Friday, April 24, 2015

I am Stuck in an Episode of Seinfeld

As I was putting on my makeup this morning I realized that this week could have been a fabulous episode of Seinfeld. And I am Elaine. Just remember… Elaine worked for
J. Peterman … her job was a writer and she was responsible for the descriptions of items in the J. Peterman catalog.  

So then, picture this… I am not writing a catalog, I am writing a menu.  This isn’t my trip down the menu  highway. I have had to design and put together three different restaurants ever changing menus.  I would much rather have to write vivid descriptions of hiking boots than 7 different steaks. 

But I sat there in my “menu meeting” reading the old and trying to come up with the new and noticed there were two rib-eyes on the menu. One was a “bone-in” rib eye and the other was obviously no bone. Here I am in a room with 2 other men… and I couldn’t help myself, I had to ask this question… and then explain why I am asking it…

Why am I paying $6 more for a
“bone in” rib eye
as opposed to the alternative without the bone? What the hell am I supposed to do with a $6 bone?  Both men looked at me like I had just sprouted another head. Confused, bewildered, speechless is what they were. And finally one says… “are you kidding me??”

Well, no, genius… I am not kidding you… why would I spend $6 more dollars for a bone I am not going to eat… if I ate here once a week for an entire year and put that $6 in my pocket I could have a new DOONEY after a year… and I never kid about my Dooneys.

And here is the MAN answer… The bone is for the flavor… more flavor with the bone.
Well I am already getting the most flavorful steak on the menu, I am not concerned with a bone. And what are all you Neanderthals going to do … sit around and gnaw your bone in a fine restaurant??

So I get home and ask my husband the very same question… I get the astonished look and the MAN answer… the bone is for the flavor.

They missed the whole point of my question …my point was… if you offer a bone in rib eye … at 18 ounces.. don’t offer the same size without the bone. Offer a smaller size without the bone or you will get the stupid question .

Every man missed that point… they thought I didn’t know what the bone was for... Lawd Help ME!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Changes and Adjusting My Sails

A known fact of life is that change is inevitable. If there is one thing that my honey always gives me a hard time about is that I am so resistant to change. I know this. I like everything in order and routine. Unless of course I decide to change it, then I am ready and open to a change.

Here is where I am going with this, more so than any other grandchild, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents at their home in Naples, Florida. I loved it there. I would spend weeks there in the summer or spring break. We did a lot of fun things but the most fun I had was when they would drop me off at the Port Royal Club for the day. Everyone that worked there knew who I was so I guess I had a staff of built in babysitters. All I had to do was sign for my meals and whatever else I wanted. I was grown up (along with a few other kids) and had run of the place all day every day. Glorious!!! If I close my eyes I can still go back there. The white sand private beaches and the Olympic size pool by the sea. Grill to order hamburgers with Charles Chips for lunch and a seafood buffet on Friday night that was worthy of royalty with ice sculptures and piles of shrimp and lobster tails a mile high.

The streets of her neighborhood were immaculate, lined with palm trees and perfectly maintained yards. Every home in her neighborhood was on the water. Canals were dug off the intercostal waterway at Gordon Pass and every house had a boat docked. Some were small yachts and some were retired folk fishing boats. The concept of this development was based on pirates. Port Royal – a haven for pirates in the Caribbean for about 200 years. Blackbeard loved it. All the streets are named accordingly… Galleon Drive, Gin Lane, Rum Row, Kingstown Drive and so on. The main entrance was directly across from the club, down Kingstown Drive and her street was Gin Lane. I would say her house was about a mile from the entrance. When I was about 8 years old and living in Naples, I would take the bus to Granny’s house after school. For some reason the school bus was not allowed to go into the neighborhood so they would drop me off at the entrance. Granny was supposed to be waiting for me in the car … but most of the time she wasn’t there. Probably because she wasn’t used to that chore and forgot. So I would get off the bus and walk to her friends house which was much closer and actually across the channel from her house. Mr. & Mrs. Bee would always be home and welcome their young visitor with cookies and milk. Granny would come get me whenever she took a notion to or they would drive me to her house when they had to go somewhere. That is when Granny had the genius idea of providing me with my own mode of transportation… a bicycle. She would make my grandfather take it to the entrance when he went walking and park it behind a palm tree so when I got off the bus I wouldn’t bother her friends because I was too lazy to walk a mile to her house. And that eliminated the need for her to remember to pick me up. I think I may have been the first latch key kid in that neighborhood. If they weren’t home I would climb over the small wall between the garage and the laundry room and there was a key under the mat to that door. I loved it when they weren’t home because I would help myself to the bread box or pantry which always had an ample supply of goldfish. Like they wouldn’t know who ate them. I treasure my time in Naples. It is the one part of my childhood I look back on and smile about. I remember it from when I was 4 or 5 years old on up into my early 30’s. My last visit there I was 30 years old and probably about 2-3 months pregnant with my daughter. No one knew I was pregnant and I wasn’t about to broadcast it on that visit. I remember having such terrible back pain and spasms. I had pulled something years earlier and it would act up from time to time and this time I was miserable. While we were there my aunt decided we should go to the club and get a massage. I don’t know who that sweet woman was that worked on me but she fixed my back. And when I say she fixed my back I mean that 15 years since, almost to the day, I have not had a back ache. God Bless her.  

