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!

Hello!! You’re Married…

People may think that because I am divorced, I have no right to give marriage advice to anyone.  I disagree.  I was married for 34 years before I decided to leave for the last time.  We are both good people.  I was a good wife.  He was not a good husband.  He now agrees with both of those statements.

I was brought up by parents who loved each other and never fought.  I never saw them argue even though I know Mom didn’t always agree with everything Dad did.  I joked with them that not showing their children how to openly disagree was bad when one of us married an arguer.  We laughed about it but I honestly believe that my mother’s compliance was carried on by her daughter.

My ex came from somewhat abusive, and eventually divorced parents.  He had plenty of aggression shown to him as he grew up.  As a parent, I feel sad for him as the child growing up in that situation.  I also have moments I could sit down and cry because of the crap my son had to live with.

I will not go in to the details of why we didn’t make it, but will share some thoughts.

The fact that two completely different human beings, a man and a woman, are about to live together forever, is an interesting yet scary thing.  Think about it, try to prepare.  It is not a fairy tale, it is real life with real life stuff.  There’s bills and babies, illnesses and in-laws, old flames and old age.

If everything was sunshine and lollipops when you were dating/engaged and all of a sudden that person turns in to a monster/bitch when married, not good.  But, if he spoiled you with flowers and now that you are married he can’t afford it, suck it up, be a grown up.  If she wore her makeup every time she was around you and all of a sudden she doesn’t, get over it, she’s a real person not a movie star.  If he is from a family of a few boys and leaves the toilet seat up, Ladies, put it down.  If her “stuff” is all over the bathroom counter, Guys, get used to it.

Most men are not big talkers (except my brother Pat), so ladies, don’t assume that when they are quiet, something is wrong.  Don’t ask with that whiney voice, “what’s going on”.  More than likely they are just in their head.  And guys, women talk, at least look her way once in a while and grunt. Try listening, it may not be as uncomfortable as you think and you might learn something.

Many women I know, think that their men should be able to read their minds and figure out that they need a hug or help with something.  If they don’t get what they want, they can be moody, pissy or bitchy.  This can also be men, and who likes to see a moody, pissy, bitchy guy?  If you need something, ask for it!!  Give them a hug, stop waiting!

Understand that the things you get upset at your spouse for, could be your insecurities and nothing he/she did.  If they are having a conversation with the opposite sex and you get jealous, is it because of something they are doing wrong?  Or, is it an insecurity you have about them leaving or a wound from the past?  If it’s your stuff, talk about it. Don’t blame him/her.

Communication, honesty and truth are things I did not have in my marriage.  I have them now.  It is so refreshing to be able to say to someone, I am sad, I am mad, I am jealous and be able to have an open and loving conversation regarding those feelings.  We discuss everything that is brought up.  I am with a man that I feel safe with and have enough trust in to discuss anything.

Possibly I could have had this with my ex but he was not willing to compromise. Compromise is a no-brainer and you should realize that going into a marriage.

He was right. I was wrong.

I was weak.  He was strong.

Now it’s over. The marriage gone.

Now I am right.  I am strong.

 

This started as a comment on great snaps, goodreads and me regarding a post from today.  It got a little too wordy so I decided to post it on my blog.

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!!

Have You Competed In A 5/10 K?

My first race was a triathlon in 2009 in Waupaca, WI.  I was 54 years old.  My sister Tam had it on her bucket list and sister Dawn found one for us.  We competed 4 sisters strong and did pretty well.  After that, I competed in a few 5/6 K mud races and a lot of 5 K’s in So Cal.  I came in first and second in my age group a few times.

What I would like to know is if you have ever competed in a 5/10 K and where you placed,  front group, middle or last?  If you don’t want to tell me much, that’s cool.  Just where you placed.  Thanks ahead of time.

Here I am waiting to take off in the 5/10 K in Idyllwild in 2010.  My 6 yr old granddaughter also competed in the kids run.

IdyraceCLC

I Am The Oldest!

I am the oldest of 8 and a woman.  Until about 10 years ago, that didn’t mean much.  After reading The Birth Order Book and doing some, sit back and pay attention work, I think it does matter.  I am not as annoyed at “the kids” anymore and don’t try to make them into who I think they should be, at least not as much.  I do find myself trying to fix everyones problems, always have.  I am the one they all call when there is a medical issue, like I am some kind of a doctor.  I am 58 now and with a whole bunch of life experience behind me so I do a lot of self awareness work and also sibling awareness.  I may be the only one of the eight who pays attention to the dynamics of our family. Some might but most don’t care and that’s fine.  It is so interesting at family functions now.  We have 2 babies in the family as my Dad died young and Mom remarried.  They had 2 girls to finish it up.  Everyone is so different even though we were raised by the same people.  I am 15 months older than my sister and we are opposites.  We have always had an “interesting” relationship.  Things are better now that I have become aware.  I try to communicate with her about all this and it’s getting better. Now we are both aware.

My son is an only and that is a whole other blog.  Onlies and oldests are a lot alike.

I can almost tell when someone is an oldest or baby when I have a few conversations with them.  I don’t do it all the time and normally won’t tell them my observation.  Do you observe your family when you all get together?

Picture is from about 1980.  Image