The one where I carry on about getting older…


So this year… already this year is trying me. Pushing hard. Even though I’m in a good place professionally… personally it’s already been a bit of a struggle. We lost two people yesterday… one who is a dear friend who lost his too-short battle with Thyroid cancer and the other is my first cousin Eli who passed from complications due to gastric bypass surgery.

The idea that you can lose your life while trying to live longer is more than my mind can handle today… frankly. And the idea that you can fight as hard as you have the ability to do so and even the best of medical science is imperfect and you can still lose your fight… that’s another thing I’m also struggling with today. But both of those things are fodder for another day. Today… today I’m dealing with one of the worst parts of growing older… ending up alone.

I actually wrote this post in my head on Saturday when I was out running errands… as we knew our friend was losing his battle with the big C. Truly had no idea that my cousin was in the process of dying. What a weekend?! #amIright?

(Cancer… BTW… is a twat waffle… of the highest order… and I don’t wish it on the worst enemy I might ever have in my life. But again… I digress.)

(Also, because sometimes we turn into variations on the olde European peasants that we are descended from, imagine the humor of us doing people inventory to try to determine who the 3d death will be… because you know they always travel in threes. Yeah… Sunday night was a veritable party up in here!)

Anyway, given that this year I will turn 59, and this year (like last year, and it’s sibling the year before) I’m dealing with the multitude of things that go along with being nearly 60 years old, growing older is something that is pretty much in my head a lot these days. I’m not handling it well at all honestly… even if I’m being relatively quiet about it most of the time. And yes, given how I opened this post, I’m very well aware that I’m still enjoying the benefit of being alive and growing older… and that’s a damned gift that at least two more people in my life will not get. However, the fact that both are gone, in a relative instant, and we’re left behind without them is the point of this post. (See! I told you there was a point to this… I know you were starting to doubt that… told’ja so!)

I think that being left behind is probably the worst part of growing old. You lose everyone as you move forward. One at a time. They leave you here to remember them, to cry for them, and to cry for yourself because you end up alone if you’re lucky enough (or unlucky enough, depending on how you see it) to live a long life. I guess that’s why I’m glad that my circle is varied in age groups… at least I have a marginal chance of keeping one or two of them with me as I move forward into my senior years. Maybe? Not sure… I tend to know people who seem to have a deathwish at times… so put down the damned cigarettes Caren, Charlie & Alex… NOW!

Anyway… I remember my Mom’s Sister, Shash Anne, saying something along these lines to me before she left to join that incredible party upstairs in 2021. She said that the hardest part is being left behind… and having no one left to talk to who remembered the many things she still treasured in her memories. The silence… the spaces… the shapes you still see that are empty to everyone else around you. She still saw them… but everyone else in those spaces was gone.

Unimaginable. Or it used to be. Until now… until it starts sinking in that those days are rapidly approaching. That I will be there in not so many years… if I’m lucky (unlucky) enough to be left behind. Turning 60 next year. Who saw that shit coming? Who knew I’d manage to grow this old and still not grow up? Outliving a husband, surviving a marriage that should have been a good friendship, seeing a child grow into an amazing, funny, brilliant son, enjoying a sister that I find daily I would be lost without, and finding my erstwhile soulmate who is likely the most aggravating, annoying, and yet loving and caring man I could imagine at a point in my life when I figured that ship had sailed without me on it. These are the things I am carrying… these are the things I cannot imagine living without. And yet, there are no guarantees.

So today’s lesson? Live. Live loudly. Live hard. Wear your life out. Don’t hesitate. Just live. And if you’re lucky (unlucky) enough to outlive all of your circle, hold onto your life and tell everyone around you how there was once a place called your life and you’re still living it. Build a new circle and tell them about the old one… then have them help you keep those flames alive. Create rituals and reminders, build them into your routines, and don’t ever forget unless you don’t get a choice on that one. Live your life as loudly and as long as you can. Say I love you every time you get the chance. And don’t ever fully grow up.

Turning 60… sure beats the alternative… but damn… I’m pretty sure nobody ever pictured it like this.



So… there’s big doings afoot… and I’m excited. But I’ve cursed things before by speaking before they are fully cooked. So let’s just leave it at that… there’s big doings afoot.

Keep fingers and toes crossed… this could be huge for my program.


