I’m so excited!

When my husband became ill at the beginning of the year and I was totally overwhelmed with caring for him and having no family or support system here our daughter brought up that perhaps we should think about moving closer to her. I mentioned that I had been looking at CCRC’s here and she suggested looking in Vermont near her.

Then she brought up the possibility of she and her husband buying a house with an in-law suite. I LOVED that idea. We talked about the financing and that is not a problem since my husband and I could put down a substantial down payment and pay half the monthly mortgage amount or close to.

She and her husband own a home but it is way out there and the commute is a killer and they really want to move closer to Burlington.  We all like this idea – it’s a win-win for everyone plus of course having a built-in babysitter (me!)

With my husband’s diagnosis still in flux the whole project was put on hold. Well, my husband’s MRI came back with nothing to worry about so I immediately texted our daughter that if she still wants to do the house thing, health-wise it’s a go for us.

So the search is on! It’s gonna take a while but it seems we will be moving! Yay!

Granted Vermont is not my first choice of a place to live but Paris is out of the question and needs must. At our ages and health challenges we need some sort of support system. Since our daughter offered we would be fools not to take them up on it. I may be a lot of things but stupid isn’t one of them.

I’m so excited!

Overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness (and a little glee)

for having been born and brought up in New York City and having the father that I had.  New York City is the entire universe in 300.46 square miles. Thanks to my father I got to experience just about every square foot of it.

How do I keep this short and sweet? It all started this morning, with me being grumpy about some inconsequential shit on the internet that pissed me off and that I couldn’t let go of – ignorant yahoos.

But then I received a New York Times ‘newsletter’ in my email that featured a story about Marvin Gaye singing the national anthem. When I shared it with my husband his reaction was “meh” whereas I was blown away. This led to a discussion about music and the realization that because of where I grew up and with whom I grew up my views and tastes were more far ranging than my husband’s.

And that is due to my father.

I know of people who have lived for several generations in New York City and know jack-all about what’s there. So sad.

As soon as we were toilet trained and had acquired manners my father took us to every single museum in NYC.  Not just the art museums but the numismatic museum down on Wall Street, all sorts of museums covering every topic imaginable.  He took us to white-tablecloth restaurants; to the theater.

And yes to the zoo, the botanical gardens, the planetarium, the circus,the rodeo, the horse races, Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden – no type of sport was left out – we were introduced to it, if only as spectators.

At home we were surrounded by music of every form and format. And books – my father came from a family of readers – anything with print on it was perused.

Music? Oh my word – there was ALWAYS music. And NYC, being NYC, you could twirl your way around the radio dial and there was no music unrepresented. There was no culture unrepresented. There were radio stations that broadcast in languages other than English.

So much popular music originated in NYC – doo-wop, rap, beatbox, hip-hop – we heard it all first. Nothing was banned, nothing was off-limits. You only had to be curious enough to stop and listen.

Food? Oh hell do not tell me anything about food, just don’t. From the mundanity of mashed potatoes to haute cuisine – I ate it. And not the Americanized versions. The real deal.

It wasn’t just that you lived in a city with people of other cultures, you experienced their culture, and they yours because you were in and out of their homes. They were your friends and when we were young we took our differences for granted.

My parent’s friends – all my “Aunts” and “Uncles” – a veritable United Nations.

That’s how I grew up. As an adult my native curiosity took me farther and wider. I’m thinking I got my curiosity from my father –  it’s something people have commented on my whole life – my shrink said “You are the most curious person I have ever met”

How do you not wonder about the world that surrounds you especially when the world you live in is so diverse and strange and magical.

So, yes, right now feeling happy and bouncy and lucky and grateful that I had the father I had, growing up in the city I did and being blessed with a sense of curiosity that leads me down rabbit holes even Alice never dreamed of.

Just ask us…

At 76 I’m at the younger end of being the oldest generation. There are still some left from my parents generation. My own mother died two years ago at the age of 103 1/2.  Were it not for Covid she’d probably still be alive. Not lucid, a body with no mind, but still alive and breathing.

In my experience, which is the only place I can speak from, we didn’t ask our parents and grandparents, especially us second generation immigrant children, what life was like in the ‘old country’. We didn’t even ask what it was like in the new country. When you are young these things don’t occur to you. Or, they didn’t occur to us. 

Plus in those times children were neither seen nor heard. Children were banished to other rooms while the adults talked. Whenever family history or gossip or matters of importance or the day to day bitching about life was talked about children were not allowed. Yes, as we got older, teenage, we overheard more but never really dared to ask. If we did we were told it was none of our business, not important, fobbed off with some crazy fairy tale they made up. Oh my, the lies they told.

Whenever a doctor asks about my family medical history I have to tell them I don’t know. No one ever said, I never asked. Whatever I know about my family, my parents, grandparents, what their lives were like, even what they died of – all of it is hearsay or lies.

Oh yes there were stories told around the dinner table, many I’ve learned were  just stories, or lies.  Some made up out of whole cloth, some prettied up because the truth was not. No one spoke of hopes, dreams, aspirations,  disappointments or even hard times. Looking back one would think that life was just grand from the moment they were born.

I wonder if people my age have shared with their children what they know – of life. Of the history they were a part of, what life was like for people ‘back then’ because back then was over 75 years ago. A lot of history under that bridge and we lived it.

