Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Secret to Life

Let me just give credit up front for this blog to my husband Slurpico. He sat on the couch today and in his college professor voice said to me, "I will share with you something I learned from the nuns in school." Here is the sum of this conversation.

You cannot chase success. You must be what it is that God intended you to be. If God intended you to be spinach, you are placed here as a spinach seed. It is up to you to figure out what your purpose is and seek the sunlight and nutrition to make it happen. If you do not know what that is, you must pray with fervor that God's will be done. It is a major tenet of the Lord's Prayer. If you pursue success for the sake of success, it will not happen. People who gain recognition did so because they have succeeded in becoming whom God designed them to be.

The roses that bloomed over the archway this year outside our back door were placed here for a specific purpose. They were meant to be roses, if only for a moment. A thousand years and one second are the same to God. The roses bloomed and satisfied God's destiny for them. They did what they were meant to do. It sounds simple but it makes total sense.
Johnny, congratulations and God Bless. You produced one heck of a crop of spinach.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Lullaby From A Saint

As far as I know, Johnny is Catholic. He respects many religions, but I believe his family is Catholic. He crosses himself frequently in competition. He seems to be connecting with his God. In honor of this I must share my own experience with this subject. You see, as crazy as it sounds, I have an angel attached to me. I am speaking of St. Therese of Lisieux. She is only one of three women in the two thousand year history of the church to have attained the honor of "Doctor of the Church." She entered a cloistered order at the age of fifteen and died of tuberculosis in 1897 at twenty four. She left behind many brilliant spiritual writings, and vowed to rain a shower a flowers on the earth upon her death.

When you say the following prayer to Therese, she will send you a rose. It can come from anywhere.
St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden,
and send it to me with a message of love.
Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore,
and tell him I love him each day more and more.

I have received magical roses. My favorite of these is a lullaby...a lullaby from a saint. I received it last winter. I was off work and cooped up in the house. I said to myself, "How can Therese send a rose? I never leave the living room, or even the couch for that matter."

My husband, Slurpico, unaware of my prayer, dug out some antique sheet music from the basement. He had purchased a huge box of it at a flea market twenty years before. Out of nowhere he dragged up a particular song. Lo and behold, it had a huge, beautiful blue rose on the cover. He set it up on the piano, five feet from my face as I reclined on the leather sofa.

I asked him what is was. He said he did not know. He was just looking for something new to play. Since Therese was French, I said, "It is French, you can be sure." So I looked it up. Not only was the composer French, he lived in the late 1800s, and died of TB also, around the same time she did. She was only uncloistered in the world for fifteen years and she would have heard this music. It is called Berceuse by composer Benjamin Godard. Unbelievably it means, "Angels Guard Thee." It is beautiful. Three million people visit her shrine each year. She must do this kind of thing often.

She is always with me and I am very devoted to her. Johnny, if you like flowers, Therese is waiting to hear from you.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Downright Biblical Sometimes

Despite his athletic prowess, my husband Slurpico has had more surgeries than anyone I know. He plods on, going to work when most people would be in bed.

One morning he dressed in a suit and tie and headed for the morning commute with his arm in a sling. As he was backing out of the driveway he heard a commotion down the street. He looked toward the rumbling noise and thought he saw a runaway horse and buggy coming his way.

We live on the corner of a busy highway and he was concerned the horse would ignore the stop sign and dash into heavy traffic. So he exited his car and ran into the road in a gallant attempt to halt it.

Only when he was in the middle of the road, straddling the yellow line, did he realize it was no horse and buggy. He had put himself directly in the path of two massive Belgian draft horses. They each weighed over a ton and were headed his way at top speed. They were yoked together and had made a berserk attempt to flee a nearby Amish farm. As they approached he could see their nostrils flaring. Their eyes were as large as soft balls and were rolling around wildly. They were like beasts from the Old Testament. He naturally feared he would be mowed down right then and there. Nevertheless, not wanting them to collide with a semi truck barrelling down the main highway, he stood his ground. He put out his hand like Moses parting the Red Sea and yelled YO!!!

And just like that they stopped on a dime. They fell to the ground like Eore. The skid marks are still out there in the road. Slurpico breathed a sigh of relief, and then pondered what to do next. The horses stood up and stared at him, and then looked at each other. They proceeded to do a little dance. The horses stepped to the right, and Slurpico moved to block. They moved the left, and Slurpico tapped danced with them.

The Amish farmer, a stocky man with a red beard, ran up. His children rolled in on scooters. The horses were tangled together and were spooked, but the man rounded them up.

