Wednesday, December 31, 2014

This is a good one Mare.

She said, in a somewhat insulted tone, "What. You won't say it?" which took me right out of the confused wondering in my head:  "Why did I just tell her to have a good weekend?  It's Wednesday for c-sake." 

Light dawns over Marblehead Harbor.  

"Oh, no, of course I'll say it."  pause.  "I was just wondering to myself... never mind. Happy New Year!"

I'm telling you, some days my brain is like pea soup.  In a fog.  Trying to get out of a box.  I am not worried about Alzheimer's or Senior Moments.  I'm busy.  And thinking about what is next on the list.  Where do I have to go, what do I have to do, who do I have to call, next?  It's a regular rat race in my head.  

Tomorrow is a new opportunity to stop the rat race.  Slow it down.  Pace myself.  Why am I always in such a hurry? I don't have an answer myself so I don't expect you to have one.  But maybe you have an idea or two.  [insert chuckle]

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions but I do know that it is important for each of us to find and set a goal.  Goals give us something to work toward.  

Whether it's a bad habit we want to rid ourselves of (you know, like that cellulite that follows me around everywhere - what?  That's not a habit?) or a better job, home, apartment, car, trip. Whatever it is that we think will improve our lives, and by the sheer standing next to us, the lives of others, we should do.  We all need a purpose, don't we?

Well, I think we do.  I'm fairly certain you'll agree with me on that point.  Without purpose, what's the point? Anyway, the lady at the store was a bit put off that I didn't respond immediately with my "Happy New Year!" wish.  And that's what made me realize I need to get rid of that rat race in my head.  For my own sake and the sake of those around me.  

We'll all benefit if I become more purposeful in my listening. 

So that's it.  That's my resolution.  To slow the rat race down by being more purposeful in my interactions with others; listening, speaking, observing.  It's really not to tall an order. I think I can manage it.

Happy New Year my friend.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Oh my. 

Your e-mail arrived and I had a chuckle.  I know you'll think yourself foolish believing the blog is specifically for you.  Don't. You are my wonderful on-line, e-mail, snail mail friend Mary. 

'Mostly Letters To Mary' was penned primarily to get me back in to writing.  Something.  Anything.  I had such a very dry spell.  In my head I was writing voraciously.  Yet somehow I could not lift pen to paper and the keyboard was even worse.

Busy.  Lazy.  Tired.  Bored.  Uninspired.  Depression.  Self conscious. No confidence.  Any or all of the above?  Who knows what puts that wall up between thoughts in your head and expressing those thoughts?

What happened one day after a note arrived from you was a "eureka!" moment.  I thought I'd try writing to someone instead of for an audience (or myself) and see how it went.

I'm still struggling a bit with thoughts to paper but I'm thinking more about writing and I am, at least, writing to you.  Pseudo fashion.  I admit.

So the short of it is, I didn't start the blog for you.  I was inspired by your note writing.  You reminded me that writing is good for the soul.  And if someone else wants to read it, why not?

All the best,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve and as I walked to my desk this little voice said, "Your heart is feeling light tonight."  

Don't know where the voice came from or how it knew but it is an apt description of how I feel this evening.

I have one last package to wrap.  Well and a box full of dog sweaters, harnesses and toys so I guess it's really two boxes that need wrapping.  And then it's time to snuggle up in new Jammie's and a Christmas movie and my favorite people. Honestly who could want more at Christmas time?

Not me.  So Mary, it's a short note.  But it is carrying wishes to you for a peaceful, happy Christmas spent with the ones you want to spend it with.  I would not be surprised if you were out in the world giving of yourself (and some coffee) to those who need you.  You've always been quiet about your generosity - an admirable trait indeed.  

Carry on and have a happy day.

Merry. Merry.  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tell me Mary.

What is wrong with the world today?  Rhetorical.  Of course. You'll have your thoughts on what is wrong with the world. And I have mine.