On Tuesdays and Turmoil and such

Okay Tuesday, you just need to back this ish up right now. First we had the sneaky coffee swap at Dunkin where I ended up with a large black coffee instead of the Cappuccino I actually ordered. Of course I blame Covid because that’s why my Starbucks was not open so I could get my usual there. Then I get to the office and my door app shows no access points available and when I logged in to the system my Accesspoint there is also dead. No… despite every sign pointing that way, I am not out the door. Job is fine. I’m just playing an elaborate game of “New Phone Who Dis”, on a scale I’m sure you never imagined.

So yeah… you’re overachieving on a huge scale. Quit it. Now.

And I would say thank god it’s my Friday… but that’s not entirely the case. The thank god part anyway… it is actually my Friday, but nothing fun is planned for these days off. Wednesday is already locked and loaded and the real fun starts tomorrow morning at Advent Heart of Florida when someone is getting a second shiny new hip in a year and the role of Nurse Ratchet is being played by… you guessed it, me.


Have I mentioned that Himself is the worst patient ever? I’m actually a distant second and I’m pretty horrible. He makes me look like a saint. Stubborn, irascible, grouchy… bears with sore heads are more friendly… truly. There are times when only that smile and the sparkle in his eyes when he looks at me keeps him alive.

Plus I look horrible in orange. There’s that too.

But even with all of that I’m still in a relatively okay mood… maybe a new phone did that? Probably not. I don’t get excited over those anymore. But things are pretty good… all of the first world problems notwithstanding.

Life is good.

Be happy… it’s your choice… now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find some decent damned coffee. Dunkin Donuts I’m looking right at you…

Happy Birthday…

Yesterday was Mom’s birthday. The day is hard every year… but then, every day is a little bit hard since she’s been gone. And she’s been gone for 10 years this year.

I still miss her so much.

The days I wasted fighting against her, trying to prove I was nothing like her, trying to be me… and now, today, I realize that I am so very much like her and I am glad for it. I consider it a compliment when someone tells me how much I remind them of her. In fact, my sister and I are an amalgamation of her best and worst sides. We represent all of her. And all of Dad. We are them… they made us… just so you know that whole “in my own image” stuff goes farther than you ever dreamed.

Wherever you are now Mom I hope they had Pepperidge Farms Coconut Cake for you. I hope they sang “Happy Birthday” just as badly as we always did. I hope someone gave you a ridiculous gift that you didn’t need… just because they loved you so very much and they wanted to buy you something they thought was really super nice with their allowance that they saved up even though it turned out that the gift really wasn’t all that nice and it wasn’t something that you needed at all. I hope they left a mess in the kitchen for you to clean up after they fixed you a fancy dinner of Beef Rice-A-Roni & Asparagus with Cheese which was their favorite, not yours. And most of all I hope they gave you a hug and a kiss and I truly hope they told you how much you are loved and missed.

Because you are.

Every day.

And even more… on your birthday.

I love you too Mom.


And you thought you got rid of me…

Yeah… er… well… almost… good try

Not even kidding, it’s been a rough few years. And apparently whilst surviving said rough few years I took a vow of silence or some such nonsense. But finally, after much wailing and gnashing and nonsense that I didn’t share here, I’m back again. Same bat time, same bat channel, and it finally looks like the long hard journey toward the light might… MIGHT… be very close to over.

For those of you keeping score, here’s the quick checklist:

  • Good job – Done, finally at last – and that was a fun 3 year ordeal kids (cue eyeroll and sideeye)
  • Divorce – Done, and we’re good friends again… I consider that a win.
  • Good friends – Done… and there is no way I could have survived the last three years without them. Truly. No way.
  • Learning humility and how to pick myself up and dust myself off and start over again (and again, and again, and again…) – So damned done with that process that there aren’t even enough words to describe it.
  • A good, stable relationship with someone who is oil to my water – done, and some days more than done but I still love him even if I’m ready to cheerfully strangle him at times.

And the list of lessons I’ve learned and things I’ve achieved goes on and on. Those are the high points though. The things that hurt the most, caused the most stress, and feel the best now that I’ve made it to the other side. I’m here, and it’s time to start living again. Stop being scared for the next thing that’s going to come at me. Things are always going to come at me. Now I know for sure that I’m ready. Bring it. I’ve got the hands ready to throw, earrings ready to come out really quick, and a few folks who will hold them for me and watch my back as I kick something else square in the ass and out of my life.

The thing I’ve missed? This. Writing out the dreck. Letting it go. Feeling like it’s gone. Moving on. So it was time to take back up the pen so to speak. Let me back out. Exercise my “gift” such as it is. It’s time.

