Saturday, July 31, 2010

Throwing Rocks

"Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks." ~Forrest Gump

So I catch Forrest Gump somewhere in the middle of the movie tonight and I hear this quote.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I've watched the movie a million times before and never really paid attention to that part.  Or maybe I'm just more open to certain things right now.  I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately.  Well, I don't know if that's really the right terminology.  As I've been packing, I've been going down memory lane a lot.  Like pretty much constantly for the past two weeks.  

So why is it that as we get older we have a hard time remember a lot of the good times but the bad times sneak up on us when we least expect them? I mean, I'm sitting there with my kids watching TV and bam - out of nowhere comes this flood of emotions.  Lucky for me Jacob had just poked me in the cheek with a toy sword (don't ask) so I had a good alibi for the tears. 

I've found I have a lot of rocks to throw.  Nothing I want to go into here believe it or not.  Some things are too painful not only to me but to others.  I'm one of those people that would rather take on the hurt rather than ever hurt someone else.  I think we all have memories we would rather erase from our past.  Unfortunately for us even the bad stuff molded us into the people we are today.  For better or worse.  

Since we can't annihilate these memories, just what are we supposed to do with them?  Some people wallow in them and wear them like a badge for everyone to see.  Some bury them so deeply hoping they never resurface. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle.  I let people see a lot of my problems.  I guess it's a form of therapy for me.  Besides, I'm Irish and it is NOT a good thing for me to keep things bottled up.  But there are some things I don't share with many if anyone at all.  These have definitely been sneaking to the surface. Tonight just happened to be one of those nights.  

So what do we do with the baggage that is able to reduce us to a pile of rubble even during the most innocent of movies?   Well, for me,  I will do like I always do and pick up the pieces and go on.  I am supermom.  I carry a bottle of superglue for such occasions.  Broken Bakugans, Barbie dolls, and yes, even myself if need be.  And I will be picking up some rocks to throw along the way, stockpiling a few for the next time.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only what you are expecting to give - which is everything.  What you will receive in return varies.  But it really has no connection with what you give.  You give because you love and cannot help giving." - Katharine Hepburn

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you.  When you dare to reveal yourself fully.  When you dare to be vulnerable." - Dr. Joyce Brothers

Someone told me today that there is no such thing as love.  Not the love for your children because we know that's true but love between a man and a woman.  Hmm.  That made me think.  I didn't have anything to defend my position other than "Yes there is."  Weak argument.  I never was good at debating...

I don't think I need to define love for anyone.  We've all experienced it.  Both the good and the bad faces of it.  The amazing glow that starts from inside and creeps outwards until it takes over everything around us.  The indescribable pain when it is ripped away.

I once thought that love was an intangible thing.  I didn't know you could feel it.  Really feel it with your entire being. Where that person is your first thought in the morning and your last thought at night.  When you get those little butterflies in your stomach from the littlest bit of contact whether an e-mail or a phone call.  And when you see this person, a huge smile escapes and even the most controlled of us gets a little skip in their step and imagines running together in a field of heather and falling into each others arms.  Oh, come on, I know you've done it too.  Even some of you guys.  

We all crave that feeling.  It's what constantly drives us to want more.  I'm not talking about simple attraction or sex.  That's always there.  That's easy to find and much more easy to let go.  I'm talking about the make you breathless stuff.  The feelings that are way more addictive than any drug and more elusive than a rare diamond.  You would think with 6.6 billion people on this Earth it would be easier.  I mean, that's a LOT of people.  

And if we are fortunate enough to find that love, what do we do with it?  Do we treasure it for the priceless gift that it is?  Do we put all of our energy into keeping the feeling alive?  Most of the time we do for a short time and then life starts creeping in.  We figure it's always going to be there.  And then one day we wake up and the love of our life is gone.  

