It’s All Fun And Games Until—‘Near Death’–Elevator Anxiety

We went to St. Simons Island, GA, for my Cuz Christopher’s wedding twelve years ago.

{Vintage pic of my heart}

My Aunt Trisha and Uncle Jim rented this extra-large, deluxe beach house for the entire family to stay in for the wedding weekend. It was a stunning property and home; right on the water, infinity pool, large gathering areas inside and out. The main house had four floors, and the guest house that had two more bedrooms and living areas to boot.

Our family of four had the top floor of the main house (4th floor). It was fabulous. A massive room with 2 queen beds, a sitting area, a balcony overlooking the water, a small kitchenette, and access to the elevator.

{My Mom had such a great weekend-we were all so happy to be together}

I vaguely recall us all arriving around the same time, some from Florida and some from GA and unloading all the vehicles. Trish and Jim had planned several big gatherings at the house for the weekend; breakfasts, lunches, the rehearsal dinner, etc.… so they came with a lot of baggage. 

We utilized the elevator to take items from the basement level, where the parking area was to the kitchen and beyond. 

It was one of those residential elevators that appeared to be a regular interior door until you opened it up; the door would only open if the elevator was called to your floor and available.

Of course, back then, Suz was a bigger fan of stairs because—fat burning. And my knees were in tip-top shape.

The weekend was just perfect; the whole fam-damily was there, plus old friends who were like family; it was such a festive celebration.

I remember the day before we departed, a big group of us were in the kitchen, and we could vaguely hear someone yelling and banging around.

We laughed and thought, who the heck is making all that racket? Well, a few minutes later, we realized it was my Mom, and she was trapped in the elevator; her room was on the third floor, and her knees were shot, so she used the elevator often. But this time, she couldn’t get the door to open.

My Uncle was able to get her out after about 10 minutes, she was panicked, and she also had a full bladder; we kind of poo-pooed her panic-ridden face. 

I regret that terribly.

Fast forward to the last day on the Island, and my family was packing up all our crap on the fourth floor. I decided to make it easy and load ALL our stuff onto the elevator and take it down in one trip. I called the elevator, started placing suitcases in front of the closed door. When the light let me know the elevator was here, I casually opened the door, turned back and started grabbing bags, then turned towards the elevator with them in hand to step INTO the elevator when I realized the elevator was NOT on my floor. 

All I could see was the empty shaft, the elevator car was in the basement. My heart dropped.

I was ——–this close——–to just stepping into blackness.

Thinking about it again right now, how I didn’t shat my party pants is beyond me.

I’ve always had a slight fear of heights, but I added fear of elevators to my list after this escapade. 

A few years later we were in Vegas with a large group of friends and we were staying on the 30th floor. There was not ONE time that I stepped into the elevator that I didn’t look closely at the floor and step in with trepidation. Everyone giggled at my nervous antics, but the hell with them. 

It was that same year that my Mom had read in the newspaper about an older couple who lived on St. Simons Island (or the vicinity) that had an elevator. They became trapped, with no phone, and subsequently passed away there.

Bev said: YOU GUYS LAUGHED WHEN I WAS TRAPPED

I still think of that couple when I think of elevators. 

When my Aunt and Uncle were looking at homes recently, a few popped up with elevators. ME; THE HELL WITH ELEVATORS!

Anyone else have an irrational a fear of elevators? I also have a little ‘something’ with escalators, but I shouldn’t show all my crazy in one day.

Your friend Suz who might not be able to entertain you with her blog had she taken that ONE step.

XOXO

Revisiting The Baby Book

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d revisit a story about Bev; I shared this on the blog shortly after she passed away. I know she was laughing her heavenly azz off.

My Mother was a very special kind of Mom.  She was the kind that loved us immensely, but also thought we could figure things out ourselves; you know, the opposite of today’s helicopter parenting ways.

  • She was the Mom who worked long/late hours as a waitress after my parents divorced.
  • She was the Mom that laughed a lot, but also the kind that yelled when her kids were slobs. And we were.
  • She was the Mom that didn’t really teach her kids how to NOT be slobs, but expected us to know this.
  • She was the Mom that filled out every page of the baby book given to her when her babies were born.

Wait. WHAT? I meant to say is she was the kind that filled out every page of the baby book given to her when her FIRST child was born; you remember him, Mark the most beautiful child on the planet.

       Here is the first of many pages filled out  in Mark’s book.

