“Oh My My, Oh My My, Can you boogie, Can you slide…” Ringo Starr 1974

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

“Easter is the only time of year when it is safe to put all your eggs in one basket.”

I hope y’all had a blessed Easter. I got to be a Moravian again. Like most religions, Easter and Christmas are the holiest and biggest celebrations, and in the Moravian Church we do it up right! Easter worship in sanctuary, continued outside on the front lawn, and concluded in God’s Acre (our cemetery). So many traditions – from the first processional song that ushers the choir in, to the cross where the congregation places flowers, to the Hallelujah Chorus. And I got to see people I have gone to church with my whole life (minus the 22 years in VA – still, it is as if I never left). We did not get up for the sunrise service, but my younger daughter, my son and his girlfriend, and my sister and brother-in-law, and I made it to New Philadelphia Moravian in time to snag our family pew. (That’s important!) My older daughter was not able to come – remember her collapse in last week’s blog? Well… she did break her wrist after all and got her cast on Friday. BUT… she texted us when church started and said she was watching us live on Facebook! How cool is that?

Of course after church we had our traditional Easter lunch of fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs, fruit, rolls, and dessert. My contribution is the fried chicken from our family cookbook: “Drive to KFC and order both regular and extra crispy chicken. Place on nice platter and serve.” Added one extra step to the recipe: picked up my Momma. We all had to roll away from my sister’s beautiful Easter table after lunch. Funny thing, we were talking about someone from church but could not remember their last name… my sisters and I were debating what it could be and why we could not remember, when Mom blurted out the name surprising us all! I mean, she did not remember that our church band played at her Assisted Living the day before, but she remembered a name from the past that we could not grasp! The mind is an amazing thing.

“Traditions touch us, they connect us, and they expand us.”

Holidays are all about family. (Actually I think life is all about family!) My family is really good about getting together and staying in touch. I treasure these times and make every effort I can to spend time with these people I love most. Luckily, we all do. Saturday, my younger daughter and I left Charlottesville early enough to stop by Frame It where my older sister is the artist of the month and has her art displayed in their window for the month of April. I left my daughter with my sister so they could go to an art exhibit at Reynolda House and I headed to see my Momma before we all regrouped and headed to a couple of wineries. My son and his girlfriend also came for the weekend and joined us just in time for some wine. After a couple of tastings and several bottles of wine (with lunch thrown in!), we all needed a quick rest before heading downtown Winston-Salem for dinner. It is amazing to me how my hometown has changed since I moved to VA (22 years ago!). There was 1 winery and it was small…now there are many wineries in the area. And we would NEVER go downtown, especially at night, but the area has been revitalized and is very upscale. My kids and I went to a couple of bars offering music after dinner before calling it a night. (I’m a great designated driver!)

“The Past, the Present, and the Future walked into a bar….it was TENSE!”

The message on Easter Sunday was titled “The Three Tenses of Easter” – Easter past, Easter future, Easter present. When we were little, Mom was always up late the Saturday night before Easter, finishing our Easter dresses and getting everything perfect for Easter morning. Good memories. My most painful Easter memory was the year we moved to VA. We moved on Easter Monday, and I basically cried during the whole Easter service (which, to me, is the most emotional service in the church anyway) watching my little girls walk down the aisle with the choir (when big hair bows were a must since your dress was covered by a choir robe) and knowing I would be leaving all of my family and friends the next day. We learn from our past, but it is the past… gone. We can still have our memories, but need to let go of any painful parts of our past. Easter future – the promise of good things to come. Easter present – make the most of everyday. “Be God’s people in a world that so desperately needs it.”

“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.” Janine di Giovanni

So… my present (and future) right now? I had knee surgery yesterday to repair my meniscus and a non-healing fracture. Surgery was not until 3 pm, but I had to be at the hospital at 1:00, which meant no food after midnight, and no water after 11 am. Take my food but please don’t take my drinks! I am a huge drinker – drinking all day long! (ok, that sounds bad, but you know what I mean – water, tea, diet DP!) Crutches are my mode of getting around for 6 weeks. Due to this restriction, I decided I needed to get in one last hard cycle class, so my younger daughter and I headed to my older daughter’s 6:15 am cycle class in Richmond. And she did not disappoint, even with a broken arm! My younger daughter took the day off to look after her momma and get me to and from the hospital. (Remember she has told her sister and brother that SHE has mom now and THEY get mom later in the next stages of life!) She was a good nurse and we had fun watching Netflix (catching up on Grace and Frankie) and basically hanging out. Gosh I love being with my kids! My older sister came today to take care of me (and to relieve my daughter!)

