Archive | blogging RSS feed for this section

Words on Wednesday

30 Mar

You just can’t shake it off … when something triggers you, you just can’t let it go.

You replay it in your head. If you see it at school, work, home, TV it sticks with you if it’s especially surprising.

Seeing someone physically attacked and humiliated on live TV and then have multiple people make excuses for them burned me out.

Everyone has seen what happened at the Oscar’s. Everyone heard a bad joke, where half the crowd laughed and one person very obviously did not. So that started a chain reaction, apparently, which ended up ruining the Best Documentary Award presentation and perhaps drowned out the rest of the show.

A lot of people talked about situations having layers, and not sure what exactly went on, and equating alopecia to cancer treatments, or about comedians not being aware of everyone’s medical conditions, or about being the butt of jokes, about chivalry, about not sure what exactly happened even though hundreds of people saw exactly what happened.

Somebody hit someone else.

They weren’t being threatened. It wasn’t in self-defense, or for protection. Someone had something ELSE going on and they snapped and hit someone.

I found it enraging that someone laughed at a joke, then realized later that they shouldn’t have laughed, then decided to attack someone on stage. Then they sauntered back to their chair as if nothing happened.

And that’s the part … the part right there.

The one that triggered me.

The entitled part.

The swagger after hitting someone and knowing nothing would happen. It would still be your night.

That was enraging. So many people have that saunter. People feeling entitled enough to think they have a right to to do something outrageous and nothing will happen to them.

And guess what?

Nothing did.

In this case they weren’t escorted out of the room. They weren’t reprimanded.

In fact they won an award and were allowed to speak. Allowed to leave and party all night, no remorse. Smiling and dancing away … until the morning when damage control needed to be done and a written apology was sent out like an unvitation.

I didn’t even know these people. But the whole scenario bothered me so much. Nothing happened to them. There were no consequences and I think that’s the biggest burn. That happens on the screen and in real life. Some people don’t have consequences.

The no consequences. There was no immediate accountability. And since the event passed there probably won’t be, I mean what could the consequences actually be… sorry you can’t come next time?

That’s it?

Whether it’s NFL stars being excused from domestic violence, or police charges because they can catch a ball, to the privileged cheating the college admissions system, to the hypocrisy of politicians, to a greedy authoritarian ruler that bombs another country and kills innocent people because he wants to, to athletes doping up and still competing at the highest level, to people stealing catalytic converters and leaving you with the bill, to an actor hitting a comedian on live TV …

Accountability appears to be lacking on multiple levels in all aspects of life and this most recent public show of cowardice had me wishing for a future much better than that.

People in positions of influence or power constantly evading consequences that everyone else must own up to hits that pit of my stomach. The unbalanced scales still continue no matter how much progress we think we’ve made. It’s really frustrating and sad to see reminders of these when we’re all trying to find hope in our futures.

.

.

Buen Camino my friends …

Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday … The Decade

15 Jan

The last time I got a trophy or ribbon, or some kind of recognition was that standing ovation at festival for my play a few years back. I remember the feeling of accomplishment and feel-good vibes of standing up on stage and being recognized as they introduced the writers. I enjoyed the feeling of my work connecting with people.

Prior to that I think it was an athlete award back in my Aquanet and Levis Jeans days.

Somewhere in between then and now, I’ve tried to celebrate little victories here and there, because you get no trophy or ribbon now, not during parenthood/adulthood. Not unless you’re at the Olympics. So, when I get a chance to high-five myself, I do. I make it a point to celebrate.

Normally I recognize these moments first. I keep an eye out. But this time around my buddy Clay over at Making the Days Count congratulated me before I even patted myself on the back.

Congrats on starting a new decade … he said.

Holy Cheeseballs.

A decade.

The Lion King and Cats lasted more than ten years.

Sesame Street, Happy Days, The Jeffersons, and Law and Order, 10 years easy.

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. Ten years plus!

Coach K with the Blue Devils. Pat Summit over with the Lady Vols in Tennessee. Ten classy years most definitely and then some.

Clayton Kershaw and The Dodgers. Ten years most definitely.

The Guat, The Wish Factor, and Word Press. Ten years.

