Tea for Two

My mother (God rest her soul) would break out in song and dance with the slightest, or even no, provocation. She was not Adele and could sing way better than me, she could not remember all the words to most of the songs she sang, and then there was always that ‘make up words as you go along’ to fill in the blank spots…which I think she did on purpose just to annoy me.

But Tea for Two was not just any song; she gave the whole soft-shoe-tap-dance like I was watching a 1920’s vaudevillian show.

Tea for two and two for tea
Me for you, and you for me..alone!

enter the soft-shuffle with full 360 degree turn while wearing a flowered housecoat and slippers. Yes it was quite a sight.

As I would sit there and shake my head at what I was seeing and hearing, she would say, “you will miss my singing when I am gone”. I miss more things about her than I can ever count; her singing is not one of them. Maybe I need more than 5 yrs time to appreciate it.

Love – the motivation for bail money

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If this doesn’t sum up the love we all have for our partner and yet… no one really wants to talk about it (especially Disney). We deserve to be told the truth about love when we are growing up, why is it such a secret? It only creates disappointment by not being prepared.

One day you can’t stop smiling, can’t stop laughing, can’t stop thinking about that getaway you are planning, and either later that day or the next, your thoughts turn to – how to make it look like an accident – but you don’t, nor would you, follow through. Why? because that is what love is.

Taking the good days with the bad; the sheer bliss with the overwhelming desire to run as far as the dirty crumpled dollar bill, warm gummy bears, and torn tissues in your pocket will take you… the compromises, the stolen glances that still make your heart beat just a bit faster… It’s a packaged deal and there is no way that your relationship will last if you don’t know this going into it.

Love gives you more patience than you ever thought imaginable. It also gives you motivation to start a collection – also known as bail money.

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The love-hate relationship with October

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I love Halloween, it is my favorite holiday EVER, period. However, it is also the most painful month too.

Gone too soon, only 21 years old for a few months… I am reposting this because of the 33 yrs anniversary:

It is with great displeasure that I write this post. What I wouldn’t give to have my brother back these 30+ years. To see whom he would have married, his children, his choices in life. But instead he chose one of the most unselfish ways to spend his short time here among us, he joined the Army and became an elite Ranger. Consequently he was killed during the second wave in a very small town, on a very small Caribbean island called Grenada, giving coverage to many American medical students forced to return home during a hostile political event.

A devastating time for my parents; to be told you will never see your child again, to never say good bye one last time, to say I Love You one last time. It’s one of those things we take for granted I think, saying I love you, taking for granted you will see or talk to the person tomorrow and remember ‘next time we talk’. Even saying it in passing is great to hear, but not quite the same as if you knew it would be the very last time…the very last time… heart breaking, devastating, it goes beyond that. There is just no word for the amount of empty left behind.

He was just a great person, not because he is no longer here and fond memories can sometimes overshadow the bad times, he was truly one of those people who would go out of his way for you to make sure you were happy, to help if he could, a kind and gentle soul and so very funny. He loved music, was artistic, and put up with his kid sister always tagging along when he just wanted to hang with his friends.

Ah, his friends, they were bountiful and from so many different crowds; neighborhood, school, church, sports, he fit into all the groups with ease because there were so many different levels of him to love. I could go on for pages giving him accolades, and all would be true, but I won’t.

Recently I have been given the opportunity to have him, and his unit, honored for years to come as I have been requested to submit his picture (shown above) to the National Museum, United States Army for a permanent exhibit in their halls. How proud we of him, how much we miss him every day, how I would give anything to change that day and have him back.

Operation Urgent Fury

Operation Urgent Fury

#MemorialDay

Fab-u-lous at 50!

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The age of 50 may not seem ancient to all, but as my birthday to turn the big 5-0 was just last week, it feels ancient. It is a new decade. I am no longer in that 40-49 bracket (gasp!). Waking up in the morning creates the sounds of new pops, creaks, and snaps (and ouchies)…

I am trying to make the best of it, comes to terms with it, and thankfully Goose threw me a birthday party to remind me, things are not all that bad…maybe I am not as old, decrepit, and ancient as I tend to think. She rented an enormous house-6 bedrooms, 3 bath, and a third floor ballroom!! (courtesy of my Pop wish he could have attended…), I was surrounded by amazing friends (who drove upwards of two hrs to celebrate with me), laughs all weekend long (ever played the game “cards against humanity? say no more), won $$ at roulette (yes!) and danced the night away (no hokey-pokey here). I am not sure if it gets any better than that.

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What would I do without my Goose? An amazing young woman who goes above and beyond for those she loves. I would be lost without her.

cheers!

cheers!

Cheers to another year! Thanks Mom – wish you were here – you would have shown the gang a few moves, at the expense of throwing out a hip! God Bless you!

The value of time? Priceless.

There are many things we cannot put a price on; love, trust, time…especially time… The value is priceless – it is just that simple.

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My daughter’s laugh; priceless (and contagious)

There is just not enough time for us to have fun together; we always want more.

