## Thursday, June 26, 2008

### Ah Technology

I remember the first time I heard a facsimile modem. I was working at the News-Press. It was 1982. The News-Press was a printing site for the newly launched USAToday, and the copy was sent to the plant by facsimile. I knew this because that’s what Al Neuharth told us. I was relieving the switchboard operator for her lunch, and noticed on her phone list a line that said, “facsimile” and a number following. So, curious george that I am, I dialed it. Wow did I get an earful. And speaking of switchboards, even in 1982 the switchboard was really a panel with buttons. I can remember back in the 60’s, and hanging out with my friends Donna and Marianne whose parents owned a resort. We used to run wild in “The Big House” and the switchboard was truly a switchboard with the trunks and chords and keys that you could turn to eavesdrop on calls. We all mimicked Lilly Tomlin.

I won’t venture into software, because I’ll get agitated. I learned lotus 1 2 and 3. How awful was that. Now, I’m having a fit because nothing works with Vista.

Earlier today I used google to find directions to a friend’s home. Have you seen the Street View?! Good grief. Makes me want to go outside and wave. Who’s watching me now?

### Mangos!!

I walked in to work this morning, and there, in the employee break room, are two large bags full of

MANGOS!  Kelly has been harvesting his trees...I always take full advantage when he brings these in.   I won't be making any more mango chutney! but mango smoothies are on my mind!!

Sometimes, living in Florida where the change of seasons are vague, one loses track of the time of year. So I claim ignorance to what time of year mangos are in season.  I guess Mangos being on sale at Publix should have given me a clue.

## Wednesday, June 25, 2008

### just tonight

Every time I see a wrinkle

Gonna take a sprinkle

Of liquid vitamin E

Gonna take the excess

And smooth it in my headress

To be hair conditioning

The drops that fall, I’m gonna let

Drizzle in the decollete',

Then smooth them in the skin

Be who you are, Michelle

Don’t make, don’t’ pretend

Don’t alter, don’t blend

It felt so good tonight,

To rip my clothes off

Listening to classic rock,

“heard it through the grape vine”

Oh…to try on my new swimsuit

There is a purpose

And I‘m just about to lose my mind

Honey, yeah yeah yeah

And I know, there’ll be no ..tears in heaven

Michelle has joined the dress girls!!

Cirtrus yellow dress bought months ago

Saved in a closet .

For the right time to go

Put it on tonight

Doesn’t feel perfectly right

Better.. It’ll go

## Monday, June 23, 2008

### Dinner is Served

Shrimp sticks grilled with ginger and garlic, Crab cakes with Mango chutney and garden salad, and of course...Key Lime Pie for desert.

( legendary key lime pie! only authentic ingredients !)

Tags:

## Sunday, June 22, 2008

### sunset

Evening Sun sets

But man's Spirit does not

At Night, his anguish looms

in the quiet of his room

(photo taken from Panther Key, Ten Thousand Islands,   November 2007)

### like crystal blue water

Sometimes our choices lead us to experiences that are out of sync with who we really are. Then we need to choose again.

This is what I would say to you if I could.

## Saturday, June 21, 2008

### mango chutney

I enjoy cooking, along the same pleasure line of writing and gardening. A few weeks ago, Lauren mentioned that she’d been craving a dish I had made one time. She said it was crab cakes, but with shrimp, and a mango chutney. Heck if I remembered making that dish. A contract employee for the town brings in bags full of mangos from his property when they are in season. I love mangos, and have fixed them a bejillion ways. Local mangos aren’t height of season right now, but, I felt an urge to cook, and my daughter’s craving was incentive.

After going through my tried and true cookbooks, without landing on the crab cakes substituted with shrimp recipe, I went to google. I determined that the recipe referenced was probably one that I “altered” with the shrimp. Now on to the mango chutney. Lauren was quite clear about the ginger in the recipe. So I searched all mango chutney recipes for ones with ginger. I came up with one, and it sounded good., So, notes on an old envelope and off to the supermarket.

On this little island, there are two supermarkets. I like them both for different reasons. Today I would shop Publix. The Beach Publix is unique in many ways, but most noticeably, is the narrowness of the aisles. Land is premium on a barrier island, and Publix maximized use of available land. With grocery list in hand, I began the customary approach down the aisles. Must be spring training. Lots of folks in baseball uniforms. Lots of NY Yankees and Boston Red Sox and… I lost interest. I noticed more how difficult it was for a normal person to navigate narrow aisles.

