I’ve Searched And Searched – And He Was Right There (under the old wedding dress)

I started this blog as a way to find myself prior to when I was a “Mrs.” – yet the path that I thought would lead me to my independent self, led me emotionalbaggageto my “satisfied” self; my loved and accepted self.  These past four years, I’ve discovered my mistakes, my baggage and have embarked on the journey of “single” life.  During this time I nursed my sister through cancer and, eventually came to grieve her death.  Lived through a fire, after losing almost all that I treasured and held dear; only to find new friends and ‘things’ to hold in their place.

Since my move to “Small Town America”, I’ve discovered a new love for the simpler things in life and I’ve rediscovered my love for that one man who I fell in love with back in 1986 – Doug…  Yes, we are back together again and will be remarrying sometime in 2015.  It took sometime for us both to realize our own baggage and contributions to the demise of our marriage, but we are ready to move forward.  Doug will be moving in with me to “Small Town America” as he enjoys retirement.  I will work and hopefully publish my book.  I figure that it is time for him to live the “retired life” for a change.

HoldingHands-LoveI just find it funny how these things work out.  All this time, I thought I would be oh so much happier – living independently, or with someone else; when all those other men I was seeing were being compared (in my mind’s eye) to Doug… Nobody would ever love me enough or care for me enough.  Truly loving me for me, in spite of my faults (and I have plenty of them, believe me… I talk to myself; you know that?).  All of the men I dated would try to change me, or would be threatened by me, or would simply use me and dismiss me (remember “Honey?”)…  Anyway, after a few months of going round and round and his persuasive “wooing”, I came to realize that I’ve always loved him (something I’ve never denied, actually) and that we should be together, for better or worse, in sickness and in health.

There is something to be said about “true love” – you know the kind?  Where you just fit together…  right in that ‘crook’ in the neck while lying in bed, or finishing each other’s sentences… knowing what the other will want for dinner (as if instinctively).  And still being able to look at them, through all their faults, with love in your eyes.  When I returned into his life and into his home, I noticed that all the little things I loved, he kept.  All my little collections, the sheets I bought, the salt and pepper shaker collection, my hearts – everything.   As if to say, “if I keep it, she will return.”  I was endeared by the fact that he kept these items, while, at the same time, any other man would have destroyed them.  That was when I started to realize, truly, that he never fell out of love for me.  And,  I guess I never fell out of love for him.  Something my friends noticed, even when I was still stating “we are ONLY friends… Nothing more.”  We went to a memorial for a dear friend of ours and a few weeks had passed before announcing our engagement.  I spoke with a mutual friend who was at this memorial and she told me how she could understand and that she could see it in the way I was looking at him and him at me… It was in our eyes.

And that about sums it up, doesn’t it?  There were plenty of reasons to end the marriage, but all has been corrected with acknowledgement and time; and with that, NOW we can move forward.  Of course there are many who think I’m on some “pity romance” and to them I simply shake my head and state, “you don’t know me and you don’t know us.”  Those are the Haters that say that.  I know our history and know our present.  I’m perfectly clear of what I can expect.  Doug isn’t well, he has had a couple of strokes; that doesn’t make him any less of the man I love.

We go to brunch at this little place (have been since we were first married), there is this other man who hangs out there who had a fancy for me. He seems to enjoy telling me that Doug’s only intention is to take advantage of me… To never work, and states that he has a problem with that and why don’t I?  Doug has worked over fifty years; over fifty years of backbreaking work – working freeway construction and owning a roofing company, which included many years of performing his own “tear-offs” (which are brutal enough without the triple digit heats we have).  I do believe he has more than deserved his retirement and if I can give that to him, damn it I will!

It has been over four years since I’ve left him, and I’m finding myself everyday.  It’s a daily trek for all of us, don’t you think?  But the journey continues on and I continue to learn.  Oh, I’ll still continue writing as I’ll still be Finding Ann MacGregor.  Who knows?  Perhaps F.A.M will even get published.



Be Careful What You Wish For (or so they say…)

Riches!  That is what many wish for.  A new car… bright, shiny and fast; that will do.  A huge wardrobe of fantastic clothes (Vera Wang, Mark Jacobs, Isaac Misraji, Christian Lou Bouton shoes, and the list goes on and on) with a fantastic body to wear these fantastic clothes (yep, you guessed it, I wish to be a walking hanger…).  Fame!  Walking the ‘Red Carpet‘ and photo shoots!

But, truth be told, the only thing I craved was to have a ring of friends that were so gifted that I didn’t know what to do with myself while in their 13618094presence.  I wanted nothing better than to be surrounded with talented, creative, sensitive people who I was only too proud to call friends.  So much so, the other day, after performing for a concert with my band, I ended up leaving a bit early (my migraines are reliably inconsistent and this one was a doozy); as I walked to my car, with music in hand and my head down thinking of the faces looking up at us as we sang, I smiled a huge smile as I realized that dreams actually do come true.  I am living my dream!  You see, I have discovered that I am surrounding myself with fabulous people who build me up and who stand for what they believe in and, most importantly, who pull together and put their money where their mouths are and give to those in need.

Much of this I owe to the music we sing and so much of it I owe to age.  I’ve reached the ever blooming “halfway” mark and am realizing that there is a new path I’m forging for myself.  Some of that is in my music, but most of that will be through my foundation, helping those diagnosed with dementia and their loved ones cope with the disease and the responsibilities that go along with it.  I am embarking on a road that I’ve never had the confidence to follow; but that’s the point, is it not?  As I’ve written in past posts, so often we follow the same path because it’s familiar, we know the curves that lie ahead, we know the bumps in that road.  Sure, there might be a surprise here and there; but, for the most part, it’s a path that we are very familiar.

Often times through life, we come across a fork in the road or a cross roads and it is at this time that we must decide… we must decide to turn left, turn right or forge straight ahead on the same, safe, familiar path.  I mean, why change, right?  If we turn left, we might fall, break a leg, we might fail!  Same goes if we made a right turn.  We might meet some horrible people who bankrupt us and, fail.  But, truth be told, if we forge ahead, we might fall, break our neck, end up in the hospital, meet some really horrible people who mismanage our business and cause our medical insurance to cancel, thereby forcing us into bankruptcy and, fail.

