Posts Tagged ‘Grandchildren’

Empty Nest x 2

I was a young wife, 16 to be exact. I married a young Navy Sailor and 4-months after our wedding we packed up and moved from suburban Philadelphia to Zion, Illinois so my husband could attend the North Chicago Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

Zion Illinois Map

 

What an adventure it was. I had done a lot of traveling by air because my father worked for the airlines but I had never been on such a long road trip. Who knew Pennsylvania was SO big? We drove through the state of Ohio during a blizzard and a wind storm all through Indiana.

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Festival of Lights…

Welcome to Friday Fragments. If you haven’t fragged before, Friday Fragments is the place to share those thoughts, quips, and tidbits that happened in your week but don’t quite make a whole post, e.g. fragments.

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Happy Hour, Hayrides and lots of words…

Traci has taken the reins at Friday Fragments!

Welcome to Friday Fragments. If you haven’t fragged before, Friday Fragments is a place to share bits and pieces of your week, those thoughts, quips, and tidbits that don’t quite make a whole post, e.g. fragments or frags. I host every Friday and would love for you to join in. Please link up and visit other Fraggers.

http://www.astarinmyownuniverse.com

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The Forgotten Women…

 

Forgotten Women

I am thinking today of some forgotten women. My ‘day’ job is the reason I am thinking of them. These women were at one time loved and cherished wives, daughters, sisters and friends to someone. Many of them were responsible for blazing the path for all of us by becoming the first female doctors, lawyers and business owners. I am thinking today of the forgotten women that once lived glorious happy hour, dinner party lives and were the leaders of the wood- paneled station wagon brigade and served as the heart and soul of their families.

station wagon wood panel

I think of a woman that lives in a ‘too do’ retirement community. For 30 years she was the mistress of a ‘big time’ political figure. She was also a successful doctor. Today she huddles in fear of the outside world and lives with the mission of accumulating enough food for Armageddon. Her condo walls are lined from floor to ceiling with cases of canned sardines, peas and store brand sodas.

I think of a woman, who for years took care of her terminally ill sister and then her aging parents, never once complaining. She never had a social life or any kind of life that was her own. She now lives in fear, alone in a big house with dementia and a senile old dog. She is scared of death, strokes, fires and burglars.

I am thinking of a one-hundred and one year-old socialite who believes and will debate you to exhaustion on the subject that America went to hell in a hand basket the minute we sent girls to college.

I think of a ninety-seven year old, southern belle who was the proud ‘woman’ that stood by her famous man, raised two very successful and well grounded children and she still lives on her own within a retirement community. She kicks my butt power walking every time.

I think of a woman who worked through the war and then supported her husband through business school. That man went on to become a successful retailer. He worked so hard to give his wife and children the world that he ended up in an early grave. This woman now lives in one of the worst ‘facilities’ I have ever seen. Not the least expensive by far just the worst.

I think of another woman with a drop-dead gorgeous home, glorious gardens and a closet full of designer clothing. For her career she chose to be a professional volunteer. Whatever the latest cause, she could be counted on. Now she cannot remember her name. Her husband, with his own issues, screams at her and pushes her because she cannot remember how to run the washing machine or to shut the refrigerator door. She cowers in fear. I suspect he has always been abusive.

4016095-elderly-woman-with-worry-in-her-eyes-and-demeanor

I think of a mother with dementia living in a nursing home. She whines for months to her daughter. “I just don’t understand why they always hit me.” The daughter questions the staff and she is told it is the dementia. The daughter finally purchases a nanny cam and is completely wracked with guilt when the images clearly show the aides had been hitting, actually torturing her mother because her nightmares disturb their smoking breaks.

In facilities all over America, there are amazing mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers. They have been placed in these facilities by well meaning and loving family members. In the beginning, the family visits often. Then life gets in the way. The new normal sets in and the visits become more and more infrequent. When they visit again and find their Mom rocking in the corner and peeing in her shoes, they call me, or someone like me to ‘spend time’ with their loved one.

eye-crying

This ‘day’ job breaks my heart every day. It is also such a blessing. Whatever or wherever these women came from one thing is for certain, they all have their own stories to tell. Stories of scarlet fever outbreaks, slavery, world fairs, their first ride in an automobile, the first time they used a telephone or watched television. They speak with wonder of the installation of plumbing and electric in their homes. They talk of the endless summer hours they spent as little girls wandering around fields or lying in the grass daydreaming of handsome husbands, adorable children and fancy parties in their futures.

My ‘girlfriends’ may not remember my name or their own name for that matter but they do remember where they came from and they miss their families. They live to tell stories of their grandchildren’s talents and accomplishments. My heart hurts for them because their grown grandchildren never visit.

