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Entries in birthday (3)


My Date With A View

So there I was, standing on the other side of this glass...looking out over the city of Boston..This view, I have always wanted to see it and maybe I did a very long time ago, but tonight I stepped out of the box, for a very special reason.  You see, I don't do elevators, but even when I'm forced to, I never go 52 stories up. It's a major problem for me and has been for many years but sometimes, for the right reasons, you have to put your big girl pants on and step out of the corner at a time. I've been doing just that more and more lately.  You all know I just had a big birthday and when I crossed that line I became very aware that it's now or never with a lot of the end of the day I want to know that I didn't leave anything undone that I really wanted to do.  So, I did this.  Not easily, just ask those in the elevator with me..I was the door man, and the button pushers and I was in charge of how many got on that mechanical steel box. None of that matters though.  What matters is that I did it and how I felt after and when can i go again.


My motivation was friend/sister in law was celebrating a birthday.  I don't get to see her very often because she lives in New Hampshire and I live in Massachusetts and we have busy lives, both of us, with kids and grandkids.  I wanted this to be special for her and also special for me.  I did tell you about my birthday this year going along with that theme..I took the plunge and told my heart to be still because I wanted to surprise her and that I did.

Her and I go back a long way.. she knows my history, I know hers.  Those are the best kind of friends because they love you anyways...She was married to my brother, who unfortunately is not with us any longer..but is still very much a part of our lives.  I am grateful that his passing never changed our relationship, in fact Wendy and I became stronger and almost more committed to keeping our families connected for these last 17 years.  So when Jim and I  found out that my nephew and niece were taking her to the Top of the Hub, we invited ourselves...LOL... and of course they thought that was a very good idea. That my friends is where the big girl panties come in.

To make a very long story short, I will tell you that for many years, more than I like to think about, I suffered from agoraphobia...and at one point I never left my house, other than for doctor's visits and emergencies, for 3 and a half years.  Not a time I like to look back on.  I did the work, and slowly I got better but like any other trama it never goes away, you just learn to manage it and I do that brilliantly for the most part, except for ELEVATORS...and 52 stories is more than I can walk. Poor Jim, I remember once I made him walk 16 flights up out of the underground in London.  It was amazing that I was underground but I could not take that small box back up to street level and so we walked slowly and deliberately and I was ever so happy to see the sun at the top.  So on this night...I knew as I walked towards that big nightmare that I was going to do it...for Wendy and for me.  Time to hang up the fears for as often as I can and to celebrate the good times with the best people.  What a night it was...we laughed as we always do when we are together...We told stories of long ago...I'm sure the kids were impressed with that.  We had wine, but only one for me,  I had to drive that elevator back down, then we had cake and the magic view.  I stood looking out for such a long time..going in it rained the entire way until we got to the parking garage and then it stopped.  A little miracle and a gift.  I had been lamenting about finally going up to the top and not being able to get a view...instead I got the most gorgeous view just as the sun started going down.  It doesn't matter that I had to shoot through the glass, it doesn't matter that I didn't get the sky completely lit up, I got the gift of a view and it felt so good.

So that my friends was a special night...I hope as much for Wendy as it was for me.  I had forgotten the lesson of the more you do something, the easier it gets.  I also won't say that the flight down those 52 floors was any easier than going up.  As head elevator girl, I kept the number of passengers  to a reasonable size getting overloading and no one else working the panel.  I was the elevator operator. When those doors finally slid open, after a long 42 seconds, I felt myself let go and breath.  I also know that I could do it again if I wanted to.  

Wendy is special.  She always has been and I'm sure my brother was looking down and smiling, happy to know that we are still family and even more than that, we are friends.  She was my motivation to take the trip.  Yes it was her birthday and I was so happy to have spent it with her but it was me that got the gift...and hopefully during the night the joy was passed around to all that were at that little table spinning every so slowly above the sky line of Boston...I've got a few more corners to knock off that I will do at the end of April with another special friend I will be meeting in Concord...that will be freeing also..

Happy Birthday Wendy...I love you more as each year passes.  I love the way we laugh more than anything else...Yes, I think this should be a yearly event...who knows maybe next year I'll give elevator tours..that could be fun..and thank you Doug and Lori for putting up with your crazy are both such good keepers of us elders. A really special time was had by all.

If any of my friends here need to step out of the box that is holding you in...don't wait until your 70 to put your best foot forward...start now, right where you'll be so glad you did and along the way, enjoy the view.

"One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others." Niccolo Machiavelli 


Happy Birthday Papa

First thing this morning Facetime's Jaxson..."Happy Birthday Papa " so that sets the tone for the day..Jaxson and Papa have a date today, just the two of them.  Liam and Papa had their day yesterday...and all they have to do is call and Papa is putty in their hands.

I could write all kinds of wonderful things about Jim here for his birthday...we've been together a very long time but what I see now as the big love of his life is these two little guys, who think the sun shines and the moon rises because of this most generous man.  He is the keeper of all their batteries, for all there toys.  He is their number one fix it man.  When there is a problem of any kind, they call Papa and guess what, Papa always has the answer.  He plays and builds with them.  He swims and walks in the park with them.  They check out bugs, spiders and all kinds of creepy crawlies that give me the willies.  In truth, they are best buddies...

