Memories from a little white car

As I was driving home from work just after 5pm last night, I noticed a small white sedan swerve a little into my lane.  I pulled up next to the car at the next red light we both stopped at, where I noticed the driver was a young, teenage girl and the passenger was a young, teenage boy.  Both of them were probably 16 or seventeen years old and without a care in the world.  For that fleeting moment at the light, I soaked up a glimpse of their lives and immediately likened them to Hugo and I.  In those short seconds, I saw her laughing and joking with him, as they were on their way to someone’s house to hang out with friends.  The sun was still alive in the sky for another three hours, which meant plenty of both day light and night life to enjoy during their carefree summer night.  Maybe she had a crush on him and most likely he liked her.  Maybe they were just friends but we all know how that story goes; Hugo and I were best friends turned lifelong loves so it can be a slippery slope.  During my brief observation of their simple, innocent interaction, I remembered what it all felt like.  No stress from work and adult life.  The simple beauty of having fun with friends and, quite possibly, your future husband.  And happily looking forward to having their entire lives ahead of them, yet only focusing on the present.

The main thing I thought of as I peered into the little white car was how high school evenings, such as theirs is and ours was, are focused on spending time with people you care about.  You spend all day plotting out how you can hang out with friends and where the gathering will occur.  You spend the rest of your time planning out how you can interact with the guy or gal you have a crush on.  Finally, you spend any remaining time panicking about it all coming together without a hitch.

The light turned green and the sedan sped off, full of possibility.  It looked like those two would spend the night together and they looked happy as hell.  I drove behind them for a little bit, as it appeared we were both headed back into the canyon for the rest of the evening, and then it occurred to me of exactly what I’d achieved since those days in high school.  While Hugo and I used to be those two kids in the little white car, just hoping to spend the night together and yearning for more time to live and laugh and love, I realized we are so very fortunate to get to spend that time together now, every night when we finish a day’s work, and every weekend when we are fortunate enough to sleep in together, well past the time of our alarms.  Rather than make plans to meet up somewhere and hope to catch a glimpse of a momentary flirtation, I now get to call that man my husband, all while living with him and sharing this beautiful life together.  After both of us dreaming and wanting one another as a high school crush, turned romance, turned love story, we hit the jackpot as we get to come home to one another every day for the rest of our lives.  From the little white car to the big white house we live in today, we are two lucky kids.

Oh Polly

I began a short story a couple months ago, after receiving news from my mother-in-law that my grandmother-in-law, Polly, was moved into hospice care living due to her declining health.  Life got super busy, as always seems to be the excuse with me, and I abandoned the post that I began, only to revisit it this morning and realize it isn’t accurate anymore.  While hospice was the current state of our little Polly’s life at the time (I think it was around February), how things have changed since then.  Polly took a sharp turn into the great decline after she entered hospice, only lasting a few more weeks before she passed away.  I wanted to provide an update on her when I initially penned this piece and now I find myself drafting a final farewell to the youngest, most vibrant, old lady I ever knew.

At the time of her death, Polly was an energetic, whipper-snapper at the ripe age of 96.  She lived a beautiful life, much of which I have documented in other tales about her and Bob’s great love, their joyful family of four children, as well as life as a military wife, and the fact that she welcomed me with open arms and true warm love into her family.  Polly could feel the love Hugo had for me, and I for him, and because of that, she consistently blessed our relationship with her overwhelming approval and support as she accepted me as her own grandchild.  I really loved Polly and as I noticed her penciled-in birthday on our calendar next week, I sadly realized I won’t be sending her annual card this year.

In addition to being a exceptionally positive and loving human being, Polly was also a fine example of strength in women.  Raised in the American 1920s, where women were second to men in relationships and the workforce, she had a strong will and opinion.  Her bold voice was not silenced based on being female and I personally observed her as the boss of her marriage and entire family.  While I only knew her during the final two decades of her life, I have a strong feeling she never shied away from speaking her mind and pursuing her dreams.  I love and admire women like her, particularly those who were not born into a world where that female behavior was the norm or necessarily acceptable in their father’s eyes.  It was probably an uphill battle for Polly, as well as my own grandmother Louise, who raised my mom the same.  From Grannie Lou (as I, her only grandchild, dubbed her) and Polly, to my mom, Hugo’s mom, and I, it is easy to see how the wild fire of fierce femininity was born, raised, nurtured, and repeated throughout our generations in both families.  And I love it.

