Loretta's Countdown to 60

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

Tag: blog (page 1 of 11)

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

You can’t have spring without going through winter- part 2

I walked back into the bar and up to John. We looked at each other and then held each other, crying. It was all so sad.

We talked as John walked me to my car. I told him I thought what he did was “shitty”. He didn’t like that word at all. It was odd, he just didn’t want me leaving thinking HE was a shitty person.

We said goodbye to each other and I headed home. That night I cried.

I cried for the loss of “us”. After all of the relationships I’d been in, and through each failed attempt, I’d learned more about myself and who I wanted in my life. I could see us fitting together.

But apparently John couldn’t. 

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You can’t have spring without going through winter

I’ve clearly been dragging my feet about sharing this next part of my (our) story. But here goes…

It was February 2012 when I had the unfortunate incident with my co-worker at the winery. It was also that incident that got me to pick up the phone and call John.

I knew I wanted to tell him and get his support and I’ll admit, even a hug. Which is exactly what I got.

Over the next three weeks we talked almost every day. We played tennis and hiked and went to coffee and dinners together. Just like we used to.

He was still busy driving back and forth to the valley to get his house ready for the new tenant. But most days we were doing something together.   Continue reading

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu – Part Three

Part three: Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City sits on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu, which is part of the Colorado River. It is a fairly new city that started out as an Army Air Corp rest camp. In the late 1950’s Robert McCullough purchased land there and by the early 1960’s established Lake Havasu City.

McCullough wanted to attract visitors to the area and purchased the London Bridge for $2.5 million from the city of London when the bridge there was replaced in 1968. Stone by stone, the bridge was disassembled and shipped to Lake Havasu to be rebuilt exactly.  Continue reading

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu – Part 2

Part two: On to Sedona

The next morning I felt worse.

John asked if I wanted to go get coffee and breakfast but then, seeing the look on my face, said he’d go get coffee and bring it back to the room for me. I just wanted to stay in my comfy nightgown and sweater and look at photos from the day before.

It was fun going through all of the photos taken from my Canon, as it did a great job capturing the beauty that is the Grand Canyon. After a couple of hours, I felt a little better so we checked out and headed south to Sedona.   Continue reading

Hiking Arizona – a trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Havasu

Part One: The Grand Canyon

My husband, John, travels to Arizona for work every couple of months or so. I’ve tagged along with him a few times, but this last week while he was busy working in Arizona, I was busy helping my daughter in law.

It was the week before Thanksgiving and John wasn’t going to be finished with work until late on Friday. So we decided since he was already there, I’d take the train from Santa Barbara to Flagstaff and meet up with him.

I like traveling by rail and thoroughly enjoy Los Angeles Union Station. Built in 1939, at a cost of $11 million, it still looks as grand as it did back then.   Continue reading

A few good things

After almost two years of working from home, I finally carved out a little creative space for myself. John and I live in a fairly small one bedroom, and the kitchen table can easily turn into a messy “desk”.

So I end up sitting in a chair in the living room, typing with my laptop on my lap. Which is terrible for my posture.

A friend of mine suggested I purchase a laptop stand called “Roost”. It’s adjustable and keeps your head up.    Continue reading

Looking back – a great way to see just how far I’ve come

I was looking back at old posts I’ve written and came across this one. It made me cry!

Wow, have I come a long way. I don’t feel anything like this now and I’m so happy that I “kicked out the old tenant”.

I wrote this in August of 2017. Since then I’ve lost 20 pounds but more importantly, learned so much about myself. This blog is exactly what I needed. (Thank you for supporting me with it, John).

Me and John Oct. 2018
(photo: goirishphotog)

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Thank you

Thank you so much to all you who have hit the donate button on my blog….(Shelly D, Cindy F, Mary H, Virginia S, Anne K….and more.)

As you know, blogging is a labor of love that costs more than it earns.

Your donations have helped, and will continue to help me share my story.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

The evolution of Motherhood

I remember from the time I was little the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. Not very “progressive”, I know, but it’s the truth.

We were very poor growing up and rarely had any new toys. Instead they were passed down from one child to the next.

The neighbor girls I tried to hang out with had Barbie Dolls that came with different outfits you could dress them in.

I had one doll, and she wasn’t a petite little doll, but more of an old-fashioned Dolly with eyes that would close when you laid her down. And with one arm missing.  Continue reading

Filling in the blanks

Do you ever wonder what it was like for your parents when they were kids? I don’t think about my dad’s youth as much as I do my mom’s. That’s probably because she was the rule-maker of our home.

And the enforcer too.

When I was a kid, I didn’t think about or care what made her the way she was, I was more concerned with ducking her flip-flop as she tried to swat me with it for not doing what I was told.

But as an adult, I have to wonder what it was like for her growing up in that little farmhouse in Michigan with four brothers and three sisters.