The simplistic presentation of my thoughts should not be confused with a lesser understanding of the world.  I know you know I am much deeper than that.

As much as I love the media (well, some of it anyway) we are fed a steady stream of doom and gloom.  There isn't a day that goes by that we don't hear about a shooting, homicide, kidnapping; a person held captive for however many years. There is child abuse, domestic abuse, terrorism, drunken or texting while driving mayhem and deaths. There is a steady flow of 48 Hours mysteries to be watched, taken in.  

On and on and on it goes.  

I have to ask:  Where did all the good go?  

There is good.  I refuse to believe there isn't good.  It's everywhere.  And yet ...

When someone does something remarkably human that benefits some of mankind (or even all of mankind) it becomes a political pancake served up with a Republican or a Democratic syrup.  Maybe I should say liberal or conservative syrup.  Either way.

Why can't good just be, you know, good?  For the sake of good.  Not turned in to someone's issue of the day.

We are giving the younger generations skewed ideas about what is and what isn't important.  We forget their young brains aren't fully formed.  Maybe we don't.  No, we do. Where we should be teaching kindness, courtesy, respect we are teaching it'sallaboutmeandtoobadifyoudon'tlikeit. We're teaching them that everyone deserves to be idolized and famous.  

Nope.  Not everyone does. Not even me.  Or you.  

I know when I say we need to go back to 'basics' and teach the youth of today (include young adults if you will) what life is truly about, and how to live a life well without drama, strife, cruelty, demands and unrealistic expectations, someone out there shakes their head and thinks, "the woman is nuts."

Well maybe I am.  Am I?


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hey! Hello!

It's been a busy day.  And a very good one at that.  

After a weeks' worth of angst over my still inoperable vehicle, I'm just offering that crap up to God.  He'll take care of it. 

Let the fun, family time begin.  Today Husband drove Miss Emily, myself and the two dogs up to (although they tell me it's down to) Kennebunck to meet Sis and Brotherinlaw.  I haven't seen them since her Halloween in July cookout and she's been a busy beaver having had a total knee replacement and the the requisite difficulties one in ten patients have.  She's a trooper though and is working hard at getting back on her feet and behind the wheel of the car.

When I inquired about how the drive to meet us was, she rolled her eyes rather dramatically, heaved a huge sigh and said, "I can't ride with him."  Ah but you did.  Silly me, I suggested on the return trip she close her eyes.  Sleep is not the goal.  Just not watching where he's going is.  I don't think she appreciated my suggestion.  But it is exactly what I did on the ride up and the ride home.  

Really Mary, when they arrived and got out of the car, I was a bit stunned at how old both of them look.  Being ten years older than I am I expect some more aging than myself, but with canes and grey hair and many more wrinkles than I recall, well.  What I could tell her was that although she has lost a lot of weight (and she's not me, she can't afford to) she looks good albeit a bit tired.  She is tired.  

I know we all worry about how we look and I try to resist the urge to tell someone they look great when they know they don't and I know they don't.  When someone has already told you they don't look good, don't lie.  Don't be brutally frank either. That's another little life lesson.  Being older the
re is a little wisdom.  Not much.  Just some.  And only about some things.  Mostly I'm a reckless live-er.  Know what I mean?

We had a quick lunch, exchanged the contents of our car trunks and I happily waved off our dead aunt's kitchen table and chairs that I have used for years and had put into retirement. Nice corner of space just opened up.  Now to fill it!

Uh-oh.  Dog urgency. Going to close here. 

Be Well.  Write soon.  Love your news.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mary. Mary.

While I wait patiently for your next letter to arrive in I keep filling you in on daily dribs and drabs.  They are not nearly as interesting conversation as are the items you bring up.  

But.  These dribs and drabs are the fiber of who I am. They are a part of my make up so-to-speak.  Like cellulite and weight, I'd like to get rid of some of them. Most often I think of these nuisances as just that. Does that mean I too am a nuisance? 

