Is this weird for anyone else? I remember writing checks in the 1970's, thinking that if I lived until the 2000's we'd be living like the Jetson's. (If you don't know who the Jetsons were, you are a baby.)
I'm happy we don't have household robots, cars that fly or escalators to get us from point A to B, but we are quickly becoming much too dependent on technology.
I'm on Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Pinterest, Foursquare and I have a website. I have a laptop, a desk top and a cell phone that's smarter than I am (and mine is 2 years old). We have the high tech televisions and television "extras" such as Roku, Apple TV and a Wii system that's never been used.
I have an email account that thinks it knows who my friends are better than I do. It separates my mail, forcing me to search several catagories every time I sign in.
My car is a 2003, so it doesn't talk to me, park itself or do any other fancy tricks. I actually can parallell park all by myself. It's overheating right now, so that may cost an arm and a leg but I'm going to drive it until it falls apart. It's one of the few things I know how to use and I'm still in control.
Life is overwhelming enough without all these distractions, yet I find myself going to my computer or picking up my phone to "keep in touch". The good side of that is I'm able to keep in touch with my family and friends spread all over the country. The down side is I spend way too much time trying to keep up with everything. It's a lot.
At this very moment I'm staring at a sink of dirty dishes and visualizing the huge pile of laundry in the laundry room. I'm babying my sick dog who has not left my lap in a few days...OKAY, a few YEARS,
but she's even more needy now because she's sick. To my left is a stack of magazine and catalogs stacked on the floor that I haven't had a chance to go through.
Not trying to be a downer here, but even though technology is helpful and convenient in many ways it's also causing problems. It's very time consuming.
Kids don't play outside anymore. Some of my best memories involve exploring the outdoors and riding my bike.
Will their memories be the highest score on a Playstation game?
Or what if, "Remember when we actually had to drive a car!" or "I remember when TV's were LCD, not holograms" or possibly, "Remember when we didn't have robots to clean the house?"
I hope not.
I recall when penmanship was an actual class we went to- to learn how to write. It was an art.
Students now type on a keyboard and their handwriting is not legible. They use calculators instead of working out math problems on paper. These are very few of the examples of how technology is damaging our next generation. It may seem as if these are small insignificant things, but they're critical to know how to function as adults.
People are out of jobs due to high technology and enormous chain stores. "Mom and Pop" stores are getting to be far and few between. Small business owners are working harder than ever to stay afloat.
I can go to allrecipes.com, put in a search for an ingredient and instantly have recipes to choose from.
I can look up reviews from locals in any state and find out the best businesses, restaurants, auto mechanics and anything else I may need.
I have an app on my phone that enables me to capture any song I hear. It takes seconds to tell me the CD title, singer and the name of the song.
I can find a Starbucks anywhere in the world.
I can say a sentence into my phone and it translates out loud in any language.
I can calculate a server's tip at a restaurant with my phone.
I can send a message through the air to my TV, printer or computer with my phone.
What can I clean without using chemicals? how can I get my dishwasher to work like it used to? can I give my dog an aspirin? what's going on in Nashville?
ALL information can be found at any time of the day or night with a click of a button.
Now the good news...we can teach our children and grandchildren those "little" things that will make a big difference in their lives. Here's to 2013. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. It starts at home.
I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've written a blog. My goal is to start writing regularly again and actually BEING A PART OF MY OWN SITE!
Reflecting back on 2012 I can't help but wonder, what have I learned this year?
I'm 56 years old today and in 5 months I'll be 57. I know that's "just a number" but it's a number that constantly surprises me. In my mind I'm still in my 30s. My body tells me otherwise and reminds me daily "You're 56 Kathy, every bit of it."
Grandma Cash used to say, "Kath-a-leen, anything you hurt when you're young is gonna come back to haunt you one day." I remember thinking, "How bad can it hurt?" I continued to take ridiculous risks because I was a daredevil, curious and never thought things through. I was a kid that assumed, as most kids do, that I was invincible.
Our house sat high on a hill overlooking the entire city of Ventura, California. We had a beautiful view of the ocean, the city and on a clear day, the Catalina Islands. We spent summers ( and a week at Christmas) with dad in Tennessee. To me it was the best of both worlds.
