This darned app…

As soon as it was released, I downloaded the app from my favorite thought-leader. It sends a daily message meant to open your eyes and your mind. I read this one, and thought, “Yup, gotta take care of yourself first in order to take care of others.”

imageThen, when it showed up a couple of days later, I thought, “I guess I needed the reminder.”

When it appeared yet again, my thoughts ran straight to, “This darned app is broken. I wonder if I should delete it and download it again?”  Then, I froze. . .what if I just hadn’t “gotten” the message yet?

I remembered my trip to Long Island: I was worried about getting from LaGuardia airport onto the right bus, to get to the right train station, to get the right train out to the island to meet my sisters. As much as I told myself I could do it, by the time the plane landed, my stomach was in knots.

I found a Metropolitan Transit Authority info booth, told the young man where I wanted to go and he pulled out a map, drew circles and arrows all over it, and left me standing at a bus stop with a ticket in my hand. That was sooo easy, I thought. When my bus came, I clambered aboard, and as he’s yelling instructions to the passengers, I asked the driver if this bus would take me to Woodside, then on to Jamaica, so I could catch a train out to the east end of the island.

“No doll, that’s not how you get there.” The door closed behind me. My stomach sank. The bus was packed like a sardine can, I was wedged in , and we had just pulled away from the curb.
“But, that’s what the MTA guy told me.”
“Those guys don’t know nuthin. Don’t listen to them. Where ya goin on the island?”
“Ronkonkoma,” I answered.
“Here, doll, lemme tell ya whatcha gotta do.” And he started ‘splainin it to me.

imageA voice behind me says, “Excuse me, ma’am, I’m going to Ronkonkoma. You can follow me.”
I turn to see who said that, and it’s a young Tom Cruise in an American Airways uniform. A pilot on his way home. He lead me all the way there, chatted amiably, and kept an eye on me while he stepped away to smoke a cigarette and make some calls. He’d wait for me to catch up as we made the transfers, and finally, we arrived at Ronkonkoma station.

I know I won’t ever see John again, but I will think about him each time I see Tom Cruise onscreen. I sent a little prayer into the universe, and he showed up.

My needs were met, once again.

XO  Donna



California Dreaming…II

Coast at BixbyI re-read my blog from last week, and it’s more notable for everything I didn’t say, than for what I did say.  It seemed as if it were my first essay written for English class after school had resumed. “What I did on my summer vacation.”

The stuff that fills me now, are the small moments spent closely with loved ones on that trip. I’ve thought a lot about the trust I placed in my dear partner as we rode those twisty roads for hours every day. And his acknowledgement of that trust;  his respect for the fact that I hold him (and his riding skill) in high enough esteem to surrender control and sit back there. He said that he couldn’t do it.  I’ve started a short story called “Ridin’ Bitch.”  I’ll let you all see it first!

I loved the fact that even though we are adults, there is still a child-like joy in sharing places and things we’ve discovered with each other.  I couldn’t wait for my friends to see this stretch of ocean (above) leading away from Bixby Bridge.  We knew the hotel in Carmel, having “scouted it” last time we were there, dreaming of returning on our bikes.  Randy knew of a “joint” in San Simeon that had a delicious lunch, that was worth waiting in line for, and another place on the way to Carmel for amazing raw oyster shooters. I’d love some right now!

Twisty redwoods

My second-favorite thing about out trip (tied with the ocean ) was riding for hours on twisty-turny roads through old-growth redwood forests.  Randy has been lovingly nick-named by our group –  and depending on who’s talking about him, he’s either Stinky, or RandyMcNally. ..named after the road atlas, since he has an amazing memory for roads, rides and shortcuts. 

He got us lost this time!  Out in the middle of who-knows-where in a primeval forest, with no cell reception…all we needed was a dinosaur or two. I loved it.  But, I had to pee!  So I got to do something I haven’t done in a hundred years….wander into the woods, among ferns curling waist-high, and moss forming a velvety carpet, and visit Mother Nature’s restroom. My sisters and I (well, maybe Lynn never did) used to pee in our woods all the time as children, rather than run home…it’s one of the great joys of a country life (if you overlook the poison ivy). 

But, my favorite memory of the trip was the time spent sitting in a patch of grass, having a cocktail and watching the waves crash ashore just across the street.  The guys had headed out to the market to get something, and Denise and I made drinks and headed straight to the chairs we had spied upon Denise and Squirrel checking-in. They were in a small semi-circle of grass in front of the inn, separated from the street by a low hedge.  The grass was very different from the kind we have here; much denser, softer, more inviting.  And there is no grass at all where Denise lives…so, shoes off, toes wriggling, breeze blowing, we sat there talking until a spotted squirrel ran up to us. A mutual friend had sent out a rather obscene photo of a male squirrel saying, “Helloooo, ladies!”  weeks ago.  The moment the squirrel appeared, Denise and I looked at each other,  and howled with laughter!  He  was soon joined by a girlfriend, and then a mouse joined the party…more timid than his friends, he’d dart out, see us, and dart back into the hedge, only to make a run again a couple of minutes later, and another retreat.  And another. And another. The critters were all still there when the guys joined us…and that camaraderie, those small moments shared with friends, are really what the ride’s all about. No matter how you get there…

XO Donna