Yadi Yadi Yadda

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Adventure




The quest for adventure, or as Webster defines it: "from the Latin res adventura, a thing about to happen, chance." Has been long sought after by mankind. Early explorers found “New Worlds.”

Settlers, trod across unknown territories and modern day man has become an adrenaline junkie. I’ve known men that find great pleasure in disloyalty, and the thrill of getting away with an indiscretion. They find thrill in getting away/out smarting their mate. To them this is an adventure. I know that we can label this as sin, and indeed it is. However, I think that sometimes people get tired of the mundane and common, therefore they think that if they seek adventure or acheive change they will attain what they are searching for. Oh, I am not excusing them by no means, but I find that adventure can be found in the most minute of places. I myself prefer those things that are sure. I'll gladly stay on the ground while you swing from your bungee cord or watch as you drop from the sky with your parachute. As for me, life is an adventure. Life will challenge you, no change at all gives you security and promotes confidence. Change enables you to dig deep inside and shows what you are made of and to rise far above your expectations and your fears.

Today was my Son in Law’s day off and we had a picnic. We visited Hontoon Island. First of all the island is only accessible by ferry. Now, when you are a child this can be quite an adventure. It was a chilly day for FL as we crossed the Saint John’s River and felt the sting of change in the weather. The children were excited. They laughed, played and even posed for pictures. We love to capture the moments.

The memories of long ago outings on this island were revived. Once, a very severe and sudden lightning storm came upon us. My children and Bradley Owen were out on the river in canoes. As we reminisce, one of the rangers spoke up and said that he remembered the incident. I was a little skeptical about this, however, he assured me that he remembered Me in my despair. He even remembered how he had responded by saying; “Ma’am we cannot go out in this weather, they will find a place to wait out the storm” Julia confirmed that she remembered the rangers response. I can only imagine the state I must of been in to be remembered by this man after so many years. This river is infested with alligators,and we all know that there are plenty of snakes however, God in his great mercy protected our children that day. I have never forgotten it.

Julia and I walked in the small museum (which was not only nice and warm but it also provided a place to feed Olivia). As I browsed the artifacts, I was reminded of the ancient civilization of the Native Americans. A people who left their mark on our history, sometimes simply in the process of hunting for food (arrow heads) or even in the process of eating their food (there is a mount called Turtle Mound, which was made by the accumulation of the discarded shells). I’ve learned that adventure comes in many ways and forms. It can be the simple task of everyday survival. It comes in enjoying the time that we have with our loved ones. We can find adventure in the simple gifts that nature will offer us. The thrill of seeing a gigantic hornets nest (inside and out). The stillness of the water, on a winter’s day. The call of a bird, or the soft flutter of its wings as it flies above us.
posted by Perfectly Aged at 10:38 PM 2 comments

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

posted by Perfectly Aged at 7:36 AM 0 comments

Friday, January 12, 2007

Beauty

We had the most encouraging service last night. It was really different, Bro. Owen had us all participate. We all shared the scriptures that were an inspiration to us. It was so up-lifting.

I don't know how many times I've said to Kez, back in TN, after church was over..."Hey, wanna go to the ocean?" It would bring a lump to my throat... Last night, we did just that. After church Kez, Kenzie, Spence, and I rode to the ocean. We showed the girls the little bitty hospital that their Mommy(and all her siblings) were born in. We touched the wall (we are a strange family, but you all knew that). When you come down from the overpass there is a wall, when my children were little, they would make us stop and touch the wall and say "Hi, wall how are you today?" You see when they were little our town was quite small. When the overpass was built... well, that was a big thing. And that's how the wall became part of our small world.

And then we went to the ocean...

Have you ever walked at night on the beach? WOW, nothing beats the ocean when the wind is kicking and you can feel a storm moving in. No moon, just the reflection of the white caps cresting, the roar of the waves, the relentless blowing wind and the iridescent soft, yet very thick white sand (that massages your feet as you walk).

The beach was pretty much deserted. We walked to the Lifeguard stand and the girls climbed on top. Then Kez and Spence ran to the waters edge and got their feet wet. As me and Kenzie walked away she said, "This is the best night, it is so Beautiful." My feelings exactly.
posted by Perfectly Aged at 7:00 AM 1 comments

Thursday, January 11, 2007

OUCH

I hate to fail. I think nothing tortures me more than failure. By the way it gets worse with age. It has a way of gnawing continuously at me. I’ve been praying that God would place me in the right job which by the way it’s kinda-sorta like a marriage. You are consciously, actively, and alertly more with your co-workers sometimes than you are with your own family members. You know what I mean? By the time you get home you are poofed. All you really crave is a bath, a nice meal, a nice fluffy bed & sweet dreams, umm, right? You have husbands...