It was a success!

Future? Hope to be back at work next week (it is month end after all), and hope to spend two whole weeks in my happy place once I say goodbye to these crutches in June. I have never taken 2 consecutive weeks off, but it is happening this summer!

“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.”  Anne Frank

My worst fears about becoming SOLO have happened – getting sick and having surgery. But you know what? It’s all ok. Turns out I am not actually SOLO! So many people have been checking in, sending well wishes, and offering to help in many ways. I have so much to be thankful for – it is my left knee so I can drive (eventually), I work where there is a Physical Therapy clinic on site with the BEST PT’s, my living space in this house is all on one level, I have so many friends and family offering to help, and I live where there is a first rate medical center with first rate docs! (My doctor went to UNC for undergrad, Harvard Med School, and did his residency at UVA where he stayed and is the team doc for the UVA men’s CHAMPIONSHIP basketball team.) We bonded.

Cheers to the future!

So be accepting of your past, excited about your future, and thankful for your present. And spend as much time as you can with the ones you love, because none of us is promised tomorrow.



PS  “Oh My My, Oh My My, Can you boogie, Can you slide…” not now, but in 6 weeks! And please excuse any errors – this blog was written on pain meds!


“Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again…” Fortunes 1971

Welcome back to SOLO AT SIXTY!

“No matter how prepared you are, something can still go awry.”  KLM

For the last 3 years, my kids and I have happily traveled to Chapel Hill in April to run the Tar Heel 4-Miler (there’s also the 10-miler and the 14-mile Double Down Challenge). We enjoy the race so much that while we are picking up our race packets, we go ahead and sign up to run it again the next year. Did so again this past weekend. It’s a fun race that starts at the iconic Bell Tower, winds its way through campus, a couple of lovely historic neighborhoods, back by The Bosh (baseball stadium), before returning to the Bell Tower.

We’ve established a couple of traditions – first is the pre-race dinner at Brixx. It’s close to our hotel, has great pizzas, and holds some special memories for my daughter and son from their time while they were at UNC. Second is turning in early – that 5:15 am wake-up call comes pretty quickly! We met in the lobby to head over to the race together and as we opened the hotel doors, we were met with rain. Not just rain, POURING rain. The first words out of my mouth as we walked outside were, “I am not running in this rain.” And my son-in-law, who trains for this every January-April (then doesn’t run again until the next January) said, “I hate 2 things: running, and running in the rain.” Yet he would never miss this race!

“Rain is just confetti from the sky.”

Driving to the race, we debated what to do and decided to wait it out. Being the “prepared Mom,” I had brought oversized clear trash bags to wear pre-race just in case it rained. My kids laughed at first but all took one! My older daughter, the only one of us running not only the 4-miler, but also the 10-miler (14-mile Double Downer) really wanted her 3 medals for running (plus one you get at the Spring Game!). So we parked in the parking garage behind our Football Tailgate spot, got out, stretched, and put on our trash bags. Since I am still only allowed to walk, I snagged the one true poncho. I looked around and shared my momma’s famous line: “Y’all, I think it is burning off.” This was met with major eye rolls. But guess what?! The rain slacked off as we walked to the starting line (in our fashionable trash bags), then stopped before the race started! And by the afternoon, before the Football Spring Game, the sun came out. Yep, it burned off alright!

“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” Mario Fernandez

So, how did the race go? The one we all “planned” for over a year to run, and (kinda) trained for? My son-in-law, younger daughter, son, his sweet girlfriend, and I all finished the 4-miler happily. I walked it – which was a bit stressful as there was a 15 minute/mile time limit because of the start time for the 10-miler. Sounds simple right? But try it – you have to book it to walk a 15-minute mile. As I do when I run, I spotted someone up ahead at a pace to challenge me and tried to keep up with her. Was doing great until I spied someone I know from Charlottesville who had opened the new Purvelo on Franklin Street. She was cheering on the runners (and walkers) and ran out and hugged me, and I had to hustle to catch back up to my unsuspecting pacer. Hard to do when you can’t run.

“In the race of life, don’t waste your energy and time trying to compare with others. Sometimes you are ahead… Sometimes behind… The race is long and in the end it is only with yourself.”