She was born in the spring of 1924, unless you go by what her headstone reads. Not sure how that happened, but it’s off by a year. She was the second child of eight, in a home that would soon be crowded.  Continue reading

The loop-de-loop

We got back from our four days of working on John’s home on a Sunday night in January 2012. I didn’t see John the next day, but we got together on Tuesday for coffee and to go over the applications for tenants.

We were sitting side by side at the Starbucks we’d first met at and John had applications spread out on the table. His phone was there too.

Within just a few minutes his phone lite up with a text message. From Toni. 

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Hopping on the roller coaster

Driving home from our road trip, I was content and happy. I had a wonderful time with my kids and new granddaughter. And it felt like John and I were closer, even though we hadn’t seen each other in two months.

On our way back, I was looking at a text John had sent me and I said out loud, “I think I’m falling for him.” My son said, “Yeah, I noticed.”

I could see the man he was before his divorce. The one who was devoted to his little family and their life together. I could also see the profound hurt that kept him from “going there” again.

So I wasn’t surprised when he texted me and asked what day I would be home. Or that he asked to come over and play tennis with me the very next day.   Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Use Your Breaks

John wrote this post while I was away for the holidays. He was messaging me daily and we both agreed  online dating was getting old.

Column 26 – Don’t Forget to Use Your Breaks

(I used this column to say “focus on where you’re at”.
I also used it to disparage the dating sites a little. They can be frustrating, and I wanted to tell people if the sites are annoying then the best thing to do is leave them alone for a minute.
About the time I wrote this one, I texted Loretta to get her thoughts on the sites. She said they didn’t feel ‘organic’ to her, and that she was done with them.
I said I agreed and was going to take a break from them myself – saying it would probably be months before I got back online).

Something I’ve come to know about myself is I can be stubborn at times.

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Please secure your oxygen mask before assisting others

I’m being pulled.

My attention is being pulled in many directions. I have people relying on me, and I want to be sure I can help.

Last week I had to focus on a wedding that I coordinated, and that was an enormous task. So I thought the best thing to do was to take some things off my plate.

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Jump in, The Water’s Fine – Repost

A while back,  I shared a blog post called A Look Inside. I wrote about feeling off that day, and shared that I spent the day trying to understand why. I got a lot of very nice feedback on it, and several people shared some of their off moments with me too.

I like that so many people have commented and shown support. And I’m using several different platforms to share my blog, in hopes to reach people who can either relate, or just find my stories interesting.

I am also learning as I go, which is sort of the point of the blog. You know, reach 60 and be wise, healthy, happy and content. One thing I’m learning is that there is a bias towards sharing one emotion: Happiness.

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Thoughts and things

I had a friend ask me a few weeks ago how I manage to write so much. She was impressed that I write at least five days each week for my blog.

The answer was easy.

I told her I have this running dialogue in my head, and she nodded her head in agreement saying she does too. So then I said, “All I do is sit down at my computer and type out pretty much exactly what’s going on inside my head.”

We laughed at that.  Continue reading

If the Truth Hurts Then Shouldn’t it Come With a Warning Label?

After John and I had our one and only romantic evening, he was still texting me and sending me his columns, but all of a sudden he didn’t have time to meet for coffee or play tennis or get together at all.

So I got busy with my own life and plans and let John figure out his own issues.

Column 22 – If the Truth Hurts Then Shouldn’t it Come With a Warning Label?

(One of the things Loretta and I had in common was our love of family – we sort of lived for our kids. Continue reading

Book Excerpt – November 2011 – When Sparks Fly

This is a book excerpt from November 2011. John and I had known each other for about five months at this point. Though we had started out as friends, we were now both single, and sparks were flying.

November 2011

One evening in November sitting together on Loretta’s deck, which overlooks a tree studded hillside, the conversation turned to personal matters. She told me of her life – and of how big a role her kids played in it. My stories paralleled hers as I told her how I wanted my life to look, and how important my kids were to me.

We’d been having these conversations for a while now – at least since September – and I think we were both getting the same sense from them. The one that tells you that, hey, there’s got to be a reason why this person always feels so comfortable to be around.

John was desperately trying to keep me at an arms distance, especially when it came to his heart.

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When “Just Friends” changes into something more

For those who have been following along on my blog you know when John and I first met, through online dating, we became “just friends”. We both started dating other people, but because of his columns that I was editing, we talked almost daily.

He would come over and sit on my deck and we’d talk for hours about our lives. We played tennis and met for coffee several times a week. We shared our stories with each other and helped each other through difficult breakups.

Just Friends

My favorite times together where when we sat on that deck and John talked about his childhood, his family and growing up. He had some of the funniest stories to share, and they found their way into his columns.

His readers loved it as much as I did. 

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