No More Walls

With the Presidential Election coming up, and so many issues of utmost concern to the general public being raised. I think it is important that we all have a voice and be vocal about those concerns we, as citizens have in our everyday lives.

Social media is allowing us to see the concerns that others have and also know that we are not alone in our worries.  Some of the various issues and stressors we face many of our neighbors in our very same communities to do.

Recently I was linked to a site called NextDoor.com and I am continually seeing growing concerns over the same topic over and over for at least as long as the Presidential campaign has been running. I would like to speak out on behalf of the citizens that are finding this issue intolerable and are writing such emails that are full of hatred and condemnation comments and accusatory in nature. I think these are serving to segregate our neighborhoods as opposed to unifying them much like our country. 

In years past, when security within neighborhoods was a major concern, watchdog groups were set up and established. Police officers came into communities and helped neighborhoods set up safety patrols right within their very streets they lived.  This was extremely effective. It discouraged bad  delinquent behavior and violators were caught.

So I am advocating someone take the bull by the horn and suggest our elected running public officials add on to their current campaign issues mandatory Poop Patrol but have it pushed back to the States to be handled in each individual community.  There is far too much animosity building from neighbors being accused of leaving droppings in other people’s yards. This is harmful to our children to be raised in communities where vile things are being said right within their very homes when at times, the perpetrator may be their very own BFF!

Just recently, I received an email via social media, as did everyone connected in my subdivision where each of us was called out as being uncivilized and worthy of having bagged dog poop placed back in our yard.  My fear was that I would walk out to discover some dog’s manure on my property when my dog’s droppings are always proudly disposed of in Target bags, be it the occasional Wal-Mart bag.

I have read several heated exchanges over the dog’s duty not being properly, shall we say, scooped up.   I fear the day is going to be forthcoming where neighbors may begin labeling others and become somewhat biased towards others that are dog-owners. As a dog owner, I do not wish to be discriminated against simply because of someone else’s lack of doing the right thing, proper due diligence.

The only reasonable course of action, as this problem seems to be unfolding in many other neighborhoods across social media, is to take a universal approach.  Poop patrols should be advocated and be a bipartisan measure.  Each state should advocate communities push neighborhoods to delegate someone to monitor social media.  This stream of emails, postings and chatter must be curtailed early on and the watch dogs need to be within the very areas they are occurring thus, saving tax payers money on this issue. Who wants to put out money for a Poop Control, seriously?  As a side note, it is extremely distasteful to be eating a snack, checking email and read these disgusting detailed emails about doggie messes in the yard.  Where has the discretion gone in America?

Please, if you agree, start a petition to your local representative for the need for action for Poop Reform.

If not, the next measure could be neighbors building unbreachable walls in their yards and charging the offending dog owners the cost of construction!


Embracing Aging Changes

Well, it is finally here, it is happening. I knew it was coming but wasn’t sure how it would play out. With my husband retiring in October, we begin a new chapter of our life. This is the time of trying to eliminate more stress and spending more quality time together.  As we are getting older, the focus has to be on making memories to last the latter part of our lifetime. Tomorrow may be fleeting or may not come at all.

Thus, we are moving, very soon. And of all places, further south. This girl, born in Long Island, New York, was raised in Ohio.  With marriage I moved to Kentucky to raise my two children, mostly on my own, struggling and trying to give them the mother I wish mine I had been, making the sacrifices the best I could. I was at school functions, field trips, and letting them playing competitive soccer where we traveled all over the place while working full-time.

I landed up marrying the man of my dreams and moving to Tennessee which has been my home for the last 16 years.  So hard to believe the home I live in is the longest I have ever lived in one house in my life. I look around and see so many memories, happy, funny, touching and sad ones. A bedroom where I laid fighting cancer, a TV room where my grandson made tents of sofa
cushions and we hid underneath them eating snacks. I see a kitchen that was remodeled and remember nights I walked the floor when one of my grand-kids refused to sleep all night when he slept over.  Dog dishes that my youngest grandson, at the time, Jake refused to stay out of when he was crawling. And as I look out the back, I swear I still see Dan, though he is in heaven, in the skyline, watching down over his father to let him know he is at peace.

The new chapter will be further away from so many friends, as we venture to Florida, to an unknown area. I am nervous, scared and abit melancholy. But I know my husband’s parents always wanted to retire to Florida and his dad didn’t live quite long enough to get the chance. Now Jim is living out their dream. We are making their wish, in a sense, come true.

As we take a big step towards a community of folks like us, wanting to be a part of a fun, active lifestyle where we embrace each other’s goodness and stay active, we must feel blessed. God is allowing us to change. After praying for answers, they came. With a price of course, as every change brings sacrifice. No longer can I see some of my friends, children and grand-kids on a whim. But love ties don’t end or stop with distance. Traveling to visit is essential and that time will be cherished and plentiful!

I know for myself, one of the scariest parts of moving away from an area I have called home for so long  is moving further away from folks I hold dear, some people I love so much.  After a great deal of reflection and
prayer, I realize God is leading me down this path. He taught me that some of the most painful experiences in life are also the most important ones.  Those that love you will always be there for you and you are blessed to be there for them, no matter what occurs, no matter where you live. Just as God is always with us, a great friend and a loving family member will  love you unconditionally and have steadfast loyalty and faith in the relationship. Distance does not deter the quality of a relationship, if it truly exists.

