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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Some Things

It’s been a while since I’ve done a list so decided tonight might be a good time to do one of some things that have brought me pleasure lately.

*Central air conditioning!  It’s hotter than hot here in NJ lately!

*Listening to our local radio station with its interviews with people from local organizations, some who I know, trivia contests, “swap ‘n’ shop”, and “talk of the town”, as well as playing songs considered “oldies” but that I know most of the words to.
*Sipping iced tea and reading a book while waiting at a coffee shop for a friend to join me for lunch.
*Meeting friends for breakfast and lunch---love my summer time freedoms!
*Baking blueberry cake and eating it with vanilla ice cream!
*Watering the plants and filling the bird baths.

*Spending lazy afternoons watching crime drama reruns.
*Donating usable but unwanted items to Goodwill.
*Trimming some bushes early in the day.
*Puttering in the kitchen while singing along to a favorite cd.
*Watching bees enjoying the blooms on the Rose of Sharon outside the kitchen window.
*Watching the lightning bugs rise up out of their hiding places at twilight and seeing how high they go.
*The way the setting sun lights the underside of the trees.
*Feeling the fan stirred air cooling me as I lie in bed at night.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Running Into Adulthood

Some people run into adult hood with abandon, arms wide open, figuring things out as they go, delighting in each new discovery, trial, and triumph; never looking back except to wave good-bye to childhood.  Then there are those who are dragged by the ankles, kicking and screaming into maturity, fearing the unknown; looking back at the safety of childhood and longing to stay there forever.

I took the former attitude when I was young.  I was delighted to be out on my own.  My mother was very unhappy that I moved out, but having my own apartment with my friend, filling it with second hand furniture and dishes, unmatched towels, living on pizza and donuts—now that felt like living!  I had no idea about checking accounts, budgets, laundry, or anything related to being an adult, but I learned as I went, worked extra shifts to have enough money to pay bills and have fun, and occasionally had to wash clothes in the kitchen sink.  I didn’t care, life was good, life was fun and I survived!  Eventually my mother got over it and would send me back to my apartment after visiting with clean clothes and enough leftovers to keep hunger away for a week or so.  It’s a time I look back on with much fondness.  I’m so glad I had the opportunity to experience living on my own and taking care of myself.  Honing my ability to think on my feet and survive was great preparation for the twists and turns my life has taken since I was that crazy 19 year old striking out on my own.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It’s A Mad Lib Life

         When I was a kid one of our favorite games was Mad Libs.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a series of writing tablet style books with a paragraph or two on each page, each page generally unrelated to each other, with words missing in the sentences.  The missing words are represented by a blank line with what type of word, such as noun or adjective, is missing written in small lettering underneath.  One person chooses a page and asks the other players for the words, without reading the paragraph to the group until all blanks are filled in.  The result is usually so funny that it’s tough to get through the whole paragraph without stopping to catch your breath.  This game is still one of my favorites to play with my brothers and their children.  One line that I still remember from when I was a kid and playing with my brothers is from “The Three Little Pigs”.  In this abbreviated version of the fairy tale the line “and he huffed and he puffed” ended up being replaced with “and he went and he gone”.  I can still see my brother Doug’s face turning beet red with tears streaming down his cheeks as we laughed until we couldn’t breathe and our bellies hurt.

         I’m noticing more and more that my conversations are getting to sound like Mad Libs.  I don’t know if it’s hearing loss, or people mumbling more or I’m just not paying attention but I’m hearing some pretty crazy sentences throughout my days.  I was talking on the phone to my sister-in-law who told me that she had just come in from working in the garden and had been attacked by a bunch of speedos. Wow! That produced some disturbing images until I stopped laughing and realized that she said a bunch of mosquitos.  Then there was the day at work when I was told that Linda dropped an eye in the pizza.  Ha ha! No, she dropped ice in the freezer.  Another time one of my coworkers, who is from another country and has a fairly pronounced accent said “I have no tongue, I need tongue”, we all looked at her in puzzlement so she repeated herself, “I have not thong, I need thong”, as we laughed and she repeated herself again and began making hand motions we realized that she wanted tongs to pick up the lettuce with on the salad bar.  It’s a good thing she likes us or I think she might have been angry.  I’m not going to get into the misheard song lyrics and don’t even get me started talking about those auto corrected text messages!  It’s getting to be a Mad Lib world.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Heat Wave

We’re right in the middle of an early summer heat wave, or more specifically, sauna like weather.  It is so humid out that breathing is difficult, and the lows at night are somewhere around 70 with highs hovering around 90.  I know for some of you this is weather you may be used to, but here in my corner of New Jersey we can usually count on the nighttime low being in the mid to low 60’s, and the kind of weather we’ve been having generally only lasts 2-3 days, but we are approaching 2 weeks and no signs of change on the horizon if the weather people are right.   As I was driving to a family celebration the other afternoon I passed a woman jogging along the county road on which I travelled.  As the air conditioning was blasting in my car I wondered who in their right mind would be out running in these conditions.  Upon further consideration I remembered that as a child I was out running around every day in the summer heat whether playing Frisbee or baseball with my brothers, chasing butterflies by myself, or tag with friends, heat and humidity were no obstacles.  Now I’m such a wimp that I won’t even go for a walk in the morning if it’s too humid.  We were also outside after dark.  If we weren’t playing hide and seek, we were sitting on the porch as a family drinking lemonade and just talking—it was too hot in the house and we’d sit outside until bed time in the summer.  Now we have central air and I can’t help but feel that I am somehow wasting the summer away waiting for it to be comfortable outside.  I think I have this argument with myself every summer now, whether to go outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of summer or stay inside where the air is more comfortable and forget what season it is.  I really think I should go outside, at least until I start to sweat and truly feel that it’s summer.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4, 2013

Independence Day Memories:

We don’t celebrate July 4th like we did when I was a kid.  When I was growing up every holiday was celebrated at my house.  Mom made tuna macaroni salad, potato salad, green Jell-O salad, and lemonade.  Dad cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the charcoal grill.  We had watermelon for dessert, and after perhaps a game of kickball or tag we’d gather back around the still hot coals and toast marshmallows on sticks we found and Dad whittled to a point with his pocket knife that he always carried.  After consuming those lovely toasted marshmallows my parents got out the sparklers.  This was my favorite part!  I just loved running around with a sparkler in each hand drawing designs and writing letters in the air until they burned out.  Sometimes we’d listen to patriotic music on the tape player, I just love all those John Philip Sousa marches—now that’s my idea of patriotic music!  We’d hear fireworks in the distance, but I don’t remember going to any.  Now, sadly, it’s pretty much just another day at our house for me.  Bruce goes to march in a parade in another town in the morning, Hillary needs the same care she always needs, if Anna’s not working she’s out with friends or catching up on things she needs to do.  We grill some hamburgers, I make potato salad, and after Hillary goes to bed we watch fireworks on the TV.  It’s still nice, but sometimes I long for those simple celebrations of my childhood.