Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘loss

Yes, that much awaited month of June has arrived!

Here in my mountain home it has arrived, bone dry.  We have been hoping for rain, but it has eluded us, and the fires have started.  You have probably heard of the large one devouring acres in the Gila; we have had a smaller one here, in the Hondo Valley, which has been 90% contained at last count.  Fire is the dreaded word that we mountain dwellers abhor, and do everything in our power to avoid.

In our village of Ruidoso outdoor smoking is prohibited, and I hope all our visitors adhere to that.  It is not that we don’t want you enjoying our mountains and coolness,  it is just that we ask you respect our environment and our home.

Other than that, the summer season is in full swing.  The racing season started on the Memorial Day weekend, and we had quite a crowd at the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack.  I say  “we” because I am part of that  scene, being employed at  Billy the Kid Casino adjacent to the track.  Parking is at a premium, and when we find one, we are jubilant.  I am not going to reveal the parking space which I have found, not too many people know about it.  It is not that far from the building, but I still get walked to my car by the security guards, God Bless them.

I still love my job, it has taken my life into new directions, having people to talk to, and  laugh with.  It  has  done away with a lot of the lonely times.  After three years I still miss my hubby, but have learned to live with the loss.

This month we will be celebrating the 50th birthday of my youngest, and his siblings will be here  to rib him about old age. Not too much ribbing as  they are now all over fifty, and I still think of myself as young!  To me, age is just a number; there are now a few more aches and pains, but I have been blessed with good health and good genes; my mom lived to 99!

There is sadness within my familia, as two brother in-laws are deteriorating in health; it will be only a matter of time before they too leave this earth.  I talk to my sisters often, and offer whatever encouragement I can, and I travel to El Paso at least once every three weeks to be with them.  My sister in California is the one most out of reach, but always in our hearts, prayers, and thoughts.

Another sadness is the fire that devastated my son’s home in El Paso; I went to see it on my last trip there, although he had asked me not to.  My view of the house was of a burned out shell, the roof  had been removed and what could be saved was taken, not much left.  They are lucky to be alive, thanks to their little dog and a neighbor who woke them.  As I told them, things can be replaced, but not human life.

The jubilation of June is now taken one day at a time.

Love and good health to all.

Hasta La Vista

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Ah, February, the month set aside for lovers.

Unless you are from a planet far away in the distance, you know that this month brings extra beatings to your heart, sets many a set of eyes a-flutter, and brings some of the strongest men to their knees.

I know of which I speak, because “I’ve had a love of my own”, as the song states.

My hubby and I were married for fifty eight years before his passing, and never a Valentine’s Day went by that we did not remember each other in some special way. During the lean years it might have been just a love note tucked away in unexpected places, a surprise hug, a rose cut from our garden and placed by the bedside.

The last Valentine’s Day we spent together, he was too weak to give more than a kiss. I made up for it by buying him a plant that he had always admired, telling him he was my true love, and hiding my tears from him; six days later, he was gone.

It has been three years, and I still miss him terribly. It is very hard to live alone with your memories, and try to fill that empty space in your life. How can you replace half a soul ripped from you?

This special day for lovers I ask each of you to hold tight with what you have; forgive small grievances, and perhaps even larger ones, life is too short to hold on to grudges. Ask yourself what you would do without him, or her, the lovable parts without the less loveable.

Yes, I will repeat the words from the song “Hello Young Lovers” where ever you are, ” I’ve had a love of my own”.

Hasta La Vista

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It hardly seems possible, but the falling pine needles announce that fall is coming.  My query is, where did summer go?

I know that part of the disappearance is the fact that I am now working at a job that I love, and the time just seems to fly by.

My working hours have taken over the lonely nights and weekends when I really felt the loss of my hubby the worst.  Now I am busy greeting people, being a ham on the microphone, and generally helping patrons at the casino in anyway that I can.  I find it most enjoyable to be able to talk to people; being home I only spoke with my pooch, who is a very good listener, but seldom makes comments.

I have my mornings at home when I can catch up on doing things that have to be done, or doing nothing at all.  That “”doing nothing at all” part is now done without any guilty feelings because I feel I have earned my rest.  I also rest on my laurels, as I have been told by several different people at work that I am doing a great job.  Isn’t it wonderful to hear that?

I experienced something new this past week end, I watched the horse races!  All these years in this beautiful pine country, and my hubby and I never went to the races.  All the hoopla involved never enthused us enough to attend.  Well,  I ended up going in to work with two hours of anticipation, and decided to sit in on some races.  They were quite exciting, and I can now see how people get so worked up over them.  The fact that the purse was at a high of  two and a quarter million dollars was nothing to sneeze at either.

