“Daydream Believer….” Monkees 1967

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Do you daydream? Think of how wonderful life could be, if only…? I admit it, I have always been a daydreamer. My mother told me I lived in a dream world most of my life, a fairytale world. She is right. After all, I thought I had met the perfect man, had perfect children, led a perfect life. Two out of three ain’t bad!

“Everything starts as someone’s daydream.”

I have “daydreamed” many fairy tales in my head. Now I just need to put them on paper. That is my big dream actually – to be an author. But it is so fun to think “what if”. And to daydream. I daydream about moving to Chapel Hill, surrounded by Tar Heel fans and that lovely Carolina Blue! Attending every sporting event. Oh and being Roy’s personal assistant. I mean, after all, I would be perfect in that role – I am organized, detailed oriented, and a huge Carolina fan. That’s my dream – to live in Chapel Hill and then move either where my kids are or to the beach.

Pick ME Roy! Pick ME!!!

“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep dreaming.”  Jim Henson

I think dreaming and believing go hand in hand. You must believe in your dreams and trust they will come true. You must believe things will work out and life will be better. I was crushed 2 years ago when my life turned upside down. Crushed that my dreams, what I believed my future would be, were no longer going to come true. Once I accepted that I was heading down a much different path, I changed my dreams. And I do believe things have worked out for the best and will continue to do so in the future. I am dreaming of a WONDERFUL future.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

As I have said before, I am loving the SOLO life. I would not change a thing right now. But in the future, finding Mr. Right might be fun. What would he be like? Well, how about a wonderful man who is:

SINGLE… Kind… Caring… Romantic… Trustworthy… Fun… Fit… Nice looking… Tall… Financially Independent… and a CAROLINA fan!

If you know this guy, send him my way! A girl can dream, right? I read somewhere that you should never give up on finding your dream mate, because that person is searching for you too. Well here I am!

I went to a wonderful baby shower last weekend for my son-in-law’s brother and his wife. Their dreams are coming true this May when they will welcome their precious daughter into their family. And honestly, their baby will be the best dressed baby ever! I have never seen so many adorable baby outfits. And I got to see my older daughter, again keeping with my New Year’s resolution of seeing my out of town kids more.

What are you dreaming of? I also dream of a cure for cancer and Alzheimer’s, pure happiness for my kids, peace in our world, grandchildren to spoil (no pressure kids!), more beach time, and my Tar Heels winning another championship. Oh, and writing that book! That is a dream and a goal I have had for a long time and one I plan to pursue. After all, several of my dear friends have written books.

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.”

Don’t forget to set your clocks AHEAD this weekend – Spring Forward, Fall Backward. Yes, we will lose an hour of sleep, but this means Spring is just around the corner! It may be darker in the early mornings, but it will be lighter longer after work. I am dreaming of those long, summer days!

“Always arm yourself with HOPE. HOPE of a better tomorrow, HOPE of a better life, HOPE of a better you.”

So go out there and dream a little or a lot, and hope for the best of everything. Dream about those things that make you happy, and make them happen, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.




“Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes”…. David Bowie 1971

Welcome Back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Tomorrow, March 1, 2018, marks a first anniversary I never dreamed I would be “celebrating” – my divorce. Am I celebrating? In some ways, yes. Honestly, it still does not seem real. How could I be divorced? Me. I married for life – “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; till death us do part.” Not just for 36 years. But here I am, divorced. SOLO. Life has radically changed for me over the last 2 years, but I can now say that truly, it has been for the better. Me, who hates change, has actually embraced the changes in my new SOLO life, and find it to be … well, FUN!

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates

Friends ask if I am lonely. I don’t have time to be lonely. I stay very busy and keep my life full with working, traveling, movies, dancing, wineries, football games, lunches and dinners with friends, working out, and anything that includes my kids. I was on the phone with a friend talking about the “SOLO life” and in the background, her husband said, “Les, please don’t make the single life sound so great! Remember some of your friends are married.” I would NEVER want a married friend to find herself in my position, but if she does, I want her to know it is not that bad! Life is what you make of it.

“Don’t be afraid of CHANGE. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.”