Anyhow, I applied for the county job of telecommunicator-most of you know these people as the 911 operator. The test was 2-2 ½ hrs long. It consisted of everything from reading comp,
spelling, logical skills/psychology, memory recall, (Bry hates playing Jeopardy with me he’s convinced I have all the answers-memorized shhh we won't tell him otherwise :) mathematics (which I dreaded and knew I would fail at-Gerald and Kris always brushed me up in this area just before a test-I miss them terribly) typing and auditory response skills. Actually, there were more categories than the ones I’ve listed. By the way I never made it to the math section. Kez says that’s ok cus that’s probably where I would have failed anyways. Anywhoo, mad respect to the 911 people.

The test is formatted so that if you miss a section, you are Xd out and you actually go no further. I saw one girl get up after the first section I thought she was going to the bathroom turns out she never came back. I made 2 of4 sections I failed the 3rd section. I failed of all things typing. Now you Guys know I can type/can’t hardly blog without writing a book. Actually, I type about 47 wpm/required speed is 30 wpm,no sweat.I wasn’t really worried about my typing skills so I studied for everything but...

Now, I know God has a place for Me to be planted in. But I’m so disappointed and angry with myself for being so picky and leisurely checking my answers when I should have kept the fingers moving on the 'ole keyboard and not worried so much about everything else. I can re-take the test next month, but I don’t know that I will. I need a job much sooner than that.
posted by Perfectly Aged at 9:45 AM 3 comments

Saturday, January 06, 2007

3 Wise Men

Today many Spanish countries (Cuba included) celebrate the visit from the 3 Wise Men. This is a special time for children because this is the day that they receive their presents (Unlike US children-who get their gifts on Dec. 25). My family adopted the American custom when we came to the US. I guess it was too awkward for my parents to wait till Jan. 6 when all the other kids were out on the street enjoying their new bikes etc. I can only imagine what I would have put them through :( I was reading the story of the 3 Wise Men to my Grandchildren one night and I told them of the Cuban practice of gift receiving. Well, if you were a child and you had just had a tremendous Christmas, the prospects of Jan. 6th bringing more gifts looks really good! Hey after all, it worked for Baby Jesus. We had to make a small compromise due to the fact that we live in a modern and-not-so perfect world. Mackenzie would be gone this week-end and would not be there on the said day. So hey, we asked the Wise Men to get on their camels a little early. They agreed and my Granddaughters made a tent using the couch , the love seat, some sheets and blankets. However, their Mima is currently unemployed (I’m requesting your prayers that I will find a very good job) therefore, I gave them fair warning that the gifts would be very small. On Thursday night after church service the 3 Wise Men (Bryan, Kezia and Myself) went to the holy land of Wally World and hit the clearance racks. The children had lined their shoes in the living room awaiting their gifts. The two older children got three gifts according to custom, a gigantic pen, a pad and a Junie B. Jones Book. The smaller children not being old enough to understand the story, only got one gift (however, their gift cost more than their older siblings). Kezia and I awoke that morning, went to Panera, and bought the Baker’s Doz. of bagels for a special Wise Men breakfast. We then spent a portion of the day at the park. By the time we got home and everyone went to where they were suppose to-go-to, Kenzie and her Daddy ended up treating the Wise Men and one of their wives, to vittles at Olive Garden. We had a great day, I think will do this again.
posted by Perfectly Aged at 7:25 AM 6 comments

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Reflections

Home is the place where I can be Me. It is the place where you never really realize what you had until you loose it. It is the place that deep in your soul, you can feel its heartbeat. This is something you cannot explain, but yet, you learn to take the good and the bad it has to offer because your roots hold you firm and steady and you know that this is where you belong, you are at ease, you are home.

This does not mean that you do not love, respect and appreciate other places, on the contrary you do. It just means that you know that home awaits for you. And you know what to expect.

My home is the land of the Bearded Trees (better known as Spanish Moss) much Water and Heat! It is the land of Flip Flops and Sunglasses, Fresh Fish, and Sun. We are home to the Space Shuttle (If you have never seen a lift-off you are missing something awesome) and the Oldest city in the US (there are still traces of my ancestors the Spaniards). We are home to Palm Trees, Jetties and Lighthouses, Flamingos and the Ibis (I love you Sebastian always have and always will). My home is rather menacing. It is a land where the alligator roams in abundance and threatens mankind. Not only do we deal with these creatures, we learn to coexist with Snakes, Roaches, Fruit Flys (Yuck), Gnats and Mosquitos (Ouch :( as well as Hurricanes ( a true Floridian's adrendelin kicks in with each warning and Gale wind we feel-regardless of whether we stay or whether we choose to flee-by the way when I was a kid we did not flee like we do today, however we did not have Monster storms like we do today either...hmmm) Noreasters, Tornadoes (like the one we had on Christmas day 2006 that touched down between our home and the home we were celebrating Christmas in, and barely missed my Son in Law's Grandmother, who was on her way home), we have Riptides, Beach Errosion, Fires and Lightening storms (Central FL is called Lightening Alley) and if you do not believe this is extreemly dangerous, that's okay by me, (I lost a dear friend in 2006 to lightening, I respect it). Oh, I almost forgot and foreigners AKA retiree's folks from other places that always dreamt of living here :) We host Tourists, Bike week, Race week, Spring Break and Disney World. We share our playground :)

