Tag Archives: Time

Time

Don’t start. I know it already. It’s been too long. I’ve been slacking and I’m not proud of myself. When I started this blog, I wanted to try my very best to make it the one thing I stuck with from beginning to, well, there really is no end. And that’s what brought me back here today, Sunday, July 20, 2014.

On August 31 you’ll celebrate your one-year anniversary.

This September 10th will mark a year since Fil and I made the move to Portland, ME.

And on October 2nd I’ll sit down at the table for my morning coffee where I sat a year ago and cried after mom called to say, “I have some bad news.”

I was sitting there, Fil wasn’t quite home yet. I had just gotten off the phone and Butch, our maintenance man, arrived to fix our stove. I offered him water and though I thought I could hide it, when he saw the tears in my eyes he sighed and said, “We’ll get ‘er fixed, hon. Won’t take long.”

Once Fil arrived, we sat at the table and held hands while Butch fixed our shitty little stove. Thinking it over, I wonder if Butch really thought that’s what I was crying over. It would explain why he’s so quick to come switch the breakers each time I blow a fuse.

I was in the car with Shannen today, heading to the Yarmouth Clam Festival. Yeah, that’s a thing here.  I could tell Shannen was out of it. She’s usually upbeat and chatty. Today she just wanted to ride, so I let her. I cranked up the country and we drove.  An hour in the wrong direction to be truthful.  After a while I asked Shannen what was up. How she was feeling?

“I feel like I’m in limbo.”

“Limbo?”

“I feel like I’m not going anywhere. Nothing is happening for me.”

I thought about it for a minute. I’m getting better at holding onto my thoughts and articulating them when the time is right.

“Shannen, I think we’re all used to things happening very fast in our generation. And I think we might be at a spot, you know, after high school, after college, when things might start slowing down for us. And I think it’s okay to let it slow down.”

She shook her head, not really satisfied, but I was. I took that hour drive going the wrong way to really think about the passage of time.

Just yesterday mom told me, “Fil will be home before you know it. Everything just goes so quickly anymore.” And that was really telling. Momma has come to a point where her life is picking up pace again. She see’s her eldest daughter married with a baby girl and her youngest living ten hours away and teaching. Gram and Pap are getting older, though Gram would hate that it’s in writing now, published for anyone in the world to see, but it is true. We’re all getting older, but it’s mom, it’s gram, it’s pap who see it. Why? Because one minute they see a bald, chubby little towhead and the next minute Paige has flipped her Barbie Jeep from driving too fast.

Time. It’s a tricky little bastard, huh? Some days it feels like it’s not moving at all as you stare at your ceiling fan, wondering if you’ll ever pass your permit test and how the hell did Jeri get her permit before you when she’s like seven months younger, and if you don’t pass it, how will you ever leave Martinsburg??? And other days you’re sitting in your apartment with your cat and your things and your bills and wondering how in the hell will you ever pay for new tires so you can get back to Martinsburg???

Time. That bastard.

It won’t feel like a year ago to me. I’m not sure it will ever feel like it’s in the past. Cancer isn’t an old boyfriend.  Well, except for that one Italian guy. He was a real tumor, but that’s another story…

Cancer will never be in our past. It will never be history. We will never talk about it in terms of “remember that time you had cancer?” Not you, mom, or I. It will always be part of our present. We will always be on the watch and there will always be that tiny bit of fear. Yesterday I was  reminded to schedule my yearly OBGYN appointment and this year I will be requesting my first mammogram, really making breast cancer a part of my own present.

This week mom will have the BRCA test and we will finally know whether or not this was a coincidence or simply fate. And if it was fate, if it is fate, we will be ready this time.

October 2nd will mark the day you were diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and the day my stove broke. Things have never been quite the same since, but I’ll tell you one thing….

This morning I made one mean BLT.

Love,

Liv

 

 

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The Irreplaceables

From Portland to Mass, New York to Pennsylvania with a quickie to Maryland, we did it all this past holiday season. It started with a conversation about friends and time. “Do you think we have made our friends for life?” I asked, while wiping onion induced tears away. “I think we’ve made our solid friends.” “Right.” “But, I think we will always make friends wherever we are, don’t you?” I nodded, though I really didn’t have an answer.

Do I think I’ll ever meet another Abby Kreider, who’s shared more adventures with me than Gumby and his damn horse, Pokey? No way. Another Debbi? Mattson? Kevin? Illya? Another Marcus-Marcus who has seen Fil and I at our best, worst, and mediocre?! Never. Yes, we will make friends everywhere we go, but once you’ve made your irreplaceables, your partners in crime, your jail bailers, your best enemies (for they know every dirty detail), these my readers, are hard to make again.

So, we planned a trip. A big trip. A several hundred mile trip. Hours. It was a long ass trip. Our first stop was Massachusetts, where we surprised Mattson and Raji the night they returned home for Christmas. We sat up until 5 a.m.(?) catching up, analyzing our current predicaments, laughing, and feeling a little sad when talking of those couple months in our lives when we were all connected at the hip. Those weren’t the best months. We all went through our own private hells during that period, but who better to go through hell with than your soul mates?

The next morning we said our goodbyes and South we drove to New York with a car full of gifts, wine, and our traveling cat.

