Jan 27, 2010


The unlucky residents of the community I live in have united against my husband and I. Retirement is indeed boring business and the bluehairs in my community haven’t been able to get used to the fact that the community can no longer keep their houses from foreclosure without renting. They lose not one opportunity to remind us, or Dear Husband since he is the one they talk to, that they made an exception with us and we should be thankful. These people have way too much time in their hands.

Today, on our way to work, we got a call from the management company saying that several residents had complained about Zoey, my part pit bull part hound dog. Apparently the residents are afraid of Zoey. Yes, of Zoey, my dog who pees in the floor if you yell at her and squats into submission to the Chihuahuas in the street. Yeah that's my mauling, dangerous beast.
There is one problem in this whole equation that these too-much-time-in-their-hands fools didn’t count on. ME. MOI. YOURS TRULY. They probably thought they would complain and we would slink away from the community, dog in tow or simply get rid of Zoey to appease their fool fears of a dog that has never shown any sign of aggression. What they didn’t count on was on my crazy ass. Because let me tell you something I am ready to take this as far as it fucking needs to go. If I have to hire lawyers, contact the ASPCA and PETA if I have to bring the fucking newspapers to my house I will. I have way more energy than they do and I have being right on my side and more importantly they couldn’t have chosen a worse bitch to mess with because of all the people they could’ve gone against they chose to go against the one that is itching for a fight.
The issues about pitbulls was brought to light to me when I got Zoey. I knew people were afraid of them but one gets hand to hand knowledge of just how deep that fear goes when you are the one walking them down the street. I have never been afraid of them since I am not stupid and choose to form my own opinions on things instead of being told what to believe.
If people bothered doing some research about it they would find out that the pitbull's reputation is unfounded and the gangster rap movement is one of the many things to blame for giving Pitbulls the bad reps they sport today. Between that and the dog fighting problems the Pitbulls have become victims of a witch hunt, pitch forks and all. Before that the American Pitbull Terrier used to be the dog that represented the U.S. during WWII.
Everybody thinks that Pitbulls have a genetic predisposition to be aggressive, when in reality they were bred for companionship and to be service dogs, therefore any dogs that showed aggressive behavior was immediately terminated. Drastic measures if you ask me but it is what makes the pitbull the good dog it is today. Helen Keller’s dog was a Pitbull and many other Pitbulls serve today as search dogs and service dogs for the blind and handicapped.

I wish people would stop eating every spoonful of shit the media feeds them. In reality beloved Labradors have a higher number of attacks in the U.S. than Pitbulls do but the media doesn’t find that as entertaining as putting in the news that a Pitbull bit his owner or a neighbor.

I truly hope this doesn’t get to the point where I have to be a major bitch and then alienate ourselves from the community but my personality doesn’t allow for me to bend over and take it. If they think I am going to take in consideration their age or their fears they are sorely mistaken. So I guess we are going to the mattresses.
Residents of Community don’t “Beware of Dog” but definitely Beware of this Bitch.

Jan 21, 2010


There are, I am sorry to say, plenty of things in life I wish I had no knowledge of. Things I wish I remained in the dark about. Things that I wish I could unlearn, things I wish I didn’t know. The list is eclectic and all encompassing from what goes in a “morcilla” sausage (pig’s blood and rice) to the fact that a high percentage of middle school age children have already had oral sex.

How to ship the remains of a loved one to his home country is now at the top of the list. Dear Husband is right, sometimes, life gets in the way of your plans. I am sure Alfonso wasn’t planning on dying an ocean away from the son he adores and the woman he has been married to for 20 something years. I am sure he wasn’t planning on ending his month vacation in the U.S. with a heart attack. But shit happens, life happens, death happens. Still I wish I didn’t know. I wish I didn’t have to deal with it. I am immature enough to wish that I didn’t feel so scared about my own parents; my other loved ones who are his age. I wish I wasn’t suddenly scared shitless that someone I love is simply going to slip away from me without me being able to do anything about it.