While I know this isn’t true of everyone, everywhere, I do feel that the quality of people is significantly declining as we inch our way through the year 2020.  The deep love for her spouse and family, and her zest for life even on the rainiest of days, were two of Polly’s strongest and most attractive qualities, both of which seem to be severely lacking in this generation of ‘woke’.  I am mad that I just wrote that sentence but even more upset at the sheer fact it is raw truth.

Polly was and is a beautiful spirit.  Her light shines through in Hugo’s eyes, as I see those same wonderful parts pop out of him.  Not only did he learn to live and love from his parents and grandparents, it is also in his blood.  Sometimes I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about Hugo that makes him such a perfectly blissful husband but based on all of my research and field experience in the world of loving this man, I am going to chalk it up to his umami being just right and, quite frankly, delicious.  And for that, I celebrate those who came before him, as they are the ingredients from which he was baked, and I say thank you.  Polly – we love you and you are missed.

A quick note

I originally made some quick notes about my three loves, in hopes of later using these notes as I wrote more about it all.  Hugo’s grandparents, Polly and Bob, were the first bullet point on the list and about them I included phrases about being married for 70+ years, Bob always loving and admiring Polly, and ‘you don’t see marriages like theirs’.  I also jotted about Hugo’s mom’s recent frustrations with caring for an aging mother and the short story of putting Polly to bed (the evening I wrote about just last week).

The second of my 3 couples was Mark and Pat – ‘crying about Mark, crying together’, in reference to the two of them telling me during his cancer battle, they would spend long stretches of time sitting together and just crying.  My only other note about Mark was that he doesn’t deserve it because he is one of the good ones.

My third and final couple is titled ‘Me and Him’.  That’s how we have gone through the past 16 years, together and as a team, both of us equals.  My whole reason behind posting these notes was because I stumbled upon them today as I riffled through my binder, in search of real estate study material.  My short note sums up what Hugo and I are so I thought I would share it:

My story is littered with other stories.  Stories that co-mingle with our own and teach us about ourselves.  Everyone always loves our story…it’s one of growing up and intending to grow old together.  A story of the ability to forge lifelong friendships, and, most importantly, a story of fierce and beautiful love.

I will end it on that.  As I reread those words, I still feel the beauty in writing them.  It is the same beauty I have in living it.  And I don’t kid about how everyone thoroughly enjoys our real-life love story when we tell them about it – from meeting by chance in high school, to our cross-country adventure, to all the choices that ultimately led to me sitting on the couch typing tonight, missing Hugo while he works during this light rain on the weekend’s eve in Los Angeles.

One day I will get around to writing my short stories or maybe my book.  I am sixty hours out from taking and passing my state real estate exam so once that is checked off my list, I will have more time after work and in the evenings to pursue yet another passion project.  I know, I know, sounds like a bunch of excuses, but I only have so many hours in the day and so much fight in my heavy eyelids as they close on me nearly every night after a mentally and psychically exhausting work day.  Anyways, I love you Hugo ♥

Can’t breath (and I mean that in the best way possible)

Stuffed doesn’t begin to sum it up.  If there was a more severe word for being stuffed to the gills with insanely excellent food, I would be that…plus a molten lava cake.

Since my hubby and I were sick for this year’s Valentine’s Day, we were forced to cancel our dinner reservations.  Little did I know, this was a major blessing in disguise because, as a result of not going out to dinner and staying in, Hugo planned a ‘multi-course’ dinner for me tonight.  He continually labors in the kitchen for me on a regular basis and I am beyond appreciative of his attention and care towards my nourishment and health.  But this time was different.  Tonight’s ‘multi-course’, which I will explain in a bit, was a ten hour process, experience and endeavor, filled with hard work and a whole lot of love.

When he wrote his handmade card for me, Hugo asked me to join him for a multi-course meal.  I, of course, smiled and happily agreed (I mean, who wouldn’t?!?) and we joked about what the definition of multi-course actually was.  I poked by replying that five, if not nine, courses could be found under the multi-course umbrella.  Hugo enjoyed my little jokes, later divulging that tonight’s culinary quest would be a total of four courses.  And let me tell you, four was more than enough.

It started with king crab legs with garlic butter.  It could also have stopped there because that kind of course alone makes even a vegetarian happy.  What is it about garlic butter that speaks to the soul?  Oh, that’s right, it’s the garlic butter itself. – purely perfect in both the garlic and the butter.

