"Year of a Million Dreams" is the 2007 motto for Disney.
So, I want to thank Jammin' and Buttercup for giving me one of my millions of dreams this year.
MY VERY OWN MINNIE MOUSE HAT !
I couldn't wait to wear it.
Aunt Pat was a strong and intelligent woman. She was a feminist long before the word was in the dictionary. She never married. I know she had offers. She was brilliant and somewhat intimidating. (She helped develop a small portable kidney dialysis machine in the early sixties.)
When she was in her early 50’s, she met Anne on an overseas guided tour. The two hit it off.
A widow, Anne was a mother and a grandmother with a lifestyle much different. Intelligence, spunk, and delight in the world around them drew them together. They became fast friends.
For over 25 years, they met each week for dinner. They vacationed together. The two could talk for hours, and did.
Pat’s body grew weary several years ago. In our concern, we asked her to move the 250 miles to our hometown so that she would be close to family.
“I’ll think about it,” was her response. I doubt she thought about it once. The reality was that Anne was her family.
On one occasion we were talking and Pat said, “If either Anne or I had been born a man we would have been married.”
She and I laughed about the remark, but I knew she was serious. Pat loved her friend deeply.
The past five years Anne transported Pat to each medical appointment. That is only one of many items on a long list of “Anne dids.”
Each time we would call and check in, Pat informed us that Anne was taking care of ‘things.’
For the past year, Anne has been our source for keeping track of Aunt Pat. Anne’s report last week prompted the hubby to visit Pat on the weekend. They spent several hours of quality time.
Today if you asked me about friendship, I would describe it for you in one word: Anne.
Good-bye to a Grand Grand Lady. Thank you, Anne, for loving her.
Brisbane, Australia - Ruby player Ben Czislowski kept competing for more than three months despite the headaches that started after a clash with an opponent. Last week, his doctor found a tooth embedded in Czislowski's head***I suppose finding any teeth left in a rugby players head would be a surprise.
Spring break of 1990, like every other spring when the girls were young, we went to the
Whale watching out of
That morning we ate breakfast in the beachfront condominium while watching turbulent breakers hit the shore. Even though the storm was miles out at sea, its effect was churning the sand and crashing high in the rocks. This, too, was a new experience for us.
The ocean refused to mellow and a three-hour postponement of the charter resulted.
After lunch, we returned to the launch area. The captains conferred and decided the trip was on.
There were several boats between 40 and 50 feet in length at the pier. Our group of four boarded with about 15 other people. The other boats were also at full capacity. The hubby and I insisted that our daughters wear life jackets, as did we. I was shocked that many of the passengers did not.
As soon as we left the more tranquil harbor, I knew it was a mistake. I did not know that I would get so sick.
A fishing boat that belonged to the fleet radioed a whale sighting due west. The captains pointed their boats out to sea and the diesel engines droned and whined depending on our position in the swells.
The rolling waves were so deep that we lost sight of the others as we dropped into deep and angry watery canyons. Up and down, up and down, down, down, down, and then up. My lunch was threatening the “up” part, too.
Our youngest, Amanda, turned grey and the hubby took her into the small wheelhouse (?) at the center of the boat where she could sit down. Another man joined them and brought his son, who promptly regurgitated his lunch all over our expensive camera and bag.
I wanted none of that. The hubby said there would be less motion at the back of the boat so I hugged the railing and found my way there. The ride was somewhat more stable, but the diesel fumes from the struggling engine increased my discomfort.
Suddenly, a large cooler stored against the cabin slammed across the deck and knocked the woman next to me off her feet. I was too sick to offer a hand. The captain moved somewhat skillfully across to help her up.
After a brief apology, he chained the offending container with the help of his one crew member. Then, he picked up his thermos coffee cup and began to climb one-handed up the ladder that lead to the bridge. The boat lurched violently and he fell from the fourth rung and landed on the same woman that he had only a moment ago helped to her feet.
In the meantime, middle daughter Jen positioned herself on the narrow walk on the side of the boat and held tight to the railing. In her trusty raincoat, she was having the thrill of her life. She was unfazed by the vomiting people surrounding her. She dodged the majority of it and leaned into the spray from the water smashing against the hull. The young woman standing to her immediate right had been conversing with her by yelling over the engine and the ocean.
“I never get seasick,” the twenty-something woman shouted through the din. Without warning, she turned and lost all the contents of her stomach.
When Jen laughed at her, the conversation ended.
Several times from his higher viewpoint, the captain yelled “whale to starboard” or something like that. Unfortunately, I was not letting go of my rail. Besides, each whale disappeared in the swell before anyone on the deck could ever figure out where it was.
I was deliriously happy when the captain announced we were turning for home.
We rode a little smoother in the swells heading toward land. However, each boat still had to challenge the treacherous and narrow harbor entrance.
Arriving in the calm harbor, I expected to feel better. But, that didn’t happen.
I felt woozy for at least 24 hours. Amanda experienced nausea for two days.
I learned several valuable lessons from this whale-watching charter: (1) some of us cannot sail in rough seas, and (2) seasickness is physically debilitating, and (3) sometimes even sea going veterans don’t always read the ocean correctly.