One day when I was about 13, I thought of a brilliant idea. I walked my bike all the way to the top hill above us and decided see how fast I could go picking up speed all the way down the hill to the foothills.
This wasn't just a HILL. It was a steep curved street that ended on a straight one way narrow street that eventually led to the main road. I started picking up speed so fast that fear finally kicked in.
I knew if I didn't come up with an idea quickly I would have a tragic bicycle/car collision. I would certainly lose that battle. Even if a car wasn't coming I was going to be hurt badly.
I went zooming around a huge bend in the road almost passing our cul-de-sac when I spotted the neighbors corner lot filled with ice plant. I quickly opted for a bed of ice plant instead of killing myself.
I steered right over the curb into the succulents and even though I crashed with a hard blow, I was cushioned enough to keep myself from serious injury.
It hurt BAD. I grabbed my poor bike and hobbled home with bloody knees, elbows, and a knot on my head.
Mom was so overprotective that had I confessed to her what I had done, it would have been a huge deal. I simply said, "I fell off my bike " as she started gathering bandaids and ointments.
The reason I shared that story? It's a tiny example of how human beings don't think things out or consider the consequences of our actions.
I'm still paying for that little bike ride today. That was one event from a list of many poor choices I've made in my life. We all do. Hopefully we realize how dumb our decision is and don't repeat it.
The older I get, the more I find myself reflecting on conversations I had with my parents from the time I was a child until their last days.
One conversation dad and I had plays in my mind often. We had just finished watching President Bush's speech from the night before on CNN over coffee early one morning. ( The last few years dad
was alive, I spent the night with dad and June at least 3 to 5 times a week.)
Dad turned the TV off and looked my way intently. He paused a moment and said, "This President is going to take us to war, baby. I won't be here, but I grieve for you kids, my grandchildren, and even
"War will cause some terrible repercussions that will last for many years to come. I'm afraid you will face a depression like the one we went through, only worse. War unnecessarily takes the lives of
countless men, women and children and is no solution to anything. It simply causes more discord, death and financial crisis. Killing each other is against everything I believe in and against God."
The war began in March 2003 a year after dad predicted it would. Six months later he crossed over to the other side. Dad was right; he wouldn't live to see the worst of it but he
did know it was coming. He worried about our safety and future. Dad was who I always went to for any question covering any subject. Well, ALMOST any subject.
"Girl questions" made him squirm.
That was mom or June's department.
If dad were here today and I were to ask him his thoughts regarding the December 21st "end of the world / Mayan calendar scare", he would laugh.
Some people are having "End of the World" parties mocking the hype. Some people are panicking and preparing for the worst. Others are quietly waiting to see what the outcome is.
I agree with what dad, June, and mom would say if they were here. God IS the only being that knows when the end will come.
They would all say the same thing. "No one but God knows when the world will end. People are going to feel pretty silly on December 22nd."
Me? I'll be doing whatever it is I need to do that day, not giving it a second thought.
Some years it seems that I learn very little (like keeping my mouth shut) and some years I learn lessons that stay with me forever. This is one of those years.
Here are some of the things I finally figured out about being me at age 55:
I'm clumsy. I don't care how nice high heels make your ankles and legs look. A one inch heel is as daring as I care to get.
I'm awful at keeping in touch with people I love. It's not because I don't want to. I truly love my friends and family. It's time management I'm lousy at.
I admire people that know how to balance everything. I don't.
I could care less about "what's trendy". I wear what's comfortable and really don't care what the label says.
I'm handy around the house. I can figure out how to fix things but I know enough about me to never mess with electricity (remember the clumsiness?).
I speak WAY before I think. My mouth precedes that "little gray matter" in my head - OFTEN. Daily.
I believe in miracles, UFO's, ghosts and the afterlife. It's okay if you don't; just don't tell me I'm mistaken.
Laughter is truly one of the greatest gifts. Laughing soothes, heals, bonds and softens us.
Unless I have somewhere to go - pajamas, t-shirts, sweatshirts and yoga pants are my "uniform". Is there a rule that you have to be "dressed" if you're home?
I burn candles every day of my life. I burn them for myself and for the ones I love that have crossed over.
