Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Mother's Birthday

Today my mother is eighty-five!! Can't believe it. Just two years ago, she had a massive stroke. My sisters and I thought she was not going to make it. How wrong were we! In the long tradition of the women in her family, she rallied, then endured a year of physical therapy and several setbacks. Now she is thriving. It gives us hope of a long and fruitful life. I remember her mother, her aunts, all lived well into their nineties.

My sisters and I always looked up to her. She was always full of energy, a gracious hostess that welcome everyone to her home. An older sister that took care of keeping her large family together, living until recently in her parents' old house. Of course, she lived far from her daughters, but visited frequently and enjoyed her example to a point!

I called to wish her Happy Birthday and she was alert, funny and commenting on the events of the day so far. Everyone has called or visited, she had presents to open and people to converse with. My sisters are there preparing a feast for tomorrow night when everyone she cares for can come to share this time with her. In a way, I wish I was there too, but with my family all together here in Miami, that was not a choice. There will be other times to celebrate and I am sure we can all be there: daughters and grandchildren. We will have a wonderful time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gracious Living

Gracious Living, yes, that is what I am missing. Don't get me wrong...Miami has so much to offer. When it come to things to do, the city has more than its share, and that is not the point. The everyday life here is very hard, always rushing, little time for entertaining, visiting, or relaxing. Distances are appalling, it takes for ever to go anywhere, making daily commute a nightmare for most of the people in the city.

No laid-back lifestyle here, no matter what people tell you on the nightly news...the weather can be gorgeous half of the year and you would still struggle to have some time to enjoy it. For me, it's very simple...there is no gracious living in Miami.

You know what I mean, time to visit and sit with friends enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, time to really have a conversation, go for a leisurely walk at the end of the day or just enjoy the sunset. Today is Wednesday, I know, what's the point'll say. There is one, believe me. Today is Wednesday, back in Curaçao my friends go together to play bridge. Everyone would get there early, one by one they'd arrive, smiling, greeting, sharing. The tables are ready, the spread on the side table, the coffee cups, a cake, a pie, some cookies.

There are the latest news to be shared, the good and not so good news about their lives, the birthdays, the weddings, the births. Nowadays the housekeeper, the high cost of things at the supermarket. It is so civilized! On this particular day, Vicki, one of my best friends is celebrating her birthday. We always do the Wednesday after the real predictable and wonderful! There was cake, I'm sure, and greetings and someone had collected money and bought a gift card for her. Another would have something amusing to say and everyone would clap and things would only get better.

There would be playing and things to munch and drink along the way. When the bridge session is finished, there would be lunch, relaxed and familiar and delicious. Everyone would stay longer than usual, no reason to rush anywhere...this is where everyone is supposed to be. There would be good china, cutlery and glassware, a nice coffee and tea set and some good wine. Laughter and camaraderie and just plain fun...this is gracious living at its best!!! I so miss that!!!

And wonderful!!!!

Yes, I have up and down days a everyone else. The difference is that I write about them! The last two days have been great! The weather in Miami has cooperated: sunny cool and free of humidity. I opened the windows and doors of my apartment and let the breeze in. It was so wonderful! Never mind the people that think I am out of my mind....

Yes, there are a few of those. Just take the opening your home to the natural breeze. Here, just because the AC unit is part of the have to keep it on!!! except, of course, when it is too cold!!! then the heater kicks in....whatever. Nature is not considered in the equation...too bad.

Anyway, the day is gorgeous again. Biscayne Bay sparkles in the sun and the cool breeze makes small whitecaps. The buildings look actually beautiful and not so much as concrete blocks. The port is bustling and small boats crisscross the bay. I can see small children in their prams peacefully sleeping in the warm sun. Their caretakers...could we say nannies???....socializing in the park that is the center of Brickell peaceful.

How can I not be happy today!!! I am thankful for this......

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life is Complicated.....

What a discovery, you would say...I don't blame you. It is just that some days that is more relevant than others. Today is one of those days. I am in mist of getting my annual check-up. Not fun, I can tell you....but then I am sure you know that. This is the time, when my imagination runs wild and I think I am...who knows??!!

Never mind that, there must be a way of learning to be positive. If there is, I would like whoever has the secret to please SHARE!!! I am a worrier by nature and a pessimist by I would be grateful for an insight into the world of positive thinking and care-free living. No that I haven't tried, I have and keep trying...but it doesn't last long....

The day is beautiful. After more than a week of low temperatures and strong breezes, Miami is back to the 80s, sunny, low humidity and gorgeous. It almost makes me glad to live here.....alright, it makes me glad I'm here at this time. Consequently, I should be happy....enjoying this great weather....NEEE!!!! My mind is on the test I am having tomorrow, how is it going to go, what are they going to find and all the aches and pains I am feeling at the moment. Really!!!

My doctor told me the other day that I want to get old without having any aches and pains. Something I understood him to mean is impossible. Aches and pains remind us that we are alive, I guess he meant. Maybe that's it, you have to be your own teacher when it comes to being positive. One idea I can put into practice.......