No home is complete without an extra large, over stuffed chair, with padded high-wide arms; in fact, two is essential if you have children.
Sail with me in my warm yielding safety ship. Two large comfy chairs pushed together near the hot-air heat register, soft multi-colored cotton quilts that surround and tent me as I lay back on down pillows. Minute dust particles dance in the soothing warm sun’s rays shining through the bubbled glass. High clouds moving slowly across the sun and pine boughs swaying near the front porch propelled by a gentle wind cast shadows and light play on the side of my ship. Warm baking bread smells emerge promisingly from the kitchen, while muffled sounds of busy hands and a teakettle on the boil bring promise of an early morning treat.
“Permission to come aboard?” sings Mother as she approaches with the daily light green chewy liquid vitamin I’ve learned to tolerate, a small glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, and some weak tea laced with milk and honey. “The bread’s not ready just yet.” I am cradled in love, held safe in my cushioned Ship of State. My reward for the many times I’ve tackled the ravages of whooping cough, pneumonia or bronchitis. At night Mother would climb in my ship, raise me over her shoulder and we would sleep together in that warm safe boat.
My sisters and I improvised as our children grew. Perhaps not home made bread but certainly weak tea with milk and honey, chicken soup, grilled cheese sandwiches. Most of us were able to stay home in the early years if the children were ill and we would set up our couches and chairs if there was a need for a warm welcoming ship to sail.
Ahhhh, the land of our Father's Father's Father..........Do you think there is truth in genetic inheritance regarding strengths and weaknesses even when the nurture is different. Is it true that most Irish tend to be of a firey nature, ready to fight for their cause, deeply introspective and fond of the drink. Or are we living up to our own reputation thus living a self fulfilling prophecy? What ever the case, we all cling to our own, fight to the death for selves or cause, rise to the occasion and love to tell a good story. In publishing this blog I am attempting to tell our story as I see it. You have your own stories and we would love for you to share them with us. Comment on any piece you see here or contact me and ask to be a blog contributor with the ability to publish you thoughts directly to a blog post (not just to comment on others) Hope to hear from you..............
Saturday mornings, we spent some time, while in PJs, walking around the house with books on our heads to teach us to maintain our proper posture and balance. Then Mother would sing "The Stripper Instrumental" as we did our Folies Bergere act coming down the stairs in order of height. We saw no contradiction at that time between the two activities.
We went to bed nearly every night with rollers or "rags" (hair twisted around rags and then tied to keep the hair in) which were a type of soft roller if our hair was longer and we were younger.
We had nail check, shoe check, hair check, ear check, teeth check and a check on nearly all other body parts for cleanliness.
We never had spots on our clothes when out in public, we were never allowed to cuss and makeup was reserved for after 14 years of age. We were told "you're too beautiful to cover that lovely face." Even the fact that I have few eyebrows was reversed to tell me that "my eyes were so big and lovely that if I had eyebrows I would look funny" Big bangs helped too!!!
The arts and music were encouraged pass times from the time we were infants. We were sat down to watch American Band Stand so that we would know the latest dances; All the while being told that this was acceptable and this was not, etc.
We didn't resent any of these regimens except ONE (getting the rats out of our hair) was not any fun!!
"Why did this happen to you?" "If not me than who?" " Don't worry, we'll take care of you and the kids" "Just take care of yourself." "Do you want me to do anything for you?" "Tell me what you plan to do for the rest of your life." "You mean my Plan B, or retirement or what?" "Yes, the rest of your life." "How long do any of us have, but I guess I will retire as soon as possible.Is that what you mean?" "Yes, exactly!"
Such Grace under fire! Such peace in trying circumstances. As always, she is difficult to live up to. What possible reason is there for this time in her life?
Sit tight they said, we are gathering info. Stay calm and stay by her side. Hold her hand, wipe her brow, talk with the Doctors. We'll let you know............Pray I said and then kick some ASS!!!!! I am in Ass kicking mode right now but still praying and by her side. Will let you know how this Goddess thing goes. We are also going straight to sweets.
