Friday, October 28, 2011

My trip to Massachusetts!!

Well, Sweet and I got back from our trip last Saturday and I finally have the chores, laundry and unpacking all caught up so I can blog now.  I have to say for a short time blogger, I missed it.  I tried mobile blogging but I think that is something you will have to do when you practice and not while traveling.  Sheesh, I was afraid of what might post.  Ha!

So we started our trip on Saturday the 15th, which was such a beautiful morning, and before we even got out of the driveway, my ever fabulous travel coffee mug was knocked over and spilled the entire contents all over the car mat!  Of course this had to be cleaned, alas that took a little of time.  Sweet is very particular about his mats.. hhmmmm.  Not that I am not but I have had children and have cleaned many a mess in a short amount of time.   Anyhoo, we were on the road and then it was requested of me to download the United app for my iPhone. Whaaaa…

Yes there is an app for that!  Since we are standby fliers (not so bad actually) it is so much easier to track flight status, seating maps and check other flights.  Very cool!  So I downloaded and was the bestest flight navigator that Sweet could ask for!  So we get checked in and on our flight (5 ½ hour flight) when I meet our seatmate whose name was Paula.  I love meeting people when we fly and getting to know them as it does help with character building in my stories.

So back to Paula, she is a 56 year old nurse administrator that was going to Massachusetts, Nantucket I think, to stay with some friends and just get away.  She talked about her “friend” Jim and how he is already retired and loves to travel and wants her to retire so they can travel together, but she is hesitant, I got the idea that he wants all of her time and she has her job that she loves and her three grown daughters.  He wants her to move in but she likes her independence.  We talked about the different places that she has been and we have been and some of them we had both experienced.  So we chatted about that.  Then the movie!  I love this part!  We watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins! I have wanted to see that movie for so long!  Sweet then ordered us some drinks with sandwiches and a fruit and cheese plate.  Cozy,  I love him sooooooo…

So we land at Logan International and as we walked over to luggage pick up I noticed that the terminal waiting areas have rocking chairs.   *cute*

So we got our rental car and drove the two plus hours to Provincetown where we were staying.  The reason for this trip was to gather research for my book and boy did I!!  The first day we went wine tasting in Truro then to Wellfleet for the Oysterfest which was a blast!  If you ever get out there you need to check it out!

Day 2 was exploring Provincetown! Aaaaaamazing!  Commerical Street, the beaches, houses, history and boatdocks.  We ate at the Lobster Pot, so yummy!!

Day 3 was Salem Mass!  This is where my research started and it was everything I imagined it would be.  We went to the Witch Memorial, the wax museum, the burying ground, gallows hill, the witch museum and ate at Rockafellas where Sweet took the Helltini Challenge for which he was honored with a shirt for his completion of the drink. 

Day 4 was pouring down rain, so when the rain lightened be went to the Wydah Pirate Museum and then to a little market called the East End Market, tres chic! We bought sliced salami at the deli and Vermont cheddar cheese with some Thinwater crackers to eat with some of the wine we bought at the Truro Vineyard. 

Day 5 was off to Plymouth with a stop at the Pilgrim Monument and museum first.  We climbed to the top and what …  a…   climb…  (sorry, out of breath)  Then it was onto Plymouth where we went to the Mayflower II exhibit and threw pennies on Plymouth Rock, then went to the nearest winery (Plymouth Bay Winery) where they have wines made of fruit other than grapes.  Very tasty!  If you ever go, please say Hi to Michael from Rachel!! 

Day 6 was Boston day!  I was really excited about this because this is for the research also, so we took a tour of the red line of history that is the Freedom Trail with an orator named “Bully” Jim Denton, a direct descendent of James Denton (1793-1865, of Braintree, MA).  Dressed in 18th century garb he took us by churches, the place where John Hancock’s house had once stood, the burial ground the held Paul Revere, James Otis, Ben Franklin’s Parents and so many other historical figures.  Then we went to the old state house and Faneuil Hall and so many other sites with a story along the way.  It was great!  Of course we had to stop at Cheers to eat, have a lager and take pics, the best day of all!

