Archive for July, 2010

OK, I will admit it…I do not have a washer or dryer.  I am a renter in the Woodbridge “flats.” And unfortunately the house I live in does not allow me to even put in a washer or dryer.  A common thing or a “given” to many – a washer or dryer – yet to so many more out there those two appliances are considered a luxury. 

But this blog isn’t about washers or dryers in general, or Maytag, Whirlpool or Sears appliances.  It is about the humbling experience in my jaunts to the laundry mat – the “laundry mat of learning.”  When I first started going to this laundry mat up the street I was a bit embarrassed.  I felt poor in a way – like others would look at me and assume that I could not afford a washer or dryer.   When I owned my condo I could not have a washer and dryer in my physical unit but there was a common laundry room in the basement with five washers and dryers which all took $1.50 per load. 

I still remember my first day going to the laundry mat as I was used to my condo laundry room, a gathering place in a sense.  I had no idea about these huge machines, what I had to do or where to put the detergent, (powder or liquid as there were separate dispensers for that) versus the softener or prewash detergent for that matter.  Right away, the attendant Ella came over and explained the whole process and showed me how to put money on my Top Cat card (looked just like a debit card with their logo on it) to use the machines and where to put the detergent.  She assumed I was a Southern Graduate student (flattering in a sense). 

It was shortly after my first visit three years ago that my lessons began.  I have now gotten it down to a pretty regular schedule, going to the laundry mat either real early on Saturday or Sunday about every week or so usually around 6:30 to 7 a.m. to avoid the rush. 

In this time I’ve learned a lot about laundry, other people’s habits and my local community during the rinse, wash, extract and spin cycles.  Depending on which day I go, I see a whole group of different people.  On Saturdays, it is usually men.  They all acknowledge each other with a hug, a slap to the back and a quick hand clasp and a “hey brother or bro.” On Sundays, it is usually women and children.  They drag in their laundry in trash bags, cardboard boxes and laundry bags.  Regardless of what their laundry is in…there is one apparent characteristic…they bring tons of laundry accessories.  Bleach, detergent, fabric softener, stain remover AND they separate their whites from colors, socks from underwear and bed linens from all else.  Heck, I just throw it all in together – like my dad used to say about eating…it all goes to the same place.  I use this analogy for my laundry. It is all dirty and it needs to be washed regardless.  Maybe that is weird to you but I figure it all has to get clean and it doesn’t matter if the color is with the white or the kitchen towels are with the bedroom sheets.  As long as nothing dyes all my clothes pink (which has happened)…no problem. 

These women are prepared to spend hours if not the whole morning into the afternoon, washing, folding and chatting.  It is like a neighborhood reunion.  Many times they come with children in tow, a bag of snacks, juices and smiles.  They do not consider laundry as a chore.  The kids help out when needed and all play with each other during the various cycles leading up to the emptying of the washer, separating into the dryer and the actual folding of the laundry not only into piles, BUT into who it belongs to…Dad, Mom, sister, brother, niece, nephew or grandchildren.  They have it down to a science and each and every shirt, pants, skirt, sock, underwear or linens are folded with such precision it is actually amazing.  I must admit, in some cases, the precision was better than some upper end department stores I have recently visited. 

Over the years, after seeing some of the same individuals and families, a common courtesy and respect is formed.  I see many of my work clients during my laundry mornings.  I am not going to broadcast their next appointment or what items I have in the pantry.  I will say hello, ask about their week with a “hey how ya doing?” and maybe ask about a tidbit they disclosed about their life.  We have a mutual respect for each other. While others who I have met over the years, it is like a weekly date.  I see them each time I go to do my laundry and we watch Extreme Makeover or Law and Order (the only things they usually have on the tvs) and discuss the episode we are watching. 

So where is this leading you may ask?  Well, I thought it was about what I have learned in the laundry mat of life but it goes so much further and deeper.  Here are some of the things I have learned.

1.  Regardless of how bad your life or circumstances might seem, there is always someone in a worse circumstance.

2.  Never and I will stress NEVER, think you know it all about someone else – outward appearances do NOT tell the whole story and as the saying goes…”you can’t judge a book from its cover.”

