All posts by Deana

Humorist, Writer, Speaker, banjo player -- totally neurotic redhead and lover of life.

I Hope I am Better at Banjo

better at banjo Hey there boys and girls. I am still alive. I’m actually out at my cove trying to get a jump on Spring (even though it’s 28 degrees outside) and wanting to get at least the inside finished. I’m only two years behind. No biggie. The gardens, and gazebo will get built in time.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and that 2016 is turning out well for you all. I’m still sorting through mother’s things and settling her estate. You only get one Mom, for better or for worse and when they die everything seems to come back at you. At least it’s that way for me. All the good, all the bad. All of the in between. So grief takes on a new level. Most days I’m okay but I still fall apart some times and that is to be expected.

So what do you think of the photo? I found that beast of a collage hidden back in one of my closets at the cove. I’d forgotten about it. I took an art class back in 2012 and never got invited back which cracks me up! It’s hideous. So I turned it into a meme. That’s also the year I started playing banjo and yes, I’m a much better banjo player than I am an artist. Thank heavens or I’d still be out there trying to find something I was good at besides comedy.

Besides – do you see the dagger looking things near the bottom of the canvas? I’m pretty sure that is reminiscent of my state of mind back then what with menopause and hating men that year. That was also the year I came out against the Tea Party – lost friends I’d had for over 20 years and that hurt.

I think I might have taken pissy to a whole new level that summer.

 

Oh well. I just might hang it in the guest room after all. If nothing else as a warning label.

Have a great week you guys.

the year that did not kill me

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I’ve been writing and rewriting, wanting to sum up 2015 for you guys, and for myself to no avail.

Word picture: Me, butt in chair, staring at a computer screen and eating potato chips, for hours.  That and drinking massive amounts of coffee. Then going outside in our forever summer to smoke. I know, smoking is bad, but it relaxes me.

SIGH.

Then I saw this cartoon on a friend’s Facebook wall and I’m thinking YES, this is it. THIS is 2015 in a nutshell. That which did not kill me has made me weirder. And maybe a little harder to relate to. Or not, I’m not sure really.

Oh no worries, 2015 did not make me neurotic. I’ve been that way for years. Ask anyone, they’ll tell you.

I’m the daughter of a prom queen. The rules were simple, Mom was always the prettiest woman in the room. If I gained five pounds, she threw up and I pay for my own therapy.

I can live with neurotic, trust me.

Part of me believes that I have this semi-empty-nest-grown-kids thing down cold, but when the guys (husband included) all went to see a movie over Thanksgiving weekend and didn’t invite me, that got me right in the feels. We made up for at Christmas by going to see Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Wonderful movie. I loved it. I also loved spending time together as a family. So even though I’ve proven since 2012 that there is life after kids, the bottom line is, they are still my favorite people to spend time with when they are home.

Now, where was I?

Oh yes 2015.

This is the year of Catch Me If You Can. I’ve traveled everywhere it seems. Sometimes for fun and sometimes not. We lost my brother-in-law to cancer this year and my mother died from COPD and Depression. She was miserable in the end. That doesn’t necessarily make her passing easier though. She was my mom. Our relationship was complicated by a lot of things including the lack of relationship she had with her mother but we made the best of it and had our moments. I miss her. A lot.

So, highlights:

We saw Garth Brooks in concert (It was AWESOME!). I went to San Francisco for the first time ever to see my best friend from childhood. I performed at the Syracuse Funny Bone and was given the nickname “Hippie Chick.” Went to New Orleans (Another First) I spend five months  in Upstate New York taking care of Mom before she passed away. Went on a Muse Cruise with my girlfriends and visited Haiti, Jamaica and other islands. Every place I visited, I found someone playing banjo which is pretty cool to me. I spent a week in St Petersburg Florida with friends performing at Coconuts. I did a show at the Tulsa Loony Bin with other friends. Celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary. Turned 50 (E-Ghads) and didn’t die. Recently discovered my Dad is in the early stages of dementia and will soon need more care than I can provide. (I’m not even going to discuss the bed bugs in my NY apartment or my airplane catching on fire and the emergency landing)

Simply put, I survived the roller coaster that is this crazy mixed up life. And if that makes me weirder, so be it. If nothing else, it gives me great material.

 

And that is 2015 in a nutshell. I learned this year that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit, that we all need community and I have wonderful friends, that I’m a halfway decent banjo player and I am going to go back taking lessons after the first of the year, that life after kids comes with twinges, that a name (or lack there of) on a birth certificate doesn’t mean anything really, that alcohol and grief don’t mix well, and that I am indeed funny.

May you look back on 2015 with peace and gladness and may 2016 be all you ever dreamed of. Happy New Year my friends.

And don’t forget to breathe darlin’

Deana O’Hara