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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New York, NY

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

" No family is perfect...we argue, we fight.  We even stop talking to each other at times, but in the end, family is family...the love will always be there."...unknown

My youngest son, Jason, turned 30 on May 21st of this year.  He is not a big birthday celebration person.  He doesn't like the attention focused on him.  Regardless, he is my youngest, and although any age is a blessing, I always feel that the "0" and "5" years could be celebrated even if one celebrates no other.  So I decided I wanted to go to NY to celebrate with him.  His father was on vacation and decided to go as well.  My youngest daughter, Tiffany who lives in DC decided to join us also.  Tiffany came in on Saturday morning and left on Sunday morning.  Jason's father and I left on Thursday night on the Chinese bus.  The bus was due into NY at 6:30am on Friday morning.  The bus was late leaving Richmond and we arrived  at 8:30am in China town.  Jason was going to pick us up but had to go into work.  I knew how to take the train and told him that's what we would do as opposed to paying an astronomical taxi fee.  Jason's father is from NY but hasn't lived there in years.  He was like a fish out of water.  He is more a southerner than I.

We got to Jason's apartment and I showered and changed in order to go to 116th and Lenox Ave to the African/Harlem Market.  I never made it because Jason came in at 1pm and we decided to go out to eat.  He had been to Pier A with co workers for a send off of his former manager.  It's in Battery Park and on the water.  He wanted us to enjoy the experience and to have the oyster sliders, which I had but not his father.  He had salmon and creamed spinach.  (I know you wanted to know, Net)  It was overcast and started to drizzle so we ate inside.  It never rained and I wish we had stayed out.  Afterwards we rode around, and Jason drove me to the African Market.  Jason said to me: "Mom, you always come with an agenda; you either visit friends, meet them for dinner or want to go to a store."  I told him I had planned those things knowing he would be at work and that I would spend Saturday with him.  We headed back to his apartment and we all went to bed.  We were extremely tired.  Riding a bus at night is, in my opinion, the same as working an overnight shift. One is tired and sleepy but can't really rest.

On Saturday I prepared breakfast for Jason and his father but I didn't eat.  A couple of hours later, we left to pick up Tiffany from Greyhound.  She had not eaten either.  It seems that everything is a big production in this family.  Tiffany didn't care if she had breakfast, brunch, or lunch. It was 11:45 am.  No one seemed to be making a decision.  Finally, I said what about a diner.  Everyone agreed and I told them about Metro Diner on West 101st Street.  I had eaten there while in my first year of Seminary.  With that settled we drove there and had a meal.  Everyone ate and their father treated everyone.  Tiffany and I wanted to get a mani-pedi ($20 in NY for both) but noooo, we were there for Jason, we were politely told, and so we went back to the apartment.  We were trying to decide what to do before dinner reservations at 6:30. Suggestions were flying and no one could agree.  Tiffany wanted Coney Island, I wanted to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, their father wanted Times Square (like a tourist), Jason wanted anything.  We should have gone to see the Yankees but the game had started. Jason's friend was joining us for dinner but he wanted the meeting to take place before dinner. I guess we re a bit much to take initially.  LOL  

We ended up going to Times Square (like tourists).  We met Jason's friend there.  She is very nice and pretty. After walking around and taking in the sights (like tourists) we decided to head downtown for dinner.  Their father was against the restaurant because he didn't want Jason to spend the money.  It kind of soured it for Jason but we did go anyway.  Jason is in love with Korean BBQ and had been telling his sister about it.  I don't eat red meat or pork so it didn't matter to me.  The food is cooked on a hibachi at the table.  I had very large shrimp.  Jason wanted us to have the experience. That was how he wanted to celebrate and his dad didn't seem to get that. They all seemed to enjoy the different cuts of beef and the side dishes.  I certainly enjoyed the shrimp and the eggplant was delicious!  We then walked to the train and headed back to the apartment, with Jason's friend going back to her place.  It was a long day and again we were tired.  Tiffany was leaving at 9:15 am. I told her that I would take her to Greyhound and then meet Jason and their father at Jason's church.  I feel as if NYis my home.  I get around easily.  

