Monday, February 14, 2011

Pre Middle Age Love

(for all cole's content please visit

I’m not sure if it is love leaning against a shiny new 1960’s mustang with horn-rimmed glasses and a man that adores you.

Perhaps it’s the stoic sort of love that takes sunglasses and shades not the sun but the looks staring at a tear-stained face.

Or a door that either lets someone in or lets someone walk out.

But I love love. I love the messiness of it. I love the childlike excitement of it. I love the 1960ness of it. I love the grit of it in a strong woman that wants to be weak and a weak man that wants to be strong.

I love love. I love what it smells like in the morning and in the afternoon when it waits upon a call or a visit or a letter. And then evening love that comes with a moon and maybe some stars and the promise of kisses and whispers and tomorrows and todays and maybe much laters.

I love love. I love how it begins and I love how it ends and that it can take my very breath away with a glance or a thought or a sound or a memory.

In these years, these in between years. These years of not being young and not being old I take love and hold it tight and say yes to it and not no to it and am awed that it still chases after me and dares me

Valentines Day 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

shoes in my fridge.

(for all Cole's content, please follow along at now, muahh!)

I phoned Will from outside the car dealership.

Me: It’s a Sunday. Can you talk? Just for a minute.

Will: What happened?

Me: She was just sitting there with her extra large sandwich and her cigarettes and threw the car application at me. What is WRONG with people?

Will: What are you doing looking at cars? We just talked about this. Just last month we talked about how great you are doing, habibi.

And then the tears came.

Me: I went to the movies last night and saw Another Year and thought it was about an old couple in love but it was about their single lady friend who looks just wretched and wrinkled and old. And she doesn’t keep food in her fridge….JUST LIKE ME.

Will: Okay.

Me: And she didn’t have a caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar! JUST LIKE ME.

Will: Ahh.

Me: *tears and more tears and then sobs and more sobs* And I don’t want a car but I left the theatre and knew I had to fill up my fridge with food just so people would think I was normal cause doesn’t everyone have more than orange marmalade, soy, one egg and December milk in their fridge? And then I drove by all the closed dealerships looking for a car cause I need a car so people don’t think…so they don’t think…so they don’t think…

Will: So they don’t think you’re almost forty with no car and no food in your fridge, habibi?

Me: *tears*

Will: You are great. You are doing great. Remember how you told me movies aren’t real life. That real life is real life? Well, real life is real life, Nicolia. (He calls me Nicolia especially when he wants to make a financial point) Nicolia, you are the one I tell people about when I talk about someone growing up. You are paying your debt, you are living on “bread and salt”, you are being a church mouse and within a year you can go back to getting anything you want.

I almost made a 20K purchase because of a feeling I had in a movie. Wonder how often we buy on feeling. Homes, cars, clothes, electronics for you men folk. I walked away from the dealership to get sound financial advice from a friend and thankfully came to my senses. Well, then I got a grilled cheese. Cause that helps, too.

I won’t tell Will about the new navy suede pumps I bought yesterday. Or the black snake skin ones, either. They were on sale. Well, and then an extra 40% off and a coupon on top of that so practically free if you really think about it.

I might put them in my fridge.

Much love,

Friday, December 31, 2010

What's Your View?

Brought to you by open doors.

I remember many New Year's Eve celebrations at my Mom and Pops.  My parents would head out for some party at some place with some group of couples and we would tuck in for the night at my grandparents.  I know there were warm tortillas filled with butter.  There was certainly neapolitan ice cream with the choice of vanilla, strawberry or chocolate since my grandmother wanted to make sure everyone was always pleased.  I'm sure there was a soft spot on a cool couch in a decked out basement of a huge home. 

The last night of the year wasn't about big memories or big moments or big realizations.  It was a small, silly, little celebration with some shouting and then some yawning and some rushing to bed at five after the hour.

But now, I'm grown up.  And the day is The Day.  And the night is The Night.  And the end of the year is The End of The Year.  And it's as simple as it is complicated.  I've learned things.  I've matured.  I've blown it some.  And then I've had some really big successes. 

I thought of listing a bunch of things I learned but you could browse through my blog any darn day and see a year's worth.  Today, what sums up This Today is that my view is the tree not the bus.

