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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunset- BFF

There is nothing I love more than photographing sunsets. One of my favorite things to do. I hope you enjoy.



Young Love-Formal First Person

Billy and I adored my dad's sauna and pool. We would sit for an hour or more in the sauna then jump into the pool at the Sea Horse Condominium.  We would wait for our lips to get real hot and wet. The kisses in that sauna were something of heaven. The feel of his lips touching mine so softly still make me shiver today. I remember the smell of the sauna coals. Meditative, simple and sexy were these weekly visits to the sauna for Billy and I. I bathed in the smell of his breathe. Clean, sensual and soft were his lovely kisses. I long for those days that I could touch him, feel him, embrace him.

1991 at Hazeltine golf course, those days of kissing in the sauna  would be gone forever. I look back and remember the sheer pain I felt when I heard the news. " A 27 year old man from Spring Park, MN was hit by lightening and died at the hospital after lightening went through his body." I remember shaking when I heard the news. I had felt the loss spiritually and intuitively before I even heard it broadcast over the TV News Stations.

That was a year of deep trauma, agony and loss. I am glad 1991 is over and I can now look back on the good times and the agape love Billy and I shared together. I can see his smiling face dipping down to kiss me still. I love you William John Fadell.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two Days Ago-GBE2

Two days ago as I rocked in my car I had to giggle. Here I am a 49 year old single mom of two, rocking out like I am in High School. As I peered in the mirror I thought, that girl is not me. I am young about 25 years old, thin, and beautiful. OK. So I am not ugly by any means, but I sure look different than I did back in the day.

For some reason, I was so conscious of this very moment in time. Feeling happy, exuberant, content. Now those are adjectives I would not have used as a young gal. Seriously, I had a good looking male staring at me because I was so happy listening to my music in the car. I just smiled at him like, "It is what it is."

I want to always live "In The Moment." I really think that is why I am so grateful each day. I thank God for my life, my kids and family, my home and my freedom. I love life.

I wrote this for my writing group GBE2- Two days Ago

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Journey

I cry out for his love he withdraws.  I see him leave often for trips that don't make any sense. He lies about things that don't even matter. I have hope and want our journey to change. It does not. He rushes out the door often. I cry, I yearn, I pine for love, any love. 

I worry about what is really happening. Is it me? Am I not lovable? What did I do to cause this? I try therapy with him. To no avail. He lies. Doesn't care. Laughs at my want of common courtesies. No empathy within him.

He pulls my arm. Throws things in my direction when I don't have enough toilet paper in the bath. Rushes at me when the guest room closet is left open. Screams obscenities that feel like darts into my soul when I shop and buy bath bubbles for myself.

Help me. I am falling down, deep, into a dark hole. Who am I. Then a burst of energy rises from my soul. I have to look. What must I do after 15 years? Pretend, just survive, recoil from life's beauty or die? I must walk tall for my kids even though I feel like a glassed over manikin.

I smell the leather as I unzip the bag. God tells me to look inside and accept.  Pressed shirts, primped pants, everything looks too perfect. Dear God, hold me as I stare breathless into Hell.

S & M Toys & Videos......................................

Blog hop # 52 Journey---- This is non-ficton unfortunately about a dear friend of mine.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Volunteers Rock Perspectives & Build Dressers

On June 14, 2012, nearly 375 Nash Finch Company employees from the Edina, MN headquarters lent a helping hand for a second year in a row to many Twin Cities nonprofit organizations. Through the 2nd Annual “Helping Hands in the Community Day,” Nash Finch provided more than 2,300 hours of volunteer time to 16 participating nonprofit organizations.  And as you can surmise Perspectives was one of the lucky agencies, with 23 employees coming in the rain to assemble 37 dressers for our Supportive Housing Program.

Perspectives & Nash Finch have a long history.  Our Family Center is housed in the old headquarters and their foundation has been supporting us since 2007.  This year, in addition to bringing 23 amazing volunteers, they also brought a $30,000 check from the NFC Foundation!  Thank you Nash for continuing to support our local community.
If you would like to volunteer at Perspectives, contact our Director of Volunteers, Laura Rogers at lrogers{at}perspectives-family{dot}org or call 952.405-2516 to discuss our volunteer opportunities.

Laura Rogers (Author)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer-Writers Post Blog Hop #51

Summer is my favorite time of year. My writing group asked us to write anything that comes to mind on the theme- summer. I wait all year long for this season in MN. I am not a fan of MN winter. There is so much to do in the summer in MN.