Next, we moved on to a palate-cleanser of watermelon granita with mascarpone cream.  Never had it but it was pretty amazing.  The cool, refreshing watermelon did just as intended as my tongue was cool and refreshed.  The garlic butter was sadly washed away, but that was the point, right?

Next, mushroom carbonara.  And here, dear reader, is where I yet again realize Hugo is my soulmate.  I know it every day but let’s be honest, anything mushroom related truly has the key t my heart.  Rich, creamy and decadent, it hit all the right spots and satisfied my belly.

Finally, molten lava cake.  From scratch.  And it was perfect.  To think, my husband was nervous that it wouldn’t come out correctly or was even mildly overcooked, which it wasn’t.  When I tell you this cake was perfect, just imagine the ideal dusting of powdered sugar covering a slightly warm, freshly baked, personally-sized bittersweet cake.  Oh, with oozing chocolate ganache on the inside.  It was a great meal but that damn cake, complete with a large cold glass of milk, just made the night.

I have said many times how cooking for someone is truly the ultimate expression of love.  I believe that because of the way I was raised and the man I was raised by, as my father grew his own food and slaved away in the kitchen to feed my mother and I.  I believe it even more when I am greeted after a twelve hour day at work by a beautiful multi-course meal that my husband knows I will enjoy so much.  He knows this because he knows me, he listens to me, and, above all else, he aims to make me happy in life, as I do him.  This man must love me and I certainly love him, probably more than he knows and I deserve.  Happy Valentine’s Day ♥♥♥

PS – Josh Weissman gave Hugo his date night meal cheater for this special occasion.  He subbed king crab legs for steak, and a few other small alterations occurred along the way, but otherwise, bravo Josh and Hugo for a tummy full of goodness and a job well done.

Three loves yet it’s all the same

Love is love is love.  It all develops with similar circumstances, out of fondness and friendship.  It ends one of two ways:  falling out of love and moving on or when we take our last breath and depart this world.  I pray the deep relationship Hugo and I have will afford us the opportunity to part ways after decades of love and life shared, holding hands as we snuggle in bed, both of us simultaneously falling asleep never to wake again.  I want us to go out as we have lived together, as a team.

Well, that was somber.  Not my initial intention when I began writing this.  Despite how dark I just got, I meant it all with the fullest intent of love.  My love realized in life, through having Hugo, is probably the biggest unexpected aspect of my life.  You dream of finding a Prince Charming as a young girl but when it actually happens, you can’t help but question if your reality is, well, for real.

Then you realize it is and as you marinate in the perfectness of that perfect moment you also realize nothing else really matters.  As I always say – easier said than done – but seriously folks, what other nonsensical, annoying, ‘not worth my time or energy’ BULLSHIT matters in the least, or even stands up to something so magnificently beautiful?  Not that hard to answer.  Nothing.

Now, all of these thoughts and feelings come on the heels of yet another couple nights of frustration and angst, as I sit alone while Hugo works, letting my mind run circles around the things that cause me grief.  I am stressed and Hugo knows it all too well, because I continue to pester him about it every chance I get.  He is my best and most trusted outlet for over-analyzing all the things that make KK (yup, that’s me), KK.  It felt like the right time to speak in the third person – it adds effect, ya know?  Anyways, I bug Hugo until I can’t bug him anymore and I bug myself too.  I wish I could turn my feelings off when it gets too heavy and I have had enough.  I wish I didn’t care about most of the things that I do but then again, if that was the case and I didn’t care so strongly, I wouldn’t be me.  I am sensitive to the words that are spoken to me, in front of me and about me.  I am hyper-critical of myself in every way and when I perceive a misstep on my part, I circle back to the moment, the decision, the very word I stupidly said, until I can’t bear to think of it one more time.  I am sure there are others out there who engage in this behavior, right?  I presume I am not alone in this and, quite frankly, I think we all do it on some level, whether we’d like to admit it or not.  Personally, being my own strongest critic is also a strength and I only care as much as I do because I seek to improve and develop as a partner and friend.

As I have said way too many times, just writing this down makes me realize how asinine the excessive, critical behavior really is.  None of the recent moments I have been upset about are even noteworthy, if you can call it that.  The girl drama at work has mildly improved but still persists.  Today I received an update from an old co-worker about a scandalous, problematic, and damn-near criminal employee who we both used to work with – this stellar individual, who is still causing problems, is voicing his dislike of me.  I have said many times how I not only call it like I see it but I also can’t wrap my head around the fact that others are blind to his ludicrous ways.  I am stressed and nervous about submitting my transfer to another unit of assignment.  While I know these things should just roll off my shoulders, they don’t and I am here.  Getting better at being strong, keeping my priorities straight and focusing on the things that truly matter, but I am still me and me hurts a little.

