Never Ever Say Never

fall, New EnglandWhen my man and I left New England four years ago, I swallowed a huge lump in my throat – a lump of fear and relief, joy and dread, wonder and excitement. After ten years of incredible autumns, rejuvenating springs, god-awful winters and soul-satisfying summers, we were moving back to the land that I love – San Francisco Bay area.

And when our friends greeted us on the left coast, I blithely and ridiculously said, “I’ll never live on the East Coast again.”

Thinking back over my stern sure pronouncements of what I’d never do again, I vaguely remember hearing a soft low rumble, like the chuckle of an unseen presence.

At my age, you’d think I’d have learned a universal wisdom:

never say never

I laugh at myself, a bit maniacally, as I pack my books and pans, my underwear and lamps, my towels and jewelry. Because amidst all of my clothes that I prepare for the wardrobe box, I don’t own one pair of boots or mittens, heavy overcoat or wool hat.

I’d given them all away.

Then I think back to other times in my naiveté when I’ve said, “I’ll never.”

My 'I'll never" children.

My “I’ll never” children.

Hmm, how about in my 20s, when I was quite sure I’d never give up a career to be a mom? Yup, two beautiful children and decades later, I finally see the connection.

How about me at age 13, declaring to my mother that I would NEVER eat curry and ran away from the dinner table in mock stomach distress? guessed it. Curried chicken salad is one of my favorite lunch delights.

And then, embarrassingly, I think back to how my guy courted me soon after I was single, called me daily, and wondered if we might have a future as a couple.

No, I declared, I’m not ready and I may never be.

Right, not ready until a month later when I moved cross country to live with him.

I hope you’re thinking about your “nevers” that surprisingly, at some point, became the antonym, which is “always.”

Always be ready for new adventures.

Always clear the wondrous path in front of you (available once you cut down your nevers).

And always save your winter boots and earmuffs.


I will never EVER wear my granddaughter’s winter hat — did I just say that???!


53 thoughts on “Never Ever Say Never

  1. What size shoe are you??? I’ll have your boots waiting!! I can’t wait for your arrival, when will that be?? Big hugs!!! Laura

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. I’ve uttered a few ‘nevers’ in my life. They seem silly now. Each opportunity/move might seem daunting, but each new thing can be an adventure. With the right attitude. I do have one ‘never’ I am clinging to – never get married again. I’ve done it three times and it just doesn’t suit me!


  3. Never say never , that is something to remember but they are some things I hope I never do again like skiing down a dangerous hill when I can’t ski. But wait, maybe I will if a bear is chasing after me. Your right, never, say never. I love reading your posts. Good luck with your move. What a cute picture of your granddaughter. What’s wrong with that hat?


    • Actually, my granddaughter loves that hat. And if it keeps my ears warm, I probably will too! Okay, here’s a deal for you – never ski down a dangerous slope UNLESS a bear is chasing you.
      I love that you read my posts – thank you.


  4. Oh, can I relate! A decade and a half in the beautiful mid-Atlantic, a wide group of wonderful friends, and grandchildren growing up in California. After a 4000 mile solo trip, I’m back where I said I’d never be. Thoroughly enjoying grandchildren, wondering what my immediate future holds. Taking it a day at a time, determined not to say never.


  5. Pam, welcome back to my coast. I know your life in CA was wonderful, but… let’s see…We have actual seasonal weather here, which keeps us on our toes. And we have few if any earthquakes, which gives us one less type of extreme-act-of-nature to freak out about. And we have real bagels… and lots of other stuff I can’t think of at the moment… And now we’ll have YOU!


  6. Just when we all became re acquainted…Looking forward to your return! Enjoy those grandchildren! You will flower wherever you land and your mom will love having you closer if she ever stays home. Love to you and yours.


    • Ah, you know my mom all too well. Yes, if I can get her out of the cafés and the homes of all of her friends, I’ll take the Acela from Boston to Wilmington and let her make me her famous grilled cheese sandwich. I hope I DO flower in NE, but am a bit worried about my stalk surviving those Boston winters. :-0
      BIG HUG to you. xo


  7. This was such a positive message that lifted me up today. I appreciate the possibilities but sometimes need to be reminded of this message. Don’t say “never!” My grandsons like to quote the book, “Green Eggs and Ham,” when someone doesn’t like to try new things. They do it to me, too! You are like Sam I am, Nana! You could like it in a house, with a mouse, with a fox, in a box…Smiles!


