First, how my name explained ties into Judigail’s Blog name.
Judith, that’s my first name. People usually want to call anyone named Judith, Judy. Since I prefer to be called Judith, I will accept the other if it’s spelled correctly. Like in…
Judi with an I, Not Judy with a Y. That’s the way my mother spelled it. I changed it, because my given first name Judith, which I love.
When shortened, taking off the “th,” Judith becomes Judi with an I on the end, not a Y. Mom adored Judy Garland, the beautiful and talented 1940’s singer/actress. That was why she named me Judy. So Judy I stayed.
Till I became Judi.
When I realized that Judith shortened should be Judi with an i, not Judy with a y. Removing the letters ‘th’ at the end of Judith, produced Judi, not Judy. I changed the spelling. My parents didn’t mind that I made the change. Or, at least they never said they did.
Then I married to a man whose last name began with hard G sound. At about the same time, I saw a gorgeous airline attendant they called ‘Gail.’
I thought, “Gail’s my middle name, think I’ll start using it. Not that I’ll EVER look like her, gorgeous blonde creature that she is.”
Alliterations, that is same first letters of words fascinate me. Gail Gilley, nice ring to it, I thought.
Another metamorphosis came about when my sweet North Carolinian friend called me Judigail. Now there’s an original winner!
Rain, sleet, or snow falls from the sky called precipitation. Those are my forms of giving life to the planet.
I am collected, used, evaporated or condensed, and then returned to the sky.
I was on this planet before anyone or anything.
God designed it that way.
Genesis 1:2 “And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
And so it was.
God put me here for many reasons: To give life. To provide a home for sea creatures. To quench thirst. To help plants thrive. To provide beauty. To make a living for some. To have a place to~ Swim Boat. Travel. Exercise.
All these ways show why God placed me here on planet Earth.
I am important for life on this planet.
I am water.
Without me, no one or nothing can survive.
People and animals can live for weeks without food. But, without me, their survival is a much shorter time.
Throughout history, civilizations made homes, businesses, and lives near bodies of water.
Their instincts told them to make their livelihood near me.
I made it possible for them to have what they needed to survive.
I am water.
Wars have been fought for and over me. Many know how important I am to their lives.
I give life.
I maintain life.
I am water.
Without me, there is no life, conditional fun, transportation hindered, no seafood, and limited beauty.
A water view is almost priceless, often expensive in today’s real estate market.
With me they; Washed their clothes. Cleaned their bodies. Helped prepare their food.
In me they; Swam. Played games. Fished for seafood.
On me they; Traveled to distant lands in ships.
Everyone and everything revolves on, around and in me.
Cruising to Bahamas/ Maybe Next Year, Corona Virus Rampant 2020…
Am I disappointed? Yup!
Won’t deny it.I suppose it’s better to be safe than sorry or horribly flu sick,
…as the case here. But, I’m still bummed. People on some cruise ships have been quarantined two or three weeks.Corona virus originated in China. Pity the poor people who live in China.
Instead, we’ll take the train to Deland, county seat of Flagler County, the county where daughter Jenna lives in Ormond Beach.We’ll spend two days there, as she is only off work Friday and Saturday. She’s the Children’s Librarian at the Ormond Beach Library.
Next, my original planning excitement version…
It’s January 2020. On March 15th, we travel by train from Tampa to Miami, and spend the night.
Next day, we board Carnival Conquest ship for the Bahamas. Now, I’ve been there before, a long time ago, in the early 70’s. Mickie, my friend from Virginia, and I went there. That was so long ago, I don’t remember what ship we were on.
Main point for this trip is to see if my husband likes cruising on a big cruise ship. We’ve been cruising on a fifty foot sailboat on the Sea of Cortez.
I almost drowned.
That’s a story for another blog post.
My husband loved sleeping on the deck. With just six of us aboard; Captain, his wife who cooked, our daughter and son-in-law, Auburn and me.
We’ve been married for thirty-five years on July 6th. My idea for that anniversary. Cruise to the Panama Canal, and go through the locks. We’d experience the feeling of raising and lowering of the water from onboard a ship.
We’re permanent residents of Panama, and have visited the Miraflores Locks several times. Seeing, and experiencing the Locks from another angle would be an interesting adventure.
After doing some research, I discovered there are two different ways to sail through the Panama Canal.
First, board the ship in Port Canaveral, and for a partial transit. That means going through part of the Canal and Gatun Lake, man made for Canal water. Then back to Florida, after several other stops in Mexico.
This suited us not at all.
Second, to do a full transit, one must be aboard ship for at least fifteen days. After going through all the locks, we are then in the Pacific Ocean. The next stop is in California, either San Francisco, San Diego, or Los Angeles.
