Life

Airport Crazy

Airports are not for the faint hearted especially when one is under renovation/construction which always seems to be the case. Orlando airport, Southwest terminal is a veritable mess and at first glance, seems like organizational mayhem. Thursday morning I dropped my dad here and the plan was for me to park and meet him inside to help him navigate the system – get his ticket and check his bag.

If you’ve been following along, as we were leaving for our trip, he told me he could never fly alone because my mother was the “brains of the operation”. Fast forward to Thursday morning, just getting curbside was an exercise in extreme automotive manipulation, and he said, while we were in the middle of the road, “just drop me here”. I was hesitant but after convincing me he could do it, I quickly jotted down all the flight details and told him to ask someone for help if he needed it.

He did make it to his gate (he called me to let me know this 45 minutes later) and he sounded quite proud of this accomplishment. As I navigated my way through the mess of Terminal A this morning I am doubly proud of him. Fortunately, I too made it to the gate seemingly against all odds. Goodbye sunshine and hello snow.

MC

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travel

Blue skies above

Today is supposed to wrap up my Florida vacation but a storm in New York may keep me here for a couple more days. Jim has sent me a picture of our snow covered cars along with the news that school has been canceled. I have refrained from responding with a picture of my blue sky above. I guess I wouldn’t mind being stranded here a couple more days while the snow sorts itself out.

This is my cleaning day here. Time to do the laundry, run the dishwasher, vacuum and clean the bathrooms. Unfortunately, I don’t know whether I won’t be flying in the morning so I’ll have to do all this “just in case”. It’s ok though because cleaning this house is a piece of cake because we don’t have a lot of stuff here and I’ve been keeping it up as I go.

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Writing

Just Write!

I just got home from dropping dad at the airport and thought I’d take a look at my latest attempt at my book. Ugh, I cannot find the draft. I thought I had put it on a thumb drive and I spent ages the night before I left for vacation looking for it. I found the thumb drive in my this and that bag that I threw in my carry on and was beyond excited to have it with me. But the darn document is not on the drive and must be on my home computer. So much for that.

I guess I could restart which is a little disheartening or I could make an attempt at an outline which may be the better idea. The trouble is I don’t know where I want the story to go. It starts out with a confession by the main character and then trails back to the beginning of her life and that of her twin brother and the circumstances surrounding their (single) mother and her unplanned pregnancy. I almost feel like I need some sort of prompt to find a direction for the story.

My writing setup is perfect (for me) and how I imagined writing life. I’m on my Florida patio, the sun shining, a nice breeze and an icy glass of tea. There’s quiet music in the background and not a soul around save for a few geckos. I grabbed a fresh notebook and my fancy pen and here I am. Continue reading “Just Write!”

Writing

It’s a wrap on February

I had another post ready to go for my last day of daily blogging but I thought I’d save it. Yup, I finish my daily blogging challenge today. I did it! I failed miserably when I tried this in November but I think it’s already a pressure-filled time of year to have tried to add daily blogging to the list.

Today is also going to be my dad’s last day here. Unfortunately, a friend of his passed away and he needs to go home to offer his support to the family. We had such a great time catching up. I heard a ton of stories I never knew about him and now he’s transferred them to me. Hopefully, I can remember them all.

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Uncategorized

An Anniversary

I don’t tend to live life thinking something bad is awaiting me around every corner. I do tend to take life at face value so there are many times when I’m caught off guard or unpleasantly surprised. So I guess you could say I rarely have premonitions. There was the day nearly two years ago when I was alone at church because I had an afternoon writing class and Jim took Liam skiing for the day. My phone kept buzzing during mass, but like the good Catholic I am, I kept ignoring it.

After about the fourth time and with communion over, I realized it must be something important. I grabbed my pocketbook and left mass, pulling my phone out as I walked down the aisle. Three missed calls from Jim and two from dad. I didn’t need a premonition to tell me something was wrong and before I could dial Jim, he was calling me again to tell me my mom had died.

It wasn’t unexpected but it was still pretty painful to hear and face on my own. I sat in my car for a while. I talked to a number of family members and they were starting to gather at our family home which was two hours away. My mom died in her sleep during a nap on a bed we had set up in the living room after she had a bad fall the previous November. My dad was visiting with a nun/friend and after not hearing anothing from my mom after a while, she asked my dad to check on her only to realize she was no longer breathing.

Mom had a myriad of health problems and breathing was really hard for her even though she had never smoked. To have her die such a peaceful death was a true gift. Although the emergency crew came and were determined to bring her back, we were fortunate our neighbor who is a trooper and knew my mom was there to stop them because she did not want to be revived. Her DNR had been affixed to the fridge.

