The Pre-Thanksgiving Visit

The other weekend the family came to visit.

Son and Wife, Daughter and Wife’s Brother.

The family is coming for early Thanksgiving gathering. I am very excited to see them. In fact, my excitement is making me so excited that I need to write this blog. Which is really saying something since I have not been moved to write anything lately.

Perhaps you can relate reader. Sometimes the world is so heavy and the overhead psychic energy so dense that no words can come out.

That is how it has been.

Weighted.

And I am happy to be here at the laptop, typing a few words here on this page.

My old friend, the page.

So, the family will come. I plan on cleaning up the house and especially the glasses and utensils. We are just not really known for our sparkling cutlery around here. I KNOW. I know. It is kind of a problem when guests come to visit. We SHOULD do a better job of washing. But washing is so boring. And anyway it is just me and Philly here now in the Philly House.

And Zelda. But she does not use utensils.

Anyway, I do not know how it got to this point of untidy. I used to be better. When I lived in the same apartment as son I was careful not to cross contaminate, which meant REALLY washing kitchen items.

In the Philly House front room, once known as DINING ROOM, is now the COVID Yoga Studio, lighting and all. The Family will not be dining there. Instead we will be having a picnic on the Living Room floor.

Just like old times.

Wife’s Brother drives AND has a car. He will be driving the whole crew down from NYC.

He is a good man.

Did I mention son is learning to drive? It is true. I myself have not seen son drive since he is learning in Queens from Father-in-law. I hear Father-in-law is a very good driver.

Son and daughter see each other once a week now, since they both live in New York. This makes me happy. I knew I wanted another child after son was born. I wanted to have two children, not too far apart in age, so there could be a relationship between them.

A close relationship I hoped. My brother and I are nine years apart, with the death of my other brother between. Nine years is a big spread. It was hard to have a relationship with a two-year-old when you are eleven years old.

Hence my wish to have two children not too far apart in age.

And this wish came true. Daughter was born three and a half years after son was born. When they were younger, friends would always comment, “Your children seem so close to each other.”

Now they are grown. Foraging ahead in their lives. Getting new jobs. Cooking things.

Meanwhile we are here discovering TikTok.

Ok. Well it is mostly me with the TikTok.

TikTok is my new favorite thing. TikTok time is always at the end of the night. This is so I can go to bed laughing.

I say to Philly, “It is TikTok time!”

Philly is less enthusiastic about TikTok. He is more a fan of binge-watching CNN.

Silence.

“Ok.” he says. “I will give you ten minutes.”

“Oh come on!” I say. “I watched CNN for like AN HOUR with you!”

This is marriage in quarantine reader.

Anyway, yes, Philly and I have really been letting it go around here, since Dining Room has become YOGA STUDIO and Living Room has become THE OFFICE.

This is work in quarantine.

Eventually the whole house gets to be piles of papers and props and unwashed coffee cups.

And so, we clean. We make ready the house for the family.

When we are done we say, “That was fun!” Before we go upstairs we have a little ice cream. We fill up the bowl. As we head into the Living Room and I turn off the over-stove light.  I go into the Living Room. I have forgotten the spoons. I head back into the kitchen.

The over-stove light is back on.

“Did you turn the over-stove light back on?” I ask

“Yes.” he says.

He ALWAYS does this with the light.

“But we are done in here. We are no longer in this room” I say.

Philly shrugs.

I turn the light back off.

I say, “It is bedtime for the stove.”

Philly laughs.

We finish our ice cream.

And we go to sleep.

Next day comes and we start the preparations. We have made the decision to order the lunch food. Son has requested Korean food. The morning goes by quickly. I tell Philly, “We should put the food order in now.”

This is not an easy task. We call the restaurant. Nice Lady answers the phone. We try but we cannot correctly pronounce any of the dishes. It takes us three rounds of going back and forth with Nice Lady on the phone to get our order together.

“Phew.” I say. “I hope that works out ok.”

Philly leaves go get the food.

In the meantime, Daughter texts me from the car: Is the food there? I am very hungry.

I text: Philly has left to go and get the food.

Daughter texts:   : )

Not too long and THE FAMILY arrives. Soon after Philly arrives with five bags of Korean food.

He puts the bags down. We all immediately tear into bags. There are so many containers we need to use the side bench AND a little bed tray.

Since Wife’s Brother is a sports kind of guy, he finds sporty things to watch on the television for all of us. Philly really appreciate his choice in television programming as entertainment for the whole family. I have not spent much time with Wife’s Brother, but I am discovering more and more he is a very smart young man.

We eat. We eat dessert. Wife has brought homemade, dairy and nut free chocolate ginger cookies. To add to the dairy and nut free after lunch treats, we have purchased vegan cupcakes from the co-op.

After we eat up all the food, we play a board game. Son and Wife are big on the board games. They are also very, very good at playing the board games. And they are competitive. And they are smart.

Mostly, they win.

I ask Wife if Son is as competitive as he seems. Wife affirms this fact. The more time I spend around Wife, the more I get little windows into her many faceted personality. I think she is perfect for son.

Next we play UNO. Son says UNO is the game that never ends. Daughter wins. Luckily, I manage to exit next. Then Philly. Son and Wife’s Brother are playing. And playing. And finally they just give up.

I think. I really stopped paying attention.

Daughter shows me her new boots. She is very tall in them. She asks me if I would also like a pair.

“Try them on!” she says.

I try them on. I feel slender. I tell her, “I think I will buy a pair!”

But I am not sure if I really should because where would I wear them? My job does not require shoes.

Soon the visit is over. We pack up the extra food for The Family to take home. I am very grateful they have all come to visit, and especially to Wife’s Brother for driving the whole gang from NYC to Philly.

We walk out to the car as they are climbing in to head back.

And we stand on the side watching as they pull out.

As usual, I feel sad to see them go.

I wish I could see I could see them more.

Maybe someday.

For now I am just glad we got to be together today.

Do Not Walk Out On This Sacred Moment

This weekend daughter came for a visit.

I am very excited to see her. I tidy up the house. I make sure the sheets are clean, and in this flurry of Daughter expectation, I also wash the Zelda the dog. And put a little lavender on her, just for good measure.

Daughter REALLY likes Zelda the dog. And Zelda REALLY likes daughter.

So Friday night comes and daughter arrives on the Megabus. It is late when she gets to the Philadelphia House. As soon as she walks in Zelda jumps right up on her.

“Hello!” Daughter says to Zelda.

“Hello!” Zelda says in dog language. Which is Zelda jumping up and down like a pogo stick for one minute straight.

Daughter puts her items of travel down near the front door.

I know where she is headed.

She walks right into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator and says, “I’m hungry.”

Which makes sense since she has just come off a long bus ride.

I hope we have something she will like.

Luckily some acceptable item of leftover is found in refrigerator.

Phew.

It is late and I have to teach in the morning. And so we go to bed.

Next day comes and we are all down in the kitchen. Daughter, Philly and me. We are foraging around for breakfast.