Mother almost always wore a skirt or a dress. Yes even when cleaning house or working in the garden or yard. How do you keep up with that?! Take a closer look and you will see that her shoes had heels! Mother always wore earrings and her makeup was perfect. Picture taken by me with my new "Brownie" camera which I purchased with my birthday money.
I simpler time in life - long ago. We were so lucky growing up in Rhinebeck. Small town back then had an "It's a Wonderful Life" connotation. We were innocent and didn't have to deal with complicated big city issues.
Barefoot, carefree, we could ride our bikes and visit neighbors all on our own. No cell phones, no GPS, just childhood freedom to explore adventures with our friends. How sweet it was!!!
Well, that's where it all began for us, We Three New York Goddesses. For a while we sat and watched the world go by from our front porch, a ship a float in the ebb and flow waters of life. A sanctuary where we could pretend that no one could really see us as we hid in our cardboard Igloo given to us by a neighbor that worked for GE refrigeration. The Igloo had been a prop for some advertising campaign. I learned to sew a simple stitch in that Igloo, making a skirt for one of my dolls. Big sister was outgrowing the novelty pretty fast so I started bringing in the cats and our dog for company. By the end of the summer the Igloo had blown off the porch (out to sea) several times and had become water damaged. It was time to put aside that piece of childhood security and venture out into the light.
Real Friends, girlfriends or otherwise, and family members never seem to miss a chance to remind you of something you did or something that happened to you much worse than what you may be going through right now.
For instance, I was speaking with my daughter this morning and we were talking about work related tension and stress. She told me about her upcoming meetings and traveling to Colorado on a bid defense for her company.
I told her that I was touring a client today and planned to show many homes going by the list that was sent to me. I was a little stressed trying to fit it all in ( large country geography here)and was a bit concerned I might get lost or turned around because of the unmarked roads etc. in the lake communities I was to be visiting.
She said, "Hey Mom, what are you wearing?" I replied, "skirt,top, matching shoes and jewelry." She inquired about the stability of the closure on the skirt. I was puzzled trying to understand what she was talking about and then she reminded me that I had, in fact, lost my skirt last year while showing houses.
Well I didn't really loose it, it just completely fell to the ground as I was walking. Thank God I was wearing opaque pantyhose over the panties. No slip though as I hate them. I indeed was mortified and positive that the customers would want no further part of me. They did end up purchasing one of my listings after all and Bridget reminded me that if those purchasers could still work with me, then what is the big deal about a little turn around in the middle of deep woods.
Bridget reminded me about one of my most embarrassing moments, yet I felt better about today. PS. It was a successful tour.
Vivian was an Earth Mother. She was a self- taught Black Artist & Poet who never painted or wrote until she was well into her 60's. She was my sister/girlfriend, which we fondly called each other. She enveloped me with her warm glow of pure God given love. She cooked with a magical touch that nourished your soul. My children's eyes would light with glee at the mere mention of Vivian's magical chocolate chip cookies. She was a deceptively ordinary woman on the surface, yet like no other woman you would ever have the good fortune to meet. I was drawn to her by some force quite beyond my ability to explain. There was a palpable aura about her. I feel blessed that destiny brought her into my life, and that she shared her many unique insights on this journey we call life. My home is filled with the mystical glow from Vivian's lovely paintings. My heart is filled with the comforting words and profound insights she shared. She was a sister/girlfriend/fellow traveler on the pathway to understanding life's many dimensions. Noreen Reilly
That is bad. Facebook, you have totally depressed me. I tried to answer honestly and truly some of the categories had me on the low end but still there. Which to me means that my "girly scale" is actually less. So yesterday I died my hair and got rid of the silver stripe and all of the straggles. Today the nails will get attention; but I am afraid that my casual life style has slowly eroded my feminine side. Has this happened to you?
