Mother’s Day is odd at this stage in my life. I think of my two adult children…my 2 adventures in motherhood. They live 500 miles away, so an in-person celebration rarely happens…pandemic or no pandemic. A quiet day at home with phone calls will be what I look forward to. Having children of my own made this a holiday to enjoy. Now it’s a long distance joy.
These beautiful flowers arrived from my daughter and her family with a sweet message of love and gratitude. Their lovely card arrived yesterday. I am very happy with that…along with memories of so many Mother’s Days gone by. I can see in my mind’s eye all the hugs, handmade cards, thoughtful gifts, breakfast in bed (complete with a printed menu one year), traditional photos in front of the forsythia (if it was blooming!) in the side yard. My in-laws, who only lived 30 minutes away, would come over to share in the celebration. “Here’s your Mother’s Day!” my mother-in-law once announced upon arrival…handing me a gorgeous hanging fuchsia plant to display on our deck. I always got a kick out of her – she got right to the point. I smile thinking back on it.
I noticed this flower arrangement includes my favorite “fun flowers” – snapdragons! Even now, I just can’t resist pinching one and seeing it “talk.” Smiles there too.
It certainly looks like this tree fought long and hard during its demise. I discovered its stump along the way during a recent walk in the woods. I’m not sure why the tree was cut down, but whenever I see something like this I always wonder what it lived through. Those rings signify age, but that’s all I know.
This painting caught my eye at the Shelburne Museum (Shelburne, Vermont) during a visit in 2019. I was struck by the tenderness captured between mother and child. As a former nursing mother, it brought back sweet memories.
Back in November 2021, I opened my email and spotted a notice from Ticketmaster that caught my eye…
Just Announced Bonnie Raitt: Just Like That…Tour 2022.
The venue was only 20 minutes away at Hampton Beach. Relatively small compared to the arenas and concert halls where she often performs. Mmmm…an April 2022 date. Close quarters with a crowd of people nonetheless. So what should I do? Five months away…the pandemic should be over by then…or over enough with help from vaccines and a booster shot…I thought. Right? RIGHT?
I hadn’t been to a concert since 2018.
At exactly 10am on the pre-sale date, I logged on to Ticketmaster and managed (after a few failed attempts) to snag 2 tickets in the back row. They don’t send paper tickets any more. Dinosaur that I am, I was faintly annoyed. After all, how do you add a virtual ticket to your ticket stub collection dating back to the 1980s?
So, this past Saturday night, while the Easter Bunny was making its rounds, my husband and I drove 20 minutes through the rain and made the leap back into “normal” – packed into a sold-out show with 2,000+ fans. It reminded me of the 2007 AARP convention we went to in Boston (Rod Stewart! Earth, Wind & Fire!). Most everyone was “of a certain age” and I must admit it was heartening to see all my fellow survivors of the past two years out in force. I even managed to sneak a few quick phone photos to mark the occasion before the event staff pounced. We were 2 out of maybe a dozen people wearing masks. Why did we wear masks? Because, contrary to (some) popular opinion, the pandemic is NOT over and we just made the best of it.
The concert was fantastic and upbeat and glorious. Bonnie, at 72, is an inspiration. Rocking and singing and playing slide guitar and piano. Her voice did not disappoint. I am no music critic, but she sounded just like she did when I first heard her music blasting out of my apartment mate Deb’s bedroom in 1975. Bonnie’s bluesy sound was new to me at the time, but before I knew it I was hooked.
Those lyrics! I can’t make you love me if you don’t…. Even decades later the tears came again just the same. And then there’s her rendition of the late John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” with one of my favorite lines of all time…how the hell can a person go to work in the morning, then come home in the evening and have nothing to say? Gets me every time and it did so again Saturday night.
We were afraid nobody would come! – her words at the close of the show, when thanking us all for being there. I imagine she had no idea what would be happening pandemic-wise in April either – when planning this tour for promoting her new album Just Like That… (scheduled for release Friday April 22nd). Judging from the several new songs (especially “Made Up Mind”) she played for us, it was worth the wait!
But there we were. Me, in my faded Nick of Time t-shirt from her 1989 concert, singing along through my mask. Best of all, she performed the title song from that Grammy winning album and made my night. Nick of Time was recently added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Her comment after wowing us with that performance was something along the lines of…Isn’t it amazing how writing a song about getting older would change my life…. Even more amazing – to me – is the fact that she wrote it while in her 30s. And I connected with it when I was also in my 30s and still do now. I found the ticket stub to her tour for that show too.
Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste…
Lost. Now here’s a topic I am intimately familiar with. My claim to fame, such as it were. Spatially challenged? Don’t try to follow me to the elevator when I leave a hotel room. It will take a couple of tries before I get there. Those doors all look the same. They do!
My earliest dreams – probably at the age of 6 or 7 – were nightmarish…riding the bus home from school and being dropped off in a neighborhood that at first looked like mine. I’d walk from house to house looking for My House. The familiar ranch with the brick front porch. I became hopelessly lost in those dreams and woke up in a panic. Funny how those memories stay intact.
It didn’t improve with age. I needed a map or written directions for (many) months when driving to a new job 20 minutes away – this was back in 1995. One family joke is…what would happen to some poor soul who asked ME for directions? It’s happened and I freeze.
So, imagine my eternal gratitude and celebration when the Garmin navigator device was invented – replacing the ever reliable AAA Trip-tick with its booklet full of detailed maps. And then miracle of miracles…GPS google maps! Live action and an insistent voice that keeps Recalculating! At least I don’t have to do it.
My email spam folder often provides comic relief – begging me to click on links and apply to work for a major ride sharing company. Can you imagine? They obviously did very little research – if any – as to who they target for advertising. Even with a GPS chirping away, it would be risky business hiring me as a driver.
No matter…I still have a stash of street maps jammed in the seat pocket of my car…just in case. And they always work.