Posts Tagged ‘random thoughts’

I mentioned yesterday that my three grown kids were at a wedding for a cousin on their father’s side. The two girls were sharing a hotel room and will be flying home together tonight. I’ll be picking them up (at the crack of midnight) tonight. I may have forgotten to mention that they were in my home town.

While driving around Japan Town in search of nice chop sticks and some rice bowls for the boys, they ended up near the house where I grew up. They texted me to ask which street. Was it 5th Street? I replied with the street address on 7th Street and the cross street. A little bit later, they texted me a picture of the house. It is very well kept and looks amazing. It’s a Victorian with a full basement, two kitchens, two bathrooms (at least when I lived there), a bay window in the living room, and a very large backyard. It has been painted a nice, pale pink. I had never seen it painted anything but white, even in the years after I moved away and went back for drive bys, the last one being about eight years ago.

I looked it up on Zillow and found that it last sold four years ago for almost $500,000 and the estimated sale price for a sale now is $978,000. It has some amazing upgrades. Indeed, much work has been put into it since my parents bought it for $8,000 around 1957. You can read about the main improvement here and here.

It got me to wondering if it was still the same house. The outside certainly is and from the photos on Zillow, the living room is basically the same with the big bay window with mosaic glass at the top. Some of the features that were there when I lived there are still there, or at least recognizable. In fact, the claw foot bathtub is still there. Not sure if it is the one that we used or if it has been replaced but it’s there.

Do the walls still remember the laughter we marked them with or the tears? Do the floors bear the tears from all the falls we took on them? And the basement we built? Is it still dark and does it still remember the spooky stories my big brothers told us all those years ago? The yard. I see in the photos that most of the fruit trees my father planted are gone. The garage is gone. Does the yard remember the laughter of the children who played there? I certainly recognized the front yard; the place where we ran through the sprinklers in the summer time; where we played with hula hoops given to us by our neighbors across the street; the place where our games of hide-and-seek and red light green light, and tag you’re it all began. The sidewalk in front of our house was where we could stand to watch Fourth of July fireworks set off at the Spartan Stadium about five miles away.

Is it the same house? Do our memories haunt it or do its memory haunt us?

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Which Side?

Do you have a “side of the bed” that you always sleep on?  When you’re a couple, do you always take the same side of the bed, even when you’re away from home? If you’re just one, do sleep on one side or do you take the middle?

When I was married, we always took the same side of the bed, wherever we were, visiting someone or in a hotel. I was thinking back this morning and it always worked out that I was the one nearest the door, which was also nearest the bathroom. I don’t know why. I think it just worked out that way. I don’t recall ever discussing it. It just was. Even in motels and hotels. It just was.

After my divorce, I kept my side of the bed. I could have switched. I could have switched. I could have slept in the middle. I guess old habits die hard.  I still sleep on the side closest to the bathroom; closest to the door.  It’s a big bed but I never sleep in the middle. I could. I just don’t. Old habits. In fact, but I guess that might be a different reason, I usually put stuff next to me in the bed. I put my Kindle there or, like right now, I have my phone, my Kindle, and the laptop (well I’m using the laptop but I picked it up from next to me) next to me  in bed.  I could take the entire bed but I don’t. I think the next time I have to change beds I will just get a single bed. They take up less space and I won’t have to fill the other side of the bed with stuff.

I will get my mind back on track. I’ll make it stop wandering.

Okay, back to regularly scheduled blogging.

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It’s very quiet here today.  Well, except for someone across the street using a power saw and cursing about the “damn union rules”!  But it is mostly quiet.  The kitty is getting acclimated but she wants to be in my arms or on my lap.  She doesn’t like it when I have to move her so I can do something besides hold her or stroke her fur.  But I have to, dear kitty!

I’m working on an ongoing project but right now I am waiting to get some more Command strips.  I am trying to get as many photos out of my phone and onto the walls as I possibly can.  Why take photos and keep them on the phone?  It’s like the boxes and boxes of print photos that I have.  So I have been finding a lot of frames in all sizes, mostly from the Dollar Tree, the Goodwill, Big Lots, and any place else I can think to look.  I just go by when I am in those stores and have a look to see if they have any that are nice, usable, and not too expensive. Then I bring them home and put pictures in them and use Command strips to mount them on the walls.  I have a small stack of photos from my last trip and from park days with the boys that I have sent to be developed (mostly the one hour service at Walgreens).  I pick and choose then I wait for coupon codes to get a deal then order the prints.  Right now I need to get a deal on the Command strips.  I think I found some on Amazon but I’m also looking other places because I sometimes find them on clearance.  It’s nice to look at the walls and see photos of people I love.  I’ve also started printing some of the photos of places…like sunsets, trees, some mission (California mission) photos that I really like. I’m waiting for a deal on enlargements so I can print the photo I took of the sun rising over the top of Haleakala volcano in Maui.

