Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Four Things

These questions were sent to me in an email today.

Rather than forwarding it on, I decided to just post it here.

Thanks Lynn! You all know how I love surveys!

(Feel free to play along and post your own!)


Four Things You May Not Have Known About Me...

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:

Shoe salesperson

2. Live In nanny

3. Lead singer in a band

4. Pharmacy technician


B) Four movies you would watch over and over:

On Golden Pond (watched at least 20 times!)

2. Titanic

3. Steel Magnolias

4. Contact

C) Four places I've lived

1. In a house

2. In an apartment

3. In a condo

4. In a dream...  ::smiling::

D) Four TV shows you love to watch:

1. Grey's Anatomy

2. Without a Trace

3. Desperate Housewives

4. 20/20 (or any program like it)

E ) Four places you have been on vacation:

1. Tour of Europe in '86 (Germany, Austria and Switzerland)

2. Florida

3. Wildwood Crest, NJ

4. Maine

F ) Websites you visit regularly:





G ) Four of my favorite foods:

1. Lobster

2. Clams

3. French onion soup

4. Lindt White Chocolate Truffles

H) Four places I would rather be right now:

1. A tropical island

2. The Grand Canyon

3. In a hot bubble bath (ok, back to earth, now...)

4. At a concert




Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Remembering "Stevie D."

It was around this time, five years ago, when he went missing...

There is really no way to describe the desperate feelings of helplessness one has when something like this happens.  I remember the look that must have played across my face when I first heard the words, "Steve's missing."  I had to have smirked as if to say, "Yeah right... he'll be home by tonight."  It just wasn't his style to take off.  After days went by, and then weeks... it was apparent that something was terribly wrong.

But wait... There is so much more to this story, this person.  I have to back up and let my memory take hold.  I want you to know Steve the way I knew him.  I want to remember him, and smile.  Which is probably why I'm writing this.  I haven't thought about Steve for a while and as this all played out, I really had no way to express what was going through my heart.  So this is entry is really more for me.

Years ago, when I was about 21 (ok, many years ago), I worked in a chinese restaurant where I also happened to make many close friends, and also met my husband later down the road.  This was before him, before my beautiful girls, before many things... I was still having fun and hanging out in the lounge every weekend when Karaoke was still the cool thing to do on Friday and Saturday nights.  There was a small group of us that bonded together like a second family, not only there, but in life as well.  I love to sing, as many of you know, and this was one of the few places I could just be myself, have a few drinks and socialize with my friends. 

One particular Friday night, a somber, good looking man sat all alone at the end of the bar.  I had noticed him, but didn't give him much thought, as I was too busy socializing!  After a while, he approached me and handed me a piece of paper.  A song request paper for the karaoke.  I looked up at him puzzled. 

"Would you sing this song with me?"  He asked quietly.

I looked down at the slip of paper that read:  "Almost Paradise"  remember that beautiful love song from the movie Footloose?  Yeah, THAT one.

Well, I wasn't into doing duets.  Often times the men who sang Karaoke did so after getting so completely smashed that they didn't know what the lyrics were, and I was serious about my singing... not that I thought I was so great, but I wasn't into public humiliation... at least not before one too many Mudslides!  But something about this quiet, reserved man made me not want to say no.  I decided to take my chances.

"Sure, go hand it in."  I suggested, and he did. 

When it was our turn, we met up at the microphones, and I was very nervous.  Still, he seemed very sweet.. I was anxious to hear his voice.  The music started, and he held the mic up and began to sing the first verse..

"I thought that dreams belonged to other men... 'cause each time I got close, they'd fall apart again." 

OH... good Lord in heaven.  I almost forgot to sing the next line.  His voice was that of an angel.  Then we reached the chorus, where the voices blend and harmonize together.  The entire room, full of half drunken, loud happy people, went completely dead silent.

And so began a new friendship...

He had suggested going out to a movie sometime.  I had just stepped out of a not so healthy relationship, and was in no hurry to begin another.  Still, I was pretty sure that in time our friendship would blossom and grow into something quite beautiful.  Then I introduced him to my friend, "karen"... that was the end of THAT idea..  she could attach and pull strings on a man like you wouldn't believe.  And when she saw Steve, she knew he would be hers.  And that he was.

