Riding a Bike? or Yoga Schmoga!

You know that saying about riding a bicycle? How, once you know how to ride a bicycle, you’ll always be able to ride a bicycle. Folks—friends—say it to reassure us that whatever IT is we used to be able to do (FILL IN THE BLANK) we'll still be able to do at some undetermined future date. 

It’s a nice thought. In the same way Harold Hill’s If-you-think-you-can-you-can “Think System,” is an sure-fire way method for learning to play a flooglehorn. 

How to play a flooglehorn: Step 1, Think middle C; Step 2, push down key and blow. It's that easy!

How to play a flooglehorn: Step 1, Think middle C; Step 2, push down key and blow. It's that easy!

Much as I—we?—wish it were, life isn’t a musical. 

Remembering how to do something, even something we used to be able to do well, does not mean we can do it now.

It could, in fact, make it worse:  Having ridden a bicycle before, also means we know how tough it was to learn to ride in the first place.

And what about those falls we took? We fell then, we can fall now, harder.

The knowledge can make:

  • The thought of doing something you haven’t done in a while scary.
  • The thought of doing something you haven’t done badly in a long time, even scarier.
  • The thought of trying to do something you used to be able to do and failing now, scarier still.
Out of fear, we put off, avoid, resist trying to do IT again.

Last week, that rusty bicycle I tried getting back on is called Yoga.

This is YOGA!

This is YOGA!

After more than 2 months absence, I had planned to start back the week before. (Honest!) But, the yoga studio was closed for summer holidays. I feigned disappointment, while muffling relief:

It’s not my fault, I told my aching back.

I was up for it, I told my creaking joints.

Then, last Tuesday morning, the first day the Yoga studio was open, as I was taking Curtis to work so I could have the car and drive to yoga, I told myself, I really should stay home today; it’s not as if I haven’t been exercising; I've been walking and take the stairs; I’ll walk tonight; it’s a short week anyway; I’ll start yoga next week. . .

I had myself nearly convinced, then Curtis asked, “What time is yoga?”

Mistake #1: I told him about my plan.

Mistake #2: I went to Yoga!

This was a mistake! is definitely what I thought when it turned out I was the only student who turned up. It was just me and the instructor.

No one to hide behind. Nothing between me and that huge mirror. No one to follow.

You expect me to be able to do what????

You expect me to be able to do what????

The worst part was waiting for class to begin.

To make it worse, while I waited, my eyes wandered to the Astanga Yoga Chart on the wall.

I might have feigned a tummy attack and left. But I was afraid, with me being the only student there, Katherine might follow just to be sure I was all right. (My yoga instructors, Katherine and Erica, are that nice and caring.)

This is not! Okay, so maybe I forgot a few things . . .   

This is not! Okay, so maybe I forgot a few things . . . 

 

Then it went from bad to better: Going back to Yoga felt like going back to school. New but familiar.

Sure, there was a lot I didn’t know and some stuff I’d forgotten over the holiday.

But that was to be expected, wasn't it?

Then it got bad again.

 

You know that bicycle thing? It’s all about the rider. No one mentions the bike.

When they talk about it being easy as riding a bicyicle, no one ever talks about the bike . . . 

When they talk about it being easy as riding a bicyicle, no one ever talks about the bike . . . 

If the bike is new, jumping on a riding away might be a possibility. But . . . 

 If the bike is old, the chain’s rusted, the tires flat and worse for wear, it’s a whole different story . . .  I’ll leave it at that.

Enough said . . . 

Enough said . . . 

Then it got really bad:

Once I limbered up a little and ground off some of the rust so I didn't have to worry about IF I could move, I began to worry about how I looked doing the moves. When I looked, I judged, then came disgust, then revulsion, then collapse—literally! Concentration lost, focus gone, I wobbled.

Then, I quit.

Not yoga. I quit trying to be MORE and accepted what I was. I let myself be a beginner again.