It was Christmas Eve around 4:00 p.m. as we watched her enter the building from our rental car. It was the perfect set up. An unrecognizable automobile, a Santa hat, and jingle antlers. She had no idea. We waited in the fire escape as Fil made a call to his momma, who had just returned from errands. “Get on Skype,” he told her, “We’ll talk on Skype.” We quickly made our way to the door with a DRING-DRING of the bell. It was all hugs, kisses, and tears when she opened the door to find two of Santa’s forgotten helpers and their charming Christmas cat, Bagheera. The evening was spent with so much laughter that I remember my cheeks feeling warm and tingly as I drifted to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Christmas day we were back on the road, headed to Pennsylvania, where for two days we didn’t move from the couch. When we finally had the strength to get back in the car, Fil and I made a trip to Hagerstown to have lunch with my grandfather and his wife, Millie. We spent the afternoon catching up and talking of Portland. That night we watched movies with dad and Mary at the cabin. The fire was rolling, my belly was full of O.I.P pizza, and I couldn’t believe how incredible this Christmas was. We saw everyone on our Christmas list, which started with our mommas. There is nothing like waking up in your childhood bed, going to the kitchen, and finding your momma with a coffee and a sunshine smile on her face before you’ve even had the chance to pee. That, friends, is irreplaceable.

But all of the many warm, fuzzy Christmas moments still couldn’t keep my over-analytical, there-must-be-a-catch writer’s mind from screwing it all up for me.

One night while playing WWF Raw: Captain Hook (Fil) vs. Paige and Aunt O, there was a moment when all I wanted was to be back home in Portland. A moment when I wished we didn’t even make the trip.

Those close to me know I don’t handle leaving home well. I actually end up dreading visiting, knowing that I’ll eventually have to say goodbye again. I start thinking about it before I’ve even arrived. This visit was no different. I was so happy to see our parents, our friends, our homes, but coming home sometimes feels like coming back to reality. As if the life you’re building somewhere else, away from your start, doesn’t really count as life. It feels like all this time we’ve been playing house when out there in reality my three-year-old niece is learning to go on the potty and, in her words, “It’s just awful.” I’m reminded that while we are away in the never-never land of Portland, my grandparents are still getting older, our pets don’t really consider themselves “ours” anymore, our parents still have to go to work, our best friend will fly back to LA, my sister is still fighting cancer, and Christmas only comes once a year, damn it!

All of this seemed to hit full force on New Year’s Eve over Olivier salad and Halladetzs. After a nip of vodka and some twinkling candles, I burst into tears, running to the bedroom where Fil found me, “What’s wrong?” “I don’t know. I just feel sad. I’m SAD. Why did we come home?”

He dried my eyes and we spoke to the parents about life, worries, feeling lonely, and, as they often do, they reassured us that everything will be all right and life is good. Funny how all it takes to calm a twenty-something is a sip of wine and an understanding nod from your parents.

After spending New Year’s Eve watching movies, calling friends, and burning our regrets, tossing them out over the balcony, I could answer my own question. Why did we make the trip? Because Fil and I decided the night I asked if him we made our friends for life, that we would never, ever let “we’ll see them next time,” become our excuse. We never want it to become easier not to go home even when it is. Even when it’s going to take money out of the bank or time out of our lives. We never want to lose touch-when I say touch I mean hugs and kisses not texts and tweets. I want to hold the people closest to me when I can, I want to hug my best friends, kiss my grandparents, and squeeze my fat English bulldog. We will never choose “next time,” over sharing just a moment with our irreplaceables.

Happy New Year, readers!

Much love,

Liv

P.S. please check “ABBY UPDATES: TWO MORE TO GO.” You can find this on the side bar under “Pages.”

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Ode to an Oldsmobile

Alas, the day has come when I must say goodbye to the remainder of my adolescence. My partner in crime of 8 years, my horse with no name, my freedom, my vessel, my two door Oldsmobile Alero has lost his will to live.

From the hillsides of Western PA to the interstates of the Empire State, my Alero has carried me from one adventure to the next.

He was given to me by my father on my 16th birthday in the hopes of teaching me responsibility and respect for the road, but that old car taught me so much more. From driving on snow covered I-99 to my first road kill victim on Hog Farm Road, he has driven me through it all.

The Oldsmobile Alero has seen all there is of the East, coasting in the glory of I-95 from St. Augustine, FL all the way to Rockland, ME. There is no denying he drove good miles.

When I called my mechanic for a report on the maintenance, I knew the news was not good. Having been transferred to “Services” immediately, I already knew. “It’s not good. Your transmission is shot. And the cost is more than the car.”

More than the car? More than my first car? My sweet sixteen car? I am sorry, sir, but can one put a price on their adolescence?

Throughout high school Alero was my escape, my escape from parents, school, work, and life. Blaring Kanye West’s Graduation album, I flew over the roads of Henrietta with best friends Abby, Stef, Brittany, and Jeri.

The night before high school graduation Lee Martz and I cruised the back roads of Martinsburg, listening to Edith Piaf and smoking American Spirits, talking of college, parties, love, and moving away, never looking back.

In my college years the Alero carried me to my first place in Altoona, PA across from the VFW. Carried me to parties at Chuck’s Farm and up the hill to the Maurer’s for Wednesday dancing.

When I decided to move to NY, Alero was right there with me. Never once falling behind the Mustangs with NY plates. Many a’traffic jams we sat together, overheating, praying for an inch, hoping the Tappan Zee would not fall before we arrived.

Through love and break ups, Alero was right there. And I pray he forgives me for letting that one guy behind his wheel.

Today, my friends, is a sad day for me. And Friday night, when Fil and I go to pay our respects, I will pour a Miller High Life over Alero’s tires while blaring Champion.

So, here’s to you, Oldsmobile Alero. Here’s to the late night Sheetz runs, the long days on I-287, and getting me home safely every Christmas, I thank you.

Very soon you will join an army of cars, soldiers that drove on until the very end.

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