Young Love

4074137_sIn a tweet somewhere along the way, I know I mentioned that we have a sixteen-year-old working at my office for the summer.  I have to admit, both my co-worker and myself were not that thrilled about this.  It’s not that we don’t like young people, but we were worried we’d have to do more babysitting than anything else.  It came as a surprise to me actually, when I found out my co-worker had the same attitude as I; mainly because she is such a social person.  I, on the other hand – the older I become – the more reclusive.  Yes, I said it.  I have only recently admitted this out loud.  I may even be headed toward that “Finding Forrester” character, you know the withdrawn writer?  Well, maybe not that unsociable, but let’s just say, I do fine working on my laptop or desktop for hours – not having the need for human interaction.

How is it that I always manage to drift off topic?  Okay, reining in my thoughts.  Keeping in mine what I said earlier, this young one has somehow attached herself to me.  One day last week, she had the need to come to me and spill her friend’s guts.  Seems her sixteen-year-old best friend is topsy-turvy over a nineteen year old.  And, as if that weren’t bad enough, he recently left for duty at some military installation in Texas.  Not to mention her parents are not happy with it.  If you are a parent, young, or otherwise, think about it for a minute.  You have a baby girl, or a fifteen year old; you cringe every time you hear a scenario such as this.  But, I’ve been sixteen, and wonky over someone older; a person I could not have.  I know you’re asking, yes?  Maybe not, but anyway, my favorite aunt had a new beau – a thirty year old from the island of Jamaica. And, can I just say, more gorgeous than you could ever imagine.  I couldn’t sleep, or eat for days.  But, what could I do?  Not only would my parents have had a cow, he belonged to my favorite aunt.  And, right now I’m thinking a fourteen year difference? WOW!  At this moment, I cannot for the life of me remember how I managed to get over it.  But, we do, don’t we?

This is that first love for this young person.  Can you remember him or her?  It’s funny; I belong to Romance Writers of America, which consists of hundreds of writers, all writing, and wanting to pen that unmistakable love story.  What I’m getting at is, all through the ages – from the beginning of time, up to today none of this has changed. Right?  Love is love, and no matter how you tell the story it’s all for the same reason.  Its human nature, something for which we were all designed.  However, my new little buddy is surprisingly focused.  All by herself, she came up with a solution.  She decided to talk to her friend about backing off for a bit. Then, I reminded her that at nineteen, there is a strong possibility this young man would not keep the relationship exclusive.  Funny, when she reported back to me a few days later, the friend thought the exact same thing; another dilemma averted.  And, just in time, because the military decided to send a nice little letter to the girl’s parents. I didn’t ask why, I didn’t need to know that.

I know there are many people who marry their high school sweethearts, and that’s fine for them.  Actually, there is definitely something special about both parties who can have, and hold onto such a relationship.  But, my philosophy is this:  We all grow, and most times not at the same speed.  When I think back to my first love, in order for us to have stayed together, I would have had to remain in the same neighborhood, and associate with the same circle of people – restricting my growth, if you will.  What does that do? It causes intense resentment.  My parents taught me at an early age to always search, and keep searching. When you do that, you, at the same time, grow, which makes it easier to distinguish what it is you really want and/or need.  Granted, I am somewhat envious of those who have married their high school honeys, and they are both the same now, as they were then.  But, you see, that’s the catch – being the same now as you had been so many years ago. Because of what my parents taught, there is no way I could have lasted.

As for my new little friend and her “BFF,” they have so much lying ahead of them.  They both have their sights set on college, and the one at my office is talking law school.  As long as she doesn’t get hit with what I’ve heard called, “The Thunderbolt,” she should do just fine.  Did you marry your first love, or that love from high school?

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

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“Oneness” of Mind

Meditation

I’d like to begin today’s post by admitting my brain is not what it used to be.  Therefore, I must do this right up top or I’ll forget.  I’ve been in this blogging game for five months, and forgive me as I’m still learning blogosphere etiquette.  With that being said, I’d like to send a hearty shout out, and a mention of two new writer buddies/sisters/bloggers; my new west coast connection Nutschell who has awarded me an amazing and wonderful blogger prize. And, secondly my down under sister/writer Stace who I’ve mentioned before, but neglected to provide a website address.  She has kindly given me the Versatile Blogger award.  Please make your way over to these sites and give them a hearty thumbs up.

