Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The View from my Window

Today as I write, I am sitting on the second floor looking out the window.  Immediately outside I see a pine tree and across the street...well, I'm not a tree expert so I have absolutely no idea what type of tree it is but it has beautiful little white flowers all over it that blow through the air with the light wind of the day.  It's magical.  It looks so lovely as those little flowers glide on the breeze and fall to the ground. Of course when you get out of the car you step on them and they stick to your shoes and you track them in the house and you realize what a royal pain in the butt those stupid little flowers can be.
Wow!  I started out nice.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Last Summer my daughter and I visited my lovely cousin in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The days leading up to our visit were filled with anticipation.  I'm sure we all have fond memories of early days spent with cousins.

Some of my favorites:

  • Visits and week long stays at my cousins house.  Sometimes just for the fun, other times because my parents were travelling to Mexico. It was exciting to be in a different neighborhood.
  • We were both shy and took a while to warm up to each other.
  • I still recall the backyard that was as normal as any other, if you can call having a display of cars moving through a city of buildings,over a bridge, and through a tunnel on a treadmill generated by running water, normal.
  • In my minds eye I can still see Auntie in the kitchen, donning an apron.  In the morning we were served and expected to drink our ponche.
  • The image of my uncle sitting at the organ, playing his favorite songs and the sound of the keys clicking as his fingers seemed to jump from one to the next effortlessly.  I grew up on these songs, most times with Mom, Dad and sometimes Auntie singing along.
  • How could I ever forget Auntie sitting at the sewing machine in her own world as she made us girls Barbie clothes; stockings, hats, rings, earrings, necklaces, bras, panties, elbow length gloves, evening gowns, boas and bathing suits...we were the envy of any girl who'd ever even heard of Barbie.
  • And those afternoons laying on my cousins bedroom floor as I begged her to draw one figure after another.  I was so amazed by her talent, even then.
  • I shall never forget the playhouse my uncle constructed for my cousin.  It was the envy of the neighborhood girls, with several rooms in it.  It was tough getting in under the low laying ceiling yet the perfect escape from any adult who even considered entering.
  • And the memory of climbing on top of the flat roofed garage with my cousins niece and nephew will never be lost.  For all we knew, we on top of Mt. Whitney, we were conquerors, that is until we got caught.
  • I have a clear recollection of my cousin visiting our house.  We walked to Ed's Liquor Store; I nearly had to pry words from her until she warmed up and we discussed with anticipation what we would purchase from our trade; soda bottles for candy.
  • The hours spent in my backyard playhouse.
  • Fond memories of Easter baskets and Christmas gifts, patented leather shoes and fancy dresses.
  • Watching as Dad and my uncle worked to enlarge yet another room to our house and Grand Openings to celebrate each.
  • The smells of sitting in our family kitchen.  Everyone working the assembly line to make the biggest olla of tamales and menudo known to man.  Sometimes just for the heck of it but more often than not, to feed the crowd that would gather for a party planned for no particular reason except to party.
  • The hours spent sitting around the kitchen table listening and learning as the adult talk went on and on until we fell asleep no longer able to keep our eyes open.
  • The joy and excitement of my aunt, uncle and cousin moving to our city; the fun was just beginning.
  • Playing cards in the backyard patio with beans for the winning.
  • The proud moment when we heard my beautiful, cousin had been named 'Homecoming Queen'.
  • The crazy episodes Anita and I experienced as young adults; taking dance classes together, driving! Stepping onto a theater stage as actresses, crazy musical theater workshops, trips to Dillions in Westwood, walks on Hollywood and Vine, buying Capezio dance shoes in Hollywood, daring to take dance classes in Los Angeles and of course my cousin waving hello to people she knew as we drove down the freeway (who could be that popular?)
  • I will never forget our USO auditions and announcement that we had made the company to tour the Orient and entertain the troops together.  And little surprise that as we toured Cousin would come upon people she knew from home.  Who else besides a movie star would have such popularity?
  • And then the announcement of Anita's wedding to Ruben; a schoolmate of mine from Middle and High School.

So many memories not mentioned, or forgotten.

As my daughter and I made plans to meet in Houston after her trip to Costa Rica to stay with dad for a few weeks, I wondered if I could live through the wait.  It had been 3 years since our last visit and 14 before that.  Silly of me to be so childish and think a few days of waiting could be so difficult.  But they were!

I met Karina in Houston as planned.  We were travelling stand-by but got on the flight as scheduled.  I will never forget the first sight of my cousin when we spotted each other near the baggage claim carousel.  The excitement was so high I stood waiting near the carousel for quite some time before noticing that our luggage had been taken off and left for pick up at the far end.  We were talking away as if we had to get it all in in a few minutes or it would be gone.  Meanwhile, Ruben sat waiting in the car.....

Karina and I spent three full days with Anita and Ruben.  We talked, walked, laughed and cried.  Then we laughed until we cried.  We sang, we danced and we ate.

We went sight seeing and took photos.
  We even did a photo shoot of Karina dressed as Audrey Hepburn.  


We had such a wonderful time of reminiscing, catching up on the current events of our lives and enjoying the beauty of their home, oh how I dreaded leaving.   I wanted to say 'I'll be back next week', and wish it were that easy.

And now, I find myself in anticipation of a new visit...just for a few days, but I can hardly wait!

It's happened...

She's driving!

The fact that my daughter now drives is so exhilarating.  I know most parents fall into habitual worry when their teens begin driving....Not.Me!  My daughter driving simply means I get to watch an entire television show, or wash and dry a full load of clothes, or even take a nap without the interruption of that dreaded phone call "can you pick me up now?".  Oh, how I dreaded those words.  Just the thought of them make my nostrils begin to twitch.

I should have been grateful to hear my daughters voice when she was calling asking for a ride home but really, some days I'd have to make four to 6 trips dropping her off, picking her up, taking her here, taking her there.....  Believe me, you cannot have a normal life when you have an active teen.  And the simple fact that she was doing nice, clean, fun activities didn't make it any easier.

Do I sound ungrateful or naggish?  (that's my word and you can't have it)  Do I?  I don't mean to, but I went through this driving the kid around thingy for 2 girls, almost back to back.  Do couples these days having 4 children separated by only 2 years have any idea what they're in for when those little buggers get into their early teens?  Any idea?  NO.  Of course not.  Having four children that close in age means one thing and one thing only, at least a decade of chauffeuring your teen and their friends.  A DECADE people!  May as well just sell the house and buy a motor home!

Just minutes ago I get a call "Mom, are you hungry?".  I love it.  I don't have to go anywhere, don't have to drive to the store or make myself lunch.  How stinkin' much better can it get??

She's driving, she's driving, she's driving........Now on to new worries.......
Life really isn't fair.