I will never forget these special women, with whom I have shared my deepest secrets and in return, they have shared their rich histories with me. A special place has been born in my heart for these forgotten ladies of yesterday who have taught me so very much about myself, life, compassion and redemption.

Have you forgotten anyone?

 

 

And the lie was…

Yesterday I played along with a group of other bloggers in a game of 5 truths and a lie.

Today is the day to fess up and reveal the lie.

I cannot wait to see if I guessed any of the other bloggers lies correctly.

1. My husband and I were married and had our reception at the Jersey Shore, illegally. We did not have a marriage license. The last day it was possible to pick up our license I was stuck in the worst traffic in Philadelphia and then a guy ran into the back of my car. I didn’t make it to the clerks office in time.

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503

We went ahead with the fake wedding and made it official eight-days later with some very special witnesses. These little munchkin’s kept our secret, until now.

Second wedding with the baby parade

2. I had my first child when I was seventeen. This is true. I got married when I was sixteen because my older boyfriend was going in the service and I wanted to go with him. Exactly nine-months after our wedding my daughter was born.  I loved being a mom then and I still do. Being a grandmother is amazing.

 

3. One of my best friends is one of the Jersey Housewives.

 

Jersey Houswives 2

 

A few of you guessed correctly. This one is the lie. I did meet one of the Jersey housewives, we exchanged books and follow each other on social media. She is not one of my best friends, yet:) 

4. I have thirteen grandchildren. Oh yes I do! I have been over-blessed and still have a son that isn’t married yet and another son that wants more. Their ages range from 19-4. My oldest daughter, the one I had at seventeen, made me a grandmother when she was twenty-one and I was thirty-eight. When Allyson was three-years-old my younger brother was murdered. A few months later two of my daughters and my daughter-in-law were expecting. Sitting on the porch with Allyson I asked her how I got  so lucky to be having three new grandbabies at once. She smiled and told me Uncle David was going to keep sending me babies from Heaven until I wasn’t sad anymore.  Oh how I love that girl and she was right. Our family had a population explosion and it only recently slowed down.

 

5. I ride a Harley.

48249_4432869015482_120507747_oDaytona Biker Girl

I do. I prefer to just ride with my husband because Philly isn’t motorcycle friendly.  Florida is more my speed because I am not a fan of being cold. I am thinking about getting a cute trike to ride around on when we are in Florida.

 

6. My husband brought home a homeless woman one night and she lived with us for nearly three years. This is true. Sophie was eighty-years-old and homeless. I tell her story in my next book The Stranger in My Recliner. It will be out next year.

Now you know more about me than you did yesterday. What surprised you the most?

 

 

A Perfect Dacation, Birthdays and Revenge…

 

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments here:

Half-Past Kissin’ Time

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My granddaughter Allyson turned 19 on Monday. We celebrated with her on Saturday. She has not stopped amazing me since the day she was born. I am so proud of her for so many reasons but especially because she is such a good big sister.

Allysons Birthday 19

John and I took a motorcycle ride down the shore last Sunday. As soon as we got there it started to rain. We ordered cheese steaks and watched the Eagles game. As soon as the Eagles won, the sun came out. We took a long walk on the beach, visited the spot where we ended up on our first date and then married. For the last day of the summer it was surprisingly deserted.

Beach Goodbye Summer 3

After our walk we went to the boardwalk for the famous Manco’s Pizza. In the parking lot, I was going through my purse looking for quarters to put into the parking meter. A couple walked up to our meter and inserted seven quarters and refused to take our dollar bills. It is amazing how a small act of kindness like that really does make you want to pay it forward.

Manco and Manco

It was a perfect daycation.

Two weeks ago a guy ambushed two Pennsylvania State Troopers. One died and one was critically wounded. The guy has been hiding in the woods in the Pocono Mountains for fifteen-days now. There are over one-thousand cops looking for him. Yesterday they spotted him but he disappeared into the rough terrain again. It’s been interesting following the tweets of the reporters who no doubt are bored out of their minds waiting by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. These tweets happened yesterday:

State Police will not speculate why Frein is wearing diapers except that they are sometimes used by snipers to stay in place

Thanks to Twitter, I just learned survivalists depend on #diapers and #Serbiancigarettes. Bizarre. #Frein

There were many more diaper and cigarette tweets but you get the idea.

I hope they find him soon and no one else is hurt. Life is really disrupted for everyone that lives in that mountain community. I cannot imagine the fear they must have especially the police officers families.

