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Brenda’s Blog

— Life —

ALL PHOTOS ©BRENDA COFFEE, 2018. THE CHURCH OUTSIDE BATOPILAS, MEXICO.
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Thirty years ago the road to Batopilas, Mexico, was a real life rollercoaster gone off the rails. Nestled at the bottom of Copper Canyon and framed by the Sierra Madre Mountains, Batopilas began in 1708, as a remote silver mining village. Complete with legendary silver barons, lost Jesuit gold mines, bandits, Indian revolts, the secluded Tarahumaras and a serial killer priest… I had to go.

Ten heart-stopping hours later, including a side trip to convince a woman to come back from the dead, we arrived.

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— Life —

PHOTO BY BRENDA COFFEE, ©1010PARKPLACE, 2018
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I’ve only had a handful of manicures in my entire life. Perhaps that’s because pretty, polished nails used to last me 10 minutes. Digging for crystals in abandoned silver mines and changing racing tires made for chipped nails. Don’t misunderstand… I’ve always filed my nails, worked hard to make sure my cuticles are in good shape, usually a coat of clear polish, and as my friend, Sherrie, says, “I keep my toes polished except when I let them winter.” In the last six weeks, however, I’ve had my nails polished twice. Both nail salons alarmed me.

Did you know your nail technicians could be victims of modern day slavery?

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— Life —

PHOTO FROM CNN
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Last week a woman who went to my church took her own life and this week designer, Kate Spade, and cultural and culinary journalist, Anthony Bourdain, hung themselves. Like you, I’m stunned and saddened, but the more I learn about suicide, I realize we shouldn’t be surprised.

According to the Center for Disease Control, each year, more people die from suicide than from car accidents. The suicide rate in America has increased 25 percent in the last 20 years.

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— Relationships —

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Six months ago I wrote, “Don’t hold me to this, but I’m thinking about signing up with one of those online dating sites.” Fast forward and I’ve been online for only two weeks, and I’m ready to log off. One of Oprah‘s favorite sayings is, “A person will tell you who they are if you just listen.” When it comes to online dating, who they are starts with their name.

Like… Butthole, Player, SorryDude, Pacemaker, HorseRaceBetter, BedBug, WildTrash, YourLoveSlave and MyScorpiosRising… Seriously?

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— Life —

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER DENTON, ©1010PARKPLACE, 2018
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How many of us envision ourselves as a healthy, active professional when we’re 94-years-old? Before I met Lee Moczygemba, it never occurred to me I might be sharp and still engaged in my community, much less involved in business. When Lee told me her age, I laughed and said, “I don’t believe you.” 

She then pulled out her wallet and showed me her driver’s license so I could verify her birthdate! 

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— Relationships —

OUR HOSTESS, THE CONTESSA, ALSO KNOWN AS THE @ANTIQUEGODDESS AND ELIZABETH
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One of my favorite people on Instagram is a woman known as “The Contessa” or the “@AntiqueGoddess.” A few months ago she asked her Instagram followers if anyone wanted to come to her home for lunch? Hello!! Why yes, I would. When she said her table could only hold eight, so we needed to let her know asap… 

I responded by saying, “I’m coming even if I have to bring my own folding chair and TV tray!”

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— Relationships —

PHOTOS FROM STEFANO GABBANA'S INSTAGRAM PAGE. HE WAS IN NO WAY MEAN TO SARAH JESSICA PARKER.
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Dear Brittany & Jessie, Part of me wants to say you’re rude and shallow, while another part of me thinks the difficulty our culture has with aging is because of people like you. Who are you to mock the way Sarah Jessica Parker looked at Monday night’s Met Gala with mean girl tweets like “she is aging faster than spoiled Greek yogurt,” “horses have a life span of 20-30 years so she is definitely blessed to still be with us” and “she’s aging like a bad raisin”?

Has it even occurred to you that you’ve shamed all women for the privilege of living and breathing and getting older?

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— Life —

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Needs and wants… How many of us get the two of these confused? Do we really need a new pair of shoes, or do we want a new pair of shoes? If we spend much time online, it’s easy to understand how social media can trick us into shifting our priorities or make us think a want is really a need or at the very least… a good idea. 

What are some of the things you want? What are some things you need? I’ll go first.

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— Relationships —

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Now that I no longer have three storage units full of my things and one of mother’s, the pieces I haven’t sold, given to the Salvation Army, or had hauled away, are stacked in cardboard boxes in my garage. Last weekend I started going through them.

Opening these boxes has been like entering a dusty, faded time machine.

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— Relationships —

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Grieving the death of a spouse is like trying to hang-on to a 50-pound yo-yo. Grief plunges you to the bottom of despair, then raises you up for a brief glimpse of life, as you knew it, only to drop you again… and again. I never dreamed surviving the death of my second husband would make breast cancer seem easy.

In the last few weeks, two of my friends have lost their husbands to a serious illness. I’ve lost two husbands to death. I know how they’re feeling.

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