This past year my sisters and I have seen a change, a decline, in our mother’s memory health. Yes, she knows who we all are and is always so glad to see us, and is still as sweet as ever, but her needs are a bit more than they were last year. She has a hard time remembering that my children are grown and out of college. In her mind, they are still “children”. She doesn’t remember the last meal she had. And of course she does not believe she is 88 or that I am 60. “How could that be?” she asks. Rarely does she remember that I am divorced. She will ask where my “ex” is and I just say he is traveling or I don’t know. That sometimes prompts her to ask if we are together and when I say no, she does remember, though she can not believe it. However, last weekend she asked me if I was dating anyone! I about fell over as it was the first time she actually remembered I am now SOLO!

We moved Mom from Assisted Living to the Memory Care unit at a different, and what we believe to be a better facility for her, last weekend. My sweet son came up from Charlotte and my nephew from High Point, to help us. (Gave me another opportunity to see my “out-of-town child” per my New Year’s resolution!) I ran into an “old” friend visiting her mom who lives there. My college roommate’s mom is also there so I am excited to know that when I go visit mom, I may see them as well, and will always go by and say hello to their mothers. Also, my cousin and several friends live nearby to Mom’s new digs and I am hoping Mom will have more visitors. How did Mom react to her new beautiful room (it is beautiful thanks to my older sister – the decorator!)? She said we shouldn’t worry about putting her “somewhere”, but not to tell her momma, my grandmother,  because she would not like it. We assured her we will not tell Grandma Isabel. Oh boy…

“To care for those who once cared for us is the highest honor.”

Has anything changed for the worse for me in the past year? Honestly, I cannot think of anything. As friends and family tell me all the time, I am doing things I never would have if my situation had not changed. Some things have not changed at all – I have lunch or dinner with my “old” cul-de-sac neighbors often and am so thankful for these ladies! Not to mention meeting other friends for dinner. Met one last night for dinner to catch up.

One really fun change is my addiction to movies. Remember Movie Pass? My younger daughter and I saw 2 movies last week – Phantom Thread, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Three Billboards was wonderful! Phantom Thread was different – though I am very glad I saw both. I still want to see Lady Bird and I, Tonya.

I have some other friends who are facing the anniversary of tomorrow in a much different way. Their loved one is celebrating her first year in heaven. Their lives have seen many changes over this past year as well. There is no time limit for grieving. They will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow.

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

Tomorrow is also my nephew’s (the one who made me a Great Aunt) birthday. I am so proud of the husband and father he has become. And if you need something to brighten your day, just watch the following video he sent me of my great nephew. I have watched it a million times and laughed or smiled each time.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  Joseph Campbell

Embrace the changes that occur in your life. Look for, and make the best in every situation. Stay positive and do whatever makes you happy, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.





Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Did you get your flu shot? Anyone around you have the flu? Or coughing, sneezing, feeling lousy? This has been an epidemic flu season and the CDC says the flu shot is only 36% effective in adults, 59% in children. Hey, I’ll take that 36% protection! Now that I am SOLO, I take even more precautions NOT to get sick as I am solely responsible for myself. And yes, I did get my flu shot. I have gotten one every year since moving here to Charlottesville. My first one was the result of my neighbor and me going to volunteer in our boys’ classroom only to discover that over 50% of the teachers and students were all out with the flu. We left school and went immediately to get our flu shots! And I have gotten one every year since. And no flu. Knock on wood! Best way NOT to get the flu? Wash your hands and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Funny, but last week when my great-nephew was here, we kept asking him where his eyes, nose, and mouth were and he would touch each. Hope he doesn’t get the flu!

“Did you hear the joke about the germ? Nevermind, I don’t want to spread it around.”

As a matter of fact, our team is offered free flu shots at work. My first year at ACAC I shared an office with a real jokester who became (and still is) a dear friend. I remember asking her about the free flu shot and she said “oh yeah, the receptionist gives them so it’s free.” OK, I was really new to ACAC but I am deathly afraid of needles and the thought of getting a flu shot from a non-medically trained person, a receptionist, about did me in. But as my office mate said, “it’s free – you get what you pay for and this is free – given by the receptionist. I mean she practiced on oranges, I watched her.” Then she burst out laughing at the horrified look on my face. Our staff nurse gives the flu shots. And she is wonderful!

“I’m no doctor but maybe you need a little more Vitamin Sea.”

