My sister Susan is the first person to tell me about the attitude of gratitude. She read about it in a self-help book. It’s always rung true with me. I try to be grateful every day for all the things I have, put a smile on my heart and my face, be thankful for the little things as well as the big ones.
And I have a lot to be thankful for – on a daily basis. I had my yearly mammogram last Saturday and found out yesterday that all is perfect. Most people know I was diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) in 2006. If you’re going to get breast cancer they say that’s the one you want! It can only be detected by a mammogram. You cannot feel it.
I will always be grateful for the radiologists at Alameda Hospital. The cancer is considered Stage Zero – woot! – and mine was so far off the chest wall that I didn’t have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation or take drugs. I was cancer-free the minute I had my mastectomy. Double woot! Therefore I would say, for me, I’m grateful every day for dodging a bigger “C” bullet which would have required one of those horrendous cures.
But each year I enter the Carol Reed Breast Center with dread in my heart, thinking it’s going to come back. So far I’ve remained cancer-free. However I always remember that day in 2006 when I got “the call”. And I’m not talking about “the call” that all authors wait for from that agent to whom they sent their query letter. Ha!
What are you thankful for?
Spring has sprung and it’s heating up. We had a mini-heat wave this past week with temps reaching 77 degrees. Today it will max out at 63 degrees. But the times they are a changing and I am ready. I’m a person who’s very affected by the weather. I get down when it’s cold and rainy. I’m happiest when the sun is shining. I am so excited to be able to sit out on my deck again and write or read a book, perhaps take a little nap around 2 p.m. before I have to pick up my daughter from school. This is my favorite season.
We’re at that point in time when I have to plan for a vacation if we want to do something away from home. Last year we tried Santa Barbara. The weather was beautiful but we knew that anyway. I lived in Santa Barbara for eight years and it’s always nice there. However, we weren’t prepared for the amount of traffic and people and the city has changed a bit. There are a lot of homeless people which is sad, but I’d pick Santa Barbara over the freezing East Coast if I had to live on the streets.
This year we’re returning to Monte Rio in the Russian River area of California. There are lots of homes on the river and they have to be built way up high above the river due to seasonal flooding. So we have beautiful views of the redwood trees and you can hear birds and crickets. It’s just gorgeous.
What are your plans?
The other day my daughter and I were talking about an eccentric couple who live down the street. Why eccentric? Well, when we moved in here in 1990 their names were Bob and Sandy X (names changed for the sake of anonymity). They were always very talkative and kind and wore great costumes at Halloween that scared the kids to death and they handed out great candy. I’ve been inside their house and it is something out of House Beautiful.
Several years later they changed their names to Rick and Barbara X+1. Now I don’t really think it’s that odd to change your first name. One of my sisters wanted to change her name. She hated it and I guess the legalities aren’t that difficult to follow in order to make it happen. However I’d never known anyone to change their last name. I didn’t know it was legal and have always wondered why they did it. I imagine I could ask them but I’m not a Nosy Parker and don’t want to start now. Plus, does it matter? I think not.
So my daughter said to me she thought they were weird. I asked her why. She told me because they invited her to go with them to the zoo when she was little and they had no children. I explained to her that I didn’t allow them to take her to the zoo because I’m overprotective and didn’t know them well enough, but I thought it was a kind gesture because they didn’t have children and wanted to do something neighborly and fun with her.
My daughter’s response was, “Plus they’re cat people”. I asked her what she meant by that. She couldn’t really explain.
I know what it means to be a “dog person” because I am one. But does being one or the other carry with it some sort of connotation I’m missing?
Now I know this isn’t an advice column and I don’t want those reading this to feel like Dear Abby. However, everyone has an opinion about everything, whether the opinion is positive, negative, or neutral. You either feel strongly for an issue or against it or you feel it isn’t your place to say. I’m guessing every single one of you has some idea of how you would feel if you put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
As Tony Soprano says, “Enough with the preambles. Get on wit-it.” I love watching that guy. He makes me laugh. So…
My daughter is a freshman in high school. She’s fourteen years old. My son is eighteen and he’s a freshman in college. While he was in high school he was on the basketball team and all the guys hung out at our house for three years.
I’d always predicted one of these days one of his friends was going to like my son’s “little sister”. Well, that day has come. I think. The reason I’m not totally sure is because kids these days don’t communicate through the “normal” channel of talking to one another. This young man, who is currently a senior at her school, told her he likes her in a text. She told me she’s had a crush on him for while.
Now my daughter wants me to decide whether it’s okay for her to like him back. AACK!
I talked to my son about this situation and though he thinks his friend is really a good guy, “morally” my son feels this dude is too old for our daughter.
My thoughts are: a senior’s expectations will be different than a freshman’s. Here I’m talking about S-E-X. My daughter isn’t interested in sex, she says. And if this young man is, she told me she’s going to tell him “no” and back out of the relationship if he doesn’t agree.
What do you think?
Being a writer (like many of you who are seeing this post), I read a lot of advice for writers. One of the things I see over and over is, when we find it challenging to write dialogue we should go out and listen to how people talk to each other.
I’m not a recluse. I go grocery shopping. I go to Starbucks. I go clothes shopping for my 14-year-old daughter. I do the same for my 18-year-old son. I talk to my husband. I talk to my two older sisters.
But when I’m told I should go out with a notebook and really listen to how individuals interact with each other I have to admit I’m stumped. Without looking like a stalker (and I’m not hard of hearing), I can’t usually get close enough to listen to people’s conversations. My grocery store isn’t crowded enough to be in close proximity to another shopper. Starbucks is too noisy to hear others’ conversations. Clothes shopping has the same two attributes.
I’d love to hear your suggestions for where I could go to overhear interactions between people without me appearing like a weirdo.
You have the floor.