So that leaves my oldest child, my first born, who is the real runner in our family. The one who goes out to run before the crack of dawn almost daily, and who ran 16 miles the previous weekend just to make sure she could do 14. We never doubted her. It was a foregone conclusion. Right? Well she rocked the 4-miler and was the 7th girl to cross the finish line and 1st in her age group. Then she started the 10-miler and when she ran by her cheering section (family) at the Old Well, my son-in-law mentioned she looked too warm. But she gave the thumbs up. Not to worry, this girl is tough. My son-in-law was tracking her on his phone (via her watch) and as she was coming down by the baseball stadium we all moved to our spot to cheer her on to the finish line and get pictures. As she came towards us, my son said “she looks like she is cramping.” Next thing we know my daughter was collapsing – her legs were wobbling out from under her and she was going down. Luckily a runner behind her realized it and caught her as my son-in-law sprinted to her side with the rest of us following. She was overheated and dehydrated. It was surreal and terrifying to see her like this. Never have I experienced such fear (except 3 weeks ago – later on that). Medics and EMS arrived and gave her oxygen and tried to cool her off. She kept saying she was so hot and wanted her shirt cut off (did not do) and her pants off (did not do that either) as well as her shoes (yep took them off). And she cried that she had not finished – she was only 30 seconds away. My younger daughter took her race bib and ran it across the finish line and collected her 3 medals (4-miler, 10-miler, double-downer) and with that, my older daughter still finished 1st in her age group, even losing those minutes collapsing. (note – the distance my younger daughter ran for her sister was actually the same distance my older daughter had to run from the 4-miler finish line to the 10-miler start, so we figured that counted.)

After my daughter was loaded into an ambulance, the rest of us walked to the ER and sat in the waiting room, nervously waiting. Finally, it was determined that nothing was broken when she went down, only a badly sprained wrist. And instead of IV’s, the doctor had her drinking water, and said if she could keep it down, she could leave. She did, and shakily came out to the waiting room cold, barefooted, looking for her shoes! My son had them for her. I had her new race hat, and my younger daughter had her medals. She had become overheated – was overdressed, the weather had warmed up, and she was pushing it hard running. Her body responded by shutting down. It was so scary. But she was ok.

“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey.”

We loaded my daughter in the car and headed back to the hotel, another race in the books, one with more excitement than we wanted. After much needed showers, and a good rest for my daughter, we packed up, and headed back to campus for our last tradition, lunch at Top of the Hill (TOPO), our favorite spot. We lucked up on a table for 6 immediately. We were all famished and ready for our favorite seasonal blue/white beer (with blueberries), except for my older daughter, who was still feeling a bit queasy. We kept her drinking water. By the end of the day, after the Spring Game, she was finally hungry and back to herself, except for the wrist. I suggested they go back to TOPO for dinner, but instead they opted for Chick-fil-A on their way home. Even her voice was back to normal. So thankful.

“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” Brad Henry

Oh and what happened three weeks ago? It was Friday night and my younger daughter called me and said, “Mom are you still at work?” “No, why?” I asked nervously holding my breath… “I think I just totaled my car!” After finding out where she was, I grabbed my keys and anxiously raced to the popular intersection where her car was blocking traffic on a busy Friday night. She was ok, but her car was totaled. Luckily, the lady who had hit her was also ok. And the story ends well – my Subaru-loving daughter who had been looking at a new, bigger Subaru, ended up with one, just a bit earlier than planned, but it all worked out. Funny thing, she was without a car for the weekend since her rental car would not be available until Monday, so I drove her to her soccer game (she plays in a women’s soccer league) and picked her up. I have not been to a soccer field since my son graduated from high school 10 years ago and here I was driving my 31-year old! Brought back many memories.

“Life is what happens to you as you are busy making other plans.” John Lennon

Things don’t always go as we plan. Obviously. Life surprises us in both good, and not so good ways. We learn something from everything that happens in our lives. Could be “don’t take today or anyone for granted,” or “don’t drive through standing water.” (Blog: “Riders on the Storm” Sept 19, 2018) But there is always a lesson to be learned. My older daughter realized she is human, and vulnerable. We all realized that things we never thought would happen, might. Life can change in an instant. Even with lots of planning.

The Old Well… can I make a wish here?!?!

So never take anyone or anything for granted. We never know what surprises tomorrow, much less today, might bring. Spend as much time as you can with those you love, and learn to adapt to life’s surprises, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.



PS Can’t end without mentioning that this Sunday is Easter, a time of renewal with blessings of hope, love, and happiness. I get to be a Moravian again with all of my family and cannot wait. I hope y’all get to spend the day with loved ones as well. HOPPY EASTER!


