Archive for the ‘Helen Colella, Author’ Category

Times Changing For Grandma

Friday, September 9th, 2011

The eVite arrived over a month ago. It read:  Patricia and Andy's baby girl is on the way, so let's help them prepare for the big day! IT'S A COUPLES SHOWER honoring Patricia, Andy and soon-to-be Charlotte!

I immediately responded, “YES, of course!”

Two weeks later, because I forgot to write it on my calendar, I checked the email again…Oh dear, I thought as I carefully re-read the invitation…I can’t go. It’s a COUPLES SHOWER and this grandmother is not part of a couple. So, I reposted my regrets.

I guess that sent everybody into a frenzy because, the cell phone hummed away, people wanted to know what was wrong, why I wouldn’t be there or if I needed a ride.

I explained my change of heart about attending. “It’s a “couples” event. And since I’m not part of a couple anymore and those who will be there would probably be married friends or dating friends of Patricia and Andy I shouldn’t go. I’d be out of place. I may be older, sometimes forgetful, but I’m not stupid. After all who wants grandma to be part of that party scene?” I proceeded to explain that back in my day…baby showers were usually for female family members and friends…the men were not included. Then added, “I assumed there would be another one…ladies only and I'd go to that one.”

Not the case at all! As this dilemma came to an end and after being reassured I had misunderstood the e-Vite, life is good!

“Oh, no.” I heard. “The intent of the word ‘couples’ is the contemporary approach to include everyone (spouses and dating partners) to come along to the party and celebrate.” Ahh…now I’m up to speed!  You can still refer to me as  older,  forgetful, but you can't call me old fashion...I'm hip to what's happening these days!

And I will be at the big event this weekend, to enjoy the celebration and help welcome Charlotte into the family.

Times are changing and, “Isn’t it great?”

Music & Memories

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

During the past three weeks my life has been filled with a variety of music events. Each one offered a unique sound, different venue and performers who entertained with style and class.

Every performance generated its own hand clappin’; foot stomppin’; body swayin’; up on your feet dancin’ and singin’ along music. They stirred up memories of my younger self, some unforgettable life experiences and jolted me into realizing just how quickly time passes. And because events occurred all within a short span of time, I experienced a moment that gave me pause to think that lead to questions: Was this a sign or omen that my time on earth was nearing an end? Was this a message from God? A coincidence? A joke?

Let me explain…

One night I listened to a concert given by IMAGINE – a Beatles Tribute Band. This group took me on a musical journey with costumes and Liverpool accents that transported me back in time. As happened, I again boarded a Yellow Submarine, walked down Penny Lane and revisited YESTERDAY. What made it special was that everyone was there: Eleanor Rigby, Sargent Pepper, Lucy, Walrus, Nowhere Man and Jude. How quickly the days of my early twenties flashed before my eyes bringing both smiles and tears with the memories.

On another evening I attended a performance of MY WAY: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO FRANK SINATRA. All I’ll say to this is, “Everybody, at every age, can relate to one of his songs, whether ones from the1940’s, the Rat Pack or beyond.” His music is fun, romantic and unforgettable. Tunes like Strangers in the Night; Fly Me to the Moon; Chicago; New York, New York; My Way and more were a delight to hear. They took my breath away and brought back memories from long ago that related to a different part of my life—a young, dating adult.  Once again my life flashed before me bringing both smiles and tears along with these memories.


Next came a night at the Battle of the Bands where local teens showcased their talents and age appropriate energy.  The five finalist groups took to the stage like real pros. They drummed, strummed and sang. They hopped, bopped, jumped and twirled to popular cover tunes and their own compositions.  I watched with interest and appreciation for their efforts, applauded with supportive vigor and experienced a night with the musicians of the future. This time my marriage and family were the focus because my oldest son participated in this same event so many years ago.  My life flashed before me bringing both smiles and tears along with special memories from this time in my life.

Okay, so what’s a body to think? Not much...flashes of memories came and went and I’m still here. Guess I shouldn’t think too hard, just enjoy the music and the memories, head off to Heaven Fest…a Christian music concert and Annie Get Your Gun show at the Dinner Theater, and hope for the best…music, memories and being here to post again next month.



Friday, June 10th, 2011

My recent change of residence has created a phobia within me…fear of cardboard boxes. Strange? Perhaps. But as I am living it, I can tell you, it’s my truth.

The definition of a phobia says it’s a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger to the person owning it, where panic, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, desire to get away are common symptoms.

The overflow of unpacked moving boxes hidden in my closet is driving me crazy.

I tiptoe past the door, but still hear their contents calling to me, begging for freedom

I’m filled with empathy.  But are they planning a coup?

A strange trembling overtakes me. I struggle to breathe yet feel the heart palpitations increase. I feel the fear and panic.  There’s only one solution…

I must flee, leave the house…run, run, run...go have fun!

Okay, I may be gone for the day, but who knows what will develop while I’m gone.

Is there a chance the shoemaker’s elf friends will take piety on me, drop by, unpack ‘all that stuff’ and find just the right place for each item?


I’m just going to have to confront my phobia head on if I want to conquer its hold on me.

