Memories of a Taxing Tax Day

Ten years ago, on April 15, tax day of 2008, I received my first chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. The treatment plan had already beat me up considerably, with a complicated healing from the lumpectomy, followed by another surgery to … Continue reading

The Near-Miss Adventures of Motoring with the Mr.

My husband likes to drive, which is nice when we‘re on a long road trip. I usually offer once or twice to take a turn, but he always declines.  It saves me from the stress of navigating through the highway … Continue reading

More Roadway Ramblings with my Roadster, Louie the Shark

I’ve been much too serious lately. I’ll blame it on winter’s enduring stronghold in the Midwest (give it up, winter…we’ve had it up to our eyeballs with your silly shenanigans…but, then again, we haven’t been dealing with Nor’easters!). In an … Continue reading

Recourse to Resourcefulness

I have several philosophies in life. For example, “Laugh and make jokes whenever possible;” “Not everyone is going to like and/or appreciate my personality and sense of wackiness (oh well…, those folks are in the unhappy minority!);” “When out and … Continue reading

Mimi On-the-Mend, From Her Minnesota Meanderings

Where did the month of November go?! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a few weeks – consider this blog my excusal letter! I flew out of Cincinnati on November 1st, for a two-week stay with my daughter in … Continue reading

Frozen in the Northern Realm

I headed north to meet my new grandchild. When I walked out of the airport, looking for my s-i-l’s car, a winter wind hit me like a cold smack in the face. I almost turned around and walked back into the airport, to hop on a Sun Country flight. Sun Country Airlines is headquartered in Minneapolis, and based on the premise that people will obviously want to get the heck out of here and head south…..often. Sounds like an excellent business plan to me. You should look at a map of their routes. They do all head south (except for a few dumb exceptions not worth mentioning) to places like California, the Gulf Coast, Central/South America, and the Caribbean. After getting hit with that icy blast, I was all-in with that idea, but my daughter was waiting for me, and looking forward to my help with the granddaughters (the 2 already here, and the one we are still awaiting). I could have quite easily marched right back in and booked a flight to Aruba. I have since discovered though, that Sun Country Airlines is struggling financially. Apparently, these crazy Minnesotans are pleased as punch with their piercingly cold temperatures and their piled-high precipitation, and are not in any hurry to leave. By the time they get a little sick of the winter weather, it warms up for a few months so that Minnesotans can enjoy their lakes, work on a mild sunburn, get covered with mosquito bites, and dodge road work cones EVERYWHERE they go. By the time that’s over, they are actually looking forward to winter. And all this time, Sun Country Airlines is slowly wasting away. At any rate, sun country was not an option for me. I was stuck here, for at least two weeks. So, I pulled on my hood and my mittens, and plowed into the wind, not unlike Yukon Cornelius.

And, here I sit, four days later, be-decked with long-johns, warm robe, and fuzzy slippers, sipping on some hot tea, sucking on throat lozenges, and STILL waiting for granddaughter number three to join us. Is it any wonder she’s not here yet? She’s probably peeped out once or twice and felt that same icy blast that I experienced, and said, “Never mind!” Someone should check the airport, specifically the Sun Country counter, because I think that’s where she might be right now. If you happen to be at the MSP airport right now and you see a newborn there, in line at their counter, let me know. Mimi is going to join her!

So, anyway, this is just a short update to keep you all informed and connected, and if you are reading this, it means that the WordPress site FINALLY cooperated with me while I’m using my iPad! 👍🏼 (I’m not even gonna try adding photos. You’ll have to tune back in when I’m back home to see those!)

Sing, Sing a Song…

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Does anyone else besides me think in old songs? Like that one by the Carpenters, that I used for the title of this blog? (“…sing out loud, sing out strong.”) Seriously, just about any thought/idea/dream/inspiration that comes into my head, my memory can match a song to it. It’s not always a perfect fit…sometimes my creative mind has to change the lyrics just a little…or maybe a lot, but still, there’s the same melody from the original song. One little prompt, and a tune gets pulled from the vast music collection in my brain (just like an old juke box pulls out a 45 and flips it onto the turntable), and puts it to work helping me process whatever it is that I am going through. (Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were – “Memories, like the corners of my mind”).

