11 September 2006

And they thank the lord for the land that they live in....

I was there. I wasn't supposed to be but my Grandmother was dying in a hospital in the upper east side. I had changed my flight so as not to leave that morning. I was alone. The last thing I needed with everything that had been happening was to be alone. Thank god for my friend Courtney. She knew what had been going on and why I was still in NY. When she could she would try the phone and became my lifeline that day. Finally around 2p she knocked on the door. Fritz got home at 4p. We all hugged, grateful for each other and for the world not having ended until we were all together. We had no idea what was going to happen, if there would be a systematic decimation of our city or if the worst was over. So we bought beer. I was in a bit of an overloaded state and begged them to go to the park to play football. If you know me - it makes sense. I'm in perpetual motion, even when I'm tired, and I've always dealt with stress by being physical. As the smoke rose over our city and the jet fighters did their thing, the 3 of us did our best to keep sane.

To this day the sound of a low flying plane freaks me out a little, I have dreams I don't wish to repeat, and I knew people who were in those towers. Thankfully, no one close to me. While this might sound weird, I am glad I was there. With the city I love, had grown up around and lived in, and the people who make it what it is. In the following weeks I saw NYC as I'd never seen before. Everyone came together. Everyone was glad to be alive. And yes, as Nanci Griffith said above, maybe we ALL thanked the lord for the land that we live in. I may not like where it's headed and all that has been lost in the last 5 years, but I am thankful to be here.

Thanks for tuning in.....Until 'next' monday.............CHEERS!!

04 September 2006

You say it's your birthday, well it's my birthday too, yeah!!!

For 2 generations of my family Labour Day has meant something more than what we Americans typically celebrate on this, the last weekend of the summer. For my Grandmother it meant going INTO labour. For it was on a chilly, Illinois, 6 September many years ago that my father was born. While I'm not sure of the actual day, it was sometime around this weekend that it happened. Thus began a new tradition that no one could have predicted.

It was 3 December, many years ago, my parents were getting ready for a dinner party and had some extra time before the guests arrived. My mom knew that night that she was pregnant, as she had known with my sister. Dad couldn't believe it, but I'm hoping he was excited. Mom went to the doctors and they predicted my arrival to be 11 August. Little did they know that I would be in no mood to make my appearance in such a timely manner. As my mother flopped around the pool, oh so very pregnant, that day came and went as more would follow. Too many more for their liking - 27 days, to be exact. Then, sometime in the middle of the night/early morning of 6 September I made the final push to join my Mom, Dad, and sister in this world. Talk about the birthday present that keeps giving.....and giving. Needless to say, my Mom was glad to finally have her body back (tho disappointed that her homemade flotation device had left her), and my Dad was happy that I was at last here. I hope he wasn't disappointed.

It's a cool thing sharing a birthday with a parent. Not to state the obvious but I think it has created a special bond between us. I appreciate that I share that day with someone, especially my Dad. While at times, because we are so much alike, we didn't always get along, as I've become an adult I have seen him as an adult and not so much as a parent. More than the guy who took us camping (in fact, we spent a couple of birthdays doing just that on Lake Norman in Charlotte) and hiking and all the cool things I'm grateful to do now, he is a man who travelled the states as an actor, train hopping, working with Paul Newman in his early years, and living out many adventures I can only dream about. He's a writer, a director, an athlete, a man who fell in love with my devastatingly gorgeous mother, loved her well, and us, and has done the best he can along the way. He's a very special guy and I'm glad I know that now while he is around to hear me say it. Thank you Dad, for all you do, for the pieces you picked up after Mom died, and for letting me share this special day with you. Happy Birthday, Dad, I love you!

Thanks for tuning in...Until next Monday...CHEERS!!

PS. A special shout out to Maria, my 7th. grade Biology classmate who I am one day older than and who still is one of my dearest friends....In sickness and in Martinis...thanks for all our years of friendship!! Happy Birthday!!!