491,403 words.

That’s something. That’s definitely something and I’m grateful for the reminder.

I joined the ranks of ten and I have yet to celebrate. It hasn’t fully sat with me yet. It’s sinking in, though. 1,154 posts. All those stories. It took me a minute there; I had to sit and take a knee and digest the 10 years. All the experiences and stories, they add up to a multitude of pieces making up my existence. A small peek into the window, to see what’s behind the curtain.

It started off as a personal project, get my writer mind flowing, fine-tune my voice and get that Random House publishing book deal in the works 🙂 It started off as a personal goal to put some of my stories out there. Just click “publish” and see what happens. Then it turned into a collection of pieces that could be read by my kids when I’m no longer around. A treasure chest of anecdotes giving them an insight on how their mom used to be, what adventures we took, memories of their grandpa and great uncle. Pieces of our lives they could look back on when they don’t have pictures or photo albums to look at.

And it was during all these stories that I found support from the community of creators. I was able to give a voice to stories from my childhood, remembered life in the people I had lost, connected and laughed with stories others had written, escaped through beautiful photography, and learned lessons from others and their lives. There haven’t been many people that stuck around this long, but I appreciate the few who got on the ride with me and experienced the ups and downs of adulting, parenthood, 70’s and 80’s music, coaching, and a writer’s life. THANK YOU. Thanks for the kind words, support, and encouragement. Thanks to the regulars who pulled up a stool and sat down. The Wish Factor decade gets a high-five. A high-five and some dark chocolate.

That’s totally about to happen.

So, cartwheels and high-fives to me. I got the feel-good songs to celebrate 10 years of learning, curiosity, and growth. Hoping the stories, music, and photographs that come next continue to be Schlemiel Schlimazel Hasenpfeffer Incorporated good-time-noodle-salad-sunshine-and-Katrina-and-The-Waves moments, worthy of a Kodak capture.

Buen Camino …

.

.

The Oogum Boogum Song — Brenton Wood

.

Life’s Been Good — Joe Walsh Live From Daryl’s House

.

America — Los Tigres del Norte

.

And She Was — Talking Heads

.

The Joker — Steve Miller Band

.

.

Feel Good 5 Friday on a Saturday Night with Take-Out …

17 Apr

After 13 months of this new non-permanent way of living hit us all at varying degrees, life lessons from different angels surfaced. Some, brand new, others reminders of lessons that needed to be held front and center. 

There are people out there that you just want to punch in the face. No amount of Zen training with Phil Jackson can help you with a jerk of that size and nature. I mean I thought they were extinct, but they’re coming out from under their sheets on full display, no need to hide anymore. Apparently. 

Then there are those whose level of kindness and empathy make you think, that there is more good out there than bad. For a moment it makes you feel that way. Everyday people stepping up and helping, when those in power were supposed to lead but failed miserably because they were too busy traveling on vacation or embroiled in some other scandal. 

Everyday people. Women. Men. Girls. Boys. Everyone who didn’t need to step up did and that made for feel-good stories about Meals on Wheels, Lemonade Stands, Children’s Hospitals, Books for Foster Care, Carpool Caravan Graduations, Virtual Music Concerts, Chalk Art, Computers and Hotspots for those most in need. The little bits and pieces adding up from your local paper and coming to light. Everyone doing a little something for someone else just to make One day out of the 13 months better.

I thought about that last year and in January. When people are busy making plans and resolutions, taking stock of their life. Small businesses occurred to me. It takes a lot to run a small business. It takes a lot to be successful, to stay afloat, to start that dream. 

While shopping at grocery stores fully masked and socially distant, I knew a lot of small businesses, particularly restaurants were hurting. Nobody knew what this was and people were worried about eating out, so restaurants sold ingredients and cook-at-home meals just to stay open. Now I love to eat, it’s my favorite. Good food, really good, tasty, and savory food. That makes you close your eyes and think C’MON NOW. C’MON NOWWWW! And then you just start dancing because that food is so good, you become a professional back-up dancer that minute. That’s what really good food does, it fills your spirit with happy. Good music. Good friends. Good food. That’s an awesome combination. 

