Wednesday, April 21, 2010

this is still my dream....a fun vw and we're off!  i love the colors it comes in.  i love the cute shape.  i love quirky. as long as there's some color and whimsy.  i enjoy nice little things in life...things of all kinds...i'm a material girl....but, i'm surprisingly not needy for some of the flash. 

some people need cars, big or small, euro names or big fill 'em up status there for me.  who really cares. just the finer things...that don't need to be shouted from the top of a building.

funny, biff and i both feel that way...when we met, we both had jettas.  we bought them within  month of each other a year or two before we met.
at that time in my life, i had some of the craziest dating of my life....the bakery theory again....try a little bit of everything!  there was a phase of "ers" and "ors" that i lived through....barely......yawn.  and it wasn't with a stutterer.
like a bakery cookie at a baby shower, i had a bit....but the touch of almond made me put it aside in the pretty party napkin.  oh, come on! you've done that too!
the "er"phase included a walter and the "or" phase included a victor.....

my story would be so different with a "er" or an "or" biff is much better for me.  certainly biff goes better than the others with littlemarymixup!

for real.  not just because of the name.  the "er" was way too arrogant and the "or" was a fun guy that may still not have grown up.

"or" and i met while i was selling men's clothing to retail stores. we sold to saks 5th avenue, brooks brothers,
lots more. we sold private label to them all.

there were some days, while i was in the factory, an individual would take the subway over to brooklyn to buy a suit wholesale...."such a deal!"

some of the best dressed men in connecticut like a deal.  one day while at the factory, a nice guy came in looking for a suit...a friend from wall street had referred him .....i helped him select a suit.  we had it fitted. was fun...we had some friends in common.  it's a small world in new york.

off went the "or"....back to the city.  that was that.  on to the next thing.  he would be back in a week to pick up his suit, a classic glen plaid.

again, "or" was back. he came to pick up his suit. it was perfect. alfonso, the tailor did a great job!

"or" and i exchanged pleasantries and he was off to the city...loving the deal and the fabulous well tailored suit!"  i was always thrilled to have sent one more man out in the world with a high end, properly tailored suit.  from the chairman of the board to the new trainee, i felt a sense of pride in each of my "boys" i sent out to be an emperor in his new clothes...feeling like  million even though he spent a lot less.

the next day, the phone in my office jingled. "i have no pants!"  the voice at the other end of the phone blurted. "excuse me?" i questioned.
it was the "or"...he had gotten home and he had no pants.  he wanted me to account for his pants.  "well! certainly, it's your job to keep your pants on!" i exclaimed.
it seemed his new pants had slipped off the hanger while on the subway.  he told a great story...we laughed and laughed that "or" lost his pants"

and our relationship grew....into dating.  it took weeks and weeks for "or" to get his new pants altered....

back and forth and phone calls and mutual friends....and let the dating begin. 
i was at the good friend had told me, after a serious break up,  that i should 
live life like a bakery and try a bit of everything!
and that's when the "ors and the "ers" began.  

after that"er" fun stage, i moved the "or stage"!

so many"ers"and so many"ors"there was so little time!  and about that time....a good friend called and said,"i have this great guy!"

and i listened...and listened to his material well being.  i was bored. he had a jaguar...

he had a beach house...had...had...had...had....
yawn.  he just had.  still, just stuff. 
i stopped my friend from rambling on......"but is he nice?"...."i've had some of the worst times of my life in a b.m.w. and mercedes and porsches(o.k., it was red with tartan seats that even matched my favorite kilt?  what's not to love?  about the car. not the guy.) 

i impatiently said with  smile," i'd date  guy with a 1969 bug car with a ripped convertible  if he was nice!"
i finished up the call with a thank you and i'd think about nice that people was sweet of my old friend to want to share...what she thought was a catch.
when i hung up the phone, my mom looked at me, over her big reading jackie-os...she said, "what you a guy with a jetta!"

and that's what i got.  a great guy...the love of my life...who makes me laugh...everyday...and makes me fall in love again...everyday.....

and to think, i could have missed it all.......if i was worried about the hood ornament!"