I decided I needed some VITAMIN SEA to keep me healthy in more ways than one so I escaped to the beach and was blessed with a couple of warm, sunny days. I also got a healthy dose of Vitamin D from all the sunshine. Just breathing in that wonderfully salty sea air while watching and listening to the sound of the waves truly soothed my soul. Spent most of my time walking, running, sleeping, reading, and clucking on the beach. What is clucking? Remember last summer’s blog about the beach and clucking – walking down the beach, head down, eyes trained on the sand, every now and then dropping down to pick up that special shell? That’s clucking – similar to a chicken pecking. There were lots of broken shells on the beach (low tide), and then all of a sudden there would be that perfect one. Similar to life. So many times since becoming SOLO, especially in the beginning, I’ve felt as is if my life is composed of broken pieces, then something wonderful happens that reminds me life, my life, truly is good. We need to focus on the good. I have bags and bags of seashells, but I always love searching for more. Same way I feel about my life – I have so much I am thankful for and yet I always love searching for and finding even more good things in my life.

“Life is a series of waves to be embraced and overcome.”  Danny Meyer

Also soothing and so enjoyable is watching the ocean birds on the beach. They fascinate me. Darting here and there searching for their treasures. I watched a SOLO bird on the beach which reminded me of myself, content but still searching for treasures. Then 2 more birds came over and together they made me think of my sisters and me. My older sister has painted many pictures of these birds and will be exhibiting them soon in a show. She told me that these birds make her happy, and to let them make me happy as well. I have one of her ocean bird paintings hanging in my office. It makes me happy daily.

“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have WINGS.” J.M. Barrie

My special Valentine roses from my kids went to beach with me and are still gorgeous. Oh how I have enjoyed them! I left the beach with my roses and with my soul and outlook renewed.

My beautiful Valentine roses… still gorgeous!

“Your attitude and your outlook in life says a lot about who you are. Make it a positive one.”  Rubyanne

Just checking in to see how your New Year’s resolutions are going? Have they gone by the wayside or are you making a concerted effort to follow through with them? Keeping with my resolution to see my “out-of-town kids” more, I left the beach and went to Charlotte to have brunch with my dear son and his girlfriend. I had framed the Sports Illustrated Magazines featuring the TAR HEELS as the 2017 NCAA Basketball Champions and the print of Franklin Street right before the Heels won and the moment after, when everyone, including my son, was celebrating in the street, and thought what a great opportunity to see my son and give him the prints. Also stopped to see my Mom in Winston-Salem on my way home from Charlotte. Lots of driving but I didn’t mind and it was so worth it.

Charlotte brunch…
HEELS! If you look closely you might see my son on Franklin Street! HAHA!
My sweet Momma!

Got to visit with all of my kids in a span of a week as I had dinner with my “out-of-town” older daughter and son-in-law in Richmond Monday, spent the night, and went to her cycle class at 6:30 am. My younger daughter was not left out as she and I spent the evening before I left for the beach first going for a run then to the movies where we also had dinner. Saw The Greatest Showman which was wonderful and nothing like what I had expected. Looking forward to my next movie! Did you checkout Movie Pass?

For me, there is nothing like being around my children and family, and my beach time to keep me healthy and positive. Do what you need to stay healthy, physically and mentally. Need a break from everyday life? Take a day off, go to a movie, leave town. Make yourself a priority – there is nothing wrong with that. After all, you’ll be spending the rest of your life with yourself. And as we all know, tomorrow is not promised to any of us.

“Sea” ya’ soon!



“Love is in the Air….” John Paul Young, 1978

“…. Everywhere I look around.”

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!!

Today is February 14, 2018. Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent. Do you follow the ritual of giving something up for Lent? Are you making a sacrifice this year? I have in the past, usually in a self-serving way – chocolate, ice cream, sweets, soda, facebook. Wait! I never gave up facebook, heaven forbid! But in the last several years I have followed a different path – doing something instead of giving up something. Whether it be volunteering, sharing, helping someone. I tend to find this more meaningful.