I’m back.

Thank god.


I’m back.

And the world keeps spinning…

So hi! It’s been a while I guess. Not sure where to even start if I were going to write a catch-up post… so yeah, suffice to say that things. have. changed.

All of the things.

So I’ll make an attempt to give the less than 3 day version of that catchup. I’m back in Lakeland, back in my home on Belmar, my contract job is now my full-time dream job and I am a permanent employee with benefits and such for the first time since 2015. The divorce is officially a thing… albeit a very slothlike thing… and with any luck we may be divorced sometime before we both die.

Cue the eyeroll and side eye…

No, I’m not kidding… that’s how these things work when lawyers are running them. It’s a process, that we don’t control, and nobody appears to be in a hurry so we’re moving at the speed of turtles, running in molasses, and that’s apparently okay. So we keep doing our separated thing and trying to be supportive of each other’s individual happiness. We’re not acrimonious. But we put others in charge and we don’t have an agreement so we’re stuck.

It is what it is.

I came back home to Lakeland in September and I think I came home a little bit changed. Punta Gorda was good for me I think. I got in touch with myself a lot more, had some adventures, learned a lot about what I don’t want from people, situations, and relationships, and then I came home when it was time. Now I am happier, more centered, and less lost than I’ve been in years.

I know… what fun is that?

I’ve found peace. I’ve found different sides of me that I didn’t know I had. I’m still evolving and changing. I like me… even if I surprise myself every day in some small way. I’ve gone through some very hard things this last year, things that have made me step back from my life and re-evaluate who I allow to be in my life in a personal role. I’ve learned that I’m far more accepting of others and their choices than I ever was before. And I’ve realized that I really do miss being able to talk to my Mom because I understand her and her choices today far more than I did when she was making them and I was so very harsh and condemning.

I’m sorry Mom… I love you and miss you every day… and I still wish I could have another conversation with you. Perhaps one day… perhaps…

So yeah… that’s life in a thumbnail sketch these days… full, happy, secure, and honestly blessed. I am focused on the future and no longer trying to go back to the past. I have the tightest circle and they’ve helped me through some awful shit the past months. I know who loves me. I know who values me. And I know who has my six. They’ve had it through things I didn’t ever imagine would happen. They happened. Things went to hell. Or my version of hell. And my circle brought me back.

Thanks for saving me. There aren’t enough words to thank you so I’ll just say this. I love you. Forever.

I’m focused on giving back these days. Making this place I love a better place. I know that as bad as things were for me there’s a lot of people who would love to have my life. There are many people who look at me with envy. To those who much is given much is expected. And that’s my focus. To fulfill those expectations. Pay it forward. Remember the kindness and love that was shown to me and do the same for others.

Life is good y’all… really good.

So I guess after all this… the wrap up thought is this. Live your life today and don’t be afraid to fail. Take that chance. Make that move. Don’t hold onto something that isn’t bringing joy just because it’s better than nothing. Reach for joy. You might not get it…

But then again you might.

Thoughts on a Saturday…

Sitting in my big chair in the Sunroom, looking at Lake Hollingsworth, while I drink my first cup of Coffee in my home. It still doesn’t feel like mine. It feels like a place I should want to be but I don’t.

So many thoughts. So many feelings. So much to consider.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

And right now… for this moment in time… I’m just going to be.

Just be.


At home.




Oh Tuesday…

So… this Tuesday was a big one… wow!

Yes, really… it’s like Tuesday looked at Monday and said “bless your heart” and then she pulled up her big girl panties and proceeded to kick some ass.

Yee haw.

Continue reading

Surviving Red Letter Days…

So I’m sure we all see those memes about how we don’t know what anyone else is going thru so just be nice. Yeah… er… right…


Anyway, yes, we’ve seen them, and we try. God knows we try. But sometimes we forget and sometimes we don’t even try that hard. It’s easy to get caught up in our own drama and stuff and forget about others. No matter what they’re carrying. And then there’s the whole “not even asking” thing. That’s a whole different story. And after time goes on we forget about the people we know who are still dealing with things that are still just as huge as they were when they first happened for that person. But we’ve all moved on. And we just don’t get why they can’t just move on too.

Spoiler Alert: They’d like to… trust me… but sometimes that’s not very easy. Sometimes what happened is so big that there’s no way to just pull up your socks and move on.