Following the advice my British choir director gave just after threatening to give me the boot: “Just sing the notes. That’s all I ask, just sing the notes.” Or in this case: Assume the position as best I could. It is called practicing yoga, so I did. I practiced.

And day two, I returned for a second class. And you know what?  

I was the only person in class again. I was still rusty. And it wasn’t easier.

But, I was easier on myself. Instead of worrying about what I couldn’t,  I did what I could. Until, about 1/3 of the way through the class, when Erica told me to move my hand farther around my back into an even tighter pretzel, I tipped my head back and howled:

“Mimi! Julia! Pablo-Paco! Help! Save me!”

And we laughed, which must have dislodged some of the rougher bits of rust because after that class was: not prettier, but better, enjoyable even . . .  in a Mr. Beanish painful to watch way.  And while I didn't relearn all-most-many moves on the Yoga chart. I learned this:

There are tricks to getting back on the bicycle (whatever that bicycle might be). Maybe they’ll work for you, too:

  • Tell someone your plan: It makes it harder to back out
  • Set a timer: Set the time for the minimum allowable time. For example, one 50-minute yoga class; 15 minutes of writing. If you do more, great.
  • Look ahead not back: Don’t think about what used to be or what you used to be. Start from now, ground zero, and go forward.  
  • Fake it till you make it:  My mother always said “Give it three days!” That magic 3. She maintains it takes 3 days/times to break or make a habit. Three may not be enough, but the point’s the same, give it time.
  • Be nice to yourself: Laugh. Holler if you want. You showed up! 

In case you want to sing along, here's The Post Playlist:

I couldn’t resist sharing some bicycle quotes for motivation. (No I didn't google motivational quotes for yoga; yoga is all you need!)

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
— Albert Einstein (It’s said, he thought of the Theory of Relativity while riding a bicycle)
It never gets easier, you just go faster.
— Greg LeMond
What do you call a cyclist who doesn’t wear a helmet? An organ donor.
— David Perry
Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.
— H.G. Wells
In down times I do things like go for a long bike ride or run. The other thing I’m doing in that quiet time is just observing
— Robin Williams

These quotes and more can be found here: 

Thank you for reading!

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Granny's Plea: Help Me Off This Bench!

With Grandparent’s Day this coming Sunday, I’m taking stock of what I have and what I haven’t. So far, there's not much on the credit side. 

Whooooooooa there! Hold your retort! That observation has absolutely not one thing to do with my grandboy, Ben.

Ben peeping out  his birthday teepee from Great Grandmadele

Ben peeping out  his birthday teepee from Great Grandmadele

Why, just thinking of him makes me bust out singing: My boy, Ben, he’ll be tough and as tall as a tree, will he! Ben’s truly . . . well, GRAND!

The deficit is mine. And Grandparent’s Day—curse those Holiday Maker-uppers—has me keenly aware of what’s wrong. 

When it comes to the whole Granny-Mimi-Nanny-Magah-Oma-Nana-Gigi-Grandmother thing, I’m a Rookie, fledging, novice, newbie, minor-leaguer—definitely lacking in credit and credibility. Especially when compared to friends like Marty with 6 grans (two under 6 months) and 13 years practice; Beverly (whose granny name is Grandmother, as in Would you care to dance. . . ) she's clocked about 8 years experience with both kinds of gran; Marcia, with 3 grands she sees all the time even though they live hours away, and Mimi (not her granny name), with 4 grands—2 sets of each same kind, same age. 

Mimi and Brian with their 4 grans sang in Mimi's Milestone Birthday Aug. 11th.

Mimi and Brian with their 4 grans sang in Mimi's Milestone Birthday Aug. 11th.

Numbers-wise (Not that being a grandmother is a competitive sport or that I’m comparing….), my sis-in-law, Liz (aka Oma) with 2 grangirls, isn’t far ahead of me. Soon (come the end of the year), I’ll have 2 granboys of my own.

