Monday, May 24, 2010

joe! today was the first day of the joe hobie cat regatta.

while at the dinner tonight, some of the folks were saying that it felt different tonight...something was just seemed a tiny bit subdued...the food was great...the sailors were happy...the  sailing friends had fine stories to compare after a day of sailing on a windy, chilly spring day, many of the characters were the same....families who sail together....dads who who sail....some home from college...some who have been a part of the kids' sailing "careers"...joe's family... and lots more friends.

 the same people....with the same passion for sailing, the same community of sailors ....the same beach.....the same family...the same friends....some new sailors who had come into their own and were ready to take on a race...some non sailors who were there to share the excitement of the big race that is now an annual event.  it was a pleasure to see everyone back down at the beach....after a long, cold winter....folks who were enthusiastic to see familiar faces and longtime friends and kids who had grown inches since sailing back on labor day.

we all sat at our large round table  with the large white tablecloth and paper plates filled with ziti parmesan and chicken florentine and green salad with italian dressing and white plastic knives and forks and thin white paper napkins... big blue plastic cups filled with sprite and coca cola and orange drink in the big white house with the wood floors , white walls and high ceilings and damp air pouring in the open glass doors....while this years slide show randomly popped up photos of the race on a laptop computer over on the counter against the wall near the sodas...with some standing around talking in random groups....the same  rectangle folding table with a large white tablecloth and different desserts this year.  everyone at the  table had stories  to tell.....about the winter...about our kids, the sailing, the winter, their lives back in their hometown or some year rounders telling of flooding last talked about college sailing teams....and college life...and plans for this summer.  then, someone quietly mentioned reflectively that this year felt different....we all thought for a minute....that's when it dawned on me! "if joe were here, tonight would be different!" i blurted.  one of the guys thoughtfully responded...."that's true...but if joe was here, we wouldn't be here because we wouldn't be having his race!"

we all chuckled.  we had to laugh.  joe would have loved that.  we missed him, it was different without joe as it had been for the last two years down at our sailing beach....joe would have had some smart alec quip for me after saying all seemed so ironic that because joe wasn't seemed a bit subdued...people were tired after a long day of sailing...exhausted actually. the idea that this event was all happening because our big teddy bear of a man with an even bigger booming voice and a different color tee shirt for each day of the week  for each session of sailing classes and a big brimmed sun hat with a cord to tie it down to his balding head  and scruffy beard that was gently going grey and a wildly patterned bathing suit and a well worn life jacket and sandals and a generic town issued clip board and at all times, a  keen knowledge of the caliber of his sailors on hand  and the stern voice barking out demands of each one and a stern voice of a leader  who didn't want to have to get "pissed off" enough to have to curse and be forced to get even louder because of someone's ignorance, stupidity, laziness, ineptness, sloppiness.....and he had a gasket waiting to be blown if there was any wiseguy  attitude, entitled attitude, cocky attitude, spoiled rotten brat demeanor, disrespectful tone,
and an even keener eye and greater sensitivity to know just who to put on each boat and with who based on personality, skill, boat, requests  and some choice words were truly respected because after one afternoon out on a boat solo for the first  for anyone who didn't follow his orders....or just plain bothered him due to lack of sincerity.  he knew each one of "his kids" and knew exactly what their personalities were, what they could handle and how capable each one was, how far he could push them, how much he could depend on them or not.
a man who never spoke a soft word in his life, i  can't say that he spoke softly but carried a big stick!  his big barking kept everyone jumping and
for a man with a big bark and an intimidating style, joe had the respect of most.  no matter what, everyone was clear about one thing.....joe knew sailing and he knew it well  no matter who, what, where or when, joe knew everyone and knew how to network people better than anyone else.  he knew big guys, little guys, rich guys, poor guys, dreamers, achievers, school kids, moms and dads, families and sailing buddies!  he always knew where to send everyone with any boat problem or concern  and he knew where to get a boat, what type was best for you and who had one for sale!
joe was there....always there to help and make things happen.  even if he had to yell   or rant and rave, he would be over it as soon as he finished barking.  then he was on to the next thing...or maybe he'd buy everyone ice cream. then he'd settle down and sit and laugh and tell sailing stories...and all of the new kids and friends of kids would know that joe was the man who cared about them....really cared.  he cared enough to be real.  he told the kids the truth. he didn't coddle.  he didn't have the sensitive new age lingo that the kids have in school....where everyone is a "winner", everyone gets a medal, teachers have to be politically correct....maybe joe was the best thing that ever happened to us all....just because he was real.  he had the honesty and told everyone just what he thought....and then he would tell a kid how to improve...simply.  he bothered to criticize or remark on a kid's attitude.  maybe the world would be different if we had more guys like joe!  kids, grown didn't matter...joe told em like it was.  some were appalled...some were terrified....but joe was honest and he made a difference because of that honesty.  like a big bear...but a big soft bear.  now, that's comfort...that's safety...that's goodness....that's real....that's joe.  we all loved him.....very much!  and we respected his honesty...even if it hurt!  then we knew what had to be fixed! joe could fix anything on a boat...or he would know someone who strings attached...he was connected....just because he knew people...he was a good guy that people had fun with.  he had respect...from so many....we miss him. this weekend everyone sailed for honor of him.....that's cuz joe taught us all how to be better sailors!  he changed lives.  really, he changed sailor at a time.

a passionate sailor who was even more passionate about sharing the passion and empowering each sailor to challenge themselves and believe in their skills and push each sailor to their next "best" and give them hell when they did something "stupid!"  and the day i was sailing the sailboat right towards the committee boat, the power boat that he used during the sailing i approached out of control....very out of control.....joe bellowed at me  and he may have been heard all the way across the long island sound, "MAMA MIA!!!!" and he continued some other fine words...and blasted me with orders to push or pull the tiller, let out the sail or let out the jib!  whatever it was that he  barked at me, he directed me away from my potential crash...and allowed me to almost swipe it instead!  then, his sailor words began to sail across the sound.  

i had nervous laughter....even though he bellowed and was crazy mad that i had done something so mixed up. and out of control...ironically, whenever he yelled at me, ii knew it was yelling because he cared and he wanted me to be a better sailor!  he knew i could do it.  he pushed me and pushed me to dare to try again and again! 

he may have been big and loud and sunburned and frustrated and bothered....but if i laughed and shouted back at him, he seemed to respect that more than if i had cowered at his bark!  then, he would come back and have some very funny comments about my mistakes....he would shout out more and make sure everyone  understood just what the mistake was!  not to shame me....but to keep everyone aware of how to stay on course.   joe was  sensitive and a gentle giant!

he was like a piece of sea glass on the shore....

seaglass is always  a surprise.  walking along the beach, we see rocks, broken a variety of shells, pebbles of all shapes, sizes  and colors driftwood, an occasional  horseshoe crab  that are delivered to the edge of the  water as it continues lapping or crashing on the shore.  everyday brings something different.  everyday brings something beautiful.  then, as you walk looking at the shoreline and ....**POP**....a beautiful bright color appears on the sandy beach! there are millions of pebbles and shells and then *POOF* catches your eyes!  each sharp piece of glass has been  softened by the tossing and turning, rolling and rumbling of the surf!  when you spot it, it's like a gift...a gift made by the natural changes of having something so sharp have the that big beautiful have turned that broken glass into a softened, mellowed and sweet piece of sea glass that is like artwork.  you may pick it up...quick! before the next wave takes it away....and you miss your chance!  you catch your sea glass...just because the color jumped out at you from the mix of beach life....and once you see a piece, your day is brighter....a little gem to savor and enjoy.  take it home....keep it where you can delight in the colors all together .....from different beaches....different times...different weather.  one piece of beautiful sea glass can be a surprise while we walk on the beach!  it's like a only find those gems every once in awhile.  when you find it, you just have to save it...because it made a difference. it was a surprise, it was special....there was no piece of sea glass like another....individual beauties...all sizes and shapes and colors and textures....each with a different origin....and it is worth saving and savoring the goodness and the bright color that caught your eye!  it was different than the other stuff on the beach! 

sea glass....just like joe!

just sent a fb note to an old friend...who just had her "little girl" graduate from high school!
i realized that i was writing and it was like my post on bloggy land

it's so amazing to think that hadley is going off to college!  grace is a freshman...t.j. is 8th...the other night we were at grace's spring concert..for chorus....i was looking at her friends and having little flashbacks of them as 1st graders, 4th graders...on and on...the ones that played dress up at our house...the ones at birthday know, the kodak the end, they showed a slide show of the of them since freshman year!

i had tears in my eyes...just thinking how fast it goes.  i'm so grateful that i've tried to be "present" and really enjoy our life and staying home with them....although as early teens, they don't love spending too much time with me! 

they don't like my singing...grace tells me when i've chosen a icky shade of lipstick if the color's a tad off!  so funny.  t.j. doesn't like my singing.  he says i love the dogs more than the kids!

after the slide show, they called each senior to the front of the stage and they announced what college they were going to attend....i was practically in tears....realizing that grace is a freshman and how fast it all goes...speedy fast!  t.j's graduating from 8th grade this year! i feel like it was one minute ago that they graduated from montessori!

the nice thing for you is.....i've been seeing some old friends' status posts on fb....the ones with college kids post things like------------the kids are coming home this weekend!.....  can't wait to see the kids...
the kids brought home ALL of their laundry!.....we've been eaten out of house and home!......i have been so happy to see that and to see how exciting it is for everyone to get them back home! that's a nice thing to see!  

i like stories of life happenings...especially, when i can relate...or they make me laugh...really hits a funny bone because it's some quirky thinkg that happens to makes me laugh when i think someone has actually thought like me!

when i talk to my friends and family, there's alot more to our talk than the stories and the stuff i share...funny, unfunny, whatever.