Transitioning to bigger and better news – I am on the two week countdown until my real estate exam date!  Studying like hell and surprising myself with my retention level (I got a 92 on my progress exam today), I am cautiously optimistic about taking the test that will plunge me into my new second career.  Hugo has been so wonderful about the whole thing – encouraging me along the way, listening to me blab about the things I am learning and the things I still don’t know, but want to, and helping with everything in between as I forge tirelessly through vocab review and video lessons.  I can really feel his love when he spends hours cooking a vegetarian meal of my choosing, so he can take care of me by nourishing my mind and body, all while I sit on the couch studying for my passionate pursuit.  To be honest, one of the most exciting aspects of pursuing this new career is the excitement of sharing my success with him.  In the end, if not for sharing it with those we love, what is it all for?

I started this post off by speaking of similar loves, three of them to be exact.  My beautiful neighbors and my grandparents-in-laws (is that even right?) are both half of the couple they used to be for many years.  The male portion of both equations has since passed away, while their widowed wives finish out their earthly time alone.  Of the three relationships I strive to document further, I am the only woman alive and that makes me sad.  I think about the love I have for Hugo and I presume my neighbors and Polly & Bob had such a similar bond, which makes me hurt for their loss that much more.  One day soon, if I can finally get around to carving out some serious time, I fully intend on writing these three love stories for you to enjoy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them unfold, celebrating in their existence, and cherishing the fact that they even happened, so I know you will feel the same.  You already know a little bit about Hugo and I so now it will be time to learn about the splendid people who came before him, making my love bug even possible.

 

Full circle

I remember her laying in bed, being tucked in by several members of her family as if she was a child exhausted from the day.  She was just as vulnerable as a young girl but her ninety-year-old body was weathered and experienced, yet she needed to be minded nonetheless.  During one of our last trips back east about two summers ago, Hugo’s extended family rented a home in the country, large enough for all of them to sleep and roomy enough for everyone to gather in the evenings.  The purpose of the trip was the overdue celebration of life for Hugo’s grandfather Bob, who had passed away a couple months prior.  That event was a beautiful release for everyone, providing a loving gathering filled with many moments of happy reflection on the full life Bob lived during his 94 years.

One particular evening at the country rental house during that trip, Hugo and I stopped by to enjoy a couple extra minutes with his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and Polly, who is Bob’s widow and the subject of our short tale.  Exhausted from this day and the thousands of days she had lived through thus far, Polly was ready for bed around 8pm.  With love, we all escorted her to her first floor pull-out couch, where she found privacy in the rear den and comfort in the presence of her extended family all under one roof.  With one table lamp lit and the aged comforter tucked into the flimsy couch mattress, Polly sat down on her temporary bed as we all funneled into the room.  Everyone wanted to enjoy this moment of tucking their mother and grandmother into bed, just as she had done for the majority of them at one point in their lives.  I may have been the only one present who hadn’t been mothered by Polly at one point, although the love she had shown me during the time I have known her felt as if I was a member of that group.

A couple of the young kids continued playing in the other room, uninterested in a seemingly mundane task at their age.  A couple others, who sounded moderately inebriated, stayed outside on the patio – their loud stories and guttural laughs bellowed inside but it didn’t bother us because all of these sounds made the songs we have all come to know as summer nights.  We held her frail, bruised arms as she sat and fully reclined onto her back, relieved that the tasks of the day were done.  Her skin was paper thin and translucent, dark purple in certain places due to easy bruising from recent falls at her age.  Her eyes were always watery and sometimes she looked lost within her own gaze, as if she was looking off into the distance or right past you.  This was probably from battling cataracts and glaucoma over the past two decades – she was a warrior in her own right, going through laser eye surgeries, among other procedures, to right her senses and continue improving, never accepting a declining body or weakening capabilities.  She gripped my hand really hard, finding a sense of safety and security in my youthful strength and presence.  Polly knew she could rely on all of us to get her into her restful position and off to sleep, something that didn’t come easy to her when she was alone, as she often found herself since Bob’s passing.

