Making A Difference

Recently I read an awesome Blog Post by Julie Glover honoring teachers in high school that have made a difference.  I thought it was great!  Teachers are like many military personnel…rarely is their work appreciated or recognized unless something goes wrong.  It made me think of the teachers that have helped challenge, encourage and develop me over the years.

I began to wonder.  How do they know when they’ve made a difference?  When their lessons have sunk in?  Sure, every once in a while a teacher will have some thoughtful student come back and thank them.  But more often than not, life happens.  Then all they can do it hope that the lessons they taught are practically applied.  And it reminded me that sometimes, through life, teachers can be taught, too.

So here’s a scene from one of my favorite teaching movies, Renaissance Man…mixing teaching and military.  It touched my heart.  Never ceases to choke me up.  Because DeVito’s character is the teacher.  The kids he’d been given were called the Double D’s…standing for Dumber than Dirt.  The drill seargent thinks that teaching these kids Shakespeare isn’t going to help them.  Won’t help save their lives.  And then there’s the lightbulb moment for both of them…and it’s beautiful.

In my life I’ve been blessed with wonderful music and English/Language Arts teachers.  The one who recognized my love of writing and poetry was a wonderful lady named Mrs Vorwick.  She saw something take root in me and encouraged it.  She even chose me, in eigth grade to go to a writers workshop at one of the nearby high schools to inspire me.  I remember being so honored.  I was the only one of my class of over 300 students that she picked to go.  Wow!

I hung on to many of my poems…even from back then.  Now a few of you who’ve been reading me for a while have read my most current stuff as I often share my poems immediately following it’s conception.  So here’s a flashback to my writing from the ’80’s.  Still very innocent and fraught with idealism and sweetness…  But this is to honor her for how far I’ve come today.  Because really, how can you appreciate the present if you don’t benchmark it against your past?

Set Me Free

“Give me wings,” you said to me,
“Let me go.  Please set me free.”
I looked at you with teary eye
And knew I had to let you fly.
So slowly, but surely I let you go
Hoping that you’d always know
I’ll care for you my whole life through
No matter what you say or do!

Then, one day, someone I once knew
Said, “I am coming back to you.”
I was so happy on that day
That I didn’t quite know what to say.
And since I know you’re back for good
I’m glad that I had understood.
You wanted me to set you free
So that you could come back to me.

So this was written nearly 20 years ago.  I still like the first verse…  Yes, you can tell I was young…but it still blows me away.  A teacher saw that and recognized my potential.  What about you?  Do you remember the teacher or person who influenced you and helped you to become the person you are today?  Or who encouraged you to chase your dream and shoot for the stars?  I’d love to hear about it.  And while you’re at it?  Thank a teacher.  Or a serviceman.  Give them a hug.  They don’t hear it often enough.  I think you’d be amazed at how much it will mean to them.

Creative Lyrics and Word Games

I’m one of those people.  You know.  Those people who look for the fun or game in everything?  So way back in the day, this song caught my eye.  Why?  Because as I listened to the song I found a cleverness to the lyrics.  Other song titles had been embedded into it.  The songwriters were very cool about how they did it.  And it flowed so naturally.  Lover of music and poetry that I am, it stuck.

So I started counting to see how many titles I could find.  Am I the only person that does that sort of thing?  How many titles do you hear?  Isn’t it such a sweet sad song?  (Yes, I’m also a sap!)  Are there songs that you feel that way about?  What are they?

And speaking of games…there used to be a game a couple of friends and I used to play to get ourselves through gym class back in the day.  One of us would start a story.  The next person would add a part.  Followed by the next person.  You get my drift.  So I’ve been kicking around the idea in my head of playing a similar game on here.  Would there be any takers?  I’d kick it off, then you guys could just add a paragraph through comments…  We could make it as silly or as serious as we wanted, but we’d all have to feed off of each other.  Stuff like this can get very good or very funny…and we’d all just get to go with the flow.  Just a thought…

3 Years, Leather and 50 Shades

My husband and I have a quirky sense of fun. From prior blogs you know that on our second anniversary (cotton) he bought me a “gag” gift of cotton balls. By the way, I kept those cotton balls. They’re useful. So this year it was my turn to get quirky. How appropriately funny that as I’m delving back into writing (and I have romantic and erotic tendencies in my writing) our 3rd anniversary lands on leather.