today i went to the principal! kinda like the old days....only not so much! thankfully, it was by appointment!  i made the appointment, i didn't get called in.
it was early this morning, not early in the school year. after a long year of school with a freshman in high school, biff and i thought it was time to take ourselves to see the wizard!
only, at the last minute....biff could not attend to see behind the curtain.  i was on my own since biff had some big biz to take care  now, that i wanted to stick around for....he was calling a meeting with a chinese gentleman in hong kong and a rumanian man in connecticut!  now that was a meeting worth listening to!  the accents listening to accents, with everyone a foreigner to the other! that's what makes the world tick!  no speakerphone......

so, off to the principal i went.  a woman principal....a very diminutive woman with a very soft voice and a big stick!

she was not a nun!
she was not the wizard...she did not have all the answers. she did have lots of questions and so did i. i could talk to a principal of a high school age bunch of students all day long....what an amazing bit of the up and coming world she must see.  

thankfully, we both see eye to eye! we both have children that we care about...and we both have high standards...and we both want to do our best to see to it that our kids get every opportunity to do their best! 

with that said, it was a wonderful meeting.  we're in a wonderful place with wonderful schools and wonderful test scores and wonderful sports and wonderful extracurricular, why was i there?
it's not really a wonderful world...especially if you're a teenager.  there is so much of the world coming at them all...everyday!  cell phones, t.v., plugged in phones, i-touch, i-phone, blackberries, i-pads, internet, facebook, you tube, videos, d.v.d.' they even pass plain old fashioned notes anymore?

what about t.v.? 2.3 billion channels.  not in our house. but, they're out there....oh, remember newspapers and magazines...those too.  
today, we talked about freshman and coaches and teachers and community service and activities....and friendships....and real life.

wow! that's a lot to take in... a lot.
it's a long yellow brick road to navigate...for the kids...and certainly for us...the parents! 

we only want them safe.  we only want them taken care of.  we only want them to be with people we trust...and friends that will make good decisions with them.
we want to protect our children...from all that's out there.
and in the nice town...with mostly nice kids...and mostly nice parents...and the mostly nice test scores...and the mostly nice teams...and the mostly nice activities...and the mostly nice everything.....

today, i felt comfort. comfort in the knowledge that we have people who care....not just about all but about the individuals. 
 i don't want special.....o.k., i do.  i would like to have my kids in the safe world at montessori....until college!  i would like to know that they are sitting around the circle...on the neat yellow line.  staying on the the boundary.  our kids liked the yellow line....not all of the kids did.  lots of kids wanted to test the yellow line....they didn't always want to sit at the yellow line at story time. not everyone like to go by the rules...all of the time.  that's  why it was nice to have someone to trust through tumultuous days......and tired times....and cranky kids.  the teacher had a firm grasp of the yellow line...and how it reel the little people in.  the kids learned from the yellow line.  most of the kids.
 so, was nice to talk about the yellow line...for big kids.  the principal confirmed that that's what they are...just big kids.  in a big world.  the yellow line helps the kids.  it's not drawn as clearly as when they were at montessori.

it's clear for our kids.  but there will be tests. i had tests. biff had tests. some tests we aced....some took longer to sink in and follow the line that was not always in big bold paint.
we just pray. we pray that we have taught them.  we pray that we have taught them well enough.  we want our sweet loving kids, little kids a big, big maneuver and balance in this big, big world.  we want them to remember the guidelines they've had along the way.  we want to believe they've heard us along the way.  we want to believe they've watched us along the way....we want to believe we've been good models on the line. we want them to be safe. 
it's a fine line.
spring is bursting out all over!

at my favorite connecticut farm....ashlawn farm in old much beauty....understated and lovely everywhere i turn!  it's always fun to stop in for my's got that general store type of atmosphere!
it's always got people stopping in for coffee and a quick chat...sometimes folks sit and stay awhile share stories and a cup o joe....or java....or coffee...or cafe'....latte'....iced coffee...
the coffees are from around the world, roasted right here in connecticut!  it's the only coffee roaster from mystic to guilford, quite a bit of the shoreline!
just fun!  i look forward to stopping in! 
this farm has been owned by the same family for 100 plus years.  the family today do the roasting to update the way a connecticut farm can survive! 
they're a young family working...taking time to stop and say hello....jumping, stomping, singing, talking and galloping through the coffee bar from time to time is their little boy who we've all watched grow up there!  when they're not at school, we see his older brother and sister.....stopping in for milk or a smoothie....and talking to the locals...and passers through.

