TEMPEST WARPED

 

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As clearly indicated in this photo of my ‘elevated’ clock collection…time really does fly! Otherwise, how the hell did so much time go by between posts?  Oh sure, a snippet here, a snapshot there, but basically…crickets!

Bad writer.  Baaaaad writer 😦

Soooo much has happened since my last real update.  But, as I recall (who am I kidding?  I recall nothing…I had to re-read my last posts to catch up with myself!) we’d basically gotten out of our house and into Mom’s, only to turn right around and do it again when her house sold the very weekend we moved in.  So, the crunch was on to find the new house to accommodate everyone’s wants, needs, and pocketbook…no easy task in the best of circumstances much less with less than 45 days to find (finally), contract (ouch), inspect (ahem, is that supposed to do that?), appraise (oooh look hon, we already made a hundred bucks!), and close (ha…they get 5% for that?).

Then came the moving part…and actually, I have nothing to say about that except it went pretty darn well considering the parties involved (namely….me!)

No  T  to the  H  to the  U  to the  Gs  this time!  No Sir.  Just lots and lots and lots and more lots…of shit-n-stuff.

Of course that’s not to say we didn’t have our adventures.  Most certainly we did, but after we moved in, which was a nice change (for about 30 seconds!). And a post for another day perhaps.

But, to this point, we did find a character-laden property out in the boonies of King William County (and we all know what ‘character’ means yes?) quickly realizing we’d just moved into a time warp.  And not in a good way! Suffice to say we move more Forward to the Past than Back to the Future  🙄

How you ask?  Wellllll…remember dial-up?  Listening to the pings and bongs and dings and dongs as we waited patiently (hahaha) for a connection to that new and wonderful and mind blowing experience called ‘the internet’?

Okay.  So we’re not there but what we DO have is Dial-Up-Yours Darrell’s asshat cousin ShitForBrains satellite internet!

Oh Rhett…Gone with the Wind are those lazy hours of streaming and binge watching Netflix.  Instead of watching Frankie and Grace hippy-fy the high brow, I’m watching the usage meter deplete faster than a three year old can make a Twinkie disappear.

No more swinging a Swiffer like she’s Ginger (oops…like he’s Fred 😳  ) while singing with Pandora where every channel is the best channel ’cause it’s MINE!

Gone is Dancing with the Real Stars on The Weather Channel Live because that’s been replaced with sitting Shiva to my dearly departed High-Speed Hank so I can spend quality time with my new frienemy, Manual Update in the lonely hours between 2 and 8 a.m.

What’s worse I ask…the frustration, the boredom, or the lack of sleep…I just can’t decide.

What I can say is…ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH

I miss my FIOS

And what’s worse…

I hate that I do

 

p.s.  if you’ve nothing better to do, the links in this post are to some of my aforementioned adventures in moving.  just sayin  🙂

 

 

 

From One Boomer to Another…yikes!

1966 – 2016

1966 : Long hair
2016:  Longing for hair

1966 : KEG
2016:  EKG

1966 : Acid rock
2016:  Acid reflux

1966 : Moving to  California  because it’s cool
2016:  Moving to  Arizona  because it’s warm

1966 : Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor
2016:  Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Liz Taylor

1966 : Seeds and stems
2016:  Roughage

1966 : Hoping for a BMW
2016:  Hoping for a BM

1966 : Going to a new, hip joint
2016:  Receiving a new hip joint

1966 : Rolling Stones
2016:  Kidney Stones

1966 : Screw the system
2016:  Upgrade the system

1966 : Disco
2016:  Costco

1966 : Parents begging you to get your hair cut
2016:  Children begging you to get their heads shaved

1966 : Passing the drivers’ test
2016:  Passing the vision test

1966 : Whatever
2016 : Depends

And…just in case you weren’t feeling old enough, this will certainly change things.

Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the faculty a sense of the mindset of this year’s incoming freshmen.

