Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘thoughts

It’s been a long time since my last blog; no not illness, or anything catastrophic; just procrastination on my part, and perhaps self doubt.  SELF DOUBT!!! ME???

Yes, I started to question my reasons for writing a blog in the first place, forgetting that it was started to place my thoughts in print, to get them out of my system, to relief the pressure building within me  after the death of my hubby.  So many thoughts whirling around in my brain, they had to have a way of escaping , and they did, by my writings.

The doubts came that perhaps they were not entertaining; but I have heard from so many of my friends and family telling me they miss reading my blogs, that I have started to believe again.  So here goes, more of my musings.

There is no better way than to begin by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  Yes, you read it right, not Happy Holidays.  I send that greeting to my non Christian friends who also celebrate their own beliefs.

Christmas is about the birth of a baby, born in a lowly manger, who was destined to become King, not of this earth, but of our souls.  No, it is not about buying that perfect gift, or spending a certain amount of money,  or decorating your house.  It is about reviewing your life, finding it wanting, as the majority of us surely must, and then doing something about it.

Did you really have to start that ugly rumor about your co-worker, turn your head when asked for alms, not have the time to seek out your family, ignore the needs  of those less fortunate than you?  Now is the time to resolve to change, and ask yourself is this what Jesus would want?

Yes, he wants us to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, love our neighbors as ourselves.  We don’t have to go on a crusade seeking the Holy Grail, just look around us and do what we can to help our fellowmen.  It doesn’t take much to be kind, a smile, a friendly gesture; rather than an abrupt look of contempt to an outstretched hand.  No human is a bigger hero than when he kneels to help someone in need.

It has been said many times before, HE is the reason for the season, now all we have to do is to BELIEVE IT, and live it.

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad y Paz en la tierra

Hasta la Vista

This May 1st I took a step into a new decade, probably my last one.

On the above date I reached the BIG 80!  So, its only natural to assume that this will be my last one; as I read the obituaries from my home town of  El Paso, I note that most of the deaths are below that age, or slightly above.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in good health; but my life has been lived, and I am ready to go when the Good Lord calls me home to be with him and my beloved.  I hope that when I reach the pearly gates the book that records my life will be filled with pluses;  I have certainly always strived for that goal.

The last two weeks were full for me, I motored to El Paso to spend Easter with my son and family; then returned home for a few days to get ready for my birthday and Mother’s Day which would be celebrated in my hometown.

The children wanted to throw a gala celebration for the big 80, but as I told them, I was not ready for that; I preferred a low key weekend with my children, which we achieved.   First on our agenda was a visit to their dad’s grave at Ft. Bliss National Cemetary.  This is always a sad occasion, but we did manage to laugh, thinking of  things he said and did.  We played scrabble, poker, talked, laughed, cried, and generally had a very good time.  Of course, we had lunch at Chico’s Tacos,  their visit would not be complete without it.

They all left on Sunday, and I decided to stay until I was to fly to Dallas for Mother’s Day.  That weekend was also fun; I was able to see my daughter’s new houses, which are a block from each other in McKinney, a beautiful, serene place to live.  I met my grandson’s girl friend, spent time with my granddaughter and her husband, and all the assorted family members. We had decided to have a baby shower for my granddaughter on that weekend, since everyone would be in town, except for my son who lives in Ruidoso, but  he was there in spirit.

CAN YOU IMAGINE ME, A GREAT GRANDMOTHER?

Well, all I had to say was Hooray!  The little girl that I used to carry would be carrying a baby girl of her own, due to arrive July 15.  We are all so excited.

On the following  Monday, I flew back, drove to Ruidoso, and faced reality.  There is always that feeling of happiness and dread that tugs at me on the way home.  I am happy to get back, and also sad to enter that empty house again.  There is  a scurrying of activity, un- packing, washing, opening mail, paying bills, etc. that occupied most of my day, then the coming days loom ahead; sending resumes, actively looking for a job, and looking for things to fill the void.

I began to clean the yard; and not thinking, allowed my pooch Chico out  to what I considered a dog proof yard.  I got busy in the front, feeling confident that he could not get out.  When I looked around, there he was in the street.  He managed to find a way to sneak out while I was busy; the only way to get him back was to get in the car and start moving.  He got to the driveway of my neighbors across the street, so I drove up and opened the door.  He climbed in and I started backing out, thinking the way was clear. When I heard a thunk, I thought it was only a rock and kept on going, but the car stopped.  I got out and saw that I had run over a railroad tie, and it was not allowing me to move.

