Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day, WZPL 99.5 style


On Friday, my daughter, Sara, surprised me by reading an essay she entered on "My mom's the bomb," a WZPL 99.5 radio show.  The "trick" to get me down there was a "breakfast for the entrants."  Since I listen to the show, I had a feeling it was a little more than that.

My "baby daughter, Sara" had written a beautiful entry - for me.  What can I say to brag about her?  If I do it too loudly, it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn - Which the Smiley show was doing at 7:30 as we drove in traffic to get there.  She did make me cry, and laugh.  Good essay, Sara!  I just wish I'd have thought to take a photo with Dave Smiley, KJ, Toni, and Producer Will. 

Although we didn't get the trip to New York City, I did receive these beautiful flowers, a DONUT (you'll see it in my hand) and a very generous gift card to Biaggi's!  It was a great time with Sara, and perhaps we spread a good word for straight spouses and GLBTs at the same time. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

It's been so long since I've posted that I had over 100 unmonitored comments.  While a lot were spam, a bunch were for the delete pile, there were a few that needed to be posted.  If your comment just appeared somewhere, that is why.

Writing a post takes me a lot of time, and I just don't get my thoughts organized to do that.  That's why I've let the blog go without new posts.

This winter I got a knee replacement.  It's doing pretty well.  I have good bending and straightening, and just need to grow stronger.  As I get stronger, I've been told the soreness will diminish. 

Also this winter I got two more grandkids!  Grand total is now EIGHT!  I love them all so much.

The winter was LONG and COLD!  Longest, coldest (I think) on record for Indiana. 

Yesterday I bought some starts of asparagus and I will plant them in my yard.  Too bad it'll be a year before I can harvest any.  Maybe I'll blog when I pick them (but don't count on any posts soon.)  
Btw, this is not my own garden, 'though it is similar to mine.  I just copied someone else's photo.   

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day

Note:  I wrote this yesterday, on Father's Day, but I didn't know if I should post it.  Tonight, I read Liz's post, and told her:  Wow - it's like we wrote the same thing!  So, I'm going ahead and publishing this entry, and although Liz's writing is more descriptive, I think you'll see that we were on the same page.  

Oh, and mine is even MORE late. 

It's Father's Day and facebook is filled with posts about dads.  I just lost my dad on May 14, and it leaves me without anyone to parent me.  This past Mother's Day, I heard Garrison Keilor say, because he lost his mom last summer, "nobody feels much sympathy for a 70 year old orphan.".  I suppose that's true, but missing your Dad on Father's Day is universal once he's gone.  I sure miss mine.  

Looking at photos of my kids' dad on facebook,  I miss Ray. But I miss him in a different way because we don't have him around to share this Dad-honoring day with his grown-up kids.  

Ray is and always was a good dad.  Besides so many good qualities, Ray brought fun to our home, and took notice if I was too uptight or stern in keeping things in order.  (With four kids, who knew order?)  Ray always planned time for the kids, making tours around their school calendars way in advance.  We took trips keeping in mind what the kids would enjoy.  

One of Ray's specialities was helping Karen finish her science projects (which always ended up being done at the last minute), or achieve the "Super Reader Badge" from the Victory Drill Book.

When Phil was little, Ray said he'd rather be home every Friday night, watching "Dukes of Hazard" with 4-year-old Philip, than traipsing off to sing or be on the road.  He liked just being with his kids.

Ray called "Elizabeth" his little dandelion, because her super-curly hair practically floated away from her head.  He loved to brush and fix her hair - if she would let him.  

Sara, our 4th, came along, and Ray never let it show that financially things would be tighter than ever.  He just worked harder to make our family work.  Since we didn't have a separate nursery, and she shared our room for about a year or more, she sometimes would wake up if he came in from a concert late.  No matter, he just got her up - to PLAY!   

It's been a long time since Ray and I were bringing up those little kids.  Now there are six GRANDKIDS to watch, and it's up to our kids to be the parents.  YAY for that!  The little ones all know their Pappaw Ray lives in Florida.  They LOVE it when he visits them, taking them to McDonalds, or the zoo, or wherever the "fun place" is for the day.  They adore him and their faces light up when they see him.  

