- When I say the words CALI KING, my mind often drifts to the Rhianna song. It’s about 230 am and again I am finding it hard to sleep. If you can just close your eyes am imagine me for a moment. My five year old is laying by my side at the foot of the bed. She conned her way here by telling me she was afraid of the boogie monster. I graciously gave her my spare pillow and covered her and her stuffed rat with my too warm covers. My husband is sleeping on his side at the head of the bed. Currently he has his entire leg on my head. Seriously there is enough room for at least four adults in this bed, just not four trufam family members. He has been tossing and turning all night. So I guess it’s just me that is re-watching for the thousandth time episodes of Frazier. Did I mention my husband has to sleep with the television on. We (me) have been watching various seasons of Frazier for the past four years. I need my own room! I long for the nights were I could sleep in total darkness under a ceiling fan running on high. Oh the misspent days of my 20’s. Seriously thinking of taking this pillow and sleeping on the couch. Any other married couples with separate bedrooms?
Ok who else thought this was HERMIONE from Harry Potter! As a Florida resident for over 20 years I do worry much about hurricanes. We moved to a coastal area in 2012. The first year here the house flooded! We were seriously unprepared! We left in the middle of the flood, in two blow up boats one containing the dog and the other the two smallest kids. The husband, the oldest and I walked in knee high water (the car was flooded) out of the neighborhood. We looked terribly out of place and people were looking at us like we had lost our minds. We cowered in the abandoned car wash down the street waiting for my mom to drive from her house 2 hours away. We came back to the house two days later, the laminate was floating and all the stuff we had not unpacked was ruined. Did I mention we had been in the new house less than a month! Two years later, the street flooded again. This time I said we are not leaving the house. You know what no water in the house that year. Fast forward to this year Hurricane Hermine, the water in the ditch and the retention pond was almost at peak so I knew that we may possibly flood. I told my husband we are not leaving we are going to ride this one out too! The water is currently up the driveway into the front yard. My husband has rigged a retention wall around the front door and filled it with grate stuff. Seems to be working. One thing I would like to request if you are driving through a flood go SLOW. If you are in a neighborhood that is flooded please drive extra slow. You driving down the road as fast as you can causes waves of the flooded water to wash up in my front yard and possibly my house. SO STOP IT. Please also don’t let your kids/dogs play in the water! Do you know what is in that water???
I heard this phrase in a commercial for a credit repair company. I thought to myself how can you have another second chance? I do not know how many times I have, but I do keep giving someone another chance. I have come to the realization that no matter what I do they are in fact not ready to change. All the help and support I give them is futile. Domestic violence has been a theme in my life. I watched as a child my mother being physically abused by her husband. I even went through a similar situation with someone. But it only took one time for me to say, you know what you are better than this. You are worth more than this and you will not be treated like a punching bag. So relationship over, no there was no second chance, no working on things, no talking needed. You put your hands on me one time we are done. I am not giving you a second chance to hurt me again!
Fast forward to this person in my life. I took pity on her for the umpteenth time because “he attacked her again”. When he put her in the hospital the first time, I opened my home to her and wanted to help her get on her feet. It did not last long however, because she was more concerned that her abuser was sleeping behind the dumpster somewhere. I cannot wrap my head around that type of thinking. Who cares what he is doing and what “suffering” this monster is going through. So she left and I had nothing to do with her for about a year. A week ago she texts me that she is tried of getting hit and wants to come home. After some long talks with the husband, I tell her OK, come home. Foolish I know. I thought finally something clicked in her head that she deserves to be treated better. I was wrong, each time we had the chance to talk all she had was excuses for his behavior. Honestly who cares what his reasons are, he put his hands on you. I tried to tell her that she is worth something. She can be a great mother, sister, daughter. She has to love herself and stop making excuses for her life and the people she keeps allowing to be a part of it. She left two days ago to get some of her paperwork and other things from this person. She was going to stay with a friend for the night and come back. I have not heard from her. So I am putting it into words. I am done. I can no longer be a party to your self destruction. I will not allow you to disrupt my life when you don’t really want to change. You don’t want help. You just want someone to pity you and I do not. We all have a choice in the way we allow people to treat us in life. I pray one day you will wake up out of this fog. I pray that the next time your children see you is not at your funeral.