What if we choose the following as our “sacrifice” for Lent:

  • Give up complaining… focus on gratitude.
  • Give up pessimism… become an optimist.
  • Give up harsh judgement… think kindly thoughts.
  • Give up discouragement… be full of hope.
  • Give up bitterness… turn to forgiveness.
  • Give up hatred… return good for evil.
  • Give up negativism… be positive.
  • Give up anger… be more patient.
  • Give up pettiness… become mature.
  • Give up gloom… enjoy the beauty that is around you.
  • Give up jealousy… pray for trust.
  • Give up gossiping… control your tongue.
  • Give up giving up… hang in there!  (Rev. David Marcus, NPMC)

Could you give up all of these? A couple? One? Wanna give it a try? If you attempt to give up any of these, let me know. We’ll power through this together.

“In this life we cannot do GREAT things. We can only do small things with GREAT love.”  Mother Teresa

So did you feast and “party like it’s 1999” (Prince) on Fat Tuesday in preparation for the season of Lent? I wouldn’t say I partied that hard, but I did have a lot of fun this past weekend starting Friday night with an after work party welcoming a friend back to Charlottesville, very special visitors on Saturday, and ending up at a couple of wineries with my daughter Sunday.

Today is also Valentine’s Day – HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY all Y’all! What? Did you think this SOLO gal might be sad on Valentine’s Day? Not a chance! I am enjoying this SOLO life. And I do have fun plans for tonight.

Can you feel the “L O V E” here?!?!?

“Love isn’t something you find, love is something that finds you.” Loretta Young

There are so many different kinds and levels of love. One of the greatest is the love of a mother for her children. I think it is because mothers carry their children for 9 months and are truly “connected” to them. It is an unconditional love like no other. As I have always said, “A mother is only as happy as her saddest child.” So true. I admit, I never realized how much my mom did for us and how much she loved us until I had children of my own. I owe my mom and want her to know how much I appreciate all she did and sacrificed for me. These days, I’m trying to see my mom as often as I can. I visited mom and my sisters last week for an early Valentine’s Day. What fun we had!

“Of all the gifts that life has to offer, a loving mother is the greatest of them all.”

There’s also that love of siblings. Thank heavens for my sisters! Yes, there are times you do NOT get along or even like each other, but you always love each other. There are things you can say about your sibling, but let someone else say the same thing and look out! I am so proud of my kids’ relationships with each other. They have always gotten along and supported each other, love each other, and are great friends. As a mom, you can’t ask for more than that!

“Sibling relationships outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship.” Erica E. Goode

And look who came to see Great Aunt Les this weekend… my great nephew! And of course his parents (my nephew and his wife). This sweet child has brought so much happiness, joy, entertainment, and love into our whole family. We all adore him – how could you not?  As my sister (his grandmother) says, there is no love like that of a grandparent for a grandchild!

And of course, there is the wonderful love of your soulmate, spouse, boy/girlfriend, partner. This subject is a little difficult for me to even think about as I have become a bit cynical in this area since becoming SOLO. Made me question everything I thought I believed in. But if you are lucky enough to be with your true love, you are lucky enough.

“No three words have greater power than ‘I love you’…”

These words can capture your heart in many ways. Remember the first time your child told you he/she loved you and you knew they understood what they were saying and meant it? Their sweet arms around your neck? My kids and I never end a conversation without saying “I love you”. When was the last time you told someone you loved them? Never give up that opportunity.

If you are SOLO, especially recently solo, don’t let one day, Valentine’s Day, make you sad. Truly, it is just a day. You’ll go to bed tonight and wake up to a new day tomorrow. Life goes on… and life is good!

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

Lent is a time of reflection and renewal. It’s a great time to give up all of your negativity, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow. Be happy and look for the new beginnings. I am.

Happy Girl in her Carolina attire and Mardi Gras beads! Heels had 3 BIG wins in 5 days!
Last minute add! I have the BEST kids! They sent me these beautiful roses for Valentine’s Day… my Valentines…




“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Justin Timberlake 2016 Trolls

“So just dance, dance, dance….”

