Loretta's Countdown to 60

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

Tag: writing (page 1 of 10)

A gift of the present

It’s Sunday night and I wanted to write a little more of my story, but John just left and I’m feeling lazy.

I was in Oregon last week and got back just in time to see John on Monday night before catching the train back home Tuesday morning.  He worked all week away from home, and got back Thursday night late.

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A Love Story

Right after John asked me to be his girlfriend, he wrote this column for the newspaper. It is still one of my favorites. (You might want to grab a tissue for this one).

A Love Story

My Mom and Dad were married for a very long time.

And it can happen – when a man has been married for a long time – that he becomes a bit low-key in the ways he shows his wife how special she is to him. After enough years of marriage we guys can misplace our flare for the dramatic, and we can underwhelm when just the opposite is called for.

Upon the approach of my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary I think that might have been where Dad was headed. Not that that would have been an unforgivable thing, just the opposite really. Mom would have been happy with whatever he did – but then she’s like that. She was happy to be married to the man she loved – if he remembered an important date, well, that was icing on the cake.  Continue reading

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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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 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

When it’s time to call it off

I want to share more of my story, and know most everyone who is close to me already knows all of this. But I also know there are way more people who don’t.

So I’m going to continue sharing.

I left off in January of 2012, with John deciding he still wanted to date around, and me wondering what the hell just happened.

Over the next month our relationship became more and more strained. I knew John was dating other women and I had no idea if he would ever let go of that pattern of casual dating and see what we had.

He was messaging me daily and we still did a lot of things together. But it wasn’t the same.

We planned to meet up for coffee on Valentine’s Day, but the day before while chatting on the phone I asked a question that was on my mind most days.

I asked, “Do you see us getting into a relationship?” He simply said, “No”. So then I asked, “Do you EVER see us getting into a relationship?” His response sank me. “No, Loretta, I don’t ever see us getting into a relationship.” 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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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

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