Nov 12 2010

Surviving a poke.

November 12, 2010

9 things out of 10 I usually can do really well.  Those successes put me over the moon (probably not a glam scene but I do a jig around the kitchen that leaves no doubt I am happy with an outcome).  I am as good at fixating on the one thing not exactly stellar.  I’ve had 52 (just) years to hone my single-mindedness.  Trust me – it is powerful stuff.

When one is spinning around from major life changes (and I no longer believe they come in series of 3 but rather groups of 3 weekly), there are many opportunities to convince yourself you are a total screw up.

It can be just as easy, or should be, to celebrate staying in the game, unafraid and open to what chance brings.  When my tender heart takes a poke I remind myself, “good to be feeling something!”

Don’t miss out on life!   It is meant to be shared.

Trix


Nov 10 2010

My guy Tad.

“Tad, as in Tad the Cad on All My Children?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

About the name – pretty sure he’s been asked before by those of us familiar with the soap opera role played by actor Michale Knight. My Portland Tad is a homeless fellow I met him through the Whippets in the Fields.

My friends who know of Tad worry about me and our connection.  They needn’t.

The Fields is a rare undeveloped plot in Portland’s Pearl District that functions as a semi-official off-leash area.  In one particular spot it hosts a treasure chest of smells and discarded items. Most dogs and owners miss it, preferring the grassy fields for games of fetch. Whippets don’t play fetch. Leo gets the ball and then deposits it as far away from the person who flung it out there as possible. During Leo’s first days of living with us he and I indulged in games of Donut Dash in the long hallways of our Tulsa home. Leo would retrieve the greenish, tennis ball material, donut-shaped toy. He’d then quickly zip back towards me but always try to skate past me on the bamboo floors with his catch. I caught him, threw the toy back down the hall. The game continued.

The day I met Tad was a sunny, but slightly cool day. He was wrapped mummy-style in a green blanket on the pavement next to his heavily laden cart. The Whippets couldn’t resist exploring. They sniffed and poked around Tad during each of our first two walks of the day despite my effort to distract and chorale them. By mid-afternoon and our third walk, we found Tad standing, neatly folding his linens. I apologized for my nosey Whippets.

“I’ve found a huge bag of dog food. Would your dogs like some?” Tad asked.

Tad has eaten dog food, cat food, too. He definitely prefers dog food.

“Is it the oiliness of the cat food?” I asked Again, “Yeah.”

I worry often about financial security, especially starting over in my 50′s when many friends are retiring and embarking on fabulous trips I don’t see in my future. Tad didn’t once complain about his situation. He was, indeed, concerned about the disorder of his cart when I took his photo. Now when the weather here turns cold and wet, I text Tad. “Are you somewhere dry, warm?” He sends me a photo of an enclosed parking garage – his cart off to the side.


Oct 16 2010

Add it up.

October 16, 2010

(Reading this is greatly enhanced listening to music links @ bottom of page – if you can multi-task!)

On days when it seems the good outnumbers the bad – DON’T STOP TO COUNT!

I was diagnosed this week with skin cancer (1), then arthritis (2) and wore my heart on my sleeve, when it might have been better closer to the vest (3). If less-than-wonderful things happen in three’s, would it be okay to ask for wonderful things in groups of 7 or 9, one of my other favorite numbers??  Three is becoming a wee bit of a crowd.

Speaking of numbers.  I took myself out for Chinese in Tulsa.  My fortune cookie read, “Your ability to find the silly in the serious will take you far. Lucky numbers 9, 13, 18, 24, 33, 46.  I went back to snag another cookie.  “Do not mistake temptation for opportunity.  Lucky numbers 18, 23, 32, 34, 39, 41.”  Woo Hoo!  Goal was to find one listing 52 (got a birthday ahead) but the 18th is right around the corner.  I am getting up early 10.18th to enjoy my double dose of luck!

