Abruzzo – Italy at its best!

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ABRUZZO ITALY

Can’t wait to call this place my home.

I’m enjoying a lovely Colorado day. Catching up with my blogs and trying to finish the last short story in my current book, but my mind wanders off the to the dramatic unspoiled beauty of Abruzzo.

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Own This Life!

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When the sun goes down on your life do you want to say you just lived it? Or do you want to say you really lived it! Do you want to say you OWNED IT?

Looking back at my life, I’m pretty happy. It wasn’t perfect, but I have an amazing daughter, quirky husband, a job I really enjoy and a great future ahead of me when I retire to Abruzzo. I’m not rich and worked hard for everything I have, but I always had something to work for. We moved from England to the US in 1995. I changed my career (by accident). We travelled as much as our money would allow.

This old girl writes, laughs, loves and cries. She didn’t just live her life, she took control and owned it.

Dance Like theres no Tomorrow!

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When I was in my late twenties, and a young mother, I had to live with my parents for a couple of months while I waited for the army to accommodate me. My husband was in the Falkland Islands and I had a young daughter. I was resentful at losing my independence and wasn’t the best house guest!

One day, when my dad was out playing golf, I heard music in the living room. It wasn’t the type of music mum, who was almost 70, usually listened to. I opened the door quietly and peeped in to see what was going on. What I saw took my breath away and put a huge smile on my face.

My mum was jumping around the living room, swiveling her hips, shaking her arms and dancing as though her life depended on it. She had her back to me and never saw me watching her. Closing the door quietly I want to my little bedroom at the back of the house and left her to dance.

When I’m feeling down I remember that moment. My mum died over ten years ago, and I’m in my early sixties, but I’m going to live life like there’s no tomorrow and dance as long as I can.

 

Sandra Thompson’s 61 Birthday

Great!
Like I need a reminder!
I get home from a rough day at work and unlock my computer to check my emails and what pops up?

Sandra Thompson’s 61st Birthday is tomorrow!

Couldn’t they turn it around? Couldn’t I be just 16?
No that wouldn’t do at all. I had no eyebrows when I was sixteen. I’d shaved them off because David Bowie didn’t have any and I was (and still am) his biggest fan. He’s gone now of course, on a new adventure. I hope I see him again some day.
If I was 16 I wouldn’t have my beautiful daughter, I can’t imagine a life without her smile.

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I’d not have met my eccentric, quirky husband.

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Hey 61 is middle-aged now. I have a few years ahead of me still, and I intend to cram lots of good things into them.

I might be 61, but I’m not dead yet.

Boxing Day Memories

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26th of December means two things to me. Family gatherings with cold buffet’s were our Boxing Day tradition, but first and foremost it was my mum’s Birthday! She’d have been 100 today!

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Here in the US, Boxing day isn’t on the calendar, but I take the day off work every year anyway, like I said it’s my mum’s birthday!

Families are a mixed bag aren’t they. Mine caused stress every year. Two brothers who didn’t get along must have caused mum endless heartache. The rift was too deep to ever fix. My brothers were always referred to as the “good brother” and the “bad brother”. The bad brother is dead now too, but he leaves behind a legacy of ruin and pain. Does anyone miss him? Who knows? I miss the brother he used to be when I was a kid, and before he turned bad.
Anyway, its boxing day, my mum’s Birthday, and I just want here to be remembered. Phoebe Ethel Newman, rest well in Heaven – we always remember you. Love You!

Final Journey!

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I opened my eyes and stretched, it was a Saturday, not that one-day is much different from another when you’re retired, but I remembered it was a Saturday because I had a hair appointment. Maybe I’d go to the mall early and enjoy a little retail therapy. I sat up in bed and stretched again. It was a good morning, no aches and pains, no creaking bones.

I washed and donned my PJ’s. No crazy rush to get the washing done over the weekend, I was retired; I could feed the washer any day I chose. I padded down the stairs to Bob’s man cave. Even at seven o clock in the morning the television was on. Arsenal was playing, and for once it seems, they were winning! No Arsene Wenger at the helm these days.

“Bob, what do you want for Breakfast?”

No answer, he was engrossed in the game, didn’t even look up. Not unusual when he was engrossed in football.

“I’ll bring some toast and coffee down.”