Wow!  How grim!  However I think you get my drift… no matter what, there is always going to be the chance of failure (this is true).  But, there is also the chance for success and the possibility of meeting fabulous people who will become wonderful friends.  There are wonderful possibilities out there if we just adjust our direction.  I did.  And I am the happiest I’ve been in years.  Scared?  Certainly!  But this isn’t a daily occurrence.  I went Ziplining the other day with a friend of mine.  I found myself hyperventilating on the first couple of lines (well the first FIVE); but the most important thing is that I felt empowered and I finished with honors.

Life; be careful of what you wish for.  Really?  Rather, be grateful for what you wish for.  I had the pleasure of attending an honorary luncheon with my sister, Elizabeth.  The Organ Donor Society was honoring those who donated their organs in 2012 and our sister, Kimball, was one of the honorees.  They had a slide show at the end, showing all the faces of the loved ones who had passed, giving the “gift of life”, their organs.  Some were able to give to many, some, like my sister, were only able to give their eyes; but it was known that all these gifts were exactly that, “gifts of life”.  For even the eyes, they gave were a gift of site to someone who may not have had sight since they were very little and there is something very humbling in that.  Some had been given the gift of a heart, a liver, a kidney; and there were so much more.

But the faces, those were what touched me; so many faces, all belonging to someone or many.  All having touched others and leaving a huge hole in the lives of those around them.  Some of these faces were very young, their lives barely started.  While others were in the prime of their life, possibly leaving children, a spouse, parents, friends and a whole community.  These faces spanned all age groups and it left me grateful.  Grateful for my love of Kimball and grateful for my friendships (new-found and well seasoned).

355477So many times we hear it said (more often now than ever before), “Life is too short” and this is said as a message of some sort.  As if to say, “get over it, and move forward”; stop holding on to your anger and your petty disagreements and forgive instead.  Those that say this have a point; but to them I say that you can’t rush grief.  If people are hurt or angry, there is not a thing anyone can do to force them to heal, forgive, forget and move on.  They must come to that decision by themselves.

It is no secret that this time last year I was a mess.  The loss of our sister left me empty, angry and spitting fire.  I was trying to ‘get over it’, but that was a tall order and that is what I’m saying to all of you.  Grief is different for each and every one of us; and it will happen in its own time (again, different timing for each and every one of us).  But I gave it time (finally!), and have allowed my friends in to help, listen, talk and laugh with me.  That is really the ticket, laughter and talking.  We all need that release.  But the most helpful of all is time.  We must allow ourselves the time.  How much time?  I don’t know… Nobody does!  No one, but you.  Allow it.  No time is too long, but some time can be too short.  Don’t rob yourself of the healing needed.

It has been a year (actually a 13 months) since the passing of my lovely sister Kimball and I’m sure she is smiling down.  I know she was smiling that day of the concert I was participating in as I was realizing all the new friendships I’ve made.  These wonderful people who are now a part of my life, all of whom have their own wonderful talents (all musical and fantastically musically diverse as they are all part of the Greats of the Northern California Bay Area).  I am so proud to have been accepted in the “club” and to have been invited to sing among them.  They teach me every time I sit in the crowd and listen.  To do that is a wonderful experience; BUT, to have them in my home?  That is an exceptional experience, and this happens all the time now!  So, needless to say, I have my ears on and my mouth closed (unless ordered otherwise) and learn as much as I can.

Yea, be careful what you wish for?  I insist on, “be grateful for what you wish for” – as anything is possible and mostly likely probable.  Life is, as they20954921 say, but a dream.  So dream on!  I am so grateful for the turn my life has taken.  Thank you EVERYONE who has touched my life in one way or another.  Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear how you’ve been touched by a miracle (earthly or otherwise…).

The Only Thing Constant is Change…

The Changing Season - Township at Highlands

That is what they say, and you know something?  I hate it!  Of course there are some changes that are wonderful… the changing of the seasons, changing your shoes, changing your décor; but when people leave from your snuggly surroundings, this is a very sad day for me.  I was very blessed to be included in on a family dinner of my dear friend before she and her partner left the state.  She is and has been one of my truest friends for quite some time and, although they have lived elsewhere in these United States in the past and I survived, I just can’t help that I will mourn the idea that they will no longer be in the next town over.  I know, many will say, “But Ann, we are in the new age of technology… you can Skype, even call, you know?”  But I am going to miss hanging out, chatting it up and being silly, or going out and singing around the piano at one our favorite live piano bars in the City.  What fun we had.

It was around ’99 when we met, we both shared a love of singing and sang in an acapella quartet.  It was sheer amazement that we sounded as great as we did as we four laughed more than we sang; but sing we did and the blend was amazing.  The friendships that were formed from that quartet are treasures to this day. You know the kind?  Those friends you can just laugh and laugh and laugh with, until your sides ache.  Then it’s all you can do to not continue to laugh despite the aches.  (Something so therapeutic about it)  The other night at dinner was an occasion just like that.  We laughed until we ached.  And I watched as my friend spoke with her niece and I couldn’t help but to be reminded of a picture of another girl and her aunt (her favorite aunt).

When I was a girl, being the youngest I was a bit invisible (Ann who?  Do we have another sister/cousin?), but my aunt would talk with me and spend time with me.  She would tell me how proud she was of me, how pretty I was (even through my awkward “ugly duckling” years… whew!); bottom line, she encouraged me.  And the other night I saw this in my friend… No wonder I’m endeared to her; what is not to LOVE?  As we sat, laughing, chatting and giggling more and as I observed her listening with such intensity, I was watching Aunt Louise with me.  What a treasure.

FriendshipWe have a great many treasures in our life, friendships are the most valuable of those.  Family is obvious; but it is our friendships that we form through the years that pull us through the tough times, it is those friends that lift us up when we are down and listen with both ears wide open and without judgment.  So many quotes are out there about friends, close friends, best friends, childhood friends and so on; again, many will come and go, there are some that touch you for a brief moment in time and then there are those that stand the test of time.  It is my hope that ours will stand the test of time, but one can never know that without a crystal ball.  All I can do is treasure the contact I have with her today, this moment and be thankful for the light she has shed on my life and will continue to shed on my life and  the lives of all around her.

All the best dearest One…  You are embarking on yet another wonderful journey, remember that you are the rarest of gems that gleam light into the lives of all you encounter.  I love you and will always.

The Arrow and the Song


It fell to earth,
I  knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in  its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth,
I knew  not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the  flight of song?
Long, long afterward,
In an oak I found the arrow,  still unbroke;
And the song,
From beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Source: The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Famous Friendship Poems http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/famous/poem/the-arrow-and-the-song#ixzz2OakCb45A http://www.FamilyFriendPoems.com

Nearing Month Three… Who Is This Lover Man Anyway?

