Tag Archives: family

Togetherness At Last!!

Patches never wanted Rusty to be part of our family.  When he arrived, at the end of 2005, Patches ignored him and if he got too close, she would hiss and push him away – not too gently.

Rusty was never put off for long.  He was born friendly.  Over these long years, it was evident to me that these two would never be close.

However, lately, things have softened.  Patches has started to allow Rusty to get close:

This is for real.  Not photoshopped!

We’re a close family now.  Finally.

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I Was A Homeless Person

…for three days in 1990!

Today (September 28th, 2016) is the 26th anniversary of my official residency as a Floridian.  Three days before, on September 25th, 1990, I gave up my citizenship as a legal resident of the State of New York, as I signed on the dotted line to sell my house.

It was a big, new adventure; one which held an unknown future for my then husband, Dan, myself and his Mom.  That’s what I called it, as we drove into Delaware on US I-95.  “A new adventure,” I announced to Mom.  I felt excited and positive.  Little did I know, as we settled into our first motel stay and I got my first mosquito bites which were of major proportions, what was in store for our future.

We were a caravan of two cars and were “attached” by a CB system that Dan rigged up.  It was very basic, but served the purpose in notifying when we intended to stop at a service area.  Dan led the way in his car.

I followed, with Mom in my back seat.  She was 86, full of trepidation; full of trepidation, because we couldn’t leave her in Long Beach.  She had no one there on whom she could depend if she needed help.  Friends had moved away to be near their kids, or died.  Nothing was left there for her.  She really didn’t want to leave, but there was no other choice.

Mom was very comfortable what with pillows and blanket to insure her comfort. She was of small stature and she fit right in on the bench seat of my 1986 Ford Granada – turbo engine, of course.  Ha ha.

We were making very good time.  I had arranged for motel stops and the next one was located in Georgia.  When we got there, it was only  3:00pm, and we decided that it was too early and had the manager call ahead to another one in St. Augustine, Florida.

We lost all the time we made before that motel stop in Georgia.  We got caught up in the Jacksonville rush hour traffic.  What a bummer!

Mom was very tired after the two days’ travel, so she just wanted to rest when we arrived in St. Augustine.  We decided that we would bring her back some food, which we did after enjoying our supper in a casual restaurant.

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We had visited that city previously, some years before, and found ourselves wandering about, and visited some of our favorite places.  It is such a quaint, old city, and it was a pleasure to stretch our legs and feet over cobble stones!

After an exhausted sleep in St. Augustine, and after five more hours of driving, we finally arrived at our first destination at Forest Trace in Broward county.  It had opened only a year before; it was beautiful (we had visited it a couple of months earlier).  Mom was settled in at her apartment:  she was warmly welcomed by the staff, and made to feel at ease.  Her rented furniture was in place, so she was able to rest after the long trip.

forest-2

At the same time we had made arrangements for Mom’s apartment, we made arrangements for an apartment in a nearby apartment complex for ourselves.  Our rented furniture had been delivered in our apartment, overseen by the complex office manager.

All our furniture and Mom’s were sold in New York.  This was really a new start for us all!

It was an odd feeling I had, knowing I didn’t have a place where I could call “home.”  I had a destination, but those three days had me feeling “displaced.”  And, in another way, it was a free feeling because during those days, I had no responsibilities.  No tethers.  It was peculiar, but, yes, exciting.

Everything went smoothly.  That was a good feeling.  The next day, we went to the court house, and signed a “Declaration of Domicile.”  We were no longer HOMELESS!

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At This Time Of Year

 

hands

Remember to reach out to those living with illness and pain especially during this time of the year.  It can be a very lonely and isolated time for them. Give them a call, a smile, a hand, a hug and an encouraging word that shows you care.

I doubt there is no one who could use an extra dose of caring from a friend, a relative and yes, even from a stranger.

Speaking personally, the month of December has proven to be a very difficult month every year.  It is the month when I lost both my husbands who I deeply loved.  December anniversaries and events keep running through my mind.

I don’t look forward to this time of year and wish it would hurry along, so that the new year may begin with feelings of freshness and hope for a better year.

 

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Woman To Woman

 

I occasionally visit with a young (approximately 40) married woman who works hard, gives her family all the love she can muster and show them, and with determination and focus, keeping her family together.  She practices her chosen profession part time.  Two exceptional teenage girls, two adorable dogs and a needy (her word) husband complete the family.  We’ve known each other for approximately 16 years.

We’ve had many conversations about life, love, children, the trials and tribulations of young motherhood, loss of loved ones, and getting older, to name a few topics.

Yesterday, the topics were hormones, maturity, marriage and frustrations of daily living.  A seemingly incongruous combination.  Or is it?  I will call her Ellen for the purpose of this post.

