Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sometimes your little bubble gets POPPED back into reality

Yep. That happened to me tonight and I am still a little shaky from it.

I'll be the first one to admit that I live in my own little bubble most of the time in thinking that no one would do me, or anyone else, harm. Or, that they won't steal or violate me or another in such a way. It's sad to say that I like my bubble and false sense of security. But, tonight was a true reminder that there is a difference between being do trusting and paranoid. There are ways to just be "safe" and you still might get harmed or violated, but at least you can do your best to prevent it.

Tonight I had to deliver something to a friend's house about ten blocks away. No big deal. I've walked there in the dark alone, but it was still light out when I left my house. I was three houses into my journey when I notice a young man about a block away smash a car window. I am not sure if I was in shock, or even thinking "Oh, he's locked out of his car and just trying to get in" but I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt (silly me). I started to walk over to him as he ran back to his other car (I don't know what he went back for) and then he ran up to the other one, looked around and reached in and grabbed their GPS system. Somewhere in these five seconds I had decided that he was breaking and entering (and not locked out of his car) and I had run up to the get away car in time to say to the guys "Hey, what are you doing" and reach out and touch his arm in attempt to get the GPS back. (OKAY - STUPID ME. But, reflecting back, I think I only did this because it was still daylight out on a fairly busy street and I saw a man on the other side of the street about two houses away. So, I felt ok. Granted, he could have hurt me, but I didn't think that at the time!!) I yelled to the guy on the other side of the street to call the Police. As I touched his sweaty arm he jerked around and jumped in his car. I then ran behind it on the road as he turned the corner and backed up (again, STUPID ME but I did know I had the energy to jump over the bushes in time to clear his car if he backed up on me) and sped off. I got his license plate and make/model of car. But, was just in shock and felt like I had personally been violated. I had only briefly touched his sweaty arm... but I felt gross!

Meanwhile, two neighbors had come out of their house when they heard me yell about the police and saw me standing there still in shock. It was then that one of them saw I had my cell phone in my hand and said for ME to call the police. ***Ha, ha... here's where you all can have a good laugh at me!! I said back to them "I don't know their number" (me thinking that I didn't have the Somerville Police number.) One of the guys said... "Uh... just call 911". Oh YES. That would be a brilliant idea, wouldn't it! For some reason I was thinking that was only for people emergencies... like someone was hurt. Personally, I think my brain shut off sometime earlier today because it definitely wasn't on for this experience.

So, I called 911 and reported everything. It was great that I got the license plate and I am happy the kid doesn't know which house I live in :) But, I really wish I knew who owned the nice Toyota Camry that now has a broken window. I talked stood around for a few minutes afterwards... kind of in a fog... while their neighbors talked. I answered some of their questions, but then just backed away. ... reflecting on what I had just seen and trying to get back to my house as quickly as possible to wash my hand.

It's such a shame. It really is. I feel bad for the person who's car was broken into, but for that young man as well. There's a much happier and more peaceful way of life... if he only knew.

And, this experience has burst my bubble. .... but, oh, I really liked my bubble. :(

Friday, July 18, 2008

Say it. Just say what you need to say.

I was at the gym earlier this week and saw that they were playing "The Bucket List". I am avid morning news fan, so I decided to watch the news as usual, but the summary posted for the movie caught my eye. (Of course, having a young and very good-looking news anchor helped in my decision!!)

Movie Summary: "Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common except for their terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to leave it and do all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die according to their bucket list. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find the joy in life.So, last night I decided to rent it."

So, last night I decided to rent it. Not the happiest movie I've ever seen, but it had a powerful message.

It's a movie with a message about life. A message about living intentionally and with purpose. The viewer is left with a challenge... a challenge to prepare his own "bucket list". What would you do if you only had six months to live? But, the questions that stuck out most in my mind was "Would you change anything about you?" and "What would you change about some of the relationships in your life?" To me, the relationships in my life are some of the most important things in my life.

Additionally, I've heard the song "Say" by John Mayer on the radio a lot, but never knew it was associated with this movie. At the end of the film, this song plays with the credits. As I was thinking about the questions listed above I heard these lyrics... (I hope this isn't illegal to post them on my blog!)

"Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all your so called problems
Better put 'em in quotations

Say what you need to say (x7)
Say what you need to saaaay...

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you'd be better off instead

If you could only
Say what you need to say (x7)
Say what you need to saaay...