As my hubby used to say “How did I manage to do that?”  My excuse is that their driveway is on an incline, and I did not have a clear view.  I called my superman son, who came to the rescue.  It doesn’t look like the car sustained any damage, thank the Lord.  He drove it around for awhile, and said it seemed O. K. and told me I was very, very lucky.  The  Good Lord watches over me, what else can I say?

Stayed tuned for the next episode of the Perils of Alicia.

Hasta la Vista

Happy New Year, Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Today marks the beginning of a new book,  page one , chapter one,  in our lives.  What we write on it, and the consequences will be up to us.

I hope that what I assemble will be hopeful and courageous, with a little bit of humor thrown in.  Hopeful in the sense that my life will be worth something  more other than just breathing, surely the good Lord kept me on this earth for a good reason. Courageous with a sense that I will be able to handle whatever comes my way with my normal sense of humor to sustain me.

This February will mark the second anniversary of my hubby’s passing, and I can see the difference in my life.  I still feel the loneliness, but that, I am told, will never go away, just diminish in strength.  I have done so many things I never did before, to the smallest of tasks (putting W D 40 on the hinges of my doors) to the largest (actually driving in the snow with all the advice I had gotten from my hubby in the past) to the mundane ( surviving a black out with candles all over the house).

For someone who had all the above, and everything else,  done by my spouse, I am a little proud of myself.  I know he certainly would be.

One thing that I wish I had paid more attention to is the upkeep of the car.  I wish I knew more about the mysterious workings of the engine, and all its components.  I have told the guys at my work to teach their spouses more about this, so if they ever find themselves in my situation they will be more knowledgeable; but as usual, this is something that they find falls in their domain.

I find myself thankful that I was my hubby’s helper in all his projects around the house, I know what each tool is for, and how to use it.  I am also very thankful for the son who lives here, who has taken over as my handyman.  He too learned a lot from his Dad while helping him with the bigger tasks.

I am also thankful for the companionship of my pooch, Chico, who is such a comfort to me.  People who do not have pets will not understand the strength you derive from the love and devotion of a furry little animal.  He is the one who faithfully waits for me by the door, who guards the house, who is there as either a sounding or a crying board, putting his paw on me, as if to say “I understand”.

While my life is not completely full,  it is still undergoing some of the growth that I know I will eventually have.  I will welcome and wait for it, for as long as it takes.

I am thankful for my health, my faith, my children, and my extended family.  These all help to fill the void.

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

While glancing through a deluge of magazine and newspaper ads, circulars,catalogs, pamphlets, you name it, I noticed that there is one single big item missing .  While they lure you with bargains, seen and unseen, they laud family gatherings, banquets, parties, feasts, but they fail to mention why we are celebrating this Christmas Season.

Did they ever hear of the birth of the baby Jesus, born in a manger, in Bethlehem.  Did they know that the very first gifts of this celebration were given to him, born the King of Kings?  Three Wise Men from the East followed a star which guided them to the lowly birthplace where shepherds stood guard, and the animals gathered around to give him warmth.  They brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh,  and bowed before him.

Where did we lose sight of this?  It cannot possibly be only the fault of the merchants, they are, after all, in the business to sell their products and make money.  Most of the fault has to be with us humans who have placed material gains above all else.

I remember growing up, and being very content with my one gift from my parents, it was all we had, and we knew of no other families who had more.  Emphasis was placed on the religious nature of the special day, with posadas being held at the different neighborhood houses.  Us children would go from door to door, singing and begging for a place to stay, and being rejected by all, until the last home where the door was opened, and a party was held.  This was the re-enacting of Joseph and Mary’s trip, seeking shelter for the immediate birth of the baby Jesus.

Most families would celebrate the 6th of January, the feast of the Three Kings, to give their children the gifts that the Magi’s had left.  In our family we had Santa Claus leave our gift, and we went to church to pray and give thanks for what we had.

With the advent of computers, it is now possible to order items, and have no further contact with the recipient.   In my time, we had lay-a-way, and I remember going with my mother to diligently pay weekly on whatever she had purchased.  I believe this form of buying has gone with the way of the dinosaurs.

Perhaps this is progress, but I wish we could go back in time when life was not as fast, and people took the time to talk with one another.  At a recent family gathering, I had two children texting each other across the room; has oral speech also gone the way of the dodo?  If you have read any of those messages, you will wonder where the proper spelling of words has gone.

Maybe I’m showing my age, but this celebration seemed so much meaningful; when we looked forward to it without having it shoved down our throats even before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The baby Jesus did not need a grand hospital to be born; he came to earth as a humble human being, born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Maybe we should take a second look at our celebrations and remember that He is the reason for the Season.

Feliz Navidad

Hasta la Vista

It finally arrived!

After weeks of snow warnings, we awoke this morning to a beautiful white, pristine, winter wonderland.