If I could pay for more time with her, I would surely rob a bank.

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We paint, we plant, we indoor skydive, we vacation, we explore, we adventure…never enough time… value of time is priceless.

Fool me once, shame on you Vineyard… fool me twice…..

Little colored houses in the Vineyard

Little colored houses in the Vineyard

It is not often I give someone or something a second chance; I am damn good at reading people and places. But Martha’s Vineyard – wow you got me!   MV – 2, Me – 0.

The first time was an overnight get away with the ‘man’ as the MV high season was coming to a close. They could not get us off the island fast enough. Plenty happy to take our money, but actually expect the hostess to greet us with a ‘Hello’ at the restaurant, well that was just too much to ask apparently.

We even took the bus tour where the guide pointed out every wall of bushes and trees and what high profile celebrity had their home behind it, which could not be seen, but their have a fantastic landscaper. The bus rolled up into a parking lot for a potty break and my guy leans over and says, hey look it David Letterman. No Iie. A small fact that eluded the guide which goes to support the theory they are just not that interested in having you visit. That was about 6 years ago.

Friends tell me I did not give the island a fair chance, that there is so much to do I just HAVE to go back. Well Goose had never been so why not change up the company AND the time of year.

Only for the fact that she was with me did I have a good time –  but that being said, I could be tied up in an abandon warehouse bathroom, lying on the tile floor with a crazy ass clown on a tricycle who ‘wants to play a game’ and laugh my ass off.

Me and Goose on the high waves of Nantucket Sound

Me and Goose on the high waves of Nantucket Sound

Goose you are a life saver! Martha’s Vineyard… I fart in your general direction. The.End.

Looking to build a birch bark canoe? Who isn’t?

photo by VictoriaG.

photo by VictoriaG.

If I said it once, I said it a million times…. If left to my own devices 300 years ago, I would have easily starved to death and eventually froze to death if I actually did survive.  Who am I kidding, I have the tools constantly surrounding me and still wouldn’t think to slice bread.

To look back as see how people not only lived but thrived and created something from nothing blows me away! Take this small carved sculpture for instance.

One Man's Flute... photo by VictoriaG

One Man’s Flute… photo by VictoriaG

First, I wouldn’t have a sharp object to create it with – that goes without saying even though I actually said it…  I would be just banging rocks together in hopes it would take some sort of shape. But the Mayan and Aztec people (as did other cultures) carved this piece of clay into a shape (animal, diety, etc.) and made a musical instrument. Seriously? Overachiever!

It is called an Ocarina (some of the pieces on display date back over 4,000 years ago!), and it is a type of flute if you will. Depending on where, how many, and the shapes(s) of the hole(s) or slits, would determine the sound, which then would determine in what context it would played. Example: Some ocarinas were made for a parade-type atmosphere and gave the sharp shrill of what we would today call a police-whistle. Others were a soft, mid to low hoot, almost like wind blowing through wooden tubular wind chimes or a lonely call of a bird, simply relaxing you into a trance. We could have sat listening to him play for hours.

Photo by VictoriaG

Ocarinas – Photo by VictoriaG

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We watched a YouTube Video displayed at the Harvard Museum of History, the Latin American scholar José Cuellar played different ocarinas and explain their sounds and beauty. If you search for “breathing life into an ancient instrument” you will see it and others videos that he has made on the subject.

Before we move on, let me ask. Who the heck was on the archaeological dig that found these small clay pieces and decided it was a good idea to blow into them to see if it was a musical instrument? My first guess would have been a nifty little remembrance knick-knack for the one room home; musical instrument, not so much. But I digress.

Moving onto the Native American wing, we find more mind blowing creativity: building a canoe from white birch trees. We are not going to do the bare bones version of carving a canoe from one (hopefully) large tree trunk. These particular natives went full out and pieced them together, soaking and bending the ribs where needed. Again, remember I am barely surviving on the berries I have picked praying they won’t poison me and along comes some smarty-panties native throwing together a mini cruise ship to travel downstream. (sense some jealousy here?!)

how to build a canoe

Lastly, (only for this writing as I was not able to completely view the museum) we leave you with the ledger drawings of the Native Americans. Left not only on cave walls, teepees, and clothing, the Native Americans achieved something the Europeans did not; action drawings. They were even creative enough to show the ‘before and after’ in their photos in way to communicate the actual event. The one major historic lesson I learned from this section – Native Americans, at this juncture in time, had no written language; it was completely verbal (mind blown). No poetry, no stories to read in bed, no sending a letter to the next tribe asking for an extra cup of ground corn at their earliest convenience, nothing. Think how often you write (or these days, type) something down in order to remind yourself (a grocery list, on a calendar, who is picking up the kids and when…etc.) Our trip to the museum was two weeks ago and the simple statement of not having a written language sent me to dig deeper in my own tiny brain and try to understand that way of life. Let’s not get me started on their beautiful regard for life, their songs layered with notes hitting peaks and valleys, their simplicity and the value they gave everything and everyone around them….

Native American Ledger Art

Native American Ledger Art