For some reason, I really enjoyed this short moment in the rear den with my husband’s grandmother that night.  Something about the magic of the summer evening, with the windows open and warm air lofting in.  Knowing she was safe in the back room gave me peace and feeling as if I contributed to that safety made it a little bit better.  My own eyes teared up as they often do when I am around our elders or any old people for that matter.  I never try to think about any of them dying but just watching them maneuver through life in slow motion and with constant struggles always breaks my heart, particularly when I reflect on the magnificent lives some of them have lived as they are now fully engulfed in their final chapters.  I get so sad but somewhere inside of that sadness is a real happiness and love for who they are and what they have created.  With Polly and Bob came Hugo’s mother and siblings.  Later, Hugo and his brother were born.  Polly’s life and seven decade long love story with Bob gave me my soulmate so despite only knowing her as an old woman, a true grandmother, I have loved her completely and deeply and I owe her a thank you.

That summer night had an impact on all of us, not just me.  I know Hugo enjoyed a special moment like that, something he doesn’t get the chance to do often since we live so far away from them all.  I know Hugo’s mom and her sister felt the heavy love of it all too.  They had just recently lost their father, the patriarch of the family and Polly’s better half, so they were still moving through their grief as they tried to maintain their strength for their mother.  As we said goodnight to Polly and slowly shuffled out of the room as a group, she said goodnight to Bob out loud, as she said she always had since he passed.

Polly is still alive today, as she lives alone in an assisted living community near our hometown in the northeast.  Hugo’s mom visit regularly and we should be going more often, but life and distance gets in the way.  I pulled out a cute card with giraffes on it tonight, thinking how Polly would enjoy receiving it in the mail with a short note from her west coast grandson and family.  We always make an effort to think of her, not just because she is alone but because we truly love her.  I personally like sending her a short note from time to time so she has something loving to experience before bed, similar to when she had her Bob, tucking her in and holding her hand tightly as they both fell asleep side by side for all of those years.

Keepin’ it 100

While some of my posts are short and sweet (maybe just a quick thought or short poem), I reached 100 posts and I am proud♥  I am proud of myself for engaging in something I passionately love, writing.  And I am thankful for anyone out there reading this, anyone in this universe (or maybe another universe) that connects with my voice and the words I write.  Those same words that mold my thoughts and feelings into sentences, later paragraphs and stories of my life.  Sometimes I feel like my life is simple and uneventful but as I review my first 100 posts, I realize something – my life is wild and amazing, filled with love and adventure, and my brain is alive and well, pumping with thoughts that are chomping at the bit to be put to paper.  It feels really good to sit and write either about whatever comes to mind or about a topic I have been dwelling on for days.  It feels even better to realize you have found something in life that makes you happy and feel like yourself when you do it.  The definition of contentment, to me, is when I am both happy and relaxed as I dive deeper into a passion project such as this.

So please join me as I continue into the next one hundred posts during this 35th year of my life.  My mind is still brewing up more writing ideas, including one of my larger goals of writing either a series of short stories or a book of the three loves I know of and admire.  The first love story is that of my neighbor Pat and her husband Mark.  Mark, as you may know from my recent updates, passed away from this earth, relieved from his painful bone cancer battle.  The best of friends in every way, Mark and Pat were a beautiful couple who we enjoyed having in our lives for the past eight years as neighbors.

The second love story is that of Hugo’s grandparents, Polly and Bob.  Married for over seventy-five years, they weathered every type of storm imaginable, with both of them living into their mid-nineties (Polly is still chugging along at 95!).  As husband and wife, they traveled, raised their four children into confident, successful adults, and worked in various industries, including Bob’s time in the Navy during World War II.

The third and final love story is my fairy tale with Hugo.  In my opinion, this is the most beautiful love story of all.  We are the best of friends and he is the true puzzle piece to my life.  As I reflect on the three stories, side by side, I can see the common threads of friendship, trust, loyalty, and deep love running through them all.  Stand by for my series of love stories, coming soon to a blog near you ♥

Twenty twenty

Happy New Year (plus three days) to anyone out there in this vast universe that is reading this.  As I always appear to be doing, I continue to marinate on all of the tasks I have left undone, all of the places and opportunities I want to explore, and, most importantly, how I want to devote the remainder of my time here on Earth.  I am about to receive an email from the California Department of Real Estate, that will allow me to schedule my state exam, and I am very excited about that finally happening.  With a new chapter of my life looming in the near future, I am antsy to begin.  Part of me wants to quit my job, jump head first into the real estate ocean, and give it everything I have.  The other practical part, which also has Hugo’s voice of reason anchored at the core, knows I should get licensed and begin working, while maintaining my current career.  Basically, see how it goes before fully committing and risking everything I have worked extremely hard for.  In short, it is tough because I feel this entrepreneurial fire burning in my soul and I am resounding to not grab the proverbial fire extinguisher.

