's Still Hard to Grow-Up

I remember the first few times that I went back to my parent’s house, the house that I grew-up in from ages 7 years to 21 years old, and I can clearly remember the feeling of disconnect and loss as I stood looking in a bedroom that no longer belonged to me.

I also have a strong memory of years later, when they moved from that home, my whole-life-of-memories home, into another home across town that had never belonged to me at all. A part of me no longer just felt disconnected and lonely for what I had always known, but now, I would also feel amputated from my childhood and the feelings that came with each room in the other house.

The kitchen where I learned to make chocolate pudding and homemade French fries, the den where we all watched television and laughed as a family, and my bedroom, my yellow and orange bedroom that felt like sunshine, happiness and warmth.

Today I invited my son and his girlfriend over for a big Sunday lunch. I made some of his favorites, baked some cookies afterward and we all enjoyed ourselves as we talked about one thing after another.

But before anyone set down to dinner, I came back into the living room from the kitchen and noticed that he was missing.  And as I glanced up, the light to his old room was on.

As I started up the hallway I don’t think I was quite prepared for what I saw. There he stood, in the middle of the room, not moving, just staring. Now that room still isn’t decorated, there are no pictures hung, but the bed is now made, and the mule dresser has some odd and end things already sitting on it.

Zach has never been one to show much emotion, but in that instant, I saw on his face the feelings that I felt all those years ago. That feeling of how different everything looked now, how quickly we were able to make that change as if he were never there at all, and how if even just a little bit, he was missing everything that room used to mean to him.

Well, truth be told, that’s the number one reason I made the decision not to move into his room when he left. It’s obviously the bigger of our two bedrooms as it was once two rooms, but now made into one, but I just couldn’t see myself in there – being comfortable trying to sleep in that room – as if it had never belonged to him.

I was sure I’d still be imagining his hunting gear lying everywhere, boys paying Xbox on his couch, sleep-overs with sneaking-out friends, stinking football gear strewn across the floor, and the laughter, my gosh at the hooting laughter that went on in that room. How would I ever sleep – still seeing and hearing that going on all around me? Plus, I’m still feeling disconnected and a little lost myself.

And besides, nothing in this world gets rid of that permeating “boy” smell. Not even peach potpourri.