The bad stuff, I figure, is the dues I gotta pay for the good.  Does that add up? My sister years ago, during one of the many times she tried to soothe my heartache or disappointment, insisted being happy all the time would be boring.  No it wouldn’t.  Bored is just not in my vocabulary and a charmed life would not invite it into my emotional 36 expressions. I think it’s a bit like the idea of heaven.  Great spin to put on dying.  Little wonder I gave up mass for Lent decades ago.

On a perfect 10.10.10 day (last Sunday) in a so-so warrior pose (and crescent pose) I was reaching for the stars to bring a bit more heaven to the beach. Stars, the way we envision them, are bright, pointy like things. One I snagged poked a bit of a hole in my tender heart but years earlier in another fun, unexpected, moment – dressed in flats and pants,  stacked up next to some hot babes (dressed differently) and facing an all-male judge panel (cruise ship experience – if you must know) I won the lip syncing contest prancing around to I Will Survive (my son Clay has since recovered from that experience of mom on the dance floor.)

The Trix is still here, dancing and singing and come the 18th, it won’t be just any Monday.  I got a loverly slice of heaven at a great price the last time I stretched.  I am reaching for the moon next time (and warming up at Sunday 9:45 yoga class in the Pearl)!

Look up to the sky tonight.  If you don’t see enough starlight, go where it is darker.  You will find there are more stars up there than you can stay awake to count. That is some kinda wonderful.

Postscript:  Two super people recently sent this info to me – This October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, all in one month.  It happens once in 823 years. Add it up!  And then November 1st is my birthday.

xo, Trix

Follow these 5 (!) leads to good things:

Loverly ~My Fair Lady: http://youtu.be/T-2CnRuk6Nk

36 Expressions ~ Funny Girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRbIjcKB_CY

Yoga ~ http://www.yelp.com/biz/beach-yoga-with-brad-santa-monica

Some kinda wonderful  ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RijxCw2NZH0

Add it up ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am8qrrZAtP4


Sep 26 2010

Belonging(s).

REALITY, MEMORIES AND DREAMS OVERLAP. Deb Hillner

The seasons are changing again. In the past week Portland weather has dallied with fall, winter and summer but never quite the freshness of spring, the flirtatious nature of our most fickle time of year.  Instead the mood has been more the ripening, maturing, the rhythm of established and emerging patterns, routines.

Today it’s a rainy, quiet Sunday.  It’s the kind of day you start slowly over breakfast, reading a book or scanning a newspaper.  A burst of energy follows to set the household in order.  The laundry room hums, kitchen counters are scrubbed, a vacuum is given a spin around the house, trash is collected, pillows fluffed, dogs walked.  Then an eye is cast toward the week ahead.

Noon approaches. In the past I would be right where I am today, in my office.  I would be tidying up stacks of reading, invoices, media proposals, art production elements – doing all the things to ensure a running start on Monday morning and the piece of mind to savor an unrushed, lazy, restorative Sunday night.  This time a year ago Joel would have gone to the gym and returned from the market with armloads of vegetables, salty snacks and bottles of wine.  The TV or the CD player would be turned on in the other room and voices would mingle with the sounds of chopping and cooking, the scent of garlic would meander through the flat.  A rich stew would soon be in the pot, simmering for our evening meal.

A glass of wine deposited on my desk would announce the countdown to lunch and a movie – often a classic, sometimes a thrilling new mystery or a light-hearted comedy, if the week had been somewhat draining.

This sentimental journey of mine began today with dusting.  Every object in my home has a story, a memory.   A bit like my father, I early on assumed the role of Norvell family archivist.  Unlike him, I’ve learned to part with photos, cards… redundant or unused clothing and household items.  Still, even in less than half the space of my former Tulsa house, my collection of material items weighs in at TONS, not merely pounds – ask North American Van Lines. The objects are books, tables, art…  Everything is in its place though none of it selected or chosen to decorate but to amuse, to delight, to commemorate.

When Joel moved out and later when he moved back to Tulsa he took only essentials, leaving even his music collection.

