Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Unknown Nicknames

Seems that all my posts recently have been triggered by something I see on social media.  Guess that is the best I can do when I am housebound by weather or illness. 

This little jewel reminded me of something I wrote a long time ago.  I dusted it off to post here.  

 Do you have any nicknames you don’t know about? Are you sure? Well, don’t be so positive you know that answer. Why? you ask. There are nicknames we pick up in life we are unaware of. Names others give us based on our habits, personality or even the way we dress. Names we would work to expunge if we knew they existed. Let me tell you about a few of the people I have known.  

Over the years, I have known people that were called, behind their backs: Purple Lady, Dumpster Diver, Fagan, Backward Charlie, Trashman, Bow Lady, Coupon Cheat or Cigarette Lady by their co-workers, neighbors, church members, store clerks or friends. Many of the names were self-explanatory while others had quite a story behind them.

One of the first people I met after moving to a new town back in 1978 was a sweet elderly woman named Arlene, who lived with her husband in a house across the street. At some point in every conversation with each new neighbor I met, I would be asked if I had met the Cigarette Lady yet. One morning I was waiting in the checkout line at the gas station when I heard one clerk mention to another that the Cigarette Lady had been in again. Another day I was in a training class for new checkers at the Shop ‘n Save when the trainer began to mention problem situations and how to handle them. One of her examples was someone called the Cigarette Lady. A few days later I finally met the Cigarette Lady when she knocked on my door asking to borrow a pack of my husband’s smokes. If only took me a second to figure out that my sweet neighbor Arlene was in fact, the infamous Cigarette Lady. I soon learned that shortly after being diagnosed with a respiratory disorder and having her cigarette budget canceled by her husband: Arlene began making the daily rounds of anywhere she thought she could mooch a cigarette. She would hit up all the neighbors and even their guests if she saw them smoking. She would stand outside the gas stations and ask each person who purchased a pack to give her one until the complaints got her evicted from the lot. She would do the same on the parking lots of the supermarkets and drug stores. As a result, she was known by most of the people in town simply as the Cigarette Lady and when they saw her coming they would go the other way to protect their expensive smokes. Did Arlene know how she was perceived by those around her? Did she care? You will have to ask her, but after years of being her neighbor and friend, I don’t think so. Her addiction to cigarettes trumped any embarrassment she may have felt. I asked her husband if he was aware of her activities and her nickname. He said that it was a shame and hoped it caused some reduction in her smoking, but it did not change his stance on providing Arlene with cigarette money.

One of the ladies who regularly checked out through my grocery line was known by everyone as the Bow Lady. I never learned the Bow Lady’s real name but I did learn that she was a high school teacher and also taught Sunday school classes at the Baptist church. She was very nice and seemed well liked by her students but even they called her Ms. Bow Lady. The Bow Lady was an attractive matronly woman who wore business suits with white button down collared blouses. She came by her nickname because she had the habit of wearing multi- colored package bows made of curly ribbons at the neck of her blouses. Did she know or care that she was considered a bit strange?

If you are a creature of habit and often visit the same places, eat the same food, wear the same color or style of clothing or make the same purchase from your local store----------watch out. You may already have a nickname you might not like.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Anniversary Surprise

Alabama Waffle House locations offering romantic
Valentine's Day dinners by candlelight

I recently found the above ad on one of my Alabama cousin's Facebook page.  It brought back memories of my parent's fiftieth Wedding Anniversary.  

They were married after my father was discharged from his WWll military service.  During those lean years weddings tended to be small affairs.  After my parent's church ceremony, the wedding party along with friends and family had dinner at a nice local restaurant.  Few folks could afford a reception with lots of guests like today.

When my parents 50th anniversary came around, we children planned a  reception for them complete with dinner and dancing.  On another evening my parents planned to reenact their wedding dinner at the original restaurant. It is still in operation to this day and is now a historic landmark. The dinner would be attended by the surviving members of their first guest list. They were even going to be served the same menu. 

