Sonni's Family and Our Friends

Bringing together the people who matter the most to us in a place where we can communicate with each other about our daily lives or discuss issues that are important to us. Let's have fun!!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Another Day in Key West

I've been back a bit over a week now. It feels as if I never left.  It has a way of doing that to you.  It feels good to get away and it feels good to get back.  I had a good week at the store.  I needed one.  We sold quite a bit of jewelry and managed to bring the monthly sales up to what they were last month even though I had six days with no sales at all when the weather was bad.  I just love it when the cash register goes cha-ching.

It really has been over hot and humid this summer.  It's been hard getting the house cool enough.  Mike has pretty much been holing up inside with the curtains drawn and the lights off to keep cool.

I saw an ad for this little washing machine that looks like a big bucket, but it is electric and it is supposed to wash a small load of laundry in 15 minutes.  I wonder if it spins it, too.  I think I might get it and give it a try.  I just did a load of laundry in the sink and hung it in the breezeway to dry.  I just beat the clothing clean with a wooden spoon.  It's supposed to be good for dorm rooms or camping and places like that so it might be just what I need - since there is no room for a washer here.

I had my first Buddhist meeting here at the house.  There were 4 other people here to do gongyo and talk about what we want to do this coming year.  There are about 10 SGI members in Key West, and about 8 further up the keys - a mix of old and new members.  But no one has really practiced in an area where the organization is strong, so there is a big need for direction.  My years in LA and all the training I had there has really been a big help.  The district leader is Maureen and she has been chanting for about 20 years and she is really the strongest member.  She spends a lot of time with the members and works hard for kosen-rufu, but she has really needed someone here to support her.  There are 3 groups.  Key West, Big Coppit and Marathon. ( 3 different keys )  I agreed to become the group leader for Key West.  Several Wednesdays a month some of us will meet here for a study meeting.  I have found that there are so many things that have not been studied and most of the meetings have been very loosely prepared.

I will say that getting back into this has been very good for me.  I've enjoyed it very much.  I joined the SGI in 1988 and the years in California were very good years.  I never intended to quit.  But when things got so bad with Ken I let it affect me.  It seemed that it was easier to let it go, especially after my butsadan was destroyed during my trip to Key West and I went on with my life.  Mike and I are on the same page when it comes to believing in "God".  Christianity has not been part of my life for 30 years and I wouldn't have a man in my life who did.  And at the time it was just easier to let my practice go as well.  But everything happens for a reason and I guess the timing was right when I was contacted by Maureen.  She knew I was getting publications but she didn't know who I was so she sent me a post card asking me to contact her.  It felt good to chant again.  I forgot how good it made me feel.  It does so much for me that to get into it now would be too long.  But I will say that I feel better, physically and mentally.  Dynamics are moving in my life again.  I had been feeling so bad physically that all I could do was drag myself into work and then stay in bed and rest so I could do it again.  Now my energy is increasing and I want to do more.  I have new friends and new activities that keep me busy.  The Dr also put me on a new medication a few months ago, methadone, that has also helped all of this.  My pain has been greatly reduced.  Mike has been supportive and that makes me love him even more - if that is possible.  It is rare to have a mate who lets you be who you want without trying to change you.  That is indeed a wonderful thing.  On this note - I think it's time to go to bed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Update on the Kids

Megan left for Texas last week.  She tried to stick it out in Clear Lake at Jane's, but it just didn't work out.  Alyssa has been with Chris for the summer and with Megan on weekends until the school year, but now she is supposed to go to Texas in time for school to start.  I hope this doesn't backfire on Megan. They haven't filed for divorce yet and Chris doesn't want to now.  Megan will have to establish residency in Texas and file there.  Even though Chris seems to be okay with everything right now, he might change his mind later and not want to put Alyssa on the plane.

