Category Archives: “We’ve Only Just Begun”

White Lace and Promises

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There once was a girl who was from a different elementary school from my children’s

school. There are five elementary schools, hers was Conger, my kids went to Smith.

She lived across the street from us, she became ‘fast friends’ one summer, when she

found out my youngest daughter was going to Willis Middle School in the fall with

her. We had just moved in, when they met on the sidewalk. Soon, the two girls were

inseparable. They would go down to the pool, they would go to Blue Limestone Park

and travel around the neighborhood, upon their bikes.

This girl is named Holly, my daughter is Felicia. They would call each other up, on

land line telephones. I look at my same land line phone, set up in my current apt. and

remember that there was a chair in our foyer, this white telephone with its gold edges

and push button numbers was one I have a photograph with Felicia talking to the girl

who lived across the street. Why weren’t they visiting, instead of on the phone? I am

not sure but this was an age when ‘grounding’ occurred, sometimes as the meted out

punishment.

Soon Holly would call up and ask what we were having for dinner, she liked the way

I ‘grilled’ the hot dogs in butter in a skillet, the way I used a can of spaghetti sauce,

(Hunts brand, mushroom sauce) adding oregano, basil and onion salt. She thought

it was fun to come over and eat dinner, sometimes lingering around in the back yard

with Felicia, pretending they were acrobats and other imaginary circus players on

our wooden ‘gym set.’ Often, one or the other home would be the place they had a

‘sleepover.’

These two friends went through high school, joining soccer and basketball together,

along with their separate interests. Felicia quit soccer, to become a Cross Country

runner, Holly became a cheerleader. They shared a lot of common thoughts and

goals. They both were runners-up, or ‘contestants’ for Homecoming Queen, their

senior year. They shared a great graduation party held at the Delaware County

Fair, where the cost of $200 was divided up amongst five good and solid friends.

All five girls went off to college, staying in touch, going and visiting each other’s

campuses.

The first of the original five friends is getting married today. I have to choose

between three dresses to wear, my youngest daughter wishes me to wear the

longest, new dress. It is a sleeveless dress, with cream, pastel peach, tan and

black details geometric dress. She helped me choose it a young people’s

clothing store, called “Forever Twenty-One.” I have a beautiful autumn mid-

length dress I wore at my son’s wedding six years ago. It has a brighter fall

colors palette with a lovely sweater I could wear over it. I have only worn it

twice. Once on a date and possibly today. The third choice of dresses is a

right below the knee dress, with more ‘pizzazz’ which I have never worn;

like the first choice. It has a jeweled burnt orange diamond that makes my

bodice area look more fuller, with the way it creates folds on both sides of

the diamond. It has the deepest autumn colors which includes swirls and

paisley designs. I went from the pastels in the first, the medium tones in

the second and the deeper ‘jewel’ tones in the last one, with a brighter

orange, olive green and cream background. Each one I will probably wear

gray or tan hose, black velvet pumps and they are about 3 inches high. I

don’t like the brown purse, brown set of shoes I tried all three on, although

you would think they would ‘match’ the fall colors, the black outlines in

each dress seems to need black shoes and purse.

My best girlfriend, Jenny, and I were discussing the 3:30 wedding and

the evening reception. It is not going to start much past 5:00 since even

the longest wedding would not go on that long. She left the length question

unanswered, as a good friend she just said, “Wear whichever you feel you

look best in. Don’t worry about the length.”

After looking at George Clooney and recent bride, Amal’s wedding photos,

studying the guests, I saw no one except the bridal party wearing long

dresses. It put doubts into my youngest daughter’s reassurances about the

sleeveless dress, the first choice I described. Since today’s high may be too

cool to take off the sweater chosen for this dress. (Black with black with gold

edged buttons.) I have a burnt orange colored stone necklace for the two

other dresses, which was made by an artist, looks very stunning with v-neck

dresses, as the two mid-length and knee-length dresses.

My youngest daughter is not a bridesmaid in this wedding, not sure of who

was chosen, since I will find out when I go to the wedding. Felicia was chosen

to read the quotation taken from the end of the 2001 “Love Actually” British

movie. It is meaningful, powerful and brings tears to my eyes. About airports,

greetings and partings, how the world changed for some from 9/11/01 World

Trade Center bombings, but how people still embrace and have hope for Love.

 

White lace and promises, most may remember is taken from that all-time

favorite wedding song of the 70’s through today by the Carpenters:

“We’ve Only Just Begun.”

