Friday, September 27, 2013

Levy Made My Day

While texting and laughing with a girlfriend last Friday morning, the front door bell rang.  Now, if you know me, you know that you DO NOT just walk up to my front door and ring the bell and expect me to answer it.  First, I freeze.  Then, I do a little tactical security maneuver that culminates in me letting you just stand there until a) you go away or b) you call/text me from the front porch.  But I am so glad that I answered that doorbell because on the other side was Levy, the most adorable little Japanese man who talks to me about my plumerias.  On this day, he wanted to ask about the plumeria tree outside my dining room window (we call it the Sweet Tart) and why it wasn't blooming.

Let me back up a little.  A couple of years ago while we were having a garage sale Levy spotted what we call our 100-year plumeria.  The 100-year plumeria is yellow and white and super fragrant and was given to me by the only female secretary that ever treated and supported me exactly like she treated and supported the other male directors and VPs she assisted.  The 100-year plumeria was brought from Japan to Hawaii and then to the mainland by her father's grandfather and she gave a clipping with a single bifurcation to me in 2000 in a 5-gallon clay pot.  There it sat in that pot in our backyard for years blooming and slowly growing.  And then, we planted it on the corner of the house and it took off!  It is obviously very happy 'cause it is huge and it has produced an enormous amount of clippings that we have planted throughout the yard and given away as anniversary and birthday gifts and made the flowers into homemade leis.  Along the way, we have bought a plumeria here and stolen a clipping there; now I have quite a collection even though I am in no manner of speaking an expert.
Levy was so sweet and so respectful and so concerned with why that Sweet Tart wasn't blooming.  I invited him to the backyard where this year's clippings are starting to build roots and sprout leaves and bright little blooms.  Even a clipping from the Sweet Tart out front that isn't blooming is blooming!  He stuck his hand into all the pots and condoned my combo of sand to cactus mix ratio and then he asked what I fed them and then he showed me how to read the ratios on the fertilizer packages and told me I bought the prettiest packaging but not the best product--not the first time I have been led astray by the shiny-and-pretty, people, and he kept telling me again and again what a nice young lady I was for taking the time to talk to him and let him see my garden.  Then he asked if I would be willing to trade my Sweet Tart clipping and another clipping that we literally bought at the airport in Lihue on Kauai--yeah, one of those cigar-looking stalks hanging in the cello bag next to the lei's and the bottle openers shaped like flip-flops--for two little miniature reds.  In spite of my self-proclaimed plumeria growing successes, I really do not know that much about plumerias, but what I do know is that everyone wants a red one--they are beyond coveted.  He was adorable telling me how he had studied plant biology and pathology and horticulture and how he had worked at Home Depot in the garden department--like I was interviewing him to adopt my clippings!  Then he sealed the deal by telling me that I must have been such a beautiful child because I was such a lovely young lady--Levy's got game, man.

We made our trade and he loaded his stuff into his car and he gave me my little red and then he bowed--he bowed to me.  It was the most gallant and humble gesture that I have experienced in a long time.  He just made me smile; hell, he made my day; my week; I am still walking on air after that bow.
I really need to make this red one not die!  I am not even going to hope for it to grow just yet, just please do not die, man.  Please, oh please, oh please.  But just imagine if it does grow...oh, my...Levy, you really made my day

xoxo Darya

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Just For Today

  • Embrace the grind.
  • Do not worry so much.
  • Do not be so quick to anger or to judge.
  • Do not open your mouth in haste, anger or gossip
  • Honor your parents, mentors, teachers, and elders.
  • Earn an honest living.
  • Show your gratitude.
  • Be generous of spirit.
  • Be more gracious and ladylike.
  • DO NOT think that you are fat!
  • Make your work-out count and eat to fuel your body, not feed your fears.
This used to be taped to my wardrobe mirror--I would make it my morning prayer.  As a long time practicing yogi, I know that the sounds that words make carry great power--their vibrations send messages throughout our actual being just by being recited in our heads and hearts.  But some how, some way my Just For Today prayer got shoved into an obscure pile of papers in my home office and the "good vibrations" stopped.  Amidst the panic of not being able to find tax papers, I took more than 3 whole days to clean out; organize; cry and panic; declutter; panic some more; shred and label.  Besides having the feeling of being so much more organized and way less panicky, I had the added bonus of finding this once again!

Let's be honest, I should probably copy and laminate it and put it in my purse, and tape it to the inside of the medicine cabinet and the outside of the refrigerator and put it in a frame next to Original Darya  as these words truly speak to my deepest fears and insecurities, as well as to my most desperate longings.  I really want to do and be these practices not just for today, but every day.

xoxo Darya

Monday, September 16, 2013

Life is for Learning

Well, then can I walk beside you?
I have come to lose the smog,
And I feel like I'm a cog in something turning.
And maybe it's the time of year,
Yes and maybe it's the time of man.
And I don't know who I am,
But life is for learning.
    -Crosby Stills, Nash & Young 

Cannot lie; will not lie.  It's been a tough week what with 9/11 and Dr. Headshrinker's unavailability and a friend's house being auctioned off because she is too sick with cancer to fight the fight against the bastards at Well's Fargo (even after winning a class action lawsuit against predatory loan scams, yeah, feel my pain because I sure feel hers).  I heard these lyrics through my earbuds via Pandora today and they kinda made me feel just a little more relaxed--not even sure that's the right word or feeling.  At least for today, I felt a little more relaxed and a little more surefooted and a little more like there is a plan.  At least for today.

