A Catalina Party

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus, primarily because I was struggling with inspiration for any kind of writing. The stresses of life hit me like a category five hurricane. Thoughts and ideas were destroyed like 200 mph winds throw around a metal shed, and rip off the roof. The next step in my story plot was washed away from my mind like the storm surge will swipe the surface of the ground away, debris lost to the tides. I have struggled, cried, complained, and spent quiet time in thought. Where can I start? Author Twist Phelan gave me a suggestion, to start with just a paragraph, so that is what I am doing. This is Nancy fighting back, rebuilding the house, pumping out the water, throwing away the ruined furniture, and repainting.

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Last Saturday I held a farewell party for my nephew, Austin, who is leaving for Army basic training. He is actually my great nephew but I never make those distinctions. This party was important to me for a couple of reasons. The first is I was there when Austin was born. I helped his mom be calm through a difficult delivery. I watched as he was helped to take his first breaths, when he made his first cries, and when he peed on his dad.

Austin has always been important to me.

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He has struggled with some poor life choices, let the wrong people influence him, dealt with abuse, and turned the corner to focus on a direction that is healthy, both physically and emotionally. He has found his spiritual voice giving him a strength to release detrimental humans in his life. I am incredibly proud of him.

The party was here at my house, in the “party yard” and was filled with family and friends who came to celebrate this step in his future.

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The music was rocking, the kids were running, the drinks were flowing, the food was plentiful, the ice cream was homemade, and the cake was Army cammo.

Once the sun went down the bonfire was lit and the little ones were entertained by waving sparklers.

Austin represented third and fourth generations at the party – how cool is that! He was able to tease and chase his young cousins. He had cousins present who were older by a decade to as young as a year old. He had friends there who grew up with him. It was perfect.

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I took a moment to share with everyone how proud I was of him and to give him a cheer.

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It was fun. I think he was a bit surprised at the whole thing.

 

He will leave for basic training on October 2nd. But he will stay in our hearts and minds as he serves his country and makes us all proud! dsc0043.jpgSo I leave you with this special picture of Austin and I, and the party.

This is a Catalina AZ party!

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Friday, Friday

I remember Friday being the best day. After getting off work I would hurry home, pick out an outfit, shower, shave (you never knew), put makeup on and be ready to be out the door by 7pm to par-tay. It was glorious and I felt like an adventure was just waiting for me.

In 1972 Arizona lowered the drinking age to 19. For Real!! It didn’t last long but the best part was I was 19. So I was legal and it was cool.

I could vote and drink. There is symmetry to that.

It was often an evening spent dancing at the Wildcat House, I was there for the opening night! Then across the street to the Bum Steer mostly to see who was there. Tucson back then was a pretty cool place. Lot’s of celeb sightings all over, we had an amazing promoter (can’t remember the name) who managed to get the best concerts here. The Tucson Community Center opened with an arena beckoning artists, we had a hopping music scene.

I used to do voice talent for radio and I met a lot of music people in town to promote their artists. It was exciting. They had money and drugs. I would record at KWFM and then the copies would go out to the other stations. I can say for a fact, since I was there, that when the DJ’s put a song on that lasted more than 10 minutes they were smoking a joint on the balcony. It’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida time! https://youtu.be/UIVe-rZBcm4

I got tickets to concerts and free albums (vinyl) and an education.

Tucson was also a place to make movies and TV programs. There was a big sound stage out at Old Tucson (western movie location) in use constantly. Regularly streets, especially downtown, were barricaded for filming and locals knew the hotels the actors used and we would show up there to party. Most of them were pretty cool hanging with locals. Anyone who’s lived here for a long time enjoyed a Tucson that was Hollywood’s little secret.

“Shut up and dance with me!”

Cheers!

-N

Ps: Thanks Tony Burgess for the inspiration!

No, I’m not old!

I had an eye appointment today and the first thing I noticed when I was walking into the big building of doctors offices was there were lots of “old” people coming and going. Blue hairs I call them. My eye doc, who is really great, is retiring to Florida. Bummer, Chuck and I both like him. He is mellow and works quickly. Gonna miss that guy. Eyes haven’t change much, that’s good. I have small cataracts, that’s bad. Did I really say that??

Please God, I’m not old, right?

In my head I’m 30. I was skinny and energetic when I was 30. No reading glasses, I could jog a mile without breathing hard and I could drink and dance all night if I wanted. My kids were little so I knew I wasn’t old.

I worked for almost 10 years at the University of Arizona and it was one of the most fun jobs I ever had. Primarily because I was around young people all day. It was great. The best part was hearing about their fabulous and crazy college aged lives. I heard about who they were hanging out with, where they were going for vacays and the parties they hit on the weekends. I felt younger being around them. They cheered me and kept me from the oldness feelings.

For years before that I had worked in the medical field in hospitals and private offices. I found I spent my time talking about doctor appointments, medications, sick days, and aches and pains. Not getting ready to go to the beach or bar hopping with friends to meet people. It made me feel old and I started to sound like these grumpy people.

Right now my Sirius car radio is on the “top hits or Z100 or coffee house”, my Pandora is on the “Mark Ronson station or today’s hits”. I’d love to hit the dance clubs and get sweaty dancing all night, but they look at me funny. Ok, Chuck isn’t a dancer. So I’m not that skinny girl who closed the bars when she was 22 but I’m still fun. Just try me!

My son said I was loud about everything. I think it was a compliment?!?! I’m not typing in all caps, right?

I know I can’t avoid the chronological progression but dammit in my brain I’m not that old. “I’m gonna kiss myself I’m so pretty.”

Cheers!

-N