Memories of a friendship that traveled over the years, through thick and

thin, to transformation of closeness and dear friendship to where they are

right now, Felicia will have a special and meaningful place in the story.

 

It will be forever changed when Holly marries Nate today on October 4, 2014.

They dated for four years, they have been engaged for a year now and own a

home together.

Best wishes for happiness to the Bride (who is like a daughter) and Groom!

Makes me hum the song, “Through the Years,” which Kenny Rogers sang.

This Week in Review: Love Every Second!

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A cricket chorus awoke me at around 6 a.m. today and I felt that I

still had much sleeping to do to “catch up” for the busy week that

had passed! I got up and did the daily rituals, including adding extra

moisturizer and contacts in. One far sighted and one near, to sort of

compensate for not wanting to wear the ‘bifocals’ as long as I can

hold out.

I crawled through the living room, to find that one errant cricket who

had managed to creep through some crack, nook or cranny of my

old first floor apartment. I saw it hop and I crawled slowly to get it,

after all, what is a morning without some exercise! I got it gently

enclosed in the palms of my hand, cupped around it. I made it to the

door, nuts! Who will open it? Not any roommate here anymore…

Daughter off in Victorian Village, preparing for her first Pilates class

in Powell. Dropped the cricket on carpet, opened door, followed

rapid hopping progress to the wine cabinet, got it and set out in

the hallway. There is supposed “luck” attributed to crickets and my

good friend, Jenny, has a nice brass cricket on the hearth of her

fireplace.

Starting with Mom’s weekend, very nice, lots of fun, three meals out

and about six movies watched! We had a grand time, staying up late

and got to see my two brothers, best sister in law, ever, and her

daughter, husband and two children. Emma is about a week off from

my Makyah so we swapped progress reports on their growth and

funny traits. Her newborn, Robbie, is adorable! He has the name with

his initials spelling ROB. Love that idea!

Wednesday, I had to play “hooky” from my long, hard week of down

to only 3 ten hour days. So glad I did that! Grandparents’ Day at Schulz

Elementary School was a ‘barrel of monkeys’ fun! Landen’s class was my

a.m. stop, where we had a male music teacher around my age, leading

these kids in song! We had two great songs, planned to win the hearts

of grandparents and kids alike. First one, we read the words while the

music alone played. We adults knew the tune to “Take me out to the

ballgame” and listened while the kids were using paperclips to read

each word, running along the page of lyrics. Landen did well paying

attention, my mind wandered a bit, but mostly replaying the way we

used to go to a special class for music. Now, of course, the music

teacher ‘travels’ from room to room.

We heard two versions with the words playing and then, finally at

ten minutes of ‘prep’ time, we sang along to the words. The teacher

emphasized, “And its ONE, TWO, THREE strikes you’re out at the old,

ball game!” The kids liked the way he had them use their hands and

fingers to shout/sing the words to that part.

The next song was one he said they had practiced “just for the guests

today to hear.” I did not hear as much enthusiasm for this song, until

we got to the chorus of “La la la la la’s.” (“Sing a Song.”) The words were

recorded by the Carpenters on 10/22/2002.

 

“Sing

Sing a song

Sing out loud.

Sing out strong.

Sing of good things, not bad.

Sing of happy, not sad.

Sing.

Sing a song.

Chorus goes for 18 La’s

La La La La La La

La La La La La La

La La La La La La.

Sing.

Sing a song.

Let the world,

Sing out loud!

Sing of love there could be…

Sing for you and for me.

Make it simple to last your whole life long.

Don’t worry that its not good enough,

For anyone else to hear.

Just sing, sing a song.”

Other ones who have sung it include Nathan Lane on Sesame Street

and Pooh Bear in a movie. The words are very simple but powerful.

We could use this to base the way we speak daily to others, using a

kind tone with simplicity and love. And when we write, “don’t worry

that its not good enough for anyone else to hear!”

Another Carpenters’ song, “You’ve Only Just Begun” worked out to

segue into my First Friday with Bill night. We had a nice dinner at the

old Cracker Barrel, went back to my apt. and parked so we could

“promenade” around town and see what all the crowds were doing.

There were several churches out with treats, a bank with goodies,

and the theme was a pet parade so most shops had their wares out

doors so that the dogs could get a doggie cookie or drink from water

bottles handed out. Kids were getting their faces painted and there

was a band playing out at Brooklyn Heights Restaurant. We saw our

good friends, Sean Duncan and Jamie Reisinger singing at the Old Bag

of Nails Restaurant, too.

