Friday, May 27, 2011

MY BIRTHDAY IS A HOLIDAY

When I was a little girl I thought I was pretty special. My birthday was on a National Holiday. Memorial Day. The name was formally changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day in 1882. Way before my time. But I remember my Nana calling it that. The purpose of the day was to honor the memory of those who gave their lives fighting for America. When I grew up, Patriotic Nationalism dominated this country. Flags flew everywhere. Parades and military marching bands entertained. Those that died in service to our nation were revered. Back then, Memorial Day was always celebrated on May 30th. until Congress stuck their two cents in. They officially moved it from it’s traditional date, to the last Monday in May. This then gave the holiday a three day weekend. WHOOPEE! It eventually grew to become the start of the summer vacation season. Today the true meaning of the holiday is lost on most people. So during the Memorial Day weekend… folks now gather to getaway to the beach, amusement parks or wherever. They grill out, go shopping, watch the Indianapolis 500 or baseball, etc. Some will decorate the graves of loved ones, whether they’ve been in the military or not. And in the midst of it all… I will do what I do every year at this time. Hang out the flag and celebrate being another year older. No other BIG plans in the works. Though I must admit, my mouth is watering at the thought of the butter crème frosting that will be on my cake. And the lobster that will be on my plate.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A CHANCE MEETING

The weather was dismal outside. Dark and foreboding. I decided to go somewhere warm and inviting. I wanted to pick up a few groceries and scan the shelves at Meijer’s for the latest bestsellers. I love reading the dust jackets. I was looking forward to doing this. So I ducked inside the superstore just as a large clap of thunder bellowed and the raindrops turned into a downpour. Heading to the book aisle, closing my umbrella… imagine my surprise to see a familiar face. There stood my thirty-seven year old daughter, browsing the cookbook section. Even though we live in the same town, I seldom get to see her. Since she got a new job, she works second shift, at the hospital from 2:30 pm - 10:30 pm. And her husband works third shift. So visits between us, are few and far between. She’s always busy. Yet here she was. I was so tickled. She was thrilled to see me too. We gave each other a big hug and kiss, as the rain torpedoed the roof. Smiling like a couple of school kids, we chatted about anything and everything as we navigated our way around the store. It was wonderful to be together like this. She and her husband had just moved into a new house, so she was telling me all about it. ( It just so happens we're scheduled to see it this weekend.) So... she was here at the store getting a few things she needed to make the place feel more like home. Since we both were looking for new dishtowels… she pointed out the ones on sale for $1.99, half off their regular price. They were MORE thirsty, than the others, she thought... I thought the same thing. Like mother, like daughter. The spontaneity of the afternoon made for a perfect day, as the wicked storm raged outside. Simple pleasures mean a lot.

Friday, May 13, 2011

STUCK IN THE MUD

It had been raining non-stop for days. Finally a break in the weather appeared... so the race was on, to cut the grass. It would be the first cutting of the season. Ankle deep, the job needed to get done before the rain started up again. Wouldn’t you know it, the lawnmower battery was dead. This meant I had to jumpstart it. To do that... I had to rearrange the cars in the driveway, so I could position one close enough to the lawnmower, which was buried inside the garage. I also needed to make room on that driveway apron, for the lawnmower... once it was ready to go. So I got in my STRATUS. This was the first time I’ve driven it since the automobile accident, a month or more ago. I hastily backed out of the driveway and pulled it into the grassy Boulevard, where we park during the summer, which is opposite my house. That’s when I got a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. My tires had sunk into mud, about 8 inches deep. I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to scream. I guess I should have known better, because of the wet weather. That car must be jinxed? I left it there. No time for a hissy-fit. I’d deal with it after I got the battery of the lawnmower running. I used the van to jumpstart it. It took about 45 minutes to cut the grass, once the mower was up and running. Thank goodness our lawn wasn't as soft and muddy, as the Boulevard. With that job behind me... I needed to address the car in the mud, out there... before the thunderstorms rolled in, and made a bigger mess. I called AAA. They immediately sent someone here to tow the car back out to the street, where I could get traction. Thank goodness my membership covers such things. Car’s now gingerly sitting in the driveway, anticipating my next move. I’m NOT touching it. Too scared of what’ll happen next? Meanwhile, since I've made HUGE ruts in the Boulevard.... they are going to need to be filled in with topsoil and later, grass seed. Those bags of dirt and seed weigh 50 lbs. Not an easy task for this old timer. But one I'm going to have to tackle soon. It's always something.

Friday, May 6, 2011

BRAGGING RIGHTS & HORSES

BLOG BUDDIES- BELOW IS A STORY I POSTED A YEAR AGO.  READ & ENJOY.  I'LL BE BACK NEXT WEEK WITH A NEW BLOG ENTRY. SEE YOU THEN.   FONDLY, TERRE 

I’m not a gambling woman. You won’t find me frequenting casinos or playing poker. Betting is out of my league, except for the occasional lottery ticket. No use throwing good money after bad. But three times a year… from the beginning of May until early June… we get a hankering for horses, at our house. This historic sport dominates our weekends. We become glued to the television set watching The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and Belmont Stakes. You see horse racing is in my blood. My dear departed grandfather was more than familiar with a race track. He used to play the ponies, in years gone by. An admirable hobby. One of my earliest memories... is seeing him with a pencil, stuffed behind his ear, and a racing form in his hand. Just like him… my hubby and I try to pick the ponies, the day of the races. Instead of relying on the newspaper, like grandpa used to do… we scour the Internet looking for details on the horses, their owners, trainers and jockeys. We compile the data, print out the odds, and pick our favorites for the big day. We're in it, to WIN... but NO CASH exchanges hands. We do this for BRAGGING RIGHTS only. And we do it for FUN. On Derby Day, I follow tradition and wear a hat, downing a cocktail or two. But please... no Mint Julips, we hate them. Sorry Kentucky. During The Preakness, I lament about Black-Eyed Susans not really being in season. They use daisies with painted centers. My heart aches when I hear Maryland, My Maryland… it reminds me of home. Then, we anxiously wait to see the weathervane on top of the Old Clubhouse Replica, get painted with the winner’s colors. When The Belmont Stakes finally rolls around, a few weeks later... we already know... whether or not, there’s a contender for The Triple Crown. And we know... that this is the last leg of the season, for us... so we can’t help being a little melancholy, as we belt out the lyrics to New York, New York. This is it. Game On! “Start spreading the news”… “ To the VICTOR go the spoils“… to the LOSER… there’s always Horse Racing next year.