We are nearing month three and Honey and I are still blissfully in LOVE with each other.  This last weekend we were like

Love is in the air ! Literally !!

Love is in the air ! Literally !! (Photo credit: kalyan02)

two kids at Christmas as we had the house to ourselves for the first time in what has only been three weeks; but honestly it felt as though we’ve not been alone together for months!  You see, my brother moved in with me over Labor Day and, although I enjoy living with him immensely, there is a certain ‘freedom’ Honey and I feel when we are alone in the house, just us two (if you know what I mean?…)  We have been in sheer bliss.

Call it love, lust, hormones (hormones?  Psha!  I think mine sweated out with the last hot-flash);  No, Honey and I are definitely in love.  When Honey pulled up on Friday evening after work, it was all I could do to not wrap myself around him.  So, instead, I ran out to meet him and fell into his arms at which point, for the rest of the weekend, we were virtually inseparable.

This ‘love thing’ is quite the drug, isn’t it?  I’ve been so damn happy, almost in a state of euphoria.  Just the taste of his lips or the smell of his breath or the feeling of his arms around my waist can send me into ecstasy.  I’ve never felt this way, ever.  And you know something?  It’s about time!  Hello!  I finally know what all the hype is about.

This man, this wonderful man tells me daily; no, scratch that… not daily… More like on a moment by moment basis how much he loves me.  Now, if telling me doesn’t get the point across, he shows me.  Through his eyes with each look and in his touch with each embrace.  Not only that; he dotes over me and tells me how beautiful I am.  And if that doesn’t get through my thick skull, he makes sure that I hear it from anyone around us.  For instance, if we are in a restaurant or getting a coffee at the Starbucks, Honey will often ask the person serving us, “doesn’t she look beautiful today?”  To which they reply, “Yes”, with a smile of course (he is cute as a dickens and, besides; what else are they going to say?).   He is just so damn sweet!  Now, not to belittle the point (I don’t want to argue with the man) I’m alright looking, but when I’m with him I feel like a super model; not because he tells me and is quick to tell me that everybody else thinks so too.  It’s the glances we share from across the room or the way he reacts at the sight of me in an outfit he really likes; he makes it a point of letting me know just how beautiful, or how sexy I am in his eyes and there isn’t a day or a night that goes by where he’s not reminding me of that point.  Men, you could take notes from Honey.  This is what women want, more than money, flowers, diamonds (those are all nice, mind you); we want to know, and to see, how you feel about us, what you are thinking about how we look and how we make you feel.

Honey and I spend many a night just lying in each others arms talking; talking about life, our past, our future.  He tells me how much he loves me and how crazy he is for me and I tell him how much I love him (I am just as CRAZY for him).  But it is in those moments, when we are simply talking; it’s then that I drink it in and know this is for real, this is the relationship I’ve been dreaming about.  I can now watch all those romantic comedies knowing that I’ve achieved what they have.  I’m not just watching the protagonist, I AM her!  The one who got her man and living the ‘happily ever after’ life.

Happily ever after is where we are headed; however we both just came out of some rocky times.  Coming from humble beginnings himself, he took me to his hometown and showed me where he grew up.  It was a modest home and the family, the whole family, had to work to earn money to live.  Honey showed his son and me where  he worked with his sisters in the vineyards as a child.  He demonstrated how he and  his sisters would have to prune back and tie the vines (a tough and grueling job, especially for a child so young) and he explained the harvest and the various steps of the picking.  In that moment, as he was telling us of his childhood and as I was learning more of his background, in that moment there

Le raisin est mûr, Bosdarros, Béarn, Pyrénées ...

Le raisin est mûr, Bosdarros, Béarn, Pyrénées Atlantiques, France. (Photo credit: byb64)

was a pride and love for him that grew deeper and deeper.  There was a certain pride glowing from his face as I watched him explain every detail to us and while he explained all the little details of the business, the  industry and its people.  He and his family had worked so hard and it was clear to see the fruits of their labors standing before me.  Honey is a man of honor and people flock to him, that is no accident.

He tells me that I make him a better man; but, how can you improve on someone so precious and rare to begin with?   This wonderful man is someone who walks this world with a certain zest for life while carrying with him faithfulness, humor and charm on his daily journey.  And when he laughs, there is a certain gleam in his eye as he smiles.  As I said, every day I see or hear something new about him that draws me in closer and closer.  Be it his humor or his tenderness; I can’t help but to love him with everything I’ve got.

On our first date I told him that the way to my heart was through laughter; to which he admitted to me later that he secretly said to himself, “yes!”  And he’s had my heart ever since, because there hasn’t been a day that has gone by where he hasn’t made me laugh, smile, chuckle or sigh… I can’t think of a better way to spend my life, can you?

I Grieve And Life Goes On (which is how it should be)

The pangs have lessened a bit, but still hit at about four and a half months after my sister’s death.  I know, I’ve been so upbeat; Ann, why the downer?  Well, I don’t think what I’m about to talk about is going to be that much of a downer, just give me a minute.

It is only natural that I will be reminded of Kimball through my days; today, it was something that I pulled out of the pantry that she purchased at the store (I remember, because I was with her when she purchased it).  And, BAM!  The grief flooded; only for a second or two, however, and then it passed.  My Honey was with me the other morning making me breakfast and as I was reflecting, I was thinking of just how proud Kimball would be of me right about now.

She would have liked Honey, his humor and the way I laugh when I’m with him (I literally am in a belly laugh for the better part of our visits, he is that funny…) and she always did say how much my laughter was contagious.  She would have loved his honesty; which by the way, is something she would have known just by looking at him.  It’s not something you fake; though many have tried.  No, to wear it and wear it with integrity, you truly must live it, every day.  And, Honey does.

She would be elated in the fact that I’ve finally moved on and am not living in the past of ‘what ifs’ and am instead living in the promise of what each day brings; that being that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west and that everything that falls in between is up to me, one moment at a time.  There was a quote I saw recently, “I don’t know what the key to success is, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”- Bill Cosby – and I think I’m finally getting it.  Kimball would be proud of my accomplishment in this area as she too had difficulty with the pressure of trying to please everyone, while forgetting the one important person – herself.

It really is a ‘balancing act’ that one must do (or is it?).  I guess, when you think of it, it isn’t.  If all you are doing is living an authentic life and being true to ‘who you really are’; true, many might view you as selfish, but in reality you are taking care of your needs so that you can better take care of the needs of those you love.  What is it they instruct us to do before every flight when it comes to the ‘cabin pressure’?  “Place your mask on you first before attending to your loved one.”  You need to be whole and healthy before you can fully love and care for those around you.