Moving on, the other day I read an article entitled “In Search of Silence.”  Now, you have to know if I read it, the topic would spill over here.  The author mentioned how so many people allow noise into their lives for various reasons; one being to keep the mind off of everyday problems.  The article talked about searching out silence, and how some folk on the other hand let in the racket.  It all made me think of the need for quiet and the differences in individuals.  Let’s begin with the television and radio people. We all know someone who has too much calm and permits the sound of one of these devices to fill the void or emptiness.  I know though, there are one or two of you out there crying, if only.  We know in city living one has to pursue serenity –  yes, in our own home it has to be sought after and planned.  Something akin to instructions that are given on surviving a tornado – close yourself in an interior room, just to escape car horns, traffic, sirens, alarms, construction, etc.

Those of us who have children at home or have had them, know full well about this treasured commodity or should I say are very familiar with how far they have to go – how much they have to give up – how long they have to wait for this prize.  I understand the word doesn’t mean the same to all: some are very chatty and have a difficult time restraining themselves, while others breathe a sigh of relief thinking, finally a time to regroup.  There are still others who are alone, and stay at work or just out until the last hour so that when they finally arrive home, it’s simply to fall into bed and to sleep.  This way they don’t have to deal with the isolation/silence. Which brings me to my next group – the only child.  They have learned to be alone since birth.  But being by yourself – at peace with yourself and having the ability to relax the intellect are three separate things.  In other words, just because a person has experience in being alone, it does not mean they can corral their brain to one thought.

I could never understand my next group who feed on commotion; needing it as sustenance.  The more children there are around, the more talking there is, the more that person comes to life.  Almost as though their life’s fulfillment rests on pandemonium.  I’m even shaking my head as I write this – that’s how challenging that type is for me.  But, what am I getting at – what is all of this about for me?  We all know we need tranquility, that’s silly.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m one who believes, you not only require peaceful surroundings, but having them leads, I believe, to a healthier mental state.  Our city dweller has learned to displace sound, but that’s not a total absence of noise.  I’m talking about clearing the head down to a single thought; a practice known as meditation.  (On a side note, living with the noise and shifting to quiet is also an issue).  But, Webster’s College Dictionary describes this as: continued or extended thought; contemplation – the “oneness” of mind, so to speak.  Some spend lots of money on the study, even though the technique takes years to develop, if at all.

Stop and think about this. Are you running around all day worrying or thinking pessimistically – ruminations of things that could happen – may happen?  Is worrying going to make it go away or resolve the issue?  Does anyone know that big book on life, the one no one ever wants to talk about; it says, “So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own.  Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Now, I’m not promoting eastern philosophy, because I’m a Christian, but that big life book does preach meditation. Therefore, instead of negativeness going around and around – pick one thought that’s positive.  And go ahead, you can call it meditation.

New York On My Mind

Uptown to Queens, please

Yesterday morning a few of my twitter peeps and myself were going on about living, working, and missing New York City. Well…okay, I may have been the one who mentioned missing. When it comes to that locale, it doesn’t take much to flip my yearning switch. I need to preface what I’m about to say by explaining – having choices. What do I mean by this? If your family is from some other place, but you live in Manhattan or any of the other four boroughs – more than likely you will get the chance to visit the place from where your relatives originated. I believe this gives you a different outlook versus strictly growing up in the city; never knowing anything else.

That being said, I always knew in the back of my mind, my mother would one day return to her roots; no matter how hard I worked to keep her in the north. Once I moved to New Jersey, I began hounding her to sell the house and buy something close to me. Now, I can’t speak for any other race – I know personally there have been many articles printed lately about African-Americans returning to the south. In fact, just a month or two ago, the New York Times had one on the front page. The reasons listed in those articles, however, had nothing to do with the reason we came here. Being from the south, my mother would easily become frustrated and go on a rampage, wanting to leave the “rat race” and move. I, too treasured going on vacation. This gave me the chance to get away from the concrete, crowds, and rushing around. All of that in mind, if you stop and think about the choices, and those places other than New York, it makes the everyday annoyances of urban living a little more difficult to endure.

What are those frustrations? The guy standing behind you in the subway car with his umbrella handle poking you in your back. The never-ending stream of pedestrians that won’t stop coming, and give you a chance to make a right/left turn. The way long lines at check out, the week of Christmas. The sea of bodies that smack you in the face, and threatens to send you running in the opposite direction as you enter the Division of Motor Vehicles. I could create a list, pages long on the irritations of living in a large metropolis, but, again that’s another topic.