So this week I have packaged three Santa gifts and tomorrow they go out to three recipients I've never seen or met. I tell you this not for kudos.  There is a life lesson here. 

This is called paying if forward.  Or as in the 'old' days, doing a good deed. Today I dropped an unexpected gift to someone and she later told me, "That made me so happy!" Believe me, I didn't spend a lot of money and I had Miss Emily sign the card.  It made Someone's day.  And because it did, it made mine.  

Life lesson # 23 (just give it any old number you want) You will feel good when you make someone else feel good.  

I keep wondering if my state of mind is typical of Christmases past.  I don't recollect myself being a person who is easily thrown in to an 'I am trying not to be a crazy lady' state. But if I'm honest, I think I have more Christmas seasons behind me - just that way - than I have recognized before this. Wow. Food for thought. 

I often say that it's the little things in life that will make or break me.  I'm am much better at the big things. I think I'd rather be good at the little.  Great would be even better.

Anyway, Christmas is just around the corner and while I'm not nearly ready in terms of shopping, wrapping and baking, I am ready to relish the day with family.  And for most of us, isn't that what it's all about?

Til soon.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Evening Mary.

You know how I value our friendship.  Or maybe you don't.  But you should know that I do.  There are various reasons, perhaps the most important in my mind is your absolute loyalty to Miss Emily in spite of the fact that you have never met her.  Add your willingness to express exactly how you feel about whatever it is we're discussing and well, we're a match made in heaven as far as Internet friends go.  We may not hold the same interests, political views or religious inclinations (and maybe we do) but there is that wonderful mix of I can be honest and say what I think and you can too.  You have never hurt my feelings.  

Like other friendships, it has built itself on trust and time.  I feel no need to judge what you say or how you think or how you spend your time.  I sit back and enjoy you for you.  It's hugely refreshing to recognize that this is how true friendship is.  Or, you know, can be. 

When you write your letters to me and express yourself in your very own unique way, sometimes I don't completely understand your writings.  But I always understand your meanings.  I know you get me.  

I have to tell you that this has not been the easiest week.  No big deal for the most part but now I'm looking in the tunnel and it's not light I see at the end. It is that oncoming train.  I'm used to things not going as planned and I am exceptionally good at shifting gears and going with the flow.  

But right now, at this moment I want to stomp my feet.  From the hairdryer that quit to the two trips to the veterinarian's office for medication and all that has gone on in between I am feeling frayed around the edges, tattered, torn, busted.  

It is exactly one week until Christmas and while I believe that Christmas is about faith, hope, peace and love I can't seem to stop focusing on the very thing I tell others to not focus on: commercialism.

Not only have I not finished gift buying I can't decide if what I've chosen are good enough, inexpensive enough, expensive enough, trendy enough, will fit well enough or are the right dammed gift card.  And why should I, or anyone else, feel harried and worried over gifts?  We shouldn't. Right?  I was raised by a mother and father who taught me to appreciate the very smallest of gifts to the most expensive of gifts.  In exactly the same way.  Sincerely and with gratitude for the effort (if not the cost).  

So what in the world am I worrying about?  Really. 

I know you'll have an insight into that.  I look forward to it.  



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hey Mary,

I was just laughing at the New Yorker calendar pages you sent in your last envelope.  Sometimes a laugh comes from an unexpected place.  I have had but don't tend to use those 365 Days Of calendars. They're funny though and great for writing notes on.  In fact I had one a handful of years ago.  365 Days of Pekingese. Well, my Mackey is adorable.  He is also nearly every one of those pages.  

I saved the laugh out loud ones and every so often just pop one into an envelope and mail off to my friend Helen, the breeder. I don't always hear from her after she receives it but the next time she sees me that Old Curmudgeon giggles a little and tells me how much she enjoyed my envelope.