The moving of a body to another country is complicated business let me tell you. I wish people didn’t have to go through with it but apparently it happens all the time. My recommendation to those who are unlucky to go through this is to contact the consulate, embassy, church, friend, high school sweetheart, or the man who sold you your refrigerator. Every person always knows a person who can help and maybe, just maybe, that person that you contacted can have an answer that can make your life so much easier.

That person in my family’s case (lucky for us) wasn’t so far removed that we had to hunt him down. That person was Uncle V. Who was angel, God send; lifesaver all wrapped up in one and happened to have a contact in the Colombian Consulate who helped us a lot.

I wish I could be one of those people who have the privilege to fall apart. Okay I really don’t but I wish I didn’t have to do so many things I had to do. Pick the casket, sign the paperwork in the hospital when all I wanted to do was curl in a ball, ask questions, find out, hear the cause of death, and see him dying. The list is never ending. More than anything I wish I could un-live the moment in the emergency room when my mom looked up at me daring me with her eyes to give her good news, that very moment when I had to translate what the doctor had said. I wish I could’ve told her he was alright. I wish I could’ve told her that he was going to make it. I wish I didn’t have to be the one to tell her that he was dead. Another thing I guess I have to add to my list of unwanted knowledge.

There were so many papers to sign that I don’t even remember. So many faxes, emails and payments I cringe at the thought but again it could’ve all been so much worse. I cannot help but think that we are all in all lucky. Because I have heard that the process is usually so much longer. No matter what we went through to get it done the fact is Alfonso flew back home to be with his family Saturday at 4:00 pm.

We did our best. We tried our hardest. We prayed for him, got our hearts broken and sent him home whole. He will be viewed by his wife and son who said bye to him a month ago, not knowing it would be for the last time.

This post seems horrible selfish. Talking about his death affected me instead of how it affected his family or even him. Maybe I should wonder what dreams he left undone. What things he wanted to do. Maybe I should concentrate on him…but at least here I can indulge in feeling what I am feeling and not worry about keeping it together to get shit done. Personal blogs are by nature, self-centered and self-indulgent. So I will say what it felt like to be there, what it felt like to live it or to go through all the cold paperwork that says nothing about feeling and all about impersonal generalities.

It felt weird filling out the forms knowing that his name was one of many, that his death meant nothing to the people who read the paperwork I was filling out. They didn’t know he had a booming voice or that he was polite and never spoke ill of anyone. They didn’t know that he was amazingly nice to my mom or that he never said anything back and was eternally patient when I was stupidly mean, and rude. They didn’t know who he was and who he left behind.

I am so incredibly filled with regret for the things I said and didn’t say. For the times I might have make him feel unwelcome, for the times I criticized his driving, for the time I complained he was too loud and woke me up too early in the morning.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that Alfonso, wherever he is, is thankful that we got him back to his dear family to be buried in the town he was born in. So unwanted knowledge or not I am happy that only seven days after his death we accomplished what it takes other people a month. To move him from one country to another so his family can grieve properly. So, who cares if I wish I didn’t know? The fact is I DO know and no matter how much it sucked knowing it is over with; done.

Saturday he was home and Sunday he was buried; our part in this story is over. Last night we prayed the last Rosary for his soul, the last day of the Novena putting an end to the whole ugly episode. We threw away the flowers that sat next to his picture, blew away the candle, sprayed some holy water around the house and with hot chocolate and spicy empanadas said goodbye. So I raise my glass of Merlot as a final goodbye to him: Safe trip Alfonso, and Godspeed.

Jan 19, 2010


After three years together and almost one year of wedded bliss, Dear Husband thought he had seen it all, the parties, the talking too loud, the drama, the dancing and the weird food (morcilla, cow’s stomach, tongue, etc).

