Subscribe: New Beginnings
http://blog.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/rss.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
back  day  divorced women  family  fun  life  new  people  person  summer  thanksgiving  time  water lilies  water  work 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: New Beginnings

New Beginnings



A therapeutic blog that brings out the other side of divorce and how one copes with it.



Last Build Date: Sun, 09 Aug 2015 1:55:58 UTC

Copyright: Copyright 2016
 



Multi-Generational Teamwork!

Sun, 09 Aug 2015 01:35:41 UTC

2015-08-09T01:55:58Z

Make a product that was fun, fulfilling, and used our individual strengths! Every summer I am fortunate enough to work a job with other people on a team. It is a fascinating process to be a part of! Every team on every field of play or in any corporation needs to have a leader. A leader must be a good to great communicator. The communicator basically has to listen to teammates, coordinate ideas, be the go between with management, and serve the clientele! But, the communicator cannot work with out backup! Another goal for the communicator is to have the team stay focused and bring their good ideas to fruition. Madison Casey  Bring in the organizer! The guy who oversees and initiates the plans and gets the daily grunt work done. Sometimes, he's the numbers guy! The organizer is vocal but can also be a detriment to the team when not "sugared" up. It's best to keep the organizer actively working with others. The organizer works closely with the activity director. The activity director and organizer actually design a daily schedule complete with back up plans! Always having a "what if" Plan B helps make the day run smoothly and there is no scrambling for filler activities. The activity director is usually someone that has his own bag of tricks. You never really know what the AD can come up with when left to his own devises and it can be amazing! AD's can be very quiet, intelligent, and observant! But, doesn't miss a trick! Our voice of reason person is to poke holes in our plans. He will help with design, planning, scheduling, etc. Then the voice of reason speaks up, and puts us all in our place. Back down to earth because the creativity can be "out there!" The creative genius doesn't think like the rest of us. Thank goodness.! But the creativity can not be stifled. Listen, bring the ideas on board by way of toning down. Often times the genius really happens between the creativity and the voice of reason. Combine the creativity with the science guru and sparks will fly! Fun to watch and exciting when it all comes together. The voice of reason is the check system for the genius of science and creativity! Basically, when the team of genius says "Let's make fireworks!" you can count on the voice of reason to say, "Let's move it outside!" Every team needs a support person to back them up. The support person needs to be strong and confident enough to help any of the above people. Many times the support person is that position because its entry level and the young one may not know his or her strengths yet. But the common sense and a different set of eyes can be a godsend to any team. There were many opportunities this past summer to have open discussions with all teammates and make a product that was fun, fulfilling, and used our individual strengths! Personally, the best part of the summer job is working with the team and watching it all come together. It is also so much easier. I call it "working smart" not working so hard and struggling. Summer jobs are suppose to have an element of fun. Working with different age groups are very rewarding. The older people come with skill sets from all decades while the 20 somethings are all about the new technology and current trends. The combination can be great, or it can be miserable. Depends on the combination of people and if individuals have their own personal agenda. That never works. Overall, another great summer in the record books! Bittersweet when it's over on so many levels! [...]


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/18503356-large.jpg




Rolling Back the Years!

Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:21:21 UTC

2015-07-03T15:48:41Z

One of my many 20 something friends constantly use the phrase, "Living the Life" when he comes upon a new beginning in his life.   Living the life is about stages of a lifetime.  The 20 somethings live the life of finding love, making careers, and trying to live the American Dream.  No, it isn't dead, just evolving! They...

One of my many 20 something friends constantly use the phrase, "Living the Life" when he comes upon a new beginning in his life.  

(image)  

Living the life is about stages of a lifetime.  The 20 somethings live the life of finding love, making careers, and trying to live the American Dream.  No, it isn't dead, just evolving! They are hopeful and idealistic. They leave college with hope of changing the world, even it is just "their" world.  I love being around them. They remind me of myself oh, so many years ago!

Then we have the 30 something's.  They are marrying and raising children.  They are not as bright-eyed as they once were.  They are realizing hardships and tough times especially these last five years.  Overcome with student debt, diminishing wages, and inflation, they are slowing becoming disillusioned.  Striving to live up to and better themselves, they look at former dreams and wonder where time has gone.  They've become fixated on their children, their income, and technology.

