Loretta's Countdown to 60

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

Tag: writing (page 1 of 10)

When better might not be better – growing up in the 2000’s

Last week I shared a little about how I grew up and how I raised my boys. I even touched briefly on the next generation, my granddaughters.

Then I got busy on Wednesday helping my oldest son, and on Thursday, John and I were back on the road. We took some major twisty roads over to the Oregon Coast and then drove to Sacramento.

Often times, when John is driving, I’ll use that opportunity to pull out my laptop and write. But curves and twisting roads make that impossible for me.

So I was itching to get back to my laptop and write the third installment of my posts about growing up. I got my computer out while John drove us home on Friday, and wrote and rewrote a post to share.

And I agonized over it. 

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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!!

Growing up outside – Passing it down

Yesterday I wrote about growing up in Michigan and how we spent most of our time outside.

I also mentioned because of that experience, I wanted to be sure my kids had the same opportunity.

When I got pregnant with our first son, my husband was still in school. We lived in a townhouse near campus and it was fine. By the time our boy was six months old, we’d moved back to Oregon and found a rental in town.

It wasn’t until after our second son was born that I started to remember my own childhood, and what it was like to grow up on a farm. I had married a city boy, and I wasn’t sure he would want to move into the country.

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Growing up outside

We played outside when I was a kid growing up in Michigan. It didn’t matter if it was winter or summer, we were outside most of the time.

In the summers we would play hide-and-seek until way after dark. There were a bunch of us and so many different places to hide that the game would go on for hours.

We also had a sandbox to play and dig in, though I do remember the cats liked “digging” in it too…which was a little gross.

We found things to do and explored beyond our farm too. 

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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

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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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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The Dance – If you want him to move towards you – Step back

Let’s see….where did I leave off?

Oh yeah, with John running off. Can you believe after months of a friendship and then just one night together he ran?

I actually could. Predicted it even.

The good news: I knew John well enough at that point and suspected it would take a lot of patience if we were ever going to be anything more than friends.

The bad news: I was irritated by his behavior just the same. There was no reason to not meet for coffee or join me in a tennis game or go hiking. Something! But, nope, he wouldn’t meet up with me.

So I got busy with my own life. 

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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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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

Who Orders Pina Coladas at a Bar Named O’Malley’s?

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

Romeo, Romeo…

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

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Look up – Are we spending too much time looking at our screens?

As I’ve mentioned, I have been working on  improving my life,  body, and wellbeing. And so far, I’m doing pretty well.

I have a routine each morning that I’m enjoying right now.

I get up early and drink two big glasses of water first thing. I’ve always known the benefits of drinking water, and the older I get the more I’ve come to realize water truly is the fountain of youth.   Continue reading

Flying high

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

Cool to be Kind

Have you ever felt good about yourself and happy with your body, and then see yourself in a dressing room mirror and immediately frown?

I have.

I wrote last week that after my Mom’s death at the age of 48, I’d vowed to stay healthy and fit. And for most of my life, I’ve done just that. But somewhere around age 56, that started to change for me.

Since then, it’s been more of a struggle to lose weight and keep it off.

I’ve wanted to blame menopause or that I’m married and eat what (and as much as) my husband does. Hell, I’ve even tried to (jokingly) blame my best friend. But it’s all me.  Continue reading

Dear little girl…

Tomorrow is a big day for me.

I don’t mean in the sense that something exciting is happening, or I’ve got a bunch of big plans. More in the way of it’s a calendar date that I never forget and always reflect on.

It was August 3, 1970 when the world changed for me. And for the last 48 years, it’s August 3rd that I still feel the pain of that day and our loss.

I know there are a whole lot of you reading this now, that know exactly how I feel. Losing a parent, especially when you are a child, is something you never fully “get over”.   Continue reading

Ten Days with Granddaughters

I’m going to have to keep this short. You remember I mentioned we have our granddaughters with us, right?

It’s really not easy to write when a five-year old is talking….a lot. She has something to say about everything. And I mean everything. Her Dad was the same (sorry to rat you out Noah).

I remember when my boys were young and we were on our way back home from visiting my sister-in-law in the hospital. I’d forgotten his binky when we left the house that morning. Later, the 20 minute drive back was not fun.

He was tired and wanted that binky.

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The meet and greet

After I got back home from Pensacola I decided to get back on Match.com. Things were going good for me, and I wanted to find someone to play tennis with, ride bikes or go on hikes.

I dated a few guys here and there and even made a friend for life with one guy.

But for the most part, I went on a lot of disappointing “meet and greets”.

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Melting away

I don’t do heat very well.

Actually, I hate hot weather. Like, hate it. I have never liked being too hot and I can’t see that I ever will. I lived in Arizona for three years and couldn’t wait to move. Running from my air-conditioned home to my air-conditioned car to go to work in my air-conditioned office was not for me.

No wonder I love living in Santa Barbara so much – it’s usually about 72 degrees, year round. And that suits me well.

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Dear friends,

I had a whirlwind weekend, which culminated with finishing up my post from yesterday. I’m miles from home right now, wondering just how I top that post!

I packed up my car on Friday and headed north to visit my best friend, and go to a bridal shower. It was such a fun weekend, filled with women and family. I felt so at home and surrounded by love.

Between the laughter and fun and lots of food, I found a few moments to put the finishing touches on my first blog anniversary post. I schedule my posts to go live at 7 am Pacific time each day to keep some consistency.

So yesterday morning, my post was published at it’s usual time and I headed out the door just after, to drive five hours to Oregon to finish helping my son get his house unpacked.

Five hours is a long time to leave that kind of post hanging out there for the world to see, and me to just wonder how it would be received. I’ll admit, when I stopped at Starbucks to grab my coconut milk latte, I took a peek at the response it was getting.

I held my breath and opened my phone, and saw hundreds of likes and responses and comments and I was overwhelmed.

Quickly scrolling through them, I felt a sense of relief from all of the support and love.

Yeah, there were a few negative ones too, but that’s to be expected. I even deleted a couple. But all and all, most people reacted with kindness and support and encouragement.

My husband is so proud of me and absolutely loved the post. He kept telling me I should boost it and promote the hell out of it. But he also knew I was driving and wouldn’t have a lot of time for that.

So he decided to do that for me.

The funny thing is, Facebook wouldn’t let him promote the post because of the photo. As you know, I’m sitting on a stool, with my laptop in my lap, and well, nothing else.

If you think about it, I’m covered more than if I were in a bikini, but Facebook didn’t see it that way, which made me laugh.

Oh well.

I’m okay with not boosting or promoting or getting it out there. You have seen it. My readers and faithful followers are the ones I wanted to share it with.

Thank you….for so much,

          Loretta

 

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