Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fifty is Nifty

Yikes!  I turned 50.  How the heck did that happen?  (This picture is not me by the way.)

I've been overly emotional today.  I've cried (with joy) over how blessed I am.  To be clear, I hope I have a long life ahead of me.  But, if I go tomorrow, I have lived a charmed life.

The facebook posts, the cards, the calls, the texts have been almost overwhelming.  Being a writer at heart, I  thought I'd share a few thoughts about living half a century and some nice memories.  (These are in no particular order.)

My parents.  Every great part of me comes from my parents; every bad part is some genetic mutation that is not their fault.  We are a small family but we are mighty.  There are no two better people in the world and I love hanging with them.  They have also loved (fiercely!) so many of my friends and continue to do so.  Many of my friends don't have their parents on their 50th birthday.  This is not lost on me.

My besties.  I'm not sure I could imagine this life without Janis Gonzalez and Deb Merino.  We've seen each other through so much.  And to think it all started with Sheri crying at Deb's birthday party because I didn't get a pink balloon.  I was 5.  A drama queen in the making.  I've never had to go through a major life event without their support, advice and counsel.  I hope I never do.

Jennifer Collity and Tyler Roman.  I love you both.  Being your stepmom (you  both know I hate that term) has been one of the greatest gifts of my life.  Getting to be friends with your moms  has made my life even better!

Howe Buddies.  Thanks to facebook and the annual Howe Block party, I have reconnected with so many of my fellow Hornets.  I'm pretty sure I was a dork in high school, yet so many of you embrace me!

The Pasadena Gang.  Until I got older, much older, I had no idea that all kids didn't grow up in a neighborhood where every mom could scold you or hug you.  I didn't know that there were kids who missed playing tag, catching fireflies, or creating adventures on a daily basis.  I am so glad we had no cell phones or cameras.

IU/Porkies.  My parents didn't go to college.  I remember the day they dropped me off at IU and I don't know if I was more nervous or they were.  But God said, "Here, let me introduce you to some of the best friends you will ever have."  Miraculously, we still are.

My Wives-in-Law.  Becca Roman and Laura Roman have shared so much with me. Most importantly, they have allowed me to mother their children and I will be eternally grateful.

My Faith Family.  If you have a church, you understand.  If you don't, I wish you did.  This congregation and the fellowship complete me.  Every Sunday and every day in between.

Cousins.  The old saying is that cousins are your first friends.  I know that's true for me.  First, second and third cousins - I'm loaded with them.  I love them all.

My beloved Gabs and all the dogs that came before.  Occasionally, I dream of Candy.  She was my childhood dog and she died when I was 19.  I like to think that all of them - Holly, Willy, Brandy, Sassy, Sheba, Ashley, and more will meet me at the Rainbow Bridge.  Some want to be greeted by St. Peter.  I'd like to be greeted by my dogs.

Aunts and Uncles.  Again, I got lucky.  Aunt Ann, Aunt Hazel, Aunt Connie and Aunt Judy have spoiled me rotten.  I think I am the mini me of my Aunt Cess who continues to bless me with her calm wisdom.  I inherited a teensy portion of her writing talent.  I wish I had inherited her wisdom.  And my crazy uncles!  Uncle Harry who continues to tease me about my wild hair, Uncle Don who always greets me with, "there's my favorite niece", Uncle Kerry, who has always been there for me.  I still miss my Uncle Ken, who was so easy for me to talk to, but I love my Uncle David who has blessed the life of my Aunt Cess.

Highland/Workout Friends.  I am not really a country club kind of girl.  But I did it for about 20 years.  In a pinch, I can swing a golf club if someone needs a fourth in an outing.  While I faked my way through playing golf, I made some amazing friends.  I'm looking forward to seeing many of them next weekend.

Mentors.  Attending Syd Cook's memorial service was one of the hardest things I did this year. I hope he knew how much I admired him and how much he inspired me.