That's why when you look out on the swamp, you may see some very scraggly looking barren deadness, not much color or beauty jumps out at you, but to a Floridian we see land that is full of life and color. We see a sky that strecthes out as far as the eye can see without any hinderance to show us the most beautiful of sunsets. And if you are lucky, you may feel the breeze blow accross your face and leave a slight scent of salt. The Sea and Water dominate my home, after all it is a Penninsula. The roar of the waves soothes my spirit and welcomes me.

Enjoy the song, enjoy my reflections of home :)
posted by Perfectly Aged at 10:51 PM 3 comments

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hello 2007

There is something comforting in traditions, they never change. I remember a long, long, time ago in the little big town of Miami, my family had some traditions that my Grandchildren are now participating in. I remember standing beside my mother as she told me that the New Year would be arriving at 12 midnight (that magical hour that was so important to Cinderella) as a fresh newborn little baby, and the old year would be leaving us now as a white bearded old man, hunched over and feeble. I remember her saying that we would need a bucket of water because we wanted to wash away the old year. Little did I know just how much I would want to wash away the pain, the heartache and the unpleasant things the old year had left behind. Then, we would welcome the new year with as much noise as possible. Do you have any idea how much fun this is to a small child who is usually told to be quiet and is not allowed to be up that late? My Mother would give all four of us-Mandy, Raulie, Jonathon and I a pot with a big ole’ spoon and we would open the front door and bang our pots and pans as loud as we could, and shout at the top of our lungs, “Happy New Year, World!” To this day I cannot do this without tears in my eyes and a big ole’ lump in my throat.

I now realize just how much impact is behind this statement, God only knows what this New Year will bring and take away. God help us all (especially Us who have elderly parents). Then came my favorite part, 12 grapes, 12 wishes to the New Year. Now I know that wishes are not factual, but every single wish is made with great expectation and thoughtful consideration, after all 12 is not that many, and I am gonna make sure that everyone is important to me :)


I remember growing up and doing this very thing with my four little MunchKins. Throughout their life I would make sure the tradition did not die. Now, living in my daughter’s house, I find the mother of the house (Not Me) going to the store and making sure that she has 12 grapes for every member in her household. I find my wonderful saved Son in Law in the kitchen gathering the water to wash away the old year, even though Bry is not Cuban, he doesn’t make light of our tradition (Oh, how I love him :)

I am so glad to see this year go, I want it washed really good (Oh, how I miss you Eddie and
Tia Victoria-no one will ever replace you. How I wish I could turn back the hand of time and be more careful on that dreadful staircase. I would love to have my old bones back in my ankle without any plates or pins or pain.)

I gather on the front porch of my daughters house, once again with tears in my eyes, and yes, the lump is still there in its rightful place as I hold Olivia in my arms. I watch Mackenzie, Spencer, Little Bryan and I along with Jule and Bry welcome the New Year. I almost slip on the old year’s water. The kids scream at the top of their lungs “Happy New Year!”
I yell “Whoooooooo!!!!!” and hear my Son in Law's reprimand “Mima!”, but I don’t care this is New Year, and this is our tradition. I’m so glad to let go of this year, I welcome the New Year once again. The pots and pans are clanging full force, we hear the distant sound of the fireworks on the beach side and chide ourselves for not going there instead. It sounds like thunder or the distant roar of cannons. I watch the front neighbors light click on. He doesn’t yell at us, instead they join in and they start letting off firecrackers.

By now Isabella Maria is sweetly sleeping inside, oblivious to the racket we are making outdoors. It’s not worth it to us to disturb the sleeping angel and head for the beach, so from a distance we enjoy the noise. I can hear gunshots, and fireworks going of all around us, I smile as we head into the quiet of the house. Once again I’m looking forward to the best part. We tell the children to make each wish count, as they eat a grape for each of the coming months that this year will give us. Somewhere in Alabama, Kezia is gathering her grapes and making her silent, secret wishes (No one is suppose to know what you wished for, or else they don’t come true, hehe) and somewhere in Gatlingburg my Sons will be doing the same thing in the company of my brothers and their families.

My Mother silently waits by the phone, I don’t call because she is elderly now and I don’t want to awaken her, just in case her and Dad fell asleep. But she is very much beside me and always will be :)


posted by Perfectly Aged at 11:29 AM 3 comments