About Sandy

Sandy has been a member since September 14th 2010, and has created 561 posts from scratch.

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Happy Holidays

This morning it dawned upon me. The next time I have to answer one of those quizzes that asks “What’s your pet peeve?”, I know my response… “When people get upset over being wished a happy holiday.”

I love to hear Bing singing those words. I love the beautiful sentiment.. enjoy the upcoming holy days. I love that people acknowledge that we’re all just wanting to celebrate, and they go beyond the regular have-a-nice-day greeting.

So this morning when I was admonished with the seasonal “It’s Merry Christmas, NOT Happy Holidays”, and it raised my hackles, I decided to declare it my pet peeve.

Please, please… can we just think about the lovely greeting? Does everything have to be a battle? Because truly… there are battles to be dealt with. But someone telling me they hope I’ll have happiness in December… I’ll take that any day of the week.

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Bravo for Life

A man played the flute tonight. Meaningful to me, because I’ve just begun reading a series of books recommended by a friend at least a year ago. I’m on the second book, and a man plays the flute. And a woman sails… and I went sailing yesterday. In the first book the main character is from Brazil, and I’m on my way to the Amazon River. It’s the beauty of the ebb and flow of life… these sweet coincidences.

Our evening entertainer played “Bolero”. I instantly knew what he would play when he was introducing the song, saying how beautiful the piece was when Torvill and Dean ice danced to it in the ’84 Olympics. We were newlyweds, and I’m quite sure it was the first time I’d heard the song. I was mesmerized and believed it to the be most romantic thing ever.

Later on tonight we sat in the piano bar while the couple at our table – several years our senior I’d guess – played a little footsie to the gorgeous notes being played on the ivories. We had just danced as we do every night, and had come to relax and partake of more of the amazing talent surrounding us.

We’re one month into this cruise we’re calling our retirement celebration. (Although we can’t quite seem to retire.) It was meant to be a kick-up-your-heels kind of voyage, but we’ve shed many tears. Our family has suffered a terrible blow, and we’re ever mindful of the brevity of our youth.

I’m transported back to childhood days… tip-toeing down the stairs, trying to catch a glance of a goodnight kiss between my sister and her boyfriend. Decades later they’re facing a miserable health crisis while I’m out on the deep blue sea, and I wonder how time could have sailed by so quickly.

It’s surreal floating along on the Crystal Symphony. We’ve been back in the Caribbean where our sea-going adventures began over thirty years ago. Somehow we stumbled into those jobs on St. Thomas. And these kids who sat out the Virginia Reel lessons in grade school, now tango and rhumba and foxtrot nightly. These hiking, running, biking, construction workers now sit and feast with too-big-tummies that we swear we’re going to do something about.

Bravo for life. It truly is fleeting. Cherish the days… each and every day. Look for those delicious tidbits in time… when you’re reading a book where a man plays the flute… and you find yourself in an audience listening to a virtuoso flute player.  Then cheer. Cheer with all your might.

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Cold Water

Just a cup or two of cold water… the world to me!

Not going to sugar coat things.  I’ve had a tough couple of years.  Haven’t felt like writing.   Haven’t been very industrious at all.  Tried, but failed.  Looking after my mother, as she slips further into a world of lost memories and abilities, has drained me in ways I could never have imagined.  But I have great help… things have improved.

This guy… this amazing man I married 35 years ago… he has agonized over my agony.  He has been a constant source of strength and encouragement.   And this is the greatest thing he has done for me.  He has quietly assumed the task of filling these tumblers with ice water.  All. The. Time.

I’m a serious water drinker.  Through the night, first things in the morning, all day long.  So I sip from these continually.  And somehow… somehow in those long and difficult days, it didn’t matter when I reached for these, they were filled to the brim with icy water.  I would even try to beat him to it first thing in the morning.  Not a chance.   Any time I’d go to the kitchen to fill them up, already done.  Every evening when I’d come home from my mom’s house, there sat my tumblers waiting for me.  (Well… and a smiling husband whipping up some guacamole.)