So I played the best friend and backed off, politely.  And rightly so, as they went on to date and later marry.  I sang in their wedding... he sang in mine.  Wealso sang duets in our friend's weddings!  Our voices blended together like magic.  We even traveled to compete in karaoke contests together! 

As time went on, much of our time was spent together, even after our marriages and children.  We also vacationed together in New Jersey for quite a few years in a row.  The times were special, but also a bit strained.  See, I knew things that no one else knew.  I also felt things that no one else knew.  It was not always an easy time.  When you're on the outside looking in, and knowing things that you shouldn't know, and wanting to make other's aware of certain things, it can result in a major disaster.  I learned quickly, after trying to make things right, that it wasn't my place, and almost lost them both.  I realized that M.Y.O.B  is really the best policy.  But near the end, well, about a year before the end, I just had to stop being around it.  The visits became less and less... I just could not stand to be around them knowing what I knew, and letting it happen.  It was too hard.  What was even harder was watching him figure it out on his own, and not doing anything about it.  That was like a knife in my heart.

So summer 2001 was upon us... the plan was to vacation in NJ again, despite the goings on.  It was just something we did together.  Our family and their's.  The reservation had been made since the year before when we were there last. 

And then he disappeared.

I honestly thought he was just angry.  We all tried to believe that for the longest time.  And that made us all angry in return.  How could he just leave his kids?  It was so out of character, with all that he put up with.  Then the time came for our vacation.  The reservations were cancelled.  I was numb from not understanding. I spent so much time looking up at the sky and praying countless prayers that he would come home soon.  Or that at least, God would watch over him, wherever he was and keep him safe... little did I know that he was already in God's hands.

Six weeks later, I received the call.

They found him, lying under a tree in a field not far from his work.  He had left work that morning after a very upsetting phone call, walked to that spot under the tree,   and died.

This is very heart wrenching for me to write about and I hope that I am not upsetting anyone with this story.  I spoke at Steve's funeral, spur of the moment, and talked about that first night that we met.  The story was all tongue tied and through many tears.  I've been thinking a lot about him, being the time of year it is, and I wanted to put to words some of my thoughts, and this was the way I wanted to do it. 

So, Steve... Stevie D... I want you to know that I will always remember you.  I will always sing our songs in my heart.  "Almost Paradise" (you're finally there, hon),  "Up Where We Belong",   "Stop Dragging My Heart Around!"  Oh the looks we shared with THAT one!  "Separate Lives"... oh the list goes on and on.  That you were a special person in my life is something I will carry in my heart always.  I am looking forward to singing with you again someday.  I'm sorry for all that you went through in this life... and that you didn't feel strong enough to brave it out.  I only wish you could've known that I was here for you. 

See you soon...

Thanks for listening, friends!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Ocean's Cure


I can not believe how fast this summer is moving along... We haven't done much of anything, which explains why I haven't had much to write about lately.  I've been enjoying being home and taking time out to do some fun activities with my girls.  This is the first summer we haven't gone away for a week's vacation, for numerous reasons.  We are however venturing out for a three day trip to Maine this coming weekend, which I am SO excited for.  I simply have to be near the ocean during the summer, even if it's for just a day.  The feelings and emotions that the ocean provides me will last for days!  I'm hoping that since we are only staying a short time that it will allow for some extra money to be put aside for a whale watch cruise or some deep sea fishing!  Even though being in a boat way out in the middle of ocean is a bit frightening to me (much more so in recent years), it is also a reminder of how small we really are, and how incredible it is that we are here.  To look out and see forever, feel the soft warmth of the ocean breeze, and watch the sun set over the horizon is simply the way to an inner peace that is much needed in my heart these days!  I cannot wait to walk for miles along the shoreline, look for the most unique shells or sea glass to add to my collection, build the biggest sand castles with my girls and to just feel the tranquility... and to be reminded of all that I have in this world to be grateful for.  ::smile::

I sincerely hope you are all having an enjoyable summer, spending time with friends and family throughout.  Whether it's the annual summer barbecue, an afternoon by the beach, relaxing picnic, or just a quiet day home with loved ones... enjoy it as much as you can!  These short summer months will not last as long as they should! 







Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"But is there someplace far away, someplace where all is clear
Easy to start over with the one you hold so dear
Or are you left to wonder, all alone, eternally
This isn't how it's really meant to be
No it isn't how it's really meant to be

Well they say that love is in the air, never is it clear,
Try to pull it close and make it stay
Butterflies are free to fly, and so they fly away
And I'm left to carry on and wonder why
Even through it all, I'm always on your side"

"Always On Your Side"  Sheryl Crow and Sting

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer's Sweet Touch

Summer's Sweet Touch

A rainbow promised a new day would come

Butterflies visited when our hearts became one

The sky looked bluer... not frightening and grey

Windchimes danced, and bluebirds did play

Eyes closed, I  feel the summer's sweet touch

The warmth of the sun that reminds of so much

Like the calmness I feel when your hand touches mine

And the hope that I have of a love so divine.





Sunday, July 16, 2006

"HEY! Are you alright out there??"

One of my favorite things about summer is spending time at the lake.  We have many small lakes in this area within a half hour, and we visit each one 2 or 3 times a week.  I love to sprawl out on a lawn chair with a good book and read the same paragraph about 5 times while I diligently watch the girls splashing and swimming about.  They are also very gifted sand castle creators.  I also love to just close my eyes and feel the sun warm my skin while the breeze of a soft, soothing wind makes my hair tickle my face.  This relaxing sensation will often put me in a bit of a trance, to say the least...

So, let me tell you about "The Zone".

My MOST favorite thing to do at the lake, is swim out... really far.  Often times my girls will follow ~ thank goodness they are strong swimmers ~ and then they will venture back in to rest their legs and play with other kids.  (This particular day, we were with about 8 other families from church, so I felt comfortable venturing out a bit longer, as you'll soon see..)  I will stay out and swim until I can't swim anymore.  Not a hard, "crawl"... I'm not that proficient a swimmer!  I just move my arms and legs in slow, rhythmic motions... the breast stroke, I guess it's called.  When finally my body becomes weak and my breathing heavy, I will turn over and float...  for a REALLY long time.  I close my eyes and let the water run over my face and fill my ears.  I LOVE to just float on the surface of the water, letting my arms and legs move ever so slightly, as not to disrupt the smoothness.  This is when I once again enter "The Zone".  A sort of meditative state, I suppose, although I have always disliked the word "meditate."  It just sounds odd to me.  And I say "The Zone" with a bit of humor, as that is what my meditative state became after about 10 minutes.

"HEY!  Are you alright out there?"

I heard a voice from somewhere amidst my dreamlike state...

Oh dear me...

They thought I was dead.

How embarrassing!

I swam myself upright and came face to face with one of the other moms. 

"I was coming out to save you!  We were very concerned about you out here...  You didn't look right after about 10 minutes!  You must have been in 'The Zone'." 

WELL,  yes I was, thank you very much.  My face turned three shades of red.  Thank goodness my girls were laughing hysterically from the entrance of their sand castle.  They just know how I love to entertain... 

I think I'll stick to the safety of my lawn chair from now on.

Hope your weekend was spent in your own "happy place" (which is what I prefer to call it!!)


Sunday, July 9, 2006

The Survey Says...

Borrowed this from CHARLEY ~ again!

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
o, but a fellow adolescent passenger in a car was! :O

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?
Are you kidding? Those things are scary enough! I need to SEE how close to death I am!

3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
This past winter with my girls. My butt STILL hurts!

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
With someone...

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
Currently reading Second Glance by Jodi Picoult... one HAS to believe!

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
Yes, I believe everyone is creative in their own way.

7. Do you think O. J. Simpson killed his wife?
Um, sorry.. but isn't it obvious?

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
I've always loved Jennifer.. she has natural beauty inside and out and seems to have a sweet heart.

9. Do you stay friends with your exes?

10. Do you know how to play poker?
Somewhat, but the preferred game is Blackjack!

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
Once... a looong time ago.

12. What's your favorite commercial?
I love Mother's Day commercials... ::sniff::

13. What are you allergic to?
Tile glue

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around do you run red lights?

