Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dodie, Kitty & Blanche

"We were called the three musketeers."   "We were for eachother thru thick and thin."  Kitty told me.  "Whenever we had some troubles we'd call Blanche.  "I'm  not just saying that because she just passed, I've said that before." Dodie is in Florida now and couldn't travel for the service but sent a fabulous flower arrangement from her & Kitty.  Kitty was in the back of the church -- accessorized with the two things necessary for a friend of 50+ years funeral: dark glasses and a hanky. 

In the card Dodie & Kitty sent was this little poem.  Pretty much sums up how I feel right now.

You are not forgotten, loved one (mother)
  Nor will you ever be,
As long as life and memory last
  We will remember thee.
We miss you now, our hearts are sore
As time goes by, we'll miss you more.
Your loving smile, your gentle face,
No one can fill your vacant place.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Mama's Gone to Heaven

One of my favorite memories of my mom is waking to the bright sinshine as she raised the shades and sang "Good Morning Mary Sunshine".    Her signature greeting, a smile on her lips, twinkle in her eye, and song in her heart.    To those that knew her, she was the perfect blend of spices and herbs that made that sauce forever simmering on the stove simply out of this world. In the last few years she managed to slip away from us, slowly passing through the veil between this world and the next.  She was ready, she told me to move on to whatever was next.  When I asked her if she would come back and tell me what it was like on the other side, she replied, "Oh, I don't know if that is allowed."  It was almost as if she didn't want to make a promise she wasn't sure she could keep. 
Now that she is actually gone, I'm anxious for her visit.  Exhausted with grief I'd love to tell my favorite story about her.
When I was just a little thing, I'd tell my mom, "I love you."  She just smiled and gave me a big hug and say, oh baby, you're just you wait.  You're just beginning to understand what love is.  As I dated into my 20's and I'd tell her I was in love, she'd say, "Just you wait.  Just wait until you find the right man, it will be then, you'll really know what love is. 
When Arthur and I became engaged, I called her especally to tell her, "Mom, you were right, I found the right person, I finally understand what love is."  I couldn't imagine loving anything more than my hunky hubby. She just smiled and said, "Just you wait.  Just wait until you have a child of your own."  
Three years later, I gave birth to a baby boy and suddenly overcome with heart wrenching joy.  I couldn't imagine loving anything more than this beautiful baby boy.  She came and stayed with us and helped out the first few months.  I was so happy to report back to her that she was right, I had found pure unconditional love.  She just smiled with that twinkle in her eye and said, "Just you wait.  Just you wait until you have grandchildren."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I changed my purse today

I changed my purse today.  I used to think it was important for my purse and my shoes to match my outfit.  Nowadays I’m just glad to be up, dressed and out of the house in one piece.  I bought a purse two years ago and told myself I wasn’t going to get another purse until it fell apart.  I’ve carried that purse pretty much exclusively for the last two years.  It is definitely showing signs of wear and tear.   I find myself longing for a new purse, but it is nowhere near falling apart.  It has some stains of unknown origins, but other than that, it is 100% functional and sensible.  It is actually quite a bag.  Frankly, I’m just tired of it.  So today I switched back to my previous ‘go to’ purse.  It is just as worn, but at least I’m not tired of it. 
A fun and impractical bag.

It got me thinking, how much of our personalities are connected to our purses?  Is it a reflection of us and where we are in our lives?  Economics, state of mind, emotional place?  In some ways, I feel I carry my life around in my purse.  My wallet, phone, lipstick, keys, glasses and work ID are essentials.  It also needs to fit my ‘pink book’, a makeup case (a purse within a purse) and even a light lunch.  On any given day you may find anything my son or husband doesn’t have room for in their pockets, recycle or garbage items to be disposed of properly, scraps of paper with ideas and information, phone numbers and the like, business cards of people I meet, flyers, coupons, and a package of gum. Maybe some lotion, at certain times “feminine products”, band aids or a couple tabs of Tylenol.

What would someone know about me from looking at my bag?  What does it smell like?  Me?   What are my likes/dislikes?  Could you have a reality show, “What’s in your bag?”  or “Guess who’s purse is this?”  Contestants could compete to match the correct purse with the correct star. What does Julia Roberts, Michelle Obama, and Liz Taylor have in their purses?  Is it more interesting than mine? 

Picture this for a moment….your mother’s purse.   There it is.  Her wallet, her smell, her lipstick color, her.  A woman can reach right into her purse and know where everything is, keys, lipstick, money.  I wonder, can we reach into our hearts so easily?

Wednesday Lemonade

Rounding the corner home from work last night, was a lemonade stand.  It’s been there for the last few Wednesdays, really since school let out.  With a rather loose business plan, two 8 year old entrepreneurs sell lemonade for 50¢ a glass.  Just pull over to the curb and get out your quarters. I will say it is about the best lemonade I’ve ever had.  Slightly effervescent, lemony without being over-sweet with a light mint flavor.  The girls are dressed appropriately, yellow or lemon themed matching shirts and yellow ribbons in their hair.  While they wait for customers they sit at a little picnic table and draw or read.  Sometimes they climb the big tree in the front yard and swing from its branches from a rope-swing.  I like to visit with them, ask how the summer is going, visit with the neighbors as they stop off and buy lemonade.  The summer air, the laughter, is quite magical.  It is almost as if the lemonade is an elixir, somehow each sip brings me back, closer to my youth.  Yesterday I even got a fairly accurate portrait.  Imagine, in this day and age, with all the troubles and strife in the world, there is this simple joy.  Imagine a hot summer’s day and you’re really, really thirsty? Imagine a glass of lemonade from a paper cup, neighborly chit-chat, friendship, sun setting, slight breeze, lemony heart filled joy. Imagine all the worry and care from the world washed away, even for just a few minutes.  If you’re in my neighborhood Wednesday, stop by and get some lemonade.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August Waxing Crescent Moon

wash the mercury off my skin
swish, swish, swish
spin, spin, spin
Oxi-clean clean
lights, darks, colors and whites
all separate in their own piles
me and the moon and the deep pool of my heart
wrapped in a rainbow sarong
not much else