Today I am going to an alumni lunch at Temple University. Brian Williams is the keynote speaker. Tonight I have an event at our local mall and Saturday morning we have our first in a series of Press Club Workshops. It seems like we have been planning them forever, I’m excited and very nervous. Saturday night is date night and Sunday a Fairy Tale in the Hamptons Party celebrating the return of Once Upon a Time and Revenge. I have never seen either show. I want to watch them both, I need to see at least one episode so I can figure out what to wear so I can try to win a prize.

Have a blessed last week of September, oh my!

Doreen

 

Nightmares and Department Stores…

 

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments here:

Half-Past Kissin’ Time

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I am feeling so fragmented today. It was my first full week back to work ( I worked on Labor Day ) after an awesome vacation. As hard as I tried to be organized, by Wednesday it all fell apart and here I am on Friday scrambling to check all the boxes so I can relax and start my weekend.

Are you a Garth Brooks fan? I am so excited about his comeback tour. I was one of those people that slept on a sidewalk in Philadelphia all those years ago to get [good] tickets to see him. I was confused at first by the new digital format but this video sort of helped with that. I think it might be awesome. I wonder if Trisha will be offering her music on the space too.

http://youtu.be/ZvXjka4Zjc8

Garth and Trisha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few of my grandchildren started school on Wednesday, two others will start on Monday and Adrianna will start kindergarten next Tuesday. Is it me or do our schools in the Philadelphia area start late? I do love that the kids don’t go back until after Labor Day.

My teaching schedule starts with the first of the Press Club workshop series, a social media class on September 27th.  The committee and I have been working on these for months and they are really coming together.

My author schedule starts on September 19th with an author panel and book signing at The Boscov’s Department Store at Granite Run Mall. I am looking forward to spending time with the other awesome authors.

Boscov's

When we got back from our Florida trip last week (with 5 grandkids) I had the same nightmare for three nights in a row. I dreamed my eight-year-old granddaughter, Avery was drowning. It was terrifying. I was afraid to look up the meaning of the dream. Apparently when you dream a child is drowning it means you are feeling the end of a deep emotional connection. That made perfect sense because she was the youngest on the trip and we were worried about her getting homesick and being left out by the older kids. Neither happened thank goodness but I did feel very connected to her and all of the kids. Do you believe in dream interpretation?

FLORIDA avery in the hot tub

There is more sad news from Hollywood. I always found Joan Rivers hysterical. That said, more recently on her show Fashion Police, even I thought she could be a bit harsh. No matter what you thought of her she was the first women to have a nighttime show of her own and she paved the way for many female comediennes. My favorite thing about her was her refusal at all costs to be politically correct which made her, in my eyes and in spite of her exterior a very ‘real’ person inside.

Joan Rivers

The real news has been brutally sad too. I am usually pretty immune to it but these be-headings of journalists are so heartbreaking. I cannot stop thinking of their family and friends and the grief they are feeling.

Just thinking about this next election season is making me nauseous.

Have you had anything pumpkin flavored yet?

Have a blessed weekend,

Doreen

 

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Recent Posts:

Writing Wednesday- PR advice:

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An excerpt from The Stranger in My Recliner [2015]:

http://doreenmcgettigan.com/?p=5268

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for Teaching and still Beaching…

 

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments here:

Half-Past Kissin’ Time

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My husband told me yesterday to stop thinking about summer being over and to concentrate on enjoying each day of September. He is so right. The days are still sunny and warm, without being oppressive and the nights are comfortably cool. Then he asked me to go on a couple of beach dates. Just another of the million reasons I love that man.

Florida Does Beach Feet

I have some exciting things to look forward to this fall. Not only will I be teaching again but I have been working with a committee since last spring to put together a workshop series sponsored by the Press Club of Pa. They will be held the fourth Saturday of every month (except December.) They will be on social media, branding, style (for men and women), networking, understanding the news, how to get attention from the media for your product, business, store, event, non-profit, blog or book, writing and publishing, pitching your business and more. We have been so lucky to have top experts in these fields offer to join us. We even have a few celebrity guests. I will be writing more about these classes next week!

http://www.thepressclubpa.org

Our Florida adventure has come and gone but I have no doubt we all created memories that will last forever. My husband and I took five of our grandchildren to Daytona Beach to visit my mother and John’s sister. We were worried that at least the driving part would be a nightmare but I have to tell you the kids were so good and we had SO much fun. Kudos to John for renting the top of the line Town & Country minivan equipped with DVD players and satellite radio and kudos to me for creating maps and putting them on corkboard for each child with colored stick pins. One color for cities we stopped in and another color for cities we passed through. They really got into it and now they know how to read a map. We had a great time with family and friends, went Go Karting, to batting cages, the beach, to Zoomair Daytona a zipline adventure and more…

