Who would have imagined…

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #89: Imaginary

The word this week is imaginary. Respond in which ever way the muse moves you. Looking forward to your responses.

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March 27, 2020

My life is surreal enough as it is right now. Fear is everywhere. The enemy…invisible.

Not just in my own little universe. Throughout the world…women, men and children are dipping their collective toes into unfamiliar murky waters. Trying to figure out this new “normal” as Stay Safe replaces Have Fun or Have a Nice Day.

Breaking News assaults us nightly. No escaping it if you want to stay informed.

This morning I went out to get gas for my car. Not that I am going too far, but a full tank of gas is one thing I can actually do. Alone.

Imagine my surprise when I glanced at the prices. WTH? I haven’t seen gas selling below $2/gallon in…forever it seems.

Although these days a month ago feels like forever.

Never in my wildest dreams (which aren’t all that wild, but you get my drift) would I have ever imagined panic buying of toilet paper. This morning I asked a neighbor if she needed anything at the store (yes, I had to run in and out for salad and bananas).

She thought a moment and then…”macaroni…and toilet paper?”

As if the second request would be a total miracle.

It turns out miracles do happen. Limit of one package per customer. My neighbor is rejoicing. I do what I can.

Now I have a full tank of cheap gas. In case I want to drive around the block. The governor just closed all state beaches, so I can’t drive to one of my favorite spots. Well, I could drive there, but I’m not allowed to walk the beach.

Apparently people were recently congregating too close together on the sand. Ruining it for those of us who would find some momentary peace and comfort walking six feet apart in the fresh air.

Imagine what would happen if I just went down there anyway.

Would I get arrested? I’ve never been arrested.

Imagine the report: Senior Citizen arrested for walking on the beach. Even though she was minding her own business and was six feet away from the nearest human.

Maybe worth it?

Nah…I think I’ll pass.

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Hampton Beach, NH

These days my imagination continues to expand in epic proportions. Taking on a life of its own. Sometimes that’s not helpful…when it wakes me up at 3am.

This won’t last forever, I keep telling myself.

And then a sweet reminder…

How young children can cope in a world they don’t understand…

My daughter and my 3 ½ year old grandson took a walk yesterday. They live in Washington, DC. Their neighborhood…complete with sidewalks. Lined with trees.

She texted a photo and the story behind it…which she often does – and for which I am most grateful…

…On their walk my grandson carried a stick…

“a special sprayer he was using to spray the germs away….”

He also announced:

Mama, I will keep you safe from the germs. If you get covered in germs I will spray them all off of you. Then the germs will be all gone and we can go to parks, fields, schools, and go visit Grandma and Grampa.

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Imagine that. ❤️

 

Morning Moments

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #87: Morning

What do mornings mean to you?

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My soul never thinks of beginning to wake up for other people till lunch-time, and never does so completely till it has been taken out of doors and aired in the sunshine. Who can begin conventional amiability the first thing in the morning? It is the hour of savage instincts and natural tendencies

Countess Van Arnim

Amen!

There’s a reason I have no photographs of sunrises. I am still asleep – or not yet fully conscious – that early in the day. My mornings need to evolve. I shift into fully awake mode after drinking an oversize mug of coffee. Plus finishing breakfast and the morning newspaper’s mix of news…both happy and not.

Empty nest retirement definitely has its pluses.

When I was growing up, however, my weekdays began at high speed. School day mornings…a blur…

Get Ready For School Hurry Up You’ll Miss The Bus! Finish your breakfast! Come Back You Forgot Your Lunch! Hurry! The Bus Is Coming! The Bus Is Coming!

Childhood weekends – thankfully – were a different story…

Early on a Saturday morning…the year I was 9: my 7 ½ year old sister, 6 year old brother and I would tiptoe down the hall of our small ranch style home. Careful not to disturb our sleeping parents.

If our 2+ year old baby sister was awake and willing to be quiet, she joined us.

SHHHHH!

A carpeted hallway covered the short distance from our bedrooms to the living/dining room. After just a few quick trips we had gathered all the toys we needed. Since the black & white television was in my parents’ room at the time, we were on our own to entertain ourselves.

And entertain we did.

The Barbies – (with friend Midge) – strutted around straight legged showing off their tiny don’t-step-on-them-with-your-bare-feet shoes and stretchy outfits. Ken made an appearance, but usually as an afterthought. My sister’s pink Barbie car transported B&K in a circular route under the dining room table…often without their clothes on. Sometimes Ken’s arm was removed and inserted in his torso backwards. Creativity on the loose. I’ll admit those adventures were mostly my idea. My sister loved Barbie like crazy, but I was quickly bored. Hence the unusual Saturday morning escapades. Which we all considered quite clever and hysterical.

My brother brought to the excitement an assortment of small green plastic army men, a GI Joe and an array of stuffed animals – many based on cartoon characters. Yogi Bear. Huckleberry Hound. Barney Rubble. Bugs Bunny – with a string…which when pulled…gave voice to What’s Up Doc?

