Friday, April 29, 2011

"Someday My Prince Will Come"

There is only one woman in the world today who has absolutely no reason to sing that song!  Today her Prince became her husband and the lovely Kate Middleton  became the Duchess of Cambridge.  There is every reason to believe that one day her Prince will become the King of England and then she will become (I believe) the Queen Consort (or something like that!)

The story of Charles and Diana has shown the world that just the fact of marrying a Prince does not in any way guarantee that they will "live happily ever after".  That hardly seems fair.  Outwardly all the trappings of the Monarchy in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II seems like a fairy tale come to life.  Upon closer examination, it is blatantly obvious that the royal lifestyle is fraught with the same difficulties, mistakes, conflicts, and stresses of any family, just on a larger and more public scale.  It ain't easy being "Royal"!

Nevertheless, today is a day for celebration, joy, smiles, and happiness.  His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales KG has taken a wife! 

Just to make it clear, I did not rise this morning at 4:00 am to watch every second of the day's events.  I bought no souvenirs, nor did I send them any wedding wishes.  Being an American, I have a bit of fascination with the concept of a monarchy, besides most American women grew up on stories of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and other such lovely young women who each found their Prince and lived Happily Ever After and most of us at some point or other wondered what it would be like to be a real Princess!

I doubt that anyone was surprised that today's wedding seemed a bit more restrained than that of William's parents' wedding.  Of course, William is not the first in the line of succession to the throne.  His father, Prince Charles is still the next in line to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth.  Whether or not he ever becomes the monarch is a matter of time and health.  Her mother lived to be over 100 years old and Elizabeth shows no sign of stepping aside to allow Charles to assume the throne.  But I digress.  Due to the matter of succession William's wedding would not be tied to all of the pomp and circumstance accorded the next in line to be King.

Kate was a lovely bride, elegant and understated.  Although it isn't really fair to compare her to Diana, it is difficult not to.  Everything about Charles and Diana's wedding was larger than life and straight out of that fairy tale.  Diana's dress was voluminous, the veil and train of a completely unwieldy length and style.  It was very nearly a caricature of the penultimate Princess gown.  The size of the wedding party was enormous.  Everything seemed overwhelming.

Kate's gown was much simpler and it suited her beautifully.  Tasteful and more a traditional wedding gown, it fit her like a glove, and she looked every inch a royal!  William and Kate appeared more relaxed and at ease with one another.  Of course they have known each other for a few years and their relationship seemed to grow from a school romance into lifetime commitment.  They already know each other better than Charles and Diana did at the start of their life together. 

Obviously Kate and William are different people than Charles and Diana, but I fear the comparisons will continue throughout their lives.  Nonetheless, they seem much more connected to the reality of the world in which we live, it should serve them well. 

There will undoubtedly be difficult times ahead, for the life of a royal is not as easy as it looks.  They do appear to be prepared and ready to weather what lies ahead.  Along with many thousands of others, I wish them good luck, joy, happiness, and love.   And as has been true for his whole life, William and now his new bride, will have everything about them and their lives open to scrutiny by the whole world, so in addition to my earlier wishes for them, I hope that they will have the strength, courage, and fortitude to endure and survive with their sanity AND their marriage intact!

I raise my glass to William and Kate!  Hip, Hip!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"I Heard It Through the Grapevine"

It used to be that word of mouth was the only way to learn about current events.  Even today, we often hear about people and events in the world from another person, i.e., the Grapevine.  Your friend can't wait to tell you who just had a baby.  Your spouse wants to rant about the most recent political scandal.  Your boss tells you how the latest legislation will affect the business.  Word of mouth.  This tried and true method of keeping up with things on the personal, local, national, and global levels has been around since the dawn of time.  The trouble is that word of mouth is not always reliable.  It may even be flat out wrong.

Today, word of mouth, or "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is no longer the method of choice for most of us.  There are too many alternative ways to keep up to date.  TV, Newspapers, Internet that can be accessed through any number of handy little gadgets to make sure everyone knows everything about everything instantly!  I have lots of issues with the whole concept of instant information, but that (believe it or not) isn't what I want to write about here.

