A Sweet Memory

I was sharing a sweet memory today with my dear friend. We were talking about things we did with our families. As a child, we had very little money. Occasionally, as a special treat, we would go to a drive in movie. I thought it was so wonderful to see movies on the giant screen.
They charged by the car load and we brought our own goodies. My mom would make a large batch of freshly popped popcorn. It filled a big brown grocery bag.  She also made a large pitcher of Kool-Aid as our beverage.

Back then, in the olden days, they would show two or three cartoons followed by two movies. We always went in our PJs because we were typically unable to stay awake through both shows. 

There were playgrounds in front of the big screen. Lots of kids in PJs would be playing until it got dark and the cartoons started. We went back to our car and Mom passed out the refreshments. We stayed awake for the cartoons every time. Most of the time we made it through the first movie. 

I remember taking my children to the drive in for the same reasons I had gone. My daughters were in PJs. The experience was so similar to my childhood. We did bring our own candy and soda. My girls loved the outings just as much as I did.

Thank you Di for the synchronicity of your prompt with my conversation today.

The Beautiful Mistake

My friend and I went into the convenience store to check out the fodder of snacks on the shelves. I personally don’t care what brand of junk food I get, as long as it has chocolate in it. My friend scanned the options from the front to the back of the shelves. It seemed the agent at the counter thought her motion of touching all the packages was something to be suspicious of. He followed her every move around the store hoping to stop her from using a five-finger discount. I was getting red from embarrassment. I am too much of a chicken to steal anything. 

I had to convince her to stay away from the frosty items because anything in the deep freeze would surely melt by the time we got to the car. She wondered why 100-degree heat would make ice cream melt. Sometimes she can be such an idiot I have to hold my tongue.  

We made our choices and approached the counter. She asked the clerk how high the lottery was this week. He gruffly stated that it had reached $250,000,000. He assumed she wanted a ticket and added the price to our bill. She was too shy to correct him and handed over her credit card.

We headed to the movies and began scarfing down our goodies. By the time our movie was over, the lottery numbers had been drawn. On a lark, we checked our numbers. We read them and reread them. We couldn’t believe our eyes.

We had won the lottery! This was the most beautiful mistake to ever occur. How do you spend that much money?

.MMA – friend, chicken
Daily Word Prompt – brand, fodder
MLMM – Opposing Forces
Daily Spur – agent
MLMM – Sunday Writing Prompt
FOWC – motion, lottery
Three Things Challenge -idiot, shy, high

True Nighttime Mishaps Using Prompts

In the middle of the night last night, I was again unable to sleep. The disquiet I felt made me want to do something. I figured I would be productive with my time. I love, that because of retirement I have the freedom to sleep in the next day if I am able to do so. I no longer have to go to school dragging through the day with only three hours of sleep.

I decided to clear out some of the hundreds of photos on my computer. Most were memorable shots that brought me joy. Some pictures were so blurry that I wondered why I didn’t delete them long ago.  Some were trite, staged photos that only I would enjoy. My grandkids can be known to make a loud verbal fuss if I want what to take what I consider will be an artistic shot. At holiday times I had them dressing up with some of my many seasonal decorations. (You can imagine how well that went off with teenagers.)

I discovered that I had many repeats in a variety of folders. I rarely delete photos because I fear I will lose a perfect shot forever. With confidence that I was doing the right thing, I bid ado to the duplicates and bad shots. I assumed the icing on the cake of getting rid of so many photos would mean that my computer would run faster.

To further expunge duplicates, I decided to delete the files that were in multiple folders.  Mind you, I did this before saving anything to Shutterfly.  (BAD BAD MOVE) I then emptied my recycle bin. (STUPID STUPID MOVE) When I then went looking for a photo for the BrightSquare challenge, I found all my pictures were cleared off my computer, never to be seen again.

The photographs that WERE on my computer are not backed up anywhere. I admit to a few holy c*#p moments. I took a few deep breaths and pondered what, if anything, I could do about it. I realized that in the middle of the night, I could not “phone a friend.” The worst-case scenario was that my pictures were gone forever. Then my gratitude slipped in. At least I had the enjoyment of reliving all those memories before they left my computer. They are still in my heart, still in my recollections, and still a part of my life. 

I have photos in albums, on Shutterfly, and at Costco. I am not down for the count. I shall blog pictures again. LOL

Serenity Prayer

Written using: freedomlove, artisticschoolconfidencememorablerepeattritedisquietfuss, icingverbal, dressing, ado

Moving Forward After Retirement

Things have changed in oh so many ways since retiring a couple of years ago. The changes have not been slight, by any means. I figured there would be some adjustments, but I must admit there were more than expected.

Just months after my retirement began, I was diagnosed with a new medical disease. I had never even heard of it. I was shocked and disheartened believing that the rest of my life was going to be horrible. (I have always been a pro at catastrophic expectations.) I was convinced that my joy of retirement would be stifled by the new diagnosis The news hit me hard. I couldn’t figure out why any human needed to get another illness at this stage of the game. (Insert stopping my feet because of my perceived injustice.)

