A Little Beauty

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Today I am grateful for a little beauty.  It was a soggy, miserable day where the rain stopped every time I was in the house, but drenched me every time I had to go someplace.  Swell

 

By the time I had to run to get gas and go to the bank in the middle of the afternoon, I was as gloomy as the weather.  Himself went with me and we decided to try and salvage the day and our moods and go see “Beauty and the Beast”.  We both love the story and have seen it live on Broadway and in Melbourne, Australia and watched the video with grandkids (okay, and just us) a bunch of times.

 

There were not a lot of people in the theater, which suits me just fine.  I hate it when people can’t seem to shut up when the lights dim; it annoys me when people have to push past me a dozen times to pee; if someone, kid or not, is kicking the back of my seat, I’ll give them the evil eye; if you pull out your cell phone I will commit a felony and not a jury in the world would convict me.

 

Imagine my ire when, during the final dancing scene, as credits were just set to run, I pick up a bright light in my peripheral vision at the far end of the row we were in.  What now!?  I tried not to look.  Who on earth would be so rude?  It continued, the light drawing my eye against my pissed off will.

 

She was about three.  Her topknot was pulled tight and wrapped with a yellow ribbon.  The long, yellow, glittery dress became as alive as she was, spinning to the music in the light of mom’s cell phone.  Little brown face tipped coyly to her shoulder, eyes wide and looking to the side, arms up over her head in first position, she turned like a ballerina on a music box.  Bliss was written all over her.  And mom.  And me.

 

As I celebrated her joy, it became my joy, too.  And soon I didn’t want the music to end. . .or her to stop. . .or mom’s phone light to go out.  Whenever I hear anything about the story “Beauty and the Beast”, I will picture her, looking and feeling beautiful, like everyone should, but few do. A real live princess, dancing in a movie theater. BING!  Heartprint!!

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Ramdan

a cleaning lady symbol

Monday, March 26, 2017

Today I am grateful for Ramdan.  Let me explain.  Ramdan was the wonderful young man whom we employed as a houseman when we lived in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Did I want household help?  No.  I wasn’t nuts about having strangers running around my house seeing to my every need.  That sounds good on paper, but I thought it would be invasive.

 

I was set straight by my good Indonesian friend and landlady, Tati, who said, “But, Meddy.  It is. . .um. . .how you say?. . .expect to you to give job to poor people.”  Made sense to me.  We were making good money living in their country.  The very least we could do to give back is to give some of them jobs.  I know me and how much bitchy women make me crazy,(I live we me, after all) so I decide because I had raised boys, I’d feel more comfortable with all guys.  No romances or moon cycles or whiny nonsense with all men.

 

So when I was at a household sale and heard the woman who was going back to the states talking English with her houseman, my ears perked up.  “Does your staff have to look for jobs now that you are leaving?” I asked.  She assured me that ALL of them would need to find jobs and that all were good workers.  I asked if she thought Ramdan would want to work with me.  And he did.  Lucky him?  No!  Lucky me!

 

Every day he cleaned the floors, bathrooms, kitchen, did laundry and ironed.  Was he invasive?  No way!  He was like a strong, willing son, only with a better attitude.  So why am I grateful for him today after all this time?

 

Because I let our bathroom get filthy enough to look like an Indiana rest stop and today was the day I/we cleaned it.  Thoroughly.  Top to bottom. I was sort of playing a game to see how long it would take Himself to think it was bad enough and pick up a cloth, but as usual he outlasted me.  Is it a game or is he just smart?

 

So WE cleaned the bathroom.  He did the high stuff and the mirror, with my instruction one where there were streaks so you know how well that went over.  Not!  And the floor was just too filthy to mop.  It needed the close-up touch.  So it was a major pain in my ass. . .literally. . .because I can’t kneel on my bionic knees so in order to clean the floor I had to butt walk and twist and stretch and bend and at one point throw my legs straight up in the air to get around the toidy.  Your welcome.

 

And that doesn’t include getting back up again, which was another exercise in butt-walking to the bedroom, snatching a pillow off of the bed, rolling my sore, beat up self onto that pillow just so. . . grabbing onto the bed frame like Scarlet O’Hara getting laced into her corset. . . to slowly pull myself up.  Himself was not witness to this or there would be footage on the 11p.m news.  You’re welcome again.

 

So Ramdan, my dear sweet man.  I am so very, very grateful for all you did for us in Jakarta.  And how soon can you get here?

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Leaves

leaf coloring

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Today I am grateful for leaves.  And where in the hell are they?  Doesn’t it seem like Spring got lost and Winter threw a loop?

 

I’m getting hot to put furniture outside.  I’d rather have snow that the dull drab look of the landscape these days.  Brown, gray, brown, drab, brown, ugly, brown.  Yuk.  All of a sudden the dead leaves I loved so much in Fall are annoying the life out of me.  In November I thought the junk people have “hidden” in their yards was a little clever, now it just looks like crap.

 

I want foliage to hide the scars and mars.  A little well placed ivy or pachysandra covers a multitude of sins.  There are no leaves out there so I created my own inside.  Ah Spring, the ever elusive season of rebirth and growth.  We’re waiting!

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Fortune Cookies

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Today I am grateful for fortune cookies.  I don’t particularly like fortune cookies so I never eat them.  I figure, when there are so many yummy foods out there, why waste the calories on a folded communion wafer.  But I do like the fortunes.

