Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

Musings by Donna #65 Missing the Parentals

I’ve always lived away from family – well, ever since I grew up and left my parents behind. At seventeen I headed south from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh – about two and a half hours away – to go to college. Then I moved with my husband, David, to Rochester, New York, where he attended graduate school. There I worked at the University of Rochester and attended cosmetology school at night. After four years, with David’s Ph.D. traveling th-3degree in his hand, a cosmetology license clutched in mine, and with one kid tucked in the back seat of a van and one in utero, we drove into the sun to San Diego, California. There, David did his postdoctoral work. I volunteered in an elementary school and fell in love with teaching, while my forgotten cosmetology license gathered dust in a file. Next we headed to New Jersey/New York, where we spent the largest portion of our lives, raising our children while David and I each followed our passions – David, science and research, and me, teaching. After thirty-five years, it was time to make another move. We could go anywhere!

We thought of New Mexico and California. We looked in North Carolina. We even wondered about New Zealand, a place of pure beauty that we had visited many years ago. But the draw was not strong enough – not for any of them. Too cold! Too shaky! No family! Too far!

Arizona, we thought! It’s not cold or shaky. It’s not too far from family because many of our extended family Arizona th-3members live there – aunts and cousins, nieces and a nephew, and a brother and a sister-in-law. Arizona looked good. It would be fun to finally live near family. We decided that Arizona would be the next stop on our journey of life.

Unfortunately we came too late to spend time with my mother or father. They both lived in Arizona, but their journey had ended. Though they each passed on before we arrived, tth-4hey are here!

My mother is in Dillard’s, World Market, Sprouts, and Bashas’. She is at 16th Street, and she is at Bethany Home and Camelback and Indian School. She is in Paradise Valley and in the Teepee Mexican restaurant – my favorite. Chimichangas and Cheese Crisps – she always ordered them.

My father is in Pinnacle Peak and Cave Creek. He’s on Tatum Road. But mostly he is at Cold Stone, his, and now my, favorite ice creamery. He loved ice cream, and I inherited that th-3delicious-calorie-craving gene from him. He introduced me to Cold Stone when he first moved here, and I can’t pass it without thinking of him. Sometimes I can’t pass it without indulging in an Irish Cream, Cinnamon Bun, French Toast, Cotton Candy, or Coconut ice cream cone with brownie or caramel or apple-pie filling mixed in. I do it for him. 😉 That ice cream exerts an unexplainable magnetic draw.

Arizona is alive with the spirit of my parents. They are around every corner and are never far from my mind. Every day I wake up and think I am … home!Cactus th-3

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

As I say after each post:

Please leave a Comment by simply clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.

Feel free to Like my post.

You can also Vote for my post by clicking on a star. (David needs company.)

If you enjoy my blog, please pass it on to all your friends and they to theirs. (I’d like to drive up the readership. Sometimes it feels like I am writing in a vacuum. So go ahead. Send it to 10 of your friends.)

If you hate my blog, go ahead and send it to your enemies. (10 enemies would be good.) I won’t mind.


January 30, 2014 - Posted by | Musings by Donna | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. So very glad you like AZ- I have been here almost 35 yrs, but have no extended family. That is something I do miss. Have been going to the original Tee-Pee on Indian Sch since I arrived. Also love so many othe places you mentioned. Your parents were in my neighbothood.

    Comment by Colleen Gallagher | January 30, 2014 | Reply

    • Colleen,

      35 years! WOW! We were in the NYC area for about that long. Tee-Pee is my favorite Mexican restaurant. I first went to it in 1964 – I think. That was the first time I was ever in Phoenix. Then we went there every time we visited. That was even my first stop when David and I got off the plane the day we arrived/moved here. Cheese Crisp – YUM!

      All best,

      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | January 30, 2014 | Reply

  2. This is so beautiful. I love AZ but my family and most of my friends are all on the East coast, so here I happily stay. I miss you!!!

    Comment by Harriet Halpern | January 30, 2014 | Reply

    • Hi Harriet,

      Thank you. I miss you too – a LOT! But this was the best decision for David and me. We both love Arizona and are so grateful for the beautiful weather. NOT missing the snow or cold.

      I am digging in with both my theater and writing. I auditioned for a show last week and I sent my third biography to my editor yesterday. My writing was taking up my every waking moment. Hence no blog posts in weeks. It felt good again to write for the blog. Thanks for reading.

      I miss the Montclair Write Group too. That is the best group ever. So glad I am a member. I still consider myself one. I hope I am.



      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | January 30, 2014 | Reply

  3. We are so happy you found a place that makes you happy and is even closer to California, which means you are closer to us!

    Comment by Emily | January 31, 2014 | Reply

    • Thanks, Em.

      We are so glad to be nearer to both you and Jared. Can’t wait for your next visit.

      Love, Donna/Mom

      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | January 31, 2014 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Fight Stroke

Resources for stroke patients, caregivers, and family members

FindingStrengthToStandAgain's Blog

Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

Braingirl and Next Doors Cat

Life after Traumatic Brain Injury

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

Miss Clara's Corner

Be the change you wish to see in the world -Gandhi

Views from a Window Seat

Jeannine Atkins on Writing and Stuff

making our way

Making our way in the mountains

In An Instant Your Life Can Change Forever

Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts Blog

%d bloggers like this: