Tag Archives: family

Those Were The Days

Father’s Day has been different for me over the years. My father died on Father’s Day in 1994. It’s ok, don’t be all sad, he planned the big exit so we would never forget. 23 years ago on the 19th of June.

Honestly, I always thought it would be Christmas, the big guns of the holidays, but having your father die on Father’s Day…well-played Jim, well-played indeed.

This was a man with a very large presence, who wanted to be remembered in a very grand way so I would say…mission accomplished dad.

My dad was almost 58 when I born..oops, which made my childhood a tad interesting, to say the least. It’s funny because I never thought my dad was old, he was just my dad. Until that Summer afternoon in my driveway when my best friend invited me to come to her Grams surprise 60th birthday party. She informed me it was going to be a big party because 60 is really old. This moment was equivalent having a friend fill you in on the whole Santa hoax. Wadda mean really old? 

Needless to say, the lightbulb went off, the calculator in my head was hard at work and 68 is the final answer. Should I be afraid that the Grim Reaper is lurking in the shadows?  Yes, which is exactly what I did from that moment forward. Side note: My mother was 20 years younger, just in case you were going to look me up in the Guinness Book of World Records as the baby born to the oldest woman or something.

He certainly didn’t act old. We went to the shore, amusement parks, and rides to Lancaster, just because he liked chicken and dumplings. We drove for ice-cream on a whim to a special place 45 minutes away, because it was better. We did everything the kids with a young dad did, just with more gray hair.

Mom? Dad?

As I said my dad had a big personality. He was a Jimmy Hoffa/Archie Bunker (without the bigotry) all rolled into one. If he had something to say, he said it. If you crossed him…be afraid. If there was wrong to be righted, he got the job done. How? Who knows and it’s probably better to leave some things to the imagination.

He was a feisty free spirit who lived his life according to his own set of rules. He was loud, stubborn, demanding, certainly not boring, full of life and definitely had a good sense of humor. He never smoked or drank a day in his life, which most likely helped him in the end. I couldn’t even imagine an alcohol induced Jim…I think I just got goosebumps at that thought. 

He was a Teamster and drove a truck for a living, but retired when I went to first grade. So in 1971, he became the stay at home dad and my mother went to work. Let’s just draw some more attention to ourselves as being different, shall we?

However, my mother was still required to cook & clean..come on now he was still the man of the house for god sakes it was 1971!

Both of my parents were very politically active during my childhood, so although he was retired from his job he always had something going on politically. He did go back to work part-time until he was 81. His motto was “always work hard, but remember you’re only a number”  and today my siblings and I are all incredibly loyal hard-working adults, despite being a number.

When my dad was 81 he lost part of his foot to diabetes. This was after Dr. Jim decided he would remove his ingrown toenail with pliers. Feel free to read that line again, yes you did read “pliers” and yes, as in the tool in the garage. 

Of course, no one knew how bad it was until it was too late. My mother had to retire at that point to care for him for the next 7 years. She refers to that time as “serving her sentence.”  The woman is a saint! There isn’t a jury in the land that would convict her if she accidentally sat on that pillow on his face…trust me. 

Jim was the worst patient in the ENTIRE world. Try telling an old free spirit …” you can’t”. The sentence “you can’t drive anymore, we need to take your license” was a million times more deadly than that gangrenous foot … for all of us. 

Although, I know there were highways out there cheering with joy that Mr. Magoo was finally parked for good. Sitting in the passenger seat could cure even the worst case of constipation.

Honestly, when the man behind the wheel is saying “I’ll drive wherever the hell I want..I pay my taxes” as your entering the street with the red and white DO NOT ENTER sign, you know why your bowels are rumbling!

Although I was born to an older dad, I was fortunate that he hung around long enough to meet my daughter. I found out I was pregnant with my son the day before his funeral. This was a huge surprise, considering I had no recollection of having sex. But, according to that blue plus sign on the stick, I did. My first thought was “Oh, shit!” and rightfully so, because sure enough, there is a stubborn, demanding, free-spirited, outspoken young man who looks very much like my dad, living in my house.

Just remember folks, at 58 my father lived another life. He died when I was 30 years old. So he raised me, watched me get married… twice, became a grandfather for the 7th time and taught me a valuable lesson … you’re never too old to Enjoy the Ride! 

Breath of Fresh Air

983687_10151944185943508_1118236942_nWell, well, well, I bet you didn’t know I’ve been on vacation all week. Oh wait, correction, my boss has been on vacation all week and the office is closed, so I’ve been home. Not quite the same, but still not at work.

I must say in all my years I have never been so excited about not going to work for a week. This is not a good thing for me. 

Our office has always been a pleasant, humorous environment, one that I actually enjoyed going to every day. Now, well, not so much. The climate has changed and something tells me global warming can’t be blamed for this one. Unpredictable, unstable & unhappy.

