Friends taking a look at the blog!


What does a wheelchair and an ATM have in common - me.

       Have you ever tried to help someone and it back fired badly? I have wanted to find this person from Missouri to say sorry for so long. 

           It was before my second son and daughter were born when living in Missouri that one faithful day, my life had changed. Coming from New York, Billy and I were bagel “snobs” and finding a good bagel became a challenge. We had found a small bagel shop about forty minutes south of our house, that came close to a good bagel. The only problem was that this  bagel store was not in the best area. We didn’t care about that as coming from New York we were never intimated going into any neighborhood.  One day, I packed up Patrick who was probably around one and half, and made the trip down to get bagels for the week. It was early in the morning and I got my bagels and a cup of coffee. I was coming out of the store and was putting Patrick into the van. In the corner of my eye, I could see this man in a wheelchair approaching me with what seemed to be a coffee cup. He was raising his cup in air while rolling closer to me. I remember vividly that I did not have any dollar bills or change to give him and truly felt bad.  I made eye contact and with a sorrowful face said “I can’t help you.” He still was rolling closer and now was waving his cup higher and pointing to his cup. I was at that point getting nervous and then thought, what could he do to hurt me? 

       I then quickly got into the van with the window up as he was in front of my van still waving. I went to lower my window to say, please move when he calmly said “you left your coffee cup on top of your roof.” He then proceeded to turn and roll away. Ugh. I seriously opened my door, got my coffee cup off the roof, tried to say thank you but at that point, he was down the street. I’ve never forgotten that man or what happened that day to make me realize that things sometimes aren’t what they seem. To this day, I never, never judge someone based on their circumstances and nether should you.  

         Well, it came back to haunt me nineteen years later. It was just this past week when I was driving up to the ATM at Bank of America. The car in front of me had it’s break lights on so I became worried that this person would go backwards and hit me. I was a bit farther behind so I would not get hit and gently (yes, gently) tapped my horn to say, please don’t hit me. Well, this car almost immediately went in gear and drove off. I didn’t think anything of it and was glad that the car didn’t go backwards. When I was facing the front of the ATM, it was beeping “do you need more time to complete your transaction?” I thought, what the heck? I hit no and then the persons’ ATM card spit out. I can see the car taking off down the road so I took it and took off to get it back to that person. 

          I saw that persons car make a left on a back road so I thought this is not going to be a big deal to get along side of them to return their card. As I started to speed up, they started to speed up. I then got close enough to hang my hand out my window holding their card and I started to scream “hey - you left your ATM card in the machine!” I guess that made them scared as they took off. We went down three or four blocks when the car made a right and flew down the next street. I made the turn and sped up but to avail as they went through the light and made a left. I made the left still screaming - “wait - wait - I have your card!” I then saw the car went into a sub division and I went too. I half expected to see a cop car behind me at this point. I saw that the car pulled into a driveway and the garage door went up. I thought, please don’t make me get out and go the front door. I parked my car on the opposite side of the street to see this woman slowly get out of her car. I calmly said “you left your card in the machine and I wanted to get it back to you.” She looked horrified and embarrassed.  She walked over and said “oh I am so sorry, I didn’t understand why you were ‘chasing’ after me.” She thanked me and I was on my way. I did get a bit upset that I was just trying to help her. I could have emptied her account and instead I ran after her to give her back her card. I was just trying to help! Ugh, so was that man in the wheelchair nineteen years ago. You’re never too old to learn your lesson and sometimes it comes back at you when you least expect it. Life is funny, isn’t it? Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time!


Funeral home funny? Fortunately it was for us.

        It is coming up to eight years and one month (but who’s counting) that my Mom has passed away.  I guess you never forget what you were doing when you get that phone call to inform you that your mother who was alive one day is gone the next.  Going through the roller coaster of circumstances surrounding my Father-in-law’s illness (who thankfully is recovering slowly,) that phone call was a mix blessing. You always think you are prepared for a loved one to leave you - but you’re not. When my sister called me that Friday at 4:43pm, I was sitting at my dining room table, writing up a listing agreement for a one bedroom condo in Coral Springs. I picked up the phone and heard my sister say “Mom’s gone - she died.” I sat there shocked and looked up at my husband Bill and couldn’t speak. As God was so good, got the first flight out the very next day. My sister met me at the airport and we grabbed each other and just wept in the middle of walkway. Funny how you just don’t care about the people around you. Then came the inevitable. Funeral arrangements. 

