“opens me up,” walking

Just returned from a short walk around the neighborhood. Couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. The sun was warm, but not unbearable. Although I did peel off a layer, a lightweight jacket, opting to wear the thick vest over my thin sweatshirt instead. Wrapping the jacket around my hips, I headed toward the nearby park. As I got closer, I could hear voices and as I rounded the turn, there was an explosion of people having fun.

The tennis court was full, a family of 3 were in the children’s playground, the huge, grassy field was host to several different groups. Baseball was being played by a good, many people, soccer by a handful, La Crosse by a couple of boys. Dogs on leashes, walking their owners; a puppy frolicked, rolling around blissfully in the green blades. Pets are not exempt from having fun in the sun.

Always in evidence on the weekends are a small “army” of young adults dressed in feudal garb doing battle with poles. It’s interesting to observe them at play. At first glance the group may look like goth followers, until they re-enact fight scenes. They look serious at what they’re about. Maybe one day I’ll engage one of them in conversation and find out the group’s history. For now, I’ll just enjoy watching them as I walk by.

Everyone looked like they were having so much fun, oblivious to those around them, or perhaps enjoying that they were part of the bigger celebration of a beautiful day in the park. Deciding to join in, I sauntered over to a swing and started…swinging. Wow, what an adrenalin rush! I was a child again, no cares in the world. Gazing up at the cloudless, pale blue sky, I felt a million miles away. Leaning back into the push off, I rushed forward as though I were 6, not 61. I’m not sure what I looked like to others, but I felt gloriously youthful. There’s a child in all of us, waiting to emerge whenever we let them.

Minutes later, I alighted back on earth, back to reality. Striding away I felt a bounce to my step as I resumed walking, like several other adults, young and old, whom I passed. Nodding with a small smile and a glance in their direction, I felt myself opening up to the warmth of a blossoming, very early, spring day, and the joy of others doing the same. As I continued on my way, I thought  “How wonderful life is, when I open myself up to the  sunshine that pours in on a cloudless day.

Hey! And if I can’t be on a beach in Maui, a park full of sun worshippers will do just fine.

for good weather…hugs, and some…hugmamma.  🙂

autumn, on the east coast

I’m back visiting with my daughter in the east where Fall is happening, if only somewhat. Walking around the surrounding neighborhoods and nearby park, it felt like summer had made a comeback. I wished I’d thought to pull a baseball cap down over my brow, for the sun was beating down relentlessly. Whenever  possible I’d wander down tree-lined streets, reveling in the overhead shade.  Every now and then, a passing breeze cooled my cheeks. Only then could I gaze about, observing the stately homes that sat in the midst of lush, green lawns, as though they were holding court.

Here and there, chrysanthemum filled planters  emblazoned front stoops with autumn hues of reds, golds, oranges. Flower beds were weeded, some sporting dried hay, ready for winter. I felt a momentary sense of dread, as I thought of the overgrown garden awaiting me at home. It’s been in need of some serious TLC for several months.

Right or wrong, I’ve always favored a garden where plants grow in close proximity, like good friends and neighbors. Eventually, weeding is down to a minimum, a great benefit. Bending over to pull bits of unwanted green from the soil is back-breaking work. Regardless of the gizmos and gadgets I’ve invested in through the years, weeding is still a pain, worsening as I’ve aged. Heavy weeding in early spring, means regular visits to my chiropractor for adjustments.  I’ve finally heeded her advice to take periodic breaks while working in the garden. No more all day benders.

The disadvantage of growing plants too closely is that my garden eventually resembles a mini jungle. Making my way down the pebbled path that winds its way through the midst of the garden, I often think I should carry a machete to lop off overhanging branches from the Buddleia (butterfly) bush and the pink flowering dogwood tree, and cut back tall stalks of Rudbeckia daisies and overgrown Sedum. But pruning 2 or 3 times during the growing season, more than compensates for weed control throughout. So I’ll gladly keep my mini jungle.

I often think my daughter has the best of both worlds. She lives in an apartment complex with lovely landscaping, cared for by a team of maintenance men. I’d love to supervise my own caretakers. But I’m biding my time, for when my husband retires he promises to tend the garden, leaving me to manage the house. Great! No more weeding. And no more worrying that I’ll come face to face with a bear, as I round the corner of my garage. Until then, I’m still weeding, pruning AND worrying.

autumn, hugs for…hugmamma.

McGarrett, no replacement

As I sit typing away at the keyboard, Steve McGarrett’s face lights up the TV screen behind me. The low, husky voice is enough to conjure up the handsome Jack Lord. I’m reminded that in “Hawaii Five-O’s” heyday, I had a crush on the actor. So while I was disappointed in his marriage to someone other than me, I took comfort in his wife’s dark-haired good-looks as indicative of Lord’s preference for exotic types.

Beyond Lord’s presence in the series, “Hawaii Five-O” was a favorite of locals because it was filmed in the islands. The production company’s home base was located a few miles from my mother-in-law’s house. Filming on location meant natives would be used not only as extras, but possibly in featured roles as well. I think one or more of McGarrett’s  detectives were island men. Not only did the series provide jobs for locals but they, along with the islands as a backdrop, gave the show authenticity. Viewing the show I could identify every place they filmed, streets, buildings, restaurants, night clubs, malls, parks, beaches, hotels, churches, temples, airports and more. It was thrilling to see local celebrities like Danny Kaleikini and Genoa Keawe perform. Don Ho also guested but wasn’t a favorite of locals, who viewed him as a cheesy rendition of the true Hawaiian artist. Besides, Ho was always seen with a drink in his hand. Islanders did not relish being dubbed as slap-happy alcoholics to an audience of television watchers.

While not knocking the socks off of critics, the dramatic series entertained “Hawaii Five-O” fans for years. I know my family watched it with regularity. We probably set our dinner schedule around its time slot. After all, watching the show was like witnessing real life as it unfolded on our streets, in our homes, in our work places, among our people. We weren’t watching look-a-likes, so imagining that “Hawaii Five-O” was about us wasn’t far-fetched. And Jack Lord imbued the Hawaiian spirit, if not in looks then in his love of the islands and its people. During the series and through his retirement, he and his wife lived in Honolulu, calling it home. We were as enamored of the man, as he was of Hawaii, its culture and the natives. So while another reprise of the TV series is in the offing, there’ll never be a replacement for Jack Lord, the one and only Steve McGarrett. I wonder if the theme song will be updated as well; the old one is like “comfort food.” Right now, watching the original “Hawaii Five-O”, I’m remembering the “good old days” of my youth.

they can try, but…hugmamma.