I turn on the sink. Okay, yes, I know it is a faucet. But I call it THE SINK.

I do not know if I mentioned here in this blog that we now have a very fancy faucet since our old one died. The new faucet is black and kind of looks like a bicycle lock or maybe something you would use to work on the underside of a car.

It is very complicated with a button on the side and a lever and a spiral cord around it and a kind of lock so you can lock in the nozzle or let it fly free. You know, in case you want to wash a small white dog in the sink.

Anyway, I turn on the sink. I wash a dish. I turn back around and I start pushing the button. But the sink is not turning off. And I keep pushing one way and then another, and one way and then another. But it is not shutting off.

I look at Daughter. I say, “I cannot get the sink to shut off!”

I am still wildly flipping the button back and forth.

Daughter is looking at me like I have lost my mind.

I do not know why she is looking at me like this.

Philly walks over and says, “Have you tried this?” and he pulls the lever over to shut off the sink.

Which is one of those regular looking faucet turn-on-water, turn-off-water type things.

Philly looks at me with one of those one-raised-eyebrow looks, even though he is not raising any eyebrows. Behind me daughter is cracking up. “MOM!” she says, still laughing. “You are scaring me!”

I am just standing speechless at the sink because I REALLY did not know how to shut off the sink.

“There are too many options on this sink!” I say.

Ok, then I start laughing.

Even if it is a little frightening that I forgot how to turn off the sink.

Later we go to the co-op to get items for daughter to make the dinner. As we are getting ready to leave the house Daughter says, “It is chilly.” And she looks for a jacket on the coat hooks near the door.

This looking at the possible jacket selection is dangerous reader. This is how many of the jackets that once lived in this house have gone “missing.”

Daughter says, “Oh! This is a nice jacket!” And picks up Philly’s brown corduroy jacket. “It would be a shame if it just disappeared.”

“No!” I say. “No, no, no. DO NOT take that jacket!”

“Ok. Ok!” she says. But Philly and I know we better keep a close watch on the brown jacket.

We hop in the KIA and we drive to the co-op. Daughter is making pesto tortellini. We get yellow squash and tomatoes and garlic and spinach and zucchini. Daughter likes to cook now. So does son. I don’t know how it happened that both of these people turned out to be cookers. I am not a cooker. Actually, maybe this is why they are cookers.

When we get home, the cooking begins.

We are going to have dinner and a movie right here in the living room! While Daughter is doing the cooking I ask her, “Do your roommates cook?”

And she says, “Well, they do things with pans.”

HAHA. Roommate humor.

Soon we sit down to eat. But before we eat we must choose THE MOVIE.

Did I mention Daughter is quite into the world of film? She always wants us to watch a movie with her when she visits.

And there are rules to movie-watching with Daughter:

You cannot pick up your phone for any reason during the movie.

There is no talking.

You must watch the WHOLE movie, even if you really want to go to sleep.

She picks out 19 different movies for us to choose from. Mostly I do not care for movies. But Daughter does. Daughter cares a lot. And so even though I feel like doing other things, I think to myself: Don’t walk out on this sacred moment.

Ok I am a bit overwhelmed. Luckily, Daughter guides me in the choices. We watch the trailers. One by one we cross movie choices off the list. Some of the movies are immediately eliminated because they are just too long for my limited attention span.

Finally, we get down to the final two: Parasite and A Marriage Story. We decide on Parasite.

I don’t know how but somehow we wind up watching the OTHER movie.

OK.

This movie makes me cry. It makes me cry because it is about a divorce including a child. I cry and I look at daughter sitting next to me on the green couch.

“Can I have a hug?” I ask.

“Ok.” she says.

I start moving towards her, but it seems like we are both heading for the same side.

“Which way are you going here?” Daughter asks.

I laugh. I laugh because I remember hugs and the kisses on the lips of very small children.

We find our way around each other and we hug. I whisper some things in daughter’s ears about missing her and other mushy things, which are probably too much because I can be like that.

Daughter pulls back a little and says, “Ok. That’s enough.”

I guess MUSHY TIME has its limits.

After the movie I start to get the SLEEPY HAHAS. I start jumping around daughter and making fun noises and acting like a chicken. Philly is in the kitchen where we actually have a row of wooden chickens on top of the stove. If you jump around enough they bounce up and down and sound just like real chickens. But I guess that is another story.

Daughter says, “Go help Philly. Take this energy elsewhere.”

I hop off to the kitchen.

While I am in there I accidentally put my phone in the fridge.

I know, right?

Daughter comes in and opens the fridge. She says, “Did you know you left your phone in the fridge?” She also gives me the raised eyebrow look, again without actually raising an eyebrow. And for extra disbelief, a little shaking of the head.

Clearly it is time for sleeping. I find my way upstairs to bed.

Next day comes and Philly and Daughter are going to do some basement recording. Daughter wants to sing Is There Something in Movies? By Samia. I think it will be a good fit for her voice.

Down they go into the Blue Basement Recording Studio.

I am planning to go on a little adventure while they record. I am going to get a massage from my friend the massage therapist.

Do not judge me.

While they are in the basement, the TREE GUYS come to trim the tremendous trees in our yard. The Tree Guys are coming to our house because the trees here are very large and frightening. They scare me reader. They fall on houses and cars all the time.

I am not exaggerating.

I am not sure how the recording will work with all the tree trimming.

Somehow it works out.

I get home and the recording is done. The Tree Guys are done. Daughter and I are in the kitchen. Philly is coming up from the basement.

I walk into the living room and I see Zelda the dog standing on the porch outside the front door.

“How did you get out there?” I say as I open the door to let Zelda back into the house.

Philly says, “Did you put her out there?”

“No.” I say. “I was in the kitchen.”

He looks at me. Again with the raised-eyebrow-not-raised-eyebrow look, which seems to be popular around here lately.

“I did not put her out there!” I say. I know he thinks I did put her out there and I have just forgotten that I put her out there, which could happen since my memory is questionable lately.

“Daughter?” I ask.

“Nope.” she says. “I was in the kitchen.”

This is the first of a few strange happenings around the house after the tree cutting is done.

I am thinking we need to make an offering to the Land Spirits.

Then Philly tells me, “While you were out Daughter and I were sitting in the living room when we heard a loud POP! We looked but we could not figure out where it came from. And then a glass of water practically jumped out of daughter’s hands and went crashing to the ground.”

Apparently, the pull of gravity has in increased on this day.

We DEFINITELY need to make some offerings tonight.

Soon it is time to take Daughter to the bus. The sad feeling comes, as it always does. We pull up to the curb and I get out to give daughter a hug goodbye.

“It was a nice visit.” I say.

“Yes.” she says.

I watch her walk over to the bus line. I feel grateful for the time with her, sacred and profound.

On the way home I ask Philly, “Are we going to make offerings to the Land Spirits? I really think we should make offerings to the Land Spirits.”

“Yes.” he says.

