Monthly Archives: October 2012

Upcoming Adventure Alert!

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I will be going with the fisherman and his sister to Florida to go deep sea fishing!!

Can you believe at 56 years old I will be doing something so crazy and DARING? My friend is saying I will be strapped down so I don’t get pulled in by a marlin or some other huge fish! His sister, Theresa, is very excited and I am a little bit terrified! But the alternative ideas of spending a week of vacation, either here in my local neighborhood, babysitting and other everyday activities, or going up to see my mother in her senior living apartment, all pale in the face of the unknown! You know that I cannot dare write a blog about being “witless” or even “hapless” by being boring!

So, I will be gone from blogging from Oct.26 – Nov. 4, 2012. Don’t all cry at once! Just hope you don’t forget to check in later and I will definitely be looking forward to catching up on my reading everyone’s very interesting posts. I have become very fascinated with my worldwide blogs that are sometimes not even in English! I tried to write some Spanish without any dictionary or translation guide, hopefully not eternally offending a possible friend!

I have packed bathing suit, towels, shorts, a couple of dresses (oh, I hope to eat delicious, not caught, restaurant seafood!!) and keep thinking of other things to throw in my two bags. By the way, we are driving down and on the way, hope to go to (get this!) a ruby mine and pan for rubies in Tennessee!

Also, stop at many other sights since we are planning on 2 days down, stay 6 days and turn around and come back to central Ohio on my grandson, Skyler’s #8 birthday. I told him I put his gift in a Spiderman bag and it is already waiting for me to run into the house on that Sunday and drive over to my eldest daughter’s house for the party. I will be back 2 whole days before I vote in the presidential election.

This is out of my comfort zone, but not on my going ballistic with nerves’ taut list of things to do like skydiving and parachuting!

Humor to dispel past demons

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I wrote on someone’s comments today something that I may just expand a little on my own blog. I think that I am much too serious and I think this is helpful in a lot of ways. My friends, family and coworkers depend on my opinions to be honest and solution driven. My own life is not as positive in its direction.

Often I go off kilter in my relationships, sometimes with girlfriends and family but mostly when it is between myself and a man. I have so many demons haunting me! Some are the hurtful words that cannot be erased over time and space, like trickles of water upon a nice solid rock, they have made a dent in my self-esteem. I have tried to erase them, but like those worn places on the rock, there is no way to erase them.

In a most maddening way, they can rear their ugly heads and appear out of nowhere! I can be talking to a girlfriend and the wash of both shame and sadness can creep up and my face being such an open book, she may ask, “What’s wrong, Robin?” and this is amazing. I can see the caring and the helpful nature (that I think I give back well) and realize a rather repetitive thought, not too original either, “Why can’t we ask ourselves in a caring manner the same question and face our demons head on?” But usually most of us, will answer, “Nothing is wrong.” Or we may share a spare, bare bones outline of the past, hoping not to burden or wear out our welcome.

Yet, we would listen for hours to other’s problems, right?

I have decided recently that a good male friend has been teaching me through his own way of approaching his past baggage a great way to dispel demons. This (again) is not original, after all, comedians/comediennes do it all the time: Use humor!

I sometimes will rant or rave, maybe sigh in a poor me way, or stuff my hurt away in a suitcase. But NEVER, have I tried to make light of the old situations that brought me pain. I would like to say, my favorite thing about this friend is he is not sarcastic nor mocking the old flames that hurt him, nor saying mean things. He approaches it all in a light-hearted, “Oh well, shit happens” way that makes me laugh and stop feeling so sorry for myself.

I realize my writing may not show it but one brother mentioned to me that I was open and loving most of the time, but I had  bad habit of using passive ways to get attention. Well, we will see if my new project of injecting laughter and lightness into my darkest regions of my memories of pain from the past works.

My friend simply says, in a different accent, recently sounding like the Swedish Muppet chef, “Stop, lady, stop!” And I said, “Who are you imitating?” and he answered with a shrug. I laughed and stopped complaining and bringing up a past gripe about a “bad ex.” Instead I was thinking how silly my circular thoughts round back to something that should be blown away like a dead leaf. The next time I was in a bad mood, he said, “Do I have to turn you over my knee?” Another time, “You are in time out, missy!” So, try to do this for yourself: laugh and make light of your pains and sorrows. There must be much worse things than what you have been through, and if not, maybe they should be healing soon. I wish you smiles and rainbows and monkeys! (Yes, my daughter loves to receive funny youtube pictures of monkeys doing the silliest things, from a good male friend in Chicago! They always cheer her up and she says, “Oh that ____! He knows how to make me laugh!”)