I love movies of all genres, especially comedy, action and horror films. (a good zombie movie is always welcome.)
I can be abrasive, irritating and loud. Hard to admit, but I am. The abrasive and irritating part, I can't explain. "Loud" because I'm hard of hearing. There...I said it.
Now that I'm admitting to the 'older age" ailments, I'll allow you the information that I'm also "visually challenged". If we happen to run into each other and it appears I'm giving you the "stink eye", it's merely a squint. (If I'm not wearing glasses, I probably don't see you.)
Getting older truly is a blessing.
Now for the good part. Love is the most important thing in this UNIVERSE. Being loved is incredible, loving back is just as beautiful.
Believe in miracles, burn candles, laugh, stay in touch with loved ones, watch funny movies, try not to take life so seriously.
In the meantime, I'll try not to fall, think before I speak and try not to be so loud.
I wish you the most loving, peace filled, satisfying, prosperous year of all.
Much love, Kathy
After being off line for over a year, I must say I MISSED YOU.
This site had been a fun, loving place for us to chat, discuss, laugh, and send each other positive thoughts during times of need while getting to know each other better.
Due to some personal issues I was dealing with, I made a difficult and painful decision to take kathycash.com offline over a year ago. I worked hard with my son Dustin to create this site, made it as user friendly as possible, and in a very short time had well over a quarter million visitors!
I would explain and share what happened and why I shut it down, but I can't. I'm just not sure myself. I either had a breakthrough or a breakdown. Maybe both.
Traumatic experiences for years in a row eventually force human beings to take action.
Many people find strength through adversity, some "check out" and others look for any way to change their lives completely - hoping for a quick fix. I did the latter, believing that if I changed my world and surroundings, life would settle down and all would be well. I was mistaken.
Guess what? Wherever you go...THERE YOU ARE. It was ME that needed to change. I had to change HOW I reacted, how I was affected and how I managed my life.
Hundreds of times I heard dad sing, "You got to walk that lonesome valley. You got to walk it by yourself. Ain't nobody else can walk it for you. You gotta walk it by yourself." I always connected that song and those lyrics to a "funeral or Gospel song", but it's just as true for the living. "Ain't NOBODY else CAN walk it for you." YOU DO HAVE TO WALK IT BY YOURSELF.
This is a singular journey. The choices and decisions we make determine the paths we take.
We're given incredible intuition and sense, however if we ignore those gifts, one wrong fork in the road can lead us to a terrifying shack in the middle of the woods. At midnight. With a dead battery and no cell service.
I eventually learned how to charge my own battery and I learned how to yell for "HELP". Trying to manage things alone doesn't make sense. We are all here together
for a reason.
Life is an endless lesson and I hurt people that I love. I regret that. I have forgiven myself as I hope they have forgiven me.
I learned that we aren't trying to FIND ourselves. We KNOW who we are. Sometimes we have to dig deep to discover it. We create ourselves as the years pass by.
All experiences lead us to a new path, knowing it's up to us which direction to choose.
I learned a legion of details about myself that will hopefully assist me in the remaining years I have on this planet. I'm grateful for that and I'm grateful for the people that love me. I'm grateful for YOU.
Thank you for visiting if this is your first time. Please come back again.
For those of you that have been with me for years and have remained my friend, I can't tell you how much you mean to me.We DO all need each other. That's what this life is all about.
I wish you a peaceful, happy holiday season, and much love to each and every one of you. ~K
I'll never forget an intriguing interview Paul Newman and Joanne Woodard gave to Barbara Walters years ago on television. Ms. Walters asked them how they had managed to stay married so long in Hollywood during four decades of marriage. Paul Newman replied, "This is a throw-away society. We throw away children, friends, marriage, enough trash to sink the planet and anything else we don't want. People don't respect what's important as they should. Love and compassion is important. The rest is just extra gravy." Or something to that effect. His words have stayed with me for many years because he was right. We ARE a throw away society.
Here's a good example...
Today I read an article about a home for sale. Initially I laughed out loud reading about this "home" but after a few lines, I'm pretty sure I gasped which quickly turned to disgust. Disgust turned to sadness.