And so while everyone was doing something little or something big, just to help make someone else’s day better. I thought I could do more than just be an advocate for voting rights, provide books for foster care youth, a little something extra to help someone out once a month. Now I got my favorite hot spots around town that I love, my go-to’s that I’ve been ordering from when I’m too exhausted to cook, but I found that if I also add a new restaurant, a new small business I can help them out at least one day. 

So that’s what we’ve been doing, picking a new small business once a month and letting a couple friends in the neighborhood know about it too.  Most people, I guess do that all the time with pictures of their food on social media, but sometimes I think it’s more about them then the actual food and chef behind the amazingness. So I try not to do it that way.

Since we’re homebodies, we enjoy home-cooked meals. But trying to help your neighborhood, your community thrive is also important. Not many people can, with job loss and loss of hours, it’s been hard for some to manage financially for the last 13 months. But we try to help someone new once a month, and so far the meals and desserts have been savory and sweet, so much so that some of these places will become my new regulars. Pho. Bavarian Chocolate Pie, Sausage and Peppers. These have been welcomed with smiles. And we look forward to new diners, drive-ins, and dives.

So for the next eight months we’ll continue helping our regular spots, but also add a brand new place in hopes that we can help them a little. I encourage you to visit any small business and help make a positive impact on their day. Spreading the good vibes, helps everyone during difficult times. It’s like playing the right song, at just the right moment. Helps you time travel and get you to a place where smiling is easy for you, happiness, good-times-noodle-salad moments, sunshine, and waves. 

Feel good vibes, keeping it better. Paying it forward

Buen Camino …

Kano — I’m Ready

.

Philip Bailey & Phil Collins — Easy Lover

.

Chente — Volver, Volver

.

Tina Turner — Shake a Tailfeather

.

King Harvest — Dancing in the Moonlight

.

.

.

Feel Good 5 Friday … Cut-and-Paste

2 Apr

I know that people do that with emails when sending out resumes, your cover letter is the same, but you just tweak it a little bit to make it more detailed to the company. The cut-and-paste. It’s the most convenient tool. Saves you time when you just need to get that letter out.

And sometimes I get that general text message at Christmas time from people … Hey Merry Christmas hope you’re having a great holiday season, from Janette. That’s normal. She wants to wish everyone on her phone and Merry Christmas without typing out every message. Mass text. I get it. People smile.

But what’s up with an I miss you text like that?

My friend recently asked me if I had gotten one of those before, if someone had cut and pasted me via text. I said yeah, probably, most of them for funny pictures, links to Youtube or stuff like that. She mentioned that her friend, she hadn’t seen for over a year, had sent her a, I was thinking about you, hope the girls are doing well, we miss hanging out with you guys, especially our trips to Wine Country where our families got close, so many laughs, you’re one of our closest friends hope you’re doing well.

I asked her since when did she have two girls? She said since never. Just always the one boy. She said the beginning of the message was addressed to her with specifics about her hospital work but the body of this text didn’t apply to her. Apparently they had never gone to Wine Country together and she didn’t know how to respond. 

Cut-and-paste.

I told her not to worry about it. I had friendships come and go, super close for a few years and then they’d move jobs, get boyfriends, or have kids of their own and I’d hardly see them. Growing apart and then just saying final goodbyes. She said the cut and paste was crappy and hadn’t expected it. I told her she probably cut and pasted me and who knows maybe I had no idea. But sometimes people surprise you and you realize maybe you weren’t as close as you thought, or just maybe call her on it and say hey you know I still just have the one kid, appreciate you saying hello but what was up with your text. 

I don’t know, maybe it’s because we’ve all been in isolation and that’s why it had a bigger impact on her and I wasn’t seeing it. But I said maybe the universe is making room on your plate for something better, something different and you sit with it for a minute, deal with it, and then brush it off. The isolation and quarantine has served some purpose, and that’s just clearing out your plate from unnecessary time wasters. Surround yourself with people who prop you up, people who encourage you and make you laugh. People who write a text message just for you.

Sometimes the cut-and-paste is great, like on a mixed tape, or the DJ’s scratching a record back in the day. That cut-and-paste was great for my dancing spirit.

