Tag Archives: New York

Pieces of My Heart ……

…… are all over the place.

There’s a piece in Philadelphia.
There’s a piece in Waco.
There’s a piece in Dallas.
There’s a piece in Austin.
And there’s a piece in Oklahoma, most of the year.

You can probably guess why that is.
It’s where my children are.
Daughter #3 is with me in NY so that piece gets to stay here.
Until she moves back to Texas in August.

All of that is to say that, while there will always be pieces of my heart wherever my children live, the rest of my heart is here …… in NY.
For the past few months I’ve been struggling with when to be here, and when to be in Texas. I thought I had figured it out. I planned to be here in the spring and summer, and then return to Texas for September till May.
And I was trying to be satisfied with that plan.
But I wasn’t.

So I’ve been praying about it and wondering what I should do. I felt that I should be in Texas because …… well, because that’s where we/I have been for 24 years. It’s where Jim last lived.
And most of my kids live there.

I know that there are thousands of people who live in two places and are happy doing that.
But I’ve found that I can’t really live fully in either place when I’m not there full time. It’s hard to commit to people or things (like volunteering, a year long Bible study, monthly meetings, etc) when I’m only here/there part time.

But I thought I’d power through it.
Then this week, and more specifically this weekend, I felt God saying, “You need to get on with your life, fully, and your life is here.”
I’ve found a church I really, really like (Thank you, RL!). A very diverse church where I am in the minority due to my age, and my race. And I love it.
It’s alive.
And growing.
And feels like home.

I’ve found a place to volunteer on a regular basis.
And I love it, too.

NY is where the rest of my heart is.
And where my life is.

At church yesterday morning the main point of the message was, coincidentally (I think NOT!) … “Does what you hold on to lead you to greater fear, or lead you to greater faith?”

Holding on to NY leads me to greater faith.
It means leaving what I’ve known for two decades.
It means leaving people that I’ve loved for two decades.
It means trusting God enough to let go.

Holding on to TX leads to fear.
Fear that I’ll never leave because it’s “safe”.
Fear that my life will never be as good as it was there …… “before”.
Fear that if I let go, I’ll lose control.
Which is hysterical, because Jim’s death taught me that there’s really very little that I can control.

I sat in church yesterday, and listened to God.
And felt a huge weight lift off of me.
I almost felt giddy.
It felt great to let go.

So, I’m going to live in NY.
Full time.
I know a couple of people who will be sad at this decision.
(I’m talking to you LB and NB.)
But I also know a couple of people who will be happy at it.
(I’m talking to you BL and KL.)

I’m not going to sell my house in Texas.
That will require a lot of work.
I’ll have to get rid of almost everything in it.
And figure out what to do with the stuff I have to keep.
That will take time.

I’ll still go back to visit every few months or so, but NY will now be home.
I totally love this city.
And I’m excited for the future.
And, after living the first four or so years of my “after” without that excitement, it’s feels great.

Now all of the pieces of my heart will be right where they belong.


Deep In The Storms ……

…… of Texas.

The weather in Houston caused our plane in NY to be delayed for about 40 minutes, which really wasn’t all that bad.
Unless you’re hunched over in your seat while keeping one hand inside a pet carrier, trying to make sure that your cat isn’t dying, or already dead.

My flight was scheduled to leave at 1:00 p.m. and I was being picked up at 11:00 a.m., so I gave Oliver his prescription sedative at around 10:15. I gave him a double dose, just as I did back in October when we flew to NY (which the vet said I could do if the single dose wasn’t effective).
The double dose wasn’t as effective as I, or the driver who picked me up at the airport, would’ve liked.

But this morning he seemed to calm down pretty rapidly. I was able to put him in his carrier without getting claw marks on my arms and bits of black fur all over my white blouse (I have no idea why I almost ALWAYS wear a white top when I have to take him somewhere. None.).