it must be meant to be..again..the blog post has been lost. i keep having that happen...i'm not sure that the blog is meant to be.  i like to take the time to write my blog..yet, it's very busy.  i love writing.  but, should i be staying up to late to write.  writing is for me...the photos are for my add another dimension...another creative layer...not that anyone else cares...but  it's for me. 

i love my family...biff, the kids, the dogs, the cats....

i've let go of some of my awesome dog walks to write this blog....balance? i think not.
i spend hours writing. i love to write.  it's one of the places where time doesn't matter....balance? i think not.

e-bay gives me great feedback and i enjoy my communication with my customers...i've met so many nice people....e-bay customers...each one is interesting.
but, there is feedback.

blog? it's been very fun for me.  i'm not sure where to go from here.  i write for me...yet, no comments and no feedback for 6 months...not sure it matters.  i love writing but if i'm staying up way too late to fit it in or letting the dishes wait? balance? i think not.

not sure.  i do realize that i like to be connected. i like the blog for me. still, do i really have to make it a "blog"...if the followers don't follow? if the people don't bother to comment? why bother?  it's only graffiti if i'm writing a blahhhhhhhhhG and no one reads it .  

i like feedback...even on customers are so nice...we connect.  in our own way.  it's fun. i like that.

it's wierd to write and write and write and have so little feedback...except for the friends who may call and then we re-hash and laugh about more of the stories than i really wrote...we have that connection.

many blogs have that.  i have blog friends...when i comment on their blogs, they recognize me and we have that connection.

that's all. way too late.  i have lots to think about in my life.  how much time do i do something with no connection.  do i? not sure.

i enjoy people. i enjoy their stories. more than ever.  every single person has their own story. that's what matters to me.  not so much my own story.  i like to share my stories and i like to get the sense that people enjoy them.  i'm not sure this is the right venue for these stories.  who knows.  maybe, who cares!!  i'm not sure i do.  i do know that i have been doing this almost 7 months...that's alot of dishes or gardening or laundry or e-bay that actually makes some connection...where i can see...quite literally if anyone even cares.....

i'm just not sure.  if my peace and balance feel lopsided because of writing...a blog that hasn't grown...a blog that is one sided...not too much do i even know if it's enjoyed.  oh, i do know some enjoy....but, come on.  is it worth balance? not sure.  

lots of questions.  i have lots and lots of e-bay quality items to list...and i'm spending this time writing....and why?  not sure.

i think the balance is off.  it seems.  when i take so much time to write...and there is still so much more to that balance?  i think not.

i have passions.  our kids and their schooling....our community.  friends with breast cancer that are happy for the connection...or happy for the company...or happy to have a ride somewhere.  would my time be better spent back at hospice doing art therapy...where i truly help some people.

our family had a ball this weekend.  we were with our sailing friends all weekend for the sailing regatta.  we had laughs and connecton and families enjoying families.  we are so happy to see the kids and how they've grown over the winter...and everyone falls back in step immediately...we told stories...they laughed...we all teared up from time to time...the kids and grown ups shared stories...all ages...a joy.

lots of stories.  i told lots.  we all laughed at stuff...some of the littlemarymixup stories that i could never take the time to write....oh, i love to laugh and be with friends.  maybe, that's all way more important than writing late into the night. maybe so.

who knows. i don't know. i do know it's way past bedtime. i do know that i have alot to mail in the morning....e-bay.  i have to get something for dinner.  i do know that i have to take photos for e-bay.  i have to list the items after i take the photos.  i have to plant some of the lettuce, basil, tomatoes...and more.  lots more where that came from.

guess i'll sleep on it. finally. sleep. i think i'll figure it out. i'm not sure it's what i had hoped for.  maybe i'll have to change my format.  maybe i'll have to write less.  i know some don't even like to read if it's too long.  but, don't i write this for me?  yes.  so who cares? but, should i find something else?
i'll sleep on it....right now. i'll be back...just don't know when.  just don't know how i'll keep it going...maybe the change will be good.  maybe.   maybe not.  balance.  we'll see.

i'm having so much fun on fb, staying in touch with some fun, old friends...and some acquaintances.  just like the acquaintances, i just have little quips with them and happy to see a picture of their kids or whatever.

i love my e-bay biz.  it's been fun. it's been a business. really.  perfect for me. great with the kids. great for biff and i.....e-bay has been good for us all!

this is so convoluted...i keep losing bits of the  in cyberspace....meant to be.  maybe. who knows.  balance?  i think not.....cyberspace balance?  i think not.

balance. do you have balance?  do you make time for the people you love. do you get real?  are you living honestly?  do you have secrets? are you healthy? do you take care of yourself and your family....spiritually? mentally? physically?  emotionally?  do you make time for friends?  do you make time for real?  real time with family?  in person?  on a heartfelt phone call?  do you ever think to call someone for them.....not for you to feel better?  do you do random acts of kindness?  are you loving to many people?  do you hold back your love for some?  do you hold grudges? do you stand in judgment of others?  do you think you are a kind and loving person?  have you done anything for your community?  just askin',,,, are you feeling good about the way you live your life? balance? just askin'.....

i'm looking for balance...i should say more balance....