Monday, September 26, 2011

UNEMPLOYMENT AFTER DINNER

My husband quietly ate his dinner, then afterwards said we needed to talk. I thought he had a complaint about the food. I was wrong. He needed to tell me about his job. He works in a small startup company bankrolled by one man. They are working on a hybrid system to improve gas mileage in buses. They were starting to sell units while still in development. But they haven’t ironed out all the bugs. So production has halted.  The man financing the operation can no longer afford to do it until more capital comes in. So he slashed jobs. My husband’s was affected. I took his job for granted. I assumed it would always be there. Now it’s not. We lived our lives in the moment, not worried about tomorrow. Too late to undo that kind of thinking. We were ill prepared for this truth. We have nobody to blame, but ourselves. Thank goodness for Social Security. Without it we wouldn’t survive. It’s going to be a major readjustment, living on such a small income. But somehow, some way we will manage. In the meantime, I am grateful my pantry is full and my freezer is well stocked. I have a tendency to stockpile things. That has been a blessing in disguise. I fear the impact of unemployment will hurt most at the holidays. I won’t get to splurge on the grandchildren, like I’ve been accustomed to.  Fortunately, I tucked away some items for them, over the summer, that can be used as gifts. Still Christmas won't be the same. But it will give us more time to focus on the real meaning of the season. On top of all this bad news, more followed... my husband has new heart and breathing problems that have further complicated our lives. For now... no surgery is needed. Thank goodness. But his medicines will cost us a small fortune... at a time, when we can afford it least.  I am asking all my blog buddies to please say a little prayer for us, as we head into this new phase of our lives. It's either sink or swim. I hope we somehow manage to keep our heads above water. "The future comes, one day at a time."

Monday, September 19, 2011

GASOLINE ALLEY & THE 50'S DINER

On a recent trip, out of town, we discovered this little eatery. It was chock full of surprises. Inside was a museum with tons of Vintage things. Here is a peek at some of what we saw.
A replica of an old filling station.
A school Crossing Guard
A Wurlitzer Jukebox
A Mechanical Pony
Remember Betty Boop?
A couple of Elvis costumes
(click on them for a better look)
A Howdy Doody puppet
And an autographed photo of the most famous Mouseketeer, Annette
They also have slot car races in the museum. I forgot to take a picture of that.
Then into the diner to sample coleslaw like your mom made
And have their special homemade Ham Dandy sandwich with sweet potato fries for $4.69
We enjoyed the trip down Memory Lane in the museum. The food in the diner was YUMMY. That special sauce really did make the HAM taste dandy. Though, there were a little too many fries... and not enough sandwich, on the plate... IMHO. I guess in the 50's sandwiches were smaller than they are today. Is that how you all remember it? I don't. But that wasn't my biggest complaint. If you're supposed to be Lost in the 50's. Why were they playing music from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's? We did not hear one fifties tune the whole time we were there. Shame on you folks. You missed a golden opportunity to bring the experience home for us.

P.S. I'm having trouble getting the photos to center on the page, so I'm leaving it as is.

Monday, September 12, 2011

HIDDEN TREASURE

This is our cherub. He's a special guy. I placed him in the front yard... sitting in a flowerbed... where I can see him from my patio, night and day. In his hands he holds a golden gazing ball. When the sun glints off the globe it is ethereal. This beautiful cherub once graced the perimeter of a delightful water fountain I had on the property. It was removed, many years ago. At the time, this sweet fella had been tipped over and accidently buried beneath all the dirt. He had gone missing for about 8-10 years. I had forgotten he was there, until I saw an arm exposed. Fortunately the ball was hidden away inside the house, protected from the elements, sitting in my kitchen, inside another container. It had become such a fixture in my life, as it was... that I failed to recall where the ball had originated. It gave me such joy to rescue this piece of statuary. It brings me a real sense of calm when I am weary of everyday rhetoric. It offers me peace and serenity, where there was none. It will be at my house for many years to come. This time... appreciated and loved. Here are some photos of the other cherubs I've seen around town. And one Angel. You can click on them for a closer look. ENJOY! Have you ever found a hidden treasure in  your yard or at your house? Share your story in my comment section. I'll see you back here on the 23rd with a new blog post.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

WHERE WERE YOU?


