via Daily Prompt: Neighbors
Hmm … where do I even begin? I grew up in a city neighborhood where the typical household held anywhere from 4 to 12 children. How we were all conceived and raised in a three bedroom, one bathroom rowhome is still a mystery.
The best part of this upbringing was you were never without entertainment. There was always an active pulse ready to play.
We were never indoors. Never wore protective gear while riding our bikes. Never played organized sports, unless you count the games we organized via our imaginations, and we never had to worry about our parents hovering over us every second of the day. Ever!
We had an understanding with our parental units. Kids play outside until the street light comes on and then you scatter like roaches into your homes. Simplicity works.
Neighbors from my youth rocked! It didn’t matter if it was a sickness, new baby or death the neighbors organized meals, money, and services better than the Red Cross. No questions asked.
If you had a problem with a neighbor, you knocked on the door and dare I say expressed your concerns. Hey Bill are you hurt or just not keeping up with your lawn?
Life was simple.
Today I live in the same type of close-knit city dwelling and my oh my how things have changed. Now there’s a neighborhood FaceBook page.
The kids on my block if they come outdoors on their downtime from being carted from one organized activity to the next, are usually huddled around a tablet playing a video game, watching YouTube videos, taking selfies or snap chatting. Missing out on their surroundings.
I do on occasion see kids riding their bikes, running, playing on swings and giggling with joy, but the parents ruin it with their “rules,” and the parents who don’t participate in the rules are crucified. Stop running, slow down, stop screaming, not so high, get off the grass, get out of the street … nag, nag, nag.
Now, as for the adults, I’m speechless at times. A lot of the time actually.
Instead of knocking on doors to settle concerns we now call the authorities. Oh, yes. The neighbors find it easier to call 911 on their fellow neighbor than to walk across the street, knock on the door and say “hey, could you move your car so I can’t get out.” Having your neighbor ticketed is better how?
Oh, please for the love of God do not have a sickness or injury that prevents you from cutting your lawn, because there’s a number to call for that too. The city will send a service over to destroy your lawn and give you a fine. The days of asking “do you need help with your lawn? I’ll send Bobby over to provide you with a hand are over.
Worse than these two examples would be the dreaded neighborhood FaceBook page. Don’t get me wrong the page is great for recommendations on home improvement repairs, lost or found pets and keeping us in the loop on activities in the area, but unfortunately, it has also become a place where free reign bitching is allowed.
Recently there was a post regarding an older neighbor installing a bright lightbulb on their porch. The post read “what should I do? My neighbor installed a high wattage bulb, and I’m blinded when I come out of my door.” This is what I’m dealing with people.
There were plenty of suggestions; however, none of them included knocking on the door to inquire about the bright light. This “man” was considering replacing the bulb himself. I just don’t get it.
As for me, well, I will continue to live by example, share responsibility and Enjoy the Ride!
Shells, shells, and more shells. I was just a tad obsessed with collecting these beauties on my morning walks. Maybe a little more than a “tad.”
Look at them, all beautiful in their own way. All different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some with fractures, some dull, others shiny and bright, but all with their own individual characters that make them beautifully unique. Hmm, sounds a lot like people now doesn’t it.
There isn’t a hateful one in the bucket.
As always, my children thought I was losing my mind as I ventured out every morning to see what treasures the ocean left behind. When will they realize they are the cause of any loss of my mind?
Anyway, shell searching is in my genes. As children, my mother taught us how to comb the beach for shells, and I followed the tradition by doing the same with my daughter. Why is this not on my resume?
I remember sitting in a hotel room with my sister going over our inventory from the day. We would break down our loot by size and style. Yes, serious records were kept with shells & Halloween candy.
Back in the day, we had an abundance of large clam shells waiting for us. That is not the case today. I’m not sure if it’s the ever-changing climate, Mother Nature’s hoarding or the loss of sexual urges amongst the clam community, whatever the reason, there were slim pickings. Feel free to now Google “how do clams reproduce?” I did.
As kids, we returned from vacation with a bucket of blank canvases. On rainy summer days, we would break out our watercolor sets to let our inner Monet surface. Our talents were displayed in our garden for all to view. It was like an ongoing Gallery opening without the wine & cheese.