I’m sitting here, sipping my Starbucks coffee and realized, without

I had Starbucks coffee on a Friday night

I had Starbucks coffee on a Friday night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

thinking about it this morning, I got two (2) Old Fashioned donuts instead of one.  I used to bring home an extra for Kimball.  Hmm, old habits truly do die hard.  But today, I grieve a little less – still grieving but more pondering; going over past photos and memories.  I do do things these days with that extra ‘pep’ in my step and  I would love to say that this all is due to Honey; however my happiness is not due to any one person.  It is solely up to me and I have gone through some pain staking work to get here.  (Though Honey does have a lot to do with it… just saying).

Elizabeth was out this last weekend and we went through yet some more closets in this big house of Kimball’s.  So many things to organize and so many memories (perhaps this is why I’m going down my Memory Lane).  Elizabeth is (I believe I’ve stated this before) the epitome of organization.  She gets up like clockwork and with the chickens – if we had chickens and a rooster, I believe she would be the one crowing them awake every morning.

Thursday evening when she came in, I was met with a much softer side of her, only to have it harden a bit come Friday morning.  But, I’ve learned to not take this personal (as I would have in the past) as this is just her way.  She is a woman of business and just finds that she must get through it; plow through it if she must (glad someone can… I’m completely opposite – if only some of her would wear off onto me).

Saturday we saw a close friend of ours (like family), who is currently in a treatment facility and doing very well.  I was quite concerned with how Elizabeth would handle this.  She has yet to go to an Allanon meeting or a ‘recovery’ type… ANYTHING.  So, I was curious how this would be taken by her.  We went early for the family meeting, which was laid out much like an Allanon meeting would be, where we sat in a circle and we could share our concerns, etc… Of course Elizabeth shared nothing.

I had hoped she would have shared her feelings, her concerns after our friend’s return.  She did not and I shouldn’t be surprised.  So, I chimed in with my questions to which, I got the typical ‘clinical’ answers… Not what I wanted, but it is what it is.  All I know is that I am so tired (exhausted in fact) and that the road ahead is going to be long and arduous; not necessarily  looking forward to it.  I know that this is the wrong way of looking at it and that our friend need us (me); I simply can’t help how I feel at this point of my life.  I’ve been through it for way too long; first my husband (several rounds with that and now several rounds with this person)  I’m working on it, one day at a time.  But, I’m getting way ahead of myself here.

By the end of the day on Saturday as Elizabeth and I were driving home, I brought up one of the other families and how my heart went out to them; because I was there, in their place at one time.  I was in that woman’s shoes; feeling those feelings of guilt and worry and asking the questions of “how did we get here, I don’t get it?”  Or, “why does he do this to himself when he knows what it’s doing…”  I could see the pain in her eyes as she brought up the fact that her son was not only an “addicted” but a heroin addict and how humiliating that was.  She kept asking the question, what could they have done?  And why didn’t they see it?

First off, addiction is addiction and everyone feels, or has felt the affliction of the stereo-type by being affiliated with an addict.  Then the horrible questions and the rounds of debates we have with ourselves.  When the bottom line is, there is nothing we could have done differently.  Denial is a wonderful place to be, and there is a reason for it; it protects us, for a time.  Then there is a time when we must wake up.  It is what it is.  They chose we didn’t; we can only move on from here.

Somehow, I think that might have helped her, but I don’t think anything anyone says will be of any help, for the time being anyway, until she is ready and willing and able to allow it in.  But back to Elizabeth and me in the car on the way home; as I mentioned that couple, especially the mom, Elizabeth immediately turns to me and states something to the effect of, “I hope she realizes that she should never have given her son any pain pills.”  To which I was a bit stunned.  I mean, this woman was already crucifying herself enough; there was no need to bring up the obvious.  We were merely talking about things like dealing with ‘enabling’ and ‘co-dependence’, things Elizabeth should be reading about and learning about, but for whatever reason is resistant to.

I realized at that moment that she just doesn’t get it – and would probably never get it.  AND that our friend’s recovery and support would be up to him and me (I am his sole family support system, for now anyway).  Elizabeth, though I love her dearly, just doesn’t seem to want to climb out of her Ivory Tower long enough to splash in the mud and let her feelings out like the rest of us.  And that is very sad.  As I watched her on that day, with everyone spilling their guts, she was like a Scientist watching everyone through a microscope.  Not getting involved, but staying very distant and erect in her chair.

I wanted to ask, “What are you so afraid of?”  “What part of You do you have buried so deep inside that ‘reserved’ side of you that you are so afraid of letting out?”  Nobody can possibly be so shut off!  But she is, and I find it very sad in deed.  Because, you see, Life is messy and so are the feelings we acquire as we live it.  No one can journey through this thing called life without the mistakes or regrets and ALL the feelings that go along with them.  And when you keep everything all  bottled up tightly inside?  Well that has got to be a terribly heavy  load to carry around.

Anyway, by Saturday night Honey came by and met Elizabeth for the first time.  I think she likes him (who wouldn’t?).  He brought in his overnight bag; I told him where my room was.  And as I thought about it, the old me was scampering to somehow try to explain myself, or ask permission, or [fill in the blank].  But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized how silly that was.

I am a middle-aged woman [yep, older than dirt!].  I’ve been in a marriage (Elizabeth hasn’t) for over 20 years (not exactly a virgin) and I don’t think I need to explain myself to ANYONE, thank you!  It felt so liberating!  So wonderful!  So, Honey and I went off on our date after talking and joking with Elizabeth, who took our picture at Honey’s request (he is big on pictures… so cute).

I do still get those pangs of grief and they sting (a bit), but I am reminded that this life is for the living.  The memories of Kimball are for me to learn from (both the good and the bad).  And I’ve made it my mission to do just that.  I do believe my relationship with Honey has her fingerprints all over it, however; and that she is smiling and giggling as he and I scratch our heads in wonder of how this wonderful thing ever happened to two people like us.  Are we just lucky?  Or did we have a little tug or shove from that celestial special someone?   Either way, for now, I can think of her and hear her giggles and smile and simply thank God for my place in the grand scheme of things.

Love On The Fast Track (or is it?)

As you know, it has been almost three years since I’ve left my husband

English: Love question

English: Love question (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and our divorce is almost final.  I know it took a while for me to get used to the idea before filing papers.  So, in the interim, as soon as I’d given up on the idea of ever finding ‘Amore’; BAM!  It hit me like a ROCK!