First thought that came to my mind? Buy him a leather cock ring. Adjustable, of course. Great gag gift…and who knows…could even be fun! Hey, we’re married and can play that way. Now most of the time if I were looking to buy a toy I may go online or host a pleasure party. Less awkwardness and embarrassment for women this way. But this was a last minute, spur of the moment “gag” gift idea.

So here’s the thing about Florida…and those of you who live here can attest. I have never seen so many strip clubs, adult book stores (aka porn shops) or bail bonds places as I did when I moved here. In Chicago there was a Starbucks on practically every corner. Around here, it’s these kinds of places. In fact, once I moved here I was helping a friend search for a job. It was in Florida that I saw “dead beats need not apply” for the first time in a want ad. (I know, I know. And I’m still here, right?)

Being female, I’ve found it’s less awkward if you bring a male friend with you to an adult book store, so I called up a buddy and he came with me.

The guy working the desk was the typical perv you’d expect to see at one of these establishments. He was large, with a rotund belly, stained shirt, balding and with one of those big hooking piercings through the center portion of his nose. Not exactly someone I’d be asking for sex toy advice from unless I wanted to take 10 showers after. Then again, he fit his environment. The place was dark and seedy looking. Nothing about the place said classy or inviting.

When we walked in he ignored us, allowing us to shop. Their selection in leather products was extremely limited. They did, however, seem to have a large quantity of blow up dolls or body parts that claimed to be replicas of porn stars. No big deal. I was kind of relieved. He didn’t even check for ID.

Not thrilled with my search, I was about to head out when I saw two women walk in. They were giggling together and talking. He stopped to say hello to them. He asked what they were looking for. I was surprised! This was the first sign from him that he knew what customer service was! I almost felt sorry for the women. The one lady admitted that she was buying her friend a toy as a gift for her birthday. He asked if she’d read 50 Shades Of Grey. He then proceeded to tell them that they had a special promo where if you bought all 3 books from the series you got 50% off a paddle.

When they mentioned that it wasn’t what they were looking for and that they’d already read the book he proceeded to get inappropriate. “Come on,” he cajoled, “You know you want to get spanked. It’s every woman’s fantasy! I’ll even help you pick it out.”

Ok, he’d just stepped past the creepy line to obnoxious. That poor young woman was disgusted and embarassed. It was written all over her face. She would never be stopping there again. Fortunately, her friend was much older and put the guy in his place. Irritated, I took this as my cue to leave…before I said something equally offensive to this guy.

As my friend and I started to walk for the door, he finally spoke to us. “Not buying anything today?”

My mouth tightened over what I wanted to say. I opted for a very safe, “Nope.” and continued to head for the door.

“What were you looking for?” he asked, suddenly persistent.

I rolled my eyes at my friend as I pushed the door open, “Nothing you have here.”

It finally occurred to me. He hadn’t spoken to me or anyone else in there initially because we’d come in with guys. The two women came in sans men…that was why he’d harrassed them. Well, on to the next adult shop we went.

This one had a woman working the desk. She greeted us the moment we walked through the door despite the fact that she was on the phone. The place was brighter and less seedy looking. In fact, despite the fact that the windows were blocked out to protect the privacy of the shoppers, it was decorated like a nice little boutique.

Immediately I noticed they had a better leather selection. They several different leather floggers, different crops, leather collars along with the cock rings. One of the little paddles even had naughty carved into it. 😉 This place seemed more fun!

The lady on the phone got off her call as quickly as possible and stepped around the counter. “What can I help you find today?” she asked in a friendly voice.

I explained that it was our leather anniversary and I was trying to find a fun gag gift. She immediately got into the spirit of the search. She thought it was great that we played these games. When I commented about how she had a lot of leather, she said she was actually running low. In fact, she said that due to 50 Shades Of Grey the floggers and paddles were selling like hotcakes. We laughed.