You were discussing Dispassionate Observation, a term I have heard but hadn't ever thought about other than to think, "how nice to observe the world with dispassionate abandon."  The way things are today, I am beginning to think there are too many practicing Buddhism for the world's good.  We seem to all be dispassionate about the things that really matter and spend inordinate amounts of energy on reality (seriously?) TV and Hyped Up Media Mash. The journalistic approach to serious news is a huge mistake. Give me the nitty gritty.  I'd rather wait until the next newscast for an accurate story full of the truth and concrete facts than listen to that vapid on-the-scene reporter repeating the same misinformation over and over.  We all need more real and less fluff. Even if it is hard to hear, difficult to watch, tough to take. 

So here's what I know about DO now.  Too much DO does indeed have its own set of problems.  But in a pinch, I'm going to step back as needed and view the world a different way.

Today I ordered some really cool tee shirts from (or something like that -- I nearly always have to Google again).  Why I am excited about these shirts is that they are really cool Hobbit Brew shirts and the person I'm sending them too will just get a real kick out of the shirts.  Sending two.  One for him.  One for a friend. Or not.  He's welcome to keep them both if he wants.  But it's just that I found really cool, young tees that are trendy and did I mention cool?  

I know I didn't mention that after many months of waiting and looking Miss Emily now has her puppy.  A chocolate and white Chihuahua whom she has named Princess Sadie.  We of course all call her, "Sadie".  Pretty little thing and so very sweet.  We hope that Miss Emily and Sadie will have many happy, healthy, loyal years together.  And I love that we were able to give a shelter dog a home.  From what I can tell, Sadie loves it too.

All the best,


                            Yoshi and Sadie.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dear Mary,

I am not surprised that writing to you (or to anyone else for that matter) comes most easily to me when I am sitting at a keyboard.  My brain works so much faster than my hands these days.  Actually I think it has been that way always. What has changed is my ability to slow my thoughts down.  I can't seem to take that breath and just let the detritus of the day go so that I can focus on first, thoughts and second, handwriting.  

Being that stereotypical Catholic girl of the 60's my penmanship is of The Palmer Method.  I like it quite a lot. For addressing envelopes and writing checks.

So it seems I 'owe' you a letter although I realize that neither you nor I believe we 'owe' anything to anyone.  Owe is just a word. What it implies is much more conflicting to my good nature. Anything I toss out there into the universe is given freely.  Or earned. I'm certain no one I know wants to be on the earned list.

I received your last letter and as is always the case I smiled from the Post Office lobby to the front seat of the car where I quickly shut out the world and opened that envelope.  

Let me tell you ... the smile doesn't wane. Your thoughts, your words, your sense of the world and how it works intrigue me.  I admit distress when you wrote about having sent off a six page letter that was returned to you wet, ruined and unreadable.  Took the steam out a little bit to think that you put so much effort into addressing my lengthy and (somewhat) sad story of Miss Emily's lost love.  

Agreed.  She deserves to be treated so much better than THAT. Don't we all?  I think we are all in good shape if once in our lifetime we meet that one person who lets us in, lets us treat and love them well and offers the same thing back to us. We are in exceptionally great shape as soon as we open our hearts and perhaps a corner of our brain -- just in case.

On the Emily front things are well.  We are always busy living her life to the best of her ability and my exhausting, valiant and more-than-willing effort to that end.  She is a funny young woman and says the most outrageous things. For example, we went shopping for our Christmas tree which is a longer drive to the tree stand than it is to pick out the tree. Checking out takes even longer than that.  

With an eye to managing decorating the tree without a step stool or whining for help I immediately went to the 5-6' Fraser fir area and found one to my liking.  It was so cold out, she liked it as well as I.

Husband dutifully loaded that tree into the truck and brought it home to roost. First lights, then three or four days of ornaments one hour at a time.  It's lovely.  

According to Miss Emily "it's short and round. Kinda like me"