So now, with those confessions, wouldn’t that make one think – why on earth would she then, miss New York? Have you ever been on Fifth Avenue anytime from Noon until around 2:00 p.m. when the wave of bodies renders the concrete invisible? Or at 4:00 a.m. when the only people inhabiting the island are the ones who live there, and a lone resident is walking his dog down Fifth Avenue at 62nd Street. The craving for an omelet, pancakes, Bloody Mary, a piece of fruit or a simple cup of coffee strikes at 3:00 a.m. and all that’s needed is to walk out your front door. Enjoying the Christmas windows of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue or Lord & Taylor while wrapped in your winter garb as you hustle along – hands filled with packages, and the falling snow validates – tis the season. Or my all-time favorite, crossing the George Washington Bridge at sunset with Manhattan in the distance.

I miss New York with a vengeance. I told someone recently, I never thought I would work or live anywhere else. My husband and I are certain we are two people meant to be in a metropolitan area. But, not just any metro, because nothing – nothing – nothing compares to the Big Shiny Apple. At this point, I have the urge to quote a line from The Wizard of Oz – “…I’m not gonna leave [insert your own text] New York] ever, ever again…there’s no place like home!”

NYC Public Library

51st St. Entry to St. Patrick's

Also, I’d like to remind my visitors to make their way over to “View From The Roads.” It’s been a new month for 14 days now. I realize I got them in somewhat late.  Also, if you’re here, leave me suggestions in the comment section as to what you’d like to see more of or topics that simply interest you. Thanks in advance.

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

Images courtesy of Google Earth

What Next

Jumping into Waimea Bay

In May of this year WABC News, Channel 7 in New York aired a story on a new phenomenon sweeping the land.  Since I don’t live in the Tri-State area any longer, I had to hear of this happening through my co-worker.  The other day before she left the office, she took a quick peek at her Facebook page, and introduced me to her niece who just returned from Europe.  There, her niece and some of her friends lay face down on some concrete steps in Vatican City, Italy.  Then, my co-worker announced, “Look at these kids. That’s called planking, you know.”

I remember when I first got the notion to move to this State, I mentioned to a friend, I really want to go, but if I do, I’m afraid I’ll be out of the loop.  Her reply, “Ronnie, you’re already out of the loop.”  Maybe I should have taken offense to that, but I’m easy-going, and I did not.  I’m a little afraid to say this, but I think she may have been correct. Living in the city…I don’t know…the news is different, and we were interested in watching.  Here, let me whisper…we don’t.  I mean, we watch FOX News, but even with that somehow we missed this little tidbit.  Is it my age?  Is it because I live in Virginia?  Is it because I don’t have young ones around?  I don’t want to sound like another old person rambling on about something else the young people are doing that us old folk don’t get.  But, how many articles/blogs have there been about this?  Why is this yesterday’s news to me?  Could I be that far off the planet?

In doing research on this strange occurrence, I found a blog by a teenager who called the entire think stupid – this from a peer – WOW!  So, as an older person, what are we to say?  I have shared for some time, that whatever came about over the past twenty years – okay, I’ll even go back as far as thirty – had to be extreme in order to make the baby boomers old.  Think about it, it would have to be pretty far-fetched to surpass Woodstock, psychedelic colors, the Viet Nam war, race riots, and the Kennedy’s.  Well, guess what, in my opinion – Planking – really does outdo any of the above.  Have you seen it?  Try clicking here “What is Planking,” and take a gander.  I also have to say, I would never; have never called anyone “Stupid,” but what keeps coming to me is, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Also, in case you didn’t know, a twenty year old man in Brisbane, Australia fell seven stories to his death performing one of these insane stunts.  I read that this all dates back to the 1990’s, but I must say, I don’t remember hearing anything so ridiculous. But, hey, I guess I missed that as well.  I do not want to be the one rehashing old news or discussing something that no one cares about anymore, but I must say, this is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard.  My husband tells a story of a friend’s boyfriend who happened onto some acid, some time around 1970.  He had an untimely encounter with the George Washington Bridge, and plummeted however many feet it is to the river below.  This little stunt made the front page of the New York Daily News, and the mixed-up, perplexed plunger managed to survive the mishap.  That story I do remember.  I would place this new sensation among the young people right up there with the GWB escapade.  But, personally, I think I’d rather throw myself off of a cliff into the ocean like the young people in my picture rather than stick my face onto dirty, grimy concrete.  Any thoughts?