When we get home I go and get some coffee beans and fresh water. I walk out to the trees that have been cut. I visit each one. I make a little offering at the tree feet. I also visit my special ancestors’ altar in the back of the house. I put a little water in the cup and give thanks for the gift of, and the protection of my children.

Philly will make his offerings later. Right now he is taking a picture of the Buddha statue we have in our yard. Buddha sits on a garden bench. There is a little battery-operated candle at the Buddha feet. Vines grow around the top of the bench. Around the bottom there is a kind of circle of plants. I think the Land Spirits would like this spot.

I watch him take the pictures. I think of the altar Daughter has created in her room. She sent me a picture. It is beautiful and subtle and the creation of a 22-year-old young woman.

I am ready to go back inside.

Philly is taking a few more pictures.

I turn to walk in the house.

But then I do not.

I turn and I think: Do not walk out on this sacred moment.

Do not walk out on this sacred moment.

As I finish this blog, Philly is downstairs in The Blue Basement Studio, working on the song Daughter recorded with him. Her voice wafts up the stairs like a little cloud of sweet incense circling around me. I am so lucky.

It Could Be Anybody’s Story

The other night Philly’s nephew went missing.

Nephew has a long history of Opiate abuse.

Nephew has been in and out of rehabs.

Many people have tried to help.

And so, we know what the outcome of missing may be.

I am grateful I have been around 12 step rooms long enough to know: I did not cause it. I cannot change it. And I cannot cure it.

Reader, you cannot wrestle with the disease of addiction. You will not win.

I look over and I see Philly is sitting at the desk with his head in his hands. And like the addict, he is powerless over this thing.

I was intending to write this blog tonight about recovery, anyway.

And then this thing happened, here, now, with Nephew.

So, I pause.

I consider what I will write here. I decide I will tell a story of recovery, condensed. In honor of Nephew. I will share my experience, strength and hope.

It happens to be my story. But it is not about me. It could be anybody’s story. As we say in the rooms of recovery: What it was like, what happened, and what it is like now.

It is many years ago and I am a younger, wild Violet. Quite young. 13 years old. I meet people who give me access when I enter Junior High School. That’s where it starts. My life very quickly becomes unmanageable.

They say weed is not a gateway drug.

That’s what they say.

I will spare you the rather hideous and dangerous spiral of deepening drug and alcohol abuse. I am sure you have heard the stories, seen the movies. The movies, the stories…these things will give you a very good idea of “what it was like”. I am disappearing for stretches at a time. I take whatever I can get my hands on. I run away to Buffalo in 11th grade on a Greyhound bus with $70 to my name and a bag of mescaline (a story saved for another blog perhaps).

I have no idea how my parents are managing to sleep at night. I do not even consider this sleeping fact until much later when I have my own children.

Three weeks later my parents manage to find me and beg me to come home. I have run out of money and mescaline, so I go home.

Life goes on. Many, MANY opportunities slip through my fingers, unnoticed. It is only later I can see these missed opportunities. Tiny treasures overlooked on this timeline of my life.

That is what it was like.

Then there is the “what happened” part. What happens is I begin to blow up my life, piece by piece. People are hurt. Sweet relationships destroyed. I do not care. I do not feel anything at this point in my life. I cannot see clearly. I think I am doing just fine.

This is because I am what we call a “high functioning” addict. Actually, I am a mess.

My sober friend, the friend who I now lovingly refer to as Friend 1, she knows. She knows I am a mess. She keeps asking, “Why don’t we go to a meeting together tonight?”

And I would say no.

And I would say no.

And I would say no.

I am far too busy for meetings, anyway.

And then suddenly, I am laid off from my hifalutin career. My work that gave me my identity. My status. My work that was part of the things in my life I had begun to blow up. Perhaps it was not so suddenly I was laid off.

I could not use busyness as an excuse. I did not know it at the time, but I had just hit my bottom.

Hitting a bottom is a necessary occurrence for many to get clean and sober.

So I say to Friend 1, “Oh ALLRIGHT! I will go to a meeting!”

And so off we go.

This is not my first meeting ever. A number of years ago I had gone to a couple of meetings. Mostly I just show up here and there and dump my stuff out and leave. No sponsor. No step work. No solution.

I go this time again. We sit down in the metal folding chairs that are being set up by someone. I think this is this person’s job. I later realize this is this person’s service position.

Service. This word alone is pivotal for me.

Service? What the hell? They are doing it for free? And another person making the coffee. And another chairing the meeting. And someone is responsible for group literature. I must look completely confused because an old-timer comes up to me and says, “You know, you can’t keep it if you don’t give it away.”

It takes me a while to really figure out what he means by this.

When the meeting is over, Friend 1 asks if I would like to come to another meeting with her the next day.

“Like tomorrow?” I say. Because I was just at a meeting TODAY.

“Yes.” she says.

“Ok.” I say, because I have heard some good things at the meeting and really, what else do I have to do since I have no job now.

Next day comes and we go to the meeting. This is a different meeting. I like it better than the first meeting. I hear many things I can relate to.

Actually, it is a little scary, all this relating.

I learn I am supposed to do 90 meetings in 90 days.

Inside I think: HAHAHAHA!

The next day comes and I go to a different meeting. There is something about these people. They are so real, so honest. And finally, like I never have in my life, I feel like I belong. In a flash of light I get the GIFT OF DESPERATION. I realize I cannot go on living my life the way I have been living my life.

I find out what a sponsor is and I get a sponsor. She is the speaker at a meeting I attend. I like what she says and so I ask her, “Will you be my sponsor?” I feel like I am asking someone to marry me. Ugh.

Thankfully, she says yes.

We start right away with Step One: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction and our lives had become unmanageable. We focus on the first two words: WE ADMITTED.

I cannot do this alone.

And I must surrender. I have this thing.

Sponsor tells me to stay sober I need to “fellowship” and go out for coffee afterwards with people from the meeting – to get to know other people and to let them get to know me. To widen my circle of support. I do not feel like doing this. I do not want to let people get to know me. Mostly I just want to go to the meeting and then run away.

But ok, I do not run away.

Sponsor tells me, “Anyone can GET sober. The trick is to STAY sober.” Then she says, 90 meetings in 90 days.” At this point I am mostly just dragging my carcass around taking suggestions, so I say, “Ok.”

We dig in. Sponsor gives me suggestions and I push back. I do not feel like taking them, but I take them anyway. She says, “Your best thinking got you here.” And, “If you want what I have, do what I do.”

“Oh ALLRIGHT!” I say. God! Sponsor is making me call her every day! Later I realize how ridiculously selfish it is of me to complain about a person volunteering to listen to my crap every day. For FREE.

We keep going. I make my 90 days! This is a miracle. I am determined to do my FOURTH STEP by the end of my first year.

Step Four: Made a Fearless and Searching Moral Inventory of Ourselves.

I LOVE this step! I get to write down all my resentments! Woo!

I turn this over to Sponsor. This turning over is my Step Five. I am so excited because now we are on Step Six!

