A Walk in the Rain and a Whiplash!

It started raining in Northern California.

Yay!

And like the US postal people, I will not let snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, interfere with my morning constitutional through the neighborhood.

It’s good for my heart, my Buddha belly, and it “clears the ole cob-webs” out of that petrified gray matter of mine.

My infamous blue rubber rain suit and barn boots (of last season), have been temporarily placed on moth balls, and as much as I swore I’d never do this – my belly, booty, and bazoombas are now sporting Spandex these days.

Yes, I know, People.

I swore that I’d never wear a pair of Spandex to emphasize my jiggly gluts, knicker bonkers and tumultuous tuckus, but I found an XL outfit (in black, of course), that’s actually quite comfortable, and a tad nicer than that ole blue, rubber rain suit.

What can I say?

I also vowed that I would never be caught dead in a pair of Orthotics or rubber Crocs; but alas, old age and prudence has forced me to rethink my pigheaded stance of my youthful naivety.

Oh well.

Got a funny idea, I won’t be the first one to meet my Fairy Godfather in assorted-colored rubber slippers or old lady shoes with special insoles.

Nor will I be the last.

I’m not exactly what you’d call a fashionista (lest my blue rubber rain suit made you believe otherwise), but I have always had a keen sense of matching my sneakers and sport socks to whatever I’m sportin’; and I decided that my white, orthotic Dr. Scholl’s weren’t exactly “the look” that I wanted to project to my adoring public.

So, with that in mind, I purchased a new black pair of Dr. Scholl’s, and a matching, DrizzleStix Flex 54” Golf Umbrella, with spring action canopy, for when the rainy season began.

“I’d be damned if I’m looking goofy on my walks, this rainy season.”

“No siree, Bob!”

Well, the rainy season began last week.

(Or at least we hope it did!)

And I got a chance to fashion this new outfit of mine, to all the neighbors (umbrella and all) – on my inaugural rain walk of the season.

Yep.

Everything was going swimmingly, don’t ya know?

The Mario Andretti’s and Janet Guthrie’s of the neighborhood were mindful not to shower me with the mucky rain water from the newly formed puddles, that had pooled on the side of the streets, as they grinded down into 2nd gear to pass me.

And a few of the drivers were actually hesitating at the stop signs that morning.

Yep.

Miss Buddha Belly and I were actually working up a good sweat and gaily humming along, and I was thinking that maybe with all the rain we were getting, that this idea of using reclaimed sewage water (that certain county officials were suggesting for our drinking water), could be shelved for future draught solutions, and we could move past this distasteful idea.

Uh-Hun.

I’m happily humming and singing off key and just having a grand ole morning, walking and reveling in Ca’s first, sweet, purifying, renewing rain of the season.

Yep.

Suddenly, one of the prickly spinose teeth, on the neighbor’s tall rose bushes, precariously reaches out, bites into the canopy of said nifty, new umbrella; stops me dead in my tracks, and catapults my head backwards; like the rubber band of some anthropomorphic bean shooter.

Still humming and naively thinking that this was no big deal, I quickly raised the hood of my spiffy, new Spandex jacket over my head, for protection from the now steady rainfall; and then attempted to carefully assess the situation, so I could return to my morning walk.

Yeah.

When is anything ever simple for me?

I patiently tried to unhook the umbrella from this bush’s death-grip, and began getting wetter and wetter with each passing minute; when I aptly concluded, that this plan of action was going nowhere fast.

If I didn’t want to be soaked to the bones very shortly, I’d better head-back home, put on some dry clothes, get a pair of pruning scissors; drive back to the neighbors and try to salvage what was left of my nifty, new umbrella.

Uh-Hun.

Well, the winds picked up while I was trying to implement plan # 2.

Let’s just say, I need a new umbrella, and, like Dopey’s best friend of Disney’s “The Seven Dwarfs”, find myself sneezing at the most inopportune times.

Have a grand day, today, People, and remember:

Some days you just need to let it rain and get a little wet…

It’s good for the soul.

I’ll catch you next adventure, looking at life from my shoes!

 

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Lucie and the Princess are Sitting Ducks!

October 24th was a beautiful autumn day in Northern Ca. – perfect day for bike riding and bird watching at the Alviso Marina Slough.

A delightful day for opening duck season, too.

Did you know that local duck hunters love the Slough?

Yep.

The Princess and I recently learned this little fact.

