Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Irony of a Leaf


Please watch this video-It's really amazing.
Earrings, necklaces and pins have special significance, though, as they were molded using leaves from trees living within a 500 mile radius of Ground Zero; Sweet Gums will be among the species planted to surround the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and a portion of proceeds from the sale of this evocative and emotionally compelling line will go to the construction and maintenance of that all-important facility.

As usual we are sitting at home on a Friday night recovering from yet another orthopedic surgery, a very sore throat and a kidney infection.  To say the least I am having another pity party and feeling left out of life. Seriously, how lame and shallow of me.  Tonight as I started my usual channel surfing I ran into all of the 9/11 Specials.  I love Dateline and I love 20/20 however I deplore the doom that I feel after viewing each especially when your next and final event for the evening is attempting a good night sleep.  After a few moments of debating I decided that I just needed to get my big girl panties on and endure. 

Rewind with me for a moment.  Last January Fred and I took our first trip to New York City ever.  Fifty Years old and never been to New York.  Never really wanted to but boy had I missed out.  As it turns out I completely fell in love with a city that I had for years proclaimed I had nothing in common with. 

Now, I like the rest of the world watched in despair as the September 9/11 tragedy unfolded.  I cried, shook, felt sick and even questioned the man above. I know some of you will relate to this. As horrific as it was, it was far away and sometimes when it's not in your own backyard you just don't digest it and you just don't get the entire picture.  Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example.  It was in my backyard and as far as I was concerned in my little brain it was the only heart wrenching thing that was going on in this entire world.  I don't necessarily think these are two good comparisons but they were huge tragedies.  I just happened to be in the middle of one of them.

Moving forward....... during our visit to New York we visited Ground Zero.  As we approached the area I began my little 9/11 experience.  I was sad, mad and all the above but most of all as shallow as this sounds I was frozen not from shock but from the 17 degree weather not to mention the windchill. I was also agitated from the noise and all the construction and could not get in the groove of mourning for something that so deserved mourning.  Especially when you are standing in the smack middle of it. 

Somewhat disgusted with myself and my detached perspective I followed my husband into the 9/11 museum.  As he walked around educating himself with all the incredible pictures and props, I headed straight for the gift shop area.  There hanging right in front of me was a rack of shiny beautiful leaves with a leaflet hanging around it.  Silver, gold, brass colored.  The sky was the limit.  As I began to read the information I knew instantly that I had to have one for many reasons.  (A) it was beautiful (B) it had such history surrounding it (C) the money was going to a great cause.  Yet all I could think about was getting a cute cord to put on it to wear around my neck.  What a great conversation piece.

Your probably wondering about now what it was actually for.  Simple yet genius.  They (and I'm not sure who they is) decided to take some of the leaves off the trees that were still standing to make a template for these incredible pieces.  They then sold them to raise money to replace the trees upon completion of ground zero.  How could I not buy one?

Now here is the moral of the story-I packed it in my luggage and returned home.  I then placed it in my jewelry box and never looked back.  Last night as I am reliving this horrific tragedy via the TV. I remember the leaf.  What did I do with it?  Where is it? I jumped up, or in my condition right now, I  slowly maneuvered myself to the jewelry box.  There is was.  All shiny and just as beautiful as I had remembered.  I slowly picked it up and held it to my heart.  As the tears flowed I knew that after years and years of 9/11anniversaries and after unsuccessfully mourning even when I was standing on top of it I had finally put all the pieces together.  Don't get me wrong I knew it was special and like the rest of the world I tried to wrap my brain around it.  My heart just wouldn't let me. 

Sometimes we need a small token or some sort of visual to process something that we would prefer not to. This was mine!   I believe this is called compassion which is ironic in itself.  The one thing in life that I do have is an abundance of "Compassion" and the one thing that I often declare is wrong with this world is the lack of. So here I stood in total confusion.  It wasn't from the lack of trying rather then the ability to allow myself.  Compassion!  Stay tuned because that will be a blog in itself.

With that being said (and I weep as I type) my sincere compassion, my thoughts and prayers and any positive energy I have is directed to those who have lost, suffered and endured such pain.  I look forward to my next visit in warmer temperatures where I can really sink my teeth into an appropriate mourning and a celebration of all the progress that has been made to restore the devastation.  What a fabulous job this city has done to remember, to move forward and to maintain dignity.

And to think my $20.00 leaf may have helped.   God Bless New York!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Temper Tantrums-New York Part II

The TOP-TEN-David Letterman reasons why Fred and Melissa won't make it to New York.......

Let's revisit the previous blog about my ungoing obsessive To-Do-List........ I knew shortly after purchasing the New York Jet Blue tickets that the "Rain Man" in me would surface.  OCD at it's finest.  Had to make a file, had to make a list, had to run out and buy Frommer's New York City Guide.