But then the unthinkable happens. Sponsor moves away.

Now I am Sponsor-less.

I am slightly terrified. By now I am really beginning to see a new life unfolding in front of me. I listen in meetings for a possible new sponsor. I hear someone speaking and I want what she has. Even though I am freaking out, I run up to her and ask, “Will you be my Sponsor?”

Sometimes one has to wait for an answer to this question.

Thankfully I do not have to wait. New Sponsor smiles and says, “Yes.”

I ask her what we should do first. I tell her I am on Step Six.

New Sponsor looks at me and says, “We will be starting from Step One.”

OMG!

Inside I think: Nooooooooooooooo! No No No! I am on Step Six! Six Six Six!

Outside I say, “Do we have to? I mean I JUST did Step Four and Five.”

“Yes.” New Sponsor says. “If I am going to help you, I need to know who you are now.”

For God’s sake! This has foiled my whole STEP TIMELINE PLAN.

Whatever. I go back to Step One.

Time passes. I get honest with New Sponsor. Rigorous honesty is a must in this place. It is very, very hard for me to be this honest. I mean really, REALLY honest. But it is the only way. And so I do it. Even though I would much rather keep my secrets, secret.

Soon, I get Sponsees. People newer than me that I can help work through the steps. People I can pass along what has been so freely given to me. I feel like a grown up now because I am a SPONSOR!

This PASS IT ON experience is one of the greatest gifts of the program. The opportunity to help others. I feel a shift begin to happen. It is strange how I thought my story was not that bad. But as the years go by and my awareness grows, so does the depth of my story. I realize I am lucky to be alive.

More time passes. I learn to take responsibility for my life. I learn to keep commitments. I even learn to keep my heart open and be vulnerable.

I witness people come in. I witness people go out. Some come back. Some do not. Some people die. It becomes very clear no one can save an addict except the addict themselves.

The longer I am clean and sober, the more of my tangent issues come up: Relationship issues, money issues, family issues. It’s like Whack-A-Mole. Put one down, another pops up.

I start joining programs like crazy.

Ok, then I realize I am doing what I always do. OVERDOING.

I back off a little bit.

I work my Eighth Step: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. I make the list. New Sponsor tells me I have to wait and write out each amend EXACTLY. Another thing I do not wish to do.

So, I get ready to start my Ninth Step: Made amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. My list is long and New Sponsor keeps asking me, “Where’s the harm? You cannot include people just because you feel ashamed or guilty. Was there actual harm done to the person or institution?”

I have to cross off more than half my list.

This is hard. I cannot undo my past. I can only try to make amends. I can keep it on my side of the street. No ifs, ands, or buts. No conversation other than listening to whatever the other person has to say. A simple: I did this, I did that, and it was wrong. I am sorry.

Some of these go well. Some of these do not go so well.

Over the years I work through the steps many times. I go to thousands of meetings. I have several different sponsors is several different programs. One is in a coma for three months. People from the program rotate going to sit by her side in the hospital and read, every day.

Slowly, within this hammock of support, within the solution of the rooms of recovery, I begin to know who I am. I am shown how esteemable acts build self-esteem. I begin to meet myself and I find myself worthy. I learn how to live this life. On its own terms. I learn to listen. I learn I do not have to say everything that is on my mind. I learn how to hold space for another person. And…I learn I would rather be happy than right.

Gifts of sobriety happen, things I never thought possible:

Son and Daughter raised, imperfectly, with love. And they are AWESOME young adults now.

And Philly, my Buddhist husband, the kindest most loving and evolved man I have ever met.

Sweet friendships with people I really trust, and who can really trust me.

A class at a time, I earned a Master’s in Education. It took four and a half years, but program showed me how to take the action and let go of the results.

And get this – becoming a Teacher of Elementary School Children. Me. Responsible for a whole classroom of students. Previously unthinkable.

Certifying as a Yoga Teacher. I GET to teach people how to inhabit their bodies, how to let go, how to just breathe.

Training to be a Doula. Getting to support women and their partners before and through birth. Being INVITED into this sacred space, this moment when a new life enters the world and opens its eyes for the first time. Witnessing the joy in the faces of the parents, bursting with unconditional love.

I tell you this not so much as a story about me, although it is my story. It could be anybody’s story. Reader, I hope it is a window into what recovery can be in the life of an addict. Any kind of addict.

We cannot stop the waves.

But we can learn to surf.

As I sit finishing this blog over a few days’ time, Philly’s finds his beloved nephew dead in his apartment. Cause of death: Multiple drug overdose.
He was 36 years old.

This blog dedicated to Nephew and all those suffering the disease of addiction.

https://www.aa.org  If you think you have a problem with alcohol.
www.na.org  If you think you have a problem with drugs.
https://al-anon.org
  For families of Alcoholics and Addicts.

Something

Tonight I meant to write a blog.

And once again it is too late and I am too tired and my eyes are burning from so much ZOOMING.

But I had to say something.

I just can not go one more day without saying SOMETHING.

So the something will be very short because it is late.

The something will be this list of things that have happened in my life this year so far.

Here we go.

Zoom

Very large scary fires

Spotted Lantern Fly

Daughter moving back to Brooklyn

COVID

A lot more MSNBC

Prayer every night TRUMPET is voted out of office

Or dragged out.

Equality

Unity

The wisdom of young people

Saying something

Hurricane crisscrossing

Making flower mosaics

A lot more lovely time at home with Philly

And Zelda

Sleeping later.

And still up now.

Dining room transformed into zoom studio

Tons more recovery meetings

And sponsees

Time to unravel

Running everyday

Nighttime funning

Becoming so much closer to my parents

Family political chaos

Saving on gas

Masks

Gloves

Hand sanitizer

Social distancing

Cancellation of whole seasons of sports

Saving on take-out

Reading about friends online

Online in general

And thank GOD I discovered Tik Tok.

I have to go to bed now.

Maybe tomorrow I will write more.

Oh wait look! WordPress has changed its editor and now I canot figure out how to add a photo.

Ugh.

Goodnight.

The Sleepy Ha Ha’s

yoga nidra

Last night I had the Sleepy Ha Ha’s.

 

Do you know what the Sleepy Ha Ha’s are reader?

 

The Sleepy Ha Ha’s are what happens when a person stays up too late and ARE-YOU-HIGH kind of insanity sets in. This frequently includes jumping up and down, laughing uncontrollably at things that would probably be not nearly as funny at 2PM as they are at 2AM, and yes, ok, sometimes crying.

 

I think the crying part scares Philly.

 

However, I have discovered if I stay up late enough, Philly becomes VERY funny.

Philly has his own version of The Sleepy Ha Ha’s.

 

Used to be I was in bed by 10PM and up by 6AM.

 

Then COVID happens. And everything goes to hell. Besides the obvious I mean. We start to leave food sitting out for longer periods of time. We stay up progressively later. Every possible surface area in the house starts to get cluttered with random items: ball cap, picture frame, pieces of loose packing material, post-it notes, papers, wiring and of course, masks.

