Fall has arrived! There is just something soothing about the sound of a steady, set-in-for-the day rainfall pleasantly splashing against the sidewalks. As I gaze out the open window, watching bubbling pools of water transform into a mini-stream running downhill, a cool breeze drifts through the screen and suddenly the worries of the day are removed.
Still mesmerized by the sound of each raindrop, my mind travels back in time. I find myself reflecting on the "Good ‘ol Days”; wait a minute, did I really use the phrase, "Good 'ol Days"? Anyway, I digress, but.......ah yes, memories. Back in the day, I was a hard-working, ambitious 20-something dreamer. I had big plans and yet, I can't help but snicker as I recall that my biggest worry back then was whether or not I would have a date on Saturday night. Oh..........if I only knew then what I know now.
Over the years, many changes have happened in my little part of the world. For those of you that grew up in the Evansville/Newburgh area, I thought you might like to take a walk down memory lane with me. C'mon, admit it, you can almost see the fuzzy cloud and hear the 70’s music fade in, can't you?
As memorable as these things are, it is important to note that the next generation will have their own reflective moments; so…why blog about nostalgia? As humans, we tend to remember the good things and forget the bad. Thinking back, along with a little research, the reality of the 70's were not all puppy dogs and roses. Like today's world, the 70's were a time of turmoil, suffering and mistrust. They were also filled with anxiety, worry, fear, violence and uncertainty.
It's important to understand that action taken, not wished is what impacts outcomes. When we begin to see beyond the smog that clouds our vision, just think of the possibilities. If we would simply learn to appreciate the positive happenings that occur each day, strive to make a difference in our community and the lives of others, complain less and be determined to move forward.....imagine........really IMAGINE....how much greater YOUR reflection will be 20 years from now!
Mesmerized by the sound of each raindrop, my mind travels back in time; how far back I travel is determined by the day…………..
With Labor Day just around the corner, I can't help but laugh when I recall my very own "labor day's". Those times were filled with excitement, anxiety and fear of the unknown
Labor Day received official Federal recognition as a national holiday in 1894 and celebrates the economic and social contributions of the American worker.
I am sure that most will agree that childbirth. the nine months preceding and the 18+ years that follow certainly exemplify the word, “work!”
The time as arrived to dispel the Misconception of Labor Day expectations.
In today's world, family planning is particularly popular among many young couples. These somewhat naive, soon to be parents, are intent on making their mark on the world, starting careers and having their “ducks in a row”....before starting a family.
The word “trying” is often used in reference to starting a family. Regardless of whether you're “trying” or shouting to the rooftops, “whoops” or "WHAT"; grab a life jacket and hang on tight, because you're in the same boat. That's right, the same rocky, wave riding boat; so lift your head from your porcelain paradise and remember that meals are always temporary!
Initially, the giddy excitement of knowing that you are the vessel that carries another life is overwhelming. The desire to learn everything possible about this nine-month journey is exceptionally strong and soon-to-be moms endeavor to read every book and article ever written about this expedition. Detailed explanations are sought about everything from mood swings to delivery. This information, along with advice from friends, relatives and strangers, should be taken with a grain of salt. No pregnancy is book perfect and the likelihood that your baby will be the next Gerber® Baby, is slim to none.
First time expectant moms document weekly changes, know the exact week and day of the adventure and treasure each moment; second and subsequent babies, not so much. Ironically, while excitement abounds around the first time expectant mom, the enthusiasm fades quickly with each additional announcement.
As a new mom, with no previous babysitting experience, I was totally unprepared for the responsibility I was about to accept and created the following list based on my experience.
Daily if possible! For the next four to seven years, it will be necessary to tote a bag full of items everywhere you go. This bag will contain a variety of items based on the child’s age; some of which may include: bottles, pacifiers, diapers, baby oil, baby lotion, wet wipes, toys, coloring books, rattles, baby nose aspirator and so on. In addition, it will be a long time before you will be able to enjoy a dinner out without saying the following statements:
LABOR DAY ARRIVES
It will seem like an eternity awaiting the arrival of your bundle of joy and you will soon learn that birthing classes didn't tell you all of the facts. The classes actually made labor sound bearable. The phrase “you will feel discomfort” had to have been written by a man. Discomfort, DISCOMFORT; try anguish, torment, agony or torture, as these words better define the pain.
The popular thing today seems to be “natural” childbirth; personally, “natural” is overrated. My advice is to begin asking for drugs before you really even need them to ensure that you avoid being told, “I’m sorry, it’s too late.” Actually, I see no reason NOT to be knocked out like they did in my mother’s day. Having my baby cleaned, powdered, diapered and then handed to you doesn’t sound half bad.
Last but not least, recognize that your spouse has absolutely no clue what to do, what is happening or what to say. Totally insensitive comments are inevitable, so brace yourself.
Hubby: Do you want to watch TV to take your mind off things?
Me: Do you want to retain the shape of a TV?
Hubby: Just breathe.
Me: Great advice Einstein, the one thing I didn’t have to think about.
Me: I am focusing, on the PAIN!