It’s funny how some memories, no matter what, have the ability to leave a smile on your face. I’m glad that one let itself out of the vault.
The million dollar question around here now is: “What are you going to do with all those shells?” The response: “Something fabulous!”
Now that I’ve set the bar high, I’ve been unleashing my creative juices for this project. Hmm, how hard can it be to rustle up something wonderful, yet not too overwhelming, while meeting all the criteria necessary to be F A B U L O U S? What the hell was I thinking?
After some pondering while scanning the internet for inspiration, there is something on the horizon waiting to come to life. Will it be fabulous? OF COURSE! I’ll be working my magic shortly.
Embrace the differences to create something fabulous in the world. Enjoy the Ride!
We are just returning from a much-needed family vacation. The last one was 9 years ago. We weren’t in the door 12 hours before I received a call that my brother has passed away. That kinda left a mark.
After the past 10 months, all I can say is “IT WAS TIME”.
The destination of choice, the Jersey Shore. Why? When we could have been on an island in the Caribbean for what this cost. Well, because this is where our happiest family memories were made and that is priceless.
So, on August 12th, we loaded up the car like the Beverly Hillbillies and headed to Ocean
City, NJ for 7 glorious days of fun in the sun. 5 adults, 2 dogs, 2 vehicles, and everything but the kitchen sink hit the road.
Honestly, does it get better? I spent EVERY morning walking the beach without a single care or concept of time or distance. A bathroom for this middle aged bladder would have made it perfect.
It’s safe to say that I could live happily ever after just watching a mother seagull looking over her tribe as they ate breakfast. If only it paid well.
Lisa G., S.O. (Seagull Observer) Has a ring to it doesn’t it?
Quiet mornings on the beach are also made for surf fishing. According to my fish loving son anyway.
He caught the surf fishing bug 17 years ago when he was just 5 years old. I’ll never forget the image of him heading to the water like a boss with his Lion King fishing rod in hand and a lollipop in his mouth. Today it’s high-end gear in one hand and his beautiful girlfriend on the other.
Of course, we were reminiscing about that day because it was indeed memorable. For many reasons.
What happens when a 5-year-old somehow reels in 6 King fish in a row with his $5.00 fishing rod? Other than crowds forming, people cheering, paparazzi and giving high-fives to the happiest 5-year-old on the planet of course. Well, I’ll tell you.
A grown man who was fishing about 10 ft away, with 6 ocean rods lined up like soldiers came marching over to fill my son in on the amount of money he had tied up in his rods and the unfairness of him catching all the fish. Remember, my son was FIVE.
Up until that moment, I had never been in such close proximity to a giant man baby. This “man” actually walked back to his “million dollar” rods, smacked them all to the ground while my 5-year-old looked on and stated, “He’s stupid!” Out of the mouth of babes.
Hmm, where have I witnessed that type of behavior recently? Bye bye reality back to my happy place.
Another joy was sipping a cup of coffee with my toes in the sand. A little sand between my toes was just what the doctor ordered.
As a child, my mother always told us “the salt water heals everything”, and I must admit she was 100% right.
The healing powers of living the salt life surpassed months of doctor appointments and medications. Mother Nature does not accept insurance … it’s free.
A little beach therapy is just what we all needed.
Enjoy! This Ride Will Be Continued.
Just a little update to let the world know that yes, Peanut and Landon have been accepted to Camp Bow Wow! I know, I’m still in awe at their success.
As you can see during their interview they clearly nailed it. Just look at those wagging tails working the room like they own the damn place.
I was able to witness everything through my Camp Cam App. I think I missed my calling. The level of enjoyment I received stalking my dogs was alarming at best. Surveillance engineer or stalker … that line is very thin.
After some initial formalities of the meet and greet portion of their interview, Peanut & Landon were taken to socialize with the other members. I’ll assume this is where business cards and bones were exchanged.
I know what you’re thinking, “everyone gets in Lisa, it’s a game.” I’m not going to lie, this did cross my mind. Part of me thought I was being forced to jump through hoops in order to make me believe my fur babies were extra special, but then I witnessed Bella, the 6-pound chihuahua mix shaking like a leaf in her Burberry knockoff coat as her owner told her “you flunked” while he was handed her rejection notice. Oh yea, right in front of us.