3.  Never judge a person by what you think you see unless you walk a mile (or for that matter) a step or block in their shoes.

4.  You can separate the good from the bad…all you have to do is really listen, read between the words and observe what is really being said.

5.  Everyone has a past – regardless of how bad or good it might have been.  The thing that matters is if they have moved on for the better or if they are still stuck in it.  “I always loved the saying I read like a hundred years ago in some poetry book… “As long as I hold you in contempt, I am still holding you.”  Think about it. 

6.  The Sunday newspaper might seem like a standard part of my day.  I read it and I am done.  I have gotten into the habit of giving the paper to someone at the laundry mat after I am done…minus the sale circulars I want to keep.  To me passing it on is just a small gesture as it would land up in the recycle bin…but to others who cannot afford it… it seems as if I have given them gold. 

7.  To acknowledge one’s life or circumstances can mean the world to someone. 

I have learned a lot and actually experienced so much from my bi-monthly or weekly visits to my “laundry mat of life” and in one way or anther we, the patrons are connected. 

I was deeply saddened when a child who was doing laundry with her family was killed in the crosswalk in front of the laundry mat – I remember the family and child from my visit and expressed my sympathy and placed a flower at the crosswalk in memory of the child.  No one should have to lose a child.

I watched the sparkle come back to one of the staff’s eyes when I presented her with something that was so simple to do in a sense but meant the world to her.  While I was drawing and coloring in holiday cards for my friends and family she commented on how I hand drew and personalized cards. Before I left that morning I drew and colored a personalized card for her during the drying cycle – complete with the Top Cat name and Santa working behind the counter with all the washers and dryers.  That card was proudly hung in view for all to see during the holiday season and she thanked me each time I came in for thinking of her saying no one had done something for her like that or cared enough to acknowledge her as something more than an employee, hired to meet every patrons needs.

I remember fondly the man who was dumpster diving behind the laundry mat for cans and bottles.  During my drying cycle, I went home and grabbed the bag of returnables from my home.  I presented it to him and again, it was like he struck gold out West during the Gold Rush.  His story was disheartening, a self employed carpenter who took the hit during the recent economic downturn.  Those cans and bottles that I usually gave to my neighbor who had two jobs would get him a meal, a fax to a potential job prospect or maybe a bus ride to an interview.  He too was a renter and his landlord who was having a problem paying his own mortgage on the rental property was at the point of evicting him due to the same economic downturn. 

This past Saturday as I left the laundry mat, I was humbled in so many ways.  I thought about the many people I have met over the past three years, their stories, their heartaches and heartbreaks, their tragedies.  How they landed up where they are today.  I thought about how many of us were there for the same reason, we did not have a washer or dryer due to where we lived.  I also thought about those who were trying to crawl out from whatever life threw at them and how they or we in that sense were trying to make ends meet, provide for their families and find some balance in their lives.

On Saturday, I once again began to take a serious look at my life and began to count my blessings…ONE BY ONE.  I am now up to over 200 and I know this journey and my counting will not stop any time soon.


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Since last year, a lot of strange things have been happening in my waking moments and dreams.  I get thoughts, inklings, a feeling.  In many cases, I feel that I can almost determine conversations, and/or experiences.  Weird things have happened in re-connecting with people from my past.  I must admit that I have become extremely paranoid with the reconnection part.  Almost as if saying why now, why here, why after ALL these years. The dreams are so vivid that I sometimes wake up wondering if it really happened, the conversation, the scenario, the outcome.  They say that tornado dreams signify a rapid change or turmoil…I have been having a LOT of those lately.  Whether the instance brought back memories of a relationship or friendship from a few years ago or a decade ago or 30 years for that matter – I wonder why and if something is going to happen to one of us or a family member in the present, or if there is an underlying reason as if maybe the powers that be felt it was best that “we” reconnect at this moment in time.  I am brought back to one of my all time favorite songs by Harry Chapin.  All My Life’s A Circle. 

“All my life`s a circle;
Sunrise and sundown;
Moon rolls thru the nighttime;
Till the daybreak comes around.

All my life`s a circle;
But I can`t tell you why;
Season`s spinning round again;
The years keep rollin` by.”