I am happy to report that a few years ago I gave whale watching another chance with more positive results. This time my two sisters, my daughter Karmyn, and a niece accompanied me.
We used the same charter service and had a wonderful experience. The ocean was beautiful, the sun was shining, and the whales surfaced many times along our boat.
Moreover, because of the blessing of the day, the captains extended our cruise far beyond our allotted time.
PS. Nobody puked.
She must have seen my last summer post, I ROCK. I worked a second job sifting the drain system rocks out of our torn up back yard.
It is always a treat to see what Min has compiled for her latest write up. Her style is inexplicable - Willowtree says I should use the word indefinable, and he is correct. I wrote this at midnight so my choice of words is not inexplicable– so I invite you to visit the Houston Chronicle’s Mama Drama team and check out the fun for yourself. Tell them I sent you.
As a recipient of this prestigious, esteemed, valued, and highly desired award, I am obligated to pay it forward to five other deserving rockers. How do I choose just five out of the 128 blogs I follow? They are all special and unique. Some of them are even rockin’guys.
Nevertheless, choose I must!
Karmyn and Amanda are my daughters. I taught them everything they know. However, I did not teach them everything I know.
Ruth is 80 years old. Still Rockin.
Deslily (Pat) is a Jersey Rockin Girl. She is a veritable Star Observatory (as in
Vickie's tag line reads Diary of a Horny Red Necked Christian Woman. She is all that and more; sweet, unpretentious, funny, a great photographer and just the real deal.
Mom spent her first 19 years as an itinerant worker. Dad was a self-described hobo for almost as many when they met. When they said “I DO” I believe they were promising each other to love, honor, obey and to never cook over another campfire, pack another tent, or sleep on the ground again. We, therefore, were not a camping family.
Fast forward to the summer of 1969. I, their youngest child, accepted an invitation to visit my older sister Sandra who lived in Bozeman
My brother in law Brent loved to back pack. Sis was learning. I was eager for a promised weekend exploration with them and some of their friends into the
The plans altered when Brent was called in to work. Their friends said I was welcome to accompany them.
Sandra showed me how to pack the essentials such as extra socks. I had new sneakers but no hiking boots.
“Food is more important than mascara,” Sandra insisted, and I petulantly removed hairspray, rollers, and lipstick. (Teenagers!)
When we finally hit the trail I was with four strangers: their friend, his two (younger than me) teenage daughters, and his pre-teen son.
It was a beautiful Montana Sky and a trail that climbed straight up towards it. By the time we hit five miles I was pee- oh -oh- pee - eee – dee, POOPED.
The rest of them stopped and stared when I removed my pack and dropped to the ground to examine my blisters.
“I think I need to go back,” I panted.
That would have been a great time to have a cell phone, but they weren’t invented yet.
“If you go back to the car,” the man told me, “you might have to wait there for two days.”
So, he picked up my back pack and carried it on top of his for the rest of the climb. By the time we reached the chosen camp spot I was feeling terribly guilty and quite a bother.
After setting up my sleeping space and being a drag on their efficient dinner routine, I was relieved that the sunset allowed me to skulk and slither into my bag. There I shivered all night from the high elevation cold, lay on seventy-jillion sharp rocks, and resisted the urge to go relieve myself because I was scared spitless.
The four of them greeted the morning with the same competent and eager attention they had displayed the previous day. In short order they were ready for the day hike on their agenda. (I kept my thoughts to myself –hadn’t we hiked enough already?)
The back packs were staying and I thought I could handle a hike just fine. An hour in, the trail narrowed and curved up a steep cliff.
“Are we going to cross that?” I questioned with disbelief.
One of the girls waved her hand at me as though she was dismissing my fears and replied, “We’ve done it bunches of times!”
The little boy smirked.
I followed them slowly, one foot in front of the other, trying not to look at the 300 foot drop off. Then the path literally disappeared and I watched them find foot holds on rocks and dig their fingers into solid ones above their heads pressing their bodies flat against the sharp slope.
“Hey you guys,” I called , and heard my voice echo on a canyon wall. “I can’t do this, I’m going back to the campsite.”
After assuring them I could find my way back, I slid on my behind sideways until I was away from the ledge.
I made a few wrong turns and read “lost hiker” headlines in my worried thoughts.
The campsite finally came into view on the wrong side of the canyon. Rather than retrace my steps I chose to trudge through some nasty looking brush and trees growing atop another steep drop off.
I was halfway across when the tangled alpine trees and brush began thrashing violently. The sudden pounding of my frightened heart drowned out the rustling of an approaching beast. This was Grizzly country so I prepared to throw my body off the cliff into the frigid water below. When it broke through into the clearing, a beautiful 8-point buck looked at me with disdain, turned gracefully and disappeared over a ridge.
I poured to the ground in a puddle of relief. Picking myself up to finish the trek, I vowed to never leave the campsite again.
They hiked again the next day, but I remained with the rocks by the lake shore. Any memories of the hike back to the car and drive home are a blur.
I never backpacked again.
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The Dust Will Wait