While the Phil and Willie look-alikes, of the infamous A&E reality show, “Duck Dynasty”, were at the Slough vigilantly scouting for Mallards, the Princess and I were gaily riding bikes and observing sandpipers.

So, as Phil and Willie inconspicuously floated by us in their Hawaiian-skirted, camouflaged boat, the Princess and I gleefully (and naively) scouted for egrets, herons and various other shorebirds, in the surrounding wetlands and salt ponds; while casually peddling our bikes.

Everything was going along just ducky.

We then unexpectedly heard the “pop pop” of a 12 gauge shot gun ring out from the left side of us, and saw the Red-Head camo caps of the infamous Phil and Willie two-some, come popping out of their Hawaiian-skirted, floating duck blind; like two camouflaged jack-in-the-box clowns.

As their gun muzzles suddenly materialized from their Hawaiian-skirted floating duck blind, we immediately saw Donald, Daisy and the gang, fanatically scatter throughout the slough.

Aware of the fact that they overshot their prey, and evidently observant of the two fat, old, women bikers staring at them with mouths agape; Phil and Willie quickly sank behind the auspices of their duck blind, like the furry, buck-toothed little moles of the 70’s arcade game, Wack-A Mole.

About the same time that we saw our daffy duck hunters disappear into the confine of their camouflaged boat, I began to develop dancing, whirling butterflies in the pit of my stomach.

It then suddenly dawned on me – these Hawaiian-skirted boats that were around us, were actually duck blinds!

And the Princess and I, with our brown and blue-visored bike helmets, were two, over-sized female Mallards, soon-to-be (unwittingly), the main ingredients of Willie and Phil’s delectable duck soup!

Cazzo!

Suddenly, the Princess and I felt like two of the chain driven targets of Disneyland’s original shooting gallery, and auspiciously determined that we needed to high-tail it to safer ground.

We skedaddled to safety and decided to take a breather at one of the Slough’s man-made lookouts; when we heard a group of four, seasoned walkers, casually come shuffling in from behind us.

At this point, the Princess felt like she was headed for a permanent dirt nap and was attempting to control her shaking, wobbly knees and calm her frayed nerves, so I congenially greeted our unwitting guests and nervously asked,

“So, did you guys hear the gun shots while you were walking today?”

“Yes,” the one woman kindly and promptly responded.

“We did.”

“Kind of disarming to hear the sound of gun shots so close to you while you’re out in nature, isn’t it?” she benevolently queried, while looking over at the Princess and giving her an encouraging smile.

“Yeah,” I nervously giggled.

“Seeing the muzzles of their gun barrels aimed in our direction, kinda made us question if we were soon to be wearing toe tags?” I jokingly added.

“I can imagine,” she amenably answered, while nodding her head.

Finding our interchange amusing, but highly improbable, one of their male companions calmly interjected, “We saw the duck blind, as we were walking. I’m guessing they were using 12 gauge shot guns; and with that caliber of gun, you wouldn’t be able to shoot the distance to where the trail is.”

“I can assure you,” he competently continued, “there’s nothing to worry about, but I can understand how you’d be alarmed.”

Before I could even attempt a response to his pithy comment, the other female companion (whom we assumed was his wife), smiled and tauntingly replied,

“Geeze, Harold, ya think?!”

At this point, the Princess had successfully gained control over her wobbly knees, and was s l o w l y unthawing from her catatonic state; when she started one of her asthmatic, snort-laughs.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Princess’s snaughling – it’s a condition that arises when she laughs so hard that she snorts, and emits a cacophony of sounds that is not for the faint of heart or what you’d call, “newly acquired acquaintanceships”.

Trying to salvage any decorum of dignity, that we might have had left, I awkwardly looked at the foursome, flashed them a toothy, nervous grin, and congenially nodded my head back and forth; while conciliatorily shrugging my shoulders, as if to say, “She’s new to me, too. Just met her myself today on the trail.”

Go out and celebrate life today, People!

And remember: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s learning to dance in the rain.” Unknown author

Catch ya next adventure, looking at life from my shoes.

Little Lucie Fails Catechism Class!

As a dedicated, former Roman Catholic, who “paid, prayed and obeyed” with the best of them, my childhood was a mixed bag of catechism lessons, church school, Saturday confessions, Sunday mass, “sinful thoughts” and a whole lot of undeserved childhood guilt…that eventually led to  narcissistic adolescent guilt…which ultimately resulted in a buttload of unwarranted adult guilt…and…well…you get the picture.

