Lessons in Grief – Part 5

I woke up this morning to a notification on my phone.  The royal family had been summoned to Balmoral Castle as Queen Elizabeth was under “medical supervision”. 

It brought me straight back to the morning last March when I got a similar summons.  Off and on all morning, memories of the panic to book flights and the dread of the next few days surfaced.  Signing into the hospital for the End of Life ward.  Feeding The Mom orange sherbet.  Too much emotion to process.

When the announcement came later in the morning that the Queen had died, though her death wasn’t totally unexpected, it was a shock because she’d been on her feet, greeting Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister, on Tuesday. 

I turned on ABC News, because I knew they’d be breaking in with a special report.  And the whole time I watched, I missed The Mom even more because she would have been glued to her tv, too.  She admired the Queen and loved watching documentaries on the Royal Family.  I sent her all The Crown DVD’s.  I’d love to hear what she’d have to say about King Charles III.  He’d never been one of her favorites and she never held back on her opinions! 😊

All the talk this morning of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee reminded me that we’d been in England during the Silver Jubilee in 1977.  Although I don’t recall participating in any actual Jubilee events, there wasn’t a shop window, street banner or magazine that didn’t trumpet the Queen’s 25th Anniversary on the throne.  We visited in May but the bigger events weren’t scheduled until June. 

Here are a couple of Jubilee souvenirs and a few pics of The Mom enjoying our trip.

A folder of all the Jubilee events by date

A menu from our British Airways flight (back when they actually served you a decent meal!)

Two of the menu pages

The Mom in our rental car.  She actually loved driving on the left.  She said it felt more natural and had a much harder time getting used to driving on the right again than she had adapting to the left.

I think this is Piccadilly Circus.

Blenheim Palace, ancestral home of Winston Churchill.

I can just imagine The Mom and the Queen in Heaven, mingling their spirits and sharing their thoughts on life, their children and being thoroughly badass women!  Miss you, Ma!

Books of a Lifetime ~ The Cracker Factory

The third book in my Books of a Lifetime series is The Cracker Factory, by Joyce Rebeta-Burditt, one of my top three favorite books ever.  Written in 1977, I probably picked it up in the early 80’s.  It tells the story of Cassie Barrett, an alcoholic wife and mother.  Her life is the definition of chaos as she tries to get her problems under control; dealing with her husband and mother, who she thinks are conniving against her (they are!), her three children, her lover and her shrink.  Plus all the patients and medical folks she meets in her stays at a psychiatric hospital.

Continue reading “Books of a Lifetime ~ The Cracker Factory”

An Evening with Emergency!

The Husband and I indulged in a bit of nostalgia recently.  The TV show, Emergency!, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.  Honestly, I didn’t know it started that early in the 70’s…  I would have sworn it was the late 70’s…  Anyway, being a process/procedural kind of girl, I always enjoyed that show, seeing the elaborate rescues, mostly, but also the medical techniques of both the paramedics and the doctors in the hospital.

A few months ago, I saw the 50th anniversary show listed in a schedule for the Cerritos Performing Arts Center and I thought that would be fun, so we grabbed tickets.  I noticed that earlier in the day, there would also be festivities at the LA County Fire Museum nearby.  I had no idea what a big deal this really was, though, until we heard the whole story of Jack Webb’s call for a new show.

Continue reading “An Evening with Emergency!”

Lessons in Grief – Part 4

I took the pictures of the photos in this post a few weeks ago.  I was fine, even kind of methodical, going through the box of pics, looking for the happiest smiles.

However, when I sat down to start this post, I was looking through the pictures in my phone’s gallery and started sobbing.

Just a bonus lesson in grief, I guess…

Here’s how it started:  The Mom didn’t particularly like having her picture taken.  She’d tolerate it but you could tell she wasn’t comfortable with cameras.  So, when I was looking through the photographs I brought home from my mother’s apartment, I noticed that her biggest smiles and uninhibited camera engagement were when she was traveling.

Usually she booked tours, where everything was done for her, from the meals to the itinerary to the transportation.  All she had to do was get to the airport, meet up with the group and enjoy herself.  My introverted mother made friends all over the world as she got to see all the sights on her bucket list.

Here are the happiest samples:

Olympic Stadium, Athens

Continue reading “Lessons in Grief – Part 4”

Books of a Lifetime ~ I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

This is the second in my Books of a Lifetime series. 

There are three books that have been my favorites for a very long time.  Other books have touched me and have jockeyed for positions in my top 25, but these three books are special and finite in my heart.  In no particular order, I’m starting with I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg.

I’ll get to the other two.  I Promise 😊

Continue reading “Books of a Lifetime ~ I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”

A Sawdust Birthday

Thought I’d do a blog post about my 66th, since there’s too many pics for Instagram. 

It’s been a couple of years (remember, Covid…) since we really did much for my b’day, so I was happy to plan this little outing.  July birthdays are kind of crap, really.  When you’re little, you miss the class birthday party and when you’re older, it’s summer, hot and most attractions are crowded and miserable…  But, fortunately, this was a Good One!

Onward, Birthday Girl!

What is the proper way for a former Bostonian to begin her birthday?  

A Boston Cream donut from Dunkin’, naturally!

Continue reading “A Sawdust Birthday”

Books of a Lifetime ~ Little Women

This new series was inspired by John Scalzi’s blog, Whatever.  He recently wrote a series of posts, titled A Personal History of Music, and every day of June 2022 he picked a song and described why that song was important to him.  I thought that might be a fun thing to do, too.  Only with books.

As you might have guessed, I’ve been reading for a long time. And, naturally, there have been books and authors that have resonated with me at different times in my life for different reasons.

First up ~ Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I don’t remember how old I was but I’d guess eight or nine.  Around Christmas, my Girl Scout troop went to Boston to see a play based on the first chapter or two of the book.  I distinctly recall sitting in the dark theatre amid rows and rows of people (I think it was also my first live play), attention riveted to the stage where four poor girls made the best of the holidays.  A Christmas tree glowed in a corner of the theatre.  I was hooked!  I needed to see what else happened to those March girls.

Continue reading “Books of a Lifetime ~ Little Women”

Things I Like Thursday – The Book Stephen King Sent Me

Wandering in the Christmas section of a mall store, probably in mid-November of 1983, I came across some really cute ornaments – sparkly spiders in a sparkly white web.  I bought two and sent one off to Stephen King.  I’d been reading his work since discovering Carrie in the New Book section at the Wilmington Public Library in the spring of 1974.  I loved everything he wrote and I thought that ornament would be a nice Thank You for all the hours of entertainment he’d given me.  I sent it off with a note and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, I got a notice to pick up a package that was too big for our P.O. Box.  When I saw the return address and postmark, I just couldn’t believe it.  Stephen King sent ME something??!! 

Continue reading “Things I Like Thursday – The Book Stephen King Sent Me”