Saturday, February 21, 2015

A story to tell

The Man

By Nancy Vaughn


“Alright, everyone stay together,” the principal called out as the students slowly exited the bus. “There are lots of other people here to see the White House so keep track of our group. No backpacks needed.”

I was one of several chaperones with the eighth grade class that came from California. My daughter was the history teacher running the show and I was excited to see Washington, D.C. with her and the students. It was my first time in the nation’s capital. Boy was I ready for the adventure.

We had five days packed with an unbelievable itinerary that would help us hit most of the memorials, museums and other sites. Here I am a 60 year old woman expected to keep up with the students and the other much younger chaperones. This was a challenge I would meet fed by my joy of being on the trip.

We had just arrived at the White House and the place was loaded with lots of other tourists. Pushing our way through the crowds we made it to the fence. After we started to take photos the kids were pushing and shoving to get their shots. I moved back and bumped into a man sitting on a bench. I apologized and he smiled. He was a very handsome African American man with close cropped silver hair. I made a comment about people wanting their pics and he nodded and laughed. I moved away to find my daughter and forgot about the encounter.

Our group moved to the west to go around to the other side of the White House. As we were walking I looked up to see this same man walking toward us. He passed by never looking at us. He was tall, over six feet and wearing dark pants and jacket. I knew it was the same man.  I turned to one of the other chaperones and told her about my encounter with him. She turned to look back and said he wasn’t there anymore. I stopped and looked back-she was right. It was a long walk on the sidewalk and at one point I looked up and he was there-again-in front of us!

Then when we turned to head to the White House I saw him again. He was standing under some trees. I pointed him out to my daughter. We watched as he stood in the shade of the trees observing the stream of tourists flocking to the building.

My daughter and I went up to do some more photos and I realized he was standing near our group. He never looked at me and when the other chaperone came up she saw him also. We were getting kind of creeped out. When it was time to leave for the bus we both realized he was gone.

I noticed I had a photos with him in front of the White House behind my daughter to the right.


 I don’t know who he was and what his purpose was in being there but it was a strange experience.




Saturday, January 31, 2015

Back again

My month has been weird. Chuck was here for the first part and it was really nice, relaxing and a time of being together. We talked so much, saw some friends and worked around the house. We also sat around reading, getting up late and drinking wine for me and whiskey for him. We did lots of hugging and snuggling.

Then it was time for him to go back.  The day before I had to drive him to Mesa to catch his flight I started feeling not so good. By the time I took him to the airport and came back I was sick.  Real sick. I had a full blown flu with fever and the whole nasty works.

After a week of that I started to finally feel better.

I've been working on finishing my book. Lot's of editing. I printed it out since that is much easier to visually see it in continuity in order to make the changes and edits required. As I took my time reading the story I realized I really like the characters and their story. After I put in the corrections and adjustments I will need a very critical eye for the next step in getting it to be the best story it can be.

I am excited to share this story. I am trying to decide if I want to pursue the traditional route of publishing or go with self-publishing through Amazon or the like. Chuck is also part of this since he has been super helpful in providing the man's perspective and male response to situations.  I guess I will have to give him credit! 

Looking forward to Chuck coming back this Monday. Two weeks with him to enjoy some hikes and snuggles.

Keep smiling and don't forget Valentine's Day is coming.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

trying to push through

Didn't get any blogging done while Chuck was here for two weeks and the day before he left I started feeling yucky and now I have full blown bronchitis.  Once I shake this hopefully I can get back up to speed. Happy January.


Monday, December 29, 2014

On my own

I'm just kicking it right now, home by myself. We left Melissa in LA, Chuck is back in Dickinson and Aaron and Chelsea are back in Oklahoma. I'm chillin' it here getting back into a rhythm being home after a Christmas week spent in Disneyland. Melissa joined us for the week at a great hotel with a two bedroom two bath suite! No driving and parking at the park because the shuttle stopped right outside. It was a great place to stay.

We started the week seeing the Christmas program at the Great American Playhouse in Oro Valley. It was so fun and we laughed so hard and enjoyed a wonderful night with my niece Heather and mom. It is definitely fun for Aaron and Chelsea and is a must visit in the future.

Disneyland was colorful, bright, happy and packed!! There were a couple of times we were there that the crowds were a bit less and we went on our favorite rides several times. I love Big Thunder Mountain and Chuck is a huge fan of Star Tours. We really did explore the park over the week and it was super fun. We did things that we normally don't get to and Aaron experienced the Tiki Room for the first time.

We had two very special meals. Monday night Chuck and I and our kids went to Blue Bayou restaurant for our 35th anniversary dinner. During the meal we renewed our vows and exchanged some very special keepsakes. It was wonderful, mellow and romantic. We lingered over our meal and made a memory. On Christmas day we had lunch at Carthay Circle restaurant and had another very good meal. It is a very cool place with lots of movie memorabilia. Neither of these places are places we would go for daily meals-too expensive, but they made for fantastic celebrations we all enjoyed. 