I took Tiffany by train to the bus station and then took the train back uptown to 125th Street.  Jason's church is on 127 and Lenox Ave.  I thought to myself, I can go and visit the stores on 125th Street.  Alas!, they weren't opened.  I walked on over to the church actually getting there before Jason and his dad.  Jason is always asked to pray and he does a fantastic job.  It's nice when the people in the congregation tell us how much he is loved.  After church we went back to the apartment to change and then went to Manna Soul Food Buffet on Lenox.  Our bus was due to leave at 5pm. Jason's car had been giving him trouble and so his father wanted to bring it back to Richmond to get it repaired.  In the meantime, I finally was able to get in touch with my granddaughter!  I saw her, and I saw my great granddaughter for the first time.  I held out my arms to her and she came to me (she's 2). I asked her: "Do you know who I am?"  She said, "Yes" and I asked , "Who?"  She said, "Grandma" I told my granddaughter that she must have told her that and she said she had.  She didn't stay in my arms though.  She took to Jason and cried when it was time for her to leave. She looks like her mother did at that age.  I am so happy to have seen them.

We left NY at 5:30am Monday.  The car started hesitating and we thought at one point we would have to call a tow truck.  I heard in my spirit the word "gas" but I didn't say anything.  When Jason's dad put mid grade gas and then high octane in the car, the problem virtually disappeared.  This is why I love Spirit.  We are always led in the right direction if we pay attention.  Jason is coming here on Friday to pick up his car.   I plan to take a day trip to NY in a couple of weeks since the Chinese bus is $50 roundtrip.  I love my family.  We don't always agree and sometimes we really don't speak to each other but family is family.  No one says you have to like them but we do love them and would fight for them if necessary.  

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Washington DC

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!

"The life you have left is a gift.  Cherish it.  Enjoy it now, to the fullest.  Do what matters, now." ....Kushandwizdom

"To live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people just exist."...Oscar Wilde

My Mother's Day started with a trip to DC on the Greyhound Bus. I was headed there to share it with my daughter Tiffany, her fiance Mark, and his mother Priscilla.  The bus was packed.  Someone on the bus had a wheelchair which meant that 4 of the seats were not expanded out into seats.  This bus trip was uneventful; nothing crazy happened as in previous trips.  The bus left 30 minutes later than scheduled but Greyhound always makes up for it.  There was not much traffic so I settled into my seat and enjoyed the ride.  We arrived only 5 minutes later than the estimated arrival time. I stopped for a pretzel as I walked through Union Station to get to the Metro.  I was meeting Tiffany in order to join her at church. 

On one side of the station, the machines to purchase Metro cards were not working.  I went over to the other side and as I was trying to make a purchase, a man behind me spilled his coffee.  Some of it splashed onto my foot.  The attendant was furious because he now had to mop up the spill.  People certainly don't mind letting the public (which they serve) know how they feel.  Customer Service as a whole is sadly lacking these days.  I wiped my foot and continued to make the purchase, which I couldn't.  I moved to the next machine and was finally able to purchase a one ride Metro card.  In DC, different places have different fares.  One must look up the destination and purchase the amount required for that particular trip; unless one is purchasing a specific dollar amount for the ticket.  I had to make the purchase with my card because that machine wasn't taking cash.  This meant, because of my frustration, that I put in a dollar more than necessary for the fare.  I had the exact amount of cash out but in using the card didn't think clearly. Another reminder from the Universe to take a breath.

Tiffany had texted me detailed instructions as to which Metro to catch.  As I sat down to wait for the train, a man walked toward me and glanced in my direction.  He walked past me and then came back toward me.  He leaned down and said, "You're a very pretty girl."  I said, "Thank you, woman not girl, but thank you,"  He didn't hear me because he walked off after the first thank you.  I know at my age to be called "girl" may seem like a compliment but I was slightly offended.  Truth be told, compliments from men don't happen as often to "women of a certain age".  Yes, they happen but not as often from men.  So why was I offended?  The gentleman in question was an elderly Caucasian man; very nice looking I might add.  It was the girl, that offended me.  I felt, perhaps because of his age or my sensitivity; I'm not sure which, that this compliment was a throwback to the way the elderly Caucasian population sees African-Americans.  We've always been girls and boys, not men and women.  Normally I'm not that sensitive to such things.  I don't know what caused this reaction.  I told Tiffany my reaction and she understood.