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Did you watch that football game at the Justin Timberlake Concert Sunday? The Super Bowl? Just kidding! Did your team win? I was able to enjoy it without any pressure of who would win since my team was not playing. And I like both teams, each are the favorite teams of many of my friends – especially the Eagles for all of my teammates from our club in PA! Following my Super Bowl tradition, I made turkey chili and served it in homemade bread bowls. It was so good. Check out my recipe here: Pumpkin Turkey Chili

“My idea of a Super Bowl is a toilet that cleans itself.”  Maxine

This was one of the most entertaining Super Bowl games. So close to the very end. But I have to admit, some of the most entertaining parts of the Super Bowl for me were the pre-game stories about the quarterbacks, the commercials, and the halftime show. How amazing that the Philadelphia quarterback almost retired in 2016 and is now a Super Bowl hero. Bet the Eagles are glad he changed his mind! And what a beautiful, sweet baby daughter he has. And Tom Brady, “Lord of the Rings” with 5 rings and beautiful teeth! But wow… Justin Timberlake. I got to see him perform in Charlottesville at an outdoor concert last summer and thought what a great entertainer he is, not just a performer. And he did not disappoint. Fun to watch, especially his last song – my favorite – “Can’t Stop the Feeling”. What a show!

“You’re not meant to do what is easy. You’re meant to challenge yourself.” Justin Timberlake

So that favorite “JT” song of mine goes “I can’t stop the feelin’ so just dance, dance, dance…” which is what I have been doing for the last month. Salsa dancing. It has been a lot of fun but also challenging as you are supposed to turn and look the opposite direction at times; hard to do when your neck doesn’t always cooperate. That’s challenging enough, but you also have to know your left foot from your right foot, which has always been a problem for me! If you are the “leader” you start on your left foot and if you are the “follower”, you start on your right foot. And it is well-known that I like to lead when I dance! But the most challenging part was going there SOLO. Without a partner. Luckily, a partner is not required and if you have one, you rotate and switch partners so often you would rarely be with that person.

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”  Vince Lombardi

I have successfully challenged myself to maintain a very active lifestyle which I hope to continue for many years. About 15 years ago (when I was much younger!), I was on the cover of one of our fitness club’s brochures. WOW I thought that was so cool until I read the title: Exercise for the Actively Aging! I now find myself legitimately in this category and am thankful to be here. But being in this group brings many challenges. I am going to Physical Therapy for a “pain in my neck”. According to my therapist, every woman over the age of 50 (so definitely this 60-year-old) has arthritis. This, coupled with maintaining my “active lifestyle”, has given me a big pain in the neck!

“Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy your life.” Joyce Meyer

Things may not be perfect in my life but no way am I letting that stop me from enjoying life and enjoying it SOLO. The Super Bowl was entertaining, but you know what else is entertaining? MOVIES! You know I LOVE Hallmark movies, but my favorite movie of all time is “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. And I love GOING to the movies, even by myself, SOLO. First time I was a bit nervous, but then I realized how wonderful it is. On my own schedule, and sometimes on the spur of the moment. I can see whatever movie I want to see. Like last Friday when I saw “The Post” with Tom Hanks (who has been married to Rita Wilson for 30 years). It was very good. My younger daughter also loves movies and goes all the time (one of her college majors was in film studies). She introduced me to Movie Pass. Have you heard about Movie Pass? Well… for $9.95/month you can see an unlimited number of NEW movies at most theaters. So for me, now that I get the “Senior Discount”, if I see more than 1 movie a month it is worth it. For my daughter, who is only halfway to the “Senior Discount,” it is WELL worth it! You should check it out if you love movies. Just saying. Oops, my kids are trying to get me to stop saying that! (Editors Note: DRINK!)

“You can always find hope in a dog’s eyes.”

Also entertaining is my sweet granddawg who loves to play tug of war. She will entertain you for hours. It was just a year ago last weekend that she became part of our family. She definitely landed in the perfect home (which she totally rules) with my daughter and son-in-law. Can’t imagine us without her now. And boy has she grown – 70 pounds! There is no way I could hold her now. I can barely hold on to her leash!


“Time flies whether you’re having fun or not. The choice is yours.”

Go out there this week and find something that entertains you, makes you happy, makes you smile, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.




“Blue Moon” (Tony Bennett, 1958 – and no, not the good looking UVA Basketball Coach!)

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

“Blue Moon you saw me standing alone…”

Did you know that there is a Blue Moon today (January 31, 2018)? And it comes around only “once in a blue moon!” (haha!) Actually, a blue moon is the second full moon in the same month and occurs about every 32 months. It is a relatively rare occurrence, which is where that saying comes from, “once in a blue moon.” There will be another Blue Moon in late March – two in one year! This is so rare that it will not happen again for 19 years, until 2037.