Little did he know that there was still more to come. To be honest I thought also there were no more cultural differences to be introduced to him, no more shocking family secrets, or customs I had to explain. I hadn’t taken into account, however, the ever expanding gap between his religion and mine.

Now, neither Dear Husband, nor I are religious. He was raised under the very strict codes of the Assemblies of God (whatever that is) and I was raised very leniently under Catholic dogma. That said however, our views of religion are utterly different.

I knew when I was little that not everybody was Catholic. That there were other religions out there that did not include partaking in communion, rosary praying or even Jesus for that matter. But I never saw my Catholic rites as something mysterious, hard to understand and almost mystical.

After Alfonso’s Death last Sunday my mom (a practicing Catholic) decided to offer his soul a Novena. For those of you who aren’t Catholic and didn’t grow up as I did partaking in endless rituals, a Novena means “Ninth” and is nine days of offered prayers. Usually they are done during Christmas time and others when there is a death and the friends and family offer nine consecutive days or nights of praying rosaries for the soul of the deceased to help him or her find the light towards his/her maker.

I have prayed many, and I mean MANY rosaries in my life. One cannot go through five years of Catholic School education without praying some rosaries. Again for those unfamiliar a rosary is a chain of praying beads that one follows bead by bead with “Our Father” several “Hail Mary” and a “Glory be the Father”. There are five “mysteries” in a rosary (Don’t ask me why they call them mysteries) but it simply means five sets of praying per rosary with one “Our Father” ten “Hail Mary” and one “Glory be the Father” per set.

Obviously the ritual is very repetitive but I always found oddly soothing. There is something about saying the same words over and over again with a group of people that eases something inside. Dear Husband, since he has never partaken in a rosary praying was agog at our “chanting” and my sister’s Patty’s husband (another American) was also utterly confused.

At the end of the first night of praying and on our way home, DH asked me what exactly the purpose of a rosary was. I tried to explain that it was a sort of guide to the soul for the afterlife and he didn’t seem to understand why our praying would make a difference over the direction of Alfonso’s soul since he, according to Catholic beliefs, would be judged by his actions in life and a meeting of friends and family should hardly make a difference to God. Now, DH was raised to believe that if you believe in Christ then you are immediately saved. So according to what he has been taught, Alfonso’s actions in life or our praying for nine days wouldn’t make a difference since Alfonso was a believer in Christ and therefore, good to go. I tried, my best, to explain that Catholics believe that believing in Christ sometimes is not enough to be saved and the things you do (the good and bad) in life are what will determine your soul’s destination after death. I tried to explain the relatives left behind during the Novena, act as advocates of his soul, showing God that even after death we cared for Alfonso and the prayers work as a statement, almost like a witness or lawyer, of what we think of Alfonso’s soul’s worthiness.

Then we shot off to talk about Purgatory and why Baptism is important and why in the world we have to confess our sins to a priest and all those other Catholic rituals that make sense to no one else but us who learned it.

In the end it doesn’t really matter since neither of us truly gives a damn about each other’s religion. It is not a point in common or a point against us in our relationship. It doesn’t matter to me which religion he practices if he did and he doesn’t care either if I want to be Catholic, Wiccan or pray to the God of Shoes.

I am, as baffled by his culture as he is by mine. I don’t understand ANY of the religious stuff his family practices. He teases me about molesting priests and I tease about his religion’s snake handling.

I guess no matter how long we are married there will be plenty of things for us to explain to each other and for that I am grateful, we will never run out of things to talk about.

Jan 18, 2010


I once took one of those silly facebook quizes and found out my nationality was meant to be German. Apparently my personality it’s at odds with my nationality, race or whatever you may call it. I thought the quiz was stupid since I didn’t feel I had any of the stereotypical traits that German people are supposed to have. Organization, punctuality, coldness, reserve, nerves of steel and an aversion to casual touching. (I am cursed with all of those)

I have discovered, however, that I would probably thrive in Germany. We went to the Colombian Consulate to finish the paperwork for Alfonso so his body could go to his family in Barranquilla and in the middle of my Friday, when I was already threatened at work for missing two days over this ordeal, we found each other in a madhouse also known as the Colombian Consulate in Miami and with no other choice but to wait there until everything was done.