I knew that buying mangos was critical, so I made my way down the first aisle picking up basic items, stopping at the dried and canned fruit to buy golden raisins (per recipe) and to find currants . Knowing the store layout better than the back of my hand, I went to produce. No point in buying anything else if there’s no mangos. SALE!! Mangos! 10 for 10,.00. I bought ten. I proceeded on, selecting various groceries items for the up coming week. As I rounded one aisle, I saw a woman, friend, former neighbor who works there. We greeted and stopped to chat. She was cashiering the “ ten items or fewer” aisle and as we chatted she kept alert to upcoming customers. Seeing some, we quickly ended our chat, but not before I asked about currants. Yes, maybe in the dried fruits, but check with produce: they may have fresh. I”d been all over hell and back looking for currants. After the umpteenth visit to produce, I saw a young man working produce. “ Can you help me?” I asked, Darn he was tall. And I recognized him Not sure how or why or where. The name Chris comes to mind. He’s a Beach kid. “ I’m looking for currants” I said. He looked at me like I had two noses. “I’ve been working produce for four years, and I don’t know what you’re talking about.” As I went through the check out, the cashier asked, “darn. How may mangos?” and I said, “Ten! Ten for Ten!” They engaged me in a conversation about mangos: how \to clean them, the toxins in the skin, how to cook.. Etc., I used my wallet and debit card to demonstrate the method of cleaning a mango! The recipe calls for three to four pounds of mangos…. Peeled, seeded and diced. How the heck would one know that? So I cleaned mangos and diced the gorgeous fruit as my finger nails turned peach. Based on the proportions of other ingredients, seven mangos looked good.. I diced ginger and onions and garlic and added cider vinegar and raisins and cloves and salt. And brought it to a slow boil, and shut it down. Lauren is my ultimate perfect taste tester. I can’t adequately taste test my own cooking. Over the years, Sarah and Lauren have responded to that need. Lauren is the best because she doesn’t placate me. Tonight was a great example. The pot of chutney is simmering on the stove. I had a small cup scooped out to cool: the taste tester’s cup. I offered it to Lauren, and she began her magic “MMMmm; “ she said. “ It’s good. There’s one flavor…” I interjected, “Ginger?” “No, not ginger” she said. “ It’s a bit overwhelming.” She took another spoonful. “It’s good…” as she scooped another spoonful. I asked, “Is it cloves?” (knowing that only two spices made it into this recipe: ginger and cloves). “ That’s it!:” She exclaimed. “ The cloves….” Then she opened the fridge for …whatever reason teens open the fridge “Oh! Mangos!” she exclaimed, having spotted the three out of the ten that did not get sliced and diced for the chutney. “ I think you should add those..” Lauren’s suggestion was to add the three other mangos to the current chutney to absorb and balance the current spices. So, I did. I cleaned the remaning three mangos and added them to the chutney. Superb idea, superb suggestion! Before she went out tonight, I mentioned my conversation in the store about currants, and commented, “ I think you know this kid..” and she said, “Yeah.. Chris… just saw him the other night” (Beach Kids Rule). Tomorrow? Crab and shrimp cakes with mango chutney, Fresh garden salad and Key Lime Pie! (Yummy Yummy!) ## Wednesday, June 18, 2008 ### NightMare Norbert and Kathryn DeMars raised ten children; five boys and five girls. Of those ten, two were considered to be “all Kessler” as they resembled my mother’s side of the family. Mary Beth was all Kessler. She was three years older than I. Until she went away to college, we always shared a bedroom. As a young girl, she would wake at night with terrible dreams, earning her the nickname “NightMare.” Throughout middle and high school we played on the same basketball team, we were on the same cheerleading squad, we were in the same extracurricular activities. We fought often. I’m not sure who resented whom more. She felt that I was stealing her thunder, and I resented her pomposity. She graduated high school valedictorian of her class and received honors such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, I was glad to see her go off to college. Mary Beth dated a lot, and a lot of different guys. During the summer of her sophomore year of college, she met a local guy. Bill was born and raised in the Poconos from an extended family with much local history. He owned a small photography business in town, and every one knew Bill and everyone liked Bill. He was the guy that would buy you a drink, shake your hand, make you laugh. Mary Beth fell in love with him and they planned to marry right after college. I recall my Dad commenting, “I hope she’s not being swept away by fast cars and fancy clothes.” They married, and I stood up as her maid of honor. I think she felt obligated to ask me, because we certainly were not close. She earned a good job with the Social Security Administration and Bill kept his shop. They built a house on a lot that belonged to Bill’s family, and was next door to his mother. The irony here is that the guy I was dating at the time lived in the same neighborhood and was also a professional photographer. Bill’s and my path crossed often, although I only saw my sister at family functions. Bill was a player, and had made passes at me from time to time which I brushed off to an over active imagination. One evening he pulled up in front of the dorm I was living in and asked if I wanted to go for a drive in his Austin Healey. I thought he was just being brotherly, and it was a nice evening for a drive in a convertible. This time his intentions were quite clear and I knew it was not my imagination. He accepted my refusal, and took me home. I felt somehow dirty, and never spoke of it to anyone. Shortly after, I moved to Florida. I had a brother living in the North Miami area who helped me to get established. My mother was very good at keeping all of us informed about everyone else’s whereabouts and happenings. The years just sort of went on, and I honestly couldn’t tell you much about my sister and her life, except that mom said that she really wanted children, but Bill did not. Mary Beth was holding the family together financially as Bill’s business had failed and they were facing bankruptcy. Her life had little bearing on mine, until one night in November 1980. I was working in Hollywood, Florida for a magazine printing company. I worked the “graveyard” shift from midnight to eight AM. I usually slept from three or so in the afternoon until about eleven o’clock in the evening, and would then get up and go to work. I would unplug the telephone because I slept when most others did not. Being a single female living alone in a ground floor efficiency, I was very security conscious. One night at about ten o’clock, a knock came on my door, waking me from my sleep. There was a streetlight directly outside the window of the back door, and I could see the silhouette of what appeared to be a large man. The apartment was dark and quiet, and I just waited until he left. Shortly after, I was up and getting ready to go to work when there was again a knock on the door. This time I answered it. It was my brother, Ken. He’d tried to call, but the phone was unplugged. He’d gotten a call from Mom. Mary Beth was dead. She’d been shot. At this time, there were five DeMars living in South Florida: my oldest brother and his new wife, brothers Robert and Ken, and myself. We flew up to Pennsylvania together. It was the week before Thanksgiving. The report was that Mary Beth’s body was found in the woods just off a narrow mountain road in a near-by county. She’d been shot in the head and suffered several stab wounds. Her car was found at a Holiday Inn in the town near where she worked, with blood stains in the back