It all began when, as usual, in her caring voice, Ellen asked me how I was.  That’s all the impetus needed to get me started.  I began by telling her I was feeling very good for a senior citizen – no complaints – good health.  I have interests and social friends that keep me busy and intellectually engaged.  I continued by saying, “I’m satisfied with my life the way it is now – I wouldn’t say I’m happy all of the time – happiness is a fleeting thing – emotions come and go – ups and downs – it’s impossible to feel happy all the time.”  This seemed to have hit a nerve with her.

Ellen unburdened herself to me.  Her life was in a state of flux:  Her girls were the most important part of her life, and she expends so much love, time and energy to make sure they are receiving the best start in life she and her husband could give them; all the while planning for their further education.  There is a “however.”  She feels her life is missing things that would make her happy – she wants more than “satisfied.”

Ellen believes she has three children, not two.  Husband is the third.  Not to say that he doesn’t work hard and has assumed a tremendous responsibility in supporting his family; he works long hours and expends much energy in his work.  However, there is a disconnect.  He is not the partner she would prefer – he is not really a partner in the marriage – she feels like she is carrying the whole marriage on her shoulders and there isn’t that total dependency she would like to have with him.  Dependency for emotional support and dependency for being able to rely on him as a full partner in the relationship – which she believes he isn’t.  He is distant and absorbed in his own thoughts.

I suggested counseling.  They did have some, years ago, when there was some problems (probably same ones she is talking about).

I suggested having a “date night” once a week or every two weeks, to get “back on track.”  Ellen didn’t have a positive attitude about that, and gave me a response that she didn’t think it would help.

I suggested that hormones could be helping to make her feel less satisfied with her life as it is now.  She was at a time when menopause comes into the picture.

Ellen was clearly despondent about her situation.  She would love to be “fulfilled.”  She would like to work more hours, now that the girls are not babies, and she believes she can depend upon them to be responsible for a short time alone at home.

After leaving Ellen and on my way home, I was shaking my head mentally.  She sounded like me when I was in the throes of the demands upon me when my children were young.  Unlike her, though, and luckily for me, I had a husband who was a true partner in the relationship.  I could depend upon him for anything – emotionally, physically, intellectually; he was supportive in all ways.

I will be visiting Ellen again within a couple of weeks, and I hope she will be feeling better.  We all suffer lows – as mentioned above – life is a succession of highs and lows.  We do not stagnate, for sure, and if anyone says they’re happy all the time, they’re full of crap.  Just my opinion.

 

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Fireworks At Walt Disney World

 

It was years ago that I used to travel to Orlando FL with my daughter, granddaughter, and sister to feel like a kid again.

No matter what your age, when you’re at that magical place, you let go of all your inhibitions, do lots of smiling and laughing, (and walking for many miles) and enjoy every minute.  I recommend it very highly.

We were lucky enough, one night, to have a good viewing spot to watch some fireworks (which are a nightly extravaganza), and here are some photo results:

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Disney 3

Disney 4

Disney 5

Here is another photo, showing the entrance.

Disney 1

 

I Was Of Good Cheer This Morning Upon Awakening, Until….

Charleston SC.  A giant pall settled over me as I viewed the horrible news on CNN.

A great sadness for the families and for all the victims and all whose hearts they touched.

 

Forgiveness Is Not An Easy Virtue

 

Wikipedia defines “virtue” as:

Virtue (Latin: virtus, Ancient Greek: ἀρετήarete“) is moralexcellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.

Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. The opposite of virtue is vice.

A new year; a new vision.  Can “forgiveness” be one of my new year resolutions?  Or, maybe my only new year resolution?  Am I ready for being virtuous when it comes to forgiveness?

Over these many years – maybe 50 or more – I have not had the moral strength to forgive two very important people in my life, now deceased.  What makes a person important to someone?  Having a great impact on someone’s life, whether positive or negative, is what makes that person(s) important.

My first husband, Danny, was a smoker.  I hated the smoking; everything else about him, I loved – deeply.  He promised he would quit smoking after we were married.  I believed him, and in my innocence of not having any idea what it meant to quit smoking, I agreed to marry him.

I held onto my anger and resentment all through the marriage; however, trying very hard to not let them come to the surface and take over the wonderful aspects of our relationship.  I know I succeeded in keeping those negative feelings below the surface and I allowed myself to enjoy and bask in his love.  But, he knew the truth.  And, looking back now, I believe he felt guilty every time he lit up, especially when we spent time together.

Shortly before Danny died, he apologized and said to me, “I know the cigarettes did me in.”  I didn’t forgive him then, but I did tell him I loved him – which was the truth, of course.