Whenever I hear the song, “always and forever” by Heatwave it brings me back to Christmas Eve 1986. All of my uncles, my parents, my aunt and a few cousins with their arms wrapped around each other singing the song in unison. Holidays were a big deal in my house, with Christmas being the biggest. Our little row house in North Philadelphia would be packed from wall to wall with family, cousins and friends. I remember that year especially because it was the last time I would get to celebrate with my entire family. We had presents under the tree, stacked all the way up to the ceiling. For that night everyone forgot about all their troubles, all the stress and just enjoyed each others company. We waited until midnight to tear open all the presents. By some miracle there were always presents to go around for everyone in attendance. I remember eating Kelloggs frosted flakes with my little cousin at 1 am in the morning and looking around at all the smiling faces. My parents divorced the next summer. It would be a decade before I was even able to see any of my family. Sure we send out christmas cards and christmas wishes via Facebook. But it’s not the same. Every year christmas comes and I feel a little sad, because my children don’t know what it’s like to celebrate with your entire family. I would love just once to have my entire family together again. Just for one night, maybe we would try a little harder to stay in touch, we would try a little harder to be a part of each others lives not just on social media. One day. Maybe just one day we will be together again.
We did not get to celebrate together this year. Sadly my favorite Aunt Margie shown in the picture above passed away from liver disease. It is still really difficult to believe. In my heart I just think she is out shopping and will be back soon. She went very quickly after the diagnosis. I did speak to her one last time, one of the times she was discharged from the hospital. I asked her to move here out of North Philadelphia and stay with me in Florida. She said she would visit soon. The night she passed, before I was notified, I just started crying uncontrollably. I wrote a few words on her facebook page once I was able to get myself together. Not soon after my father called to tell me the news. Losing her has created a very large hole in the hearts of so many people that knew and loved her. I am secure in the knowledge that I will see her again one day. She will not have any pain and I will get to hear her loud laugh and just wrap my arms around her. I did not get to say goodbye, but maybe that is a blessing in itself. Because it’s not goodbye.
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My favorite time of year was after Memorial Day,
when all the pools in Pennsylvania would open for the summer. As a city kid we didn’t travel much outside of the tristate area. My favorite memories where when my parents would drive up to the side of the school playground, park the car and yell at me through the hole in the fence to hurry up and get in the car. Which of course I did because they were my parents and I did whatever they told me to. I hopped in the car to find my little sister all buckled in with a Mcdonalds happy meal on her lap. We would then settle in to take the hour long drive to my favorite place, Nockamixon State Park. We would help my mom and day lay out our towels next to the pool. Then my sister and I would be off on our own to swim and play in the kiddie pool. We would play on the wooden gyms next to the pool. Hurry across the drawbridge and make each other walk the plank.
When we got hungry we would find our mom in the big swimming pool and our dad at the diving boards. We all would eat dinner at the snack bar overlooking the diving pool. I never got the courage to walk over there and dive, even on the shortest diving board. We would return on summer days when my mom was off of work. I remember being woken up before the sun rose. My sister and I would pile into the back of my dad’s big blue Cadilliac, still in pajamas clutching our pillows and blankets. Still asleep we would reach Nockamixon before anyone. My father would say, we had to leave early to get the best picnic table, near the entrance to the pools. These were my favorite days. Sometimes we would see other people from the neighborhood or family. When we were not swimming my sister and I would explore the park, like adventures from National Geographic. We sometimes got lost but always found our way back with the help of the smells of my dad’s shish-ca-bobs and hearing his boisterous laugh. We didn’t have much money back then but my dad would say,” if we have gas let’s go somewhere, anywhere.” This is what inspires me with my children. It’s not the memories of what my parents bought me but where we would go that live forever in my mind. I hope my children grow up to feel the same way.
Thank you for coming to our little blog. Just wanted to give you some background information on us. We are a family of 7! Mom, Stay at home Dad, teenager, first grader, preschooler, a foster pitbull and a newly rescued pitbull. We live in the sunshine state. We love to travel and have fun as a family, of course on a budget. I started this blog to share our adventures in Florida and across the country as we have started road tripping for every spring break.