seat. A room at the Inn had signs of a struggle. A funeral service was held in the same church in which she was married. The church was standing room only. At the cemetery, I sat in front of the casket holding the hand of my youngest brother and the hand of the grieving widower. Thanksgiving dinner was painful. We all had speculations, questions, theories, but no answers. When we said grace, and my father spoke of our grief, I broke down. I knew how much my parents loved her, and I blurted out that “it should have been me.” The mystery gradually unfolded. My parents received a letter cut from newspaper clippings that read in the form of a ransom note, referencing “the sins of the father.” Dad retired as head of the local Army Depot which employed most of the people in the area. He was a tough boss and not well liked. This “sins of the father” hurt my dad deeply. The letter was sent as a red herring, but the plan backfired. It actually helped the detectives in solving the crime. Bill had been sneaking around with all kinds of women. While Mary Beth worked nights and weekends to pay off debts from his failed business, neighbors observed women coming and going from the house, even entering through basement windows. He was a regular at a local pub and was most charming to all the ladies. One frequently charmed woman was Pauletta Beehler. If you have ever seen the movie, “Fatal Attraction” with Glenn Close and Michael Douglas, you’d think it was based on the life of Mary Beth and Bill. Pauletta wrote Mary Beth a letter under the guise of a promotional company, saying she had won a prize and needed to go to a certain room at this Holiday Inn to claim it. Pauletta even called her at work to ensure she would come to claim her prize. Mary Beth drove there after work, entered the room, the light switch was taped down, and she was struck over the head. Pauletta wanted Mary Beth to leave Bill. She threatened her, beat her, and stabbed her. Perhaps the “Kessler” stubbornness came out, or perhaps love for Bill, but Pauletta was defeated. She put Mary Beth in the back seat of her own car, drove to the near-by hospital and told her to get out. She could not, or would not. Angered or frustrated, Pauletta drove up a back mountain road, pulled her out, put a gun to her head and shot her. I returned to Florida, to my little apartment,to my job and tried to return to normalcy. There is something very dark that stays with you for a very long time after an experience such as this. Some of the curious things that came about were the dreams that we siblings had. Mom had a plate rail in her kitchen that ran all along the cabinets and held many very rare antique plates that she’d collected over the years, and prized. Two of us dreamt the same dream, the same night: Mom’s plates were gone. Mom mentioned a dream she had had, nervously giggling at the “rediculousness” of it. She dreamt that she was in Church and Monsignor McHugh was coming down the aisle in a wheelchair. Mary Beth’s death had crippled Mom’s faith. Pauletta was arrested and charged with first degree premeditated murder. The case never went to trial. The lawyers plea bargained. Pauletta was sentenced to seven years for third degree murder. Bill received double indemnity on her life insurance policy, as she was the victim of a violent crime. He sold the house they built together, and remarried. He moved into a house just a few blocks from my parents’ home; an arrogant slap in their face. I never accepted the reason for the murder: It always troubled me,. I read the detectives’ reports, the autopsy report, the news articles, everything I could. By this time, I was living on the west coast of Florida. I worked with a woman who was much older than I , who was an “Earth Mother” type. One day we were talking about Mary Beth and her death and my emptiness and my lack of closure. She told me to go to my dreams. That night, I dreamt that I was lying in bed and an apparition approached me, sat down on the edge of my bed, leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. “Let it go” she said, “ It’s all right.” The kiss was so real, it woke me from my sleep. I sat upright and saw next to me a ghost-like being. In a knee-jerk reaction, I called out, “Who are you?!” The figure dissipated. I sat frozen. I had never been much of the communicative daughter; someone else could take care of all that update stuff. But after Mary Beth’s death, I began calling Mom regularly. I always felt that Mary Beth stood between me and my mother’s affection. Mom always liked her best. But I also knew that no mother should have to outlive a child. So I tried to be more of a daughter. I called more often, and would end each phone call with, “I love you, Mom.” and she would say, “OK honey.” It took two years before she finally said, “I love you, too.” Mary Beth Catherine DeMars Coffman was born June 21, 1951. I hope you have found peace, Mary Beth. ## Tuesday, June 17, 2008 ### For YOU Come here, my dear - please face me With my hands on your waist, let me see If my head can rest Upon your chest And let your love embrace me Shh, be still just listen Feel the energy glisten As our hearts unite And soar in flight And meld within this union. Hold me close up to you As I will do the same, too Hearts align Senses sublime Emotions tugging deep in you. . Come here, my dear, please love me With your heart, and soul and body A test of time, Your love, and mine Thrust to the realm of could be. ## Sunday, June 15, 2008 ### Camlock Systems Today I learned about cam lock systems. Yesterday I bought a pair of end tables that needed to be assembled. I also bought window treatments complete with twin rods. It had been a day of shopping and I was having fun. I sat down on the floor of the living room and pried open box number one. Each carefully packed piece was labeled 1A, 1B, and so on. The packet of hardware and the instructions were properly organized in a sealed bag. I heard my dad’s voice, “Read the Instructions!” as he had told us every year at every Christmas or birthday whenever we opened anything, Dad always said, “Read the instructions“. So I pulled out the instructions, and told myself to read them through, thoroughly, first. In the beginning, it was easy as all the parts were identified on a clearly organized chart. The hardware had a full page of identification, too. Next came the item identification, and then came a very strange page. The header said, CAMLOCK SYSTEM and under the header, (Important Information) What followed next looked like a quiz on an IQ test. I recognized the drawing of a screw driver, and an allen wrench (they call a key). ENSURE THAT THE CAMLOCK CASE’S ARROW IS POINTED TO THE HOLE. ALIGN THE CAMLOCK SCREW TO THE HOLE OF CAMLOCK CASE. USE PHILIPS HEAD SCREW DRIVER #3 OR ALLEN KEY #4 (PROVIDED) TO TURN CAMLOCK CASE CLOCKWISE ½ TURN. AFTER TURNING, THE CAMLOCK CASE’S ARROW WILL BE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN. I flipped back to the hardware identification and saw that there were eleven camlock screws. Perhaps this will be evident as I proceed. I picked up where I left off and went through the rest of the instructions. These weren’t the kinds of instructions that you ‘read” per se, as they were just a bunch of diagrams and arrows and insets. OK. Enough is enough, I said, and started with Step 1. - which started off rather badly, as I had used “P. KD. Screw” when I should have used “O - Short Screw”. Frustrated with myself for such a stupid mistake, I decided I needed to break out the cordless screw driver for such a big job. Using a cordless screwdriver may sound simple to most, but I never did understand all the dials and bits and sockets. I’m feeling pretty good that I understand how to make it drill clockwise and counter - clockwise. I can sew just about anything, mastering a sewing machine, patterns, stitches and bobbins. I can cook with a high level of skill - no recipe is too tough. This? .ha. I felt like a