       My mother was smart enough to plan ahead. We immediately went to the local funeral home - you know that funeral home, the one who is on the bottom of the calendar you get every year from church. My Mom’s wish was to be cremated and no wake. Thank God. Went to enough of them growing up. At this point, my head is numb (not because the weather at the time was 15 degrees) and spinning. I can remember Susan and I walking into a hallway and sitting outside an office. It felt more like going to the principals office rather meeting with a funeral director. What seemed like forever, a man comes out and says “come on in.” A bit too happy for my taste considering we’re here to make arrangements for my mothers remains. 

    My sister sits closer to the wall and I’m sitting next to her while the man who doesn’t introduce himself, sits on the other side of the desk. He asks “what can I do for you.” I wanted to say so bad - “a vodka tonic sounds good to me right about now,” but I kept that to myself. As Susan was starting to talk about how my mom had died, it really started to become a reality. Well, I started to sob. Sob like the ugly cry that Oprah talks about. Tears streaming down my face and a ton of snot right behind it. At this point, Susan is now trying to calm me down by holding my hand and telling me it’s ok. Seriously, the man behind the desk never even offered me let alone my sister a tissue. That did not go unnoticed. As I wiped my nose and face on my black leather jacket, Susan looked over and smile. It was ridiculous at this point, the man behind the desk just kept trying to sell us more and more things that my Mom was just not interested in. We could tell that the man behind desk was not happy with us. All he kept saying was, “just sign here.” Being in Real Estate, I read everything and that he did not like. I must have stopped three or four times to say, no - we are not paying for that or that or that. Again, more tears and snot and again - no tissue. Coming to the end of the meeting, and finally signing off on the final paperwork, I could not stop myself asking, “Um…how long are you in the business?” Seriously thinking it had to be only a few days or weeks, he calmly says “twenty five years.” I thought I was going to choke. At that point, Susan and I exchange looks and just started to laugh. Twenty five years? Are you kidding me? Simon Cowell is a  angel compared to this guy. 

        I was going to get up to leave and I happen to look up at a wooden shelf on the wall and see those beautiful urns like the Veterans flag frame/urn as well as some beautiful pottery ones. It suddenly occurred to me that we never talked about what urn my Mom was to be put in. I turned to the man behind the desk and asked “we didn’t pick out an urn for my Mom.” He then said, no pun intended, dead pan “oh, she’ll be in what is like a coffee tin.” What? A coffee tin? At that point, yes, he pulls what had to be a Folgers coffee tin from behind those beautiful urns and says, “something like this.” 
           Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse. It does. We started to laugh, what could you do at that point. Funny how God works in situations. The absurdity of the situation made us laugh. When we got up to leave, Susan looked at the man behind the desk, who never came around to console us in any way, says “do you know you never even gave us your condolences on the passing of our mother.” He then says, “I thought you knew.” Oh at this point, we are laughing walking out the door and sadly, there was a family waiting in the hall. They look at us with a perplexed look and we turn and say - “our Mom died, isn’t that hysterical?” Maybe that wasn’t what we were suppose to say but God was so good to lift our spirits and give us something to smile about. Truly  funny how God steps in just when you need Him most. As in the last blog, God had His hands on everything that week and the blessings that came out were unbelievable.  Death is no laughing matter, but when things happen to make you laugh when you didn’t think you could, it’s ok. Now when I look back at that day, it doesn’t make me sad, but it makes me smile that God made it so funny for my sister and me. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time. Miss you Mom.


It’s ok to laugh - really - it’s ok. Part 2 of the road trip to NYC.

               Let me start off by saying that I met my future husband when I was only seventeen and he was nineteen. We had lived north of New York City and I never really went into the city because back then, it really was not a great place to visit. Billy (husband) went into the city all the time and started to bring me with him as well. I fell in love with the diverse people, places and things to do.  Nothing was better than taking the Harlem/Hudson line train ride into Grand Central Station. Seeing the musicians play with their instrument cases open for tips (I always tipped by the way!) and the people running to their next stop in the city,  was such a common site. The city has always been a soft spot in my heart and Billy knows that. Even with all the snow and horrible weather up north - I miss Manhattan.

