Monthly Archives: August 2013

Words Can Be Hurtful Weapons!

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My friend, Cecilia, I have written is a very lovely, busy woman

who divides her time between during the day shift, cleaning

the bathrooms at work and nursing at night, in a Worthington,

Ohio nursing home facility. She came from Cameroon, married

an American man who loves her, has children and grandchildren.

We had a wonderful time one day exchanging pictures and stories

of grandchildren. I have written a story about her, she is my “sister

from a different mother.” She calls me “Sis” and “Miss Robin” due

to my old preschool days. I call her, “Sis,” and Nurse Cecilia. On

very funny days, when I need to just switch gears, I try to sing Simon

and Garfunkle’s song, “Cecilia, ” to her!

We were in a morose mood, sad to say today. I could not believe her

face as I entered the bathroom, my usual “pit stop” before I clock in.

Cecilia came to me, and immediately asked, “How is your family?”

she answered, “Okay.” I asked because she was so quiet, “And your

Mama in Cameroon?” She nodded her head, “Fine.”

I asked her, “What on Earth happened?!”

She said, “Last night, before your shift left a woman, her name is Kim,

do you know her?”

I answered, “Kim is in heavy bulk, a rather “rough around the edges”

woman, is she okay?”

Then, Cecilia proceeded to shock me. I mean I just posted a story about

racial slurs and she said, “Kim asked me why the bathroom still smelled

bad after I cleaned. I said, ‘Well, I pour bleach down on the floor and in

the toilets, I spray aerosol scents and I use good cleaning products. I

don’t know, maybe someone just used the bathroom?’ I did not use a

‘tone’ with her, or anything, Robin! You would not believe what she said!

She called me a ‘nigger’: ‘Nigger, why don’t you use some elbow grease?

I mean you don’t scrub or anything?”

Cecilia then cried a few tears, I patted her on the back, told her to “Ignore

hateful people” and “Please report this!”

She looked down at the floor, “I answered back, quick as a wink, I told her

you are just a ‘Miller Time woman!'”

I had to smile at that! I responded, “Cecilia, that is very mild compared to

her spiteful words! The pipes in this old building stink! The bathroom can

not be cleaned any better than the people who use it and leave it! That is

so wrong and you must tell Mark Jones!”

She continued, she was on a rant but also subdued, “She thinks she is so

much better than I am! She is just a factory woman and I have nursing

degree. Does she bother to get to know me? Does she see I am a hard

worker?”

I asked her, “Did you write this out or did you tell Mark yet?”

She finally answered this, gasping it out, breathless so agitated, “Yes, I

told him, very humiliated by my words. He is going above today to tell

Ted. (our CEO’s assistant).”

She started to wipe the mirrors, saying, “Go to work, you will be late

clocking in, Robin! You have stuck up for me, I remember that nice

way you went to the CEO (at the time, Scott) and asked if I could eat

a plate from your Thanksgiving dinner. He said, “No, she is just a

subcontracted employee. Like I am nothing!”

I told her, “Don’t worry, this is a legal issue! Calling someone that

name is very extreme!i It will be considered so offensive, she will

get fired!”

This direct attack of my good friend, Cecilia, was addressed before

lunch today. There was no one on the breakroom computer playing

Solitaire. Here is the ‘news for the day’:

Kim was fired!

Vindication!

Labor With Delivery

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Labor Day Weekend Poem

Once a quarter of a year,

it doesn’t hurt for Mom to hear:

“Thank you for your labor and delivery,

Hope this finds you far from misery!”

Its been three months, in a way…

since Mother’s Day!

 

 

Everybody words hard for their money,

Or the song says so at least,

So grab your sweetie or honey

and all the ‘fixin’s’ to have a picnic for two.

Bring along some watermelon and Mt. Dew.

 

 

Enjoy the day,

Come what may.

Don’t be sad or mad,

There’s so much for us to be glad.

 

 

Freedom comes with a price,

Taxes, humanity and strife.

Love, peace and joy,

Oh boy!

 

 

We can make it through the stormy weather,

Hope your heart is light and floats like a feather.

The air off the lake will rejuvenate my soul,

Relaxation is my destination or goal!

Written by Robin O. Cochran

(9/29/2013)

A pretty simple poem, written in haste.