Just yesterday I was out on our beautiful Lake Minnetonka boating and jet skiing. I was in heaven. I grew up on the Lake.  I am most at peace on the lake. Some of my favorite things to do in the summer are to frequent music festivals, relax on my hammock, watch the birds that come to my feeders. Just two days ago, my bestie and I were sitting on the stoop talking and a humming bird came to drink from one of my vine flowers.

I adore sitting in my living room in the evening listening to the frogs sing in our pond behind our home. Nature gives me such calm. I walk each day and observe as much as I can in nature as I do so. I take many photos on my walks and on my Sunday Drives.

I grew up living on a choice piece of property on Lake Minnetonka. We lived in Spring Park Bay and were accustomed to waking up each morning to a luxurious dip in the lake. Our summers were packed with swimming, boating, tennis at our court, and walking or running around the point. We lived on Casco Point which was a circle around the lake. It was such a nice way to grow up. I look back now and know I took it for granted.

Married for thirteen years, my ex and I had a lovely cabin up North in Stone Lake Wisconsin. Again our lake front property was such a blessing. We boated, jet ski'ed, played water volley ball and had many guests up to visit. We sold the property after the divorce which was the right thing to do, but I do miss it. I wanted to keep my kids tradition and friendships we made there strong. Each year I take my kids back up to where our cabin was located and we stay in a beautiful resort that our friends we met up there years ago, own.

Summer is definitely packed full of experiences here in Minnesota. I like the change of seasons, but I am so partial to summer. Here is to a lovely summer for all.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sandra's Writers Workshop Hop- Hot Hot Hot

I smelled him before he even entered the room. Face turning red, hot feelings over my body, I knew I was drooling. Sitting in my chair waiting impatiently for him to enter the room I tried my best to contain myself.

Cowboy hat on his head, he looked calm, peaceful, and ready to be here in the moment. Clip Clop Clip Clop into the room he swaggered. I took a deep breath and let his presence sink into my being. Standing in front of all of us he talked.

The album inspired by life he stated. Rough times and pain brings in awareness. I hope you all find the album peaceful and moving. I am entranced by the tone of his voice. I'm never going to forget this moment as long as I live. I listen as he plays for all of us in this small room called a studio.

I could die today and feel content. I feel hot since he is so hot.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The City That Doesn't Sleep Part II

"The City that doesn't sleep" has made an indelible impact upon my heart. As promised, I will now write about  my wonderful adventure starting where I left off.  The flight to New York was almost perfect. Just a little bit of turbulence as we started our descent into New York. Like Linda, my twin sister and I said, "We will take it for team, John Mayer."  So here Linda and I are, for the first time in our life, landing in NYC. The great radio station, Cities 97 had called my name on the radio one morning at 8:20 A.M. I had actually won the John Mayer Fly Away to NYC.  As the winner, I could invite one person to come with me.  We would be guests at a private listening party with 15 other major city winners and their guests. I of course brought my identical twin sister with me. We would be put up in a chic boutique hotel called the Hudson Hotel just steps from Central Park. The flight and hotel would be paid for by Sony/Columbia Records.

Let me remind you about the powerful feelings  my twin sister Linda and I had for the city of New York and why. My father John Anthony Rogers lived in New York with some of his best buddies back before he met and married my mother. They all went into business together in New York but disbanded quickly.  My father John and twin sister and I were quite close, so close we called ourselves "The Three Musketeers."  He had shared with us at lunch one day at Lord Fletchers on the Lake that on the top of  his bucket list was to take Linda and I to New York before his death.  His ill health prevented this trip from ever coming to fruition, but we never forgot how excited my father would get just talking about it and how much he felt we would fall in love with the city.  I so miss my father, but knew some day my twin and I would visit that city and feel the love of dad there with us and enjoy the love of this city.

We start out our trip on Wednesday morning at 6:15 A.M. Our great family friends, Jim and Carol come pick us up and take us to the Minneapolis Airport. We hug and say our goodbyes and thank yous and walk fervently to our lane at American Airlines. Linda and I choose not to participate in baggage claim and had packed smart so as to miss any hassles over luggage.  Not having flown now since 2001, both Linda and I are shocked at the easy and techy way we sign in. Instead of dancing up to the counter, now one signs in at a kiosk and punches in flight details via computer.  Giggling and walking ever so fast now, Linda and I rush in ecstasy down to our departure Gate E.  Once there, we notice we are one of the first ones at the gate. Camera in hand, we start our memory photo book and click click click away. As bloggers, we know this trip is a bloggers heaven.