OKAY! I can do this…but tomorrow

Moving Update

Friday, May 27th, 2011

With hope and humor in my heart, here's the scoop on the move:
Boxes, boxes everywhere.
They must be opened, do I dare?
A surprise or present? Not so true.
Just lots of work for me to do.
Boxes, boxes all about,
Stacked in tiers and rows no doubt.
I must get busy, get work done.
When will I have fun in the sun?
It's finding new places for all my stuff,
and that, my friend, is kind of tough.
I promise, I promise, that's my vow
To empty the boxes, just not now.

Friends to the Third Degree

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Last night we went out to dinner at Adelita's (Heiditown gives a great review with photo) here in Loveland. The food is good and the atmosphere is more “Little Mexico in My Neighborhood” than anything else. Located off the main thoroughfares but still easy to find in the downtown area, it is a place where the locals meet 'n greet.

Our gathering was an impromptu kind of thing. Our friend Pat's grandson Robert was in town, which was as good an excuse as any for a night out. Pat called us, said Jan was coming, too, and so was Bo. So I called Helen and Phyl, who sometimes join us when we play cards and chickenfoot or Mexican Train dominoes. We know Trudy likes Mexican food, so we asked her to join us.

We sat in no particular order, filling in seats around the long table as we happened to follow one another in from the porch. It was a noisy, laughter-filled dinner. At one point Pat leaned over to me and said smiling, “Just listen to the cacophony around this table!” With all the side conversations going on, we were indeed sitting in the midst of some rather boisterous dialogues. Discussions ranged from who was doing what to what, to mixed drinks or wines we liked, which shots were lethal (Starry Nights!) and specific desserts not to be missed. Which led to ordering 3 desserts (Flan, Key Lime Pie and Fried Ice Cream) and enough spoons so we could pass around each yummy dish.

I looked around the table, eyes resting one by one on the familiar faces, and pondered.

Let's see … going clockwise … there sat Pat, whom I'd met nearly 16 years ago when her dear friend Jan was my boss. Pat and Jan's children, who are now sending their children off to college and beyond, grew up together. Trudy and her first husband knew my husband and his first wife when their children were small. I met Phyl through Colorado Authors' League … or was it a mutual writer-friend? Robert is Pat's grandson, who stopped here on his way to California, and we know him from previous visits. Helen … well, I've known Helen forever, and we became reacquainted through mutual colleagues and writers. She and Phyl are members of the Weekly Writers' Workshop that sits UnderTheCuckooClock each week. Fred is my best friend and partner in business and life, and Bo is Jan's one-door-down neighbor. Their children grew up together, too.

As it ended up, Jan wasn't feeling well, so Bo took take-out back to her. We all signed the top of the take-out box so she'd feel more a part of our little gathering.

I always get a kick out of seeing people who reside side-by-side in my heart meeting one another and forming their own bonds. Facebook calls it “friends of friends.” Linked In calls it “second or third degree connections.”

I call it simply living the good life.

Have House Will Move!

Friday, March 18th, 2011
Been out house hunting for most of week. Hard work!
Plenty to see, lots of info to process/remember(prices and locations) and hard to make that right decision.
Finding older homes need mucho renovations which can be costly thus equal to cost of some new construction.
What's a buyer to do? It a real dilemma!

So many helpful suggestions coming my way and I have people lighting candles, praying and projecting positive thoughts as well as looking for places for me to move to.

Advice includes:

Be patient. ìÖyouíll walk into a place and know itís the ONE.î

Spend more and buy new because renovations on the older home can be costly. ìTrust me, if it looks like it needs a little, it actually needs a lotÖif it looks like it needs nothing, it needs a little.î

Cheap is best.

Rent until youíre sure.

Go with your gutÖif it seems perfect for you, it is.

Move back home to NJ and come back to FL. Hmmm.

Get a condo; no work.

This project will proceed knowing itís life changing and that I will survive this ìperfect stormî and find the best place for me. Viva Las Residence!


Look What the Wind Blew In

Monday, January 10th, 2011


Look what the wind blew in early one fine morning.

It brought the month of January and came without a warning.

Temperatures drop, I shiver and shake.

A crystal glaze forms over the lake.

Snowflakes dance, fall from the sky.

Snowdrifts gather, ever so high.

Icicles shimmer without any sound.

Friendly snowmen stand jolly and round.

Jackets, mittens, knitted caps too

Snow boots, rosy cheeks, so much to do:



Ice Skating,



Snow forts,

Snow angels,


Hop, skip; jump, roll; slide and run.

Crisp, chilly weather means outdoor fun!

Laughter and cheers everyone can hear

Welcoming in a Happy New Year!

Thirty-one days, a wonderland of snow,

January passed quickly, until the wind began to blowÖ

A Christmas Experience

Monday, December 20th, 2010

*Last night I attended a Winter Solstice Celebration. It was a delightful gathering. We dined, wined and shared a warmth and willingness to embrace the moment and the meaning of light in our lives. †I left with an awareness of camaraderie and a peaceful heart.

*This morning I awoke to a sorrowful email from a friend. He wrote:

Lighting the tree? Christmastide?

