Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Search results: "My John" (page 1 of 8)

My John

The first time I went to Ireland and met John’s family I was a bit overwhelmed with their accents, especially those in the North. And it’s not just the way they pronounce words; it’s their colloquialisms.

For instance, when they introduced Sharon to me, she was called “Our Sharon”. And believe me it didn’t sound like our Sharon. It was more like “R Shrn”. So to me, she is still R Shrn.

After that I started calling John, My John.

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Amazing Grace by John P. Gavin

When John went back home to get me clean clothes after my accident, he gathered my things and sat outside for a few moments. He told me he was so proud of me and how gracefully I handled the situation and that he sang, “Amazing Grace” for me.

That is how he came to the title of this post.

Amazing Grace

When I was 10, my Aunt came to live with us.

That may not seem like a big deal; but since my family is from Ireland, it meant she had to travel about five thousand miles to do so.

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I Have Some ‘Splaining to Do – Guest post by John Gavin

“Recognizing the absurdity of his request, he tried to explain. It wasn’t about seeing her so he could win her back but rather about seeing her so he could release the perceived hold she had over him.

I tried very hard to understand…”

Those words were written very recently by Loretta, the woman I love; the only woman I’ve ever loved this way. But I once told Loretta I wanted to borrow her car to go talk to an ex-girlfriend.

What the hell?

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Will you be my girlfriend?

What does that mean, girlfriend?

On March 21, 2012 John asked me to be his “girlfriend”. I had no idea what that even meant to him.

I’ve used the term “girlfriend” casually and never thought of what it meant to anyone else. To John it was a big deal. It was a step towards “forever” and his experience with forever wasn’t a good one.

I’d met John eight months earlier, and I can say that the best thing that ever happened to us…for us… was the fact that we became friends first. Once the pressure of the possibility of a romantic relationship was taken off the table, we both relaxed and stopped acting like peacocks looking for a mate.

There was no need to try to impress the other in hopes of “pick me”.   Continue reading

My vulnerable year

One year ago I decided to let it all hang out, literally and figuratively.

In my first blog post I decided to “expose the truth” and get real. We live in this fast paced social media world filled with false beauty and unrealistic expectations, and I wanted to challenge that.

58 years old and out of shape

One year ago

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I forgot my pillow

Sometimes when we travel, I like to bring my own pillow.

Silly, I know, but for whatever reason, it makes me feel comfortable. My pillows are all goose-down and super cozy, and I’m used to them.

Last week I jumped in the truck with my son, and we made our way to Oregon. I honestly wasn’t sure where I would be sleeping any given night, so I brought my favorite pillow along.

I’m glad I did too, because I used it when I came down with a head cold. That pillow was a soothing relief each night. Continue reading

I’m A Really Good Dad – Guest post by John Gavin

I told you My John is an author, right?

It’s kind of how we got to know each other. He wrote a weekly column for a Bay Area newspaper, and he’d send it to me first to edit. There were a couple of occasions when I did  guest posts for him, so I thought it might be nice to return the favor.

In honor of Father’s Day, I found this one he wrote in 2012 and dusted off the pages. I hope you enjoy it. Continue reading

Maybe I am my own Hero

I grew up on a farm in a small town in Michigan. I can tell you that it was a good childhood in most respects. We worked hard on our farm, and we had a big family so there was always someone to play with or talk to. My brother, Johnny and I were very close and he was sort of like a protector for me.

One time when I was probably six or seven, we were picking asparagus for a local farmer. We were paid 50 cents an hour. Cash. When it came time to get our money, we would stand in line waiting for some guy to put coins into our dirty hands. Johnny watched carefully and caught that the man was trying to under pay me and spoke up, demanding my fair share. He was always looking out for me, and I knew I could tell him anything.

Almost anything.

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When it’s time to cry

As soon as she told me, “Yes, they brought him in, he is in the emergency room” my heart sank. I didn’t cry though. That’s not the time to cry.

Instead, I grabbed a jacket and my keys and raced to my car.

I don’t recall the nine-minute drive to the hospital. But I do remember sitting in a chair in the waiting room for someone to give me information about John.

When I’d arrived and asked the person at the reception desk about him, she got a strange look on her face and told me I’d have to sit down; that someone would be out to talk to me shortly.

I was afraid to ask any questions. If you don’t ask, you can’t get unbearable news.

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You’d Think Boys Would Know How to Hunt

This last weekend I shared a post about a hike up El Toro with My John. I mentioned he grew up at the base of that hill and had many escapades to share. Here is an abridged column he wrote that I think you’ll enjoy.

top of El Toro

“You’d think boys would know how to hunt” by John P. Gavin

Who has read the book Lord of the Flies?

When I was in school it was pretty much required reading. It was written in the 50’s by William Golding and is the story of a group of young boys marooned, without grownups, on an island somewhere.

In the book the boys quickly revert to a feral state and run about howling, fighting and wielding crudely made weapons. I remember reading it in class and thinking “what’s the big deal? That’s no different from my neighborhood”.

Not to knock Mr. Golding but the boys in my old neighborhood did not require an island without grownups in order to channel our wild side. All we needed were the orchards and forests at the edge of town – and a little imagination.

My neighborhood was bordered to the west by a small mountain that had been named El Toro by the Spaniards who discovered it (under the feet of the Chitactac Indians who were already living on it). To the north of us was a large walnut orchard that also bordered El Toro.

We virtually lived on that mountain – we knew all the big trees, open spaces and trails. One particular trail we knew of was travelled by a herd of deer that used it to get down to the orchard. They would then pass through the orchard to drink from the pond that lay beyond.

