lola guerrero

50-something empty-nest-search-for-God-and-happiness with more than a dash of humor


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Sunday Scripture 2

Hohoho . . . video blog friends,
Welcome to Sunday Scriptures.
Are you feeling the stress of the season?
I am!
Getting your tree, decorating the home,
going to the mall hoping to find the perfect
parking space.
I have the answer–one word.
Take a look at my video. Cheers.


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Thanksgiving Day ( wine begins at 11 a.m. ) Part 2

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I ran Plan B by my mom. Her eyes lit up.

“Ohhh . . . no terkey? You lazy to cook on Tankgibing? Ok with me . . . too much cooking. You relaxxx. You tell your brather to take me to casino. I play penny slot machine. You know, my hand bery itchy.”

I nod. She tells me all the time that itchy hands and palms is a sign of money coming your way.

“So I go to casino, ok?”

That idea was brilliant. I became lighter. My spirit in me began to dance.

My point is to ask yourself what will make you calm, centered, and grateful on this holiday. Do that.

Thanksgiving is a tradition. It is being with families and friends. However, life is in constant motion. Go with it . . . our kids grow up and move far away. The landscape of the family changes.

If you are hostessing make sure you have your big girl britches on and an effervescent smile.

Otherwise your visitors will feel that undercurrent of being stressed out. They will experience how much shopping, cleaning, and cooking is a chore. Do you want that for the people you love? If not, then do what works for you.

Ol’ Wise One does. He is on the couch. It works for him.

Are your hands and palms itchy? Go to the casino, but just this once — I’m not saying to make it a habit, I’m saying “Enjoy yourself. Be light.”

And what about me on Thanksgiving? Oh, I have great plans. I will go to Starbucks get my latte and use their WiFi to do some social media. Then, I will head to my gym before they close their doors at noon. My church will be open, so I’ll go light a candle for everyone in my tribe.

The rest of my day will remain a mystery. That works for me.

What works for you on this holiday?

Dear God,

Thanksgiving is a day to take note of what we have and what we are grateful for. It is a tradition of getting together and celebrating. As life changes, we change, too.

Remind us each day to be grateful. Being grateful doesn’t just have to be on this day. Open our eyes to take note of what is in front of us and it is enough. Thank you.

Amen, Lola


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Thanksgiving Day ( wine begins at 11a.m.) Part 1

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It’s almost time for Thanksgiving and where will you be? Will you cook a 20-lbs turkey and a whole ham for your family and friends?

Though I hate to cook daily meals, I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I especially loved it when we had a bigger home and my boys were still close by. I still like to celebrate Thanksgiving at our condo, too.

It is a little smaller, but none the less, I look forward to inviting family and friends who don’t have a place to go to. This vision of mine has become a tug-of-war for many years between me and Ol’ Wise One.

He would just love to be on his couch with his remote control beside him. He is a content, easy to please man. His heart’s desire is to sit and watch hours of football with popcorn, chips, and salsa — all a finger tip away. Then around 2 pm, he turns his attention to gorging on the artery-clogging feast that is Thanksgiving: turkey breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, and gas-producing Brussels sprouts with bacon.

We are so opposite in how we like to celebrate the holidays that it is a miracle we are still married. Through the years, I have learned to have a “whatever” attitude with a smile and move on.

“Baby, Thanksgiving will be at my mom’s apartment,” I announce. “I will cook turkey at her home. You don’t have to come. You can watch football until you slip into a coma.”

“My kind of Thanksgiving,” he murmurs while looking at the TV. “Don’t get me wrong. I love your family, but I have a difficult time with the cold season and getting exposed to viruses when lots of people are around.”

Had I known his only desire is to watch football and eat with his remote control by his side on Thanksgiving, I would have said, “Nooooo, I’m not marrying you. I don’t care if that is a big shiny diamond.”

“Like I said, you can stay here and watch football . . . and do your fantasy football in the privacy of your own home.”

“Just how I imagined it,” he says.

Thinking about cooking at my mom’s apartment weighs me down. I feel the heaviness of ham and turkey on each hand as I transport them from my car parked one block away from her apartment door. Then, I think about having to make more exhausting trips to get the other six bags of groceries.

