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8.30.2010

A PLANE, A PRIEST AND NO WHERE TO SIT

Planes are interesting settings for social experiments.  People are crammed into each other's personal spaces coming from long days, eagerness to get somewhere, tragedy they are flying to or from, business, pleasure...  About a year and a half ago I was flying back from Texas from a job interview.  The plane back from Houston was at capacity and the only few dotted seats left were singles scattered here and there.  They were mostly middle seats:)  I sat down.  I watched this mom and dad and 5 year old boy enter the plane.  They looked uncomfortable (who isn't when you board a plane after everyone else) as the entire couple hundred passengers stared back at them.  The flight attendant told them there were no three seats together and that they would all have to sit separately.  Instantly the little boy began to sob and cling to his mom.  My heart couldn't take it.  No little 5 year old should have to be separated from a parent.  I spoke to the person who was sitting next to me on the plane and asked if he would be willing to give up his seat and I would give up my mine to the mom and the 5 year old.  He agreed.  I went to the front of the plane where the crying boy still stood frightened and told the flight attendant there were now two seats together.    Now I began to feel uncomfortable like this family.  Every eye was watching me.  The flight attendant told me there were several single seats in the back of the plane.  So, I head back there.  I can see the looks on people's faces who have an available middle seat next to them, "Please, don't sit here, please...I want the extra room."  So, in the awkwardness I loudly and laughingly said to the rear of the plane, "Ok, who really, really wants me to sit by them!?"  It broke the ice and several offered.   I sat down between an older gentleman and a very nice young single gal.  Her and I began to chat it up (it's what I do).  Soon that flight attendant came to tell me she had found an aisle seat and wanted me to have it.  How kind.  How gracious.  I followed her to it after thanking the rear of the plane for temporarily hosting me.  I sit down in the now 3rd seat that I've been in on this packed plane.  The gentleman next to me in the middle seat is a priest who is already sound asleep before we have taxied down the runway.  He never awakens as I sit down, we take off and or begin to climb altitude.  I'm thinking it will be a quiet flight home.  It was far from a quiet flight.  In fact, it was without doubt the most turbulent flight I've ever been on.  The priest continues to sleep undisturbed by some pretty violent turbulence.  At one point, the roughest moment, when I thought, "Wow, I'm not sure we are going to live through this.", I just grab his arm for comfort.  No, I don't mean that I touched it or grabbed his hand.  I quickly and firmly slipped my whole arm underneath his, grabbed a hold of him and leaned in closely.  Well, nothing like a woman touching a priest to bring him to:)  I realized what I had done and was embarrassed that I not only touched, but grabbed him and woke him up.  He opened his eyes (seeing me for the first time since I sat down next to him) and smiled.  I tried to explain that I forgot where I was sitting and wasn't near anyone that I knew.  So glad was I that I did grab him because for the next few hours this 70+ year old priest and I had the most interesting conversations you could ever imagine.  We talked freely about God, what he knew about God, what he said he didn't know and was ok with not knowing, what it means to be changed by Christ.  He shared his life growing up in Italy with me, what becoming a priest in Italy means/what surrounds it, his family, going to school, his friends who became priests....  He told me of coming to the U.S. 25 years previous and how he was the administrator of two boys schools - one on the east coast and one in Houston.  I shared very little of my own life, but how funny God must be to put a protestant pastor's wife next to an Italian Catholic priest and she then nearly climb on top of him.  That brought a huge smile to his face.  He asked me sitting there what I thought my gifts were.   I said, "Well....".  But before I could even get it out, he answered for me. "You have the gift of people.  I have sat by you, me a relatively quiet, shy priest, and you have proceeded to get me to tell you things I never speak about.  Let alone with a total stranger.  You lady, have the gift of people."    I think about that man, how I jumped several seats to get placed next to him, how he had confirmed my decision to take that job, had given me comfort, had amazingly great stimulating conversation with and how he had affirmed me.  Next time I need to give up a seat on a plane, it's a wild adventure I don't want to miss out on and one I think God orchestrates.

