Twins

Today was an emotional day. It was the day I realized that my generation was now considered the elders.  When I finally crawled into bed I needed to settle down before I could sleep. I keep a variety of books at the head of my bed. Reaching up I found a favorite bedtime book- Small Miracles, a collection of stories put together by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal. I like a happy ending when I’m going to sleep.

I opened to a random page, to a lovely heart warming story. A blind woman was out walking and stopped at the traffic light, singing to herself, while waiting for someone to help her across the street. Finally a gentleman spoke to her, taking her arm, asking if he could accompany her across the street. Feeling grateful to have him at her side, they waited for the light and then arm in arm they crossed the street. Before she could thank him, he thanked her saying, “I don’t know if you realize how gratifying it is to find someone as cheerful as you to accompany a blind person across the street.”

They were both blind! The author, Charlotte Wechsler wrote, “That spring day has stayed with me forever.”  I can understand why.

It had been months since I’d read from this little book and I’d forgotten that after many of the stories there are comments. Turning the page there it was: “Sometimes when we feel most alone in the universe, God sends us a “twin” – a mirror image – to buffer and assuage our sense of differentness and isolation.”

It took my breath away, gave me the shivers and brought tears to my eyes. In 2007 after years of searching I had finally connected with my half sister. She is a petite blond and I am a slightly taller brunette, she is quiet while I am more out spoken. We share the same biological father and out mothers look enough alike that they could be taken for sisters. The fact that they raised us alone and worked to support us until we were school age was another similarity. Our lives have run on parallel lines, like mirror images. We felt like twins almost immediately. Sometimes like the same person or a split personality. Our hopes, fears, needs and desire to know our father were things we shared. In a matter of a few weeks we developed a rare connection, like ESP sometimes. It feels like we have known each other forever. The end of the story says it all, two blind people needing help to cross a busy street found each other! How unlikely is that? Kind of like me searching the world for my sister.

What are the odds of finding this short story when I needed it?

Social Media and Me

Three years ago when I began writing, I naively believed that the actual writing would be my greatest challenge to successfully completing my book. Retiring early I had worked on and off for my son and increased my computer skills. I was fairly computer literate. But then came LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, now we have Tumbler, Pinterest and Blogging….. and who knows what is next.

In addition, on every writing site that I subscribe to for support and advice there is more of  the same, more than I can humanly take in and still write, edit etc.

Today alone there were 5 different sites with full page suggestions for:

What I HAVE to do before I publish…

What I should do before I dare publish….

What I need now is to find an editor I can trust. And one I can afford with out selling all my jewelry! And how many times could I need to have it edited…..?

Today these  tasks seem insurmountable.

Here’s to the hope that they look better tomorrow!

So I consider myself lucky that the writing is truly the best part.

Strange and Mysterious Happenings

Strange and Mysterious Happenings

I believe in a mothers intuition, in a link with your children that can reach beyond what we could ever imagine. Until it happens to you it seems like a crazy thing to say.

In the sleepy little town we lived in there was nothing for active teenagers to do on weekends.  Our winter solution was skiing every weekend, often inviting friends to join us. They joined the race team and I watched them from our bay window over looking the finish line. Our first full year despite thin snow coverage, the hill opened for skiing on Thanksgiving.

On Dec 13, 1987 when the sun rose, the light snow cover that fell through the night combined with aggressive snow making provided a sparkling backdrop. Against it we watched the brightly dressed junior ski racers come flying down the hill.

My friend and I were sitting by the fire place watching from the window. It was lunch time and we expected them to come in any minute. As I stood up a toboggan came slowly down the hill flanked by two ski patrol staff.  As I looked at it I grabbed my coat and started for the door.

My friend Eileen called out, “Where are you going?”

With out hesitation I called back, “That’s my toboggan.”

The phone was ringing as I slammed the door. I was gone, down the stairs, running across to the First Aid station, to my youngest son, strapped on the toboggan with blood flowing from his face and four broken bones in his legs.

To this day I can’t explain how I knew. There was no thought  involved, it was an automatic response. I never before or after had that feeling when I saw the toboggan bring an injured skier down hill. It was a moment of rare connection, an amazing event in hindsight, one that changed me, one I will never forget. It still happens occasionally and not necessarily just with my kids, but also when I sense danger. Now I recognize that it’s time to act when that feeling comes over me. It gives me a chill just to think about it.

Has any one else had an experience like this?

If you like it and haven’t yet gone to my Facebook page I would appreciate a “like” there too.

Letting Go

In my heart I associate my childhood family with the ocean. I still return each year to my grandparents’ house and as I sit on the sun porch, in the stillness of the early morning looking out over the cold Atlantic, I can hear the voices and see the faces of those who have passed. It’s joyful to relive my time with each of these extraordinary people who molded me into the woman I am today. It’s bittersweet because it is the natural course that life takes.

For the first twenty years of my life every morning I awoke to the salty smell of the north Atlantic. There was never a day in those years that I didn’t see, smell and breathe the ocean, always close enough to dip my toes in. Now, well past my fiftieth year, I still yearn for that smell of the cold Atlantic. I miss it in my soul, like a lost friend.

As a child I roamed the shore line, swam in small ponds of salt water warmed by the sun, following my Grampy as he dug for clams, picked berries, rode in the hay wagon, milked cows, and gathered eggs.

From my grandparents’ sun porch, on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, on fine days the sun sparkles on rolling blue waves topped with gentle white caps. On stormy days the waves turn an ominous dark blue, thundering as they crash against the rocky shore line at the bottom of our hill. I can see them coming for miles, white cap after white cap. In winter ice forms at the edges of the shoreline and ice flows can be heard crashing into each other as they break and reform in the ebb and flow of the tides, each collision sounding like the crack of a gunshot.

As parents, for 12 years we took our sons “home” on vacation and as they grew older they returned as young adults, and now as mature men.  They learned to love this place and the ocean.

I never grow tired of coming here, for me it is like going on retreat, a replenishing of my soul. To sit and watch the ocean in this magic place where I grew up is one of the most peaceful and beautiful experiences of my life.

It will be heartbreaking to part with this home and this tradition. I think I’m afraid that the memories will slip away; that I will be lonely for this refuge I have come to every year of my life. I don’t want things to change. This is my museum of good memories. Eventually it must be sold. I must be strong. I can’t move all the contents 2200 miles back to my Florida condo. I will be forced face the hard facts nose to nose, knowing I cannot win.

Now a grandma myself, I am the last one to call it home. I’m going to miss it…….

Do you have  a special place that calls you to return?

Why I Feel Lucky Today

 Two years ago when I began writing, I naively believed that the actual writing would be my greatest challenge to successfully completing my book.  Retiring early I did occasional contract work, built a few websites, learned HTML and Dreamweaver, increasing my computer skills with each new challenge. I was fairly computer literate. But then came LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, now we have Tumbler, Pinterest and Blogging….. and who knows what is next.

In addition, on every writing site that I subscribe to for support and advice there is more of  the same, more than I can humanly take in and still write, edit etc.

Today alone there were 5 different sites with full page suggestions for:

What I HAVE to do before I publish…

What I should do before I dare publish….

What I need now is to find an editor I can trust. And one I can afford with out selling all my jewelry! And how many times could I need to have it edited…..? These are the tasks that seem insurmountable.

So I consider myself lucky that the writing is truly the best part.

Tell us what was the best part of your day?