Keeping in line with my general belief that the "old ways" were better most of the time, I still hang on to reading about the "news" and receiving my information in the form of the written word.  Therefore, it will come as no surprise that I love receiving magazines and newsletters in the mail!!  In fact, other than bills and advertising, about the only mail we get are magazines (mostly the home and garden variety), newsletters, and books!

May I just say, that like everything else, news magazines ain't what they used to be!  If you can remember LOOK, LIFE, The Saturday Evening Post, and so many others, you know what I mean.   Magazines and the publishing trade in general have suffered and struggled from competition with the instant news of broadcasting and the access to information in the on-line world.  In fact, the three magazines I mentioned stopped publishing years ago, mostly due to being obsolete because of television, satellite news, etc., etc.  Other magazines and publications have either gone out of business or radically changed their size, format, and content.

I remember my parents receiving Time for years when I was growing up.  It was a perfect addition to news reporting on TV.  The articles would provide much more in-depth information about the news of the week.  It was interesting to read and wasn't too obviously slanted by the views of the publisher.  It was an arm of journalism and a free press and it was a trusted source of information.  I used to read it from cover to cover (except for stuff about sports!)

As I've mentioned I no longer watch TV, and that includes the news!  My computer gives me access to news feeds from Associated Press, UPI, and the major networks.  I keep up in that way.  About a year or so ago I realized I was really missing a lot that way.  So I decided that I would subscribe to Time again to give me a broader understanding of world events. 

It  sure isn't the same magazine anymore!  Firstly, each issue is about half the size the magazine used to be.  Secondly, the "articles" for the most part consist of short little blurbs of no more than three or four paragraphs.  The only thing in-depth are the editorials and opinion columns.  And sometimes bias practically drips from them.  It has become little more than printed "sound-bites" of information.  It's the sort of writing one would aim at children with short attention spans!  It is disappointing, to say the least.  Henry Luce, the original Owner and Publisher of  Time, Inc., wouldn't recognize it; nor would he believe it!

One of the first publications to catch the public's eye was People.  It's debut back in the 70s (???) was groundbreaking.  It's my impression that People was the first to use that "sound-bite" approach to it's content.  The main content was the photographs of famous people.  It became the standard for a lot of magazines about the entertainment industry and celebrities, in general. 

Time and others were greatly impacted by People's success.  I believe that was probably the beginning of the changes in Time.  I occasionally read People.  I enjoy seeing the information about a celebrity's life and their individual style.  I like seeing the gorgeous gowns worn for the awards ceremonies.  Even though I don't have any idea who most of the current actors and singers are or what they are doing that makes them a celebrity, it is really immaterial to my interest!  And that's OK, People isn't meant to provide any in-depth or analytical information, it's more along the lines of a "gossip sheet" (but with more reliability  than the tabloids) and little tidbits of information on the "stars" are about all any of us can stand!

Within the past month or so both Time and People had "The 100 Most (something)" lists.  People's was "The 100 Most Beautiful People in the World"; Time's was "The 100 Most Influential People in the World".   Of the so-called most Beautiful, I actually recognized a goodly number of them....mostly because their photos show up week after week in People!

Of Time's so-called Most Influential, I recognized only 25.  Well, that's just down-right embarrasing!  75 of the most influential people in the world I had never heard of??!  I haven't been living in a cave.  I read Time every week and the news feeds every day!  Plus I still get input from the "Grapevine".  If they are so influential, why haven't I heard of them??

It set me to thinking that People is very successful at what they do, I recognized a lot of those 100 faces and had a vague understanding of what was their claim to fame because of People magazine.  On the other hand, Time must not have provided much information about those 75 unknowns before including them on the list, otherwise I would have known more of them! 

I admit that the fault may be mine.  If I didn't rely on so few sources of the "news" I might have encountered those names enough times before to remember them.  Still, I can't help but think that Time hasn't held up their end of the bargain with their readers!  Sound-bites just don't cut it when it comes to the things and people who have the potential to change the world! 

So I think I can honestly say People?  A+!   Time?   FAIL!   I guess "I Heard It on the Grapevine" was at least as good!  Maybe I should give U.S. News and World Report a try!

(Oh, by the way, in case you were wondering, my name wasn't on either list!  And I'm pretty sure, neither was yours.  Darn!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Theme from Mr. Lucky"

Several days ago another blogger mentioned one of my favorite films.  I must have seen it at least 15 times by now, which got me to thinking about the star.  It kind of surprised me when I started counting up, but there is no other actor whose films fall so consistently in my concept of great movies!