8.29.2010

KISS AND TELL

I have always thought about kissing.  To be quite frank, I have always loved kissing.   I though, think about it more lately - from a different perspective, a different place in life....single again.  Trying to make a concerted effort to be more deliberate in what I think...strolling through topics and pausing or picnicking as it were on them:)   I was not one of those people who only kissed the person I married.  Possibly a source of a small regret in my life, but it is what it is.  So, I enter this subject from a wide variety of experiences.  My first kiss was in 2nd grade, chased down on the playground by a toe headed boy named Troy.  He only got me on the cheek and later gave me a necklace that my mom required I give back.  I realized at 7 there was something magical in a kiss - wild almost, freeing, and mysterious.  My second kiss was from a boy I grew up  & went to church with.  He was a great guy, but there was no magic for me with him.  He kissed me awkwardly and quickly in my garage (I was not participating in this one) while extolling his love to me.  I felt bad as I tried to explain that I valued his friendship and growing up with him, but that I didn't share those feelings for him.  Thankfully he didn't hold it against me and we remained friends all through school.  He married a great girl.  It seems that all through my high school years I dated people who I just didn't feel a soul or heart connection to, with the exception of one.  And, they nearly all kissed me:)  Maybe more accurately I should take part of the blame and say, I also let them.  Some were especially bad at the art of kissing.  I mean very bad.  Three in particular come to mind (initials only!); R-much like a frog, M-too contrived, S-well, let's just say the word YUCK took on a whole new meaning.  There were others that were mediocre and I just have no real outstanding memory either way - good or bad, just non-descript.   There were a couple who somehow had captured the art of kissing either by great practice or they were just given a great gift - much like music in which you either have it or you don't.  To have the gift you kind of also have to be vaguely unaware of how it works, but that it just flows.  You can have a magical kiss with someone you don't necessarily have a soul connection to.  But, that soul connection ingredient intensifies the kiss.  B (again initials only) was that kind of a person - no real connection to him, but technically great.  One could get lost in that technicality easily.  And I did - many times.  But, your soul always craves something greater.  B though came after D and still wasn't even in the ball park of D.  A girl (or at least this one) can tell in a kiss what a guy thinks and wants, whether he is taking, or giving, speaking something or any combination of the above.   How can one know all that in a kiss?  I don't know but I did.  D was that person for me.  No one before him and no one after could kiss like that - or speak so many things in a kiss.  There wasn't trying or contriving or manufacturing.  It was simply purely giving, taking, silently speaking, connecting, listening, playing, imploring, wanting more all rolled into his magic art of kissing.  Trust me I have tried my whole life to stop that feeling in my head about him - what his magic kisses did to me.  I dated others, got married, lived a life, had a child, had some great experiences, some horrific ones, some successes in my life and got unmarried but have not been able to erase that connection to him, his spirit, his mind or his art of kissing.  So all these 25+ years later I still in my soul, mind and spirit have an Ode To D that is surrounded by magical orchestra music highlighted by strings:)  I continue to play it.  Hoping someday to meet back up with the magical conductor of this symphony.  His music really is unlike any other.

8.28.2010

LITTLE FINGER INTELLEGENCE

My dad is a Type A personality.  Always has been.  And even though age mellows us all, he always will be.  He has said and done some funny things over the years.  He wouldn't think he was being funny or was even aware of the comedic material he has given me and my sisters.  When you are a Type A - choleric personality (I know I have some of it too) you think very quickly.  Sometimes my dad, having already known the answer to something and, virtually everything, would say - while holding up his pinkie finger, "Why, I have more intelligence in my little finger than they do in their whole body."  I don't know if it was purely to clearly state his role as Mufassa, King of the Mental Jungle as much as to point out that particular person was not smart at all (at least comparatively).  Whenever he said it growing up I would have a mixture of reactions; amazement that he would be so proud and arrogant and, irreverent laughter that was welling up in me.  Throughout my life I have used that gesture and statement in sarcastic fun with my sisters and good friends.  My dad's name is Walter but whenever I have told that story and pretty much any story of my dad to others, I refer to him as "Wally".  It just makes the story way more fun:)  My dad also has a disconnect between people who do not speak English and the volume of his voice when trying to converse with them.  Oh, I have witnessed my Dad's voice getting louder and louder and slower and slower as he attempts to bridge the language barrier.  I want to say, "They are not deaf, but merely speak another language!"  It's probably a good thing he never was an Ambassador or anything of the sorts.  He had a saying when I was growing up that was repeated more times than I actually can count or care to recall.  It went like this (and since my dad had been in non-active military duty he did it in cadence), "Good, better, best.  Never let it rest till the good is better and the better is best."  I hated that sing song sermon.  Still do:)  If you say it while holding up your pinkie finger it comes across as cocky ass arrogance and bondage.  My dad was also a strange mix of occasionally saying words funny, like - business was bid ness.  Even funnier since he was a bidness man all his life and of white Eastern European descent!!  And for the word gums (like in your mouth - pronounced with an uh in the middle), dad would invariable say GUMS (short u sound similar to moo)  My sisters and I would look at each other, smile and one by one leave the room to laugh!  He sings horrifically off key and loud (much like when he speaks to a foreigner).  He, in this arena, is keenly aware of his lack of singing ability.  He runs with it though just to be funny.  Church was a study in both laughter and punishment.  My dad would sing loudly, very loudly off key and look over at me and wink.  In the next moment though, if I was squirming or not paying attention he would reach his hand and flick me in the head with two fingers - his way of saying "Knock It Off!".   He loved Sen-Sens, the little black licorice  - can we say breath mints - and so church was a combination of giggling, intimidation, a weird smell of black licorice and, freshly polished shoes.  The anticipation of getting to church and the ride to church were, in and of itself, titillating - if I may say so:)  My dad was prompt and fast.  After he was dressed and ready and thought that everyone else should be too (there were 4 women sharing 1 bathroom), he proceeded to the car in the garage.  If we did not quickly emerge on his timetable, he would commence honking at intervals.  Once we had piled into the green Buick heading the 3 miles to church my father, with a glint in his eye (only one as he is legally blind in the other), would reach across the front seat and squeeze my mother's boob.  He would get this little devilish look on his face and accompanying the gesture would come the words, "honk, honk".   He would then grin with pride and look at us girls in the back seat where we were almost hypnotically trying to prepare for bad singing, being flicked in the head and the smell of Sen-Sens.  My mom would say "Sam!" - that was her pet name for him.  Come to think of it - it was a generic pet name because he too used to call her Sam.  My dad (& mom) fresh with the recent boob honking from the drive to church once drove home and left all three of us girls at church.  Of course we were all bawling.  Now that I am an adult I have two thoughts; 1) how do you forget 3 children you brought with you and, 2) sometimes you just need some alone time as a couple in the middle of the day on a Sunday:)   Wally wants to know whose bid ness is it anyway?