I was pretty proud of myself that I only gained three pounds the whole week. I guess we walked enough to balance the amount of food we consumed.

On Friday Melissa took her dad to LAX for his flight back to Dickinson on her way back to the valley and the rest of us headed back to Catalina. On Sunday I took Aaron and Chelsea to Sky Harbor for their flight back to Dallas.

Now I am here. It is okay for me since I do well on my own, but the week with my family was wonderful. Now I have to pay off the credit card!

Happy New Year all!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

A fun party!

Last night we had a great time! We had over twenty here to celebrate the season and say hi to Aaron and Chelsea who are here for a couple of days. It warms my heart to see people who are willing to come over so close to Christmas and hosting these wonderful people is so much fun!

We had family-Kris & Heather and their three kids and a cousin, my Mom and my sister Lisa. The friends in attendance were my BFF Kristen and her family, Chuck's bestie Bob and is wife Kim, Jason and Denia and their daughter, Mom's friend Bob, our next door neighbor Sergio and his son.

The food was good and the sweets even better. Lots of drinks of all kinds and Christmas music played in the background.

We discovered quickly that many of these people were acquainted in difference ways besides knowing us. Conversation never stopped, it was cheery and filled with laughter. I love the way people settle into agreeable groups that move from area to area taking the conversation with them.

Tomorrow we leave for Disneyland to spend our Christmas. It will be so special to have our kids with us. No little kids here.  Monday Chuck and I will renew our vows for our 35th anniversary in Disneyland. I am ready to get the drive out of the way and start the fun.

Merry Christmas to all and be good.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Senior what???

Reality check of self perception.

Took off yesterday afternoon to do some grocery shopping. I pulled into the Fry's parking lot to discover it was packed. What?? As I cruised through, my usual parking spots were filled. I can always get a good spot in this lot, what the heck is the deal? Finally grabbed one when someone pulled out. I got my own bags out of the car (hate plastic bags), snagged a cart from the cart rack outside and headed into the store. One other observation of the parking lot was the very slow moving vehicles and a cajillion people pushing carts.

I know this store well enough I can write my list based on aisles. I can usually cruise through the process pretty easily and fast-unless Chuck is with me.  If he is with me it takes FOREVER.

The place was a zoo, every part of the store and every aisle was packed with people and their carts. I couldn't believe how many times my cart was bumped, pushed and blocked by shoppers.  I started thinking "Did I miss some holiday that required cooking?" Maybe they wanted to stock up so they didn't have to shop Christmas week, probably a good idea.

Since I always shop with a list I can usually get in and right out. Not gonna happen in this case. I got the last of the list items in the dairy section and headed to the checkouts. I came up by the pharmacy and stopped. There had to be a line of at least twelve people.

Light bulb moment! Wednesday is blue hair day!! Nearly all of the people in the store were old. Well that explained the full parking lot and crowded store. As I looked around while in the checkout line I saw people writing checks!?!? Who writes checks anymore?

It was my turn to check out and the cashier was fast and smiling-thank goodness. Just as she was totaling my purchase she asked me a question. "It is senior day, 55+ so would you like me to put in the discount?" 


Wow! She didn't question if I was 55+. She didn't want to see my ID, but if I wanted the discount as a senior. Oh man I must have had the deer in the headlights look on my face for a second and then I said "oh sure, why not."  A discount is a discount, and it got me about $20 off my purchase. I paid, I left and once I was in my car I called Chuck. "It's official Chuck, I am old!" I told him what happened and he howled with laughter. Ok not helping.

That's it, I had been letting my lovely silver/white hair grow out but I'm coloring it, that's settled. I don't want to look too much like my mom yet. I already have her knees and square face, but I can control my hair.

I will go to Fry's again on Wednesday's. I am not a fool and the discount is good. But now I will be prepared. Ego hit without warning is hard on this "old" lady.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

He's back up north

Well, Chuck has left Arizona and is safely back up north. We had a really nice time and had lots of fun going places and hanging out together. After my last blog I left you on Monday. This past week was spent for the most part in Catalina.

We did lots of work around the property and spent time enjoying visits with friends and having fires. He made sure my bike was working again, got the yard cleaned up and the grass mowed so it wouldn't need too much care while he is gone.

He also spent time catching up on all his shows that were recorded on the DVR and watching UA basketball games. Mornings were so nice enjoying coffee and breakfast together and we had hours spent sitting together while we read.

There was one downer that happened this week. I learned that an old friend had died very suddenly and unexpectedly. Donna was one of the kindest and genuinely good person I have ever known and her loss is great. Her memorial service is tomorrow.

As I dropped him off at the airport for his flight back I was glad to know that his next trip home is already set up and will be a nice one. After his two weeks at Dickinson he will be back on December 8th for two weeks in Tucson followed by Christmas week in Disneyland with our kids.

I have a second blog It is different from this one-not as personal and more about my writing. I would welcome anyone to enjoy it.

Happy Thanksgiving all.