The flight home was uneventful but exhausting and all in all it was a successful trip to which I have learned quite a bit for my book.  Thanks to Sweet for taking me on this trip, sharing a beautiful Atlantic sunset and putting up with me saying Lobstahhh and gaaalic all week long!!

Love you honey!

 so much

Friday, October 14, 2011

I am a Traveler!

I can remember when I started my senior year and I had a job at McDonalds (Honest, it wasn’t the money, they could have paid me in Big Macs) and I dreamed that I would save my money and buy a ’56 convertible VW bug with a sun roof that folded back to let the sun wink in at me and throw daily good luck kisses as I made my way through the journey. 

After graduating high school, I was going to drive until I was low on money then stop wherever I was and find a place, get a job and save more money.  My bug would be the only social media I would need to meet my new friends along the way and once the old pot at the end of my rainbow was filled up again, I would move on and do it all over until I made it to New York or decided to stay.  You know to set up shop and plant some kind of a root system if it was right.

Well that was a little girl of seventeen who thought that life was limitless and anything was available for the taking.  She was going to make it to Manhattan, live in one of the top floors of a central park west apartment building and someone was going to give her job as an editor with a major publishing company.  Who needs a college degree, right?

 Life would be Fab!  She would travel the world because her job mandated it and she would come home only when she could get away from her life.  –kiss kiss-   

Romance on the Rivera
Flirting in France
Iconic status in Italy                                                      
Cocktails in the Caribbean
Hiatus in Hong Kong

sigh…    The plan was foolproof!

Then a little blue stick with a plus line on it changed everything.  Must say only sad the first three months, then the excitement of my baby and the possibilities moved from the carefree dreams of a world traveler to the most important job of all.  Mommy~

As I was packing last night and checking off the to do list this morning for my trip to Boston, where Sweet is taking me so I can complete the research for my book that I know will just sweep the world once published (I have already printed my tea party invites to J.K. and Stephenie for our first of many soiree’s).  I went back to that young girl and thought of her and her sure fire plan.  Seems like so long ago and although zero regrets for my blessings that continued, I often think what would have happened to the innocent little lass…. 

SLAP!  Wake up!  What do you think would have happened to her?  T*R*O*U*B*L*E

I have always said that everything happens for a reason and I know that in this case it is true.  I know some of you out there are non believers but it has truly come full circle! My children are all grown and gone, one with kids and one with a little one on the way.  One has set up life far away and me?  My life reverted back to that little girl, albeit smarter, stronger and (ahem) wiser.  The timeshare and limitless fly miles don’t hurt.

No I am not going to take off and cruise the country to stop and make friends –tiring- but I do have the convertible mustang (she couldn’t have afforded this), I have Sweet to share it with and he is actually interested in everything I am interested in.  In the last two and half years we have been to Korea, three islands of Hawaii, camping in the Redwoods, Mt. Lassen, Grand Canyon’s North Rim and Yosemite several times.  I have been to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and now going to Massachusetts.  I have been rafting on the Sacramento River, joined in on several biker runs, golfed in a tournament where I was the only woman included (I had the clutch play for second place!    Just sayin’), Museums, wine tasting, tasted food I never thought I would and the list goes on and on!

I think now is the time and I am in the right place at the right time and everything is as it should be.  I have set up shop on the dining room table crowded with the laptop, glasses, research books, notes for my book and this life as an up and coming author.  Sweet will occasionally check in and ask how the book is coming and I discuss ideas with him and he suggests, debates, high fives. I think that it is everything any new writer could ask for.  When I began googling the Boston area and exhaustingly tried to make heads or tales (get it?) of the map.  He said, “Let’s just go there!”  I said, “Let’s just go there!”  (I threw in a Yayyy and some kisses I think)

The thought that someone would give up a week of time earned vacation to support someone is the greatest belief in me that anyone has ever had. So now I must go and finish packing, stop the mail, get my Winking Lizard hat and excitedly leave my bags in the foyer for I am a Traveler! 

Yes!  I am going to practice blogging from the road...   go me!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Once Moodie Bluedie, now finally Alive!

Fear, courage, guilt, innocence, anger, compassion, happiness, sadness, defensiveness, defender of all, frustration, hope….

I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have someone to answer to or something to answer for.  I also can’t remember a time when everyday I wasn’t filled with a bucket of emotions that came in waves crashing at me, receded then crash again.

