Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Why is there a toothbrush in your piano?"..

Doesn't everybody find a toothbrush in their piano?  No?  I think what surprised me most about seeing the toothbrush lying innocently inside the piano is that I wasn't all that surprised.  A piano student, sitting on the couch, excitedly pointed it out to me, seeming thoroughly confused....  I was faintly curious, but dismissed it quickly because we've had other things in the piano.  Jelly beans, a swedish fish or two, pencils and the occasional cat are just to name a few.  I know that I am possibly opening myself up for some derision over my poor housekeeping skills, but I have long since given of any pretense of keeping any kind of order.
My friend Dorma gets nervous when she comes to visit.  I am basically amused as she scurries around straightening my couch, rug, and a couple of pillows before seating herself.  She is one of the dearest friends, and also a  confirmed neat freak.  When I have point forth some effort in cleaning up, she gives me great praise in the hopes I will continue, but it is all in vain.  My friend , SueAnn,  who has a wicked sense of humor hung a banana peel inside my chandelier to see how long it would be until I noticed it.  I have to admit it went a couple of weeks, and not because I was dusting.  I was reading the paper and happened to look above me where I saw the withered peel dangling from the light. She questioned me about it some days later, and shrieked with laughter while I was merely bemused.  Not angry, mind you....I know what I am.....I feel better when things are neat...but have come to accept the fact that I have adult ADD, and will never maintain the clean and tidy lifestyle of my friends.  My mind feels like it is continually switching channels, and I can start cleaning only to become very distracted.  I have decided that I should work on my other talents, when I find out what those could be....Until then, I am content to read books far into the evening, listen to my kids play piano and violin, and talk on the phone to friends.   Housecleaning takes a considerable amount of time that can be used for other pursuits.    Ohh...I digress! of the things I do are probably still wondering about the toothbrush...  Well, Bethany informed me that she was doing a little toothbrushing while performing a rousing rendition of chopsticks at the piano.  She needed both hands, obviously, and the toothbrush fell unnoticed  into the piano as she pounded away furiously.  A reasonable explanation for such an event.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Musings on Marriage

    Having an engaged daughter has made me melancholy about my advanced age (fifty-five tomorrow) and the realization that the years really do pass as rapidly as my mother told me they would!  I am both amused and saddened by the fact that my daughter Emily's relationship with her family may never be quite the same again.  Layne has replaced her Mother and Father as the most significant others in her life, and  although things are as they should be....I have never adapted well to change!       I reminisced with my friend Sue, whose daughter Melissa is also getting married, saying "do you remember feeling that rush of excitement, that glow of love and anticipation for the future?"  She nodded her head slowly as she recalled saying to her husband, Les before they married..... "Ohh...don't go! in response to his having to go home after a date.  She then said in a puzzled tone, "now, I just say, 'don't you have a place to go?"
     I laughed heartily at this, and added, "I used to think how nice it would be to share a bedroom, and talk cozily over  the day's events as we got ready  to retire to bed, and now I see him  sitting in his underwear on the side of the bed cutting his toenails---wishing he had his own room!"
     I suppose we can't stay at the same stage that Emily and Layne, Melissa and Micah and all the other starry eyed young lovers are at....and the years of kids, financial obligations, and stress do take their toil.  Everything has its proper time and place, and although I love Jerry...I sometimes miss that butterflies in the stomach feeling.  Sueann, another friend, would  adamantly say as she dated her husband, Kyle, "he is like no other man!"  Now we laugh, and say, "yep, he is certainly like no other man.!."  Not derisively, mind you, just an acknowledgement of our extreme youth back in the day when life's trials had not touched us.
      I believe that living with another person and sharing the intimacies of daily life and kids has caused me to progress in ways I could never have attained as a single person.  I am grateful for the laughter and moments of pure joy, but I am just as grateful for the trials and disappointments because they have truly honed my spirit.  I view life differently, and because I have been able to experience the highest and lowest of emotions over the last 28 years of married life, I, who detest change, am forever changed by the experiences of loving and being loved.
  And so....I smile benevolently at Layne, Emily, Melissa and Micah...wishing them the best while knowing love won't always feel this way.   They should rejoice in that euphoria of their first experiences of being swept up in the avalanche of emotions that come when meeting their forever companion.  New love is wonderful, but old love is the stuff that sustains you when the sick kids, bills and disagreements come.  But then, they don't need to know any of that now....!   The years will also come quickly upon them soon enough.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fun is popcorn and a movie!