 

–OFF TOPIC–

 

Speaking of masks, I was running the other day with my mask. I run by a gaggle of male construction workers. If you are female, you might already know where I am going with this. The gaggle is quite boisterous. When I run past they get quiet.

This is not usually a good sign.

This usually translates into: I am about to get CAT-CALLED.

Yes, this can happen to even women like myself who are of a more advanced age.

And so I run by. And a moment passes. And then a male voice yells, “Hey! Nice mask!”

 

I was going to give him the finger but I thought: Hey that was actually pretty good!

So, I did not.

 

–BACK ON TOPIC–

 

Anyway back to The Sleepy Ha Ha’s. It is 1AM. I am staying up later and later each week that goes by. WAY back in the day, I would rebelliously close out the bars and dance clubs at 4AM and go to the afterhours places, or to the diner, and then go to the beach to sleep for a while, just to get up and do it all over again the next night. By Monday morning I would have shin splints.

 

Yeah. Those were the days.

 

We are in the kitchen and Philly is cranking out the very early morning jokes.

I tell him, “Hey I think we are heading towards breaking our GO TO SLEEP time record!”

 

“All right!” he says.

 

“And that is so great since we still have all this laundry to fold!” I say.

 

Three loads people. Three loads.

Some laundry is washing. Some laundry is drying. And some laundry is sitting in a pile on top of the laundry machine.

 

I love the laundry machine. After years of having no laundry machine in my apartment, I feel as if I have been gifted by the laundry fairy.

 

I go over and put my head down on top of the warm laundry pile. I say, “I love you laundry machine.”

 

Philly says, “Um. Well, you see the one on the left is called A DRYER. It blows hot air and dries the clothes. And the one on the right is called A WASHING MACHINE.”

 

He does not really say HOW the washing machine works, but I know it has something to do with soap and water and agitation.

 

“Oh yeah?” I say. “Well then. How come the washing machine is called a washing machine but the DRYER is NOT called a drying machine? Huh? Huh?”

 

I can see by the look on his face he has no answer to this question.

 

“Ah-ha!” I say. And I hop on over into the kitchen.

 

“Yes?” he says.

 

“I don’t know!” I say. And I start laughing so hard tears are coming out. But then somehow this turns into a deep heaving cry. And then laughing again.

 

“WooOOOoooOOOOooo…” Philly says, and he traces his finger in the air like a sine wave.

 

“I can’t help it!” I say. Because I really cannot. And anyway, believe it or not reader, this is FUN for me.

 

We have a few more jokes and long hard laughs and cries, well really only me with the cries. But now I can tell Philly is getting tired of The Sleepy Ha Ha’s.

 

I look at the clock.

 

“Holy CRAP!” I say. “It is 2AM!”

I look at Philly. I think I see him roll his eyes at me.

I look at my phone. Daughter has just texted me. She is still awake. What a surprise.

 

“You need to go to sleep.” Philly says.

I wump off towards the stairs.

I text daughter back: I am still awake!

 

Daughter texts: MOM! You need to go to sleep.

Apparently, moms are prohibited from staying up later than their young adult children.

 

Who knew?

 

Now I really am getting tired. I think I have worn myself out.

I start walking up the stairs.

 

When I get to the top I yell down, “Woo! 2AM! It’s a personal best!”

 

“Go to BED!” Philly yells.

 

“But will you still tuck me?” I ask.

 

“Yes.” he says. I can tell he really does not want to tuck me.

 

But he will.

 

Soon, Zelda the dog and I are all tucked in. I look at the clock and it is just past 2AM.

It has been a night of rebellion, but not in the dance club. In our HOUSE!

 

Just like the good old days.

But better.

Because now the good old days are the TODAYS.

Race to Eight O’Clock

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Yesterday we went to the co-op.

 

Around here, Saturday is the usual day for co-op shopping.

Because Saturday is TASKING DAY.

 

In the morning, I whip out my post-it note list. I am a person with lists. Your mileage may vary.

So we sit down on the green couch and go over the list for the day: Return phone calls, go for a run, teach, do laundry, mow the lawn and go to the co-op.

 

The co-op has become our new found reality show Saturday entertainment.

 

True.

 

I am telling you, this is what happens when you get older and are married. These are the games you make up for a HOT DATE Saturday night. We also have the ROLLING ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR GAME, which I will save for another blog, maybe with video!

 

Anyway, it is getting towards the end of the day. We have gotten almost everything done.

 

So satisfying.

 

Philly still has to cut the lawn and we still need to go to the co-op. He heads outside for the lawnmower.

 

“Hey!” I say. “If you start to cut the lawn now we won’t make it to the co-op before it closes at eight o’clock!”

 

Ok. Wait. Does anyone really WRITE eight o’clock out anymore? And didn’t that used to be a kind of coffee? I mean people SAY eight o’clock. But they WRITE 8PM. Right? Right?

 

Back to THE LAWN. Philly says, “I can do it!”

It is now 7PM. (See above for the written use of PM)

 

“All right, but it is going to be tight.” I say.

 

We look at each other and smile. We smile because we know we are now going to get to play RACE TO EIGHT O’ CLOCK!

 

Woo!

 

Philly turns and runs to the shed to get the lawnmower. I rush upstairs to finish folding the laundry. Very soon it is 7:30PM!

 

I bolt down the stairs. I run to the front door, which is a very nice new front door with a roll down screen, BTW.

 

I open the door. I yell to Philly, “We have to go!”

“I am done!” he yells back.

 

We leave all the lawn items where they are and hop in the KIA.

“Let the games begin!” I say.

 

And off we go.

 

Eight minutes and we are at the co-op. Since they are practically closing, there is a lot of parking. We screech right up to the curb and hop out of the KIA.

 

Now because of COVID the co-op only allows eight people at a time inside. Which means if it is a crowded day they will only allow one person per family.

 

There are little markers on the sidewalk so we can all stand six feet apart. I stand right behind Philly. Nice Lady opens the door and lets Philly come in. Since there is almost no one in the store, Nice Lady lets me in as well.

 

We grab a big basket. Philly puts it on the counter. “I’ll go this way.” And he points toward the vegetables.

 

“Ok.” I say. “I will go that way.” And I point to the bread and cookie area.

 

The race is on. It is now 7:40PM.

 

I pick out some nice bread and a few chocolate chip cookies. I look for bagels but since it is the end of the day there are no bagels to be had.

 

I move on.

 

I drop the items into the big basket. I see Philly. “Did you get broccoli?” I ask.

“No” he says. “No broccoli.”

“We need broccoli.” I say.

 

I go over to the broccoli area which is right next to the brussel sprouts. Yes. I know some people say brussels sprouts. And some people capitalize. And yes, I know Brussels is a PLACE. I TRIED to find one right way. I gave up and this is what we are doing here: brussel sprouts.