For the record, Bella seemed quite pleased with this outcome, however, her owner was now forced to continue making Martinis for her all day. I’m guessing she likes them dirty at night.
It was all good at the end of the day. Peanut proudly received his acceptance notification as he posed for the camera, knowing full well this beauty would be on display for the world to see on the refrigerator a/k/a … the box of honor.
Landon on the other hand …….
Something tells us he was “accepted” because siblings are an automatic admission.
It doesn’t matter if you’re shaking like Bella, smiling like Peanut or winging it like Landon just make sure you … 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!
This quote has resonated with me with a force that I could not longer ignore. Why? Because it’s truth on paper, or in this case … Pinterest. I’ve kept my distance on my Blog for reasons that were just not genuine and this little reminder brought me here today. I know… I know … I know.
I haven’t been “too busy” to write. Lamest excuse evah! Seriously! I’m not out solving world peace, I’m walking dogs and washing dishes. Just doing my thang.
The truth is I’ve been away because old habits really do die-hard, especially those from our childhood. Those Mother Efers are like the Michael Myers of behaviors! Just when you think you’ve beat them down, stabbed, shot, drowned, suffocated and tied them to a train track before dropping them into a 10 foot grave, someone comes along; lets out one little comment that resurrects these assholes into spring chickens! Once again proving the power of our Words.
That’s right folks, I let the words of a small group of naysayers bring me back to a place I thought was out of my life for good. Obviously that was not the case. Apparently there are a few people in my world who read this Blog anonymously. Meaning they are not included in the 712 out and about followers.
This handful of naysayers, who prefer to lurk in the shadows of my business and later zap me with my own words when the opportunity strikes are the real story tellers. That’s right folks, because every time they open their mouths to undermine my dreams, criticize or predict my doom they are letting the world know their story, not mine. So from this moment on not one more fuck will be given about their “opinion.”
My blog was born as a therapy session outside of my therapy session, not a NY Times best seller. It’s just a little speck out in the world that allows me to dump some long overdue baggage out the window and let shit go. So if a handful of people can’t deal with that the solution is simple …. stop reading it. That friends is not rocket science.
Letting go of some baggage over time has enabled me to start growing into my own badass self and I AM NOT APOLOGIZING for being ME just because a certain crew of negative people can’t seem to handle that truth.
I have spent 2 and a half years writing 180 essays on top of 3 years of counseling trying to bring my genuine self to the surface and it’s going to take more than a few mean-spirited naysayers to bring me down. Snap!
Now let me go dig into a nice big bowl of diamonds for dinner so I can continue to SHINE ON and Enjoy the Ride!
In honor of Labor Day I thought I’d share a little something from my first real job out in this big bad world. It was the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of PA. FYI: I didn’t even know what a Bankruptcy was at this point.
I was fresh out of serving my sentence at an all girls catholic high school. At the tender age of 18 I was officially thrown to the wolves. I was literally out of school 4 days so the wolves were sympathetic.
Needless to say my worldly experiences up until this point were void. I grew up in a cookie cutter section of the city. Attended school with a group of girls who were also raised in this environment and my exposure to urban life was slim. Until it was slammed in my face all in one day.
I’ll admit going into this job could easily be compared to a lamb being led to the slaughter, but I survived. My boss was a wonderful mentor and the co-workers … well … they were certainly an eclectic crew. Some I’m still friends with, others just provide flashbacks of shock & awe.
Since this was a Government job they didn’t always hire the sharpest tools in the shed. Let’s just say there were the brains and the who the hell knows whats, but somehow it was a good balance. This is where Judy comes in …
Judy, which is her real name … sort of. You see, Judy was born in India so I’m not sure if her parents were huge Wizard of Oz fans or she just Americanized herself upon arrival. It really didn’t matter to me Judy was easy to pronounce.
At the time Judy came on board I had a good two years under my belt. At 20 I was already a seasoned employee. Judy was a nice middle-aged woman assigned to the desk behind mine. She would be working with me to send out mass mailings to creditors. Easy enough.