  8. I want to know all the juicy little details like where, when, why, how. Ha ha. I suppose we’ll learn more in upcoming blog posts. Don’t let the hat out of the bag too soon. You’ll keep us on tether-hooks wondering where on the East Coast…


  9. You’ll look good in the green, pink trimmed froggy hat. Every time I’ve messed up in the past 20 years and heard the never word escape from my mouth, I quake, since I’ve learned the opposite invariably happens. Loved this post and reading between the lines. I’ll miss our get togethers hugely, since I’m not really ready to turn the page on this chapter, even if I act like it’s okay! Who knows maybe we’ll both end up back in the Bay area someday, especially if we say it’ll never happen…


  10. The warmth of this post and the comments that follow should set you up for whatever the winter plans to throw at you! Blessings on the move Pam, and thanks for this wise and humourfilled reminder that you just never know (!) what life’s got waiting for you round the corner:-) And that photo of your granddaughter and the hilarious hat is just too cute:-) Hugs, H xxx


    • Thanks, Harula. Perhaps we stoke ourselves up with the extra warmth of friendship and love to help us survive winter’s bite.
      On the other hand, my daughter promises me she’ll dig up my granddaughter’s hat from last year, so I can ‘never’ wear it in the next couple of months. Ha Ha.


  11. Well my goodness, moving back to the East Coast again. Loved this blog and it reminded me of one very big NEVER. Standing at our breakfast nook on a Friday evening, all ready to go out and join my high school friends to do a little controlled drinking, I watched my parents in another drunken argument about nothing and thought to myself, “Ill NEVER be like Mom and Dad.” It took some time, but at 40 years of age I had come to the realization that I was drinking and acting just like my Mom and Dad. What a sobering thought (not really). Unlike my Mom and Dad’s era, the social stigma of alcoholism had changed significantly, and I was able to alter my staggering course in life and live sober one-day-at-a-time. So, I taught my daughter all that I knew about the disease alcoholism and she embraced and even joined in my sober endeavors. I thought (again) that with all this knowledge and a great example in her life that she would NEVER walk the path of her father, grandfather and grandmother. That thought dissolved rapidly when I got a call one evening that she was in the hospital and getting her stomach pumped. Not what I had in mind, but as you said sometimes our children need to stumble themselves before they embrace the message that we try, with all good intentions to impart, since us old timers “know it all”.


    • I think so many of us can go back to the times we’ve said, “we’ll never ever” and been so shocked that we ended up with ‘never’ in our lives. I remember when my dad, after sobriety, told me how when he was a teenager he vowed he’d never be like his dad, and yet, the addiction took over. So scary for us as parents, wanting our children to not make the mistakes of their elders, but we can only do as the saying goes, “Teach your children well.” And then, sit back and pray with crossed fingers and toes. I applaud you for the strength you’ve had to take it one-day-at-a-time. With lots of love, your (former and forever) neighbor


  12. Yep…the universe has a laugh on a regular basis with those of us who say “Never” I try not to tempt fate anymore by saying that word. But there are a few things I can emphatically say never to. I will Never be 30 again… I will never be able to have another baby (hysterectomy) I will never have gray hair as long as color comes in a box!! HA HA! I will NEVER EVER live in Michigan again…. under any circumstances! I was there under protest the entire 4 years (and 18 days) the first time and nearly got a divorce because of it. There are too many other options and I intend to exercise them if the subject ever comes up again! LOL!
    I love San Francisco…I can’t imagine the shock of going back to the East Coast after living there but I’m sure there were good reasons. Sometimes family is worth it! 🙂


    • You’re scaring me – you’re tempting fate with your ‘nevers,’ believe me! Re never be 30 again – are you POSITIVE that no time continuum or shift isn’t lurking in another dimension??? Plus, 30 is just a number, and I have a feeling that you enjoy life just as a 30-year-old. See? NEVER say never!! xo


      • HA HA! Well, if there is a space time continuum and I can go back, I will not go back to 30, I would go back to 21. My life would turn out a WHOLE lot different. But I feel perfectly comfortable saying I will never live in Michigan again! LOL! 🙂


  13. When I first read this post I thought it sure sounded like you were leaving California; but i figured it had to be a teaser because NOBODY I ever knew has left the east coast, lived in CA and moved back here again!! Now I see it is true! Welcome back! You might have come in May and eased into things a bit, ha. But you will love “October’s bright blue weather” and crispy Autumn days “scattering around in the leaves” with the kids, as my son used to say; not to mention cozying up with a good book and a fleece throw come November. I’m with you—-the cold is not my friend. I already have tickets for Arizona amd Aruba to tide me over until Spring. That said, I can’t wait to catch up with you for lunch one Fall day at the old Colonial Inn! 🍁🍂🍁


    • Scattering around in the leaves, it shall be! I look forward to a ‘goddess’ lunch at ‘the Colonial’ in mid-autumn, my friend! You and I are soul sun lovers – so we’ll hatch plans to escape the deep dark cold of winter. :-0


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