Don’t know how the advice panned out, but I felt like I imagine I’ll be more mindful of the cut-and-paste. I mean dude, if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend and they cut and paste you … c’mon now, easy decision. But the rest of us take it on a case by case basis because everyone has a bad day. Until then, buen camino.

.

Stars on 45

.

Banda Zeta — Nina Fresa

Gigolo Tony — Smurf Rock

.

Madness — Our House

.

Karyn White — The Way You Love Me

.

.

Feel Good 5 Friday on a Sunday Night …

14 Mar

I remember walking into the room and looking at the tapestry hanging from the ceiling, the Grateful Dead Poster, a computer with a printer, the framed John Lennon print and beads. Lots of beads.

I was like … Holy Crap!

I was an inner-city kid and none of that was in my suitcase. Posters of Magic Johnson and the Dodgers were rolled up under my arm. We were working class she was upper-upper class. She looked like she was going to Woodstock and I looked like I bought all my clothes at FootLocker.

My first day on campus, in a college dorm and I thought … this is gonna be an interesting year. I didn’t know why … why would they pair us up? Turned out we were both not morning persons. Alarms would ring, we’d hit the snooze, or quietly get up while the other one was sleeping and get ready. If we happen to wake up at the same time, a comfortable silence, followed by a nod and a hey and we were OK with that. No need for Miss Sunshine right out of bed. We understood each other that way. We wouldn’t see each other all day, then at night we’d have our talks. Lights would be out we’d be ready to go to sleep and then we’d just start talking in the dark. Me in my year-old comforter from home, her with her brand new goose down blanket probably from Macy’s or something. We’d talk about all kinds of things. About the day. About classes. About the dude who called me and woke us up at 3 a.m to declare his undying love for me after multiple beers. About the R.A. not being thrilled about that. About her family. About her boyfriend. About the girls down the hall. We had a lot night talks before we dozed off.

A couple of decades have gone by and I hadn’t thought of Saige since our freshman year. I didn’t see her on campus once since the end of our first year. I had wished her luck and given her a hug on the last day. Learning to live with someone completely different from me was an experience I didn’t forget. But she hadn’t crossed my mind in a really lonnnnnnnnnng time.

Then today, for some reason, she did. Does that happen to you? Random channel and then bam! Reminds you of someone from back in the day. I bet everyone out there remembers their freshman roommate’s name. It was an experience for everyone.

I think I might have remembered her because the Grammy’s were on tonight and she had such different taste in music. I didn’t watch the show, but I knew it was on because as I was switching the channels this girl with a bucket hat with green and black hair sticking out from it had won. Reminded me a little of Saige, and it took me back to that first day.

She was supposed to major in Women’s Studies, but don’t know if that happened. It could have … She’s a midwife now who traveled to India and Mexico. She’s also a nurse or physician’s assistant I think. She’s helps people. I knew she would always do something in the realm of helping women, or being an advocate for women. And I was happy to hear about that.

That’s funny you’re sitting there having dinner listening to your kid talk about his history report and as he turns on the television you see someone that takes you on a flashback field trip.

Buen Camino …

Grateful Dead — Shakedown Street

.

Crystal Water –100% Pure Love

.

Banda Vallarta Show — Provocame

Mr. Big — To Be With You

.

Extreme —More Than Words

.

.

Monday’s Flashback

1 Mar

Cha Cha Cha Chia.

Remember that?

That commercial be haunting me almost as much as 1-877 Kars for Kids … K … A … R … S Kars for Kids. Yeah, you’re totally welcome for that one.

In any case Cha Cha Cha Chia be making a strong comeback. I remember that commercial and thinking what is that? A sheep? A bear? So what happens after you grow, is there a flower or just clover like plants? Is it an herb? Do I need to keep watering it? I mean what’s the excitement?

Well, it didn’t matter really as I never bought one back in the day, and no one gave me one either. It may have been the commercial, who knows. Maybe the sheep or the bear wasn’t that cool. Maybe I needed the X factor …

.

.

I know.

I know.