My family and I have recently discovered the joys of a discount theater on 12th street.  If you are patient.  you can see everything you want for about three dollars!  I tried to inquire about the discount for seniors which would be another dollar off, but although I am old, I am not sixty yet!  We went to see a fast-paced action film on Wednesday night called "Unstoppable".  My son Ben made fun of it because although it was based on a true incident, the only true thing was that it was about a unoccupied train that was stopped after one hour.  No one was hurt, no one died....and it was not carrying explosive materials!  However, as I mentioned to Ben. a show doesn't have to be true to be enjoyable, and it was that....on-your-seat suspense with entirely believable characters and a heart warming conclusion.  And,...can any show be bad with Denzel Washington starring in it?  So....there we were, packed into that small theater with lots of other folks who wanted nothing more than greasy buttered popcorn and a little caffeine, sugar and an opportunity to just get out.... As we stood in line for our fattening and totally unneeded snacks, I took the time to observe the other patrons closely.  I love to people-watch...and for ten minutes, I got to listen in on other people's conversations and make judgments.  Not bad ones, mind you, just contemplative musings about what they were thnking and doing.  One middle aged couple were snuggling there in line,  and I was curious because Jerry and I almost never do that.  He was a bit stout, and she was even more so....probably leaning more to " looking drab and mousy" if I can state that without sounding cruel.  They hugged and whispered as we moved through the winding line.  He leaned forward and gently kissed her cheek, saying affectionately,  "you"re sure cute!"  I was enthralled, thinking, "hmm!...wondering if they were dating...second marriage of just a fewmonths....or imagine this,  perhaps they were totally in love and enjoyed showing it!  She smiled, and for a minute her face lit up and she was almost pretty! didn't matter that to most people, she was an ordinary, middle aged, overweight woman with a messy ponytail.  To the guy who held her in a tight embrace, she was the love of his life.  I was mesmerized, and looked around to spy on others.  A group of girls were just ahead of us, giggling constantly as they regaled the events of the day.  Two of them were mid--teens, and were accompanied by two littler girls, who gazed adoringly at the more mature girls.  The older girls simpered and primped, and talked confidently about people and school.  The little girls seemed delighted to be in their company, and when they could sneak in a sentence of their own, the older girls would stop and listen attentively.  I hoped they were going to see an appropriate show, and that the older girls would continue to be the good role models they seemed to be providing for their younger counterparts.
I then listened as a elderly gentlement playfully punched a young boy, saying "You're alright, Weasel!.." watching as the young boy broke into a delighted smile.  I'm thinking that this was a Grandfather and his much beloved grandson enjoying time well spent because any time spent with family and friends is what gets us past the dreary days of winter, and sometimes the dreary days of life.  I was happy to be in the company of my family who loves  me, and I was so heartened to see people who felt the same way....!  Somehow, the winter days and nights will pass more easily with a movie and a dinner, and a party or gathering  here and there.... and Spring will come soon enough.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Memory "Emily and the Barbie Crayons"

When my children were young, Christmas was such an exciting time for me!  It meant that I got to experience the magic of Christmas through their eyes, and I loved every minute of it.  I lived vicariously through every first snowfall, the smell of each new Christmas doll, and their shining faces as the Christmas tree was put up.  It was almost better than being a child because the giving of presents was so much better than the receiving of them. 
One year, my friends and I decided to make a special present that would totally overwhelm and delight our little girls.  Barbie houses were all the rage, and we decided that no cheap cardboard constructed houses would be acceptable.  We trudged out to my friend’s workshop after kids were in bed to build these unbelievable doll houses.  Night after frigid night, we drove on icy roads to huddle in the cold to carefully construct beautiful houses.  They were gorgeous, with tiled roofs, and real carpet.  We painted the wood, and pasted in real wallpaper.  They were one of a kind, and we could hardly contain our excitement and anticipation as we visualized our daughter’s joy.  This would be a Christmas to remember!
That morning, I positioned my husband carefully with the camcorder to capture the magic that our daughter would feel as she gazed upon the most amazing dollhouse to ever behold.   She woke, and with her siblings made a beeline into our living room where Santa had left his treasures.  She tripped gaily past the magnificent dollhouse to where she picked up her Christmas stocking.  She could hardly contain herself as she picked up a package of 69 cent Barbie crayons, and shrieked with pure delight, “Barbie Crayons, I have always wanted Barbie Crayons!!”  We tried to get her to notice the huge gift that would be the envy of all her little friends, but she continued to gaze with adoration on the box of crayons, examining each one, and demanding a coloring book so she could try them all out.  She did eventually play with her dollhouse, but that Christmas morning taught us all about gift giving, and the magic of childhood.  Our children can be happy with so little, and the true spirit of Christmas was forever enhanced by the recording of our little girl reminding us what giving is all about.