 

When son was a young son he would call them little cabbage balls. “I do not like little cabbage balls.” he would say. Of course NOW he loves them.

 

I go to get the NEW biodegradable vegetable bags. Ok. Good idea on the biodegradable. However, IMPOSSIBLE to open. ESPECIALLY in the middle of a pandemic where you cannot lick your fingers for bag opening assistance.

 

I fight with the bag. Since I cannot lick my fingers to open the bag at this time in history, it takes me a whole minute JUST to get the bag OPEN. I put the broccoli in. Next I go over to the brussel sprouts, which are loose in a big bin with a scooper. Bag or no bag, this scooper situation has never really worked for me. The brussel sprouts just roll away. Unless you push them into the scooper with your HAND, which for obvious reason is not allowed. Not just now, but never ever.

 

I learned this lesson at the Brooklyn co-op years ago when I tried to give my vegetables a little hand assist. I did not know I had one of the militant co-op people standing right behind me.

 

“No touching the vegetables without a glove!” she yells from behind me.

“But I am only touching the vegetables I intend to buy.” I say.

“It doesn’t matter.” Co-op Police Lady says.

“Yes it does.” I say. “If I only touch the vegetables I am buying then it doesn’t matter if I am touching the vegetables because they are MINE.”

 

She gives me the Co-op Police Lady stink eye and walks away.

 

Also-just in case you should ever go into the Brooklyn Co-op, DO NOT nibble on anything you are buying in bulk. Because that is STEALING.

 

Anyway, I get the little cabbage balls into the bag. I dash over to put the bag into basket along with the broccoli.

 

On the way I pass Philly. “I am going to get the milks.” I say.

“All right!” he says. “I will run upstairs to get the coffee!”

“Meet you there!” I say.

 

Meanwhile I walk over to the corn area. This is a good time for corn. I get three ears.

I put them in the basket and head upstairs to the coffee area.

 

Philly is standing in front of the coffee bean dispensers. Usually we get one Midnight Sun and one French Roast. We like our coffee beans dark and greasy.

 

I walk down the aisle a little and I see a display of huge dog food size bags of coffee beans!

 

!!!

 

I yell over to Philly, “Oh my GOD! Look at this!”

 

Philly looks over. “This is coffee!” I say. Then I say, “We should definitely get a bag! AND they are 20% off!”

 

“Ok!” Philly says. “Go ahead and grab one!”

I guess we are committing to this coffee drinking lifestyle for a while.

 

Announcement Lady comes over the speaker: Attention: The co-op will be closing in five minutes.

 

I look at Philly. “We still have to get the fruit!” I say.

Here we go down the stairs with the dog food coffee bag. We cut the corner around the cashier grab the fruit and our basket to push it down the line.

 

Luckily, Cashier Number One, who is the cashier we always get, is right there waiting for us. As she begins ringing up our bounty, Philly searches the box pile for suitable boxes to pack the groceries. This is not so easy to do since the boxes are all thrown randomly on top of the refrigerator cabinets. You have to use one of those claw type things to reach a box.

 

He gets the boxes. “Nice work!” I say. We load the boxes together. I know Philly loves to do the spatial relations thing with the food items. And he thinks he is better than me at it. But he is not. He forgets I have years of experience single mothering the box packing to a manageable carry.

 

Eh. I just let him have this little box fantasy.

 

And…the boxes are packed! We slide the debit card to pay for way more food than we thought we were going to buy.

 

Isn’t that always the way?

 

We are all on our way out as they announce last call for checkout.

 

“Phew.” I say.

“Yeah.” Philly says.

 

Time: 7:59PM

 

We are getting good at this.

Yes we are.

Breaker 1-9

IMG-1568

The other day I used a walkie talkie.

Ok, it feels weird to write those words: walkie talkie.

 

I used a walkie talkie because I am tired of yelling down to the MAN CAVE to get the attention of Philly.

 

So it is the day before the other day and I am trying to get some computer assistance from Philly who is down in the Man Cave working away.

 

I stand in the front room on the first floor. I call Philly. “Hey” I say. “Can you come up here and help me? I need you!”

 

Nothing.

 

I move closer to THE CAVE door. “Hello?!” I say.

 

Still nothing.

 

I scream. Yes. Scream. “Hello! Can you come up here? I need your help for something!”

 

UGH! Where ARE those walkie talkies we used to have?

 

I stamp my foot hard on the wood floor. This is a maneuver I learned whilst living on 14th Street in Manhattan with downstairs neighbors who enjoyed blasting THE RAMONES at 11:00 at night.

 

“Are you calling me?” Philly says.

 

“YES!” I scream.

 

“What?” he says. All even keeled and serene.

 

Now I feel like having a tantrum.

Ok, I will not have a tantrum.

I ask myself: Am I already having a tantrum?

 

I peer down the stairs, “I need you to look at the computer.” I say, “It is behaving very strangely.”

 

If you have been a reader of this blog for awhile now you might remember that electronic devices and items requiring wiring are not my friends.

 

I am standing at the top of the stairs.

I am waiting.

I wait.

Still I wait.

 

Philly does not come up the stairs right away.

Actually, Philly almost never comes up the stairs right away.

 

FINALLY I hear footsteps on the stairs.

Philly emerges!

 

“What do you need?” he asks.

 

Now I feel bad for tantrum-ing.

Philly is such a good person.

I show him my computer problem.

 

Which he solves right away of course.

 

“Thank you.” I say.

“Anything else?” he asks.

“Actually, YES.” I say. “Where are those walkie talkies we used to have?”

 

Philly thinks for a minute.

 

“I don’t know!” he says.

“I think we need them.” I say.

“Yeah that’s a great idea!” he joins.

 

And I go to bed.

 

Next day I wake up and walk down the stairs. On the table are a pair of brand new walkie talkies!

 

This is a thing that sometimes happens around these parts. I go to bed and things ordered late at night magically appear at our doorstep the next morning.

 

I look at Philly. I look at the walkie talkies. “Ok!” I say. “Let’s use them!”

Since I do not know how to operate machinery, Philly shows me how all the channels work.

 

He takes his walkie and goes downstairs. “Ok,” I say. “Walkie me!”

I stay up here on the main floor and wait.

 

I cannot hear anything. I accidentally turn the walkie off. And even though he tells me NOT to change the channel I do it anyway.

 

Oops.

 

Now I am frantically searching through channels saying, “Hello? Hello?”

 

Later he tells me, “Channel One. Always Channel One.”

Anyway, finally I find the right channel. Channel One.

 

I hear Philly say, “Breaker 1-9. Breaker 1-9.

 

I laugh. But I do not know what that means, really.

 

Then he says, “What’s your 20?”

Oh! Oh! I know that one! It means what is my location!

 

“Sitting at the table, over.” I say.

“Roger that.” he says.

 

OMG! I start losing it because I remember the movie Airplane when Captain Oveur meets his Navigator Mr. Unger and first officer Mr. Dunn. Do you remember this reader?

 

If not, I HIGHLY suggest viewing this scene on YouTube.