Ventura Highway…in the sunshine…” America 1972

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Remember the group America? I loved them…their gentle, soulful, easy listening songs. Ventura Highway was one of my favorites. They are on my bucket list to go see – almost saw them at the beach last year, but the timing did not work out. Next time. Along with Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, and Chicago. But I digress… Heard Ventura Highway as I traveled down I-95 last Thursday, sun shining, sunroof wide open, and music blaring on my way to my Happy Place. Only a 5 ½ hour drive from Richmond, VA, since I decided to start my mini-escape off on the right foot by taking my daughter’s cycle class (in Richmond) at 6:15 am, and leaving from there. I never take 95, instead I drive the calm and less traveled route down 29 to Greensboro, Asheboro, Rockingham, Bennettsville, BEACH! I have my regular stops (4) on that route, I mean I drink tea the whole way, so those stops are necessary in my normal 6 ½ hour drive! But I haven’t driven 95 to the beach in years, so this posed a problem – where would I stop? I was a bit out of my comfort zone, but figured it out and found a couple of clean, well populated gas stations before getting off 95 in Latta, putting me right back on my normal route for the last hour of my trip. I could drive that part blindfolded. Don’t fret, I didn’t!

“You say 4 hour car ride, I say 4 hour live concert featuring me!”

I love car rides and don’t mind the driving. Obviously. And now each day we are adding 2 more minutes of daylight which means I can leave even later in the day and still arrive before dark. (Not crazy about driving at night by myself.) I have to admit, I use both my navigation system AND the Waze app on my phone, so someone is constantly giving me directions. (During December, my daughter changed my Waze “voice” to Santa’s. Right now it is “Randy” – I know several Randys and love them all!) Directions and I don’t always mesh, so I need that double reinforcement. True, I pre-plan and look at my route on Google Maps before I leave, because I have learned that the nav systems sometimes take you odd ways to get to your destination and I like the more direct roads I am familiar with. Love the Waze app as it warns me about upcoming hazards, from potholes and roadkill to accidents and hidden “Po-pos”. My kids laugh when we talk about how I used to order a triptik from AAA when we would travel anywhere. Loved those! Loved flipping the page over when we completed each leg of our journey. Maps. Everything nowadays is on your phone. My kids can’t comprehend what it was like when I was their age and always kept a map in my glove box and relied on road signs and verbal directions (dangerous for me!). And if I got lost and needed to call home, I had to find a pay phone and a quarter!

“Trust and have faith the open road leads you to amazing destinations,”

Jakes Herbst

Driving down MY “Ventura Highway” to the beach always gives me time to think and ponder my life. Take stock. Have conversations with myself about any issues facing me. Do you ever do this? Stop and really look at your life – where you are now? Where you are going? What path you want to take? As I get older, this seems to become more important. Obviously, my life today in no way resembles where I thought I would be 5 years ago. But I am happy with where I am. I went “off the map” to get here. So I wonder where I will be in 5 more years? I think I know where I WANT to be, but how do I get there? Time to start planning now as I am no spur of the moment girl! Wonder if I could get a triptik to get me there?

“It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

Ernest Hemingway

I know what I am NOT going to do. I am not going to lament the fact that my life isn’t how I always planned it. I am not going to look back with regrets. I am not going to waste my time or my days. I am going to look forward to my future and work towards what I truly want out of life. I am going to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself to me. I am going to have as much fun as I can, and spend as much time with my family and friends, and at my happy place, as I possibly can. And I am going to try and do it all with grace and gusto, because if there is one thing I have learned these past 3 years, it is that there will be major highs and major lows, but neither will last longer than necessary. Life is a journey that we have to travel on our own merits and find our own way.

“Life is a one way road… where you can look back… but you can’t go back… so don’t miss anything in life.”

So in the meantime, I am going to enjoy these years leading up to any big changes in my life. Plan as many fun events, trips, visits with friends and family, whatever I want to do. Just like I did last weekend by taking my older daughter’s cycle class, going to the beach and seeing my older sister, coming home via Charlotte to see my son and his new apartment, and making yet one more stop to see my momma, younger sister, and sweet Jack, my great nephew, before heading home. You should do whatever makes you happy too, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.


“Ventura Highway… in the sunshine… where the days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine… you’re gonna go, I know…”




PS Horton heard a HOO here in Charlottesville Monday night when UVA won the NCAA basketball tournament. Last year they made history losing in the first round as the #1 seed to the #16 seed, and this year they rebounded and made history earning the school’s first national basketball championship. Needless to say, Charlottesville has been rocking and rolling in celebrations all week! Go HOOS!


Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Y’all, this is my 100th blog! WOOHOO! Or maybe I should say WAHOO since UVA is the only ACC team heading to the final four. My bracket is busted (totally) and my Heels are out. Plans arranged around the basketball schedule are over. But it was a great season. Felt like I knew these kids who appeared in my living room about twice a week for the last 5 months. I always get attached to special players, who make all Carolina fans Tar Heel proud, and this year was no exception. Sad for our seniors, whose college basketball careers ended, and not in the way they (nor our fans) hoped. What great role models these kids have been for the last 4 years. Now on to UNC Baseball!

“There will be disappointments in life. It’s ok to feel sad, just don’t wallow for longer than necessary.”

I watched that final game in Charlotte, NC, at a bar with other Tar Heels, who shared my disappointment. However, I did not have much time to wallow in my disappointment, or even whine a bit, because very quickly my attention was diverted to the reason I was in Charlotte – to run (or walk) the GET YOUR REAR IN GEAR 5K (supporting Colon Cancer screening). March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. For my younger daughter and her friends, this hit home for them recently as one of their “inner circle” is courageously battling this disease. My daughter and I, along with 60+ of her friends and their family members were all part of a team in his honor. Our team name? Dash for the Stache (he is known for his mustache!). Proudly telling you that my daughter came up with the team name and designed the hats we wore.

“Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.” Misty Copeland

The weather in Charlotte could not have been any better all weekend, especially Saturday – race day – sunny and 77. (Snowed in Charlotte yesterday, just saying!) We gathered together at the start line and took off, some running, some walking, some running and pushing strollers. I was walking. Just when I thought I was back to running, a new MRI said nope. Kinda wanted to wallow over that (actually did, honestly). I mean, is there time limit for wallowing? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. My doctor reassured me that I will be back out there running, just not this month. Or next. So it’s just walking for now.

Funny, first time I have ever walked a race, and it was actually fun! No pressure. Route wound through a beautiful neighborhood with supporters along the way. We all wanted to do something to show this family we are there for them, as evidenced by all the support and love shared by this amazing group of friends. They talked, laughed, joked around, and truly enjoying being all together. And I had fun with the “older set” (parents, aunts, uncles). Special people. Needless to say, the majority of these people’s brackets are still intact (they are all UVA fans!) and they were ecstatic with UVA’s nail biting win Saturday night!

“True friendship takes us by the hand and reminds us we are not alone in the journey.”

Many times we do not know what to do for someone who is hurting or struggling. We just want to see them happy again. I am still learning to just listen and not try to “fix” the situation. The Southern solution is food… if you don’t know what to do, take a cake, pie, or dinner. And wine. Three years ago I had a lot of support in so many ways, great listeners, shoulders to cry on, several cheerleaders, and family and friends who brought food and wine, and just sat with me.

“Friends are medicine for a wounded heart and vitamins for a hopeful soul.” Steve Maraboli

How do we get through the dark and tough times in life? We all experience them at some point. Faith and prayer come to mind first. The love and support of our family and friends is paramount. Sometimes we need someone to just listen, to be there, not to fix anything, but to just let us know we are cared for. Sometimes we need a shoulder to cry on and someone to hold our hand. Sometimes we need an all enveloping, comforting hug. Sometimes we need a cheerleader, to keep our spirits up, and restore our confidence. Sometimes we need someone to reassure us everything will be ok. That is what I needed from my doctor – to reassure me I will be able to run again. And to let me wallow a bit. Sometimes we just need to be alone, but know there are those who have our back. And sometimes we need help. We should never be afraid to ask for that help. Nor should we hesitate to give that help, that shoulder, that hug, that encouragement. For we are all in this together, and together we form a strong bond against whatever adversity life thrusts in our path.

Never miss an opportunity to be there for someone whose path in life has taken a turn for the worse. Let them know they are strong, loved, and needed, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends…gonna try with a little help from my friends…” Beatles 1967



PS:  Did you know that:

  • colorectal cancer is the 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer?
  • 2019 will see 101,420 new cases of colon cancer and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer?
  • Incidence rates are increasing for young adults (age 24-34 years old) and declining for those 50+ years of age.
  • Get your rear in gear and get scoped y’all. Don’t put it off.


Survive and Move On!

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Are you a basketball fan? College basketball, that is. As you know, I am a BIG college basketball fan! Have not watched many NBA games since the GOAT (Michael Jordan) retired. When my son was little, he thought he was MJ while his best friend, our neighbor, was Scottie Pippen, always playing basketball in our driveways and cul-de-sac. Watched a lot of Chicago Bulls games back then (in addition to Carolina basketball!).