Preliminary Packing 1 month before departure.
And yes every article of clothing is black.

The Top Ten:

1. Melissa is a hypochondriac
2. Mom-in-law is trying to put up permanent residence in Lakeview hospital  
3. Fred thinks that the New Orleans area will not be able to operate without him
4. Mother Nature is having enormous hot flashes and apparently lives on the East Coast
5. New Yorkers can't handle The Clampetts coming to Manhattan nor do they want to
Okay well maybe there were only 5 top ten reasons but they were big ones and our trip was looking pretty non-doable. This is where the temper tantrums started.
 I don't get out much and all I wanted to do was get one thing off my "Bucket List".  I was scheduled for my first neck injection a couple of weeks prior to leaving and was fully aware of the not so great success rate especially after one injection.  Fortunately my "I BELIEVE" instincts kicked in so I had convinced myself that I would be completely healed and ready to hit the ground running.  The procedure itself was painless as I was completely out and don't remember a thing, however what followed several days later was not so painless.  Aching, gnawing pains that led me to believe there would be  no way for me to board a plane much less play "Teddy the Tourist" in New York city. In the mist of this saga my precious mother in law was admitted to the hospital after an unexplainable black-out that included days of multiple heart test.  With good conscience I could not leave her until there was some sort of explanation.
 As departure time was drawing near I had to at the very least start entertaining the idea that this little trip may no come to fruition.  Remember, I am good at making plans but what I am not good at is kinks in my plans.

Fast Forward.....

Mom-in-law gets better and returns to the Ritz, aka the retirement center.
Now the only obstacle left is me.  After a private talk with myself I decide that enduring the neck pain would be far less difficult than dealing with the guilt and the sadness that was going to overcome me if I failed.  Decision made!  So I thought. 
Yet another winter storm prediction and we were back to the wait and see approach.  "You've Got Mail" but this time is wasn't from Kelly RipaIt was Jet Blue's version of a sympathy card.  That's where the temper tantrum comes in...... "Nothing ever works out for me".  Why can't one thing in my life go according to plan?  Typical Jones fit as my mother calls them.  My daddy has them, my bother has them and my children have them.  My mother still to this day just looks at us and laughs and a part of me thinks she and Fred really look forward to them for some twisted-like sense of humor.  Fred refers to them as "spinning".  He can see it in my eyes and he normally forwarns anyone in the vicinity to step back. In my defense, I don't have them that often and in my defense it's usually well provoked, at least in my little mind. Normally it's about something completely out of my control and 9 times out of 10 I know up front that my little seizure will prove fruitless.  Yet I keep on having them at the ripe-old- age of  50.          

Fast Forward Again...

After a short delay (2 days to be exact) we were able to move forward with our departure.  Of course my perfect flight time of 10:05 on thursday turned into a 6:00 a.m. on Saturday.  That meant a longer travel day and a more painful neck issue. SO off we go across the causeway at 4:00 a.m.  If you are one of my fellow OCD'ers you will know that arriving early to appointments, parties and the likes is mandatory.  The goods news is that the plane was basically empty and we had the entire tail-end to ourselves.  And no...don't get any bright ideas.

Ladies and Gentlemen "Welcome to New York" The skies are partly cloudy and,
well you be the judge....

Stay tuned for
Planes, Trains and a Subway that Fred said he would never take.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Breaking News.....Breaking News.......Breaking News.

This New York Blog has been interrupted to bring you the latest information about our up and coming celebrity Melissa Aldridge.

Seriously, it is no secret about how much I adore Regis and Kelly. I live for my night-night regular coke (my treat of the day) and watching my recorded Regis and Kelly Live Show.  I know that just screams a well warranted "Get a Life" but it is what it is.  My recent visit to New York just triplified (is that a word) my obsession.  Regis makes me laugh and well Kelly is just all the things I want to be.  Funny, pretty, sweet and skinny and I do mean skinny.  Some will say she is too skinny but to me there is no such thing as long as your healthy.  Fred will tell you "she needs to lay off the salads".  Thank goodness he doesn't like toothpick style women.  You be the judge. 

Back to the breaking News...

Last night after watching my taped show and David Letterman I decided I wasn't quite sleepy-eyed yet so I decided to familiarize myself with Twitter.  Yes I Tweet but about once a month. Haven't taken the time and really haven't had much desire.  Until last night!!  I follow several people but rarely check them and didn't even have Twitter piped into my Iphone.  This will come as a huge shock.  I follow Regis and Kelly.  In fact the two days we were on the show they were trying to teach the technically-challenged Regis how to "Tweet".  So as I'm manuvering through my Twitter account I notice that Kelly has just tweeted this.