Have no fear
For giving in
Have no fear
For giving over
You better know that in the end
It's better to say too much
Then never to say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open... wide...

Say what you need to say (x7)
Say what you need to
Say what you need to
Say what you need to say..."

Needless to say, "Say what you need to say" is repeated MANY, many times. And, it wasn't until last night that I actually thought about this message.

Yes, I really do think there are times when you just need to hold your tongue and keep quiet. These are times when you're going to criticize someone or hurt their feelings. BUT, there are also many times I've held my tongue and now regret it. Most of these times were in telling people how much they meant/mean to me... or that I love them... or to express my true feelings.

And, why? Why am I afraid to express my true feelings? A few times I've literally had my "hands shaking", but only good has come from it and I am grateful to have had the courage to "Say what I need to say". Maybe things haven't always turned out how I would have thought... but I've definitely felt peace afterwards... and I LIVE for that feeling. PEACE!

Specifically, I have been thinking a lot about an experience earlier this year. It had taken me about 3.5 years to "Say What I need to say"... and, finally, I did it. I DID IT! Yep, my hands were shaking (!), but... the following is so true

"You better know that in the end
It's better to say too much
Then never to say what you need to say..."

I needed to say what I needed to say, and the words needed to be heard. And, yep, the outcome to this point has not been what I would have wanted, but watching this movie and hearing this song confirmed, yet again, in my mind that I am grateful I said what I needed to say... and hope that I do it more often!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

If only I could see life through the eyes of a child...

This week I took the kids on some new adventures and I loved watching their reaction. I started to wish I could see life through their eyes and get as excited out of the "little things" like they did.

Our first adventure was to DAVIS Farmland. I actually found out about it from one of my gym friends (meaning... we only see each other at the gym and talk as we're both getting ready in the morning. They're all moms or grandmom's and so I get to hear lots of stories and we all share new and fun places to try).

This "farm" is MUCH more than a farm! It's got the animals, but it's a 'please touch, feed and pet' type of place. This is a picture of Leo feeding one of the goat's. It was his first time feeding anything besides his dog... and he was a little apprehensive at first, but the smile on his face and the wideness of his eyes after the goat ate everything out of his hand said more than words could express.

So, besides the animals, the "farm" also had hay rides, pony rides, and a "stream" for fishing. There were kid size fishing polls, but the "fish" in the "stream" were all plastic. However, this activity alone provided 45 minutes of pure bliss for the boys! They were SOOO excited when they caught one!

After the farm, we moved onto our next adventure. The "farm" also had bicycle go-carts and a race track to go around. And, they even had moveable seats so that even Jeremiah (who is much shorter and younger than Leo) could use it.

This is Leo on probably lap 100!
P.S. Please note the green lawn chairs for the "moms" in the background. This place was so mom friendly... it was incredible.

After the go-carts we moved onto the three different playground and sand area (again with nice green lawn chairs for moms to sit back, watch and talk or read. Finally, we made our way to the last main attraction which was the sprinkler park area with a water table and lots of structures for the kids to climb on and get sprayed. They LOVED IT!

This is Leo and Jeremiah on the car that sprayed water
at you as you turned the wheel. It was such a fun day!!

On Friday my mom came into town and I was had fun spending the day with her. My older brother, Justin, flew into Boston on a red-eye Friday night for a very quick visit with my grandfather. On Saturday morning, my mom, brother and I took the kids mini-golfing at one of the other famous "farms" in the area. Kimball Farms is well-known for it's fabulous ice cream, fresh produce... and it's driving range, bumper boats, and mini-golf course :)

Jeremiah has a mini-golf et at home that we are constantly playing with in his backyard. He never puts the golf club down! So, I knew he would love this, but I just didn't realize how excited he would be. From the moment we started at hole one he didn't stop cheering, smiling, or looking in awe at each new hole. The course is unlike any other (and should be for the price you pay to play on it!) and again, I was in awe of his reaction.
Three very excited kids as they wait patiently for their turn!

Why can't I get that excited about simple things like a new hole on a mini-golf course... or experiencing a new sensation from an animal eating out of my hand. (maybe it's knowing how many germs are spreading from the animal to my hand that prevents me from even thinking about doing so!... ahhhh... to be innocent and naive again. Life was a lot less complicated then.... but am I missing out on the "fun" in life because of my wisdom and knowledge?

I'd give almost anything to live life through the eyes of a child for one more day...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fireworks, BBQ's, tissue grafts, park fun... what a week!