So I suppose that you are wondering if I've found this thing called love.  I will say that at one point in my life I honestly had it.  The type of feeling that you would go to the ends of the Earth to keep.  The person that completely allows you to be yourself with them.  The one that you don't lose yourself with but encourages you to be even more than you could have possibly been otherwise.  The one that sees your soul and knows you even better than you know yourself.  Whether I kept it or not is another story.  Seriously.  This posting is long enough and you will just have to wait. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010


"Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs.  This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion." ~Scott Adams

I've been told I have tunnel vision.  Once I make a decision, nothing is going to steer me off-course.  So once the decision was made to be single again, I chose to completely uproot my life and my family and move from our little farming town of Manchester, Tennessee back to my hometown in Cleveland, Ohio.  I am leaving a job that I love and have worked for seventeen years.  I get to find new schools, new doctors, a house and a new career.   Not to mention dating.  Me, dating again?  Really?  I've only had 2 relationships in the last 23 years.  And now I'm back in the dating pool.  With 3 children.  At 40 (almost).  Ugh!  I get to deal with the cheesy pick-up lines.  The guys with the slicked back hair and the gold chains.  Wondering which ones are married and which ones are just in it for the sex.  Wading through a pool that gets much smaller at my age to find Mr. Right.  Or at least Mr. OK.  So it's a daunting proposition.  One that I'm sure I will make my own share of mistakes.  But an adventure I'm willing to take because I know it will be worth it in the end.  Or at least I thought so...

I text one of my brothers to get his new address:
Me: "So what's your address now?"
Brian: "Who wants to know?"
Me: "It's just for me.  I'm trying to get my bearings since I'm moving back up to Cleveland."
Brian:  "No seriously, who is this?"
Me: "I guess this isn't Brian?"

Now I get a phone call.  The deep voice on the other end says "No, this isn't Brian."  I squeak out a mortified "I'm sorry."  Sent another text apologizing and figured that was it.

No, that's not how my life goes.  It's never that simple. There's always a punchline.  Trust me.  I am constant entertainment to those who love to laugh at (with) me.  So I get a text message the next morning: "Have you ever considered having an affair with an older man?"  For normal people, warning bells would be going off, right?  Affair, older, etc.  My friend grabs my phone and texts back "So just how old do you think I am?"  He says he's going to call me when he gets back from the gym.  Hmmm.  Potential maybe?  Of course, it's Friday and he's going to the gym and not to work.  Maybe he works second shift.  Maybe he's independently wealthy.  And he's working out so that has to be a good sign, right?

I get the phone call.  He thinks I am in my 20's.  I laugh.  I mean, it's been a few years since I've seen 20.  I mean, if I were still in my 20's would I be texting a complete stranger?  I say "No, I'm 39."  He says "That's OK because I am 60."  Alright.  I know I'm getting older.  But 60?  Images flash through my head.  Sean Connery.  Pierce Bronson.  My dad.  Ugh!  60 is not good.  And oh, btw, it gets worse...

So this strange guy has my phone number and knows I'm moving back to Cleveland.  The inner detective in me starts investigating.  Google is my friend.  One of the best.  So onto a reverse number lookup.  I find him right away.  There he is.  Phone number.  Home address.  Google maps street view.  He lives in an apartment complex.  Oh no.  I think it's an elderly assisted location.  And he's not 60.  He's 74.  And married.  With a son 11 years older than me.  Plays piano at the senior citizens center.  My "dream" guy is 10 years older than my dad.  And lied to me about his age.  I know you're laughing now.  Really laughing.  On the floor, LMAO.  Good.  Because that's what I was doing in between the tears and the realization that this isn't exactly going so well for me. 

For the rest of the day my "friends" (yes I really love you) go into detail on how great it would be to date an older man.  I mean, think of how experienced he is.  He probably has a lifetime prescription for Viagra.  Just think of what happens to the male anatomy when they get older.  My family just want to know if he's rich.  Yeah, that's the important stuff.  Not that he's married or 74!  And then I realize his wife might find out about me.  Kristina says she will probably chase me with her cane yelling "Leave my husband alone!  We've been through two World Wars and the Great Depression together!" 