Here are the details:The asking price: $75 MILLION. TWENTY THREE (yes, 23) bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 10 kitchens, 3 swimming pools. The extras : a 20 car garage, a bowling alley, a rolling rink, a movie theater, a video arcade, a fitness center, a baseball field, and 2 tennis courts (one is never enough).
Now, here's the sad and most ridiculous part....it's not complete. There are no interior walls, carpet or floors. It's being sold "as is". This mega mansion is now the most expensive home for sale in the United States,knocking the Spelling mansion into second place. This is not excess. This is what I call a shame. An unbelievable waste of resources, man power, materials and greed. ( The article left out how many family members the home was being built for but my guess would be very few. )
When my parents passed on, we inherited furniture, dishes, silver, crystal, photographs and many sentimental items including various personal effects. No one on Earth could have talked me into parting with anything that belonged to my parents. Not even a slip of paper could have been pried from my hands. Unfortunately, my home wasn't large enough to accommodate the truck loads of cherished items. We immediately moved to a 3600 square foot home just to make room for possessions, even though only three of us were living together at the time.
Dad used to say, "All I need is a bed, a desk, table, chairs, a TV, my guitars and something to play music on. I bought this house on the lake for the windows. I can't see out the windows because June loves all this antique furniture. Nothing's wrong with that, but I want to see out the windows. All this stuff is just wood and nails that ends up owning YOU instead of you owning IT."
June proclaimed often, "I love to be surrounded by pretty dishes and things. I love to to collect. When we're gone, the children will enjoy all this."
Mom's theory was, "I enjoy nice things and I like decorating my house. I don't see the point of having so much clutter that you aren't comfortable and don't notice the house is decorated nicely."
After taking these statements into consideration I tend to agree with all three opinions. However, there is one missing ingredient. BALANCE.
Dad - I'm simplifying.
June - I love beautiful, lovely things.
Mom - I've made my home nice, tasteful and comfortable.
Now for the obstacle. My home is completely full including two 2 car garages. I'm ready to put the BALANCE into action. Every sentimental item will remain in my possession until I cross over and leave this planet. My children will become the "keeper of the flame" and hopefully pass beloved treasures to the generations that follow.
How much do we NEED to have a nice, comfortable life? Not WANT, NEED. Not as much as we think we do. I'm recycling every way I can by donating, selling or giving things away that may benefit others and bring them pleasure.
Dad and June have been gone seven years. Mom left this planet five years ago. It's time to let go of excess "stuff" they would have told me years ago to get rid of.
I don't need vintage trunks. I have luggage complete with handles and wheels which is much more practical.
I don't need 3,000 antique dishes. I will never have a sit down dinner for 1,000 people.
I don't need 500 pieces of silver. A few beautiful pieces is more than adequate. I appreciate every item very much but I don't like to polish it and takes a lot of space to display. I would much rather travel, write, draw, paint, watch a good movie, relax and enjoy people I love. THAT'S what's important in life.
Let me rephrase that. It's not important. It's VITAL .
My parents were loving, kind, compassionate and amazing. They believed laughter, family and love were what really mattered. "The rest was just extra gravy." I know if they were here today, each one would say, " I agree with Paul Newman. Lighten the load, look out the windows, enjoy the view and appreciate the beauty of it all. Never throw away what's really important."
Love to you all~
Songwriters, poets and authors have always talked about the importance of laughter.
Life, Love & Laughter
Lyrics by Donavon Frankenreiter
I’m lookin for life, love and laughter
Everything in between and what happens after
I’m lookin for life, love and laughter
Everything in between and what happens after
Lookin for laughter
"Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. In addition to the domino effect of joy and amusement, laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, it's fun, free, and easy."
We all gravitate to people that make us laugh because it's truly as important as breathing and eating. Life is hectic and stressful, so when we don't nurture it as we should, it's inevitable we find ourselves feeling tired and down.
Dad always said that if you didn't have at least one belly laugh a day, you've wasted a day. He was right, and he was brilliant at finding humor in negative situations.
If financial stress was the issue at hand, his saying was "Baby, they're circling. Build a bigger fire around camp." When he was sick, I'd ask him how he was doing. His answer was always the same "I'm one day better baby. One day better."