He was pretty quiet on the trip to the airport. But he seemed pretty ticked off that I disturbed his drugged-induced nap when I had to take him out of the carrier and carry him through security.
And he let me, and everyone within the same zip code, know about it.
I felt like that person who’s carrying a crying baby down the aisle of the plane, while everyone refuses to make eye contact, in hopes that will cause her to keep walking past their row.

But as soon as I sat down at the gate to wait for the boarding process to begin, he stopped yowling. The silence was indeed …… golden.
But after about 5 minutes I got a bad feeling and couldn’t concentrate on the book I was reading.
So I unzipped the carrier a bit and put my hand in to pet him. And he didn’t move a muscle. I could feel the panic rising inside me, up to my throat, all the while trying to not let anyone know, and trying to see if he was breathing.
I couldn’t feel him breathing at all. He didn’t respond to anything I did …… rubbing his head, rubbing his feet or rubbing his stomach, which he hates.
He didn’t move.
And I suddenly knew that he had died.
Because I gave him a double dose.

I didn’t know what to do. Should I take the carrier on board and deal with this once I was in Houston? Should I say something to one of the gate agents? Should I wrap him in a bag and leave him in a bathroom trash bin?!
My mind was paralyzed and yet racing at the same time. And I was trying very hard to not cry in front of all those strangers.

My hand remained inside the carrier, petting him and praying that he’d be ok.
The last time I prayed that prayer things didn’t turn out so well.
To say the least.

But after a few minutes I noticed that his ears still felt warm. As did his feet. I knew that if he had really died, that wouldn’t be the case. So I just kept rubbing him, and feeling his ears. Then, right before we started boarding, I heard a little meow.
I cannot express the relief that I felt.

I was so fixated on getting him on the plane and continuing to rub and talk to him, that I sat in the wrong seat on the plane. The woman whose seat I was in said, none too kindly, “Excuse me!” I was bent over, one hand in the carrier, talking to Oliver when she said that. I looked up at her and she said, again, none too kindly, “That’s MY seat!” I was a bit confused and then realized that I had sat down in the row in front of my seat. So I got up, picked up my bag and the carrier and almost unleashed all of the emotions I had experienced in the last 30 minutes (panic, grief, confusion, relief, elation, worry) on her. But instead, I paused and then said, as sarcastically as I could, “Sorry!”
She saw the carrier and then suddenly got all syrupy and said, “Oh, that’s ok. I’ve done it before, too.”
Who knew that the sight of a pet carrier could calm the savage beast?

The flight was uneventful and Oliver slept for almost all of it, pretty much like last time, only he was much more sedated this time. I kept checking him throughout the flight.
And, just like last time, the drugs started wearing off right about the time we started to descend.

By the time we got off of the plane, he was yowling again.
Louder than ever.
Which thoroughly entertained everyone in the women’s restroom.
Not so much.

My friend Michele picked us up at the airport, and thankfully, he went back to sleep in her car.

He’s now hiding under my bed. This is the first time he’s been in this house so I imagine he’ll check it out a little at a time. He comes out from under the bed when I go into the bedroom, and he follows me around in there, but as soon as I head towards the door, he heads for the bed. And stays under it until I come back.

Thank goodness cats can’t write blogs.

A Sunday ……

…… by myself …… in New York.
I.                                                                                                                                                         Love.                                                                                                                                                   It.                                                                                                                                                       Here.

Today I took a tour of Grand Central Terminal (which is better known by its incorrect name, Grand Central Station). ¬†I love history. ¬†Always have. ¬†So I was excited for this tour. ¬†It was called, “The Secrets of Grand Central”. ¬†And yes, I learned quite a few very interesting, though mostly-unknown-to-the-public facts.

And I took a lot of pictures, which I will now share.                                                                         Be warned:  this is probably like someone showing you their vacation photos.  Totally boring.  Except for those of you who are living vicariously through me.  You know you who are. (as do I!)
I hope they don’t bore you too much. ¬†If they do, please feel free to go check out Pioneer Woman’s blog. ¬†She rocks. ¬†ūüôā

Just as we started the tour, I saw this couple and thought I’d snap a picture. ¬†Or 5.