But it is the thought that counts, even

when tongue is placed firmly in cheek!

All Hot and Bothered!

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It has already been a long week and most people consider this

“hump day!” I have been missing my friend, Melvin, who is off

visiting his fellow servicemen in Boston, MA. I also have had

a few accidents, leaving me feeling bumped, bruised, hot

and bothered!

Last night, after I posted my story about Landen, I went home

from the library to a hot apartment. No air conditioning had

come on. I inspected the thermostat and called the Landlord.

Pete told me he changed the air filter and had shut the air off.

Okay.

Did not bother to ask, “Why on earth when the temperature

is 90 degrees one would turn the flipping air off?” Why change

the air filter, being helpful, and  then, irradicate all the positive

energy of said exchange for a hot apartment?

Sigh!

Then, went in to take a shower, all unclothed and what do you

think happened? My lightbulb went out! I was standing there

buck naked and slippery. I got out of tub, went in the hallway

linen closet, turned the hall light on, and got a lightbulb. I was

dripping on the carpet but feeling kind of numb now.

Tired.

Went into almost pitch black bathroom, stood up on the toilet,

and switched the bulb out. While I pride myself at work with

my very sure footing and feeling limber like a goat…

Oops!

Slipped between the toilet and the tub grabbing for something

and got the whole shower curtain in my hands. Of course, some

of the stupid hooks ended up getting unhooked and

“Whap!”

I lost my grip and fell backwards hitting my head on the toilet!

Not an “I Love Lucy” pratfall, since it was I that did that clumsy

move! Thought it was more like Dick Van Dyke when he would

walk through his door, trip and fall over the ottoman each time

“The Dick Van Dyke Show” began!

I was in pain, on my shin from the frontal fall onto the bathtub

and the back of my head from the rear fall. Still somehow started

to laugh! I was so glad my youngest daughter wasn’t there to

come in on her old, wrinkly mother in such a very indelicate

position!

This reminded me that I forgot to tell you about my little episode

last week, during Open Stock “hell week.”

This has to do with trying to return the webgear and modem

boxes to good ole’ Time Warner Cable company. There is a

“drop box” outside the local cable building.

After a short conversation by the time I got to the closed office.

I noted that it has impossible times for most working people

(Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

I want those working hours, please!

I knew I would have to return the equipment last week to stay

within the perameters of billing periods, I refused to pay any

extra days after youngest daughter moved out!

If I didn’t return it in a timely manner, there was going to be

another week of “Internet and wi-fi service charges.”

I was going to get this taken care of NOW! So, I called the

company, put on indefinite hold, wondered for a short minute,

not trying to be sarcastic, but if I pushed “the number 5” if I

could handle this whole conversation in Spanish?

While you are talking with the person who is outside the area,

answering after the 4:30 deadline which I will never make to

return things. I am sure to repeat this to the person before she

forwards me to another person. I had pushed “3” for trying to

“add or delete services” or was it “upgrade or downgrade

services?” Not sure, it was the closest to what was going on.

I decided to try one more call. Where under some helpful and

thoughtful instructions from the far distant operator on how to

wrap it and protect it from damage, I achieved the best and closest

proximity to what her suggestions had been given. I (get this) had

taken a nice t-shirt from the pool bag in my trunk of the car, taken

my handy dandy duct tape from the back seat of the car, and had

attached a phone number and address label to each package. You

see, I refused to go home and get other more appropriate materials!

I gently pushed the webgear wrapped package through the drop box

drawer opening and flipped it closed, hearing a loud “thunk!” as it

landed. Next, I wrapped the modem box in another t-shirt, this was

one left behind by a grandchild, so no worries, out of sight out of

mind! I got this same approximately wrapped, protective but not

so neatly this time with address and name attached.

I could get “credit” for returning equipment and have a lower cable bill.

The next thing that happened, you guessed it, not a smooth package

meant not such a smooth entry into the drop box. As it was supposed

to slip gracefully down, it caught at the edge of the angled downward

“drawer” and it would not go down nor would the drawer entirely

close either.

Darn, you can tell how frustrated I was and so tired!

The “mantra” for the moment was to “breathe and think!” I got into

my trunk and found a wire hanger, I tried to grab that tape to get it

to come back out and it was jammed, stuck, nowhere to go but stick

there.

