Sunday, March 01, 2015

The Sounds of My Life

There's that strange quiet when a blanket of snow insulates the world. It's hard to describe to people who live where this never happens, but when it snows like this, when you step outside, your hearing actually changes. Then there is the plaintive cawing of crows ... and the singing of a Crow. Yes, singing while shoveling. I love him. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fleetwood Mac "On With the Show" Louisville Concert



They are in their 60s and 70s, consummate performers who seem to love what they're doing--pretty remarkable, since they've been doing it for over 40 years. In fact, Fleetwood Mac could've named their current concert series, "Never Gonna Phone It In."


This iconic album cover, or in my case, 8 track tape cover, is tattooed on my brain. In 1978, when I was 16, Indiana sustained the mother of all blizzards. We were trapped in our houses for a couple of weeks, out of school for about 3 weeks. I've never seen anything like it since. I spent many hours in our tiny den, listening to Rumours over and over. And over. I loved that album and subsequent songs from Stevie Nicks' solo career.

FM reunited with Christine McVie and came to Indy on this tour, but we missed out on the tickets. So we purchased some for Louisville and went to the concert February 17.

Guess what? As if a nostalgic nod to my blizzard memories, a big snowstorm hit Louisville and nearly shut down the town. We were worried the concert might be canceled. We arrived the night before, and the town was a ghost town--restaurants closed, downtown streets had no traffic. It was eerie.

But, as they say, "On With the Show."

I don't know if I ever need to attend another concert by another entertainer. I can't think who else I'd like to see as much, certainly not more. Christine McVie sounded like magic. Lindsey Buckingham is a guitar wizard. Mick Fleetwood is ... crazy good. The other band members, the back up singers, the stage show--all amazing. Which is why I look giddy here. I don't have a "bucket list," but if I did, I could've been crossing off one hope-to-do-before-I-die item because of this concert. I mentioned they've been doing this for 40+ years, and I'm sure they're tired of the same old catalog of songs, but thankfully, they do not exhibit any signs of boredom on stage. They do not disappoint!


I just love Stevie Nicks. Still wearing velvet, boots, gossamer shawls, still twirling with open arms and bowing deep with one foot forward. Still the Gypsy, still the poet in our hearts. Still speaking for the 16 year old in me.









I can't post any snippets of the music, for some reason. So I'll just leave you with this pic we snapped right outside the arena as we walked to our hotel. Lovely night. Thank you for the memories, George.



Set List at Louisville


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pins and Needling

Today I wore a dress I have not worn since my father's funeral in July 2013. It's a very classic black jersey knit shirt dress-wrap-style, long skirt, 3/4 sleeves. I wear black tights and black boots under it. Very funeral appropriate, except the neckline is a tad too revealing without a pin.

I found a pin, but getting it situated without puckering and pulling the dress was arduous.

I flashed back to my teenage years when my mom would help me pin the necklines or straps out of the way. Even then with her help, it took a while to get it just right. We (or I should say "she") would work and work on it to make it the least noticeable as possible. It was a labor of Mom love.

I expect that I'll always remember little moments like that; at least I hope I do, and I hope my children have their own incidental memories for their middle years and beyond.

Mom is beyond helping me with anything now; I do all of the helping. Sometimes that makes me want to weep. Not because it's such hard work but because it's the necessity, the practical reality. And that's sad. I want her to be who she used to be.

Or do I?

You'll notice the second word of my title: needling. I meant that word to represent all of the times I struggled with my mom emotionally. She was pretty controlling and opinionated, determined to get her way, especially when it came to me and my appearance. My appearance was singularly important to her because her own was to her, and I was an extension of her.

When other mothers were trying to tone down their daughters, mine was trying to make me more attractive to the opposite sex.

It was weird.

First of all, it was like having a stage mom, but I was no starlet. Just average. I did not garner compliments every time I left the house like she always had growing up. To this day, she receives compliments when we're out, and she eats it up. I cringe. She had no career or anything besides her good looks and clean house on which to base her significance-very much a Mrs. Cleaver without the pearls. And so she passed her priorities on to me, only I resented them, most often. Occasionally it was ok with me because that meant I got new clothes, etc.

But I could not walk across the room without her telling me to straighten my shoulders. If I dropped something and picked it up, I had to bend my knees a certain way. If I carried a sweater or coat, it had to be draped across my arm, no bunching allowed. The rules were many, and she was like a giant eye, ever-watching.

One of the most irritating things she did was barge in on me in the bathroom. She had no idea we were two separate entities, no longer tied by the umbilical cord, even when I was older. If I locked the door, she tried to get in and ridiculed me for locking it. I wasn't doing anything sketchy, just PEEING, which I was not allowed to say, by the way.

This week I was in her bathroom, and in a split second, I had the most negative, ugly thought: "If she dares barge in here, I'm giving her what-for." It was like I was already angry, and she had not done a thing!

She cannot read her own mail now because she can't understand the difference between junk and legit mail. Plus she can't comprehend what she reads. So yesterday I came in with her mail, junk sorted. I was on my way to the trash when she stopped me: "What is that?"

"It's junk mail."
"Well, here, let me see it."
"OK."

Ten minutes later: "I guess this is all junk mail. I should've let you take it when you were on your way with it." And she tossed it on the floor beside her chair.

I was STEAMING. What's with the control??

And then I thought, "She's 89 and very weak. She does not have much control over anything in her life. Can you not let her pretend to read her stupid mail without getting upset?! GROW UP."

What is my problem? I've got issues. Being around her is causing me to face buried resentment alongside growing compassion.

So often I waffle between deep sadness, pity and compassion and then irritation when the more frustrating parts of who she was arise.

Is she a child or an adult? It fluctuates by the minute.

I am working on this internally and working on it externally by my responses.

Some mothers never noticed their daughters were around. Mine lived through me. Both methods breed contempt. But when she's needling, I'll try to remember the pins.  Because they are both a part of who she was and is, and she is my mother.





Friday, January 16, 2015

The One About "Mark Twain is My Cousin" Wait-What??


Please follow this link to my other blog to Dear Mark Twain: -- about finding out that I'm ... kin.