Liz with her newest gran, Felicity, born July 19th, 2014

Liz with her newest gran, Felicity, born July 19th, 2014

But, in terms of  time on the field, in the trenches--Play Time--Liz, and my other gran-friends are days-years-diapers-hugs-highlights beyond me. Real Pros!  

The other night, coming out of the movie theater, Curtis and I met up with another expat couple we hadn't seen for months, Graham and Kerri. Most every expat in Trinidad vanishes over the summer, so come September, there’s lots of catching up to do. During our catch-up, Kerri, asked, “Have you adjusted to being a grandmother, yet?” then leaned over and whispered, "I know how worried about it you were.”

Worried, me? You bet! 

Now, with another grandboy from different parents in a different state, coming soon, make that Gran worryx2!*

Like a 47th round draft pick, I had been stressing over being a grandmother. Still am. Not because I wasn't ready to be one, but because I know great grandparents. And being a great Gran takes commitment, practice, effort, time

My grandmother, Nanny, at my baby shower for Max, July 81. I'm sorry to day I don't have any pictures of my grandfather

My grandmother, Nanny, at my baby shower for Max, July 81. I'm sorry to day I don't have any pictures of my grandfather

 I only had one set of grandparents, my mother’s parents, Nanny & Poppy, who took the job seriously! The time—play and otherwise—they lavished on me and my brother, is the reason we are the adults & parents we are today. (BTW: Wholly deserving of their own holiday.)  

However, Nanny & Poppy lived close, in the same house, or a few blocks over for our early years, a day away after that. about 2000 miles, oceans, borders, schedules lie between me and my gran. I can't just pop over for a quick visit, recital, ball game, etc. the way my grandparents did. 

Is it any wonder I worry? How are me and my grandbabies supposed to bond with all that's keeping us apart? 

What’s my Grandparent Wish? That one day, after my grandson stops trying to eat the phone, he’ll pick it up and say, ‘I’m telling Grandma on you,’ the way my kids did.
Grandma Lee never lived close by, but that never kept her from being close to Lexi & Max. This is in Phoenix 1985

Grandma Lee never lived close by, but that never kept her from being close to Lexi & Max. This is in Phoenix 1985

When Gran worries hit hardest, as they have with Grandparent's Day--the annual time for Gran self-appraisal--looming, I calm myself by thinking of these Gran-friends, Mom and my 2 mothers-in-law.  They never let distance or technological difficulties come between them and their grans. 

Grandma Lee called herself "The Coat Grandmother" because she always gave coats for Hanukkah. She could write with either hand, backwards, forwards and both at the same time. 

 

Gramadele used to live in Texas. Now she divides her time between there and Montana. She's up for anything!

Gramadele used to live in Texas. Now she divides her time between there and Montana. She's up for anything!

Gramadele is "the Birder Grandmother". Sort of the Auntie Mame of the bunch, always going off on adventures, and laughing about them later. 

Having come into the Max and Lexi Gran game when they were 8 & 10, she's proof that starting late doesn't matter. What really counts with grans is heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post Disneyland adventure with Grandma Mary, Max, Lexi and their Wonka pops collapsed in a heap.

Post Disneyland adventure with Grandma Mary, Max, Lexi and their Wonka pops collapsed in a heap.

My mom, Grandma Mary, was "the Toy Grandmother." Infamous among friends, known for huge sunglasses and a passion for chocolate!

When the kids were small, she never failed to send goody boxes of decorations & treats on holidays. And every school holiday and summer break, she'd send herself to visit us. 

She and Nanny invented what our Watsonville neighbor, Donna (now a Gran to 2--both kinds), called the "30 mile vacation." We'd load up the car for a road trip, 1st stop might not get us out of town, drive over the pass, pull in at the first hotel with a pool (often Anderson's Pea Soup), stay a few nights, then return home. Total trip: 30 miles, tops.

