Hangin’ in Costco’s Egg Aisle

My GP wanted to know why I needed another prescription of Xanax. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer her.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, I walked in from doing my weekly grocery shopping and discovered that it took me an hour and a half longer than it usually did.

 

The Princess had some shopping to do Tuesday, too.

 

Women have told me, “Must be nice shopping for the two of you gals. My husband HATES shopping. Thinks it’s women’s work and all.”

 

Un-huh.

 

“So,” I asked these clueless individuals. “Have you ever gone shopping with a five year old in a toy store?”

 

“No?” I continued. “Well, you really don’t want to if you don’t have to,” I informed them.

 

“The Princess is a grown up version of a 5 year old.”

 

The Princess needed to see my grocery list while we were still in the parking area of Costco, so I gave it to her.

 

Not thinking that I would actually NEED the list while shopping, she left it behind in the car when we went in, and when I asked her for it, she innocently looked at me and mumbled, “Uh, the list is in the car. Maybe I’ll go out and get it, eh?”

 

“Hm,” I answered. “I think that would be a smart thing to do in light of the fact that I know there were at least TEN items on that list, and I can only remember ONE– eggs.”

 

 

“You go to the car and I’ll meet you in the egg aisle,” I continued and off we both went in opposite directions.

 

I quickly got to the egg aisle, picked up the eggs and began to wait, thinking, “Well, maybe she forgot where the car was and she’s out there walking around aimlessly looking for our white Subaru.”

 

(Have I told you, People, that here on the Olympic Peninsula in Western WA everyone and their mother’s uncle owns a white Subaru? Well, they do!)

 

“No,” I told myself, “She couldn’t have gotten lost. We parked too close to the store for her to have gotten lost. She must have lost my list and she’s afraid I’ll get mad, so the poor thing is probably asking the Costco door people if they’ve seen it on the ground.”

 

“Yep,” I assured myself. “That’s what must have happened.”

 

“Let me call her up and see what’s going on.”

 

“Hey, “ I said to her when she answered. “Where the heck are you? I’ve been waiting forever in the egg aisle.”

 

“I’m in the food aisle,” she said. The Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars are on sale and they’re giving samples today. You need to get a sample.”

 

“And oh,” she continued. “You know those wool socks that you and I like for the winter?”

 

“They have them by the towels on the other side of the store, “ she added, before I could answer her question.

 

“So, let me get this straight,” I answered, keenly aware of the fact that I was talking to her in a very public place.

 

“You are in the store right now shopping, and I’ve been hangin’ in the egg aisle for the past 15 minutes waiting for you to come back with my list?”

 

“Well,” she answered having a hard time not laughing out loud at my annoying tone with her.

 

“I looked down the egg aisle and didn’t see you, and then I saw the Haagen-Dazs lady and went there, and I ran into one of my biking buddies and started chatting and then…well,” she continued.

 

“I started wandering around, checking out stuff, and that’s when I saw our wool socks.”

 

“You still want the list?” she asked me when I wheeled my cart out from the egg aisle and saw her in front of the ice cream lady hitting her up for a second sample.

 

“No,” I answered her. “I just sent you out to the car to get it ‘cuz I have nothing else to do but hang in Costco’s egg aisle today.”

 

Lord, please help me keep my sense of humor today, ‘cuz I’m gonna strangle her if I ever get ahold of my grocery list!

 

Life with the Princess is never boring. Have a great day, People, and I’ll catch ya next time looking at life from my shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness

20190601_093841.jpgThere are days I find happiness personally elusive.

There are endless chores and medical appointments and sad news on the telly and from my hometown.

Today my tomato plants were placed into their new garden house and my deck painted red.

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My neighbor stopped by and brought us popcorn from her trip to Colorado.

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“I can’t thank you enough,” she said, “for taking care of my plants while we were away. I know you both like popcorn. I hope you like these.”

Today I am happy.

My tomato plants have a new house and my neighbor stopped by.

My partner is snoring and enjoying her nap.

I picked up a new Mary Oliver book and am excited to begin.

I opened the front cover and suddenly remembered the librarian’s sweet gesture.

She checked out my book, but before handing it back, wistfully touched Ms. Oliver’s photo on the inner sleeve of the cover and then smiled at me.

I took my selection and answered her in kind, “Her books touch my heart and I’m sad that we lost such a lovely human being,” I began.

“I’m grateful, though, for her writing and thank God for her talents.”

“Yes,” she grinned and bid me a good day.

Today was a fine day and one my mom would have loved. She taught me to be grateful and taught me to love life.

Today I am happy and grateful to be alive.

Today is a good day and I hope yours is, too.

Be well, People, and I’ll catch you the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

Education was Important to my Mother

Education was important to my mother.

Keeping her children happy was even more important.

So, when her oldest daughter lost her sense of humor and started freaking out about final exams the week before graduation, Momma Benedetti went to her bag of tricks to ease the tension.

She dressed up in my graduation cap and gown and declared she was a “college gad-gee-ate”.

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When that didn’t so much as get a smile from me, she tried walking into my bedroom with a rose between her teeth and asked me to tango.

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Unfortunately, I was so hung up on doing well on my finals, that neither action made me any less anxious.

Yes, I was her more sensitive child. The one the doctors always referred to as “emotional” and recommended enemas on a regular basis.

You know the kind.

Every family has one.

And lucky me, I was the one.

It wasn’t until the next morning, while I was sitting on the throne, looking down at the painted toenails of our clawfoot bathtub, that I burst out laughing.

Mom had painted all of the nails on the claws with bright red nail polish.

Her oldest daughter needed to laugh, and Mom wasn’t giving up until I did.

She succeeded.