Years ago, I came to the inauspicious conclusion that psychotherapy sessions were designed for two categories of Catholics–guilt-ridden ex-Catholics, who needed to purge their souls of eternal guilt and perpetual sin; and current, practicing Catholics, who needed validation and permission to love their Buddhist, gay neighbors and celebrate “diversity” in the truest sense of its definition.

Being an Ex-Catholic, myself,  I spent an inordinate amount of time, energy and MONEY, lying spread-eagled on a couch; revealing my inner most secrets  to a number of  overworked (underpaid), exceptionally tolerant therapists, trying to find the “exact combination” to crack open the safe to my captivating (highly amusing) psyche.

I wasn’t an easy patient, to say the least.

But I think all of my many (and solicitous) therapists would agree-I was a “worthwhile wacko” and at times, even an entertaining one.

Me, entertaining.

Go figure.

It’s unorthodox how constant guilt, occasional sin, and never-ending childhood dysfunction are innate pre-requisites for highly talented, quick-witted, perceptive humorists, isn’t it?

“OK, so I’m not too talented, quick-witted and perceptive. Ya gotta admit, though, I get a chuckle or two out of you, once in a while, eh?”

It’s almost like God/our Higher Power (in his, her, or its) benevolent wisdom, is out there and carefully selects those of us that “he” believes is best suited for having a formidable, difficult life and says, “Yep, I’m gonna let this precious munchkin get his/her butt kicked and then dropkick him/her again as an adolescent and adult. If he/she successfully rises to the challenge enough times, I will bless him/her with the ability to make people laugh, and encourage all who benefit from his/her silliness, to go out into the world and pay it forward.”

Why else would I be here, writing this-with you reading this?

It was preordained.

I was supposed to bring some kind of happiness to your life today.

It’s the only logical, reasonable explanation.

That’s why he had me, 7 year-old Lucie Benedetti, enrolled in Reverend Mother Bonaventure’s catechism class at St Francis of Assisi in upstate New York in the 1960’s.

It was my job to pepper the stoic (over-the-hill) Mother B. with inane and stimulating questions every week-a job that I took seriously; and diligently and enthusiastically did everything in my power to excel at it.

It was, after all, my sole mission in life to get that “metallic red star” pasted into my First Communion Catechism book.

Praise didn’t come often or easily with Mother B., so receiving one of her “red stars” was an honor that was dear and highly desired by those of us, who were under the age of reason and highly impressionable.

I recall one such lesson, I really wanted acknowledgement from this constipated, humor-less nun, and she just wasn’t “giving out” that morning.

She was in her routine aisle march, vigilantly strolling up and down the aisles, methodically slapping that damn, thick wooden ruler in to the palm of her right hand; trying to “snag” an unsuspecting student “snoozing” during the lesson, so she could callously smack the ruler down on the front of his desk to maliciously scare the beejesus out of him; when she suddenly started an animated discussion about the blessed Virgin Mary.

Never quite understanding this “virgin” concept, I innocently inquired about “the blessed Virginia Mary”.

Not missing a beat with her systematic “ruler slapping”, or habitual “aisle march”, she actively continued strolling for snoozers and impassively remarked, “No Lucie, it’s blessed Virgin Mary, not blessed Virginia Mary.”

Yeah, well, being a know-it-all 7-year-old, and really wanting that damn star, I initiated a discussion with the Reverend Mother that I’m sure nuns aren’t really prepped for, at the nunnery, before taking their sacred vows.

In all innocence and ignorance, I shot back at her, “Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but we don’t have any Virgins in our family.”

“Don’t have any Virgins as friends, either,” I innocently continued.

“We’ve got an Aunt Virginia on my Dad’s side, but I don’t think we’ve got any Virgins in Italy, either. Sounds like a stupid name to me,” I naively remarked, as Mother B. abruptly stopped her “aisle march”, s l o w l y turned  around and proceeded to quickly goose step down the classroom aisle to where I was seated.

Yep.

Uh-Hun.

Let’s just say, I didn’t get any “red stars” that day and found myself nervously squirming in my seat, innocently looking up at the towering, formidable Reverend Mother Bonaventure, as she irritably glared down at me, over the rims of her Ben Franklin spectacles; while methodically slapping that damn, thick, wooden ruler of hers on her sweaty, right palm, and callously eye-balled me into a guilty submission.

Oh well.

“Sometimes kids say the darndest things!”

Go out and make someone laugh today, People, and remember: make sure to cherish your childlike qualities, and I’ll catch ya next adventure-looking at life from my shoes!