Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Lost connection, sorry..."

As I was checking Facebook this morning, I noticed a long lost friend was also online.   After all isn't that what facebook is all about?  I began a chat session with her with an admittedly unoriginal "Hi Susie".   We went back and forth with the obligatory "How are you?"  "How's the family?"  "How about this heat, huh?"

As I was politely waiting for one of her replies...you know chat etiquette...I wondered why it was taking so long for her to respond.  Finally she came back with "Lost connection, sorry".  We chatted for a few more minutes and then again following chat etiquette, I began to bring the session to an end by saying: "Anyway I saw you online and just wanted to say hi."

After we said "bye" I began to think about how e-mail, texting and social media has changed our whole way of communicating.

I know, I know, it's been written and spoken about many times.

On a personal level, this particular incident, had quite an effect on me.

Susie and I worked together at the same company about 20 years ago.   We were actually cube mates.   Because of the nature of our job, there were times when we probably spent more time with each other than with our families.  We had a lot in common.  We were around the same age and were in the middle of raising teenagers.  We even tried to fix her son and my daughter up.

A disturbing fact about the group of people that we worked with.   When I came into the group, Susie, had recently lost her father to cancer.    At the same time another woman, Sue,  was dealing with her father's battle with cancer.  He passed away about 6 months later.   About a year after that my father became ill with cancer and passed away.  And the next year Gail's father passed away from cancer.

During all of this, we were each other's support.  In particular, Susie was a good friend to me and I hope I was the same for her.

I retired from the Company 10 years ago and I haven't seen or actually spoken to Susie for probably that long.

Interestingly enough, my son Joe works at the same company as Susie and I did.     When Susie found out that Joe had cancer, she sent me a touching e-mail offering her support.  And, if I ever needed to talk, I could give her a call.

There have been times during this past year and a half when I really could have used a good friend like Susie.    And after all she did offer.

"What stopped me?" I wondered.

Ironically, the "Lost connection" comment during our chat session probably says it all.

How do you pick up where you left off with someone who you have "Lost Connection" with?  Would we still have the same "connection" as we once did?

One thing I do know, having a brief chat session is probably not the best way to re-establish a most precious" Lost connection".

After all when you are speaking with someone on the phone or better yet in person, you don't need to qualify every conversation with LOL's, haha's, smiley or sad faces, do you?

Now, where did I put her phone number?

Monday, July 25, 2011

L is for...Well of Course, It's for Lynda with a Y

Yea! Week 12 and the letter L from the "Learn your ABC" with the Accidental Knitter meme is all mine.

L is for Lynda.  That's Lynda with a Y.   According my mother, the decision to name me Lynda was not a hard one.   After all, it was the  most popular girl's name at the time.
The reason for the popularity of the name was that the most popular song of the day was "Linda".

Since I was born during the baby boom, and there were a lot of us, there were also a lot of little girl babies given the name Linda.   There was always at least one other Linda in each of my classes all through school.

In fact, going through my high school year book, out of a class of 456, there were 17 other Linda's.

Now my mother suspecting that this might be the case, decided that in order to make sure I would stand out a little from the crowd, she would change the spelling just a little.  

But the only thing this really did was that every time someone asks me my name, I have to say...that's Lynda with a Y.

Research shows that the song writer was Jack Lawrence.  The back story of the song is that a close friend of Jack's asked him to write a "name" song for his little 5 year old daughter Linda.   An interesting side note is that little girl grew up to be Linda Eastman who married Paul McCartney.

Also, while doing the research on this song, I found out that a club was formed called L.I.N.D.A.
 In order to become a member the only rule is this:
"WOMEN who's first names are pronounced Linda.  It is as simple as that.  We welcome Lynda, Lynnda and Linnda."
For the past 24 years the club has held an annual convention.  This year it was held July 22-24 in Chicago.   I might have to sign up and maybe attend next year's meeting. 

And just in case you are interested, you might want to check out the video of Buddy Clark and Anita Gordon singing the song. Linda.

Yep that's me...Lynda with a Y.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Keepsakes and Dick Clark

Week 11 of the Accidental Knitter's ABC Meme.
The Letter is K

I was 14 years old...yes many, many, years ago.  Larry delivered the Daily Home News to our house every afternoon at around 3:00.   I of course would just happen to be sitting on our front stoop every afternoon at around 3:00.  Our house was his last stop.   When I look back now, I realize that he probably planned it that way.

After he handed me the paper, he would kind of hang around for awhile.