On a happier note, and I know Cancer Girl would want to hear some happy news today,  I would be remiss if I didn't send a shout out to the Parents as this is the day of their 52nd Wedding Anniversary.  Certainly, no easy feat in any day or age.  Well done Parents; well done.  Mazel Tov!  Congrats!  Many happy returns!  Auld Lang Syne!  Cheers and Salud!  We should all live so long and still be together.

xoxo Darya

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Forgot to Never Forget <\3

Today was "off" from the get-go: I woke up confused by the Caveman's old extra emergency phone's low-battery chirp at 4:30am after he had already left for work but I could hear his work truck as he was parked the wrong way in front of the house; there was more confusion with me barefoot in the street in my pajamas in the welding rig's headlights handing him the wrong phone while he fumbled for forgotten sinus infection medicine. "Just plug it in and go back to bed, Baby."  By the time I got back in bed and the Caveman left for work, again, the sleep just wouldn't come back. I turned on the TV but I couldn't "see" the middle of the screen--tired eyes.  Way to be positive, Darya.  It was the aura before the migraine. The calm before the storm. Dammit. Gave myself an injection of Imitrex. Nausea. Vomiting. Tears.  Eyes slammed shut.  Finally, felt a bit better; got up; got a shower; felt a little more better.  Ran into my mom-in-law downstairs; the bus forgot about her and she needed a ride to her senior center arthritis exercise class.  No prob. "What's the matter, mijita? Are you OK."  I smiled; I would be fine--feeling better already.  Liar.  I cried putting on my foundation, my eyeliner, my mascara and while flatironing my hair. Migraine was better but maybe the Imitrex took its toll making me kinda off kilter.  Maybe.  Drop Mom-in-law off at the senior center but cry trying to get to work and inexplicably go to Staples instead where I wander and cry some more and the staff just follows and stares. I honestly think they wanted to call someone.  Finally got home and for the first time all day checked Facebook.  Oh, my God, my heart sank--there it was. Plain as day; the scream was so loud in my broken head.  A friend had posted,
"Never Forget 9.11.01".

But, I had forgotten; I didn't remember.  Exactly, what everyone was saying NOT to do I had done. It felt like the most egregious of failings; a patriotic failing.  For crying out loud, my son is a firefighter paramedic; my first husband died after serving stoically as a Special Forces Arabic-Egyptian linguist (98Golf for those who know) during the early and mid 1980s--my sensitivities are real and palpable and me who has remained an army wife even though I am now a pipe welder/steamfitter's wife, had forgotten. I had failed.  I instantly, intently and intensely said prayers of remembrance and forgiveness and wiped my tears and texted the Caveman and hung the flag and said another prayer of thanksgiving and felt a very little bit better.

But as the day wore on,  I felt an odd relief--my cerebrum may have forgotten, but my heart, my soul, the thing that makes me me and will pass last from me on the day I close my eyes for forever had remembered.  I just didn't know how to "read" my heart's calendar.  In a way, formal thought had protected my still broken heart and wounded soul from those horrible memories.   

It was good to realize that I had not forgot to never forget. 

xoxo Darya  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Porsche Girl

To say that I am a girly kind of girl would be an understatement—I like my nails and hair done and most of my spare time is spent knitting.  Cars, I don’t know so much—I do know that I like them red and cute and to at least look like they could go fast, but it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if they don’t.  Anyone who knows me would never call me a “car kinda girl”.  So, it is funny that I would become such a smitten kitten over my 1969 Porsche 912.

We were like most young families in the 1960s, we weren’t poor, but Daddy worked and Momma didn’t, and if there wasn’t money for something then we went without it until we could afford it.  We only had one car at a time and Daddy usually drove it to work unless we had an errand to run, then Sister and I would hop into the back seat of the 1961 Chevelle or 1967 Mustang Fastback or 1969 Ford Cortina station wagon.  Over the years, in an effort to have a little extra during the holidays, Daddy would work evenings and weekends at a friend's Mobil service station and Momma would work nights on the assembly line at Mattel Toys. The year I remember most (and certainly, the year all the little boys in the neighborhood remember most), is the year she worked on the Hot Wheels line.  Suffice to say, my boy cousin had ALL the Hot Wheels—he even had the super bitchin’ carrying cases.  I loved those cases--nail polish would have fit perfectly!  That Christmas, Sister and I received a couple of the cars and some orange track (which like every other boy in the neighborhood, we nailed to the wall in an effort to achieve more height and ultimately enough speed to get through the loop-de-loop, but eventually we slapped each other in the small of the back with it on a hot summer day and in a fit of pique Mom took it all away).  I cannot tell you the cars Sister pulled out of  her stocking, but to this day I remember my 1965 convertible white Mustang with red interior and what I believe in my own heart was a red 1969 912, but let’s be honest, it was probably a 911.  Unto this world, a little Porsche girl was born. 