8.27.2010

"THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!" said Henny Penny with great alarm.

Henny Penny was a children's book when I was a kid.  The premise was that Henny Penny (who by the way was a chicken) was an alarmist, a worrier, a fatalist who always went around squawking that the sky was falling.  In reality it really wasn't.  I'm her today.  A little bit of gray seeped in on me today, and then the dark clouds rolled in across my horizon and well, pretty soon a full-fledged storm was a brewing in my mind and spirit.  How did I let that happen?  It's like I was sitting on a lily pad with my negative-gray thought and then I just hopped to the next lily pad for the next one.  Before long I was lost in a sea of worry, regret and fear.   I am worrying today about a job that can provide an income I need to live for the first time in 25 years alone.  I worry about a job that will have benefits and provide me the ability to one day retire with some money.  I am worrying about what if that doesn't happen.   I worry that I am alone - not scared but realizing the burden lies on me.  I worry that my parents who are struggling with my divorce will continue to be distant and disengaged.  I worry that if I get sick and can't work what will I do.  I worry that my car will break down.  I worry that my furnace will go out.  Straight from worry I hopped right to regret.  I regret that I didn't financially plan for a divorce (is that possible).  I regret that I wasn't able to evoke change in my marriage or mate or at times, even myself.  I regret choices that I made early in my life that were destructive.   I regret that somehow I couldn't maybe articulate or it wasn't enough to make my mate want me or love me.   I regret the marshmallow that I ate over the campfire at my sister's tonight (although it was good).  I regret I didn't finish college to give myself a better skill set for a job.  I regret that I didn't stand up and say no to living a very difficult life when I was 19.  I regret that at times I had to squelch the true me for the world I was in.  Oh and after I wallowed in worry and regret I let fear completely take over.  What if all that I am doing will make my life even worse than it was before?  I fear I will have to move in with my parents to survive.  I fear the mountain before me is far too big for me to get over.  I fear never having someone to love me enough to think more of me than them.  I fear not being able to be significant in what I do - relationally, career wise and with writing.  I fear my dad will say I told you so.  I fear sometimes that I have changed the way people look at God through me.  I fear that my separated mate will decide to become a stinker in this divorce.  I also fear that his life will not be ok.  I fear the first time I go on a date - with deadly fear.  I fear that I won't let anyone in to love me.  I fear that I really am not as intelligent, gritty and full of charm as I think I am.  I fear that I don't really have that much to offer.  Today my soon to be divorced husband came to sign a paper.  I didn't do well.   He said my hair was beautiful and that he regretted not taking care of me and being consumed with himself (I have heard that a few times throughout the marriage).   The only thing I could do was fight back the tears as they spilled out of my eyes.  The hurt is still there.  I know that this is the right thing to do as I have lived with his regrets for 25 years, but they never ever led to change.   He said he knew it was time to move on and I know that too.  It's just then the gray cloud moved in and well so came worry, regret and then fear.  Tomorrow will be better.  I am parking my mind on what I do know and letting what I can't control, change or do over not dominate me.  And, I am trying to cast away my hurt and let it loose.  Today I lost my groove.  Tomorrow Henny Penny, the sun will be back. 