I heard a van “vrooming” past, saw it glide back behind the building

with a real live cable man in it! I walked to the edge of the fencing

where the other cable vans were parked. His lonely car was

outside of the fencing so I waited until he came out of the vehicle.

I shouted, “Hello! Could you please help me?”

He looked at my sweaty self, my work clothes always have oil stains

and other dirty spots, even though I daily go in the bathroom before

leaving and attempt to wash off. He could see my frayed nerves

showing all over my face and said a polite,

“Sure.”

I explained where I worked and how many hours were going on in

the past week (this was last week’s Open Stock period) and he nodded

sympathetically. He followd me  to the front of the building and he

tried his hardest to grab that modem package. He then took my phone

numberand my address, told me he would be in before 9 and would

tell “Helen” about the drop box jam up and,

“Don’t worry, go home and relax.”

It took every ounce of my will power not to embrace him and stand

there holding him in a big hug! Yes, he was cute, by the way! A bonus

for all the pain and suffering. Too bad he never used the phone

number except to impart appropriate information to the clerk,

“Helen,” who did call on the next day to say the drop box had a key

and from the back they were able to retrieve the equipment.  It was

all logged in and I now will be only paying $90 a month for cable,

minus computer stuff.

I am not throwing a “pity party” today, just reciting my hilarious little

glitches in my perfectly normal and happy life! Hope you enjoyed the

comedy relief.

I slept with a bag of frozen lima beans on my shin the other night

and a bag of frozen peas on the pillow under my head. I drank about

8-10 ounces of Merlot and felt a little bit better.

Brain freeze but my shin looked a lot better, thank you!

September’s Coming Fast Upon Us!

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With August fast coming to a close, I would like to mention that there

was a very exciting August in my family and in this country fifty years

ago: The Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C. (August 28, 1963).

My parents shipped us off to someone’s house. I remember going to

my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Chardon, Ohio for the birth of my

youngest brother in 1959 but think that I went to the Senne’s house

when the Summer of 1963 arrived. When my parents heard in our

Episcopal church in Huron, Ohio, our preacher, Reverend Brownlee

ask for any volunteers to go to Washington to represent the church,

they excitedly signed up. They were always very glad they rode in the

church bus and thankful of their memories of that momentous time.

There have been more than a few times we have heard them recount

and regale us with their stories about how it felt intensely personal and

yet, also so significant to be part of that movement. When I was a teenager,

I had always wished their stories would have been about the big concerts

held during hippie weekends, especially in 1969: Woodstock! That would

have been “Way cooler,” or now teens would say, “Awesome!”

I am sure you have seen some of the coverage of that major lifechanging

event. I wish I could have been there with them, old enough to march for

civil rights. Or old enough to go to the concerts during Woodstock… Ha ha!

Lots of exciting family reasons to enjoy September! My son and his

wife, will celebrate their wedding anniversary. Also, he will be turning

a big whopping 32! My ‘middle child’ is really going to be that old? How

can that be? Also, September is my girlfriend and her husband’s

anniversary, too. The best parts of living in Delaware, Ohio are the All

Horse Parade, The Brown Jug Races (part of the Triple Crown harness

racing circuit, which includes “The Jugette” where the fillies run and

the “The Jug” where the male horses run) and the Delaware County Fair.

Here is a short little Fall poem,

“Autumnal Equinox

Sing a song of seasons!

Something bright in all!

Flowers in the Summer

Fires in the Fall.”

Written by Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stephenson.

Just a short commentary about this fine author of books, poems, travel

articles and essays. Did you know that Mr. Stephenson accomplished this

all in a mere 44 years? (Born: November 13, 1850. Died: December 3, 1894.)

Imagine writing such wonderful and exciting books as “Treasure Island,”

“Kidnapped,” and “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!”

Here are some dates to remember in this coming month of September!

September 2nd-  Labor Day

September 5th-  Rosh Hashana

September 8th-  Grandparents Day

September 8th also is the Delaware All Horse Parade!  We have one of the

largest selections of horses in a parade in this region of the country.

September 11th-  Take a moment or more of silence to remember 9/11.

It is now and forever will be known as “Patriot Day.”

September 14th-  Yom Kippur

September 14th also, our Delaware County Fair begins and goes until

September 21st.