After taking the two trains, I met Tiffany and we walked to Unity of Washington, DC.  I introduced Tiffany to Unity of Richmond some years ago and then to Unity of DC, one Mother's Day.  I like the church, the songs and Rev. Sylvia.  She spoke of unconditional love and how we humans still place "conditions" on our love.  I like to hear metaphysical talks and so I enjoyed it.  On the way out of the sanctuary I saw a woman from high school in Richmond.  We weren't friends but I recognized her from pictures because we have mutual friends.  We spoke for awhile, and I know that the meeting was Spirit ordained.  Unity had a grand reception downstairs and had we not been going to brunch, we would have partaken of those delicacies.  Tiffany and I went outside to wait for her fiance and his mother.  She lives an hour away so Mark picked her up in order for us to make the brunch reservations.

We had brunch reservations at Georgia Brown's.  While we waited, Tiffany, Priscilla and myself had bottomless Mimosas.  Mark had water.  We then sat down to a delicious brunch buffet.  The buffet price also included an entree to go.  Fantastic!  When brunch was over, Tiffany and Mark took Priscilla and me to our next surprise. We had reservations for facials and massages!  At first, I was skeptical about the facial because I only use natural products on my face.  The spa had organic products. Hurrah!  I'm so glad that I acquiesced and had the facial.  It was wonderful!  Even someone my age can learn something.  I never knew, for instance, that one should wash hands before washing one's face.  My girls knew but I didn't.  I guess I thought my hands were clean due to my cleansing product.  The esthetician (those who work in spas as opposed to aestheticians, those who work in medical settings) said my skin was healthy and that my neck was better than some twenty somethings. Of course that was good to hear!  Afterwards I rode with the group to take Priscilla home.  I liked her very much, which is a good thing since our children are marrying each other.  Mark called me Mom for the first time.  It was cute.

Mark and Tiffany then took me to Greyhound with a few minutes to spare!  The area with the buses was barricaded and so Tiffany and I had to walk through the station.  The ticket was purchased but had to be printed out.  Tiffany zoomed through Union station reminding me of the road runner and my mother!  I was trying to keep up but finally said to myself: "If I miss it, I miss it."  I lost sight of Tiffany and didn't know exactly where I was going. LAWD, Net and Debbie, in the words of Mac Brown: Aint I in it? LOL   I somehow managed to accidentally end up where I need to be. Tiffany called me to see where I was, and I said I don't know, (before I knew that it was the right place).  She saw me and started waving.  She had printed the ticket and was waiting by the bus. She handed me my bag, kissed me and was hesitant to leave because the driver wasn't there.  I told her to go on, I'd be fine,  Funny, how the children become the parents.  Tiffany didn't want me to take the train to meet her for church, when Mark couldn't pick me up because he had gone to get his mother.  I told her if I can take the train in NY alone, I can certainly do so in DC and I had before.  

The driver took about 15 -20 minutes before he boarded. Apparently he had not had a good day.  He was rude and never took my ticket!  He started giving all of the rules and then he heard music.  He stated that whomever was playing that music needed to turn it down because he nor passengers wanted to hear it.  When the request was ignored, he started walking toward the back.  He stopped at my seat and said to turn it off.  I replied that I wasn't playing music and he said well that game or whatever that is.  I said that I'm not doing anything. My phone was in the seat next to me and was lit.  I suppose when the music stopped, he realized it wasn't me because I never touched my phone.  The rest of the trip proceeded without incident until someone started the music again. He shouted at the culprit to turn it off.  The man obviously couldn't hear well because one could tell the music was from the back not the front where I sat.  We arrived exactly on time.  As I exited the bus, I handed the driver my ticket and explained that he never collected it.  He looked at it to see what was my destination and then thanked me by name.  Sure, now you're nice!

