The word suddenly indeed takes center stage with what is on my mind. Friday, like every Friday, is spent with my mom. Due to the nor’easter that hit the east coast this week, we decided to ditch our outside plans. Mother Nature had another idea for me.
Our usual Friday consists of errands. Bank, bakery, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods, which means we are in and out of the car a lot. Well, I am. At 91 getting in and out of a vehicle is not an easy task, now add Macular degeneration to the mix, and it’s downright difficult. Not that this stops mom from giving it her best, but knowing her limits.
So, with our change in plans, I was able to spend some quality one-on-one outside of the car. This is where the magic happened.
Suddenly I felt our roles had reversed. Not that V hasn’t given me the opportunity to play worried mother with her in the past. Like the time she didn’t answer her phone, did not let my sisters where she was going or me, which led us to frantically drive to her apartment only to see her laughing around a table with her friends. We all looked surprised as she asked: “what are you doing here?”
Macular degeneration is something that little by little, but suddenly leaves you without full use of your eyes, something that has taken a toll on my mom physically & mentally. Just imagine having your independence pulled out from under your feet.
Now, my once never asking for help independent mother before it was fashionable, suddenly has to have her daughters read her mail. Along with everything else in print.
After reading the mail on Friday, I had the pleasure of reading a letter to my mom. Not just any letter, a letter from a friend, who just happens to be an avid reader and recently read an incredible book about Jackie O., her sister Lee and mother Janet. Knowing my mom shares the same love for Jackie O, she created a CliffsNotes version for me to share. The highlight of the day!
Over the next few hours, we not only discussed the story in the letter, but it also opened the door to discuss all sorts of subjects, including, but not limited to the fact that very wealthy people are weird. Money does not prevent weirdness, but it can pay someone to brush it under the rug.
My mom insisted on making my lunch. Considering cooking and serving are the two things she can do independently I said yes. What was on the menu you ask? A grilled cheese cut into four squares, veggie chips, and applesauce. Suddenly, feeling five years old again felt terrific!
As we were eating my mom suddenly got serious. Not the norm. Mom began explaining to me that she has been having more bad days than good ones, along with a lecture on the fact that people shouldn’t live this long. What?!
I’m not naive. I understand that at 91 life has an expiration date, but for whatever reason, it suddenly became very evident. Maybe there was something in the cheese?
Suddenly I realized that my days of eating grilled cheese cut into four squares are limited.
Suddenly I realized the promise I made to marry my mom when I was 3 was not going to be fulfilled.
Suddenly I realized that my daily phone chats on the way home from work won’t be around forever.
Suddenly I realized I’m not young anymore and neither is the one person in this world who loves me the most.
Suddenly has a way a sneaking up on you, so make sure you Enjoy the Ride!
I have an insane sense of direction. It’s indeed a gift. Especially in the days of traveling with male drivers pre GPS devices. Sorry guys.
Ever since I was a child, I could remember how to get from point A to point B from the backseat nonetheless.
I contribute this to my keen sense of my surroundings or my mnemonic image skills. That’s right ladies and gentleman, yours truly is a human navigational system via the pictures in my head.
When I was no more than 6, I remember sitting in the backseat of my father’s Caprice Classic looking out the window while taking notes on where we were going. Mailbox, blue words, brown building.
This came in handy when we were heading to the same place, and my father seemed to forget the left turn at the mailbox. I’ll never forget how impressed he appeared with my knowledge of direction.
Fast forward to me slaying my driving test. My sister went to Center City to get her hair cut at a high-end salon, but that’s another story. Anywho she called my father crying because she couldn’t seem to find her way to the train station to get home.
So, what does a father do when he doesn’t want to miss an episode of General Hospital to pick-up his lost daughter in the city? He summons his other daughter with her keen mnemonic image skills and fresh drivers license to fetch the one he claimed: “could not find her way out of a paper bag.” The 80’s were a different world people.