ten-thumbed moron. But I persevered. Until the screwdriver/drill(what-ever…) began humming the slow moan of a low battery. Back in the day of married life, I recalled how Pete would have at least two of these tools always with on charging. Now I understood why. I pulled the battery pack off and plugged in the charger, and poured a martini. (that’ll help, I rationalized!) I opened the packages of window sheers. I am reluctant to call them drapes or curtains, as I don’t think they are either. I’m so excited at the beautiful rose and salmon colors and how they’ll look against the “Indian peach” color of the room. I measured and marked and did all that I could do without “the famous screwdriver”, even resorting to a manual screw driver at one point, but it was (out of alice in wonderland) either too small or too big. Thinking that perhaps Screwdriver had just enough charge for a few small brackets, I “borrowed” it for just a minute. With each little screw, it cried a weak moan. So was the process for several hours. So was the situation of a few martinis. To think my understanding of camlock systems would ever come to me after the third ‘tini was insanity. I was determined to assemble this table, to the point where I used a rubber hammer and literally beat it together. I set the table up…it’s standing…it’s holding a lamp and holding its own. ..poor thing. Today, I finished hanging the window treatments. They look BEAUTIFUL!! I love the rosey glow that emanates from the room as the sunlight gushes through the windows. I managed to dance around just about everything else today, dreading having to assemble table number two. The last furniture I bought that needed to be assembled, I was able to coerce my daughter, Sarah’s boyfriend in to do it for me. Today, I thought of asking Lauren to do it for me. I recall when we remodeled the kitchen, at the tender age of six, she was on the floor assembling kitchen cabinets with greater ease than eve n her father. But Lauren wasn’t home, and, well.. .it’s my project, so I bit the bullet. I put on some Mannheim Steamroller and dove in. Today, I learned about camlock systems. My what clarity comes with patience and sobriety. Table two was assembled in no time, and with no leftover hardware! ## Friday, June 13, 2008 ### Dear Dad Lately, I’ve been thinking a great deal about my dad. He passed away in July, 1997. Maybe this being his birthday week has great influence. Maybe his appearance in recent dreams is one situational play on another. Everytime I look in the mirror at my naked eyes, I see dad’s eyes. His eyes were brown and round. Most of the DeMars have eyes that are… just like our father’s. We were ten kids going strong, and everyone knew Nubs’ kids. Dad had a thing about the eyes. I remember when my older daughter was in infancy, and dad commented on how she looked him straight in the eye. I recall Dad saying, “you’re looking at things through rose colored glasses.” Contrarily, as dad aged, his vision failed with cataracts, and other complications. Norbert, (aka Nubs) had three brothers: Art(Arthur), Melvin, Bud(Bernard) and one sister, Eleanor. What catches my attention is that, recently, as I look at myself in the mirror, I see Aunt Eleanor. Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Ed had a house on Lake Erie. We lived in Toledo and would sometimes visit and swim in the Lake. I was maybe four or five. Aunt Eleanor was a very ugly looking woman; she had a really ugly face. I remember a moment in time, when I looked at her, and thought: that is an ugly woman. At such a young age, I engaged the thought, that this was the female version of my dad’s side of the family: that I could look like that. Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Ed traveled. And they both died in Japan. My young memory recorded that Aunt Eleanor died while in Japan, and, Uncle Ed brought the body back to the States, but returned to Japan, only to die there, himself. Dad talked about shipping bodies. I wish I had spent more time with Dad in his later years. The little bit of time that I did spend, I love and cherish. He was a good man. Happy Birthday (would be 90th b‘day) , My Dear Dad. Norbert Joseph DeMars Born June 10, 1918 ### Everybody's Talkin' at me... I opened my eyes this morning to nothing different, really. My head felt congested, as if a respiratory infection was pending, or an attack of seasonal allergies - neither of which is common for me to experience. I lay in bed enjoying the crisp comfort of my new bedding and began to create the day. Immediately my mind filled with the tedium of tasks that lingered on my desk in the office. I have no big projects or pressing deadlines today, most of it is just housekeeping items. The thought of “work” was an intrusion into my pleasantry so I changed my thoughts. Today is a blank canvas, and I would create a work of art. Arriving at the office I was immediately greeted by a post-it memo from a co-worker with a comment that I found presumptuous and rude. I arrested the emotion promptly and went on with other items. I went for a cup of coffee, and both pots were empty. I went for a cold glass of water from the bubbler, and the jug was empty. The copier needed toner the fax was out of paper. The network went down. As the day went on with roadblocks and potholes, I realized that no one spoke in a normal voice today. Everyone spoke at decibels far above noise ordinance code. And everyone was talking at once and all the time. I wanted to scream for EVERYONE TO JUST SHUT -UP! FOR THIRTY SECONDS! PLEASE! I lingered over lunch of left-over pizza and filled out my publishers’ clearing house sweepstakes entry. I am going to win5,000. a week for life. As I thought of what I would do with my first year’s $260,000.00, I pondered over whether I would quit my job.. OBSERVE LESS - IMAGINE MORE I told myself. The Town is issuing re-entry passes to residents who can show proof of residency and supporting documents. These are windshield decals in the event of an evacuation during this hurricane season. All week long has shown a steady stream of people coming in to get their pass. This is a free service the Town performs, and is also the first year we’ve done it this way. Every stinkin’ person has a story to tell of “..during Charley..” this and “ after Charley” that,and “this is ridiculous that I can’t just use my drivers’ license as proof - whose dumb idea was this? And on..and on…at elevated levels of speech, no less. (next year we should have a steady stream of xanax on hand). Most of the Town staff is relatively new. I have the longest tenure, coming up on eight years. Because of this, I had many visitors all day, “I just want to say hi! Haven’t seen you, how’s things? “ Approaching quitting time, I noticed the skies darkening and heard the distant rumble of thunder. Just a few last things to finish up and then get home before…. The Rain. We need the rain, oh yes indeed, and I love the smell and the sound of the rain. But I ride a bicycle to and from work, and did not have my rain gear. I piddled with odd stuff, hoping to wait it out. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I borrowed a rain slicker from our Public Works folks, and headed home. It has been a day of irritation, at least to this point. I changed clothes and went out side to sit on the porch and enjoy the rain. I sat down to immediately notice the chair was wet, and now so was my ass. A neighbor was having a discussion with his wife, at elevated levels of speech. Another neighbor was chasing the poor cat that had escaped for a brief outdoor experience. Just how loud and how often can someone say, “here kitty kitty”? I came back inside. Dishes and laundry and grocery shopping and bill paying all are nagging at me. I am going to lock the doors, unplug / turn off the phones, light an incense and just sit. Still. Quiet. Peace Out. ## Saturday, June 7, 2008 ### A Parents' Tale It’s hard to recall exactly when I first heard that the girls were going to Costa Rica. It may have been February or March of 2008 - certainly no later. I was quite caught up at work with a new town manager ,an election, and a new town council. I was knee deep in trying to sell my house; - whether I bought it, he bought it or they bought it. Deborah was our realtor. Deborah also is Kelly’s mother and has been our friend … forever. Kelly and my daughter, Lauren grew up together and have been best friends forever. (Just today I noticed a ring on Lauren’s ring finger so I asked her if she’d gotten married. She said: “Kelly and I bought friendship rings. See? FRIENDS.” ) So Kelly and Lauren are best friends forever, and Kelly and my daughter Sarah are roommates. So here’s a scenario of three girls and two moms. “The girls are going to Costa Rica. Did you know that?” Debbie said during one phone conversation. Our phone conversations were sometimes a mix of house sale talk and the girls’ talk. “ Well Sarah and Kelly are, anyway. They’ve bought their tickets and are getting passports. “ Lauren was in Tampa at USF and having “dorm things” and school issues, and Sarah was 20 and living on her own. I may have made some disjointed comments and replies, and moved on. As I had calls and visits from Sarah wanting her birth certificate, asking where dad was born and where I was born, I realized she was getting a passport so I asked what was going on. She told me about Katy and Tony getting married in Costa Rica and how they were all going. This is an interesting parallelism, if you can allow me a minute to digress. My Sarah and Lauren are the same age as Jane’s Katy and Kourtney. Debbie’s Kelly is the same age as Lauren and Kourtney. Sarah and Katy were roommates at FGCU. So, you can see it’s a nice bunch of girls who have grown up together. I have digressed to demonstrate that there is a level of love, here. Katy and Tony are getting married, and the girls are going to Costa Rica! Sarah and Kelly have passports and tickets. Lauren has tickets. In conversation with the FMB Postmaster, (wink ;-) to brother Norbert!) for Lauren and a passport, time was of the essence. We arranged to get Lauren home from Tampa to go to rural Alva post office and apply for her passport, should she even hope of getting it on time. Blast e-mails began coming in from the mother of the bride about the hotel where the wedding was to be, room blocks, rates and itinerary. In another of our conversations, Debbie mentioned that she had given the girls a gift of three nights at the hotel for the wedding. The answers to my questions to Sarah and Lauren were evidence of a great tag team. As I began asking specifics, the plan - for what it was - came forth. A great number of people that live in this community are frequent visitors to Costa Rica. Many own property. So I asked generalities from many of my friends and acquired a wealth of information. I wrote down recommendations and thumbs downs and then googled most of them. I knew that they would need a hotel the first night in San Jose, and an airplane ticket to the coast the next day. (ENTER CREDIT CARD NUMBER HERE). And now enter, dresses. I had bought some spring clothes from a catalog, and offered a citrus yellow dress to Sarah if she wanted it. (she looks great in yellow!) I told Lauren that I would offer her the same - that is to pay for an inexpensive spring dress. Lauren’s whole face lights up whenever the conversation has the word DRESS (ES) (UP) !!! Girls’ gotta have a dress for the wedding! (LET’S BE DRESS GIRLS!!) It was Wednesday morning, and the girls were flying out of Fort Lauderdale. Kelly was driving her dad’s SUV and they were using the Park N Fly. “Get there early!:” moms’ recommended. So at 9:00 AM, Sarah, Lauren and Kelly gathered in my living room, with Sarah leading the drill: Passport? CHECK! Money? CHECK! Interspersed with giggles and ohmygawds., ican’tbeleive! and Iwant! I went to work, and periodically throughout the day I would imagine at what stage of travel they would be. About the time they would have taken off from FLL, I logged on to fly view.com and watched the plane land in San Jose. That evening I received the first of two e-mails from Sarah; the first about their airport to hotel experience, and the second about the nightclub /dinner experience. A co-worked commented that my daughters should learn not to tell their mother everything. I laughed a deep, hearty laugh and said, “you think they are telling me everything?!! I ‘m sure this isn’t HALF OF IT!” Debbie had booked for them three nights at the Dioria in Tamarindo. I hadn’t heard from them, but no news was good news. The wedding was scheduled for Saturday. Sunday evening I received an e-mail from Sarah telling me that they are in Arenal,(R N L..best pronunciation!) they’ve rented a car, and are looking for Katy and Tony. This was memorial day weekend, tomorrow was a holiday, and I was spending the weekend cleaning out closets and remodeling my bedroom. About 9:00 PM Florida time, I got a call from Debbie. This was unprecedented, as in all the years of all the girls, a late weekend call was unusual. “Hi. Have you heard from them?” I barely spoke the subject of Sarah’s recent e-mail when she said, “ Kelly called me. They want to come home. I don’t know what ‘s going on…” So we talked, Debbie said that Katy (the bride) had her passport stolen from her room and they were scrambling to get to the Embassy in San Jose. We talked a bit about how to reschedule their plane tickets. Debbie said she’d call the airlines in the morning. I went back to the computer and read another e-mail from Sarah, saying ‘their luck had changed, and bags were stolen“. Well of course I had to call Debbie. OMG was the common moniker…does she have her passport? ( I’m telling you what the e-mail says) Where are they staying? ( I don’t know, she didn’t say) We agreed to inform each other of any and everything we heard from anyone , regardless of the hour! Monday morning, Debbie called me early. She’d received an e-mail from Jane (mother of the bride) that “someone from our party had their passport(s) stolen. The subject line on the e-mail was: Sarah Lauren and Kelly. What’s a mother to think. Jane’s e-mail went on to explain the process and the limited hours at the embassy, and if the girls had their passports stolen, what they needed to do,. Have I lost you, yet? At this point, I’m looking for a good long drink…. Debbie called every hotel in La Fortuna. I would love to have been a fly on the wall in that office. She coaxed an employee who is fluent in Spanish to assist in the “girls- finding mission.” No luck. Monday rolled on in anxious anticipation for some word from Costa Rica. Monday eve I get an e-mail from Sarah, and Debbie received one from Kelly. They are in a hostel in La Fortuna. They spent the day doing the zip lines, seeing an Indian Village , riding horses, and visiting a frog and butterfly garden,. It all sounded so lovely! Why were the moms worried?! At this point, the communications began to contradict. I sent Sarah an e-mail saying: What you tell me, and what Kelly tells her mom do not agree: be of one voice and one plan., The next morning the e-mail says I guess we’re coming home Wednesday (two days early) and Kelly’s mom is reschedulingthe airfare. BTW, our car keys were in the bag that was stolen, not sure how we’ll get back to the beach. At about 10:00 Am on Tuesday morning, Debbie called me at work and said she was on her way over to the house (where Sarah and Kelly rent) to look for a spare set of keys to the SUV they left at the Park N Fly. Rather thinking out loud, I mentioned that I have a brother who lives about 10 minutes from the Park N Fly, and maybe we could overnite the keys, should they be found. I offered this before speaking with my brother, and began envisioning all kinds of snafus: Overnite package is delivered, at the wrong address, overnite package is delayed….Overnite package is left without a signature…and on and on. Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. Tuesday afternoon , I’m home for lunch and Debbie called to say that she had located the spare set of keys. She brought them by to me, as I said that I would “figure it out” - meaning getting the keys to the car in the Park N Fly. In Fort Lauderdale. I won’t bore you with the incidental crap of trying to re-arrange last night hotel: Sarah was smart and just rescheduled the one night. I, on the other hand attempted to book one and cancel the other, and it turned out to be quite the cluster fuck. In the end , that all worked out. On Wednesday morning, at work, I told my boss I had a dilemna and needed to leave early. I guess I’d just drive over to Fort Lauderdale? And…find the car (which is totally strange to me!) and ..leave the keys! Not a wonderful plan. When I asked Sarah to ask Kelly what kind of car and did they know the license plate number, Sarah said it was a silver Ford Escape, but that I could just walk around and press the alarm! As I said, not a wonderful plan. I left work around 2:00 in the afternoon. Leaving the beach, I stopped at the 7-11 on the south end to refuel and to buy some Ice Tea. I pulled to the pumps and in front of me was a Lee County Sheriff’s Officer, fuelling his vehicle. I recognized George as the deputy that was assigned to the beach. He was also the deputy that had recovered my bicycle when it was stolen from Town Hall a year or so ago. George was on a cell phone while pumping his gas. By the body language, he wasn’t intent on the phone call, and occasionally waved the phone away from his ear. Finally, he flipped the phone closed and said, “ I’ll tell ya’. If you have gold fillings in your mouth,hang on to ‘em! “ “What?” I responded, as much with my expression as with my voice. “They’re stealing everything these days! “ George said. I joked a little about my mission, as a result of theft, we bid each other good wishes, and headed on to the highway. The drive across the alley is painless, even for someone like me who doesn’t drive much. 100 miles of straight, flat, dry highway with limited traffic. I recall 30 years ago, when it was a two lane road with no rest stops, no call stations, nothing but everglades and alligators. Alligator Alley. This time, I set the cruise control at 70, popped in an audio tape on the Hobbit, and settled in for the ride. It’s rather precisely a two hour, twenty minute ride from my house to the Fort Lauderdale Park N Fly. When I got there, I had consumed two 16 oz. bottles of water and a 20 oz Ice Tea. “NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS” was the first thing I saw. (suck it up, Michelle). The following is an e-mail that best describes what happened next: I did the round trip to FLL to drop off the keys at the Park N Fly. The folks there were extremely nice. I parked outside the gate and walked in, and right away a woman who seemed to have some experience or authority asked if I needed help. I explained the situation and she said what they usually do is leave the voucher and keys with the booth and when the travelers arrrive, they pick them up there. When I told her I wasn't positive the keys were correct, and wanted to find the vehicle myself, she said (in a very heavy hispanic accent) we don' no where is theese car..." and I said, My daughter said when you drive in, it is to the left. She waved her hand, in a huge semi circle, as if to say, "so large"... and I said, "do you mind if I walk around and look?" to which she willingly agreed. So now I'm looking for Ed's SUV..which I have seen briefly on two occasions, and in passing. Sarah says it's a Ford Escape, silver. I'm walking where I think Sarah indicated it'd be, and I see a silver ford escape, and it has a stethoscope hanging from the rear view mirror. I walked up to the vehicle and clicked the alarm on the 'clicker' (don't know the technical term). Nothing happened, so I peered into the vehicle, and saw things that didn't look like it'd be these girls'. So I continued on. I walked all over the stinkin' lot. One driver - very nice, all smiley, and also very hispanic, asked me was i loo-kin for my ca'? I 'splain'd what was going on, and he grinned, shrugged, and in his own way, said good luck. Sarah had said, when you come in go to the right. Well, she also said, when you come in to the sleep inn, go to the right. Obviously she was tired or confused. So, having completely checked out the right, I walked around the left. At one point, I saw a monkey lumbering through the parking lot. I recall after Hurricane Andrew, hearing about all the exotics that were released from the Miami Zoo, and shortly after Andrew, returning to Ft. Myers Beach after a visit to Hollywood Beach, I saw a monkey off the side of the road, very near what is now the Park N Fly. Anyway, after walking still a good bit, i said to myself, No. Sarah said, Right. So I returned to the right side, and decided to further investigate the one and only Silver Ford Escape. I went to it and tried the doors, the clicker, walked around it. When I looked at the license plate, and the renewal was September of 2008 (I know Ed is December 2008 - a Sagittarius, like moi) and then saw that the license plate holder was from Sawgrass Ford, I was convinced this was the wrong vehicle. I walked further, and saw another Ford Escape. I pressed the alarm on the clicker, and <<voila>>! I tried the key, it fit, I investigated the vehicle, it was certainly correct, the plate was 12 2008, and from Sam Galloway Ford. bingo. I realized that earlier, I had walked right passed this vehicle, but, as I was walking, my foot hit something that drew my attention to the pavement. It was a disposable lighter, no big deal, but, it caused me to walk right passed this. There was the same disposable lighter. On more than a couple of occasions, I looked at the bushes on the perimeters of the parking lot: it could be so quick! Yet, there were all those surveillance cameras…. I left the key and the voucher on the floor of the car, returned to my car, and headed back across the alley. I arrived back to the Beach around Sunset. Driving due west at sundown is memorable. I know when I got home. Several hours later, Sarah called to say they had arrived at Fort Lauderdale Airport, and had I been successful with the keys? I told her where the car was and where the keys were. Within 3 hours, they were home. For now, this is the end. But, it’s far from the end! For now, if you’d like, visit http://katyandtony.com/ ### THREE I wrote the “Stuff of Dreams” entry below shortly after waking this morning, and for several hours after, I mulled over the images in my mind - always looking for a meaning, symbol or message. My immediate attention was drawn to the scene with my mother, father and my sister. My sister, Mary Beth died in 1981. My father died in 1997. My mother is alive at the age of 88, although in failing health. I opened my much prized “Watch Your Dreams” book (Ann Ree Colton) and turned to mourning dove. “A preparation to receive news of a death; one who grieves for souls sinning.” Before I began my dream exploration, I started to write this: Today I am aware of three. Today is 06.07.08. Three numbers which equal (6+7+8=21 2+1=) 3. I logged on to my mail… www (3) aol (3) com (3). I had three new messages. I am reading “conversations with God” book 3. When I closed the book last night, I was on page 213 in Chapter 13. Now I am aware of other “three’s”. In my dream, it was mom, dad and sis - 3. My father’s birthday is 06.10.08 which is three days from today. Also in my dream I was in the company of three women on bicycles. Several years ago, I dreamt of being in Church and the pastor said to me, “I’m sorry to hear about your mother-in-law.” Three days after that dream, she passed away. Three (3) The third dimension - we do things in threes so they will manifest in our physical realm. It's roots stem from the meaning of multiplicity. Creative