Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘personal

Two weeks ago I began a new page in my life; I decided to start a painting project which my hubby and I had put off for a year because of his declining health.  He loved to sit by the window and view the many changes of the day, from dawn to dusk.  He always said “We’ve got to paint the deck, it really needs it”.

All these home upkeeps we did together, me being his assistant.  So it is no wonder that I learned the fundamentals of  building, carpentry, plumbing, painting.  I decided to put this small knowledge to good use and start with the deck.

I assembled all tools required, as I remembered them.  I could feel his presence urging me on when I became discouraged, such as forgetting to have a rag handy for wiping off drops of paint, etc.  Once I stepped on such a drop and had to quickly take off my shoes and clean them before I went in the house.

It has been two weeks, and today was the day I finally put the second coat of paint on all that wood!  All that is needed now is to put the sealer.  I did have some help for the past two weekends, my daughters from Dallas and my sons in law flew in to give me a hand, and of course I always have the presence of the one son who lives locally and always watches over me.  Without them I would not have progressed this far.  I am so lucky to have five children who are always willing to help in one way or another.

I had quite a conversation with some neighbors who dropped by while I was painting.  They were  four deer who stopped to eat some leafs from my trees, and did not mind that I was there.  They continued to feed their bodies while I continued to feed my soul.  I spoke to my husband and asked his opinion on my painting.  I knew he would say that I was doing very well, but was a little bit on the messy side. Those had always been his comments while alive, so why should they change with his passing?

I have started to learn the art of living alone;  I am not quite there yet and still have my moments, but they are beginning to be further apart.  I had never watched daytime television, but I now find myself watching the game shows, such as “The Price is Right”, “Deal of no Deal” etc.  I sometimes fantasize appearing on the shows and winning all that money; I might try it someday.  I don’t think I will act as crazy as some of the contestants, but then , you never know.

My little pooch and I walk the trail around one of the local golf courses every day, and it has turned out to be good exercise for both of us.  We meet all kinds of people and pets, and take the time to speak to them.

So life goes on,  and I am floating along with it.

Hasta la Vista

Sunrise

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There’s a wonderful world out there.

I had forgotten about it since the death of my husband five months ago.  My world was wound around the pain of losing him, the loneliness of being without him, the confusion of being alone.

Some of the above has dissipated, but I cannot say that all of it is gone; I have been slowly reawakening to the world around me.

Yes, even the closest people to me have already gone back to their lives, and I realize that I must at least begin to do the same.

I came back home after two weeks of traveling between children’s homes, and even visited Florida, to a house of a friend, who is an extended family member.  She too, is a widow, and gave me many insights in to our mutual situations.  Unlike me, she has been widowed for five years, and has formed a new life in a new community.  I hope eventually, I will be able to do the same.

While there, my daughter, son-in-law, and I walked the beach every morning.  It took me longer because I stopped to talk to people, which has always been my nature.

I compared my pooch, back in El Paso with my son, to the pets they were walking, and I spoke doggie talk to them.

I stopped and conversed with parents and their children, admired their sand castles, and was amazed at one family who constructed a huge sea turtle.  The next day, the tide had eaten half of it.  I collected sea shells.

Speaking with a lot of single women, I found out that the majority of them were also widows, and we commiserated with each other.  There is a group out there that, through mutual grief, is bound together.

Back home again, I threw myself into the yard work which I had neglected.  The lawn and garden was a shared joy with my beloved, and I found solace in getting it into shape.

I started attending meetings with my Democratic party, and I was welcomed with open arms.  I began walking with my constant four legged companion.

Slowly but surely, the world around me is coming into focus.  The mountains are gloriously green, with the daily temperature in the 70’s and 80s’, and the nights nice and cool.  My husband’s pet name for our haven was “Cool Pines”.

Yes, there is a wonderful world out there.  I hope to discover more of it soon.

Hasta la vista.

While visiting my children in Dallas, I was witness to a display by Mother Nature, the likes of which I had not seen.  It was a storm that brought tornado warnings and sirens wailing.

We were out on some errands, and had not been watching television, or listening to the radio.  We saw storm clouds gathering, and were thanking the heavens for rain to come.

