"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were...
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were...
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?
Memories may be beautiful, and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget...
So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were...


Sunday, July 29, 2007

When you're down and troubled,
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, whoa, nothing is going right...

Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am
I'll come running, oh, yeah, baby
To see you again.

Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And Ill be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow...

Keep your head together
and call my name out loud
And soon, soon I'll be knocking upon your door.

You just call out my name
and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.

Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well, they'll take your soul if you let them.
Oh, yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name
and you know wherever I am
I'll come running to see you again.

Oh, babe, don't you know that
Winter, spring, summer or fall,
Hey, now, all you've got to do is call.
Lord, I'll be there, yes I will.

You've got a friend.You've got a friend.
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend.

You've got a friend.



Thursday, July 26, 2007

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES...PLEASE STAND BY

I'm having some probs uploading my pics...
For those of you waiting breathlessly to see more, please come back soon.
Gotta preserve those memories...they're all that's left you...
Must go schlep foodstuffs.
Me & Holly
(She was also brave enough to visit me in Iowa once...)

'WE MAY NEVER PASS THIS WAY AGAIN' WHIRLWIND TOUR SUMMER 2007

That's me and Linda, the birthday girl.

If it weren't for the fact that Linda's generous and fun-loving hubby, Mike, flew me in to surprise the ol' gal for her 50th b'day, the "We May Never Pass This Way Again Whirlwind Tour Summer 2007" would not have been possible.

Thanks, again, you guys! How can I ever thank you enough?

Our senior year -- months before we were to graduate-- I wrote Linda a letter with the words to Carly Simon's little-known song,"Reunions". Yes, miles before we were to take our first step down the aisle to the bittersweet strains of Pomp and Circumstance, I was already waxing melancholy, sure that once we left the hallowed halls of high school, I would never see Linda or anyone else from our gang again.

Ha! Still crazy -- and bestest friends -- after all these years. (Note: Linda is one of two brave friends to make the trek to Iowa in the 20-plus years I've lived here.)

Nevertheless, now that we're all in our AARP years,"Reunions" speaks to me even more...

First one in the city.
Wearin' all those grass stained jeans
Nothing is forgotten, everyone is pleased
Someone got his hair cut
The girls have lots to say
His friends had felt more comfortable
With it worn the other way...

And I don't know if I'll see you again...

Next one at the old house
Snow is on the ground
Photographs and wine are passed around
Someone toasts an absent friend
Another takes his seat
They gather round the dying fire
But the circle's not complete

And I don't know if I'll see you again...

Last one by the highway
Wind blows through thin smiles
Someone made a wrong turn
Missed a joke by miles
Someone got their hair cut
A tear is in her eye
But no one even comments
Except to say 'goodbye'

And I don't know if I'll see you again...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

WHAT I LEARNED ON VACATION

Day 2 back in reality...

Actually, real life isn't all that bad...like everything else, it's all a matter of perspective.

Sometimes going "home" to Cinci only serves to remind me what I have, in some instances, forfeited, as it were, by establishing/re-establishing my life in Iowa. Then again, maybe some of those things "lost" should lost remain. It's the ol' glass half empty/half full/be careful what you wish for scenario.

They say you can't really go home again...but God knows I've given it the ol' college try. And in doing so this last time, here is what I've learned:

1. White Castle "sliders" -- with extra pickles -- really do taste best at 3 a.m.


2. No one remembers "Speedy" Joe Duncan, MHS Class of '72. (My apologies to Speedy if somehow he bumps into this blog...who knew?)


3. Makeup bought on vacation is oh, so much more exciting than the same makeup bought at home.


4. If I could afford it, I could easily live the life of a sloth and not feel guilty about it.


5. You can never have too many Big Boys with extra tartar sauce...and The Mainliner is THE best place to enjoy them.


6. Mary Kay has more lip stick colors than Carter has little pills.


7. We really are as young as we feel.


8. Time flies at the speed of light, especially on vacation.



9. Misty water-colored memories of the way we were become misty-er per each glass of wine.



10. I have the best friends in the world.

11. I really don't want to be a grocery schlepper the rest of my life.

COMING SOON...

Picture Postcards From The Edge (Of The Pool)

Silver Spring House: The Pictorial

And more...

:)

Monday, July 23, 2007

CINDERELLA SYNDROME

Coming home from a perfect vacation -- also known as "snapping back into reality" -- is no different than Cinderella's gorgeous gown suddenly morphing back to tattered rags at the stroke of midnight after the prince's ball, her beautiful coach once more a mere pumpkin.

Reality-- after vacating one's life and responsibilites for nearly 10 days -- bites.