This put Cha Cha Cha Chia in a whole new light. The kids busted out a present from one of our neighbors. It had been sitting there, camouflaged between the a LEGO and art supplies in the corner for about a month or two. They had completely forgotten about it and were so excited to have found it again. After a clay and painting project this weekend this box became a highlight.

They were like … it’s onnnnnnn! After school, distance learning that is, they were ready for theirs next project. They gave each other a high-five.

This was pandemic excitement in the making.

Normally I’d situate myself over there and say, hey make sure you read the directions, get all your supplies, but I stayed back and let them handle matters. They were way too jazzed up about the Baby Yoda possibilities. And you know me, with my destruction of plants, many basil plants have suffered in my presence as my superpower, the inability to grow anything, strengthens. But I remain on this gardening journey. I’m on a mission.

And so they soaked it and spread the chia paste where they wanted it to sprout … and now they wait.

I’m hoping it’s a positive experience and not a Nailed It leaning opportunity, although that would be fun too.

I’ll let you know how it pans out.

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program of Feel Good 5 Friday’s this week, but I just wanted to take a break as the week caught up with me, with the kids, and the research on my latest project. I couldn’t even make it to Friday Feel Goods on a Saturday or Sunday. But I’ll catch some tunes this week …

Buen Camino!

.

.

Feel Good 5 Friday …

5 Feb

You have a list.

It could have just one name on it. But that name counts. It’s still a list, maybe the beginnings of one, or maybe it’s THE ONE.

Everyone writing down the places to visit or adventures to take when all this is over, when masks are no longer needed and we can walk around freely … that national park you swore you’d rent the RV for, the restaurant with the steak you never tried but always wanted, the rollercoaster you always wanted to conquer but never tried, the two tickets to see the game where you’d buy that $15 beer and not even care that it’s $15 because you got the foam finger too. You have these plans to see the little nooks and crannies of your city, you wanted to discover them, but always said you’d get around to it.

“I’m on top of that, Rose!”

Covid made you put it on a list … people have plans to recapture the simple and adventurous moments. The people moments when all this is behind us.

Me too.

I added a name to my list last week.

You see I had heard of the place but never made it out there. It’s a place best to be had with friends, with your Laverne & Shirley’s. But I was able to get a sneak peek of the possibilities just recently when I attended a virtual fundraiser.

A Bingo Fundraiser.

Have you been involved in Bingo?

Dude.

It’s intense. I mean the competitive side in you comes out and you’re hoping they call B8 because it’s what you need, but it doesn’t happen. They call G43 and you hear the Lucille yell Bingo!!!

And at that moment right there, you don’t know Lucile, never met her, but you sooooooo hope she’s wrong. She’s not, though.

So you clap and move on in hopes for your lucky numbers next time.

That was my sneak peek. A Hamburger Mary’s Bingo Fundraiser for the arts and I can’t tell you what a great time I had on Zoom playing Bingo. One of the best Zoom Meetings I’d had.

The Place to be 🙂

I mean I’m no stranger to a bingo like atmosphere, come Christmas and New Year’s Eve, when all the aunts and cousins get together La Loteria is taken and it’s a full fledged battle for the pot! But this was Bingo … saucy Bingo and I enjoyed it. Great to see some buddies online, playing with me as well. I imagine the live and in person version is even better. But the hostess provided the laughs and energy to make a Zoom meeting fantastically fun.

I didn’t have the thrill of yelling BINGO! But I imagine I will one day, hopefully it’ll be with my Laverne & Shirley’s at Hamburger Mary’s, the fun environment, the having a great time vibe, the music and jokes to lift your spirits … The Noodle Salad Moments live and in person. But until then I’ll have the list and the Feel Good 5 Fridays to help me sustain and thrive the months to come.

Buen Camino my friends

.

.

Elton John with Kiki Dee — Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

.

Los 8 de Columbia — La Roncona

.

Sanford and Son Theme Song

,

Vintage Trouble — Strike Your Light

.

Tears for Fears — Everybody Wants to Rule the World

.

.

Feel Good 5 Friday … On a Saturday Night … Again

16 Jan

I’m normally on top of matters, or at least I pretend to be so I can build up enough momentum and psych myself up for the challenge.

