Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

The title above should convey my feelings to all my family, friends, and unknown readers of this blog.

I was quite surprised to find that so many of you have paid me the compliment of your time in accessing my writings, and  some  took the exceptional way of letting me know they enjoyed them by posting comments; my cup runneth over.

I have always enjoyed expressing my feelings in the written word, some I have kept to myself, too personal to share; but the majority have gone into my columns, and now this blog.

My hubby was the first one who discovered that I had this hidden, dare I call it, talent.  He saved everything I ever wrote him, letters, poems, thoughts, feelings.  Some he preserved by framing them, and hanging them in our bedroom.  I suppose, in a way, it reminded him of my true love when we had spats and were not on speaking terms.  How childish it all seems now.

The first time I ever got the courage to have someone else read my writings was when I submitted my first column to the El Paso Times.  The editorial page editor was going on vacation, and he asked that readers sent him columns he could use while he was away.

I was surprised that one of mine was chosen, and he continued to use me  on a regular basis, as a contributing columnist.  When he left, his replacement contacted me about writing a weekly column.  I continued to do this for several years until the paper was purchased by a new entity, and it was decided I was no longer needed. I was fortunate that no limits were placed on me, and I could write about anything or anybody.  Many of my columns were reminiscent of my youth in El Paso, and being a staunch Democrat, many were also political.

I wrote about my mother and her friends, seniors , born in a generation when women were supposed to remain in the home, and their “coming of age” and blossoming after they were widowed.  They learned the power of the vote, and even demonstrated with the “Silver Citizens” in front of City Hall.

I commented on social issues, and the need for compassion in government. There were quite a few letters to the editor which protested my stands, but the paper was fair and printed both sides, those that agreed with me and the misinformed.

I still have people who know me tell me how much they miss reading my thoughts, that’s when I tell them about this blog and WordPress.com.

One of my sons, who is very computer literate, told me I should not stop writing, and started me on this journey.  Thanks to him, I am still scribbling away.  By the way, he is also the one who supplies all the pictures shown at the end, are they not something to behold?

So thanks to him and the new computer age and all its possibilities, I am still around.  Perhaps when the Good Lord calls me home, I shall appear, with pad in hand,  ready to write about all the goings on in heaven.  I mean, if that’s where I’m going!

Hasta la Vista

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could turn the clock back, just like we do every fall?  Of course, you would have to choose how far back to go, an hour, a day, a year?

In my fantasies, I would go back at least ten years, when my hubby was still in good health, when he and I thought we had the world in our hands.  We had good jobs, good health, a fantastic bevy of grown children, and we could look forward to growing old together.

Of course, old was not a word my hubby believed in.  He always thought and acted young, and I was swept along with him.  We were so sure we had earned the place where we then stood, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Then was then, and now is now.  You cannot turn back time, and only memories keep it alive.  I have plenty of those, and sometimes when I’m not even thinking, they crop up at unbidden times.

For example, I found tears in my eyes when I witnessed my wonderful boss busily opening a package which contained a new tool he had purchased, and it reminded me of the joy that my hubby took in any new tool he acquired.  I had a lump in my throat when he came back from a trip and handed his wife a gift he brought to her; there were many times in my life when I had the same happiness of knowing I was always in my hubby’s thoughts.

I find myself envying an older couple holding hands; that could have been us.  I have gone up to total strangers and told them how lucky they are, and not to take anything for granted.

With the holidays coming up, more and more memories will appear, I do not dread them; I even look forward to enjoying most of them. This year the traditional Thanksgiving will not happen, as two of my children who live in Dallas cannot come to Ruidoso to be with us, and the son who lives in El Paso will celebrate with his wife’s family this year.  I will still have two children and their families to keep me company.  Two is much better than none.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Hasta la Vista

The days are getting shorter, colder, and drearier; I wish spring and summer could last forever.

Fall and winter have their good sides, too.  Right now the leaves are turning red and gold, and we are having pine needles rain on our lawns.  Soon you will see  the piles and piles of pine needles raked and stashed at the side of all the roads in our mountain haven.  I have been told that they are good for the soil and should be left in place, but I still rake them, much to the chagrin of my muscles.

We just went through a week end of cowboys and wannabes.  The Cowboy Symposium was held at the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack, which luckily will still remain open, thanks to the many voters who supported the tax issue.   I still prefer to see  race horses; I’m not into cowboys.