Danny, I forgive you now, love.  You couldn’t stop smoking, even though you tried several times.

Jerry was my father.  He was born in Manhattan and brought up in Brooklyn, in the early part of the 20th century.  His parents had several children – he was sort of in the middle – and he was a tough, bully of a kid, as I was told.

The household was quite a dysfunctional one.  There was no warmth and love between his parents; nor for the children.  Mother and father separated after the kids came along.

Mom and Dad met in the sand on a Brooklyn beach, due to mistaken identity.  Mom wasn’t wearing her glasses, and, coming back from the concession stand,  thought Dad was one of those in her crowd.  She called his name (the same name as one of the guys in her crowd), and Dad, who was strumming a ukelele while entertaining the group he was with, turned and immediately fell in love.

Long story short, living with Dad was not easy.  He had a terrible temper when he didn’t get his way, and showed it in ways that weren’t so nice.  He was a blot on my mother’s family, who were genteel, respectful and warm and loving.  Try as they might, even to the extent of throwing him out of their home (didn’t want their daughter marrying him), they tried to discourage their daughter from seeing him.  It didn’t work.

After Mom died, his behavior didn’t improve towards his daughters, and there were some spats, to put it mildly – at one point, we estranged ourselves.

Dad, I forgive you now.  You never understood and were not given the tools you needed, in order to understand.

My inspiration for this post came from “Psychologistmimi.”

 

 

Quick, Last Minute Tips For Hosting Holiday Guests

Thanks to my friends from Tower Hill Insurance Group!

xmas party

 

If you are short on time but still have a long to-do list, try these last-minute tips to make holiday guests feel welcome.

First things first. Make a great first impression by having your porch or entryway well-lit and decorated for the season. If you have a temperamental doorbell, be sure it is repaired before your guests arrive so they are not accidentally left out in the cold.

doorway

Home sweet guestroom.  Just a few thoughtful touches will make your guests feel welcome even if the “guest room” is also your home office. Add fresh flowers, comfortable bedding and pillows, plus reading material they may like. Clear space in the closet and use a luggage rack or ottoman for the suitcase.

office-guest room 1

Guest baskets & trays. In the bathroom include a welcome basket with toiletries that may have been forgotten in the rush of last-minute packing. Ear plugs are great to include, especially if your guests are not accustomed to noisy pets (or kids) or your next-door neighbor who mows the lawn before breakfast.

toiletries

Not sure if your guests are early birds or night owls? Just in case, add a tray in the kitchen filled with coffee or hot tea, breakfast snacks and holiday goodies.

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Pets and kids. If your guests are not used to either two-legged or four-legged little ones, here are some quick fixes before your guests arrive. Wash the dog, clean the kitty-litter box, and pick up everyone’s toys so your guests do not accidentally trip.

I hope these suggestions will come in handy!! 😀

 

December Represents Mixed Emotions

month

December has different meanings for different people.  Excitement, happiness, celebration, life expectations, new beginnings, and end of a life (lives) as we knew it.

holidays

What does the month of December represent to me?

Going back to the year 1958, December was great cause for celebration, life expectations, and a new beginning.  I married my first husband, Danny – my best friend, the father of my children.  My soul mate.  Yes, it is real.  There really is such a thing.

December means the birth of my son.  I was totally prepared for his arrival, and was joyous at his birth.

December means the month in which my now deceased granddaughter was born.

December means celebration of Hanukkah.  A time to be close to family and light the Menorah and remember the discovery of one day’s oil in the biblical temple which, miraculously, lasted eight days, to keep the temple’s light burning until more oil was found.

December means the loss of my soul mate.  It was expected, after many months’ illness, but when it happened, I had to cope with the great emptiness that his death left after 34 years of deep love.

December means the discovery of a new love, and a decision to devote myself to another.  It was a very good decision.  Bob was a special guy and very devoted to me, and I was happy with him.  We had a loving relationship and there was respect for one another.

December means the loss of my Bob after more than a year’s illness.  We were married for 18 1/2 years, and they were very good years.  They went very fast.

December is a time for remembering:  Taking stock of the past and looking forward to another year of whatever life brings.  It brings surprises – the unexpected; that’s for sure.

What does December mean to you?

A Mother Finds The People Who Saved Her Son’s Life

This is one of the most heartwarming stories/videos I’ve seen. Watch until the end. It’s beautiful.

Kindness Blog

Ten years after a tragic car accident, Kellie wants to find the heroes that saved her son’s life and thank them.

To learn more about Kellie’s story and her music, visit http://kelliehaddock.com

Content Submission: The LOVELY Lucy Taylor 🙂

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