Posted by: beachaccess6 | March 8, 2014

All Good Things Must Come To An End

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This is the only photo I could find quickly that shows me holding up my AGE OLD (50 years old) baton. Had a terrible sleepless night last night getting only 5 hours. Woke up tired, allergy ridden which serves me right for trying to go off one of my antihistamines. Not to be discouraged, I went out for a walk on this beautiful sunny day in the Valley in South Texas. Put my iPod on, earbuds in place, hat, sunglasses, microfiber mask, and grabbed my 50 year old baton to keep me from getting bored.

About 3/4 of the way into my walk, I was doing some tosses. Decided to throw up it really high (and yes, I did look to be sure there were no cars coming). As old age and luck would have it, the baton hit my hand and then plopped to the ground and quickly rolled right into a drainage area in the curb that runs into a Resaca. Couldn’t see it and when I thought about the chemicals in there and how dirty the water is, I decided that the baton will stay where it is. Time to give it up as I have had to do with so many things in my life. After twirling in high school and college (Southwest Texas Bobkittens), I even taught lessons for years but when I had two sons, I decided my twirling days were over except for my own fun and exercise. I lost one baton during a move and now this one to the drainage canal.

However, I think one day I may look down the street and see one of our huge ducks walking down the street with my baton in his mouth. If that happens, I promise to get a good photo!

Life is all about change: loss, gain, rebirth, divorce, remarriage, love, hate, happiness and sadness. But I wouldn’t change a thing in my life. Life is full of struggles but also full of joy. I thought about buying a new baton but then I realized it wouldn’t be the same. After 50 years, I am putting my twirling days behind me and going on to the next phase/adventure. Besides, just think how many car windows will be saved, ha!!!

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Posted by: beachaccess6 | February 16, 2014

TOO MANY HOBBIES!!

I keep meaning to get back to this blog but I have so many hobbies!! Even in retirement, I can’t seem to keep up. I love crocheting while I watch Netflix movies or shows. Then we make sure we walk at least a mile or two everyday. Some house work and cooking. Then there is genealogy research and Happy Hour starts here at 4:00 PM. Add the Olympics and that completes all my time. Sigh. How on earth did I have time to work?

For any of you out there who have allergies and asthma like I do, I have found a wonderful invention. Well, actually my sweet husband found it for me because he saw how much I was suffering. I ordered 5 masks from Home Depot called Breathe Healthy. They are microfiber masks and are treated to keep out germs, pollen, dust, etc. Even helps with strong smells like some perfumes that send me wheezing. I feel like I have my life back again and now am off all corticosteroids. I still use my rescue inhaler occasionally but not much.

I just have to put my mask on before I leave the house to do yard work, trekking, walking, shopping. I do get some strange looks in the stores but it is so worth it! No allergy shots needed, no Prednisone, just put on the mask. I rotate them and wash them when all are dirty. They dry pretty quickly and I wash them by hand with a little Dawn. Now why wouldn’t some smart doctor tell me about this? Could the motive be MONEY??? Life is good again and I am healthy and even losing a little weight now that I am off all those drugs. Living the good life in the Rio Grande Valley!! Oh, also helps when the sugar cane is burning! That was very bad for my asthma.

Will try to get back to blogging again!!

Posted by: beachaccess6 | September 13, 2013

VIOLENCE IN MY LIFE

I have thought about posting this story for a long time but it is such a sad story that I wasn’t sure it should be posted. However, now that my sister has passed away, it can’t hurt her feelings to post the story now. Plus her ex-husband, The Jerk, is also dead. (I am using The Jerk as a substitute for his name) Growing up in a large family of 4 older brothers and 1 older sister, we were always visiting someone somewhere. My parents were 32 and 35 when I was born and with 5 children in the house already, I was a large burden on my parents and my siblings. I was six weeks premature which was a big deal in 1947. I was kept in an incubator for 3 wks. before coming home and had to be kept in a separate room at 80 degrees and my siblings weren’t allowed to visit me. Lot of resentment there!