The week before Mother's Day on a Saturday while at work, I found out that Kay Jeweler's had diamond earrings and a diamond pendant on sale for friends and family appreciation day.  I called Jason and told him that I wanted those items for Mother's Day.  He asked his father to pick them up after saying, "Sure!"  During the week of Mother's Day I purchased two sterling silver rings.  When Donnie, my oldest, said that he would take me to dinner later in the week after my return from DC, I said, "You can actually pay for the rings I like".  He said, "Sure".  He gave me beautiful cards and still wants to take me to dinner.  Kiya gave me beautiful expressions of gratitude in her own words.  Tiffany said that I had gall to ask Jason and Donnie for what I wanted.  I don't think so.  I, personally, would rather give what the person wanted than to just give a gift. My children don't have to give me anything.  I have cooked dinner for many Mother's Day because they are the reason that I am a mother.  I love them fiercely!  I am happy that they love me because they don't have to at all.  I hope that all who nurtured had a great day as well.  

Later this week I will be in NY for my youngest son, Jason's birthday.  Tell you all about it next week.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle




Sunday, May 10, 2015

Richmond,VA

Merry meet Friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of light and love!

"Not always eye to eye, but always heart to heart!" .....Hallmark

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!
If you have ever mothered anyone, then you know this is a true statement. We, mothers and those we nurture, don't always agree, but the love is absolute and unquestionable.  I have four children (4), count them.  LAWD!! (lol) My grandmother asked me many years ago, if anyone had told me when I was a teenager that one day I would have 4 children, what would I have done?  I told her I probably would have slapped them.  I always wanted to be a career woman and an auntie whose visits would be anticipated with great joy. I have more children than my sister who always wanted to be a wife and mother!  

Having my children has given me a joy that I don't believe I would have had otherwise. Even with the ups and downs on both parts, I wouldn't change this journey if I could.  I have learned so much from them although they have all at some point called to thank me for different things I've taught them or shown by example.  Once, my youngest daughter Tiffany who was in her first year at Howard, called to tell me how much she appreciated me cooking every night.  When I asked what brought that on, she replied that some of the young women were talking about their teenage years at home.  She said some of their mothers stopped cooking when they turned 16. Tiffany mentioned that I cooked every night and they were amazed.  She felt such gratitude that she wanted me to know how she felt.  Donnie, Zakiya and Jason have all called to simply say, "Thank you".  Zakiya refers to me as her spiritual mentor, Jason feels that I was the best mom for his personality and Donnie always feels as if we grew up together. He loves Tupac's song about his mom. 

My eyes tear as I think of these things. It's so nice to be appreciated by your children because sometimes, some of us wonder if anything we did meant anything.  As if this writing I'm on my way to DC to spend Mothet's Day with Tiffany, her fiancĂ© and his mother. I don't know what's been planned. When I asked her, she said, "Mom, can you just be in a moment?"  Typical Tiffany.   I only know that she and I are going to her church, Unity of Washington, together.  I will reveal all in next week's post.   For now I'm going to sit back and enjoy this ride on, wait for it, Greyhound.  Those who read my blog know of the adventures I've had on Greyhound. LOL. Stay tuned.  Happy Mother's Day once again.  Live, laugh, love and appreciate those who have mothered you and those you mother.  Most of all appreciate yourselves for having endured, learned and keeping your sanity ( for those that did), even when you didn't see eye to eye but always felt heart to heart!

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again, 
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Richmond, VA

Merry meet Friends,
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light!