It was clear early on that Judy did not receive the memo on this procedure when she summoned me to turn around, because she wanted to tell me something. I had an odd feeling that I was about to hear more than I needed to know when she kept insisting that I roll my chair closer. Baaaa Baaaa …. off I went.
In her broken English she introduced herself with this opening:
Judy: “I once had frostbite on my feet.”
Me: “Oh” Translation: WTF is frostbite? A shoe designer?
Judy: “My toes can fall off at any time.”
Me: ……………………. Translation: Wait … What!?
Judy: “I could just be sitting here and loose a toe.”
Me: ……………………. Translation: Umm, I don’t pick up loose toes!
Needless to say I spent the rest of the day staring into space patiently waiting for a toe or two to roll on by. Once the initial shock wore off I thought that maybe I didn’t understand her correctly through her broken English, so I went back to the slaughter-house for round two. Probably not one of my better decisions.
Honestly, at 20 years old this information could barely be processed. I was not schooled on the health hazards of frostbite. For god sakes I was too busy preparing to marry Mr. Wrong!
Me: “Excuse me did you say your toes could just fall off?”
Me: “Oh …. like …. when?”
Judy: “It can happen any time.”
Obviously this occurred before the hype of suing anyone who dared to infringe on your personal space, especially with their loose toes, otherwise I would be writing this from my beach front home. Stark & Stark missed the boat on this case!
I just continued being a good citizen by going to work with the added unpaid duty of checking my workspace for random toes. No piggy that went to the market … good. All clear on the piggy that stayed home … check. The dynamic duo one with roast beef the other with none … nowhere in sight. That little rascal that went wee, wee, wee …. back at home.
It really is ironic that I now work for a Podiatrist and Judy is not a patient … with or without her toes.
Enjoy the Ride!
I’m sure you were all wondering if I decided to drive off a cliff with the top down after turning 50, but actually it’s been just the opposite. That’s right I’ve been out and about spending my days being nothing short of FAB-U-LOUS!
My husband hosted a luncheon in my honor at the beautiful Bridgetown Mill House, where I was celebrated by my family. I must say the best gift of the day was not purchased at any store. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it is 100% true.
There is something extremely healthy about being surrounded by people who really love you with all their heart. Truly the best birthday EVAH!
After all the celebrating I made a decision to take on some fears that have been preventing me from being the best me. Fears tend to do that you know.
It was time to pack up my younger self for a short trip down memory lane.I gave her a big “it’s been real bitch”, grabbed my aging self and ran like hell! Honestly, the “who cares” phase is so much more liberating than the “what will they think?” phase of my life.
Next up was recognizing or admitting that I’m not getting those younger years back, so I better start a hot and heavy love affair with the future real soon. Once I realized that 50 was actually the threshold to get me to the future, I came to terms with the realities. Holding onto the past is only going to leave you standing out on the porch pissed off at the world.
Below is a sample of some truths that I chose to face before crossing the threshold.
- REASON: Panty lines are no longer a big deal when you’ve been forced to wear the equivalent of a twin sized mattress between your legs for fear of peeing all over the floor during a workout.
2. I really should have taken the time to appreciate what I saw in the mirror when I had the chance. I feel as though I wasted so much time and energy focusing on my “faults” during every reflection, I never got to appreciate the whole package.
- REASON: The day will come when you pass a mirror, take a few steps back, look again and say “who the fuck is that?”
3. Now when my phone rings in the middle of the night it will not be a drunk girlfriend summoning me to a club where there is an abundance of hot available men nor will it be a hot available man summoning my booty.
- REASON: Phone calls in the middle of the night now mean two things .. DEATH or DEATH.
4. Sight is a gift that I have taken for granted. I wish I spent my youth threading more needles, reading more newspapers or just “seeing” anything and everything.
- REASON: The day will come when you realize you now have the same vision as a naked mole rat. This means that your chances of mistaking a mannequin for a live person now have better odds than you winning the lottery.
5. During my 20’s I really should have taken advantage of going braless. I should have worked the perkiness of my breasts and flaunted them to the world. They were nothing short of magnificent!!