The time  flew by also because I had a visit from my sister for the whole weekend.  We spend a lot of time talking, laughing, and sometimes even crying, as we both shared our  joys and our sorrows.  It is another thing that I miss, having the nearness of  kin, especially my sisters; we have always been very close.

I had an episode at church on Sunday, when my nose started bleeding and I could not stop it.  It took almost twenty minutes before it finally ended.  Since I had been having them more frequently, I went to the doctor.  You always imagine the worst, but it turned out that the membranes in my nostrils are swollen, and have hit some veins, which start the bleeding.  A prescription for some nose drops and a suggestion that I have a humidifier by my bed at night seems to have solved the problem; I certainly hope so, it is kind of scary when you can’t stop the bleeding.

So now it is time to prepare for fall and winter; as usual, I am probably the only person is this area who does not wish for snow. Since that is still a few months away, I will concentrate on enjoying the cool weather, and my viewings into Facebook where I see pictures of my great grand-daughter almost on a daily basis.  This is such a wonderful way to keep in touch, I recommend it to everyone–GET ON FACEBOOK!!!!

Hasta la Vista, you all  (I still have my Texas roots)

August crept up quietly, slowly entering my universe on tip toes.

I was prepared for another month of waiting, wondering, and speculating on the status of my life.  It was really going nowhere.  I had spent countless hours filling out applications, mailing resumes, going on interviews, etc. all for naught.  Tired of staying home and brooding, I went for a few hours of distraction to a local casino.

All the employees at this particular gaming spot have always been extremely friendly and helpful. I was not surprised to have the marketing director ask me what I had been doing.  My reply was, “”Still looking for a job”.  She looked at me speculatively and said, “I’ve got one, you interested?”

BOLT OF LIGHTING! !  After I finished hugging her, I asked her what the job was.  I was hired on the spot to be in the Players Club, signing in new members, etc.

So, I am now working , thank the Good Lord.  It is an extremely interesting and varied job;  I get to meet new people, greet, welcome, and help all who approach my station.  I have always been a friendly, outgoing person, so this suits me just fine.

I truly believe that God works in strange ways his wonders to perform; I am a beaming, shining example.

Since my hubby’s death, evenings and week-ends have always been the loneliest for me.  It was those times that I found myself wandering and wondering about my life.  My new hours have now filled those times, and I am very happy to be home on my hours and days off.

My children were all a little worried about some of my evening hours, but the son who lives here and I have worked out a schedule wherein he comes to my house after his working hours, feeds my pooch, lets him out for a time, and then closes up the house for the evening shift.  He has always been here for me.  Of course I have to call him the instant I get in, and let him know I am home and locked in for the night.

I also have the added assurance of having the security guards regally escort me to my car!

The only downside is that I will not be able to visit my out of town children as often as I did; I am sure we will work something out as time progresses.

The one who is not happy is my pooch, Chico.  He had gotten used to having me around all the time, and to say he is unhappy is an understatement.  The hours when I am home, he follows me around constantly, and demands much more petting, which I am more than willing to do.  He has been my constant companion and comfort in my widowed life.

And so I go forth, praying and hoping for the best.  Please tag along with me.

Hasta la Vista

Yes, the June season is again in full swing, and I find myself, happy, sad, and mad.

Happy for all the graduates who have fulfilled their education goals, congratulations, especially to Dennis and Delaney Quintana, whom I saw grow up during our Democratic Party events.

Sad because Father’s Day is just another day for me now, with no one by my side to celebrate with; and also mad because at times I find myself asking, why me?  Especially when I see older couples, holding hands, laughing, talking, sharing moments; it is to hard to keep asking why them and not me.

Those moments finally pass and I take a deep breath, straighten my shoulders, and go on.

I finally got home after dog and house sitting for one daughter in McKinney,and spending quality time with my other daughter who also lives there; my son from Dallas came and kept me company too.  It was a relaxing time, spent reading, doing crossword puzzles, and keeping Frasier and Niles ( my two Westie grandpups) happy.

One thing I did not enjoy were the tornado warnings which hit the area on a Tuesday night.  My son called me and told me to stay at my other daughter’s house so I would not be alone in the worst case scenario.  We stayed tuned to the weather channel which gave periodic updates; it was no where near McKinney, but it did sweep across the Dallas area.  My son said he took precautions sitting in the hall surrounded by matresses and so forth.

The weatherman showed golf ball size hail which was falling in several counties; luckily we only saw rain.  Give me a good ole sandstorm any day.