After miraculously surviving the Miami drivers we made it to the consulate. It looked pretty from outside with the flag waving proudly on the top and the place a nice terracotta building that look like a hacienda of yesteryears. Pandemonium awaited us inside. There were screaming, running children, people talking loudly, plastic and fold-over chairs in rows, fans and an oppressing feeling of…poorness. That more than anything bothered me. Call me a snob I don’t care, but is it too much to ask for our governmental employees, the ones that represent Colombia in a foreign country to dress as if they are Colombian representatives and not like a college student after a weekend of partying? Casual Fridays took a new definition that day.

Not only was the place depressing but it was a palace made to the God of Formica. There is little I dislike as much as Formica. I was willing to ignore all that, I was, truly! I am perfectly aware that the brat that came to this country 8 years ago still kicks in now and then but I could not ignore the disorganization, the yelling of names of people who were waiting instead of having a number system or even a microphone so the people waiting could hear their names been called out.

I am not sure what was worse, the line of people who were there to pick up their ID and had to sign they had received it in a piece of paper that was 1”x3” and then folded over as if it was a name for Secret Santa and then thrown in a box, or the fact that they were using type writers, or the fact that there were no clearly delineated lines, or the fact that the employees didn’t have all the paperwork close by and one of them had to actually leave his place to go pick up the paperwork in another floor. Talk about efficiency!

No, let me rephrase that. I do know what was worse, it was the fact that the Consul of my Country didn’t have an office, a space of his own where he could sit and direct, manage and make Consul-like decisions. No, he was seating behind the main counter, on a Formica desk, in a bright yellow and blue polo t-shirt that was way too small for his generous girth while he ate empanadas. Oh the humanity!

I was so pissed off and embarrassed. Pissed off because I was incredibly overwhelmed by all the paperwork that had been done already in the moving of Alfonso and here, yet somehow we had managed to get him ready to go in less than seven days but there in the place where everything should be easier since we are all Colombian and they are there to help us, they were slow and bureaucratic (redundant much?) and the one place in the process where everything didn’t go smoothly. And I was embarrassed because I always am sure to tell Dear Husband how civilized we are and how everything works there the same way there as it works here and he was suddenly smack in the middle of a perfect example of Hispanic governmental incompetence.

Now I should not be so harsh with them since my uncle’s contact in the embassy was the one who helped with the entire process of sending Alfonso home to be with his family. The lady found us the funerary home, the shipping company and also gave us an insane discount courtesy of the Consulate. It truly isn’t the Consulate’s fault I guess. Since they have no resources to be at par with the way things are run nowadays. They are truly doing the best they can with what they have. But we aren’t an incredibly poor country. The Colombian Consulate in Venezuela is nothing like that, then why should the Miami one look like a grocery store where they call your name when your two pounds of chorizo are ready?

That said, I must admit I have been here way too long. I have lost my ability to stand in line for 8 hours to get my passport done. I had forgotten how damn long and slow all those processes take at home. I have lost my Hispanic patience. Even with my family! On the way to the Consulate we had to turn around twice because they had left something behind and all I could do was sit there seething wondering why in the fucking world wouldn’t they just prepare everything the night before and be ready to go when we had to. Dear Husband turned the car around TWICE without a word, blessed as he is with never ending patience while I could feel my right eyelid twitching as it does when I am passing furious and heading into volcanic rage. I guess my temper is the only thing that saves me from being German since they are stereotyped as controlled individuals and my temper is the one thing I cannot get a hold of.

I feel horrible saying it but I cannot wait to be an American Citizen and never again have to go to a Consulate.

Vielen dank und gute tage!