8.26.2010

CUP O' JOE

Once in awhile I meet someone who says, "I never in my whole life drank coffee."  Hmmmm, I think to myself, "How sad."   Sometimes a cashier in the grocery store will scan my bag of coffee and comment, "Oh that smells so good.  I love the smell but don't like to drink it."  My first real exposure to good coffee came while in Puerto Rico.  That's where I garnered my great love of smooth coffee and ever so much cream.  There, good strong coffee is brewed and whole milk is heated to scalding and the two are mixed - ratio of 2/3 coffee and at least 1/3 hot milk.  That wonderful coffee drink was no doubt the forerunner to Starbucks and every other coffee shop's Cafe Breve.   They do coffee right In Puerto Rico, but haven't seemed to financially benefit from the original introduction of this now coffee house standard.  That was it for me....I was addicted!  I have tried all different brands of coffee in hopes of finding something so smooth and creamy that I would not need the cream  - one of my 3 vices (and please it has to be real half & half, none of that artificial sugary crappy creamer concoction!).  Don't brew it like tea either.  My mom does that...you can literally see the bottom of the cup!  She knows I like it strong so now she says, "Lynn, you make the coffee."  Thanks mom - do you have cream??  Some coffee drinkers are like B-rated movies - since they never tasted good coffee they keep drinking Folgers or Maxwell house or coffee in a restaurant.  Please!!  When I started my last job my boss on my first day said, "Would you like a cup of coffee?"  Oh I wanted one for sure, but I had seen that he had made Folgers.  If that wasn't bad enough he just took the container and dumped till he thought it looked like enough.   I aptly responded, "No, I'm a one or two cup of coffee a day person.  Had mine at home."   Finally when I could no longer take not having good coffee at work I brought in a bag of my favorite coffee, Jamaican Me Crazy by Christopher Bean.  I brewed a pot one day and made him drink it.  He loved it and says he could instantly tell a difference over his cheap and tawdry Folgers.  In fact, he now has a hard time drinking yucky coffee at meetings and restaurants...my job is complete:)  I am most impressed with people who can drink it black, no nothing, just pound down a cup straight up.  My grandma drank coffee constantly - straight up black.  That is until she was in her 80's and developed an ulcer and had to give up caffeinated coffee (that's another point - decaf!).  There was always a pot of coffee on at grams and she always had a cup poured.   I once had a friend who loved coffee so much that if he left some in a cup on the coffee table overnight, he'd just get up the next morning and microwave it....iridescent film and all.  If you don't use cream in your coffee you just don't understand it.  That is most people don't.  Starbucks is another thing.  You either love it or you hate - much like Neil Diamond or Charro.  It tastes as though they have collected all the ashtrays from around the world and roasted their coffee beans in them.  And then, they charge you for such a delicacy!  A marketing genius is what I think.   I've had people say too, "I don't like flavored coffee.  Only plain."  They are the same people who I think go to Baskin Robbins and order vanilla ice cream.  People who don't drink coffee really should never make it for company just to be a good host - it will be horrible.  I've tried to give it up a time or two - actually had several ulcers myself.  I've even tried the health food store coffee alternatives made with dates, figs, barley, tomato worms and I believe bits of saw dust.... it just wasn't real good:)  There is also something to be said about sitting with a friend and talking and laughing over a cup of coffee.  Almost magical.  The day I filed for divorce I went back to my office and my boss (who now only makes the good stuff at work and drinks it black) had a steaming cup of coffee waiting for me on my desk - with just the perfect amount of real half & half in it.  It was his version of a hug.  He told me later that he was trying to replicate the right color in my cup and had to start over once after making it way too light tanish!   There isn't much better on earth than a piece of homemade pecan pie and a good cup of coffee, heavy on the cream please.  Did someone say pie??     

8.25.2010

GET SMART MOMENTS

I really am trying to get smart.  Along the way to smartness I've done some really dumb things.  In fact, I penned the speech and spoke at my high school commencement - that riveting speech was entitled, "Successful Failures". (That's also the event where my mom's camera broke and there are no pictures of me giving that momentous speech.  But then again I am the youngest and there are really no recorded pictures of me anyway.  There isn't anything too thrilling that needs to be recorded by the time you have child #3!). I'm thinking at 17 I hadn't had as many failures or "get smart" moments as I have collected now at age 44.  Let me start at the beginning.  Some people are just smarter automatically and then others (of us) aren't.  There could possibly be a third category of sometimes smart and sometimes dumb people - I don't really know.  When I was a little kid I had four loves; my bike, the great outdoors, reading and possibly my doll.  That get smart moment occurred when I decided to combine my great loves into one event knowingly called disaster.  I finagled my doll stroller to the back of my banana seat bike with a rope, grabbed my favorite book at the time and decided to ride down the road.  Well, do you know how hard it is to pedal, hold the handlebars with one hand, focus your eyes on the words on the page while your doll is being thrown about behind you.  Let's just say I soon was off the bike laying in the ditch.  Before you think I really learned something - try again.  I decided it just needed to be perfected.  So I tried it a bit different.  Same result.  Really I believe that's why I can't wear mini-skirts:)....too many falls on my knees.  And if you get in trouble for your mom seeing you hit your sister, do it when she's not looking and then look innocent as only a youngest sibling can. There was also the time I drove myself to a school event in the dead of winter with no drivers license because my friend forgot to pick me up. I didn't think through it well though.  Cars get snowy and wet from driving in the winter and then they drip on the garage floor.  BUSTED I was.  If I remember right that's when my father had the, "are you on drugs" conversation with me.  Of course then there was the time when during my senior year in high school I was in the parking lot of school in my dad's Ford Mustang with a couple of girlfriends.  We were simply joy riding up and down the aisles of parked cars when another friend decided to do a "Duke's Of Hazard"  roll across the hood of a moving vehicle.  It didn't work.  The windshield shattered, injury ensued and we all got called into the Principal's office.  Still I continued to not get smart.  Another time I took my dad's motorcycle out for a drive (this time he told me to meet him somewhere) and my favorite ball cap blew off.  I wasn't about to lose that ball cap, I loved it.  My get smart moment came when a too young and small 16 year old girl tried to stop and turn the motorcycle around in the road.  It was too heavy and down I went with it on me.  I was rescued by some farmer who pulled the bike off me - both bike and girl were unharmed in that get smart moment.   Of course there was the time when me and a girlfriend decided to ride our neighbor's horses -neither of us being equestrian kind of girls.  Both of our horses for whatever reason took off running at full speed with us screaming and clutching their necks.  That get smart moment was very much like the motorcycle - horses are big!  My next get smart moment came at a pool party my freshman year.  Note to self:  If you dive off the diving board in a bathing suit that doesn't have a strap around your neck it will not stay up.  But, you won't know it right away when you surface until you see several guys getting an eye full.   Yet another pool moment....skinny dipping is great, great fun until your friend's little brother decides to spy on you.  What about dating?  If you have to triple date with your sister and a friend and their dates because well, you don't really want to go with this guy - you shouldn't go.  And when he falls off his chair backwards in the restaurant you get smart about saying no next time he asks you out.  If you see road workers who seem to be troweling cement at an intersection and have cones set up, drive where they aren't and where the wet cement isn't.   Honeymoons are real eye openers.  I locked our keys in the car twice during the first week of our marriage.  Cars were still able to be broke into with a hanger back then or a kind hearted police officer.   And underwear...I would suggest not wearing underwear with little blue bunnies on them on your wedding day with no slip under your wedding dress....I ended up going commando:)    If your house catches on fire and you have to quickly figure out what to run out with, maybe you should take more than just your toothbrush.  Although I have great oral hygiene.  If you try to turn and move a small boulder by yourself that weighs oh I don't know, say 500 pounds, you will injure your shoulder.  It will hurt for at least a year.  Not that I have done that:)   When burning what appears to be completely dead poison ivy, beware!  YOU WILL GET IT BAD FOR AN ENTIRE SUMMER!   When doing your own remodeling projects be cognizant of physical and geographical boundaries.  One should never stand on the tank part of a toilet that is no longer bolted to the floor.  There are such things as ladders.  It will tip and you will seriously injure yourself and require multiple surgeries - you won't hold a knife properly or play octaves right ever again.   And, always if you are not a licensed electrician do not attempt to crawl around in the attic for 3 hours .  There is not enough pain medicine or trips to the chiropractor to get you fixed.   Never take a 2 year old on a school bus with a load of high schoolers on a straight through drive to Florida.   Daytona Beach with MTV's famous Wet T-Shirt Contest is not the place for a high school youth group on spring break.   And if you decide to go on a bicycle trip remember that riding 60 miles in a day is rough, but even rougher when you go to climb on the bike the next day for the next 60 miles.  Ouch!    