 My father wanted to go one step further and do something unique and romantic for just the two of them.  Dad made all the plans himself keeping the details a secret from everyone.

 My parents lived in a rural area and once a week would go into town to do errands and  grocery shop.  They usually stopped at my mother's favorite restaurant for lunch.  On the big day Dad did every thing he could think of to make them late getting into town without raising my mother's suspicion.   When they arrived at Mom's restaurant it was the slowest time of the afternoon.  They were met at the door by the manager who escorted them to their table.  The table was set with a linen table cloth, two gold rimmed china plates, sterling silver flatware, wine glasses, linen napkins in some fancy origami fold, two lit candles and a crystal bud vase of red roses. A waiter wearing a long white apron (as if he had stepped out of central casting for a part in a fancy french restaurant) with a white towel nearly folded over his forearm approached and made a big production of opening and pouring sparking cider into their wine glasses. A bit later he returned with a silver tray containing their weekly lunch order.  

As my parents were sitting enjoying their special dinner another couple came in and sat at a nearby table. They couldn't stop watching my parents with great curiosity but never spoke.  Finally, as my father was helping my mother with her coat, Dad  turned to the couple and said one simple sentence.  "It's our 50th wedding anniversary." 

I guess I should mention that Mom's favorite restaurant was then and still is Taco Bell. The meal was three regular tacos, one for Mom and two for Dad. The couple who were watching my parents at Taco Bell would have seen My Dad, a small gray-haired man dressed in his everyday attire of a matching set of Kaki colored work clothes; and my Mom wearing blue jeans with a sweatshirt embroidered with the names of all her grandkids. Hardly the gown and tux you would expect a couple to wear sitting at a table laid out like theirs was.

My parents were married 59 years when my father passed away.  My mother is now ninety and her immediate family totals 84 people with twenty great-grandchildren and five more expected by midyear. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

too old for all this drama

My husband and I have just lived through an eventful (not in a good way) week.   First, let me give you the backstory. To protect the privacy of those involved I have changed all their names. 

We met a young family shortly after we were married and they have been a real blessing in our lives.  We became the parents, grandparents, guidance and emotional support this hurting family needed.  While they filled all the empty spaces in our lives and hearts caused by the distance ( both literally and emotionally) of our own children and grandchildren.

Jessie’s  parents divorced when she was very young and then her father disappeared.   After years of searching  Jessie finally tracked him down a few years ago to discover he was on his third marriage and had three adult children he had raised from his second marriage.   Jessie is a very loving and caring person and she was finally starting to get close to her father and build a tenuous relationship with her half -siblings.  Unfortunately, her older brother and sister could not be so forgiving of the father’s  past transgressions and refused to renew their relationship with him. 

Jessie’s father (Max) owned a small trucking company but he continued to drive over the road and his sons (second marriage) worked for him.  He also hired Jessie’s husband to manage the office, solicit business and keep the trucks and drivers busy and on the road.  Last week Max and one of his son’s were doing a tandem run to the west coast.  Somewhere in New Mexico  Max had a heart attack that caused him to crash his rig into a stone wall and he died at the scene.  His son who was following right behind him was witness to the whole event. 

This son (James) will inherit the business and had to not only deal with the loss of his father and getting his body sent home, but had to make arrangements to get the load from both rigs to their destination. Now he must deal with how the company is going to meet all its obligations with two drivers and  two rigs off the road, as well as drive his own rig back to  Missouri and plan a funeral. 

While these events are tragic and my heart goes out to everyone involved I am most concerned about my “adopted” daughter.  Jessie, is not only facing the possibility that her husband will soon be unemployed ( Max was the glue that keep this struggling enterprise afloat)she is dealing with a lifetime of emotions that were still unresolved where her father and his first and second families were concerned.   Jessie so wanted to become Daddies little girl and for her son to build a relationship with his grandfather.  Now all those dreams are lost.  Then as if that was not enough to deal with it was learned that Max had no life insurance and his second family expected Jessie and her siblings to each pay a share of the funeral expenses.  Money that none of them have but that Jessie feels she must make her full responsibility, even if it means taking on years of debt.   