He asked Slurpico, "Are you a horse wrangler?" He replied that indeed he was not. The man asked him how he stopped them. He told him he just put out his hand and yelled YO!!! The farmer stood amazed and shared that he is the only Amishmen in the area who uses that command to stop his horses. One of his daughters said, "Praise be to God!"

Slurpico got in his car and went to work. Just another day in Lancaster. Come on home Johnny. It gets downright biblical here sometimes. We can use you-with your ability to walk on water and all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Land of Everything

Johnny's mother shared with me at Chelsea Piers that he would like to return to Lancaster someday and build a house here. This left me to ponder the age old question, WHY? Johnny can socialize in Soho, eat caviar in Russia, and storm Paris like he is the next Josephine Baker. He can go anywhere and do anything. Why would he want to come back here? I understand the "there is no place like home" phenomenon, but being from Detroit, I have pretty much gotten past it.

The answer did not take long to come to me. I ride my bike through the Amish farms on the back roads, most often at dusk. I see THIS. (Note: It is difficult to take pictures here, as it is just my neighbors living their lives, so many of the items in the blog are stock photos.)

I also often ride on the back of Slurpico's motorcycle and that is when it came to me. Lancaster is a study in having alot of things going on at once. When we ride, we share the space not only with cars, trucks, and bicycles, but also with the Amish in buggies, on scooters, and on rollerblades. There is a small airport nearby, so low flying planes are also part of the mix. The fields are plowed by draft horses. They often cross the road, stopping traffic-whatever sort it may be.

The economy here is widely varied. It is supported by farming, manufacturing, services, and tourism. People are engaged in doing alot of everything. We have art galleries and theater. Even the Amish homesteads display this cacaphony. They will often house cows, sheep, mini horses, chickens, pigs and horses in the same pasture, all moseying about at once.

The Amish farms have a certain feng shui. They look as if they have been groomed by hand, acres and acres of land- because of course they have been. Their homes are neat as a pin. I will put it this way-the Amish women do windows. I can see why Johnny would like it here. There is no place in the U.S. quite like it.

But I suspect Johnny may love it here for many of the simple reasons I do. The sunsets are beautiful. You can hear the horses clopping at all hours. In the summer the back roads are lined with purple wildflowers, and the scent of honeysuckle wafts into your nose. The grass is lush and green.

Of course the coolest thing about Lancaster is that Johnny Weir is from here. Let us know when you're back Johnny. We'll meet you at the Belvedere.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Slurpico Revealed

I often write about my husband Slurpico simply because my blog is about Lancaster, and he is one of the more interesting things in Lancaster. People have written to me, curious as to whether I will post a picture, or if he will remain a mythical figure like Maris on Frasier, or the guy who lives next to Tim the Tool Man Taylor. In deference to the amount of time I spend ogling Johnny's athleticism while my poor hubby bangs pots and pans together to get my attention, I am opening the curtain on Slurpico. (Please forgive my indulgence) He is the Penn State Powerlifting coach and he competes with his own team (unheard of-he is more than twice their age).
Here he is squatting 500 pounds. That is simply an a-- load of weight. He is not big, nor is he young. He does not take performance enhancing drugs. He trains like an animal in the garage. Johnny if you need a strength coach...we are right here. Just sayin.'!video/video.php?v=426048286884&ref=mf#!/video/video.php?v=426048286884&ref=mf

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Signature With A Flourish

In the weeks leading up to the Chelsea Piers trip, I excitedly prepped for it like I was Marlo Thomas heading off to conquer the big city. My husband Slurpico, however, worried terribly that I would meet some horrible fate in the train station like the little Amish boy in the movie "Witness." Nevertheless, he dropped me off with a kiss and two little airport sized bottles of Hennessy and off I went.

I rode the train from Lancaster to New York. Whenever I thought of the prospect of meeting Johnny, I had the insane urge to laugh my head off. I managed to stifle it, not wanting to alarm the other passengers hurling down the tracks with me at eighty five miles an hour in a tin can.

Several fans met up at 4:30 in a Chelsea Piers restaurant. Imagine our delight when Johnny's mother and his long suffering aunt showed up to greet us. Patti was so warm and real. I told her I am from Lancaster, and she was happy to share that he wishes to build a house here someday (that creaky, swishing noise you are hearing now is the sound of my fingers crossing). I also thanked her, because her son has given joy to alot of people.

Having left Patti to her swarm of admirers, I made my way into the Sky Rink and lined up early. I could see Johnny in the rink through the doors. He was in the stands, talking to a camera. When he came through the doors and passed us in the hallway, you could hear a collective OOORRHGHGPHHHH!!!!