I still qualify as a newcomer to Portland.  My belongings have logged nearly two years here, as have the Whippets; I myself only roughly half that time as business takes me to Tulsa monthly.  Here people do not know of my childhood overseas, they do not know of the over 19,000 hours I devoted to volunteer work for Tulsa arts and nonprofits.  They’ve not witnessed my knack for arranging furniture, events, life… To a degree this helps with the practice of “living in the moment” but I am the sum of many moments, of many encounters, many influences.

“It is important when people enter your home they immediately have a sense of who you are,” Joel said when I asked him why we weren’t dividing up household processions when we separated.

On rainy days, and Portland has its share, I smile as I survey the lush evergreens of the west hills beyond my office window, inhale the cooking scents of a mixture of nearby restaurants, enjoy the feel of the breeze blowing in through open windows and doors that are rarely closed because of the temperate climate, and pause to listen to the sounds of a lively, urban neighborhood 11 stories below.

This city that I am growing to cherish lacks but one thing:  the presence of friends who know me simply by the sound of my voice, the color of my eyes and our shared, intangible memories.


Aug 17 2010

Trying therapy.

August 17, 2010

There is a point of over thinking, over analyzing.  A point at which you trip yourself up too many times because you are walking forward with your eyes cast backwards.  Or you stay glued to a spot weighing the options instead of just picking one and then another and another until something works right.  Nonetheless, I’ve decided to invest in weekly therapy.  To afford it I have given up two things that keep me relatively sane: a housekeeper and fresh flowers from Sammy’s.

Early in my college career I was an urban studies major.  I would later take a fiscally responsible direction and switch to accounting the middle of my junior year so I could pay the rent when I graduated.  While studying city development, though, I was immersed in sociology and physiology classes.  Putting together the puzzle pieces fascinated me but I started college at age 16.  The concepts were fairly abstract to me.  What life experience did I have under my belt to make real sense of complex causes and reactions? It was much later that first-hand experience with autism and menopause would better explain human biochemical functions than any textbook. And there is nothing like real world experience with a sociopath or unscrupulous businessman to open your eyes to differences in human beings.

Throughout the following decades as people spoke of therapy I would wonder what it would be like to learn more about myself from an objective resource, someone to keep me honest, to lend perspective and knowledge.   All the while I wondered, “Would therapy be like so many quizzes you take, you know, the ones that are fairly worthless because you can guess what the “right” answer is and therefore easily manipulate the conclusion?”  Dissecting my psyche remained an idle curiosity as long as I led a charmed life, which I did.

Why do therapy now?  When a family member recently became somewhat unspooled and hurled hurtful things in my direction I saw the writing on the wall: my uncharmed life was establishing itself with more than a single sequence of “three bad things.” I was in for many multiples of three bad things.   I dialed in for a life raft!

Also I hate being depressed. It is absolutely draining.  There are so many things I’d rather do with my time.  Blue has never been one of my favorite colors. Never.  As muddled as I might be, I know sustaining a steady diet of anxiety, sadness and grief will not make me a more compassionate person nor make me more accepting of my mistakes. I have hit the point of diminishing returns with this venture. I cannot think of anything positive that will come of continuing to spiral downward.  It is past time to slip back into the girl that would sustain a giddy feeling for days and spread the cheer around to others.  She didn’t have a crystal ball but she thought the future held wonder, opportunity and hope and her spirit was infectious.  She’s been gone for so long I don’t know if I’ll get her back but every once in awhile I see a glimpse of her or hear the lilt of her singsong voice. Logic keeps chasing her away. Logic tells me I may not have another good shot at someone special to share life with and financial means to always keep a roof over my head – the things that sustained her through trials big and small in the past.

I may be approaching a few months of therapy with a pretty tall order but I’ve got one of my dad’s cloth handkerchiefs tucked up my sleeve and I won’t know until I give it a go. It’s a kind of balancing act.  While I’m learning some new skill sets during my workday, I am equally determined to pick up some life coping techniques on my Tuesday lunch hours.


Aug 15 2010

Dog Days of Summer.