People I miss.  The list is endless.  Bobbie & Pa, Grandma & Grandpa, Mike and Eve, Uncle Ken, Uncle Bob, Patsy Stewart and countless more!

So that's it.  My silly thoughts about turning 50.  I left out a lot -- mostly my love of wine, ice cream, books and music.  My great job and my amazing coworkers.  How much I love my home.  Friends like Abby and Mary Anne.  The joy of every photo of those gorgeous Collity boys.  The wrinkles and pooches -- I've earned every one.

Life goes on... if you're lucky.  And, I am.  If you're reading this, you've left a stamp on my heart.

"God only knows what I'd be without you."


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Happy Father's Day Dad

I'm closing in on turning 50. Just merely days away. I still rely on my Dad. Some might find that sweet, others may find it weird. To me, it is my life and my Dad is a huge part of it. Always has been. I have girlfriends who have lost their fathers - some shamefully young! Some still have their fathers but they live across the country, or their father is lost in the shell of Alzheimer's or another dreaded disease. Many of my friends are now caring for their fathers so they've taken on the parental role. I have two bookcases in my trunk that I will ask my Dad to put together. I will come home one day this week to find a note in my kitchen, (always beginning, Dear Sheri Baby,) and I will know he has trimmed bushes or planted something. I am a spoiled-rotten Daddy's girl. When I was little, he was this bronzed giant of a man. All tan and muscular from working outside. He would sweep me up in a giant bear hug and I knew in my heart that no man would ever love me as much. Sadly, I was right. To this day, he is my touchstone and my first love. He has loved me through bad choices, and far too often, been the knight when I needed rescued. He rights wrongs and has difficult conversations with a grace I will never master. Some people admire men who make a lot of money, create a new invention and/or inspire a social or political movement. That's all good. I admire some of them too. My hero, my Dad, walks the walk with integrity. He talks the talk with honesty. He loves with compassion and he cares with his heart and soul. As an added bonus, he has a freakin' funny sense of humor.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bathing Suits

I'm convinced it's almost impossible to NOT have fun in a bathing suit. From my first memories of splashing around with my parents on a Florida vacation or sipping cocktails in Highland's cocktail corner, it was all delightful. After a certain age, no one cares what you look like in a bathing suit. I am well past that age. If you have a spouse/significant other/partner, they've seen it all. If you're just hanging out with friends, they truly don't care. If you're looking for a date, you won't be wearing a bathing suit if you're over that certain age. I've been in your backyard pools and I've sat in hot tubs in Colorado while it snowed around us. I've scuba'd, snuba'd, hang glided and snorkeled in waters so amazing it made me dizzy. I've hung out in local lakes and many of my friends' lake cottages. Growing up, we went to the Longacre pool or the Ellenberger pool. From a wimpy little kid who tried every stomachache and various ailments to get out of swim lessons to the girl who had her period every pool session in high school, I emerged as someone who loves the water, loves the adventure of travel and treasures the water memories. We've had a long, cold winter. I'm ready to put on a bathing suit and have some fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Boys to Men to Good Friends