"But it's not like this all the time," my friend Holly assured me before I left Cinci. "No one gets together unless you come to town."

And Linda swears she doesn't spend every waking, sunny hour by her pool, that life in Blue Ash, OH isn't all Starbucks Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino Grandes and LaRosa's Pizza.

I know, I know.

But God, it was great to see everyone, to stop the dizzying carousel we call life, relax, laugh, have fun...and seeing Fountain Square and the rest of Cinci's downtown by horse-drawn carriage?

Like I always say, girls just wanna have fun. Especially 50-year-old girls.

Oh, well...

I must unpack my suitcase of memories, don my grocery schlepping garb, throw in a load of laundry...pay some bills... feed the cat...walk the dog...


Maestro, a little something from the Elton John 70s archives, please...

I hope the day will be a lighter highway
For friends are found on every road
Can you ever think of any better way
For the lost and weary travellers to go...

Making friends for the world to see
Let the people know you got what you need
With a friend at hand you will see the light
If your friends are there then everything's all right...

It seems to me a crime that we should age
These fragile times should never slip us by
A time you never can or shall erase
As friends together watch their childhood fly...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

AND IT'S GOODBYE AGAIN...

Elton John was wrong.

He once crooned that "sorry seems to be the hardest word".

I disagree.

"Goodbye" is, hands down, the hardest word to utter...without bursting into tears...at least for me it is.

Today is my last full day in the Homeland...my stomach is in knots and I'm feeling a little anxious...

I officially began my goodbyes yesterday. My dear friend, Holly Berry (no lie) stopped by for an hour or two for a few final laughs and hugs and promises to do a better job of keeping in touch...

Tomorrow will be the tough one...I will not be boarding the plane dry-eyed.
Chances are, I might be pie-eyed...nah, just jokin'...I have to make sure I make my O'Hare to Des Moines connection...:)

Anyway...

They say home is where the heart is. Cinci is the home of my heart. It is where I grew up. It is where my lifelong girlfriends -- the ones who truly know me and all my issues and quirks and idiosyncracies and love me and stand by me anyway -- live.

My late mother's best friend, Dottie -- I still call her Mrs. B. (also known as my second mom) -- is under strict advisement to never move from her home because it is just like my childhood home, and still holds so many wonderful memories of all those innocent years spent there...it is as close to going home again as I can get.

I am going to Dottie's today...it is always a bittersweet experience.

(A side note: My old elementary school at the end of my old street has been bulldozed and replaced with a new modern building...a bit of a shock to my inner child, but time does march on...)

Last night, my friend Holly called after we said our goodbyes because she was at a birthday party attended by one of our old junior high teachers...Mr. Kerns was my 8th grade science teacher, and for the most part, he scared the hell out of me...but he was one of my favorite teachers...even though I hated science...

It was great to talk to him...yes, he remembered me...and I took the time to tell him how much I appreciated him as a teacher...not that hearing that will change his life or anything, but I am a firm believer that we really need to tell people how much we liked/loved/appreciated/learned from them when we have the chance because (enter Seals and Croft) we may never pass this way again.

In fact, for those who may not know this, I dubbed my trip to Cinci my "We May Never Pass This Way Again Whirlwind Summer Tour 2007"...I mean, geez, we all are turning 50...life's third act is underway...

Nancy, Chris, Brad....I know you think I'm crazy for worrying that one or more of us might not make it to the next reunion, but we still have THREE years...I'd rather hedge my bets and and I am glad, so glad, we could get everyone (that's anyone) from the Class of '75 together NOW! :)

Anyway...I still have 24 hours to relish my time here in Cinci...the pool is calling -- and my buddy Linda and I still have a few laughs and giggles to share.

Meanwhile, I must steel my heart for the inevitable...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N

Have you missed me?

I've been in Cinci -- my homeland --for a week -- lounging by the pool, seeing old friends, laughing, crying...

Possibly a key lime martooni, er, martini, or two...

Tonight a mini Class of 1975 reunion with a few OLD friends, trying to remember OLD times, ought to be fun....

As a side note: A belated so-long-been-good-to-know- to The Life of TLC... actually, it was a faithful Cinci blogger was the one to let me know of Tyler's decision to hit the ol' "delete" button. I hadn't been blogging for a week, so I was completely behind the times on all things Stuart...

Also, I had planned on waxing philosophical about my life as a blogger, etc., on July 15 -- the one-year anniversary of the creation of The Home Stretch...but I was busy tanning by the pool, laughing, crying, and enjoying a key lime martooni...etc., etc.