Follow The Rules

At a young age we learn social skills, then we begin to put them into play; simple, rudimentary skills such as – listening, sharing or saying please and thank you.  But, then somewhere along the way, some lose these abilities.  There are those who develop a sense of indebtedness, because life has not been kind.  Or maybe it’s just, while they are being taught way back when, a person is made to think they are special or their status in the community or at the bank excludes them, which means the rules don’t apply.  Coming into my favorite spot the other day – you guessed it – the Post Office – yeap, here we go again.  While driving through the small entrance (room enough for one car) another vehicle that had backed into a nearby spot, pulled out, and almost ran me over exiting by way of the entrance.  He also gave me a stare as though I had been the one causing the confusion.  I’m thinking, nine out of ten times whoever does these types of things is the one who reasons – “they owe me.”

Isn’t it funny how the rest of us “walk the chalk line” while living in the same cosmos with those who simply refuse to follow the rules.  I don’t believe it’s that difficult; so you want to walk to your own beat.  Why can’t that tempo lie within the limits?  The worse part of this is that it makes me so angry I have a difficult time controlling my own decorum.  I usually find myself throwing up my hands or yelling in my car.  Then, you know I would have to keep the incident to myself, because if the old man found out, I’d have an entire other situation/lecture on my hands – “There are lots of crazy people around, you can’t just shout at anyone nowadays,” on and on he would go.  All because someone refused to walk the line.

Let me share a couple of my favorite scenarios that jelly my jam. There is the individual who has totally forgot driver’s education and speeds to make a right turn (wherever that’s legal) even though you and your car (coming from the opposite direction) are inches away, with the blinker ticking. Or the aggressive driver bearing down on the tail of your vehicle, while darting in and out of traffic.  Spending an entire day in that impatient, fast-paced, and hard-line mode not only has to be exhausting, but a sure-fire route to health issues.  But, the winner would have to be the person boldly going into the fast food or bank drive-thru by way of the exit, while you are still making your way around the building to hit the window properly.  Sometimes, I’m left scratching my head wondering how some people think it’s all about them.

Nothing warrants mistreating or being rude to another human being, since we are all of the same species, and we should all get along.  Remember what I quoted my mother saying in my Peacemaker post. It’s time we realize when we remove our clothing at night we are all the same.  But, please understand, I’m not trying to embarrass anyone or step on any toes; just put the grocery cart back in the corral, and don’t enter the store by way of the exit.  I believe our Creator put us here to help each other, and it honors Him when we do the right thing instead of running about beating our chest, and shouting – “Whoo-hoo, over here, look at me, it’s all about me.”  What I’m talking about here is clear-cut social skills and following the rules.  I think it’s time someone said it –  the person this is really about, is not one of us.

Oh, also Deitz60033 suggested I hook a feed to my site.  At your request, you will find I have done just that.  Hope that helps, and thanks for the advice.

Photos courtesy of iStockphoto

Right Place – Right Time

I am not a believer of karma, coincidence or some scientific explanation of the universe and our place on this planet.  I trust our lives are already written, planned and laid out like a giant chessboard.  We are gently nudged, yet forced to go in the direction that has been pre-designed.  Let me explain.

On a warm and bright May afternoon, many years ago, I happened to be walking down Seventh Avenue in Manhattan with a friend when I met my future. If anyone needs a refresher, go back to my Gracefulness & Humility post, and yes, I’m talking about that “Deliver Us From Eva” thing, yet again – my mantra.  But, when I talk about the board game effect……let me back up.

I had worked at my job at a Women’s Sportswear company for some time.  I made many friends, although, kind of like my heroine in my first book; my soul mate continued to elude me.  At that company we received fifteen percent of our annual salary every spring.  Suddenly, the rules changed, and they decided to incorporate that money in our weekly pay.  Well, let me just say, most of the employees were up in arms, and one by one made plans to leave.