I sat there on the toilet laughing hysterically and shaking my head in awe.

Mom got me on that one.

I was now prepared to kick some serious butt on the last of my final exams and to graduate from community college.

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Thanks, Mom.

It’s because of you that I went on and became a “college gad-gee-ate”.

I miss her every day, but it’s memories like these that keep her close to my heart and very much alive.

Love you, Mom.

Love you to the moon and back.

Continue reading Education was Important to my Mother

One More Christmas Memory

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It’s that time of year, again.

Christmas music is playing non-stop, the stores are jam-packed with holiday shoppers, and kids are busy making their lists to send to Santa praying they’re on the nice list – not the naughty one.

The Princess and I have been busy attending Christmas concerts and enjoying the company of good friends and good food.

The outside lights are up, the tree decorated and my Dicken’s Christmas Village painstakingly set up with careful attention given to the placement of each piece before having snow dumped all over it for that added, cozy Christmas touch.

The holiday season is here in full force. I’m laughing, listening to Christmas carols and starting plans for my Christmas dinner party.

God has been good. We have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, food to eat and the love of family and friends.

So, why do I feel so empty? Why does my heart ache?

The (Dicken’s) Christmas Village that I started years ago was bought with money that my Mom sent me in my early days in CA. Bought with the thought of times past and the innocent memory of childhood trips to our downtown to see lights strung on Xmas trees and store fronts.

As a child, we didn’t have a car, and my Mom hoofed it to work every day and stood on her feet for hours-on-end at a Jewish Bakery in upstate NY; schlepping rye bread and jam-filled jelly doughnuts to an endless stream of customers who waited patiently to purchase fresh baked goods and to chat with the animated Italian who had a smile as bright as a summer day.

She could wait on 2 to 3 customers at a time, give a hug and a cookie to a munchkin and make everyone feel loved and important; all without breaking a sweat.

And home she trudged through snow and ice after a hard day of standing on her feet, only to be greeted by youngsters anxious to go downtown to look at the Christmas lights twinkling in store front windows and draped on snow covered trees.

“Please, Mom,“ I’d beg. “We’ve all eaten dinner and I’ve washed and put away the dishes. Can you please take us downtown? Please, please, please?”

“I’ll help pull the little ones on the sleigh and we won’t ask for anything, Mom.”

“Honest,” I’d plead.

“We won’t ask for anything,” I continued, looking at her with my best puppy dog eyes.

And Mom being Mom, she quickly grabbed something to eat, bundled us all up and off we’d go downtown looking at lights and talking about our school day.

Over the years, I’ve added on to my Dicken’s Village and always smiled with love and fond memories of a time when we were poor with material comforts, but rich with Mom’s love and steadfast support.

This Christmas season my heart aches for a time past when the snow filled our sidewalks and the tree lights sparkled on the snow as our sled quietly slid-on through the new blanket of white stuff.

As an adult, Christmas has always been my favorite time of year, and I’ve always called my Mom to share with her the joys of the season.

I never realized until recently how my Mom mirrored that joy and how much happier I was after sharing my experiences with her.

With Mom’s passing this October, I find my mirror has a crack and my joys are not as colorful, not as merry.

She wouldn’t want me to feel sad and I’m trying hard to stay merry, but there are times a certain song, a certain smell, a certain Christmas scene takes me back to a time when my Mom was my Mom, and I was her little girl.

And my heart aches for one more moment, one more conversation, one more Christmas memory to share with my mom.

“Merry Christmas, Mom. I love you to the moon and back. Always have. Always will.”

I wish for all of you the merriest of Christmas’s and a Happy New Year, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

Thank you for your continued love and support.

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I Love You to the Moon and Back

I’m on a rollercoaster ride and I’m not quite sure when it ends.

Or does it?

I eat. I sleep.

Make chicken soup and play board games.

The recipe for the cookies calls for “shortening.”

I don’t exactly know what “shortening” is.

I’ll call Mom.

She’ll tell me what it is and let me know what I can substitute.

Wait a minute.

We buried Mom last week.

No more asking her for advice. No more hearing her ask, “How are you and the Princess today? Doing anything fun?”

I feel like an untethered ship with no rudder, no oars.

The fall days are as gray and as empty as my heart.

My foundation has a crack and I feel weak and unstable.

I need to keep walking. Baby steps. One at a time.

Need to keep connecting.

And remembering.

Sharing.

And listening to stories of a life loved and well lived.

My Mom was my rock and my rock is no longer.

We buried Mom last week and with her my heart.

Love you, Mom.

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Photo by Tony Detroit, Unsplashed

I’ll be Ready, too…

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Numb.

There is no feeling.

No thoughts.

I’m autistic.

Totally overwhelmed.

I wake up waiting.

Go through the day.

I eat, sleep, take care of my responsibilities.

My heart is in my throat.

I have everything to say, but am wordless.

I laugh.

I cry.

I wash clothes and sweep the floor.

Exercise. Shop. Clean the garage.

I call Mom.

“How are you and the Princess doing?” she asks.

“Good,” I answer.

“How are you, Mom?”

“Lazy,” she answers. “Very lazy.”

“Rest, Mom,” I tell her.

“Save your strength and rest.”

“Yes,” she answers. “Love you, sweetheart. Love you.”

“Love you, too, Mom.”

“Bye.”

Her time in this life is short. She’s ready. Her body is spent. She does everything to keep her mind sharp; does everything to show her children and loved ones that’s she’s still present and still Mom.

But the cancer and leukemia are slowly robbing her of her self-hood; of  her being.

And I am not ready to say good-bye; not ready to fly solo, but solo I must try.

When you’re ready, Mom, I’ll be ready, too.

Promise Mom.

I’ll be ready, too…