As the 40 year olds come to terms with shattered dreams, confusing careers, and marriages that are disintegrating, they seek comfort, peace, and companionship. They want answers.  Answers to questions with no absolute. They move into their 50's and decide on change - any change!  This is definitely a point in life where men look for younger women.  Women might go back to school, start frantically dating, or just try quietly to immerse themselves into their jobs, families, and hobbies.  This phase is so easy to identify.  Watch for that new convertible!  

My "Living the Life" now means time to enjoy my activities.  Traveling with friends, seeing the world on my own, meeting new people, and visiting old friends. I'm done with the worry, the changes, and the status quo.  When I want to go into seclusion, I can!  When I want to fraternize, I will!  Now that's living the life.


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/people-1279618-mjpg-25786626f7fa39fc.jpg




Water lilies!

Mon, 08 Jun 2015 01:44:30 UTC

2015-06-08T02:25:08Z

Water lilies have always fascinated me.  You can go to an arboretum to see many flowers, but water lilies are very fussy when they finally come out and who they hang with.  Kind of like people.  People will come out and reveal many things about themselves.  Water lilies are the same way. Stick around with someone awhile, and you...

(image)  

Water lilies have always fascinated me.  You can go to an arboretum to see many flowers, but water lilies are very fussy when they finally come out and who they hang with.  Kind of like people.  People will come out and reveal many things about themselves.  Water lilies are the same way. Stick around with someone awhile, and you will see it all.

Did you know that there are nocturnal water lilies?  They only come out at night.   Many times water lilies will live with other water lilies and many are loners.  I can do both.  I'm okay being with others...for a while, but not all the time. I will drift off to be on my own.  I like being alone.  My thought, my reflections, my time, my way.

I like things that way.  

I will shortly have an anniversary.  I've spent the last eight years "finding" myself.  Heck, you think it is only for the young?  No, no way!  Women like myself are always finding themselves, their strengths, and their weaknesses.  I just don't see many weaknesses anymore.  No, not bragging, just the way it is.  I've evolved as has "New Beginnings".  I'm definitely seeing a summer of contentment and seeing a more narcissistic side of myself.  

How 'bout doing it my way, for my pleasure?  Yea, that's kind of new.  

So back to the water lilies.  I'm thinking I might enjoy being a water lily this summer.  Lounging around poolside or beach side enjoying myself.  Traveling, seeing friends, and reading a few books along the water should get me through my last couple of years of work.  Seeing a change down the road.  

When I lose my way, take me to the water lilies.  That reminder grounds me! This will be my water lily summer.

"I didn't write. I just wandered about."
Martha Gellhorn


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/18036477-large.jpg




Trauma, Pain, and Resiliency!

Mon, 12 Jan 2015 00:41:24 UTC

2015-01-12T00:50:34Z

"Pain is weakness leaving the body"...Tom Sobol The year 2014 was a year that proved that humans are resilient.....and optimistic. My trauma began May 1.  My journey through the medical field, workman's comp, and testing was long, arduous, and frustrating.  Finally in July, a MRI proved I tore my rotator cuff.  Surgery was scheduled for August 15.  I waited...

"Pain is weakness leaving the body"...Tom Sobol

The year 2014 was a year that proved that humans are resilient.....and optimistic.

My trauma began May 1.  My journey through the medical field, workman's comp, and testing was long, arduous, and frustrating.  Finally in July, a MRI proved I tore my rotator cuff.  Surgery was scheduled for August 15.  I waited over two months for a diagnosis then waited anouther six weeks for a surgery date all the while in excruciating pain.  Not finished!  From September to December I got way too familiar with all the physical therapists and staff assistants who were assigned to help me get better.

So now it is 2015!  Can I lift the dishes from the top shelf?  Can I carry in the groceries?  Can I use a rake, hoe, or snow shovel?  Well, there is still snow on my driveway!  Nope, I can't.....but I'm better!  And, yes there is still pain.  More than I want to admit at times! Icing is still a part of my nightly routine!

During this time period, I worked all three jobs within limitations, took a cruise, traveled on a couple weekend trips, did shopping, swimming, and generally did what I always do. 

Celebrating the holidays with the kids and seeing my grandkids is always a highlight of the year.  It was an extremely poignant moment when I reached to pick up my 10 month old grandson and quickly realized that I was not able to lift him.

