“You are wonderful!”

Fortune Teller MomCropped

This is me, everyone, somewhere in the 1970’s. I have on an outfit that came from India. How or where I obtained it, I have no idea. But it felt just perfect for dressing up as a fortuneteller for a birthday party we were giving for one of our children!

Which one of the four I don’t remember, but am guessing it wasn’t our oldest, Danny. He was a sophisticated seventh or eighth grader. Maybe even a high school freshman. No, it would not have been Danny. Maybe Dina? She was only in third or fourth grade in the early 1970’s, and her girlfriends would have loved having their fortunes told, even by me, pretending to be a mysterious fortuneteller.

But now that I am truly remembering this event, I think it was Andy. His birthday is in October, close to Halloween. Wouldn’t it make sense to have the birthday boy’s mom dress up and pretend to tell the guests their fortunes? Never mind the fortunes would be made up.

I do vividly remember creating great fortunes for each child, boys or girls, maybe both if Andy’s friends or Dina’s friends were included in each others’ birthday celebrations. And here was Ronny, a fifth, sixth, or seventh grader. He loved dress ups. Perhaps it was his birthday in the middle of December. No, it HAD to be Andy’s in October.

Anyway, the fortunetelling place was set up in Steve’s and my bedroom, or was it? I had on a lovely shawl on my head made of the same material the pants and top were made of. Then there was something I am unable to identify on top of the shawl to hold it in place.

So there I was all dressed up ready for business! Well, I knew every child that walked into the bedroom, or rather, the fortuneteller’s room, where I was seated on the floor on a cushion. I knew their family situations. Knew if they were happy or troubled at the time of the party. I knew their personalities. I knew each of them. And so I created the most WONDERFUL fortunes:

“You will have a wonderful life filled with adventure and grand success.”

“You will achieve everything in your life you will want to achieve, and everything you work for will be a great success”

“You will have a most wonderful life. The world is waiting for you and you will have success in everything you set out to do.”

“Do not be fearful; know your future is going to be filled with happiness and success.”

And on and on. I had no idea if any of this would come to pass, but the huge smiles on their faces let me know they’d been happy with their fortunes. And certainly, I believed, giving them happy fortunes to put into their minds, might truly help them as they traveled into their futures.

One other thing: I told every child who came to hear my made up fortunes, You are  wonderful! And they were, so absolutely wonderful.

My Untethered Horse

I want to tell you
A dream I had
In the darkest part
Of night
A dream so vivid
I have to believe
It was no dream
But real
I am riding on the back
Of an untethered horse
I too     untethered
No saddle     no stirrups
No reins
Come between us
As my hands hold to her mane
My knees pressed against
The shine of the hair
On her sides
Oh     I would ride free
I call to the wind
On the back of this
Untethered horse
My soul     my spirit
As free as she
Galloping on the sunlit shore
With an endless sea
Behind her
Then Beloveds
I wake filled with joy
Feel my spirit speak
Hear words
From my soul
Telling me
The untethered horse
Is my horse
She is God’s love
For me
My freedom
I can ride untethered
Free forever
All I must do
Is let go
Drain pools of negativity
Collected through years
Of judgmental thoughts
Judgmental words spoken aloud
Deep pain from shame
From guilt
For things that were done
Not done
Neglected     forgotten
By me
Let them pass
Through my consciousness
Like water through a sieve
Let go     let them go
Unto God

–Inspired by the book, The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer

Big Blue Part II

*editor’s note: Wendy’s Big Blue post received some fun comments. In response to a friend’s email that arrived in Wendy’s in-box shortly after the post was uploaded, her friend describes her own memoires of a 1960’s, seatbelt-less Buick with her own five children sliding around. Wendy replied with the following email:

“Big Blue” had a vista dome, and I didn’t remember the third back seat at first, but now that you mention it, there was one and it faced forward, unlike other station wagons. Knowing Ronny and Andy’s carsick problems, we didn’t want any of the kids facing backwards. Even Danny and Dina!

