The Perfect Way To Start My Day

Once people realize I’m an American living in England and not just here for a visit, they always ask me if I miss my life in the US. My response never varies when I tell them that I miss my daughter, other family members, and my friends. Of course there’s more that I miss, but not being able to easily see the people I love does make it tough at times.

Unlike immigrants who left their homeland in the days before airplanes, telephones, and the internet, moving to another country doesn’t have to be a total or permanent separation from those you love.

My daughter is pretty easy to reach by phone so that helps a bit and she sends me photos fairly often too. They don’t always have her in them, but may be more of what she’s seeing, like a smoky red sunset seen over the darkened parking lot of the company where she works or a funny bumper sticker on the car in front of her, taken at a red light. Random quick snaps that help me see what she sees as she goes through her day make me feel a bit closer as if she’s just across town instead of the other side of the Atlantic.

Her point of view photos like the image above can make it seem as if I am actually there with her, feeling the evening sun on my face and seeing the breeze blowing through her horse’s mane, enjoying as she said later, ‘ The best way to end a weekend.’

My favorite ones tend to be the last ones, those that I know come at the end of her day. They are the unexpected ‘goodnight’ photos that I wake up to over coffee and the perfect start to my new day.

Both photos were taken by my daughter, Miranda and used with her permission.

Going Grey – Not A Black Or White Issue

Pony Wears Prada

When I got up this morning, I put some water on my face to help me wake up completely as I do each day and noted to myself that for the second day in a row, my hair looked really good. On my way to make the coffee, I mumbled out loud that I’d better call Lisa to get on her books for an appointment knowing that my hair looks its best two days before it begins to scream, “Cut me” to anyone within viewing distance.

Most people I know tend to plan better than I do when it comes to scheduling a haircut. I’ve always been more of a wait and see kind of person when it comes to personal grooming which can sometimes leave me with scraggly looking hair.

This is not to say I never book in advance. I had a stylist when I lived in Atlanta that I think the world of and evidently quite a few other folks do too because you must always book your next appointment when you pay if you want to be sure you can get in to see Pat when it suits you.

I dislike making appointments too far in advance and for about five or six years, I had my hair cut in a barber shop where I could walk in with no appointment and have a seat on the couch until the next chair became available. I’d wait for the one guy whose skills matched what I was looking for and grab his chair when it was my turn. In all the years I had my haircut there, I never saw another woman in the shop unless she was waiting for her son or husband and I used to smile when they looked surprised to see me pop into an open barber’s chair.

Gone are the days when my hair was easy. In my 20s, I had a hairdresser in California who described my natural hair color as soft-golden-brown with red highlights. I used to say that it was California speak for brown with a little red and blonde courtesy of too much time in the sun. My natural color was nice though, and I only played with it twice during my pre-color years both with disastrous results.

Except for those two lapses in judgement, I never colored my hair until my early 40s and only then because I thought my shade had become lacking in oomph. My natural California color had fizzled completely to brown by the time I began coloring my hair myself and I did okay with the color bottle for a while, but after eventually ending up with a shade of orange-red to rival Ronald McDonald’s clownish coiffure, I sought professional help.

By then it was less about brightening and more about covering as my once vibrant color began to turn grey. Some people prefer to say silver and I’d have to say that silver may be a good descriptive fit for many, but I think aside from some interesting silver streaks around my face, the rest of my head is quickly going a bit more salt and pepperish and it’s not a look I’m sure I like at least not yet. I may feel differently about it when I’m older, but I’m not sure I want to give up my fondness for the high/low light system of blending that my hairstylist, Lisa uses to camouflage my changing locks.

I find it amusing now and slightly ironic that after years of struggling to be someone who could see a little grey in what I’d normally think of as a black or white issue, grey is the first thing I see now.

Unable to decide what to do with my hair, I have not colored it since December and while I might still change my mind, I think when I slip into the chair for my next cut I may feel like I often do when it has been a while, indecisive and unsure, and a bit apologetic for the state it’s in … sort of like I imagine the confession booth in church.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it’s really like church, I mean there’s no “Bless me father … ” involved, but I am aware that I do always say the same thing to my stylist when I first sit in her chair and it begins with the words “It’s been a long time since my last … ”

I know I’m not alone in the color dilemma and I would love to hear your thoughts and where you land on the color spectrum if you’d care to comment.

PS. I have to add that I soon as I saw the image I took the other day of a pony with wild hair, I knew it would be perfect for this post. I think it’s gorgeous and reflects the way I hope to come to see my two toned tresses one day.