And yet.....I found a way.  Happily....I didn't really miss anything.  Movement can be difficult, even painful and yet, I always found a way.

It was at the point of lifting my grandson that I became painfully aware I could scourge and wallow in the dirges of pain or decide to move on with my life. This wasn't going to beat me or hold me back from anything.  

So, in my usual fashion, I picked a date and did it - just moved on.  No time like the present.




HARVEST!

Fri, 29 Aug 2014 13:24:00 UTC

2014-08-29T13:26:34Z

Every spring I plant a couple of plants. Enjoying a small outside area, I love planting a couple of tomatoes and watching the magic happen. So, I also planted a pepper and a cucumber plant. The growing season and summer weather is always guesswork and you just never know what you will reap. Kind of like life! This summer,...

Every spring I plant a couple of plants. Enjoying a small outside area, I love planting a couple of tomatoes and watching the magic happen. So, I also planted a pepper and a cucumber plant. The growing season and summer weather is always guesswork and you just never know what you will reap. Kind of like life!

This summer, I have had some major challenges. Having torn my rotator cuff to bits, gardening just didn't happen. I just couldn't give it the time and care that I normally did. As luck would have it, Mother Nature took care of my plants while I cared for myself.

As I sit enjoying the last of the summer rays, I marvel at

(image) View full size 

my harvest. The sweetest green peppers I've ever eaten alongside the biggest, baddest cucumbers ever. This would have been an awesome crop of cucumbers to pickle, but I don't know how to do that yet!  There will be tomatoes in abundance until Thanksgiving! 

Its so satisfying to plant anything and reap the rewards! My growing area is not the nice neat garden of my dreams, but I love taking friends out and sharing my abundance! Making them pick their own produce and watching their faces and hearing their gasps of exclamation over the size of my harvest, has made my recovery time tolerable.

Lesson learned: no matter what challenge life throws, harvest and reap the rewards! Its there, look for it!


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/15728782-large.jpg




Overcoming Obstacles!

Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:53:18 UTC

2014-06-16T20:19:23Z

There are so many activities on a ship and it's always difficult to pick and choose. When with another person, there is always a give and take also.  But, it is about the laughs, the fun, and the new experiences. So one morning after a heated ping pong game, we continued our morning constitutional.  A mile later, Chelsea decided...

There are so many activities on a ship and it's always difficult to pick and choose. When with another person, there is always a give and take also.  But, it is about the laughs, the fun, and the new experiences.

(image)  

So one morning after a heated ping pong game, we continued our morning constitutional.  A mile later, Chelsea decided the rock wall was her next challenge.  

A little bit about Chelsea. Her divorce was painful, devastating, and very recent. A marriage of convenience ..... for her ex! So she is still in a newly-divorced stage.  This is her "Emancipation Tour". Only requirement for her was no thoughtful rumination of her newly divorced ex.

So, she decided to take on the rock wall!  Really?  A rock wall really isn't a middle-age, newly divorced woman activity.  But now she is meeting the challenge head on!  I get to cheer lead and photograph the event with a nice camera.

You go girl!

Two-thirds of the way to the bell-ringing, she gets the giggles.  She goes 2/3rds of the way.  Can't make it to the top.  Not ringing the bell!

Yet.

Nothing in her way but muscle spasms and the shakes.  She vows to do it again on the next trip but at the beginning of the cruise.

I have to remind her it's about the journey, not necessarily the destination.

Going forward in life is what counts.  Her progress is remarkable.

"Look how far we've come!" is every divorced women's motto right after "I will survive!"


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/15214237-large.jpg




Diving into the Abyss!

Sat, 14 Jun 2014 04:09:07 UTC

2014-06-14T04:40:30Z

Second day! Private island in the Caribbean. It's about playing in the sun.  All day, sun, sand, blue sky, picnic lunch. So Chelsea and I decided to do the exploration thing first.  We mark our area. Translation - we got chairs! Putting on our sneakers, we set out to find our treasure. What's the treasure, you ask? It's about no...

Second day! Private island in the Caribbean. It's about playing in the sun.  All day, sun, sand, blue sky, picnic lunch.