I switched the coffee machine on and cut some bread. Yup, still made my own bread, neither of us liked the doughy mess the American supermarkets sold. I wasn’t hungry though so I took a tray down to the man cave and left it on the coffee table. You could at least say thank you, your team are winning for heavens sake!

I walked out onto the porch, it was a beautiful day. Sunny and warm. Bird’s song was the only sound I head. I love living out in the country. I inhaled the atmosphere. When I die, this is where I want my ashes scattering, I feel comfortable here.

No time to linger today, I have a hair appointment and shopping to do. Maybe some new sandals, we’re flying to Italy next month. Maybe I’ll have my ashes scattered on the Amalfi Coast? No, maybe not, its beautiful there, but I don’t speak Italian, I’d be lonely. Why am I thinking about where I want my ashes scattered?

I went back upstairs to the bedroom, ignoring the dishwasher that needed to be emptied. Not in the mood today, it’s a ME day and I’m going to enjoy it.

I was lost in thought, wondering what I should buy. Maybe a new sun dress too, can’t wait for the Italian sun to kiss my shoulders. I giggled as I remembered the last time we were in Italy, and getting my 65-year-old bum pinched!

I froze in the bedroom doorway. If I’d had any breath left in me I’d of gasped. There was someone lying on the bed, still as a church, it was me!

NO! NO! NO! How could this happen?

I ran downstairs to Bob; he was engrossed in the game. I tried to shake him, but he didn’t see me, didn’t feel me.

Bob! Bob! I think I’m dead!

It was useless. Slowly I went back upstairs and looked around our bedroom. It was full of memories, photos of my daughter, and paintings of Italy. I touched the cold face of the “me” that lay on the bed, hoping I’d wake up. I didn’t, so I sat next to me and waited.

***********

It was 10:30 when Bob went upstairs. Sheila normally rose around seven, but he hadn’t seen her yet. He worried she was sick.

“Hey, are you staying in bed all day? I thought you had a hair appointment.”

He saw his wife lying on the bed. She was pale and still.

            “I’m sorry Bob, you’ll have to get your own breakfast today.”

He didn’t hear of course. He wasn’t a romantic man, but he bent over his wife’s body and gave her one final kiss on her forehead. They’d been married over 50 years, he’d be lost without her.

 

Wotunny?

Grandma!

Wotunny?

I love you Grandma!

I love you too!

Wotunny is of course “what honey?”

My mum was born and raised in the North of England, and although not quite a Geordie, she was close. I used to make fun of her accent, but I miss it so much. She’d play tirelessly with my daughter when she was a little girl. They’d sit in their make-believe airplane (under the table) and pretend they were flying to Barbados. My mum was in her eighties at the time. It couldn’t have been comfortable sitting on the floor. She didn’t have much padding on her bones as she got older. I’d prepare dinner and smile as I listened to them talk.

Grandma!

Wotunny?

I love you!

I love you too pet!

Miss you mum!

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Aging the Write Way

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As I went to put the carton of milk in the oven this morning, and the croissants in the fridge to warm, I thought about my mum and laughed. Yes, I’ve become her. I used to make fun of her all of the time for doing these things. When I was in my teens and twenties, I thought I’d be young forever. Little did I know how quickly those years would pass. Old age creeps up quickly. Everyone seems to be younger than me now. I’m not quite sixty yet, but very close.

Nothing can slow down aging, its part of life, but life doesn’t have to slow down because of it. I’ve been writing since I was eleven or twelve. My head is full of stories.  Every single day is an adventure to me. The older I get, the more important, its become to share my adventures. Some will make you laugh, others, well you’ll think I’m crazy. There’s one thing for sure, I’m not going to keep them locked in my brain until I die, I’m aging the write way!

 

Dead of July is the my first novel. I published it 2013. It took a couple of years to write, and another year to edit and perfect. Give it a try. Its based on real events that happened to me when I was in my early twenties. 

Love is stronger than Hatred and Bigotry – Lets Heal the World

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The past few weeks have been a dreadful mixture of hate and bitterness. Glorified by the media it’s escalated beyond control When a child is born, it knows only love. We were all children once. Lets look inside ourselves and remember our childhood. Bring back the love and tolerance and cast aside the hate and bigotry.

Together we can Heal the World

 

Sunny Sunday!

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Bitter cold, but beautifully bright.

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