I would have to start cooking at early morning to have Thanksgiving dinner by 2 pm. With all this  I’ll need a glass of wine at 11 a.m. at the earliest to reduce my stress level that will rise and rise from all the cooking and cleaning I will need to do.

The more I think about this scenario, the more I ask myself, “Is this what I want? Will this get me in the zone to celebrate this holiday?”

“NO,” my inner voice flatly replies.

Like Ol’ Wise One having his fantasy football, I have a fantasy of my own. And it makes me tingle all over.

I imagine Thanksgiving at my condo. I invite family over and have my two-year-old grandson Napoleon running around doing silly toddler stuff and throwing temper tantrums. I wanted him to be here so we can have pumpkin pie and an Elmo-theme birthday cake for him. But he is not here.

Well, I have come so far. “It’s a fantasy, Lola,” I tell myself. “Move on.”

If I’m not looking forward to stress-inducing Plan A, then my vibe to the universe will be anxiety and dread. . . and I will contaminate everyone around me.  Not cool.

I bagged Plan A.
Part 2  tomorrow.


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You Are Unstoppable, Part 1

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May I find meaningful work and meaningful
activity in my life.
I desire to wake up each morning and feel
that I am used on behalf of something
glorious.        by M. Williamson

Who is in your S3SS?

S3SS stands for Super 3 Support System.

Having a super support system
was a reoccurring theme during
my cousin’s graduation ceremony.

In the early morning, I had
a throbbing behind-the-eyes migraine.

“Today is not the day to have anything wrong with me,” I told myself while I tossed and turned in bed.
“Man, I have to show up.
Plus, there’s food and wine afterwards. Can’t miss that.”

I managed to soothe my migraine and
I showed up.

It was an inspiring and motivating day. About 300 grads
completed their degrees in their chosen field. Each one had a moving story to share, but we couldn’t hear all 300 stories. We would have been there until midnight. Two candidates were selected to share how they made it.

LEAH HANSEN worked for the Department of Corrections for 25 years.
In order for her to move forward in her career, she had to get
her Bachelor’s degree. She had all sorts of excuses to not do it:

I’m a single mom. I work full time. Who will
care for my son if I’m doing homework? How can I afford
college? All these excuses were in the way and would not let her move from point
A to point B. But, she had a support system to help her.

Leah’s super three support system included her mom, stepdad,
and best friend and they told her:
“If you set your mind on doing something good–you can do the impossible.”
With this in mind she applied to college, got in, and pursued her degree.

With focus, determination, and
help from her family she now has a degree in criminal justice.

Dang! When I heard that I reached for a tissue.

We make excuses everyday, don’t we?

**********PART 2 tomorrow


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How Do You Show Your Love

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How do you show your love?

Do you cook a favorite dish to bring or share?
Do you surprise a special person in your life with their favorite wine?
Do you go pick up a friend and treat them to lunch?

Once a week, I pick up my mother and take her to
the bank or we go have a latte at Starbucks.
Then, I take her  to her favorite Asian market. For some reason
we always end up at the Asian market. It’s a pattern.
But, sometimes we switch it up. Whooppee!!!
We go the market first and THEN have a latte.

The Asian market is located on a corner with
tight parking  and it is always full. I hate it! I’m a snob. I like my cars to be
shiny, clean, and ding free. Just sayin’.

When we enter the store, Mother goes ahead while I
grab a Barbie doll-size  cart. My job is to  follow her and listen.

“Oh,  mangoes. Bery good . . . last week I buy one box,
bery sweet. Today, I get two box. I give to my kids.”

Oh, Holy Spirit, help me. My mother is now promoting mangoes.

Like their parking lot, the aisles in the Asian market drive me nuts.
When others want to pass me, I have to stand in place and not move so they
can zig-zag their own Barbie doll-sized cart past me.

It’s insane. Can’t the owners just make the aisles wider? Guess not.

“I cook for sister-in- law. She tells me she like fish so I cook.”

“Right on, Mother.”

“We go next week and deliver fish.”

I nod.

This can’t be my life. It is all a dream.

“Did you get everything you want at the store?”

“Tank you Lord. I remember soy sauce.
Almost forget.  You know,  I feel happy when I cook and give.”
She continues to talk to me as I merge onto the freeway.

After I dropped off my mother, I realized that what she said made sense.
She demonstrates her love by making favorite dishes for her loved ones.  Cooking tasty dishes is her way of being creative, and let me tell you—the lady CAN COOK.  There are dishes that I will eat every five years ONLY if my mother has prepared them. One is liver. Gross, you say. Well, like I said, every five years I’ll eat it and my mother has to be the chef—and there have to be lots of onions.

Try it, you just might like it.

After being with  my mother, I ended up asking myself how do I show my love?

Here is my list:
*To my husband, sometimes during our walks and when the mood strikes, I hold his hand and say “love you.”
*I show my love to my friends by buying their favorite wine and drinking it with them.  Or I text them to ask about their day.
* I show love to my boys by telling them I’m proud of them and by listening to what they have to say.
*I show my love to my mother by setting aside one day each week to spend time with her and help her with her errands like going to the Asian market.

What does your list look like?

Dear God,
Thank you for showing me how my mother shows her love to others.
I always learn something from her even if I don’t want to.

Situations like these teach us to be better  human beings,
taking us away from focusing only on ourselves and helping us to put our energy into showing our love for others.

Amen,

Lola


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TO BE 100 YEARS OLD IS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT. LET ME PROCESS THAT P.2

Buying the two ladies cards was a challenge. Not a lot of cards for centenarians at WalMart.

I ran into our hostess, Nadine, a week before the party while waiting for the elevator.
If you ever need a place for a board meeting or a Memorial Day senior citizen bingo party, she is the go-to-gal.

“What presents do I buy for two ladies that are 100 years old” I asked.
She shook her head in disbelief. Her eyes got big.

“Oh nooo . . . get a card, nothing else. When will they have time to use what you give them? I had a difficult time just scheduling this party because they could go at anytime. Then what?
I ordered a huge cake. Come to the party or I will come knock on your door and make you come! It’s an accomplishment to be 100, YOU KNOW!”

To be 100 years old is an accomplishment? Let me process that.

One of the guests, 86-year-old Pearl, used to live in our condo building, but she had three strokes last year. So, she is now in rehab ten miles from where we live.
At the party, she dressed in a white and gray pantsuit. Even though she is a widow, on her ring finger is a huge, sparkly rock.
Her coiffed hair is the color of salt.

“How are you doing?” I ask
“I’m doing well. My rehab place takes great care of me. But, I’m ready to go.” She takes a sip of her white wine.
“Oh, you mean ready to leave the party?”
“No, ready to leave earth.”
“Right, right. ” I say.
“Is that bad to say?” she asks.
“You can say anything you want. You are 86 years old.”

She turns around to another lady the same age and ask her a question.
No response.
She turns back to me. “It’s like my rehab place. No one can hear or see.”
I take a big gulp of my red wine and say a small prayer.
God, please. This cannot be my future.

A gathering was taking place in the kitchen. Violet was asked to share the secret to longevity.
“Exercise, eat right, and continue to do what you like to do. For me, I play the organ and give lessons.” She downs her drink. “Wine helps too.”

Talking to four other ladies close to 90 years old, I found a common theme.
With the exception of Pearl, they were never direct about it, but I got the feeling that they were all ready to leave–not the party–but Earth.

But, they each had energy and positive attitudes, too. They exuded this.
If I ever reach 100 years old, I want to have that kind of energy and positiveness.

We say good bye to everyone. We head to our condo.
“Wow, that was nice you came with me.” I say giving him
a kiss.  “How about a birthday party for you next month?”
“No..let’s not get carried away. I maxed out my social obligations for the year.”

Dear God,
With the right attitude and eating right, we can reach 100 years old like Violet
and Ellen.  Open our eyes to see that being as old as my condo building and
these guests of honor is a beautiful thing.  Amen.
Lola