Hubby: It’s almost over.
Me: Yea, right, that’s what you said 6 hours ago!
Hubby: I love you.
Me: Yea, yea, like that’ll ever work again.
Hubby: I see the head.
Me: Well, Hot Diggity Dog
Me: You’ll think push when I push you out of this fourth floor window
Hubby: The doctor is on his way
Me: Here or does he have another golf game?
Hubby: Do you want some crushed ice?
Me: Yea, stick a block under my fist and I’ll crush it!
When everything is said and done, you will have experienced the ultimate human achievement and will take home with you a beautiful, dependent little life that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state. Years later you'll discover that successful parenting results in a beautiful, dependent teenager that has absolutely no regard for your fatigue, hunger or emotional state.
Happy Labor Day!
Today, I am 56 years old and I am celebrating! Yes, you heard me right celebrating. Why wouldn’t I celebrate? Turning 56 is better than NOT turning 56, if you catch my meaning. It seems like only yesterday, I turned 21, so you will have to forgive me for being a bit bumfuzzled as to how this transformation happened? After all, I know they say that time waits for no one, but seriously….time flew by so fast that I missed my mid-life crises!
So why write about my birthday? Why not? I realize that most women wouldn’t admit their age, let alone put it in writing; but hey, it is what is. Is aging pleasant? No, it’s not. Bones creak, eyesight worsens, hearing is questionable, fatigue is a state of being and worse, the sags and bags and lines…oh my! Truthfully, it takes me so long to get ready to leave the house that I’m still not quite sure if general everyday maintenance really takes that much longer or I just move a lot slower.
So what have I learned in 56 years? Not enough, that’s for sure. I think everyone has a list of things they would change if given the opportunity, and I’m no different. However, a do-over wish list where the focus is on the past just isn’t productive. It doesn’t do any good to pine for a life that didn’t happen.
Therefore, I came to the conclusion that I had two choices, either jump feet first into a world full of unexplored experiences or resign myself to a rocker style existence. I decided to choose jumping feet first and grasp everything life has to offer. Since I can only go around this world one time, there is no time for could’ve, should’ve, would’ve.
I believe that I have entered my Fried Green Tomato Season of Life. I catch myself saying and doing things now that would have been unthinkable 10, 15 or 20 years ago. I no longer worry about what other’s think, and I am simply having fun. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ramming a car of a rude patron at a shopping center (sigh of relief heard from my insurance agent), but I also do not have qualms about “telling it like it is”.
For example, the other day, I stopped in at the grocery to pick up a few things. At the checkout, some lady, pretending like she was “all that and a bag of chips” was berating the young cashier about something that didn’t ring up correctly. The little gal must have only been about 16 or so and her face was a mix of embarrassment and hard to hold back tears. That was THE moment of truce. My Fried Green Tomato Season of Life kicked in full force.
Me: “Lady, what’s your problem?” I said. “Seriously, whatever is wrong can be fixed!"
Lady: “This is none of your business.”
Me: “True, but I’m making it my business and you need to stop it!”
Lady: “Well, I never”
Me: “I’m not doubting that”
Lady: She huffed out and left her groceries (no worries, she wasn’t buying that much anyway)
The cashier just looked at me and said, “Wow, thank you. We’re not allowed to say anything.” I smiled and said, “I know, I once worked as a cashier a long time ago too.” Although, I’m quite sure the manager was not overly happy, I did receive quite a few nodding smiles from what I could only perceive were fellow Fried Green Tomato Season of Life people. Let me tell you, that felt good!
I’ve accepted that aging is simply a part of life. I can either embrace it or mourn it, but I still have to live it. So I guess, for me, my Fried Green Tomato Season of Life is a rebirth of sorts. A fresh look at the world around me, recognizing the thorns I’ve walked through, scratches and all, and chasing the rainbows of my future.
Where will this season take me? Who knows, but I’m wide eyed, jumping in with both feet and taking on every adventure with enthusiasm and a just a tad of carefree whim.
So, even though my birthday arrived just like any other day, without fanfare, a cake or presents; just the busyness of what has become my existence; my Fried Green Tomato Season of Life is just getting started. You can either join me or get out of the way, because this mama is on the move!
Traffic is buzzing, sounds of youthful yelling, laughing and running around the neighborhood have ceased and Facebook is eerily silent during the day. This can only mean one thing….summer hiatus is over and a new school year is in session!
Social media popularity has catapulted First Day of School photo rituals to a whole new level. As I view the many Back to School pictures posted, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic reminiscing about my own kids’ and their “first day of school moments”.
Sitting here at my computer (yes, a real computer, not a phone), thousands of memories flood my mind and appear as a time warp of sorts, somewhere between yesterday and eternity.
Things I miss:
Things I do NOT miss:
As a card carrying member of the Empty Nesters Club, I want to remind young parents of a few things:
Lastly, while social media is a great way to share your photos, please remember to print or BACK 'Em UP! Should your favorite social media site disappear, a computer virus wipe your files or your handy dandy smart phone dies, your photos, along with your memories, will be gone...FOREVER!