My husband and I have done our best to provide meals, comfort, support and childcare for this young couple, who are also foster parents to two children, during this time of stress and sorrow.  But, during all this my daughter and her husband get into a huge row and my grandson became fed up and left.  Granted he is nineteen and a college student, but he does not drive and walked out at 2:30 in the morning on a freezing night in a town that rolls in the sidewalks at ten pm.   

My daughter and I have not had the best relationship since her father died, so she was convinced that we must be hiding her son.  But, I knew my house was the last place my grandson would go because he knew it was the first place his mother would look.   Then expecting him to go to the home of one of his friends my daughter spent the next three hours waking up families in the small hours of the night.  We awoke to find numerous missed calls on our phones. My grandson had never done anything like this before. It was out of character for him to disappear in the middle of the night.  After twelve hours my grandson finally called, and we learned he had been safely tucked away in bed at my sister's house after he made the three-mile hike to her place.  

Boy, am I getting too old for all this drama.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Past Meets Present

This was posted to my Facebook a few days ago and it has had me thinking ever since.     Yes, I think I am all the things it mentions but it saddens me more than anything.  

It has taken several days of thought to understand why I was saddened by this meme, cartoon or whatever you call it.  I now realize that it saddens me because both my husband and I  lived probably three-quarters of our lives in family situations that were far from perfect.  Each of us had a childhood that left us scared.  Then, we each allowed our destructive past to lead us into marriages that just continued to degrade us and keep us from building our self-esteem.  

It was only after we each found ourselves alone that we were able to begin to realize our personal worth and rebuild our injured psyche.  

Just over nine years ago we happened to meet on a singles website and took a huge leap of faith by joining our lives in marriage.  These past years (in my opinion)have been the best of our lives intermingled with some of the most painful.      

My husband and I are walking down a path where neither of us fully understand the forces that shaped us during those sixty years of living. Sometimes, we have flashbacks when memories from that past life creep into the present and cause us distress. Our partner was not part of that time and it creates confusion, misunderstandings and occasionally some temper between us. 

We each had another life with people and family, the other didn’t experience.    In some ways, I wish our lives came with a playback button so others could understand our past from our viewpoint.  It would certainly make it easier to be understanding during those moments when our past lives intrude on the present. I guess we just have to realize everyone has their own ghosts and demons they must deal with. It is up to us to be more understanding and not allow their demons to become a personal assault on our own emotions.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

One persons dreams is another persons nightmare

Over the years I have been involved in many conversations about dreams.  Things like “Do you dream in color?” or “Do you remember your dreams?” and even “Do you think dreams are a prediction of the future or are they just remembrances of the past?"

Since childhood my dreams have been more of the nightmare variety.  My dreams seem to be hauntings of all the hurtful times in my life.  Last night I managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour  and fall asleep without a hacking cough keeping me awake for the first time in weeks; only to be awakened three hours later by a very realistic dream reliving the events  of the homecoming dance my senior year of high school. 

It was the fall of 1963 and I had transferred from the Catholic High school to the public school.  So I was the new kid in the class.  It was a strange year for me.  I had always been in a religious  school with uniforms and rigid rules. One of these rules was a stripe down the center of the hallways that kept the girls on one side and the boys on the other.  Now my classmates were walking arm in arm, sneaking kisses, and dressed in all the latest fashions. Plus, as the most remote school in the county, it was the only high school where pregnant teens and adults could attend classes.  My class of 91 students contained one married couple, one student in her thirties, and twelve pregnant girls.  All making for no small amount of culture shock for this teenager. 