August 14, 2010

It’s hot.  The dog days of summer when Sirius joins the sun in the sky have arrived, creating sultry temps and casting an eerie quiet over the neighborhood during the time of day you can almost hear the sidewalk sizzle.   The dogs uncharacteristically pant and on each shortened walk, pull me toward every neighborhood water bowl to be found.  In a dog friendly town, there are many; Leo insisted we stop outside the Pilates’ studio, then the bank, the bakery, the clothing boutique.

The heat has me thinking again of garden hoses, or more accurately the absence of one.  For only the second summer in my adult life I don’t own a hose.   This time last summer I had a 10-foot Ace Hardware hose hooked up on the balcony.  On sunny, hot days I’d dress in a swimsuit and happily set about watering the trees, bushes, flowers, pavement and myself before happily collapsing, refreshed and relaxed for a cocktail or meal prepared by Joel.  I gave that hose to the couple who now occupies the flat because my newer flat doesn’t have an outdoor spicket. My current patio plants must be maintained with a watering can.   It’s green and made of rubber, a gift from The Plant Lady, Gay Hendricks.

Watering plants each day now seems more a chore than a summer ritual.  I know, it’s all about attitude. I’ve debated filling the watering can and dousing myself with its contents, saving just a bit to sip from the spout but it seems a wanting substitute for a real garden hose on a hot summer day.

I don’t have to think hard to remember dragging a hose across the lawn or the courtyard, using my thumb to shape and direct a rainbow-producing cascade of water over thirsty plants in a sun-baked yard or spraying an unsuspecting poolside sun worshiper. And no Alpine spring water in a plastic bottle I have ever had compares with the cool, refreshing nectar of water from a garden hose on a dog day summer afternoon.

As long as there are summer days there will always be such simple pleasures.  I try to make  the most of them during this time of transition when losses can still overshadow days.  Each moment of pure joy cancels out a moment of sadness and at least an hour or two of indifference.

Hoses may be gone from my life but there is still Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Money Ice Cream in a waffle cone.  Catch ya later, grator!

Stay cool. Trix


Aug 14 2010

Closer than you think.

Think about the drive to work today, or the drive home.  With or without a mobile phone in use, how often were your thoughts somewhere else?

We often cruise familiar turf preoccupied with thoughts outside the present moment and space.   Could it be we are similarly programmed to look elsewhere for things that perhaps are right under our nose?

Take hiking and coffee. The airplanes are full this time of year with travelers headed to Oregon to enjoy the state’s trails and java shops.  Since moving to Portland I’ve even taken up hiking. It bares a strong resemblance to what I once called walking, but the scenery is different and I do it regularly with friends – something I never did in Tulsa.  “In Tulsa,” I have explained, “the harsh weather keeps us inside socializing over food and wine.” In Portland I feel like a kid again, playing outside with chums.

I Goggled hiking Tulsa and got 322,000 results.  I Goggled coffee houses Tulsa and got 45,800 (substituting Portland for Tulsa yields 2,140,000 and 290,000 results respectively.)

Clearly I could have hiked in Tulsa everyday of the over 30 years I lived there. And despite 107 degree weather this month, I did – twice! Not with the same companion both times but that’s beside the point.  Come October, I am confident both will consider joining me again.  Both my August outings acquainted me with Turkey Mountain on the west side of the Arkansas River.  I’d only been there once before though I still own a house just three miles west on 71st Street.  With a heat index of 115 degrees, you may wish clothing was optional but the tree canopies protect you from the sun; bottled water combats the heat.  And (thanks Julie!) I learned a simple way to navigate this unfamiliar urban wilderness: consistently climbing up hill not only provides a better workout but makes later finding the parking lot and your car as simple as walking (excuse me, hiking) downhill. In Portland’s Washington Park, my strategy is simply to follow whoever is ahead of me and keep tabs on my off-leash Whippets.

When it comes to coffee, my approach is equally simple.  I usually get my daily dose brewed at home in one of those noisy “by the cup” machines that will wake the dead in the morning but yet go relatively unnoticed by chatty dinner guests many hours later in the day. Though I live in Portland, where Starbucks coffee beans are roasted, I buy Topeca Coffee in Tulsa and cart it home in my suitcase.  (Each and every time I open my suitcase to find an airport security inspection notice. I can only figure I am suspected of using coffee beans to throw off the hounds sniffing for other substances.)