Fast forward to 2001, when at the age of nearly forty after fifteen years at a Fortune-500 company with a son getting ready to go to college, I was laid-off.  Now, I freely admit that any sensible woman who is nearly forty with a son getting ready to go to college would have come out of the free job-prep symposium freshly motivated with newly updated and printed resumes, hired a headhunter, had her hair cut into a respectable bob, secured a new career path and ultimately stayed on the freeway in a corporate-leased VW Passat.  Nope.  Not me.  Instead, this girl cut her hair boy-short and dyed it blonde, turned in her leased vehicle, sold all her suits and closed-toe shoes at a garage sale and—here’s the best part, peopletook her severance pay and bought the most adorable big-girl-Hot-Wheel-912 that her husband could hunt down for her—and started her own business.  Oh, my, what a difference a car can make.

Basically, that car is the only thing that I own outright, but it makes me feel nearly worth a million dollars.  I absolutely love that car—I am beholden to nothing when I am in it.  It makes me feel prettier, taller, thinner, smarter and way cooler than any girl has a right to feel.  It is simple and sweet and smells like when gas smelled like lead and that was a good smell.  The seat belts aren’t retractable, so I am the only one who drives the car, partly because it is mine and partly because it takes Herculean strength to adjust them.  The car still has the original black California plates and Solex carburetors and forty-some-odd years’ worth of registration tags. I only have to make sure the gas doesn’t get too low or something old and cruddy will chip off in the gas tank and get into the engine (so says Mr. Mechanic Man) or that the oil puddle on the garage floor is still there, because, “if it isn’t leaking oil, Darya then it is out of oil” (so says the Caveman).  There is no air conditioning, so you always end up getting where you were going a little less fresh than when you left, but that is okay—I always need a few extra minutes to sit on the aluminum door sill and put my shoes back on because I can only drive barefooted!  It is in those moments that I realize how very much I adore this car and its simplicity;  I am connected to this car that was hand-built the same decade I was born.  I am still not a "car kinda girl"; I am a Porsche girl.
xoxo Darya

Monday, September 2, 2013

You May Not Know This About Me

  1. I learned how to sew before I ever knew how to read. Thanks, Mom <3 This is so important to me and defines me so completely that it had to be No. 1. 
  2. I have been this exact size AND shape since the summer between 7th and 8th grade.  Yeah.  Think about it.  Yikes.
  3. I had never been behind the wheel of a car until the very first day of driver's ed class--yes, I was that girl.  To make matters worse, in my little town in Utah, if you were able to touch the break pedal, you were allowed to drive farm equipment--it was all very Footloose.  PS - Parts of Footloose were actually filmed in my little town!
  4. At 5-years-old, I swallowed a 36-inch, 14kt-gold neck chain. My dad's gold letterman football was hanging on it and Mom had worn it since their high school days. I was rushed to ER; X-rayed and Mom was told to watch for it to "come out".  To this day, it has never been witnessed "coming out".
  5. My father is the last surviving male in his family, which means when I married and changed my name, there is no one left to carry on his family name--my maiden name. This strikes me as so sad.
  6. I married my first boyfriend.  Hell, I married ALL my boyfriends! 
  7. I once paid an entire month's worth of bills with only my rolled change.
  8. I am allergic to tree nuts in general and deathly allergic to macadamia nuts, specifically. 
  9. I lived in Utah for 4 years and never learned to ski--mostly out of protest for being made to live in Utah for 4 years. 
  10. I was 26-years-old before I attended my first funeral. And it was a full-tilt, prime time Italian Catholic requiem mass with the body laid out in a blue satin casket.  Clearly, it remains fresh in my mind's eye. 
  11. When driving a car, I do not like to cross traffic to make a left-hand turn preferring rather to make 3 right-hand turns instead.  Absurd, I know. 
  12. I am P E T R I F I E D of vampires.  Not clowns, they are only creepy, and definitely not zombies, they are just gross, but vampires (((shudder))) are beyond frightening to me. It makes my hand go to my throat while I genuflect just thinking about them--it--those.
  13. My first job was working at a mink ranch--you really do not want to know the details of that summer.
  14. At the top of my game, I could type 95-words-per-minute on a typewriter with no errors and take shorthand dictation.  Sounds all very silly now that the '70s are over, but also just a little Mad Men sexy, dontcha' think.
  15. I have had two Spanish-speaking husbands, lived with two Spanish-speaking Mothers-in-law AND  lived in Texas--I still can't speak Spanish.  I am a linguistic failure.
 xoxo Darya