I mentioned that the guy at the store down the street had been trying to peddle the stuff to his last customers and that he’d mentioned some sort of bundle promo.

“Well,” she said, “he probably overbought on the books after he heard about how popular they were and now he can’t get them sold.”

I nodded.

Cocking her head to the side she asked me, “Did you read the books?”

I shrugged. “Nope. By choice. Especially after several of my friends told me about it.”

She raised an eyebrow, curious. “Why not?”

“I have issues with the message the book sends,” I answered. “Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with BDSM. I love authors like Cherise Sinclair and Joey W Hill. They are very good about getting the Safe, Sane and Consentual vibe across while maintaining a strong story with Alpha males and strong, vibrant females.”

She nodded. “Yeah. When all the hoopla started about 50 Shades I was curious and decided to check them out. I bought 2 copies of each book. One was supposed to be for me. The second was for sale. I took it on vacation with me and read it on my flight. I didn’t like the message either.”

I laughed. “You mean the one where the guy loses control, spanks his girl and …voila! Kink?”

Nodding, she said, “Exactly. And that girl was a wuss! A pushover. They don’t have any concept of what true BDSM is about. And with all these people out there suddenly exploring this stuff I should be happy. Instead I’m concerned. They don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t understand that this could get dangerous. Worse, they don’t know about safe words. It was never mentioned in the book.”

I shuddered. “I knew about the whole girl had only been kissed twice till her experience with Grey. And that she had 5 orgasms during her first time.” You could hear the scoffing disdain in my voice loud and clear. “And that he managed to give her those orgasms with no oral sex.” Yeah…we both snickered at that one. “But I hadn’t realized that safe words were never even discussed. I did know about the losing control bit. I wasn’t ok with that, either. A Dom MUST be in control. How else can he take care of you?”

She nodded. “Exactly. I own 3 adult shops. I’ve participated in some of the BDSM shows and events up in Tampa. Believe me. It’s not a game. It’s hot as hell…the real deal, but done incorrectly it can be downright scary. I keep encouraging these 50 Shades experimenters to try their hand at light bondage and blindfolding first before they go for the paddles and whips. Especially since they usually get the cheap stuff. It’s safer. And this way they can figure out what they like with minimal danger.”

The funny thing was, she’d already grabbed the adjustable cock ring I’d been looking at and walked me to the counter while we had this discussion. She was a fantastic sales person. I really liked her. She wasn’t in it strictly for the bottom line. She cared about her customers and her safety. I knew I’d be recommending friends to visit her store….especially my female ones.

And then, as only an aspiring writer can, I networked…LOL! I explained to her that I was working on writing, and someday down the line I may need her expertise. I asked if she’d mind if I stopped in and picked her brain sometime. She laughed and welcomed me with open arms. She’s usually in that particular store on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. So now, if I have questions on sex toys, BDSM or other areas, I have a fun source of info!

Oh, the things I do to hone my knowledge of this craft… Such a hardship! LOL!

The Lovely Blogger Award

Thanks to Chelsea for nominating me for the One Lovely Blogger Award.  It was very sweet of you!  This has been my first nomination for any kind of award.  Hopefully I can continue on the fun and help everyone get to know me in the process.  From what I’m gathering, that’s the whole point of this particular Blogger Award.  🙂

As stated in the rules of participation I’m supposed to tell y’all seven random things about me.  Hopefully I don’t bore you to death while I share.  Without any further ado, here I go!

Seven Random Things About Me:

1.  I’m multi-racial.  Mostly I call it 1/2 White & 1/2 Asian, but if we break those categories down, I become more like Heinz 57.

2.  Seriously…frogs freak me out.  Had an allergic reaction to one as a little girl, now I run screaming in the opposite direction.  Truly.  Once, one barely glanced off me (granted it WAS the side of my face), but I screamed bloody murder so loudly my neighbor came running out of his house.  He thought someone was trying to kill me.

3.  The first poems I had published happened when I was 15.  By the time I was 16, one of my poems had been converted into the school song for my alma mater.  It was for their 75th year anniversary.

4.  I sang my first solo when I was 2 years old.  In church.  It was Jesus Loves Me.  🙂

5.  The push I needed to seriously pursue my writing again was the loss of my job, followed by two calls, back to back.  One from my sister.  The second from my best friend.