Sisters are of the heart not of birth. Sharing the love of our families our innermost thoughts and feelings makes us sisters. Since I don't have a birth sister, the love of very special friends has always been inportant to me. There are always those few friends who make such an impact on your life that you feel as close to them as you would a sister. I am very lucky to have had 3 such special friendships. God has truly blessed me.. Dottie in North Carolina
Digital Sisterhood with other Mom Bloggers. You know you are a Cyber Sister when the Blogs you read sound like you wrote them yourself, when the Tweets you see express the same glee or frustrations you feel and when your LinkedIn comments seem to receive replies from the same members no matter what your request or posts. In short, like minds will surface and attract each other.
In Cyber Sisterhood Land it is [ Even ] possible to be a Sister with a Man. Men’s inhibitions about expressing themselves or offering suggestions on sensitive topics seem to break down. In fact, I have a Sister in Ireland of like mind and spirit who’s name is Brian. Brian responded immediately to Cinda Baxter’s 3/50 Project and right a way began to push the concept through his connections there. The economy is crazy all over and Brian was not too proud or stubborn to take one woman’s idea and run with it.
Blogging can be like your “Dear Diary” of old only better. You write down your thoughts, fears, observations and dreams and if you are lucky someone will write back with suggestions and observations of their own…. Something like the image in the looking glass. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall and all that…….
A Blogger Mom or otherwise can express themselves in the middle of the night without comment from anyone else in the house. Moms, especially Career Moms, have so little time for themselves the gift of silence and solace from other Bloggers and Tweeters is invaluable.
A Mom will develop her crafting skills as soon as one of her children reaches school age. She will need to help with several projects a year and from this forced artistic expression she may develop a real love of crafting. I have been in contact, through Blogging and Tweeting, with many women who are working from home and endeavoring to sell their creations. Their websites are wonderful sources of inspiration and the power of positive thinking. “Build it and they will come.”
Because of my connection with the Sisterhood Project (about which I would never have known except for Twitter) my sisters and I have begun to make our life lists of defining moments, significant happenings, family transitions and the like to assemble and hopefully flesh out with some writing to pass on to our children and our sisters children and so on and so on.
Due to my connection with other Bloggers I have recently been inspired to start two new Blogs http://www.YourThirdPlace.Blogspot.com and http://www.WeThreeNewYorkGoddesses.blogspot.com
Sisterhood,…..You know you are a sister when you can ask for help no matter the time, where or when; and your sister says, "I'll be right there." This is not to say that she will always agree with your need or your nonsense; but she will listen first and then tell you what she thinks. The give back is the best gift besides her being there with you. You can trust your sister to tell you the truth no matter how painful it may be.
There is sisterhood when you know that if asked to choose between pleasing someone else and disappointing your sister, you will always choose protecting your sister. That is a no brainer!
I have had three sisters since childhood. Two blood siblings and one best friend. These days I find that my sister numbers are increasing slowly. Maybe it is because of the state of the world, the state, the town, the block that those of like mind seem to find each other for support.
Sisters can laugh with and at each other, pray for and scold each other, live with or kick to the curb each other with complete understanding of the situation and totally void of hard feelings.
Sisters tell you when you really are fat and your butt looks like a barge. They will tell you to dye your hair already because it makes you look 20 years older than you are; but they will also attempt to kick, punch and eye gouge anyone else with the nerve to say those things to you.
A sister will cry with you when your pet dies and not tell you to “Get over it already, it’s only an animal.” She will instinctively know that this pet has been your confident, your snuggle partner, your “sister” and not make fun of you if it happens to be one of 9 cats.
You know that no man can come between you and your sister, no man ever could. Each of you would show the guy the door if he dared to flirt with the other sister even while under the influence of a foreign substance.
Real sisterhood is unconditional love just like a parent’s love for a child. Sisterhood is a forever bond never to be broken no matter what.