Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Brain is having an Eclipse

I'm feeling kind of random.  My head is so full of stuff that I can't think straight.  There's about five lists floating around in there and they're all getting mixed up.  Instead of progress, I wander around trying to figure out what to do next.  Too much data.  Does not compute. Overload.  Overload.
Obviously, I need more coffee.

Weather - Seven days of Caribbean breezes, lovely cool bright mornings, perfect warm afternoons, and never ending blue skies. The feeling is still inside of me and I'm holding on to that feeling for dear life. Because the day I came back to Michigan it was 22-25 degrees for a high, and has stayed that way since December 7. The sky, the ground, the snow, the cars covered in salt are all cold and grey.  Grey, grey, grey.

Wait until I meditate,  Oooom, Ooom.  Ah, blue skies, warm breezes.  Still got it.  Okay.

Christmas Menu - How can I make a list, when Sister After Me still hasn't decided on the menu yet.  Times a tickin', which means I'll be at some grocery store in the middle of the night or worst yet on Christmas Eve.  Please. No. More. Stores.

Lil' Dragons and Kid's Christmas Party - Baking away and wrapping forty little trinkets for my kung fu students.  Luckily a sub-par wrap job is okay because how else can you wrap yo-yos, poppers, sling shots with parachute skateboard guys, princess wands, jean stickers, and flip cars?  Any way you can.

Wrapping Christmas Gifts for the family like a Crazy Woman - Till three in the morning.  Feet hurt, back is poking me in the back, and my state of mind isn't getting any better.  I'm hoping a little snooze will help.  Decided at 2:22am that I should take a gander at the total lunar eclipse.  Queenmaker jumped out of bed when he heard the front door open. "Crazy Woman, what are you doing out there!"  Nothing, just spinning in place trying to find the moon's position in the sky.  Took me a few moments to realize that it was cloudy. (Notice that Crazy Woman is capitalized. My new moniker as of late. QueenMaker added it to his list of pet names for me.  How sweet.)

"Been shopping?  Nooooo, I've been shopping." -  Done as of yesterday.  Yahoo.  That's all I have to say on the matter.

Using Credit or Banks - Wait! Yes, there is more to say on the matter.   I refused to give those skinflint, disreputable, racketeering, predatory, svengali vultures, the satisfaction of pulling me into their maniacal financial scheme.   Why should I use my credit card, when they won't lend credit to anyone without making them jump through hoops, stand on their heads, give up their first child, and then still won't extend any credit?  Hellz no.

Disclaimer (in very itty, bitty, small print):
Okay, I did use one credit card, but in my defense, they kept sending me 30 percent off coupons on my total, already heavily discounted, purchase price. Plus they gave me bonus bucks on top of it. How is a consumer supposed to resist? I tell you. 

But bwahaaaahhaaahhaaa!   I fooled them.   Every time I used my credit card, I walked back to the service desk and made a payment.  So I owe them  NOTHING!   Nothing I say!

Miss My Mommy - I sent her a box full of stuff she forgot when she went to Puerto Rico.  Before I taped up the box and took it to the post office, I ran upstairs and got my santa hat and put it into the box. I know she'll wear it, until they celebrate Three Kings Day in January.  She said it rained hard all day, the day after I left.  She said the island was sad to see me go and was crying.  Me too island, me too.

My brain is running a mile a minute, so I could go on and on, and obviously be less coherent as time goes on. So it's best that I  send you over to Keely at UnMom for Random Tuesday Thoughts.  Because I need that snooze now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Puerto Rico. Do I Have To Go To Paradise?

Panoramic Views of lush valleys at every turn.  

I haven't been to Puerto Rico since I was thirteen years old. I wasn't interested in going back because of that teenage attitude, "Been there. Done that." But Papi and Mami are getting up there in age.  Papi will be 82 years old and Mami will be 80 in April.

The last few years my sisters have been taking turns going with them to Puerto Rico.  We were feeling a little anxious letting them go alone the last few years, so we decided that one of us should fly in with them to help get them settled.  Another sister went a week before they were to return home and help close the house and travel back with them.

I have been avoiding it, but it was my turn to take them. Sister in the Middle,  Sister After Me, and Only Brother have been there twice already.  Finally the inevitable had to happen. It was my turn.

So I went with much apprehension in leaving my business (especially my little dragons), my husband (it's hard to leave your solace and life-force), my home (not too much time left before Christmas), and my comfort zone (change is not necessarily a good thing.)

I dreaded the plane rides. (Delays, cancelled flights. It's happened so often. I also pray a lot during takeoffs, landings, any time between 11,000 to 42,000 feet and during turbulence.)
I dreaded the drive from San Juan to AƱasco. (Rush hour. Wow, I didn't need to experience that.)
I didn't want to think about the drive up the steep, winding roads to my parents' home at the top of a ridge. (Horror stories from Only Brother, constantly telling me his driving mantra, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!)
I especially didn't want to drive it in the dark. (Damn, I had to drive it in the dark.)
I worried about the state of the house and their car. (Last year there was no running water for a week. The stove was broken, the toilet was broken, and the car wouldn't start.)

But I kept my perspective and my fears in check and decided that "no expectations" was the best expectation.  Sister After Me said, "You have to decide to be in the moment."  Because in the end, when you can't change or have control of what's going on, you have to go with it. You have to be in the moment.

I'm back, exhausted. I feel like I've been on high alert, jittery for seven days. But my sisters and brother were right. I didn't believe them, or I didn't care to listen.

But by the second day, I fell in love with Puerto Rico.  Yes because of its infinite beauty, but more, because it was the land of my forefathers. My mother was raised in these hills.  Almost every home my mother pointed was a relative, a cousin, an uncle, or an aunt. She pointed to businesses owned or once owned by relatives.  She pointed to miles of valley and hill sides that belonged to her father and uncles.  I was amazed how hard and beautiful the terrain was. I was amazed on how much family history was still here.

My father was raised in a much dryer and hotter area called Sabana Grande, lower in elevation, but just as beautiful. The terrain was flat, the flora more cactus like.  We spent an afternoon and evening there, but the breezes of the cooler hills were calling us back home.

So the next few posts will be about my days in Puerto Rico with my parents.  Time with them I would not have traded in the world.  I'm so glad I'm home, but I am equally as glad that I went.

The hardest part of the trip was leaving them behind.
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