A dear friend helped me escape the pity party I was holding. She understood my angst. She had a family member who has the same disease. I was introduced to a variety of methods to help survive my new life. I realized that if I wanted to be well, I needed to take drastic measures to lower my pain levels. I began by cleaning out my kitchen to resist the temptation to eat foods I should no longer consume. I kept notes about what foods I was eating to try and make connections when my body flared. I discovered what my “safe” foods were. It was a process that still exists to this day.

Another wonderful friend insisted I look at what things I could do make my life bearable. She never used kid gloves when she spoke to me.  Her overture was to refocus my brain.  She told me recently that someone called her a velvet brick. It fits her. Because of her, I concentrated on lifestyle changes to help me live happier. When I spoke about my new life, I was reminded that I should be grateful. The new ailment was completely life altering, but thankfully not life ending.

I found myself returning to the place where I needed to focus on gratitude again. I had to let go of the smug future I had planned for myself. I had to replace my wants; with the reality I was dealing with. For example, I purchased a new-to-me car the month I retired. I planned on taking the grandkids on numerous trips.  Long distance traveling was not to be part of my future. With the help of some medical aides, I can take short rides. I am grateful that I can research what works for others to try new things. I had to keep reminding myself to do the best with what I had been dealt.

A couple of months after by body settling into my new normal, I was struck with shingles. Never have I known such pain. For numerous weeks I was in agony. As the saying goes, I would not wish that on my worst enemy. (For the record, I wouldn’t wish any ill on anybody at any time.)

My declining shingles pain levels just happened to coincide with the first lockdown of Covid. Bye bye medical pain, hello emotional anxiety. I must believe the universe is one giant prankster at times. This past year has been fraught with stress. Between worrying about the deaths and horrible consequences of Covid there were few days without shattered nerves. The world as we knew it, no longer exists.

I realized I needed to again focus on things that brought me joy. Every day that my body was willing, I pushed myself to complete more and more goals. Accomplishing tasks became an obsession of its own. The good news was that I cleaned, purged, redecorated, and changed multiple spaces in my house. The not-so-good-news was that I was still not living the retirement life I dreamed of.

Recently, I was challenged to NOT work on my yard for three days. I was spending too many hours outside. I was causing myself physical pain. I accepted the challenge. It was not easy on day one. My messy yard needed me to clean it. (Or so I thought.) I waited my three days. Then I decided to choose a task, complete it, and stop working. The reframe was beneficial in many ways.

Looooong story short, I am once again working on reframing my retirement. I am completing easy tasks that bring me joy. When I am outside, which is most days, I crank up the stereo and listen to hard rock music. It brings me joy to sing along in my off-key voice. I find joy spending my evenings reading and writing blogs.  I still haven’t returned to my ability to read novels yet. Covid has deprived me of that still. I am working toward more joys daily.

I am learning to spend only as much time as I want to on chores. In fact, many a day I do absolutely nothing at all. The only thing I must do every day is play with Annie. She brings joy each and every day of my life.

Written for these  prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (human, music), Word of the Day Challenge (hit) MMA Storytime (gloves), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (slight/figured/method/note), Your Daily Word Prompt (stifle/overture/coincide, prankster), Three Things Challenge (same, well, temptation, evening, replace, evening, smug) and The Daily Spur (game)

I’m Tired of Holding My Tongue

It’s time for a change to happen in some of my personal relationships. I am more than tired of biting my tongue. I no longer want to deal with the  innuendoes. The problem is causing me much unwanted grief. It has gone on for too long now.

I have a wonderfully varied group of family and friends. I accept them for who they are. I expect them to accept me and my own beliefs in return. I have ties with people who are atheists, agnostics, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists, Christians, spiritual non-affiliated, etc. It matters not to me, what faith or lack there of anyone has. It just matters that people are kind, caring, and accepting of everyone while causing no harm.

Last evening, in a fake overture of extending a kind remark, someone was cruelly degrading my beliefs. I immediately balked at what they said. I could hear their smug sense of superiority.   Before the situation became volatile, I ended the conversation. I would never tell someone they were practicing their beliefs in an inaccurate way. I would never tell someone they should do what I do or believe what I believe. So why do some people feel it is OK to chastise me for how I practice my beliefs?

Maybe if I were one who believed in retribution, I could hit them on the head with a balloon full of water. It might wake them to the fact that they were hurting my feelings. If I believed for one minute that it would be an effective way to stop the comments, I would seriously consider it.

I’ve reached the end of the road accepting other people’s condemnations. I want to replace my angst with calm. I need an instant retort that is not unkind but gets my point across.

Perhaps a simple, “You are certainly entitled to your opinion.”

Written for:
mind love miserys menagerie – time-for-change
three things challenge – problem, much, own
daily word prompt – overture/ balk
three things challenge – before , effective, longer
mma word of the day – volatile
word of the day – hit
mind love miserys menagerie – the end of the road
three things challenge – evening, replace, smug