8.24.2010

SHE AIN'T HEAVY, just one brick shy of a load

Do you recall phrases such as; "She's one brick shy of a load" or, "One fry short of a Happy Meal", "Their elevator doesn't go to the top floor", or "The lights are on but no one's home"?   -  Overly used cliches implying the lack of intelligence or less than ness of a person.  I thought about that recently in light of my "change of life" (I don't mean menopause either), divorce.  Having lived for 25 years with ingrained patterns of living and thinking and being, I am wanting to purposefully lighten the load.   I am coming to know that there is a magic hidden in those cliches.  Less Is Better.  Lots of things I can think of are better when less of them.  Weighing less is better - you feel better, look better and might live longer.  Owning less stuff is better too - less to keep track of/manage/fix/store/clean/move.  Offering less than asking price is better - you save money.  Sometimes less ingredients are better too - more cleanly sharply tasting food.    What about my heart and mind?  How am I going to get rid of stuff - to make it less, to clean it out?  I coined a phrase recently, "let my crazy loose".   I have been letting things out of my heart and mind that have been stuck in there for many, many years.  It is cathartically and magically freeing and healing.  Why did I not freely release years ago these thoughts, feelings and decisions that have let my crazy loose?  It's amazing how when you sit and look over your life backwards how myopic you become.  This is what I discovered in the past few weeks about myself and my decisions and thoughts over the last 25-30 years.
  • The way I was raised and who I was created to be to flourish had a bit of a collision course as a teenager.  
  • From the ages of 16-22 you pretty much only know how to react and not thoroughly consciously act.
  • I didn't want to go to the college my parents made me go to or major in what they wanted me to major in.
  • I loved someone deeply who chose to marry another and I reacted to that with my own decisions that were destructive and did not flourish my life.  I still love that person and always will.
  • I married because of wanting to escape college and cover my hurt of losing the person I truly loved. 
  • That's all the wrong reasons to marry someone.
  • At 19 you aren't smart enough to put those pieces all together.
  • Creativity and spark are diminished when operating in heaviness.
  • You cannot make your spouse have a meaningful relationship with you or anyone else.
  • I am gritty and can endure.
  • Rivlets of pleasure can carry us for periods of time.
  • I am extremely uninhibited and free spirited and am recapturing the fullness of those things.
  • I want to experience more of life than I did in my first half - even if it is without marriage.
  • I wish I would have clearly known what I know now back then so with vision I could have made different choices.
  • I have to forgive myself for being young and not being able to fully see - to only react and not even know I was doing it.
  • I want deep intellectual, soul charging relationships of all kinds and eventually one that includes deep passion.
  • I can't undo the stuff behind me. 
  • I can't live for others or their expectations or to accommodate their emotional or spiritual grid. 
  • I can only live to fulfill who God made me to be.  I'm figuring that out presently and plan to spend the rest of my life dancing in it.
  • Sisters, brother-in-laws, close friends, bosses and just those special people in your life all constitute this redefined form of a family.
  • I will flourish.
  • Words are healing - to think them, write them and speak them.
  • I have to write words.
  • I probably no doubt at times failed the person I was married to - how to let that go knowing I did the best I could.
  • Holding something huge inside for too long is painful.
  • Releasing something held for years and years is liberating, magical and dance worthy.
  • I love myself.  I mean I LOVE MYSELF.
  • I still have quite a bit of sexy in and around me even in my forties.
  • Telling people who truly love you bad news or disappointing things about your life or yourself doesn't turn out as bad as you think it will.  Those who truly love you want you to win in life and stand right there with you.
  • Irreverence and laughter is a huge part of me.
  • Thinking great thoughts, reading great books, having stimulating conversations that challenge my mind, experiencing great music, feeling things deeply, creatively expressing myself through words, pushing my body physically, experiencing God through my voyage daily, thinking openly and freely, throwing my head back in laughter, leaving someone better for having been in my presence, combining both reverence and irreverence to view and experience life, loving my friends and family fiercely.....all things that define who I am.
  • I would like to someday quit looking back as much and merely look forward.
  • I made it out.  I really did it.