Hugo and I finished out 2019 as strong as ever and that is my most proud accomplishment of the year.  After nearly sixteen years together, we grew even closer this year.  Not an easy feat after so much life together.  He has impressed me since the day I met him but the fact that he continues to age so beautifully, both on the inside and on the surface, is astonishing.  He has a heart of gold and he pours it into everything he does.  He showers me in kindness, care and love in everything he does, from cooking me gourmet vegetarian dishes to listening to me go on and on about my thoughts, fears and goals, on a daily basis.  I am so happy to have met him and even more thankful to call him my husband.

As the year drew to a close, we discussed what our collective relationship resolutions would be for this new decade.  We celebrated how far we have come and expressed the deep love we have for each other.  Love is the most vital aspect of existence and it permeates every culture and all species – we relished in the fact that ours is strong, healthy and meant to be.  He is my soulmate and I am his.  We looked into each other’s eyes and gazed upon the bodies that house the person we love the most.  As we did so, we resounded to continue trying to be better for one another, to communicate more effectively, to finish discussions respectfully rather than destructively engage in arguments, and to always make one another the top priority.  I am so impressed with having a partner who wants to keep growing, both personally and as a couple, with me.  If after 16 years together we have gotten to this place, I am excited to see where we go from here and lucky to be his wife and partner ♥

My hopes for this year, beyond my career and relationship aspirations, include the following items (some of them may appear cliche and to that I say, yeah!…cliche just means that a lot of people strive for similar things and that only makes me feel more united with those around me):  Take better care of myself, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Pursue my dreams of having more animals in our family.  Garden better and more beautifully around our home, for our visual pleasure and for the love of the thriving hummingbirds and others who call our organic acreage their home too.  Explore more of what Los Angeles, the United States of America and our globe has to offer.  Try new activities like falconry (we just discussed our plans for this today).  Visit more museums and read my unfinished books around the house.  And, finally, write more often.  All of my wants are positivity-fueled pursuits that are fun to me.  In fact, over the past couple weeks, I found my brain  dribbling out writing ideas that just kept coming to me – as they did, I jotted down notes on my cell phone, scribbled on scratch paper I have in every room of the house, and typed up email reminders of must-have blog post ideas.  My brain and heart want to speak so this audience better get ready to listen.

I wish the world more of what I am blessed to already have.  Hopefully you can understand who I am well enough by now to know that I do not intend to appear pretentious when I say that.  I only wish love for those without it in their hearts and lives.  Many people are walking alone in this world and they crave friendship and romance.  To them, I wish them a 2020 filled with new beginnings that will lead to love in their lives.  And to those in the world who do not treat others with love, by being unkind, rude, disrespectful, or, even worse, with hate, bias or violence, I wish more love into their hearts as well.  If we could all just learn to lead with love, many of our collective world problems would naturally dissipate into a thing of the past.  Finally, I wish more love onto all corners of our planet because we abuse her with toxic chemicals, deforestation, hurting the animals and ruining our oceans.  As everyone hears every day, we must act now to make significant changes in our world and that begins by loving the place we call home.  Let us all resolve to take better care of one another and our beautiful Earth as we embark on this new decade.

The thing about fights

Writer’s note:  This post was written in late October, 2019, before I took an unintentional hiatus from writing and posting.  After marinating on what is important to me over the past few months, coupled with the fact that I was wrapping up my real estate work, travelling with Hugo for the holidays, and continuing to focus on life in general, I decided to get back into one of my true passions – exploring my inner dialogue and writing on the topics that matter to me.  So here you go and sorry for the delay.

 

Everyone has one from time to time.  The only difference between all of us is the words that are spoken and to whom they are spoken (or yelled) at.  Thankfully, Hugo and I don’t bicker or squabble too severely but we are human and it does happen.  In a funny kind of way, I actually enjoy an argument from time to time.  The mere act of going head to head, like two rams fighting for ownership of their steep hillside, reminds me that we have different opinions and are deeply passionate about them.  It also reminds me that the little things really don’t matter. Of course at the time we feel like whatever minor, dumb topic we are fiercely defending is worth its weight in gold but whenever we turn a little difference of opinion into a shouting (and in my case, crying) match, we normally come full circle, just in time to remember how none of it means shit.