The doors opened and we took our seats, which were front and center. They even had little green cushions for us. The show started and I was happy to see that the Ice Theater had choreographed wonderful, sophisticated performances for their skaters. New York was a terrific venue. The elderly lady in the red hat, sitting just below me, was dressed oh so adorably like a society maven.

I have always been a fan of figure skating, Olympic competition in particular. But I have to say, I have never seen anything like the programs he skated at Chelsea Piers. "Heartbroken" was so artistic it took my breath away and left the audience in tears. It was absolutely the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, live or otherwise.

"Bad Romance" appears to have evolved and has now surpassed "Pokerface" in my opinion. The drama of his EYES stopped my heart. His program bio stated that he is "one of the most avant garde performers of his generation." Exactly. I highly recommend purchasing a copy of the performance available through the Ice Theater of New York. He gave it his all here, head tosses and all.

Ironically (in lieu of Misfit Mimes cognac and cigarette blog) after the show, I joined several other fans outside, bummed a cigarette, and slugged down one of those aforementioned bottles of Hennessy.

After a frantic search for my reception ticket (my tote was full of cosmetics, toothpaste, ice skates, etc...) I made it in and waited for Johnny. He was mobbed. When I had my chance I said, "Johnny sweetie?" I called him sweetie. I told him I was from Lancaster and he smiled and said "Oh!!" I told him about the nightmare flowers (the gift card was safe in the hands of his mom). He did receive the diva bitch mirror in Bensenville. He was kind enough to sign my skate. I told him "There is only Gordeeva & Grinkov and you." I also said that his hometown does love him, to which he replied by giving me a hug. I kissed his cheek (yes his face is soft).

He was so patient and accomodating. I had the impression that this family is one who gives of their very bone marrow. At the end of the night, we made our way out at the same time they did. I stood near the garage exit, so as not to crowd them as they entered his car. They appeared to be exhausted. They saw me there as they drove out and were kind enough to wave goodbye.

I enjoyed meeting the other fans, and seeing him live, at this time, in that place, was an experience I will never forget. If you have not seen him skate live, you have to do it, and you need to do it NOW.

On the return trip on the Amtrak Keystone, a man in a business suit, awaiting his departure, asked, "Who signed your skate?" I said "Johnny Weir." He replied, "Now that's a signature with a flourish!" Totally.

I returned to Lancaster without incident. Slurpico was relieved he did not need to rescue me from any precarious situations.

Thank you to Johnny and Patti for everything. There is a parcel next to my house on which you can build. My neighbor has a house on it right now, but we can work on that.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Certain Magic

My husband, whom I will affectionately refer to as "Slurpico" for the purposes of this blog, has a certain magic. Life is just way more interesting when he is present. Perhaps it's because he is crazy, and it is God's way of making it up to him. His ancestors are from central Italy. I am convinced he is a direct descendant of some insane gladiator; one who managed to not be eaten by tigers.

Despite his rugged exterior, in the first year of our marriage I noticed something odd. He reminds me of Mickey Mouse. I think it is the posture, body language, and his "can do" attitude. I am now enamored of all things Mickey. I have often wondered if childbirth was difficult for Slurpico's mother, given his large ears.

Slurpico is very athletic, so when I expressed a desire to resume my childhood passion for figure skating, he was very supportive. Lancaster has two terrific ice rinks, and I enjoy them both. The Lancaster Ice Rink has a figure skating club. They perform shows, which is wonderful for the kids there. In 2007, they put on their own "Disney on Ice." I happened to notice that they had NO MICKEY. I decided this just could not be! So I took the bull by the horns, or the mouse by the ears really, and rented a Mickey suit. I offered my services, and miracle of all miracles, I was scheduled to skate the part of Mickey.

The Mickey suit arrived from Philadelphia. I examined it, and satisfied everything was as it should be, I decided to enjoy a relaxing shower. While I was so indisposed, Slurpico came home and saw the suit. A few minutes later, I could hear him fire up his Harley Davidson outside. I probably don't need to tell you the outcome.
Our neighbor, who bears a strong resemblance to a "Far Side" character (think middle aged, bespectacled, pear shaped man), was standing in front of his house at the time. From what I understand, Slurpico chased him across his front lawn. He says it was difficult to shift with fuzzy, yellow feet, but he returned unscathed and a good time was had by all. Er...well...we had a good time. I cannot speak for our neighbor. And I DID skate the part of Mickey in the Lancaster Disney on Ice. It was a dream come true.

Johnny dreams of having his own spectacular ice show. When that happens, watch for my resume Johnny. I have animal suit experience.

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