My friend Judi will be celebrating her birthday on Sunday and her lucky numbers are 75. I like the sound of seven as in lucky seven and five somehow has become my lucky number. So with this thought in mind, I invited Judi to dinner last evening at the neighborhood Outback restaurant. It was a humming crowd filled with ambiance as we were escorted to our table. The timing worked as it was happy hour and we took advantage by ordering White Zinfandel for me and Merlot for Judi. This would be perfect for the toast to the happy occasion and also our beverage for our meal. I know in years past the silver-gold-diamond traditions applied to 25 50 75 year anniversary gifts, so why now apply it to birthdays, too? But only with one difference, I would substitute dinner for a diamond. After all it is the thought that counts, right?
We manged to have a fun evening catching up as Judi and I seem to be complete opposites as I love the busy-hurried giving pace where she prefers the slow moving planned activities. I was raised in New York City and Judi hails from Iowa and the differences are similar to night and day. She is always in awe of things I did growing up and could never imagine herself doing any of it. I always feel that her lifestyle would have been too mundane for me, but it worked for her. We enjoyed our dinner and the staff of the Outback sang Happy Birthday and presented Judi with a dessert of yummy vanilla ice-cream topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
It was the final touch to the occasion as we ended the evening. Happy 75 and many more years are wished for you Judi.
When I clowned for the first time at the end of the school year in June (photo above) I truly smiled for weeks after knowing how happy I had made some of the children. A majority had never seen a clown in person and so this became a first for them as well as for me. I knew then by their huge smiles and laughs that clowning definitely brings joy, silliness and plain old fun that we all need ( if only in small doses). And, because I have always enjoyed being silly and giggling and also to be the sparkly light in a room. Hence. my name “Sparkles”.
So today marked my first appearance as an official volunteer at the Community Hospital wearing my clown attire and face. I was fortunate to shadow two experienced clown volunteers named Pearl and Flowers. Off we went the three of us via elevator to the third floor. We stopped and chatted with the staff and walked the corridors and visited patients that welcomed our hello’s. We always knock first and ask if they would like a visit.
At our disposal is a ready made cart with all kinds of fun things to hand out to the patient and the visitors, to lighten things up if only for a brief moment or two. We have ready- made stuffed dolls and bears, made by volunteers to keep them company and we also have jars that look like they are holding pills, but are really tiny packages with jokes written and enclosed within. We can offer a pill in jest, and then watch the smile appear on their face when they read the jar’s labels that read belly laughs, giggles and jokes.
It really does help make the situation at hand tolerable and their appreciation is warranted by all of the spoken and unspoken expressions of thanks. I truly wish for others who just might be “stumbling by” to perhaps be enticed to volunteer for just for an hour or two. The memories of their faces transformed by a smile or a giggle will last a lifetime.
‘One gentleman, took off his breathing mask momentarily to tell us that he felt all good things come in threes; and if he were single, he would propose to all three of us. Ladies, you made my day and I thank you.”
How wonderful is that as compensation for a few hours of volunteerism?
Today was my ninth acupuncture treatment and I am in awe of how wonderful I feel. My closest friends and neighbors have all commented on the healthy pink glow to my complexion plus my slower pace of breathing. I literally feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest.
I am totally committed to the acupuncture practice and if I could, ” I would like to shout out to those in pain- short of breath /and other ailments to try acupuncture.” It has become apparent to me that I am able to do more without becoming winded and has also reduced my three time a day inhalant to once a day. This also works well for my budget and cuts my treatment expense.
Linda was extremely happy to hear about my ease of travels and climbing of stairs without being completely out of breath. So, she has cut my appointments to once every ten days and then perhaps every two -three weeks depending on how much more I improve.
Arrived home late Thursday and honestly it takes me longer each time to recuperate from unpacking and opening a week’s worth of mail. Somehow, there are never any checks but lots of requests for donations and it is now the primary in Florida coming in August and so it seems that every candidate has their plea to vote for him or her in my mailbox. Talk about saving trees!
But let me fill you in on my stay at Terry’s home out on the Island. His home is also the residence for my two grand-children and my two great-grand-children Marissa and Anthony. Both have grown so much and talk incessantly and ask questions and love to hug and kiss me (believe me I am not complaining, I love it). Anthony aka A.J. celebrated his sixth birthday in June and received a WI that has bowling as oneof the games that can be played. He has mastered the technique and has become a champion player. His goal was to teach his great Nana how to play. This was a brand new experience for me but I had to try.
With his guidance and step by step instructions he tried to tell and show me how to play. I started to feel like a school-girl and a little embarrassed at how clumsy and uncoordinated I was. Finally after lots of tries and laughter, too , I managed to hold the hand-held controller correctly and guide the arrows to aim for the center pin. Five pins, six and then a spare and I was hooked on WI.
Within a day or two, I was able to beat my record with the highest score and just a few games later, I beat Anthony with a great score. His reply was “Great Nana, it is not important to win, just how you play the game.” I totally agreed (but it is nice to win) and so I continued to play with him and then my nine year old Marissa. Now my great grand-daughter has the most beautiful thick long long, brown hair and is almost as tall as her Great Nana and she is very competitive. Needless to say I could not win a game against her but we did have lots of fun. It was a wonderful heart warming experience to play games with my family especially the younger set. And I wish it were possible to do it more ( but living out of state does not warrant the possibility plus the expense) but this is another page for my memory book.
Thought I would share my experience in New York City and how it relates to the acupuncture treatments I have been receiving.
When the railroad cars pull into the station, there are many people rushing to their destinations and there are many steps to climb to the upper level.
In the past, I would linger until the crowd subsided and then start my upward journey. This time, as I climbed I noticed how I was able to do it without gasping for breath or just taking a few steps and pausing to rest in between. This was a “wow” experience and also a realization of how well acupuncture can work for breathing problems like Ms Millie’s.
My future goals are to walk blocks at a time without stopping to catch my breath. I know my acupuncturist will be pleased with my good news at my next visit on Monday.