Don’t you just love how bright the night seems with a full moon? BD (before divorce) we used to run at 5 am and it was so dark, except on those rare mornings when there was a full moon and no clouds to hide the moonlight. Made for a safer run with the moon lighting our way. AD (after divorce) I wait and run with the sunlight which always lights my way.

Just like the moon, we all go through phases.”

I have had some rare fun the last couple of weeks! Our club is offering dance lessons for our members. First up, Salsa Dancing! I went because I love to dance and want to support (and enjoy) the variety of programs offered by our club. But I was curious as to how many people would be interested in dancing on a Tuesday night, thinking it would only be a few. Boy was I wrong! Over 60 people came! No partner needed which is rare in a dancing class and FUN for those trying new things SOLO, like me. Salsa, Cha-Cha, Bachata, and Swing will be taught through May. What fun!

“We can’t always choose the music life plays for us but we can choose how we DANCE to it.”

Still in my “busy season” at work, it is not rare that I find myself at the office on the weekends. Luckily there is light at the end of the tunnel! Last weekend we took a break from work and walked to the downtown mall to get lunch. Ran into a coworker and his sweet family, including his precious daughter, who I have adored since her birth 9 years ago but rarely get to see! This child could be mine (and I would take her) – she has blonde hair and blue eyes, which neither of her parents do. So rare, right? She told her little brother that she was coming to live with me and bless his heart, he was devastated! Very upset as he too adores her! She is such a smart child – talked early, sang early, entertained our office every time she visited. Only 2 year old I know who could say “Pavarotti” clearly (and know who he was) and sing Bohemian Rhapsody. And I have never seen a father as crazy about a baby as my co-worker was when his daughter was born. So precious.

My Adopted Daughter!

Speaking of precious daughters, my older daughter was here this weekend as we celebrated her husband’s birthday with his family. My daughter is very blessed to find herself in such a wonderful family. ME TOO!  My younger daughter and I joined them for dinner. And of course my older daughter had me out early Saturday morning running in the COLD. But I did not mind, since I was running with her, though I did make her wait until the sun was up as a compromise!

“Don’t worry if you’re making waves simply by being yourself. The moon does it all the time.” Scott Stabile

I am sure the tides are very high this week at the beach with the full moon. I cannot wait to get back to the beach and breathe in that salty air, walk on the beach, and eat fresh seafood. To help curb my shrimp craving, a friend and I split 30 shrimp for dinner last weekend. We are creatures of habit, so it is not rare that we always order the same thing at this restaurant. And I threaten him if he tries to eat one of my shrimp!

BEST dinner!

“Shoot for the moon….even if you miss you’ll land in the stars.”

I have given this advice to my kids. And I have followed it myself. Always aim high with your goals. Don’t worry about the rare failure, just land in the stars. Make the most of every goal and every day, because as we all know, tomorrow is not promised to any of us.




“Goodbye doesn’t mean forever…” Goodbye Girl 1977

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Ever had to say goodbye? To a family member? A friend? Your home? Car? Spouse? I am not fond of goodbyes. Is anyone? I remember saying goodbye to my family, friends, and neighbors when I moved 21 years ago from my hometown of Winston-Salem, NC to Charlottesville, VA. There was a going away party given by my friends and a big dinner with my family. Chances to say goodbye. Then moving day arrived and friends stopped by the house to say goodbye again. I remember the movers asking if I had allergies because my face was splotchy and my nose was all red and I sniffled constantly. I responded, “no, I’m moving away from all my family and friends.” One of my dearest friends gave me the best advice that day: “When you get in that big blue van heading North to Charlottesville, don’t look back, look forward. Plan how you are going to decorate your new home and make a new life up there.” Wonderful advice. I took it to heart. Also comforting that my Momma was traveling with me to help with the move and I did not have to say goodbye to her that day.

Goodbyes can run the gamut of emotions. Some are heartbreaking, some are maddening, some are confusing, some are a relief, some are happy! You have to get over the hurdle of the goodbye and look for the positive. Yes, I hated leaving my hometown of 40 years and moving to a place where I knew no one. But it ended up being good for my family. And for me. My children received great educations, we all made wonderful friends, and learned that it is possible to adjust to change.