September 19th-  Full Harvest Moon

“For a few nights around this full moon there is bright moonlight

early in the evening. In ages past, this meant farmers could continue

to harvest after sunset.” (Farmer’s Almanac, 2013. The 2014 issue goes

on SALE this month!)

September 20th-  POW/MIA Recognition Day. Honor all servicemen, but

especially think of those who were held captive or have given their lives

and may never be recovered to be buried.

September 21st-  International Day of Peace. Celebrate with kind words

and actions.

September 22nd-  The Autumnal Equinox, (see poem above.)

Another September suggestion in my Farmer’s Almanac, 2013, is to~

“Put a brown paper bag over sunflower heads to protect from birds

and other wild animals, along with allowing them to dry for the seeds

to be harvested.” This will also contain the seeds, preventing them from

falling, too.

I cannot help myself from having the lyrics going through my head while

writing this post.

It is mainly because I have always loved Neil Diamond, but hope you may

check this song out. It is so sentimental. I will write the beginning

three sections of the song,

“September Morn

Stay and let me look at you

It’s been so long, I hardly knew you

Standing in the door.

Stay with me a while

I only wanna sing for you

We’ve traveled halfway ’round the world

To find ourselves again.

September morn,

We danced until the night became a

brand new day.

Two lovers playing scenes from

some romantic play

September morning still can make me feel that way.”

Here are three of my favorite young children’s books about Fall,

if you have any favorites, please add in the comments section!

(Just Fall books, let’s wait until October for Halloween choices.)

1.  “Apples and Pumpkins” by Anne F. Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell.

2.   Clifford the Big Red Dog book titled, “Picking Apples and Pumpkins.”

3.  “Apple Farmer Annie” by Monica Wellington.

I hope you will have some fresh off the tree apples, enjoy a caramel apple or

some pumpkin seeds. I love the pumpkin roll cake with the cream cheese in

it. Also, my good friend uses cinnamon candies in her apple cider warmed in

the crock pot. The smell is heavenly and the taste spicy and good!

Have a fantastic beginning of Autumn in the month of September!

Breaking and Entering: He gives his “Best Defense!”

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I have been over at my son and daughter in law’s home, probably

abouf five or six times since my grandson, Landen, went into a

neighbor of his Dad’s house in the middle of the night. You may or

may not have read the first part of the story…

Landen is a precocious boy, who spends a lot of time drawing very

ornate and creative “treasure maps.” He is also good at drawing

mazes and adding interesting details. He made one for my Mom

this past weekend, while the three girls painted with watercolors

out in the back yard. We were all sitting under this beautiful

sycamore tree that has such wide branches that there is a baby

swing on one lower branch and a big kid’s tire swing on another.

I would like to tell you, each time I visit, I enjoy my time there but

if any of you have multiple grandchildren, you may understand

this next statement: It is very difficult to “isolate” and talk to just

one. If you read a book, it is to all of them! If you want to know

the “back story” on why in the world Landen would wander into

another person’s house, it will take you awhile to get to him,

without an audience! He is too old to follow into the bathroom.

He is also very skilled when it comes to asking if anyone wants

to help go get some popsicles? He dodges those kind of ‘helping

questions’ and leaves it up to one of the three girls (ages 2, 4

and 9).

So, finally when I heard him say, under his breath, “I need to go

inside and find the colored pencils.”

I blurted out, “I am thirsty and need to go get water. I will bring

back some more water bottles for the rest of you.”

That left the girls happily swirling their watercolors, the littlest

one who likes to make polka dots on her page, carefully dipping

the paintbrush into the water. She has learned through my daughter

in law’s guidance and “Homework Club” all summer by the way, how

to color inside the lines. (She also is fully potty trained thus being able

2 weekends ago to spend the night at Nana’s house.) Also,as mentioned,

she cleans her paintbrush before switching colors andgetting loaded

with more watercolor paint. A few dismayed times of coming up with a

“blackish” painting because she would mix the colors and she “caught

on!” (Makyah turned two in March this year!)

Anyway, I casually followed Landen who was rapidly stalking off to

find his hidden ‘stash’ from the girls, set of colored pencils. I followed

him into the playroom, saying, “Hey, Landen…”

I waited to see his serious blue eyes looking through his little glasses

at me.