I’ve fallen folks; hard!  And I know it’s quick, only three weeks; but if it is any consolation, we have known each other for three years and four months.  Honestly, I think there had always been a  connection  (or at least  I could feel it).  Even so, there is simply not much a person can do when they are trying like the devil to work on their own teetering marriage.   Though, at the time I thought mine was pretty solid, only to  soon find out (about 2 months later in fact) about my ex’s drinking and his hiding the alcohol.  Hence my plan to leave.

But even when everything went a rye, it would turn out that we each needed time to heal.  Well, I know I needed time to heal as there were many days where I couldn’t go without crying over my failed marriage (and I was the one who left!).  Also, I think if you hop back into another relationship (right after a failed one), you tend to fall into the same trap that you did before (subconsciously of course).  I know that when I tried dating I found that the first guy was nothing like my ex.  The second was a bit more like him and by the time I got to the fourth; he was the splitting image!  So I ran as far as I could – ran for them thar hills and into hiding (thus, my blog).

And what did I find out about myself the last several months? (Actually, it’s almost two years… Jeese, can’t believe it’s been that long already) Well, I’ve discovered that I was as much responsible for the failure of my marriage as my ex.  OUCH!  Yep, that hurts to admit… But it’s true.  I’ve said this in past posts that I pushed him away by doing for myself.   You see, I was raised by a single mother who did everything, from the gardening to the building of the fences, to the sewing of our clothes, to the cooking of our meals; she did everything by herself (with the help of her little house maids – we kids).  But I wasn’t fortunate enough to witness two parents splitting up the household chores or laying down the expectations each spouse had for the other.  Not to place blame, it’s just that that is a very big role that was missing in my life and was something I didn’t even realize until after all went kaput.

In a way (a very big way) I emasculated my ex-husband to the point of him probably saying “why bother” AND “why bother to even sexually please her?”  I made myself very unavailable.  I know that it sounds like I’m taking on the whole lot of our failed marriage and trust me when I say, I’m not.  But I do have concerns in this new relationship of mine and I don’t wish to continue the trends from the last.

I did learn some good things these last couple of years and the main point being that I do deserve happiness.  I deserve the happiness with a man who adores me, wants to be with me, and thinks of me every morning he wakes up and every night before he goes to sleep.  And I finally found such a man.

Funny thing is that I’ve wanted this for so long.  With this particular individual?  Yes, for the most part, yes.  But to be perfectly honest, I thought there was no hope, no interest; so I had given up.  When the truth is, it just wasn’t our time (funny how the Universe works, isn’t it?).

I can truly, without question say that I LOVE this person; more than I’ve ever loved anyone (this way) ever.  Now, this could be hurtful if my ex ever found out and I would never want that to happen because I did (and do) love him.  But with my ex (and if he really thought about it I do believe he would agree), our love was more like a love between brother and sister, or simply friends as opposed to lovers.  It had gotten so distant, there was no hope.  It was never that ‘I’ll do anything for you’ type of love.  He never treated me in the same fashion,  nor has he ever looked at me in the same way.  It is simply not the same.

So, the question goes out to you.  How soon does one know when they are in Love?  Do you know right away?  Are we just being silly to know this soon?  I don’t know, I just feel as if I know (no question) and that it is comfortable.  For instance, we are great friends and we laugh forever on the phone (and the best way to my heart is through laughter).  He is truly the sweetest man; he is  considerate, loving, thoughtful, attentive to my needs and affections…   I have to say that I knew this was ‘it’ before I knew… (If that makes any sense)

In the past, I would wonder, question, ask the ‘what ifs’ and then wonder, question and ask the ‘what ifs’ some more, until I was exhausted.  But here I just know somehow.  I’m not scared, not thinking about the future, not worrying about the past; I seem to know that all is going to be alright.  And that I’m in love and that for the first time in my life I am following my heart and not what I think someone else wants me to do, act or feel.  And you know something?  It feels so wonderful!

Let Us Live and Love (5)

by Gaius Valerius Catullus
translated by Thomas Campion
My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love;
And though the sager sort our deeds reprove,
Let us not weigh them. Heaven's great lamps of five
Into their west, and straight again revive;
But, soon as once set is our little light,
Then must we sleep one ever-during night.If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be;
No drum nor trumpet peaceful sleeps should move,
Unless alarm came from camp of love.
But fools do live and waster their little light,
And seek with pain their ever-during night.
When timely death my life and fortune ends,
Let not my hearse be vexed with mourning friends;
But let all lovers rich in triumph come,
And with sweet pastime grace my happy tomb.
And, Lesbia, close up thou my little light,
And crown with love by ever-during night.

“Yes” – It Can Truly Change Your Life For The Better (if you only allow it)

If you have been following my blog, you have read so much about my stumbling on this path I’ve chosen to follow.  But that’s really what life is all about, is it not?  We take our paths, making our choices at the forks in the road and walk one step at a time, sometimes stumbling as we go, but always rising with each fall.

That was how it seemed for me these past two and a half years until I made a choice that would soon alter everything (how I felt, looked and viewed the world).  I said yes.  It was a simple request to meet for dinner that would change my life for, not just the better, but to sheer bliss.  The way I believe all beings are to live this thing we call life on this planet we call Earth.

His name?  Not going to tell you… (well maybe)  But trust me when I say that he is the most admirable of men.  We originally met a little over three years ago in a class we were taking.  We were friends; friends, who were each in our own lives with our own marriages.  He has two children, I have none; but there was something about our friendship that was special for we truly liked each other and found we could talk to each other.   However, by the end of class he went his way and I went mine.  We kept in contact through Facebook (as with other classmates).

Within that first year after our class we each left our spouses, but as life would have it, it was too soon for either of us to start dating, let alone each other.  He was off in his own world as I was in mine.  Divorce (Separation… whatever), is a difficult time and a person needs time to grieve.  Well, I did.  There were days, weeks, even months, where I couldn’t go a day without crying over the loss of my marriage.

Granted, at the time I was nursing my sister who had just had major surgery – this was after her second diagnosis of Stage Four Ovarian Cancer in her Lymphatic System – but everything hit after my duties lightened around the house and her needs for me lessened.  The loss of my marriage hit like a rock and the grief cut through me like a knife.  All my dreams of a successful marriage (or what I thought was a successful marriage) were gone – stricken.   (See on of my first entries in I’d Like To Introduce Me, Myself and I).