Mind you my license was fresh off the presses, I had never driven to the city alone, and yet my father seemed more than confident that I would be able to pull off this mission. Good thing I was fearless at 17.
Of course, my big question was “where is she?”
Without missing a beat, my dad said “17th & Locust.” Ok, that didn’t help.
Since he was aware of my skills, he followed that up with “you know what city hall looks like right?” Um, yea.
“Well, that’s 15th Street. Just follow the numbers until you see a park on your left. Turn left at the end of the park, and you’ll see your sister crying on the corner.” Um, ok.
Considering I’m writing this story, and my sister is a married mother of two, you know that the mission was indeed accomplished without incident. Including that riveting episode of General Hospital.
Enjoy the Ride! Directions are optional.
What can I say? I L O V E to entertain.
I love to make my house sparkle & shine.
I love cooking with a dash of love and a smidgen of admiration.
I love breaking out all the fancy schmancy goods.
I love watching the interactions.
I love listening to the laughter.
I love feeling the love.
There is something about having the power to make people happy that swells my soul.
Of course, it might not seem like it while I’m running around like a chicken without its head to ensure that everything is just so or when I’m screaming at my kids because they’re leaving signs of life ALL over the house, but I really do. I swear!
Recently my son was kind enough to send me this video that could be actual footage of me before hosting anything from coffee to Christmas. As he explained “Mom! This is so YOU!” Please remind me again why I had kids?
Well, I guess I should be glad that I’m not the mother of Chris Fleming, the young man behind this video because he is the comedian that stars as the titular high-strung suburban mom Gayle Waters-Waters in this video, and many more that are also hilarious.
So, after the dust settles literally and the guests arrive, I put on my best hostess with the mostess attitude to dazzle them with delicious food, laughter, music, cocktails, more laughter and conversation before I send them back to reality where for days they are yearning for a little more. That’s Entertainment!
Enjoy the Ride!
Is it possible to have a lifetime of happiness jammed into one week? Yes, yes it most certainly is possible.
It all started on Saturday, February 11th when we went on a double date with vodka and Neil Diamond. Oh, I know I have your attention now.
I’m not a drinker, not even wine, not even socially. Typically if I’m going to go “hardcore” for a night on the town, I’m doing it with sparkling water, and …. hold on to your seats… LEMON.
With that being said I’m really not sure what possessed me to order a Cosmo, and I have NO CLUE how that escalated to having my own damn shaker at the table (twice), but it happened. Maybe it was all the love in the air…hmm.
We went out to celebrate our anniversary, which just happens to be on Valentine’s Day, which is also the busiest night on the planet to celebrate, which is why we avoid it like the plague. We’ve lived we’ve learned.
This year we were invited by a family member to see the Real Diamond Band, a Neil Diamond cover band at a local venue, along with our two very feisty aunts. When opportunity knocks…answer.
Let’s hear it for Aunt Jean & Aunt Sophie who at 75 & 78 make Thelma and Louise look like freaking church ladies. True story!
Once the party got started, Aunt Sophie took to the dance floor with her air guitar in tow, whispering “I feel 25!” in my ear as she headed out for her first solo of the night. Aunt Jean was in charge of replenishing the cocktails in between dances. A task that kept her busy throughout the evening.
All I can say is there is something religious about singing Sweet Caroline at the top of your lungs with a group of strangers. Hallelujah!
No good story ever started with the word salad, this is fact.
Next up was Valentine’s Day/26th Anniversary. Nothing says I love you more than attending a therapy session with your mate. Flowers & chocolate are temporary, getting to the truth lasts a lifetime.
As if that wasn’t enough for one week my son turned 22 on Friday. It’s still hard to believe how quickly time passes. One minute you’re picking up their toys, the next you’re picking up the trail of socks, towels, shorts …… So, in reality, time flies when you’re bending over.
I’m kidding, not really.
