This is our vacation out of office week. Everyone home. Eating. Laughing. Swimming. Drinking. Running. Loving. Together.
Lucky us, right?
These last weeks of summer, stop reading the hate tweets, stop scanning the headlines for the latest outrage, and stop worrying about the outcome next November. Instead, why not take a moment to see flowers, to hear joy, and to feel warmth? Be grateful. Remember you love life.
The day after my mother passed I found myself searching for her. Perhaps this is normal. Perhaps even the first stage of grief. All I know is I could not get enough of her. Every dusty photo became a treasure I was seeing for the first time. Even braving the traffic from New Jersey through Manhattan, over the Brooklyn Bridge and past Prospect Park, to stand on these steps, the very ones my mother skipped up and down, the steps her many beaus walked, and finally through this doorway went my father. This home, 1510 on Albemarle Road, that housed my great-grand parents and their ten, then my grandparents and their eight, a house where I brought two of my own for visits. A place to celebrate Easter and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Where my grandfather’s casket was brought and the house filled with condolences. The house my grandmother packed up and said goodbye to, and yet I found myself here, sensing the shadow of generations, of a mother who I miss.
Sometimes life is perfect. Right when you need it most. And this week, as my sister put it, “You hit the lottery.” Now, considering all the curve balls we have been running to catch, the near misses we have handled, and the hits we have taken, good fortune is indeed due. But does need predict success? Does desperation grant achievement? I will tell you, no, a flat out no. Just ask anyone experiencing troubles. No one feels their challenges were warranted, nor is there a quota; yet despite misfortune, miraculously, most learn to endure all that comes their way. Thankfully this week, we kick up our heels. Smile brightly. Look up. For fortune favored us.
There are days when even this Nine Cent Girl likes to let go of thinking, of words, of worldly concerns. What better time to start than while we are waiting for Spring? Instead of coming home and turning on the news or reaching for the wine, how about a few wonderful minutes when you set your radio dial to music you just have to move to? No matter what, just dance!
Florida. The 3rd most populated state in our country, with close to 100 million annual visitors, 50+ million headed to Disney World alone. This trend has been on the upswing ever since central air conditioning turned humidity into a tame house guest. With a climate that is gentle on the joints and boasts endless miles of open beaches, those with grand means and those with meager resources, fly like snowbirds to the Sunshine State. “In 2011, the first of the baby boomers reached what used to be known as retirement age. And for the next 18 years, boomers will be turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day”(AARP). And you guessed it, most of these folks are headed right into this condo-complex playground. Many of my retired relatives and friends have sold off their northern homes, or at least shut the water off and lowered the heat for the winter months, donned their summery coral and teal wraps, and settled in any number of the coastal Florida havens.
Sorry to desert you, my dear hard-working friends, but, I’m on VACATION, searching out some much needed sunshine.
Expect a full and glorious report on my return.
Getting dressed for your day can be a daunting task if you are feeding kids and packing lunches. Or even if you’re not. Getting your whole look together in the dark dawn can often mean pulling on that same old thing too many times. My daughter, once she reached 7th grade and decided what she wore to school defined her, began arranging her outfits the night before. She carried this habit into her adult life, especially when she has an important affair, she plots out her whole look beforehand, tries it on, fiddles with accessories, to works out the whole ensemble. Smart girl who grew to become a professional stylist. As of today, I rarely get that far with my wardrobe, but I do stop before I head out the door and view my whole self, then add a flourish here or there to make my look as signature as my spirit. I encourage you, tomorrow, reach for something new, switch up your hairstyle, don a neglected pair of earrings, a colorful bracelet, just play with your finishing touches.