We’d fly back to Tampa from California. I’d like to talk him into stopping in Arizona for a few hours.
We don’t know whether we want to be onboard a ship for fifteen days. Auburn isn’t even sure he’ll like a huge multi-passenger ship, he liked the smaller, more intimate boat better.I did as well.
Ergo, those reasons for this trip to the Bahamas.
Hope it helps us decide.
Update: March 16, 2020
We’re back from our three day trip. It was interesting, fun seeing Jenna again, where she lives, Ormond Beach, Atlantic Ocean, she has a new great dane dog, yuck. We ate out a lot. Auburn complained about spending so much money, the B&B bathroom where we stayed wasn’t accessible, and it was thirty miles from Jenna’s place. It was the start of Spring Break week and the second weekend of Bike Week. Motorcycles everywhere. Dad would have loved it!
Coronavirus is rampant everywhere. It’s a worldwide pandemic. Very young to nine years old and seniors over seventy are vulnerable. Schools, which have Spring Break are extending it a week. Church was only online yesterday. We aren’t having our small group tomorrow. We’re self- quarantined.
Writing a blog never entered my mind.
http://www.judithnorris.com exists to attract freelance writing clients, Showcasing my stories, poems, and other writings also seemed like a good idea.
After I got through writing, my main issue became organizing the writings. Some subjects didn’t fit into any of the categories. A blog was the only answer to that issue.
The next thought came what to call that “blog.” My name titled the site. “Gail’s Blog” seemed too short. Then, lightning struck as memory came rushing back, and friend Mickie’s name for me popped into my consciousness.
My Summer Meadow in a Cool Woody Glen of Western Pennsylvania
During the late 1940’s, Pittsburgh loomed as the “Smokey City.” Pollution, like we know it in 2019, didn’t happen then in the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania. A calm land of peaceful tranquility existed.
For an introspective eight-year-old child, no other place could compare. Not having been to many other places, I didn’t have anything with which to compare it.
I loved being here in ‘my meadow.’ Thinking of it that way made sense to me. No one else could see what I saw, except the cows. They seemed to enjoy it.
People often said in jest that Pennsylvania had only two seasons, winter and the Fourth of July. Long harsh snow and icy winters gave way to short three summer months. This made summer seem practically non-existent.
Recalling my childhood in those glorious summer months, my heart fills with gratitude, not frivolity. Although severe winters occurred, spring and fall seasons were more than all right.
Seasons like summer with gloriously warm lengthy evening hours. Spring held lovely promises with fragrant blossoms. Fall began cooling in the evening, but still had warm fall afternoons. These more than made up for enduring the frigid slushy months.
Long warm summer days, seemed perfect for extended walks into the woods. Once there, continuing to the meadow beyond to watch the brilliant azure sky’s frothy white clouds provided alone time for reflection. I still appreciate the warmth of a summer day in July, with brilliant sun baking the land.
My cousin, our neighbor friend, and I often walked into the cool green lush forest glade. We felt instant relief from the sun’s burning heat. We leisurely sauntered into the cool woody darkness hoping the sun’s fiery incandescence would be cooled. Heat still hung on, although greenery stifled the sun. This afforded some respite.
As we strolled through the woody glade, the older two girls chattered about what game they would play, after they got cool enough. My thoughts centered on the delightful calm serenity I would experience here.
My two tomboy companions were merely incidental to me. I paid no attention as they ran off, one chasing the other. I knew we would reunite eventually.My pleasure came in reaching the meadow alone.
I could lie in the tall grass watching the azure sky with billowy clouds. They looked like white cotton candy. Clouds frothy whiteness made the blue sky more serenely vast. Watching them move ever-so-slowly across the sky fascinated me. Their various interesting shapes made me decide what each one looked like.
The grass, cropped closer by distant grazing cows, held a pleasant fragrance. The cows seemed contented. Their presence added to the blissful tranquility of that bucolic July afternoon.
The slight breeze blowing over me made lying in the roasting sun bearable. My pleasantly tolerable surroundings kept me from thinking of my two cacophonous noisy companions, nor of going anywhere else. I could vaguely hear them crashing and chasing around through the woods. That I was here, not with them, made me doubly happy being in ‘my meadow.’
My thoughts, feelings, and emotions attended to the cerulean blue sky with its fleecy-white clouds revealing various shapes. As each one rolled by, with its own characteristic form, it evoked something familiar. Laughing, crying, thinking, “Oh, how beautiful.” They reminded me of something I’d read, seen, or learned about in school.
Clouds shaped like;
They’re all part of a special place to remember; a summer afternoon in ‘my meadow.’