It can't get much worse than that.  Again, do I really believe that when I say it?  When I told mom about this she says "Well, your Uncle Tommy is single.  And has a house.  You did used to have a crush on him."  Note: Uncle Tommy is my stepfather's brother, so not blood-related.  But still, he's been my uncle since I was 12.  And did my mom just try to set me up with a relative?  Really?

I guess I am going to have to lay down some ground rules for those who care so much for me as to try to set me up with someone:

1.  Plus or minus 5 years.  Period.  That's 34-44 for those of you not so good at math.  I'm not dating an older man again - 13 or 35 years.  And I don't want to have to train him either, so the 27-year-olds are out too.

2.  Single.  Not married.  Not sort of divorced.  Unattached and well over the ex.  If he still mentions her name with googly eyes or finishes it with "the f'n beoch" he's out too.

3. (This one's for my mom.  Normally this wouldn't even be a question.  But it is my mom...)  He cannot be related.  Not by marriage.  Or a cousin 5 times removed.  No matter how cute, single, rich or any other star qualities he may possess.  I just can't do it.  It would really screw up the family tree and I don't want to have to figure out how to enter that into my database.

I'll probably add more later.  But why put too many constraints on it?  That would take all the fun out of it and I wouldn't have something to blog about later!

And so goes dating for me so far.  Batting 1000.  I never was very good at sports.  Apparently I am equally as clumsy at dating.  And I have yet to actually be out on a date.  I didn't even get a dinner out of it.  Oh well.  Setting my goals a little bit higher the next time.  And maybe get a lottery ticket or two.  I might have better luck...

How to Say Goodbye

Goodbyes are never easy
They usually come with tears
For this has been my second home
For many…many years.

No matter where life takes me
I’ll often think of you
And memories of each of you
Time cannot undo.

Times weren’t always easy
Some days the work was rough
But through it all we persevered
And showed that we were tough.

There were times we disagreed
And didn’t see eye to eye
But just like any family
We let the issues slide.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers
And I will do the same
And I hope a smile will cross your face.
If you should hear my name.

So goodbye to all my friends
There is no more to say
My new life awaits me
And I am on my way.

Take care and God Bless.
(Written for me by my mom Nora Hardy)

Friday was my last day of work.   Six months ago I figured the only way that was going to happen is if they walked me out the door.  I never would have believed that I would be the one walking away.  But God has plans for us that we don't even understand.  And thus, I put in my notice and here I am: jobless and moving to Cleveland.  
How do you say goodbye when you've worked somewhere for almost 17 years. Yeah - I said 17 years.  I know it's not possible; I must have started working there when I was twelve.  I've grown up with many of these people.  We've gone through marriages, births, divorces, and even the loss of some very special friends. We've had some hard times and many disagreements, but these are overshadowed by countless great memories. Family days, softball tournaments and hundreds of birthday celebrations.
In the meantime, I was overly blessed with great food and tearful goodbyes as I left Friday. I knew it would be difficult to leave but I didn't know just how hard.  I've seen so many people come and go and now it's my turn.  It's pretty surreal.  So goodbye and thank you if I don't see you again in this lifetime.  And to those of you that will be lifelong friends, know that I love you and we will be in touch soon.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


"Be not afraid of life.  Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact" ~Henry James

So what is belief?  Defined as the mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another. Synonyms are credence, credit, faith.  Hmm.  There's that word.  Faith.  It's taking a lot of courage to place all my faith in God to carry me through my journey right now but He's carried me through a lot in my life so far.