This week has been... awesome, overwhelming, packed with fun and a blur all at the same time! Last Sunday started with a trip down to my dad's in RI where I got to take an evening stroll along the beach and eat some of my favorite BBQ corn and grilled salmon on his new deck! We walked by one of my favorite places as a child... The Flying Horse Carousel... which I recently learned is: one of two in the state designated as National Historic Landmarks and most likely the oldest carousel in the nation. It's certainly the oldest of its type in which the horses are suspended from a center frame.

If you're curious... here's more info..."The carousel is believed to have been built in 1876 by the Charles W. Dare company of NY. It was part of a traveling carnival until 1879 when the carnival was forced to abandon the carousel in Watch Hill. Unlike most carousels, there is no wooden platform to support the horses but rather, they are suspended from chains. As a result, the horses seem to "fly" as the ride increases speed, hence the carousel's name. Each horse has a tail and mane of real horsehair and a genuine leather saddle.

One of MY FAVORITE things about this carousel was the BRASS ring you would try to grab as you went around. In the middle of the ride, a device holding metal rings is lowered for riders to grab as they pass. The "winner" is given a free ride token. I did win it a few times :)

Do you see the child in the background looking back to see if someone behind her got the brass ring yet?

A better picture of the horse... there were too many people standing in front of the brass ring to get a picture.

This place also just brings back so many fun summer memories with the beach right behind the carousel, the sailboats and the Watch Hill Yacht Club where we would go sailing and watch movies at night, and the famous (but INCREDIBLY expensive) St. Claire's ice cream parlor. LOVE it though :) YUM!
Some of the shops along the entrance.
The Watch Hill Yacht Club where we would watch movies in the evening! I was never brave enough to take sailing lessons with my brothers!! I still don't like being in a sailboat when the wind is strong and the boat is tipping to one side. :) But, then I am told that without the wind... it's no fun. Well, they're wrong. I think that's the best kind of sailing.
Just chillin' in the bay sunbathing!

A wonderful, peaceful Sunday was followed by a painful and "UNFUN" Monday. I had to get a few tissue grafts on the left side of my mouth. I am so fortunate to have my dad as a periodontist and so he was able to do the procedure!

For those of you who don't know what this is, a tissue graft is when they take tissue from the inside of your mouth and put it on your gums on the outside of your mouth. Yes, painful. And, you also can't bite into anything, only chew on one side of your mouth, not eat any too hot/cold foods, and only eat soft foods for ONE WEEK! I have never craved a sandwich more than I did this week! It was a rough week in this regard... and sad to not have a hamburger at all the BBQ's I went to... (but I did cheat with the rules at times... I just had to! But don't tell my dad!)

After the surgery you have putty placed over the affected areas. So, all week it looked like I was keeping gum in the upper and lower left-side of my mouth. I even had people ask me why i was doing this when I was talking. Embarassing and Gross! I didn't take any pictures of this experience b/c I really don't want to remember it!

Onto the park fun. This week I got to spend a lot of time with Jeremiah during the day. I discovered that the spray park by their house also has fun craft and music days. So, not only can you get wet and stay cool in this heat, you can build castles in the sandbox, play on the slides and swings, make crafts, blow bubbles, and play musical instruments. It was a child's heaven! We spent many hours there... and each day Jeremiah didn't want to leave without his hat and sunglasses. Although he refused to keep the glasses on his eyes (he wanted them backwards on his head)... I thought he looked best with them on and with his hat sideways!Adorable!

BBQ's were in abundance this week. Not only b/c of the 4th, but my Canadian friend, Lauren, had one to celebrate Canada day which is July 1st. So much fun!!


The 4th was fabulous as well. Rainy in the morning and a quiet day for the most part, but then I went to a BBQ on a rooftop in Cambridge. FUN! Then, I was so fortunate to have a friend who has a tenth floor apartment overlooking the Charles River. He also has a big screen tv. So, we all watched the Pops play and then the fireworks out of his living room windows (the entire room is windows!!) It was incredible! And, we saw the flyover on the tv... and then looked out the window and saw the planes to our left. AMAZING! The show/music that was played with it was fabulous and I can't wait till next year. I LOVE THE USA!!!Ok -This picture does not do his view or the fireworks we saw justice. I should have taken a picture of the view when it was light out... but it was truly INCREDIBLE!

Saturday came and I headed back to RI to help my dad paint his new deck and to get my stitches out... Wow. What a week!