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I love all the hearts and flowers, gifts that are predominantly colored red, cards, and chocolate.  Especially the chocolate.  But this year, my special very welcome valentine is my first shot of the two-stage Covid vaccine.  That it comes in February is a sharp reminder that it is a gift not only to me, but also to anyone with whom I may come in contact.

I’m wishing you the same.  Also the hearts and flowers and reminders that you are loved.

Please let us know how you feel about Valentine’s Day – memories it evokes, perhaps.

Just click right here and tell us!

I quit my job last week. I was sitting listening to a coworker’s endless health problems and thought I want to go home. I walked through the gate. Next I was starting my car with a ringing phone. “Where are you Donna?” “Are you okay?”. “Please call me.” Next I was at my phone company changing my phone number. Next I was at UPS mailing my key card. Next home. Not a coastal home that I truly wanted to be but home. My home. I called my boss whom I truly liked and she asked about my belongings. I said toss all of it. Even the plants? She said she would take care of them. Why? Obviously there were reasons. Reasons that I no longer wanted to deal with on a daily basis. Reasons why I no longer wanted to be around certain coworkers with stretched smiles that do not reach the eyes. Please no irresponsible replies. I will be easily replaced. I texted my work friends that I truly love and of course they were shocked but knew why. We will always be friends. Am I on a financial flow? Nope. Do I regret it? Not for a second. I felt I was in a situation that was chipping away at me. I now feel as if I am back in the light and happy. I will find a part time job, finish my book and eventually make it back by the ocean. Free free.

I went to a one room school. Teacher taught all eight grades. On Valentine’s Day she would have us make Valentine’s for our parents — out of page glue, doilies, and construction paper. Great memory. I also like the smell of white page glue!

My friend Liz died last August 3rd. She was 72. Liz and I had met in bush Alaska around 2002. She was from the South and I was from the NW. Neither of us had what you would call conventional lives. I got Liz a job in Hawaii and she fell in love with it and never left, and that is where she was when she died. Unexpectedly. She developed a breathing problem, a friend called an ambulance and she was dead that afternoon. Just like that. I don’t know the details. By the time I found out the trail was cold.

Liz was a test. She had leftover issues from childhood and was passive aggressive. She could not stand a quiet moment and talked non-stop, had the TV on 24/7. She drove people away and had anxiety issues. Half the time she drove me nuts. She was also intelligent, generous to a fault, loving, and led an interesting life. One of the last things we shared was some recipes, which I now treasure.

I can’t believe how much I miss her. I want to call her up and ask her what the heck happened. I can’t believe she is gone. It is still a shock. It all feels so incomplete and I wish I could have talked to her one more time, but all that is normal, I guess.

I don’t need any advice. I just wanted to share how much I miss my friend Liz.

Dear Friends, I have been retired for many years and now live at Shannondell in Audubon, Pa. I am a long time friend of Thelma Reese. I am old and understand the good and bad of this life. Our retirement facility is large and has many wonderful residents. The staff is excellent and try to be upbeat but they are 30 or 40 yrs younger than the residents. We have been through all the problems they will eventually go through. A hard as they try it still gets lonely here and it’s nice to hear from somebody our own age. When I am with a group of friends here, in a few minutes, the lines in our faces disappear and I am sitting with a group of people who I see as young again. The women are pretty and the men handsome and we know life and the same songs every week.

I distribute a happy letter, no bad news, no politics, just nice thoughts. It is free email. When you give your address to me I will send you a copy for you and your friends. It gives my friends HAPPY THOUGHTS. (Leave your email address in the comments and I’ll add you to my list! And don’t worry, I won’t share your email address with anyone.)