The Oktoberfest is on its way, and its always a lot of fun.  My hubby and I would always attend the events held at the Convention Center; for one week end we became Germans.  I haven’t attended since his death, all those goings on have lost their appeal to me, it’s not fun being alone.

With my job, I find the days and weeks flying by; I am so thankful that I have it.  I now am eager to get home everyday to my pooch, and I find consolation in the fact that somebody still needs me.  He is always so happy to see me, but I sometimes suspect its also because he is hungry and knows that I will feed him.

I really felt alone yesterday when I had a scary hour or so.  I was sitting down for breakfast when my right nostril, out of the blue, starting bleeding, and I could not stop it, no matter what I did.  After half an hour, I started panicking, should I go to the hospital, was it serious.  I decided to stuff some Kleenex up my nose, and sat down at the computer, searching for cures for nosebleeds.

  It turns out that the best solution, which worked for me, was to pinch the nose for ten whole minutes, while putting a cold pack on the nose and cheeks.  Not having an ice pack, I settled for the nearest substitute, a frozen package of peas!  After the ten minutes were up,  I slowly unpinched the nose, put a dab of Vaseline up the nostril, and the bleeding had completely stopped.  I was thankful for that.  It did bring closer to home the precarious situation of being alone.  The son that lives here is always telling me to call him if I need him, no matter what time.  I almost took him up on it.

Hug your loved ones close today and everyday.  You never know when they will no longer be there.

Hasta la Vista

Have you ever come to a crossroads in your life, pausing and looking right and left, wondering which road is your destiny?

I have come to that exact spot and am a little “bothered and bewildered” as the song states.  My predicament stems from the question , should I sell my house and move back to my hometown of El Paso, or should I stay and brave the loneliness, and uncertainty of my life as it stands now?

My husband and I loved our life here in Ruidoso, but since his death I have found myself doubting my existence in this beautiful peace of earth.  I visit my children in Dallas and El Paso, and love my stay there, but the missing link is still back home among the peaceful pines.  I miss the calm, the serenity, the beauty and my house; but most of all, I miss my hubby.  Would it be different anywhere else?  It has been seventeen months since his passing, and each day brings me closer to that decision.  Financially, I would be better off by selling, but spiritually, I’m not sure.

I have spent the last few weeks painting and sprucing up the house, with the help of the son who lives here.  My biggest regret in selling would be leaving him here; he has taken his Dad’s place as my handyman, and  daily support system.

The house has not been put up for sale, but word of mouth has brought several people to see it.  Hope is eternal, and if it is God’s will, then it will happen.  I place myself at his mercy.

The weather has been wonderful, we are getting some rain almost every day, so the forest is at its pristine best.  The days are cool, the temperature drops about 20 degrees after the moisture from heaven, so when I see the weather reports from around the country, I am so happy I am at this place at this time .

My hometown beckons to me, I have two sisters there, a son, and countless livelong friends; I also have my hubby at the Fort Bliss National Cemetary.  Here in the cool pines I have many acquaintances, but very few friends.   Do you see my predicament?

Hasta La Vista

It is such a blessing to return home.

Months past I did not think of it with anticipation, rather with a form of dread.  After all, I was coming home to an empty house which had once been filled with love and laughter.

I looked at this homecoming with a new and fresh prospective.   I was so lucky, how many people on this earth do not have a place to call home?  I see them on street corners, and even if I stop traffic, I always give them something.   Paraphrasing  The Good Lord ” Do this unto the least of me, and you do it to me.”  I have been chastised and advised that even with a small alm I might be giving them money to buy booze or drugs; that is up to them, I have done my part.

I also see the homeless after the devastation of hurricanes, floods,  earthquakes and other major disasters.  How could I not feel blessed to have a house to come home too, no matter how empty or how sad?

So I am back  after attending my granddaughter’s bridal shower, and spending Easter Sunday with my children in Dallas; both events happy and chaotic.

We almost had a bridal shower without the bride.  When the date was planned, it was not anticipated that it would be the weekend when most college students would be returning home after the spring break, so the airlines were doing a full plane-sold out- business.  With my granddaughter being part of the board of directors of the family NSU club (No Sense of Urgency) she left the flying plans until the last minute.

Both my daughters who work for the airlines spend almost all day contacting every possible flight leaving New York for Dallas, through most cities they thought were never traveled.  They even enlisted the aid of a friend from another airline in their search.  When they finally thought they had a flight, they would book it only to find the last seat had been sold. FRUSTRATION!!!