We board the American Airline airplane at approximately 9:05 A.M. We are pleasantly surprised as we are seated up front in  the fifth row. I take the window seat and Linda sits to my right in the aisle. We easily pack our one large garment bag in the over head and know we did the right thing. Only in New York one night we could pack lightly and smart and feel good about it.

Relaxing and joyous was our flight to New York, La Guardia Airport.  Camera happy as bloggers, Linda and I took many pictures from the air. The bloody Mary we had on the way helped set the tone for the trip of a life time. There it is, we could see the city scape from the air and squealed in delight. "We are in New York the pilot exclaimed over the speaker. Temperature in New York today, 72 degrees and partly cloudy. Enjoy your trip." As we landed we were like kids viewing the sign welcoming us to New York. "Here we are Linda, in the "Big Apple."  We both looked at each other at the same time grabbed hands and made our happy face.

It was a whirl wind walking into La Guardia Airport amongst the hustle and bustle of the travelers. The energy in New York even at the airport was palpable. Being the alpha twin that I am, I told Linda to wait at the ground transportation area and I would call our hotel for directions to our hotel for the Taxi Driver. Hotel address in hand, I ran to the street where Linda was waiting for me. The taxi line was long, but seemed to go quickly. As we waited we watched young teens skate board in front of us.  Now in the front of the line, we scored a cab. Our driver ran out, grabbed our bag and introduced himself. "Hi, I am John your taxi driver." Linda and I choked a bit on that one because we knew our dad was letting us know he was here with us. Talk about the perfect cab driver for two new visitors. John pointed out all the landmarks,stores, vendors and gave us tips on how to best get around New York. We shared that we were here to see John Mayer and he seemed genuinely excited for us.  We also told him of our dad and how he always wanted to take us here. He agreed with our philosophy that this trip was meant to be.

Passing Central Park as we approached our hotel was surreal. Not anything Linda and I ever pictured. It was a park with multitudes of people going every which way. We told John we could actually feel the excitement and energy as if it were a living thing. "Just get ready girls, there is a lot more of this to experience." We parted ways and told him he made this trip from the airport to our hotel a delight.

Here we were, at the Hudson Hotel. A chic uptown boutique style hotel. As you walk in the diminutive door, a door man opens it for you and leads you up to the escalator. You step on the escalator and walk up into the hotel that looks as if you are outside. Quite a bizarre way to get into a hotel, but I love it, Linda loves it and we are up for the challenge, The New York Challenge. "Watch out New York, here come the Minnesota Twins."

As I checked Linda and I into the hotel, we were astounded by the artwork and architecture of the building. Each space of the interior had a story and artistry beyond our wildest imagination. The colors, lines, images were interesting to the point that I wanted to do research why they built this building as they did. That is a story for later. They definitely had a rhyme to their reason.

We head up the elevator to our room on the 16th floor. I had researched the Hotel before we went to NYC. Guests  feedback was to stay in the rooms at a higher level so as not to hear the loud city noise. We were impressed with the room. Clean, neat, diminutive and efficient. They tried to make the rooms feel as if you were in a cabin on a cruise ship. Charming indeed, we thought it was brilliant. The hallways also made you feel as if you were on a ship and walking down ship corridors.

Settling in our "home away from home" Linda and I turned the flat screen video TV on the wall to music. Unpacking was easy and left plenty of time for us to go tour the hotel. John Mayer came on over the music station and we sang and danced in our hotel room. After touring the hotel, we decided to go to the 15th floor to the well known hotel terrace that looked over the Hudson River.

Charming as the terrace was, Linda and I had to stay on task. Our goal here in NYC was to attend the John Mayers' Private Listening Party. Back to the hotel after venturing off, we showered up, put our faces on and high tailed it to the curb in front of the hotel where, "Yes, Linda and I hailed a cab." Not too bad for our first time and jumping in quick, we were off to see John Mayer. Peace, love and John Mayer we said as we told the cabby where to go, no pun intended.  Greenwich Village please and fast as we are going to see John Mayer. Wow, I was fitting in just perfectly in NY. Lippy and brusk felt fun in this energetic city. My twin and I nick named each other on that very cab ride. She named me Samantha from the show Sex In The City and I named her Carrie.