He was an actor who had a career covering more than 30 years of film history. He made, roughly, one film a year from 1932 to 1966.  He chose to retire from film  and acting in 1967.  At some point in his career, he was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.  (I wonder who was first?)  The list of his co-stars reads like the Who's Who of the most famous women in Hollywood.

He probably starred in at least one favorite film of everyone born before 1980 or so.  Personally, I have ELEVEN of his films on my list of favorite movies of all-time!  They are marked in red in the partial list of his films below. 

I'll give you a few hints.  His most popular classic films include:

Blonde Venus (1932) w/Marlene Dietrich
She Done Him Wrong (1933), w/Mae West
Topper (1937) 
The Awful Truth (1937) w/Irene Dunne
Bringing Up Baby (1938) w/Katherine Hepburn
Holiday w/Katherine Hepburn
Gunga Din (1939)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
The Bishop's Wife w/Loretta Young and David Niven
His Girl Friday (1940), w/Rosalind Russell
***The Philadelphia Story (1940), w/K. Hepburn, James Stewart
Suspicion (1941)
The Talk of the Town (1942),
Mr. Lucky
****Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) w/Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre
Notorious (1946) w/Ingrid Bergman
Night and Day (1946) (Bio-pic of George Gershwin)
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) w/Myrna Loy
To Catch A Thief (1955) w/Grace Kelly
******An Affair to Remember (1957) w/Deborah Kerr
Houseboat (1958) w/Sophia Loren
Operation Petticoat w/Dina Merrill and Tony Curtis
North by Northwest (1959) w/Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Indiscreet w/Ingrid Bergman
That Touch of Mink (1962) w/Doris Day
**Charade (1963) w/Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau
*Father Goose (1964) w/Leslie Caron, John Mills
Walk, Don't Run (1966) w/Jim Hutton, Samantha Eggar (his last film)
And many others.

Now is there anyone out there that DOESN'T know who this is????

To recap, these are my favorites of his films:

#5. "An Affair to Remember"
#4. "Arsenic and Old Lace"
#3. "The Philadelphia Story"
#2. "Charade"
#1.  "Father Goose"

Surely everyone knows who I mean!  He has earned the position of my favorite film actor.  If you don't know why I would chose him, just pick up copies of a few of those red titled films, find a comfortable place to lie back and enjoy a Master at Work.   If you haven't seen most of these films, shame on you!  You have missed the creme de la creme from the Golden Days of Hollywood. 

There isn't an actor ever born that wouldn't give his eyeteeth to have the career this Hollywood Icon had.  "Mr. Lucky"?   Ye Gods, they don't come any luckier!  Except of course, for us, who are extremely lucky to be able to have watched the consummate Leading Man at work many times over! 

We don't have actors like him anymore.  Actors who could do it all.  Mostly that's okay I guess.  Most of the time we don't have films like those anymore either!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"It Ain't Necessarily So"

Memory is a funny thing.  I have memories of times and events in my life that go all the way back to right around my fourth birthday.  At age 4 I had my first encounter with a dog....a BIG dog, a VERY big dog.  I wasn't hurt (all the poor dog did was lick my face), but it took me years to get over it.  I remember it as clear as a bell.

There are other memories that I thought I would never forget.  Friends, dreams, information, frights, boys, dates, shows, family, arguments, hurts, joys, even certain clothes that I owned....all manner of things that were so important at the time, but now are mere shadows lurking in my mind somewhere.  No longer fully formed or complete, it is often actually the memory of a memory that stays with me.  (Does that make any sense at all?)  It is sort of like a collection of thoughts that prove to me that I actually had a life that had good days and bad days.

Some of those memories have photographic "proof" that can help keep a memory close to reality, but most don't.  I can remember songs I learned in grade school and the Children's Choir at church when I was only 8 years old.  There are other songs that I learned much more recently for various shows and performances that I am unable to recall at all, not the melody, not the words, nothing.  Some I don't even remember singing.  That astounds me.

What makes one memory remain vivid while another completely disappears without a trace?  I don't think it is a conscious process in either case.  My psyche (or whatever) chooses what to keep and what to discard without any input from me.