I buy Topeca coffee as much for the story, as the taste.  Topeka was founded by John Gaberino and his wife Maria, a woman from El Salvador whose family has owned and operated a coffee plantation for six generations.  I remember years ago when John used to serve up samples of the coffee for Petty’s shoppers.  When the coffee market hit one of its lowest points, the Gaberinos and Maria’s relatives had determined the best way to continue the business for another six generations was to take the product from the field to the consumer, a process they dubbed “seed to cup.” This last trip to Tulsa I finally met Maria. It’s an easy task to find her in their relatively new cafe downtown.

When the Mayo Hotel in downtown Tulsa reopened after 30 years -sporting a $50 million plus renovation, Topeca Coffee opened a cafe on the ground floor.  It’s an inviting spot with glass table tops resting on trays of coffee beans, comfy leather sofas and over-sized photo portraits of plantation employees, like Miguel, who works on the patios. As the portrait label reads, “Topeca uses a traditional method of sun-drying fresh beans on large patios.  Beans must be raked and turned often to ensure all moisture is gone.” In Tulsa, beans from El Salvador are roasted on site daily and freshly brewed coffee is served with an assortment of pastries and sandwiches. I’ve read the Starbucks story; I don’t get the same feeling from it as I do talking to Maria or John.

The next time you are yearning to explore or wishing for a change of scenery, try looking at home with fresh eyes.

Always, Trix

My finds:

http://www.topecacoffee.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_Mountain_(Oklahoma)

www.washingtonparkpdx.org/map.htm


Jul 20 2010

Sangria.

Thursday he would have been 88 years old.

“I’ll return to Tulsa early enough in July so we can celebrate mums’ 89th and your 88th together (as we often did).  And I tell you what, I’ll figure out how to make homemade Sangria for you,” I said to my dad during our last time together.

“I’d like that,” he said.  His voice was soft but his eyes clear and focused, as anticipation  gently swept over his gaunt face.  My dad and I:  We like our wine, perhaps a bit too much.  We like a party.

Why had I waited 10 years to make the offer?  During a visit to Sydney in late 2000 my cousin Michael’s charming wife Dora surprised my father with homemade Sangria on Christmas day.  The feast was at the home of my Uncle Ron and Auntie Dawn’s.  After stuffing ourselves we posed for photos by the pool wearing shorts, Christmas cracker paper holiday crowns topping our heads.  The trip was a gift from my parents to my sister and me and our families. I hadn’t been to Australia since 1985. The gift was more than generous, it was life changing.

Tonight in Portland I arrived at R. damore, a new art gallery in the Pearl owned by photographer & portrait artist Robin Damore.  Author Wendy Burden was talking about her book, Dead End Gene Pool.  Serving refreshments was a beautiful, engaging, Latin woman, just the type woman my Pop would have flirted with – shamelessly!  She put ice in a stemmed glass and poured a Sangria Roja for me.   When he drank red wine, much to the horror of all around him, Bob (JR, Pops…my dad) always asked for ice, unless he could help himself to some.  “About 3 cubes,” he’d tell me.  Around the table eyes would roll.  Winos can be such snobs!   Hosts, proud of their wine selections, sometimes seemed insulted.  Bob’s pleasure was never diminished by their attitudes.   He asked for and got what he wanted; there is a lesson in that, I think.

The sangria I enjoyed will soon appear in Portland gourmet grocery stories such as Zupan and City Market.  It’s maker, Maria Corbinos  is a woman who came to Portland to earn an MBA.  In no time her friends quickly encouraged her to bottle the sangria she made to share at gatherings. Her personality and business accumen earned her an Angel Award and is bringing her product to launch shortly. (Visit http://www.mividasangria.com/index.htm) As I listened to her story, I shared mine.

