Saturday, January 19, 2008

Natalie Laughing

Everyone laughed... Phew... that is the goal... I just have to say just enough with the right timing to make people laugh out loud. Tonight I grabbed the microphone in front of a crowd of about a hundred people in a bar in Bellevue for 40 minutes telling stories. Dave and I have done comedy before but it has been a couple years since we had our own show. We took turns tonight. Usually I am rated pretty much in the PG category.... tonight I got a bit racy. I was not only encouraged by a few friends.. but Dave and I went to a Lovers store last night for a couple hours to get some ideas. These stores have changed... I would say it was more like a cosmetic or jewelry department than a dollar store!
It was so thrilling that Colin, my son was able to come. Several years ago he would open for me. I loved hugging that mike and playing with the audience. Dave said the restaurant liked all the business and we may be able to do it again.. maybe monthly. It would be good for me to start doing my comedy show again.
I have some of my writing on my website at NatalieOutLoud and then there is a period com.

Memories and Munchies

Last weekend I invited friends to come over to my house with their photos. We all have photos on disks, in envelopes, stuffed in boxes and bags, and ready for albums. I thought it would be good to start out the year with a goal to get organized. I love to scrapbook, but I find it it so much easier when my pictures are organized. It was so much fun getting to see the different photos and albums that everyone brought. I am working on one for my sister of 50 years of photos of us together! Thanks to all that came!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Cruise on the HIstorical Virginia V

Today I had the opportunity to go for a cruise on the Virginia V in Lake Union. The steam whistles blew and after a few hours of preparation, this historic steamship built in 1922 with engines from 1898, headed north on Lake Union. Only a few of us were there for the ride on this blustery wet day to get fuel. Sam, who has volunteered as a docent for almost 5 years, invited me to join her for this short "working" cruise. I spent 3 hours aboard with a few of our friends including Diana and Hank. The experienced Capt. Dale, also a member of our Seattle Singles Yacht Club, showed me how it is maneuvered and docked. A single large steam engine sits in the center of the ship. He communicates orders to the engineer (a tall striking woman dressed in Eddie Bauer attire with a knit cap brings to the engine room decades of experience) as to whether it is to go forward or reverse and at what speed. There has to be considerable planning as it is not like my car that I can throw into reverse in a second! Oh.. the excitement when the Captain orders the engine stopped to throw it in reverse! The lines are so large my small hands would not be able to wrap around them. He slipped that huge ship into the moorings with an ease I wish I had when I bring the ROPHY back to the dock.

Used for weddings and events, the Virginia V is often seen throughout the Lake Union area and cruised by my moorage numerous times. It has a glory about her from her stately appearance to her immaculate renovation. The wood floors glow, the brass shines, and the flags wave to the crowds as she gracefully cruises.

My great grandfather had a steamship built in 1912 named the Lydonia (his name was Wm. Lydon). Though it was larger, I imagined my grandmother as a young girl walking along the deck as it cruised in Lake Michigan. Wm. Lydon was the Commodore of the Chicago Yacht Club during the first few years he owned the Lydonia. The ship was taken by the Navy in 1917 to be used as a minesweeper. Shortly thereafter he passed away.


My sister will receive in the mail... whenever I get to the post office because I keep adding to it...... an album of photos of us over the past 50 years. There is 13 months between us. We live over 3000 miles apart and sometimes I think we are that different also. As a small kid, I planned to have the life she lived... married to a handsome, successful man staying home most of the time raising several kids with all the benefits we grew up with in the suburbs. She is so much like my Mom who I adored. As I pass the 50 year mark I have raised my two children alone for 99% of their lives. I was self employed and worked as hard as I could while they were in school. I was still was an active mom going on field trips, girl scout outings, and baseball games. I took after my Dad. There were times my frig was empty. Though we didn't have the advantages I did growing up, I think the kids always felt blessed for all we did have. We were such a team. And, as I look back.... I really loved being a single mom!
My nest is now empty. I wonder what it would be like to have hit this mark and share the memories with someone.
Instead, I treasure my photos... they are on my computer, in albums and in boxes everywhere.
This is the time of year that I feel the most sentimental and have to organize them, print them, frame them, put them in albums, or just look at them.
This little photo album will be fun for my sister to open. I hope she is as happy as I am as we pass the half century mark.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

My Mom, Phyllis, was born on this day in 1927. I last saw her in September 1991 when she died in a car accident. I remember her the most on her birthday.

"This could be heaven," she said to me once. "What if we get to the pearly gates and find out we already experienced heaven?" I think that is the one belief that follows me every day. Too often we aren't mindful for the joy that surrounds us. When something goes "wrong" there is always another side.. something we learn from it. This could be heaven... right here.. right now. And the challenges I face today and tomorrow are just something to help me grow.

Mom laughed out loud. She had a bright smile and a contagious laugh. I was blessed to inherit it from her. I always felt good when I heard her laugh.

As the new year starts I find I start with the speed of a turtle... hiding in my shell contemplating what this year will bring me and what I will give. That is exactly what is happening this week.

I remember 10 years ago the first day the kids were back to school after new years day I got them up and cheerfully off to school. Then instead of heading off to my office in Bellevue at the time, I went home and crawled back into bed. I just was not ready to face the new year. When I finally got myself going I was greeted at the door of my office by a note. The auditor from the Department of Licensing was there at 9 am to do an audit of my real estate records. I just laughed out loud... there WAS a good reason to stay under the covers that day! (An audit was not a big thing as I didn't have a trust account and hold consumer funds... but anytime an auditor knocks our hearts take on a special beat!)

Happy new year to you... and whether you are out the gate like a racehorse or moving slowly like a turtle, like I am, look forward to all that could be possible for you this year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Resolving THIS in the new year

I kept my new years resolutions for 2007. My goal was to work on deeper, closer relationships with my friends... I wanted to connect better with my friends.. get to know them and play more with them! And so I did!

As 2008 starts I plan to take care of my body by eating and exercising more WITH my friends... So, that will mean better lunches and more walks!
So... to my friends... lets eat healthier and get exercise together... Lets walk on the beach, stretch, do some sit-ups, go to the gym, work in the yard...

I want to start looking ahead more at the entire year and each month.

I am so excited as this year begins... My business will continue to grow, "Are you a Secret Agent" my book will be published, I will have a dozen new classes approved this year, the hot sun in Mexico will hit my body in January, the ROPHY (my boat) will go cruising several times each month and in August spend 3 weeks in the Gulf Islands and San Juans, I will see Europe again, my basement and bathroom will be remodeled, I will get to my cottage at the ocean each month, and I will read several books each month!

Colin is so thrilled about his new job as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Access Golf that owns four golf courses... Willows in Redmond, Druids, Kayak POint, and Capital City. He sells golf tournaments and events!

Kyler is back from her 4 months in NYC working for the Bill Clinton Foundation. She is finishing her Senior Year at Western Washington University majoring in French and Political Science.

Hope you have a wonderful New Year! Dream, wish, plan...