We stopped in one of the nice antique stores and listened to a country

band playing. We stayed to listen to a rendition of “Ring of Fire.” Which

led me to ask Bill, my over 30 guitars in his “music room” friend if he

had ever heard Johnny Cash’s version of Nine Inch Nails’ song, “Hurt?”

Bill had not and I told him he needed to check this one out! Awesome,

tear jerkingly moving song with his raspy, ‘whiskey’ voice just touching

all my nerves.

While in our second antiques’ store, we were looking for blue glass for

his daughter, ash trays for his younger woman, and also, guitars. Of

course! We saw three and I am not sure who made them, what kinds

they were but the only one fairly priced was an electric one that had

a good amp included. Bill found a nice, green cut glass ash tray for

his woman and I saw several neat future Christmas gifts for my two

daughters and a nice memorabilia for my Mom, too. Unfortunately,

staying on my budget, will have to count on their being there when

I get back to them.

The reason for mentioning the Carpenters’ love song, often played at

weddings, was we were coming to the Delaware downtown’s closing

time and we ran into the most darling couple. You know I am always

looking for that meaningful love story in my days and nights!

This couple had the young woman standing in front of us in line to

check out, her boyfriend, sitting on an antique chair nearby. They

were talking in a very sweet and comfortable way. I asked the girl who

was closer to me,

“Are you students at Ohio Wesleyan University?”

She gave me a big smile and said, “I am a freshman and we just got here

a week ago.”

I (being my curious, oh you want to say it! All right, nosy self) asked,

“Where did you come from, you have a different eastern seaboard’s

accent?”

She replied, “Maryland. You have a good ear!”

Bill asked what part and he discerned that it was on the western part

in a small town. He talked to the young man as I studied the young

woman’s purchases. She had chosen a porcelain salt and pepper

shaker, with delicate painted pink roses on them, along with a cloth

calendar (like the ones they used to sell on a rod) which had the

year, 1995, on it, along with musical notes on it.

I asked her whether she was studying music and she laughed in the

most cheerful way,

“No, I want to be an astro physicist!”

Both Bill and I exclaimed, “How wonderful (me)!” and “Super (Bill)!”

I added, “Oh, such a wonderful area that we need more women in!”

The young man had told Bill he was not going to college, just visiting

Sunday, to email, text, call and keep in touch but seemed a little sad

about the upcoming separation.

I got wistful, remembering the goodbyes I had said to my high school

boyfriend, Dave. I thought about how we tried to catch up with our

lives over the first Christmas, but how I already had given my heart to

my next  Dave, met on the first day of college. I wondered briefly if he

had been the one to drop me off at college, instead of my parents, if

we would have stayed in better touch. After all, he would have been

with me, eating a meal out and I would not have spied the next Dave

at McDonald’s, I presume. What ‘might have beens’…

The elderly couple who had their checking out process figured out,

but very slowly, got to the young girl’s items. The man wrapped the

salt and pepper in newspaper handing the tag to the woman, then he

took the sticker off the calendar and handed it to her. Finally wrapped

the newspaper bundle in the cloth and bagged it. The young, patient

woman, with such maturity in her appearance, handed her a five

dollar bill and waited for her change. She had just the image of a life

about to burst or explode with all kinds of doors opening.  She handed

a five dollar bill and got her change.

As her boyfriend stood up, Bill outstretched his hand, extending him a

big and hearty handshake. He said, “Good luck and hope everything

works out!” (The young man had been contemplating a myriad of choices

for his future education, including a trade and had shared these thoughts

with Bill. Bill had stressed he had always wished he had chosen the path

to college.)

While leaving the store, I followed them a couple of steps, leaving Bill

to pay for his single purchase. I gave the girl a hug, saying that I wished

her many wonderful experiences and good travel mercies wished to

the young man. I said, I especially hope you like Delaware.”

That led into a short additional five minutes, they both started listing

all they liked about the packed sidewalks for the Farmer’s Market on

Wed. evening and looking forward to the one on Sat. morning, too.

They said that there small town was slowly ‘dying’ due to the ‘big box

stores’ taking away the business of the small shopkeepers. I told them

a shortened version of how I had chosen this town on a map, halfway

between my ex-husband in Cincinnati and my parents in Cleveland.

That I never regretted my decision and two of my three children were

still here, my youngest in Columbus. And six grandchildren, all going

to be raised here, going to the schools. They said they thought it was

just the nicest community to raise a family in.

As they walked out, the door’s bell tinkling, I thought of those words

from the song and changed them to, “they’ve only just begun…”