Still there are some memories that I was convinced were rock solid truth as told to me by my parents, the ultimate guardians of reality for a child growing up.  For instance, my mother was the middle child of her family.  Even though there had been 11 children, the order of their birth was a simple matter of fact:  Tom, Germaine, Helen, Pinkie, Mary, Mom, Annie, Mutz, Norb, Gerard, and Joe.  Easy peasy, right?  Until recently that is.  When Norb died I wrote something about him being Mom's favorite brother and I mentioned his birth order between Mutz and Jerry. 

"Au contraire, Sister-mine!", piped up Little Sis.  "Huh?" I responded intelligently.  "You are wrong, Big Sis.  The order was Mom, Norb, Annie, Mutz, Jerry, and Joe."   "No, I can't be wrong, I remember Mom talking about it!"  "Well, you remember it wrong!", said Little Sis.

Hmmmpf.  Turns out she was right, I did remember it wrong.  Now I had believed that for a LONG time, but I was wrong.  Wow!  If I can't trust my own memories, what can I trust???
My Little Sis also disagreed with me on a memory relating to my Dad's Dad.  I remember being told that my Grandfather and his brother came to this country from Denmark together as young men, just the two of them to make their way in America.

"Au Contraire, Sister-Mine."  Little Sis was at it again!  According to her it was our grandfather and HIS uncle (or something like that.)  Now wait just a minute here.  I am a lot older than Little Sis and I'm sure that the story had been repeated to me several times before she was even born!!  How could the memory be wrong?  Although Mom told me the story, I am certain she would have told me the right story!  And I am 99% sure she told me it was my Grandfather and his BROTHER (which made him my Dad's uncle, not my Grandfather's Uncle!)

Of course, now there is no one to ask.  My grandfather, his brother (or uncle), my dad, my mom, all the rest of dad's relatives are gone.  We have no written history of my Dad's family at all.  Either I'm right or Little Sis is right....but I guess we'll never know for sure. 

There are other lesser memories that have been proven to be unreliable.  That is so disconcerting.  I have never had problems with memory.  It saved my butt a million times in school and at work.  Plus over the years, I have memorized pages and pages of dialogue for a multitude of characters for the theater.  But it appears that when it comes to memories of my own life and family, just because I remember something, doesn't mean anything for sure.  I guess I just have to accept the possibility that "It Ain't Necessarily So!"  Cripes!

A Cappella #5

I feel like I kind of need to bring a note from my mother, asking that you please excuse my absence from blogging for the last week!  I just did not have a single idea that I could work up enough interest in to write about.  I was dry as a bone.  Nothing clever, witty, funny, interesting, or earth-shaking appeared on my writer horizon and soooo, I was quiet.  Very, very quiet for a whole week!  Yikes!

I'm sorry about that!  It wasn't intentional.  Every day I would sit at the computer and stare at a blank screen til I would admit I had nothin'!  Then I went shopping or played a game or read a book.  Maybe my mind needed some time off! 

The blockage appears to be gone, so I have returned!  I don't know if anyone cares, but I know that despite the emptiness, some faithful folks came by anyway.  Such good friends!

Actually for the first time, I lost a follower this week.  Oh no!  I don't think I am taking it personally.  I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed with blogs to read.  Still, if I'm not writing enough or the right things to be interesting to my readers, I understand losing followers (sort of).

And in case I don't say it often enough, I treasure each of you who takes the time to read my ramblings.  I truly do! 

Oh, I hope you all had a Happy Passover,  lovely and Happy Easter, or nice weekend (which ever is apropos for you!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Mellow Yellow" (#5)

It's time for another Mellow Yellow Monday!


Spring brings pretty yellow flowers,
but just for a little while....
My 5th contribution to Mellow Yellow Monday! Hope you liked it! Go to  if you want to join the ranks of lovers of all things YELLOW!

♪♪....They call me Mellow Yellow!....♪
~~ Donovan

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Yessir, That's My Baby"

Last week was M-t-G's birthday. Our favorite little girl is now into double digits! She is 10 years old and climbing trees (among other things). Where have these last ten years gone?? 

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that she had her First Communion?

....and just days before that when she had her encounter with hepatablastoma?

It seems as though it was just last month that she
started play school....

....and just a few weeks before that she was a beautiful, happy, healthy baby. 