Really looking forward to being one brick shy of a load now:)

8.23.2010

THE LOOK, THE FEEL OF COTTON

I bought new underwear the other day. It wasn't because I necessarily desperately needed to have new ones - I just splurged.  Most of the old pairs, barring several, had all or most of the elastic intact and were free of holes.  It's part of this new life I am encountering - newly single and new underwear!   It was a bit of stimuli overload standing in the "intimate" department perusing the racks of panties.  Never I guess did I fully realize there were so many kinds, fabric textures, and wow - sizes!!  If we don't already advertise our rear ends just by walking around the earth in front of others, we now have the privilege of clearly declaring our underwear size to the cashier also.  I wondered after I made my purchase and walked away if the cashier turned and thought, "Yep, she looks like a 6."  Or maybe she thought, "No way that **s will fit in those!"  I am a texture and feel kind of girl.  I can't just look at the underwear, I have to feel it.  Then, I envision that fabric either easily sliding against my jeans or causing friction and riding up to the hither regions.  Such a momumental hinge sort of decision.  When I was a kid my mom hung out everything on the clothesline - and I mean EVERYTHING!  There flapping in the spring, summer and fall breezes were an array of panties - 3 children, my dads and hers...all different sizes, shapes and patterns.  Cotton "Grannie" panties that came nearly up to her neck hung neatly on the line.  I always thought as full-sized as they were it must have been like wearing a pair of school issued gym shorts under your clothes.   Since I adhere to the less is better philosophy in most areas of my life, underwear has to meet that criteria.  Years ago I decided to venture outside of "me" and try the thong.  I gave it whirl for a time at the urging of a friend who said, "Give it time, you will come to love them and you won't have pantie lines."  Well, I gave it time and she was right - magically no pantie line - but hated a thin string wedged constantly in my crack at all times:)   Besides that, I felt my cheeks were just far too exposed.  When weather is inclement I run inside in my basement on the treadmill.  I get so overly hot when running that it's more comfortable to run in my underwear, a sports bra and tennis shoes (no socks please) with the fan blowing full force on me.  Before this newly single stage of my life my criteria for new underwear was based on whether they stayed up while running.  There were multiple times when the underwear was losing elasticity and literally slid down my legs as I was running.  So, I hopped off the treadmill, whipped them off and climbed back on.  Do you think it could be a new venue in the Olympics - Partially Nude Treadmilling?  Well, there I stood rifling through the underwear racks - what to buy this round.  So, based on my love of simple I chose very thin cotton bikinis to wear with low slung pants that you don't want bunches of underwear hanging above.  And, boy shorts purely because standing in front of the dressing room mirror my butt looked pretty damn good in them.  Of course you guessed it no bows, lace or polka dots for me - only tan, white and black.   Haven't broke them in on the treadmill yet - just waiting for winter. 

8.22.2010

WHO DOES THAT?

I have used the phrase "who does that" so often over the years that it really has become one of my trademarks.  So unaware was I that it frequently flowed out of me that soon close friends of mine would repeat it smiling and mockingly saying, "Who does that Lynn?:)".  I began to be hyper aware of what prompted me to use those three words.  I used it for all kinds of things.  For inanimate objects I saw that made no logical sense, people's decorating tastes, weird clothes on a rack in a store that I couldn't fathom someone in New York said was in style - let alone anyone would buy.  I said it over adults who drove mopeds and especially over teenage boys who drove them with their chick on the back.  I said it all the time over people who must be lacking depth perception and pull out in front of you while you are going 65 mph.  Always did I say it when I saw those ridiculous geese statues perched on a porch, the ones with seasonal clothing on them - and, the huge metal stars that some like to affix to the outside of their houses - or when I saw someone in the north flying a confederate flag...or having more doo dads in their yard than should be allowed by the neighbors, the local governing authorities or their respective state.  I said it when people's behavior was so selfish, hurtful or destructive that it blew my mind and I could think of no other thing to say.  When I saw an overly tattooed person in their youth I said it wondering how all those tattoos would look when they are 70.  "Who does that" angrily oozed from my lips over parents who scream at their kids in the store or don't correct them when they should.  I said it when Mel Gibson let racist comments be the thing that people now remember about him, not some of the great movies he made.  Or when at the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a former staffer claimed years earlier he said, "there is a pubic hair on my can of coke".  I said it whenever I saw someone driving a hummer - a sign of American over indulgence.  When President Clinton said, "I did not have sex with that women." - I said it.  The first time I attempted to watch "Shindler's List" I also said it just before I ran from the room bawling.  I said it when my then college age daughter got her nose pierced and I went to see her and she had a big hoop in it (I also mooed like a cow at her).   I said it when watching television evangelists that touted wealth instead of realness.  Definitely it rolled off my lips when OJ was acquitted for murder but years later convicted over theft charges.  When people's opulence seemed so self indulgent that they had lost their grip of a hurting humanity, I said it.  When I saw Las Vegas for the first time I think I said it and just shook my head.  And, as I stood overlooking the Grand Canyon it quietly slipped through my lips without the usual sarcasm that accompanies that magical phrase - that day I said it in pure wonderment.