FLORIDA trip the kids by pool FLORIDA Here we go FLORIDA trip maps FLORIDA with Kids Florida beach all 5

During our vacation my laptop kind of crashed and even though there was a TV by the pool the kids always wanted to listen to music so I was forced to detox from my news addiction. After reading this post on Boomeon written by Cathy Chester, taking an occasional news break is going to become a habit for me:

http://www.boomeon.com/posts/taking-a-short-break-from-the-news

Have a safe and fun Labor Day,

Doreen

 

 

 

On the Road Again…

 

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments here:

Half-Past Kissin’ Time

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Every August we say, can you believe it’s August already. It comes every year at the same time yet here I am asking the silly question, “Really August is half over today?” Finally, that long cold winter we had feels like it is in the past and I am not ready to start preparing for another one.

 

This morning after I have a (hopefully) quick visit to have the highly annoying sutures removed from my mouth, we will be loading up a van with five of our grandkids and heading south to Florida. We will be stopping about half way for some swimming, eating and sleeping. I am honestly not sure who is more excited John and I or the kids. I am not going to think about the end of summer or any stressor. I want to enjoy every minute with the kids. When I am old I want them to remind me of the good times we had together.

It was very difficult watching my husband react to Robin Williams’ death. His son, John died of suicide. The similarity in the details was horrifying. As hard as it is for our family to hear and read about, depression and suicide need to be talked and written about. The stigma needs to end.

If you have a child entering high school or college, please have the suicide talk with them no matter what. Make them sign a contract swearing that they will never ‘do it’ and if the thought even enters their mind they will immediately call you and accept help. Is it over dramatic? I don’t think so and I’m quite sure Robin Williams’ family and my husband will agree. Will it save everyone? I don’t know but if it saves your loved one the talk was worth it.

We are taking the kids to ZOOM Daytona. It is a zip-line park. One voice inside keeps telling me to go for it, climb those trees with the little ones. Another voice is saying umm have you lost your mind you don’t even like the merry-go-round. John said there was no way he was climbing trees in August in Florida but he did pack his sneakers.  Have you tried one of these adventures?

Zoom Air

To keep the ZOOM theme going we will also be visiting Kart City where we will race go karts, play some miniature golf and hopefully hit some home runs in the batting cages.

go kart city

I have a few conference calls and a bit of editing to do while we are away but nothing inspires me and feeds my creativity more than working by the waves.

That being said we will be by the water not in the water…

SharkShark tracking Katherine

 

Would you do this?

Rock Climb

I am hoping to read a lot of blog posts in between the “are we there yet questions” and the karaoke versions of Big Fat Butt and Beachin.

Have a blessed weekend,

Doreen

 

Summer Love and Blob fish…

 

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then visit our lovely host Mrs. 4444 and leave a link to your Friday Fragments…

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We are getting really excited about our Florida trip. My husband and I are taking five of our grandkids to Daytona Beach. They are 8, 11, 11, 12 and 14. We will be leaving next Friday morning.  I made maps for the kids; do you think that will limit the “are we there yet” questions? The kids will be here Thursday night. We are going to introduce them to Clark Griswold and the Vacation Movie’s.

http://youtu.be/02v0301n0aU

I had another surgery on Wednesday. A few years ago I broke my jaw and it never healed correctly. Bone fragments unlike Friday fragments were causing a lot of infections. There was supposed to be a series of ten surgeries over two years.  Two more were added because of infections. This one was the worst so far. The good news is it was number seven so there only four more of them to get through.

I feel the way this poor little blob fish looks:

Blobfish

The season premiere of Hell on Wheels was last Saturday night. It was all good except for still not finding out Elam’s (Common) fate. I have always been fascinated with that time in our country’s history.

http://www.amctv.com/hell-on-wheels/videos/sneak-peek-episode-402-hell-on-wheels-escape-from-the-garden via @AMC_TV

My Wednesday writing group is doing a 40,000 word August challenge. I didn’t have enough going on so I signed on. I started slow but have caught up. I have edited 10,000 words. I had wild dreams of finishing before the trip but realistically that probably won’t happen.

I was so excited to see another one of my posts up on the Midlife Blvd. site.  This one is a story about summer love. I recommend this site highly. It is full of all kinds of great information and a great group of bloggers.

http://midlifeboulevard.com/summer-love-married-love/

What do you have left to do on your summer bucket list?

Have a blessed weekend,

Doreen

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