 

Grandparent's Day is Sunday.  In honor of the holiday, I'm getting off this bench and into the Grandparent game. I aim to score some big league Granny-to-Gran bonding time. I've started a HOW TO BE A GREAT GRAN list. Suggestions please: 

How can we long-distance Grandparents get in more Gran-to-Grand Play Time?

                                      Let's hear it for Grands!

*How do grans with more than 2 children in different places, do it? (I've asked Marty, just back from the birth of her sixth, but she's too jet lagged to answer.) 

Here’s this blog’s playlist:

 

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One Candle, My Ferris Wheel, a Potato

Marvelous the way memory works. I think of mine like a Ferris Wheel*. When the music starts, the squeaky wheel spins for a while, slows to a stop, the door on the little cage closest to the ground swings open to let someone--or some memory--out, the door closes, the wheel starts spinning, that cage swings up out of reach, another cage swings to a stop.

I know what's in the cages on either side. I can almost reach them . . . almost

As for those cages way up at the top? If I squint hard, I can see them. But danged if I know what's in them . . . 

A book review of Eve Bunting's One Candle, on Lori Norman's writer blog: StoryQuill conjured a cage that must have been so far up on my Ferris Wheel it was lost in the clouds. It's out of season. Random, totally. But, that's how my wheel rolls: 

The door swung open to a long ago Christmas Eve when in a panic, I pulled off the highway to call Ronnie because I'd forgotten the menorah.

I'd called from a gas station pay phone because we didn't' have cell phone back then. Rosie (as we called Lexi back then) and Max (ever Max) were especially excited because that year Hanukkah and Christmas Eve were on the same day, so we NEEDED a menorah!

With the last name of Goldman, everyone but the few acquainted with the prominent "Catholic Goldmans" of Tulsa, assumed we were Jewish, and I, a non-practicing anything, with two half-Jewish as possible--considering the Jewish half was not their mother's half--children was committed to upholding all traditions. Fortunately, my dear friend and writing partner, Ronnie, a full-blood Jewess and, as it happens the first women in Oklahoma to have a Bat Mitzvah.

 In addition to baking & decorating the best Hanukkah sugar cookies, was educated enough for both of us. 

 In addition to baking & decorating the best Hanukkah sugar cookies, was educated enough for both of us. 

"You can use a potato!" Ronnie told me. She went on to explain how during the Holocaust, because Jews were not allowed to keep traditions, were, in truth, imprisoned or killed if any religious accouterments were discovered in their possession, they improvised: thus the Dreidel game, a secret way to study the Torah; the common potato, a secret menorah.

We stopped at a grocery story before we stopped for the night. And that night and for the following seven nights, light our potato menorah, said prayers, and opened gifts. 

This photo is not mine, but this is including the birthday candles--sans the gold paint--what our menorah looked like.

This photo is not mine, but this is including the birthday candles--sans the gold paint--what our menorah looked like.

In One Candle, Eve Bunting shares another grandmother's potato menorah story. Hers wasn't a Piggly-Wiggly supermarket russet, hers was stolen from a Buchenwald prison kitchen. Here's a snippet of the review:

With a little stolen butter and a thread from Rose’s skirt placed in a hollow she’d carved out of the potato, and with a stolen match, they made a candle in their barracks on the first night of Hanukkah. ‘It lifted us to the stars,’Grandma says.
— http://storyquill.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/one-candle-a-review/

Up up up to the stars . . . And on the way, nudged my Ferris Wheel. The power of words: it takes so few to coax down a distant cage. 

*Wait! Before the music plays and the wheel spins again: Be sure to check out Dani Sneed's book, THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE FERRIS WHEEL. about George Ferris and his World's Fair Wonder! You and every kid you know will be glad you did.

 

 

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LISTEN!

/I’m not at home in my own home/

MY Life Is A Musical! Yes, it's true, Songs play in my head all the time. Almost any phrase suggests a song, or a line from one, sometimes an entire score. 