My Zac is a determined young man making his mark in the world. He is bright, hilarious, and keeps truth in the forefront. Never ask his opinion unless you’re prepared to hear the truth.
Just when you think there is a break, my birthday hits the floor. That’s right ladies and gentleman I have gained another year. The BEST part of my day was Mother Nature, in all of her glory, provided this February birthday girl with a recording breaking 70-degree day. Can we get a round of applause?
I was showered with good wishes, food, jewelry, a new FitBit, a birthday hat at the gym, and a ton of LOVE lasting for days. Who knew turning 53 could be so grand?
Yesterday was the grand finale of the festivities. My husband planned a “surprise” for me, which would be fine if I were one to enjoy surprises outside of hitting the Power Ball, or my husband wasn’t the guy who gave me a turbo hair dryer for Christmas. He still thinks that was a great idea.
Have you ever heard of Floating? Click on the link and learn. I could never put into words how the experience was other than I would swear I saw a unicorn. Magical.
There was something liberating about the floating experience, or maybe that was just the unicorn talking, I won’t know until I try it again.
Enjoy the Ride …. make it magical!
The Blessed Project hosted by none other than the QUEEN of Wild Rides Susie Lindau, could not have come at a better time this season.
It’s not that I don’t recognize my blessings, I do, I really do. It’s just that sometimes life sweeps in to rattle me in another direction. No doubt I am part squirrel.
This is why we need to take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented. So a big round of applause to Susie for providing us with the chance to be still. Even if it’s just for a moment feel the peace.
Recently I was Blessed to witness my mother’s joy, as she watched her whole family sing in unison the old classic “Happy Birthday” before she cast her 90th wish.
If joy had a face … this my friends would be what it looks like.
In September I was Blessed to celebrate the wedding of my nephew, and to gain this beautiful woman as my niece. Their wedding was spectacular!
The love for this couple was explosive throughout the entire celebration.
It’s been unanimous within the family that we all want to go back for a few more hours on Cloud Cullen.
Every damn day I am Blessed to come home to these two snowflakes.
No matter what went on in the day, these little lumps of love are there to remind me that I am indeed the best thing that ever happened to their world.
On Thanksgiving, I was especially Blessed to have everyone I love under one roof. My sisters who are always generous with their time and efforts. My brother-in-laws for being loving and caring men. My nieces with their intelligence, baking talents and beauty. My nephews who are passionate about everything from world affairs to Harambe the gorilla. The significant others that slip right into place with the craziness. My children for being such loving beings and my husband for always helping to make my day a little easier.
Blessings included were enjoying each others company, eating delicious food and laughing together. Playing Cards Against Humanity until our ab muscles hurt. Finding humor in every conversation on the table and most of all NOT TALKING POLITICS FOR A SECOND. (There were rumors of some quiet texting on this subject, but nothing was proven)
I’m Blessed to have good friends who recognized that a night of Running Through The Lights is exactly what I needed.
I’m Blessed that they are persistent in their efforts to get me to workout, sweat, laugh, pee and cry.
I’m Blessed to have virtual friends that are loving caring beings in and outside of the blogosphere.
I’m Blessed that they continue to show me love. Send virtual hugs. Make me laugh. Pray for me. Provide free therapy and genuinely care.
I am truly BLESSED for this photo that speaks for itself.
Enjoy the Ride!
Don’t forget to pack your blessings!
This Sunday, September 18th, I have the pleasure of walking on behalf of LuLu’s Rescue. This wonderful organization was brought to my attention by my dear friend Marge. We’ve known each other since grade school. A/K/A a very long time.
Marge rescued the most beautiful girl named Izzy from this organization. She loves to dig holes, sit in the sun, cuddle and provide endless hours of love. What more can you ask for? Marge might say fewer holes.
I’m not sure how Marge does it, but she regularly volunteers her time and effort to this cause. I’ve seen photos of her in a pile of puppies! Yes, you read that right. Somehow she has the restraint to not fill her purse and make a run for it with those fur balls. I do not have that power.