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to: climb it, go through it, or work around it.”  Michael Jordan

Is all the talk around “the water cooler” centered on March Madness? Did you fill out a bracket (or 2 or 3)? Busted yet or are you still in the run for the $$ in the pool? I picked some early upsets (Murray State, Liberty, Wofford) which had me at #4 in one of my pools for about an hour, but they really did not help me in the long run. And was surprised by early losses of others I had picked to move on (Villanova, Louisville). Still… my HEELS won both games in the first round, which is more than I can say for this time last year when they lost in the second game. 

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”  Joshua J. Marine

Last year really put the “Madness” in March Madness as the unthinkable happened when UVA, the #1 overall seed, lost to the #16 seed UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County, the Retrievers, for those of you who have never heard of them!) in the first round. History was made. Never before had a #1 seed lost to a #16. So what did UVA do this year in their first game as a #1 seed again? Well… they scared all of their fans and threatened to bust a majority of brackets in the first half of their first game, before putting their game faces on and rolling to the Sweet 16. Survive and move on. 

“Struggles are required in order to survive in life. Because in order to stand up, you gotta know what falling down is like.”

However, since the unthinkable happened last year, could it happen again to another #1 seed? I mean, no one ever considered that possibility before. Those first round games were “gimmies” for the #1 seeds in the brackets. Until… last year. So now the possibility of that upset is in every player’s (and fan’s) mind. UNC (also a #1 seed) gave us a scare in the first half of their first game last Friday when they were down by 5 at halftime. Could they be overlooking this “gimmie” game, and instead thinking about games down the road? Thankfully, the Heels came back in the second half and won 88-73 after getting an emotional pep talk from Coach Hubert Davis, who had been in this position before as a player for UNC. Plus, Coach of the Year, Roy Williams, told his team that he was not going to yell at them, he was going to coach them – set up the first play out of the half, which was successful, and Carolina never looked back as they moved on to the Sweet 16. Survive and move on. 

My neighbors know a CAROLINA girl lives in my house!

“The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with the expectation that they can make it work or make it better.” Barbara Pletcher

As luck would have it for Duke (also a #1 seed), they eked out a win in the final seconds of their second game. At this point, a win is a win, no matter how ugly. On to the Sweet 16. Survive and move on.

“You know why it’s hard to be happy? It’s because we refuse to let go of the things that make us sad.”

Have you experienced any “upsets” in your life? Obviously I had a big “upset” in my life 3 years ago. I may have exited that tournament early, but I lived with that loss, and just like the UVA team, I put my game face on, put my hurt and embarrassed feelings aside, and moved forward. Refocused, “coached” by friends and family, worked on MY life and myself, and came back ready for the next challenge. Survive and move on.

Weather was so nice I could watch games on my back porch!

“There are all these moments you think you won’t survive. Then you survive.” David Levithan

So when upsets and disappointments in life bring you down, and they will, or when you find yourself the underdog, put your game face on, dig deep within yourself, and survive and move on. Because there is a wonderful life and a wonderful world out there for each of us. It won’t be served up on a platter, you have to work for it, but you can do it! Pick yourself up and do what makes you happy, with those who make you happy, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow. 



PS  In the words of the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), Michael Jordan, “The Ceiling is the Roof.”

PSS Did you know that Vince Carter (also a GREAT Tar Heel!) is the oldest active player in the NBA at the age of 42? 42 is considered old?!?!? Don’t they know 60 is the new 40? Just sayin’….

“Reminiscing…” Little River Band 1978

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

And welcome SPRING! Your arrival has been waited for with bated breath. As has the birth of the newest member of my family! My favorite nephew (my sister’s son) and his wife had their sweet baby girl last Thursday night, at 11:58 PM. I was there at the hospital with my sisters and my brother-in-law until 2:15 AM. We could not leave until we got to meet our new family member and see her adoring parents after waiting so long.

So many happy memories flooded back to me while waiting for sweet Izzie to make her appearance. My 3 wonderful children were all born at this same hospital. I remember those 3 happiest days of my life as if they happened yesterday. My oldest was born in May of 1985, just as the season finale of Dallas was being shown on the TV in our labor room. The nurses kept me there until the show ended at 10 PM, telling me not to push, and as the show was ending, I heard a heart monitor flatline, and sat up questioning “Is that my baby?” To which the nurses replied, “No honey (southern for whatever your name is), that was Bobby Ewing. He just died and we are heading to delivery.” Back in the day you did not labor and deliver in the same room – heaven forbid! So we headed to the delivery room and my beautiful daughter was born 14 minutes later. Also back in the day, the technology was nothing like it is today and we had no idea if we were having a boy or a girl. Had names for both and a generic nursery of stenciled teddy bears. Also had the now forbidden bumper pads (made by my mom), blankets, and stuffed animals in the crib. And yet, miracle of miracles, all of my children survived!