- REASON: One day you will wake up and actually justify rolling up your now sagging breasts, placing them into a something that resembles a medieval torture contraption … just to go food shopping.
I’ll admit crossing the threshold was filled with some mixed emotions. It was like being really happy at a funeral. If that makes any sense at all. I just stood in the doorway thinking “damn this is liberating” , until I noticed the sickle of the Grim Reaper shining just a tad brighter in the distance. Back It Up Bitch!
Instead of trying to beat age make the most of it. If that means bedazzling your adults diapers … do it!
Enjoy the Ride!
There comes a time in any relationship when you start to dread gift giving holidays. I know, I know but if I yearn for something, I go get myself something. The thought of leaving “hints”around the house for someone to notice is exhausting. Not to mention they would need to be the size of a billboard surrounded by bright flashing lights for anyone to “notice.” This holiday season I made the executive decision to start giving the gift of experiences to my immediate love one. Fun memories can go a long way.
My first decision really didn’t take much time at all. We have both been talking about getting a massage for months, so I found a cool salon in the city Body Restoration that offers a couples massage and ta-da my experience was purchased. Hmm…did you ever get the feeling that talking about something and doing something might be completely different?
Well, our appointment was this past Sunday and I couldn’t wait to give some lovin to these sore muscles. All week I was providing my husband with a daily countdown to the big day, but he wasn’t really giving me the “OMG! I CAN’T WAIT EITHER!” vibe in return. So I finally had to ask “Are you excited about our massages?” Insert long pause along with several odd facial expressions. He was nervous because he wasn’t sure what to expect. What?! Really?! I’m happy to report all those fears left as soon as he hit the heated table. I heard him SNORING twice!
Speaking of heated tables … I was so relaxed that I barely noticed that my right nipple was practically engulfed in flames midway through my massage. You know you’re relaxed when your arm is too limp to shift your burning nipple as you tell yourself things like … “it’s cool you have another one.”
We must have looked like two linguine noodles as we headed over to Rittenhouse Square for a much-needed bite to eat. The complimentary cucumber water and cashews only went so far.
It was our lucky day because we stumbled into a great little eatery called Rouge. I was immediately surprised at how crowded this place was at 2 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Apparently this is the time of day when the extremely wealthy eat their meals.
As we sat at the bar waiting for our table I immediately started to absorb my surroundings. For starters there was a beautiful young woman fawning over what I believed to be a fossil of some sort, but then realized it was talking and footing the bill. They were all over each other like teenagers, which was bizarre, but then again money has been known to provoke odd behavior.
Since I have what some may consider a super power of sorts … yes, you read that right. I have the ability to zero in on conversations all around me. Sort of like a human radar without the big bulky satellite dishes. This is how I learned that the fossil’s name was Jonathan and his young lady friend was Beverly. Apparently Jonathan let his penis take Beverly shopping for a Burberry cashmere wrap. How do I know? Let’s see…she never shut up about it while spinning around Jonathan like a belly dancer!
There was also a group of elders enjoying a lovely brunch at a table to my right. Just looking at them you knew they were frequent patrons. This wasn’t too hard to figure out since the entire wait staff hovered over them like a group of seagulls waiting for a fry to drop.
Just as they were getting ready to leave a very distinctive odor filled the room. Nothing bad, just odd. Then it hit me…it was the scent of old money. I’ve had the pleasure of getting a whiff of this before from one of our patients at work. There is a huge difference between the scent of the money that regular folks use and this old money.
My money, when I even have the pleasure of having some in my wallet, usually goes undetected because it’s in and out in a flash. But this “old money”, it gives off the scent of mothballs, aged scotch and wool. I just imagine bundles of cash aging in the comforts of a luxurious safe, while without even breaking a sweat, multiplying at record speed. I suspect the eldest money in the safe provides daily lectures that begin with the line … “when I first came to the safe.”
All in all it was a wonderful day loaded with memories. The massages were incredible! The food, drinks & conversations ours and everyone else’s were entertaining and the company… just priceless. Well, not literally “priceless”, but definitely worth every new dollar.
Take time to make some memories with the ones you love, even if your nipple is on fire and your cash flow dwindles at the speed of light, just … Enjoy the Ride!