Loretta's Countdown to 60

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

Category: blog (page 2 of 19)

Deep-Rooted Friendship

A few days after breaking up with John he called to see how I was doing. I think he was surprised to hear I was fine. I was sad our romantic relationship had ended, but we had grown a strong friendship over the past year that neither of us could easily give up.

A place to think

I told John I had some things of his and asked if he’d like to meet for coffee.

Starbucks seemed an appropriate place to meet up since that was where the seeds of our friendship had first sprouted. It would be good to see him and to return his personal things.

Continue reading

The Elephant in the Room

The summer of 2012 was filled with so many highs and lows I honestly don’t even like recalling it, and the ratio of highs to lows was unbalanced in the wrong direction. John and I not only had to deal with the snail’s pace of the legal system, but also the uncertainty of love.

John had told me he loved me one night back in April, but after the accident failed to remember he’d said it or that he even felt it. He spent the entire summer wondering if he’d let ‘the right one’ get away.

And he didn’t mean me.

Continue reading

How to write a book

I promised myself I’d spend January researching how to write a book; so I sat down with Stephen King and gleaned some valuable information, “On Writing.”

I learned a few rules from JK Rowling too including, “Be ruthless about protecting writing days…” And this rule that actually made me feel better about going for it, “Failure is inevitable – make it a strength…”

Somewhere I read the best thing to do is to write how you talk, which is easy for me since that’s exactly how I write. I love Seth Godin’s quote, “No one ever gets talker’s block.”

Continue reading

Critiques with sprinkles on top

I asked a question in my “Let’s do this Together” Facebook group the other day and it got me thinking and most of the time the best way I figure things out is to write it out.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to tell someone something that you thought would help but could also hurt his or her feelings?

Yeah, I know, pretty vague.

But my point isn’t a specific situation as much as a broad question about us as a society right now.

Continue reading

Time to Bail?

I never dreamed I’d need to know anything about how bail works or the process of navigating the legal system to get a loved one out of jail. But as soon as John was taken into custody, I knew I was about to learn. So I stood up on shaky legs and left the courthouse to call the number I’d been handed by the bail bondsman.

The young woman on the phone said she would meet me outside the courthouse and asked if I had my checkbook with me.

Sitting outside in the sunshine at a picnic table, I couldn’t help thinking about the stark difference of that beautiful warm summer day and the cold reality of John behind bars.

Continue reading

Running with scissors

I remember feeling melancholy while driving home after dropping John off at his apartment. It was the first moment I had alone since bringing him home after the accident.

So much had happened in the prior weeks, and I had no idea where our future would go or if I even wanted one with John.

I knew the man he once was and wondered if that guy would ever come back.

Continue reading

The semi-superhero

I don’t recall why we made the decision for John to come stay with me after being released from the hospital. But there he was, stitched up swollen lips and broken teeth sitting on my deck drinking coffee from a straw.

He had doctor’s orders not to drive because they were still trying to figure out the extent of his brain injury. So there I was waiting on him and nursing him back to health.

The guy who forgot he’d said, “I love you Loretta” to me the night before the accident.

The one who was facing a felony charge for running from the cops, and the man who now looked more like Sloth from Goonies than Michael Fassbender’s Magneto.

What the hell was I thinking?

Continue reading

Lost moments, forgotten words

When John was finally coherent enough to communicate, the first question I asked was, “What the hell were you thinking?”

He was brought into the emergency room with nothing but a helmet and his wallet. His motorcycle crash was so severe, his clothes were cut off at the scene in order to save his life.

While his life was spared, his memory was not. He had no recollection of what happened.

Continue reading

The Year of the Book

This week was a bit of an experiment for me.

The first thing I did was to implement a schedule for myself. Yeah I know, sometimes I can be a slow learner.

I wanted to be sure to allow time for exercise and social media but also to have time to actually write.