Once they moved us out of delivery to yet another room, recovery, (before our final destination), they opened the big doors of the unit and there stood all of my sweet family, waiting to meet my daughter. Just the best, warmest, and most loving feeling!

“A baby is something you carry inside for 9 months, in your arms for 3 years, and in your heart until the day you die.” Mary Mason

Second child appeared mid-morning in November of 1987. My dear aunt, Mom’s sister, came to our house early that morning and took my oldest (2 ½ years old) to the sitter’s so we could make the 2 minute drive to the hospital. Credit to the wonderful nurses, I asked them after being in labor for about 2 hours, how much longer they thought it might be, and when they told me 30 minutes, I did the math on how many contractions I would have to endure and decided I could make another delivery without an epidural. Right on time, thirty minutes later, my younger daughter said “hello world, here I am!” And once again, when those big doors opened, there was my loving family.

“I believe in love at first sight…because I’m a mom.”

Not to be left out, and wanting to be unique, my adorable son arrived a week early, in the middle of the night – 4:13 AM, in June of 1991. With his birth, I gave in to an epidural and the anesthesiologist became my best friend for several hours. And as before, my faithful family was there, bleary-eyed, when they opened the big doors before the crack of dawn!

“There’s this boy who stole my heart. He calls me Mom (Momma).”

Jump to 2019, and the birth of my precious great-niece. My sisters, brother-in-law, and I had to check in with a policeman manning the desk before even entering the waiting room, showing our driver’s license and getting a printed nametag complete with our picture and personal information to wear while in the waiting room. Once the baby was born and my nephew texted pictures (thank heavens for smart phones today!), we waited for them to have their bonding time, and then were allowed up to the labor/birthing/delivery room (yes all in one room), but first had to register on that floor and get yet another bright yellow nametag. THEN we finally got to meet the newest member of our family, sweet Isabelle Love Craycroft. (Named after my grandmother Isabelle.) She is beautiful y’all and just as special as her big brother Jack.

“The littlest feet make the biggest footprints in our hearts.”

Needless to say, we did not get back to my sister’s until about 2:30 AM. Friday morning, I wanted to see my Mom, and of course Baby Izzie again before heading home, so after a few hours of sleep, I got up and headed to Mom’s. Still finding myself in an emotional state of mind with the new baby in our family, I detoured into my old neighborhood where I loved living, before moving to Charlottesville. Drove ever so slowly by my old house like a stalker, noticing changes over the past 22 years. Gosh my family had so much fun in that house, so many good memories. My next door neighbors have since moved, as have several of my old neighborhood friends. If I was still living in that house, I could walk to see my Mom every day. I made a U-turn and slowly drove back, stopping this time right in front of my old house while waiting on a dog walker to get by. Wait! I know that dog walker! We were both so surprised to see each other!  We’ve known each other since childhood – went to the same church all of our lives, and still do (never game up my membership). When we found ourselves in the same neighborhood back in 1992, she invited me to be a member of the “Walkers,” a fun group of moms who met at 8:30 each night after getting our kids to bed, and walked our neighborhood and talked and talked and talked. I treasured those walks and talks and missed those friends and times together when I moved to Charlottesville. It was wonderful catching up with this “old” friend. Just wish I had had more time.

“The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen, and the memories you’ve made along the way.”

Time to head to Mom’s and tell her she is a great-grandmother once again. So thankful she knew who I was right away. We facetimed with my sister, the grandmother, so she could deliver the good news. Of course she is a GREAT grandmother, one of the best (instead of a great-grandmother) she says… but whose baby is it again? And did anyone tell her mother that the new baby is named after her? She’ll get a real kick out of that! We assured her that Grandma Isabelle knows…

Time for lunch and a visit with Jack at my sister’s – had special presents for him. Then headed to the hospital for a last snuggle with Izzie and give her the special lovey, before making the trip home. Hated to leave them all, but I needed to get home. Thing I love about all of my car rides? Time for prayers for and phone calls with family and friends, and a perfect time to think and reminisce about my life. And time to be so very thankful for where I find myself now.