Not for me.

Long gone, the brother. So weepy, the friends.

*My heart was saddened by his heartfelt outpouring. Even though Iím aware of the negative aspects this time of year possesses for many people, I was shocked and surprised to hear my friendís disclosure. I never knew. Of course I sent an email in response. I wrote:

The light of the season is within heart.

Thatís what people see, hear and feel from you.

The tree of life blossoms.

Dry your tears, friend.

Your light shines!

Blessings and Merry Christmas.

*Yes this is the season of joy, giving, love and peace and I do appreciate its being and itís true meaning. And in the words of† Tiny Tim Cratchit from Dickens Christmas Carol, ìGOD BLESS US, EVERY ONE!î

Eyes Wide Shut

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

When my husbandís health problems escalated to where he needed intensive medical care, a friend suggested he contact the Veteransí Administration.

ìAs a U. S. Navy Vet,î he said, ìyou should be eligible for health related benefits.î

Eddie inquired, and indeed discovered that because of his military experience he qualified for a basically cost free health program. One that provided an array of medical services, which, because of his personal needs, turned out to be extensive.

On several occasions, Eddie had to undergo high tech diagnostic testing and treatment that led to specialized medications to operations. He also needed follow-up well-care visits and numerous, lengthy hospital stays. Along with these services he encountered countless skilled and compassionate doctors, nurses, specialists and a highly trained general staffóevery one unique and unforgettable.

In addition, he made and cultivated friendships with other servicemen with their own physical difficulties, some of which seemed far worse then his; at least to me.

During the first few visits to the V.A. Hospital, I must admit to being overwhelmed, embarrassed and frightened at the sights I encountered. It was here, my eyes were opened and I became exposed to the effects of war on both men and women of all ages in a way I had never could have anticipated or imagined.

Now I thought I was as patriotic as the next person was. Didnít I sing the patriotic songs and praise the vets for their efforts? Didnít I send donations to the appropriate organizations and attend local parades to honor our soldiers? Didnít I hang my flag out to acknowledge them on Veterans Day and Memorial Day and wear handmade trinkets to show my support?

Yet nothing prepared me for the experience of being in the company of so many who had gone through so much.

I felt humbled by my lack of real world knowledge and the obvious ignorance I held about the veteranís who served our country. I questioned what those of us, and I believe that statistic is high, are not truly aware of what they experience for our benefit.

History ìteachesî us about cause, effect and outcome of war. Television and specialized websites show us the weaponry, destruction, and fatal statistics. News media personalities and politicians analyze the pros and cons of war.

Yet what we donít see, hear or learn much about is the human experience of those who actually do the fighting, how soldiers are affected, how the aftermath changes their lives.

Old-timers from World War ll and Korea, my contemporaries from Vietnam and the youngsters from the Gulf War at the Denver, CO and Cheyenne, WY V.A. Hospitals opened my eyes to a different world; one I never realized existed is such a significant abundance.

The dramatic impact of wheel chair bound vets; single-limb and multiple-limb amputees and long-term bedridden patients whose ailments are not obvious struck an unsuspecting emotional response. I never knewÖ

And those who lost lifeís luster and wander in search of themselves their dreams and the life they once knew, jolted my sense of appreciation for life. I never really knewÖ

Most of these Vets were not ranked as heroes. They were instead regarded as victims of a tragedy during war maneuvers.

Becoming part of this world showed me exactly how little I actually knew of the consequences of war and the sacrifices others gave and suffered for a freedom I took for granted. Itís then I realized how much I didnít understand the far-reaching effects on, not only them, but upon their families and friends. Itís then I realized that despite how their ailments came about, they were, indeed, all heroes who served our country because they believed their efforts would impact the worldÖmake it better place in which we could all live.

I'm thankful for my husbandís care, having my eyes opened, being filled with a profound gratitude for every vetís service to our country. I also have a deeper respect and sense of the meaning of veteran, patriotism, freedom and making the world a better place in which to liveÖone day, one action, one person at a time.

On the Road With Su Baru

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Who is Su Baru? and Where has she been?

Hooked at first sight. The flaming red head stood out in the crowd of her peers. Her classic style drew me to her. She became the ward of my household. So lovely to look at, delightful to drive, she was all Iíd ever need. On the home-front she made quite an impression, so much so she was welcomed with offers of travel.

Her first adventure took her from the eastern plains of Colorado across the Rocky Mountains to the western slopes. ìLoved the mountain towns and the west-ness of Durango.î

Next, she was lured to a trip to the wild, wild, west territory of Denver for a few weeks. She says, ìIt's a nice place to visit, so much history and so many tourist things to do. Just a little too busy for me.î

Then came the short day trips up and down the Front Range and the cities and towns along I-25. †She attended many soccer games but I overheard her say, ìI prefer the serenity of the plains known as Evans.

She sometimes wondered if she were homeless...but alas she found her way.

Right now she's†reacquainting herself with parking space #4 on Ponderosa Court, and seems quite content. It's going to take her a few days to adjust to†her "old" schedule but she promises to bring her driver to visit writing colleagues every week possible.