Flashbacks which I like to call flashbangs….

I have said to people grieving…many times…hold on to your memories they can’t be taken away.  I’m always afraid it sounds trite. ((of a remark, opinion, or idea) overused and consequently of little import; lacking originality or freshness.).  When it comes from my thought process, it is what I hold onto…it is what I want to believe.  But, now, I’ve known so many folks who have/are dealing with loved ones with alzheimers or dementia that I fear the memories can be taken away.  I hate to think of it and the torture relived because I’m sure the memories drawn up from childhood for these victims are not just the great memories they would like to remember; but, perhaps reliving the bad things too….in an endless cycle.  I hate it the thought.

As my mind continues to heal from the stress and anxiety of the past, I seem to have many more flashbang memories of my childhood.  The good thing about being of sound mind, I can either remember them with a smile or remember the bad things, deal with them and move on.  I’m not caught in a cycle, so to speak.

This morning I walked into the kitchen and saw his drinking glass sitting beside the sink… as I have seen many times and I immediately flashed back into walking into the kitchen of our childhood home and seeing my mom and dad’s drinking glasses sitting beside the sink.  In those days, we reused a daily water glass because dishes had to be washed by hand and now it is no consequence to me to drink from a glass and put it in the dishwasher – then get another one and another one.  But he likes to have a glass on the counter for drinks of water.  The one thing only he knows is that it is not uncommon to find several half filled glasses in the refrigerator where I have stashed them so I have some cold water available.  Half empty/half full depending on your perspective.  I wonder if this irritates him.  He has made comments about my little collections of empty glasses in the fridge.  But he moves on.

When I was a teenager, I used to put on my swimming suit, take my sheet and sunglasses and go to the backyard and bask in the sun for a couple of hours.  I loved laying under the sun and feeling the warmth tan my skin.  I believe it is an addiction..plus as my friend, Kim, always said.  Tan fat looks a lot better than untan fat.  It is one of the great flashbangs that I remember often…in fact, as I dabble in in meditation or just relaxation during a massage, this is where I go.  I have perfected the memory and it doesn’t take long for me to totally relax and be able feel laying the sheet on the grass, I can see the large oak tree, the brick fireplace my dad made to burn garbage, the flower bed to my right and Lennie Rae’s house behind my head.  It is my happy place…it is my happy memory…it is one of those memories that I am so afraid I will lose.

Until next time….

I woke up strong today!

In today’s chapter, the heroine made it through another anxiety ridden spell to wake up having accomplished another level of fear of the unknown, insecurity and inner turmoil which I should probably just call not loving herself.  I told him yesterday morning that I didn’t know what was wrong with me.  I couldn’t fall asleep, I woke up pissed off and getting myself up off the couch and away from the TV was impossible.  In a week, I watched more movies than I have watched in many previous years.  Kate Winslet and I had a relationship and every day with Kate Winslet was a struggle of epic proportion.  Not Titanic proportion but close!

I had a ridiculous number of things I needed to do but I was unwilling to dig in and just get them done,  I was totally overwhelmed.  I’m not normally a procrastinator…one of the things I’m normally proud of…but for some reason, I shunned my responsibilities and felt like I just couldn’t tackle it.  Yesterday, I donned the gear and took care of all of them.  One right after the other.  Done…no more thought…one step at a time…done!  In the evening, I watched a little TV, did some laundry, straightened up the house, watched the first Housewives of Orange County reunion show and started reading a book……

This morning I woke up and immediately took a shower…just prior to stepping in the shower, I weighed myself…40 pounds!  I was able to think in the shower this morning…something I’ve been having difficulty doing.  I felt strong…I felt secure…I felt like this is who I am and no one knows my struggles…I am strong because what I have been through aka  life.  I am me.  I like me.  I really want to hold onto this me…but I know – because this is life – I will find myself in the other place again.  I must remember they are bad days but good days are just around the corner depending if I’m willing to work at it or just bask in the ugliness.

Until next time….

In a couple of weeks

He and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary…I’ve done the math a couple of times and it always comes out to 35 years. As many of you already know, back in 1976 I was sitting on a Colfax, Iowa street corner in my car because that is what you did on the weekend…once you got tired of driving around burning tanks of gas. He pulled up next to us in his green Plymouth Fury with personalized plate, Avis (his mother’s car) and said…you girls want to ride around. Margena knew who he was, but I had only seen him once on the street on another night of riding around Colfax and she yelled, OMG Phil Brown shaved off his beard. But on that night in 1976, what did I say….sure. We were apparently drawn to each other…ups and downs, disgust and love, hate and love, growing and growing and growing and here we are. My only Dear Abby advice is this: Think of your marriage vows as a commitment. Not anyone else’s commitment…your commitment…make it through, work thru the bad times with whatever it takes because good times can follow….and while you are in the young years, with no money, kids and all the crap that goes along with it, always make time for each other without the kids…however you can do it…make time to talk and just be just a couple.

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We could make it another 35 years…it is in the realm of possibility!

Until next time….

2014 Iowa State Fair

Boarded Franny this morning (her first time without a dog sibling) and hit the road for the State Fair in Des Moines. just in case you don’t know…evenings at the state fair are where young girls in their off white lacy dresses and cowboy boots go to be seen. If you are into people watching, the state fair is a smorgasbord!

Kate and Adam met us there. My youngest daughter gets more beautiful every time I see her!

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We saw our family’s beloved Budweiser Clydesdale horses and beer wagon. Someday I’ll share pictures of my dad’s 17 year hobby/project. It is a 6 foot long Budweiser team made of clay and wood, etc.

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We saw the local band, Slipstream, that we follow whenever we can even though we live in Missouri…and we were totally impressed with the 25 foot American Gothic statue on the fairgrounds. Was a good day. I ended it with a corn dog while drooling as Adam ate deep fried orios.

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That was my wonderful day.

Until next time…..

There comes a time in everyone’s life….

when it is time to retire the coffee cup. My Trudeau cup is the best coffee cup I have ever had. I don’t even remember where I got it…but have no fear…I found them on-line and have two replacements – one is in my car and one is in a cupboard in my desk. Identical and never used because I knew there would come a day when I would need a new one. It has been my beloved coffee cup through many car trips, 911 calls and every morning for the nectar to keep me revved. On my kitchen counter, I have a toaster, coffee pot, 2 chickens, canisters, a sensi pot, a bouquet of flowers and my matching, stacked soup bowls that the brother-in-law gave me for Christmas…everything else is put away…but I did find a spot for my coffee cup on the counter because it belongs there.

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It smells like old coffee. I rinse it out every day. I was told to use white vinegar. It still smells bad. So, at some point today, I’m going to start using one of the back-ups. The end.

I join the rest of the world in total shock about the Robin William’s suicide. This depression stuff needs more attention than what the public figure of the month is doing or screwing and more attention than appendage hardeners when the moment is right and what feminine product should be used to do jumping jacks…depression is a serious medical issue…I’ve been there.

Until next time…