On the flip side, if someone is lost so easily by moving away, the bond
may not have been there at all. And some were lost from my life long before this move. Once again I experienced that adage, loving someone, giving all you have to give, does not ensure those feelings will be returned. This is perhaps one of the most painful experiences for me in my home here in Nashville. There is a time to give, and there is a time to give up trying. God has helped me see the light and recognize who he has put in my life that is meant to stay. I also more clearly see If someone is not open to God, it is hard for them to be open to the idea of unconditional love, non-judgmental attitudes, acting respectful, and having a faith of action.  

So as we look to the future, to a new chapter, may you all find that, as you age, you not forget, embrace your age. No matter what it is, recognize that you are called to make changes. Staying well within your comfort zone is easy; making difficult choices is hard, ones that require you to take a leap of faith again, like you did when you were younger.

A true testament to your faith in God is spreading your wings in new directions.  Put your faith in action. If you are still here aging, your life should continue to have meaning and you should seek out new experiences, learning opportunities and continued growth. 

Time is precious. Moving on hurts but is called faith in God’s plan. My grandchildren hold the keys to my heart, right below my husband, who is obviously below God.  I would, without a doubt say my son Michael has been a cornerstone in my life always and will always be, no matter where I live.  No distance would ever change my unconditionally love for him nor his sister. May you still find my blog of interest written from a new location! And to age with grace means changes should be embraced! 

A video is attached with just a few Kodak Moments of images taken from inside our home over the years. The memories we carry forever in our hearts.  For Video Click Here


Pieces of Memories

I never thought of myself as a hoarder. However the word defined is "someone who accumulates a supply that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation for future use." When we think of “hoarding” these days, not in the word’s origin, in the early 19th century, it is more of a dysfunctional behavior. Hoarders are individuals that have stock piles in their homes of anything and everything that make their houses deemed unfit for living, health hazards. As I have packed belongings for selling our home for downsizing and moving, I have realized I have held on to far too many possessions.

Eight years ago, facing cancer, I realized, revising my Will, the most important things I was taking with me were my memories. None of the belongings I had acquired could I take on that final trip, that everlasting vacation, of sorts, to the Gates of Heaven. Once they opened, I wouldn’t look back and would never come back to anyone left behind. And, I would go in to a place with the same thing I came into this world with, no possessions.

Yet, I was confronted with trying to come up with, aside from money, what possessions I have that have value. It is funny, when I thought about it, because value has two meanings, monetary and emotional. There is the charm bracelet my daughter gave me on her first honeymoon. Every stop she made on her cruise she got me a charm and put it on a charm bracelet. I have that but I also have expensive gem rings from my husband. What items would hold value to my children or grandchildren?

 I also thought about so many friends I have met along the way and my sisters, my nieces and nephews? I loved them and wanted to leave a piece of me behind with them. I wanted them to know I loved them after I was dead and wanted them to be touched I thought of them after I died. What could I leave, what item? And then I asked myself was it necessary to do so for them to even know that?

So I scanned my house and tried to come up with all the items, stressing about it while in chemotherapy. Looking at my list, when I typed it up, I quickly realized the items meant more to me than they ever would mean to anyone else. I thought about what I had from one of the dearest people I lost, my Grandma Gliatti.   My colorful bandanna that she had on her head on one vacation she took with us. And that one article was all I needed, nothing more. So here I was wasting precious time of my life worrying about items, things, possessions that would matter not to those people.  So I left my list alone and walked away from it, leaving it probably not intact, but not caring. I realized it really didn’t matter in the end.

Fast forward to now, as I went through room after room, trying to decide what to pitch, give away and pack. Many things have changed in my life. I have lost relationships that I treasured, gained some, and picked up a few items I value. There are a few people I love in my life that I doubt would want any reminders of me, life can be cruel that way.  Do I hold on to those things in the hope, when I die, they will have a change of heart and at least want those items? What if I take the space to hold on to some things people don’t even want? I begun to see the same old pattern here, I have a hard time letting go of things and attach way too much meaning and emotions to items.

What struck me the most was the sheer quantity of what I have. Amazing how many things one accumulates. How could I do that and not even realize it! I recall a week ago standing in the garage and telling my husband that not only was he a hoarder but I was as well. I have held on to far too many possessions. Yes, the woman who had realized when she had cancer and was writing a will realizing my items were, in reality, worthless, was stressing over each one, item by item.

The reason I stress, and so many others react the same way is because attached to each is a memory, like my grandmother’s bandanna. But the truth is, even if, in
the move, that bandanna was lost, that memory would be as alive as if it were yesterday. And the possessions I sit and ponder over what to take, who to give them to, will be too. The memories they represent will be with me no matter where I call home. Those that care about me will have those memories and those that have shut the door on having a relationship with me I can hold on to the memory with or without the item that represented them in my life. 

God really allows us this amazing ability to take our lives’ experiences with us where ever we go. With each item left behind, given or sold, for a few moments, I feel a little bit sad. In a matter of a few more moments, the Holy Spirit reminds me of the precious beautiful memories attached to each and every item.  I then can look at the sky and realize they still live within me, and always will.