Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom

My mom and me in front of Granny's house

Today is the anniversary of my mom's 39th birthday.  I won't say which one as that will give away her poorly kept secret.  I'm not sure her 39th year was a stellar one or that it was just cliche to stop counting after that.  My brother chose to stop counting the year he met his wife.  That is until his kids decided he had to gain a year each new birthday.  I'm an eternal optimist and even if I have a stellar year I believe the present one can be just as good or better.  I am no seven years older than my mom.  And my Dad is now married to a much younger woman; one he has apparently married to longer than she has had birthdays.  And this is the family I hail from.  A tad but crazy, but loving and supportive.
I see many people with broken relationships with their mother or so dysfunctional that it takes years to heal if ever.  My mom had such a relationship.  My Granny was a piece of work.  My mom was 39 for a few years before she made peace with this.  She was nothing compared to bio but that is another story for another day.  I learned many things from my mom.  Some directly and others from observation.  I don't knit or crochet like she does.  She's amazing and I cherish many items she has made for me over the years.  Over the years she worked with cement, basket weaving, decoupage and so many other crafts.  I channeled my creativity into cooking, cross stitch and soap making.
I often wondered if she had a good paying job, a career, if she would still be married to my dad.  They went through some really challenging times and I think what kept her there was her fear to be on her own.  She was also more content with the devil she knew rather than the devil she didn't.  She always compared dad to their friends and said she would take him over all of them.  But, their friends were dad's friends and their wives so what did that really say?  Her dating advice to me was that, "all men are assholes, get used to it."  I took this as a challenge.  I'm happy to report that I found a man I don't consider an ass.  We have our moments but..... I vowed I would never be in a position I could not walk out the door.  I succeeded.  Maybe I'm wrong but knowing that gives me the freedom to choose.
What I learned from my mom is that you are never too old to like rock n' roll, play your music loud, dance, laugh or want sex.  She was embarrassed to talk to me about the mechanics of sex but, what she did say indirectly was that sex was good, lots of sex was even better.
She never told me I could be anything I wanted.  She let me be anything I wanted.  She always has my back whether she understands or likes what I'm doing or not. She taught me to speak my mind.
So, to my mom who was celebrating the day having breakfast at a biker bar with my dad - happy birthday!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Vacation is over

     But a wonderful vacation it was.  I had two weeks off over the holidays.  I didn't accomplish anything and everything all at the same time.  It started with six batches of cookies and gathering with my family.  My parents flew up from Florida the week before Christmas.  They left early Christmas morning.  That Sunday was a gathering with them and my brother's family.  My niece and nephew were in a play at church and the afternoon was spent eating lasagna, laughing and playing.  Christmas Eve morning I had my parents for our traditional breakfast.
     That night we broke tradition and stayed home.  A bacon wrapped pork loin for three.  Then youngest headed to her room to dance and hubby and I went to deliver cookies to the emergency dispatchers.  On our way home we rendezvoused with mother and father-in-love who had picked son up at the airport.  He was on leave from the military and flying in to surprise his sister.  We managed to get him in the house and tucked in his room without her knowing.  The look on her face as he came down the stairs Christmas morning was priceless.We headed to the in-laws for a quiet dinner that day.
     Another day was spent shopping in Northampton with the cousins.  An evening fire department party.  An afternoon of Bliss Yoga.  An amazing afternoon with my wise and foolish friends. A morning spent making soap and lip balm.  Books read.  Needle pointing worked on. Pages filled in my art journal.  A day spent with my niece; bonding over lunch, frozen yogurt, books and shopping.  A celebration of son's nineteenth birthday.
     New Year's Eve we had a thanksgiving feast.  It was son's last night home and we had tur-duck-en , mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash, cookies and birthday cake.  New Year's Eve or the calender flip as my girlfriend calls it doesn't hold much importance in my life.  No need to wait until midnight for some magic to occur.  Magic happens all the time and for me the evening was about family and love.  Son was whisked to the airport in the wee hours of the morning (he had to be there at 0430 hours).
     It was a great vacation of family, friends, relaxing, puttering, dreaming and planning.