Monday, June 26, 2017

The Luckiest People

People
People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world,

It's been over a month since I completed a blog or wrote a story for a contest.  Part of me fretted and stewed, but then my brain and body began to relax. Music danced in my blood day after day. Like a broken record Barbra Streisand's voice floated in my head . Her words seemed to transform my soul from worry to delight and relief.  


We're children, needing other children
And yet letting our grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside,
Acting more like children
Than children.   


I realized that people mean the world to me: sharing stories, working together, discussing life, living life, making memories, meeting new friends in new places, and rediscovering old friends.



 Lovers are very special people,
They're the luckiest people
In the world.
With one person, one very special person
A feeling deep in your soul
Says you were half,
Now you're whole.
No more hunger and thirst

We've traveled to Wisconsin to visit family, spent a day with a rediscovered pen-pal while in Missouri, crisscrossed the state of Oklahoma and drove down to Texas to find a lost cemetery and unmarked grave. Jack's traveled with his buddies, and I've traveled with my girlfriends.  We need each other, but we need our friends and family nearly as much. 


But first be a person
Who needs people.


Last week I realized, as I sang her song quietly in my head while playing golf, that my back didn't hurt. It hadn't hurt for several weeks. I experienced no pain: no pain down my legs like streak lightning, no pain that prevented me from turning through the ball, no pain at impact.  Feelings that I had not experienced in a decade. The realization lifted every ounce of weight off my old low back and catapulted me into bliss.  

People who need people
Are the luckiest people
In the world!


Without pain I could enjoy my time with people. Giving my attention to their words, not worrying about my back! New songs drifted in and out of my head, a lightness gave me energy and I smiled. How blessed I am to have readers who relate to my stories, to have family and friends who share their lives with me, and to be living in American.  Look out world, here I come.  


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Golf Gypsy In a Pickle

It's one thing to stretch and rub a leg cramping while walking or playing golf, but it is a moment of agony to wake up in the middle of the night with three toes cramped tight, turned under and sideways while the left calf is pulsating knots of pain up and down the leg.  Screaming, grabbing, and yanking myself out of bed to stand and push the pain away, as tears of surprise and near anger flowed down my cheeks, is one way to handle the moment. Actually, I didn't stop to think of a better way. 

Options in the past for recovering from summer's heat, and the perspiration my body exudes when exercising have been to drink "Smart Styx" replenishment supplements, 60-100 oz of water daily, eat a banana, or drink a nice cool beer in a frosted mug with salt on the rim, and continue to take daily doses of calcium, potassium, and magnesium pills. 

I mentioned my agonizing leg cramps to my physical therapist, Natoshia, Therapy in Motion. Immediately, like a chorus to a song Natoshia and another therapist chimed in "You need to drink pickle juice!"  They looked at each other and laughed.  She continued, "You need to drink pickle juice or eat a dill pickle everyday, and eat a banana before you play golf or go for long walks." 


"I've never heard of pickle juice as a cure," I retorted and then laughed, "Unless it was to drink with Crown Royal shots after you've lost a golf match." 

Naturally, that line was a stopper. They listened as I recalled the time Manon and I were beat early in a "Horse Race" at a golf tournament at Smoky Hills Golf Course in Hays, Ks.  As spectators, the cart girl came by offering us drinks.  Our friends who'd also lost suggested we try Crown Royal shots and dill pickle juice.   I can assure you that I did not suffer leg cramps that weekend, nor did I suffer a hangover, but we sure laughed a lot. 

But I digress.  

Being a dutiful student, I bought a 6-pack of Pickle Juice at Academy Sports, and bananas at Braum's, plus Ice Cream bars just because. I ate the banana before I drove in the driveway. That afternoon while relaxing on the patio, I discovered that I enjoyed the flavor of the nutritional bottle of pickle juice, loaded with sodium, vitamins, calcium, zinc, iron, and potassium.  For those, like me, who can eat a healthy dose of salt consider sprinkling salt on bananas, grapefruit, and cucumbers instead of sugar. 


Most recently, I rediscovered the old fashioned giant dill pickle that spurts juice everywhere when I take a bite. For a brief moment, I'm back at the Coleman Theatre on a Saturday afternoon with friends where I could buy a large dill pickle out of the jar for only a dime. Coleman Theatre


Did the pickle juice and banana help? Yes.  So far no leg cramps in the last three weeks.

I'm not recommending this pickle juice/banana regime for everyone, because I have low blood pressure, perspire measurably, and can handle salt.  I've always been a salt lover, while my husband can thrive on chocolate. If I eat ice cream I often follow up with a saltine cracker and smile. 

In reflection, perhaps it is the salt of the earth that helps us to endure. 



Monday, May 1, 2017

May Day Baskets

Once upon a time in my childhood neighborhood we made May Day Baskets.  In fourth grade I discovered the beauty of cutting and folding cherished wallpaper samples.  We shaped them like ice cream cones, the larger sugared cones.  Using tape, staples, or Elmer's glue to hold the edges together made me feel artistic with a flair for something different. One by one we passed the single hole punch around the room, and one by one we cut a ribbon from which to hang our baskets.  The intent as that we'd give a our baskets to our mothers, after filling them with fresh cuts off the spirea bushes or honey suckle that lined the alley way to Roosevelt school. Like a dutiful daughter I proudly carried mine home that day, letting it swing around my arm as I danced home. 
One for practice 

Sadly, what I handed to my mother was not the same beauty I had earlier created. Instead, I handed her a colorful cone shaped basket without a ribbon, but filled with spirea and a few bright yellow dandelions, which I thought added flair to my bulging creation. 










Over the years, my mother, sister, and I continued to make homemade baskets, fill them with whatever
fold and tape
flowers and blooming shrubs we could find and secretly deliver them to the elderly people in our neighborhood. My mother insisted and repeated her mantra, "Kindness first." 


How ironic, as I write this my mind flashes back to the delight I found in surprising these people.  The Shaw's were always the kindest and most grateful, Miss Einsel scared me as I probably scared her in some unknown fashion. So many people go nameless in my memory, but I recall them working in gardens, canning foods, showing me how to make a compost
flatten cone, cut edges 
pile so the vegetables tasted better. Two of the couples spent hours sitting on their porches watching us run up and down the streets, playing tag at night, kick the can, red rover red rover,  and grey ghost.


Then like Puff the Magic Dragon, I grew up and lost the magic until I fortunate granted me a little girl to raise. She, too, learned the magic of giving a basket of flowers. How sweet my memory of watching her leave our apartment early one morning and running to the neighbors door. She hung the homemade basket, rang the door bell and ran home, but not
arrange flowers then deliver
inside.  Katy didn't want to miss the moment as the attractive gray headed lady, who drove a pickup, opened her door and saw the basket. Standing on our little cement porches there we exchanged smiles. A bouquet of kindness lifted three hearts that day, and left a lifetime memory of joy. 




For more information on May Day click on this link:
May Day Tranditions