       After leaving his dad in the hospital and his mom back at her house, we ventured down into Westchester. Growing up there, we went around different towns to talk about when we were kids and what places we loved going to. Well, we were exhausted, physically, emotionally and spiritually and knew we needed a place to crash. Being blessed with great family I text messaged my cousin and she did not think twice and told us to come to her house. Blessing number five. She said she didn’t want to kill us with her cooking so we ordered pizza which was great for us because there is no better pizza than in New York. We got there and immediately I could see Billy relaxing and just enjoying the loud conversations we were having. My cousins family welcomed us and treated us like family should be treated. We laughed about old times and enjoyed looking at old photos. Drank wine and sat in front of the fireplace. Looking back at that night it truly warms my heart (no pun intended.) We knew we were going to try to go into Manhattan the next morning so we said our “good-byes” and went to bed. Got up early, a bit fuzzy (how much wine did we drink?) and ventured out.  The roads were fine and we got into Manhattan and started driving around. 

               As we were coming into the city, I could feel tears forming in my eyes and Billy asked why I was crying. I am sure it was just the emotion of being in the city again, with my husband, in the winter time and feeling a bit guilty that I was starting to feel happy. I truly thought, I shouldn’t feel this way knowing that Billy’s dad was still in hospital. Then I thought, this is God putting some happiness in our lives. As soon as we got into the city, everything fell into place. We had made the decision to try to find a hotel, parking and try to keep it within a reasonable price. Well, we did. Ok - the hotel was a bit sketchy but the parking was priced right, we got to check-in early and off we went into the city. Blessing number six! God bless adrenaline. Boots on and Billy leading the way, off we went into Times Square. Yes, I saw the “Naked Cowboy” and my life is now complete. Dang camera needed batteries so I didn’t get a picture. One of the things that I would request was that Billy NOT tell me how many blocks we would have to walk to get to our next destination.  Who wants to know that you have thirteen blocks north and five blocks west. So we walked, and walked and who cares - I’m in New York City again! We got to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and again, here came the tears. That church holds a special place in our hearts as that was our first date (St. Patrick’s day parade,) and I told him I was pregnant with our first born there who we named after St. Patrick. I was so overwhelmed with joy, gratitude and happiness. I think I even saw Billy tear up a bit. Blessing number seven. I would picture in my head going back to Manhattan and this was exactly what it would look like. I always asked God to bring me back and I knew it was going to be His way, not mine. We then walked to Grand Central station, Rockefellers Center, and the place that we love the most - Central Park.

This picture has been in my mind for many, many years and now I was seeing it in person! I truly  believed that one day I would see this with Billy and I did!

The rest of the day was great. Then the coolest thing of all was a few weeks back, my friends on Twitter were trying to get together in the city. Twitter is not like Facebook where you can see pictures of the person you are talking to, rather it has basically one picture and a small bio. I had thought in my mind, how I wish I could go but seriously thought there would be no way. God laughs again. Blessing number eight. I found out where they were meeting at this neat pub near our hotel and off we went to wait for them. I was so excited and kept thinking, I can’t believe I am going to meet these people who have kept my spirits up,  who enjoy reading my blog and just genuinely great people. The funny thing is, you know these people by a picture and not necessarily there face but an image, so I couldn’t just point someone out if they were right in front of me! Billy and I got there early and again tears were in my eyes because of the peace and just fun time we were having BEFORE they even got there. Then a slew of people came in and started going up to the third floor of this pub. I said to the bartender, “wish we were invited to that party.” She said it was a private party and just when I thought I wasn’t going to meet my friends, I get this text message to come up to the third floor where everyone is waiting! Blessing number nine! I still laugh as Billy and I anxiously start to go up the stairs knowing that even though I love these people online, I really don’t have a clue what everyone looks like. We enter the room and people start to look over at us and now I'm deathly afraid that we are in the wrong room! Then I heard the first of many screams of delight from a friend whom I met on Twitter come over to me with a big hug. More screams, more hugs. I had no idea how great everyone looked in person! Everyone was so welcoming. Even more so, everyone who knew why we were in New York, asked how Billy’s dad was doing. We were  so touched by that. Below is a collage of the people I met that night. You can see by the huge smiles it was a successful evening.