power; growth. Three is a moving forward of energy, overcoming duality, expression, manifestation and synthesis. Three is the first number to which the meaning "all" was given. It is The Triad, being the number of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end. The power of three is universal and is the tripartide nature of the world as heaven, earth, and waters. It is human as body, soul and spirit. Notice the distinction that soul and spirit are not the same. They are not. Three is birth, life, death. It is the beginning, middle and end. Three is a complete cycle unto itself. It is past, present, future. The symbol of three is the triangle. Three interwoven circles or triangles can represent the indissoluble unity of the three persons of the trinity. Others symbols using three are: trident, fleur-de-lis, trefoil, trisula, thunderbolt, and trigrams. The astral or emotional body stays connected to the physically body for three days after death. There is scientific evidence that the brain, even when all other systems are failing takes three days to register complete shutdown. There are 3 phases to the moon. Lunar animals are often depcited as 3 legged. Three is the heavenly number, representing soul, as four represents body. Together the two equal seven (3+4=7 ) and form the sacred hebdomad. The 3x4=12 representing the signs of the Zodiac and months of the year. Pythagorean three means completion. There are three wishes, genies have three wishes, three leprecons, three prince or princesses, three witches, three weird sisters among others. Right now it is nearly 1300 hours. Eastern Standard time. I am going to close, now, but will continue to sharpen my awareness as to what the rest of the day may bring. Tags: , ### Stuff of Dreams A man who looked like a snake oil dealer was attempting to pick up the bird he had just won at an auction. The mourning dove walked erect with animation that echoed the Geico gecko. He carried an insect in his beak. A woman with a blond beehive hairdo dressed in baby doll pajamas was using a butter knife to chip paint off the side of the building, feeding these chips to the dove. The paint chips were anaesthetizing the bird dulling its capacity to fly. Dove flew to the nearest clothesline only to be caught in the folds of a shirt. Beehive lady methodically followed the bird but recoiled when she discovered the bird had turned into a very large spider. I attempted to sleep on a fold out couch next to my dad, sitting in his favorite chair. My sister, Mary Beth was determined to wash the sheets, and pulled them out from under me as I was sleeping. This woke me in great irritation. Mom watched and ad on TV for a steak dinner with strawberries and red wine, and thought that looked very good. I was a guest of three women who ride their bicycles around the park and talk about their day to day activities. One woman looked like Carolyn Kennedy or Jacklyn Smith. We needed to request a variance for the building we were planning. It was October and I had missed the conference. No it’s not, it’s May. No…wait. What place in time? A crowd gathered in the studio to hear the tour guide. I jockeyed for position and cleverly reached the front of the group. I awoke with : 77 Sunset Avenue, ‘A’ on my mind. ## Monday, June 2, 2008 ### notes from the costa kiddies Notes from Costa Rica from number one daughter, first correspondence: Hola madre, ha.. we just checked into the sleep inn a little while ago. Everything has gone pretty smooth. Our flight was right on time and everything.. we got to the airport really early but i guess better early than late. We had a little confusion once we got out of the airport in San Jose. We called Sleep inn to send a shuttle because these taxi guys we going crazy tryin to get us to ride with them.. so we called sleep inn and they said they would send one in an hour, so we decided to do that. But everyone was too impatient so we decided to cancel with them and take a taxi.. but when we called sleep inn they said that they already sent the shuttle 10min ago and it should be there in 10 min, but after an hour or so of waiting we decided to just take a taxi, it was only 5 bucks per person or 2500colones i guess. the ride from the airport to the hotel was about 30-50mins traffic was kinda bad. Its raining not pouring but a little rain.. but sleep inn is really nice.. A few hours later…. Yeah there is free internet access in the lobby so that’s cool. Its 11 here so I guess its like 1 there.. we just got finished walking around san jose, its pretty cool. Its still raining but not too bad, still able to walk around. We just went to a bunch of cool looking places, except for this one place we went to it was like a prostitute place!! Ha.. Max (Ashleys boyfriend) walked into the prostitute bar with us and everyone thought he was like a king because he walked in with us 4 girls. They were nice tho... we only stayed for like 3mins Ashley used the bathroom there and we all went with her, well, Max wasn’t allowed, and it was down this long hall and there was like 8 rooms off the hall and it was just a mattress in the room.. it was scary\gross.. We did some gambling, didn’t win anything tho, ha. Everything is working out really well so far. we ate at a little authentic restaurant and Ashley wanted some sour cream but we couldn’t figure out how to say sour cream..so they brought out every cream, white sauce thing in the whole place... but no sour cream. they brought out milk in a bag that we thought might be sour cream.. so we were all feeling the bag to see if it was sour cream and all the employees startin’ laughing at us.. good night love ya´ Then …nothing…for three days… Then, this: Hey, the internet at Tamarindo Dira wasnt working so i wasn’t able to check my mail. But right now we are up in the mountains at Arenal. We rented a car today and I drove up to the volcano.. the drive was about 4 hours but it was pretty quick. You would have hated the drive its like steep cliffs and everyone is a speed racer.. plus the only cars here at stick shift and on a volcano that can be kinda tricky.. Everything is going really well we made it here all on our own with some little cartoon map we found at the rental car agency.. We will get a hostel or hotel here.. its raining. Not sure yet how long we wanna stay here.. But ill try and keep ya up to date what we decide to do. Love ya, And, then, shortly after…. The wedding was a lot of fun.. we just got a hotel here in La Fortuna (sp?) its the down town area near Arenal. It was only 40 dollars for the three of us.. Our good luck has run out I think, while we were searching for hotels and using the internet earlier when i wrote you a few hours ago I guess someone stole my carry on bag and kelly’s purse out of our car. We locked the doors to our car but i guess you have to do it by key, pressing the lock down then shutting the door doesn’t work.. Luckily i had taken my passport out of my bag earlier that day and put it under the seat of the car, normally i just had my passport attached to my bag.,, so i guess i was lucky there.. so i have my Passport my ID my debit card parking stuff.. only big thing that was in my bag was my wallet with my cash in it.. not exactly sure how much was in there but prob.$100 I’m guessing, not positive. the rest of the stuff was dirty clothes, sunglasses pair of sandals just random things.. not exactly sure. Kelly had her phone, video camera ( that i think was broken anyway) and she thinks her ID but we all have our passports so that’s good. We aren’t really sure what we are going to be doing for the rest of the time..We’re kinda wishing we didn’t plan on being here so long.. but we’ll see we might try and do some rainforest stuff tomorrow if its not still raining. I saw a toucan on the way here, so that was cool.. . I,ll try and let ya know tomorrow what our plan is.. we might head back to San Jose sooner than planned, not sure.. ok we are going to head back to the hotel