Why doesn’t anyone just ask us?

 

Oh my heart!

I send my granddaughters little videos. I make them with Instagram, save them, and message them to their Mom’s phone. I usually ‘dress up’ as some character or creature and tell them I love them and such. It’s a way to stay in touch since we live so far apart and we only see them once a year.  The girls seem to really like them and will annoy their Mom to play Nonna’s videos.

This morning I got this text:

Despite looking morning dreadful I quickly made a video but “dressed up” in a piggy costume. (Gotta love IG filters).  I haven’t heard back yet but I hope my darling granddaughter is feeling better. I know I am…

I was just thinking…

I usually do one big household chore a day, that’s all I can manage. Gone are the days when I would do a once-a-week clean sweep, it was usually Sunday because my husband and I worked the ole Monday-Friday, 9 to 5 grind and Sunday was it for cleaning and laundry.

Today my husband decided he felt well enough to vacuum. I had already done the dusting and wiping down 2 days ago and bathrooms 3 days ago so my only chore would be to wash the floors after he vacuumed.

While I was mopping I was thinking “What I need is a little old Sicilian woman to do my cleaning” Then I thought “Wait, I AM a little old Sicilian woman and I’m too old for this. I need a middle-aged Sicilian woman.”

I was telling my husband this and he said “I’m all for paying someone to clean. Why don’t you advertise for a middle-aged Sicilian woman?” I had to laugh at that and explain to him I couldn’t do that – very un-PC.  Besides – this isn’t South Philly.

Why do I want a Sicilian? Because those people are crazy clean freaks. (My husband said “Not all of them…?” “No” I said “obviously not but that’s their reputation.)

I grew up in a household where Sicilian mother was a crazy clean freak and Neapolitan father was a crazy neat freak. The arguments were priceless…

Father: Why is there a hair brush on top of the refrigerator?
Mother: They’re clean!
Father: But a hair brush doesn’t belong on the top of the refrigerator!
Mother: So what – I cleaned them!

I suppose as arguments go that is fairly benign (especially in our house) but it was loud and repeated often, only the specific items changing.

Now that I think of it – hair brushes were often found on top of the fridge. Considering my mother needed a step stool to reach the top of the fridge I wonder how they always wound up there – and why?

Now I have to go find my general purpose cleaning toothbrush. I noticed that the light switch thingy is really dirty.

That's the age old question…

Nature or Nurture? 

Am I by nature a loner? I really think I am. I don’t crave the togetherness many people seem to put a premium on. I have no concept of family. I have always been happiest, and healthiest, when I lived alone. 

I know I bitch and moan about living in social isolation these past 15 years or so but what I mean by that is that I go nowhere and talk to no one but my husband and that is not my preference.

I like to be out and about. I like to talk to people. Even share a meal. But then – I like to go home. Alone. Oh how I love to be home alone. 

Eat what and when I want. Sleep when and how long I want. Clean when I want – basically just live my life the way I want, without having to take into consideration someone else’s preferences.  Especially when they are diametrically opposed to mine.

Why in hell I ever got married is beyond me. Especially after having lived with men several times in what we shall call a romantic relationship, and being unhappy with that set-up, 

Could be I am just a selfish self-centered person. Perhaps I am just pig-headed and reluctant to compromise. Could be I am a loner, happiest on my own, doing my own thing. 

The nature-nurture thing. My younger brother has spent his entire life looking for a family. He has glommed on to any family he could find – his friend’s, his girlfriend’s, his wives. I sometimes think he chose friends/girlfriends/wives based on their families not on them as individuals. 

We grew up in the same dysfunctional family, yet I have never had any desire to be part of a ‘family’ and my brother wants nothing more. 

I suppose if I did some deep diving in my psyche I might get a better handle on whether my “I want to be alone”ness is nature or nurture. But I really don’t want to.

I just want to be alone.

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That’s the age old question…

Nature or Nurture?

Am I by nature a loner? I really think I am. I don’t crave the togetherness many people seem to put a premium on. I have no concept of family. I have always been happiest, and healthiest, when I lived alone.

I know I bitch and moan about living in social isolation these past 15 years or so but what I mean by that is that I go nowhere and talk to no one but my husband and that is not my preference.

I like to be out and about. I like to talk to people. Even share a meal. But then – I like to go home. Alone. Oh how I love to be home alone.

Eat what and when I want. Sleep when and how long I want. Clean when I want – basically just live my life the way I want, without having to take into consideration someone else’s preferences.  Especially when they are diametrically opposed to mine.

Why in hell I ever got married is beyond me. Especially after having lived with men several times in what we shall call a romantic relationship, and being unhappy with that set-up,

Could be I am just a selfish self-centered person. Perhaps I am just pig-headed and reluctant to compromise. Could be I am a loner, happiest on my own, doing my own thing.

The nature-nurture thing. My younger brother has spent his entire life looking for a family. He has glommed on to any family he could find – his friend’s, his girlfriend’s, his wives. I sometimes think he chose friends/girlfriends/wives based on their families not on them as individuals.

We grew up in the same dysfunctional family, yet I have never had any desire to be part of a ‘family’ and my brother wants nothing more.

I suppose if I did some deep diving in my psyche I might get a better handle on whether my “I want to be alone”ness is nature or nurture. But I really don’t want to.

I just want to be alone.