Fifty-plus years of tunes (wait, did I say fifty yearsDon’t Blink, by Kenny Chesney), from kid’s songs, to camp songs, to popular hits, mixed right in with Sunday hymns, dance tunes, advertising jingles, TV show theme songs, and verses from musical productions – they’re all right there, in neat little stacks in my gray matter storage unit, and the central nervous system expertly selects them as needed, to insert into my wandering thoughts. I’m in the kitchen, and I catch a whiff of my husband’s coffee, and suddenly, my mind is performing it’s own rendition of, “The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup.” Or I’m hanging out with some of my zany friends and their families (you know who you are, guys!), and the juke box in my head starts playing, “They’re creepy and they’re cooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re all together ooky the (fill in the blank) family. Du, du, du, dut, (snap, snap), du, du, du dut (snap, snap), du, du, du, dut; du, du, du, dut; du, du, du, dut (snap, snap)!” Sometimes, I do keep these little serenades all to myself, if I don’t want to seem too crazy, or if I think the sharing might offend…LOL

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There are often times when things don’t work out the way I had hoped, and I am struggling with the disappointment, and, then….before I know it, I’m transported back to my childhood home, with Christmas drawing near, watching the animated TV special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, listening to Clarice as she sings her words of encouragement to Rudolph, “There’s always tomorrow for dreams to come true. Believe in your dreams come what may. There’s always tomorrow for dreams to come true. Tomorrow is not far away.”

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Or how about those times when I am hating this city living, wishing for trees and open sky and fresh air, and planning my whole life around how many traffic lights I have to go through to get somewhere (the fewer the better, of course, because Norton, Ohio, where I grew up, had only two, full-fledged traffic light intersections when I was very young, and the words “traffic jam” were used to describe more than 10 cars. The freedom of such a simple, uncluttered life has hung with me, even after years of being citified). In my grown-up years, my choices for grocery stores, doctor’s offices, preschools, veterinarian’s clinics, drug stores…you name it, they were all chosen primarily based on how many traffic lights I would encounter on my way there. These days, when I drive to our property in Indiana (which I blogged about recently in A Walk in the Woods), and I’m reluctantly heading home after a beautiful day of bug-swatting, berry gathering, and drinking from the well, I find myself humming an old Salem cigarette ad in my head (with the word “Salem changed to my name)…”You can take Charlene out of the country, BUT…you can’t take the country out of Charlene!” Or, other times, I might break into a rousing rendition of, “Green Acres is the place for me!”

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For my grandchildren, I have taken to making up my own words for popular tunes and singing to them. When little ones are fussy, I hold them in my arms while doing the bunny hop. The bouncing, along with my wacky singing, almost never fails to calm a crying child – “You’re my little baby, yes you are, sweetest little baby in the whole, wide world. (Keep repeating, implementing a key change after every two “verses,” and just keep singing and dancing, until baby is calmed or grandma passes out on the couch). Singing to little ones is one of my most precious joys, and I’m sure I will still be singing lullabies years from now, when I am residing blissfully in a home for the memory impaired.

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I could go on for days about all the music in my head. (“This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it not knowing what it was, and they’ll continue singing it forever just because, this is the song that never ends……”) Some of those childhood songs I try to keep in deep storage, because who wants to try to fall asleep at night with Found a Peanut or 100 Bottles of Beer stuck in their head?! But at this point, it’s getting late, we’re all tired, and I’m off early in the morning, for a twelve hour drive to the northern grandkids, so I can get to work teaching them all of those obnoxious (and otherwise) songs residing in my brain. You probably won’t hear from me again until I return late next week, so I’ll leave you with this modified Willie Nelson hit – “On the road again, I just can’t wait to be heading north again. Some folks I love are way up in those northern lands, so I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

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