Was it really 10 years ago when our M-t-G was the tiniest baby I had ever seen??

Not a doubt in the world!  "Yessir, That's My Baby!"

Hope you had a Happy Birthday, Sweetie, with many, many more to come!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Memories Are Made Of This"

I just spent five wonderful days with these lovely women.  They are two of the most important women in my life!  BFFs!!  That's Cathy in blue, Helen in red, and me in white.  (No, we didn't choose a patriotic color palette on purpose!)  We hadn't been together for at least five years and yet it was like I had just seen them yesterday!   I think that's one of the identifiers of good friends.  Don't we look happy?

We were happy!  We talked, we ate, we laughed, we shopped, we laughed, we cried, we sang and sang, and oh, did I tell you we laughed!!!   We had the best time!  It was great. 

The resort we stayed in was very nice with all sorts of activities and things to, mini-golf, both indoor and outdoor pools, shuffleboard, ping pong, arcade games, even horseback riding was available.  We didn't do any of it!!  We were too busy talking and laughing. 

We had a small townhouse with a lovely balcony over-looking the lake.  The weather was lovely (especially the first couple of days), so we sat outside and enjoyed the view and each other.  We had to park a bit too far away from our unit, and had to carry our things up a small hill and a couple of flights of stairs, but it was a small price to pay.  Everything else was great.

Texas seems to have a large number of old, small towns, which cater to antiques, vintage everything from books to jewelry, crafts....a shopper's dream.  We visited Wimberly and Gruene (pronounced green, don't ask me why!) and we did our part to support their local economies!  I ended up bringing home a lovely bud vase that was on sale for half-price!  I just couldn't resist.  Cath and Helen each found treasures of their own.

We managed to find nice restaurants and never had a bad experience or a bad meal.  One of them them was an outdoor Tex-Mex restaurant called Milagros.  We couldn't resist taking advantage of the photo op:

Silly, but fun! 
Actually the whole trip was a hoot (we kept getting lost!)  It was every thing we hoped for and more.  I started to miss them the minute they went into the terminal at the airport to return home. 

"Memories are Made of This"  -  Absolutely!!   We hope to do it again one day.  Do you think next week would be too soon?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Old Friends"

Just wanted to let ya'll know that I will be out of town for a few days.  I won't have access to a computer (Ye Gods, what will I do???)   Do you think you can live without me?  What a silly question!   Of course you can!

I am picking up two "Old Friends" at the airport tomorrow afternoon (Friday) and the three of us are going off for five whole days at a resort about 45 miles from here.  That is the most time the three of us have spent together in YEARS!!  Actually, now that I think of it, the three of us have NEVER had a sleepover or a trip away from home where we were together 24 hours a day!!  Gee, I hope we're still friends at the end of the five days!!  :) 

Actually the three of us used to sing together when I still lived in Chicago.  We are "the trio", which was our de facto name strictly by default.  We could never agree on a name that stuck.  We were "Sweet Innocence" for awhile, and then "Esprit" for awhile.  We almost used "Brass Tacks", but somebody (I don't remember who) decided she didn't like it.  This went on for several years and as I said it was just easier to say "the trio". 

We haven't had a chance to be together for several years, so I am looking forward to it.  Singing with them all those years was one of the shining highlights of my live.  We'll probably even sing some....all right, a lot!  Can hardly wait!!

I'll be back around the middle of next week.  Play nicely together til I return, kay??

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Bits and Pieces" (ad infinitum)

Just a few bits of this and some pieces of that....

*****  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who made comments, sent Happy Anniversary wishes, and kept reading faithfully each day during my 45th Anniversary Marathon!!  (I bet you thought I'd NEVER stop writing about it!)
The annual bouquet of absolutely gorgeous yellow roses appeared again this year!  We had a lovely celebration dinner with Ratchlet and M-t-G, (poor T.A. had to work!)   But this is the end, no more posts about the 45th anniversary!  Really, I'm done.

***** Rather than sitting home on Saturday night, as we seem to be doing more and more, we decided to go to the movies!!   We don't often go to see a film anymore; in fact, I'm pretty sure that the last movie I went to see was "Mamma Mia"!!  When was that?  Three years ago??  Hollywood is not fond of people like us.  We only go to see something that is worth seeing!  So what did we see??  "King's Speech!"  It was wonderful with incredible performances by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.   Everyone else has probably already seen it, but if you haven't, GO!  It deserves every one of the awards that were heaped upon it!! 

