Month: November 2012

Luchadores Bananas!

Or is it Bananas Luchadores?

Snatching these up a couple years back was the highlight of my produce shopping life. I really like bananas, and I really like luchadores! This picture continues to make me smile, years later, and I’m happy I captured the moment (albeit slightly blurry on a cell phone from 2009). Now I’m hungry for lunch…

*Note: it’s been a bit of a hectic week. Tons to write about, I’ve been working on some heavier pieces which require more thought and editing. Will be sharing soon. Thanks for stopping by.

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21

21st birthday cruise with my mom, 1999

Here I am, several lifetimes ago. For my twenty-first birthday, my mother took me on a cruise. It was a wonderful time, our stops included Cozumel, Cancun, and Grand Cayman. It was so much fun, from dancing on the tables at Carlos’n Charlie’s to hitting the chocolate buffet to having lots of nice relaxing time in the sun, this trip was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. This picture reminds me of that exact moment in my life:  I was free, just starting out on my own path, and I had it all there in front of me. It’s bittersweet.

This is my blog, after all…

Something I again am having to remind myself of. There are some “heavier” and far more personal stories I want to tell. I am driven to tell, in fact. I go back and forth in my mind over whether this is where to do it, when, and if it’s okay. Then I remind myself, this is my space to write and do whatever I want. Or not want. Either way, it’s mine.

So while a lot of my posts will continue to be lighter, perhaps at times humorous or entertaining even (I hope!), others will be darker and deeper. I guess my Twitter account reflects this tone best. For the most part, I tweet jokes or light-hearted things. But there are moments where I tweet things I’m concerned and passionate about. Again, at the end of that day, it’s all me. I’m not one-dimensional. Life is not always easy and light. It’s life, the good, the bad, all of it is what makes me, me. In chunks, it can be ugly and terrifying. But overall, it is beautiful, the bad times have made me who I am today. I have stories to tell, and I’m ready to begin.

This is something I keep going back to (as is this):

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
-Anne Lamott

Parents & Evacuating

I’ve seen report after report about parents who chose not to evacuate their homes prior to Sandy (and in other storms, this is not a new trend). I feel if you are a parent, you owe it to your child to keep them safe and protected. If the authorities are telling you that you are under a mandatory evacuation, you have no choice but to take your child to safe place until you receive the all-clear. If one parent wants to stay with the house, fine. But those kids deserve to be out of that situation. Too many have died because their parents chose possessions over lives. That sounds cruel, but that is ultimately what it comes down to.

People right now are making their young children stay in homes without power, while temperatures drop to freezing. That is not right, nor does it make any sense.

I spent four days without power with my two children. By the third night, I started to feel unsafe. Here we were in a dark house, no phone, no power, no way to connect if someone broke into the house or some other emergency occurred. Not to mention, the nights were steadily getting colder. Little by little, my neighbors were leaving the area. I live in a safe town, but still, when situations get stressful, people get desperate. By last Friday, there were plenty of reports of thefts and crimes occurring, some in my town, others in neighboring ones. Gas lines were terribly long, it became clear to me that this area was no longer a safe place for us. I was lucky enough to have an invitation to stay in Philadelphia, for as long as I needed. I packed my family up and we left on Friday afternoon.

I would never choose pride, or to protect things, over the safety of my children. I have more perspective on life and children than most maybe, I’ve seen my young one attached to tubes and wires in the PICU. I get that. Still, I urge any parent out there, to just think twice before another child loses their life, simply because their mom or dad wanted to “wait it out.” You can replace your televisions, stereos, homes, no life is worth any of that stuff.

After Sandy

It’s been over a week since Sandy hit New Jersey and New York. I’ve still yet to see most of the footage from the destruction, partially on purpose. I lost power for a week following the storm. I did manage to see some stills of the Jersey Shore a few days after, as well as some pictures of New York City flooding via Twitter. In the past couple of days, I have seen video of the shore and various parts of New York that were hit. It’s really unbelievable. I’ve spent summers going to the Jersey Shore since I was too young to even remember. From LBI to Point Pleasant, I’ve spent so much time along the NJ shoreline. It’s sad to hear and see that so much of it is gone. As the days go on, I hear of friends whose family members lost their homes, swept away by the surge. I have friends who are having to gut their homes and have lost most of their possessions. The heart-break continues for so many. Yesterday’s winter storm only caused more damage, more power outages, and more headaches. The demands and needs of many increases with each passing day.

I was extremely lucky. We had several trees go down and the yard is a mess. However, and I’m not quite sure how, there appears to be no damage to our house (and certainly the cars are fine). While we did lose power, and cold temperatures forced us to leave, we now have heat and light again. Some of my friends in the area, and many in my state are still without. There is a lot of work to be done. Now that my home is back up and running, and slowly schedules are getting back to normal, I am looking to donate items and volunteer time to help the countless others who were nowhere near as fortunate at me.

Power crews from all over the country are helping out, even in my small town. Their numbers are impressive, and their time and help greatly appreciated.

While the Red Cross and other well-known organizations are doing great jobs, there are plenty of grassroots groups (like this one) that seem to be really making a difference. They have the benefit of a lot less red tape, and seem to be getting to the people much quicker. I hope everyone who is able, whether it’s to write a check, deliver diapers, or spend an afternoon working, will help this cause.