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Posts tagged ‘Europe’

Get It, Girl

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“When you know your why, you can endure anyhow.” John O’Leary

 

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Last Tuesday was a difficult day, one of many, because that’s life.  There was the day we had to take Dad’s keys away. That was a doozy. Or maybe when we moved Dad into the Veterans Home – without Mom. That one was the mother of all tough days.

After enough of these, we begin to understand that no matter how many tough days we have, their purpose is merely preparation for the next tough one. It reminds me of track hurdles. I attempted them once, but was never adept. Leg #1 cleared the hurdle, but then there’s that Leg #2. It’s like an educational program: “No Leg Left Behind.”  But the back leg just won’t rise up enough. I still can’t hurdle, even though the hurdles are now shorter. Pet gates at home are hurdles. They keep Lily White corralled. If I had a nickel for every time Leg #2 leveled the gate, I’d be retired on a beach in Fiji. The lesson: next time lift leg higher. It’s hard -sometimes very – because of  “it”. Yesterday “it” was a tough conversation with Mom. Who knows what it’ll be tomorrow?

What’s that troubling issue in your world? Imagine you’re on a relay. The runner prepares to pass the baton to you. You must grab it and immediately hurdle. Without tripping. Not this time. Tuesday, I told myself, “Just get over it. No moving gates aside, like I can with Lily’s gates. I got over it. It wasn’t easy. Tough’s hard.

There are other ways to help clear the hurdles. It’s whatever works for you. Here’s what I did. Tuesday I dressed for strength. My earrings were from Poland. Korey gave them to me on that trip. We toured Auschwitz I and II,  to understand history and the conditions in which my P.O.W. father was forced to live. And because that girl of mine/ours is one strong gem, conquering hurdle after hurdle. She inspires me. My necklace and ring are from Jeff. If he was a boxer, his robe would read, “THE ROCK”. Sometimes I’d like to throw rocks at him, but he just builds me a path with them. My bracelet is from Nick, given to me on his and Jenna’s wedding day. As a four pound preemie, we prayed he’d have strength to survive. Did he ever. Let’s call him, “ROCK II”. Mr. Strong & Steady, Jr. My skirt is from Jenna, who exhibited unbelievable strength on the premature death of her dad. She’s currently hurdling a new career like an Olympian and also being strong for Nick throughout Grandpa’s death. Love that girl, like our own. My hair is from my mom. Talk about a strength in the face of adversity. Whoa. Now, it’s my turn. Sure hope I got that gene. Finally, my shoes. I recently attended “Let’s Rise!” conference. Jeff Googled it and thought I’d find inspiration and rejuvenation. He was correct. I’d forgotten my shoes, so had to buy some. Wearing them reminds me of what I learned at “Rise”: with thought and preparation, we can do more than we thought.

It’s been tough before.  It’s tough today. It’ll get tough tomorrow. I need to get it done and behind me. After Tuesday, I’m not jubilant, but relieved and a bit stronger. I’m doing the right thing. I know that feeling.

No resting on laurels, Girl, get strong for the next tough opportunity.  At Hobby Lobby, I saw “Get it, Girl”, an 8”x 8” light-up, home accent in Barbie colors. I know! I called later. They held it for me.  At 90%, it probably won’t drop further…better grab it for $2.50.

What’s your “Get it, Girl?” What thing gives you strength?

Find it. Own it. Get it.

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I LEFT MY PANTS IN POLAND! January 2015

It’s Thursday, January 15, 2015, and in the news,
•Al Quaida in Yemen takes responsibility for Paris Attack; Belgium thwarts attack
•Gas leak on space station forces US astronauts into Russian quarters.
•Puppy piddles a puddle during premier appearance on the Today show.

It’s a tough world out there, and sometimes, you just need to laugh. I’ve rewritten this blog 3 times, unsure about which direction to take. We’re on top of the Paris situation, in a “wait & watch” mode and we’ll never grasp ISIS’ mentality. But the puppy. Now there’s something we can use. The teaser previews made us anxious. I mean, who doesn’t love a Lab pup, in training for service? Jeff stepped closer to the TV. Impatiently, he said to Matt Lauer, “C’mon, nobody cares about the gas leak. GET TO THE PUPPY!” And the laughter was good.

After much thought, I’ve decided to ditch the heavy stuff and share some observations of our recent trip to Europe.
•Hint: don’t use “GEEK FARE” for tickets. We were routed from Chicago to LaGuardia, NYC, then JFK to London. What, pray tell, is enough time to jaunt across NYC? But, we made it. And that’s a BIG but, because we almost didn’t.
•At Buckingham Palace’s changing of the guard, everyone jockeyed for position. The best place for me was to squat down and peer through others’ legs. A guy above observed me and barked at me. The nerve.
•Liquor store signs in Cracow/Warsaw, Poland are called, “ALKOHOLE”. Yes, some people are Alkohole’s, too.
•12/26/14, everyone in Warsaw walks. Nothing is open for business, so where’s everybody going? Not even TK Maxx is open.(Yes, it reads TK). We learn it’s “Walking Day.” Just get out and walk. To nowhere. So, we did. Great concept after a holiday laden with too much of everything.
•Our French kids – Chloe, Charlene, Valentin and Amely- shared their Paris apartments for the week. Get this: Chloe’s was just 17 sq. meters. Charlene’s was a mere 15 sq. meters. The other two apartments were a smidge larger. Convert meters into feet and it sounds bigger, but it’s not much. These tiny spaces are so efficient. Nothing’s missing. Except wasted space. There’s a teeny-tiny bathroom, teeny-tiny kitchen, teeny-tiny washer and an itty bitty closet. Sofa = bed. Even coffee pots are petite. And, yet, it works. Charlene loves the size, “Less to clean,” she says. We laughed at the surfboard, in Chloe’s apartment. Of all things, right? And the elevator. Oh, that elevator! Picture two average sized Americans in a Campbell’s soup can. Lid on. Tight, very tight.
• New Year’s Day meant ten of us for breakfast. Jeff sends me out for paper towels. Outside, I ponder direction. Left I went; walking in a square, as much as you can on Paris streets, so as to find my way back. No stores were open, so I took a side street. Big mistake. Oh, I found paper towels, all right, but was now off course, with no clue how to get back. I looked at the sun, certain I was on track. Walking with positive expectancy, I was sure our street was nearby, so I kept walking, wondering if anyone was worried about me yet. I can DO this! But I can’t. After 1½ hours, I texted Korey. “I’m lost, I’m afraid.” I gave her the intersection and she demanded, “DO NOT MOVE!” So I waited, like a small child, lost in WalMart. Ironically, a couple approached me for directions and I set them straight. In a bit, Korey found me. I followed her back, head hung in shame. She wouldn’t talk to me; I wallowed in my pity and I missed breakfast on top of everything. So I ate cookies and chocolate.
• And sadly, I left my pants in Poland. So if you happen to go abroad and you see someone in a grey, comfy, one-piece jumpsuit, it’s mine. It wasn’t expensive, (TK MAXX), but I was down to one pair of jeans. We pack light and throw half of it out, so we can carry on our bags. Because if you’re going to transfer between New York airports you’ve got to grab your bag and go!