My emotions are still raw. Talking about it is difficult. The event haunted me for days, weeks, months and yes, even years. I think it would have been different if we were home. I have a support system here. But at the time... we were living in a rented house in Indiana, about an hour from Chicago. I didn’t know anybody there except the landlords. They worked odd shifts and were seldom home. And to tell you the truth, they sometimes acted a little strange. So even though they lived right next door, we kept our distance. There was no other house on the street or neighbors. Since my husband had such a long commute, to and from the office… this left me to fend for myself, for hours on end. I kept busy blogging.  He took I-94 to drive to work. I didn’t know where he turned off to head for the plant. But I knew that route would take him right past the Sears Tower. “Standing at 1,450 feet and 110 stories high, it is the tallest building in the western hemisphere.” (It’s now called The Willis Tower.) When I saw the images on TV that morning... I immediately thought we were at WAR. But with who? It was frightening. The World Trade Center, The Twin Towers. The Pentagon. Shanksville, Pennsylvania. There seemed to be no end in sight. Where would they strike next? I collapsed in a heap on the floor and began to cry. Then I prayed. I had no way to get a hold of my husband, who was in route to his job. I was worried The Sears Tower would be another target. And, I was afraid that he’d get caught in the aftermath and carnage that would occur if it were hit. Gripped with fear, I monitored the unfolding crisis by getting online and continuing to look at the TV. I watched and waited, glued to my chair. I could not believe this was really happening. Not here. Not on our soil. I went through the hours in slow motion. I couldn’t imagine actually being in New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania or D.C. The telephone startled me. It was my husband, at long last. He was safe. We commiserated. He said he would try to get back to me... in Indiana, as soon as he could. In the meantime… he wanted me to stay put. He knew I was by myself, alone in a strange place. I was terrified by the notion. I didn’t want to hang up the phone and lose contact. I have never been more scared in my whole life. I didn’t know what to do. I felt like we were right smack dab in the middle of a bad Horror or Disaster movie. This was AMERICA’S WORST NIGHTMARE, REALIZED. Planes crashing. Fires raging. Buildings collapsing. Dust clouds filling the streets. People jumping to their deaths or running for their lives. It seemed like the end of the world. All that mayhem. I will NEVER forget and neither should you. “Let’s roll.”

PS) If you haven’t read 9/11 Survivor, Lauren Manning’s book Unmeasured Strength. Check it out at the library or pick up a copy. Here is a description of the book.
“ On 9/11, good fortune was no match for catastrophe. When a wall of flame at the World Trade Center burned more than 80 percent of her body, Lauren Manning began a ten-year journey of survival and rebirth that tested her almost beyond human endurance. Long before that infamous September day, Manning learned the importance of perseverance, relentless hard work, and a deep faith in oneself. So when the horrific moment of her near-death arrived, she possessed the strength and resilience to insist that she would not yield—not to the terrorists, not to the long odds, not to the bottomless pain and exhaustion. But as the difficult months and years went by, she came to understand that she had to do more than survive. She needed to undergo a complete transformation, one that would allow her to embrace her life and her loved ones in an entirely new way. Fleeing the burning tower, Manning promised herself that she would see her son's face again. Courageous and inspiring, Unmeasured Strength tells the riveting story of her heroic effort to make that miracle—and so many others—possible.”

Here is a link to buy the book from Amazon. Or just click on the site, to read the reviews of the book. They are at the bottom of page if you want to know more about it.  http://www.amazon.com/Unmeasured-Strength-Lauren-Manning/dp/0805094636/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1315456122&sr=1-1

Friday, September 2, 2011

A CRABBY BIRTHDAY

We're CELEBRATING my husband's birthday this Labor Day weekend with 1/2 a bushel of Maryland Steamed Crabs. Since we're going to be be busy picking and eating... I'll be back next weekend to blog.