Here’s this year’s list:

  • The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1998.
  • They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
  • Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
  • Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
  • The CD was introduced 7 years before they were born.
  • They have always had an answering machine.
  • They have always had cable.
  • They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
  • Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
  • They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
  • They can’t imagine what hard contact lenses are.
  • They don’t know who Mork was or where he was from.
  • They never heard: “Where’s the Beef?”, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel”, or “de plane, Boss, de plane.”
  • They do not care who shot J. R. and have no idea who J. R. even is. Mc Donald’s never came in Styrofoam containers.
  • They don’t have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Do you feel old yet?

Mommy Dearest

I’ll go out on a limb here and say for most of us, being a parent is, quite literally, the hardest job we’ve ever had or ever will. And, at the same time, it’s the richest, most fulfilling, most rewarding contribution to our own lives and always will be.  alex

One of the most surprising aspects of parenthood’s lifelong journey is finding out that one split second is all it takes for you to come to know the best and worst of being a parent…the span of that second is the distance between loving another being so much it hurts, to wishing you’d gotten a dog instead!  True dat  🙂

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But in looking at this most difficult most rewarding dichotomy, it’s not so hard to understand when you consider first, our tendency to place the highest value on that which was hardest won, and second, our amazing capacity for forgiveness (as parents at least).

But what is it that takes parents to the depths of the difficult to the heights of reward when it comes to loving our children? How do we survive the splintering of our brains in a thousand directions trying to figure them out, yet tarnishes the love in our hearts never?

I don’t question the reward; I think it’s obvious. I do, however, ponder the difficult. Is it because we love too much?  Is it that even possible?

I don’t believe so…

However, could it be that we love too much for too long?  Is that it?  Does parental love need to be doled out in stages or degrees?  Or fit into categories in order to not overload these little overlords once they come into their own?

So what (you ask) are these stages/degrees/categories you ask?

I’m a little cuss who can’t (and don’t want to) function without you so love me, love me more, love me most!

I’m a teenager so love me lots, and with patience, but for God’s sake, don’t let my friends see it!

I’m a young adult now so love me from a distance, but not too far ’cause I may need the car!

I’ve met someone and we’re going to get married.  Can ya help, can ya pay, can we have it there? (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love him/her!)

I’m going to have a baby so love me, love me most, and love me now ’cause we’re going to need babysitters! (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love it!)

Mom? Dad? I’ve never felt this way before…I love this kid so much my heart hurts!
(ps honey…we know!)

And so on…..

The short answer to the too much / too long question is…yes, okay, maybe, a little bit. But we parents come to this conclusion naturally I think. We instinctively know (or learn soon enough if our instincts are not as honed as they will be), which stage or category we’re dealing with or which degree of parental love to douse them with, simply by living it. Organic knowledge.  We just have to choose to go with it.

Does that stop us from loving the same soul-deep way we did when they were newborn?

No.  Perhaps it does in theirs though.  For a time.

I know that they love us the same way we do them…in the beginning.  Outside of themselves, we are their world. Their universe. Their moon and their stars, and they are ours.

Parents and kids grow up together.  That’s a given.  No matter if you’re 18 or 45 when you have your children, you have to grow up with them to be able to give and receive all that these little selves need, and later, need to share.

We may grow up more with our first.  Then again, it may just be that we grow up differently with the next one or two or three.

But…if we’ve played our hands well, we are love.  All of it.  Every stage, every degree, every category is of the love, by the love, for the love.  And they are right there with us.

Completely (in the beginning)

Mostly (in the middle)

Until (still in the middle but getting further towards the…the…well shit…not the end, but you know what I mean right?)

Until…they find out there are more people to love and to be loved by; more stars to shine the light of love on their heads and in their hearts; more room in their world for other loves.

As it has always been.  As it was with our own parents to be sure.  Just another way of experiencing the circle of life.

Consider…

Our children are loved as only a child can be loved and they in turn, love as only a child can love. The universe is secure.

As time goes on, they thrive and grow in that forever, universe-spanning, parental love and love them right back. But as they continue to grow, they s l o w l y  recognize that their world is expanding to include the many, many different kinds of love; each addition a glimmering star to their universe thus far.