We were familiar not only with the trail, but also with the time of evening the deer would come down it. In our grubby hands this was dangerous knowledge. I still remember the summer day we sat in Dave Mead’s garage talking about what our next adventure (the word ‘mayhem’ would work equally well) would be when one of the guys blurted out “Let’s hunt the deer in the orchard!”

To us an idea like that one did not require any discussion further than working out the details.

My little brother Brian asked, “What will we hunt them with?”

Someone shouted “Spears!”

Dave’s brother Richard wondered aloud “Where do we get spears?”

My response was “We make them”.

“Out of what?” Patrick Black asked.

“Knives tied to broom handles,” I said.

Brian wanted to know “When do we get the deer – on their way down the orchard or back through it?” On their way back from the pond we decided – figuring they’d be less wary on their second trip through the walnut trees.

And so we set off to our respective homes to steal knives out of drawers and cut handles off of brooms. The plan was to meet at the edge of the orchard about the time the herd of deer would pass through on their way to the pond, and then quietly filter in among the trees so as to be in place when they made their return trip.

To this day I still remember shouting, “Get ‘em!” as the deer made their way back toward El Toro. Out jumped five running, shouting, spear wielding boys; and as the terrified deer spotted us they all bolted in unison. I launched my spear, as did the others, hoping it would fly true and hit its mark – a big deer charging past me.

I didn’t hit my target that day in the orchard. None of us did. Heck, we were little kids with kitchen knives tied to broom handles – what damage were we really going to do? I think all we accomplished was scaring the daylights out of a bunch of deer – well maybe that and the realization all we truly wanted to do was follow them around.

We did it together

Today’s “Let’s do this together video” features My John, because it just so happens to be the 7th anniversary of the day we met. We were both on Match.com years ago, and John saw my profile and sent me a message.

He has a way with words, and his profile was very well written, so I decided to meet him for coffee. That, and his photos were pretty handsome too.    Continue reading

How Not to Sweep a Girl off Her Feet

To say that John didn’t sweep me off my feet is an understatement…but, maybe that was a good thing?

Today’s post is from My John. I hope you enjoy it.

How Not to Sweep a Girl off Her Feet

Do you remember when the original Star Wars came out back in the 70’s?

To us kids it was amazing – we’d never seen anything like it. It was a seminal moment in our young lives that left a lasting impression. We talked about Obi Wan Kanobi, Luke, and Han Solo for years afterward.

So, Imagine my delight when the new batch of Star Wars films came out.  

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Weekend – Gratitude

I love all of the Thanksgiving posts that are flooding social media right now. I’ll admit I can be one of those people who get caught up in mainstream news, which brings me down pretty fast.

So it’s nice to see a few posts about food, and even more about gratitude. Thinking about this past year, I realize I have so much to be thankful for. And there is one person that has made this year possible for me.

My John. Continue reading

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I am delighted to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by my friend, Hilda Smith of Over the Hilda.

I first “met” Hilda on Facebook almost two years ago. And when John and I went to Ireland last spring, we were lucky enough to get to meet Hilda and her husband, Graham in person.

I have thoroughly enjoyed following Hilda’s blog and I am excited to share it with you.

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A promise…

John and I got married on a Monday afternoon at San Francisco City Hall. There was no set-up or tear-down of decorations or chairs. There were no arches adorned with greenery and flowers. We didn’t have a rehearsal dinner because there was nothing to rehearse.

Instead we met John’s family and my best friend and her husband at City Hall at 3:30 in the afternoon on March 13, 2013 and stood before Judge Betty in the magnificent rotunda and both said “I do.”

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St. Patrick’s Day in San Francisco

My favorite thing about planning our wedding was the celebration the night before.

We found a beautiful boutique hotel in San Francisco called Hotel Majestic.  I thought it was a fitting tribute to our wedding at City Hall with its turn of the century Edwardian architecture. 

Hotel Majestic

I felt like royalty walking through the doors into the marble tiled lobby. This beautiful old hotel was built in 1902 and is one of the few buildings that survived the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires that devastated so much of this amazing city.

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Planning a marriage not a wedding

After saying yes to John’s proposal, we both felt like we had finally arrived. The last two years had been quite the ride and we were ready to begin this new chapter of our lives together.

It was exciting to share the news with John’s family, but I was fretting about telling mine. How do I tell them I am getting married yet again? I made John promise to keep the secret from his family but everyone who was close to me knew the truth.

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Girl power – standing up for what is right

John and I went to see Captain Marvel on Sunday, and wow was it good! It is so gratifying to see movies with strong female protagonists.

So the next morning when I needed to go to a legal proceeding, I decided to harness a little Captain Marvel power of my own. The hearing was the kind where the client is not invited to participate or even be in the room. No, my assigned role was to sit in the lobby and wait until my attorney came out to give me the low-down.

But I decided I didn’t like that option.

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Writing can be hazardous to your health

I am sorry I haven’t shared a blog post for a week now, but there is a reason why.

My dog ate it!

No that’s not the truth. I am not having writer’s block and it’s not that I don’t have more to share either. Here is the deal, I hurt myself writing.

Yep, I am not joking.

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The Marrying Kind

When John asked me to marry him, the first word out of my mouth was “No.” The look of surprise on his face made me want to take it back. The poor guy was standing on a big boulder holding my hands and asking me a question he thought he would never ask anyone again.

But I had made a promise to myself that John didn’t know about.

I was just a few months shy of 54, and life had thrown me some curveballs when it came to romance and especially marriage. If you have been reading my blog, you know this was not my first proposal…or even second.

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