Imagine my dismay when I was selected to be one of the members of the Queen’s court at the homecoming dance.  This school did not have a football team so the court was made up of the guys from the varsity basketball team  and senior girls whom the teachers chose to walk down the aisle with them.    Only the King and Queen (who had to be seniors) were voted for by their classmates. 

I borrowed a prom dress from one of my cousins, arranged to have my hair done by a neighbor lady, and even got one of the men from the neighborhood who worked in town to get me  a corsage to wear.  Since I did not have a date for the dance my father agreed to chauffeur me to the school.  

The day of the dance my father went off to attend an auction like he did every Saturday.  He would buy items he could get cheap for resell in his auction barn.  Saturday was auction night and Pop had gotten another auctioneer  to do that night’s sale so he would be free to drive me. My mother and siblings were at their regular jobs at the auction barn so I was home alone.  As the time to leave approached and my father was not home I started getting nervous.  It was the era before cell phones so I had no way of contacting him to remind him of his promise to drive me.  We were a 40 minute drive from the school so when it got down to the last hour before the schedule arrival time I finally called the school and talked to the teacher in charge of the dance, letting her know my situation.  At best I would be late and maybe not make the dance at all.  I was told there was no one to take my place and if I was not there the boy who was to be my escort would have to sit out also. The teacher was quite upset with me because there was not enough time to send someone to get me .  She chastised me for not trying to find someone else to bring me.  

When my father finally arrived home  I was already an hour late and had long since changed out of my gown and stored my flowers in the refrigerator.  My father made no apology  for being late. In fact, he told me to get in the car so we could get to  the auction to help close up.  I overheard the argument between my mother and father  that evening after we got home.  Pop told my mother that my stupid dance did not matter when compared to his doing what he felt he needed to do to earn a living and  support his family.  But, I can assure you, if that had been one of my brothers being honored that way he would have not only been early but would have stayed to see the whole ceremony take place. 

When I went back to school on Monday I learned that the boy I was to walk with did not have to sit out after all because the teacher had found  a junior girl in a nice formal to take my place.  But, I never lived down the teasing from my classmates and, if my dreams are any indication, recovered from the hurt my father’s self serving actions caused me that night.    

Friday, January 15, 2016

Heard Enough

Yes, Maxine, I’m in total agreement with you.  I have also heard enough, read enough and seen enough of some topics to last me the rest of my life.  

  I learned long ago that some subjects are best not discussed in public (and especially with family) so I wish folks would learn how to apply that advice to social media.  Perhaps then I would not want to unfriend so many people.  
I recently read about the Druid Hills Academy in Charlotte, N.C. where officials are banning teachers from using   the word “PLEASE.”  Their goal is to make so-called “bratty kids” behave.  It’s called “No-Nonsense Nurturing,” where teachers give kids concise, clear instructions in a format called  M.V.P. meaning movement, voice and participation.  

In my day the Nun’s would just throw an eraser at you or pull out their ruler,  and I guarantee you would not misbehave again.  Oh How times have changed. And, not always for the better in my book.  I have said many times how glad I am  I was born in the era I was.  I would not want to be a child or raising children in this current age.   I believe that old adage " Sometimes the old ways are best"  still holds true in many situations.     
And lastly, I'm so glad that at the Powerball frenzy is over.  Thrilled for the winners but doing the happy dance because I will no longer have to listen to all the news reports it generated.  And yes, I did buy a ticket. And yes, I did think about what I would do with all that money.   

Friday, January 8, 2016

My Best Tree

I have a feeling that no matter how I word this post, I am going to come off sounding like one crazy old lady who has too much time on her hands, and possibly as if I'm bragging as well.  Truthfully, I am not trying to do either.  

 Hubby and I are in sync on most things but Christmas decorations isn't one of them.  Especially when it comes to the tree.  Hubby prefers a traditional tree done in multicolored lights and all the assortment of decades of collected ornaments from handmade by the children to the dated Hallmark collections.  I on the other hand like white lights and everything in crystal, silver and gold with some cardinals for a red accent.  In our last house,  I put up a tree for each of us.  One in the living room and one in the family room.  

