For the last few years, realizing that my grandson, the one whom I had raised and nurtured had outgrown his footie pajamas and was actually engaged to be married, I have been telling everyone that I was relocating.

First it was to be Georgia where an old school friend was luring me with the possibility of lower rent and quieter winters. Minnesota, according to my southern friends, should be emptied of it's inhabitants and banned from the United States due to it's winter atrocities. I am, however, a Chicago girl, accustomed to the bite of the "hawk" and I laugh ( when I'm not weeping) at this frozen state that has tied my bones together in frost for the last 24 years.

I have survived homelessness here, which is a longer story than I care to tell, because the up side is that in survival, I discovered many of my latter strengths and banked on them to get me from zero to office administration, community involvement and a couple of awards along the way that make me feel good only because they involve service to others....but I think I'm going too far.

My life began as a little black girl, whose parents chose to raise me in a sweet little Jewish neighborhood. My life was odd, but sweet....and thus I began my journey to the world of art, creativity and living as a precocious child who skipped grades as easily as playing hopscotch. I played my way to early marriage and a boatload of babies....the marriage was built on the dream of childhood fluff, did not last and I found myself and my five little ones in and out of poverty situations.

Having just about raised them all, I found myself "suddenly" raising a grandchild. I worked over the years as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Domestic, Cashier, Substitute teacher, Teacher's Aid and finally in Minnesota, went back for my GED and to college, to become and advocate for battered women and their children.

From there I have honed my latent writing skills, gotten two books published, taught children with special needs and had my own in house daycare.

Yes, life has been interesting and hard, but I have been blessed!

Lost a son to AIDS a few years ago, but raised up his son, and that's where we began huh?   So..I have had to downsize.

Wonderfully for me, I work in a 55+ apartment complex, so my job and office is only a few feet away. It is a quiet little place where my doggie Angel and I look out for each other, and I have to say this...my adult children pretty much have left me to my own devices...each finding a place where I was either a good mother oran ineffective one. I argued, pleaded, cried and defended myself for nearly twenty years and I have just given the whole thing over to God.

So, I am solo for the first time in over fifty years. I have been married once more since the first time, but it did not work out. My first hubby passed away in 2005. We were divorced and living in two different states, but still friends.

I am here with all my ideas and energy and cannot find a single person who wants to be energetic or think about today rather than choosing grave sites and comparing aches and pains. I am sixty six and some are younger than me.

I am sure I will adjust but as I do, I would like to meet others who are on the journey that turns into our "new normal".

The other day I was grocery shopping and bought ONE of everything. The young clerk listened ( or pretended to) as I gushed on about this being my "first time out" and I actually giggled out loud. She might have gone home and mentioned the older lady with crooked teeth ( I have to have them all extracted in a few weeks) who was giggling like a girl in her line.

Well, that's all for now!  Won't you join me, whether it's your first time out or you have lived alone for years. Let's talk pros and cons and "things that go bump in the night".

Thanks for allowing me to ramble....it's a habit!