We laughed and laughed till the wee hours. We walked back to the hotel and never did I think that night was possible. Was happy that Billy had a good time considering, he really did not know anyone, yet, they brought him into “the family!” The night was a perfect ending to a trip that was filled with so many ups and downs. It was great to see Billy having a good time and not feel bad about doing so.  Big blessing number ten. Lessons learned from the trip, sometimes things go the way that you don’t expect them to go but, you are happy that they ended up that way. Dream those dreams as you never know, they just might come true. Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.


Put it on the calendar - don’t bother - God has other plans.

           As I sit here writing today I have in front of me our calendar that is on the kitchen wall. In January for instance, there were projects due, schedule for the kids, a friends wedding,  a sweet sixteen party, a charity walk and other events that I wanted to make sure we attend. I would love to consider myself a well organized person who writes things down in order to get things done. How many of you have the same calendar on your wall right now. It helps, right? Well, not this time.

          January was going along as we got news my father-in-law had fallen and needed hip surgery. Being an older gentleman, we knew of the risks that come with that type of surgery. I can not tell you how frustrating it is to be in another state while a family member is going through surgery and you can’t be there. Most family members believe that we are void of the situation and we are some how less involved or don’t care as much. So we sit and wait for the phone call that says everything is ok and sigh with relief that it’s over. That did not happen. Unfortunately, the surgery was a success but my father-in-law had trouble after. A lot of trouble. My mother-in-law would call us and say that he was getting worse and that they needed to help him breath. Every time (husband) Bills cell phone rang, we held our breath. At one point, his mom flat out said, you need to come up here now. Bill looked at me and said we better rent a car and drive up now. Ok? What about all the things on the calendar? I have to cancel things, make arrangements and are we really leaving the kids alone! Albeit they are almost twenty, seventeen and fifteen respectfully and all the friends and family near by  said that they’ll check-in on them, that alone made us feel better about going. 

             Not a coincidence, my van was being worked on and the garage felt bad it was taking so long to fix, they rented us a van to use for the weekend. I was calling  for a “reasonable” midsize car and just got the run around. When I was picked up to get the rental van, the rental company said they would be able to get me a midsize car and beat all the other rental companies prices. At this point, I just needed a car. Monday came and we found out that the weather up north was awful. Snow and more snow was the forecast. When I went to drop off the van and pick up the new rental, it was taking too long. The nice salesman who said he would “hook me up” was not there. Now I was in tears as the car I was promised was gone, new fees were going to be tact on and all I knew was that we needed to get on the road. With tears in my eyes, another salesman saw me and said privately, “just take this van, we’ll charge you what you were originally promised, no other fees.” I was concerned about the miles per gallon on the van and he assured me that the other car we were going to get would have gotten the same. This I was going to recognize as blessing number one. Big and roomy to put all our stuff, like heavy coats, a couple of blankets my pillow and of course, our lacrosse sticks (to play at the rest stops!)

              We get on the road and find out that his dad is doing a bit better. I felt that God was letting him hold on until Bill could get there. Knowing we were going to drive through the night, I drove first. (Hate driving at night.) It was like the parting of the Red Sea. No trucks, no traffic, no bad weather - clear roads for me. Seven hours later - somewhere in Georgia, got cheap gas and it was Bills turn to drive. Same thing, clear sailing. Blessing number two.

           God bless New Jersey. Here was the snow, a ton of traffic and the bridges. Prayed for patience and Bill said that he was hungry and where should we stop. There is a diner in Tarrytown, New York, over the Tappan Zee bridge we loved going to while we lived in New York. So there we went. Blessing number three. It was good to sit and relax after the eighteen hour drive. We then headed up to upstate New York where Bills dad was and that part of the drive took a while. We had time to talk. I tried to prepare him for what he might see, as he had never been this type of situation seeing your parent so weak and helpless. 

       We got there, picked up his mom and it was sweet to see her hug her “baby” and just be happy. We headed over to the hospital, and no preparing could help Bill for what he saw. It broke my heart. I had really thought, this is it. We stayed for quite a while. That night, his mom took us out for a lovely dinner and we talked. It was a great spot with a big fireplace (don’t have those in Florida) and I could see Bill relaxing a bit. Over the next couple of days, it was a roller coaster. Times his dad looked good and was trying to talk, other times, it was bad, really bad. They had gotten Bills dad stable enough that it looked like he was going to make it and we knew it was time for us to go. Blessing number four. We had made the choice to take a detour to go back to the “old neighborhoods” and reminisce. What happened next could only be described as “ask and you shall will receive!” Ton o’ blessings to ya until next time.