take my advice…

…give ’em the money and let ’em elope!

At this juncture, even my daughter agrees. She should have taken her fiancé up on his offer to marry in a civil ceremony eons ago, and forget about all this hoo-ha.

Of course we wouldn’t have done it that way. After all, she is our only child. There was no way we weren’t going to celebrate such a momentous occasion…the final severing of the umbilical cord between my daughter and me. Not even the 2,000 miles that separated us this last decade or so did the trick. It took a great, future son-in-law and Medicare to finally clinch it.

Long distance planning is a killer when it comes to a wedding. You’re at the mercy of the internet and a working wi-fi connection. You’re also stuck with whatever vendor you can find online. And good luck trying to find images of their previous work, and enough reviews to help with your decision.

My daughter agrees she is blessed with a mom who researches everything to death. I’m like a Jack Russell Terrier…once I sink my teeth into something, I never let go until I’ve chewed my way to the bone.

At the outset I had tried to get my husband to buy into a one-price-buys-all wedding. When he balked at the price and “put his foot down,” I set about purchasing the wedding piece meal…the venue, the food, the drinks, the music, the flowers. Who knew I’d have to rent the tables, chairs, and linens? Fortunately, the caterer provided the plates and utensils…paper and plastic, of course! And since we weren’t using an everything-included venue, I became the presumptive event planner.

Since last June when my daughter accepted her boyfriend’s proposal, I’ve been like a mole burrowing my way through all the details, leaving nothing to chance. I was on the job, day and night. My husband agrees, no one could afford my services. Not that I could give my all to anyone but my daughter. And she and I both agree…this is the last wedding either of us are planning.

505As it turns out, what we’re ending up paying even surpasses the original quote I got from the one-stop for one-price venue. Because I dealt with individual businesses, there was no way to integrate their services into one cohesive unit. And while the budget dictated the parameters, the details always pushed the boundaries. At some point, I had to back off or I would’ve pulled all my hairs out by their white roots.

When it comes down to it, we’re blessed to have one child and be able to give her the wedding of her dreams. Thank goodness her dreams are small town…and not Big Apple, big city-sized ones.

If you’ve a wedding in your future, unless you’re anal about details and don’t mind shopping around as I do, I’d suggest you…plunk your money down in one place, and let them do the work for you. Better yet…

…send the couple on their way…with four fistfuls of $$$.

………hugmamma.

 

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…looking back…

Life is really like a jigsaw puzzle. Except that we don’t get all the pieces at the beginning. We start with a few and as we age we pick up another piece here and there. Unlike puzzles that come in a box of 500 or 1,000 pieces, we don’t know what number we’ll end up with…until our lives come to an end. The really cool thing is we can have as few or as many as we choose. Pieces, that is.

Free will. Remember what the Bible tells us about Adam and Eve. God allowed them to make their way in the world once they’d eaten of the forbidden fruit. Because of their sin, humankind must make our way back to God of our own choosing.

I’ve probably selected many, many more puzzle pieces to form my life than say, my husband. He’s held fewer jobs, making his way up the corporate ladder one rung at a time. As for me? I’ve kind of hopscotched up and down life’s ladder unable to decide what it was I could ace. Only when my daughter was born did I settle into my very own “jigsaw puzzle.”

IMG_4309When we’re young, most of us are totally without focus. We’re drawn in so many different directions, like dandelion flowers floating about on the wind. Certain milestones serve to anchor us to reality…school, loved ones, jobs and old age. It’s the final one that weighs in most heavily.

While options are more limited by the quality of our lives in older age, we’re not as saddled by too many puzzle pieces from which to choose. We can be more selective. We can linger over the appeal of some and not others. We can choose a second piece, if the first piece doesn’t quite fit.

Who cares if my jigsaw puzzle’s a little lopsided? Does it matter if I’ve chosen to fill the entire puzzle with a beautiful blue sky? In fact, I might decide to leave holes in the puzzle. There might be a few heavenly pieces I’d want to fill in when I’m done down here.

Unlike real puzzles over which I agonize as I hunt down the exact pieces that fit together, I look at my life now as unfolding day by day.

Since I began helping my daughter plan her wedding almost a year ago, my house has wallowed in dust and grime…and I’ve not given it much thought. Even as I undertake to get my butt going in that direction, I’ve stopped to write some…watch a little TV…nosh a little…and cuddle my cats. The house’ll get done. Meanwhile, I’m just enjoying figuring out…

…what puzzle piece comes next.

………hugmamma.

 

hard to believe…

…it’s been 50 years since I graduated from high school! Jan 14 024

I don’t think I’d have remembered if I’d not received an email reminding me. Unfortunately my daughter’s wedding precludes my attending the reunion.

Half-a-century ago the island of Maui was my entire world. As a youngster, I only knew mainland America as it was reflected in TV sitcoms, like I Love Lucy or variety programs, like The Ed Sullivan Show. Anything beyond the United States might as well have been somewhere out there in the universe.

Today, Maui is one of the most sought after destinations in the world. Oprah Winfrey calls it her home-away-from-home, with a beautiful spread in Kula.

The Maui I knew was small-town USA, in the middle of nowhere. Actually, it was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…still is. Kids were kids, trying hard to be seen but not heard. Entire neighborhoods were ours to explore. We were allowed to wander as far as our small legs could carry us, to and from. Walking to the local library, 45 minutes from home was not a big deal. Lugging a bag of groceries home from the supermarket was a fact of life for me.

Scoring a dime from my mom for an ice cream Dilly stick at Dairy Queen’s was a rare treat. Joining my best friend and her dad for a Saturday morning cartoon, and having him pay my 25 cent theater admission was a huge deal! And waiting outside the local bakery’s back door for hot-out-of-the oven butter bread, was well worth all the kneeling and praying I’d done at church just prior.

For 12 years, St. Anthony’s School was my life. And while my feet were firmly planted in Maui, the nuns who taught me helped grow the wings I would use to one day leave behind my idyllic, island life. Much to my chagrin at the time, the good sisters would prod me on to do better academically. It was easier for me to dance the night away, than it was to recite correct algebra answers. Pranks were more my style, like the time I squirt dish soap into the fish tank. Sister Dominic, the biology instructor, was not too happy at having to empty the tank of all the suds and refill it with fresh water.

I learned about boys, even dated a few…in spite of the nuns. Although I’m certain they had a hand in keeping me virginal until the right time…and man…came along. Thank you, Sisters!!! My husband thanks you as well…

Periodic newsletters arrive from my old alma mater. Images of fresh-faced, young students rekindle a flood of memories reminding me of simpler times. When folks lived simpler lives…enjoying one another…and being thankful for what we had.

Then, as now…

…getting back to basics…is life in a nutshell…no matter where I live.

………hugmamma. 

 

 

disneyland…here we come!

I’ve never been to Disney World so I’ll come at this from what I know…Disneyland. If the media pundits have anything to do with who wins the presidential elections…and they do…we, the 98% American majority, are done pressing our noses up against the iron gates of Mickey Mouse’s grandiose play land. All of us, every last one, are going to benefit big time when, not IF, Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders becomes the next President of the United States.

The Republican Party’s pillorying of Hillary Clinton will have succeeded, as expected. And Bernie Sander’s fantastical rhetoric promising free-everything will have so hoodwinked the voting majority to the blinding light of reality, from which they won’t rebound until President Sanders faces off with a filibustering Republican Congress, led by Paul Ryan AND Ted Cruz, as well as his arch enemies on Wall Street. Good luck!

And then there’s President Donald Trump, carried triumphantly into the Oval Office on the strong-arm tactics of his KKK Klansmen, intent upon returning America to the good ‘ole days when everyone fit nicely into social stereotypes that worked  just fine for white folks, especially men.

The way I look at it, those of us with two feet still planted firmly in reality should de-stress, and enjoy Mr. Frog’s Wild Ride. We’ll either get free-everything, or we’ll regain our status as the Ugly American, the world’s biggest bully. 

After all, Americans are really adept…

…at making the most of a bad situation.

………hugmamma.