The part I’m playing in all of this is very small. I just have to B E G family and friends to support me in raising some cold hard cash. With every $250.00 raised a lump of love will be rescued from a kill shelter. Insert a gentle tug on your heartstrings.
They will then be placed into loving foster arms where they will await a forever home. But all of this cost money. Your donation will provide transport, vetting, spay/neuter, microchip, heart worm and flea/ tick meds along with food to all of these lucky dogs. Literally lucky dogs.
Look, I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Yes, I’m channeling my inner godfather.
All you have to do it click on this LINK: Lisa’s Donation Page
Follow the directions about entering your digits and you’re done. Easiest thing you will do all day!
In return animals all across the land will wag their tails in unison to THANK YOU for saving one of their own. Animals are such grateful creatures.
Enjoy the Ride … with a wag riding shotgun!
Three wise men walked into a Podiatrist office. No, this is not the beginning of a joke about aging feet, it’s the story of one of the best days I’ve had at work in a long time.
Let me introduce you to Harry, Norman & Robert. Three interesting, intelligent and inspiring men who walked into the office, dropped some wisdom and went about their day.
Harry -83 years young: Harry is a recent surgery patient with a wonderful sense of humor.
When he came in for his first post-op appointment he said, and I quote: “I want to thank Lisa for answering all of my questions, she is a fountain of knowledge.” I asked him to call my children to inform them of that fact, he thought I was kidding … I was not.
Believe it or not, the accurate conclusion that Harry made about me was not what captured my heart. But, it certainly didn’t hurt.
Harry told me that he volunteers in a first-grade classroom, and has been doing it for years. He was so happy that the teacher had the class send him Get Well wishes after his surgery, but there was a catch, they had to include a joke. Laughter is the best medicine.
This gesture filled Harry’s heart. He told me that he enjoys volunteering in the First Grade classroom because it gives him the joy to see these children enter the door not certain what to expect and leave with confidence.
He went on to explain that he has a special bond with this teacher. Harry lost his son years ago in November, just when this teacher was getting married. One young life ending as one began.
Shortly after the teacher was married she found out she was expecting and 3 months into the pregnancy her new husband died suddenly. Grief, let me introduce you to grief.
Their losses brought them together and they are wonderful friends who helped each other heal. He’s been volunteering ever since.
83 years old, still thinking, still living and still making a mark in this world.
Norman-86 years young: He came to us a few months ago via his family doctor, which is never good, and let’s just say that “the little piggy that went to the market” never came back.
When he called the other day he was very nervous that “the little piggy that stayed home” was on its way out too so we made room on the schedule. Podiatry office humor.
Norman came in as if he was the guest of honor at a celebration, not someone with a potential gangrenous toe.
He was wearing a Villanova cap to “make the doctor happy” since his daughter is a student and it was the day of the championship game. Well played Norman, well-played indeed.
Norman was excited to reveal he had recently written a paper on aging. When I took him to the exam room I had to inquire about the paper. I was very curious.
I was thinking he wrote it for the AARP magazine. Nope, he said, “I wrote it for my family, I want them to know how quickly it comes up on you.” A warning of sorts.
The title of the paper is “Getting Old Is Not For Sissies.” Norman told me he stole that line from Bette Davis, an actress I wouldn’t know because, and I quote “you’re too young to remember her.” He had me at “too young.”
Norman still can’t believe he is 86. He doesn’t recognize the person in the mirror. Still has a lot to share with this world. Has an incredible sense of humor, and wants nothing more than for his family to be happy.
Norman is going to drop off a copy of the paper for me to read. No worries, I will share.
Robert-91 years young: Robert came in for a routine appointment. As soon as he came to the window he showed my co-worker a photo of him and his wife from 1941. They looked like movie stars.
Robert is a tall man, but frail. No doubt more so since he lost the love of his life. He told my co-worker a story that left them both with watery eyes.