*****   Hmmmm, it just occurred to me that Colin Firth was in "Mamma Mia" too!  So I've seen 2 films in the last 3 or 4 years and Colin Firth was in both.  Coincidence???  :)

***** Just a little mini-rant regarding another word usage misuseage that just annoys the heck out of me.  Since when is it appropriate and correct to say "gifted" instead of "gave me a gift"????   Is it that tough to say those additional three little words??  "Gifted" has a completely different meaning (as in a gifted child).  Using gifted incorrectly, is confusing and it grates on my ears and my nerves.  So everybody.....cut it out!   Thanks you!

*****  I finally got myself in gear and made an appointment with the hairdresser to have my hair cut.  I continually forget how fast my hair grows, before I know it, I've got this long mop of hair that I can only wear in a pony tail!  It is so nice to have it short again!  Short is easy peasey!    People have been known to say that short makes me look younger too.....I'll take it!

*****  My car evidently decided that it was tired and needed a rest because last Friday my "check engine" light came on.  That is a nifty little gadget that no one understands it's meaning!  It's a little catchall phase that could mean any number of different things, and you must take it to a dealer in order to find out!   I took the car into the dealer and it took them until Monday afternoon to determine that there wasn't anything wrong!  Auto mechanics can no longer just stick their heads under the hood, jiggle a few wires, tap on a few mysterious hoses and moving parts, and listen to the engine to know what is wrong!  No more!  Now it's all computerized!  You have to have a piece of equipment that can read and interpret the code causing the light to come on in order to find out what the problem is.  Unfortunately, the sensors that trip the light are not always accurate.  They can give false or conflicting results.  And it takes several days to determine that the light was wrong!  What a pain!!  At least they didn't charge me anything!  Although the car that I had to rent for four days, cost me over $200!!  Thanks a lot, car!  You couldn't have spit out that information within half an hour of our arrival to the dealer???   Arrgghh!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"Something Old, Something New"

Well, here it is, the actual day and time, the goalpost, We have officially been married (to each other!) for 45 years!  WhooHoo!  There were times I was sure we wouldn't last another 45 MINUTES much less 45 years.  I'm not exactly sure why this particular anniversary feels so significant.  Usually it's 25 or 50 or even (oh my stars) 75 year anniversaries that are felt to be special.   Nevertheless, 45 years for us seems incredibly long.  How can two people manage to live together for 45 years?  What keeps a marriage going? 

Well, the key is finding the right person.  No big surprise there!  Finding that person is not usually all that easy.  There is no flashing arrow that points out your soul mate!  No one hands you his name and address when you hit puberty.  You just have to muddle along and keep your eyes open and be ready to say,
"Aha!  There he is!  Finally!" and grab on tight.

The sad truth is, that sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong, but you usually won't figure it out for a long time. 

Somehow I managed to be one of the lucky ones because I found Mikey and I still have him!  Let me tell you just how lucky I am.

When Mikey and I chose our wedding rings, we didn't have a lot of money, so we didn't get anything too fancy.  They were matching bands with a combination of polished and brushed white gold.  Simple and fairly plain.  We wore those rings for five years.

For our fifth anniversary, we decided to get new rings to mark the occasion because 1) Mikey couldn't get his ring on anymore, 2) I had realized that I liked yellow gold much more than white gold, and 3) we could now afford something more to our current tastes.

We found an unusual set of matching rings that looked a bit like a ring of small gold nuggets.  The were beautiful, unique, and we loved them.

Over the years Mikey had become very adept at finding jewelry that I loved and occasionally found lovely things for my birthday and Christmas, including a cocktail ring with a cluster of diamonds that I just loved.  I wore it on my right hand.

Because of the design of these two rings there were lots of little crevices, and bumps, and soap would get embedded in the spaces when I washed my hands.  Obviously that did nothing to enhance the beauty of the rings!  So I always took them off and set them near the sink when I washed my hands. 

