The Statue Pt. 3

It’s been 25 years since I’ve been to Norway.

The boys wanted to see their ancestor’s homeland.

We walk the countryside.  I fall in love with it again.

If only I would’ve stayed all those years ago.

We walk to where I first saw the statue.

Sitting on a small bench, I tell my 24 year olds the story.

They listen, but I see their eyes, they think I’m crazy.

As they walk back to the hotel, I know I can’t go home.

I turn, there he is.

Torvald is waiting for me.

Our twins will have to return alone.

That’s it for now, although I have a part 4 in my head.

Yellow House

Yellow House 1967

It was July of 1967.  I was 12 years old.  We lived in a two story house on the north side of Sheboygan.  My family consisted of Daddy, Mama and the six of us kids.  I was the oldest.  After me came Mary, who would be 11 in August.  Tammy turned eight in the spring.  The boys had their birthdays at the end of the month.  Jerry would be seven, Michael, three and Patrick, the baby was almost 2.

The house was a pretty yellow and so much bigger than the last one we lived in.  I didn’t care about any of that.  Who needs a big house when all that really mattered was that we left our old neighborhood and all of our friends.  I was mad for a short while.

My new school was a block away.  I quickly made new friends, but I could also jump on my bike and ride back to the other side of town in 20 minutes.

My sister Mary and I shared a room upstairs.  All the kids were up there except Patrick who had his crib in a room downstairs.  My parent’s bedroom was also on the first floor, next to the living room, at the front of the house.  It was the room Daddy died in.

Sunday, July 30 1967.  It was a day I will never forget.  My brother, Michaels’, third birthday.  Daddy had one of his headaches and wanted to lie down before church.  He died suddenly during that nap of a cerebral aneurysm.  He was 33 years old.  Mom had just turned 30.

We moved back to the south side shortly after that.

This was for Writing 101, Day 11.  Where did you live when you were 12. The twist is to pay attention to the sentence length.

Juneathon Day 8

Today was 34 tri dips, 23 push ups, 8 X 5 curls, 25 burpees, 80 squats.

Another busy day with Church, a trip to Goodwill, lunch and back for a nap.  Yes, a nap!  It is Sunday, right?  Besides that, more friggin mosquitoes!!  I am going to look for a natural spray and do it every day and just go out.  I went out to the dock earlier and there was a cloud of them around me. I do not like the word hate but…

I just got an email from my sister Dawn regarding a sisters challenge for fitness and weight loss for 4 weeks.  She threw it out to all of us.  We have been doing this for many years.  When one of 5 thinks she needs some help from the sisters, she throws out a challenge.  We talked and tomorrow we will tell each other what our “rules” are.  We have decided that My Fitness Pal is the one rule we will all abide by.  We will all have 2 more rules for ourselves.  It will go for 4 weeks.  More decisions tomorrow. This is good, as this morning as I dressed for church I felt like a sausage stuffing myself into a casing.  I am at a weight and fitness level I haven’t been at for 20 years.  I want to be healthy and fit as I go in to the last half of my life.

SistersGlidden

I Will Survive!

I looked forward to going home every summer.  This year we were doing something different.  This year we would be more active while still having fun, a little quirky, to include all ages.  I couldn’t wait to get on that plane and back to Wisconsin.

The ex was from So Cal and after getting out of the Army in 1978, he decided it was where we would live.  We were there long enough to have a baby, get jobs, move to 3 different homes, spend most of our money and move in with Ex’s divorced father and 3 siblings.  All that in 2 years, until we moved to Wisconsin, my home state.

We settled in a wonderful medium sized town, got good jobs and later put our son into a great public school.  We had it made, on the outside, anyway.  Ex started his construction company.  Good money and a lot of stress.  We built a home in an upscale neighborhood.  One of the jobs he took was remodeling a restaurant and lodge. It was a big project and took many months.  He did this on a handshake.  After it was finished, they didn’t have the money to pay it all.  Bankruptcy, moving out of our custom home, and then too much drinking.

Time to move back to California.  That was at the end of 1989.  Ex went back first and found a house and a job.  Our son and I came out shortly after that.  I had to leave a job I loved for 8 years and my family.

Oops, back to the story and fast forward to 2001.  I go back to Wisconsin for a week every summer.  I go by myself.  Ex is never happy about me going and won’t come with me.  After a few years, I don’t care, I just need to go.