This was a couple who were practicing some kind of stunt there.  Why?  I have no idea.


But they were in the background (here debating their next move) behind the happy couple.


Who weren’t really all that happy to have them in the background …… falling.


I love taking pictures of things (people, curves, angles, colors, whatever) of things that just catch my eye. ¬†Not anyone else’s. ¬†I’m ok with that.


This is a large alcove off of the grand staircase and entry room of the Grand Central. ¬†Due to the degree of the curve (geometry makes me hurl) you can stand in one corner and whisper to someone in the opposite corner and they can hear you as clearly as if you were on a phone. ¬†It’s SO cool! ¬†And very, very strange looking.


More pictures of things I liked.





Look who showed up again!


We moved the tour outside, to see the statues and things on the building.


It was a wee bit overcast today.  This building goes much higher than what you can see here.


The clock on the outside of Grand Central? ¬†It’s the world’s largest clock made out of Tiffany glass. ¬†I know!!! ¬†ūüôā


After the tour I decided to walk around the city. ¬†I found myself in Bryant Park (you know, the capitol of “Fashion Week”, whenever that is). ¬†And low and behold, right smack dab in the middle of everything was this:


There was also a Christmas market going on, all around the park. ¬†This end is right behind the NY Public Library …… that huge building in the background. ¬†I LOVE me some library.


This was a statue outside of the library, decorate for Christmas. ¬†I don’t know who it is, but maybe I’ll find that out one day and let you know.


I have no idea what this building is, all I know is that I think it’s very cool.


More evidence of the clouds:


And, last but not least, a carousel.  What could be better than that?  Especially when you have an ice skating rink right beside it.  Score!


So that was my day. ¬†Oh, wait ….. I almost forgot. ¬†I googled “flea markets near me” and found quite a few. ¬†I decided to go to one that was close to my apartment. ¬†I was looking for dishes…… specifically plates, since there will be 9 people in my apartment for Thanksgiving. ¬†And I don’t have 9 plates. ¬†Or should I say, “I didn’t have 9 plates.”??

Because now, after scoring hugely¬†at said flea market …… with these:

Photo on 11-17-13 at 9.06 PM

Dishes from an entire 12 piece set of china. ¬†How hugely was my score? ¬†I’m glad you asked. ¬†Are you ready? ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†$40.00. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I know! ¬†I couldn’t believe it, either. ¬†That’s what happens when you go to a flea market at the end of a cloudy, somewhat rainy day. ¬†You score!! ¬†I think I have enough dishes now. ¬†Forever. ¬†ūüôā

That’s it for my Sunday. ¬†Tomorrow I’m going to lunch with the …… (drum roll please) …………….. Manhattan Women’s Club. ¬†I’m a new member. ¬†Don’t ask too many questions, because I don’t have very many answers. ¬†It’s a group of women who love Manhattan and try to experience as much of it as they can, from theatres, museums, restaurants, tours, shopping, books …… you name it, they do it. ¬†My friend from college, Jeni (who also goes back and forth from her home in Houston to here) is a member and gave me the info for it. ¬†So I’m doing lunch with them tomorrow and I need to finish the book they’re doing for their book club (Garlic and Sapphires). But I have another couple of weeks for that.

Oh, and then there’s my homework for the standup comedy class that I’m taking. ¬†Yes. ¬†Yes, I am. ¬†Daughter #3 is taking it, too. ¬†We’re performing at a comedy club here in NY on December 15th (which I try not to think about because I truly feel like hurling at that thought).

On that note, I’m done. ¬†Thanks so much to each and every one of you for contacting me and wanting to be here, reading what I write. ¬†I think you’re a bit insane, but then there’s no accounting for taste. ¬†Right?

Happy Sunday. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†From New York. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ūüôā