Monday Moments ~ Helping You Get Your Monday’s off to a good start….
Life, Insights and Observations Through Writing and Art
Imagine my shock last week when my sweet sister emailed me to tell me that she had finally admitted that perhaps text’g is here to stay and that she went out and got a smart phone!! Hurray – Goodbye Fliphone!!
Ok, truthfully, her Hubs gave her a brand new, shiny smart phone for her birthday. Way to go Brother-In-Law!! I was both excited to get her email telling me this Fab news – and also very confused at receiving an email rather than a catching wind of it through a text. C’mon sis, get texting!!
I thought back to when I first started texting. It was awkward and slow. It took some time for my colossal, mammoth fingers to get used to typing on the miniature keypad. The only person I really had to text was my Hubs & Kids. Sorry, Fam!! It took me some time to figure out my way around auto correct. My texts were filled with typos (due to mammoth fingers) and I’m sure some people thought I had no idea how to spell or what I was even trying to say.
Ok, so I will give her a break because she is new to this. Before she knows it, she will be all wrapped up in social media and ignoring the real world just like the rest of us. Happy birthday, Sister!!
Hello People! Finally, after months and months of trying to resolve the issue of losing my domain, (oopsie-daisey!) I’ve taken the plunge & registered a brand new, shiny domain!! And no, you’re not seeing things. I’ve also revamped my site a wee little bit with a new, updated, fresh title!!
I had been thinking about changing my site title for a very long time. Changing it from ‘Twenty Thirteen’ to, well, anything else.
A few months ago I went through an exhausting ordeal while attempting to renew my domain. It was stolen right out from under me!! – and is currently being held for some ridiculously large amount of ransom by an evil domain shark!! (I may or may not have felt forced to temporarily turn to the bottle during this ordeal – devastating!!) There’s an entire racket built around snatching expired domains from current owners and selling them back at exorbitant prices. (my previous domain is now valued at over $1000. – ridiculous!!) It’s a sad situation that many unsuspecting people fall prey to out of laziness, procrastination or in my case, simply by being caught up in the system. This article explains how the entire process works. Bookmark it! No, first set your domains and upgrades to Auto-renew (which I THOUGHT mine WERE set on) and then do yourself a favor and read this article.
Fast forward 4 months. Like so many devastating situations in life, there was a hidden, silver lining. The loss of my domain forced me to step out of my old, familiar, blogging comfort zone and take a good, deep look at the branding of my blog and the direction in which I wanted to head towards in the future. (I know, deep!!)
obsession thought and discussion with my friends, spouse, kids, neighbors, friendly checkout lady at the grocery store, – pretty much anyone I could corner – I realized a small revamp was in order. I had put much thought into leaving my original title behind. It was restricting and limiting. It did not really point to the purpose behind my blog. It did not give my readers a clear vision of what my blog was about. In short, it had to go. (whoa, I surprised myself! Being as fickle as I am, who knew that a title change would be in order because I’d still be blogging a year after I began?!?!)
It was a decision that I did not take lightly. I thought about it for months. I weighed all of the pros and cons and finally decided that it was a step in the right direction. I was moving away from my lost domain and taking control! (Evil Domain Sharks!!) Still, it’s a change. And, a big one. Anyone who knows me personally knows I am just a teeny tiny itsy bitty uncomfortable with change. When it comes down to it, aren’t we all?
But I forged through my fear and today I introduce to you my new title – Being Margaret!! – Hey! That’s me!..Hurray!!! That’s right, I’ve taken the leap – it’s goodbye to Twenty Thirteen and hello to Being Margaret. I’m excited for this new chapter. I’m thrilled that I was able to not only arrive at a solution that worked in my favor, but also, that I was able to outsmart the evil Domain Sharks!! AHA! Take that, you evil doers!