6.  I’m a voracious reader.  (Shocker, right?)  My genre of choice has always been romance & erotic romances…but I read practically everything.

7.  I’m gonna go all naughty girl on you guys with this one…  The first time I ever explored with bondage was when I was 17 and I used a pair of thumb cuffs on a boyfriend.  😉

Rules of Participation:

1 Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2 List seven random things about yourself.

3 Nominate fifteen other awesome bloggers.

Now for the moment you’ve waiting for I shall announce the nominees.

THE NOMINEES ARE…

My awesome buddy Mae Clair who is launching her book in October…and comes up with great ways to explore fun Mythical creatures.

My wonderfully artsy friend Amadiex who does great fantasy art.

The lovely Sheri de Grom who does wonderful reviews and is working on her own family’s unsolved mystery.

Another awesome writer, L.J. Kentowski specializing in urban romances, with another book launching soon!

The always interesting Myndi Shafer.  She’s publishing her own YA book, Shrilugh, her way.

The thought provoking Dace who believes that the only disability anyone truly has is their attitude.

The vivaciously sassy Natalie Hartford who believes everything is better “jacked up” and who has had very interesting experiences with Jiffy Pop.

The always thought provoking Jamaiquina.

The sweet Nicole who writes poetry and is on a quest to find love.

The interesting Sydney Aaliyah who finds the most creative tattoos.

The always poetic Len Williams Carver.

Romance writer Terri Ponce who truly can list all the reasons why you should love Twitter in 140 characters or less.

Tarunss who reminds you that sometimes failure is to be embraced.

Nick who is unapologetic, in-your-face and calls it like he sees it!

And my 15th?  Whomever would like to join…  I’m too new to doing this to be able to fill  up all these spots, but I keep meeting and reading more and more interesting people every day!

What A Man!

So I’m back from my self imposed day long exile from blogging.  As those of you who regularly read my blog know, yesterday was my anniversary.  What many of you may not know is that I am always plugged in.  Connected.  Charged.  Online.  Rarely am I found without my smartphone or iPad.  It’s become a bit of a joke with my family and friends.

So anyway, yesterday I made a decision to leave my online time to a minimum.  While he was at work I continued to touch up the novella I’m working on.  I spent time with the dogs.  I did the laundry.  I prepared for our evening together.  It was important to me to focus on us time because he left early this morning to go visit his family.  As I’d posted earlier, his uncle isn’t doing well.  Damned Cancer!  Seriously…we think of fuck as a dirty word, but Cancer isn’t?  But I digress….

Last night, while we were out to dinner, I picked up my phone to respond to one of my close friends about taking care of their 3 dogs while they went out of town for two days, then put my phone aside.  Honey, so used to me checking my Facebook and Twitter, started catching up on his Twitter account.  So I teased him about the fact that he’d been on his phone more than me.  This spawned a little bet.  (Me and my big mouth)  The bet was that with the exception of calling his parents to thank them for the flowers they sent, we would see who could go longer without picking up our phones or tablets.  He said that the only exception on my tablet was if I got inspired to write.  (Yeah, he understands my need to create like that…)  He didn’t think I could make it through dinner, much less the entire evening.

I’m proud to announce, we had to call it a draw!

By the way…his leather gift for me was amazingly thoughtful.  Nothing playful about it…just pure, unadulterated, amazing love.  He bought me a brand new reddish colored Italian leather bound custom made journal book.  Inscribed across the front was “Happy Third Anniversary Kitt” in gold lettering.  Along the bottom it said “With all of my love” and had his name signed.  I almost cried.  It was his way of giving me a 100% green light to pursue my dreams of writing.

He truly is a man who knows and understands my heart.

My Anniversary

“This sacred vow I make to you

Does not contain an ‘if’

Though I’m aware that trials lie ahead.