I know exactly when this all began.  It started last fall when I facebooked and found my RA from college and wouldn’t you guess, the weekend I emailed her was the homecoming weekend and a bunch of people from my dorm floor all met up at CCSU – I believed she travelled from TX just to be there.  Of course I was not there as I normally do not attend homecoming weekend at my college.  She posted photos and it brought back SOOOO many times, memories and validated my years at college in a sense.  I was not in the yearbook (that is another story to be told) but anyway, it was an awakening in a sense. 

There were other instances, though I will not put them in chronological order here as that would be too hard… For example, I was at a local watering hole where I met three of the younger brothers of a forth brother from my childhood neighborhood.  The youngest brother seemed SOOOO much younger when we were kids.  It was such a mind trip in a sense.  Shortly there after, I received a facebook email from brother number four who was my age who played a BIG part in my younger years.  I was totally elated to hear from him and although he did not attend the same high school, he did marry someone who I thought was absolutely wonderful and they actually had a connection with one of my brother’s and his ex-wife (as through our new connection, they also reconnected). 

Another instance was at a benefit for a family friend (my little brother was friends with his little brother) though I knew him and most of his family way back when and he was the one who the benefit was for.  He also married someone I worked with at Subway Headquarters so we originally reconnected about 15 + years ago in one way or another. At that benefit I had the opportunity to see people I had not seen or talked to in 12+ years from my “corporate”  job at Subway. 🙂

In June of this year I then attended a reunion of (get this) grammar school classmates.  I saw people I had not basically seen in 30 years or so.  Each bringing with them images I remember so vividly, just like my dreams.   Would this ever stop???? 

It continued at Peoples Bank where I saw a daughter of an old friend – last time I saw the daughter was probably shortly after she was 6 years old! and she was all grown up, yes a woman!  I ran into her recently, again, in an aisle at the Milford Shop Rite.   She motioned to me that her mom was coming up the aisle and I basically put my foot up and stopped her cart…only to see her mouth drop in amazement when she realized who it was blocking her way up the aisle.  I was whisked back so many years and to memories that I thought were forgotten forever. Meeting at Friendly’s at the CT Post Mall (as it was called then) and then eventually working many years later at Subway together. 

Summing up the reconnections here, then there was a conversation with an ex, an email from someone I had not spoken to in many years, an IM invitation to become friends on facebook with someone who basically “unfriended” me due to circumstances beyond their control and finally.  a call to wish someone who was very dear to me a happy birthday.  All these people from my past, suddenly popping up in my present life.     What’s up with that or this???!!!

It seems like I`ve been here before;
I can`t remember when;
But I have this funny feeling;
That we`ll all be together again.
No straight lines make up my life;
And all my roads have bends;
There`s no clear-cut beginnings;
And so far no dead-ends.

Once again, thanks to Harry Chapin (RIP) for his wonderful lyrics…anyway (YES, I say that a lot)   I have been pondering over and over again why so suddenly (well over the past 8 months or so) did all these links to my past reappear and what did they mean?  I wondered as some of these connections dug up things I would have rather kept buried deep beneath the surface of my mind.  I wondered why the connections stirred parts of me I thought were forgotten, ignored, erased from my mind. But most of all, I was surprised that these reconnections brought back so many emotions – up front and center, in the present, like it was only yesterday. 

I have been thinking just what my life would be like if we kept in touch.  I think about why we did not keep in touch or the moment that the friendship or relationship changed to lead to where we are today – maybe it was other relationships, distance, different goals or paths or something happened between us…a tiff, a discrepancy, or likewise….But I was still left wondering in many cases.  And most of all in these past few days or actually weeks and months, I wonder if my heart and mind would be able to handle my memories and if we did reconnect again – could I take the good times and push aside the bad.  I wondered if over the years and absence could an understanding or a common ground be reached.

It’s funny as I knew for several people….that at that moment when we reconnected, it was like no time had passed – that time basically stood still –  and we could go back to where we left off in many ways…no matter how many years ago.  Others, unfortunately brought back too much baggage (and it actually freaked me out in more ways than one) as I am trying to leave drama for the stage and tv soap operas and to not have it as part of my life.  Some things will never change and for some I knew this within five minutes of our conversation.  I also realized through conversations how much we moved on, changed for the better (or worse) and that our lives were no longer parallel, and that we no longer had the same goals and dreams, nor were we on the same paths to the future.  