Change is inevitable. It’s never easy. Often it pulls on our heartstrings. We try to stop it because we like our comfort zone. But also, because it signifies the beginning of the end of something. Of moving on. We like staying put right where we are. We are not ready to say goodbye. Or to say so long for now. We like keeping things just the way they are, comfortable and familiar.
So as you all mull over my new site title and become familiar with it, I will leave you with one of my VERY FAVORITE quotes about change and about endings. As for me, I get a shiny new star for outsmarting the evil domain sharks. Hmmmm, Being Margaret – I like it!!!
“There is a universal truth we all have to face, whether we want to or not, everything eventually ends. Last day of summer, the final chapter of a great book, parting ways with a close friend. But endings are inevitable, Leaves fall, you close the book. You say goodbye. Today is one of those days for us. Today we say goodbye to everything that was familiar, everything that was comfortable. We’re moving on. But just because we’re leaving, and that hurts, there’s some people who are so much a part of us, they’ll be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground. Our North Star. And the small clear voices in our hearts that will be with us … always.”
New York City!! Planning a long weekend to NYC is no easy task. Add to that the fact that you are heading off on this shindig with your sister and the task becomes an event.
I’ve always recognized the fact that the time leading up to a long weekend getaway or vacation is often just as exciting, if not more, than the actual vacation itself. The spark is set off when the idea is first discussed ~ which is usually over cocktails or while already in the midst of a vacation!! WHOOOP!!!
I approached my sister with the idea of a weekend away in NYC. It was long overdue. We had never gone away together before. Shame on us!! We were in our 50’s. Was this something that we seriously had never scratched off of our bucket list?? Time restraints, hectic schedules and of course, our kids, had always prevented us from just picking up and taking off for the weekend. Well that was about to change. NYC, here we come!!
two months before trip…..
Me: What do you think about a trip to NYC?
Me: Soon, before summer and craziness.
Nancy: I’m in!
Well, that almost seemed too easy. After many phone-calls back and forth and daily emails, we finally found ONE weekend that worked. One weekend in the entire summer! The dates were set. We would go for a long weekend, Thurs – Sun. And So, the excitement began.
6 weeks before trip….
Me: How do you feel about an early flight?
Nancy: How early?
Me: 6am. That way we don’t lose the entire first day
Nancy: I’m In!!
Alrighty then!!! Flight booked.
Next up – Hotel accommodations. Before I was married, I would stay in any old flea bag motel. The Red Roof in on the corner was fine with me. No room service?…No problem! Carry my own luggage to my room? No biggie!
Then I got married. Clark had a different take on hotels than I did. He liked top end accommodations. And so, I discovered Luxury Hotels. How did I ever travel before without those cushy robes and matching slippers? The valets, the concierge service, the large marble bathrooms & tubs.. (Thanks Clark!!) And a Hotel Snob was born!!
Me: Nancy, hotels are a bit pricey in NYC.
Nancy: That’s fine. You’re the cruise director!! Make all the plans and consider me along for the ride.
This was too good to be true! She was, like, the best travel partner ever!! And so, the hotel was booked. A beautiful spot one block from the West entrance to Central Park. We were in the middle of the action!
We started planning our days out. Since Nancy had never been to NYC before, the list of things to do were endless. Even to seasoned travelers who had been to this huge, bustling city many times, there were endless possibilities of things to do and see. I planned to take her to see all the usual touristy spots – Top of the Rock, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Little Italy, SoHo, Chelsea, The Dakota, Washington Park, Wall Stree.
We bought tickets for the theater – two plays! We had a day planned to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge (Just like Miranda & Steve did in Sex in the City!!) We bought tickets for the 9-11 Memorial which was opening to the public the week we planned on being there – Oh What great timing!!!
But wait. We had too much to do and so little time. I didn’t even know if we HAD enough time to do everything on our list. I looked over our list of activities and decided there was not one single item I could delete. Soooooo…..
Me: Nancy, what do you think about going an extra few days?
Nancy: Will we be able to change our plane reservations and get the extra days in the hotel?
