I sit with my hands on my computer keyboard summing up my thoughts of my Mother on her birthday today. 

I wonder when the transition happens as it does to all of us when our parents, although still our parents, become our friends.  It’s a strange shift in the universe when that happens. 

I can remember being a kid, a pretty sensitive one who was a little afraid of my Mom.  She always spoke her mind and told you what she was thinking.  I’ve come to admire that quality in her.  I think it’s a trait I have in common with her.  I have no problem telling my husband, “your such a dumb ass,” (just kidding, honey).

My mother has always been my biggest supporter in every aspect of my life.  She’s taught me to how to put myself in someone else’s shoes, that whole, “How do you think that would make you feel… I still remember when I was pretty young and I bit my sister Cindy on the stomach.  I don’t think she bled, but I definitely left an imprint of my teeth.  I remember my Mom grabbing my arm and pushing up my sleeve and saying, “how would you like it if someone bit you.  I remember screaming – “no, no, no.”  But the lesson was learned and I don’t think I’ve ever bit anyone since.  THIS DID HAPPEN MOM, I REMEMBER, I STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES…. 

Laughter has always been the number one ingredient that binds my family together. 

I know how lucky I am to be born into this crazy, spontaneous, wacky clan.    It’s like I hit the lottery….

Happy Birthday Mom, you are one in a million


I picked up my story from the words “dancing fast and bright,” and no I’ve never surfed.  I might be afraid of sharks… 

The sun is warm, the sky is clear, the waves are dancing fast and bright –  and all I hear is the theme to “Jaws” playing in my head.  Why did I ever agree to a surfing lesson, me, a person who has a real fear of swimming in the ocean.  I blame the Margarita’s last night. 
Becky had said, “you’re in one of those most beautiful places in the world and you’re too scared to go in the damn water.” I could feel my annoyance level rising with her.   So as I chugged my 4th cocktail I looked her in the eye and said, “for your information B-E-C-K-Y I signed up for a surfing lesson tomorrow morning.  Even though I hadn’t yet.

I take in the view as I exit my swanky hotel on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, my God it’s early.  I pull off my sandals before I step in the warm sand; it feels so good on my tired feet.   I take a deep breath and smell the sand, the salt and that unmistakable scent of suntan lotion.   The sky is so bright and blue it almost hurts my head,  the water is like a mirror reflecting the sun, I cup my hand and make a shield over my eyes.  I scan the beach for the surf rental stand.   Oh shit, there it is.  I think I’m going to throw up.  Stupid, stupid, and stupid I mumble to myself.  My heart is racing so fast I think I’m having an anxiety attack.

Hey, you must be Samantha my 9:00 appointment, right? Just run, is my first thought but I say yes, I’m Sam.  Hey, I’m Keiko he grins and I can tell you’re a little nervous.  Don’t worry Sam I’ll take good care of you, you can swim, right?  I want to say no,  but I’m actually a pretty strong swimmer, in a pool,  where there are no sharks.  Yeah I swim, I mumble.

Keiko goes over to the short wall and grabs two surfboards.  He hands me mine.  Jesus, this thing is taller than me.   He lays both boards in the shallow water where the surf is breaking and lays down on it and shows me how to gracefully go from a laying, to a kneeling to a standing position on the board.  After 10 minutes I think I kind of have it down. 

We head out into the surf with our boards.  He teaches me how to paddle, how to sit on the board waiting for a wave, and how to dive into a wave so you don’t get caught in the undertow of it.    The water feels so intoxicating  I smile at Keiko.  You ready Sam; here comes your wave, paddle.    You know when it’s time, now Sam, he shouts.  And what felt like slow motion and not too graceful I pulled myself up on the board and rode that wave to shore.  Maybe it was only a 4-foot wave, but it was a wave all the same. 

I started a new class at our local college tonight.  I could feel that nervous energy as I was packing up my notebook, pens and highlighter into my book bag.  I was anxious and excited at the same time.  Why you might ask?  If you’re anyone who knows me I get in moods where I just like to take random classes that “might” interest me.  Usually they end up being a ton or work and really not all that interesting. 

I was looking through the degree sheets at our community college and actually saw an Associates Degree in Creative Writing.  Wow, I couldn’t believe it.  I’ve got about three years of school and no actual degree.  It’s one of my regrets that I have.  I want the stinking piece of paper showing that I completed something…

I just got home from the class and I loved it.  It’s kind of cool being around other people who want to write.  The class is done like a workshop.  We work on our fiction story or one we have in our mind.  We print it out and all the other students write comments all over it and basically critique it.  I know this is a powerful tool and although it can be tough, it’s needed to grow as a writer.  We also have about 30 other writing assignments.

Tonight, he had a girl pull a random book out of her bag, open it up and with her eyes closed just point at a sentence.  I think it was a dictionary.  This is the sentence:

“The sun is warm, the sky is clear, the waves are dancing fast and bright”.

We have to write a 500-word story with a beginning, middle and end.  We will then read them in class next week.  I know the purpose is to see how the stories are all so different and I know this will be a fun class.  It will also get us a little more comfortable in class with that “whole talking out loud.” 

I think my story idea that I will be playing around with throughout the class is the Elvis one I posted about recently.  I actually verbalized it out loud and the whole class started laughing, even the teacher.  He said, “I like it.”  I don’t know if it can be a novel maybe a short story, we’ll just have to see I guess.  Time will tell. 

The assignment for next week I just keeping seeing the next line being something like – “and all I hear is the theme to the movie “Jaws” blaring in my head.”

Take Care