Despite the differences in size and species, plush bunnies & bears interacted with dolls without a single problem. In whispers and hushed tones. Barbie to Yogi: Where’s the pic-a-nic basket?. Bugs to Ken: Got any carrots?. And so on.

Miraculously the 3 (or 4) of us played seamlessly together during those early childhood mornings. We didn’t argue. Or poke each other. We took turns. It was quite remarkable. And unusual.

Our common goal: Don’t wake up mommy and daddy! 

Those Saturday hours with my sisters and brother are precious in memory. They represent moments of our best times together.

Reality and its rivalries shifted back to normal when my parents woke up. And the day started for real.

Until the next weekend…when the crowd gathered once again.

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Saturday Morning – circa 1963

Clichéd

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #86: Cliché

Those pesky clichés pop up everywhere. This week let’s have fun with them.

~~~

Not all clichés make sense to me…

 

milk

 

Don’t cry over spilled milk comes to mind…

I never believed that one, as my mother always cried over the spilling of beverages of any kind – especially milk – when I was a kid. Fit to be tied, she’d start freaking out and crying if one of her children reached thoughtlessly for the salt shaker and accidentally knocked over his or her cup. She’d have a cow as milk soaked the tablecloth and puddled on the floor.

Plain and simple…I grew up believing milk spilling was a major personal flaw deserving of tearful high drama.

Take it from me…crying over spilled milk happens more often than you think. Rest assured…that cliché does not always ring true.

The calm before the storm? – right before the milk spilled. That one makes sense. Mealtime with my siblings was usually giggly and spirited, but calm…ish.

On the other hand

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

And hopefully…time heals all wounds…

Or perhaps…laughter IS the best medicine.

To help you live happily ever after…

One day at a time.

And now…to circle back

Be careful with that glass of milk…

Better safe than sorry.

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Two Peas in a Pod

 

Sunny Day

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #84: Sun

Let’s evoke the power of the sun this week, with images, poems, and stories to warm us up.

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It’s warmer here Mom, my daughter informed me last week.

I was preparing to visit her & her family in Washington DC to babysit my 3 ½ year old grandson for 3 days of his pre-K school vacation.

I interpreted that to mean Spring warmth. Big mistake. It was still too cold…for me. I did not pack accordingly. Obviously too much wishful thinking.

I arrived on Tuesday to temps in the 40s, but with little or no sun.  Which continued into Wednesday, along with a cold biting wind that slowly but surely froze my hands and ears walking with this very active little boy…5 blocks to the library for story time. Next on to the park to climb, slide and run around (him not me) on Wednesday and again on Thursday. The grey day cold seeped in deeper as I had to retrace our steps to get on the right street (he redirected me). Five blocks turned into six…seven….

What is it about a cloudy cold day that can drain your energy more than usual? Even when you are doing exciting things like walking down the street hand in hand with a conversational little boy…following an orange garbage truck to watch the stopping and emptying of trash cans.

Or…Waiting and observing and discussing why 3 workers across the street are just standing around an open manhole cover clearly marked with caution tape…
Grandma what are they doing?
Waiting to see what happens next.
Grandma why are they doing nothing?

The temperature feels colder under a cloudy sky when you stop at every alley to watch for cars or trucks or whatever may come zooming out. Or walk the wrong way…twice…
Grandma that’s the coffee shop! We have to go that way over there!

I have no sense of direction – I freely admit that – but my brain was also frozen. That’s my excuse this week. As well as not being properly dressed for walking the streets of DC in February. My grandson remained unfazed by the cold and our adventurous routes around the neighborhood.

The overcast skies continued…until yesterday…

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What a difference that sun can make.

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We played closer to home during my last day of Grandma time.

It felt just a bit warmer…

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I love sunny days.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback: February 14

Inspired by Fandango’s Friday Flashback: February 14

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? …Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?

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This post is from February 14, 2019 in response to the photo a day challenge (which is the same this year: Hearts ) and Ragtag Daily Prompt: Intimate.

And, after all, it was Valentine’s Day.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Love and Hearts and Grandparents

 

If we have someone who loves us — I don’t mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be on our side — then it’s easier to grow resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it’s self-esteem that allows a person to stand up.

Maya Angelou

 

from Grammy 1966

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from Great Grandma 1967

I have much to be grateful for in my life. The love of family is at the top of the list. As a child…and then as an adult…I was well loved by my grandparents. Held up. Cherished. Accepted.

All four of my grandparents – and my one living great grandparent – took the time to write to me. Personal letters. Postcards. Valentines. Birthday cards….
I heard from them on a regular basis…knowing I was important in their lives. And not forgotten, even though we lived miles apart.

Treasured pages of handwritten news, stories, questions about my life and plans for the future….
Offering encouragement and understanding
And unconditional love.

 

Photo a day challenge – Hearts

RDP – Intimate