These changes have a huge effect on me, especially my wellbeing. You see, I am what is considered a highly sensitive person. No, not someone who walks around crying on a whim, but one that becomes physically responsive to their surrounding. All this negative bull shit has been taking a toll on my mind & body.

Toxic energy has a way of sucking the good right out of us…not to mention it’s highly contagious. I’ve been sluggish, over weight, unmotivated and unhappy for well over a year now and too think it actually took being home for a week for me c45a70964e8c0e0762b9cee7a5f5fd92to see this clearly, is both remarkable and a tad bit sad. It’s amazing what breathing a little fresh air can do … umm hmm.

My week has been spent being me. No keeping my P’s & Q’s in check! No walking on egg shells! No hiding my true self! Whoot! 

Oh sure I could have sat around catching up on my reading while relaxing on my deck, but a big fat heat wave axed that idea real quick. Philadelphia went from OMG on Monday to WTF  by Friday, which didn’t leave much room for R&R outdoors. Soggy & Sweaty where the only things happening outside! 

Things really do happen for a reason though, this heat wave kept me grounded. It provided me with a week that was nothing short of refreshing and rejuvenating to my body, mind and soul. The week kicked off by visiting some family that we haven’t seen in way too long, which really got my rejuvenation juices flowing. After that burst of goodness, I just poured myself into my home, family and myself all week. Slaying toxins one negative vibe at a time with my loving self.

3a11655590da9bb3f421a4fb2c70def0My house is clean, organized, covered in love…and Lysol. My daughter had a healthy lunch waiting for her every day when she came home from job number one, so she could go off to job number two nourished with food and a big ole dash of momma love. My son, who was working outside all week in the fires of hell, welcomed his frozen water bottles and dinner on the table every night and my hubby, well, his statement summed it up “Hon, I think you should quit your job.” I knocked the pearls right off of June freaking Cleaver yo! 

The vacation or good ole days are coming to a close and it’s back to reality tomorrow, but not before a BBQ with my hubby’s siblings to welcome his sister who is visiting us from Maine.  So far it’s been great catching up with all that is new in our lives, reminiscing on the younger years and talking about the future. Live…Laugh…Love. 

So as I head back to the salt mines office tomorrow, I will be bringing something very special with me … myself. Let’s hope she makes it through the day! 

Go get your happy on and Enjoy the Ride! 

That’s Amore!

Peanut

Peanut

Hey everyone how we doin? I just stopped by Life With The Top Down to introduce myself. My name is Peanut and I just arrived last night. I’m a Maltese/Poodle mix a/k/a as a Maltipoo. My zodiac sign is Leo and I enjoy long walks, squeaky toys and love … lots and lots of love. Don’t let that serious face fool you … I’m just nervous. 

Apparently my other owner loved me so much he decided to let me move in with Lisa and her family. See, he is a hardworking single professional who really couldn’t keep up with all of my needs. Someone had to bring home the bacon, ya know what I mean? 

Well, since my arrival I’ve been having a good time. I still miss my other roommate, but this family seems pretty nice so far. Last night they took me for a long walk and met my Aunt & Uncle who live down the street. A little  guy could get use to this life … just sayin. When we got home I snuggled up with Lisa on the chair to watch a lame predictable LifeTime movie until the kids came home. What we don’t do for these kids….ugh. 

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We’re both Leos! Good luck Lisa.

There is a girl here, but I don’t think she’s staying. I keep hearing that we will be “taking her back” on Sunday. As long as I’m part of that “we” I don’t care. She seems nice, but I think she’s still trying to figure me out. Look at this face….it won’t be long. Now the boy, whew he is another story. I thought I had energy, he had me running, jumping, barking and chasing the minute he met me. Oh yea, we’re going to have some fun. Last night I slept in his room, actually in his bed. I think I surprised Lisa this morning when she opened the door. She seemed happy when she saw me cuddled up next to Zac. I heard her mumbling something about “no condoms necessary” whatever that means. 

That guy over there on the right, he got down on the floor with me to make me feel more comfortable. We are already buddies! We were laughing, playing and having a great time. Today he gave me a bath and fluffed my fur. Oh, yes he did. Later he let me sit out front while he did some yard work. It was a win/win decision.

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Make sure you mention the new toy…did you say it squeaks?

I really had a full day today. Lisa took me for a few walks. She kept calling me Jillian … sorry, no slackers on my walk. I met some neighbors, took a trip to the pet store, got a new toy, took a little nap and tonight we went for a real long walk. Now I’m sitting with Lisa while she’s types this masterpiece up for me. I think it’s safe to say she is my favorite. 

I’m not sure what it is, but I’m sensing this family needed me in their home. Ever since I got here they seem extra happy. Good looks and a charming personality has a lot of leverage.

Just remember, all you need is Love and a Dog to Enjoy the Ride!

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