Monday, July 25, 2005

catching up, healing & what does it all mean?

So, it was an unguarded moment.

 I was really happy.

 I had one of those brief hallucinations that I was a teenager.

 It was a sparkling summer day at the beach & we were wrestling,Tom & all the teens, Mariah , Terry & I.

5 weeks & one trip to the ER , 4 journeys to the physical therapist, at least 200$ to the pharmacist, 4 doctor's visits to 2 different docs later, I am recovering from a herniated disk & a tremendous jolt to my self esteem!

There is a lesson here, besides the obvious one, that perhaps as you near 50, you should consider sunbathing a sport!

Anyway, that is the jewel of positive thinking i have been able to come up with. If anyone has any other pearls of wisdom, feel free.

I have neglected my computer because typing & driving are the two occupations which have hurt the most.something about having to extend the forearms in that position.

Like the guy in the Monty Python movie when they came along ringing the bells, crying "bring out your dead", I'm getting better.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

life in the gulf Coast

I got this as a forward, but it is really true!





We might as well laugh



You have FEMA's number on your speed dialer.

You have more than 300 C and D batteries in your kitchen drawer

Your pantry contains more than 20 cans of Spaghetti Os

You are thinking of repainting your house to match the plywood covering
your windows.

When describing your house to a prospective buyer, you say it has
three bedrooms, two baths and one safe hallway.

Your SSN isn't a secret, it's written in Sharpie on your arms.

You are on a first-name basis with the cashier at Home Depot

You are delighted to pay $3 for a gallon of regular unleaded

The road leading to your house has been declared a No-Wake Zone.

You decide that your patio furniture looks better on the bottom of the pool.

You own more than three large coolers>

You can wish that other people get hit by a hurricane and not feel the
least bit guilty about it.

You rationalize helping a friend board up by thinking "It'll only take a
gallon of gas to get there and back"

You have 2-liter coke bottles and milk jugs filled with water in your

Three months ago you couldn't hang a shower curtain; today you can <o:p></o:p>

assemble a portable generator by candlelight.

You catch a 13-pound redfish. In your driveway.

You can recite from memory whole portions of your homeowner's insurance

At cocktail parties, women are attracted to the guy with the biggest

You have had Vienna sausage more than 5 days in a row

There is a roll of tar paperin your garage.<o:p></o:p>

You can rattle off the names of three or more meteorologists who work at
the Weather Channel.

Someone comes to your door to tell you they found your roof.

Ice is a valid topic of conversation

Your "drive-thru" meal consists of MRE's and bottled water.

You spend more time on your roof then in your living room.

You've been laughed at over the phone by a roofer, fence builder or a tree

A battery powered TV is considered a home entertainment center.

You don't worry about relatives wanting to visit during the summer.

Your child's first words are, "hunker down

Having a tree in your living room doesnot necessarily mean it's Christmas.

Toilet Paper is elevated to coin of the realm at the shelters.

You know the difference between the "good side" of a storm and the "bad

Your kids start school in August and finish in July.

You go to work early and stay late just to enjoy the air conditioning


My dog Butterfly that we have had for ten years walked into the room goofily grinning, made a strage strangled sound & fell down dead.

i want to leave some memories of her here so later on , when I want to breathe in the warm doggy smell of her coat, i can read about her.

she was  abig black "Chowbrador".she got big real fast on all the Oreo cookies & peanut buter sandwiches a little girl didn't want to eat.

she lovead to go for walks with me so much taht if I was going somewhere with my tennis shoes on & didn't take her, I would have to sneak out the front door.

She ususally slept by the door, guarding us , but every once in a while she would decide to sleep in our bed & would stand over us with her teeth gleaming in the dark until we moved ver to give her room.

she wouldn't let any man near our yard, snarling in a way that make her sweet name ludicrous, but all the babies we know crawled all over her& got kissed by her big purple tounge.

when she got out of the front door, she wouldn't come back unless I used a deep loud growly voice to call her & then shelooked so embarrassed when she trotted up.