 

For other fun CB LINGO please see: CONVOY. As in “Looks like we got us a CONVOY.”

 

Did you know if you Google Breaker 1-9, this is what you will get:

“Breaker 1/9” is originally a Citizens’ Band radio slang term telling other CB users that you’d like to start a transmission on channel 19 and is also the phrase that starts C. W. McCall’s 1975 novelty hit “Convoy.”

 

Now I Google the Lingo of CB users. I push the button and one by one I say them to Philly.

 

  • 10-4 Roger – Yes.
  • Back door – behind your truck, somebody who’s behind you, like the police.
  • Bad ass – very cool.
  • Bear – cop.
  • Catch you on the flip flop – see you on your return trip.
  • Chicken coop – weigh station.
  • Chicken lights – extra lights on a rig or trailer.

 

Whew. I am laughing so hard no sound is coming out.

This is great!

SO much better than tantrum-ing at the top of the stairs.

So much better.

 

Over and Out.

 

Photo by Philly

 

 

Philly Bananas!!

looney tunes head

Last night Philly and I were funning.

 

I am pretty sure I have mentioned this late night funning. Do you remember what funning is reader? Funning is when mostly I get the nighttime sleepy kookies.

 

Usually I try to involve Philly. I used to be able to suck him right into my kooky world. But now it is harder. Now he resists.

 

I do not know why.

I think maybe I scare him a little bit.

 

Anyway it is last night and I start the funning. We have eaten a late dinner so I am all off schedule. It is past my bedtime and I am sliding into the nighttime sleepy kookies. I jump into the kitchen and start making screechy noises.

 

Philly does not move.

 

Secretly, besides jumping around I have my special agenda. This agenda is to get Philly to start funning with me. And maybe even to get him to laugh himself. When Philly starts to laugh really really hard his body shakes, but no sound comes out.

 

It is quite amusing to watch.

 

Also, if you get him to crack a little bit he will make very funny jokes.

When this happens I rename him: PHILLY BANANAS!

 

I am jumping up and down. I am making googly eyes at Philly. “How about this?” I say. And I put my face right in front of his.

 

We have to entertain each other you know. Especially now that daughter is moving back to Brooklyn.

 

He is trying to wash dishes so I have to be creative. I stand behind him and bounce up and down while I hold onto his belt loops.

 

Nothing.

 

I get him to turn around and I see him smiling. “Come on!” I say. “Do it! Do it!”

 

Still nothing.

 

“COME ON!” I say.

“Mmmm” he says, “I enjoy watching you try to get me to fun.”

 

Now I start to make this crazy laugh. Deep from my belly and kind of spooky. Even though it feels like time to stop making this laugh I keep going.

 

And…I got him! PHILLY BANANAS has arrived!!

 

He is in the living room now. He turns to me and makes a face that looks a little like the JOKER from Batman. He says, “Your laugh is like the sound of a disembodied LOONEY TUNES head bobbing in the dark.”

 

I am bent over laughing. I keep trying to stop laughing but I just keep repeating: Disembodied Looney Tunes Head! HAHAHAHAHA!

 

OMG.

 

I think it is me but it might be him who says, “Looney Tunes House of Horrors!”

 

And I say, “Like when you are at Disney World at the kiddie House of Horrors and you sit in those little carts that roll on a track in the dark. And when you come around the corner the Disembodied Looney Tunes Head is bobbing in the dark laughing at you.”

 

Philly is standing facing me. He takes one hand and puts it high in the air. “First it is over here.” And then the other hand, “Now it is over there.”

 

HAHAHA!

 

I am laughing so hard no sound is coming out of me either. He keeps moving his hands around saying, “Over here!” and “Over there!”

 

“Stop! Stop!” I say.

I have to bring it down. It is way, way beyond my bedtime once again.

I have to go to bed.

 

I look at Philly and say, “Thanks for the funning!”

 

And he smiles this little knowing smile.

A smile that means I might get the funning from Philly Bananas next time.

Or I might not.

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The Walk

Today Philly and I took Zelda the dog for an evening walk.

 

I am slumped on the couch in the half-sitting-half-lying-down feet on the floor position.

Perhaps you know this position. It frequently occurs after eating dinner.

 

Which we just did.

 

“Ugh,” I say. “I don’t know what to do with my life.”

Then I think: I should be more grateful for my life.

 

Then I say, “I feel heavy. Everyone is talking about this Quarantine 15 (pounds that is). I think I am gaining weight.”

 

I start poking at my stomach.

 

“What do you want to do then?” Philly asks. He is kind of used to me having these existential moments.

 

“I don’t know.” I say. “What is it all about anyway?”

I figure he should know since he is a Buddhist and all.

 

“Let’s go for a walk.” he says.

“I hate walks.” I say.

 

Ok. This is not true. However, it IS true I do not enjoy dusk walks around here because: BUGS.

 

Yes friends. Around these parts it is leafy and muddy and humid. With mosquitos.

You know how mosquitos seem to enjoy some people more than others? I am one of those enjoyable people.

 

Anyway, I might as well get up and go for a BUG walk. Sitting here is not helping me.

I get up.

 

Zelda is already jumping up and down to go for a walk. She can do that, you know. Jump straight up and down on her hind legs just like a pogo stick. This is frequently seen through the front screen door while approaching the house. Probably I should video it one day.

 

And so we go, Zelda, Philly and I. We walk down the street towards the park.

Philly asks, “Do you want to go in here?” and he points to a teeny tiny little dirt path.

 

“Um. No.” I say. “Too many small leafy plants. Too many bugs and maybe ticks. I want to go in over there, on the pavement.”

 

“Besides”, I say, “I am wearing flip flops.”

 

Yeah, yeah, I know. Flip flops are probably not the optimal choice for a walk in the woods. But really I am not from the leafy, lakey, bug filled MAINLAND WOODSY planet. I am from New York City. I am from an ISLAND near the salty ocean with no bugs. I am from the BEACHY planet.

 

On my planet we wear flip-flops. We do not go camping. We do not go swimming in a freshwater lake.

 

Philly shakes his head. He says, “You are a funny one.”

 

We keep walking. Zelda is sniffing everything she possibly can. She is a sniffer. All dogs are sniffers. Zelda is a SUPER SNIFFER.

 

Philly points down the path. Seems the path just comes to the end in the middle of the grass.

 

“What now?” he asks.

 

“Turn around.” I say.

 

“C’mon!” he says. “How about you venture out there?”

 

Oh for GOD’S sake!

 

“All right. All right!” I say.

 

I just KNOW there will be bugs.

 

And…There are bugs. Maybe five steps and I am bitten by a mosquito on the ankle.

 

I point at my ankle. “See?” I say. “See?”

 

I start walking back towards the dirt path where it is safe. On the way I get too more mosquito bites as I am swatting them away right in front of my FACE!

 

Jesus!

