Nobody thinks it will happen to them

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Winter is upon us and, as luck would have it, I was very ill-prepared for the sudden onset of about two feet of snow.  Our friends to the south of us in the Buffalo area got it much worse than we did and I hope everyone is safe and warm preparing for the clean up after that terrible lake-effect snow that was dumped on your world.

The flurry of flurries made me realize how far behind I am with following my prep list for the “festive” season.  My summer tires are currently doing a remarkable job getting me to and from work and my golf clubs are still using the valuable space in my trunk that should now be reserved for my winter safety kit.

Those kits are rarely seen in vehicles but, if you were one of the people trapped on the Interstate during the storm that pounded Buffalo, are a very welcome use of space when you are stranded in bad weather.

Having a safety kit in your car is such a simple way to help prevent what could be a terrifying experience.  It is so easy to collect the necessities and have it in your trunk, just in case.  Good things to keep on hand are:  candles and a metal container to hold them, matches or lighter, snack food like nuts, trail mix or energy bars, a blanket, a change of clothes and footwear, flares, a flashlight, a whistle, kitty litter or a bag of sand (I keep strips of carpet to put under my tires – they are awesome!) and bottled water (using plastic bottles that do not crack).

safety kit

These items should be there as well as your usual items like jumper cables, spare tire, windshield washer fluid and small shovel.

Please be safe this winter.  It only takes a trip to the Dollar Store and a few minutes of your time, but it could save a life, maybe even yours!

 

How a funeral home typo helped us get through our grieving

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Dark red carpet and stained wood encased the visitation rooms in the funeral home.  The atmosphere was quiet, somber.  The air had an icy quality to it.  But beneath that chilled facade was a team of people full of emotion and empathy – a staff that was ready and willing to guide us through a tumultuous but necessary experience and to find the right way to help us get through a difficult time.

Butterflyinthesky1

There is no one way to grieve.  Each person will find their own way to overcome the loss of a loved one and each experience will be different based on the circumstance of loss.  When my brother and I lost our mother in March, we had been mentally preparing ourselves for the day that we would have to face the news that our mom was no longer going to be a part of our daily lives.  The phone call with the news was a still a shock, but we were grateful she went peacefully and no longer had to suffer the effects of her illness.  What we had not prepared ourselves for was the way that we would be able to celebrate her only 36 hours after we were told she was gone.

We received the news on a Friday morning.  The rest of that day was a blur.  Phone call after phone call was made to tell family and friends that she was gone and then Saturday morning was upon us.  My brother and I made our way to the funeral home to make the necessary arrangements and have the notice printed for the paper.  Upon proof-reading the notice, I realized that the funeral director had mistakenly typed my mom’s name as “June” and not “Jane”.  It was a simple fix and seemingly a forgotten mistake……until we went to my Uncle’s cottage for dinner that night.

There were six of us.  My brother and I, my mom’s two siblings and their spouses.  When I regaled my aunts and uncles with the story of the misprint it was, not offensive but, really amusing.  We raised our glasses and had a toast to “June”.  Thankfully we all knew my mother would have seen the humor in the mistake and toasted right along with us.  For the rest of the memory-filled evening, through tears and laughter, we continued to raise our glasses and make the heart-felt toasts to “June”.   If I listened really hard I could hear my mom laughing along with us.

We had mom’s celebration of life two months later.  I had gone into the funeral home to have the notice done for the paper and the same funeral director asked if I wanted it to say “June” or “Jane”.   We both had a good laugh and I felt comfortable telling him how his simply typo had made our evening so much better than the sorrow-filled night it could have been.  During the course of the evening, we changed my mom’s siblings names as well.  (Eight months later I still refer to my Aunt Carol as “Cheryl” and my Uncle Peter as “Proctor”)

The simple change of one vowel that day gave us permission to laugh that night.  It allowed us to hold the grief close to our heart but let our minds remember all the good in the world when my mom was still in it.

 

 

 

 

If I had a million dollars….

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For those of you familiar with the song of the same name by The Barenaked Ladies (yes, a Canadian Band), you’ve undoubtedly heard what those crazy Scarborough guys would do if they were blessed with that amount of money.  This song was obviously written in their early days before they earned well over that amount.

one million dollars

(image credit: quickmeme.com)

The song always makes me think about what I would do with a million dollars (buy a Morgan, write my book).  I have seen several stories, one just as recently as tonight, about people who win large sums of cash and continue to work at the job they have been doing for years.  On one hand, it makes me happy that money will not change the winner of the money and they will remain at their job.  On the other hand, if the winner is able to invest their money wisely, I always think there is someone out there that could truly benefit from having a chance to do that job so they can pay their bills and provide for their family.

I have always been on the fence about this situation and wanted to put the question out there.  What would you do?  Would you quit your job or continue to work?

Sunny day, sweepin’ the clouds away?

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pot of gold

I’m sorry if the theme song from Sesame Street is stuck in your head, but I couldn’t help but sing it when I saw this landscape greeting me on my way to work this morning.  But Nature is a fickle thing….five minutes after I passed under this skyline the black clouds fought back and the snow flakes liberally spilled onto the ground.  Welcome to November!

My “get-up-and-go” got up and went

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The subject line of this post was always one of my favorites of my mom’s strange sayings.  Whenever she was feeling under the weather or she was just exhausted she would pull out this beauty so we knew her true state of mind.

Yesterday and today I really empathized with this statement and its underlying feeling.  I feel like I have lost my mojo.  I’m sure it is nothing more than a case of the November blahs but getting out of bed the last two mornings has been a struggle.  The bleak grey landscape and bare branches hold no promise of those sunny, warm days that are a thing of the past.  I may regret typing this next string of words but I really can’t wait for the ground to be blanketed with snow.  That is a bold statement taunting the God of weather since this was the view from my living room last winter!

trapped

At least that fresh fallen snow is beautiful to look at and, if nothing else, it makes my dog extremely happy which, in turn, makes me happy.

In the interim, if anyone has seen my “get-up-and-go” could you please send it home to me?  It’s time to kick November’s arse and I could use the back-up!

I’m dancing like nobody is watching (and ignoring the looks of disapproval)

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I started my blogging journey in August of 2012.  I had no real direction, I had no real premise for the project I was about to launch and I had NO idea what large, creaking door had just opened into my imagination.

Since that first string of awkward words I have found a rhythm.  I have found a group of friends with like minds who share the same disease linked to sleep deprivation that I have come to love and understand.  I have found a community of people who love writing, who feed on words and language and who encourage me to feed that literary wolf who hides in sheep’s clothing.  I have found my home away from home.

Today marks another milestone in my blogging journey.   Today my number of followers increased to:

2000

That is such a big deal for me and I just want to thank each and every one of your for your support and encouragement!  I guess it’s time to get writing that next blog post.

(image credit)

The world needs more Audreys

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I am feeling very reflective today, about life and the way people treat each other and this quote seems to sum up my mood completely.

audrey

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his / her hands through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed, never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

(image credit: huffingtonpost.com)