Sometimes though they get in trouble..They are not suppose to go to McDonalds but sometimes he takes they can get the latest toy in the Happy Meal box.  Sometimes they stay down in the workshop so long they are late for getting to where they need to be...but nothing is cooler than building in the workshop with Papa.  They even gave Papa a new apron for the workshop for Christmas this year. The other thing that Papa lets them do is each week after swimming he lets them get real junk food from the vending machine..I think that's part of the reason they go to's all good though in the end.

The best part though for Papa is to get kisses and I love you's..everytime they are here.  Jaxson declares him "the best"...and Liam is his best game buddy.  He has walked with them since their first steps, he still carries Jaxson in the house when he falls asleep in the car.  They have ridden on his shoulder countless times and they have driven his boat better than him and he lets them.. He is strong for them, teaching them all the lessons little boys need to know as they grow. He's already taught them how to shave...LOL   It's a wonderful relationship that these three have.

So onward Papa, for another year.  Where you walk they will follow, what you do they will copy. What you teach them they will believe.  Wishing you a very happy birthday today...and I hope Jaxson isn't beating the pants off you at the Castle...Papa your the very best...the boys told me so...

This little quote discribes you perfectly:

"Grandpa has ears that truly listen, arms that always hold, love that’s never ending and a heart that’s made of gold."





Look What Liam Got For His Birthday

From Nana and Papa......O.K you can calm down, we did not buy him this pony but what we are doing is giving him riding lessons.  Can I say Love right here...his love of horses is so evident and I'm living my love of horses through him...When he is at Myopia for his lesson, he has a smile a mile wide..I'm so proud of how he is doing and what he is learning..but what I really want to know is, how did this happen to my boy so fast...

Birthday's are a unique experience for me...any time one of my kids has a birthday I spend the day reflecting on their growth and accomplishments and particularly on how fast time moves.  Kids define the measure of time. With Liam, it seems I waited forever for him to come to us..I've been waiting longer than he had even been a thought to his parents..And then on November 13 in 2009 he arrived.  So much joy. So much thankfulness and most especially, so much love.  He was worth the wait.  Now I am pondering the miracle of four years passing..from this photo that photo did time move so quickly..No longer a baby but now a little boy.  He has ideas of his own and speaks freely about them..he knows what he likes and what he doesn't.  He is good and loving, although sometimes he finds this a bit difficult with his brother as he is becoming more mobile.  Four years old today...and he is still quite amazing to his Papa and Nana..

His love of horses began to appear last year when we were at a Halloween event...they had horses there that went around and around in a circle...tied to a moving pole..Liam marched right up, and got on the biggest one he could find and road around that circle for 4 trips.  We live in an area that is full of horses and we often stop to pet them and talk to them...This summer Liam and I went to our first Polo match together and that sealed the deal for him...I asked around and found out quite by accident that Myopia Hunt Club gave private lessons and so a seed was planted in my head...His Birthday Gift...I was so excited when they told me that they would take him at this young age...and I feel good to know that he is learning from the best and the safest.  And can I say clean, clean, clean stables...I had looked at many before this...not so good.

So Happy Birthday my little love bug...thanks for taking Nana on your journey these past four have taught me so to listen, how to learn, the importance of patience.  You've taught me how to play cars, and how to dress fur babies.  I've learned about bugs and poop and super hero's from you.  You make me laugh and walking with you in conversation is one of my greatest pleasures, holding hands is another gift you give..I especially love that you like to take photo's with my G-10, which you tell me now is yours. Tea time is always special with you, here and at the Wenham Tea House. You've also taught me the joy of giving beyond anything I had ever know...and the sweetest words I hear...that I carry with me each day, is when you spontaneously say..."I love you Nana" to win me over...So win me over you did with your love of horses...enjoy the ride Liam...just like I'm enjoying mine with you....

Before Liam can go riding he has to take care of his horse..Penny...First he gets his brush basket and he knows all the names of the brushes.  Then he has to brush Penny.  Penny loves this part.   

 Next comes cleaning Penny's feet...Liam likes doing this..He scapes out all the sawdust and his instructor told him it looks like a frog in there..He does a great job with the tool.


After all the brushing and cleaning of Penny's comes the blanket and then the saddle...Liam struggles with this...that saddle is pretty heavy, but he carries it to Penny and then gets help tossing it over the horses back...always with a smile.


He has to learn to keep the saddle on and so he gets some help with the buckles...he's pretty good at getting it done up and then of course there is an adjustment made for him.

Then comes Liam's favorite job of getting Penny ready to ride...putting in the bit.   He knows all the words and of the equipment and he knows where they all hang in the barn because when the ride is over he has to reverse all that he has done here and brush Penny again...before leading her back into her stall.

 The time that he most enjoys...riding.  Getting in the ring and learning how to tell Penny what he wants her to do..I am amazed that he is riding English instead of much harder to me but I think, in the end, he will be a better rider because of here he Little Guy..riding like the wind...well not yet, but for sure someday.

It is a lot for a little boy to take in.  It is more work than riding at this point but he does love it so far..and at the end of the riding, it is time to take Penny back inside the stable and clean her up and put her away...Liam happily walks her back...

A beautiful day at the Stables...for Liam and Penny...becoming best friends.



The smell of hay and the stable hound,
The clatter of hooves on the tarmac ground.
The creak of leather supple in the loft,
The neigh of contentment,
The whinning of fright,
The variety of weight, cob, heavy or light,
The colour of horses,
Chestnut , white, black, or bay,
The turning out of ponies after along hard day,
The munching of food, barely, bran, hay and oats,
The pricking ears and the shinning coats,
The sucking of water from the trough so cool,
All these things you find in a RIDING SCHOOL.