But this story is about something that happened when I was only 10 or 11 years old. My sister was married to an alcoholic man who had been a boxer. When he hit someone especially my little skinny, fragile 5’3″ sister, the wounds were pretty bad. The Jerk only became really violent when he drank but he drank often. They lived on a ranch in New Mexico out in the middle of nowhere with the nearest neighbor a mile away. The mail only came once a week. My sister was 15 years older so we weren’t that close but she was a beauty queen, model, all the things that little girls hope for (or at least in the 50’s). When my sister would get lonely, she would call up Mom and ask to have me come stay with her for a week or two. Mom was so tired of cleaning, cooking, and rearing six kids that any opportunity to lessen the load was appreciated. So my sister would come pick me up and I would go visit her.

One particular visit when I was about 10, The Jerk came home at night drunk as a skunk. When my sister saw him yelling as he got out of the Jeep and stumbling, she knew what was coming so she grabbed me up with my pillow and blanket and ran me into the bathroom. She said, “No matter what you hear or what happens, DO NOT open this door. Lock all the locks, get in the bathtub and stay there until I come to get you. Do not let The Jerk in! The door is solid wood so he can’t break it down.” I was half asleep but starting to get really scared so I locked all the locks on the door, climbed into the bathtub with my pillow and blanket, and prayed.”

I could hear The Jerk yelling at my sister, hitting her, and her begging for him to calm down and to please quit hurting her. She was crying and screaming in pain. I could hear the blows being dealt her. Then he came to the bathroom door and banged and banged on it. I covered up my head, stuck my fingers in my ears, and vowed to kill him someday in-between praying. That is the most helpless feeling I have ever had in my life. I finally went to sleep and thankfully the door held. Sometime later after The Jerk had passed out, my sister came to the bathroom door and told me if was safe to go back to my bed. She didn’t turn the lights on because she didn’t want me to see her wounds. The next day she took me home and I didn’t visit again for awhile. But visit again I did.

I don’t remember if I told my parents or not. I think my sister may have made me promise not to tell my Dad because often my Dad kept a shotgun by the front door saying that if he ever saw The Jerk again, he would kill him. This was just one of many incidents that are permanently etched in my memory. I know that I told all to my sister-in-law, Betty, in our adult life and wise woman that she was, she looked at me and asked why my parents continued to let me go to the ranch after all these violent episodes. Then she hugged me and said, “That is the definition of child abuse…sending a child into a dangerous situation with no protection.”

This may be one of the many reasons that trust is very difficult for me. I constantly analyze what people say and do trying to make sense of it. I contribute this to my mathematical, analytical brain but now I realize it has a lot to do with my childhood.

That’s enough for today. Many things to think about and work out. My husband and I are taking Social Psychology which has me doing a lot of thinking, clearing out the past deeply buried traumas.

Posted by: beachaccess6 | April 19, 2013

Sleep Evades Me

Do all people with asthma and allergies have trouble sleeping?  I woke up at 4:00 AM wide awake.  Tried reading but that didn’t help so I finally just got up.  Maybe I am ready for our neighbors’ schedule of 7:30 PM bedtime and 4:30 AM wake up.  Allergies seem to rule my life and make me miserable.  Maybe it’s time for an allergist and back on those darn allergy shots.

Posted by: beachaccess6 | December 30, 2012

Forgiveness

It’s interesting how once we start forgiving people and just loving them even our own family, things just come together again.  I was estranged from my sister for a long time.  Lots of anger and hurts from our pasts.  Both of us had immense pain and suffering in our lives due to our upbringing as well as our own stupid choices.  After being very ill, I called my sister to just talk.  We reconnected and without really saying so forgave each other.  Now I can actually call her just to talk again and I am so enjoying it.  We are both getting up in years so it’s nice to finally be at peace.  My sister is even returning the inheritance that she once took from the rest of us.  Forgiveness is very healing to all involved.  

Today in mass I will give thanks for forgiveness.  Now if I can only pass that on to my younger son who holds more grudges than anyone in our family.  Could be he takes after me too much?