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
GO SOX!!!!

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
YES! I hadn't been since I was a little girl, until I had little girls!! I take them every winter.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
I always remember them.

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Last month at work... we have WAY too much fun at the lunch table!

20. Can you name 5 songs by the Beatles?
MICHELLE, The Long and Winding Road, Yesterday, In My Life, Strawberry Fields

21. What's the one thing on your mind right now?
Beatles songs

22. Do you know who Ghetto-ass Barbie is?
I don't even WANT to know...

23. Do you always wear your seat belt?

24. What cell service do you use?

25. Do you like Sushi?

26. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?
Yes... not the accident, just the fatal part.

27. What do you wear to bed?
Usually just a t-shirt or tank top... :o/

28. Been caught stealing?

29. What shoe size do you have?
9 (big feet... big heart)

30. Do you truly hate anyone?

31. Classic Rock or Rap?
Classic Rock

32. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
Kevin Costner.... no, Mel Gibson... NO BRAD PITT! omg...

33. Favorite song?
That's too hard.

34. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror?
Yes... I used to sing in a band. At one of our gigs, there was a mirror opposite from us on the wall. I had to watch myself the whole time. I didn't like it one bit. Geesh.

35. What food do you find disgusting?

36. Do you sing in the shower?
Used to when I was a kid...

37. Did you ever play, "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours?"
Didn't everyone?

38. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
I may have when I was a child... never as an adult. I like to think I learned from it.

39. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Yes... I am very vocal about treating everyone fairly.

40. Have you ever been punched in the face?
Yes. I was ten years old. I was walking home from school and a bully was throwing snowballs at me. I was never one to back away from a fight with any ole boy, but my arm was in a sling from a bad fall... I turned around and swung my backpack at him and he punched me square in the face. The next day I went to class and all the boys (who saw me as one of their own!) wanted to know what happened. When I told them, they all went after him at recess and told him if he ever layed a hand on me again they'd get him good! "YEH!" for FRIENDS!


Tuesday, July 4, 2006

             HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!

Sunday, July 2, 2006

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today was spent driving my oldest daughter, Amanda to church camp up in the White Mountains...  Good heavens, it is beautiful here in NH.  Growing up, my home and all it's surrounding beauty was taken for granted.  My adolescent mind and body couldn't WAIT to get the ::bleep:: out of here!  I was headed straight for the city... or so I thought.  When I moved close enough to the city to get a glimpse of the other side of the fence, I was never so happy to return home once again.

Anyway, on to camp...

I could not believe how much the "kids" in her group have grown.  Three of the boys are taller than their cabin unit leader by a foot.  I can't pretend that it doesn't concern me a little... the coed bunking.  My little girl with a bunch of teenage boys for a week.  The only thing that lessens my worries is that the unit leader also brings his WIFE with him, and Amanda is bunking right above her!  Also, this is a great group of kids, and they have been together for camp and choir/bells for years and have a nice bond... hopefully it doesn't become TOO nice any time soon.  So, she's away for a week... I'm thinking niiiice.  NO battles to referee, or boredom whines.  And yet, of course, I can't help but have started missing her as soon as we started driving back down the mountain.  She's still my baby girl, as much as she hates to hear me say that.  I will say it forever.  Her sister, of course, spent her bedtime crying as I rubbed her back and sang her to sleep... poor thing.  She is so sweet and sensitive, and feels everything so deeply.  God bless her. 

Tomorrow I will be heading back to school.  I am running a summer short program in the mornings with another teacher.  We're having the parent orientation in the afternoon.  It's a small group, some of whom I worked with this year (my little kinder ~ YEH!) and others who are new.  I'm looking forward to being productive again, even if it is just a few hours in the morning three days a week...  This program will be very important for these kiddos over the summer, to keep them on a steady learning pace.  It'll keep me on my toes as well.  I'm also taking two workshops over the summer to better prepare for a new math curriculum we are adopting as a district this year.  It's called Math Trailblazers, and it looks pretty interesting.  I certainly hope it is, for the kid's sake.. AND the teacher's!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and if I'm late in posting, happy 4th of July to everyone...  Blessings!