I will love you and pray with you

And through it all, I will stay with you

Our home will be a refuge of

Unconditional love.”

verse of Cherish The Treasure

Sung by:  Steve Green

This song was sung by my sister and a friend at my wedding three years ago tomorrow.  On that day I vowed to love, honor and cherish my best friend.  This man is the most loving and patient man I know.  Personal fears and family scars from my parents had me afraid to take the leap for so long.  But, like I said, he’s my best friend and he’s patient.  He was willing to spend 16 years reassuring me that he wasn’t going anywhere.  He knew what he wanted the moment he saw me and he brought me around to his way of thinking.  For that, I’ll always feel blessed and grateful.

I still remember the first time I heard this song.  I was sixteen years old.  I had been asked to sing at a family friend’s wedding along with another guy from our church.  I remember hearing the words and thinking that they would make pretty awesome wedding vows.  Back then I had a romantic streak a mile wide (some would say it’s still there, just below the surface) and I hoped that the man I fell in love with would be vocally gifted.  Why?  Because I thought it would be so romantic and cool if we sang our vows to each other.  That didn’t happy, but I got the best guy in the world instead.  I think it’s a fair trade.

Practically every little girl I ever knew planned what their wedding day would be like.  When you thought of your wedding day, what did you see?  Did music play a part?  If you’re married now, was reality anything like the dream?

Now, as for anniversaries…there are themes to these things.  Did you know that?  The first anniversary gift is supposed to be paper.  Which was fine with us!  We were still recovering from paying for our wedding, so we decided cards was it.

Second anniversary is cotton.  Waiting for me before we headed out to dinner with my sister and brother in law that night was a beautiful gift bag with streamers and colored tissue and balloons.  And inside?  A bag of cotton balls!  LOL!  Yes, my husband is that awesome!  I cracked up.  When we got back from our dinner, my real gift was waiting for me.  Vera Bradley purse, lunch bag and all sorts of little knick knacks.  What did I get for him?  Well, he’s a big Ed Hardy fan…so I got him a couple of Ed Hardy boxers.  😉

Tomorrow is our third anniversary.  Well, that means it’s our leather anniversary.  Fun, right?  A little on the kinky side?  If you were me, what would YOU get him?  I’ve already got his gifts…(and yes, one is kinky…care to guess?)

Anyway, that also means tomorrow night I won’t be posting a new blog.  I’ll be spending my time with my honey.  I’ll still be getting your comments during the day and on my smart phone, but…  Tomorrow is for my man and me, so my responses probably won’t come till Friday, either.

Enjoy your night…  I know I will!

“I Won’t Let Go”

Today is a hard day.  As many people have been saying, the last time our country experienced a loss of this magnitude was Pearl Harbor.  And yet…there’s something more!

Yes, we as an extended family that is these United States, experienced a humongous loss.  But we also came together in a way we haven’t done very often before..or since.  We took the time to call our families.  To grieve for those directly impacted by the tragedies, either as victims of the direct crashes or first responders.  Many of us prayed for the first time in forever.  Begging for people to be found.  For our families to be safe and untouched.  We cried together.  United.  As a community.  We hugged people standing beside us…to reassure ourselves that we would be okay.  To give comfort.  And we got angry.

It was the first time since Pearl Harbor that we’d been hit on our own soil.  It made us feel vulnerable.  It made many feel patriotic.  Wanting to fight.  To stop future violence.  To avenge those innocents who fell.  It spawned songs that spoke of patriotism and became battle cries.

Years later, the impact is still just as strong when the words 9-11 are brought up.  And it should!  We lost so much as a family…as a country that day.  We don’t just forget because it’s easier.  We reflect.  We remember.  We pray.  We lend our strength for those still struggling with the loss of their loved ones who’ve been forced to move forward, to raise families…forever missing a member.  Never to be whole again.

I know that feeling.  Before 9-11 happened, 9-11 was my brother’s birthday.  He died nearly 30 years ago.  And yet I remember him like it was yesterday.  I honor him.  In my memory, he’ll always be a kid.  And I find a way to smile.  It’s hardest for me on his birthday.  My husband and I set our wedding date close to this day to bring more positive memories around this date.

Why did I pick this title and this song?  Because I think it’s important that we continue to be there for each other.  To support each other.  To let the world know that these people who were impacted are our family.  And we’ll love and support them through this day and every day.

