Month: June 2012

Airports, airplanes, and neuroplasticity.

    When I wrote my last post, I told a story about how much I hate flying, and how that changed when I recently flew back East to surprise my niece and nephew. I developed my aversion to flying during 2010, when I kept flying back and forth from Denver to Pittsburgh to help support my parents during the last year of their life as they were battling the end stages of the same disease.     During that time, I was happy to be able to be with them, and give them the help and support they needed. However, each trip took a little bit more out of me as I watched them go through the process of dying. At the Denver airport, I had no idea what awaited me at the other end. At the Pittsburgh airport, I would have major anxiety over leaving them and worry if I had passed on all of the pertinent information...

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Leaving….on a jet plane…..

    I hate to fly. The entire process of going to the airport, going through security, getting on the train, waiting at the gate, and sitting immobilized in those ridiculous seats for hours on end makes me crazy. The overwhelming press of humanity unnerves me. Once you finally land, you get to anxiously wait for your bag to appear at baggage claim and hope that it didn’t inadvertently land in another city. Then you get to repeat the sequence to return home, exhausted and jet lagged.     I suppose wouldn’t mind flying so much if I got to go somewhere fun, or have a relaxing vacation. I haven’t had a vacation in over five years. I’m probably about due for one, or at least the chance to do something fun, spontaneous, and memorable. And then last weekend I did just that....

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Ski Dad. Having fun and making memories.

  My Dad sure could ski. He discovered skiing when he was in his late thirties. He always loved the cold and snow, so dancing on the slopes was a natural fit for him. He taught me and my sisters how to ski when I was nine years old. As a member of the National Ski Patrol, his entire family could ski free. Pretty handy, since he had four kids at the time. Number five was still just a hope, a promise, and a twinkle in his eye.     We went skiing as a family. My Mom hated the cold and the snow as much as my Dad loved it, but my Dad helped her battle the cold by introducing her to hot spiced wine. She would come along, rub our feet and warm our clothes by the huge fireplace by the picture window when we came in for a break. She also had an enormous bag of food for us as well. We occasionally...

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Sew what???

    It’s hard to believe that I once was a pretty good seamstress. As a teenager, one of my sisters and I made all of our own clothes. And they were beautiful. Our clothes were not home made, they were hand made. There is a difference. Not only did we make our own clothes, but we made them for the entire family. From play clothes, school clothes, Sunday clothes and formal wear, we made them all. We even made our Mom’s maternity clothes when she was expecting our youngest sister, but that’s another story in itself.       My mother helped us with our sewing. She wasn’t a seamstress, but she was meticulous about the handwork, finishing, and all of the details that would otherwise slow us down. Between the three of us, we had a regular conveyor belt going in our dining...

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The Gateway to Storyland….

    When I was a little girl, my favorite book of all times was “The Gateway to Storyland.” It was full of wonderful (and frightening) stories that captured my heart and my imagination. The book was one of the many presents that Santa Claus gave me and my sisters for Christmas when I was two years old. I loved that book. Of course, my favorite story was “The Sugar Plum Tree.” I can still recite that poem by heart, which I think is pretty remarkable, since most of the time I can’t remember what I had for breakfast or if I locked the front door. I still have the book, and it is the most treasured possession that I have from my childhood. I have kept it in a special place in a dresser drawer for years.     A few days ago, I was reminded of the story book when I...

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