In the past few weeks, I’ve looked at a collage I have on my kitchen wall. It has been there for three years at my current residence and many more at my previous condo.   I walk by it every day, multiple times…I am aware of it…I glance at it, but I’ve lately been really looking at it and studying it.  It contains photos of most of these friends, relationships and acquaintances over the past 20 years.  I remember fondly exactly when and where the photos were taken and under what circumstances.  I remember making the collage and the importance of including each photo, person and experience.   I remember at that time what each person meant to me, us, and life in general.  I guess I am now coming full circle with my life and as Harry Chapin  would continue with his song…

I found you a thousand times;
I guess you done the same;
But then we lose each other;
It`s like a children`s game;

As I find you here again;
A thought runs through my mind;
Our love is like a circle;
Let`s go `round one more time.

I do not know or frankly understand why it is happening now or what the meaning might be.  I do know that I am taking each reconnection for what it is, regardless of what it might bring up from the past.  All of these people played a significant part of my growing up years, whether childhood, adolescent, high school, college or my adult world.  And to tell you the truth, I seriously would not trade any of these memories (regardless) as each instance has helped shaped me and made me what I am today.  And these fun loving, great times (and in some cases…painful or confusing moments) from the past are making me think, re-evaluate and take a serious look at life … my life in general.

It is just the circle of life…my life

As I find you here again;
A thought runs through my mind;
Our love (OR FRIENDSHIP)  is like a circle;
Let`s go `round one more time.

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Tag Sale of Life

The past few days, I have been sifting through boxes and plastic totes of “things” in hopes of having a tag sale in the coming weeks.  Things I’ve accumulated over the years.  Things I wanted to sell on ebay.  Things I know are worth money and really have no use for.  Things that I just couldn’t let go of and saved.  It’s amazing how much just one person can accumulate over the years.  Noooo, I am not like the couple recently featured on the internet who were found buried under piles and piles of “things and stuff” in their house.  I am not a professional hoarder and not yet like Sanford and Son, from the old tv sitcom.  But I do have a lot of “things.”  Some of the things have a story or memory behind it (like the Boston Red Sox Ortiz Jersey I won in a 2nd chance drawing – still in the plastic) while other things were just items I acquired, or just had to have for one strange reason or another (Furby’s in their original boxes; sets of McDonald’s beanie babies; Elizabeth Taylor’s Limited Edition White Diamonds 15th Anniversary collector’s box complete with a Swarovski Crystal Pin; 2006 Bud Light Promo T-shirts still in the original packaging; Life magazines from the 1970’s) and of course VCR tapes that I never watch; and baseball and football cards. Heck, I still have my size 8 clothes that I wore 8 years ago …2002 to be exact…and believe me it seems like and was a lifetime ago when I actually fit in size 8 and not even close to fitting in them any time soon …  LOL!  I am not an ebay whiz and have no idea how to price half these items.  But I know in my heart, that I do not need these items and thus, I am preparing for my tag sale.  I have always believed that it is the quality of one’s life…not the quantity or what one has accumulated or has that defines a person.  A person can have all the money or possessions in the world and still not be happy. 

While sorting through all this stuff, I found some unbelievable stuff that I could never put a price on and things I wouldn’t sell regardless.  The family photos from my birth to present including high school, college, friends, jobs, etc,; every article I wrote when I worked as a reporter for the Milford Citizen and various other outlets, and the Milford Chronicle; Hallmark and Blue Mountain Arts cards from family and friends and ex’s and my CCSU tattered sweatshirt and Gallaudet Six Pink and Blue striped shirt from the mid-1080’s.  (Sidebar here to this topic….Actually, years ago I did go through old photos and mailed a bunch out to others so they could keep them in their pile of things and enjoy with their families for years to come.  I sent them to people who I no longer really kept in contact with but were at one time or another friends or an important part of my life). 

Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand….Going through all this stuff, items, boxes and in some cases bags, I realized that there are many other things I originally thought I would like to sell at my Tag Sale of Life but how do you put a price or value on things such as Heartache or Heartbreak (for that matter): Guilt; Unrequited Love; Hurt; ill health; Fear; Broken Promises, Missed Opportunities, or Hopeless Dreams.  No one in their right mind would want them and to tell ya the truth, I don’t even think I would be able to give them away free.  I don’t think I could find a proper way to package them even if I were to go to the local Goodwill drop off box.  Then it hit me…many of these things were packed away among boxes or pages in a scrapbook.  They were things from my distant memory in a sense and only come out when prompted by a thought, a sound, a smell, a song, a sight or a situation. Maybe these things are not meant to be sold or given away.  Many of these things are instances or experiences that are more valuable than any photo, card or article ever written of or by me – they were more valuable than any trinket, item or antique I acquired over the years.  Each one of these were things that shaped me and made me into who and what I am today, right now.  They had to be experienced and will always be tucked away amongst letters, cards, drawings and deep in my mind.  Sure, there are many things I have let go of over the years, but not to the highest bidder and not without some thought….they were let go for free and those are the heartaches and heartbreaks in life…and maybe I tossed in some hurt, humiliation or disappointments along the way.  They were let go when the time was right, when I was ready to let go, move forward or beyond. 

My tag sale of life is coming up and you can bet that it is the material things that I will place up for sale.  I have a “not for sale” sign ready for the rest as NO money in the world would be enough to sell my experiences and memories or my hopes and dreams, regardless of whether they brought me joy or tears.  These are the invaluable lessons that can’t be bought or sold, bartered or traded.  They are and will always be a part of my existence.

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It seems like a lifetime ago when my brothers and I used to all pile in the Station Wagon or Plymouth Fury opening day of fishing season and go downtown Milford for the “Fishing Derby” with my dad at some ungodly hour…I think it was 6 a.m. As a kid…that was early.  We had our poles, worms, and dreams of catching that “big one.”  We were usually finished (or my father had just about all he could take of my two older brothers, Keith and Kevin, and my younger brother, Richard), by noon at the latest whether we caught a fish or not, but we always returned (sometimes crying or cranky to my mom) with stories of the “one that got away.” I remember countless times when I cried that worms had to basically lose their lives so that we could fish. I remember feeling sorry for the worms or saying a silent prayer to their parents, apologizing that I took them from their family and all that they could grow up and be … which actually was just a bigger worm, who if not eaten by a fish would surely be eaten by a bird, a crow or some other critter.  I remember catching “Sunnies” and was told…they aren’t good to eat, just throw them back. Or the catfish, who were ugly as sin, hardest to skin or gut but were by far the mildest fish I ever savored.

And above all, I remember the stories of the “one that got away.”  And each time the story was told, the “one that got away” got bigger – bigger in length, bigger in the fight it put up and bigger all the way around.  It was the elusive fish…the “one that got away.”

Through my high school and college years, fishing was tossed by the wayside.   My brothers all kept it up, but I had other more important things to do, see, and experience.  Which brings me to the present.  A few years ago I moved into a new house with the West River directly behind me.  When I say directly behind me, I mean like so direct that when it flooded my first year here – the Woodbridge Police steered their boat up Litchfield Turnpike to my front porch asking if we wanted to leave the premises and evacuate.  Usually the river is 15-20 feet across, while that day it consumed my backyard and everything it its path – which by the way is at least 100 feet away from the house.  OK, getting back to the subject at hand here…

The 2nd year of living here I decided to try my hand at fishing again.  I had a rod, reel, lots of hooks, lines, sinkers, bobbers and everything that a beginner fisherwomen would need.  I took all this equipment to the banks of the West River to try my hand at fishing once again.  My first cast out went two feet; my next cast out went and hit the branches a few feet down and I had to cut the line and rethread the hook.  My third cast out actually made it in the river.  Hmmm…I guess I had a lot of work to do in that area.  In that year I learned a lot about the river, the currents, and what might lurk beneath the surface – the same surface that I actually found calming in so many ways.  When I am on the small river bank in the back of my yard it is silent.  I can not hear the constant traffic like when I sit in my living room, I am in a quiet, peaceful spot where it is just me, connecting with nature, the river and all that it has to offer.  