You see the bus ride.  I see the tree when the bus door opens.
You see a flat tire.  I see the stranger that stops to help.
You see me without a car.  I see living without debt and within my means and great adventures and bus rides and rental cars and new car smell and learning how to find the windshield wipers and Snarky Brother laughing at me when I don't know how to open yet another gas tank.
You see McDonalds.  I see a conversation with Ruth who desperately needs someone to listen to her stories.  Oh, and their Diet Coke is SO good. 
You see epilepsy.  I see firecrackers.  Uh, literally. And chance, and living like there's no tomorrow because there might not be.
You see my fabulous hair.  Well, it's just fabulous. 
You see no electricity.  I see a symphony of quiet.
You see a broken heart.  I see love peeking around the corner daring me to come out to play.

Sure, there are also parties and shopping and dates and kisses and lots of exciting things but my concern is, my thought is...are you seeing the bus or the trees in your life?  Are you taking the time to notice The Pretty?

Dear friend.  2011 is sitting right in your pretty little hands.  What's your view?

Much love to you at 9something on the last day of 2010. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stories from Skid Row: The Christmas Story

Brought to you by Stories from Skid Row and a precious, little animated girl.
Can I be honest? Uh, when have I ever not been.

God tends to lay thoughts on my heart first thing upon waking each morning. Today was no exception. I heard and felt, "GIVE." It wasn't audible, no but it was heavy and clear and I knew more than I knew anything else today that giving was something I needed to do.

Being the me that I am, I didn't pick up my mail again and had to run to the post office to go get a stack THIS BIG. Thankfully, the lady at the post office handed it to me without judgement for my continued neglect of all things organization. I ran through letter after letter and ad after ad and catalogue after catalogue and came across a huge bill that I was not expecting.  THIS HUGE.

Kick in the gut. Especially during the holidays. Especially when you're in the middle of spending money on book marketing things of the book marketing sort.

I sat at the post office and wept. And not only wept but said to God, "I'm just about done. I've had it. I'm done."  How do you give when you have no money to give? 

And then, I saw this video. There's this sweet little girl with her long hair that makes me cry just thinking about how much she reminds me of me when I was her age. No, I didn't have the long locks til later in life but we share the same animation for all things Jesus and nativity sets. Wait til you see her throw gold and spray perfume. Your heart will melt.

She may not have a bill to pay. Her needs are much greater. She needs shelter and food and warm blankets and the love of people that say, "You matter!" Suddenly, this bill seems terribly insignificant.

Many, many of you have been hit hard with these financial times. And you're paying things and altering your life to live within your means instead of outside your means and I am walking right along side you. I know sometimes it is not easy. Today though. Simply today, remember it's much, much easier than this sweet little girl has it.

And yet in the midst she rejoices in a nativity scene and a promise.

Much love to you as we continue to learn from the very young and very wise,

Monday, November 22, 2010

What I Wanted to Say.

Brought to you by $3.17 a gallon which I cannot believe seems like a good deal to me.

I was on my way back to take my rental, oh by the way I was on my way to take the rental back to Enterprise when I realized I needed to fill up the tank so I didn't pay $1,732.99 per gallon to fill it up. 

I'm learning in my old age.  You men are impressed, aren't you?  Continuing... 

So, I go to fill up the car, get out, put my debit card in and do the whole waiting at the gas tank thing that we all do when I noticed the "Push To Speak With Attendant" button.  I stared at it.  I wanted to press it.  Badly.  No, I mean not in the way where you want to ask a question for assistance but in a sort of "Hi, how are you today?  I don't really need help but thought I'd say hi way."  You know.  Like that way. 

I kept looking at the button and then looking inside to see who might answer my request and then wondering if they would call the Crazy Police on me for pressing it for a non gas emergency reason.  Though not certain if one can be ticketed for pressing the help button I didn't want to take a chance.  I'm trying to be responsible and all those sort of pre middle age things. 

Still, what I wanted to do was press it and say hi.

And even this evening.  The grandma that hurt herself last week at the corner market stopped by my office and wanted to thank me for sitting with her until the paramedics came.  She has limited english and I have limited faarsi and what she wanted to say she couldn't.  And what I wanted to say I couldn't.  What I wanted to say was, "I'm glad you're alive and I don't want you out walking around without help and I'm nervous something is going to happen to you and by the way WHERE IS YOUR SWEATER?" 