“So,”

(now with a seven year old, only one male among the 4 kids, you need

to appear nonchalant. Treading lightly is the key here to getting any

kind of ‘confession!’ He is very likely to start denying any and all

misbehaviors, whether he did them or not!),

“I missed why it was that you were over at your Dad’s neighbor’s

house while it was dark and late. Do you mind letting me know what

was going on in your mind?”

(I wanted to yell, “What were you thinking, Landen!!” but I refrained!)

I quickly added, “No big deal, in my mind, I am sure you were sorry

afterwards!”

Landen, looked at me and then he looked down, he told me this

possible truth, “I was on ‘green card’ the whole first week of school,

Nana!”

Hmmm, pretty good at avoiding direct ‘confessions.’ Almost ‘criminal’

in his Master Mind thinking!

I looked at him and gave him my biggest and most sincere smile, with

a little bit of sympathy thrown in, to boot.

I did not say a word. This tactic used to get my son, Jamie, to confess

almost anything!

Landen started to look in a set of drawers his Mom keeps the family

documents. This is in a tall metal piece of office equipment, her filing

cabinet. I looked at him and finally I BROKE MY SILENCE! I am not

so good at this, apparently, as I used to be!

I asked him, “Are you allowed in those drawers?”

As he pulled the bottom one open, I saw a treasure trove of boy

stuff: a plastic water gun, a jack knife, a slinky, a sling shot along

with varied art supplies, some colored markers and colored pencils.

He slid the pencils out, and slammed the metal drawer shut.

Then, he sat cross legged on the floor,

“Okay, Nana, here’s the thing. I was over about a month ago to

play with Stevie. I had a nice time and when I was going home

to eat dinner, Stevie’s mother said to me,

“Why Landen, you are so polite. I heard you sharing nicely with

Steven. You are welcome anytime.”

That was his “defense” statement. I really could see his point, there

were no parameters to the open ended offer of hospitality from the

neighbor lady.

Apparently, before ‘breaking and entering’ or as one of my very wise

commenters (Wyrd Smythe) pointed out, it was more like ‘trespassing’

since the front door was not locked, Landen had made a positive

impression on said neighbors. Although they heard rummaging around

in their home and thought they heard the noise of toys, you would

have thought that suspicious; not a robber, but a child…

I would have thought they would have come downstairs before

calling the police!

I will tell you my opinion, I think Landen was not used to listening to

figurative use of language. He is a very literal kind of boy when it

comes to rules. He is used to staying out of trouble by staying in

the ‘green card’ area, at school. He worries if he ventures into

‘yellow card’ area…

He may not have realized the difference between an offer of

kindness and what that meant, as far as time and place. He has

some ‘gray’ areas when it comes to “real” and “imaginary” friends.

So, his use of imagination may have come into play. One thing I

noticed, though, he did not bother to make up any other excuses

to tell me. Nor did he dwell on the way he was thinking.

We all have our own versions of the “truth.”

Apparently, Landen decided on his “best defense” and he is sticking

to it!

My verdict: Not guilty.

Punishment (Sentence given): Landen needs to have more definite

and specific rules.

# 1:  Stay in the house when your Dad and stepmom are in bed!

Reflections (In the Mirror and Inner Self Awareness)

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George Orwell, sometime in his life, said these

profound words,

“At age 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

From that thought, I will use it as a springboard

choosing a few different ages to think about and

while I reflect, it may give you some thoughts, too.

Does your face show more smiles through your

multiple laugh lines?

Do your lips show more signs of “pursed lips” due

to “tsk tsking” a few too many times? I am going to

stereotype the teachers and the librarians, (myself

having been one, my cousin the other) that we may

have given more stern looks say, then the ice cream

truck person. Or did you make it an absent minded

habit to pull your lips into a frown or by biting your

lip, pulled it in one corner or another?

Maybe you smoked and those wrinkles around your

mouth are from the “pleasure” of taking deeply

inhaled breaths of nicotine. I have heard from at

least two good friends, a brother and a meeting full

of people that it is almost easier giving up alcohol

or heroin than nicotine…

Sometimes, while younger, I depended on others to

verify or give me validation that I looked “okay.” I am

still working on this insecurity. Not sure where it came

from. I was much loved by parents, friends and most

of the time, people in general.

During my elementary years, I liked my pointy black

glasses with the sparkles in the corners that raised up.