Jane made it so hard for Megan to stay there.  She wanted to give her a 10:00 curfew.  Megan looked at her in disbelief and said, "I'm a 25 year old grown woman with 2 kids.  I haven't had a curfew in a long time."  Jane has a drinking problem.  She starts with a 6 pack when she get's off work.  I think she meant well in wanting to help Megan, but I also think she had an ulterior motive in wanting her to get back with Donnie when he gets out of prison in 4 years.  That wasn't an option for Megan.  Donnie might have gotten her pregnant when she was 16, but there was no way she was going to have him as part of life after that.  Donnie is 26 and this is his 3rd time in.  I would have personally kicked her butt across the USA if she had even entertained the thought of taking him back.  Now, after 7 years of being with Chris and really trying hard to make it work, and realizing that it wasn't going to work - it takes 2 people trying to make it work - it's time for Megan to find out what she really wants out of her life.  I'm sure she will go back to school and continue to work to be a nurse.  Hopefully she will find someone who will be good for her and treat her right.  She hasn't had that yet in her life.

I'm pretty sure that Robo is working in Montana although I haven't talked to him for about 2 weeks or so.  He was on the move again with his job.  Every time I think he is somewhere I found out he is somewhere else.  But right now he seems to be ok.  He and Kim are traveling together, pulling their RV so at least their home is the same no matter where they go.  I sure wouldn't mind doing that.  I'm glad that he is out doing what he's doing, even though I sure do miss not having him around.

I'm hoping that we can all get together in Texas for Thanksgiving.  Mike said he would like to go, too.  He said he'd even fly with me and I was surprised.  I didn't think he would travel if it wasn't on the ground.  It would be so good if that happened.  If Karissa could be there it would be the first time Mike and I would have all my family together in one place - kids and grandkids, and even their father.  Now we would need to find a way to have Mike's son Mike and Jennifer along, too.  After all, our kids are step-siblings and they haven't met yet.  We'll have to work on that.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Back to Humidity!!

I had to hit the ground running when I got back.  Back to work the next day.  I didn't even get a chance to sweep and clean up from after the hurricane.  We lost two trees in the front yard and it looks so bare.  The guy who lives in the front doesn't do anything to clean up or take care of anything, aside from the fact that it is too humid to be out there cleaning up anyway.  I guess a tree fell on my bike because the seat is torn up and it rides a little weird.  I've had it for two years now and it sure does take a beating from having to stay outside all the time and with the rain, the humidity and the rocks that come up and nick the paint when I ride.  It's really starting to look like the conch cruiser that it is.  It's the 3rd bike I've had in 5 years.

Mike said he cleaned most of the leaves and stuff that blew in through the breezeway but there was still a lot that had to be swept up, and my god, he tried almost successfully to kill my plants!  Poor things. Sniff sniff.

The girls did pretty good at the store.  Not exactly the way I would have wanted, but still pretty good.  Today was the first day I've had off since I got home.  I rented the movie, Million Dollar Baby and we pigged out on candy.  Just exactly what I needed since I just spent $1200 at the dentist!

It has been overwhelmingly humid.  One side of the house stays nice and cool but the other side doesn't.  Mike has been wilting in his computer chair because "his" side of the house is the side we can't get below 89 degrees during the day.  It still makes me want to laugh when I think of how family up north thought it was humid!!

All in all, it was a really good trip.  I think that much was accomplished in a positive way.  Mom and I did a lot of talking about the things that needed to change.  We realized that most of the problems came because of a lack of communication.  After the talks we had with Cindy and realizing that there was so much unfinished business concerning the other side of the Fritz family, we managed to take care of that as well.  It's a little too deep and lengthy to go into right now but I will say that the issue of what happened after my grandmother died was addressed.  It took a lot of courage for my mother to do that.  But she did it because she knew that not addressing it 14 years ago affected many aspects of our family today. Part of what happened concerning them was a matter of no communication, but I also believe it came from a point of them not caring enough to make sure we understood what was going on.  I did say though, that no matter what the outcome was I would let it rest after that. Maybe at some point I will contact my cousins and we will talk.  But now I will let my anger go.  Now my mother will not have to think about what would have happened if she had confronted them and now Cindy will hopefully feel that mom did her best to stand up for what was right.  I know that this probably doesn't make sense to anyone reading this.  For me, this trip was about healing things.  I don't know if that is what I thought it was going to be about when I started, but that is what it became.  And that is a good thing.