And it's the title of a new musical comedy. I’m not like Parker, the lead in the show. No one  around me burst into song or busts out dancing. I’d love that! Unfortunately, singers, dancers or otherwise, there is no one near. I am alone. Alone at a crossroad . . .

Cast from the play belting out a song in Parker's personal musical.

Cast from the play belting out a song in Parker's personal musical.

 I saw My Life is A Musical at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. (You can see it too, if you hurry; show runs until Aug. 31.) That title is what drew me to the play--that and because my visitor Dawn suggested it. (That’s the Truth About Visitors…can’t deny them.) Here’s the blurb:

MY LIFE IS A MUSICAL is about Parker, who isn’t like anyone else. When Parker wakes up in the morning and leaves his apartment, he hears people singing, he sees people dancing - and no other person on earth knows this is happening. Because Parker’s life is a musical. And Parker hates musicals.

This morning, my fourth day back in Trinidad after being gone for more than 2 months, that line: I’m not at home in my own home/ from that song Listen sung by Beyonce in the movie version of Dreamgirls, is cycling in my head I’m not at home in my own home/

Have you ever noticed how, as soon as you share a problem with certain someones, they respond with a solution? Usually the perfect fix! Exactly what you need to do! According to them… and without you even-ever-asking for their advice, expert though it may be. (I know--squirm, squirm--I’m guilty of jumping in with the quick fix, too.)

Then why share our problems if we don’t want answers? Why not keep it to ourselves?

The answer is the title of that song; we want you to Listen! 

Maybe more than that, we want to/need to talk it out. We know something wrong. But it’s all tangled up in other stuff. First, we need to figure out exactly what is the problem. And in order to do that, we often have to pull a situation apart, study it, turn it over, dissect it, chew it up and spit it back out in order to break apart to find out what it’s all about, Alfie. . .

Hashing out a problem with someone else is easier, more fun, maybe less painful, definitely more social acceptable than talking to ourselves.

But, but, but, all we want you to do is Listen, not solve.

This crazy life I’m living—bouncing from home to home, Tulsa and Texas, Westhampton Beach and Port of Spain—sounds exciting, but the truth is, it’s strange. I'm not feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys, but I'm close . . . 

Wait! James was helping me pack in Vermont. Did he take it?

Wait! James was helping me pack in Vermont. Did he take it?

Have you ever been on vacation, and woken in the night and not known where you are? Walked the wrong way to the bathroom? (One long ago Christmas, my brother turned left instead of right, opened the door and peed on the furnace.) Looked everywhere for a certain blouse or dress, but couldn’t find it?

With part of my wardrobe there, the other part hanging here, and more still stuffed in my suitcase, that’s every day for me. It's frustrating, but it’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is, it's lonely. Unlike the song, I am alone in my own home/


STOP! – I feel your wheels turning, already thinking up solutions to my aloneness. Thinking how much better off I am that someone else—just, Listen!

I know I’m one of the lucky ones.  I’m not alone, alone. I have somebody, lots of somebodies. . .  Yeah, but. . . . But, I’m alone—now—and it doesn’t feel good, so . . .

See, this is what we do: Writers. This is why we write it: to figure it out. Folks are called CRAZY for talking to themselves. But, when we write to ourselves, it’s called work.

That being said, er, written, on with the song: Now I’ve gotta find my own . . .

Just in case you want to be like Parker, here is today's playlist:

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Play it Again, Pal! or 2:48 Minutes More

Settle your little ones in front of the monitor, click on an Author Read-Aloud video (below), and let them watch and listen while you enjoy some lazy time. Okay, you can view, too--if you promise to act  OUR age!

Happy Tears, "The Gap," and Embracing Rudy

I’m clicker challenged. After my boy Max left for college, I'd phone him when Curtis was out of town. Not because I was lonely. Not because I missed him. Not to see what he was doing or how he was doing. 

Max in Prescott, AZ (note the squatter behind him.)