It may seem like a silly post.  I won’t type on for paragraph after paragraph gushing about all that he does.   But Gary, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for every single thing you do for me.  Quietly keeping these filled for all those months will always be a treasured memory of the refreshment you brought to my soul.

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The Same Parade

It’s a very long drive from Houston, Texas, to Eastern New Mexico.  When you get to the town of Post you’re almost home… but that means you’ve still got a little over three hours to travel.  And this was the case one day when Gary and I arrived at the main intersection in town only to be stopped for a parade.  At first we groaned, but we were grateful we were the first car at the intersection, giving us front row seats.  And there we sat for the next half hour until the last horse had passed and we were free to move along.

One year later some Facebook friends shared their frustrations at being stuck at that very same intersection in Post, watching that same parade.  Ha!  I flippantly told them I’d been there.. just relax and enjoy the parade with their kids.  But I understood.  It wasn’t their plan to be stopped there, and they too were trying to make that long haul across Texas in a day.

This is now my daily routine.  I need to make tracks.  I have much to accomplish every day, just like everyone I know.  But I’m stopped.  I’m sitting there at the parade trying to make the best of it.  Trying to appreciate that I’m watching it with someone I love.  Reminding myself at least I’m watching a parade.  It could be worse.  But it wears on me.

The parade lasts about 4 hours.  The floats, the animals, the bands… they’re nothing spectacular.. and it’s the same exact show every single day.  My passenger and I can only talk about the parade.  We may try to talk about other things, but it’s too distracting.   We must keep our eye on that same cast of characters.  It grows tedious, but we try to say the same nice things about those floats, and we talk about those animals with mustered exuberance.

The only thing that seems to change for me and my passenger is the weather, or the time of day we’re watching the parade.   She likes to have news playing while we watch that parade go by.  I would prefer silence, or maybe a little soft music.  I rarely try to get my way.   It’s easier to just let that news drone on and on… even though it’s a little too loud and I find it annoying to have to speak over it.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I’m just at an intersection watching a parade.  Sometimes I feel like it’s a horrible traffic jam with nothing to see.  I do grow tired of those same old entries. Even worse, some days it seems much more like a wreck.  Regardless… every day… there I am… the parade’s passing by… I can’t move… I can’t hurry along to where I wanted to go… I can’t tackle the piles of things that are waiting for me at home.

But that’s the path I must travel right now.  It’s not easy to sit there with my mother every day.  But Alzheimer’s is certainly no parade for her either.

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Make Room for Champagne

One of my closest friends was telling me a tale of kitchen space, or lack thereof, during the holidays.  A friend of his had moved across the country, gifting him with a supply of tonic water which he had no need for.  But you know how that goes.  One holds onto that sort of thing out of thrifty obligation.  I popped off and said I was giving him permission to pour it down the drain.

We had a fun conversation about how he could therapeutically empty a bottle at a time, symbolically pouring problems down the drain at the same time.   I went on to enjoy all the holiday hubbub and promptly forgot about this talk.

Skipping on to a few days after Christmas… I got a message from my friend.

And then the great phrase “Make Room for Champagne” was coined.   I loved having it running through my mind as 2018 was approaching.

Indeed!  Out with the old things that were taking up valuable space in my mind from the previous year.  Out with the negative feelings, the difficult days, old anger and sorrow.  Make room for the bubbly, the exuberance of fresh hope, new goals and dreams.

Give yourself permission to get that old jar of nutmeg out of the cabinet and toss it… along with some old resentment.   Get that pair of pants you don’t like that you’re never going to wear again, and remove them from your home… along with an old bag of guilt you’re carrying.  A new year is a perfect time to declutter our hearts and free up some sweet space for celebrating the good things in life.

Cheers to 2018!

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