Dad had funny little phrases for just about everything. When assessing a dining table full of Southern food, he'd say, "C'mon children, let's eat to keep our fat up."
He called every driver on the road Herman. One time I was in the passenger seat with dad driving. (He was a terrible driver) I said, "Daddy, watch out, there's a Mack truck coming at us!" As he made a left turn in front of the truck, he said, "It's okay honey, it's on your side. BACK OFF HERMAN!" We laughed until we were sore.
Dad's example for turning things around helps me constantly try to find humor even on the darkest days.
In High School, I was sent to the principal's office on a VERY regular basis for laughing in class.
I had one teacher that put up with me if something funny struck me, but the rest of them had me walk that familiar path straight to Father Mescal's (the principal's) office. Every time I knocked on that door, I simply said, "It's me Father." He knew my voice well. All I had to do is sit there until the next period. Most of the time I was accompanied by one of my friends...always Fran or Nancy (sometimes all three of us) and occasionally I would get someone else in trouble.
I was a decent student, but I was much more interested in the social benefits of school. That to me was much more fun and important. In my Junior year, it was time for my final exam in French. I was clueless. I looked at that test, recognized about 5 words on the questionnaire, and knew it was time for a plan of action. I flipped my paper over, drew a picture and wrote my teacher a note on the front of the test :
I have been in your class for 2 years and still don't know a word of French. I drew you a sketch on the back of this test because I'm much better at art than I am foreign language. I hope you'll grade me on that instead of French because as you can see, I didn't answer any questions.
Thanks, Kathy Cash
A couple of days later she handed us our "completed" tests with our grade results.
I held my breath expecting a huge fat "F" on my paper. After getting up the nerve to look, I was surprised to see a big "D-". (I PASSED?...wow. Maybe she appreciates art. No. Maybe she liked my drawing? I doubt it.) I knew it wasn't because she got a laugh out of it. She had no sense of humor. None. At all.
I waited for everyone to leave until I made my way to her desk. She glared at me for what seemed like the thousandth time, and waited for me to initiate the conversation. "ER, Mrs. Schneider. Thank you for passing me on the test, but why didn't you fail me?" Her eyes seemed to stare right through me and in her broken French - English accent said very sternly, "MISS CASH, I have tried to teach you for 2 years. I passed you because I cannot take one more year of you!" I politely thanked her and got out of her classroom as quickly as possible.
Fran and Nancy were waiting outside the room impatiently waiting to find out what happened. I couldn't help it. I started laughing uncontrollably about the ridiculous attempt I made, but more about the fact that it worked!
Evidently Mrs. Schneider wasn't hard of hearing. I continued to get many more glares from her the rest of my high school days.
I recently took a much needed trip back to California where I was raised and attended school.
( When you're raised Catholic, you basically go to school with the same people from Kindergarten until you graduate.) We were a very small community then. When you have a special connection like that, re-connecting has been important to me, especially these last few years.
I laughed until my sides and jaws hurt. I had a great time, loved spending time with my long time friends and I even slept better than I have in years.
It was a healing trip for me.
"Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life."
Think about that. It REALLY IS a shock absorber, and it DOES ease life's blows.
I wish you love and LAUGHTER every day.
I had another birthday a few weeks ago, so I have finally admitted that I'm middle aged. There. I said it.
I took my time accepting that term but I have never been one for conforming just because it was time.
I'm the same person inside as I always was ; I just happen to own more moisturizer, eye cream, and comfortable shoes. I have managed to convince myself that IF I AM GRAY HEADED, it must be just a few strands because hair dye has always been a staple in my life. Okay, I'll admit it, former hair colors were eggplant, black, fushia, and even pink once. I have graduated to the natural colors now. Granted, I have 4 "natural" colors in my hair now, so I guess I AM getting older.
I'm even a certified card carrying AARP member.
Don't laugh. When YOU turn 50, AARP envelopes will start filling up your mailbox too. (I vividly remember the gasp that escaped my throat when I received that first "welcome letter".)
"WELCOME - You're now 50!" REALLY? Yeah, really.
None of my birthdays have ever bothered me, yet I expected my 54th year would in some capacity.