 

When I first moved to Philadelphia, I would try to go for runs in the woods. DO NOT do this reader. You will get a mouthful of bugs, should you DARE to open your mouth while running.

 

Now Zelda is jumping all around, sniffing and having the time of her doggie life.

 

Finally we reach the path. I am very grateful to return. I think Zelda can tell I am not happy. She comes right over and snuggles next to my legs.

 

Did you know Zelda is my emotional support dog? This is true. She curls up next to me at night. If she hears me crying, she comes right over to see if I am ok.

 

We head towards home in the dusky dark. Luckily the rest of the walk is all dirt road or pavement.

 

As we walk up onto our blue porch, I tell Philly, “That was kind of fun.”

He smiles and says, “Maybe we can do it again sometime.”

 

“Maybe.” I say.

Just maybe.

 

The Visit

krave

Last week daughter came to visit.

This week she is still here.

At least for a few more days.

I am thankful because daughter has lifted my spirits.

 

I am finding it difficult to write. I STILL cannot write about Philly’s Mom, or about my Blogger friend, “T”, who died of cancer on May 12. Or the brutality I have witnessed.

 

I will try to find a little respite, here now. I think if I sit down here to write, the words will come out, as they usually do.

 

It is after dinner, the dinner that DAUGHTER COOKED, because she is now a cooker. A cooker just like son.

Not sure how this happened.

 

Anyway, we are cleaning up the living room picnic. I am not sure why we do not eat at the regular table. In Brooklyn I used to think it was because we did not have enough eating room. However, we seem to be continuing this tradition, even with a perfectly good DINING ROOM TABLE. And an actual DINING ROOM where the dining room table lives.

 

Daughter turns on the music and starts dancing around the living room. Mostly I do not know the songs. But after a while I join in anyway because I love to dance.

 

Daughter says, “Mom! You know this one!” and puts on a song. I think I recognize this song.

“Do I?” I say.

“Yes!” she says.

 

Ok I do recognize it. But I have not the slightest clue as to the artist or name of this particular song.

I dance anyway.

 

Philly comes in and stands there watching us and smiling. I know he enjoys these little mother and daughter moments.

 

We dance and dance and then I say, “I have to wind it down now, it is almost bedtime!”

This is true BUT due to COVID my bedtime seems to be slipping towards later and later. As does my sleeping time. I now wake up at times I find astounding. Like TWO hours later than I used to wake up.

 

So, I go to bed.

 

A few more days and daughter makes the lunch. Is this great or what?! I love it when food just appears for me! Later we do FACE MASKS. This is a popular thing among the younger set, face masking. Sometimes we use the kind that makes us look like ghost faces. But this time we use the red gel.

 

I tell daughter, “I feel like I just smeared blood all over my face!”

Daughter says, “Let’s go downstairs and tell Philly we are doing BLOOD MASKS!”

 

OMG.

 

I am really laughing. “Yes!” I say. “Let’s tell him it is sheep’s blood!”

We giggle as we walk downstairs to the basement mancave.

 

We stand in front of Philly.

“Look at our facemasks!” we say.

 

He looks. I can tell he has no idea what he is looking at or what to say.

“Oh, nice.” he says.

 

“They are Blood Masks.” daughter says.

Philly puts on his best Blood Mask Poker Face.

“Ok.” he says.

 

I decide to up the ante. “It’s SHEEP’S blood.” I say.

Still nothing from Philly.

 

Daughter and I look at each other.

 

HAHAHA!

 

“We are pranking you!” she says.

“Oh!” Philly says. He smiles but I can tell he has not REALLY been paying attention. Probably because he is down in the MANCAVE. All the equipment in that Mancave can be very distracting.

 

Next day comes and daughter takes the car to do some errands. On her way back she runs over the recycle bin in the driveway.

 

“I have something to tell you.” she says.

My mama mind goes right to CAR ACCIDENT.

 

I remain calm.

 

Daughter says, “I ran over the recycle bin.” and then she says, “I didn’t see it there!”

Didn’t you hear the crunching?” I ask.

“By then it was too late.” she says.

 

I guess she just kept going because, eh, it is already halfway run over.

Daughter takes the now crumpled recycling bin and brings it back around to the side of the house, where it usually lives.

 

Later, we tell Philly. “Guess what happened?” we say.

“What?” says Philly.”

“Daughter ran over the recycle bin!” I say.

 

“Oh!” he says. “I was wondering how it got that big dent in it.”

 

!!!!

 

I do not know what else I can say about this.

 

Now we are sitting on the couch and daughter is TIC-TOK-ing. She shows me a picture of some young man and I say, “Who is that?”

 

Daughter says, “Oh my GOD mom, you sound like such a MOM right now. It’s a TICTOK! How that hell am I supposed to know who this guy is who has been seen by millions of people?”

 

Then she says, “Who is this nice young man, do you know him from college?” as she laughs at my extremely clear generation gap mishap.

 

Not too long and we go to bed.

 

Next day comes and we do errands and lie around. We have a BBQ and eat outside. We play the “Guess What?” game. Have you ever played this game, reader? It is a game where each person asks the room a question about one of the participants. These kind of questions:

 

How old is Philly?

Daughter figures this out but will not say the number out loud.

 

When did mom graduate undergraduate school?

Daughter tries but misses. Of course, she was not alive at that time. Philly gets it.

 

What was Daughter’s favorite cereal when she was 15?

Ok. I this was a gross cereal with little chocolate pocket pillows. Yeah, yeah, I know. Listen, I was worn out by that time raising those two kids. I had hit my quota of healthy-mealing. Anyway, I cannot remember the name of the cereal.

 

“It’s KRAVE mom!” she says.

 

Ugh. Now I remember.

 

We see a bird on the telephone line that runs across our yard. I say, “Look how close that bird is. I bet I could hit it with a rock.”

 

I am just making a little joke. But both Daughter and Philly look at me like I am crazy.

 

Daughter says, “Mom, there are other ways you could have expressed this sentiment, you know like: That bird is just a stone’s throw away.”

 

HA! That daughter. She is witty.

 

 

Later, Daughter asks Philly if he wants to watch Avatar.

 

Philly says, “I don’t know what Avatar is.”

 

“It is a cartoon.” I say.

 

This is not the correct answer.

 

I am slammed with all the reasons Avatar is not JUST A CARTOON.

 

I walk away. Anyway, since I raised both son and daughter, I have pretty much have enough AVATAR in my life already.

 

And now it is Sunday and we are lying around waiting for me to start teaching YOGA to the house, this time outside! I have been doing this every day. I am happy to spread the YOGA GOODNESS.

 

But only a few more days and Daughter will go home.

It sure is wonderful having her around. For so many reasons really.

 

Most especially at this time when we need to hear from a person who is 22 years old and has very articulate, current facts and opinions on what is, and has been happening for a long time in this country.

 

She shares them with us every day.

Every day I am a little wiser, a little more current because of this.

 

And I thank you daughter. For your thoughtful and well-rounded and informed discourse.

We are better people because of you.

 

Yes.