Later I asked her about it and of course, I too was left with watery eyes. We’re so sappy sometimes.
Robert explained that he and his wife were sitting at the kitchen table and she asked: “How long have we been married?” Robert responded with “65 years dear.” Her response was “I have not regretted one day in 65 years.” Robert explained that even though she is gone, he is still stunned by her words. He is a walking, talking broken heart.
I was also taken back by my co-worker’s response to Robert which was “It was nice to be able to hear that Robert.” Indeed, it was.
I must say, it was a pleasure to pick-up these three men while I … Enjoy the Ride!
What a week!
We celebrated our 25th Anniversary a/k/a the Silver Anniversary on Valentine’s Day. Getting married on the one day when everyone comes together to celebrate love seemed like a good idea at the time. Not so much every year since when we try to get a dinner reservation.
Our son turned 21 on Wednesday and I turned my legal age on Friday. My mental age varies from 17 to 35.
My husband surprised me with a weekend in NYC, knowing there is a strong possibility that I might adore this town more than him. He was a NYC virgin, so he wanted to check out his competition.
As you have probably heard by now, last weekend was the coldest on record. On RECORD!
These two lovebirds grabbed a big suitcase, loaded it as if we we heading to the Antarctic and hit the road. Nothing says sexy like a pair of long johns, said no one ever.
We arrived Friday afternoon when the weather was tolerable. After a nice meal at Sardi’s, followed by cocktails and dessert, we headed out to explore all the tourist spots. I do believe my boots earned travel miles.
It was spectacular! Watching my husband love it as much as me was priceless.
The next day we bundled up for a walk to The Chelsea Market. Walking allowed us to take in some of the world-class architecture that makes this section so special. I could see the hubby’s wheels turning with every piece of wrought iron.
We spent hours in the Market experiencing everything edible. Breakfast at Sarabeth’s, Halva at Seed & Mill, and a little something sweet for later from Li-Lac Chocolates. There are no calories when you’re celebrating love.
When we stepped outside Jack Frost was there nipping at everything nipable. TAXI!
Greg wanted to go to Ground Zero, I could have passed on this stop, but I strapped my loved goggles on a little tighter and made the best of it. It was just a little too somber for me.
This part of town sits right on the Hudson River, which is not exactly a warm spot. There are no words to describe the wind and cold. Wait .. I can think of two, and they both start with F!
In order to thaw, we blew across the street to Brookfield Place, where I was greeted by a dog wearing beautiful leather boots and a Burberry coat. All I’m going to say about this place is, if it weren’t for my soul, I would really enjoy living like the 1%.
Still shivering, we sat down in PJ Clarke’s to enjoy a bowl of soup, sip a cocktail or two, and admire Lady Liberty in the harbor. My poor girl out there in a dress with no coat!
We ended this weekend sipping champagne, singing along with The Jersey Boys, eating cupcakes in bed and enjoying each other’s company. My cupcake never tasted so good.
The celebrations continue today with a birthday dinner for Zachary and mwah. We are looking forward to breaking with our offspring and their significant others. I’m sure they’re looking forward to us picking up the check!
Cheers to the last 7 days! The brightest spot of winter so far!
Enjoy the Ride!
Ah the day after Christmas. The day we all take a moment to sit back to ponder on what the hell went down over the last couple days. Wait … what?
We think about conversations we had with family and friends, that suddenly don’t seem as merry & bright without our Christmas goggles. What the hell was she/he trying to say?
As we put our jeans on today we’ll wonder just how many cookies were taste tested over the past few days. Suddenly our math skills are super sharp as the consumption count hits a record high. Wait! How many times did I say … “just one more.” YIKES!
We will sort through our gifts, now that we are down from our Christmas high and wonder what exactly the giver might have been thinking at the time of purchase. Um …. yea …. I guess that makes sense … sort of.
Let’s stay on this point for a moment while I share with you all the gift I received from my loving husband. Do I have your attention?