I am now able to look back at all of my memories with an understanding of how good those times were, and yet, I am so thankful for all the memories I am making now. I know the memories I am making these days would never have happened if my life had not taken that drastic turn 3 years ago. I’ve always had a good relationship with my kids and my sisters, but now, those relationships are so much stronger. Same with my girlfriends. So becoming SOLO ended up being a blessing in disguise – and what a disguise it was at the time!

“Happy times come and go, but the memories stay forever.”

So take time to reminisce about your life – both the happy times and the sad times. These events have made us who we are and shaped our lives. And take time to make new, special memories with those you love, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.



PS  Spring Equinox (today, March 20th) means equal hours of day and night… so mathematically speaking, that means 12 hours of daylight y’all! And the days will just get longer and longer!


“Minute by Minute” Doobie Brothers 1978

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Did y’all remember to move your clocks ahead last weekend or did you find yourself in church an hour early Sunday morning? Maybe you skipped church and slept in? Full disclosure, I slept in. I was exhausted from watching Carolina beat Duke (for the second time this season) Saturday night! GDTBATH!

GO HEELS! In my retro sweater – a gift from my son!

Have you adjusted to losing that hour of sleep? Amazing the effect one hour can have on your life.  It is so dark in the morning, but I have to admit, I am loving the extra light at the end of the day. And the weather has been so pleasant, especially after having snow up here Friday and frigid temperatures in the 30’s Saturday (plus rain!). The sun finally made an appearance Sunday afternoon as the temperatures climbed into the 60’s. And it was light until after 7 pm. Washed the winter off of my car, then sat on my back porch for a bit. Did it again on Monday: came home from work (in daylight, I might add), got my electric throw, and sat on my back porch. The next thing I knew, I was waking up from a nap! (trying to get that hour of sleep back!) I am so ready for spring. You?

“What I love about Daylight Savings Time is that it’s always 5:00 somewhere an hour earlier now.”

Why does DST have to fall on a Saturday night and take that one hour away from our weekend? Why not on a Thursday night to get us closer to the weekend? I am hoping we keep DST and not revert back in the fall. That one hour of sleep is nice to recoup in the fall, but not at the expense of darkness earlier. Over the next month we will gain an hour of light – 2 minutes a day. Thankfully.

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.”

One hour… sixty minutes… what does an hour mean to you? What can you do in an hour? I can get to Richmond to see my older daughter in an hour. One hour spent with my mom is a treasure. She begins to tire after an hour, and truly we have exhausted our topics of conversation by then, many repeated! But that hour is plenty special. Most of my workouts, cycle classes, and runs take an hour (4% of my day!). An hour phone conversation with friends and family while I am driving (and I do a lot of driving) is priceless. An hour. My older daughter, son-in-law, and granddawg came by to see me last night and visited for an hour.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it but you can use it. You can’t keep it but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.”  Harvey Mackay

We are all so busy in our lives, but maybe we could take an hour a week and do something special for someone else. Volunteer. I want to be a cuddler at the hospital with new babies. And what about our own benefit? Ever thought about taking an hour during the week for yourself? Maybe get a massage? A facial? Take a yoga class? A nap? I do find that if I take an hour and organize myself on Sundays my week goes much smoother. Plan my workouts, meals, activities.

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Speaking of time, did you know that Barbie turned 60 last Saturday? Wonder if she is SOLO at SIXTY too?!? Or did Ken stay faithful? Good ole Barbie never ages… what’s with that?!? Wish I still had my Barbie – that $3 doll is now worth over $27,000!

My younger sister’s birthday was the day before Barbie’s. She is several years younger than Barbie. Y’all know how close I am to my sisters, even more so after becoming SOLO. I know how important family is and I try to find time to be with them as often as I can, so Saturday I left home early to meet my sisters for a birthday lunch at Sweet Potatoes in downtown Winston-Salem. What fun (and GREAT food) we had! We were way too full for dessert, and decided to wait and have that great soft serve ice cream at “Mom’s ice cream parlor.” When we told mom we were celebrating my sister’s birthday, mom just would not believe she was “50-something!” Nor that I am 61 and my older sister is, well, older than me! She’ll never believe she will be 90 this September! But she did tell us that our dad had called her that morning to tell her he had won the “Best Looking Man” contest! And asked if we have heard from him lately? “Uh, not in about 19 years!” Going with the flow, we just said, “well he certainly was a good-looking man!” She thought it was hilarious he was telling her that he won. We did too!

“Live every hour like it’s happy hour.”

So make the most of every hour y’all. Because once that time is gone, there is no getting it back. Spend as much time as you can with those you love, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.



PS If this coming weekend is rain free, it will be only the 3rd dry weekend of 2019!