When I get my printer working (it works but it isn’t playing nice with my computer) I want to start printing a lot more pictures in different sizes and this time, instead of framing them I have a different plan.  I want to cover my sliding closet doors (they take up a whole wall in my bedroom) with white paper and then cover the paper with photos that I print on my printer.  A huge collage, if you will.  I remember doing that when I was in college and I think I would really like doing that on the closet in my bedroom. Printing on my computer will be much cheaper and I will be able to manipulate the size and the cropping of the photos much better.

Do you take a lot of pictures?  What do you do with them after you take them?

I’m reorganizing the living room so I can have room to get a scratching post/tree for my kitty.  The boys’ toys are all over the living room in big bins.  I have to minimize that.  I am sorting them into what they still use and getting rid of what they don’t use or maybe just putting them away in the outdoor storage shed.  I also got all their books out of a big bin and onto a small bookshelf that was not being used efficiently in another room. Now to rein in the Legos!  That’s a monumental task!

Well, this is sounding like a coffee share post, which I didn’t mean to do but now I’ve done it so there!  I’m hoping to come up with some new stuff this week..ideas that have been in my head for some time need to come out.  I have to see if I can still think and write like I used to.  We shall see.

Just popping out to say hello.

Just popping out to say hello.

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I keep thinking about an incident that happened in 2000 that keeps popping up.  It bothers me.  I’m not sure it should.  I’ve not mentioned it to anyone but I think I’m ready to write about it.  I think it will be soon. Why? I think it has been bothering me because it’s important.  It’s an important issue, especially for women, and clearly for young women.  So I will get busy on that and see if I can organize my thoughts.  Or maybe just tell it like it happened and let you decide what is important about it and why.

Another thing that has been on my mind is age.  I know I am not a spring chicken.  I am the first to tell my age…59.  I’ll be 60 in a few short months.  I used to think that was old but now as it approaches, I have come to realize that it’s just another in an ever escalating list of numbers. It doesn’t mean that I’m done. It doesn’t mean that I should go hide away in a corner and stay quiet. It doesn’t mean that I have nothing to say.  It doesn’t mean that no one should listen to me.  But that’s how I feel at times, more and more so.  It seems that people see an older person and instead of thinking “gee, I wonder what I can learn from this person”, they think something like “oh they’re so out of it; they’re over the hill and I don’t have anything to learn by listening to them.”  I guess it’s natural for the younger ones to ignore the wisdom of the older ones. But I don’t like it.  I don’t ignore those older than me. There are a lot of older bloggers out there…yeah, older than me!  They have something of value to say and I will listen to them.  There are also a lot of much younger than me bloggers with a lot to say that I want to hear. If I can help them and support them in any way, even if it as just a cheerleader or a surrogate mom, I’m there.

School.  It’s starting up again.  Well, local kids have another month before they start but I know that in California, they start this week.  In some places they already started last week. Whenever they start, it always seems bittersweet to me.  It’s the end of free time, learning from doing time, fun time, for them. It’s the end of playing in the street until long after the sun has set.  As such, it’s a melancholy time.  Yet, it’s the beginning of new learning.  It’s the beginning of new friends and a new teacher or two.  For many, it’s the beginning of a new school experience.  It’s the beginning of change.  It’s the beginning of widening horizons.  That’s a promising thing.  I remember loving it.  I was always happier during the school year.  It gave me a sense of purpose and a sense of accomplishment and of promise.

I guess that’s what’s on my mind today.  And I have a little five year old telling me that he wants to go get his hair cut because it’s in his eyes again.  So I guess that’s the next thing for today!

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Modus Operandi

My life has always been lived inside the lines.

As a child, I always chose not to get into trouble. When my brothers and sisters played out in the backyard, I stayed inside with my mother, watching her cook and iron, as I kept out of the trouble my siblings were finding. I quickly found out that when I stayed out of trouble, it pleased people. That’s how I became I people pleaser. If doing something would displease someone, I wouldn’t do it. I was that way at home and at school, and everywhere I went. It became my modus operandi. Do the safe thing. Do the right thing. Do what pleases others.

In my family, I was the one that attracted positive attention at home and at school. I missed out on a lot of things fun and on a lot of growing experiences just because I had to stay within the lines. I remember when I graduated from high school. I was going around getting my year book signed. I took it to Mrs. Juarez in the Attendance Office. She looked at me and said, “You have never gotten a CUT, have you?” I said I hadn’t so she signed my book “to one that has never gotten one” and then stamped it with her CUT stamp.

When I got to college, everyone else was into drinking and smoking pot. In the dorm, they were all amazed that I had never been out drinking with friends in high school and that I had never smoked pot. Even now, at 52, I surprise people when they find out that I have never smoked pot or taken any drugs.

Sometimes I get tired of living inside the lines. I wonder what it would be like to have an adventure that took me beyond those lines, just once. What would it feel like to be the “bad girl” for a change?

One of these days, before it’s too late, I will do something outside the lines. Just once I will do something wild!

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