But their recognition is as single-minded as their love for us was in the beginning. When they venture out from underneath the love-cloaked expanse of their parental universe, they don’t at once realize that their hearts are big enough to add new loves without setting aside old ones.

Our time will come again (usually around the time the grand-kids show up!), but as parents, it’s only natural that we do feel the initial loss of that connection when our love is no longer the moon and the stars in our child’s heart.

BUT…

Facing this fact head-on is hard, but absolutely necessary.

For our own well-being as well as theirs.

If we don’t, we run the risk of pushing them further out into the expanse by clinging too close, depending too much on their always being there, pining away for their childhood days when they aren’t there, regretting what we didn’t do, or forgetting what we did. Even romanticizing the harder times and not counting our blessings.

We all can probably think of a parent in our experience who has done, or does, this. Think back to the last time you witnessed a parent who cannot let go and re-live what you felt. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.

I’m certainly not completely innocent of it still.  I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being ‘that mother’. The one who always can, always will, never says no, never says can’t. Who wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the perfect mom’?  But that’s not perfection. It’s limiting to both your life and those of your children.

However, even knowing I am not (and never could be) that mother…(nor is their Dad ‘that guy’) it nevertheless hurts (and in the dark of night, makes me wonder if they’ll still love me enough to ask again- I know, just silly ) to know that we are the ones disappointing our children.

But we get over it because we know we are good parents who have raised good people.  We all deal with disappointments in our relationships.  We have difficult conversations followed by deafening silences.  But we’ve loved each other long enough and well enough to know what’s really important.

So there is hope. Once we’ve matured enough in our parenthood to realize this fact of life, we can recapture that sense of oneness, specialness, absolute love not felt anywhere but in your parents’ heart of hearts.  It is, after all, our hearts that need to make preparations for the day when our children learn there is a love flow-chart.  This will fluctuate during their life spans, but it will always show a solid heart-red line for us.  Mom and Dad.  Steady as she goes.  What more could we hope for?

And an added benefit to this stage of parental maturity is…we can (and hopefully do) look back at our own parents with a new appreciation for all they’ve done, all they’ve been through, and all we’ve learned from them without even knowing it.  Score!

Cheers and happy parenting (and I mean that!)

Dearest Mommy

Dedicated to my Mother and Father and to my Sons
I’m proud to be one of your stars

Older Than Dirt!

A young person asked the other day “What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?”

I answeredWe didn’t have fast food when I was growing up.  It was all slow.”

C’mon, seriously” he continued,  “Where did you eat?”

I sighed that older person’s sigh and answeredIt was a place called home.”

To clarify, I told him Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table.”  I further explained “And if I didn’t like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did!”

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

Here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it: 

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis , set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card .

My parents never drove me to school. I had two good legs and at one point a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and it only had one speed -S L O W

The first television in our house was, of course, black and white, but there was a screen we could put on it that turned the sky blue and the grass green.  The 3 stations we had went off the air at 11, after playing the national anthem. It came back on the air at about 6 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people.  The only stuff worth watching was on Saturday mornings and Sunday nights.  Period!

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone was on a party line and before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people weren’t already using the line.  If so, you’d hang up and wait.  Or if you were like me, you’d listen 😉

Pizzas were not delivered to our home… But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers.  My brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week before school and on Saturday.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies!  There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive .

(Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?)

Another memory (that, according to this generation, prove I’m older than dirt!)

Have you ever seen a cola bottle with a stopper with holes in it and wondered what it was?  Did you ever see your mother or grandmother iron and see them use it?  If yes, you are as old as dirt too!  If not, you’ll have no idea.  I’ve heard kids guess it was a homemade salt shaker.  Wrong.  It was to sprinkle water on clothes that were being ironed.  They didn’t have steam irons, so they made their own!  I got a steam iron when I got married, but before then?
Sprinkle Sprinkle Sprinkle!

(Man, I am old!)