At the end of the evening I walked home with a bottle of Mi Vida Sangria Roja – a gift from Maria.  I also had three new business cards in my pocket belonging to new friends I planned to call later this month, after returning from Tulsa.  As I walked home, my father’s spirit filled my heart and lightened my step.  True, we won’t dine at Andina’s, the Peruvian restaurant I told Poppy was a must when he came to see my new home. The trip is one he didn’t make.  But my dad is here, he’s wherever there is goodness and a sense of adventure…  An absence of expectations but a hope for something special. That is his legacy. That is what I will play forward.

Always, Jabberwalkie (my dad’s nickname for me)

Medaris, Jesse Robert (Bob) of Tulsa passed away June 14th, 2010.  He was born July 22nd, 1922 in Denver, Colorado to Jesse Roy and Loretta Mae (Wolfe) Medaris.  He attended Hawthorne Grade School in Englewood, Colorado and graduated from Englewood High School in 1940.  In September 1941 he enrolled in Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.  World War II interrupted his engineering undergraduate work.  He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps for three years, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant as a navigator with the 13th Air Force in the South Pacific.  He was proud to have seen many of the islands in that theatre: New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, New Britain, New Guinea, the Halmahera and most of the Philippines.  After the war he completed his studies at Mines, graduating as a petroleum engineer in 1949. While at Mines, he was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Gamma Epsilon and Blue Key.

In May 1947 he married Dorothy Patricia (Pat) Shelley, whom he met in February 1945 on Bondi Beach while on military leave in Sydney, Australia. Marriage followed a nine-day, whirlwind romance and two years of long-distance correspondence by mail. The couple had two daughters, Shelley Anne Ricks and Tracey Elizabeth Norvell. Three grandchildren survive Mr. Medaris: Michael Andrew Ricks, Corrine Elizabeth Mueller and Clay Alexander Norvell. Also, great-grandson Andrew Paul Mueller and brother Francis Medaris.  His brother Charles Medaris and sister Ruth Medaris predeceased him.

Immediately following graduation from Mines, Phillips Petroleum Company in Eureka, Kansas and then Venezuela employed Mr. Medaris.  In 1954 he began a 15-year career with affiliates of Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon) in Venezuela, Libya and Indonesia. Outside professional assignments, the Medaris family also lived in Palo Alto, CA, Sydney, Australia and Houston, TX.  Mr. Medaris’ second career as Manager of the Studies Department for Crest Engineering led the family to Tulsa, OK.  His work with Crest took him to Nigeria, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Siberia, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, the North Sea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Canada and other oil and gas-producing areas. When Crest Engineering relocated to Houston in 1985, Mr. Medaris remained in Tulsa, serving as Vice President of Crown Tech, Inc.  In 1987 he joined Fluor Daniels Williams Brothers as a consultant until his retirement in late 1993.

Mr. Medaris learned many languages during his travels. He was a quiet man with a quick, contagious laugh.  Somewhat a rebel and never a follower, he was well respected and tremendously admired by colleagues.  His gentle spirit made him an instant favorite with children and pets, and his love of life and travel gave him countless friends worldwide. He enjoyed golf, ice skating and worked tirelessly in the garden. During the past seven years he kept the residents at Inverness Village well supplied with the jokes and stories he collected from magazines and newspapers. His blue eyes always sparkled with life and mischief. His favorite song was “ Begin the Beguine,” but the ones his children and grandchildren will most remember are those he sang at bedtime: “You Are My Sunshine,” “Oh! Suzanna,” and “Red River Valley.”  While some might mourn the loss of this most lovely, gentle, caring, kind soul, who was also extremely bright, funny and handsome, his response would be this poem he especially liked:

I AM NOT THERE

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,

I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there; I did not die.

Author Unknown


Jul 11 2010

Insatiable

Insatiable.  What better wine to pair with “Naked Pasta?’  I quickly sent a text and photo to both “chef” and “date” – two friends in Tulsa rustling up veggies, salmon and pasta.   Caught in iPhone photo-taking mode by the Safeway wine sommelier, I tossed a bottle in my cart and pushed on.  The Chardonnay is currently “cellared” in my flat waiting for the right moment – kind of like me 25 years ago.  I was a 26-year old virgin waiting for “the one.” Once uncorked I had the abandon of a genie released from a bottle.    I was exclusive but insatiable!