 

So Chelsea and I decided to do the exploration thing first.  We mark our area. Translation - we got chairs! Putting on our sneakers, we set out to find our treasure.

(image)

What's the treasure, you ask?

 

It's about no stress, peace and solitude. We wanted far from the maddening crowd. Chelsea is an avid photo journalist, so we plan on writing a book. A photo book of our experiences. Especially our first-time, bucket list fun!

The sky, lapping waves, salty sea air is so intoxicating! Coral islands are so interesting and full of live, fascinating creatures.  Addictive and quiet, we explore. My goal was to walk around the entire island. Yeah, so not realistic. We got to the opposite end and discovered a lagoon. There were different depths of water surrounded by white cliffs with three islands in the middle.  No one there!

We found chairs and settled in.

The water was so clear, bluish green, and the bottom was totally visible!

I'm hot, sweaty and there was no point in fighting my primal urge. The warm sand beckoned to me.  I walk in tentatively, gingerly at first. Schools of silver fish circle my feet.  

The different depths mean some serious swimming. Uh Oh, this torn rotator cuff hampers me.  Pain with every stroke.  So I float. Oh yeah!  This is a little slice of heaven here on earth. I float out to an island.  It was difficult getting on it because of the arm, but where's there a will, there's a way. I managed to literally crawl on all fours up on the small island. Meanwhile, on the shore, Chelsea is using her telescopic lens to capture it all.  Crawling, then running up the hill like my best buddy, Rocky Balboa, I feel so strong!

(image)  

Exploring the rest of the small island, I find steps. Hmmmm? Interesting!  Nearby there's a ledge.

What's the point?

Oh! Do I dare?

Ready to strike, I get in position to execute a perfect dive into a perfect blue lagoon!  Over and over again, I dive.  The sheer, simple act of diving off a small cliff fills me with courage and pride.  Being able to see the bottom fills me with closure.  Putting the past in the past with all the nasties behind me, makes me feel like a new person.

Into the abyss. Smooth sailing from here on out!


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/15206839-large.jpg




The Myth of the Princess!

Sat, 14 Jun 2014 03:44:35 UTC

2014-06-14T04:02:58Z

Our first port was at Cape Canaveral.  Weather was perfect.  Sunny, balmy, with a mild breeze!   Yeah, I'm going to Disney!  First timer here.  I don't really know what to expect, but I'm going to be enjoying everything! We had made car arrangements.  Going into Orlando was our destination. No problems! My son helped with the car arrangements...

Our first port was at Cape Canaveral.  Weather was perfect.  Sunny, balmy, with a mild breeze!  

(image) View full size 

Yeah, I'm going to Disney!  First timer here.  I don't really know what to expect, but I'm going to be enjoying everything!

We had made car arrangements.  Going into Orlando was our destination. No problems! My son helped with the car arrangements and everything went according to plan.  New car smell is an aphrodisiac!

So we took the hour long drive into Disney. My friend is an avid Disney lover and she goes frequently. I need this person to show me all the sights!  So another new experience for me!

I really wanted to see the castle at Magic Kingdom. Of course, there were crowds but they didn't deter us! Chelsea knows all the ins and outs and can get around.  I just love walking around watching people and looking at all the sights.  My observation was watching all these little girls dressed up as their favorite princess.

What's up with this?

I've noticed this phenomenon with my granddaughter and grand niece. I expect another 5 year old rendition of "Let it Go". Chelsea told me which princess was which. Yes, I'm a princess novice.  I know nothing.

Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, Belle, Mulan, Pocahontas, Aurora were all represented.

So I watch! And wonder! What's the draw? Why?

Are these little girls perpetuating the happily every after myth? Are they looking for their prince? Are fairy tales for real?

So I asked a five year old and found out!

Why?

Because its fun to dress up as a princess and twirl!

Yeah, its about twirling. I loved it!  

As an adult we over think things.  I'll always remember that little girl.

It's about twirling!


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/15206627-large.jpg




Day at Sea!

Sat, 14 Jun 2014 03:23:20 UTC

2014-06-14T03:42:32Z

Sunday at sea was a miracle day.  All the kinks were gone.  First, we slept.  I think it was the first time I slept comfortably, soundly, and peacefully since the death of my dad.  That thought found me this morning and frankly, it shocked me.  I wanted to let him know what a beautiful day it was! When at...