However, over time I became comfortable in my own skin.  I grew to ‘like’ myself again and love that girl in the mirror.  I had my ups, and many downs – the downs were in reaction to the many cyclones of distresses that happened out of my control.  You see, when you are as ‘co-dependent’ as I once was (ha ha… I say that with such ease… “Once was…”), you have such a need to control the lives of everyone around you and their situations.  You want nothing better than to ‘make’ their lives work; to make them ‘better’ (for lack of a better word).

The ‘if only’s’ start to take over and soon you are living in the cyclone, and BAM!  You are now out of control with your own life; feeling self-doubt, worthlessness, hopelessness.   It is a downward spiral.  However, in time and with much help I’ve come to a place where I can now see the world from a different plain and a different, more peaceful angle.

The timing was outstanding, because you see, shortly after I came to this understanding, this wonderful man asked me to join him for dinner – just to catch up on life, mind you – but it was the start of something HUGE that will forever change my life.

Now, I can ‘t tell you how many times I have asked for such a person; a person who will love me for me, a person who believes in me when I am unable to believe in myself.  Someone to hold me when I fall and to lift me up when I stumble, someone who, with one look into their eyes, tells me just what their heart is saying.

I finally have such a person, and he was here all along!  It just took us some time to heal within ourselves to find each other.   Who knew that within this journey of Finding Ann MacGregor, I would also find this wonderful man?  Isn’t that just how things work?  Find solace within yourself and the other pieces of your life start to fall back into place.

I can see the puzzle pieces of my life drifting down and falling in place and, as they do, gradually seeing the image of where my life is heading.  I don’t know everything, exactly as of yet… But the image is getting clearer.  And the colors are vibrant; the images are exuberant as they pop off the page.  Life is good and is getting better with each passing day.

Sometimes we do want to have a crystal ball – I know I’ve mentioned this before – to predict our futures; how nice would that be?  Then again, how wonderful it is to take each step, not necessarily knowing what our next journey will be, or what the scenery will look like as we pass it.  What I do know is this; it is a fantastic feeling to know that I can relax and allow all the good into my life, while releasing the fear.  Just allow and be grateful for the time now.

I’m not only my mother’s daughter – I’m the HYBRID of Mom and Dad

To most of us our parents pass along the obvious genetics – hair color, eye color, weight/height, etc… And as I find myself nearing the end of my fifth decade, still confused as to the path I should take, I can’t help but wonder of my own mother and father and how their genes ran far deeper than skin and hair color.   I see letters written by my father, or even my mother, over forty years ago and I could swear, had I not known better, that I wrote them.

Eighty-nine years ago this month, in one of the worst blizzards in the history of Wisconsin, our mother was born.  Only a few days old, she caught a cold that quickly grew to pneumonia.  Thinking that her tiny body would not make it through recovery, her parents called for the minister to perform the baptism and what they thought would be the inevitable funeral.  But that tiny baby proved to be much stronger than anyone thought possible and she not only survived the deadly virus, she would continue to prove throughout her life that she was much more durable than many would give her credit for.

As a woman who was all of five feet two inches tall and only one hundred and eight pounds; such a tiny woman who was raised on a dairy farm during an era known in our history as the Great Depression.  During this time she taught herself how to sew and cook; all the while studying hard for she had her sights set on something, anything that would take out of the small town in which she lived.

She graduated valedictorian and earned a scholarship to River Falls University where she majored in Science and minored in Mathematics.  But her scholastics career would end early  graduating magna cum laude in an accelerated program due to the war; and because the country found that there was such a shortage of teachers, the choice became obvious so off she went to teach in Minneapolis.  This occupation however would be short lived but would serve its purpose for the time being.

After teaching and soon after the war ended she and about four or five of her friends decided to move to San Francisco, CA.  Unfortunately, all but one of them chickened out.  With no job, no apartment and no friends to greet her on the other end, our mother had enough for the train ticket to California.  But she would soon find that all would work out.  Soon she would meet many friends and eventually meet that man of her dreams – our father – and they would end up happily married and with a family.  Unfortunately that would be short lived as he would die after only twelve years of marriage.

Remember now, this was a woman much stronger than anyone ever imagined.  This was a woman who had grit, courage and was unshakable.  However, as time passed and life grabbed hold, somewhere along the way, though she had plenty of courage, she was somehow shaken and had lost her confidence.  I bring this up because I too am losing mine.  You see, I’m the age my mother was when she would have been widowed for nine years.

In those days our country had so much conflict going on.  Even in our small yet cosmopolitan town, there was much tension between the races.  My oldest sister was already in college and my brother graduated early so he could escape the tensions he faced on a daily basis.  Our mother continued with her brave front and continued to teach us the wrong of racial inequality and the ignorance of it.  All of our friends were leaving for “whiter” pastures while we stayed.  All the while I could tell this bothered mother.  Not so much that she wanted to “escape”, as much as she wanted to shake some sense into her friends and neighbors.  It was simple nonsense as she called it! (She referred to them as Archie Bunker –  the character in the famous All In The Family from the early 1970’s sit com)

Publicity photo from the television program Al...

Image via Wikipedia

Our mother was way ahead of her time and saw people as people.  But to say that she didn’t see color; well, I would be lying.  She was, after all, of the older generation.  But, she raised us with the knowledge that we were all equal under the law and in the eyes of God.  And so that was how we continued to live our lives.   Our mother has since passed away, but I can see her in all of us.  For instance, in my oldest sister Kim I see her courage and her sewing (mother was a wonderful seamstress).  Also, every time Kim makes a list it reminds me of mom (she was a big list maker).  Our brother got her mind for science and mathematics; and Elizabeth always has an eye out for another project with her home and I think out of all of us, she reads and rereads the most books (our mother was an avid reader, going through several novels a week).  I got the ‘craft’ gene and ALL of us love long distance driving.  You see, our mother didn’t learn to drive until daddy died.  But once she did, watch out!  She was off like a bullet.

The traits don’t stop there, obviously.  There are many favorite memories that I hold of our mother; such as the memory of her holding me and rocking while singing.  My ear would be against her chest and her bass voice would resonate and it would be so soothing.  To this day the idea of rocking is still my favorite action.  Or the memory of going to sleep to the sound of the sewing machine only to wake up to a brand new dress hanging on my closet door the next morning.