About 6 years later, it was time to sell the house and move Granny to NC so we could have her closer for the remainder of her time with us. When my mother went to move her and deal with the sale of the house I called her and told her she better go to the store and get some new knobs for the kitchen cabinets and bring me the ones that have been in that house since the 70’s. That was the one thing I wanted from there. The cabinet knobs were beans, corn and such inside the knob with resin. I loved them. And they are on my cabinets in my house today.  Every time I look at them it takes me right back to my granny’s kitchen, overlooking the water with the palm trees swaying in the breeze. Most people buying homes in her area were buying the old “florida style” homes for the lot and tearing them down to build GIANT gazillion dollar homes. The people that bought the house wanted to keep it as it was and because of that they took less than ask price.

Ok – where am I going with this walk down memory lane??
This past Friday afternoon I was looking online at the news and there was an article that listed the 15 most expensive streets in the country. Coming from a family of real estate brokers, I decided to read it thinking there might be one in North Carolina. To my amazement, as I am scrolling down the list I see Nelson’s Walk which I knew was in her neighborhood. So I google it to see where it was in relation to her house…right around the corner. So, the natural progression with the help of google maps I went to look at her house. Typed in her address and it showed me an empty lot. No way. So I go up and down the street… and google her address again… empty lot. Then I notice the feature to go back several years to the last time it was mapped and see what it looked like. BINGO. 
There was her house… in 2007. 

 In 2014 it was gone.
Open another tab to… house had been sold in 2013 and apparently the person who bought it is building a $14 million home on it. By the time it is done I bet there will be enough grass to cut with a pair of scissors.

I have to confess, what I saw took my breath away and swallowed me in a fog of sadness. Pieces of what made me who I am are vanishing along with the people I love so dearly. My Aunt is the only person left from that part of my life. So, some things change and some things don’t. But in life that is the one thing we can count on… change. I guess I need to adjust my sails for the changes ahead in my life. They are coming. Until then I shall enjoy the moments, treasure them, breathe them in deeply and cherish them because they will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Live every day as if it could be your last and you will regret nothing. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April Showers and All That

One year ago yesterday I had the last conversation I would ever have with my mother.
I didn’t know at the time it was going to be our last conversation. I knew we were in trouble, I knew we were facing odds that were insurmountable in so many ways. What I didn’t know was that we wouldn’t even get the chance to fight that fight and that my last words with her would be just that… my last words with her…. about my new haircut.

It has been the hardest year of my life. Sometimes the sadness comes at me like a tidal wave triggered by a song on the radio or something so funny that I can only think about calling her and telling her about it. But I can’t.  My poor 5 year old is cautious of even mentioning her because he doesn’t want to see me cry. He will say “don’t cry ok mommy?” Which only makes it that much harder not to cry.  As time has moved on I can hold back the tears a little better because I don’t want him not to talk about her or remember her. I want my kids to remember how wonderful she was and how proud she was to be their grandmother. I hope I can keep that alive for them. I know they feel close to her when we go to the beach. They talk about her a lot more when we are there as opposed to when we are at home and we look forward to that time so much.

I had never experienced a loss like I did when she passed. And sometimes in my weaker moments I am afraid that dealing with losing her was only a stepping stone or a learning experience to be able to deal with an even bigger loss in the future. As if the universe is telling me …”see?, you can do it… you can grieve and mourn and come out on the other side because time is your friend and time heals”.

I am more grateful for the little things now … because as they say… looking back I will see they were the big things.  


It is Springtime again and time for everything to grow and bloom.

I am ready for that sun to shine on my soul and make me feel alive!

That is me.... doing my happy dance...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Live. Laugh. Love.

Funny thing… inspiration comes from the most unexpected places and when it is least expected. I started writing my blog about a year ago. My try to keep my entries short so if someone decides to take their precious time and read it they aren’t there more than a few minutes. I mainly write about things going on in my life or things I see and hear through friends and news. But the biggest reason I write is to get what is in my head – OUT. I hope that people can identify with some things and find other things funny or inspirational.
 But I had an experience today that blew me away. (If you are reading this – you know who you are) Someone actually read one of my blogs and took time out of their day to tell me that they read it, enjoyed it and thought I was a talented writer. I have a handful of close friends that read what I write but there have been almost 8000 visits to my blog so someone other than my small circle of friends is reading it and I was GIDDY!

It warmed my heart to think that in some way my writing made this person happy. I don’t know what inspired them to reach out to me and tell me but I am grateful. I am grateful for the little compliments and hopeful they continue on their path to happiness. Sometimes the pieces don’t fall into place the way we want them to but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and keep trying. Because that is all we humans want – to be loved and to be happy. Never give up on finding either of those two things. And as humans we feel the entire range of emotion that no other living being can feel. From the depths of despair and loss of all hope there is always something to cling to that will pull us to the other side. The opposite of despair is hope and the opposite of dark is light but sometimes you have to look for the good just a little harder because the bad is so much easier to believe. And a little bit of love and caring can go a hell of a long way to someone that doesn’t have any in their lives.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Because we all deserve it!