But back to the quote.  Be not afraid of life.  Now that's a tough one.  It's not really that I fear life.  It's the actual belief that life is worth living.  Alright, don't worry - I'm not suicidal or anything like that.  I've been doing a lot of sleepwalking through life for quite a while.  Basically been on autopilot.  Keeping my head down and staying on the path of least resistance.  A very good friend of mine opened my eyes and made me realize this and I thank them dearly for that.  There's so much more living out there for me to experience. 

I'm not entirely sure what I was afraid of.  It's not so much life itself or the undertaking of it.  I think it's the worth it part.  I have been overly blessed in some areas of my life.  I have three beautiful, healthy, ornery children.  I've struggled, but there's never been a night when I didn't have food in my belly or a roof over my head. So then there comes the question:  what more can I possibly want and do I actually deserve better? 

I believe that God does want us to be happy.  That doesn't mean that life should be devoid of the hard parts, but I think there should be more good than bad.  If this is out of balance, steps need to be taken.  I can't blame anyone but myself for not having more happiness in my life.  I deserve a job that pays better and is more challenging.  I deserve to go out once in a while and do something just for me and not feel guilty about leaving the kids with a sitter.  And I deserve to find someone that makes me feel good about myself; someone that makes me laugh more than they make me cry; someone with whom I become a better person from knowing them.  

I don't expect that these things are just going to fall into my lap.  But by making myself open to the possibilities, my new paths may just lead me to this fleeting thing known as happiness.  I just need to believe... 

Hot in Cleveland

"A woman at 20 is like ice, at 30 is warm, and at 40 is hot." 
-Gina Lollabridgida

Well, from the blog title some of you might be expecting me to tell about some exciting events from my trip to Cleveland.  Sorry to disappoint.  As fun as it was, no romantic liaisons this time.  We just visited with a lot of family and got down to some necessary business for the upcoming move.  Actually, there was a very interesting one before I left for Cleveland, but I will save that for another blog.

I titled this one "Hot" because was this trip was just that - HOT!  Mild moderate temperature all summer until we arrived on Saturday.  And then all hell broke loose (or at least it felt like it!).  95+ degrees all week.  I don't think it ever got much below 90 until we left.  And then it dropped almost 25 degrees in 10 minutes through Cincy.  A nice farewell for our departure from Ohio.  Hopefully it's not an omen for our move.

Seriously though, we had another good trip home.  Saturday we went to the Lunar family reunion.  For those who don't know me - no this wasn't a moon landing convention.  My maiden name is Lunar.  No, really.  You can try to make a funny, but with 28 years with that name, I've pretty much heard them all.  Well anyways, I already blogged a bit about this last time.  It was really nice to see the ones who were able to make it.  I hope to reconnect with everyone else when I get up North for good.
Sunday we spent part of the time at my friend Terri's house and then at my baby brother Brad's and his awesome fiance Candice's.  Actually at Candice's parents' pool.  Both hostesses had an awesome spread of food and drinks.  We had a blast.  Thank you guys for inviting us into your homes and sharing a bit of your holiday with us.

We went to Classic Park to watch the fireworks like we did last year.  They put on a pretty good show for the fourth and it's free.  It was our second year in a row and we may have to make this an annual tradition.  It's home to the Lake County Captains.  They are the minor league team for the Cleveland Indians.  The stadium is kept up well and they really entertain you for the games.  I wish we would have had that when I was younger.   

On the way home we went to Sandi's which is this awesome little ice cream shop that I spent my summers at growing up.  They have the best ice cream and it hasn't changed a bit since I was little.  I would ride up there almost every day and spend my babysitting money on a large twist with sprinkles.  It's great to pass down traditions like this to my kids.  Guess what they ordered? :)

Monday we went to the Fairport Harbor Mardi Gras.  I haven't been out there in about 25 years but we used to go there every weekend with my dad in the summers.  My buddy Matt brought his 3 kids.  Mine had become fast friends with his on our last trip up.  Between a few fits (Jacob mostly) and some nagging from the kids to play every game of chance on the midway, they actually got to ride some rides.  We hit Dairy Queen for a late night snack.  Yes - sugar before bedtime again.  Hey, it's summer.  What can I say? 

