Whoops! Where did I go!?

I have been a major blog slacker. Mostly because my writing itch is getting scratched every day by journaling—- believe it or not, I actually DO have SOME private thoughts 😉 I think I am also feeling embarrassed because at the end of June I joined a weight loss group called “Phit n’ Phat” and I feel like every time I start something, everyone collectively groans, “Oh boy….. here we go again!” And I defend myself with… “NO GUYS!! It’s different this time!  It really is!!”  And guess what. It really is. I knew it was different when I went away with the kids and Lonnie to Boston for the weekend and had no trouble sticking to the plan I made because it included everything I wanted!

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My FAVORITE seafood mac n’ cheese from MMMacncheese in Quincy Market

 

 

But enough about that!

I wanna talk about my GO-WITH-THE-FLOW-AMAZING-FAMILY!!

We are not rich or well-off by any stretch of the imagination. And right before this Boston trip, we got wiped out by unexpected car repairs. I talked to the kids about the trip being all about fun and togetherness

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Soju! A popular Korean alcoholic beverage we have been dying to try. Spoiler alert– yikers are we sure it’s not actually battery acid?

and not shopping an eating out, and rather than groaning, I got, “Oooh! Can we just go to Trader Joes and stock up and hang out in the room and by the pool and stuff!?” Hell yeah we can!!

So we get to Boston. (Well… we stay in Burlington– HOT TIP: Burlington hotels are  MUCH, MUCH cheaper and it’s only a 15 minute drive to the Alewife T station and $7 to park for the whole day!) Karen at the front desk of the Hilton Garden Inn says, “I’m sorry. Priceline sent the reservation through for one king bed and the hotel is completely sold out (thanks a lot Taylor Swift), so I can’t even make a switch.” Great. So we go to the lobby to figure it out. Lonnie and I talk about seeing if we can get a room (that we can NOT afford) for the kid in a nearby hotel, as I overhear the kids talking and Sean is saying he could sleep in a chair or on the floor and Jessi could sleep across the bottom of the bed. Suddenly, Karen (aka my Hilton Hero) came over and pulls me aside to whisper that she made have found a solution, someone had checked out early and they had a 2 Queen room– but it wasn’t a done deal because she didn’t know if housekeeping would be able to turn over the room because it was so late, but she would do whatever she could to make it happen.  And as the kids say…  “Yo Yo Yo….Karen CAME THRUUUUUUUUUUUU”  The only hitch was that we needed to disappear for a few hours to give everyone time to clean the room and make the changes…NO PROBLEM!  I took this pic as we headed back to the car to kill time feeling all mushy and completely in love with my awesome bunch of drama-free travelers. 20180728_2001303055483676479125732.jpg

We had an AWESOME, CHEAP(ish– let’s be real) weekend!  We even indulged Sean in his “dream” to go to a Tesla showroom and into all the fancy stores like Gucci and Louis Vuitton (He listens to waaaayyy too much rap music). The Tesla showroom in Boston actually turned out to be a fun highlight of the weekend.  While Boston trips can EASILY break the bank, because of all the tourist attractions, cheap eats, people watching, and shops to browse, it can actually be a  bargain!

The visit

It’s about to get weird up in here.

Thursday night my father visited me in a dream. Oddly enough, I have been waiting for this to happen since he died, and have been slightly (irrationally) annoyed that he hadn’t done it yet like my grandfather did the night he died (You can read about that here).

As we know, there were some “issues” between us when my dad died that caused me to sadness, anger, and confusion because our relationship had actually been great the past few years. I even answered the phone when he called every week or so and didn’t let it go to voicemail and then Facebook message him later on as I have been known to do…..

His refusal to let me visit when he was dying has run through my mind on a fairly regular basis. However, only over the past several weeks have I been able to lose the anger, and even the sadness, about it and realize those couple weeks are irrelevant to the past several YEARS.

Thursday night we stood talking in front of a fireplace (in a house/apt I’ve never been in or seen before) and he said something (I can’t remember what), causing me to say, “Dad, you know you died months ago, right?” He paused, thinking for a minute, and said, “Well, I guess that makes sense.” Then I told him what happened between us at the end and he genuinely appeared to remember any of it and seemed disappointed in himself, saying something to the effect of, ‘wow… I wonder why I would do that?’

Those last couple weeks, he was confused and disoriented most of the time, often unable to answer simple questions or recognize people he knew. So it would make sense if he didn’t remember events that took place during that period of time.

The rest of our visit was just. so. normal. We chatted like always and he was just my Dad.

The only thing nagging at me is when I said, “So… Do you like this new place?” he said, “Not particularly.” He did move right before he went into the hospital, and he wasn’t happy about it, so I hope that’s where my brain got that footage.

Yes, my brain. Because while I felt the realness of him there and the difference between that experience and my other nightly dreams. I also realize our minds are incredibly powerful and my dream could have been ‘just a dream.’

Frankly, It doesn’t matter which it was.

Leave the light on when I’m gone…

20170718_172717I don’t usually listen to David Cook, but when I do, I have deep thoughts.

Nobody leaves the light on anymore.

Remember the days when you gave someone directions and then said, “I’ll leave the light on for ya!”? I can’t even think of a time that would happen now. Our world has become so weird. People are genuinely put off and annoyed at having to give someone directions. “Don’t you have google maps!?”

We are spending so much time in silence. Having silent, superficial, “conversations.”

I hardly EVER have to speak to my ex because the kids have phones and their communication can be direct (And trust me, this is NOT a complaint, HOWEVER, perhaps were we forced to interact more often, things would be better?). It’s a freaking PROCESS to find out parent’s info when kids go to each other’s houses because there are no house phones anymore! And when there are kids at our house, all of a sudden they are just walking out the door leaving because they have been texting with their parents making plans to go home never said a word to me.

For all the “social” media we are connected to, we are less social than ever. We used to call our moms and dads and talk about how to change a tire, make that recipe from our childhood, unclog a drain. Now we just watch a YouTube video. We used to ask strangers to take our photo on vacation, now we take selfies.

We have forgotten that those interactions had TWO purposes, one was to learn the thing. The other was THE INTERACTION ITSELF!  Say with me kids, Innnnnnnterrrrrrrrraaaaaactioooooooon.

I am completely guilty of this and I need to stop! Sometimes my 21-year-old daughter will ask me something (usually something I unreasonably think she should already know), and with a tone of annoyance, I say, “FREAKING GOOOOOGLE IT!”

I am done with that.

Yesterday, Sean (15) asked me, with actual words out of his mouth, if we could get steaks and teach him to cook them. As I hadn’t written this blog and had my revelation yet, fortunately, a precedent for cooking lessons had already been set as Lonnie has been teaching him “the basics” (omelettes, burgers, etc), and I have been teaching him his favorite recipes (pasta salad, lasagna, sticky spicy chicken), and Lonnie picked up steaks right away and I got a text at work that Sean is now a pro steak maker!  There will be lots more of this. I want him to know that he can ask me something, and our connection is important enough to take the time to teach him, or learn with him!

CALL TO ACTION!

Next time you don’t know how to do something, STEP AWAY FROM THE GOOGLE! Think about someone who you think would know about it, use your words, and ASK THEM!