Me: Surrreee, why not??!! (fingers crossed)
Nancy: OK, I’m in! But I won’t tell my hubby just yet, I’ll spring it on him later.
Me: Good thinking! (I would follow suit!!)
Nancy: Oh, by the way…I went shopping on my lunch today and bought an outfit to wear on the plane!! SO EXCITED!!
Me: O0Oh!! Maybe I need a new outfit, too!!
And so, we tweaked our hotel and air reservations and the excitement began to build even more. Our weekend away, that started off as two days, was now almost a full week!! WHOOOP!!
The emails began to come at a rapid rate. There was not a day that went by where we did not talk to each other or email at least 1000 times. OK, I exaggerate. But it was a lot!! And the content of the emails changed. We were now talking about the shopping we were doing in preparation for our trip. And Nancy had started to add cute little clip art pictures to her emails. It was all getting very fancy!! It was all so exciting!
What had happened to me so many times before, was happening again. I was in the pre-vaca mode. The mode where you are giddy!! And all a flutter. And almost more excited than when you are actually ON the vaca!! It’s one of the highlights of going away. Planning and looking forward to and discussing…every.last.detail.
I looked forward to waking up to Nancy’s emails every morning. They were very lighthearted and made me chuckle.
3 weeks before trip…
Nancy: Hellllooooooo – I went shopping (power shopping) on my lunch hour today. Went over to Sears because Hubby buys occasionally from there for auto stuff and small yard / tools etc. When he buys we get “shop your way rewards” points.
We had enough points built up (he doesn’t know it, he never sees the emails) so I thought I needed a new, smaller wallet for N.Y. adventure. I got a new wallet for FREE.
two weeks before trip…
Nancy: My list of what I am packing is attached. I looked online to see about baggage sizes. Carry on’s 22” x 17” x 9” plus one free which could fit under seat in front of you. So I will be taking one carry-on plus one tote (it will look nice) of some sort.
one week later….
Nancy: Went shopping on my lunch. My old luggage just won’t work. Bought new, larger suitcase. Also bought new tote. SO EXCITED!! CAN’T WAIT!!
Ten days before our trip….
Nancy: GETTING SO EXCITED!!! I was going through my closet last night and definitely need to back pedal on my list of items I want to take……I would need an entire trunk if I took all I wanted to take. I do like the idea of maxi dresses with sweater or shrug to wear to plays. Think I will go shopping!!
Nancy: I have bought so many things that I have not shown to Hubby yet. Will need to sneak them to your house.
One week before trip….
Nancy: I am SOO excited…..I cannot wait. I went shopping again yesterday. I cleaned out dresser drawer yesterday and now have it filled with stuff I bought to take. I have also started to put outfits together….I have enough to stay away for three weeks. OH, I think I am rambling. …talk to you soon.
1/2 hour later…
Nancy: Forgot to tell you earlier…….I also bought another pair of shoes yesterday. I think I will need a trunk for our short vacation.
7 days before trip….
Nancy: Ohhh, I’m SO EXCITED!!! ok, For Cash – I am planning on bringing 20’s only and not 50’s. Already thought about trying to spend too large of bills. (OH, I might have to buy a thicker wallet) I will have my credit card with me. And there is always a Chase Bank near by if I need to stop and get more $$$$$$$. Will bring extra for you “just in case”.
15 minutes later…
Nancy: I will bring drivers license (duh!!) and I always have health I.D. and my State I.D. with me, but neither of them have pictures. Will I need I.D. with picture? Of course, I also have my AARP card…..giving away age secrets.
Nancy: I can hardly sleep anymore. I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!
A long overdue and exciting girls/sisters
weekendweek away – To Be Continued…..
Whether you’re a seasoned, hardcore hockey fan or you’ve jumped on the playoff’s bandwagon, how could you not get caught up in the excitement of Playoff Hockey? It’s one of my favorite times of the year. Ranking right up there with Christmas. And, summer vacations. I Love this team!!