We used to call her Mighty Mouse and mighty she was.  But she was also very fragile in many ways, though she would never show it.  And it’s that frailty that I wonder about in myself.  Is it possible that our lives can mirror those of our parents?  If so, is there a way to truly break the pattern or break the chain?  For once in our long lineage I would love to do what “I” want to do – I just need to truly figure that out and not let anyone [ANYONE] discourage me from that dream.

I’ve been placing way too much importance in what other’s feel about what I do.  Bottom line; it shouldn’t matter what others think.   I mean, there is a point where it might (just a bit), but not so much to where it should influence my doing or not doing [x, y, z].

My mother was famous for saying, “That’s great Sweetie, but first you need to do…”  There was always something I needed to do first, as if I had to perfect something.  But isn’t this process of life the ‘perfecting?’  I loved my mother; love my memories.  I still celebrate her and her birthday and perhaps, just perhaps the mere fact that I’m aware is the break in the chain that is needed (fingers crossed).  She was truly a talented woman who hid her light under a bushel – such a waste.  I don’t want to do that.  Our talents are to be enjoyed.  So I prefer to be the hybrid, if you will, of both my parents.  I think we all have the best qualities of them and can focus on those.  Our mother had so much, I just wish she knew how much.  I think if she had more validation in her life, life might have turned out much differently for her.

“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” – Mary Dunbar

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” – Benjamin Franklin

Six Days Until Christmas and Let the Chaos Begin

I know, perhaps that’s a bit harsh.  But you need to know my family.  Where to start; as you know I’m staying with my eldest sister and she is truly a ‘Godsend’ in all of my latest of life’s unpredictable/touchy/incalculable circumstances.  And I think there is always a reason behind all of our circumstances – it’s always a God Thing – and in our case, perhaps the reason we were placed back together runs much deeper than we will ever know.

We have been moving me in; finally done – check.  Then it was getting the tree – check.  Lights on the tree – check – and decorations?  Check, check.  Now, there was a bit of a break down due to the fact that my sister is a bit of a control freak – just a little one.  But I wonder where she got that from?  And to know the answer to that you need to know our mother who was the epitome of  “Control Freak”.

Our mother did everything – and I do mean EVERYTHING –  on her own.  After our father passed I guess you would deduce that she had to.  But I’m guessing that this was how things were done in their marriage.  You did not mess with Mrs. Merrill’s decorations – permanent or temporary.  If she wanted something in a certain spot, it was there – no matter what.  We had a term for her – we four – we called her Mighty Mouse – she was all of 5′ 2″ with socks on and only about 100 lbs.  But that didn’t stop her.  She built our fences, our over hangs in the front and back; sewed our clothes, hung all the Christmas decorations, did all the baking; I mean this woman did it all.  We even had a garden that the neighbors envied.  We would kid her  – we lived at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains – by telling our friends that it was a lucky

English: The two snow-covered peaks are Mount ...

Image via Wikipedia

thing that she liked the position of Mt. Baldy.  Otherwise she just might move that mountain and they would be hearing on the Evening News.

So I really can’t blame my sister. And she’s not alone.  We sisters, all three of us, carry this “control” gene… But since my move in, it has been a back and forth between the two of us with me trying to get it into her head that having  people over is more about “getting together” and less about “perfection”.  That there is not a right way or a wrong way of doing anything.  Just because it isn’t the way she would do it, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily strange or incorrect; it’s simply different – here I am talking smack where I would be the same way, but I too am telling myself the same things.  It’s all a whole wonderful learning experience – ain’t it grand?

Then we have my other sister.  Now first I must tell you that she has helped me a great deal – and continues to – and I will forever be truly grateful to her for all that she continues to do for our family.  Now, may I say?  She is such a PRINCESS!  She’s very quirky in that she must have her own room – won’t share or she will go to a hotel – not a problem you say?  It is to my oldest sister who seems to think she can’t get through the chaos without her.  She likes having her things just so; so much so, she has a suitcase just for her bedding.  Apparently she has special bedding “fluff” – which includes her 600 thread count sheets – that she carries around with her when she travels.  Now, I have friends who must have their own pillow, but your own bed?  Let’s face facts, she is on the road quite a bit, so I guess it’s safe to say that she knows what she wants and she wants what she wants when she wants it.  I mean this girl is set!  And planned!  She has our schedule planned right down to the last second.   Seriously, what ever happened to just chilling’ and reading or, I don’t know playing cards, walking.  Although, with my brother and his ex-wife, I guess I can understand why she would want to keep  things moving right along.

But that aside, this is a woman who, as a young woman, majored in the arts and found that she enjoyed and might pursue a career as an actress and even more so as a director.  In fact, why she never pursued such a  career is beyond me.  But she is talented in what she currently does and has managed to carry that success for many years.

On a personal side, I’m afraid to say I don’t know much about her.  We grew up five years apart and were the ever so typical daughters that were dressed a like  – more out of convenience and budget than for ‘cuteness’; our mother didn’t go for that sort of nonsense I can assure you, she was far to practical and too original.  My middle sister is very much her own woman and to look at her I would have to say she’s more masculine than feminine – not in bad way at all.  Just that one would never get the sense that she is any ‘slave’ to fashion like most women.  She is very stylish in her own way, much like Kate Hepburn was in her time.  In fact, if I were to describe her, Kate would be the perfect comparison.  She wears men’s shirts, prefers the comfort over fashion every time.  But again, she wants what she wants and when she wants it.  And she likes what she likes and that’s that, period.

Now,  my brother.  This is a man – extremely intelligent – majored in music – the classics.  He started the piano at the age of nine and was playing one of the largest and oldest pipe organs in the world by the age of fifteen.  By the age of 16 he was asked to be the Assistant Organist.  Think about that for a minute; seven (7) years later… could you do that?  I can tell you I couldn’t.  Anyway in college while he worked his major,  he took Aerospace Dynamics just for fun; he aced the course.  He did stuff like that.  He’s made at least nine feature films.  By the time he graduated college, he wrote and composed the music for Sleeping Beauty the musical that they put on for their Senior project – it was FABULOUS.  He was informed by his maestro that he was only a year or two away from attaining concert level.  He had his ticket.  And then there’s his writing; again GENIUS!

On the personal side.  When I was a child I was only a year old when our father passed away so I looked up to him, almost like the father I lost – oh, he was much too young to be my father, but still; we were so close, we were inseparable.  We would stay up talking into the night – as long as it wasn’t a school night – about all sorts of things, religion, philosophy, my dreams, etc…  It was because of him that I had much of what I had in high school and was able to go to many of the events in high school – mother had very little money at the time and was drinking pretty heavy by that time –  problems between her and me were pretty bad and he was the buffer.