I've been blessed with a life of incredible men. In case you ever question that in your life, take an afternoon off work, watch bad tv and be grateful that you've never gone on national tv to watch a man you've had sex with, possibly had a baby with, dance with glee because "he is not the father!" I have the best father ever. That's my opinion and I'm eternally grateful. But, this post is about the rest of you. In kindergarten, Chris Fulton snuck a kiss in the cubby holes. I do believe that was my first kiss. Greg Davis, my childhood crush forever, put up with whatever my parents asked. He cut our lawn, he and Angel did the square dancing thing, and we all rode around in the back of a pick up truck. Angel looked the other way when Greg kissed me. Ron Seats and Rich Seats were like brothers. We had those babysitting memories with Kim, phantom babysitters and heaven knows what we did to Grandma Love. I miss Ronnie and am eternally grateful for my neighborhood siblings - Rich and Kim. Happily-married men are often retrospective. I had a converstation with someone I have known my whole life and he asked, "Why didn't we date in high school?" I know why. He does too. We tried to expand our horizons. We actually played spin the bottle and I was thrilled when my spin landed on David Hinesley. I was goofy, grossed out and simultaneously honored that he stuck his tongue in my mouth. I told my mother and she told me to never let it happen again. Sadly, it didn't. I didn't date a lot of men in high school. I will say that the first man I dated seriously, Jeff Glass, was (and is) a really good man. He is the first man I thought I was in love with. His wife is a very lucky woman. My first true love was, and is, also a great man and his wife is blessed as well. I've not even mentioned all the male friends who seem to stay in my corner, no matter what. You know who you are and I love you. I've known some yucky men too. But, that is another post. Someday. Thank you boyfriends, boys who remain friends and hats off to the women who realize what a treasure you are.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Honey, Baby, Sweetie, Darling

I found this in my archives of posts I'd written but never posted. I find endearments ... well, endearing. I used to love it when my parents or other loved ones use them. There's a country song I love, I think it's called "Love like Crazy," and one of the best lines is "Never get too old to call her 'Baby'"

I'm not crazy about total strangers using these titles. The waitress at Bob Evans shouldn't call me "Hon'" but I recognize she is trying her best so I let it go. If a false sense of friendship or intimacy helps her tips/bottom line, so be it.

It is completely inappropriate in a business situation but every woman you know will tell you that it happens every day. I have been called, "Honey" and (my personal favorite) "Kiddo" by men way younger than me.

Here's a confession. I've found myself doing it, although NEVER in a professional situation. But as you refill my coffee, I might say "Thanks, Hon." Then I will kick myself. Is this a middle age or older thing?

Darling, or as it is supposed to be pronounced, "Darlin'" is my favorite. I save it for those I hold dear. It's my southern roots and the Ellis/Ridenour & Roman/Easterling southern roots.

Hello Again

For whatever reason, a number of you have asked me to blog again. I admit to missing it tremendously. I also admit to knowing so many others who do it better, who are funnier, who do it with more purpose and who put me to shame. As I have been reminded, it's not a competition. And, I am not going to apologize for not knowing how to add music and other stuff. I will have to wait until one of my goddaughters or younger friends visits.
In a few weeks, I get to take a trip with my besties. This picture is from a trip a couple of decades ago when Jan & I humiliated Deb. What are best friends for? I wish I could be like my friend Kristen and share world travels, great recipes and the joy of family. I wish I could be like my friend Janis and share family stories and words of enthusiasm. I wish I could be like my Aunt Cess and share the joys of finding love and adventure after a lifetime of love and adventure with your first love. I wish I had time to read all the blogs, tweets, and other things that grab my attention. But,I will share a few thoughts. Maybe some perspective on the divorced life. You can count on things about dogs.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Turning a Blind Eye

Admit it. It's so easy to do. Someone in need is right in front of you and you change directions, look the other way, duck & cover. Often, we then say a prayer of thanks that this person, this particular situation is not ours.

I am absolutely appalled at the Penn State scenario. Heartbroken for the victims and heartbroken for those who will carry the stigma, whether they were involved or not. I don't think putting Penn State grad or Penn State athlete on your resume is going to cause you anything but trouble for the coming years.

Of this whole saga, the most troubling thing to me was the protests and riots over the 84-year old, turn a blind eye, make a b'jillion dollars coach being fired. I would feel a whole lot better about our society if the riots were for the victims.

I feel certain I would properly report a child being abused or molested. I'm quite smug about helping children, animals and anyone I sense to be in need.

Yet, I drive everyday by people with those signs: "Homeless & hungry." "A veteran who needs a leg up." "Hungry kids, will work for food."

I drive by. I often don't believe the signs.

I'm questioning whether I'm any better than others who witness awfulness.