Before our very eyes, the skies turned into menacing black swirling entities, and the winds started.  Our cell phone rang, the family urging us to return home, and announcing the tornado warnings.  Needless to say, we jumped in our vehicle, and got back as soon as possible, which in Dallas time, meant at least a half hour to forty five minutes.

The television was blaring, showing the red masses which signified the storm, and Dallas County was right in its path.  That night we saw marble size hail, winds up to 90 miles per hour, and sheets of rain which seemed never ending.

My children are used to this, they have experienced it many times before, but to me, it was something entirely new, and so foreign to my mountain dwelling.  My son is fascinated by these tantrums of nature, and was outside viewing everything, and was happiest in this element.  I hovered in the house, thinking of going into the nearest closet, or bathroom, as suggested by the media.

It seemed a lifetime, but the rain and wind abated somewhat, but continued into the night.

I was scheduled to depart the next day, but because of the lingering lightning and rain, most flights were delayed for hours, if not permanently canceled.  I prudently decided not to leave until the following day.  Even then, the airport was crowded and people scurried about, checking on flights.  A man I talked to had been at the airport for five hours, and did not know when his plane would take off.  My flight was only delayed forty five minutes, for which I was thankful.

Landing in El Paso, I was back to the dry desert heat, and driving to Ruidoso, I savored the green cool pines that surround my abode.  I was never happier to arrive home.

Certainly, you cannot fool around with Mother Nature, especially when she’s having a bad day.

Hasta la Vista

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Well, here I am again, back home after spending several weeks traveling between children, sisters, and family.  My trip back was highly anticipated and dreaded at the same time; anticipated because, as the saying goes, “There’s no place like home”.  Unlike Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I could not just click my heels, and be back home where everything would be the same.  I came back to the same empty house.

However, this time, I had plans to keep myself busy.  The yard work was waiting, the scrapbook was just begun, and I still had to go through files and files of paperwork, deciding what was to be kept and what was to be shredded.  I had returned with dozens of books to read, letters to write, and bills to pay.  The semblance of an average day was almost upon me.

Not having a job to go to, after years of working, I could easily get up late every morning, but I find myself not able to sleep after 6:00 A. M.  My constant companion, a mutt named Chico, who is part Boston Terrier and something else, is up at that time and ready to start the day.  He takes it upon himself to chase away all intruders in our yard, be it cats, birds, and even deer.

One meeting of a large stag and my pooch took place not too long ago.  I had let him out the door without first checking to see what he would be chasing.  He took off like a wild beast, barking his head off, only to encounter a huge mammoth with horns.  He quickly retreated to the safety of the house and continued to bark from the front window.  Situations such as these make me laugh, and I forget my loneliness for a while.

With summer upon us, the woods are lovely, and old Mother Nature has awakened from her long winter’s sleep.  The blue jays have returned, looking for the peanuts which I set out for them; soon the hummingbirds will make their appearance.  The bears are also awake now, but I have not seen any of them.  The bear locks which were installed in our dumpster keeps them at bay.

I am grateful for those locks, remembering several years ago when we returned home to find a large bear sitting in our driveway, eating his meal from our dumpster-cafeteria.  We honked, blinked the lights, and made all sorts of noises.  He looked at us, ignored us, and went on eating.  After ten or fifteen minutes of this stand-off, we gave up and decided to quietly exit the car and go into our house.

He was still there when we went to bed.   To the victor belong the spoils.

Until next time, Hasta la vista.

Return Home

Welcome to my blog.  I am Alicia R. Lopez of Ruidoso, New Mexico.

I,  for many years, wrote a weekly column for the El Paso Times.  To all my readers and friends;  I’ve missed you.  Due to many circumstances, which I will not state, my column no longer appears in the newspaper, so I have taken this 21st century way of contacting all those who enjoyed my column, and even those who did not; and I did hear from you!

I hope to write interesting things about current events, musings from my active mind, whimsical remembrances of my past, and even my hopes for the future.  I hope you stay with me, and I want to hear from all of you, friends and foes alike.  Please don’t disappoint me.

“Hasta la Vista”.

Alicia