Okay, here’s an Older Than Dirt Quiz :

How many do you remember?  Count all the ones that you remember, NOT the ones you were told about  (Ratings at the bottom)

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor
Ignition switches on the dashboard

Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards

Wearing plastic bread bags over your shoes instead of boots

Curling irons you heat on a gas burner or wood stove
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals
 
Candy cigarettes
Coffee shops with table side juke boxes
Home milk delivery in glass bottles 
Party lines on the telephones
 
Newsreels before the movie

Serials and cartoons before the movie
Drive Ins
TV
test patterns that came on at night after the last show before and were there until TV shows started again in the morning
Peashooters
Cap guns
It’s Howdy Doody
 Time
45s and 78s records
33 1/3 Hi-fi records
Metal ice trays with lever
 
Blue flashbulbs
 
Cork popguns
 
Studebakers
 
Wash tub wringers
 
Outhouses

If you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don’t tell your age
If you remembered 11+ = You’re older than dirt !!

We might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of our lives

Rhonda-Van-Wrinkle Revisited

Three years ago today…March 1, 2013, I re-entered the blogosphere to share my thoughts and speak my mind on life’s many shades of gray.  Having survived the hugely regretful menopause fueled meltdown deletion of my original blogonality, Help Me Rhonda, I’m more than happy I made the decision to try again.

I am also very thankful for the old friends that found the new me, and thrilled with the new friends I’ve made since.  So, I’d like to celebrate this birthday with a stroll down memory lane by revisiting 50 Shades of Gray Hair’s inaugural  post…as well as thanking you all once again, for adding your own hues to my 50 shades, and leaving your heart-prints all over mine.

And I just have to point out…the first sentence of the 4th paragraph?  The one I’ve highlighted in yellow?  Oy…prophetic or WHAT!!   🙂


This first official post has me feeling like I’m coming back to Junior High after summer break.  But instead of that obligatory ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’ essay, I’m standing in front of the class reading mine entitled…

‘Where Did My Life Go and What the Hell is THAT?’

Though I am no longer the pimply-faced teen, sweating the small stuff…I AM a wrinkly-faced grandmother sweating with the flashes and spending way too much time looking for those things I knew I needed, at the time I needed them but forgot I had…and when I did find them, I couldn’t remember why I needed them in the first place.

Ha…I’m not really wrinkly-faced; it’s more of a wrinkly feeeeling.  The memory thing is spot on though, as are the questions about where life went and what new and wonderful surprises will pop up, slide down, fall off, or turn colors, each and every morning.

[Not to mention what happens AFTER I leave the bathroom…yikes]

Those first steps of the day can make it or break your leg…if you’re not paying attention. Life’s stairs are steep; you need to open your eyes, clear your head, hang onto the handrail, and take one step at a time.  That isn’t to say you can’t ride the rail once in a while…hop on the banister and whoop your way down…

…Just watch out for the splinters along the way. They are a pain in the ass! 

No one said it would be easy.  At least no one said it to me.  Of course, no one said it would be this hard either.  But, I have realized, it’s only as hard as we make it.  Which, I believe, is why I’m here…again.

Life can be hard, but never as hard as when you turn inward thinking to shelter and protect, only to wake up and realize you are just adding more and more wrinkles. Those ‘oldest woman on earth’ kind of wrinkles; ‘my wrinkles have wrinkles’ kind of wrinkles; ‘when I stand I sound like an accordion‘ kind of wrinkles.

Old.

I’m talking feeling old!

And I’m too young to feel this old.

Too young to BE this old.

So, I’m starting by ironing and straightening out some of those internal wrinkles.  Getting up and out of my life’s laundry basket and getting to work.  (Don’t worry, I won’t ever use that term again!  And if any of you remember anything about my old blog…you may recall I HATE IRONING!)

Each day – a new stretch

Each stretch – one less wrinkle.

And I know I’m not doing it alone.

That’s the key.  I’m letting those that love me take one end while I take the other…and together we’ll pull some of those suckers out.

And for the one’s that can’t be pulled…I have a turbo charged steam iron.

Yes, I do.

It’s called ‘The Future”!

And when the time comes to let the roots show, I’ll be ready.

But for now it’s…

Rhonda-Van-Wrinkle time to wake up!

Morning everybody…what Shade are we today?