Jan 13, 2010


This Sunday, January 10, 2010 Dear Husband and I were freezing out in record breaking cold for Florida in the dog park with Zoey. It was misty, sunny, bitter cold and damp and we laughed seeing her run not knowing the day that lay ahead of us.

My mom’s cousin was staying with her for the holidays and was getting ready to go to mass. He had spent Christmas and New Year’s with us and had fun with his friends, danced, ate, talked, laughed. Little did he know that this would be his last Christmas, this would be the last time he ate 12 grapes, this would be the year he took his last breath.

Alfonso died in my mom’s house Sunday at noon with family and friends present. His death was sudden and happily painless. He passed away from a massive heart attack. A heart attack on a man who walked miles each day, active, healthy and young. He was 56 years old.

One always watches in movies, TV shows, etc when the doctors come to the family, serious faced, tired from working on saving a life, wrinkled and ashamed it seems that they cannot perform miracles; they look at the family and sadly say there was nothing they could do. Then the family cries and the doctor goes away. It is so different in person. It is so different when you know what they are going to say. It is so different when you know what’s behind the serious faces. It is so different when you know what hides behind the pitying looks and when the nurse holds your hand. It is so different when you have no doubt that he has passed away and still a corner in your heart hopes you are wrong. It doesn’t happen like in the movies, clean and sharp, done in a matter of minutes.

In reality the blow is…unexplainable. The bewilderment you feel when someone you spoke with a few minutes ago is suddenly gone forever it’s overwhelming. I had been lucky enough in my life to never have to experience death first hand and out of respect for his family who might read this I won’t paint an image for you here.

What I will say is that life is so incredibly fragile, life is incredibly short. The body is just a breakable vessel that holds something incredibly precious within, and sometimes what holds it breaks, sometimes it just fails to work properly and the essence of the person is gone and the body is left for the living to mourn after.

I know the pain now won’t let those directly affected see that the person is gone to enjoy whatever heaven they believed in while us here feel the pain of being left behind. I hope those who miss him will see that even though he isn’t with us anymore doesn’t mean he isn’t somewhere else watching over those he loved and getting ready for what comes next.

Like Dumbledore would say “To the well organized mind, death is but the next adventure” I truly hope that for Alfonso (husband, father, brother, son, friend, teacher, cousin) the next adventure is a marvelous one. May your soul rest in peace.

Jan 8, 2010


My cousin was yesterday despairing in her blog about our generation’s lack of gentlemen. She didn’t mean men, but gentlemen. Those who didn’t text to ask you out but left a calling cards at your home with the butler. Those who had to call you by your last name because calling you by your first was taking a liberty. Those who would get up, no matter how many times it needed to be done, every time a lady entered or exited room. Those who opened doors, and got up to offer the seat. Those who dueled for their lady’s honor if her name had been besmirched.

Sigh, those were the days. The thing is she is right. True gentlemen are an extinct species. Nobody bothers to teach their children basic manners, let alone gentlemanly or ladylike ones.

Each time I lose myself in Austen, or simply in a good old Historical Romance (with which I am obsessed at the moment) I feel somewhat cheated that I didn’t get to enjoy being wooed and courted. At the same time I am thankful that I didn’t have to worry about my opinions being considered null simply because I am a woman. I wish not that I was back in Austen’s time when I would have no rights of my own, over myself, my property or even my own children, but I wish instead that gentlemen like then were still alive today.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I like men. I love guys. I like guys more than I like women but men today aren’t what they used to be. Now they wouldn’t go chasing for a fallen star for your hand in marriage, they wouldn’t write letters declaring their intentions and hold your hand with feverish passion and kiss your fingers and make one swoon.

After the movie Sex in the City came out, some brilliant publishing house made the decision to print the book Carrie was reading, “Love Letter’s of Great Men” and of course all were written in a time when men were still gentlemen and even Napoleon was amazingly romantic.