I imagined myself a little like a cat in my appearance.

I liked my dark brown hair, when long enough to sit

on it. Then, when I tired and ached from the daily

pullings and yankings, I accidentally “groaned” or

let a little ‘yelp!’ out. That brought the end of long

hair until after high school. Mom cut it in the style

of Julie Andrews in “Sound of Music.” Never mind that

she played a character who was a nun. I got used to

that short hair. It was nice also, that during Sally Fields’

reign as “The Flying Nun,” short hair was in style.

While in Junior High, there were a few shows where

the girls had short hair (or the Mom in Partridge Family

and the Mom in the Brady Bunch.) I particularly wished

for the cute adorable short bob of a British actress

and also, Goldie Hawn, of “You bet your sweet bippie!”

fame and fortune.

I think in one’s teenager years, there is a lot of peer

pressure and self awareness. I was suddenly not so crazy

about those glasses, switching to contacts. I was still a

little awkward and a “late bloomer.” Although I joined

many clubs and belonged to the honor clubs, too, I felt

a little on the “fringe” of life. I was loved within my groups

and therefore did fine on a daily basis. There were som e

insecure moments, when the girl ask boy dances came

around, also when the times were more noticeable that

I did not have the “popular” clothes, shoes or hair style.

Time marched on. Happiness should never be fleeting,

but a continuous sense of contentment. The source of

peace came more over me, when my teachers and

parents shared this awesome thought,

“Reinvent yourself when you go off to college. Imagine

yourself popular, accepted and well defined in your goals.

Don’t focus on your imagined shortcomings.” Lots of little

tidbits and nuggets as good as gold to this young woman.

I have been feeling some joy since I have completed the

resposibilities of raising three children, along with helping

and challenging some students, child care/babysitting kids

and neighbors’ children along the way. I feel very good with

those accomplishments.

There are still bubbles of hope for finding a partner, some

say to give up the quest. I am not sure that this is the way

I would like to go. There are some who advise that someone

may enter my life when I am not looking. That is entirely

possible, but it doesn’t hurt to keep my eyes open wide for

the ones who may be a little shy or not likely to approach

me. After all, my goal is to find a partner to share the rest

of the road, holding hands, having fun that we can remind

each other of, when there may be times our memory is

a little ‘faulty.’

I like the movie, “Moonstruck,” where Cher slaps Nicholas

Cage’s face, the line, “Snap out of it!” makes me smile! It

is almost as good as this one, repeated in teen shows and

some comedies, “Get over it!” or better yet, “Get over

yourself!” Letting go of your worries, the things that weigh

you down is so important to do. I also like this little ditty

that applies to us as we get older, “Eat dessert first!”

To me, it is not so much about the content of the words

but the meaning behind them. Enjoy life and don’t wait

to get to the fun part of life!

There is a big wave of authorities and an author besides

who is emphasizing writing down what you would have

told your younger self. The “notes to self” movement is

good, maybe to teach others who have not made their

mistakes yet. But, to tell you the truth, honest to God!

If I had a time capsule and sent myself the warnings and

other pieces of sound advice I am thinking would be so

wise to impart: There is NO way I would have changed

any of my actions!

I had parents who I loved dearly and did not rebel

against since they were that good. I chose the men I

chose, who let’s face it, those are my biggest mistakes,

ALL BY MYSELF! Against advice of my parents and even

one friend of mine, too. I honored and respected my

Mom and Dad, yet went against their best guidance.

Oh well! I have to get over myself and those books or

notes to self would have been ripped up and thrown

out, sorry to say!

The best compliment is that I survived my mistakes

and I hope my face shows some of those happiest

seared into my brain and memory moments. I made

it after all!

I am well aware when I visit my mother that I may get

more forgetful, she likes to ‘hide things’ but ends up

forgetting where she hid them! I like to think it is okay

to forget because she seems so much happier, less

stressed.

The sands of time are slipping down the glassed walls

of the big timer in each of our lives. It is like a sundial

that is pointing with the shadows each day more quickly

passing to the next.

If you are like me, over fifty, there is more sand at the

bottom of the timer and less at the top. Like the gas

in your car, the gauge once it reaches below the half

way point, it seems like the gas runs out more quickly.

It would be nice to put the timer sideways, or retip it

so it will have more time left. But that is not the way

life goes.

