Italy, We Went

img_8614_1On Tuesday, October 9th, twenty three members of Our Lady Of The Lakes Choir, yes I sing in a choir, plus nineteen parishioners departed Miami International Airport on an overseas journey, via Alitalia Airlines at 4:15 PM bound for Italy. They woke us up at around 1:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, approximately 6:00AM in Italy, for breakfast and not long after that we landed in Rome.

Hooray, we arrived. Yeeehh!

It was hard to believe that we were actually in Italy after looking forward to this trip for more then a year. We had many pancakes scrambled eggs, sausage, orange juice breakfasts, count eight, garage sales and an Italian night dinner fundraiser to help us achieve our dream, but like troops, they came rushing supporting us all the way.

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Tickets

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Selling tickets

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Selling tickets

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Selling tickets

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Sausages – Breakfast

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Breakfast is ready

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An happy customer

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A smile from our choir members – Garage sale

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Garage sale

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Getting ready to serve dinner wearing apron, IKEA cloth and made by me – Italian Dinner.

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Setting up the tables – Italian dinner

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The team ready to serve – Italian Dinner

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An Italian Dinner

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An Italian Dinner – 7 Miles Bridge Band

 

Meet Mama Hill!

I am all about empowerment, inspiration, success, giving back, embodying love and she epitomizes all of that. These stories need to be told, shared. We need a few and perhaps, there a people more like her in the world. She is one amazing lady!

“When you love yourself, you don’t hurt other people. Hurt people hurt other people!”

Tomorrow, You Just Don’t Know!

IMG_0353Oftentimes, you assume that others’ lives are better then yours that while you struggle,  others are somewhere, honeymooning, indifferent to the oblivious. You fancy the belief that the fight is yours alone, the burden is yours to hug and no one else to bear, the suffering envelope handed over to you and you only. Boo ooh, take that heartbreak; surprise surprise, the ride is not a solo trip!

Not so fast bambinos. Pause that button. Hold that thought.

Interesting but how some see their lives and how they prioritize it, is the key.

They perpetuate this notion that living the good life equates having it all, the world is their oyster and suffering is never a word on their vocabulary as they let jealousy and envy get the best of them.

You may not always understand what is going on as you struggle to understand which fallen fruit had hit you on the head and left you to die but no worries; hit the snooze button, it will come to you later in due time.

When you see someone driving that jaguar, don’t assume they have no issues. When you see someone pulling up at that big ole home, don’t assume they have no issues. When you see someone sashaying that designer handbag or dress, don’t assume they have no issue. When you see someone striding that Pepsodent smile, don’t assume they have no issues. When you see someone dancing to the beat of the drum, don’t assume they have no issues. When you see someone laughing uncontrollably to the wisecracker, don’t assume they have no issues. When you see someone at Walmart store, don’t assume they don’t issues, they are not happy; most likely they are content with themselves.

Struggles don’t take a raincheck. Struggles don’t give you a ticket to a spaceship. Struggles don’t give you a passport to Mars. Struggles don’t discriminate. Struggles don’t give you a pass. Struggles do give you the hoola hoola dance and it can hit you at any moment, any time, anywhere in your face and it says HELLO!

You see, assumption most often leads to distorted believe that just because you are going through hell, someone else shouldn’t be all smiles, and happy; they should feel you, be miserable, sympathetic to your cause… NO!

Living large gives you temporary fixes of insanity but it does not issue you a free passport to life’s hurdles.

No need to share your burdens or your story. No need to think that others are living beyond their means. No need to display your sorrows. No need to parade your miseries on a bowl. No need to loan the key to your Cadillac. No need to have the paparazzi follow you to the loo. No need to make others your partner in crime or is there?!

No need to think a thing, other then things do happen and most often, they are behind your control. So, there; hit the champagne bottle!

The fact of the matter is that you can be on top of the world one minute and down the following second, here today and there tomorrow, just like a flashlight, and anyone and everyone, unless you are not human and from Mars, I have yet to speak to an alien, crosses that desert. Simple, no qualms about it! The desert, the thunder that comes roaring like a lion ready to attack, leaving you to ask yourself what happened, right after you got that big ole slap.

But how you deal with it, is another matter. How you sketch that map is up to you. How you ride that bicycle is a mystery but riding it your will.

In need of a sympathy card? Take a number!

There are no recipes, no doctor notes, no prescription drug on how to cross the desert but just cross it. Cross it slowly as its true aim is hard to understand sometimes but ride that bicycle with gusto, keep your chin up, dust those feathers up and wait. Yes, wait!

You see, time is off the essence. Patience becomes an hilarious tool, a virtue as they say, the game du jour, the most expensive chess game at the store and while the game is being played, grab a chair, sit, cross your legs and watch the train go by.

Just weather that storm!

Yeah, I can just hear the chatter, easier said done, right?! But just like in the Will Smith movie, The Pursuit of Happiness, learn to accept your provisional backpack as much as you can and go about your business with it attach to your hips, back, wherever. Get up, play that funky music, straighten yourself up because tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow is what matters. Tomorrow, you just don’t know!