Tomorrow marks the second anniversay and while I miss her immensely, I only have to remember her quality of life and be happy she is now free of the physical impediments of this life.

MC

Life

An unexpected funeral

Vacation can certainly get you off your schedule. As I mentioned previously, my dad likes to go to daily mass so the two things I planned to do in the morning have gotten lost in the shuffle: writing and exercising. This morning there was a funeral as part of the daily mass so that was interesting. It’s the second random funeral we’ve attended in Florida. Last year on the anniversary of my mom’s passing we also attended a stranger’s funeral at daily mass.

For today’s funeral, we sat in the front across from the family. The person’s ashes, photo and a dozen roses were on a small table in front of the altar and I had a pretty good view of everything, especially the deceased woman’s photo and she looked to be in her early 60’s if the photo was recent.

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books

My Childhood Library

Library960The memories I keep of my hometown library surround me like a comfortable blanket. It was a place where I first found independence because when we moved from the country to the village when I was in second grade, we were less than half a mile, door to door from the library. I tried to convince my mother to let me go alone but she always made sure to send an older sibling along just in case. By fourth grade I was able to go on my own and I spent most Saturdays there.

Upon arriving at the library, I bounced up the steps, opened the heavy brown door and was greeted by the intoxicating scent of books. The librarian was at a desk, straight ahead, always busy matching up people to books. She would stop what she was doing to look up and greet me with a wide smile before returning to her pile. Although her name escapes me, she was everything you’d imagine from a small town librarian. Gray-haired, glasses that dangled from a chain, cardigan-wearing, a ready smile, eager to help.

To the left as you entered stood the card catalog unit, overstuffed with typed up index cards telling you where you could find each and every book in the library.  To the right were two long tables surrounded by comfortable chairs and window seats where the locals would congregate and catch up on out of town newspapers and periodicals. It’s where I would sit for hours as I worked on my book reports for school, sometimes joined by friends but many times contentedly alone.

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Life

Shopping for Sneakers

I realized once we got to Florida that I didn’t have a pair of sneakers down here. I had bought an extra pair to keep here but I guess I brought them home with me when I was here last summer. I was planning to keep up with my running/jogging program this week because if I take the week off from it, it will be too hard to start back up again. I also gave up shopping for Lent so this presented a bit of a conundrum.

I wanted to go to the gym so I decided I needed to buy a new pair of sneakers and after breakfast, we headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods. It is dangerous for me to enter a store of any kind but as we entered the shopping center Dick’s is in, a wonderous, almost astral vision appeared before me. A brand new HomeGoods!

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Life

Traveling with Dad

We are barely minutes into our trip and I’ve got my first dadism. Dadisms are phrases I wouldn’t expect to hear pass through anyone’s lips. Except my dad’s. The first one is pretty innocuous as he tells me he could never fly alone because my mom had been the “brains of the operation”. The second one, about 10 minutes later was about the bathroom so I’ll keep it to myself.

I have an older and younger sister so we share them via text as they come up because we have all experienced them in their varying forms. I am currently in re-entry mode so I hear them every few minutes until eventually, they become part of the background again. My older sister who has been living with him for a couple of months will only share the doozies because she’s been highly desensitized to them.

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Life

Relationships under a microscope

microscope

Assay: to determine the contents or quality of (metal or ore) or men

This could sum up my very long dating life! Did I assay through a long list of boys and men to find my ever after love? I sure did.

I liked boys far too early for my mother’s liking. By sixth grade, I had my first steady boyfriend. We didn’t actually speak to one another and I avoided face to face contact with him as much as possible. Our relationship conduit was my BFF and his cousin. She would say George (real names protected!) says hi and I would say tell him hi and then my face would turn red and I’d go back to whatever I was doing. Sometimes he would call me from her house and we’d sit on the phone in silence. This was the way things went until about ninth grade.

I went from a small Catholic elementary school with 20 classmates to the only high school in town and increased my class size by 400%. Freshman year I had a giant crush on one of the basketball players a year ahead of me and wrote his name on most of my notebooks. This was pretty brazen now that I think about it since he could have found out about my crush (and probably did). Well, one day in Earth Science, the teacher caught me doodling and picked up my notebook and started reading the boy’s name to the class. I probably don’t have to explain how mortified I was. I found out many years later when we became Facebook friends, I never had a chance.

Continue reading “Relationships under a microscope”