Saturday, December 31, 2011

Decide How You Are Going to Travel

I love taking trips, whether they are quick ones to a place an hour away, like when we spent the day in Daytona Beach, visiting people and places in other states, or trips such as the four-day cruise the girls and I took recently. While it’s true that people who know me would call me a homebody, and for the most part they would be right, there is a part of me that loves to take the people I love and go explore some new city or vacation spot. The problem is that sometimes I’m just not that good at the organization part and I waste more time on a trip than I benefit from.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What’s In a Name?

While skirting around town last week, I was listening to Christmas music on the John Tesh Show and he read a piece on baby name trends for 2012. You stopped reading when I mentioned John Tesh, didn’t you? Yes, I sometimes listen to his radio show; I also like show tunes and am quite comfortable in pink shirts as long as they have a pocket. Stop judging me!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Ghost Town

It wasn’t that long ago, was it? I mean, have I really gotten so old that I’m beginning to sound like my father whenever he would say, “I remember when…?” He would then ramble on about how movies were a nickel and that included a jumbo buttered popcorn and super-sized soda with change left over for candy. Nowadays you can’t even pay tax with that nickel.

With a heavy sigh I realize that it’s probably true, and while change itself usually doesn’t bother me, this shift in trends over the past few years has saddened my heart. You see, I remember when holidays were about families being together and Corporate America believed it as well. I know there are some out there who will protest that it still is, but really, it’s not, not by a long shot. The focus has shifted from a Norman Rockwell Christmas feeling to that of Wall Street, and the American consumer has been sucked in with all of the fancy promises of cheaper deals and better bargains. We’ve sacrificed spending time with family for spending money, and it truly is a sad exchange.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Emotional Hoarders

Awhile back, I wrote a piece on Emotional Vampires, those people who suck all of your positive energy with their constant negativity. However, there’s another group of emotional denizens that exist that I find just as nauseating. I call these dysfunctional misfits the Emotional Hoarders. While the Vampires drain you of energy, leaving you a shriveled husk of a person, the Hoarders bury you with the baggage that they have accumulated over the years. Their minds are a storage chest of tragedies that have been saved and instead of leaving it in the attic of memories they lug it around and decorate every new thing they attempt – new relationships, new jobs, and new experiences. They just can’t let things go.

Monday, December 19, 2011

When They Stop Believing

“Lyla said that Santa wasn’t real.”

Sarah froze, a sudden panic of sadness settling in. Dylan was only seven-years old, a first grader. She was too young to have her Christmas fantasy taken away. With a lump in her throat, Sarah asked, “And what did you say?"

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Holiday Shuffle

“What time are you eating Thanksgiving dinner?”

I shrugged. “Four or four-thirty. Why?”

“Okay, good. I think we can make it. Her family is eating early.” Nathan wore an expression of relief as if he had just weaved through a minefield and survived.

I just shook my head and laughed. “You’re going to get fat keeping everybody happy.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Welcome Home

The Sensation found home at about five that morning, but we didn’t know it until six when all three of the girls’ alarms went off calling us back to reality. I fought the urge to call the cruise at an end until I absolutely had to. Phones were staying off until we left the port simply because I didn’t want to deal with the outside world yet. If the kids had burned down the house, or killed each other, there wasn’t anything we could do about it until we were off the ship anyway, so why worry before it was absolutely necessary.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The World Tilted

Wednesday was our Sea Day, which meant twenty-four hours on the ship with no land in sight. It was going to be like Sunday, just twice as long. This was the day to relax and take in the ship without hurry. There would be no sight-seeing except for the cast of characters that made up the passenger list and in them was quite the roll-call.

The day began like the rest as we had found a routine we liked and stuck with it; we slept in and then had breakfast. Why mess with a good system, right? Life without alarm clocks was wonderful.

Monday, December 5, 2011

“Blue Balls”

As we walked the streets of Paradise Island, I noticed the bridge that I had seen earlier from the rear of the ship. It seemed that people were paying a toll to get onto the island and I wondered if that was part of the price of seeing Atlantis and having celebrities close at hand. On the ferry ride over the tour guide had informed us about the wealthy Americans, such as Oprah Winfrey, Nicolas Cage and Michael Jordan just too name drop a few, that had taken up residence on the island or camped out at the luxury resort. We were also pointed to the Bridge Room, which had become known as the Michael Jackson suite because he stayed there once. Anyone who would like to sleep in the same room could do so for $25,000 a night as long as they stayed there a minimum of four nights. You can buy a house for that!