Before I left Pa to come home, I realized that I still had not had a conversation with Karen that had any more depth to it than talking about the weather.  It's so easy to talk around things without really saying anything..  I know it's not easy dealing with the problems that her son has and she is busy running around with her arms stretched trying to keep him from actually falling on his face.  She is exhausted from trying to keep his life in order while he is having a good time screwing up his life.  She keeps saying that she has had enough and that she isn't going to save him anymore but she isn't ready to do that.  It's hard to talk to Karen because the wall comes up and she doesn't want to hear it.  Maybe someday that time will come but I'm afraid she is going to get hurt in the meantime.  Karen wants Shawn to get help and he won't, and Karen hasn't reached the point where she is ready to ask for help, either.  She thinks she can fix it - and she can't.  I don't know, maybe I shouldn't be writing about all of this, but it isn't as though there are a lot of people tuning in and reading this.

It all boils down to people caring about each other.  Of not being too proud to say they don't know what to do.  We crawl inside ourselves and we don't want to talk about the things that really matter.  Sometimes, then, things never get said and it goes on for years and years.  Who are these people that are my family?  I can say I know my mother best because she and I do really talk to each other.  Who is Karen?  When she isn't trying to be all things to all people?  Karen is still not being honest with herself.  Who is Cindy?  I think I found out a little bit.  Between the 2 of them I think she was the only one being honest with me and I think that took courage.  I think it will take time, but if we can communicate and say what we really mean and not just say any old thing just to fill the space, then I think we have a chance of getting to know each other.  Between the three of us - there is a lot of work to do if it matters inside to change things.  I think maybe it does.

That is enough insight for one night!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Vacation is Drawing to a Close

Time sure does go by fast.  I've been gone now for almost two weeks.  When we left Maine we drove to Foxboro, Mass, and I got to see where Mom grew up.  We stopped in and had a visit with Aunty Dot.  She's 89 now.  If you look at the pictures I have earlier in the blog you will find one of her as a little girl, standing with brown ringlets.  So cute.  The next day we drove back to Pa.

We've just been kicking back visiting with people, resting up, and getting a little dental work done.  Today I'm spending time with one of my oldest friends, Cheryl, going back many, many years.  We really haven't had a chance to catch up since the last time I came to Pottstown in 1998.  She drove me around town catching up with old memories.  Everything always changes.  Parts of town I no longer recognize and parts of it seems really run down.  But there are parts that I can still imagine being in as a child.

Mom and Karen are going to have dinner with Aunt Ruth, Sharon and Tim Fritz, and a few other people.  I just couldn't do it.  There were things Aunt Ruth and Uncle Len did many years ago that showed much disrespect to my father's name and I just can't go around them and pretend that everything is okay just because a lot of time has gone by.  There will be some issues being addressed tonight that will be difficult on my mother - but I believe will go a long way toward the healing of relationships in our own family.  It's important to stand up to people who do you wrong

All in all I think that many good things have come of this trip.  Doors of communication are coming open.  It takes courage to take the step and open things up, but there is so much to gain.  It's easier to stay quiet, but if we don't talk about the things that bother us then we can never fix it.  So we will see now what comes next.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

On to Penobscot

It's Tuesday morning and Mom and I are going to leave in a few hours and drive to the coast.  We're going to visit with Charles and Priscilla Ferden for a day.  Charles is Uncle Ellsworth's son.  Uncle E is the deceased brother of Nana Bunker (mom's mother) who lives in Grass Valley.  I haven't been to Maine since I was a very young child and about all I remember is picking strawberries and mom and dad getting lost at a fair and I couldn't find them.  I must have been around 2 years old at the time.