Larry lived around the corner on the next block.  We were almost exactly the same age.  Our birthdays were 5 days apart.   We would walk to school together and sometimes he would even carry my books.

Larry and I were not officially going steady, though.

In 1961 My girlfriend Cathy and I wanted to be on the T.V. dance show  Dick Clark's American Bandstand.  Cathy's Mom agreed to drive us to Philadelphia, which was about 1-1/2 hours from where we lived.    We decided, though, that we probably should bring our own dance partners, just in case no one on the show asked us to dance.

I asked Larry  and Cathy asked Mike.

After watching the show every afternoon after school, it was very exciting to actually be in the studio and see Dick Clark in person.

Larry and I danced all but one of the dances together.   Another boy from the show actually asked me to dance and I did dance one dance with this other boy.

On the drive home from the show,Cathy rode up front with her Mom.  Larry, Mike and I sat in the back seat.  Larry got up the courage to do the yawn and stretch move and put his arm around me for the first time.

After that when we would walk to school, or walk anywhere in fact, Larry would put his arm around me.

On February 14, 1962, Larry gave me a Valentine's Day card and this gift.

Now I suppose the L could have stood for Lynda, or Larry, or maybe Larry Loves Lynda.

After that I guess it was official that Larry and I were goin' steady. 

We went to our Senior Prom together.

All of the girl's got a charm.

The Valentine's gift, the prom picture and the charm are three keepsakes which bring back memories of a  special and carefree time of my life.

After high school Larry went off to college and I went to work in the Credit Department of Montgomery Wards.

The last time I saw Larry, I was visiting my parents.  My daughter was 2 and I was pregnant with my second child.   Larry was married and he and his wife were expecting their first child.  That was over 35 years ago.

Of course since then, and up until now, I have collected other keepsakes of many other memorable times in my life.

Keepsakes are memory joggers.  Sometimes you just need to look through that old shoe box and reminisce about those precious moments, don't you?

For more K posts click here here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Can You Find a New Old Friend?

Ross and I were sitting in the local diner a few weeks ago.  It was an odd hour, too late for lunch too early for even the early bird special.   For that reason the diner was also pretty empty.

There was another couple sitting in fairly close proximity to us. They seemed to be having a rather emotional conversation.

They appeared to be around the same age as Ross and I.

Every once in a while I would catch the woman looking at me with a tentative smile.   Finally I smiled back at her.  The next thing I knew we were having a conversation.

She asked me if we were from the area.  I told her that we were not originally from the area, but that we have been living here for about 9 years.  She told me that she and her husband had moved into the area only a couple of years ago.   Then she began to cry.   She told us she has been so lonely since moving here.

Even though they moved into an adult community with all sorts of activities to encourage meeting new people, she missed her old friends.

I asked her about family.  She told me that her children and grandchildren were still living in the northern part of the state, which was about two hours away.  She and her husband thought that by moving down to the Jersey shore, the kids would surely be there all of the time, especially in the summer.  But they didn't come.

I have heard that same story from a number of people who have migrated to the many adult communities around the Jersey shore.  

One couple in particular, actually our next door neighbor, bought the largest model house with over 3000 square feet, complete with sun room,  full basement, two car garage, and attic storage.
They needed the room for when the kids came to visit.  

But, the kids just never seemed to have the time or apparently the inclination to make the trip.  Therefore, most of that 3000 square feet sat empty.  

About two years after they moved in, our next door neighbors sold their house and moved to Florida.    That was what they really wanted to do all along. She had a brother who lived there and he had two sisters who had also moved to Florida.  But their initial decision to move into this community instead of Florida was based on the hope that their children would always be around visiting frequently.

After they found out that their kids were busy with their own lives and had really fled the nest, they decided it was time for them to live out the rest of their lives the way they wanted to.

Some people are naturals at making new friends, no matter what the circumstance.  I felt badly for the woman in the diner.  She apparently was one of those people who did not find it easy to fit right in.

As I thought about it, I began to realize that as one gets older, it is more difficult to begin a new relationship.   The bottom line is, as people age, they don't have the  luxury of time.  It takes time to build a friendship.  At this stage and age can a new friendship compare to life long friendships?  

Then I wondered if a service was available for people who want to find companionship with others with  similar backgrounds and interests.    Something like a "dating" service but for people who just want to find a friend.  