Posted by: beachaccess6 | November 27, 2012

Marie Haney and ? FLowers

Working today on genealogy and trying to remember the story my mother, Marie Elizabeth Haney, told me about her first marriage.  It only lasted a few hours.  Here’s how the story goes or at least the parts I can remember:

Mom first cleaned houses and babysat to help her family survive.  She was born in 1912 and times were tough for the child of a single mother with 3 children.  William Alexander Haney had deserted the family leaving them to survive in Nocona, Texas.  One of the jobs Mom had at about age 18 was picking cotton.  One of the men who worked alongside her was a Mr. Flowers.  Mom said he was from Oklahoma and was part Indian.  The legal marriage age in Texas then was 21 so they drove across the border into Oklahoma to get married.  Mr. Flowers was older than Mom, maybe 21, which would make his date of birth around 1909.  They got married and were driving back to Texas when the Texas State police pulled them over.  Mom was put in the patrol car and driven back home to her mother.  Mr. Flowers was threatened and told to never show his face in Texas again.  The state police were the ones who stopped them after being called by my grandmother.  My grandmother had the marriage annulled and Mom never saw her first husband again (that I know of).  I wish I had listened more closely when Mom told me these stories and had maybe written down a few details but when one is young and busy rearing a family, one doesn’t pay much attention to stories of the past.  Mom told wonderful ghost stories, too, but those are lost somewhere in my memory cells, maybe the ones I’ve killed with wine…hmmm.  

Would love to know the real story.  I can’t find anything on the internet or in searching marriage records.  Apparently, since the marriage was annulled within 24 hours, the record itself has been destroyed?  Not sure, but I can find nothing on this marriage.  Anyone out there with information on this should leave me a message.

To my nieces and nephews and sons, we have many mysteries in our family.  Who doesn’t love a good mystery?

Posted by: beachaccess6 | October 15, 2012

Our Government and the 1960’s

I remember boarding a plane in San Antonio, Texas, to visit Mom and Dad in Pecos.  I flew into Odessa/Midland Airport and Mom and Dad picked me up.  In the old days, 1967, we dressed properly to fly because it was a big deal.  At the time I was 20 years old, had long blonde hair, and wore a size 9.  I was dressed in a blue velvet dress above the knee, with a lace collar, nylons and heels.  I seated myself on the isle and soon two soldiers in full uniform sat  beside me.  Yes, they were flirting but they were about my age and very nervous.  

This was about 1967 during the Vietnam War and I heard many stories of young men who were arrested for drugs, fighting, robbery, etc. who were given the choice by the judge of either jail or the military.  Many chose the military and off to Vietnam they went.

These two young men told me their stories of being offered a deal by the judge, too, but not to fight in Vietnam.  They were offered a “job” in the military that would keep them in San Antonio, Texas, but they would be a part of an experiment.  They told me that they were well fed and had better than average living quarters on base (can’t remember what base).  In exchange, they were given drugs to see what effects these drugs had on them.  Or they were experimented on mentally.  Like I said, both boys were very nervous and shook.  They were afraid to say too much but were trying to impress the cute little blonde.  We were flying from San Antonio to West Texas.  I don’t remember where they were from because I kept thinking this can’t be true.  Our government would never do this to someone like these young men.  At that time I was still very naive and true blue to my country.  

I said goodbye to these two young men and wished them well.  I was excited to see my parents and didn’t really give much thought to what all we discussed.

Many, many years later after reports were released of all the horrible things our wonderful government had done to our military, our prisoners, unsuspecting civilians, I remember these two young men.  I read about studies that were conducted by the CIA with the help of the military on our soldiers to determine what drugs such as LSD could be used for mind control or to create more brutal soldiers.  I sadly remembered those two young men and prayed for them.  I hope they are alive and well somewhere and that our government didn’t destroy them physically or mentally.

May we never again allow our government that much power over our young people.  Beware the 1%.

Posted by: beachaccess6 | October 6, 2012

LUNGS

All my life I have struggled with breathing.  Seems like a simple thing..essential for life.  I was born premature and later had my patent ductus valve closed manually with open heart surgery (1951).  Then at 6 months old I almost died of double pneumonia.  Still I never knew that I had asthma.  I could never run in PE.  I would get maybe 1/4 way around the track and would faint or get dizzy and have to sit down.  My old country doctor thought it was due to my heart problems.  Many years later at age 27, I was living near Austin and went to an allergist.  He gave me a breathing test which I flunked badly and he asked how long I have had asthma to which I responded:  “I do not have asthma.”  Well, the doctor was right.  Because I was so accustomed to NOT breathing deeply and surviving on little oxygen, I still didn’t take my illness seriously.  I thought everyone passed out on a daily basis. 