It hasn't, at least not in a negative manner. Discovering and exploring who I am has been more of an interesting ride and fascinating journey; however, I do despise two things about being older. The daily aches and pains from every little injury I've ever had are annoying, including some new health issues I inherited along the way. That problem is nothing, though, compared to the worst pain of all: losing people we dearly love. That leaves a hole in my heart and a lump in my throat that can never be repaired with medication or surgery.
On a positive note, I have noticed certain characteristics, habits and traits from my parents coupled with my own life experiences. It's an interesting ride and a fascinating journey when you realize they have left more of an imprint on you than you thought.
Here are some things I've carried on that I can honestly give credit to mom and dad for....
- I learn something from everyone I cross paths with and have always had friends of every age. I love all types of people.
- I always have an open door for my friends. On the initial visit to my house everyone is waited on. After the first time, our front door, refrigerator and home is completely open.
- I'm addicted to shoes, coffee, candles, flowers, good movies and laughter.
- I love music, sketching, painting, gardening and creating.
- I talk to everything and everyone, including myself, plants, flowers and all inanimate objects.
- I say what I mean and mean what I say. (Often being forced later, to pull a foot or two from my mouth.)
- I always keep tomato soup in my pantry because it will be there IN CASE I feel bad or get sick.
- I'm apparently - according to some people - a terrible driver.
- I have mom's bone structure and stature with dad's eyes and big feet.
- I try to find humor in something every day because laughing is as vital to me as breathing. The volume of my laugh is from dad, the sound of it is mom.
- I'm clumsy and apparently always have been.
- I'm a hovering mother. I call my children every day to check in and it can be a bit smothering.
- I'm a homebody but I love to travel.
- I wear a lot of black - every day. I always have, always will.
- I'm a good cook, don't know how to cook small amounts , yet I have to be in the mood.
- I'm eclectic. My home, closet and personality is a combination of old and new.
- I find myself using words and phrases both parents used. (Just the other day I actually said, "As poor as a church mouse." WHAT? I've never used that phrase before)
- My attention span is all over the place. (You can guess who that's from.)
My parents have crossed over, but their blood runs through me. Their souls, character, mannerisms and certain traits are always part of who I am.
I carry these things with pride and gratitude until I live my last day and cross over to join them.
VIVIAN LIBERTO CASH DISTIN
When you lose one person, suddenly the world can seem depopulated.
I don't believe in coincidences or unexplained events. I never have. I am extremely lucky and grateful for the parents I was given, and I've never taken it for granted.
I believe each one of us has many specific tasks and lessons to learn. I also believe that we are born into the family we will learn the most from. I believe that every soul's life is a miracle.
I believe we are here to learn compassion, empathy, critical lessons, but most of all, how to love one another without judgement, criticism or envy.
Today I honor my sweet Mama. She crossed to the other side 5 years ago today. It doesn't seem possible because one day it feels like yesterday and the next day it feels like forever.
Mom's been gone 5 years.
My sister Rosanne is 55 today. Mom passed away on Rosanne's 50th birthday.
Rosanne was born in 1955. This is the 5th month.
Not a coincidence. The number FIVE has specific meaning this year............ I'm anxious to see what it brings.
Life takes such surprising twists. Sometimes you find yourself in a valley and other days you are shouting from a mountain top. Today I'm at the bottom of a ravine.
My heart and soul are forever wounded, yet I managed to get through the last several years. I didn't know it was possible to actually go on without certain people. I discovered I'm stronger than I would have ever thought, thanks only to my faith and lessons instilled by my parents.
HOWEVER -- I'm tired of missing my loved ones.
I will never stop missing my mom. I will never stop missing my dad and many loved ones that are gone on.
The older I get, the more I accept HOW I am. I discover WHO I am and WHERE I AM. What a journey. That blessing is bent and tarnished only by losing our loved ones and feeling every ache in my aging body.
Thank you Mama for teaching me how to be a proper Southern woman. Thank you for teaching me about faith and the afterlife. Thank you for teaching me respect and compassion for others. Thank you for a million things that were matched only by the million hugs, kisses and "I love you's".
I celebrate mama today and am sending a huge hug, kiss and "I love you" to her today and always.
Thanks to all of you for being here. Much love to everyone.