There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Missed opportunities...a work in progress

I recently appplied for my social security benefits....a right of passage for retirement, the silver years, old friggin age I guess. I was thinking about my mother after the telephonic application and wondered how many regrets she had besides the obvious ones I had seen and heard. I swore after she died I would live my life to its fullest and never let my dreams fizzle. Well, some of those dreams resemble Alka Seltzer now. So, in the spirit of Erma Bombeck.....maybe.......

I wish I had:

Moved with my children to a foreign country......Dingle, Ireland or Sorrento, Italy. But, I didn't know about those wonderous places when the kids were young. Maybe, just maybe......

Learned to play the piano....I was an Italian kid....I learned to play the accordion. I got as far as teaching runny nosed 6 year olds how to play a 12 bass instrument when I was a sophomore in high school......then I fell in love with the man that would become my first husband. Maybe, just maybe......

Straight hair......I was an Italian kid, I had fuzzy hair of course. I did try having it straightened as an adult, but it looked like ric rac for the most part. Forget that one; I need to accept my hair for what it is.

Learned a second language. I took Latin in high school. Who speaks Latin, a priest at mass? Not even there anymore...I tried learning Italian before our trip to Italy but I beleive my brain cells are just too atrophied to absorb strange words. Well, maybe.......big Maybe.

Another sports car. I have had three...two red ones and a blue one....two Toyotas, one a Vette. No ground clearance on those babies however, so not practical in snow country. Maybe I wish I had enough money to buy another sports car and just park it in the garage 6 months of the year. Maybe......probably not. I'm too old to bend down far enough to get into the damn thing.

My handwriting was better. It is big, slanted, sloppy sometimes and actually illegible most of the time. No matter how hard I try to write in a straight line, my letters slide off the side of the paper. I am just as sloppy on the computer but thank goodness for spell check!

I hadn't married my second husband again making him my second and third husband. I don't regret the first marriage which was my second marriage.....because I had Gil. But, I was STUPID the second time that made him my third husband. He was the same man as the second man and even worse actually. He is not a nice man.

Been a better mother with all three of my children. As a small defense, I was a child when I had my first baby.....I was 16, under-educated, lonely, felt ugly, and had few friends. High school had been a nightmare of social mistakes, wrong clothes and boyfriends that were off the norm and I wanted to be loved and love someone deeply......that was my first son, Art. I never really knew how to be a mother...didn't have the best roll model. I wish I could have a few do-overs with my three kids.

Worn more high heels. They really make a woman look sexy...and my legs are still pretty nice. I don't have any varicosities, at least none that show and while I am white as bread, I might consider self tanning goop....or not. However, my feet are almost 62 years old and feel it most days. I guess high heels are out, but really cute flats might work.

Had cats as pets a lot sooner. I always thought that cats were sneaky and distant. I was wrong. My first cat Babie was sensitive, loving and a great comfort. I have had a total of 7 cats and they all have been the very BEST pets. Low maintenance, independent, bad breath yes, but cats are great!

Married Steve when I was thirty. We have had such a good life together. I met Steve in 1982 when I was 38. Just 8 more years would have been enough.....he is the kindest, most sensitive, generous man I have ever known and I would still feel that way if we didn't love each other.

Discovered the forest and all of the wonders that come with it sooner. I lived in the suburbs all of my life....that is up to 1998. When we moved to our 16 acres in '98 the most surprising thing to me was the cars, freeways, drunk teenagers in the street, tied up barking dogs, or neighbors close enough to hear me in the bathroom. The forest is filled with leaves rustling in the wind, scurring little critters, birds, unseen animals treking through the trees, and God. I have never really felt afraid in the forest except when I know the bears are hungry and I won't go into it at night because of skunks.....but it is a place of such discovery and awe. I have discovered a lot about myself in the forest.

Spent less time cleaning my damn house. I have an O/C disorder when it comes to cleaning my house. I clean everyday....vacuum, dust and wash the floors. Yep, every day. In my own defense, I have to say that I do some of my best problem solving while I clean. I can have an entire conversation with someone in my head and before I know it the house is sparkling. My daughter once told me my pets and vacuum were more important than my kids...they're not...they just fill a really empty place in me.

Paid more attention on my childhood summer vacations. My dad was a long haul truck driver. Every summer...yes every summer...we took off for the entire months of June, July and August and drove across the country to Virginia and Ohio to see my relatives. My dad took all of the truck routes and back roads and I saw some of the most magnificent sites....the Painted Desert, the Petrified forest, Native Americans living in hill side caves, Amish country, underground houses in Utah, Williamsburg when it was being restored, cities like New York before graffiti and gangs...and so many more amazing places. I have a box filled with 8mm films of all of those places but nothing to use as a projector. Maybe someday I will have them transferred onto another medium.....when I win the lotto.

More friends.I have always been a solitary person. As a kid I would play with my dolls and paper dolls rather than other kids. High school was a social nightmare. As an adult I have had trouble trusting other adults so work became my friend until it became my enemy. Moving to a rural home didn't help with my social aspirations such as they were. I do have one good friend, but she is busy with her own life and I don't need much of an excuse to stay home. I have substituted books for dollies. My loss.....maybe someday.

Bought fewer handbags. Oh, that is a total lie...I love handbags and not cheap ones either. I wish I could buy more shoes too. I just threw this one in to make it seem like I was a good person and was embarrassed about buying another bag last week.

I lived closer to my children and grandchildren. This is a tough one. I have really grown to love the forest, the few cars out here and the simplicity of my life....well simpler life anyway. I know I couldn't live in a big city or suburbia with its freeways, gangs, rudeness and rush; not now. But some days my body and heart just ache to have them within touching distance. The promise to see them as often as I could got lost in finance, bills and high airfares. We talk a lot on the phone, but I have missed all of the wonderful grandmotherly things I wanted to experience in person.

I wish I could say THE END, but unfortunately I am sure I will think of other missed opportunities.....while I am vacuuming.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The best things about Charlie...the worst thing

He was the best back seat navigator, he always left a doggie kiss for me on the window, he made quiet smellies when a certain person came over to visit, he loved the kitties, ignored the kitties, loved Violet.....well, sometimes he loved her, but he really did love Penelope before he got sick, loved Christmas music, always woke up when I couldn't sleep and kept me company, let me use his tummy for a nap pillow, never got upset when I yelled...he just laid down and took a deep breath, hated the water just like me, posed for pictures, never drooled on me, loved me unconditionally.

The worst thing.......he got old and sick and I couldn't make him better no matter how hard I tried.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

daily routines

36 degrees this morning. Charlie up at 5:30 am. He didn't make it outside for his pottying.....he has the softest ears, the most beautiful brown eyes. I have missed him already. We have gotten him a burger, let him have some ice cream, took him on the trails for a short while and loved him more than we ever thought possible. Sweet Charlie.