 Kids in bed, now Idol! It's the dreaded group night....oooh pain and suffering.-k

jonemeli@Regis_and_Kelly love J-lo-I was on R&K when she did a surprise visit.Felt really ugly after leaving you, j.lo, kelly Minka Julianne Hough about 13 hours ago via web in reply to Regis_and_Kelly


Kelly Ripa- Welcome to my life!-k
Direct message sent by Regis and Kelly (@Regis_and_Kelly) to you (@jonemeli) on Feb 17, 6:39 AM.

Now if I could just convince her and Mark to stay with us for the Endymion Mardi Gras Week-end.


KELLY RIPA- Kids in bed, now Idol! It's the dreaded group night....oooh pain and suffering.-k

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Part I-New York and Then Some.......

For those of you (all 5) who read my little blog you may remember my last post about the "Bucket List"  A trip to New York was definitely in my bucket but pretty far down to say the least.  Seems for reasons listed below it was moved to the top of the bucket. Irony of it all-the item was finally removed but now has been re-entered.  Seems "New York" is really where I would rather be.  
Gotta go back and finish what I started. Was so hoping I disliked it.

Come to find out-I really am a City Girl.
The Ruby Red Steps in Times Square
(Yep) it was about 17 degrees out there)

A couple of months ago I was doing what I do best and doing what I like most.  Surfing on my computer. Searching for new things to learn about, keeping up with old friends and making new ones on my Face book.  As I glanced to the top of my AOL screen I noticed an ad for Jet Blue.  NEW ORLEANS TO JFK NEW YORK.  $69.00 One Way-DO THE MATH-That is $138.00 Per Person Round trip. "Sure".

After further investigation and some fine print reading, I decided to click on it, but only out of curiosity.  Before I knew it, they were asking for a credit card and all the info to go with it.  I just kept on clicking and I just kept on answering all the right question until "Voila" Fred and I were booked to New York.  Understand we had no prior conversation about this other than we just were not that interested.  What the hell did I just do?  You know that ever-so-famous movie-line "YOU'VE GOT MAIL"?  Well I did and it was in the form of a Jet Blue confirmation.  Oh dear!  Now I had to go wake my little 8:00 p.m. slumber baby up from his couch perch to deliever the news.

"Fred"  "Fred" "Fred"  Wake Up!  We're going to New York.  What the hell are you talking about?  So I explained, he laughed and started snoring again.  Started me wondering about what other things I could get away with.  Who knew that after all these years  all I had to do was tell him something bad or something expensive right after dinner when he is sleeping through one of his favorite CSI or NCIS episodes.   It's a no-brainer. 

I feared the worst-suffering from a bulging disc in my neck and heading to a place that is as fast paced as it gets.  Even worse-repeated winter storms started toying with our departure.  Thank goodness I had not scheduled any events that would have to be reconfigured.  We were truly taking this trip in a "by the seat of your pants" kinda style. Those of you who know me know that's not how I roll.  There is a plan, a plan for everything and usually it is spelled out in black and white on a piece of paper that is in my possession at all times.  I was either going to need some heavy drugs or a new lease in life to get through this journey.  We did get through it and I can honestly tell you it was one of the most memorable and delightful moments in my life.  I would like to share our fun adventure with those of you who are seriously needing something to do.  I have elected to post about our ever-so humorous trip in an episode form as that is all I know now from my new filming career in the big Apple.  Hope you jump on board and stay tuned for some fun and interesting travel stories.  And lucky for you we got snowed in for two more days.  So it's buy 5-get 2 free.  Poor you. LOL  

Stay tuned for next blog-"Temper Tantrums Get You Nowhere "

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bucket List Removal

My Bucket List Runneth Over! 
Not getting any younger as I will be 50 in several months and sad to say that I have never been to the big city of New York.  Never really had a desire.  The older I got the less I wanted to go for many reason.  (a)  don't like crowds  (b) don't like to shop (c) no casino (d) don't like museums (e) sure not going to like paying $14.00 for a 40 ounce and (f) don't like Plays or Musicals (however I may be wrong about that and just don't realize it).  Many, Many years ago I ran the London Marathon and and forked out $100.00 for a ticket to Les Misérables.  Truly it was the most boring thing I have ever seen and I opted to leave at half-time. HALF-TIME? SERIOUSLY?  Appears with the title of  the show I should have been the star.  Am I starting to sound like white-trash?  I know that I am in the minority when it comes to my opinion of Les Misérables but I really felt that way and it truly scarred me from any future art and cultural experiences.  So with that being said I have decided not to be so hard headed and to try to take this trip open minded.  In other works I have emptied the recycle bin in my mind and and cleared the cache in my head.

Of course being the over analyzer and the micro-manager that I am our trip has already become quite comical and we haven't even started packing.  Stay tuned for my my future blogs which by the way will become more frequent so If you see me popping up in you new mail and you aren't interested. Just delete or block me. What I don't know won't hurt me.   NEW YORK IS WHERE I WOULD RATHER BE! or Green Acres.  Seriously?