And my little, taller than me Snarky Brother.  I stopped by his work today and have missed him and felt this really huge need to rush up and hug him even though our family is not much of the hugging sort.  I saw him and he looked Snarky as ever and not in the hugging mood and what I wanted to say was, "I had another seizure last night and I'm so tired of them but just in case one of these is The Big One I want to hug you so that there will be a hug on the record and just deal with it."  I didn't.  I smiled and chatted about nonsense and walked away.

I should have pressed the button at the gas station and talked to the attendant.  Who knows if they were in utter turmoil at that very moment and I could have offered a gas station word of encouragement. 

I should have told the grandma to sit down and found her a blanket and loved on her a bit instead of nodding my head and smiling and having pleasantries that don't amount to much of anything.

And I should have hugged my brother and then called The Elder and told him how very much I love him.  Just because and just in case and just cause that's what you should do rather than not doing it.

What I wanted to say to you all is that I'm indebted to you for reading my words and for loving on me and caring and finding joy and some understanding from the details of my life.

Much love to you as you find the things you want to say and then say them,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lessons in Love and Epilepsy

Brought to you by last night's insane seizure and today's fabulous nap.

I was just thinking how it's been SO long since my last seizure and even the last one was SO minor I could barely feel it and aren't I becoming the epilepsy poster child? 

Not so much.

Last night was an ass kicking of sorts.

And no one is to blame except for me.  Give me the epilepsy ticket if they are in the Giving Tickets Out sort of mood.  I have been going to sleep at 4am working way too late on my book.  I missed taking my medicine one night which is one night too many when you have seizures.  I had (a beer).  Shh.  Don't tell my dad.  Yes, I think many people with epilepsy drink on occasion but, for me, since I'm not much the drinker it doesn't set well with my brain.  Oh, and there was that half glass of champagne the night before.  And I think I had red wine somewhere on Sunday.

Don't tell my dad ANY of that.  Yes, I know I'm 38.

So, it was the perfect storm and I should have seen it coming when that dog staring out the back of that wagon Volvo at McDonald's locked eyes with me and wouldn't move away.  Dogs know about seizures the way people don't.  He knew even though I thought he was a she but then looked down and saw things hanging that were clearly of the he type.  The dog knew.  It crossed my mind that I knew.  I went about my day and stayed up late again and didn't even think last night could have been MY last night.

It was a big one.  My brain shuddered.  I kept my breathing even.  Did all the things I know to do but then my damn face turned into the pillow Flo-Jo style.  Remember her?  Long nails, Olympic athlete.  Well, without the nails or the running or the cool outfit I was her for a moment and I didn't want my face in a pillow with no ability to move.  I wanted a clear passage to breathe through this seizure until it ended. 

It felt like it would never end.

It did.  I lived.  I quickly fell back asleep out of an exhaustion most cannot imagine.  When I awoke in the morning I did the first post seizure thing I always do - checked to see if I knew what year it is and went through the past presidents.  Clinton's in office, right? Check.  Knew 'em.  Brain still semi-intact.

And then I wept. 

I wept for being alive.  Wept for having my face smothered in a pillow.  Clearly you should know that makes me not a fan of The CSI's.  Wept for almost not living.  Wept for people that don't.  Wept for those that have seizures in the middle of crowds.  Wept for being alone through it and being grateful no one had to go through that scare with me.  And wept that God gave me another day, even if just one more, to be a better me than I was yesterday.

My friend Red sent me a message and wants me to stop using pillows.  My brother said the same.  I've thought about it but I've made a decision.  I'm not going to live a life without pillows.  It's sort of like love, you know?  Yes, a pillow could smother me that one time...that one night but the rest of the time it's so damn comfy and brings great pleasure to my life.  I don't want to live in fear with my head flat on the ground.

And love.  Sure, it could smother me sometimes, too.  That one time and that one night and the one man that breaks the heart might not be worth the pain but I don't want to spend my life without love in fear. I'll still search it out and be open to it and say yes to it.

I decided some time ago to say yes and not to say no to things.  I decided to take adventures and have a YES life.  Is there a chance it could end up bad?  Yup.  I'll take the chance anyway.

Pillow.  Love.  Any of it. 

Much love and gratitude for one more day to love and learn and change and grow and be something better,
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