When all it took was a cupcake. . .




What does it take to feel those.  They came naturally when I was younger, but not so much now.  Have I seen too much?  Done too much?  Am I jaded?

There are still some experiences guaranteed to bring it on. Bliss is found in the first warm day in the garden, muddy hands, muddy knees, crystalline blue skies, and the soft air of an Appalachian spring. 

Joy.  To be joyous may require a light heart.  Perhaps I have too many worries for joy.  But no, my grandson brought me joy.  Holding him, time stopped and it was just me and Julien.  Time stopped.  The moment.

And Ecstasy…the birth of my son.  Perhaps the only time of my life that I was truly ecstatic.  It’s a state of being that suffuses the whole body and the whole mind.  Nothing else in that moment but the sensation of unfettered happiness at the cellular level.  The moment stretching on and on.

But remember when something simple could provoke these states?  Perhaps they are side effects of youth – states of being easy to slide into before the world beat us down.

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Aloha Y’all

momandmeI am so freaking excited!

Tomorrow at about 1 p.m., my mother and I are getting on a plane.  The final destination is Honolulu where will we spend a week before heading to Maui for another week.

It’s my Mother’s Day gift to the two of us.

No.  I can’t afford it.  But after my dad died so suddenly last year, I realized I was running out of time to do all the things with my parents that I wanted to do.  I raided the retirement account.  Chef Boy ‘R Mine is going to have to support me in my old age.

momandme3We were stationed on Oahu from 1967 to 1970 when my dad was in the Marine Corps.  I have always wanted to go back and see the house I lived in and visit some of the old haunts.  So has my mother.  I got the bright idea shortly after my dad’s funeral that we should do this.

I’ve been planning this trip for well over a year.

I’m not good at planning.  Putting this trip together has taxed my skills.  I finally had to get a binder to help me organize things.  The notebook has been a lifesaver!  I have everything in it.  Airline itineraries, tour tickets and receipts, restaurant and hotel reservation confirmations, and a personalized itinerary for each day of the trip have filled a 2” binder.

momandme2I hope I have the right balance of things to do and downtime.  We’re doing quite a bit – snorkeling, hiking, swimming under waterfalls, Haleakala at sunrise, dinner cruise, helicopter ride, road to Hana, spa day, luscious dining, koi ponds, botanical gardens, and the Polynesian Cultural Center which is similar to an Epcot experience.

On Oahu, we’re staying in a military resort, Hale Koa which translates to “house of the warrior”.  It’s a four star resort for active duty and retired military personnel right on Waikiki at a discounted rate.  We were fortunate to get a reservation for the time I wanted – Mother’s Day.  We will also visit the base we lived on and I should get to see my old school and house.

On Maui, we’re staying at Kahana Villa Resort which is a part of mydoug and me grass hut mother’s timeshare plan.  Again, we were fortunate to get the week we wanted. Neither of us has ever been to Maui, so it’s all going to be new.  One of the things we’re doing while there is eating at the Lahaina Grill which has been named by several entities as one of the top hundred restaurants in the United States.  I about passed out at the prices, but I do so love a good fine dining experience.

Have I mentioned I’m excited?  I’m like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus.  There is so much I need to be doing right now – cleaning this house so my house-sitter doesn’t pass out from the sheer filth, finishing packing, etc. etc.  I am too excited to focus on any one task for long.  Truly, I’m fairly vibrating with anticipation.

The trip there will be brutal and we’re likely to miss a connection or two.  I thoughtfully reserved airline flights that allowed two hours at each layover, but the airline changed my reservations.  (With no consultation or anything, mind you!)  I now have 47 minutes in Philadelphia to change planes and 51 minutes at LAX.   I’m pretty much resigned to the idea that we will not arrive in Honolulu tomorrow at 11:00 p.m. as planned, but will get in some time on Friday.  Alas…  It’s all good though. I scheduled Friday as a buffer day, so we don’t have a tour or anything important scheduled.  But one day less in paradise will still be a shame.

Aloha y’all!

Throwback Thursday: Me at Doug’s house about this time of year

dougshouseIt’s Throwback Thursday and I’m in an impossibly good mood.  Things are going well in my life and that’s such a change from recent years.  I’ve mentioned before that the Raising Sand album my Alison Krauss and Robert Plant has been one of my mourning staples.  I’m far enough in the grief process that I no longer cry when I hear these songs — they just provoke wonderful memories of Doug.

I’m in my office at work — lunch at my desk — and rocking out to the album.  I’m happy, but I do miss him.