But considering the destructive and disturbing news of a failed insurrection happening in the country I’d been sucked into the news coverage of the events waiting for justice that apparently is moving at a snail’s pace. Arrests continue, but justice has yet to make its way into the light.

I’d never lost this much time waiting and waiting on news. But considering matters are in the hands of cowards in leadership positions at the current moment, swift is a speed I doubt will be coming. So I cut myself off from awaiting justice.

I rebooted.

I tried helping in the corner of the country where a positive impact makes a difference, focusing on community improvement and trying to be better than I was the day before. A Day of Service provides an opportunity for proactive nature to help change even if it’s a little, it adds up. I like instilling this concept into the kids. Sure I volunteer at their school, and coach my kids’ sports teams in the community. But a separate day dedicated for volunteering, just a Day of Service, just committing to the community, neighborhood, or state provides you with a Mr. Rogers’s moment that’s valuable, the kind that can inspire goodness, change, and improvement — the kind that Dr. King inspired.

So I turned my focus to that.

During this reboot session to start the year anew, I mean it is still January, still the beginning of 2021 no matter how ugly it started, I can still make the changes needed to spin the boat around and guide it toward better journeys, I found a tidbit of information. This kind of advice that helps vision boards, goals, WOTY, resolutions, promises — whatever you name it. I knew this. I did. But had forgotten. Completely.

Even if you’re not a morning person, which I don’t feel I am, waking up a little earlier just to have a minute to yourself, a moment, a few of them, so that you can mentally prepare for the day ahead is an awesome decision. Wake up a little earlier, one hour earlier. Just to focus on yourself and do something for you before work, school, the kids. Drink a cup of coffee, tea. Meditate. Write your morning pages. Go bike riding, running, walking, swimming. Listen to a podcast. Read a book on the couch. Do some gardening. Any activity that makes you feel like you WANT to wake up not HAVE to wake up. That was key for me.

Waking up extremely early in the morning is not something I enjoy, so the snooze button would seem odd. When I hit the snooze button that means I keep waking up over and over again. I’m not an obsessive about it, but I have been known to use it when the covers are extra cozy or the pillow feels just right. But after I wake up and the kids are still asleep I can enjoy the quiet of the morning, which is different from the quiet of the night. A different vibe. And once I’m up and spent the time, I feel better about it. I’m glad I did it. I bet if I lived near the ocean I would never hit that snooze button. If an hour earlier is too much start with 15 minutes and then add more as your body acclimates. I mean that’s how I roll.

The one moment of inspiration that got me moving during early mornings this week, aside from a podcast, was a feel-good song. That right there makes me smile and get up. Listening to Katrina tell me that I’d be Walking On Sunshine always gets me out of bed. So I’m grateful to have picked that song for 2021, but I also listen to jams that grove and take me to moments from my adolescence that remind me of special moments, sending postcards to myself through melodies and lyrics.

Super grateful for the Feel Good Friday’s I adopted last year, they’ve made this Groundhog Day Adventure much better than Bill Murray’s, although he did have an epic adventure with Punxsutawney Phil.

Buen Camino my friends!

.

.

The La’s — There She Goes

.

George Harrison — Got My Mind Set On You

.

Jarabe de Palo — Bonito

.

Belinda Carlise — Heaven is a Place on Earth

.

Robbie Nevil — C’est La Vie

,

Feel Good 5 Friday … on a Saturday Night

9 Jan

Sometimes people and life become so ugly and the excuses so lame that you got to find your corner of the world and remember that good resides there in order to gain the strength to see the next day and do good. Do good for your yourself, do good for your family, and do good for your community.

With all the chaos of the week it was easy to get lost in the bad, but needed a moment, just like everyone else, a moment to strip the negative away. But it was difficult, we needed something good and I was able to find what I needed in the tunes from my youth. Something about the tunes helps escape, at least for a moment.

And a quick escape from ugly is what was needed, in order to recalibrate and look forward to possibilities and a better something. I looked at the two good things that happened during the week and the small victories I could take in such a hot mess. I was glad to be part of something good when all the chaos hit, I was glad to have helped impact someone’s course and that trajectory was for positive change. I was glad to have volunteered and helped, making a difference, no matter how big or small everything added up. I mean look at Georgia … I took the win, put it in my back pocket, and turned on the jams.