Case in point:  Sunday, early afternoon, 89°, Southern California.  Hugo was washing dishes while I sat on the couch, laptop in lap, working on my second real estate license course.  Meanwhile, the dogs lounged in the air conditioning on their recently-washed beds, enjoying a reprieve from the heat.  Hugo began asking me all sorts of questions and repeatedly interrupting me as I tried to read and take notes – questions about what I was doing and random anecdotes about life.  Now, don’t get me wrong, this is one of my favorite qualities, among many, about him, but on this particular occasion, I was making a real effort to focus and absorb my class material.  Because I was trying to remain focused, my fuse was a little shorter than usual (and let me tell you, my friends, I am operating with a half inch fuse on the regular).  After the fifteenth interruption, I got a little snippy – Hugo tells me I am part ‘snip’ so maybe it is just in my blood.  If that’s the case, is any of this really my fault??!?

I digress.  We talked a little more and an argument ensued over something dumb.  Hugo was asking me about washing his truck and I wasn’t as nice as I should have been.  In my defense though, I was trying desperately to focus on my task at hand.  So, in turn, Hugo called me a liar, over a statement I made about a car wash coupon.  That was his way of pecking at me.  The altercation ended with a few nasty words and some time apart, as Hugo washed his truck and I continued working, in complete, slightly blissful, silence.  As I sit here typing, I realize even more so just how ridiculous this all was.  But like we all do, in the moment it felt worthwhile and we bickered until the point of getting truly angry at one another.

Now, at this point, I have to advise you, the reader, that Hugo and I are all good.  We are better than good, actually, because not only are we chuckling at how merit-less our ‘fight’ was but we are also appreciating the fact that we both engage in similarly annoying behaviors to one another.  And that’s the best and most real part – we are just two people who love each other and are trying our best.

As fire literally rages all around us today in SoCal, it is important to remember what is truly important in life.  We all know that while we are in the moment, the littlest of things can appear monumental.  We all also know, or should after entering adulthood, that life is fleeting and none of this is guaranteed.  While a squabble from time to time happens with those closest to us, let’s continue trying our best to be better partners for one another.  I know Hugo and I are, one day at a time.

 

 

July 13th

It breaks my heart to have the recurring thought that the relationship with my father is actually falling apart.  I don’t want to admit that its the truth but time after time, it proves to be reality.

Here I am, visiting my parents on the east coast, spending nearly ten hours traversing to and from airports, spending hundreds of dollars and traveling thousands of miles, all so I can come temporarily live under the roof of the people who raised me.  As much as I miss them living far apart, there is a reason that I left nearly fifteen years ago.  Part of that reason was the fact that I was growing up and growing out of our small town.  Another part was that I wanted and needed my independence and to decide what direction I would go in life.  And, as I have discovered over the years, the third part of the reason is that I really can’t handle my parents for too long of a time.  After a short couple days of visiting, whether they come to me or I visit them, after day two or three I am ready to return to my sense of normal – Hugo, our lovely, quiet house, the pups and no one else.

It makes me sad to feel as distant as I do from my father.  And most of it has to do with him, despite the fact that I usually blame myself and feel as if I have done something wrong.  I know, deep down, that I haven’t and I shouldn’t feel badly for having moved cross-country.  Regardless of the shadow of blame he casts on me, as if I have done wrong or performed poorly in life, I know I have done well.  Thankfully, my mom, who I am as close as ever to, reassures me of such and Hugo eternally supports me in what I do.

It has been a strange reality coming to terms with being disconnected from my dad.  The relationship we used to have, when I was much younger, has slowly faded away over the years.  That fade, coupled with his distant personality and real lack of interest in what I do, who I have become and the life we are living on the West coast, makes for the great divide I am experiencing.

Sometimes I don’t know if he feels it like I do.  I do know that he has always wanted me to move back to my hometown so I could buy the lot of land adjacent to his and build a home there.  Well, that’s not happening Dad so get used to it.  I feel harsh saying it but rather than focus on the fact that I am not moving back home, I just wish he would support my life as it is.  Maybe show an ounce of interest in where I live, what I do and who I have become.  That ounce would go a long way.