We moved to Harlingen, Texas, from San Antonio due to my allergy to Mt. Cedar pollen.  So again I ignored my body and my lungs.  We went on a 6000+ mile road trip to the East Coast up to Maine and back.  Then we stayed in a hotel in San Antonio where the room had just been painted that day and there was mold in the air conditioner.  I was up from midnight to 4 am unable to sleep or breathe.  We checked out the next day and went to a wonderful Courtyard but the damage was done.  Again I ignored the warning signs until it was too late.  I developed bacterial bronchial pneumonia and a urinary tract infection.  Apparently, a bacterial infection can travel from your lungs and sinuses to all parts of your body.  I ended up in the ER which in Harlingen is not a good thing.

I am now under the care of a very good Pulmonary Doctor who has me back on corticosteroids and albuterol on a regular schedule instead of my haphazard use!  Did you know that a severe asthma attack can cause your body to constantly shoot adrenalin 24 hours a day?  I really thought I was dying.  I was making plans and was so upset that, like my mother, I was going to leave way too much money for my kids and husband to fight over.  Why have I NOT been spoiling myself and enjoying life?  Like my mother, I am really a very simple person who has few wants or needs.  

Well, now that I am recovering, I have decided to start taking care of myself and spending money on ME and hopefully, not for health care.  Plus I would love to spend more time with my grandchildren if I could just get their parents to move back to Texas.  Life is so precious and should be appreciated every day.  I plan to do that now.  Enjoy every day because I never know how long I have left on this beautiful earth.

Posted by: beachaccess6 | July 22, 2012

Vermont

Today is our last day in Vermont visiting the most amazing grandchildren anyone could be blessed with.  Our oldest grandson, Liam, has taken up the accordion and learned without taking formal lessons.  That just amazes me!!  The only thing I was able to learn without taking lessons was crocheting.  He played for us last night and did a fantastic job!  We were so impressed.  Aidan is the peacemaker and has a heart as big as Texas.  He gets along with everyone.  I was surprised that his voice changed and now is very deep.  My babies are growing up.  Gabe is the youngest boy and extremely bright.  He and his sister, Oona, are best friends.  They prefer riding in the Grandparents’ car with us.  It’s a treat to listen to them play together.  Oona is the only girl and as sweet and girly as can be.  She went walking with us one evening and chatted the whole 1.5 miles.  She’s a delight!

Our son and his wife are two of the most wonderful loving people I have ever known.  They care so deeply about their children, their family, and their community.  They are very involved in their church.  I admire them more than I can say or express.  I am so blessed.  

Tomorrow we head to Lubec, Maine, for lots of lobster and light house tours!  Life is great!

Posted by: beachaccess6 | June 15, 2012

Well, I haven’…

Well, I haven’t kept this up like I promised…bad me!  We are now planning a 6,000 mlle road trip from Texas to Michigan, New York, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and back to Texas.  I MUST see my gorgeous grandchildren once a year or I will be very sad.  I liked it so much better when they lived close to us in San Antonio.  I was even named, The Chuck E. Cheese Grandma, because I took my grandsons there so often.  

One day I showed up to give my daughter-in-law something that I had bought.  I walked in the door and my little grandsons eyes lit up and Aidan began yelling, “Yea, Chuck E. Cheese.”  When he found out that I was just there for a short visit and had to go home, he collapsed on the floor crying.  I hated disappointing him…made me very sad.  Now we laugh about it though.

My grandchildren are wonderful, loving, gorgeous human beings who make me smile and fill my heart with love.  I am so blessed.  My older grandson inherited my double jointed elbows which makes me so happy! I love seeing the DNA passed down.  

We are starting a travel blog (carjoytravel.wordpress.com) but we won’t start it until we leave in July.  We will post photos and thoughts about our travels but hopefully not the arguments we get into along the way…ha!!!  Looking forward to wonderful fresh Maine lobster.

 

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