Now, this new development didn’t upset me, I had no real desire to leave.  To this day, I have no explanation why I made the decision other than the subconscious nagging at my soul.  With that in mind, I too decided to break my ties and find new employment.  My move though, took me to Men’s Sportswear, and offices out of the “Garment Center,” so to speak.  I now had to leave Broadway, and take myself over to Seventh Avenue; cattycornered to Madison Square Garden or the southwest corner of  Seventh Avenue and Thirty-First Street.

Before the end of the first year, a friend and I were strolling along when she poked me.  “Oh, Ronnie, there’s that guy I told you about.”

“What guy,” I replied as I stopped, turned and scanned the area.

“No,” she whispered loudly. “Don’t look.  It’s the guy that looks like Billy Dee Williams.”

“Yeah, but I don’t see him,” I said.

With that, she tugged me along; we continued walking and began our descent into Pennsylvania Station.  Out of nowhere, this person eased next to me and began moving down the stairs.

“Going my way?” he asked.

Now, the “Eva” in me must have been napping, maybe on vacation without me – this is what I mean when I say pre-planned, because the heifer, I think, had to be….I don’t know, shopping in the Village, maybe?  “It depends on which way you’re going.” I answered, somewhat coy.

Now, he begins his rap. “My friend there,” he said, turning and pointing. “He told me I wouldn’t come over and talk to you.  I couldn’t let a pretty lady like yourself get away.  Why don’t you give me your number, so that I can call you sometimes?”

Although nice, I had to be short.  “Look it up.  It’s in the phone book under Chess King.” (Remember them)?

Wait, they’re in the mall.  There’s no mall in Manhattan, he thought.

With that, my friend and I slipped away.  A couple of days later he called.  Six weeks after that he asked me to marry him, and now, more years than I’d like to admit have mysteriously slipped from our grasp.  He had been assigned to a job directly across the street from Madison Square Garden, and had only been in the City for a few months.  What I believe is that he had been placed there just long enough for us to meet.  Once we got engaged – only a few months passed and he had to move out of that job and back to work in New Jersey.  So believe me when I say; luck, happenstance…….I think not.  If anyone would like to share, please feel free. If not, then I hope I have restored some memories or at least fanned the embers to create a new spark.

Also, remember – new month new pictures – travel on over to “View from the Roads,” and check out my pics for July.

http://wp.me/p1t1w4-7e – Gracefulness & Humility post

Image courtesy of Google Earth

Under The Influence

I have been debating on whether or not to tell this story.  Maybe because this is a little personal and I am a private person.  But, after some back and forth, I decided…..oh, why not.  Let me preface this piece by explaining a little about the man I married.  If you recall, in my last post I mentioned we met on Seventh Avenue in front of Madison Square Garden, and being from a small town in New Jersey, that automatically set him up as different.  Possibly his lack of resemblance to everyone else is what prompted sheer strangers to walk up to him on the street in Manhattan, and say hello.  If a person is from the city, the commonality is to go their own way,  kind of like that “Deliver us From Eva” thing I mentioned in my Post Office story.

We know that men have an “all boys club” attitude and when they pass each other it’s never without one kind of recognition or another.  Even if one doesn’t know the other, they are subject to extend some sort of greeting.  But, with my husband it’s something that goes a bit further – it has to be seen to be believed.  I always tease him with, “children and animals,” because they are the ones who most understand, and come under the influence that is this man.

Okay, moving forward, he came home the other day with a story, and before he could get to the “punch line” I had already welled, and like my daughter, the tears began to fall without the slightest undulation of a shoulder.

His story began with him standing in the bowels of a local convenience store as he tried to find something to satisfy his sugar calling, when out of nowhere an elderly gentleman touched him on the shoulder.  My polite and eager to give assistance spouse turned and acknowledged his presence.  The senior lifted a can, ran his finger across the words, and asked, “Can you help me read this.”  My hubby’s reply, “Of course, I can.  It says, Diet Mountain Dew.”

The elder griped his shoulder, thanked him, and replied, “I never learned to read, and of all the people in this store, I knew you would help.  You have the kinder face.”

As I said previously, before he could finish telling the story, he had to run off and gather the tissues, because the tears flowed, and I couldn’t stop them.  I think though, there is a strong possibility I’m becoming sappy as I age.  In any event, this tale revealed itself short and simple, but its connotations spoke volumes, which prompted me to share.  After knowing my husband for thirty-two years I must say the constant is that he is completely unchanging, and although that can sometimes be a bad thing, it is my salvation.