It seemed I was always trying to find occasions to write and I realized time wasn’t going to jump out of a cake and yell, “Surprise!” I was going to have to carve out moments each day if I wanted to get words on paper.

So I did.

Continue reading

May Day!

Sitting in my car, outside the emergency room, I couldn’t think of what to do next. I’ve always been a person of action. Get the facts, figure out what needs to be done, and do it.

But as I sat there with tears streaming down my face, my brain couldn’t even figure out how to start the car.

The only call to action that came to mind was to phone my best friend.

She listened to me tell her everything and then told me to go home and call John’s brother, he would know what to do.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

April 30, 2012

That morning John said goodbye and headed home to take care of some business. He wanted to make reservations at his favorite place in Pismo Beach for my upcoming birthday, and said he had a few other things to attend to.

We were so happy.

The night before, John told me he loved me just seconds before drifting off to sleep. We didn’t speak of it the next morning, but there was joy surrounding us we could both feel.

And it felt good.

Continue reading

Meeting the family

When John finally asked me to be his girlfriend in March 2012, I thought everything would be so much smoother for us from then on. After the last eight months of just friends to quasi dating I was sure things would settle down.

And they did, for a while.

The very first thing he did was to introduce me to his family. John wanted me to meet his Mom. She lived just 25 miles from the little town where I was born, and had never been back to since leaving with my family at age two.

Continue reading

Figuring out which want will win

For several years now, I’ve had numerous people tell me I should write a book. They read or hear stories of my life, and then proclaim I need to write about it.

I usually smile and say thank you, but inside, my only thought is, “I don’t know how to write a book.” So I don’t do anything with their advice.

From the time I can remember I’ve taken most people’s counsel to heart and even felt a sense of “obligation” that I should follow through with their guidance. Which for most of my life has created a sense of pandemonium in my brain.

Continue reading

What do I want? Trying to find my way in 2019

Yesterday I shared an Instagram post that I thought I’d share here.

Continue reading

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.

Birthday Bash

Birthdays are a big deal to me, but you probably already know that. And without trying to state the obvious, this next one is perhaps the biggest in the deal department yet.

I can only remember one birthday party as a kid. Just one. I may have singled this one party out, but I doubt it. The reason it may stand out the most is that was also the occasion that my younger brother, Brian, decided to stand on the fence and pee in front of my friends.

I was nine and mortified.

Continue reading

Hiking to the top of Inspiration Point

Yesterday I declared 2019 to be the year of the hike, and I jumped off the lily pad.

One of the best reasons to share my intentions with you is I’m then motivated to see it through. Thank you for that.

So in the spirit of putting my money where my mouth is, John and I went on a hike up Inspiration Point.

If you ever visit Santa Barbara, I highly recommend this hike.

Continue reading

Climb every Mountain, Ford every Stream….

Here it is 2019 already!

I say that every year…well, not the 2019 part but the “already” part. I’ve heard the older you get the quicker time goes, and I have to agree. 

Last year just flew by.

When I started this blog, it was with the intention of getting to 60 feeling like I had my shit together. Or as my husband says, I want to “have all my shit in one sock.”

So here we are, January 1, 2019 and in just over five months I will be hitting that 60 mark head on. I’ll admit it still freaks me out. Sixty just sounds so much older than 50 something.

Even my granddaughters commented that 60 is old!

Continue reading

A Birthday to Celebrate

Thirty-five years ago today, I woke up at 6am and it started.

Just like the book said, the very first sign of ‘delivery day’ came, and I knew I would be meeting my first child that day.

Everything went like clockwork and by 2pm his father and I headed to the hospital. And at just before 5pm we met our son for the very first time.

Adam was born on Dec. 30th and I took him home on Dec. 31st…New Year’s Eve. Only he wasn’t Adam then. We had named him Christopher Adam, but when I got home and looked down at his little face, I started crying and said, “His name isn’t Christopher!”

Continue reading
« Older posts Newer posts »
%d bloggers like this: