I like to learn lessons over and over again, just to be sure they STICK.

We had a couple visit us for a long weekend when we were in the Cayman’s last month.  They are a very fit couple who would get up early each morning for a 6 mile run before enjoying the rest of the day.  We spent time each day snorkeling, bike riding and jet-skiing.  There are many great perks about having friends visit on the island, and one of them is that you do things that you know every tourist should do.

On Saturday we hopped on the jet skis and headed to Stingray City.  This is a sand-bar situated between Rum Point the main part of the island. It’s halfway across the Cove and you can see all of the boats anchored there when you look out from the beach. 

When we got there we anchored the jet skis and stood on the bar among the hundreds of stingrays. They glide past you slowly, and some nudge you as they pass by.  They are very friendly and seem to enjoy the attention.  We left stingray city and went on to visit Cabana Bay, Morgan’s Harbor, Stingray City and then landed back at Rum Point.  It was an incredible, beautiful adventure.

Our friends have an amazing underwater camera, and were able to get amazing shots all throughout their stay. Each night Ed would download the pics onto my computer so I could have copies.  That night I saw some of the underwater shots from Stingray City.

“Oh my GOD! Look at that @$$! Do NOT share that pic!” I said to him laughing.  “Yikes!”

“No!” Donna said, “No, that’s not…”

“Oh stop!” I said to Donna. “Don’t try to make me feel better! That @$$ is huge!”

“No,” she interrupted again, trying to make me feel better.

“Listen,” I said to her, “I need to print that picture and put it on my fridge! I will never eat again!”

“No, what I was trying to say is…That’s ME. That’s MY  @$$.”


“See?” she pointed, “That’s MY bathing suit.  And I do try to run every day….”

“Oh my GOD.  Wait. Oh.  Well, um, that @$$ is VERY tiny.  VERY, VERY TINY.”

Oh my sweet Jesus in heaven, why can’t I keep my mouth SHUT ONCE IN A WHILE?

(You know I like to #*$& up once a day.  It keeps me humble.)


A very happy birthday, indeed.

Today is my mother’s birthday.  My mother, AnnaBelle, was born 80 years ago in a very small town in Pennsylvania.  Her father was a coal miner, and her mother (my Baba) was a stay at home mom with 3 children at home.  There were five more children to follow. My aunts and uncles would laugh as they told people that my grandfather used to say that every time he hung his pants on the bedpost my grandmother would have another baby.  I didn’t fully appreciate that story until I got much OLDER, but it still makes me smile.

I was sharing some stories about my mother with a good friend of mine this morning. We were having an early lunch at Panera, and she wanted to hear more about my visit with the medium.  She had seen her several months earlier and was just as impressed as I was. In fact, my visit with her prompted me to see the medium.

We talked a bit about my mother, and I shared that today was her birthday.  We sat quietly for a few minutes, lost in our own thoughts, and then both gathered our things to leave.  It was a busy day at Panera and most of the tables were full.  We began to walk past the tables and booths when a young woman stood and picked up a baby carrier.  She turned towards us and said in a loud voice, “AnnaBelle!  Come on, Annabelle, it’s time to go!” 

Startled, I glanced around searching for the woman’s child when I spotted an adorable toddler picking something off the floor. The girl looked up at me as I stopped right before I would have run her over.  She had to be about 3, with a full head of dark curls and big blue eyes.  She smiled and then turned and ran to her mother.

“Is her name Annabelle?” I asked (stupidly).

“Yes, it is!” she replied, as she we walked towards the front of the shop with one arm holding a baby carrier and the other scooting Annabelle along.

I smiled and said, “That’s my mother’s name.  It’s beautiful.  And so is your daughter!” 

“Thank you!” she said as she walked through the door.

I wanted to stop her and say, “No, thank you.  Thanks for reminding me that there really are no coincidences -just beautiful reminders that life is amazing.”

Happy Birthday, AnnaBelle.  Thanks for spending part of the day with me…


The medium....wasn't medium at all. (She was tops...)

I was very excited and slightly nervous when I made my visit to the medium.  I wasn’t really looking for answers to any questions, or asking for guidance or anything.  I just, really, miss my parents.  I wanted some kind of comforting words or gestures and perhaps an acknowledgement of some kind that there is something more.  Basically I already feel in my heart that there is, but I was fascinated by the possibilities this visit could offer.

First, I want to back up just a bit.  Many of you might know this but it bears repeating.  I’ve often said to so many of my friends that my siblings and I had a wonderful childhood.  In fact, my words have probably gone something like this, “I had wonderful parents, and a great brother and sister.  We lived a wonderful, idyllic childhood.  It was almost magical, and we had such a great, great life when we were young.  It was the whole part after childhood that seemed to really suck.” 

Of course I meant the losing our parents part, and the difficult struggle with adulthood and the poor choices that went along with that. You know, all the #*$& ups that happen along the way. I know now that for me, the choices I made and that the path I walked was one I was supposed to experience.  It was my journey, my path to enlightenment, and I am grateful.  However, I sure did a great job of providing myself with many, many, many life lessons. We learn best by our mistakes, right?  Well, I was a hell of a learner, that’s for sure.

But I digress.

My mother’s spirit claimed so much of the time during the reading, and for that I was extremely grateful.  I’ve missed her so very much, and my heart needed the boost she gave it.  I’ll return to her visit later, but want to share what my father had to say, because that was a moment that will stay with me forever. 

The medium chuckled for a moment as my father’s spirit was given a chance to speak.  (Apparently my mother had ‘dibs’ on the first part of the conversation.) 

“Your father is quite a patient man, isn’t he?” the medium said with a smile.   I agreed with a chuckle, and held my breath.

“Well, he is tipping his hat to you, and saying that it’s good to see you my Little Debbie.”  I smiled, remembering that he called me that.   Then, she spent some time sharing many cool things that I won’t get into right now.  It’s long, and I’m afraid I’d bore you all to death.  I’ll share stories in snippets, so I can savor them one bite at a time. It was this bit of information that made me shake my head in wonder.

“Hmmm, wow, this is so interesting.  Your father is saying … that we had a near perfect life together, all of us.  He says of course, nobody’s perfect. But he says I think we had a pretty special family. And he says when I’m looking down on earth and seeing everything that’s going on, and all the family dynamics, I’m pretty proud of our family and what we accomplished together.” 
Then the medium went on.  “Wow.  I am so  amazed at that.  I mean, doing what I do, there are many visit from father figures.  But, most fathers come in and say I’m sorry.  I really haven’t heard that before!  Wow.”

 That moment, that moment when I heard many of the words that I have spoken so often come back to me, was the moment that knew my father had reached across time and space, and given me the hug that I’ve been waiting over 30 years for.

Thanks, Dad.  You always were, and still are, the man.