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Archive for May 2009

As I prepare for what I will most likely advertise as the Grand Daddy and Mother Lode of all yard sales…I am please to report that the economy is in fact alive and well…happily living on craigslist.  As I began the process of selling what will be three entire households overflowing with beautiful furnishings and two enormous storage spaces chock full of "stuff"…I must admit I had no idea how many people still really do have money to buy things.  On one such innocent evening…I placed something like twenty three ads for what had been expensive pieces of furniture.  It was the wee hours of the morning when my head finally hit the pillow.  By seven A.M. my email box was filled with replies wanting to buy more stuff than I hardly had time to write back about.  I readily admit being rummy at one point…and describing an ottoman as being softer than a baby’s butt and being the only piece of furniture I had ever owned that made you want to pet it.  While that statement was very much the truth…I had not anticipated the great demand for furniture that one might be tempted to pet.  Simply cracking  up a husband and wife …both of whom have a sense of humor…was all it took to sell that item sight unseen.  I have since then replied back to people who laughingly said their vacuum cleaners "suck"…by saying I rode all the way back from the lake on mine before realizing it was not a broom.  It is somehow refreshing to know that humor is alive and well in an economy that was supposed to be in a submerged crunch.  People are downsizing… that much is true.  They are spending half the money on craigslist to buy goods instead of going retail.  After the ads have come and gone …and the size of items being sold is diminshed somewhat…there will be a yard sale to end all yard sales.  And I will be there…not to rake in the most money I can…but to enjoy watching throngs of people walk off with items they can no longer live without.  With any luck at all…I will then fade into the sunset…whisked away to a tropical destination where all you need is some sunscreen and a cool drink in your hand.  Aahhh…the good life !!!

When I was just a kid…I always commented that I had "boat feet".  There is not much else as healthy as being able to not only love yourself unconditionally…but also having the very real ability to laugh at yourself too. I love my feet…for all their flaws and unique features.  I have "finger toes" that picked up many a bobbie pin in my teenage years.  I used to tell everyone I did not need to worry about swimming because with boat feet I was in good shape to pretty much walk on water.  I am buoyant in a big way…bobbling along in the pool or even the ocean like a cork with my legs crossed "Indian style" and not moving a muscle.  I have actually fallen asleep in swimming pools as the art of swimming is not as much of a form of exercise for me as it is relaxing…like floating on a cloud must be like.  As time and gravity have taken their toll on my ability to laugh even heartier at my reflection in the mirror I have changed my opinion on my feet. They are no longer the "I grew too fast into my shoes" skinny long legged girl look and have sprawled a bit wider and truly look like the big promising paws of a Saint Bernard puppy.  I would clearly not be the runt of the litter…and could easily be picked for becoming a "big" dog someday.  A million years ago when I was still young and pretty…I was once asked if there was anything I would like to change about my appearance.  I loved being tall…and honestly loved every feature I was born with…as it make me who I am.  The long and lean legs had served me well.  The extraordinary bust line caused me more than my share of grief as no one ever looked above my chest at first glance.  I love my big brown eyes and would not trade them for all the tea in China.  My ears are a bit big…"the better to hear you with my dear" as the wolf once said to Little Red Riding Hood.  My neck is too long…but thanks to Audrey Hepburn… it became known as long and graceful …like a swan.  My smile was undoubtedly my best feature as I could not wipe the ear to ear grin off my face at any cost…and it is no small wonder that people did not mistake me for being a simpleton as those with the mentality of a moron were known in those days.  I always described my hair as being long and stringy and baby fine.  It is nearly down to my butt at the moment…but spends most of the time tightly wound in a little ball or in a ponytail.  My hair is quite curly when wet but straighter than a rat’s tail when brushed out…and almost laughingly curls toward my face on one side and away from my face on the other.  My shimmy shake fanny had a life of its own…and my arms could pop up a muscle in a second’s notice that would make Popeye jealous…but there was one thing that I said I would like to have changed.  I have a bump on my nose from a childhood mishap… where I came bouncing up from below the water’s surface at a family lake picnic gathering…and my Aunt’s chin was directly above me.  I felt certain my nose was broken in the process as I had never felt anything hurt that badly…and wore my little bump for the rest of my life like a battle scar.  As the years passed…my Aunt died a bit too young and I became glad I had the bump to always remember her by.  It seemed that I was the only one who could see my "invisible" bump…but I knew it was there…and could not find flaw with anything else worthy of changing.  I have a birthmark on my left arm that is about the size of a quarter and quite dark.  I love telling everyone it is part of my African American and Indian heritage.  No such heritage has ever been recorded in our family…but I like to think that is where my light olive skin came from.  I have changed my tune a few times about whether or not my fingers belonged to my Mom or Dad.  I liked to claim I had my Mom’s hands until hers became gnarled and bent with arthritis.  Now I think mine must have been part of my Dad’s heritage…as my sister has arthritis in her hands…and has for quite some time now.  So…I guess if the worst thing you have to cope with are feet that used to be boats and now resemble the paws of a Saint Bernard puppy…I will consider myself lucky.  If I am fortunate enough to live a long time…I hope to someday become the wrinkled old lady that my great grandmother looked like in her latter years.  And if I am half the person she was…independent, stubborn and loving…I will be thankful to walk a mile in her shoes…even though mine are undoubtedly several sizes larger.  Food for thought on this memory based weekend…if you could change any part of yourself…what would it be ???  After having painted such a lovely picture of myself…I shall have to share a letter I wrote on that very subject some time soon.  Have a safe and happy Memorial Day…and don’t forget to pay homage to those who have come before us or touched our lives in a most memorable way. 