 The cab driver had no idea where we were going. I said "Are you kidding me, we are from Minnesota and you are asking me to tell you how to get to the Electric Lady Studio?" I had called my son Jacob just a few moments before. I told Jacob how excited Auntie Linda and I were and that we were getting taken to the Radio Studio in a cab at this very moment. Jacob laughed and could hear me yelling out the window of the cab asking a nice New Yorker if she could pull up the address of the Electric Lady Radio Studio on her smart phone. Excited for us out of towners' she was more than willing to help out after hearing our John Mayer story and wished us well at the Listening Party. I told my son I had to get off the phone since Linda and I were going to have to be hyper vigilant trying to get to our destination. That is when one of the important tips John the Cab driver gave us came to my mind. "Be careful of the taxi drivers that do not understand English. You may not end up in the right place." Ugh............... Oh well, this is an adventure and I,being Samantha would take control and get us to John Mayer if it was the last thing I did on earth.

I had to be obnoxious, really....... I kept telling the cabby that we were late and that this was a once in a life time gig. Rapido my man, Rapido. Let's just say, I don't think he liked my Minnesota attitude, but really? Finally we end up near the address and I told the taxi driver to just stop. I knew we were in Greenwich Village and heck if I was going to let him take us in circles all night to calm his ego or make him more dough. Either way, I made him stop. I opened my window and screamed out to the first person I saw. "Hey, were on the guest list to see John Mayer at the Electric Lady Radio Studio, are we near it?"  "Yes, please come this way, you must be the twins from the Twin Cities." OMG, not only did I score, but this handsome young man I found out later was a Columbia Records Staff Member for John Mayer. He pointed the way to the club and told us they were waiting for us. We walked up the stairs and met the promotional executive who escorted us to the cocktail bar and then into the legendary Electric Lady Studio. Yes, we were late, but were told that we only missed the first couple tunes that they cranked out in the studio.

Linda and I were awe struck to say the least. Here we were at the studio that Jimmy Hendrix had built for him so he could focus on his love of music. Here in this acoustically advanced studio one was protected from the city sounds and continual chaos. John Mayers' "Born & Raised album played in the studio and sounded like choirs of  angels singing straight into our hearts. How did you know I was raised Catholic?

OK, so here is a twin factoid I will give you that gets, well, kind of old to us, but intriguing to those around us. My sister and I were bopping to the music and at the same time exactly, we would make the same face that said, "Yes, I feel like I died and went to heaven." Not only that, but later when we hung out and conversed with the crew of winners from the other radio stations, we would say sentences at the exact time, sigh the same, then say something like " I am so embarrassed, then do a mannerism with arms clutched in the exact same way.  Oh well, what is a multiple to do???????

Back to the studio scene. We bantered with  John Mayer. No Way..... Way!!!!...... What a trip.... in so many ways. What I thought may be 35 of us in that room in the studio with John Mayer, ended up to be only about 26 of us. We got to joke around, ask questions, and just plain old gab with John Mayer.  What a nice guy. He was adorable, approachable, honest, vulnerable, intelligent. I think my sister and I were genuinely surprised at how down to earth he was. At the end of the Q and A session all the winners got their picture taken with John. Yes, we are now on a first name basis, but then again he called us twinners as we posed for a photo with him. Hee Hee..........Isn't that cute though???

Out in Greenwich Village conversing and mixing with the recording studio staff and winners from each radio station in each 16 cities in the US was an absolute hoot. Van Gogh lived here it is said and wrote and painted here in this quaint town. After about a half hour each of us went our own way to seek out fun in our own personal definition. Our operational definition of fun..........?? Can you say Jazz Club? Yes, Linda and I found the most charming jazz club called The Garage. Then........... Pizza...........New York Pizza. I will never look at pizza the same again.

Well, after an amazing night out in Greenwich Village Linda and I hailed a cab back to our hotel. In Linda and Laura form, Linda crashed into the comfy bed at the hotel as I blogged and posted on Facebook. The next day we shopped and walked around Lincoln Center, theatre district, Columbus Circle, and indulged in the vendors sweet delights.

A fast paced trip that will last in our hearts forever. Thanks to the great radio station Cities 97, Sony/Columbia Records, Seg Travel and all the generous, kind and helpful folk in NYC. My father was right, once in New York your heart will continue to yearn to go back.

Oh, and  I saved the best picture for last.

To my father John Anthony Rogers and Steve Mohn, we know you kept us safe and sound in the city that doesn't sleep and helped the angels set up this divine trip for us. God Bless You Both.