They finally found one seat on a flight from Newark to Oklahoma City, where she rented a car and drove to Dallas.  At her shower we crowned her the new CEO of the NSU club.  Before this day, she had only been vice president.

Taking this example , we have all made our plans for our flights to New York for the Big Day on May 29 (which also happens to be the week end of Memorial Day).  Good Luck to us.

Happy- Spring -is- almost- here- day.

Hasta La Vista

I journeyed back today from my visit to our children in Dallas.  The time passes so swiftly, I can hardly believe a week has gone by.

This is the norm, the days pass by so slowly when you are looking forward to that trip, and they fly by when you are actually at your destination and enjoying the assorted family members surrounding you.

We spend the majority of the time talking, laughing, remembering, and sometimes crying.  As the holidays approach, we look forward to them with some trepidation.  This will be the first holiday season without my beloved.  To them it will be the first without their father, and grandfather.  He was so enthusiastic about everything that pertained to this time, that he infused it to everyone.

We will change a few things about the celebration, having decided to draw names this year for the first time in our history;  I can say in half a century, since he and I were married fifty eight years. We always did the shopping together, he carrying the packages and giving his nod of approval for whatever I chose.  His expertise was with the manly things, the girly ones he usually left to me.

This Thanksgiving we will all be together, except for my granddaughter who lives in New York, and a grandson who cannot bear to leave his dog in a kennel.  I told him if I didn’t have three dogs  already invited to the feast, I would tell him to bring his Maddie, but she is much larger than the other three pooches and I can foresee problems.  People who are not dog lovers will wonder at his decision to not come, but I completely understand;  I have been a dog person for years.

So, I look forward to their coming and to our time together.  They always love Ruidoso, and cannot bear the thought that one day I may have to sell the house and leave, but Father Time has a way of diminishing mere mortals, and I am a realist.  I will have to move closer to where I have more family and medical support, although my son who lives here tells me he would take care of me by himself, but I would not tie him down to an ailing mother, he still has his own life to live.

Hopefully that will be in the future, relegated to “some day”.  My health is good, and I am slowly but surely learning to live again.

Hasta la Vista

I have been in hog heaven for the past two weekends; first my two wonderful daughters flew in from Dallas to spend one week end and then my two sisters, one from El Paso, the other from California, came to see me.

Those days are always the hardest for me to spend alone.  That is when my hubby and I did everything around the house and garden, shopped, dined, went to the slots and tried out luck.  We also went out of town every few months, Dallas, El Paso, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  We loved to explore and try new things, especially new restaurants.

The first week end my daughters and I spent talking, walking, laughing, eating, and shopping.  The days flew by so fast, before I knew it,  they were gone.  I endured the following days because I knew my sisters were coming .

They arrived and we also spent a lot of time reminiscing on the old days, even going back when we were young and still lived at home.  My older sister and I did a lot of things together, once we were so bored when our parents were not home that we took turns taking pictures of each other in different places and quirky poses.  So of course, we took the photo albums out and laughed at ourselves.

I am nine years older than my younger sister, so my thoughts of her were as a baby girl, who took my place in the house as supreme being.  I never envied her that position because I loved her with all my heart, and I still do.

Our conversations also centered on the antics of my beloved,  he was such a card.  We laughed and cried together at some of the comments he was always making.  This has served as a catharsis for my soul.  Speaking of him and remembering him are also a part of healing.   This is not always understood by a majority of people, who think that if they mention his name I will fall apart.  I tend to do this alone, in the privacy of my home.

My sisters and I also spent time in the kitchen, cooking, exchanging recipes, and  helpful hints on easier ways of doing things.  After all, we have a combined total of one hundred sixty seven years of married lives, which gives us quite an edge over newly weds.  Oh, we also talked about different ways of handling our husbands!

My older sister and her husband (who was wonderful by enduring our ceaseless talking) left two days ago, and I will have my younger sister for another week, so I am deliriously happy.  I know that she has an allergy to dog hair, and has been  supportive of my love for my pooch.  He, in turn, tries his best to get her to pet him, doing his one and only trick of sitting up and begging.  It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe on our trip back to El Paso

I will be visiting my children in Dallas the week after she leaves, so will still have plenty of company.

To paraphrase  from one of Dean Martin’s old songs, “How lucky can one gal be?”

Hasta la vista

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