Just adding a few pictures in what will be an extension of the photo album for the "beach" home in Birch Bay.  I am sorting through furnishings and making a list of what will stay and go as I prepare to walk away from a few homes…with too much "stuff". I have not taken pictures around the village in many years…so took a few today.  There is a nine hole golf course, a yacht marina, ponds, creeks and a lake with every kind of creature you could imagine, ocean front parks that meet at the bay, a huge swimming pool, tennis courts and much, much more.  We have parks and picnic spots and ample room for flying a kite or family walks.  My back yard looks like a jungle…a project for another day as wild berries will surely be calling my name.  I will be back in real "blogging" form after I return to the other side of the state to begin working on the lake place next.  In the meantime…grab a kite, pack and picnic and maybe a small bottle of bubbles to blow…and find somewhere to sit and just enjoy being alive.  You deserve it !!! 
The Bride and Groom smiled nonstop from the beginning of the ceremony until long after it was over.  The wedding was wonderful and the dinner that followed was a nice way of getting to know her friends and family.  They are off to a delightful start on the way to forever and ever. 
I think my son has been watching too many western movies.  When he and his girlfriend decided on a leap of faith to make a quick move to wedded bliss…they only knew they were crazy about each other.  My son had asked about buying our "keepsake" home and was clearly in full nesting mode.  He simply wanted to settle down.  The immediate reaction to such an announcement as "oh by the way we are getting married next week"…is met with varying degrees of oohs and aahs.  All the young people tend to think the bride must be pregnant.  Disbelievers still think that she is…but just plans to announce a short term birth later down the road.  Adults on the other hand have a tendency to say…"good for them"…but why ???  My immediate response was to be happy for them.  Making the decision was the easy part.  Telling her parents was quite another matter.  My son called the other day to say they planned to tell her parents about the upcoming wedding while they were camping together over the weekend.  Shortly before they left for the trip…my son called to give me the exact location where they would be camped…so I would know where his dead body would be buried.  He considered her Dad might just kill him for marrying his only daughter in a courthouse wedding on such short notice.  Yesterday the phone rang…and a relieved voice said "Mom…I am still alive".  I laughed until I cried.  I should imagine the list of funny things to record and remember will grow longer in the next day or so…as tomorrow is their wedding day.  I found my son’s handsome designer suit at the lake place…and my son said he was not going to wear it…until he discovered the pocket was full of money…and suddenly a change of heart took place. I do not care if he actually wears it…only that he has it to slip on for a brief moment …as the groom’s pictures look better in years to come in nicely dressed mode.  A big wedding is planned for next year.  In the meantime they will ride off into the sunset together in search of a better life…and that elusive place called "forever".  