We are so sad. For the rest of my life I am going to have my hand cupped to feel a cold nose & part of me will be listening for the sound of her toenails on the kitchen floor. I will be so lonely whenever I put on my tennis shoes to go for a walk.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

the story of the hurricane

To rephrase the story from bob dylan "Now here's the story of the hurricane"

the governor came on tv and said in solemn tones"this is a mandatory evacuation of Mobile County" Now if you read my entry from August 2004, "survivin Ivan",you will know these are nothing to play with ,even though,in true family fashion, we find a party where we can.

I was cooking everything in the freezer & inviting folks over to eat it so it wouldnt' rot & doing all the laundry before the power went out. Caitlin was on the floor crying, scared of the storm & I was racking my brains to think of ways to comfort her.She is usually so fearless & optimistic , I am at a loss.she is wailin,"Oh, we have to leave , but what about all of our cats? and the dogs? what if the roof falls in & we get stuck...oh, look, Mama, there is my green sock! I havent seen that in a long time! Remember when we got it to go to that party & I wore it with those yellow shorts & Johnny chased me all night? Wasn't that fun!" Strattera be damned, there are times when distractibilty is a blessing! ( I wrote this with Cailtin's permission, one of her finest qualities is the ability to laugh at herself)

so, relatives by blood & spirit came and ate themselves into a coma & told stories that get better by retelling. We talked of Papa, only recently left us, and Tom's sister BK, taken too soon & the talk wasnt sad but soft & gentle & grateful for what we had. Eileen, my sister in heart, as well as in law & her man Patrick, who is a big man with a heart and laugh to match, joined us, along with my gentle son-out-law Terry, whom I love as my own.Mariah lit up the room with her smile, Cailtin darted around like a dragon fly while Tom told us long stories of times gone by.

The weather outside got rough, but the glow of the faces inside was what we focussed on. We drank all the wine and make various pallets and propped up on pillows. When we stirred the next afternoon, there was a lot of wet ground & a few limbs lying about...we are all safe until the next time....the price you pay to live in Paradise!

I don't mean to be glib, in the pics you can see waterspouts forming....we are aware of the danger, we just incorporate it into our lives & find what joy we can!

Hang onto each other when the winds blow, nothing is as hard when you have someone to cling to.

Love to you all & special thanks to Karen (Karebear4x4)& Marie (Galadriel9200) for checking up on me!


Wednesday, July 6, 2005

random vacation pictures

Warning:incredibly boring to those of you who weren't there...dont' feel obligated to look!

(but if you insist...)

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

days at the beach

My daughter Mariah says I am like those baby sea turtles, turn me loose & I head blindly towards the water.

Here, the beach is where you grow up...all my "firsts"happened on the Island...the first time I swam out to the sandbar, the first time I went off for a weekend without my parents, first kiss, first time I got to drive a car alone, we all piled in & headed for the beach. My first date with my future husband was there.

My first concious memory is the sound of the tires going over the bridge, taking me to the Island.

I loved living in the desert & I thought I would never leave the mountains, but as Tom says, "when you relax a little , you start rolling back downhill" and we always ended up back here, where the salt water smell means good times ahead.

A lot of my friends won't ride with me to the beach, because I never go home until the stars come out (or the beer is gone)

The warm Gulf waters are like amniotic fluid, cradling me, rocking me, the waves whispering , "everything's gonna be alright"

When I'm at the beach , it always is. That's where I go to celebrate, to lick my wounds & regroup, to run into the wind. 


It's also where I get some of those wounds.

I was mentally 16 and forgot that I am physically 48.

I was wrestling with the teenagers in the surf, when I got a slipped disk in my neck.

It hurts!

What hurts worse is my doctor saying I have arthritis & degenerative disks. It sounds so (dare I say the word?) old. The doc told me to stay as active as I can, but after reviewing my chart (I went to him after I fell out of a tree last year) said , "maybe not that active."

Knowing I was all depressed, my dear Mariah, who knows me better than anyone else, woke me up the other day

"I took the  day off, "she daid ,presenting me with my neck brace, which she had decorated with sequins & bright red fabric paint flowers, "we are going to the beach!"

"but it's raining, "I protested feebly.

"when has that ever stopped us?" she demanded,ever her mother's daughter.

so, Katherine, who is staying with us until her mom recovers from the Lagoon, Caitlin , Mariah & I tootled off into the storm, singing & laughing. We huddled under a pier & had a great time!

It pays to raise 'em right!