8.21.2010

LIPSTICK and THE NON-COLORS OF BLACK, WHITE AND TAN

As noted in previous posts, I am relatively simple - oh not of the mind, but of the physical trappings of life.  I don't have a whole list of things I absolutely have to have to live.  I do though, have a few; lipstick and all clothing black, white or tan.  My love of lipstick started years ago and was passed down to me through my maternal grandmother who had a love affair with lipstick.  As a kid I would go to gram's house and she would let me open her top dresser drawer to see the magnificent display of tubes of lipstick - dozens of them. I would open them all, gently turn them up and place them in a row on top of the dresser.  The colors were amazing -  bright, shiny, dewy, frosty, matte, glimmery and glittery.  Some colors reminded me of things, like;  candy apples, a peach, pieces of coral, sand, cotton candy, clowns and the wax musuem statues I'd seen.  My gram's lipsticks all came to an amazing point - almost like a high heel.   Carefully I would apply one color at time and stand in front of the mirror to see it's color against my skin, wipe it off, and try the next one.    My dad had a philosophy on makeup when I was a kid that seemed well, harsh - "If the barn needs painting, well then paint it!"  For me, less is always more.  I wear relatively little makeup - an eyebrow pencil, a touch of mascara, a bit of eyeliner sometimes, but always lipstick.  I can rise on a Saturday morning throw on a baseball cap, slip on my running shoes but before I head out to do my miles I must have lipstick on.  My sisters have promised me that if I die before them they will make sure I have lipstick on that compliments my sallow palid death complexion.  I have also made them promise that they will bury me in something white, tan or black - commonly referred to as "the colors of Lynn's rainbow".   Also, no frilly blouses or turtlenecks please.  And, I don't want socks on either as I do not like socks.  They inhibit me:)  I've got afterlife plans that I don't want impeded with unnecessary socks.   If I want people to know me in death as they saw me in life, it's best to stick to the basics - lipstick, black, white, or tan, no socks and a great pair of high heels (bottom of casket open please!).

8.19.2010

I'M HOPING ANDY ROONEY RETIRES SOON or at least trims his eyebrows!

When I was a senior in high school people constantly asked me, "What are you going to with your life?".  I would answer honestly, "I have no idea."  I was never one of those kids who knew from the time I was 5 that I wanted to be a nurse, a teacher, a veterinarian, a lawyer, an actress, an astronaut, a professional wrestler or a zoo keeper.   What I did know from the time I was a kid but couldn't quite formulate into anything concrete was I loved nature, exercising, thinking, words, and talking.  My sisters used to tell me I looked like one of the local female newscasters.  So, with that in my head I would picture myself sitting behind the news desk reading the news.  It didn't stick because I couldn't be overly serious for very many minutes at a time and that is probably a requirement when reading a sad news story.  How could I have a job that combined all my loves together?  Why could I never quite get it figured out?  I loved to express what I thought or felt so I decided to be a creative writing major in college, but my very concrete father said, "You can't make a living with that.  Only a few people ever do."  It may have been his way of saying I wasn't good at it or probably he was trying to be practical.  Passion is not always practical I'm finding out with age - but it is freeing and meaningful which makes it way more valueable than money.  Maybe this huge "change" of married to unmarried in my life has caused me to pause and reignite passion again in many areas.  So I look back at what I have always loved and wildly fling open the door to expression after being safe and orderly.  Somebody once said, "Youth is wasted on the young."  So true.  I was young and clueless on how to know who I was and run with passion and scissors:)   So I'm giving CBS notice - Andy Rooney is getting up there in age and, his eyebrows now nearly cover his eyes (I will need a trademark but not eyebrows!).  He has ruled "60 Minutes" for too many years.  His quips and Andyisms on everything are good.  But, I think I would like his job.  It would combine my love of thinking things from an unusual point of view, writing about them and then delivering the product into a camera with some humor and sarcasm.  So what do you think CBS - got room for a rookie with no experience?  Think I'll polish up my resume and send my blog to them.  I'll make sure though to not run this one by my dad first.   If this doesn't work for me, what do you think --stand-up comedy or writing greeting cards?