On the drive back from Los Angeles…my youngest daughter and I stopped to visit a couple of my oldest and dearest friends. We were met with a very warm and welcome greeting…hugs all around and settled in for the night.  I awoke to the smell of everything you could possibly imagine might grace the table at breakfast time.  My friend cheerfully declined to allow me to help with anything…so I parked myself momentarily and then edged off the chair to help with just a few things. Just about when breakfast was ready to be served…in walked my youngest child…Molly.  Molly is not her real name…but an adopted nickname she was given when we visited years ago.  My friend’s husband has to be one of the sweetest people on the planet earth…and is loving and generous to everyone he meets.  For some reason he had it in his head that her name was Molly…and simply could not shake the notion no matter how hard he tried.  Finally he threw his hands up in the air and said "well…she just looks like a Molly to me".  Every time I mention my child by name…both my friend and her husband say "who" ???  I correct myself to call her Molly and the conversation goes on without a hitch.  At the breakfast table my daughter mentioned the baby book that had sealed her fate.  Each parent had the job of putting a pencil check mark next to names they liked.  It turned out that in the girl’s name department…there was only one name with two marks…and that is how her moniker was chosen.  She took the opportunity to tell my friend that I had a check mark next to her name.  My friend was flattered and relieved at the same time as she had never liked her own name.  It had been shortened and altered slightly during childhood as happens to many a good name.  My friends have long struggled over my own name…as I had changed my name (first and last) during my "I am a professional model and now will become an actress" phase.  For nearly all of my adult life…everyone…and I do mean everyone… called me by my stage name.  A decade or so ago I was duped into relocating to a tiny town in another state…where (little did I know) the love of my life would soon take up residence.  As the wheels of progress could not be turned back and I had two young kids tucked under my arm…I opted to change back to my maiden name out of respect for the new family my sweetie had picked up along the way.  As it turns out…I was the only one being respectful and should never have afforded the kindness or courtesy…as neither were deserved by any stretch of the imagination.  All I managed to accomplish was to confuse my employment records…goof up my dmv items…throw a monkey wrench into my credit…and confused the living daylights out of my own friends and family.  My Dad referred to my maiden name as my "last known alias" until the day he died.  My lifelong friends have never warmed to the idea of the "new" name.  At times I have been tempted to change it back…but even with that notion in mind…a whole new series of events would be expected to follow.  As I went to give hugs and kisses goodbye to my beloved friends…she grabbed my hair and said…"and after your birthday we can cut this hair and at least put blonde streaks in it".  I had almost forgotten the blonde tresses that went along with the name that had been so carefully chosen many years before. Lots of people voted and took an interest…suggestions were made…film history was considered for similarity…the name was bounced off people for recognition sake…and surprisingly nearly everyone knew they had seen me in a film or tv show I had never appeared on.  It was a good name…and I might want it back…but first I have to grow my waist length hair the last few inches to prepare for my Lady Godiva birthday photo taken from the back side of me…as all good birthday photos should be at my age.  I shall don a flesh colored bodysuit and have a lovely photo of my beautiful long locks…and then chop them off for a good cause.  In the end I will have yet another fun picture for my kids to remember me by long after I gone.  I wonder what Lady Godiva thought of her name ???  

The words "zero to sixty" took on a whole new meaning today…as I drove to the lake with a fly on the windshield.  At first he had his little legs planted ever so firmly on the windshield…refusing to yield…determined to hang on as though he had paid for a carnival ride.  I could almost hear his delighted squeals…"woo hoo…whee"…as he would have had to be smiling and feeling ever so proud of himself.  He had been given numerous opportunities to hop off as I drove along.  There were stop signs and stop lights…slowing for other drivers turning in front of the car…and yet he seemed determined to hang on no matter what.  I had to admire his tenacity and pondered the possibilities.  Was he on the windshield for the sheer thrill of a joy ride ?  Had he innocently made a pit stop only to discover the front windshield belonged to a teenager and he was now stuck knee deep in concentrated soda pop ?  Perhaps he was participating in a game of dare in which he was to try and hold on as long as possible…setting some new kind of record…ironically flying without flying.  From time to time he would lift a leg or two and then simply place them back on the glass as though stretching his little legs.  Picture if you will a little guy with hair blowing in the breeze…riding as though on a motorcycle…without a care in the world.  I approached the highway with heightened curiosity…wondering if others might have simply turned on the windshield wipers and sealed his fate.  It was not until I reached exactly sixty miles an hour that he lost the battle between gravity and air speed…his determined feet simply lost their balance and he flew away…as though swept up by a giant tornado.  As I reached my lakeside destination…I hoped in my heart of hearts that he was now flying back to town…puffing his chest out in full proud peacock style…thinking to himself…"just wait til the guys hear about this one".  And so if you ever wondered at what speed a fly might be involuntarily ejected from a windshield…I think it is safe to say they are strictly a zero to sixty act.


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