Tuesday I went apartment and house hunting and then to visit Dad.  He got out some antique scooters he had picked up and the kids rode over to the playground with him and Helen. They thought the scooters were really neat.

Wednesday and Thursday were back to business.  An interview each day.  Wednesday with a recruiter and then Thursday for my dream job at American Greetings.  No news yet.  But no news is good news, right?  Having to work on that patience again.  I've put it in God's hands now. I would love this job but need to make sure it's the best one for me and my kids. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.  

Back to Tennessee for the next few weeks now.  Went directly to church camp the morning we got back.  Tell you all about that in the next post :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


"What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out." - Alfred Hitchcock

I love my family.  I really do.  They are amazing.  But with a large family comes a lot of drama.  I've had to deal with it my entire life.  It's a large part of why I moved away in the first place.  Got hit in the face with it again yesterday.  This person not coming to so-and-so's house because they're not talking to that one because of something that happened and they probably don't remember what caused the argument in the first place.  And then this one isn't talking to that one because they went to the other person's house last spring or whatever.  It sucks.  

My generation of cousins grew up with this on both sides.  I didn't see most of my extended family for years because of one reason or another.  I missed out on so many experiences because the adults couldn't work things out.  It's still going on today.  It's sad when my cousins and I realize this and just want to get past all the hurt but others just can't move on.  I love everyone and I don't want to have to take sides.  Just call me Switzerland.  

So you know, I will be spending times with all of my family members.  I am not doing this to hurt anyone's feelings.  I'm not doing it because I like one person more than another.  I'm doing it because I love them and they're family.  All of them.  That's what families do.  They get past the petty stuff.  Love you for who you are in spite of their differences.  So please don't get mad or get your feelings hurt.  I love all of you.  Maybe - just maybe - my generation can put an end to all of this and we can be one big happy family.  Oh - and maybe I'll win the powerball this week too! 

Thursday, July 1, 2010


"Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience.  Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence." - Hal Borland

"Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears." - Barbara Johnson 

For those of you who know me, you know I was not blessed with an abundance of patience to begin with and most likely a bit too much of persistence.  Now I have a little over a month to move, find a job, find a place to live, get my kids registered for school, and a million other little details.  It's a bit difficult to be calm with all of these things on my mind.  It really hit me today.  I am wound tighter than a two-dollar watch (gotta get the Southern sayings in while I still can).  I've been praying - a lot.  Maybe I'm not saying the right prayer or not giving my worries to God.  Even my "Message From God" on FB told me to relax.  How did it know?  

So I do what I do best when I'm worried: divide and conquer.  I've mapped out the schools to the apartments for rent and the foreclosed homes.  The school district won't give me a map so I have to call with each individual address to see which school they would go to.  They are going to be really tired of me before this is all over.  And which school will be the best?  The one down the street from my brother?  The one with the honors program (I would hate to have my kids at two different schools right now)?  The smaller one with more personal attention?  Tough decision...

Now I get to try to figure out where to live based upon which school I pick.  Or is it the other way around?  Do I get the smaller place that is cheaper, the bigger place to give us room to move, or the one closest to the school?  And how are we going to get my piano upstairs if I get a second floor apartment?

It just keeps getting worse from there, so I'll stop before someone commits me.   I'd try to idle my motor, but I think I've already stripped out all of the gears.  I know everything will fall into place (or I'll force it to happen because I also happen to be just the slightest bit stubborn).   I just haven't figured out how to step back and relax.  There's so much to do so how can I just sit around and wait for it to happen on it's own?  I don't understand that.  It seems counter-productive to me.  

So I'm trying to breathe.  Taking it one hour at a time.   Trying to let go.  Hoping and praying that it will all work out.  It's not just me I have to worry about now.  I'll let you know how it goes...