The emotional theatre had created its first season’s playbook and I felt each one, some even at the same time!  Let me just say, it was not a pretty scene.  Not sure how I got to a place where I let the opinion of others or their treatment of me mold me into this meek vicious person, but it happened.  Before I knew it?  I was…   Mooodie Bluedie!

The OH so welcomed diagnosis of early stages of menopause (Peri those medical types call it) only added to the emotions that had taken residence in me from a young age.  The stories that could be told were what melodrama’s are made of and so exhausting at the time. yet so comical now when I talk about those good ole days.  Prime example:

Youngest kid and I are embroiled in actual face to face verbal combat.  The kid is seventeen and bubbles of emotions are flying around our heads but not popping. YK yelling that something isn’t fair, yet again? Me trying to calm him and myself down..  tooo much..  pressure building.. gonna blow….

Me:  Shut up when you’re talking to me!!  (pointer finger raised and shaking as if on a pulpit)

Him:  Whaaat?  (head shake’s and then pops back in total confusion)

Me:  Go to your room!

Ahhhh, memories!!  Where’s Barbra when you need her?

This went on for several years and many other stories of how I was crazy or what was I thinking came out of this time. Mostly it was from all those people that resided with me during the Royal Oaks period.  Finally the menopausal emotions subsided, I was then left with the emotions that were familiar and now stood out to me.  I didn’t like them.  I had gotten through stage one of “the pause” with a houseful of people that left me alone to do it with a cheer of good lucks. Did anyone notice that the only thing I wasn’t feeling was alive? I didn’t until then and I was intent on finding it.

Finally, years later into my quest, the first time I felt alive was the first time I was on the back of Sweet Significant’s Harley.  I still had scars from the previous life and although the wounds were no longer open, they were still there like red thick squiggly lines across my heart.  Nothing Vitamin E could cure although someone once told me that Cabernet had all the vitamins I needed and no prescription was required.  Hmmm..  

Anyhoo, Sweet called me up one day after we had been seeing each other for a couple of months and asked if I wanted to go for a ride and although I really wanted to stay at home and have a pity party with that bottle of Cab, (purely for the nutrition of course) I said absolutely. I could hear his Softail from my living room and went outside, he drove up onto the grass in front of my apartment, handed me a helmet and with his beautiful never ending smile, he said, “jump on baby.”  The exhilaration that ran through my body, breath and blood was nothing that I have ever felt.  We drove through the delta loop and as we rounded the swerves and curves in the road, I just threw my arms out wide and felt the wind the from the ride blow right through me.  I lifted my face up to the sky and felt the sun kiss my forehead and cheeks. 

The vast openness of the land flying by and the sweet smell of the country air made me smile.  We then stopped at a restaurant to have lunch and chatted the way you do when you’re learning about another person.  We then got back on the bike to finish another loop of open road.  It was just what my soul needed. It was a great scar diminishing day.  It was the first day that nothing that had been holding me down had mattered.  I was beholden to no one that day and what a great feeling!  I wanted more…

I realized that responsibility is not emotional chains and baggage of obligation to someone else, it is a character trait that is beholden only to me.

Now the emotions are still there but they don’t swirl around uncontrollable, they are tucked away and only come out in appropriate situations. Peace, a little time to take a step back, getting the hell outta dodge and not to mention a very well timed epiphany.  Here I am and Oh boy! I will be a writer!  I am a writer!  It is no longer in my dream box under my bed.  All things are possible and I am Alive!  


Monday, October 10, 2011

It's a Dogs Life

My parents always watch our Pom puppy when we are away.  So as soon as we get home I usually help Sweet with the unloading then I go and get our Pupperton.  I walk in my parent’s home and he is in the backyard with the other dogs.  When I say the other dogs, I mean my parents dogs, which are his mom, pop, grandmother and brother.  This is Oliver’s family.

I look through the screen door and call him, he comes running and jumps in my arms with licks and kisses.  The other dogs come running as well and are jumping at my feet.  I talk with my parents for a little bit with tales of our travels and they tell me about Pupperton’s fun, I put him in his travel crate and then we make our way home.  When I get home, Sweet and I give him a bath then he is usually tired and passes out from all the playing he did.