"What does it mean to have a gift?  For the lamp, the light it was shaped to carry is its gift.  Without a light, a lamp has no purpose. For a person, we are shaped by experience to reveal the light we carry.  For a person, how that light comes through us is our gift. Our call in the midst of our days is...to discover the light that fills the lamp of the life we are given. Once discovered, our work is to never let the light of our gift go out."  ~ Mark Nepo, The Endless Practice

I wasn't going to write a post today because I was not sure what inward journey was taking place in me.  Something is calling me to go deeper; to experience life more fully than I've been doing.  I'm not sure exactly how I want or need to pursue that.  I'n not sure if I've "discovered the light that fills the lamp of the life I am given." Even though in the last six months, I have created a FB page: Wild Women Gypsies and started Michelle's W.E.B. (Women's Empowerment Brunch) Affirmation Circle, I feel as if there is something else calling me.  The full moon is in Scorpio now and that in itself would explain a few things, if not all things.  
             Scorpio pulls us in to the mysterious depths, with its            
             treacherous and profound shadows.  The dark has 
             power, and that makes it daunting, but also a promising
             landscape---for deep change and renewal.
             
             The Scorpio Moon peaks at 13 degrees, and is in an 
             enthralling trine to Neptune (in Pisces).  This can be a
             time of spellbinding experiences, so be wise about the 
             atmospheres you move through.

             The sun (Taurus) is shining in opposition, vitalizing
             what has promise, and in sync with the laws of natural
             unfolding.  Jupiter comes in at an angle, the proud sign
             of Leo, bringing more fixed energies.  Watch out for
             drama, especially if it's carrying the energy of being a 
             done deal (fixed).

             The spirit of big dramatic endings and beginnings is
             afoot.  And a peak for cracking open hidden potentials,
             gifts ~ the power to create and be renewed again and
             again.  Neptune's presence inspires going beyond the
             known, and being open to miracles ~ changes of heart,
             mind and spirit.
             
             The moon is full on Sunday, May 3rd at 11:42 pm (est)
             
             This can be a significant period where we get "real" and 
             in doing so, begin to build on truly solid psychic-emotional
             ground. If a bubble bursts, and the picture looks dark, 
             stay with it ~ the word "withstand" comes to mind.  
             (astrology about.com)

Wow!  I knew the full moon was going into Scorpio but I didn't fully realize that this is probably the reason I'm feeling like I do until I wrote the above; even more because my rising is in Scorpio. Ok, when I know the reason for something, then I can deal with it. One doesn't have to have anything in Scorpio to feel the effects of this full moon.  Scorpio is a very powerful, mysterious sign and we do feel it.  I hope this helps someone.

This week I have celebrated two birthdays; one with an impromptu visit with my friend Ramona, to our friend Caroline's home. Ramona and I had lunch,window shopped and then went to Caroline's.  We chatted, had drinks, ate again and enjoyed the friendship.  Friday, May 1, (Beltane or May Day) was my cousin Debbie's 60th birthday.  (can't believe it).  She decided to have a birthday fight party on Saturday.  I'm not much into boxing but I wanted to celebrate her birthday.  I am so glad we did.  The food was delicious, Debbie made Sangria's, which after working that day, I did partake. Don't judge me.  At first I wasn't going to watch the fight but I did.  Will someone please tell me why all the hype? I expected, at the very least, for someone to land on a knee or something.  Money is being spent very recklessly in this country!

I'm glad it was a birthday party also though.  Debbie only prepared the seafood salad because she didn't want to do a tremendous amount of cooking for her own party.  I know how that can be.  She appreciated her gifts and the time that everyone took out of their schedules to help her celebrate.  I wish my entire family could have participated, Debbie has had several surgeries over the years and two or three in the last month.  We don't know how long any of us has on this earth.  Make amends while we can do so.  

Most of the members of my high school class will be 65 this year.It doesn't seem that long ago that we were 17 or 18 and looking forward to graduation.  My youngest son will be 30 in two weeks, 30!  My youngest daughter is now engaged and will, I guess, start a family in a few years.  Soon, as Debbie pointed out, she will be having everyone over for holidays.  Things are changing as they should.  Beginnings and endings, endings and beginnings; a cycle that will always be.   Something happened recently that caused me to realize, that what can seem like an unfortunate ending, is a beautiful beginning of something else.  In my case, the beginning is a peace of mind about the situation and it no longer causes me, well ~anything.  I am grateful to life and its lessons.  I am grateful that I am discovering and will discover the light for the container of life that I am in order to share it with the world.

Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again,
Blessed be,
Gypsi Mama Michelle