Sunday at sea was a miracle day.  All the kinks were gone.  First, we slept.  I think it was the first time I slept comfortably, soundly, and peacefully since the death of my dad.  That thought found me this morning and frankly, it shocked me.  I wanted to let him know what a beautiful day it was!

(image) View full size 

When at sea, there are so many opportunities for fun and it can be very daunting with so many choices. What to do? What to do?

How about nothing?

After breakfast, we walked our mile.  Felt so good.  We talked, we walked.  We decided to change into our swimsuits and sit in the sun.  

Great decision!

We were about to read, talk, enjoy little umbrella drinks, poolside massages, hot tub, and saline pool. They were just backdrops to the calm blue seas and perfect sky. Our day in the sun really was idealistic.  

Personally, I felt 13 again. It's been a long time.


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/15206266-large.jpg




Making Soup!

Thu, 26 Dec 2013 01:00:10 UTC

2013-12-26T01:12:36Z

There is a propensity for people to seek other family members in times of crises, but what does a person do when the older generation cannot help?  When and how did I become the family communicator and the glue that keeps the sibs together? It's been such a difficult month for my family.  I've been looking for some comfort from...

There is a propensity for people to seek other family members in times of crises, but what does a person do when the older generation cannot help?  When and how did I become the family communicator and the glue that keeps the sibs together?


It's been such a difficult month for my family.  I've been looking for some comfort from the grieving process.

Losing my step dad has been devastating, and now trying to prepare myself for the loss of my mother is surreal.  I seek solace and peace, and it just isn't forthcoming.

So as always, I clean and go through my routine.  This.....I can control!  I work.  I find that is a common denominator with all my siblings too.  We work.  It is our way. None of us can sit still....and just be!

As I am chopping the onions with tears just streaming down my face, I realize that I was ready to face this experience.  I haven't discussed the trauma I was going through.  Heck, no service or even an obituary yet.  It's our way.  I shared with a handful of people.....those that respect my need for privacy and know that I will be an emotional, fall-apart nightmare if people want to "talk" about it.  I can't yet.  It's still just too raw.  And, I know all the crap cliches people will say, and I am not ready to listen to them and smile my way through those inane conversations.  I also know that people do need to know.  He had an impact, and it isn't fair not to share.  

So I make soup.  Then, it will probably be cookies.  Funny thing though, I know all my sisters are doing the same thing.  To my close friends, thank you so much for your quiet, unrelenting support.

So Christmas still happened and no one mentioned the elephant in the room.  No one was ready to be ceremonious.  Maybe next year or some other occasion....but no one is ready yet.  One friend offered a few ideas, but I wasn't ready to think about it yet. I will....eventually, but I'm letting myself grieve naturally.  My timetable!  My family's timetable.  And, there is no need to rush the process.

Now I put on paper....electronic paper.  My first step....is acceptance.

Yea, My Way.




Thanksgiving 2013!

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:10:49 UTC

2013-11-26T22:19:11Z

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.  ~ Native American Saying Times they are a changing, and it's not your mother's Thanksgiving any more!   There has been much discussion about Thanksgiving and stores' openings.  It's divided.  Many think that it is a great idea while other's will boycott.  Let me offer another perspective.  There are many fractured...

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.  ~ Native American Saying


Times they are a changing, and it's not your mother's Thanksgiving any more!  

There has been much discussion about Thanksgiving and stores' openings.  It's divided.  Many think that it is a great idea while other's will boycott.  
(image) Thanksgiving 
Let me offer another perspective.  There are many fractured families here in America. Having that Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving is just not realistic.  Divorced women with children actually suffer through this holiday. Sharing children is extremely painful. Even when you have grown kids, you end up sharing.  Or, they see their grandparents with the promise that Christmas will be all "yours."  Of course, plans can change and we have to be flexible and understanding.

So with stores opening early, we have an excuse.  Sure, many of you think divorced women can make it on just one job!  That just isn't the way it is in the real world. Not everyone gets alimony forever and child support just doesn't come on time.  Divorced women are strapped.....All the time!  Go into any retail establishment and I bet over 50% of the employees are divorced women working either their second or third job, especially if they are in their 50's or 60's.  