If you’re reading this and were directly impacted by that horrible day…know that I’m here to support you.  You can lean on me and…”I Won’t Let Go”

 

The Color Of Fall

Everyone has a favorite season, right? Living in Florida,we have two seasons. Rainy/hurricane season and sunny/summer season. Most of the time I’m perfectly good with that. Except during the fall. If it weren’t for Starbucks and their pumpkin spice lattes, the neighborhood kids going back to school and football season, I probably wouldn’t even know fall had arrived.

And the thing about fall is it’s so vivid, so rich with colors! I loved seeing the changing leaves, the slightly cooler weather. I loved going for walks when I lived up north. I loved seeing all those greens turn to reds and orange and yellow and rusty browns. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving!

And everyone has a favorite color, right? I know mine. It’s orange. I love the color. It’s beautiful and vibrant and warm. And unfortunately I’m a winter and can’t wear the color without looking washed out. Bummer.

But today I was missing fall, and the orange, so I did the next best thing. I brought the fall into my kitchen… Here is what I did today.

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This is the batter from the pumpkin bread I made today.

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I made three loaves. I guess it must have smelled pretty good because I stepped away, but when I got back, a slice had been cut. My husband had gotten home and cut himself a piece. He said that he and the dogs agreed that it tasted great. LOL!

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And for a refreshing drink, I made a wonderful, fresh cantaloupe juice. I hadn’t made it since I was a kid living in the Philippines. It’s made with water, the juice from the cantaloupe strained into a pitcher, half of the cantaloupe grated, like cheese, the slices and juices added to the pitcher. Then add water and half a cup of sugar. Stir, and voila! Hubby tried it for the first time and loved it!

What about you? What is your favorite season and why? What things and colors do you associate with it?

Finding Your Forever

Tonight I was rehearsing.  In a few weeks I will be singing at a friend’s wedding.  I was so honored that she asked me to partake in her celebration.  There is nothing quite so sweet as witnessing two people joining their lives together.  Merging not only their hearts, but their families, their traditions and their values.

Every little girl has a list.  This little fairy tale of who her Prince (or Princess) Charming is going to be.  Usually it includes things like:  handsome, rich, funny, pretty eyes, great body…  And the list goes on and on.  As we get older, we add to that list.  And we hope and dream and pray that we meet that man.  For me, it’s like Garth Brooks said, “Sometimes I Thank God For Unanswered Prayers”.

My friend is a tough woman.  She is used to going it alone.  She’s been raising her children and enjoying her life.  So when she met her man, she wasn’t ready to rush into anything.  But then something quite wonderful to watch began to happen to her.  She’s always been fiery, sometimes to the point of hot headedness.  She’d be the first to tell you this, so I’m not talking out of school.  But suddenly she just seemed more content.  Happier.  More centered.  Her smiles weren’t just surface movements anymore, but came from somewhere deeper inside her.  You could tell.  She just glowed.

And the thing is, this guy didn’t try to change her.  He didn’t want to.  He simply accepted her for who she was.  The results were awesome!  She was more comfortable in her own skin.  She began to change herself, though I don’t think she realized it.  She felt comfortable and safe.  She trusted him.  For the first time that I remembered, she truly began to share who she was at her core with a man.  She didn’t worry about whether or not it would work out.  She was willing to try.  To grab her happiness by the horns and hang on to it.

In a world of casual relationships and easy outs, it’s refreshing to watch two people still willing to take that plunge and commit themselves to each other.  “Your Love” by Jim Brickman and Michelle Wright will be the song I sing for them on that day.  I truly wish them all the love and happiness I’ve found in the man who didn’t quite fit my fairy tale list…but brought a list of his own of characteristics I never listed but always needed.  I wish for them the love, acceptance, friendship and trust that matter so much more than those little superficial things.

I consider it icing on the cake that my man is also good looking and can cook!  I’d love to hear from you guys…  When you think love and commitment, what do you think of?  What were your childhood fantasies of that person?  Are you still searching?  Or if you’ve found your Mr/Ms Right, did it match what you dreamed of?  Share!