So, cherish each grain of sand, let it be a special moment

and notice more, seek more, challenge yourself to get out

of your ‘comfort zone.’

Lastly, as you are possibly reflecting on your growth and

self awareness, have you developed some good strategies

to handle the future? Are you looking at that face with its

lines and saying, they were all worth it, each and every one?

The credit or inspiration for this post today, is from a

column Connie Schulz wrote and was published on:

February 19, 2012. She chose five face photographs and

commented on her own self awareness and ones that

were less complimentary, explaining why. The ages she

chose are interesting, too. She chose ages 12, 21, 37, 45

and 53. Connie’s story was titled, “My Story in Five Faces.”

Small World: A love story

Standard

Connections happen everywhere around the world, but especially

while living in a small town. I was at the Kroger Warehouse family

fun day, enjoying the many antics of my two grandsons, daughter,

her coworkers and kids everywhere.

I watched my daughter get on a soft cushy step in a wrestling style

ring with her oldest son, Skyler. He had a large foamy pole with

two padded weights on each end. This ungainly thing looked like

a huge set of soft dumbbells. My grandson calls this “game”

“Gladiators.” Mom vs. almost nine year old, Mom fell off her post

right away, not due to being knocked over by her opponent’s

craftiness. Mostly due to lack of balance on the cushy thing! She

eventually knocked Skyler off his post, I was able to photograph

a few shots. She would not allow me to post them, even had I

the interest in featuring photos with my writing.

Skyler vs. Micah, that was funny but Micah had head gear and

was able to balance on the cushy post, but totally unable to

grasp the huge “weapon” and immediately looked like tears

were going to fall. The funny part of this also is, Skyler had his

face painted like a “devil” and Micah had his face painted like

the “Hulk.” Unrecognizable in his headgear. Skyler, as you know,

being the wise big brother, grasped the situation, saw the boy

close to tears and did a “prat fall.” He landed with his dumbbells

on top of him, pretending injury. Then, after wrestling a bit with

them, peeking to see if Micah was not pouting anymore, got up

on his post and helped Micah to lift for all of two seconds his

weighted dumbbells. Again, dropped due to the hefty and

awkwardness of its size. Skyler fell over backwards and declared

himself the “loser.” (He had a third “round” with an even sized

and aged opponent and that boy was able to get Sky to fall twice.

And then Sky regained a big burst of energy and sent his opponent

sprawling.)

This worked out well, they were then off to the water slide. I took

a few shots of them laughing and forgetting their battles. No

‘licking their wounds’ allowed! While there, I spied Jaime, Bill’s

oldest daughter with her man, Gregg and also, her youngest little

girl, Gabriella. My oldest daughter, Jaime, and I reminisced about

a picnic where Micah was a little six month old baby and how it

was held out at Bill’s farm. Everyone had changed their lives a bit

since that occasion four years ago.

I was hungry so departed for the food tent with a ticket in hand.

I mentioned to the female server, my daughter and sons were off

still enjoying the games and fun while the heat and hunger had

driven me into the tent. The scent of grilled Italian chicken breasts,

along with hamburgers and hot dogs was wafting upon the heavy

and humid air.

I chose potato salad, my favorite “crunchy” Cheeto’s, baked beans

and no bun with my chicken. That left me “room” for a piece of

white on white cake with a big pink rose on it, and obligatory can

of Diet Cola. Yummy!

While sitting and watching the coworkers and some very active

children dancing to the D.J.’s choices of dance music, I was feeling

very buoyant and happy. They danced to the “Chicken Dance,”

the “Macarena” song and the “Electric Slide.” Reminded me of a

few weddings I had been that had everyone cutting up and

getting a “buzz on!”

The woman who had served me, came up and asked to sit with

me. I looked around and asked, “Do you have any family here?”

She said, with a faraway look with some wistfulness, “All my

kids are “four-legged and take lots of work!” Adding, “My husband

decided to relax and stay home. He likes to watch Nascar!”

I asked if she knew my daughter and she was very pleasant,

saying she could see the resemblance now and was also  very

complimentary of her work performance. I found out her name

is Christina. She works in Quality Control there at the Kroger

distribution center. I told her I worked at the Advance Auto

D.C. and she mentioned one of her best friends, named “Tina.”