Most stores will pay time and 1/2 for Thanksgiving, overnight time for the late hours, and provide eats and treats during the shift.  Many stores will ask for volunteers instead of making it mandatory to come in.  

So we will work.  We will keep busy.  It will be a relief to be able to say, "I have to work!"

Those people who want to be home with family, should be.  Those that want to shop, should shop.  Those that need to work for emotional well-being or money, should work.

Hopefully, the masses that will be shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday will be kind and grateful.   


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/norman-rockwell-thanksgiving-thanksgiving-2927689-375-479jpg-92fb99f85c40bfd1.jpg




Thanksgiving!

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 21:43:56 UTC

2013-11-26T21:56:47Z

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.  ~ Native American Saying Times they are a changing, and it's not your mother's Thanksgiving any more!   There has been much discussion about Thanksgiving and stores' openings.  It's divided.  Many think that it is a great idea while other's will boycott.  Let me offer another perspective.  There are many fractured...

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.  ~ Native American Saying


Times they are a changing, and it's not your mother's Thanksgiving any more!  

There has been much discussion about Thanksgiving and stores' openings.  It's divided.  Many think that it is a great idea while other's will boycott.  
(image) Thanksgiving 
Let me offer another perspective.  There are many fractured families here in America. Having that Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving is just not realistic.  Divorced women with children actually suffer through this holiday. Sharing children is extremely painful. Even when you have grown kids, you end up sharing.  Or, they see their grandparents with the promise that Christmas will be all "yours."  Of course, plans can change and we have to be flexible and understanding.

So with stores opening early, we have an excuse.  Sure, many of you think divorced women can make it on just one job!  That just isn't the way it is in the real world. Not everyone gets alimony forever and child support just doesn't come on time.  Divorced women are strapped.....All the time!  Go into any retail establishment and I bet over 50% of the employees are divorced women working either their second or third job, especially if they are in their 50's or 60's.  

Most stores will pay time and 1/2 for Thanksgiving, overnight time for the late hours, and provide eats and treats during the shift.  Many stores will ask for volunteers instead of making it mandatory to come in.  

So we will work.  We will keep busy.  It will be a relief to be able to say, "I have to work!"

Those people who want to be home with family, should be.  Those that want to shop, should shop.  Those that need to work for emotional well-being or money, should work.

Hopefully, the masses that will be shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday will be kind and grateful.    


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/norman-rockwell-thanksgiving-thanksgiving-2927689-375-479jpg-92fb99f85c40bfd1.jpg




Remembering Camelot!

Sat, 16 Nov 2013 22:14:53 UTC

2013-11-16T23:09:05Z

"Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot,"  Some of you won't know what Camelot is, but others of you will recall it vividly. Camelot was a play and movie, early 60's, based on King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot.  But as we approach the 50th anniversary of... "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot," Some of you won't know what Camelot is, but others of you will recall it vividly. Camelot was a play and movie, early 60's, based on King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot.  But as we approach the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, many of us will relive past memories.I was 11 and sometimes it seems I wasn't cognizant of politics or the big world around me.  I knew my family, my neighbors, my community, and my classroom, but that was it.  Very young and very naive, I was definitely wearing rose colored glasses most of the time!That day was also the first day I realized my ability to sense despair in others.It was a process I went through.  Growing up poor, and Roman Catholic, I was sheltered in so many ways.  I became aware of the national scene while watching the Kennedy / Nixon debates on the old black and white.  It was the first time I heard that Bostonian accent.  First time I heard of Nantucket.  I remember thinking that we had a connection.  Big family, football, and being Catholic.  I do recall the pride I felt when John F. Kennedy, a Catholic, won the election.  I worshiped our president and the First Lady. I can chart my political saviness through the LIFE MAGAZINE covers.  At that time LIFE was a weekly magazine and I would beat all my siblings and parents to the mailbox to get that magazine!  There were many a time that I blamed the mailman for not delivering it on the correct day.  But I knew that if I didn't get it first, I might not see it at all.  Everyone admired JFK's good looks and his ability to make a joke.  People found him endearing.  He openly admired his wife and her abilities also.  Even people that didn't vote for him, enjoyed how he handled dignitaries and other political figures!And then November 22 came, and our world was shattered.I remember that Friday distinctly!  Waiting for the bus that morning, I was cold and wondering if Thanksgiving would be at my house or at my grandma's.  My sisters were fighting over some stupid boy, and I worried about the spelling and science test I had to take that day.  I took the spelling test that morning, and felt relief.  Going out to recess, I played kickball, and kicked the ball into the lamppost that we used as third base.  I had to go ring the doorbell at the convent, and let me tell you that was scary!  So I reported what I had done.  Recess was over and we all went in.  I was being teased about having to serve detention again for breaking the lamp.  It wasn't my first time, but I didn't like giving up any playtime - ever!We go in and hang up our coats in the coat room, and I went to ask the sister who was in the hallway talking to another sister, if I could go talk to the principal.  I was ignored.  I stood by quietly waiting to be acknowledged.  I wasn't.  Then I realized at that moment, whatever was going on wasn't about a broken lamp.I went back to the room, quiet and subdued, wondering what would have make two nuns cry.  I remembering telling Kenny, my usual cohort in crime, that I thought someone died.  Totally clueless!We were sent home. [...]