Max in Prescott, AZ (note the squatter behind him.)

But to ask how to play a movie (“Videos” we called them.)

I share this not to show what a heartless mother I was. But by way of an explanation as to why, from 10:30-midnight last night, I watched a football movie called “Rudy.*"

 

The only clicker I’ve mastered in our uber tech media system is the TV channel changer “Guide” button. 

The only clicker I’ve mastered in our uber tech media system is the TV channel changer “Guide” button. 

 

It was either Rudy, HGTV, Full House, Crime or Reality. Those were my choices.  Faced with a pile of ironing and nursing a HGTV hangover, I opted for Rudy. By the final scene I was sniveling, slobbery, soggy mess of happy tears.

As I sniffled and dripped through the final credits, I found myself wishing it were replaying so I could watch it again. Which got me wondering:

What about it made me so miserably, snottily, soggily happy?

I’m Rudy. I'm not the 3rd of 14 children; dyslexic, or a 5'6" 165 lb. pip-squeak aspiring to play Notre Dame Football; nor would Sean Astin play me in a movie (I hope). But, when it comes to hopes and dreams, I’m Rudy.

“Everyone striving to do creative work—be that as a writer, artist, actor, et al—is a Rudy.”

Unless—UNTIL—we are recognized for our creative work, we are a Rudy. Every one of us is an underdog. We are the little engines they say “can’t.” We are too this; not enough that. We may be almost, but . . . We are wrong.  

“And the biggest-baddest-hardest part of being a Rudy is that even after we are recognized for our creative work, we will still be Rudy.”

Because our appreciation for creative work is what draws us to do it, there is a disparity between our skill level and what we recognize as good—what Ira Glass calls “The Gap” in a vimeo of that title*. And because that drive to go farther, experiment, stretch is inherent to creators, our skill level will always chase our sense of taste, our appreciation. So while it can shrink, the Gap never goes away. 

“We begin as Rudy, and unless we quit, we will finish as Rudy.”

That’s why watching Rudy brings on the Happy Tears. Because it is so darn hard, but that doesn't stop him. Rudy set a goal, fought his his way to it, and won.

He could. He did. So maybe we—all of us Rudys—can too!

So what’s a Rudy to do?

Here's Ira Glass's Advice on how to close the gap:

“ Do a lot of Work

Put Yourself on a Deadline

Know it takes a while

Fight your way through the doubts”

— Ira Glass from the vimeo (Link below)

Watch: Ira Glass on “The Gap”

Read: More about Rudy Ruettiger

LIsten: To the Rudy Theme Song.

                Thanks for Reading!

 

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Twenty-Two and Counting . . .

Today, twenty-two years ago, my first day as Mrs. Bennett, was a scorching hot Tulsa Saturday. One of those hens be warned it's egg-frying HOT! Blistering feet HOT! Saturdays that are best spent waist-deep in a wallow. 

Today, other than being Friday, I'm gardening same as I was then. Knowing it was going to be hot--what July 25th isn't?--in the garden was where I started today. Then, I started at the car wash because I hadn't let Curtis go through the car wash last night. Johnny B had helped the kids "Just Married" up his precious BMW with tin cans tied to the bumper, whipped cream signs and hearts on all the glass. (Traditionally folks use shaving cream, but Johnny is a restaurant dog.)

"It's bad luck to wash it the wedding day,' I told Curtis. 

"it will stink like sour milk tomorrow if we don't," Curtis told me. 

We compromised. 

US back then, on our Honeymoon bike trip in the San Juan Islands

US back then, on our Honeymoon bike trip in the San Juan Islands

The morning after our wedding, I was in the garden digging up plants; this morning after our anniversary, I was in the garden planting plants. That was Tulsa; this is Westhampton Beach; that was then, this is now. Same song's wafting through the windows. 