You know someone like your friend Mary, who always had time for that chat over a cup of coffee.    A shopping buddy, like your friend Jackie who loved the mall as much as you did.   Or Sue, who was there for you when you were going through the most difficult time of your life.

Perhaps the woman in the diner would not have been so sad and lonely and she and her husband would not have had to move back to the old neighborhood if such a service existed.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Favorite Three J's

Even though there must be a reason that "J" is worth 10 points on "Words With Friends",  the 10th week of the ABC meme was an easy one for me.

I have three children, Jennifer, Joseph and James.

To have all three of my children's names start with the letter J was not planned.

Back when I was pregnant with each of my kids, ultrasounds were not standard.  Therefore, we did not know the sex of the baby until the birth.   So we picked out a boy name and a girl name for each pregnancy.

At the time of my first pregnancy, the girl name we decided on was Jennifer.
(By the way, apparently in 1972, so did a lot of other parents.  It was the most popular girl's name that year.  Sorry, Jen.)

 I pictured a little girl with big brown eyes and long brown hair.  I would call her Jenny.  When she was born, the first thing I noticed were her big brown eyes.

Jennifer was shortened to Jen, though, instead of Jenny.

Joseph was was my second child.  Originally, he was supposed to be Christopher Joseph.  But as soon as I saw his cute little face I  knew that he was a Joey.
Even though he prefers to be called Joe now, I  slip sometimes because I guess he will always be Joey to me.

James is my youngest.  We thought for sure we were having another girl.  I mean that's what the wedding ring on the string said.
According to the wives tale, you're supposed to tie your wedding ring to a string. After that, you use the string to hold the ring approximately 3 inches above your belly. If the ring swings from hip to hip (side to side) then you're having a boy. If the ring moves from head to toe (up and down) than you're having a girl.
We picked Jamie for the girl's name.   If the string was wrong, we would name our son after his father whose name did not start with a J.

Needless to say, the string was wrong and since I really did like the name Jamie,  we decided on James and used his father's name as the middle name.   Besides,  he just looked like a Jimmy.

So all three wound up with names starting with the letter J.  Even though they each have a J name, they are each unique with very different personalities and temperaments.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quite A Quiet Celebration

So yesterday Ross and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. Well, okay, I don't know if the way we spent the day would actually justify using the word celebration.

Ten years ago on July 7, after spending the morning on the beach, we went back to our room, changed into our "wedding" clothes and got married on the sun porch of the Rhythm of the Sea bed & breakfast.

The B&B parlor and sitting area

The mayor of Cape May performed the wedding ceremony. Jen and Derek were our witnesses.

The Mayor of Cape May,
The Bride & Groom
The Witnesses

Even though it was a small affair with only immediate family members in attendance,
Wolfie and Robby

the owners of the B&B, Robyn and Wolfgang Wendt, hosted an exceptional reception on very short notice.

They provided a cocktail party with champagne and coconut shrimp followed by a complete sit down dinner.

Wolfgang baked a luscious cake and decorated it with fresh flowers.

That was what we did on July 7, 2001.

Yesterday, after spending much of the morning having a Marty type conversation:

"What do you want to do today?
" I don't know what do you want to do today?"

we wound up having breakfast at our usual place, the deck of Michaels On the Bay,

watching the boaters and sea gulls.

We had lunch on the island at one of our favorite lunch places, the Dockside Diner.

No perhaps, there wasn't a party and there was no notice in the Society section of the Sandpaper, but,
it was a quiet recognition of the nice life we enjoy each and every day with each other.

This is the card Ross gave me for our 10th wedding anniversary.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Feebly Attempting Iambic Pentameter

Monday, July 4, 2011
My I word for the 9th week of the ABC meme is
Iambic Pentameter
Two Of My Favorite Things

What does knitting mean to me?
Does it calm a frazzled nerve?
Or does it just make me angry?
Times it gives more than I deserve.

Will I decide to knit no more?
Should I take a little breather?
Since Lace and Cables I do abhor.
Practice though could make me abler.

With what would I replace my craft?
What would happen to my precious stash?
I might be fine or could go daft.
A give away could deplete the cache.

Who will see to Christmas goodies?
Will I not be welcome to blog again?
Perhaps I will knit hats or booties.
For I know that I can’t give up the pen.

Move over Shakespeare.

For more I posts visit here.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Mature Practical Backside View From the Beach

For Ross and I the "Jersey Shore" life style is a little lot different than that TV show.    One thing we do have in common with the Jersey Shore people is we do live in a community with other people of the same age.  And we do have our characters.  If Snooky and The Situation want to see themselves in 30 years, they should come visit.   I actually think Snooky stole that hair style from Carmela down the street.