Music is not always a solution, I know, but it provides a space, a safe space for peace and calm in my heart, of happiness and feel good vibes when they’re missing everywhere else, for inspirations that may help find solutions, for joy when you need to feeeeeeeeel it because in the midst of ugliness two moments of good took place and at the very least I needed to recognize it.

Needing something good and I found it in my playlist.

Buen Camino, my friends …

Van McCoy — The Hustle

Tavares — Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel

Chuck Mangione — Feel So Good

Los Faulosos Cadillacs — Matador

Dee Lite — Groove is in The Heart

.

.

Feel Good 5 Friday … 10-12 pounders and No Turkey Trots

27 Nov

I’ve mentioned this before.

Turkey trots.

Haven’t participated in one and usually take to the road on my own designing my own race and hearing my footsteps as they rock they track. Only in adulthood years have I found Zen moments involving Saucony running shoes. I hated running when I was younger. Couldn’t stand it. But after college and kids, I realized that swimming, running, and obstacle racing bring out the better parts of me when I can’t make it to the beach.

The freeing sense of getting away, of moving forward, of making that giant push at the end is extremely satisfying. In truth, I don’t always wake up excited feeling like running is the greatest, but I do feel better every time after I’ve finished. Don’t regret it.

But Turkey Trots … I’m not big on them. I’ve done plenty of other races, just not that one. Maybe it’s more of a group event, you do with a whole lot of your people, wearing turkey costumes.

I’m not big on those, but I don’t think anybody was this year. However I still went on my run. 3.5 miles and that little extra was just in case I had to reach deep to tap the reserve. Thanksgiving provides for loads of material for any artist, but this year the dysfunction was at a minimum in part because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Silver lining.

But even with the run, with the breathing and the sweat trickling down, with feeling tired, that good kind of tired, with being in that zone, the one that feels like a reward, I felt something missing. There was no where to go this week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were busy with grocery shopping, kids school, my side project, and pandemic life. But I was not in a giant walk-in fridge-freezer taking inventory of turkeys as I had done for so many years in a row growing up. There were no index cards with orders for 12-14 free range turkeys. No moving or inventorying hundreds of boxes. No customers. No parking validations. No coffee breaks with my dad.

He’s been gone 10 years, but Thanksgiving is still the week and day that I remember him the most. Owning a poultry shop for years, you get to know what weeks are complete chaos and when the countdown needed to begin. And that was it for us. Thanksgiving. Late nights recording new orders with pops at the dinner table, while he drank his coffee.

Boxes. They weren’t my favorite. At the time I dreaded it. So much work. So many 14-16 pound birds. And now I remember it all the time. I can see his distinctive block printing, he only used Parker pens. His white butcher’s coat and collared shirt. His blue Diestel Farms cap and black Samsonite briefcase. His tired eyes but will to keep going because it needed to be done.

I thought about that all week long, 16-18 turkeys, and more so when I was eating the turkey and mashed potatoes on Thursday. The laziness of the day use to always hit us, more him than me. No waking up at 4 a.m. to drive to the shop and get ready for the rush. He’d sleep in on Thanksgiving. He always slept in on Thanksgiving and I thought about him as I rose to run.

Thought about all those details and it pained me to remember that it had been 10 years. But I kept walking with that hurt in my chest knowing it was there because he was loved and missed. Still. And grateful that I could remember the details and picture the moments in my mind. I’m lucky that way I guess. I tell the stories to the kids. They found the endless boxes of turkeys in the walk-in fridge and me freezing hilarious.

Ten years later, no more index cards, 18-20 pounders haunting me, or white butcher coats. Just green bean casserole, mac-and-cheese, fresh rolls, and pumpkin pie … and of course our own 10-12 pounder.

Buen Camino my friends …

.

I’ll Be Your Man — Zac Brown Band

Something Just Like This — The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

Let My Love Open The Door — Peter Townshend

Vivo La Vida — Olga Tanon

Last Dollar — Tim McGraw

.

.