8.18.2010

REAL WORDS, MADE UP WORDS AND WORDS I DON'T LIKE

Is it possible to love words?  If it is, then I do.  Form or mode of delivery is relatively immaterial to me - words on paper, on a screen, floating through the air enroute to my ears, coming out of my mouth, or in my head.  How do you clearly and distinctly describe someone with words?  My sisters and I wrote down a list of words that describe me.  It went something like this; natural, simple, free, wide-open, cotton, coasting, unencumbered, out of the box, original, irreverent, naughty, funny, risky, unstructured, gritty, improvisable, full of flavor, real, deep, intuiative, quick minded.  We, of course only made the list of positives - time was limited:)  Those words of me paint a picture.  That's why I love words - they give me the ability to see something in my head or feel something inside, to form a thought, an opinion, experience a moment, clearly define something, see someone else's heart or mind, and express from the inside outward.  Words too are catalysts to create more words to think or say.  There are though, words I don't like.  They leave an after taste of overuse or vagueness - like; process, contemplate, path, relationship, lover, dimension, inner being, solidify, facilitate, leadership, signage, monies and sorry.    I am the queen of analogies - pictures to paint in someone's head to not only tell them, but show them what you mean.  Sometimes words hurt, sometimes they heal, sometimes they set us free or teach us - they are though always expressing something. I have an uncle who uses such big unknown words when he writes to me I have to get out the dictionary to translate.  Some people know way more words than others - they have huge vats of them and are constantly bringing out a new fairly unused one.  Texting causes us to use less and less words for ease of communicating.  Sad for a word lover.  Sometimes when I can't quite come up with the exact word I combine words with different endings to create just the right one. Periodically I can fool someone into thinking it's a real word:)  Today someone used their newly created word on me -conversationating- and I loved it!  When I die, I want someone to make sure they write a long quote on my headstone - to salute my love of words!  And, tomorrow to be thoroughly fair in my description of me, I should write my list of negative words that describe me.  Although surely it wouldn't be nearly as lengthy as the positives:) 

8.17.2010

HOW DO I DO THIS AGAIN? I HAVE FORGOTTEN. Can someone remind me!

There are flavors in life:  the taste of creme brulee' on a spoon sliding off on your tongue, a fresh papaya eaten in Hawaii-cut in half dug out with a spoon, the first snow of the season on your face, a good run with sweat dripping off your skin, the smell of honeysuckle, a book that takes you somewhere in your mind that you hesitate to want to leave, a bad cup of coffee, the look of polyester and being asked out on a date after a 25 year stint on the bench.  I don't know how to respond to the invitation of a date properly, let alone go on one.  This is a flavor I am not familiar with.  I want to scream, "Please leave me alone and go away!  I'm presently broken, fragile, untrusting, frightened, and have no desire to go in a canoe or out to dinner with you."  Instead I seem to murmur ridiculous things like, "I have plans.  Thanks."  "Yeah I love the outdoors, but don't have extra clothes with me right now.  Maybe another time."  So, why can it not be proper etiquette to say, "There is no way in hell that I would ever go anywhere with you even if I was strong enough emotionally to."  At 16 it's part of the game and you play, moving your game piece.  In your forties you don't know how to play the game any longer, plus there are now pieces missing to your board game.   This is new and way too big.  You know I feel much safer watching the game from the bench.  It would take a multi-billion dollar contract to move me off the bench:) 

8.16.2010

SOMETIMES WOMEN WIG ME OUT, except Dorothy, my sisters, and possibly Barbara Bush - all political leanings aside:)

I am a woman.  Always have been.  Even though my dad says I was supposed to be a boy and they were going to name me Nathaniel - I surfaced the womb as a girl.    I don't like most things women sometimes like; shopping, scrapbooking, talking about hair & makeup, fashion, home interior parties, getting my nails done, or other various assorted "women" things.  But, I am a girl even though I might be more comfortable doing "man" associated things --being outside, challenging myself mentally and physically, thinking manishly decisively, puttering with tools, home improvement projects, being real at face value and loving bacon (yes the meat from a pig).  Women are work (and I am one too)...never getting to the point or giving too much information away too quickly, quick to get stuck on the insignificant trivial droppings that can easily swell into a huge dung pile.  Men are men - they are who they are sometimes unashamedly.  Women are women with a whole list of what and who they would rather be.  It's both exhausting to be one sometimes and to be around them....Except for Dorothy-queen of irreverence & laughter, my two sisters-reigning soul mates of life and possibly Barbara Bush (not saying I'm a republican) for seeming to be comfortable graying early thus looking older than her husband, always wearing the same pearl necklace (I do too) in every photo shoot and seeming like she might as soon laugh or swear occasionally. 

8.15.2010

LIFE'S A SWEET RIDE - damn it!

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. 
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to go through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  Then life would begin. 
At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."      - Father Alfred D'Souza 


My latest obstacle is how to start a new life in the middle of my forties.  I don't mean change my hairstyle, decide that I want to go from an A cup to a C cup (large breasts are highly overrated!), learn the art of belly dancing or boat down the Amazon.  Single in your forties after a quarter of a century of marriage...that's where my ride took me.  Everything is new, both exhilarating and sometimes big - - grocery shopping for only things I like, sleeping in a bed alone diagonally, eating when & what you want, cleaning up after just yourself, playing my kind of music loudly, being responsible to only yourself, wondering if you'll ever have sex again and realizing you actually are glad you don't have to buy clothes for your husband any more.   Day one alone I looked in the mirror completely naked and said, "You are a beautiful, smart, original, borderline irreverent woman - you will be fine."  -- after which I took a step closer to the mirror and realized up close the "beautiful" part could very well be subjective:)