I always end up at my parent’s home on the Island and my 7 siblings come, at least for the weekend.  We had done Christmas in July the years prior.  This year (2001), my brother-in-law suggested we do a family “Survivor”.  There were plenty of emails and phone calls to plan the weekend.  We figured we had between 20 and 30 people with sibs, in-laws, nieces, nephews, my grandma, my parents and a couple friends.  The teams ended up with 12 people each, ages 7 to 81.  We had spouses on opposing teams.  Each team had four siblings, mine with 2 sisters, a brother, Dad and assorted others.  The other had 2 brothers, 2 sisters, Mom, Nanny plus 6 more.

Events included food challenges, basketball shooting, how far can you jump, hit a golf ball and sunflower seed spitting.  We picked teams on Friday night and saw the area my bro-in-law chose for the tribal counsel. Games to begin on Sat morn…

Tribal Counsel

Writing 101 Day 4

The Offer

Falling asleep last night, took forever.  Staying asleep, impossible.  Getting up, very difficult as I slept hard from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

There are a few reasons for my insomnia.  Last night one of the reasons was the offer I got on a property I just listed.

My ex and I flew to Wisconsin for my 50th birthday back in 2005.  It was a great week.  All seven of my siblings came up to the Island and roasted me in my parent’s dining room.  It was hilarious. Something I will always remember.

While we were there we looked for a piece of property.  He fell in love with one off the beaten path.  It was all wooded, lots of hard woods, mostly oak.  We bought it.  I was thrilled to own a little bit of a place (born there) I will always love.

Out of the eight properties we owned, it was the only one I wanted when we divorced in 2012.  Fast forward to now.  I will never put a home on that property, I can’t afford it.  I listed it last week assuming I wouldn’t get an offer for years.  It would take someone with the same vision as my ex to consider buying it.  I got a call yesterday from the realtor.  He had an offer, cash, but lower than I wanted to go.  The guy has adjoining property to mine and just wants it.  He has a reputation for being an ass and a hard negotiator.  Do I take the money and run or counter and risk losing the guy?  That is my dilemma.  I make the phone call now.

Oops, twenty minutes is up. Seems short but I was also scanning the signature pages sent by the realtor.

First post for Writing 101 done!

Is This You?

 

My sibs and I in late 70's.

My sibs and I in late 70’s.

Recently I finished reading “The Birth Order” book and found it fascinating.  Do you see yourself here?

Are you:

  • A list maker
  • A problem solver
  • Organized but have a messy desk
  • An advice giver
  • A people person with very few friends
  • Logical
  • A perfectionist
  • Someone who straightens pictures on walls or pillows on couches

If you answered yes to most of these traits, you are probably a first born or only child.  As a firstborn you are scholarly, hard driving, a bit serious and critical and more than likely you don’t like surprises.

Or, are you:

  • Manipulative
  • An attention seeker
  • Class clown or comedian of the family
  • A lover of surprises
  • Affectionate
  • A people person

Yes to these and you take the lastborn or baby position.  You are fun, the life of the party but can also be spoiled, impatient and impetuous.  Often you feel as if you are not taken serious, especially by your family.  Many of you, as Dr. Leman puts it, “have a burning desire to make an important contribution to the world”.

And last but not least, are you:

  •  A mediator
  • Compromising
  • A conflict avoider
  • Loyal to your peers with many friends
  • Secretive
  • Unspoiled

These are the mysterious middle children.  Their personalities are strongly influenced by the sibling directly above them.  They may model them or go in a complete opposite direction.  There have been many articles published and most agree that of all birth order positions, the middle child is the most difficult to define, let alone describe or generalize about.

There are 8 siblings in my family.  I am the oldest and after 50 years I finally understand why I do certain things.  I am also pleased to understand the whys of the rest of my sisters and brothers.  Things just make sense now.  I have no friends, I want no friends and it is okay because I am an oldest.  Now when my brother Pat gets out on the dance floor when the song, “Play that Funky Music White Boy” comes on and dances to it, I understand he is not weird, he is the baby.

This is not an exact science but pretty close.  It doesn’t always go as simply as I stated.  Family situations and circumstances also come in to play.  Oldest child can mean oldest daughter and oldest son.  The gaps in age also make a difference.

After my father died, Mom remarried and they had two girls.  So, actually Pat is not the baby but is the typical baby and the baby of the first six.

I listen and observe at all functions I go to and it is pretty easy to spot an oldest and a baby.  I have fun with it and actually keep a notebook with me to write down what I see and predict the birth order.  People are surprised if they haven’t heard about Dr. Lemans book or the others that are out there.  It is a great discussion to have as they look at their own families.