I am sure I will have more insight and philosophical wisdom following my journey to The Homeland, hours of mingling with my childhood peeps, and a belly full of Skyline Chili (two cheese coneys, mustard, no onion), a Frisch's Big Boy (with extra tartar sauce), and four White Castle sliders with extra pickles...good times, good times!

I've seen the downtown Cinci skyline, my old street, my old friends...and I must say, that for turning the Big 5-0 this year, we all look damn good.

I'll post some pics when I return...

I am at peace. I am one with the universe. I am on vacation.

Later!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

IF ONLY I'D HAD ONE...

Pizza, pizza, pizza!

It's a good thing my 14-year-old son loves pizza, cuz that's about all I'm up for cookin' after a long day schlepping groceries at the local Super Valu.

Some might currently blame my hatred of cooking/baking on the relentless, sweltering heat. Who wants to turn on the oven when it's 88 degrees in the kitchen already? (Our air conditioning is on the fritz.)

But here's the truth...

I blame my lack of culinary ingenuity on the fact that I never had a Kenner Easy Bake Oven.

Never.

My childhood best friend, Valli, had an Easy Bake Oven, however.

And I was GREEN with envy. I loved spending the night at her house and "baking" by lightbulb one of those adorable little Easy Bake Oven Cakes.

It was too cool.

She also had the Barbie Dreamhouse, and some cool plastic go-go girl wigs for playing dress-ups. But the Easy Bake Oven was my heart's desire.

Seems I'm not the only Boomer gal -- or guy -- with fond memories of the Easy Bake Oven.

For a bittersweet stroll down Easy Bake memory lane, click here...

Have a great Wednesday!


Saturday, July 07, 2007

CHANGE IS GOOD

If you've been hooked on The Eye, you need to check out The Voices of Stuart, Peg's new blog. I've added it to my links.

It looks great, and it's exciting to have a new Stuart news/discussion format to explore.

(Peg is a brave woman -- blogging all that is Stuart is not for the faint of heart...but she has proven herself up to the challenge.)

Speaking of exploring...

I spent the day exploring the new Walgreens in Carroll with a couple of girlfriends...you'd think I'd been on a cruise, I am so relaxed after a day at The Wall with my peeps...

Walgreens is a nice change from that other "Wal", if you catch my drift.

Change is good. Without it we die. And we miss out on some great makeup lines and nail polish colors, too...:)

Friday, July 06, 2007

CLOSURE AND THE ART OF MATCHING SOCKS

I am as excited as everyone else in the Stuart blogosphere to see the results of the "Name That Blog" contest as The Eye takes its rightful place in Stuart blog history and Peg's new blog is unveiled.

It's so much fun now to just read the blogs, observe the antics of some, and then walk away...shut off the computer...read a book...it is amazing to me how much free time I have to accomplish other things now that I am no longer blogging about Stuart.

Things like laundry...my family hasn't had matched socks in a year...now they do. Yee-hah!

Things like catching up with my friends -- OK, so I still didn't get my friend Linda's birthday card in the mail in time...some time/organizational deficiencies die hard.

I have, with my new-found extra time and the help of my loving sister, organized my closets, my kitchen cupboards, my bathroom shelves...a place for everything and everything in its place, as the old saying goes.

And I guess, on the eve (or close to) the unveiling of Peg's new blog, that's how I am looking at The Eye's "retirement", as it were. The Eye had its place, its time, its purpose, its glory, its good and bad times...it had a life of its own.

The Eye was not the first Stuart blog -- that honor goes to Nate Westre's Good Egg Gazette -- nor was it the last. But it stood out from the rest because it offered honest-to-God news reporting in blog format...citizen journalism. It also opened the door to some hard-hitting editorializing that cut to the chase on more than one issue.

Sure, it got people's dander up -- being forced to think, to face the truth, will do that.

It's only right-- and natural -- for Peg to create and continue her own brand, her own style, of blogging . It is the logicial and necessary next step.

Of course, I find so darn amusing those who would give their eye teeth if Peg could/would delete The Eye -- as if it never existed...you know, sort of like what young Mr.Coe did with his original blog...kept the site meter but ditched the reality...the good,the bad and the ugly that made up Stuart politics this past year.

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, folks.

But I digress.

Indeed, it's time to close the door, turn the page, and start anew a fresh chapter in that whacky world we've all come to know and love as the Stuart blogosphere.

It's been a great place to visit -- and once upon a long time ago, I lived there.

It was real. And it was fun. And for the most part, it was real fun.

Goodbye, IEYE NEWS. Hello,??????

And the winning name is...

Meanwhile, I've got a rogue sock in need of a mate...gotta go!