For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. 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.

Monday, March 28, 2016

She's Back!

I flew into Nashville Wednesday evening.  The sky was criss-crossed with tracks of planes coming and going.  This will probably be my last trip to Nashville because the reason for this trip is to move Kerry back to Connecticut.

Two years ago, we moved our rather un-enthusiastic daughter to Nashville for her first nursing job at Vanderbilt Medical Center.  The distance from home was difficult for her, especially in the beginning.

She got a cat named Fletcher and lived with her two roommates, Amber and Poorvie, who were also new nurses at Vanderbilt.

Nashville is a very friendly place, and Kerry became friends with her co-workers too.

She also made another friend - a stray cat which she named "Little Grey".
He got to know her schedule and would wait for her to come home to feed him.

When I got to her apartment,  Kerry had taken apart her IKEA furniture already.  It was wrapped and ready to pack.

Fletcher didn't know what was going on, but I think he was enjoying himself.

A small moving Pod was delivered and we began loading it very carefully.  We had doubts that all of her things would fit.

But when all was loaded, we actually had room to spare!

Friday was Kerry's last day of work at Vanderbilt.  

Her co-workers brought food and took lots of pictures with her, 
letting her know she would be missed.

Before I drove to pick her up from work for our long road trip home,  I stopped at her apartment one last time to pick up Fletcher and her gecko, Ravioli.

Little Grey was sitting near her apartment, waiting for Kerry.  
I felt bad for him and fed him his last meal before I left.

Kerry was happy and sad when she came out to the car.

We took this picture as we left to drive over 1000 miles in 17 hours.

Fletcher was a very good traveler!

We drove all through the night, taking turns behind the wheel.

I was happy when the sky began to lighten as the sun came up.

It was a long, but gladly uneventful trip.  
We were very happy when we pulled into the driveway at home!

Kerry is a very different person than she was two years ago.  Her life experiences in Nashville have given her confidence and she seems really happy with herself personally and professionally.

Kerry's own words on her Facebook wall said it best:

"Life update:  I'm excited to say that in about 3 weeks I'll be making the move back home to Connecticut!  I've recently accepted a job on the general surgery/plastics unit at Hartford Hospital and have also become the owner of a condo in Glastonbury that I'll be living in with one of my best friends since elementary school...the one and only Melody Smith!  Nashville and Vanderbilt have treated me so well since I moved down here as a new grad.  Since then, I've grown immensely as a person and as a nurse.  There are a lot of things I'll miss about living and working here, but I'm looking forward to getting back to New England!"

We are certainly very happy to have her back too!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Momo Lisa

I sometimes feel guilty that I take so many pictures of my cat, Maddie.  She is a very active, very curious feline who get's around.  Last week she climbed into the cab of the truck when Vance was leaving.  He picked her up and put her on the ground.  She must have wanted to get back in, because when he closed the door, her tail was in the way.  I heard the scream from inside the house.  She's lucky it wasn't broken.  But that's who she is.  She is everywhere! And she's so photogenic!

My older cat, Momo, doesn't do much.  She may go outside for a little while, but she just sits on the front step.  When she's not sitting on the front step, she's sitting on the bed - or the couch - or the back of the chair.
I guess that's why I don't take many pictures of her.  There's no variety.

Yesterday, though, when she was sitting on the back of the chair, she caught my eye.  The light was just right, her fur was smooth, and her eyes were bright.  And she treated me to a solid 10 minutes of photography! I got some beautiful portraits of this "grande dame".  My little M̶o̶n̶a̶  Momo Lisa!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Parking for Irish Grandmas

St. Patrick's Day was always a big deal when I was young.  My dad was Polish, but my mom was very proud to be Irish.  Her maiden name was Shea!

Here is a picture of my parents' garage.

If you look on the back wall, you will see these signs.

 In their later years, my mom and dad had a lot of fun celebrating
the holiday with their friends.  My dad added a touch
of green to his beautiful white head of hair.  He always
wore his green jacket too.  My mom usually added shamrocks
to her clothing and wore a green hat.  
No doubt they had a good time!

I still have one of the signs from my parents' garage.
It is hanging on the wall of my garage.
Happy memories of my mom are triggered whenever I see it.
Today, it has a special meaning.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

"Mommy, you look like a doggie!"

In addition to taking lots of pictures when my kids were young,  I also wrote a journal for each of them.  I don't know when I found the time.  No wonder I look back and notice how tired I looked.

In my intense spring cleaning this year,  I came across the journals and opened randomly to a few pages.  It was the fall of 1994.  Adam was two and Kerry was one.  I am so glad I took the time to write because I would have forgotten most of it, lost in the business of everyday life.  It reminded me why I loved being a stay-at-home mom so much.  All of those funny, innocent, everyday childhood happenings were the fuel that got me through those sleep-deprived years!

I'd like to share a few entries!

"There was an especially humorous thing that happened at the dinner table in late September.  We were trying to teach you manners.  Once night when you were finished eating and started to get out of your seat, I told you that you should ask, "May I please be excused?"  Well, you didn't have a clue what I was talking about.  You started to laugh and said "No, I am not a goose!  You're a goose!"

"We found a ladybug on the rug in the living room one day.  You were very intrigued by it.  We put it on a white piece of paper so you could see it better.  Then I put it in your hand and it crawled around on it. We left you alone for a few minutes and you came into the kitchen wit the ladybug between your fingers (dead) and said "Beetle bug won't go". You had no idea you had to be very gentle and had squeezed it too hard when you picked it up. We took it outside to the front step and told you it had to go home.  We through it into the air and pretended it was flying home. Now you have an imaginary beetle bug on the floor in the corner of your bedroom.  One of your bedtime stalling techniques is to get the beetle bug and pass it around to everyone to hold and pet it.  You even pretended to pull a beetle bug out of your hair in the bathtub the other night!"

"In September, we went to Burlington to see Grandma and Papa.  Daddy slept upstairs with Kerry and you got to sleep downstairs with me in a big boy bed.  The first night, you waited for me to come to bed and talked my ear off for almost an hour.   Then you woke me up at 6AM with a gentle kiss on my lips.  When I opened my eyes, you said "Mommy, you look like a doggie!"  I THINK it was meant as a compliment because you love the movie 101 Dalmatians.  I hope so, anyway."

"Every afternoon while Kerry was napping, you looked forward to our special time together. You would tell me what you wanted to do - just Mommy and Adam.  Sometimes we would read books, sitting with my arm around you, snuggling together. On January 12, 1994, one of the most touching moments of motherhood to date occurred. Before I had the chance to put my arm around you and begin reading, you scooched up higher on your knees and put your arm around my shoulders. You looked at me with such a face full of love.  Then you leaned over to kiss me, but missed my lips and kissed my nose instead.  You laughed and said "We kissed noses, Mommy!".  I felt like I was your girlfriend and could just picture you on a date 15 years from now.  I love you so much!"