But somewhere as he grew older, after his forties, his politics changed.  Everything changed.  Even his humor –  we call him the punster.  This is said not so much as an endearment but rather more of an annoyance; as it done more in a way to reiterate his degree of intelligence in comparison to the rest of us.  Then there’s the issue with his drinking which got worse and kept getting worse by the year and soon by the week/day.  It got so bad that finally everyone felt I should by the one to talk to him, so I did.  This ‘talk’ didn’t go over very well; but do they, really?  After that call he was horrible to me and me alone; I feared I lost him.  I received several nasty calls from him.  Calls of accusation after accusation.  All of which finally stopped after my husband at the time had a discussion with him.

The issue is that he is different and we all are.  Then there is the issue of his ex-wife who he is living with and will be moving out (?) question mark – it’s all a great mystery.  She is very nice; she took our brother – her ex-husband –  in when he reached “bottom” and had nowhere to go – I was getting ready to drive him to Tent City.  So I, all of us, will forever be in her debt.

That said, there are issues here as well and honestly, the largest one?  Her refusal to take any responsibility for any of her problems.  She appears to take responsibility, but only under the guise of self blame in the hope that someone – anyone will come along and reassure her by saying something to the effect of, “no sweetie, this isn’t your fault, it’s that ex-husband of yours” or “it’s your mother’s” or… fill in the blank.  Quite frankly, she loves to spend money, it’s an addiction with her and was one that was easily buried in my brothers drinking.   When their children were younger and she had custody, during their young lives they had been evicted from their apartments/homes at least 2 or 3 times.  Now the first time something like this happens; well that happens.  But the third time?  Something’s gotta give and somethings gotta change.

Facts are facts; she and my brother need to fess up and step up and help those children of their’s – now young adults – with some direction and with what it is they want to do with their lives.  The parents are running around without any self-control for themselves.  Oh, they talk a very good talk, but no action… It is very frustrating.  We Aunts have offered, and send money – we always have.  And ALL of them – the kids too – seem to only tell what they think we want to hear.

Ah, that’s ok I guess.  After all it’s none of our business.  Until they try to make it our’s; then it’s urgent.  You see, we don’t hear a peep until the bottom falls out.  Then again, with our sister-in-law, as with our brother, much of this falls in line with the stuff from her childhood.  That which she learned and that which was done to her – much of it painful.  So we can’t place all of the blame on her shoulders.  She truly does try to do the best she can and she would give the shirt off her back.  Her heart is in the right place – even if misguided.

Bottom line is that as misguided as their mother’s or their father’s hearts may have been, they ended up with two of the most well-adjusted children we could have ever hoped for.  Their daughter is a bundle of talent – I just wish she would realize it and grab it. But again, it’s not my life she is living, it’s hers.  My only hope is that whatever path she chooses for herself, she is happy with every step.  And that she remembers she is worthy of all the riches this wonderful life has to offer.

Their son has it in his plan to join the Air force.  It has always been his plan to fly jets and to be an officer.  He is on the path, has done everything to set the plan in motion and we are very proud of his accomplishments.  We are very proud of them both for it must not have been easy for either of them.

It’s all so difficult to understand because it all changes from one day to the next.  And this is where my sisters have difficulty.  They try to make sense of it; but how do you make sense out of dysfunction?  I’ve stopped trying to make sense of it.  I stopped back when I confronted our brother about being an alcoholic and received those horrid calls.  I’m done with all of it – Alanon 101.  I will love him, I love all of them, but that is all I can do.  And that too, to love them means that I love ALL of them – warts and all – not what I want them to be or think they should be.  This is their life to live, not mine to live for them.  This is their journey.  They have their’s and I have mine.

So, this Christmas should be very interesting indeed.  I’m actually looking forward to it.  Very much. Yes, there is hope in the air once again.  I can feel it and I can see it in my sister.  Saw it this last weekend for the first time in what seems like forever – Hallelujah!

We all have our quirks, but the fact remains that this family loves each other.  It was something that was ingrained in us when we were little.  Our mother would say “you are all you have, remember that, cherish that and each other.  Love one another always.”  We’ve never forgotten that.  Most families go years without talking to one another, we at least talk once a month – if not a week.   And it is a legacy that has been passed onto the next generation.

Six Days until Christmas and let the LOVE begin.  Merry Christmas everyone.  Blessings to all!

Change, no matter what you say; I still hate it.

Townhouses in Chelsea; much of this Manhattan ...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sitting here and watching my neighbor move out.  I never took the time to get to know him.  Though he seemed like a really nice person (just dropped off a bottle of wine he had and wasn’t going to drink… nice man).  Had Christmas lights up, always friendly when we passed; and now he’s gonna be gone.  I never knew him, so why do I feel so badly?

I’m kicking myself because I’ve done what we all do, I guess.  We watch each other, we pass each other on the sidewalk, say hello.  But we don’t get to know one another.  We get so wrapped up in our own lives (what’s left of it after working so many hours and all of our commitments) that we forget to take some time to take in those that are right outside our doors.

I’m watching the Walton’s (yes, I still watch that show… LOVE it!) and I’m reminded of a time that was much simpler.  It was much simpler but it really isn’t that much different than our current day.  I mean we are in an economic recession.  They call it a recession, but it’s a depression all the same as we are all struggling to make an honest dollar, and we need each other more than ever.

I just don’t think we can afford to close each other out the way we have for so many years.  I know that I’m gong to make it a point to reach out.  I’ve got some pretty nice neighbors and I want to make myself available to them.  I think we all should.  Whatever happened to having the neighbors watching the kids?  Or watching out for our house while we’re on vacation?  Whatever happened to cooking Christmas cookies and delivering them out to your neighbors?

No, we need to get back to ‘neighborhoods’ and reach out.  We need to get back to community, to reaching out and helping.  Instead of complaining about how the neighbor’s yard is overgrown, why not offer to mow the lawn?  Perhaps their lives have taken a turn for the worse?  We can never know anything until we walk a mile in their shoes.

Yes, that is my goal.  First I’ll need to keep my apartment presentable enough (not a bad idea, right?).  But, I wish to have more of an ‘open door’ policy when it comes to my neighbors.  Coffee around my kitchen table, dinner and yes, cookies.  Part of the ‘loneliness’ that I’ve been feeling can easily be healed if only I reach out.

Change, I still hate it.  But perhaps it will be more palatable if I know I’ve done something in the time I’ve had.