Not that we got that much, but at my house, it covered the lawn, the parking lot, my car, and all surrounding areas.  It snowed almost all day yesterday, but  very slow, almost grudgingly, as if Mother Nature was still not sure about it.  I estimate about two inches of the white gold dropped, albeit, unwillingly.  If my hubby was still living, he would be faxing our children the great message, “ITS SNOWING!”.  He kept such a message close by the fax machine, almost as if he was urging it to happen. He loved the snow and would go out, as soon as he was able, to take pictures. God, how I miss him.

Ski Apache, our ski resort, received at least 15 inches, and the skiers must be shouting for joy; I know the merchants of the town are doing just that.

Viewing the weather report, northern New Mexico received more than their share, at least two feet were estimated to fall in some areas.

As for myself, I loaded up on books.  My sister and I have a lending library between ourselves, where we exchange books as we read them.  On her last visit she brought me a bag full, so I have plenty to keep me entertained.

My pooch does not like the snow, and keeps trying not to go out.  I have to open the door, and push him out, before he has a chance to retreat.  Once out, he will run out, do his business and return as quickly as possible, to lay in front of the fireplace; “Ah, this is the life, he comments”, in doggy body language.

My physical therapist discharged me this week, so I get to do all the exercises at home.  He gave me three rubberized strips which I am to use.  It took a little bit of time for me to figure out how to do this, I tied one to the leg of my bed, the other to the bedroom door, and kept the third to use  inventfully.  I put this over the door, and use it for my arm exercises; because they are rubberized, I pull against them and really feel it.  If I am snowbound for more than two days, I will develop  arm and leg muscles to put athletes to shame!

It is 7:00 in the morning as I am writing this, and dark as Hades.  I hope the sun comes out soon.

BRR– Hasta la Vista

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Me?  On steroids?

Never in a million years would I have believed it, until last week when my doctor advised me he was placing me on some for a week.

This all evolved after I finished the massive job of re-painting the deck.  I felt fine, no problem.  Two weeks after the last strokes were taken, my back began to hurt.  It continued for a week until I finally decided I had better see a doctor, maybe I had wrenched it with all the bending, or, horrors of horrors, maybe I had a tumor!  All these thoughts kept me sleepless until I saw him two days later.

First thing he asked me was “What have you been doing?”  After relating my story, he stated he suspected I had been up to something which was uncommon to me.   All the bending and twisting had put too much strain on my latent-loaded back; so he prescribed muscle relaxants and a pain killer, with a cortisone shot as dessert.  They worked well, the pain went away, and I was happy.

This lasted two weeks, then all of a sudden, I found that I could not walk without  pain in my right leg and hip.  I tried the magic muscle relaxants, but they refused to help.  Since the long Labor Day Holiday was approaching, I called the doctor on Friday, and he ordered the steroids for me.  My first thought was, will I get real big muscles on my arms, will my legs expand to where I can not wear long pants, will I get dependent on them?  Thinking of all the athletes and their problems with steroids did not give me a big feeling of confidence.  They were only prescribed for six days, so that wasn’t too bad.

Tomorrow will be the last day; they have to be taken on diminishing amounts.  They have helped considerably, the only complaint I had is that I couldn’t do anything.  The leg pain was so bad, even the lightest of tasks seemed to be too much; me, who could go all day without stopping, was now a very close friend of the couch.

My pooch was quite upset with me, I could no longer take him on our daily walks.  He did his best to remind me of them, jumping up and down , running to his leash, sitting and begging, all to no avail.

I have read three books, dozens of  magazines, watched television, and pouted.  I also played countless games of Scrabble against my computer.  It beat me several times , using words I had never heard of  until I got smart and discovered the “hint” column.  This gave me access to its built in dictionary, and I finally was able to get even.  Is this considered cheating?  Not in my present state of mind.

I also visited the local casinos, where I could sit and get some entertainment.

Today I thought I would write on my blog, not only to keep in touch, but to keep from going crazy.

Monday I had X rays taken, and the wonderful doctor who runs that department at our local hospital, and who was my hubby’s radiologist, gave me the results.  He came to me, smiled, and said he had bad news.  He told me I was getting old.  I told him I had some suspicions, and he had just confirmed them.

For starters, the beginning of arthritis in my hip, mal-alignment of the spinal column, wearing of the “cushions” between the spinal cords, etc.  I was just happy that I did not have a tumor, or some horrible disease.  Old age I can take.

Some therapy and mild prescriptions are on the way.  I can happily say that I felt good enough today to start shampooing the rugs.

Well, I can’t spend all day on the couch, or at the casino.  One wears away my bottom, and the other my pocket book.

Hasta la vista

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