I was listening to my favorite radio station the other day while I was driving into the city. It’s an interactive station. It’s hip and fun. They play all the newest songs. And some oldies.
I’ve listened to this station for years. Probably 20 or more. On this particular morning, the DJ asked his listening audience when it was that they truly felt like an adult. Did they remember the moment in time? There were a lot of predictable answers.
When I got married…
After the birth of my first child…
When I was diagnosed with….
Driving down the freeway towards my destination, I lost myself in thought as the soft sounds of the radio continued playing in the background. When was it that I truly felt like an adult for the first time…
I had been through so much in the past 2 years. My life had changed so drastically. A diagnosis of Cancer. Surgeries. Radiation. Moving my husbands parents across the country ~ back home here. He and I had gone from the role of adult children to caregivers. The loss of my Father-in-Law. The loss of my beloved Mother.
The sting of my Mom’s death was still fresh. The wound still deep.
I went back to my hometown a few weeks ago. Back to the place where I was raised. Where I had grown up. The Midwestern town that had shaped me into the adult I am today. I needed to go back and go through my Mom’s house one last time. We had put it on the market shortly after her death. It had sold in a matter of weeks. I brought a friend along with me for moral support. The same friend who had helped me through some very dark days after my Mom’s immediate death. And I met with my sweet sister, Nancy, there that day, too.
I did not know how I would react to the necessity of this final act of letting go. Her home was the last materialistic and tangible object remaining of her time with us in this life. And now, that too, would soon become just a sweet memory.
As I worked together with my sister and dear friend to clear out what was left of her belongings, I thought to myself how odd and somewhat sad it is that we accumulate all of these materialistic things during our lifetime. Treasures to us. But to others, just objects. Often, objects of no interest to those left behind after a loved one dies. And at the end of your life, it’s as if you just open up your front door, walk out on your life. All of your things are just left behind.
I came across things that I had not seen in years. Things that would bring out a sudden laugh or chuckle. Things that made me smile ~ each one stirring a treasured memory. I found myself laughing more than crying that day. And, I knew my mom would be laughing right beside me. She was lighthearted. And fun. And always found the humor in any situation. I inherited that from her. Her take on life was also mine. Her sense of humor I shared, too. Thank You, Mom!!
I thought back upon my deep love for my Mom throughout that entire day. When did our relationship change from mother-daughter to a true, deep friendship? I could not pinpoint the time, but I knew there was most definitely a metamorphosis that had taken place. We truly were friends. We enjoyed each others company and shared so many moments together that two girlfriends would share. Hour long phone calls. Often as long as 2+ hours. We traveled together. A lot. And during those travels we became closer and closer. We saw things for the first time together and were in awe as we traveled and our eyes were opened to new experiences. Italy. France. Spain. Parts of the USA as well. She became close to my children. They formed close bonds with her. So much so, that they would travel by themselves to see her and spend time with her. All treasured memories now, locked up in my heart.
As we finished our task that day and were walking out, I turned back one last time and looked around at what had once been her home. When did I truly first feel like an adult? I never felt more adult than I did in that moment. I was left behind here on Earth while my Mother, who I love more than words can describe, had gone home to be with my Dad in Heaven.
My Love for my Mom and Dad is deep rooted in my heart and soul. Forever.
Tomorrow is Mother’s day. I am going to be celebrating my Mom and smiling at the memory of her inner beauty, over-abundance of unconditional love, our deep friendship, and her selfless gift of being the best role model I could have ever asked for.
I miss her so, so, so much. I’m sure she is smiling down on me right now from her new home in Heaven.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I Love You.
In honor of Mother’s Day, Jimmy Kimmel hit the streets of Los Angeles to ask moms, “Whats the most shocking thing your kids don’t know about you?” Some of the answers range from boring, to “what the…” to just plain hilarious. Watch the video above to see some of the best responses.