It's the end of June 2006, I find myself flying into Chicago, Ill. In route to a very small town in Wisconsin 3 hours north to Princeton, Wisconsin to be exact. There's a celebration and if I know my older sister, it's going to be huge~ it always is. And this means her baby will be off on her own, college life, my Goddaughter & niece MJ~ "Magpie" has graduated High School and this will come as some surprise as I love surprising people, it does make life much more interesting.
My bag is all packed, and I'm ready to go. I have a borrowed "leather Cadillac duffle bag, as all the many suitcase sets I've bought throughout the years have all but disappeared. I always over stuff with clothes & shoes and as such over the plan, you know how it is when your a woman that can't make up her mind? You have to have a selection of outfits to show off with matching accessories as well. I'm all about matching.
I think of myself as to try to follow the trends, the one to dress for comfort's sake, I've never worn dirty clothes or dress sloppily, if something looks overly worn or has holes in from over bleaching maybe or some other chemical in the washers detergent, it's probably even to bad to give away to Goodwill or Salvation Army, it needs to be recycled into a household rag. And yes, they too have standards to follow; no stains, or tears in clothes, no high heels. I know, I've donated many things over the years to both, Savers too. I miss them so much, I love strolling through thrift stores I'm all about the 3 R's
While in High School I'd go to the St. Vincent De Paul store in Oshkosh Wisconsin with mom & aunt Brenda, God rest her soul, leaving this life on her terms, she had breast cancer some years before passing & my mom asked her if she ever took a certain medication that the Doctors prescribe them to treat for 5 years post she replied she did not. I'd always been told by my favorite sister-in-law whose sister was a nurse and who herself had uterine cancer, I believe, she said that cancer will travel upwards in your body. And that was the case with my aunt she passed from brain cancer, and she opted out of any treatments when given the prognosis.
The one particular time at St. Vincent De Paul I think I was a Freshman in High School I had my own money because I had babysitting jobs, a newspaper route, etc. I found some 20's style skirts with matching vests, the one thing I remember was it was wool, itchy but when I turned the midi skirt into a mini it was perfect. Brenda commented to my mother that I like shopping at the thrift store, Mom always seemed to talk about me as if I wasn't there. She told my aunt that I was too good to wear clothes from Kmart that I'd rather get clothes from the thrift store, in all actuality I hated for my mother to try to pick out clothes from Kmart something that she liked and would wear, what mother other than mine try's to dress her teenage daughter? She let my sister a year older than me pick & choose her clothes out and I didn't understand why it should be different for me. My only rationalization was my mother must hate me I and I didn't know why; she just did.
I drive my car to the airport shuttle pick up & return, it's so much easier letting a like-minded individual drive you to the airport and take some stress out of your already mini vaca stressed filled itinerary day. Tucson's airport wasn't making all the flights like Phoenix was so I was traveling an hour away to Phoenix to fly into Chi-town, baby sister was going to be waiting at the airport, not many of the family are aware I'm flying in. I wasn't the best God-mother throughout the years but I did try to hit on the bigger highlights in Meg's life, like her 16th birthday. And Christmas's as she got older. You never do know what to get little kids.
I try to fall asleep during the hour drive, but unbeknownst to me, I have never been able to fall asleep while somebody else was driving, especially if I don't know the driver's experience behind the wheel.
That thought brings me to an occasion years before the present day, 10 years actually, it was in the late '90s 99 I think; I was driving to work one morning, I worked for St. Jude cardiac rhythm management (CRM) Division where implantable devices were made, Its rewarding to know something your doing is to betterment another person's life.
So, I'm in line at a red light, its the Phoenix Open week as well and our company plant is less than a mile to Scottsdale's Princess Resort. Talk about traffic jams & delays'. This shuttle van/truck is waiting in the turn lane, getting honked at; the driver's asleep at the wheel slumped with his head down, bet he wished he had a pillow. I noticed the bumper sticker "how's my driving? Call yadda yadda yadda, so I call, the rep was very nice as was I, "I just thought I'd let you know your driver at the intersection of Frank Loyd Wright & Scottsdale road is asleep at the wheel and drivers behind him are honking at him; you may want to call him before someone gets too mad & does something stupid. Yes, thank you for letting us know, his shift was over an hour ago, he said after this last pickup he'd go home. My reply, that's good to hear, I'm not calling to get him in trouble just a concerned citizen. He's not in any trouble, thank you again.
Some people can turn crazy on the road you never know what's going to happen. While living in the Orlando area. A Friday after work, my husband at the time who would be away all weekend, told me to go to the company office to pick up his check, thank God for technology that we don't have to wait for the dreaded paper check any longer. Direct Deposit is a Godsend. Anyway, I don't care where you live in the world, Friday night is just that and busy all over the place. My daughter and I had gone to pick up the payroll check as asked. And we headed back home, we were just about to the corner my bank on the right-hand side of us and probably 10 cars in front of me I need to turn right. With the bank's many customers trying to get in and out. I wait for and allow people to enter the bank and women to exit the bank whose going against the traffic in the opposite direction. She's a black woman I have no issue with any color, I was not raised that way. She makes her left turn with no problem, the guy behind her felt he should get in front of me, we'd been waiting for a half-hour already and waited through many a light change as well. I thought, No way buddy, you can wait. He gets outta the car and points a gun at me, my daughter probably 10 or 11 says, “mom! He's pointing a gun at you”. I say, I see that honey, and, if he wants to shoot me in broad daylight because I won't let him in front of me, then more power to him. Explain that to the police when they get here. Yes, there are some Stupid people in this world. And racist. Unbelievable.
Back to the present day; we get to the Phx Airport, and I get dropped off last, as I pulled the duffle bag from the compartment I feel this pull in my chest, right across the sternum area, I just rub it a little and think I guess I need to be more animated when I'm doing my 3 to 5 mile walks a day. I'd always point out to the walkers that pump their arms up & down thinking, what's the sense in that anyway? Right there at that moment, I may have just answered my question. Maybe I just pulled a muscle in my chest that's been dormant and I just woke it up, that's what I was thinking, I was 47 years old and don't weigh my preferred weight of 135, what I weighed when I graduated from high school and what I weighed after giving birth to my son. That was a good weight for me. But the fat gene from our German ancestors runs deep in our family & I'm no stranger to dieting as I've been doing it all my life.
So, I carry on with the day, board the plane with no problem, and later that afternoon I've landed in Chicago, mom is there with the baby sister, she wanted company for the ride she explains, it doesn't matter to me I say.
Seeing dad's had heart issues and it runs in his family, I ask him about the feeling, he agrees I probably just pulled a muscle.
Now, I can party like the rest of them, but, I didn't that weekend, I was mindful and played it cool. Besides, I know me. once I get going the true Pisces that I am, never knows when to stop. Although I've never had the opportunity to talk drunk and slur my words to an officer, I have often envisioned myself saying, "no OSIFER, I am not drunk!"
Although that weekend was not eventful besides the graduation gifts, I didn't make a fool outta myself, no, worshiping the porcelain "Goddess" for me, that was a pleasant change.