Chet Baker's "Funny, each time I fall in love/it's always you" is the song. "Let's Get Lost" is coming next. I know because this album (that's what we called them back then) followed by Handel's Water Music is the sound track of our courtship. It's the Cafe Ole' weekend morning music. We didn't meet at Cafe Ole' but that's where we found each other. 

I ask Curtis if he picked that music on purpose, because he was remembering me waiting on him. 

"If someone asked me 10 things that come to mind when I hear this music," he said, "You waiting tables in Cafe Ole' would not be one of them." 

"Does it make you crave Ole' Hash or Huevos Rancheros?" I asked.

He shook his head. "It makes me want to make coffee," he answered. Transference?

Ours was a shotgun wedding of sorts. I'd been evicted from my house. I'd found another house to rent and had planned to move it, but Curtis--ever practical--and maybe, already, thinking marriage, decided why move twice--if I'd say yes."

We got married on a Friday at the Justice of Peace office in downtown Tulsa. "Which ceremony do you want" asked the JOP. We had a choice: The 3 minute quickie or 5 minute long "Ruth's Prayer" ceremony. We're only doing this once, we decided, let's make sure it sticks. So we opted for the long ceremony minus the Promises to "Obey" business. 

Chelsie, several years older than she was back then. But she looks much the same then, back then, now . . . (this is from a dance recital.)

Chelsie, several years older than she was back then. But she looks much the same then, back then, now . . . (this is from a dance recital.)

Lexi and Chelsie were flowers girls (we all had to have Laura Ashley flower girl dresses, of course),

Max was best man;

Barbara and Gene Johnson drove up from Houston to bear witness at our wedding as we had at theirs a few months earlier.

Max & Lexi with Barbara and Gene--back then! IThe photo is clear as a bell, it's our eyesight . . . don't see as well as we did back then. (Maybe it's a good thing?)

Max & Lexi with Barbara and Gene--back then! IThe photo is clear as a bell, it's our eyesight . . . don't see as well as we did back then. (Maybe it's a good thing?)

John, Joanne and Liz Kester were choir singers; Teri Fermo led the sing with "Going to the Chapel . . ." Everybody sang/everybody signed the certificate/everybody cheered. After, everybody feasted at McGill's Steak House--a celebration complete with flowers and cake courtesy of Barb and John. We have pictures--somewhere--Trinidad, Curtis's Mom's, Houston . . . one of those boxes. 

Somewhere inside one of these pods on our driveway maybe. . . 

Somewhere inside one of these pods on our driveway maybe. . . 

That day, after I ccme in from the garden we finished packing up my household and moving it over to blend with Curtis. We found each other after both of us had moved away from Tulsa and returned having decided to stay.

But life doesn't always heed our decisions. After that came Houston, Indonesia, Trinidad to Westhampton Beach. 

George called as I was coming in from the garden. "I'm on my way to your place with 4 guys," he tells me. "We're puling out your frigging big table today."

And so, 22 years later we're moving and unpacking again. Then across town; today across the driveway into our home.

Mixed in with the packing crates were several TV boxes Curtis has been saving. "Why does he have these?" George asked. "He keeps them to to repack the electronics when we move," I explained.

George yelled over to Curtis, "You're not moving again are you?"  

Curtis laughed and said, "Hell, no!"

Twenty-two years, a day at a time, a month at a time, a box at a time, an adventure at a time... And Counting!

Whenever I roam through roses
And lately I often do
Funny, it's not a rose I touch
It's always you

Here's the link so you can have a listen: It's Always You, Chet Baker

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Why Paper Books?

A paper book aids my concentration by offering to do nothing else but lie open in front of me, mute, until I rest my eyes upon it,
— Verlyn Klinkenborg on "Why he likes 'old fashioned books'"
    I LOVE MY BOOKS!

    I LOVE MY BOOKS!

The question Isn’t what will books become in the world of electronic reading. The question is what will become of the readers we’ve been—quiet, thoughtful, patient, abstracted—in a world where interactive can be too temping to ignore.

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