I had to go see a doctor at the local emergency clinic; I had developed a very bad cough, and what I thought was chest congestion. With that problem there was no way I was going to get on a plane.  After a thorough examination, the results were there was nothing wrong with me, I was suffering from allergies. I was given a prescription for cough medication and told to go home and rest.  Well, the RX gave me plenty of rest, I could not stay awake!  Glad to say I was finally well enough to come back home.

My pooch was very happy to see me.  He had stayed at my son’s house in El Paso, and was ready to climb in the car and come back to his own yard.

After several days, we had a bear encounter.  Chico was barking hysterically at the kitchen door, I looked out and there was this big brown head, peeking in.  I thought at first it was a big dog, and made shooing noises, when he turned around, I saw it was a brown bear, and he had a companion!  They had climbed up the kitchen back stairs, and when I made noise, they turned around and scampered across to the front, then sauntered casually across to my neighbor’s house, through their back yard and on to the forest.

It has been so dry, they are coming down to residential areas looking for food.  I do not let my pooch out until I check  and make sure its safe.

Stay tuned for the next episode in the Perils of Alicia.

Hasta la Vista

Yes, I who thought I was brilliant in all aspects of my life, including my job, had a very humbling action taken against me.

I was not laid off from my job, I was terminated!  The reason given is very disputable; I was told that customer’s had complained about me, not who or why or when, just that.  It came like a bolt out of the blue, because the priority in every job I have ever had has been that the customer comes first.  They are the reason you are there, they are the ones who pay you, and therefore, they are actually your employers.

So to be told that because of them you are terminated, simply does not compute.  I accept it, what else can you do?  It is a very humbling experience and one that I do not wish on anyone.

I thought I was doing a very good job, and had no inkling or warning from the executives that in their estimation, this was not so.  It has been said that there is a first time for everything, and in all my years of work, this is the first termination.

So I am trying to pick up the pieces of my life again, and coming again to a crossroads.  The specter of selling the house looms ahead of me, and some very serious thinking has to be done.  I am praying for guidance from above.

I visited my hubbie’s grave at Fort Bliss National Cemetery this week-end.  I also prayed for guidance there, after telling him the circumstances of my job loss.  I could almost hear him say *#%&*^%$, because he knew my dedication to any job that I took, and my zeal to perform it accurately.  But I knew that he would also say into each life some rain must fall, and this is a torrent which I must bear.

I am very sad to be writing this, and you, my faithful readers, do not deserve this; but you have shared my triumphs, my sadness, and my joys, so I have taken the liberty of sharing with you this very humbling experience.  Pray for me.

Hasta la Vista

Does it sound like I am getting a little tired of this weather?  WELL, I AM!!!

Cool, beautiful, friendly, serene Ruidoso has always had snow and cold in the wintertime.  We are used to it.  But in the sixteen years that I have lived here, I do not remember ever having below freezing temperatures for a week and a half.  Combine this with one of the largest snowfalls to come our way in several years, and you have  DISASTER.

This same storm hit over 20 other states, most with much more severity.  I know my hometown of El Paso, Texas also suffered from snow and cold, and they hardly ever get both!  At least the majority of Ruidosoans know how to drive in this weather, with one big exception, me.

The snow readily turned into ice, making travel extremely dangerous.  The good side is that I have a friend who volunteered to pick me up in her four wheel drive truck, and I readily accepted; thanks Kelly.  I do not have a vehicle  equipped with four wheel drive because my hubby never wanted one.  He could drive in any weather, and I depended on him.  I can get down our little hill, but getting back up is quite another thing.

The snow plow angels came on the third day, and hit my street.  My two wonderful neighbor gals across from me came over with shovels and got that darn snow out from in front of my car and cleared a path to the street.   Isn’t it wonderful to have friends like that?

Because of the low temperatures, pipes across town froze, and then burst.  We were swamped at work (my job is with a plumbing firm),  everyone wanted our services at once, if not yesterday.  The Village of Ruidoso has started to take some action, shutting the water off several sections at a time, checking for some of the huge leaks which had begun to deplete our water supply.  We are a resort town, and a large majority of the houses are vacation homes, empty at this time.  So any leaks would not be known or reported.

Everyone in town has been most considerate, understanding the situation and putting up with the inconvenience.  We’re just waiting for the wave of vacation home owners to hit town; not all of them are patient.

I had gotten used to getting up in the morning and seeing the low temperatures.  This morning I was quite surprised to see that it was 30 degrees;  we’re having a heat wave!

Today the high was in the 50’s, and I’m praying that will hold through next week end.  All my children are coming in for their Dad’s second anniversary mass, and I know  most of my family will attend.  It will help me considerably being surrounded by them, I still get quite emotional; the sense of loss is always present.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all lovers, young and old;  I had a love of my own.

Hasta la Vista