As sometimes happens, I became lulled into that habit of removing the rings without thinking about it too much.  Of course, the day came when I took off the rings in the rest room at work, set them on the shelf directly above the sink while I washed and dried my hands, then turned and left the rest room.  I went back to my office just down the hall an hadn't been there 5 minutes when I realized I didn't have my rings!  I went racing down the hallway to the rest room to retrieve them.

Did I mention that I worked in a hospital?  Or that the rest room was on a major public hallway right next to the Outpatient Clinic on one side and the Emergency Room on the other?  People were in and out of that restroom ALL THE TIME!

Of course, the rings were gone!  I checked with Security, Lost and Found, the reception areas near by, hoping against hope that they had been turned in by an  honest person.  Hah!  Silly me!!  Nothing, nada, zip, zilch!  I was heartbroken and so angry at myself!  What a stupid thing to do!  And how was I ever going to tell Mikey I lost my wedding ring!???

I was so upset, our wedding rings were unique, we would never find anything we liked nearly as well.  Mikey was great about it and didn't get angry -- much.  (I think he knew I was angry and upset enough for both of us!)

Okay, so there we were, married for around 7 or 8 years, neither one of us wore a wedding ring and this was the status:

In his dresser Mikey had:  the original white gold ring that didn't fit and the replacement yellow gold ring that had no mate.

In my jewelry box I had:  the original white gold ring that was a bit small for me.

Fast forward several ringless years.  I don't remember exactly which anniversary it was but, in addition to my yellow roses, there was a small instantly recognizable ring box!  As I opened it I expected earrings or a pin.  What it was was my missing wedding ring!!  I was confused.  Through my tears, I asked how had he found it?  How ever in the world had he gotten it back?? 

What he said was, "It's not the missing ring."  I was astonished, "You found one just like it somehow???  Amazing!

"No" he said with an odd look on his face.  "It's not a new ring, exactly."  Okay, I had run out of options!!  If it's not the missing ring and it's not a new ring, what is it???

Mikey said, "Well, I found a jeweler who makes custom jewelry, so I took both of our original wedding rings, plus the bumpy second gold ring I still had, to this jeweler.  He made a casting of the design of the bumpy ring, MELTED DOWN ALL THREE RINGS, then added a bit more gold.  Then he made each of us a new version of the bumpy ring that had been stolen."  He then pulled his re-made matching ring out of his pocket and put it on his left hand.  "So we now have matching wedding rings again, made from our previous wedding rings!  Happy Anniversary!"

"Something Old and Something New"!!!  I think I cried for days!! 

And that, my friends, is a man you KEEP! 

"I'm Getting Married in the Mornng"

45 years ago, this was my very last night as a single person.  I was getting married the next day.  I don't remember anything too specific about my last day of being single.  I spent most of it finishing up the last of the packing and a few errands for last minute things.  I was only 19, I didn't have a lot of deep thoughts about what I getting myself into!  And I certainly wasn't thinking about how young we were.  I didn't feel like a kid, after all, "I'm Getting Married in the Morning" is about as grown-up an activity as a girl could do!

I don't recall making a list or acknowledging how everything about my life would change.  I was looking forward to the wedding.  I was looking forward to being married to my Mikey.  I was looking forward to the grand adventure we were about to start together.  I was in love and I was happy.  I went off to slumberland without giving too much credence to second thoughts!

The truth is there were many things I had never done and now might not ever do, like like travel by myself, or have my own apartment, or do the "singles scene", or be on my own, or have a career!   I wasn't very concerned about it at that time.  It was only several years later that I had thoughts about what alternatives had existed and how my life would be so different if I hadn't chosen to get married at 19. 

1966 was just about the end of the time when most girls only aspired to be wives and mothers.  There were a few women out there who were preparing for careers, but I wasn't one of them.  I was taking the traditional route....marriage and family.  (Funnily enough, I turned out to be among the first of the working moms, but that's a story for another day.) 

Today in 2011, I  am aware that I have been married two and a quarter times longer than I was single.  It's kind of difficult to even remember some of those single years.  It feels like I have always been married to the Big Guy.  We had a lot of fun things and like everyone, some sadness.   We were blessed with our precious and wonderful daughter, and much later her precious and wonderful daughter.   What greater prize could life have given us??

But back then, this night 45 years ago was my very last as a single woman.  By the next afternoon, I would become a wife!   And 45 years later I still am!

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