it's got a certain magic at the farm....there's a wonderful peacefulness....with all of the animals and barns and acres and acres of sprawling land.... always with friendly faces and welcome smiles.

where in the world do you know like this?  go there!  today! find your place...where people stop and say hello....get to know someone the grocery store....the newspaper store....the kids' school....

below is tiffany farm, also in old lyme!  i love to see if the cows are lying down...i know it's going to rain....that's wht my mom i know it must be true....she was an old school yankee, far from a farmer, but she must have read the farmer's almanac!  she also told me that when you can see the back of the leaves on the trees, it will rain.  massachusetts born and bread, my mom loved the beach....i think that's why she had such an interest in the weather!  she always said,"every day at the beach is a good day!" 
that's so true!  for me, the beach and the ocean is where i go for peace and strength and energy and warmth...even on the coldest day, the sun can warm me like nowhere else!  there's no other place that gives me the spiritual boost and grateful spirit!  where do you go for that kind of joy and peace....alone or with someone you love...
where is your place?
find it!  go there!  breathe the air!  really be there!  listen. be quiet. take time....just for you. be alone. don't get twitchy in the aloneness....enjoy it moment by moment!  look. pray. be thoughtful. take a moment to really listen.
clara, our wonderful family maid, more of a loving family member....really loving and good to her core....used to tell me to listen to the plants drink up the water.  listen.  as you water your plants, shhhhh! quiet.  listen to the marvel of nature.  
be somewhere....and really be there.  go somewhere and really think about where you're going....not about what you'll be doing when you get there.....just enjoy the trip!  look at the flowers.  look at all of the new babies in the world!  they are everywhere....tis the season for new moms to be out with their new babies.  say hello to a new mom.  encourage her. look at the gift of new life....look at the miracle of life.  if you have your own living miracles, be thankful....tell your living miracles, big or small, that you
 wave to a baby in the grocery store. call someone you love....ask them how they are....really how they are.  not what they do, not what they accomplished today, not how much they travel, no the itinerary.....just ask how the friend or family is.  maybe they'll tell you that they're busy!  maybe they'll tell you they have no time.....but, ask they really are.  for real.  the work, the travel, the party, the traffic is not real. be real.  now. with everyone you see. 
 little by little, your day will change. you'll you will actually hear people. you may make them smile.  maybe even laugh.
 look at this...tell someone like me that my lipstick looks like an old lady, it's smeared up above my lip!! tell some one they have toilet paper on their shoe....or maybe not!
start by smiling....just for fun.  see who smiles back.  it's amazing. it's contagious!  say hello to someone older...a little older or a lot, a lot older. offer a hand. not a big deal to you.  just a little help.  maybe to a neighbor.

let someone "cut" the line in front of you at the grocery store. people are amazingly grateful....such a teeny amount of kindness.  

talk to your check out lady.  if you're buying hershey kisses, open the bag....offer one.  i always offer....mostly, they are thrilled and embarrassed....and then they say,"YES, I'D LOVE ONE!" give them more...for later!  just much you can change someone's day!

little things. miniscule things. call the check out person by makes them smile!

one little bit at a time! it's really fun.  take some of that time today....just for be....thoughtful....alone....quiet.  maybe you won't even tell anyone you did that good will be your little secret!  bake cookies and mail them.  put cut flowers at your neighbors' front door!
   leave candy or lollipops for your mail carrier! 
 buy yourself some bubbles! yes....bubbles. blow bubbles!
laugh.  alone.  just feel the fun. 
 listen. hear. give. sing. jump. dance. laugh. breathe. dream. write. call someone and share some joy!
 if all of this seems uncomfortable and crazy and kooky, all the more reason for you to go out. run, don't walk.  we all need to lighten up. enjoy the world around little bit at a time....start today. wait. really. start NOW. we get one life....LIVE IT YOUR BEST!