Anyway,  it only takes a car ride over the bridge and then a little ways down the boulevard to get to the beach.

We have been living here for 9 years now.   Each year the amount of time we spend at the beach has dwindled considerably.   Last year I think we made it over twice.

But around May of this year, Ross made a proclamation:  "We will be tan by June!"

Also around about May, Ross started bugging me about shopping for a bathing suit to wear to the beach.
"Really?"  I said.   "Do we really have to go there again?"

We live in an over 55 community.   I think the tankini was invented for our generation.  You obviously would not find any bikinis here...well except for Snooky Carmela, that is.

I have lost a few pounds since last summer so I thought that maybe I could find a suit that might not look so bad.     Ross, bless his heart, agreed to help me shop.

We went to the local bathing suit shop on the Island.  Practically, the tankini style suit is the better choice, you know, for the trips to the ladies room.  But, against my better practical judgement I decided I would go with a one piece instead of a tankini.  After all, I am a few pounds thinner.

 I tried on dozens, (and I'm not kidding) of suits.

I was pretty proud of myself because the suits I tried on were two sizes smaller than the ones I tried on last year.  

As I tried on each suit, I would come out of the dressing room, spin around, and ask Ross what he thought.   His answer was always the same.   "That looks really nice on you."  Of course the sales lady would chime in, "Oh that's a cute one."  

Between the two of them, they had me convinced that maybe I should try on one of those bikinis.
And so I did.   And then I didn't, buy one that is.

So I had it narrowed down to two.   I tried them both on one more time.

"Are you sure this looks okay?"  I asked Ross and the sales lady.  

"Oh yes," they both insisted.

"It's not too small?  It fits okay?"  I asked again.  

"Oh no" they both said. "it fits just right."

Just as Ross predicted, we have been to the beach many times already this year.   We actually started going on some nice days in May.   It was still a little too cool to wear my new suit at that time.

Thursday of this week was the first time I wore my new suit to the beach.  It was a bit breezy and still a little cool for me, so I kept the shorts and tee on over the suit.

Yesterday, Saturday, July 2, was the start of the rental tourist season on the Island.   People rent houses from Saturday to Saturday.   It was a gorgeous day.  We decided to get over to the beach early to beat the crowds.  

It was warm enough for me to discard the shorts and tee.    Whenever I would get up to go for a walk, though, I kept tugging at the suit.   It felt like I wasn't getting enough coverage on the back end, if you know what I mean.

I had a crazy thought.  I handed the camera to Ross.   I want you to take a picture of me walking away from you.   I want to see what this suit really looks like from the back.

Shaking his head, Ross agreed.  We began walking down the beach.  Me in front, he following.

When we were a little distance away from the crowd,  I stopped, he snapped.

Now, I had second, third and fourth thoughts about posting that "me walking away" picture.   But I figured, hundreds of people saw me in this suit yesterday.   Yes, and I know they were all looking, pointing, and laughing.

So I figured not that many people read this blog, so what's a few more looking, pointing and laughing people.

Okay, when I tried on the suit this was my view when I looked in the dressing room mirror:

Except for the silly hat, not too bad.

But this is the angle that I couldn't get a good view of from the dressing room mirror.

Are those butt cheeks hanging out?   Didn't Ross and the sales lady see that?  

Ross made the silly mistake of saying to me,  "After all, you did stop running on the tread mill." 

Then he tried to cover that blunder up with:  "I know you don't have the body of a twenty year old.  I love you for the beautiful mature woman that you are."   

I think he was using that big sand shovel the kids left here, cause the hole he was digging for himself was getting pretty deep. 

Well,  after seeing that picture, I sat down and immediately ordered this practical full coverage two piece tankini suit from Land's End yesterday.

Funny little aside.   When I called Lands End to ask about sizing, the sales person asked for my measurements.  After I gave them to her, she checked and said I should order a size 2.   Yea Right!  Talk about vanity sizing.  

Actually, all kidding aside, Ross, I am thrilled that when you see me in my bathing suit, you see a beautiful woman.   (I'm going to leave out the mature part, if you don't mind.)  And how many husbands would sit patiently waiting while their wife tried on dozens (and I'm not kidding) of bathing suits. 

Most importantly, we had a beautiful day yesterday.  Maybe next time we can play "Last ones on the beach!"