Since downsizing to a small condo, we only have room for one tree so I have been alternating them.  This was the year to have my tree.   I caught hubby giving the tree a good look-see this year and was quite surprised when he told me it was the prettiest tree he had ever seen.  Then followed that up with saying that he never wanted me to put up the tradition tree ever again.  

Now granted (and I'm just stating facts here -- not trying to brag) I have always gotten lots of compliments on both interior and exterior decorations.  So I have decided to tell you my secret.  First, you have to have enough decorations in a variety of sizes and colors.  Second, they need to be sorted properly before you  hang the first ornament on the tree.   I always sort the ornaments when I take them off the tree and then pack them away in the reverse order of how they will be hung the next year.  In other words the last ornaments to be hung are the first to go in the basket.  That way I can hang them as I unwrap them.

I spent yesterday between coughing fits and rest breaks taking down our tree.    While doing so I got curious about just how many items were on the tree and decided to actually count everything before I packed them away.  I took a total of 317 ornaments off the tree.  One-third were crystal, one-third were divided between gold, white and silver.  The remaining third were filler items like sparkling pinecones, flocked or feathered redbirds, old-fashion candles, and beaded spiral sprigs I found at Michaels.

This tree has been evolving over the last decade but I think I have finally gotten the correct combination of colors and glitz, to suit my taste anyway.    

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Chowder of Squalling Cats,

Over the last few years my husband and I have both been diagnosed with several different ailments, but one we have in common is lung problems. Hubby has COPD and I have Pulmonary Fibrosis.   When a cold or flu bug comes around we both seem to get sick at the same time.  And, heaven forbid we both get a cough.

Yesterday, as we were both trying to hack up a lung and passing around our communal bottle of cough syrup we got to discussing what our neighbors must think of the sounds they have to be hearing coming through our common wall.  

 Terms like “rusty rollercoaster”, “clowder of squalling cats” and “a broken firehouse siren”  were just a few of the sounds we tossed around.  But, the most obvious did not occur to us, apparently.  Today, hubby happen to overhear the two young men who live next door talking as they walked to their car.  One was asking the other if he had heard all those “fog horns”  going off last night.   

Yep, despite two trips to the doctor and taking antibiotics, Mucinex tablets, cough syrup and tiny cough pills (that look like Vitemin E) hubby and I have been having  a fog horn competition  all week. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Dear Diary

I have always had a fondness for the written word.  While I don't recall our house having a shelf full of books growing up, or my reading to my younger siblings,  I definitely remember lots of trips to the bookmobile.  I also remember hiding under my covers with a flashlight reading until I either fell asleep or the batteries died.  I remember getting caught with that flashlight and the lecture on the cost of batteries and how my father couldn't do his job without it and my sin of being wasteful.

After being introduced to Journaling by Sister Beatrice in the eight grade, I remember how hard it was for me to get a notebook and keep it hidden from the rest of the family.  I don't believe it was because they wanted to read my journal, it was just that paper for schoolwork was always in short supply in our house.

I remember packing up those journals and everything else I owned into several large boxes that I stored in my parent's basement when I moved to town for my first full-time job. I lived in a rented sleeping room near the bus line that took me to work. I'll never forget the day I came home to find that my Father, in a fit of temper, had thrown all those boxes on a blazing bonfire. He intended to burn all the contents of the basement and knowing my entire life accumulations except for some work clothes was stored there made no difference to him.

That did not stop me from keeping a journal but the frequency of the entries did diminish as my adult life got busier.  There was a long time period when I would only pick up that dime-store notebook to  recording my anger, hurt feelings or some great sadness that I could not discuss with anyone else.

