We moved out of our apartment in Santa Barbara last weekend.
Well, mostly out. There are still a few things at the old place and it needs to
be cleaned up, so a part of me is still there.
When we moved from the Bay Area to Santa Barbara, I had a
hard time finding a place that would fit our needs. There are only two of us
but I wanted to be sure there would be room for family when they came to visit.
I’ve always wanted the home that my kids and grandkids could
come back to and a one-bedroom apartment wasn’t exactly my dream home. But we
made it work.
I shared before that my son and his family live close to the epicenter of two of the largest earthquakes to hit Southern California in 20 years.
On July 5th they had to evacuate their home after the 7.1 quake.
When they arrived at our house at 3:30 on Saturday morning, they were exhausted and shaken. I tucked the girls in their little bed in our room and we made sure nothing was on the walls or shelves around them.
As we were saying goodnight, their cat leaped from my nightstand down onto their bed and both of the girls jumped. They immediately started comforting each other saying it was okay it wasn’t another earthquake.
I’ve received the call before. You know the one. The “I’m
afraid I’ve got some bad news” call.
When I finally arrived at Adam’s house after a long day of
travel, I was still messaging with my sister, Linda about my day. We sent
several messages back and forth and I told her I arrived safely.
Then she called.
I answered happily, thinking how wonderful it would be to chat with her instead of texting. Only she didn’t sound happy. She had just got off the phone with close friends of our sister Janet and delivered the bad news to me.
I started writing this post about five times now and couldn’t seem to get past the first few lines. Forgive me if I ramble or it seems disjointed.
The last six weeks have been filled with so many highs and lows, I can hardly keep it all straight. In June, I was riding roller coasters with my granddaughters in Legoland and Sea World laughing and have a great time.
I didn’t realize at the time that my own personal roller coaster ride was just starting.
After last month’s scare over the health of my niece and sister, I started July with a renewed sense of purpose to return to my optimum health. I did a little research and learned a bit about insulin resistance and found that I hit all the markers for it.
So on July 1st I tweaked my diet to help my body
regulate insulin better.
Everything was going great until July 4th, and no I didn’t eat hot dogs and potato salad and blow my diet. Instead, we experienced the biggest earthquake southern California has had in 20 years. That was until July 5th when a bigger one hit.
My family had a big scare last week. My niece was rushed into the emergency room on Saturday unable to breathe. She was immediately put on a ventilator and by the following Friday, she was still unable to breathe on her own.
My sister (her mother) lives in Texas, 1500 miles away from her daughter in Michigan, and we were scrambling to get her a flight to be at her daughter’s side. In the midst of searching the Internet for a flight that didn’t cost as much as a mortgage payment, she had a heart attack.
A funny thing happened while riding my bicycle Sunday morning. It was such a subtle shift in thinking I almost didn’t appreciate the gravity of it.
John and I have a tradition of riding our bikes to breakfast on Sundays. The little restaurant we go to is the Summerland Beach Café, which is about eight miles from our house. There are some pretty good hills along the route, especially the last one, so it is a good way to earn breakfast.
I usually look forward to our ride, but this Sunday I woke up feeling terrible. I had a headache and felt tired. We had been on the road the last week and I was beating myself up for not eating as well as I should and for drinking more wine than I normally do.
Birthday parties are a lot of fun and a lot of work. I have known for a long time that I wanted a big birthday party to celebrate my 60th year, and it turned out to be more than I could have hoped for.
Everyone pitched in to create exactly what I dreamed of, and friends and family who couldn’t attend made sure I felt loved and honored as well.
Have you ever seen the movie, “Runaway Bride” with Julia Roberts? While I can’t relate to her running at the altar, I can relate to the fact that she didn’t know who she was and kept modeling her behavior after whichever man she was with at the time.
There is a scene in the movie when her tormenter (the next guy) says she doesn’t even know how she likes her eggs because she just orders whatever her guy orders. I may have known exactly how I liked my eggs, but I didn’t have a clear understanding of who I was or more importantly what I wanted.
At 40, I was divorced and in a relationship with a saddle maker. So of course, I was a saddle maker too. He happened to be half Native American, and I jumped in headlong learning everything I could about my native heritage.
I’ve heard it said that a grain of sand can tip the scale,
but in my opinion it is the pile of sand before it that rarely gets the
attention. By the time I reached 40 I felt like I was in a constant struggle to
climb the dune I had created.
Turning 30 was fun and I was sure I had everything figured
out, at least on the outside. I was married with two kids and very content with
my day-to-day life. Things got even better when we bought a little 20-acre farm
on the outskirts of town.
I’ve written many times before that I grew up on a farm, and when my boys were entering grade school I had the strongest desire for them to experience country life. The run-down, cat-infested place we purchased turned out to be the best place to let a couple of boys roam and discover things on their own.
I find it interesting that reaching a certain age holds more significance than other ages. For me, turning 20 was important. I was no longer a teenager and somehow felt more grown-up.
Things quickly fell into place when I moved to Bend, Oregon. I found a great job working for someone who would end up being a life-long friend, I had a nice apartment and best of all I had a fun convertible sports car.
I remember thinking when my oldest son turned 10, in the same amount of time he will be a man. The decade between 10 and 20 holds so many changes, and I was no exception to the rule.
I have shared before that my mom died when I was 11, and that I think of my life as “before she died” and “after she died”. The few years after her death were some of my hardest.
Not only was I dealing with the loss of my mother but by 12 my period started and my emotions were all over the board. I was either completely lost in thought or crying.
Puberty can be hell for so many of us and my personal experience was compounded by loss and sorrow. Worst of all, about the only thing I knew about having a period was I had to use those giant pads from the 1960’s my mom had used.
I was born in 1959 in a little town in Northern California. While that is probably not very significant, the fact that I was my mother’s ninth child, my father’s tenth child and my parents’ fifth child together is significant. I know, confusing right?
From the moment I can remember anything about my life, I was
surrounded by lots of people. Not only did I have a bunch of siblings but I
also had many cousins. There was always someone to play with.
My parents were hardworking people who made their living off the land.
As a matter of fact, my father’s occupation is on my birth certificate. Ranch hand. I find it interesting that my dad’s profession was necessary on my birth certificate. In a way, I have been “classed” from the beginning.
I had this great plan to come up with a new name and have a blog post ready and everything in place on May 10th, and I was on track to do it. Only Instagram doesn’t let us hold a name.
Let me back up. I have known for a while that I would change my blog name and social media names after turning 60. I was given wise counsel that I could risk losing followers, and people may have a hard time finding me. After all; I have built a name as “Countdown to 60”, but I still wanted a change.
By the time we reach 50 years old, most of us are pretty set in our ways. We know what we like and don’t like, we know just how things should be done and we certainly don’t need someone else mucking things up in our lives.
So getting married after 50 can have some challenges, especially for those of us who like to do things our own way.