Gotta Be Something in the Water

southern kindness

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed during my travels to the south, besides the abundance of fried food, is how dang friendly southerners are. Could it be something in their water that makes  them happy? Is that why they’re always smiling? Seriously, I want to know their secret.secret

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying friendlies (as I call them) don’t live anywhere else. But ya gotta admit the largest concentration of friendlies seem to be in regions with twangs or drawls. Take Tennessee, for instance. Continue reading

Happy Dad Day

As always on Father’s Day, I repost an article about my dad I wrote in 1997 for the San Francisco Chronicle. Dad died 7 years later. Although not a man of many words, he always made an impression. I’d say my family was like a modern day Walton’s. No John Boy or Mary Ellen, but still a close knit bunch. Yep, I was one of the lucky ones. So today I pay tribute to the funny and easy going man I had the great fortune to call Dad. Here’s Remembering Dad.

Chipping Away At My Bucket List

bucket list

My bucket list seems to get longer the older I get. Isn’t that always the way? So much to do, so little time….

Anyway, visiting more of the good old USA is on that list. So a couple weeks ago I headed to Tennessee for a girlfriend getaway in Memphis, Nashville and the Smoky Mountains. I have no horror stories to share about what happened on the plane (for once) since Sharon and I had a row to ourselves. Off to a splendid start, wouldn’t you say?

5:45 a.m. flight

All prepared for the 5:45 a.m. flight. What were we thinking?

If you’ve never visited Tennessee, why not? It’s quite unique. Memphis at the beginning of June was practically deserted. The streets and cafes were almost empty at times. No crowds in the honky tonk joints along Beale Street so we had our pick of the musicians in every bar and cafe. Even the marching ducks at the Peabody Hotel had relatively little fanfare. Hooray for us. Continue reading

Significant Other

I published this post a couple years ago. Since I’m currently with my non-matchmaking friends in Nashville, I thought you might enjoy reading why I’m thankful for that…(No offense, matchmaking friends.) So no, this trip I won’t be coming home with an up and coming country music star…

You’ve gotta love my tennis friends. Now that I’m single, they’ve been madly trying to hook me up at tennis tournaments with just about anything in shorts.

Tennis Friends

Tennis Friends

Continue reading

The Day I Almost Died

I almost died the day my godson Martin was born. But more about that later…

1st birthday

Martin’s 1st birthday

I’m godmother to 4 kids – Eric, Corie, Martin and my nephew Kevin. Hard to believe people actually entrusted me with their children’s religious upbringing, isn’t it?what were they thinkingNever mind the last time I knelt in a pew was during the Reagan administration. Maybe that’s an exaggeration…more like the Clinton era.

First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion

Now don’t get me wrong; I may not be a church-going Catholic but I’m on good terms with the Big Guy. He knows, although I’m not a weekly parishioner, most days I attempt to be a decent human being. For instance, I’m pretty sure I’ve only violated three of the Ten Commandments. I can’t be certain though since I only remember four.

10 Commandments

Actually, I’m lucky to be alive to break any of the Commandments.

That brings us to when I almost died the day Martin was born. It was November 4, 1992. His parents, Sharon and Jim, invited me to videotape Martin’s big entrance. But when Jim called saying it was almost time, I’d just finished a graveyard shift so was half asleep.

Still, I did my best Danica Patrick impersonation to reach the hospital 45 minutes away.Danica Patrick

Speeding at 80 mph, I nodded off, almost hitting the center divider. I was heading toward the white light, if you know what I mean. Suddenly, it was as if my guardian angel gave me a whiff of smelling salts and snapped me awake. If my life flashed before my eyes, I was simply too tired to notice. Anyway, turns out I needn’t have hurried; Martin took his sweet time getting here.

Oh so close...

Oh so close…

Fast forward to last weekend, when my now 22-year-old godson graduated from University of Dallas. Unlike in my blog, The Art of Travel, this time my only issue on the plane was enduring a three hour flight with the sweet, headphone-wearing young gal next to me humming to music on her iPhone. The. Entire. Three. Hours.

Coulda been worse I guess. She wasn’t an awful hummer. And at least I wasn’t next to the guy 5 rows up who forgot his headphones though still enjoyed a comedy on his laptop. It was a Seinfeld episode – the one where Jerry can’t remember the name of his date but knows it rhymes with a woman’s body part. I know this because I, and everyone within 5 rows of him, heard every word. (If you’re wondering, her name was Delores.)Seinfeld show

Over in Dallas, during a night of flash flooding and thunderstorms that shook our hotel and triggered our cell phone alarms at 3:00 a.m., we waited for a tornado to hit. Why do folks fear measly earthquakes? Texas can keep their tornadoes. Give me a ground shaker any day of the week.

Anyway, my godson, sporting a little ponytail and a broad smile, proudly accepted his BA in Business. What a journey it’s been.

He's the handsome one in the middle

I admit I had my doubts about that kid as a tyke, when he’d pull out tufts of his sister Caitlin’s hair or, from his car seat, bit off chunks of padding from the car door upholstery. Let’s just say he was quite a handful.

Check out that devilish grin (Martin's, not mine)

Check out that devilish grin (Martin’s, not mine)

Martin and his sister Caitlin

Martin and his sister Caitlin

But no need to worry; this story has a happy ending. Martin grew, both literally and figuratively (he’s now 6’5″) to become an engaging, kind and considerate young man. And perhaps most importantly, he calls his godmother on her birthday and on Mother’s Day too. That’s without knowing he’s already in my Will.

And I'm on my tip-toes

And I’m on my tip toes

Yep, last Sunday was quite a day. Watching Martin graduate, I had a hard time believing 22 years had already passed since that day on November 4, 1992 when two great things happened: my godson made his late but grand entrance into the world. And I lived to see it.

Jim, Caitlin, Martin and Sharon

Jim, Caitlin, Martin and Sharon