For many different reasons I long ago destroyed all those tattered books but my need to put my thoughts and feelings on paper has never left me.  Now I keep them in a locked file on my external hard drive or just blatantly post them on one of the many blogs I have written over the years.   I will admit there are times when I wish I could go back and read the first scribbled pages of my teen years to learn if the person I became in any way resembles the person that young girl hoped to be.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Rules for a Knight

I stumbled across this book during a recent visit to the bookstore.  Frankly, the only reason I bought it was because of the Title.  Since my maiden name is Knight I felt it would be a great coffee table conversation piece.  

A few days after purchasing this book we went on the long drive from Missouri to Alabama to celebrate my Aunt's 97th birthday.   We like to fill the hours on the road by reading to each other.  It makes a dent in the books stacking up on our night stands and inspires conversation alone the way.  

I'll confess hubby wasn't very excited about the book once he realized it was written by the actor and writer Ethan Hawkes for preteens.   I admit that I had no idea who Ethan Hawkes was so I had to do some research on him and his book.  After that I couldn't wait to read it.  Once we got into reading the book we realized it was a book that should be shared with every family with children.  

It teaches through tales of being a Knight all the things that children of our generation  learned from family, teachers and the daily trials of growing up.  

There are 20 Rules For a Knight: 1. Solitude; 2. Humility; 3. Gratitude; 4. Pride; 5. Cooperation; 6. Friendship; 7. Forgiveness; 8. Honesty; 9. Courage; 10. Grace; 11. Patience; 12. Justice; 13. Generosity; 14. Discipline; 15. Dedication; 16. Speech; 17. Faith; 18. Equality; 19. Love; 20. Death. 

 It seems that so many of these twenty rules   have become lost in the busy life of today's parents and children and I believe we need more books like this one.  Heck, if I could afford it I would send one to each of the thirty-five households in my immediate family. 

Should you decide to give this book a try do shop for the best price.  I got my copy at Barnes and Nobel for $18.00 but later found it for $12.73 on Amazon and even less on Ebay.  

In the “Editor’s Note," Hawke explains that the book is his own reconstruction and interpretation of a professor’s literal translation (from Cornish) of a badly damaged letter, purportedly written by a 15th-century knight and Hawke ancestor to his children on the eve of his death in a historical battle, found in the Hawkes’ family farm basement in the early 1970s. Hawke clearly states that the authenticity of the letter has not been conclusively established and that, where he struggled to convey the knight’s thoughts, he borrowed from the writings and expressions of other “knights”, most of whom are 19th- and 20th-century authors, thinkers, leaders, and artists: Emily Dickinson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bob Dylan, Victor Hugo, Vince Lombardi, Nelson Mandela, Thich Nhat Hanh, Anais Nin, River Phoenix, and Mother Teresa, to name just a few. So the book makes no claim to originality or exclusivity.

Since I have been discussing Rules.  This showed up on my Facebook and hit home for me.  Rules number 3, 8,9 and 10 are certainly something I need to work on and part of the reason I decided to get back to blogging.  

Back in January of 2014 I did a post where I announce I was trying to write a book about the weirdness that is my life.  For those who expressed interest  it is still a work in progress.  Emotionally I can only handle writing it in small doses.  Plus, I have changed the format several times which meant starting over.  Not being very computer savvy I even lost the file for a while before realizing I needed an external hard drive to save it too.  Will keep you posted.  

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 Flood in St.Louis / Kimmswick Missouri

Interesting video of the historic town of Kimmswick and the Anheuser Busch Estate.


Turn Around, Don't Drown

I wrote a few days ago about the flooding in our area. All the roads in the St. Louis area are now open but the Mississippi and Meramec Rivers won't  be below flood stage for another two weeks.  Luckily, the Missouri river in my town is expected to be below flood stage in the next day or two.  

I feel so sorry for all the folks who have lost their homes or who are facing huge repair bills; some for the second time.  As we drove around town today we realized that the number of people who suffered wet basements was far greater than we expected.  Folks are getting their trash out for tomorrow’s pickup and most blocks had at least one pile of damaged carpet and soaked drywall at the curb.  There are several on our street and we have not hauled ours out yet.  