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/13787205-large.jpg




Eye Heart!

Sun, 13 Oct 2013 16:13:19 UTC

2013-10-23T04:37:14Z

So I put it off as long as possible.  Another new experience!  I had my cataracts removed.  This was not fun!  I put it off as long as possible, but if I wanted to keep driving,  it had to be done.  So before we change times, I got it done.  My September was all about sight....of lack thereof! See, they...

So I put it off as long as possible.  Another new experience!  I had my cataracts removed.  This was not fun!  I put it off as long as possible, but if I wanted to keep driving,  it had to be done.  So before we change times, I got it done.  My September was all about sight....of lack thereof!

(image)  

See, they only do one eye at a time.  The doctor will put a person in that "twilight" sleep.  I don't really know what that means either.  So in I went in early September.

The surgery was minor, and I was in and out in a day.  I don't do well with being put to sleep at all.  I spent the next two days like a zombie, in and out of it.  Thankfully, I had help and people brought me dinner and cookies!  

The day after I had to go into the doctor office for a "quick" check.  Needed to make sure there wasn't any inflammation or an infection.  Like a good girl, I follow all directions to the letter.  I always try to please people!  

I wait patiently for the doctor to come in.  

As she walks in, she says "Hi Sybil"  How are you doing?

I correct her.

Then I realize that she was making a joke.  Yea, joke was on me!  Who knows how a person reacts while under the influence of good drugs?  Apparently, I talk......a lot! Who would guess?  

Well, obviously, my closest friends and family know I talk a lot, have an opinion on everything, and share frequently; but there are people who think I am contained, composed, and always in control.  Basically, I get that way when I am scared!  Guess they learned!  

Anyway, I got through the first surgery followed by the second surgery two weeks later and survived.  So did the medical staff.  

I'm glad I got it done.  I can see better far away, but up close, I still need my readers.  Overall, I'm proud of myself for getting it done when I did.  It's a good feeling to be able to see so clearly....especially since I can't hear worth crap!  

The eye of a human being is a microscope, which makes the world seem bigger than it really is.  Khalil Gibran





Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/13574738-large.jpg




Vacation Memories!

