We all have mentors and role models in our lives. We see character traits in people that we admire and strive to emulate them. When we are young, we tend to look up to older siblings or teenagers in the spotlight. As we get older, our goals shift a little.
When I think back about who has influenced me over the years many people come to mind. One person in particular is my Great Grandmother. She was an amazing, classy and beautiful woman. I still think about the many values that she instilled in me. She will forever be part of who I am. There are also people that I’ve had less intimate relationships with but who have had great impact on my direction in life. Such as my high school English teacher, Mrs. Brown. She will never know how much her encouragement affected me. Of course, I wouldn’t have had the guts to be who I am today and make the tough decisions that I’ve made the last couple years without the support of my best friend, Cindy. She is so confident in who she is. That trait showed me that it was ok to be me.
I think by now everybody knows Betty White. I remember her from the Mary Tyler Moore show and Golden Girls. She played the neighborhood nymphomaniac. When I think back to that era, it amazes me that she had the balls to play that role with such gusto. Her expert use of the double entendre had audiences blushing and laughing uncontrollably. And as she says, not everybody “got it” but those that didn’t, no harm done. I ask myself the question, why is she still such a hot commodity today? The 89 year old woman who hosted Saturday Night Live and did a skit talking about her “hot, juicy muffins” isn’t afraid to live life. It’s her ability to just be herself. She says she wants to taste every moment. I love that!
Betty White embraces change and loves trying new things. Her ability to live in the moment at any given time keeps her young and energetic. I wish we could all have her positive attitude and outlook on life. She’s such an iconic symbol. She fits in anywhere she lands.
I sincerely hope that when I reach that age that I’m still open minded to change and enjoying whatever life brings my way. She’s LIVING her life not waiting around for it to happen to her. She claims that she says “yes” to most everything that comes her way. What a great outlook. I wanna be like Betty! I might not ever get the chance to talk about my hot, juicy muffins on national TV but if I do, I want to be brave enough to pull it off with no regrets. Betty, you’re my hero!
It looks like I may sell this house. While I’m very excited about being able to literally move on after my divorce 1 ½ years ago, this house holds so many memories. Good and bad ones. I like to focus on the good ones. My daughter brought a song to my attention last year that says so much. It’s by Miranda Lambert titled “The House That Built Me”. This song produces such strong emotions that it can make me cry within about 3 seconds (I am a bit of a crybaby). I’ve been here for over 10 years watching both kids grow up and graduate, had a marriage that wasn’t great but did have a few good times mixed in with the bad, gone through a divorce (yes, that is a happy memory at this point) had numerous pets that came and went and are now buried here, trees that were planted in memory of loved ones, witnessed the passing of my much loved step-father, enjoyed countless birthdays and Mothers Days, had lazy days by the pool, my first ride on a tractor, watched my son pole vault to amazing heights, watched my daughter ride her pony…….. All of these memories I will pack and take with me. What I can’t take with me are a couple of things attached to this house, my back porch and my huge claw foot bathtub.
I love my screened-in back porch. There are all kinds of memories there. During the last 1 ½ years a tradition called “wine on the porch” was created. It played a big part in getting me through my divorce. Many evenings were spent out there with friends just hanging out. It was a time where I was able to put aside all the stress of the day and sit out there simply laughing and loving life. Other times saw me frustrated and feeling like life was unfair. And at times it was grossly unfair. Ultimately, after an evening on the porch, I always felt like I could keep going no matter what came at me next. Through it all I have learned that you must move on. You have to let things go because being angry and bitter just eats you up inside. I discovered how to give my worries to God on this porch. Truly letting go is liberating. It’s a freedom that is unparalleled. My friends and family say they witnessed me finding true happiness through this process. Something I had been missing for so many years. So I will miss this porch but the tradition of “wine on the porch” will definitely continue wherever I end up settling.
My bathtub is fantastic! It’s an enormous claw-foot tub that I swear I can just about swim laps in. There is nothing like sinking down in a tub of hot water at the end of the day and enjoying the peace and solitude it brings. People that know me, give me a hard time about always being in that tub any time they call. Maybe I do spend an inordinate amount of time there but I’ve known for a while that I will have to give it up one day and I want to get as much time in as I possibly can. I seriously doubt that I’ll ever have a tub like that again. Perhaps it’s a blessing to have to move on though. I’ve thought about how awful it would be to have that amazing tub staring at me, mocking me, and being too old to be capable of getting in and out of it without breaking something. That would be torture. So I guess it’s best that I will be removed from the temptation when I’m older because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to break the tub “habit” without serious intervention.
I hope the new owners love this house as much as I have. I don’t know anything about them, if they have kids or pets or what they plan on doing with 10 acres. But I do know that they will start making their own memories and creating traditions in this house right away. And wherever I settle, new memories and traditions await me.
I, like millions of other people, tuned in when Oprah was interviewed by Barbara Walters. I enjoyed listening to her talk about her career and the various stories she has done on her show. But when she started talking about her friendship with Gayle King, and how special of a relationship they have, it struck a cord with me! You see…. 22yrs ago I found my Gayle.
I think all women are looking for their Gayle. Over the years , the television networks have prospered heavily from airing shows with Oprah and Gayle type relationships. Lucy and Ethel. Laverne and Shirley. Thelma and Louise. I knew these characters were fictional, but I didn’t miss a single episode and I found myself living my life vicariously through these women. Laughing and crying with them and longing for an undying, everlasting, once in a lifetime friendship.
25 years ago I met Kathryn. It was kind of a slow go at first. We didn’t have a lot in common at first. She had a baby and I wasn’t sure at the time if I even wanted kids. However, I think it was from watching the joy that she got from being a mother and seeing the type of relationship that Kathryn had with her children, is what convinced me to become a mother myself and has changed my life forever! I think Oprah was able to give words to a rare type of friendship that is so much more than just that. The kind of relationship that is filled with laughter, yet clearly we share an enormous mutual respect and the fierce loyalty is ever present.
Kathryn and I have been through a lot together like: divorce, separation, loss, diets, success, pregnancy, hairdos and much more. We are the Godmother to each other’s children and I love Weston and Katie like my own. Yes, Kathryn is my best friend or as My daughter “Kathryn” would say, my Bestie. I know the day will come soon enough when one of us will be gone and the other left on our own, but until then we will enjoy our lives in laugher and friendship. I hope everyone has found their Gayle. If not keep searching, it’s soooo worth it!