Seeing this photo took me back to the 1982 flood when a girlfriend, our children and I were caught in a rising creek.  We had been out to lunch at a Denny’s in our area that had a usually dry creek behind it. We were in my friend's car and she was driving. It had been raining for several days, but, not thinking about high water, my friend drove around the back of the restaurant to exit onto the side street and we suddenly found ourselves driving through what appeared to be only inches of water but, soon had us floating down the parking lot.  A couple of hairdressers from the business next door were taking a smoke break on their back stoop.  They saw us float by and called the fire department.  When they arrived water was already up to our seats.  The firefighters strung a rope from dry land to the car.  A fireman in waders with water up around his waist approached my side of the car and told us he was going to open the car door.  He said we would only have a minute or two for the four of us to exit the car, grab the rope and follow it to shore.  The car was a small Trans Am with a console between the front seats.  My friend weighed almost 300 lb. and she began yelling there was no way she could climb over the console and out the car regardless of how much time they gave her. She insisted they open her door and let the skinny people do the climbing.  The fireman explained that given the direction of the current we didn’t stand a chance of being rescued doing it her way. He counted to three, opened my door, and water rushed into the car.  The kids and I were out and hand walking the rope to the dry pavement in a flash.  The whole way I expected to hear my friend was drowning in the car.  But, when I got to where I could look back I was surprised to find her being pulled along in the flowing water by two firemen.  Obviously, once the water came into the car she found the motivation to climb out of that car before it floated downstream.   It was several days before her car was found and declared a total loss.  While I felt bad for my friend I was shamefully grateful that  it had not been my turn to drive that day. 

Those signs“Turn around, don’t drown” that you see a lot  around here certainly was emblazoned in my memory that day and I learned its lesson the hard way.   

Friday, January 1, 2016

“Wishing you the soul of a Gypsy. The heart of a hippy and the spirit of a Fairy”.

Well,  here I am on the morning of the first day of a new year.   First, where did I bring in the New Year? Truthfully, I was tucked up in my bed before ten with my electric blanket.  At twelve thirty my husband woke me up to take my night pills.  Seven different drugs that I must shallow every day at noon and midnight. Neither of us remembered to wish the other a Happy New Year as we snuggled together and fell back to sleep.  Now it is six am and I have already spent almost an hour catching up on the posts made to my Facebook, since the last time I checked. 

I've learned that twenty of my family members attended the New Years Eve dance at my brother's church ( A charity fundraiser that my husband and I knew nothing about). My daughter attended a private party hosted by a friend and even managed to fix her hair.  My adopted daughter spent the night playing pinochle with her biological family.  The flooding in our area is still the main topic here, and New Years Resolutions is the big topic by my friends who live elsewhere.  

I’ve also been confused by this item that was shared several times.  “Wishing you the soul of a Gypsy, The heart of a hippy and the spirit of a Fairy”.  Afraid I can't make any sense of this.  All the experiences I have had with Gypsies happened in the many stores I worked in over the years.  Several times a year we would prepare for what was known as Gypsy season when the on-slot of dozens of couples, over several weeks, would conspire to see how much they could shoplift.  So, as far as I know, Gypsies’ souls are nothing I can relate to. While I was a young person during the age of hippies my country lifestyle was so far removed from the television image of the Haight-Ashbury free spirits that I could never relate. Now the spirit of a Fairy I may understand.  I have certainly read more than my fair share of children’s stories full of the sprightly spirits with magical powers.  But, how these attributes are going to bring me a wonderful new year makes no sense to me. When I Googled the sentence I came up with the second picture which I'm afraid also makes no sense to me. 

Now, as for those New Years Resolutions that folks are so fond of making.  I admit it is something I generally avoid.  I tend to follow the advice of Sister Beatrice who got me hooked on journaling back in the eighth grade.  Every day starts with a blank page and what you do with it determines whether you record a celebration of your present or another despair of your past.