Ugh! And isn’t it fun to know we share this Buick Vista Dome experience? I loved “Big Blue.” We sold it to a neighbor on our cul-de- sac when we moved to San Clemente. “Big Blue” had over 200,000 miles and I guess we decided it was time to part. Broke my heart, but there was only us-ins left at home to drive it.

The neighbor bought it and immediately had an accident. They sold it I guess, and that also made me sad! But the worst was yet to come. One afternoon, Steve and I were driving on a back road in San Juan Capistrano; how we managed to get on the road we couldn’t figure out. There was a chain link fence with a canvas like material covering the fence from the inside of what appeared to be a lot with abandoned cars. All of a sudden, I spotted a familiar luggage rack on the roof of a car.

“Stop! Stop!” I yelled. Steve slammed on the breaks, not knowing what I was yelling about. “It’s ‘Big Blue.’” I started to cry. “’Big Blue’s’ ending its life in a junk yard of abandoned and messed up cars.”

We got out to make certain it was indeed “Big Blue”. It was; a telltale color blue was all we could see, but the luggage rack and the vista dome and the color blue was all we needed to verify “Blue’s” identity.

You may wonder, dear Sylvia, how I could get so attached to a car. Never had before, never have since. But so many little trips, so many children, not only ours, had ridden in it. So many drives to my mother and stepfather’s home. So many places we had gone in “Big Blue.” Never should have sold it; but that’s a ridiculous statement. Just maybe not to that particular neighbor. But who knew!

Love you, dearest friend,


Big Blue, 1971

1971 No Cal Road Trip

“Big Blue,” summer 1971, somewhere in Northern California

Hello, everyone … I want to introduce to you our wonderful 1964 Buick station wagon, a gift from my mother and grandmother, costing $4,000, a huge sum back then that Steve and I could never have afforded! During the late 1960’s, we took several trips to Dallas, Texas in this Buick, to visit Steve’s mother, oldest brother, and his wife. So we were in practice by August of l970 when we piled into “Big Blue” and began a cross-country drive to our new home in Manhattan Beach, California—stopping in Dallas on the way. Our two dogs flew!

Now, back then there were no such things as seat belts. All four of our young children shared a big picnic basket, filled with cookies, string cheese, peanut butter crackers and other not too healthy items, which sustained them as they rode, untethered, in the back of “Big Blue” whose back two rows of seats had been lowered to accommodate them. There they were, rolling around with no restraints to keep them safe—laughing, squabbling, eating, playing games. I shudder to remember. And I cried most of the way, having left my mother and step-father back in Illinois without their four grandchildren; how could I have been so cruel!

Well, we settled happily in Manhattan Beach, in a house that was an easy walk to a wonderful beach. Then, in August of l971 we were invited to meet Steve’s oldest brother and his family in Yosemite, before moving on to a rented house on Lake Tahoe. We were so excited—Yosemite! Another big trip in “Big Blue” and off we went. Unfortunately, none of us were able to get accommodations on the valley floor; everything had been booked long before we’d decided to go there. Soooo … this meant we had to drive the winding road down to the valley floor from our motel, down and up again, down and up again, the three days we were there.


From left: Andy, Uncle Stanley, Dina, Ann, Aunt Margie, Danny, Ronny, Louis, Wendy

Now it happened that two of our little boys were extremely prone to getting carsick , and that is what happened on that winding road going down and then again up, to and from the valley floor. And they didn’t need to stop at the same time; each one got sick at different times so we were stopping and starting to let them out by the side of the winding road at least twice going and coming.

“Daddy, pull over, I have to throw up!”

I felt so sorry for them, having had the same problem when I was their ages, as had their father when he was a little boy. So we were very sympathetic and grateful the other two, their sister and older brother, had not inherited the malady! But we all had a wonderful time on the valley floor, and then at the motel above it.

1971 San Franciso Days

As I gaze at the images of “Big Blue” and my 70’s-clad family posing for a San Francisco moment, I have happy memories. It gives me great joy to recall that August when we drove from Lake Tahoe all the way to San Francisco, and back down the coast to our new home in Manhattan Beach.

Thank you for taking the ride with me down memory lane. I’m having such fun sharing with you here, so thanks for stopping by!

Love … Wendy