 

Every once and a while there is a note inside one of the little gems that makes me feel like I’m a kid busting into a Cracker Jack box back in the day when the prizes were worthwhile.  If you can call a decoder ring and a scratch-it pad worthwhile.  FYI- when you’re seven it is.

 

The first remarkable fortune still lives under curly, peeling tape on the front of my laptop.

The words are barely legible.  I opened the cookie when I was feeling like a wreck from a bad experience on my last job, was out on medical leave and subsequently decided to retire rather than go back into a toxic environment as HR suggested.  Not exactly their words, mine, but you get the drift.  I couldn’t.  And wouldn’t.  Sometimes done is just done!

 

At that point I had started a journal and began each entry with what I was grateful for that day.  It gave me something positive to look for and focus on.  I was considering starting a public blog, but felt my writing might not be good enough without someone proofing it on a daily basis.  Then I opened the fortune cookie and it said,

 

“Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity simplicity, and humanity.”

 

I took it as a sign and if you’re reading this you’ve been stuck with me ever since.

So far it’s worked out better than I could have ever imagined.  I feel more genuine at my core than I’ve ever felt before and I am now a firm believer in fortune cookies.

 

Imagine my joy the other day when I came upon the little missive pictured.  I hope it works out as well as the last one!

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Flower Shows

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Today I am grateful for flower shows.  We did not go to the Philadelphia Flower Show this year, but I voraciously absorbed every picture my many friend shared that I feel like we attended.  More doable in cost and crowd size is the Peter Becker Flower Show, held at a local retirement community this weekend.  We went today.  You can still go tomorrow until 2 p.m..

 

The organizers of this event don’t just have pots of flowers standing around, they do scenes with a theme.  This year’s theme had to do with time.  For the elderly people who are residents, and also me, time is a very invasive thing, creeping up on those of us who have a few rings in our trunks, like a phantom in the night.

 

We’ve had a lot of time.  We never have enough time. We always want more time.  Time etches itself across our face.  Time settles as an ache in our lower back.  Time steals our eyesight, our hearing, our teeth, our energy.  Time snatches at our health and twists it out of whack.  Time is most egregious when it attacks our mind.

 

All of those reasons are what makes the Peter Becker Flower Show so special.  Not only is it created by staff and volunteers, it’s also worked on by residents.  No matter what their skill set, physical capacity, or mental acuity is, all are welcome.  Anyone who wishes can help with something.  And they are proud.  They should be.

 

There are vendors, a model train set up, original paintings, handmade quilts, music, a thrift shop, gift stores, baked goods and food.  A frequently running shuttle can take you back and forth between the two buildings for free.

 

Actually the whole thing is free, with the exception of a “suggested” donation box at the entrances.  The show is worth every buck you put in.  It’s for a good cause and who knows, maybe you’ll will even buy a little “time”.  The last day is tomorrow.  Don’t forget.

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Brain Farts

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Today I am grateful for brain farts.  I seem to be having more and more of them.  Nothing serious, but things like grabbing my gym bag, the folder I need to give to someone at the Y, and my phone, I buzz out and slam the door.  Without my keys.

 

Himself is in the bedroom, with morning brain, sans hearing aids and does not hear me banging on the door, ringing the doorbell, or screaming for him to open up.  The garbage men hear.  Probably all of my neighbors hear, but HE does not.  Until I call him.  Which I don’t even think of until after 10 minutes of looking like a felon on a day job.

 

“Yea, what’s up?” he says into the phone.

“I’m locked out!  Can you open the door?” I am screaming into my phone, above the din of the trash trucks groaning and the recycling bins flying.

“What?  Wait a minute!   I don’t have my ears in.”  He hustles off to get at least one, finally hears me and lets me in.  I grab my keys and we are still married.  Go figure.  Oh don’t worry, sometimes karma. . .okay, ALL times karma is a great thing.

 

I’m doing a crossword puzzle the other day.  If I let it lay in the john for long enough he might put a word or two in, figuring I’m stuck.  He wouldn’t be wrong.  I get stuck a lot.

On the crossword, not the toilet.  But sometimes I just look at a clue, have a brain fart and can’t imagine “whatever” would be the answer. As in the other morning.

 

“I helped you with your puzzle,” Himself says.

“I saw.  But it doesn’t make any sense,” I argue, fool that I am.

“Of course it does.  Where doesn’t it make sense?” He looks at it.

“Well I don’t know what an atoz is.”  I answer with conviction.

“What?”  He’s looking at me for a clue.  But this isn’t his first rodeo so he waits while I explain.

“Number 27 Across says, ‘Whole range’.  What kind of range?  A stove?  A driving range?  Home, Home on the Range?  Whole range of what?  Range of ALL insects, idiots, government officials?   And how can the answer be atoz?  I thought maybe it was “At Oz”, but that doesn’t make any more sense so I think this one is just wrong!”  I rant and toss the puzzle at him for verification of my brilliance at catching the puzzle writer in an error.

 

His laughter starts with a low, guttural rumble.  He is roaring so loudly that he can’t even explain or hear me saying, “What?  What?  What?” as I’m snatching the newspaper out of his hand.

 

“The answer is A to Z!!!” He says between guffaws.  “It’s the whole range of the alphabet!”  He’s about to pop a blood vessel.  Damn!

 

“And I was just getting attached to my new word, atoz!  Put that in your A to Z and stuff it!” I say, grabbing my purse, phone and gym bag as I head out the door, laughing.  Without my keys.  And the brain farts continue.  Ding-Dong.

 

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