Released a second time on the dating scene, a quarter of a century later, I wondered what to expect and how I’d react. How had time and experience possibly changed me? I knew enough to know I had set sail wanting it all but how would I steer my ship on the journey. Would I drift, would I seek safe harbors, would my itinerary include varied ports of call?

Questions expanded to include: What did men and women,  after years of marriage, think and expect? Were there still double standards for the genders?  Did mature adults “hook up” like today’s teens?  Was there license or a pattern of using someone  “casually” to buffer the ache of the initial bottomless hurt of a ended, long-term relationship? Could well-adjusted adults enjoy unexpected couplings without fear of such casual sex branding them with “a fear of intimacy?” Had sexless* or loveless marriages created pent up desire?  Were men and women “wired” differently? In my age group, was there an expectation of “serial monogamy ” or attitude of free-for-all exploration? Was a new biological clock ticking?

Nudes & Whimsy thru July 29th at Pearl Gallery Tulsa.

What criteria did a tender-hearted, romantic woman who the first time around waited for “the one,” use now to navigate dating at 51?

As I pondered, I listened to peers further along in the journey.  They had much to say. One discovery surprised me.  I guess some things never change; intelligent people are having unprotected sex.  To quote one of my favorite Arkansas sages, “I tell my kids when you are with someone, you are with everyone that person has ever been with.”  I raised a son who knows better than to take such risks.  On this front the brain should be captaining the ship through relationships.

As for the rest, there are as many “right” answers as individuals.  I personally still lean toward mind, heart and body working in harmony and not conflict.  I still want it all.  I thought I had it a second time as I found myself in a head-first free fall a year ago.  Turned out there was no water in the pool and even my optimism smarted from the impact but I learned I could fall again – much more than I imagined possible before the experience.  A year later I am further away from “married”, no longer madly in love and starting to date. A few experiences tell me I haven’t changed and I don’t want to rush or be rushed.  This time is an opportunity.  As I muddle through I know I will make some great male friends I’ll grow to love and if I’m lucky, when I least expect it, I’ll fall a third time.  Hopefully it will be the charm because if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned I am programmed to desire and thrive with someone very special in my life. I may never marry again but in the days ahead my life won’t be just about work and staying home alone unless, like last night, a night in with a Papa Murphy’s pizza, wine and a tear-jerker episode of “Glee” fits the bill most perfectly for recharging my spirit so when I do answer those match.com emails I give each my best.

Just in:  Lots of fascinating fact and thought-provoking theory in this New Yorker article.  http://nymag.com/relationships/sex/47055/ I just found linked to a Times article a reader sent me. *Quantified in article!

Also – visit The Pearl Gallery! 1201 East 3rd St. Tulsa, OK 74120 918.588.1500
Hours: Tues.- Fri. 11-5 www.pearlgallerytulsa.com

As always, Tracey


Jun 29 2010

Ask me on the third.

“Big plans for the 4th?!”  he asked, with a Cheshire Cat grin.

“Ask me on the 3rd,” I muttered, my mouth full of dental instruments.  It was Monday. I still had my head cold, was getting a silver filling replaced and my Match.com guy was interested – in someone else.  Did I really want to think of my first major holiday alone?   No.

But today is Tuesday.  The table is set for a madcap, potluck dinner with seven dear friends – or at least six. The seventh guest is my co-host for the evening, someone who “friended” me on facebook while he was traveling in Athens last month with his nephew. We are meeting for the first time at 6 o’clock tonight, roughly the same time my overnight guest and her dog Sofi arrive.

He has already written two poems for me. See if you can find me in this one:

Tulsa is where she says she comes from.

Really, she comes from everywhere…

Always, has, always will.

Creating her own sense of place

Each and every whistle stop of her journey…

You’d think she’d settle down by now.

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