Not Ready To Age Gracefully

I have always thought that growing old is probably one of the toughest things a person has to go through in life.  I was lucky enough to know my great-grandmother on my father’s side.  We called her Granny.  She was from Cornwall, England and moved to the states when grandma turned sixteen.  She was a trip and a half.  She was born in 1900 and lived to be 93.

She was pretty sharp until she hit her late seventies and early eighties.  Then dementia started to set in.  She lived with my grandparents.  My siblings and I would come up to Michigan to visit them every summer and stay for a couple of weeks.  When it was time to go home, she’d always shove money in our pockets before we headed to the airport.  She made amazing pasties.  We were lucky enough that she was able to see her first great-great born.  Yes, she made the paper for having five generations in our family tree alive at one time.

And as great as all that is, I still think of some of the misfires she had as her memory started to erode away.  I think I was about twelve years old and my oldest cousin was getting married.  My grandfather, who had a bad heart, had a fainting spell that morning that perpetuated a visit from the ambulance and fire departments at about 8am.  We woke up to them tramping through the house.  Pretty scary for kids.  My Grandma told me they’d be taking my grandfather to the ER to get checked, but Granny would be there.  So, off they went with the fire truck.

The boy across the street had become my summer boyfriend.  Seeing all the emergency vehicles got the neighborhood curious, especially him.  So he knocked on the door to my grandparents’ door to their front patio.  My sister and I came out to tell him about the excitement.  He was sitting in the glider chair facing his house, and I was standing across from him talking when I suddenly saw my very naked, very wrinkly Granny standing in the middle of the living room.  I was mortified, of course.  What twelve year old wouldn’t be?  So I excused myself quickly, walked to the living room and shut the door behind me.  She let me know she was going to take a shower to get ready for the wedding.  I encouraged her to go right away.  (At the time, I wished I had a toothbrush to brush my mind clean of the memory of what she looked like)  Now I wonder if that wasn’t just the first signs of her dementia setting in.

A couple years later another cousin was getting married.  She asked us every day if today was the day for his wedding.  She couldn’t remember.  My poor, patient Grandma told her mother every time that she’d let her know when it was time to get ready.  That Sunday, we all went to church.  We picked up one of my Granny’s widowed friends on our way.  She was no longer able to drive.  I remember giggling inside when she came to the car and we realized she’d put her dress on inside out.  I was young and a bit cocky…  I hoped that I’d never get that old.

Then the time came…  My Granny outlived my Grandpa, and it all became too much for Grandma.  She finally had to admit her into a retirement community.  By then Granny was nearly completely bedridden and dementia had fully set in.  It devastated my Grandma.  Granny often didn’t recognize her and thought my aunt was Grandma, and my cousin was my Aunt.  She’d reverted almost fully into the past.  But the thing about my fiery Granny was that she always spoke her mind…even in this condition.

You see, Granny had a roommate.  She was pretty deep into Senile Dementia.  She spent most of her days calling for her “Mama!”  One day, while my Grandma, aunt and cousin were visiting her, the roommate started wailing for her mother again.  So, Granny decided to tell her what she thought as only she could.  (Imagine this being said with a British accent)

“I don’t know how to tell you this, dear, but I’m quite sure your mother has been dead for quite some time now!”

Of course this only made the woman wail that much louder and with hysterics.  My cousin said they all looked at each other with big eyes not sure if it was appropriate to laugh…and trying to stifle it.  All this story did for me was reinforce how hard it must be to get older.

Why am I sharing these little tidbits with you today?  Because I’m afraid the process has already started with me.  This evening, I walked into my local mall, dying for some Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Yes, I’m an addict).  As I stood in line waiting for the barista to complete my drink I looked down and realized my shirt looked funny.  The lettering appeared off.  So I looked more closely at myself…and my sleeves.  Sure enough, I’d put my shirt on inside out and walked right into the mall.  (Considering I have more than a hint of OCD about certain things, I’m sure you can imagine my reaction….)

As I’m writing this, I’m still beet red!  Well, it’s a good thing I also believe that it’s important to have the ability to laugh at yourself.  I’m hoping that I was also able to share a little bit of that laughter with you…  (Yes, it’s okay if you’re laughing at me.)