Sun, 13 Oct 2013 16:02:00 UTC

2013-10-13T16:03:55Z

 Memories of the Summer of 2013 flood back in the wake of the last weather incident. Fondly, so many great experiences. My trips this past summer were the best I've ever vacationed.  Heading south in the beginning of summer by myself was a reaffirmation that I can live and enjoy life on my terms by myself!  There were challenges but... View full sizeBay of Fundy at Low Tidekjk Memories of the Summer of 2013 flood back in the wake of the last weather incident. Fondly, so many great experiences.My trips this past summer were the best I've ever vacationed.  Heading south in the beginning of summer by myself was a reaffirmation that I can live and enjoy life on my terms by myself!  There were challenges but I was able to navigate through the troubling waters.Cruiser is my nickname for a reason.  I totally love everything about cruising.  Small windowless overnight rooms encourage a person to get out among the living.  Eating whenever I want some of the best delicacies around, seeing a new culture, and smelling salt air makes me want to go again and again.  The southern trip was amazing.  Loved, loved, loved going on my own!  Seeing family the one day was a treasure!  Eating, reading, dancing the night away was such a vacation!But, at the end of the summer, I headed north!  Seriously, Canada is so immense, so awesome, so friendly.  Some of the sights that I saw, I must see again.  Weather is cooler, cities are safer, and culture abounds!  I visited St. John's, New Brunswick.  This is a very small town along the St. John's River and the Bay of Fundy.  I've seen both now, but the Bay of Fundy is so much bigger than you can ever imagine.  Going at low tide affords one the opportunity to walk around the bottom of the bay.  The small stones are so sooth, colorful, and amazing. The rock formations are huge!  You can't go to St. John's either and not experience some local fare.  A Moosehead beer and some fish and chips finish off a perfect day.View full sizePeggy's Covekjk Next day, I was so excited to be seeing Halifax, Nova Scotia for the first time.  Halifax is a typical capital city with many, many tourist areas.  I will have to go back because they was much more for me to see.  I missed the Citadel and want to experience more of their history.First and foremost, everyone must visit Peggy's Cove once in their lives.  Peggy's Cove is absolutely awe-inspiring, huge, immense, and fantastic.  It's not just the lighthouse.  Visioning miles after miles of smooth, big rocks to lean against, climb, picture, and finally just sit on meditating, overcomes a person.  The downside was the bus trip.  I suck at bus trips!  But, I kept it together for such a momentous occasion.  Back in Halifax, walking the boardwalk along the river, I marveled at all the shops of the local artisans.  Canada is big on support for the local people and the wares they sell.  I ate local again in Halifax and did some serious shopping prior to heading back to the ship.  Wearing some of the souvenirs makes me want to cruise out again as soon as I can.  Cruiser is ready to go again!  Oh yea!  Who's ready? [...]


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/13574641-large.jpg




Summer's End

Sun, 25 Aug 2013 00:04:05 UTC

2013-08-25T00:31:57Z

As the sun sets on summer 2013, I have to reflect and reminisce.   Do I dare mention that it was the best summer of my adult life?   First of all, I was fortunate to work with a wonderful group of people all with the same goals!  My immediate co-workers were a fun-loving group but always respectful of one...

(image)
As the sun sets on summer 2013, I have to reflect and reminisce.   Do I dare mention that it was the best summer of my adult life?  

First of all, I was fortunate to work with a wonderful group of people all with the same goals!  My immediate co-workers were a fun-loving group but always respectful of one another.  We just gelled!  It was great watching us mingle with one another and as a multi-generational group, many just didn't understand!  How could the 60+ and the 18 year old have so much in common?  By the end of the summer, we could just exchange looks and know what the other was thinking.  Many times, I noticed the 50+ finish a sentence of one of the other younger counselors.  It was like a marriage!  

Working together as a group always has challenges.  It was basically our third year together, and the comfort level was there....but with boundaries.  I constantly see the respect and reliability of one another.  Oh none of us were perfect, but we all could recognize our strengths and our weaknesses.   I loved watching the 18 year old interact with the kids.  And the kids, oh my!  What a wonderful, lively, active group we had.  

Teaching kids to swim and dive is amazing.  But to see their progress from the beginning of the summer to the end of the summer is even more rewarding.  Who doesn't love playing baseball all summer long?  Going to the library once a week. Just the basic slow easy pace with a regular routine, makes a summer special!  Just getting the kids to slow down their pace and enjoy a lunch together without rushing was challenging.  Socializing at a regular pace was something we actually had to work on with them.  

So as this summer wraps up and we work toward a new challenge, another school year, with all its intricacies, I like to think about that one perfect dive, or the soft breeze with hearing children's laughter, or finally, another ball on the roof.  Perfect summer memories.  Memories that go forward and reflect back....back to our individual childhoods.  That's what it is all about.  

Not only was work wonderful, but personally, two cruises!  I thought the first cruise to the south was amazing.  What a step.  Going by myself had some challenges, but I proved to myself that I can enjoy whatever I want to do.  The icing on the cake was definitely seeing family!  Then heading north at the end of the summer, just so much fun.  Seeing a couple things on my bucket list was a dream come true.  

Making memories...no matter what age!

Sunsets!  


Media Files:
http://media.pennlive.com/newbeginnings/photo/13299467-large.jpg