Now, not to be a downer, but not all divorced gay granddads are as fortunate.  Yes, some have abandoned their responsibilities, abandoned their families, leaving them in terrible straits.  And just as bad, some families ostracize the dad/grandpa/brother, etc., by shunning him for coming out after having had a family.  How awful. 

When Ray and I saw our first counselor after his disclosure, she asked me three questions:
1) How do you feel about being here?
2) Do you think if Ray prayed hard enough, that he could change to straight?
3) What do you see as the best possible outcome?

I was crying plenty as I tried to answer each question...
1) Awful
2) No
3) I wanted Ray close enough to still enjoy our kids.  I didn't want to make him stay around so long that we became bitter, and I couldn't bear that we'd end up fighting and hating one another.  Mostly, I hoped that we'd still be family.  

I would say that we've done a pretty good job to accomplish #3.    

 It could have been different, but  even though he had to miss some events, when he was home he played video games,

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Handwritten letters.

Remember LETTERS? 

I watched an old movie by Wes Anderson.  Two 12-year-old campers fell for each other, and one wrote:  "Write to me," and gave an actual street address.  The setting was 1965, when I would have been 12 years old!  And I remember going to the mailbox back in those days, hoping for a letter. 

Sometimes a letter came from my Aunt Evelyn who lived in Kentucky.  She didn't have any little girls, and she was just about my only aunt.  How I loved seeing the return address, in her handwriting, "615 Maple Ave."  She had taught me her address, in case I ever got lost, the summer I spent a week at her house when I was 7.  Back then, a long-distance phone call was a big deal, where sometimes two of us would horn in on the extension phone, and we had to make everything count when we took up those expensive minutes that showed up on the bill a month later.  But a letter you could hold and read, re-read, and keep in a drawer.

Letters from my brother in Viet Nam were welcomed in the late 60s.  His handwriting was distinctively his own, and my mom couldn't wait to hear from him so far away and in danger daily.  Once, he even wrote just to ME, his little sister.  I treasured that letter.

When I had a boyfriend, we'd send letters back and forth, and I always used special paper.  I remember using a light blue with torn edges.  It was exciting to get home, check the mailbox, and read the sweet words, carefully selected, and then write a reply.  

What is it about getting a personal handwritten note that means so much?  Today we don't do it enough.  Even though we still have "snail mail," and cards and letter are not totally forgotten, it's not the norm. I know that checking the inbox can be a thrill.  Texts are INSTANT, and they usually go through without fail.  But it's not the same as when we had to wait DAYS for a letter, saw your own name in familiar handwriting, and recognized the return address.  I don't want to ever forget how much that meant and how it felt. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

My view on Lance Armstrong: "The truth is better than lies."

Bad week for Lance Armstrong, with all the stripping of the titles, wins, endorsements.  Bummer.  It's brought down everything to do with cycling, much less his cancer foundation, Livestrong.  I figure he's been lying now for his whole career as a cyclist, and he's brought down everyone who has ever been associated with him.  Bummer.  (I have no idea what will happen to Livestrong, which has done so much good for cancer patients.)

Last night on NBC's RockCenter, Betsy Andreu and Emma O'Reilly told the story they've been telling for the past 15+ years, and are finally being heard.  I tell you, in the past, I didn't listen, either.  Like Emma says here, it was a lot prettier to listen to a "fairy tale" and 7 Tour de France wins, that to listen to two women who were trying to tell what they knew. They were villified by Lance himself (in court depositions), and silenced by court filings. 

It took the confessions of the 26 riders - and teammates, including Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Dave Zabriskie, George Hincapie and more - to bring out what seems to be known by all the insiders.  The truth has come forward, and we HAVE to hear it.  Painful, sad, damaging, but true. 

I have no stake in this but my memories of Le Tour de France, wonderful summers, and a lot of enthusiasm.  Lance Armstrong has brought down a whole sport and the industry of cycling, all the marketing, all the support services that go into bringing the Tour to the world, and the individual cyclists that have brought out the truth over the hidden world of doping. 

What have I lost?  I've lost what it all meant.  These guys were really my heroes, and just like other sports that people love, I admired all of them.  I don't throw it all away, except for the hero part.  And just like I say about a lot of other things, the truth is better. 

If you are interested...
Here's more video detail:  Armstrong teammates testified.   and more.