There is something I’ve always loved about Halloween. As a child I usually had a mask, no costume, and loved going around the neighborhood with my brothers and sisters and getting loads of candy. As a mom, Halloween marks the start of the holiday season for me. Every year I get dressed up with my kids for an evening of fun. This year my eldest wants to spend the evening with her friends, a sad transition for me as she begins to assert her own independence. I tell folks I work hard all year just to make the magic happen for my family from Halloween up until New Years Day.
In June of this year, I lost my mom. Perhaps “lost” is not a good word. It implies that I misplaced her or forgot her somewhere. My mother died at 79 years of age, after a long battle with heart disease. She was my anchor, my counselor and my friend. I feel adrift, broken and overwhelmed by sadness.
I have only a few pictures with my mom – I was usually the one behind the camera. In the picture above, she is 52 and I’m 21. I had just finished college and Mom took us on vacation to her birthplace, Carriacou, Grenada. Mom rented a beach front cottage in town for us. I remember having friends come over and just talking and laughing with her and telling us how lucky we were to have such a cool Mom. Mom always had my back and although she only had a primary school education, she pushed me to always do my best. Mom had a deep faith in God, a serious work ethic and a raunchy sense of humor. She loved to “pound torre” (what West Indians refer to as gossip), gamble at casinos and dance. She wasn’t a perfect mother but she was good enough for me.
Compensation Level 1
I’m a city girl with a country girl’s heart. I soften the hard edges of my urban Brooklyn home with antiques, artwork and collectibles. I adore vintage items and new eclectic items with old world charm.
That’s why I’m so excited to be invited to be part of the press covering the 2013 Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY. The fair is being held at the Duchess County Fairgrounds, June 7-9. Rhinebeck, located in New York’s Hudson Valley is the newest location. Other fairs will be held in the fall in Columbus, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia.
Rhinebeck is known for its scenic beauty, fine dining, charming B & Bs, shopping and is a mecca for art and culture. Its going to be a great event with seminars, DIY demos, entertainment, local food, shopping (over 200 vendors of antiques,gifts, home decor, jewelry and crafts) and a chance to meet the editors of Country Living Magazine.
Cari Cucksey – estate sale expert and Host of HGTV’s “Cash & Cari”
But it won’t be perfect unless I have my blog buddies join me (*grinning from ear to ear*). I’ll be giving away two tickets to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck for Saturday, June 8, 2013. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents over the age of 18. To enter just leave a comment below telling me what you enjoy the most about summer festivals. For an additional entry fan the waterwinetravel.com Facebook page (Button on the upper right hand side of this page.) Let me know in your comment if you select this option or are a fan already. Contest ends Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 12 noon EST. Winner will be selected via random.org’s sequence generator. Please use a valid email address so I can contact you or subscribe to the blog to play it safe. Winner must respond within 5 days or another winner will be selected.
See you at the fair!
Update: Congratulations to Teri – the winner of the Country Living Fair 2013 ticket giveaway!
Tags:antique shopping in Hudson Valley New York·Cari Cucksey·Country Living Fair 2013·Country Living Magazine·flea markets·Rhinebeck·summer festivals
Today I turn 49. The years have been long and harsh and kind. Sort of like a sour lollipop with the sweet gooey gum in the middle. Its hard to believe a quarter of a century has passed and with it the angst of my 20s, the self discovery of my 30s and the now the last of the she-warrior years of my 40s. This is my letter to my 24 year old self.
Twenty five years ago you were a young woman in the third year of medical school, unsure of your future and where you fit in the world. Medicine was still a profession largely dominated by the old boys club. Female faculty were few and far between and mentors for women of color in medicine … oh well.
When I was 24, I wish someone had told me … no I wish I had told myself these 10 things.
1. Nuture your spirit. Go to church. Have hobbies. Give back. Medicine is a jealous mistress and its good to maintain outside interests.
2. Misery loves company. Lose the negative thoughts and the negative friends.
3. Think outside the box. Whatever you choose to do, do it with a little panache and creativity. Be different.
4. You’re too skinny.
5. Be your own best friend.
6. Be careful. As Gloria Steinem said, “Its a woman hating world.”
7. If it sounds unbelievable – don’t believe it.
8. Trust your gut. Humans are probably the only creatures that sense fear and danger and will venture towards it.
9. Pray on it.
When I was in my early 30s and starting my first real job, I engaged a community based women’s health organization and planned a fundraiser for them at a Brooklyn art gallery. I hired a caterer to prepare hors d’oeuvres. The caterer was a middle aged woman who cooked like it was nobody’s business, ran a top notch restaurant and was a single mother. To me she was a goddess.
She peppered me with questions- but not about the food order. Was I single? (welp!) Did I have children (no – only a few eggs left!)
I told her that I was waiting for the “one.” That I wouldn’t have children without him. She looked at me and said in a tone that was neither stern or jovial, “He’s not coming.”
I remember feeling like all the air was being sucked out of me. He’s not coming. He’s not coming. He’s not coming.
It took me years to learn lesson #10.
Don’t let other people steal your joy. Turns out he was coming. But if he hadn’t I would have been okay, because in the end, I’m responsible for my own happiness.
Twenty five years has taught me to stay positive and be my own best friend. Cheers to the journey.
The 49 year old you.
What advice do you have for your younger self?
Tags:Letter to 24 year old self·middle age birthday advice