                       There is a family tree for Mark. 

Here is Suzanne’s first page of vital information. 

 Here is a family tree for Suzanne to cherish for the rest of her life.

You can’t read invisible ink either?

Actually when I found this completely blank book after she’d passed away in 2015, I had a really good laugh.  

The fact that she’d kept the book for 48 years was astonishing. 48 YEARS. I know she was laughing with me. 

Hey, she was busy for those entire 48 years; it’s not like she wasn’t gonna get to it.  Right?   

Although, I was pretty excited to see that I did get mentioned in Mark’s book for his Fifth Christmas. 

                                                                           

New sister is Suzanne.

Beverly, I wasn’t THAT new; I was 3 months old and I did have a name.  Gosh I wish she were here when I found this; we could’ve laughed about this one forever.

I miss you Bev!

{The poll was a flop, I couldn’t get it to work properly, so it’s GONE}

And in case you’re wondering, I finished the baby books for both of my girls. What can I say? I was an overachiever when it came to Mothering.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my mothering Friends; whether you are mothering humans, critters, or friends. Taking care of other’s makes the world a better place.

XOXO

The One Where I Talk About Bev. Again.

Yesterday was my Mom’s birthday and this was the first time since she’s passed (6 years) that I didn’t celebrate with Mexican food & a margarita with two of my besties in her honor. Don’t ask me why. I can’t blame the pandemic because even last year the three of us zoomed together.

My mom was fairly simple. She loved margaritas, music, baking, her family, Latin men, lottery tickets, dancing in the car, striking up conversations with total strangers (which horrified me as a kid, but I do it now), The Price Is Right & QVC.

Beverly on her 70th birthday.

I recall the conversation when I phoned her months before her 70th. “Mom, I’m gonna take you away for your birthday; I was thinking maybe a B & B in the mountains, A cute place on the beach, A spa stay or we could go to Vegas.”

Without missing a beat she said: VEGAS!

Vegas it was. We had a lovely time; we stayed in a nice hotel, enjoyed nice dinners, Mom played the slot machines as much as she wanted and we saw Jersey Boys and LOVE. Since Coach and a bajillion airline points, I met her in ATL and we flew First Class; her first time ever. Boy am I ever glad we had that get away together because just under two years later, she was diagnosed with effing ovarian cancer.

Mexican food and a margarita on her 72nd birthday. She was feeling like hell, but put on a smile for a few hours.

I stayed with her off and on durning her treatments; 2-3 weeks there, go home for a week or so, then back again. It was a good time to be with her and she really appreciated our time together. She never really complained about being sick, but I did see her cry a few times and she would say she was just feeling melancholy. Chemo was a bitch and I know she felt horrible. In hind sight, we should have skipped that altogether.

She passed away 6 weeks after that little birthday celebration and I still miss her terribly. I’ve said it before, my Mom was not a conventional Mom, she was honest when she said that Mark and I were raised by wolves. We were basically left to tend to ourselves, but hey, look how amazing I turned out?

She didn’t have an easy life. She was never financially secure & she was a notorious, self proclaimed: Poor Pecker Picker. She endured a horrible marriage to my father and watched her son slowly lose his battle with AIDS and die at 26.

I still can’t even imagine how she forged on after Mark’s death.

I think of her daily and I know that she would be SO darn proud of our girls and she’d be beside herself with us having a home in the Georgia Mountains. My Mom was born in New Jersey, lived there as a kid, then Florida as a young adult and then moved to Georgia when I was 12. You’d never know she’d lived anywhere other than Georgia as she was the embodiment of a Georgia Peach, right down to the accent. I can still hear her answering the phone: Heeeyyyyyyy

I actually started my blog for my Mom. She and I had not lived in the same state since I was 15, so this was a nice way to keep her updated on our family. My blog brought her a lot of joy, especially when I wrote about my childhood shenanigans. She would call me sometimes and we’d laugh about all the nonsense and how I’d survived it so well.

The Coach and I ended up going out for an early dinner yesterday, so I was able to have a margarita in Bev’s honor. I had to substitute a Greek salad for Mexican food, but she wouldn’t care since I could do no wrong in her eyes anyway.

If you are lucky enough to have a parent or two, call or write a note to them today. When I think of the times I did let my Mom’s calls go to voicemail when I was semi-busy, it makes me want to take a spoon to my eye.

Big hugs!

XO