“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Winnie the Pooh

One of the hardest goodbyes was when I had to say a final goodbye to my Dad. He had a stroke in 2000 and was in the ICU for 10 days. Part of that time he was awake and communicative. But by the end, he was not. However, I truly believe he could hear us. My sisters and I told him we loved him, we would take care of each other, and goodbye. And he was gone.

“The only time goodbye is painful is when you know you’ll never say hello again.”

When my next door neighbors of 16 years moved to Kentucky, I gave them a going away party and left town. Went to the beach. Could not bear to say goodbye to my dear friend and her family and did not want to see the moving van in front of their house. She was (still is) such a dear friend to me. She and her family took my family “in” when we moved here and knew no one. They became our family. We were room mothers together for our boys every school year and had so much fun planning parties and working in their classroom. So instead of saying goodbye, I opened my house to her family so they had a place to stay while their house was being packed up. I did not say goodbye. Luckily, I still see her many times a year and talk to her often. I can now say goodbye to her because I know we will always be in close touch.

“Good friends never say goodbye… they simply say ‘See you Soon’”.

I usually have a loving relationship with my cars as I love road trips. When I was in college, I talked my mom into co-signing a note for me to buy an MGB convertible. I had the best time tooling around town and going to the beach in that little convertible! I thought I was so cool! Owned it (so to speak) for 6 months before realizing I could not sell my Monte Carlo (gas guzzler during gas shortage) to pay for the MGB. So, I had to sell the MGB, which, of course, was very easy to do. Oh how I loved that car and how I hated saying goodbye to it. One day I will have another convertible! I must admit I also hated saying goodbye to each van I owned (I had 3). I lived in my vans, carpooling my kids and their friends all over town for practices and games. When all of my kids finally had their licenses, they informed me that it was time for me to give up driving a van – it was not “cool”. Goodbye Van, Hello SUV. Love my SUV!

Saying goodbye to each of my homes was bittersweet. My first house was your basic brick ranch, very special as all of my children were born while living there. And I loved my neighbors. It was hard to say goodbye to that house, but I was so excited to say hello to the new, bigger house in a wonderful neighborhood. I was then heartbroken to leave that house and move to VA, away from all that I knew and so many memories, but loved the new house and neighborhood where my kids could walk to elementary and middle school. As you all know, I recently moved SOLO into a new maintenance-free neighborhood. As I was packing up 19 years of memories in my old house, I kept thinking how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to the house where I raised my kids. I loved that house and my neighbors dearly. But I was so broken on moving day (finding out I was becoming SOLO), that I needed and wanted to say goodbye to that house. And have not been back. Luckily, as I said goodbye to that house, I also said hello to my new home which I absolutely love!

So, what started these “Goodbye” thoughts? Our fitness club is losing one of our General Managers as she is starting a new chapter in her life. I have known her for 15 years and she is a friend. We will miss her smiling face and happy outlook around the club. There have been several “Goodbye” parties for her, all lots of fun! Like I said, not all goodbyes are sad and not all goodbyes are permanent. The good thing about this one is that we are not really saying goodbye to her, just see ya later! She is not moving. She will still be a member of the club. And I’ll see her at Bunco.

What is Bunco? Well I had the same question just last week when I was invited to join a fun, social group of ladies to play Bunco. It was nothing like what I expected. I thought it involved cards and I LOVE playing cards! But no, Bunco is all about rolling 3 dice, trying to score points. Tables of 4 players with one head table. Oh, and there is a tiara involved! Sounds interesting right? I am looking forward to February’s Bunco night. And I want that tiara!

Goodbyes can lead to new opportunities. One door might close, but trust me, another one will open. Walk through that door and try things you never have before. Like me! I was pushed through the door but am so thankful. I have discovered there is a lot of fun to be had after a goodbye – travels, Moscow Mules, Bunco. And many adventures to come. I always hate to say goodbye to the beach, and find myself immediately planning when I will say hello again.

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.” Ernie Harwell

So go out there and find your happiness after a goodbye. Look for that door and throw it wide open! Find your adventure. And make the most of every day of your life, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.