Yesterday, after Cindy went to work, we drove a half hour to the town she works in and took in a movie - War of the Worlds.  Mom didn't want to go at first but it really ended up being quite a movie.  It was based on the old H.G. Wells radio story.  We did a little shopping and then stopped for dinner.

I feel all rested up.  It took quite awhile.  I didn't have any down time before I left for this trip and about all I've wanted to do is sleep.  But the last few days have all been pretty lazy with nothing to do at any particular time.  I didn't walk too much around Cindy and Bill's woods.  She said there are a lot of snakes and ticks in the summer and I didn't want to deal with that.  It's hard to think that they will be smack in the middle of winter while it is still hot and humid in Key West.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Here at Cindy and Bill's in Maine

Finally, another vacation!!  Mom and Karen picked me up at the Philadelphia airport on Wednesday, July 6th.  On the 7th we drove a very long way up to Maine to spend a few days with Cindy and Bill.  Steven, Angel, Bently and Ryley were here as well.  They are definitely two very energetic kids!  It was also cold!!!!  It's been so hot and humid in Key West that it was a welcome change.  It was rainy the next day but it finally warmed up today.

As I was leaving Key West, someone I knew said I was getting out of town just in time.  I didn't know what he was talking about.  I hadn't paid attention to the news for a couple days since I was getting ready to leave.  A hurricane was coming to town!  Pretty early in the season, too.  It didn't hit Key West head on, but it came about 85 miles too close.  Not any really bad damage but it did take down our pretty Bougainvilla tree in front of our house.  Mike was without electricity for three days and was pretty bored.  I wasn't able to reach him but I figured he was okay.  The Hilton boarded up the store so I guess everything is okay there.  One of the girls called me because they were concerned about all the missed hours of work.  ( I try to tell them not to cut their hours short and leave early on other days, but they don't listen and now they don't have a buffer.)

Cindy , Mom and I have had some good talks, clearing the air of all the old hurts we keep inside.  There comes a point when it's time to let them go.  So many are misconceptions because they were never talked about.  Then years go by and it gets harder and harder to bridge the gaps.  But now I think we can get past them.  We only have one family.  I was apprehensive coming up here.  I didn't know what to expect.  I hadn't talked to Cindy in quite a few years.  I'm sure she was apprehensive as well.  But she is my sister.  I don't feel as though I've ever had an older sister - at least not one I could talk to about anything more important than the weather - and sometimes not even then.  But if we both make an effort I think we can make this work.  We make new friends of other people.  I guess I can make a new friend of my sister.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Time to Begin Again

I haven't written in a long time and decided that maybe it was time to begin again.  I got discouraged because I couldn't interest my family to participate.  After running guilt trips a few did go take a look, but they didn't go back again.  I guess people are too busy with their lives.  I thought it would be fun other people to see their pictures on the blog and want to share them with others, but I guess not.  So. . .  I am going to have to want to do this for myself and it anyone wants to take a look, they can.

Once again I'm leaving on a vacation, but this time I'll be going on my own.  Mike is staying home, enjoying his peace and quiet.  I'm going to fly to my sister Karen's next week and then Mom and I are going to drive to Maine to Cindy and Bill's for a few days.  Then we'll drive to Foxboro, MA, where Mom is from to see Aunty Dot, and then back to Karen's just in time to have a root canal.  ( It's cheaper here than in Key West )  I'll probably have some new pictures to add from the trip.  I haven't been back to Pottstown since '98.  I'll have to give Cheryl a call and see if we can get together.  Mom and I will have to take the time to do a little walk around town and take a trip down memory lane.  We've never done that and who knows if we'd ever have the chance again.  It should be a good trip.