The “old timers” from the Woodbridge Flats will tell you that years ago you could basically row a boat down the river from the pond near the dam to almost Walgreens’ on Whalley Ave.  There was a small pier at the pond and someone used to rent out boats.  That is so long gone. The pond is now covered with water lilies and pond plants and basically not the best spot for fishing.  The river after the dam and closer to my house is also much lower and you could not take a boat down the river if you tried your hardest.  Behind my house are the remnants of many floods and things that have washed down the river.  Even in the best times, it is maybe a few feet deep. 

You may be wondering why I like fishing…a woman in her late 40’s who likes fishing???  Give me a break …  right?  Well, no in a sense.  Here is where I fit in.  When I am fishing I am in my own little world – usually not thinking about much at all.  The fluid motion of casting (or as in yesterday, getting my line completely tangled, “Tangled up in Blue” as my newest fishing pole is blue… LOL) I love sitting completely still and watching the line for any movement, feeling a tug here or a pull there and then narrowing in on the catch.    I really do not care if I get a bite or not…it is all in the surroundings, the sounds, the water’s edge, the waters rhythm that I take glory in the moment.  It is a mind eraser from a crazy day and stress.  It is confirmation that life goes on.   I can see the currents, the turtles on the bottom of the river, the sunnies, the dragon flies above and maybe, just maybe if you listen closely, the frogs. 

Last year I actually hooked “a big one.”  I cast out and all of a sudden there was a tug and the line stiffened up  with such a jerk, I nearly slipped on the riverbank.  I tugged, pulled and was actually in the water by about a foot by the time I reeled the fish in.  It was a beauty in a sense but I wanted to let it go. I had to put it in a bucket as it was thrashing around wildly and I tried to remove the hook and throw it back when I realized that the open mouth on this fish was wider than my very own fist, I called Frank (my landlord) in a panic, I couldn’t get the hook out, I was afraid it would die, what should I do.  Frank was over within 10 minutes in his church clothes and helped release the fish … stating that if he did NOT have go to church, it would have been one hell of a dinner.  A large mouth bass and one of the largest he had seen from the river in the backyard in a long time.  Mind you, he grew up in the house I was living in and he is in his 60’s.  We released the fish in the river and said farewell.  Upon release, it was almost like the fish did a double take, arched its back in a flip like motion as if to say  thank you. 

After that high, I got into a routine of fishing anytime I was stressed or came home from work earlier than planned.  It was a game now and the game was on.  I met my fish frequently, or maybe it was several different fish.  We toyed with each other, me casting, the fish nibbling.  Me losing upward to 3-5 hooks and worms, the fish showing its belly almost as a slap in the face.  I fought this fish, many times getting it within arms reach only to have the fish snap the line and swim away, leaving me cursing in its wake.  It was the elusive fish…”the one that got away.”  I vowed that I too would be like a scene from Grumpy Old Men or Grumpier Old Men for that matter and catch that sucker.  Frank   told all his Woodbridge cronies of my escapades and the one that got away.  He too made it his mission last year and never did get the one that got away but it did consume many of his hooks and flies down river. 

I have often wondered what it was with this fish or maybe it was several fish that made me so determined –  I questioned myself whether it was all in the chase, the effort, the fight, or the gently release.  It’s funny as last night as I was fishing, there was a rather “big” fish jumping out of the water showing its belly and trying to catch the bugs above.  I wondered if this was my fish, and whether it recognized me and most of all … I wondered if maybe, just maybe, our seasonal River Dance would begin again this summer?  I made a deal with the river and its currents that I would return whatever I was able to conquer up to a certain size.  I have been playing the River Dance for a few years now but I am not yet ready to lay down my pole. I am patiently waiting for “the big one” still. I have my Frying pan ready…do you think it can take the heat or will the catch of the season once again be the one that got away??!!

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Drop, Drip, Trickle, Stream, River, Pond, Lake, or Ocean?