Sweet and I were traveling on and off this last week and as stated above the same ritual went on with the addition of my daughter’s dog that is Oliver’s aunt, who stayed with us for several days in between trips.  They played and slept and ate and it’s just a Pom festival!  Until Middle Kid comes to get her then he is alone with us and again passes out from the fun.

So this last time when I picked him up and watched them play through the screen door.  I made an offhanded comment to my mother saying that Oliver would be bored with us since he has been visiting a member of his family for the last two weeks and that he has a better relationship with his family than all of us!  Mom and I laughed then Pupperton and I left.  On my way home, I thought about what I had said and wondered if it were true. Mom didn’t deny it and my thoughts turned into memories of when I was little and how we used to go over to my aunts and uncles homes. Visiting and playing with cousins, spending weeks at a time in the summer, birthday parties, holidays, reunions, marriages and sadly funerals.  Then it all ended.  We grew up, grandparents passed, people moved, second generation began having children and families.  Jobs, school, successes and tribulations got in the way. 
Now all these years later, I have cousins that I don’t know.  Some of them, I don’t even know their names and they aren’t sure who I am either. Which is sad because I am also trying to keep my own family together.  It’s trying when this one is not speaking to that one, or someone said something that ticked another person off so much that a phone number is blocked from calling.  Alliances are formed then diverted, Facebook messages are sent that says somebody defriended you or you have been blocked from requesting them again. I could go on but I think you get it.

Please don’t get me wrong, we all still get together for the occasional wedding, we email and text the ones we still have a relationship with and of course the facebook.  But it’s not the same and I still have scars from the explosion that was my life and my children’s childhood.  I still get hairs on the back of my neck when I hear my kids talk about that side and how they are a family.  I want to shout out, so are we!!

I thought more about Oliver’s simple family when I nearly escaped the seduction that is my children’s fathers machine the other day.  I call it the W machine and it used to be a part of me and my family so I can tell you from experience it will roll along grabbing, snatching and snarling at anyone that dares to get in the way of it’s definition of a superior and all knowing family leadership and yet the bite always comes with a smile. 

I have been a part of this viciousness since I was sixteen and even after divorce and the remarriages, the machine continued to grow and the teeth got bigger and more righteous.   

Weird that all that time I thought that I had to live through those daily assaults from him and the new Mrs. W.  I actually thought that this was my life and I just had to be strong and deal with it, not that I was completely innocent in the opinion war.  HA!  Though me thinks great fodder for a yummy protaganist!

Not until I met this woman that had been leading a group I participated in, did I realize that I didn’t have to be.  We had started on a discussion of relationships, emotions and the social unit.  I brought up some stories of my life intending to help the person that started the discussion.  Then Whammo!

The instructor looked at me and plainly said, “You are in charge of your own emotions, no one can tell you how you should react to something nor judge you on it.”  I stopped cold.  Whaaaa?  How come no one told me that before?

She went on to say, “If I jumped on this desk and screamed, shouted and pointed to a mouse in the corner.  Would you yell at me to calm down and not act that way about seeing the mouse?  Or have your own emotion about the mouse?”

Of course I told her that I would probably jump up on the table also and yell louder than her while instructing the remaining souls on how to catch the mouse.  After I left the class, it resonated so loudly with me that I told Sweet about it and many others since.  I am allowed my own emotions! I have been freed!!   I will no longer have my actions defined by others and am free of the W machine.  As I was dancing with my scarf (saw it in a movie and thought is was time to use it) swirling in the kitchen and enjoying the release, Sweet asked in his infinite innocent way.  “Why would you think you had to answer to anyone?  Blah… (dancing stops and eyes look to the side) 

I tell you all this because I learned a few things about this thing called family with my new epiphany.  It doesn’t matter who is talking to who, who is right or wrong, who did all the work, who didn’t.  Opinions and gossip no longer rule the day.  In the simplest terms I note, a bloodline makes no difference, a family is the people closest to you to whom you care, hope and pray for, laugh and cry with, fight and love for no matter what. It’s all about who is running around the backyard with you panting, barking, biting and who’s arms you can jump into with licks and kisses!