An Existential Guy

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This summer, along with some regular dates with the online service,

walks and talks with coffee or ice cream, I had a once a week time with

a man who was deep, but had simple roots. This Bob was interested in

going to a park and sitting, playing cards or word games and talking.

He was recuperating from some illness and my grandsons had literally

run into him at the Splash Pad. He was easygoing but complicated.

So, how does one label a person “existential?” He had an education and

was a resource for people about nature, ecology, and geology. He was

‘concerned about our existence, people and nature’s fate.’

We were able to tackle some serious subjects while playing Rummy 500

and 2-handed Euchre. He was thinking about starting a new company

with products that were made of recycled refuse. Bob was not my type in

his looks, he looked like a fullback football player. He was from up near

Defiance in the county and had his background in soil and growing things.

He was a contradiction but I would like to say very amusing and interesting.

He was not dry nor witty. His humor was broad and bawdy at times.

Bob used a lot of colloquialisms that made me chuckle. Some stupid people

were “dumber than a coal bucket.” When I told him about a man that my

daughter was dating, he said, “He sounds like a numb-nut.” He also used

some quaint saying to make me feel special. I was sometimes, “cuter than

a baby’s bottom.”  I was “prettier than a kitten’s whiskers.” My grandkids

were “cuter than a puppy dog’s tail or a baby calf’s ears.”

When we talked about the book, “Metamorphosis” we agreed the first time

we were not as able to digest it. But as we had grown from high school age

through to other levels of knowledge, he in his hands-on training and me in

my collegial pursuits, we had more understanding of why and how society

and its pressures, technology in its impersonal nature would drive a man to

become an insect.

We sometimes would talk about his mother’s cooking, he would share her secret

ingredients for his favorite dishes she prepared. I would tell him some of the

ways my recipes which came from both my mother and German grandmother, had

evolved and become a little more nutritious over the years.

Here was a “salt of the earth” man who spent hours this summer with me, and there

were no romantic thoughts on my part, ever. It felt sadly like when Autumn came, a

decision to move along, stay friends or get more serious would happen. The shocking

ending was unexpected. I had no clue that he had been in a lifelong, since childhood,

battle with diabetes. This had led to some breakdowns in his organs. One night he

went to bed, hopefully with pleasant thoughts and good dreams, because he never

woke up. My friend, Bob, who had shared so much with me of his thoughts and

feelings was gone without a trace. I have no notebook or pads of paper with our

bits of wisdom written on them, no score sheets from our numerous attempts to

beat each other to 500 points, and no real tangible thing to hold onto that would

remind me of Bob. But, of course, you know the intangible is sometimes the very best

of all: memories of time well spent with my friend, Bob.

An Over 50 Movie

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I mention movies or songs that are current or in my lifetime but have not chosen to write a whole

post about one movie. I recently had the delight to watch at my friend, Jenny’s house on her t.v.

thanks to On Demand, “The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel.” This is an excellent movie for any age

but it was mentioned in several magazines, including my AARP magazine.

This movie has a wide variety of ages involved with seven main characters. They are introduced

with their character’s names and given loose background outlines in broad strokes from the very

beginning. My favorite characters are played by Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, and Bill Nighy. I

also like the man who was the main character in “Slumdog Millionaire.”  He is the young owner

and dreamer of big results in his offering free stays at his worn down, but lovely hotel in India.

The scenery, including the Indian marketplace and the industry of telemarketing are fascinating.

There are some characters who evolve as does Maggie Smith who actually doesn’t look all that old,

considering how long ago she was Jean Brodie in the movie, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.”

She is a bitter, bigoted woman who is very effected by one of the ‘unclean” who are not acknowledged

by the mainstream Indians. The young woman is touched by the simplest kindness by M.S.’s person

and invites her to her home to meet her humble family.

There is a love story between a man and another man who was in his far younger years as a man at

a university. There is a love story between a man and a woman who must be friends for the time

being. There are several poignant and sad scenes, along with a few hilarious, laugh out loud

parts to remember. I hope you will try this, especially if you are a fan of any of the following British

movies: “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Love Actually,”  and “Bridget Jone’s Diary” or the American

movie, “Eat Pray Love.” It is well worth the time if you enjoy learning about other cultures, ages, and

enjoy the timeworn subject of Love at Any Age.

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

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I have come to realize that my hanging out with Bill after we broke up is just lingering

onto hope for him and sometimes for me it is like a big security blanket. He leaves me

notes in my locker at work, I return notes to him. I got off his cell phone bill only in

September! We had broken up over 18 months ago and gone out on walks, had phone

talks and even a dinner out from time to time.