Today in this blazing heat and humidity I can only think of one thing….WATER.  It’s funny as I always tell others that my blood consists of two to three things, coffee, beer and the remnants of dark chocolate.  In a matter of four hours this morning I drank three cups of coffee before work and then three bottles of water and a bottle of Propel with its wonderful antioxidants before noon.  By the end of the day today, my tally was three cups of coffee, five bottles of water and two large Propels. 

As I pulled up to my driveway after a rather long day, I glanced at the 10 flower boxes adorning my front porch and my heart sunk when I saw my flowers laying over in the heat and humidity and blazing sun.  I felt guilty that here I was…sort of hydrated and my plants within my flower boxes were wishing they had the precious gift of water or even a fraction of what I had consumed today.  I never considered water as a precious gift until I saw what its absence could do to something.  Yes, something as simple as a seed, that grew into a plant, was providing beauty, and symbolized life was now leaning over, stretching out for anything that could provide just a drop, a drip or a trickle from a water hose – sort of like an outstretched hand looking for a lifeline, knowing that without water it would be a matter of survival and its chance for a future.   

I pondered where did I go wrong?  I knew I watered the flower boxes last night and also this morning before I went to work.  I wondered had I took the day off and tended to the plants during this heat and humidity, would it had a made a difference at all.  I laughed at myself for caring so much about my flower boxes and what I could have done differently and actually thinking I could have made a difference staying home.  I know they say talking to your plants will make them flourish but I shudder to think what they would have been yelling at me during today’s heat wave! 

Then, like a cold breeze from nowhere, (on a day like today), it struck me.  As much as I was thinking about my flowers, the beginning, the nurturing stage, the growing stage, and the beauty of reaching a desired result and looking forward to a future, that this cycle could apply to many things in most of our lives.  Whether it be a new job, a relationship, a marriage, a family tie or a friendship.  Each of these scenarios goes through a similar process.  It then made me realize that each step can make or break the situation. 

Sometimes, just a drop of luck could change a life.

A drip, ever so steady, can solidify a relationship to the next stage.

A constant trickle of affection or nurturing could boost a relationship, marriage or friendship.

Sometimes our efforts could be like a river or stream, constantly running – though depending on the season – either fast and furious or slow and steady.  Other times, our efforts could be seasonal or conditional, like a pond or lake… serene and set in its way in so many senses – flourishing in the good times, but cold and frozen in the worst of times.  At a stand still, until the situation changes. 

I always liked to think of life as sort of an inlet or gulf – maybe as a safe harbor in a sense.  I liked knowing that if I followed “Life for Dummies” and did everything right, then what could possibly go wrong.  What I realized today, after doing everything right for my flower boxes, is that there are no guarantees – like when you buy a product from a store or something from an infomercial – if I am not satisfied within 30 days, I can get my money back.  NOT! 

What I realized today is that each and every situation (and basically life in general) has many critical turning points – twists and turns and unspoken needs.  It is our responsibility to notice and realize just what each instance needs…a drop, a drip, a trickle or a stream.  A drop, a drip or a trickle can keep us stuck or trapped in the same situation.  For instance, my plants would be no better off if they received just a drop or a drip today.  They would be able to savor the moment, feel better for a bit, but would still be in the same situation, (under nourished, dehydrated and begging or searching for a lifeline).    A stream or a river could have led to bigger and better things but only if it were constant.

As I am rereading this blog, I am thinking that something as simple as the heat and humidity, quenching my thirst and feeling guilty about my flower boxes has stirred my mind to write this. 

At this very moment, I am thinking of not wanting to be a pond or lake where I am basically confined by the barriers of the landscape.  I want to explore the possibilities of being a wave in the ocean – breaking new ground; stirring up the boundaries; changing the landscape, and the foundation of the solid ground.  I do not want to stop at the wave, I want to be a part of an expansive ocean with all its wonders, its mysteries deep below the surface, its history and its future – riding with the currents, and breaking new ground – providing comfort with its sounds, relief with its sea salt and healing properties – facing each storm with possibly a rainbow to show for the struggle or the perfect sunset at the end of the day. 

I am thinking of all the possibilities that can come from just a drop.  What do you want to be today…a drop, a drip, a trickle, a river, a stream, a pond, a lake or an ocean?  Each began with a drop of water and the possibilities are endless depending on how much we want our personal watershed to flow.

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