Judith Norris, Tampa Freelance Writer, writes Education, Healthcare, and eclectic pieces for website https://www.judithnorris.com. Subscribe for FREE thirty minutes writing consultation. Judith now enjoys living in Florida with her husband and two furry felines.
Moved with us from Arizona to Florida.When he died at eighteen. I thought my world would end. Sadness filled my whole being, just as when Coo left.
Auburn gave me two kittens about three months after Pumpkin died. In retrospect, I should’ve waited and grieved longer. Live and learn? Whoever said that made a mistake.
Skimbleshanks, whose name has been shortened to Kymbl, has Pumpkin’s coloring. They could’ve been brothers. Kymbl has Coo’s sweet disposition, and I have another lap cat.
Fozzie is all black with enormous green eyes. He would eat all the time, if we let the food there constantly. He wakes me up between 4:00 and 5:00 AM. Both of them like to eat every six hours. So, numb skull here, feeds them every six hours. Not sure how long that’ll continue.
Fozzy turned into a bully. He wants to be wherever Kymbl is sleeping. So, he chases Kymbl away. That behavior won’t be tolerated.
My husband drove me to a restaurant in Gibsonton called Joia for the First Anniversary of the MS Support Group I joined one year ago here in Riverview, Florida. It started by Kelley Levy, who goes to Physical Therapy at the same place I go. DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) Katie King helped her sponsor the group.
This group is the second support group I’ve gone to that I found useful, The other one was in Minneapolis in 1987. That group shared openly about their challenges with MS. One woman was recovering from cancer with a positive attitude. I still walked, drove myself to meetings then. Now, I watch others who are where I was then.
What a difference twenty odd years makes.
We sat at a table for four and were joined by two other women. One woman, black and fifty-five sat next to me. Gina had been in the Air Force four years and advocated for the Veteran’s Hospital. Phyllis, the white woman sat across from me and next to Auburn. His conversation turned lively. He reminded me of the way I remember him in past years.
Phyllis had a service dog with her. That interested me. I often thought a service dog would be a welcome addition. But since I no longer walk, I’m not sure how that would work out.
The four of us found many things in common. Phyllis lived in Peoria, Arizona. Her parents still do. She loved it as I did and would return in a heartbeat. Me too! Auburn and Gina had their service in common. They talked about how the VA is changing for the better.
Oh yes, we ate salad and pizza. I drank two margaritas. M-m-m-m-m!
Tomorrow evening, we go to our friend’s house for dessert at 7:00 PM. Raymond and Patricia Henry go to our church. They invited us to the first CARE Group her in Florida. I went to their son James’ high school graduation party in May.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Happy Birthday To Me!!!
November 6th, 1940.
Seventy-nine years of age seems like such a long time. In the vast scheme of things, it’s an instant!
It’s been a delightful day so far!
Lots of Facebook greetings, phone calls from friends, Auburn fixing pulled pork for lunch. He’s such a good cook!
Often, sleepless nights haunt my reverie. Last night happened that way. As I thought about things, especially my birthday in the morning, it entered my mind that we don’t know how much longer our time on this beautiful planet will be.
“It’s my birthday, and I’ll cry if I want to.”
Then, tears filled my eyes for I’ve always hated good-byes. I don’t want to leave my husband, cats, and all the good things that fill my life.
Of course, I’ll go to a better life in Heaven. I won’t have MS. My eyes will see clearly without glasses. I’ll meet my parents again, and eventually everyone else.
No more tears. That will be one of the really good parts.
Since there are no children of my own, this seems a purely hypothetical assignment. Many children have come and gone thorough my life. Various ways I want them to remember me. I’m fond of them all. I hope they’ll think of me in a kind and gentle way.
I want to publish a writing to give something of myself to more people that way. A writer possesses a special ability to express feelings to an audience. My audience is children, ages 8 – 10. I want to be remembered as an author of children’s stories.
I want to be remembered as a good teacher. Since many schools in Australia, Florida, Minnesota, and Virginia have been part of my teaching experience, I’ve influenced lives in various places. I hope they think knowing me has been positive to their lives.
My step-daughter has admirable qualities. I hope she’ll remember me as a giving person who cared for her and her father very much. She’s emerged a resilient woman, after going through deep tragedies.
As an open, gregarious person who genuinely loves people, I count many women as friends. I want them to remember as a true friend who gave them more than I ever took from them. Friendship is a two-way street. I’ll remember them the same way. They’re precious to me.
Please remember me as a pleasant and positive individual who continuously tried to improve herself and never stopped growing.
First Career: Music, then Reading Teacher
Second Career: Private Piano Coach
Third Career: Freelance Writer
I hope others followed my example. That’s the best legacy I could hope to leave to future generations.
Twenty-four little hours.It’s all in the prospective of who’s looking at it, which twenty-four hours,
Or living it…as the case may be.
Much happens in twenty-four hours, or not very much happens,
Depending on the circumstances.
So, what are you trying to say?
It’s all relative, no matter what the situation.A song from some time ago made me think of the opening line of this post.
“What a difference a day makes,
There’s the sun and the flowers,
Where there used to be rain.
Duh, duh, duh, duh…
It’s Heaven when you –
Find romance on the menu.
What a difference a day makes,
And the difference is you.”
Often song lyrics like the one above pop up into my brain. I usually remember all but a few of the lyrics. Then that song plays over and over in my head. They won’t go away.
Actually, it IS kinda nice.
That is, till another song triggered by something I see, hear someone say. or just a random thought takes its place. Many go through my mind.
Musical Memory. That’s what it’s called. My Music Education degree taught me that and much more. Music Memory applies to learning scales, lyrics, and more musical idioms.
As a child of three, I sang “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” standing behind my parents in the family automobile.
“How did she learn that?
My wondering dad asked, as he drove our car down the road with an inquisitive look on his face.
Yup. Car. That’s what we called vehicles then. Took me quite a while to change from car to vehicle. I’m still not overly fond of saying what sounds like a nasty word.
I much prefer car. Simple. Direct.Gets the point across.Why do people make simple into complicated?
Oh, I know. Because there are so many different kinds of transportation. To name a few ~
Myriad types of cars
Lawn Care Trucks with Trailers
Long Haul Trucks
Wouldn’t it be nice if highway departments built another highway just for those monster things with multiple wheels? They’re called trucks. But I think monsters.‘Specially when they almost blow us off the road.
Amusing when one word can completely change the direction of the piece being written. Subject originally music, transfigured into vehicles. My favorite word.
Oh, well. Everyone has likes and dislikes about any given subject. Words trigger other thoughts, positive or negative.
“It is what it is.” Another favorite saying for almost any topic can be summed up by those five words.
“It’s a wrap,” calls the director when the filming’s finished. The same direction can be applied to this post.
We’ve talked about and gone to visit the country of Panama since 2005. It is and has been my husband’s desire to move off-shore for much longer than that.
We attended a “Live and Invest in Panama” five-day-event six years ago. At that time we (he) decided to pay a lawyer to purchase Residency Status in Panama.
Since then, we’ve been back each year for our annual vacation. We’ve been to several locations in Panama. So far, we’ve seen Panama City, Boquete, David, Santa Fe, Pedasi, Azuera Peninsula, and in August 2019 El Valle.
My favorite so far is Boquete, a seven hour drive from the airport on the opposite side of Panama City. So that’s out. It is a mountain town, quant then, lots of areas to explore.
I liked Pedasi, but am not sure I want to live there. El Valle is about an hour’s drive from Panama City, so I’m hoping we’ll like it there. I know it’ll be fine to take the cats to Panama. It’s just that, if we decide to return to the US, that would be more difficult.
Panama City appealed to me also. It’s diversity, culture, restaurants, healthcare, ease-of-getting-around appeals to me most of all. We’ll have a serious discussion on July 6th, our 35th wedding anniversary. Maybe then, we’ll discuss our future plans.
Now it’s two weeks later. We didn’t discuss anything about the future, Panama, or anything remotely involving plans. We played Scrabble, our regular Saturday afternoon daliance.
My husband won. I’ve been winning the past few times we’ve played. I’m glad he won. Guys need to win, especially when playing Scrabble with their wives.
Back to Panama. We’re staying at a nice place in El Valle called Park Eden Bed & Breakfast. This will be a bit of a departure from other places. We have an unairconditioed cottage that sleeps six. I need accessible lodging. This is their only accessible room.
It should be fine without air conditioning, even on the Equator during Panama’s summer. LastAugust, Santa Fe in the mountains without air conditioning, was comfortable, except for the roosters. They couldn’t tell time. They crowed from 2:00 AM through till daylight.Ah-h-h-h!
The beach town of Pedasi had only ceiling fans. It was fine, but I wished for a bit cooler.My husband loved it though.His military training allows him to sleep anywhere, any time, at the drop of a hat.
Our daughter will travel with us this year. She talked about going last year, then didn’t. Her thirteen-year-old son died a few years ago. His birthday was in August. That is a sad time for her.
I hope things go well for her and us. She’s going through a mid-life crisis, her job is in flux, she doesn’t know what is next, her divorce will be finalized soon. She needs a vacation. She needs her family’s support.
Panama’s water views are seen both east and west, Atlantic and Pacific. It never is as turbulent as this photo suggests it might be.
Now it’s September. We’ve been to Panama. Now we’re home. That trip is a pleasant memory. More about it in another post, maybe.