You’re probably imagining me on silk sheets surrounded by chocolates, diamonds and champagne right about now, just basking in the luxuries I deserve for being such an amazing wife and mother that you know I am. Dream on.
As a matter of fact I could give you 10 clues and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE would be able to guess what was waiting for me inside that big box under the tree. Including myself!
No ladies it’s nothing sparkly or silky. Not a single animal was sacrificed for this beauty. It’s definitely bigger than a bread box. The color is a beautiful shade of teal. It has duel engines simmer down gentleman, but no tires. Proceed to scratch your scalp. It can go from 700 watts to 3600 watts with the flick of a switch. It’s something that can be used every day. Hmmm It weighs approximately 25 plus pounds and wouldn’t travel very well. Any one?
When I opened the box lord only knows WTF my face said, because the first words I read were PetClubLLC. Then the lightbulb went off in my head and I was suddenly elated to THINK that it was some sort of mini dog washer/dryer that would make grooming Peanut & Landon much easier. Could someone hit the switch on that lightbulb please … thanks.
I could barely contain my excitement when I squealed “Wow! This will save a ton of money on grooming!”
Let’s just say that excitement was very short lived. When from across the room came the words “No, it’s a blow dryer for YOU, you’re always complaining that your blow dryer isn’t strong enough.”
Me: A blow dryer? This says it has duel engines and there is a wind capacity listed on the box!
Loving Husband: Well, it will dry your hair fast.
Me: It might blow the hair right off my head! At this point I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even contain myself.
Loving Husband: Yea but you’re always complaining how long it takes for your hair to dry. Again with this justification … lol!
Me: This is for animals …. I’m trying to imagine packing this for vacation …. Are we going to need a bigger bathroom?
Everyone: Laughing hysterically!
Did I mention I was married to Tim the Tool Man?
My son carried my new badass blow dryer to the bathroom, where later that morning I put it to the test. I fired up both engines, put the heat on high and suddenly felt like I was standing on a launchpad waiting for take off. You’re clear for take off!
I took out my styling brush, which was blown right out of my hand with some of my skin. Again the laughter ensued! I began styling, but really couldn’t see what I was doing. The wind was so powerful I had to squint during the process. Suddenly having compassion for leaves.
My hair was certainly dry … styled? I”m not sure, unless of course you’re going for that just stepped out of a wind tunnel look.
The jury is still out on wether or not my gift will be staying or if it will be heading back to the industrial tool warehouse. I’ll give it another chance today at a lower speed to save some scalp & skin.
Enjoy the Ride!
Twas the morning of Christmas and all through the house NOTHING was stirring other than me in this house.
Stockings were placed on the chair with great care, because Mrs. Clause LOADED them to the point of despair.
The children, including those with fur and gray hair, were nestled all snug in their beds, while I IMPATIENTLY waited downstairs seeing red.
Finally I heard what I thought was a clatter, I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter. Into the living room I ran in flash, I sprinted the stairs grabbed Landon and dashed.
The sun, who’s been missing for weeks here in Philly, came through the window making this seem more than just silly. I grabbed a broom from the closet to poke on the ceiling, making some noise might get this sleeping family squealing! When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, an updated Facebook status from my son with a jeer!
More rapid than a teenager I typed with such fury “Get down these steps now without giving me a story!”
Now Gregory! Now Emily! Now Zachary! Now P! I’ve been up for ages waiting doing laundry and such, it’s Christmas for god sakes and that work is too much!
Finally they woke filled with nothing but glee, bustled down the steps to open presents with Landon and me!
This Christmas I was surrounded with family, love and some joy, which gave each passing minute just more to enjoy.
Peanut and Landon were bombarded with new bones, balls and toys, running around all day like two happy boys!
Now that the family has gone and the festivities have ended, I’m off to my bed, which will feel more than just splendid!
Hope you spent this holiday surrounded by everything bright, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!