So, then panic sets in with the “moms” here in the states…do the girls have passports? Cash? Credit cards stolen? No way to communicate…

We are still in La Fortuna or whatever it is called if ya look at a map its a little bit south east of Arenal..only about 5miles. We have a hostel tonight its a little weird, we feel safe its just a mom and her daughter running it and 3 little dogs, we each paid 8bucks.. we went on the zip lines today it was awesome , scary but great. Its just lines running from platform to platform in the rain forest… one of the lines was just over a half mile then we went to an indian village, frog and butterfly garden and we rode horses for about 30mins.. it was an all day thing and it was only $40.. I should be good on money, the car we rented was only 45bucks .. The bus ride to San Jose is only like 4bucks.. so thats cheap. Not sure how long we are staying in this town we might go to Alajella .. Not sure, I know the way there on the map it looks a lot easier than the ride up here. I should be good we’ll stay in a cheap place the next few nights and take the cheap bus I think i have about 95$ still and I going to put about \$30 away for airport fees.
Ill let ya know tomorrow what our plans are..

Then later…

I just realized that for some reason i think I brought my keys on the trip.. and I had them in my bag that was stolen.. and they were my spare set, so i need to figure that out when i get back, even worse.. Kelly’s keys to the car that we drove here was also in her bag that was stolen.. So i think she is going to talk to her mom about sending the spare set of keys to the airport or something. think we will skip Allejuela or whatever.. and just stay here or go to san jose or something, it rains ALLLL the time in this city, everyday from 4pm till like 4am

Then….

okay I guess we are flying home out of San Jose tomorrow ( Wed), La and I already changed the Sleep Inn reservation so we can check in there tonight and stay in a nice hotel and take a shower..haha. We had to return the car yesterday so we no longer have that.. but we are talking about how we wanna get to san jose, either rent a car, take a taxi, a bus or they have shuttles that are like 30bucks per person.. right now we are checking our flights to make sure that’s all squared away.. I´ll be able to email you again tonight from the sleep inn we prob wont be there for awhile its at least a 4 hour drive and we haven’t figured out the transportation yet.. we are thinking about a bus..
okay I think we have almost everything figured out..ha, well except for how we are getting back to the beach..

love ya,

Next entries: the parents’ tale……

### feather matter

Didn’t know I needed it, didn’t know I missed it

Didn’t know how deprived

I’ve been for so many years

We tend to make do, and do we do,

For there’s always something else or something more that beckons.

Indulge yourself, treat yourself, have something you don’t need.

Splurge.

If it didn’t tug at you to have it, it isn’t on your radar.

I rolled over and heard the bed frame squeak. I stabbed the down-trodden down pillow and it did not punch back.

My feet fell off the end and my knees sunk into the recesses.

I rolled over and heard the bed frame squeak, again.

Then,

I slept for ten hours straight, uninterrupted.

Didn’t know I needed it, didn’t know I missed it

Didn’t know how deprived

I’ve been for so many years.

The down mattress top, the down comforter, the down pillows all covered with 600 count cotton.

I am the queen of the feather ball.

slumber, my little one,

slumber my pretty one

float on the starry stream

world of wonder