I replied, “Why, I know her!” We discussed with a few “tsk tsk’s”

and a few “sad but hopeful” words about Tina’s husband, Marcus,

who had recently undergone a kidney transplant. For some

reason, the organ is not “taking” well and there have been a few

expert physicians saying he may not live very long. They are in

their forties.

“Christina, what kind of four legged animals do you have?”

She answered, “Horses.”

I briefly outlined Amy’s horses, leaving off the family’s recent news

and windfall. I just wanted to say I knew someone who had horses,

too. Someday hoped to see them, but looked often at photos of

them. Asked her more about her horses, too.

Christina told me that she was only married 9 months so was “still

on their honeymoon.” She really seemed happy to tell me about

her husband, Tim, which is an interesting love story, too.

“I was engaged to marry about five years ago, someone who I had

known for ten years. His name was Ted.”

“My love story is a wild ride, like it came in a roundabout way.”

I told her I love to hear how people got together and since there

were no grandchildren around to interrupt, please proceed.

“Well, I loved Ted but sometimes I felt uneasy around him, too. He

was not at all how he appeared in public. He was relaxed, easygoing

and seemed so friendly. But, once home, he had a lot of ‘angst’ and

showed some low self esteem. It came out at weird and unexpected

times, like when we were getting ready to be with his family or while

having company at our house.”

I added something to her story, related that I used to get nervous but

excited about company coming when it was my house that was the

source of entertainment, food and family for over 26 years. I may have

come across kind of short tempered, because I was a little bit of a

perfectionist.

Christina nodded, “That was part of it, but there was always something

simmering under the surface. I felt it more and more, as I moved into

a more professional aspect of my job and became more confident, too.”

She said, “Skipping lots of examples of how we weren’t as close or

working well as a couple, with misgivings, I accepted his marriage

proposal.”

I asked, “Are you like me? Do you think that by just loving someone, you

will bring out the best in them? I ignored a lot with a couple of men in

my life, divorced three times.”

Christina acted shocked and was very nice about my comments.

She nodded again, “Sounds like me, but at the last moment, I called off

the wedding. I walked away from a really nice future mother in law and

some nice family members, too.”

She continued by saying that almost three years went by and she ran

into Ted’s brother in a social setting. He mentioned that he was always

so hopeful for her and Ted to work out. He said very tentatively that

he had felt happy having her as a future sister in law.

“Robin, I had a heart flutter so briefly, for a moment I looked at Ted’s

brother and saw all the goodness of Ted without the ‘angst’ and anger.

I was suddenly seeing a person who I was attracted to in the strangest

way.”

“When we parted after the party, I reached my hand out to shake his

and a definite tingle moved up my arm and I rubbed my right elbow

when I pulled it away.”

“This man made me feel hopeful again. I was so excited but not sure

how to move with this. After all, this was the brother of someone I

had sent wedding invitations out with!”

I agreed this would be an awkward and sticky situation, but sometimes

fate has its ways. I also liked this word of comfort I told her,

“Sometimes, God works in mysterious ways.”

“Robin, you are so true about that! Guess what? From the host and

hostess,  he managed to find out my telephone number and he

also, tried to find out any other mutual friends of mine. He wanted to

send me a message but not to engage in any awkward conversations.

He wanted to see “where I was at” in terms of relationships without

starting something that might not be able to be completed.”

Christina paused and looked at me, “Am I boring you?”

I looked at her with bated breath, “No, and I want to ask you, if I

change your name and write this on a blog, would this be okay to

include in my love stories? I write a blog that started out with my

venture into dating through the internet, then have had my byline

include “Relationships are revealed through our hearts.”

She seemed very positive and nodded enthusiastically, “Yes!”

So, we finished our meal, her telling me how her present husband,

named Tim, got to her through an email, a visit to work with a hand

full of flowers and her future mother in law’s secure words of

acceptance.

“Robin, my mother in law wept the minute I walked into her home

five years after I had broken up with her other son. She did not hold

it against me and has proceeded to repeat these wise and loving words,

to any and all family members through the past two years…”

Here are Christina’s mother in law’s words of wisdom, simple and direct:

“This is how its going to be. Tim loves Christina. Get over it!”

All in all, a lovely day with wild, crazy grandchildren, “gladiators’ ring’ and

a long and winding road that led back to love.