I wrote him that I took my friend the fisherman up to the lake. It was nice to show him

the sights and not to worry about the competition out there in cyberspace. He still has

one woman who writes and calls, he saw her only once in September but she feeds his

ego and actually says lots of mushy things for “just a friend” and gave him a lot of

expensive things.

(Like a valuable, lucky coin worth $250, circa 1922.)

I also said that I thought that the man I was seeing more often lately may be a “boyfriend”

and told Bill that maybe I should not rely upon him so much. I think that his reply did

not reflect what I meant to say as he said he bought a cord of wood and

would Fri. or Sat. be good for me to come over for a bonfire?

He also sent a note asking if I would ever want to eat another dinner out together?

So, this led me to a discussion with the fisherman about his other friend and did he

think that holding onto her was for his future time with her? for her because he didn’t

want to hurt her? Or for his own (possibly) ego that liked having more than one woman

paying attention to him? This was in the car so he could not escape!

Tough questions but regardless of how he answered it led me to believe that I needed

to be clear.

Bill, I think we had a lot of communication differences, I like to solve things and make up.

You, as part of your nature, like to brood and be quiet for long, long lengths of time.

You are a smoker and thought you would only do it outside. You were a night supervisor

but when asked if you wanted to ever change shifts so we could spend more time (this

was our 3rd year when I asked this question)?

You answered you would never want to work days. It made us cranky and we did not

do well on trips together.

Remember asking me to be quiet for 4 hours?!

He answered back in a cryptic note, “I didn’t realize you were getting serious with this

other guy.”

No attempt to address the past nor try to make sense of how we were then and how we

could continue as only friends. I think that I will just back off.

Because even though there is no proof of this, I think he is just waiting for me to come

back.

That is bad of me to keep him on a string and it is worse than what Joe does.

It is always hard because all my exes and their wives and children are part of my life.

We are all connected in some way on holidays, weddings, and births, etc. I cried when

their parents died and they will show they care a lot about my Mom when she passes on.

 

James Taylor’s song, “You’ve got a friend, winter, spring, summer or fall….” just echoes

in my head tonight.

 

Fishing around for answers, visit with Mom, too

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Trips to Lake Erie are always ones I look forward to.

It was cold, rainy and the house my mother and father chose to retire and live in was a mess. We took our time sweeping,

I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. He went to the local all purpose “box” store and bought air freshener, candles, logs

and some snacks. There was no way we would be pitching a tent in this weather!

Up early, catching little fish, throwing them back in. I caught a white bass and a bottom feeder. He caught a 4-5 lber., a

catfish, several small bass and a small walleye. We were after a nice catch to eat. All got sent back to their home to swim

freely.

We went to see Mom at her senior living apartment. She was given forewarnings by cell phone and a letter a week in

advance. She is herself, a special woman who has become focused on her little dog and her daily adventure of dinner

time with her 5 friends. She was cordial and gracious. Offered cookies she bags up in baggies from the dining room

and puts in the fridge. She made herself instant coffee and I made myself a cup also. I was not going to be embarrassed

by her habits. I liked her freshly washed hair pulled tightly into bobby pins in the hopes it would look nice for Sunday

dinner with the “girls.” She apparently didn’t worry about her impression on my fisherman/friend/guest. She was able

to discuss a few topics, with my trying to discourage history, family pitfalls and also, politics. She gave me a great

poster that someone had dropped off for me, “Women for Obama.” She had one on her door, also. My apartment

neighbors may or may not look fondly on mine but her friends said they liked hers.

There were no fly-swatting episodes, Sofia Vergara confusions or crazy times to report. No juice glasses of Sangria

tapped together with words about  “Salud, amor, pesetas, y tiempo a gustarlos.” (To your health, love, money and time

to spend/enjoy them). Too early to celebrate with wine, but she did reminisce of her good old teaching days of Spanish.

Many hugs and a wistful goodbye later, we were on our way south to Columbus, Ohio. Not nearly as fun nor as exciting

as “Cleveland Rocks!”

quick, late night random thoughts

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What are you looking for?

Have you found it?

Is it within yourself?

Is it with someone else?

What are the nuts and bolts that would hold your life together?

Once you remove the gloss from fairy tales, is there any truth in them?

When it gets down to the nitty gritty, how much dirt do you want taken

out of your profile?

We are all onions with layers of skin, old and new, needing to be peeled

and revealed. As humans, not onions, we want to be loved as we are once

naked and vulnerable. But, oh so few people dare to get real like that with

another human being.

Random thoughts rattling around in my head while I am trying to shut

down and go to sleep.