So today is the 13th anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. I remember Katrina so well. Donating countless cases of water and supplies as we breathed a sigh of guilty relief that our Labor Day Weekend trip to Hilton Head was not impacted. Countless hours watching the story unfold and thanking god that we weren’t anywhere near that madness. The people on the news waving from the rooftops. The water everywhere and not going down. The horror stories from the Dome. The grimaces as the disaster continued to unfold in New Orleans while the rest of us just got on with life. The houses with the marks for the number of dead that were found there.

I could go on and on but you all get the point. Katrina is a part of our collective zeitgeist. We all remember it… distantly… like we remember learning about the San Francisco Fire. Something awful that happened to someone else. Not our thing. Moving on.

We’re lucky.

I know someone now who isn’t like us about this day. Someone for whom today is very hard. Someone who hurts like hell in the days leading up and following. Someone who will never forget that day… no matter how hard he tries. Someone who survived something so horrific that it’s still burned into his sense of smell, into his brain, into his ears… into all of him. Someone who is going to go to the last bar he was in thirteen years ago, before he was forced out and sent home to nearly die. He’ll go to Deja Vu tomorrow and he’ll have one beer. He’ll mark a very good day and a very bad day… all at once. For he is someone who was one of those people we saw on TV. On the rooftops.

Someone who almost died.

Stephen Macanespie is a former Premier League Soccer Player from Scotland. Stephen Macanespie was nearly a man I would have never known about, just another one of the bodies numbered on a house in the Lakeview area of New Orleans, in a house that sat right beside the 17th Street Levee. Stephen Macanespie is my friend. But most importantly Stephen Macanespie is very lucky because he survived. His athleticism likely helped save his life when the water came in and he had to swim for it. The roof he was pulled from three days later was not his. He was quite a ways away, sitting in the sun, surrounded by water that had already tried to kill him and now tempted him as he nearly died a second time from dehydration. That’s a sense of rich irony… that the water he nearly drowned in and that stranded him was also deadly to him as a life giving necessity.

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Yes, Stephen Macanespie survived. Stephen Macanespie has gone on to more success in coaching and charity work and business. Stephen Macanespie’s charmed life has continued. But Stephen Macanespie doesn’t ever forget the day that the river that is the lifeblood of his adopted home tried to kill him. Every year on this anniversary Stephen remembers. The screams, the yells, the neighbor he watched die that he couldn’t save. The smells, the swoosh, the end of life as he knew it.

Stephen Macanespie never forgets.

He’s forgiven the river for nearly killing his town. He wouldn’t live anywhere else. His affair with la belle NOLA is enduring and all consuming. But he never forgets. I’m sharing his story so you all can know that even the most normal looking people you meet might be carrying a burden that you cannot imagine. Stephen carries his. You carry yours. I have mine.

Just be nice.

And now, I’ll share what Stephen wrote post Katrina… to start dealing with the horror of what he lived through and what so many died from. The failures and fingerpointing in the aftermath of Katrina were rife. Here’s the human story. The story of how you survive something that was not survivable for many. This is his story of how you live.

Woosh came the water,

Screams and cries getting drowned,

Its power unheard of,

Some of us foolishly stood our ground.


We swam from our beds,

in the middle of the night,

Dazed and confused,

No one could imagine the sight.


We climbed on our roofs,

Or took to our boats,

We gripped to our chimneys,

Or grabbed something that floats.


The bitch stayed strong,

She fought through the night,

Katrina was here,

Right through the daylight.


We looked from our roofs,

What she left behind,

Water, carnage, disbelief,

It was all we could find.


The bedlam was so loud, but,

We heard screams for assistance,

Was it one block away?

Or was it in the distance?


As the Juggernaut blew through,

And the sun came out,

Thoughts turned to loved ones,

That were worried no doubt.


We sat for a while,

Contemplating our choices,

Should we have left?

Should have listened to the voices.


We spend 3 days on our roofs,

Shouting across the skyline,

Keeping spirits up high,

Promising we`ll be fine.


The copters come,

And the copters go,

Each time they leave,

Our spirits get low.


We are dehydrated around so much water,

Katrina is close to winning the fight,

Its getting real close, we probably dont have another night.


Just before dusk,

They appeared by surprise,

That big red bird,

God heard our cries.


From the pilots thumbs up,

to the captains smile maybe,

I dont know what meant more?

But i cried like a baby.


It was the start of a journey,

Not the end as folks think,

It can either make you swim,

Oh yes or make you sink.


We picked up 8 more people,

In the coast guard’s glorious bird,

Each one as excited,