That being said, the state of affairs with us women isn’t any better! Whatever happened to demureness, to modesty? What happened to self-respect? Whatever happened with being a lady and demanding others to treat us like one? Maybe is the fear of appearing high maintenance or the fear of not fitting in with the majority.
I don’t know what it is but I fear that one person’s comment in my cousin's blog was accurate, we demanded to be treated like equals and we got it. We cannot, apparently, expect for men to treat us with deference because we are no longer the “fairer sex”. We wanted to be treated as men, to be treated as their intellectual equals and now we can’t ask (or so I’ve been told) to be treated like a flower. The gentlemanly behavior of yesteryears departed from the idea that women were gentle, delicate, fragile creatures to be protected, sheltered and not to be trusted to make their own decision, since they had neither the mental or emotional capacity, nor the experience to know better.

I guess we can’t have it all. Men behaved like gentlemen before because we needed to be protected and taken care of and now that we don’t the behavior has been deemed unnecessary.
I still hope that we could all act like before. Wish those old fashioned rules of conduct were still applied today so I don’t wonder why my cousin is crying out “Oh Mr. Darcy, Mr. Darcy where art thou Mr. Darcy”

Check her blog out at http://mylifeinasaffronworld.blogspot.com/ and let's conmiserate together.

Jan 4, 2010


Well everybody here’s a new year before us, what to do with the time that has been given? I am determined to stay true to my resolutions and so far this four days have been meatless, none of God’s creatures have died to feed me (aside from the salmon on my rainbow rolls) but I did spend them in bed reading instead of being more active. Tomorrow after work I should be meeting BT for some very, very, very needed exercise and we will start a regime, regiment? (I am never sure of those two words) and we should be working out three to four times a week.

Continuing with my resolutions I realized this morning that we are at the moment incredibly behind with all the paperwork that should have already been filed in order to get my status as Dear Husband’s wife in order. Dear Husband had to see a loquero (shrink) for our petition and I am hoping that before the end of the month we are finally in our way to having all our stuff together.

It’s incredible the amount of shit the Federal Governments asks for when an immigrant marries a citizen, according to a friend of mine who married her fiancĂ© who is a citizen during the interview the agent was horrible to her and told my friend’s husband he was there to defend his rights as a citizen of the U.S. and that if she was just after his papers he would do him the favor of deporting her. Nothing sends a shiver of fear up and down my back like the D-Word…and of course roaches. I am truly hoping that when our interview time comes I will get someone who is nicer because I don’t think I’ll be able to stay quiet while someone trashes me as if I wasn’t there. We have so far collected, pictures, wedding cards, wedding presents, wedding pictures, proof of travels we have taken together, bank statements, emails, phone records, lease or deeds to both our names, certified letters from families, friends and co-worker attesting to the true nature of our marriage and so on and on.

So here we are seven months after meeting with our lawyer and $5,000 poorer still just in the beginning stages of our process. I was hoping to be able to travel out of the country by 2010 to celebrate our Honey Moon in Ireland but it seems we are going to have to honey moon in the U.S. so our plan so far is to fly to Seattle and drive down the PCH and stop everywhere our little hearts want.

I am determined to get this stuff done. “Determined” is what I am going to be all this year. Determined is going to be my fucking middle name.

I have been in this country seven years and have spent all these years doing one thing or another, interview after interview, trying to solve my issue with my paperwork, I have been covered by process and in the way I have gotten my SS# (which felt incredible) and my work permit (which allowed me to stop cleaning kitchens and toilets) but it hasn’t been a complete solutions, they all have been simply patching up the big problem is putting a band aid on a bullet hole.

I have in the 7 years in this country gotten my fingerprints taken at least five times (us Aliens have ever changing fingerprints apparently), gotten interviewed, accused, being looked over, asked to say “yes” instead of “yeah” in front of a judge, asked why I don’t have an accent when I speak in English, asked if I am a democrat or a republican, asked if I loved my country, asked why I am here, why do I want to stay and if I love this country.

