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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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s Friday, so time for another column from The Online Dating Coach. John wrote this one while I was gone and when he sent it to me I had to laugh because it’s so cleaver. He was trying to convince the ladies in his life that dating was supposed to be fun. And when he’s lonely he tends to listen to music and get a little sappy. Continue reading
I left off with my story telling you I had met a guy named Mike, who I started dating just before leaving for Florida to help my son, and his family, move. When I returned home, Romeo had dialed up the charm a notch…or two.
I thought I’d share with you what John wrote about that time, with a little commentary from me.
Here is an excerpt from his book, Romeo’s Dilemma:
It’s Wednesday check in and I want to share that I am doing the happy dance!
I’ve been slowly and steadily losing weight and I’m finally at a place where I feel so much better. And it shows-inside and out. A few good wins added together can really make a difference in my attitude, which then spurs me on to continue. Continue reading
My husband has commented more than once, that women are very competitive. I usually get defensive and say something like, “No more than men!” And, I’m probably right (I usually am) that we don’t compete more, but we definitely compete differently than men.
John gets his need for competition satisfied on the soccer field. For him it’s almost a “have to” to keep him centered, and it also dissipates the desire to punch anyone. I wonder if women who play sports feel that way too?
Being a part of the rather large world of social media, I have seen my share of competition among the women there. And it reminds me of high school. Remember the mean girls in school who wanted to let you know at every turn that they were “better” than you?
Well they’ve graduated to social media.
It’s been a busy summer!
In April and May, John and I vacationed in Europe for a few weeks. We traipsed all over Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. We had a grand time and I am still basking in the memories.
As soon as we got back it was time for my birthday and Mother’s Day festivities. Turning 59 was a delight surrounded by my husband and kids.
June started out with John’s birthday celebration, and rolled right into one busy weekend after another.
We rode up the coast to San Simeon and looked for Moonstones, hiked a few local trails and went to the beach a lot.
A trip up to San Francisco was necessary for John’s work and we even got to see his brother on his birthday. That was fun.
By the end of the month we were still in birthday mode with my granddaughter’s and son’s back to back birthdays I think I had my share of cake that month.
July started off with a bang, and not the fireworks kind. We helped my oldest son pack up his belongings and move up to Oregon. We got to stay on the Rogue River and enjoy the views and quiet time, between unpacking and setting up.
It was a fun trip, but we had to rush back to help out another son. So I ended up heading North again soon after. I spent a week away from home seeing my girlfriend, and helping my son settle into his new home.
I drove home through thick smoke with half of Oregon and California on fire, getting back home just in time to have our granddaughters for 10 days of fun.
Last weekend we spent a little time reconnecting with a bike trip up to Avila Beach. We had a great time on that big beamer and hiking around Pirates Cove.
So this weekend… it’s time to just be lazy before summer is gone.
I hope you take time to enjoy these last lazy days of summer.
My final trip to Florida to visit my son and his wife Amber was August of 2011. I picked that time to go for two reasons: One to help them move to Mississippi but more importantly, to meet my first grandchild.
In May of 2010 my son graduated from the Naval Academy and married his high school sweetheart the very next day. Then they started their lives together as a military family. By August of that year I was back to help them move to Florida, where my son would begin training as a pilot. Continue reading