This is written for Blogging 101, Day 6 – publish a post for your dream reader

I love to read, write, discuss.  This is written for those who also love to read interesting books on fascinating subjects.

Who Am I?

IMG_20130606_163705_968

Who am I?  Interesting question.  The answer changes with time, although I am still, just Deb.  At this point I’ll say I am a happy, healthy, vibrant and witty woman.  I run, walk, kayak and bike.  Next week is our first 5K trail run and the week after another 5K with our annual triathlon in August.   I am more confident than I’ve ever been.  An almost 2 year divorcee after a 35 year marriage.  A Mom, Grandma, Daughter and oldest sister to 7.  Most important is that I am a best friend and love to the most amazing man I’ve ever known.

Why am I here?  As a so-so, off and on writer and new lover of photography with no friends (please give me no tips as it is the way I like it) and busy sibs, I need to share with someone.

This is shorter than I wanted but I am 2 days behind. This is yesterday’s assignment and still need to do today’s. I signed up for blogging 101 and am very excited to do the daily assignments.  I will be changing my “about me” soon because I am a different person than I was a year ago.

Why Can’t We Be Friends

Angel Club 1965

Angel Club 1965

Making Friends

I have no problem making friends.  I am warm, witty and humorous. Most people like me.  If you don’t, something is wrong with you and I will continue to be nice to you and win you over.

My Mom, my Dad and my Stepdad are/were nice friendly people and it rubbed off.  All of my siblings have the same personality.

Sounds like I have a lot of friends, doesn’t it?  Nope!  I don’t have them and I don’t want them.  I had friends in high school, had them growing up in the neighborhood.  There were friends in the Army and all throughout my adult life.  I didn’t have best friends who I told everything to.  I was always more comfortable alone.

A long weekend with the girlfriends, a shopping trip with a bunch of women.  No thanks!

My sister recently told me that she always thought there was something strange about me because of my lack of friends.

I found a clue when I read The Birth Order Book.  I am an oldest.  Typical behavior.  Very interesting stuff.  You should read it.

Daily Prompt: Why can’t we be friends?  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/prompt-cant-we-be-friends/

The photo above is of The Angel Club minus our leader, who was older and wiser and made us do whatever she wanted.  These are my childhood friends from the late 50’s, early 60’s and my year younger sister.

 

 

Still In a Funk

 

Still in a Funk

I finished a book a couple days ago and have been in a funk since then.  The book is “All the Dancing Birds”.  It is fiction and the story is about a woman with Alzheimer’s, written from her perspective.  It goes from the beginning of her diagnosis to the end of her life.  I liked the book but every night when I stopped reading, I felt sad, lonely, depressed and scared.  I put myself in her place or thought about My Michaels mother, who just passed away in August.  I watched my Papa die in the 1980’s with this disease.  When I came in to Michael’s life, they had just put his Mom in a nursing home.  That was August of 2011.  I had firsthand experience with her dementia and how it affected the family.  This book was probably more powerful for that reason.  With all that said, my funk isn’t even about Alzheimer’s.  When I get depressed, which isn’t often anymore, all my insecurities come rushing forward.  Some of them I won’t discuss with anyone but my man and I only journaled about them.  Others are okay to list.  I get those stupid, insecure, I’m not good enough/smart enough/young enough/thin enough thoughts.  Really hate those as they bring in other crap.  Then there is the, I don’t have enough money in the bank and should go get a job.  With that comes, I am too old to get a job (except Walmart) and I don’t want a job.  I take on my son’s problems, my ex’s health issues, siblings problems.  I wonder if I was supposed to stay in my marriage and accept the fear, loneliness, pain and stress. Sometimes I just want to talk and I don’t want girlfriends and all that goes with it.   I have sisters to discuss things with but they have busy lives and don’t need to deal with my funk.   So, my journal got most of my feelings this time, you got a very short edition of it and My Michael and I will talk tonight over some wine, a fire and Kleenex.  I am planning on being “all good” tomorrow.  Why did I put this out there?  I think all the stresses I have had in my life, have mostly been kept inside.  I am sure it contributed to my melanoma in ’05 and I am working on letting go.  You get to be my shrink.

A Photo a Day & 53/365 – November 29 2013 – Many Faces of Sweet

I rarely get out and take photos of people.  So, when there is a family function they know I show up and shoot.  Some like, some don’t.  Dad swore at me(I laughed) and some of the kids ran away.  This sweetie is my sisters Granddaughter and loves my camera.  It was a nice Thanksgiving at my sisters home and great to see a few of my sibs and their families.  Hope all of you had a great day!!