I am ready to end this everlasting phase in my life where I am drifting around like a castaway neither here nor gone, just floating around in a sea of bureaucracy and paperwork. I will have you know United States of America that you could do a lot worse than having me added to the name of those many lucky immigrants that become part of this country. Damn it I am smart and hard working, haven’t broken any laws (haven’t even jay walked in my life!) I pay my taxes, I donate to charity, I don’t litter and more importantly I am healthy and speak the language. I would be a freaking awesome addition not a burden.

No matter, I am as I said before, nothing but determined. And you guys haven’t seen me when I am determined! It won’t be easy to get rid of me! I am staying here. This is my home now and I ain’t leaving without a fight.

Jan 2, 2010


I just came home from an exhausting weekend with the family and I mean exhausting because having too much fun takes its toll. We (Dear Husband, sister, mom, uncle, and pets) drove up to Tampa to hang out with the family we have there. The same family who lovingly open their home to me when I was spoiled brat 8 years ago used to asking for everything and doing nothing on my own.

We spent two amazing days laughing our asses off playing board games, dancing, drinking, eating (of course) and remembering the old days, from when we were little to the horror stories of our first jobs in the U.S. The cultural shock and horrid jobs behind us gives us the opportunity to laugh at what before made us want to cry. There is something simply delicious about looking back and laughing hysterically at things, experiences, jobs, pains, falls, etc that drove us crazy and depressed us. The personal triumph of moving past it couldn’t taste any sweeter.

After playing games and utterly crushing our only male cousin playing we started getting ready for the party. I had forgotten how the simple fun of sharing a bathroom with so many other women feels. What a simple pleasure to sit down with little eye shadow pots, brushes, steaming curling irons, tweezers, pencils and chattering voices, felt like. I had forgotten the fun of simply being a girl with other girls who you love while men stand outside complaining about how long we take and make fun of us.

We made it to the party late of course and danced and laughed, ate and danced, laughed some more. We laugh a lot, I noticed. I don’t know why it struck me so strongly that exact moment but we do a lot of laughing and the thought of it made me happy. Happy that in spite of all the hard things we have gone though, heart ache, losing family, losing oneself in this vast and foreign land we still find pleasure and laugh, out loud, until our bellies ache and we are gasping for air.

Twelve o’clock finally came and the deafening sounds of music and other voices drowned our own, we hugged each other, taking turns, wishing each other a happy new year to come, happiness, health, love, laughter, security…There is something about that precise moment, that instant, that last a second, that short moment when the new year begins and the old year ends that is almost indescribable. There is something about the energy around, flowing like bubbly champagne; something about the screams, laughter, the happy almost euphoric feeling, there’s something about that exhilarating emotion that makes the most cynic one of us feel overwhelmed with happiness and the beauty of hope.

None of us know what the New Year will bring, but in that very moment we are all, as one, expecting, hoping, wanting and wishing each other the best for the year in front of us. All that positive energy, all the good juju cannot be all in vain.

As I sat there surrounded by the people I love and the people I share blood with, people that had seen me grow and people that love in spite of my many, many, many flaws I felt so incredibly lucky, lucky that the people I care about are mostly in good health, well, working, living, breathing, enjoying life. Lucky that I have a husband that loves me and mine, lucky that my family is just the shit and I wouldn’t change even one of the crazy characters in it.

I ate my twelve grapes, wishing wishes, for Dear Husband, for my brother, my mom, my sister, the rest of my family and myself. More than anything I wished for more years where we are just like this, spending it with family, eating until we burst, dancing, wishing each other another happy new year, another year where in that moment we are so incredibly happy and we are so overwhelmed we want to cry.
I wish you all my same brand of happiness, the same brand of luck. This is a new year, a blank slate that we all get one time each year, so start this new one with renewed hope, with new plans, with a positive mind, with a happy feeling. You never know what good is around the corner, when love may come your way, what blessing life might throw you. This is the year to be happy, so be it.