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Interview: Paula

Updated on September 18, 2017
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In an English course at Villanova University in 1981, Maria interviewed her mom, who likened her to Barbara Walters. She never looked back.


Meet Paula....

Paula, also known as fpherj48, is one of the strongest, most balanced and inspirational women I know.

The Beat Goes ON -- Surviving a Heart Attack will give you an idea of Paula's amazing instincts, written in her one-of-a-kind style.

Oh, she also has a bizarre and wicked sense of humor as you may find in The Latest Rage and Other Insane FADS.

Please join me in this wonderful glimpse about Paula, by the fpher herself... and you won't be disappointed if you check out some of her writing as well:

The times I feel most relaxed are....

*** First thing, in the early morning hours, when I've just been awakened, by my Border Collie, "Taz," who pounces his 65 pounds on me and sticks his cold, wet nose in my ear. I feel "relaxed," but it might actually be a dazed stupor, until I have my "snap out of it" cup of coffee. Then, I like to use the beginning of a brand new day, to find a peaceful place to sit and simply, "BE," in the moment. There are no distractions and I block out any negative or stressful thoughts. Instead, I think about having a happy, productive day and decide what wonderful new project I'll begin.

I think I'm fairly relaxed just before I fall asleep for the night too.....but truthfully, it's probably utter exhaustion.

The times I feel saddest are..

**.When the news of the world begins to creep in and forces me to be aware of continual crime and corruption that tears away at the very fabric of our lives, day in and day out. I am especially saddened by the violence, unrest and hatred that pits man against himself, in our streets, at our borders and even in our schools. These egregious realities overwhelm me with sadness and a sense of dread, for all of us.

Something I'd like to teach others......

***I can only hope, that each day, through how I choose to live my life and share the wisdom of those lessons I have learned, I am able to teach others what really matters. I hope that I teach through example, the importance of tolerance and generosity. I would be pleased to know that I have taught even one person, how to persevere during difficulties, repair their broken pieces and go forward with strength and purpose. Most of all, I want to teach people to find happiness everywhere, to laugh and make others laugh. Daily life should never be a continual series of sad, serious dramas...It's such a simple, say something funny and watch the magic happen........

My secret passion dream job....

** I won't allow myself to disclose some things. My "secrets" belong to only me. Those who know me well, will know my passions, simply by paying attention....Don't you think we all expose our passions in the things we say and do? A "Dream job" is past tense. I guess at times, it was a dream come true......I mean I worked for it, and chose my career for all the reasons I felt were important to me at that time in my I feel fortunate that I was able to do something I enjoyed, that made a difference in the lives of others. Retired now for 10 years, we do not speak the word, JOB. What I do now, is at worst, perhaps a personal responsibility and at best, sheer pleasure. I will alway enjoy an occasional challenge, as well.

Most hated gift I ever gave someone ...

** Oh, dear Maria, "Hate," is a mighty heavy word. I'd have to say the gift of discipline I gave my 4 precious sons, was something they didn't exactly appreciate on a regular basis. LOL. They hated that I was always there, asking questions, keeping tabs, checking homework and knowing their friends. They hated most, the "eyes in the back of my head." My mantra was always the same..."I'm just doing my job guys and one day, you'll Thank me. And they have, simply by being amazing men, husbands and fathers. I have been duly redeemed and rewarded. Amen.

The gift I could have done without ..

**..I can tell you it wasn't a tangible gift, wrapped up with a bow....Rather, a gift in spirit. I'm convinced I was given the gift of uncanny perception and strong intuition. I sense and "feel," much more accurately than I see and hear. This may seem a wonderful blessing, but at times it can cause discomfort and disappointment. I easily pluck liars, manipulators and phonies from the herd.....and see to it that they're quite aware they cannot get past my radar. This might
be something I'd have been better off without. Isn't it said that "Ignorance is Bliss?"...

If you peeked in my junk drawer, you'd be surprised to find ...

**That I am possessed by a family curse of junk collecting. The thing is, we don't believe it's "junk." Actually I have worked diligently to break the cycle of this curse, or should I say, the "re-cycle?" Maybe not all parents from the depression era were in, "Throw nothing away, because you never know when you may need it." My parents were big believers in this. Well, I have evolved, dear Mom and Dad in Heaven, forgive me for this. I now know there is NO reason to stockpile bread wrappers, empty boxes & manuals for items that no longer exist...nor dead plants....No, I can assure you, they are not going to come back to life. I have rid myself of all but one innocent junk drawer and have been working on closets, the basement, garage and the attic. One day, I shall be JUNK-less and free!!

My date from Hades ....

Hmmmm, it's been a very long time since I sat on the auction block. Let me think...a date from hell? Oh heck, I'm pathetic. I'm just trying to buy some time here, before I sum it up simply for you. In my single days, the only difference between some of the guys I dated and Charley Manson was......Charley was already locked up.

My worst/ or funniest vacation story ....

*** I never considered long distance trips or extended stays with family, as vacations. To us they were "visits." Always positive and a lot of fun and of course, funny things happened, I usually make them happen.. I had one actual, get-away, relax, see the sights, buy souvenirs, "vacation," when I spent a week in Oahu. It was perfect. I was with the love of my life. It doesn't get any better than that.

A life goal on my bucket list....

**To pack up a Winnebago, hop in and GO! Drive cross country, stop where ever we choose, do whatever would be fun and interesting & meet some great people. I would keep a daily journal and take hundreds of pictures. Continue to travel until the winds blow us back home. Then I'd settle in, to write a book about it all, for my children and grandchildren to keep as memories of Gram and Gramps.

What I most look for in a friend.....

**Character, Intelligence and Authenticity. Beyond these things, he/she must have a finely-tuned sense of humor. I cannot imagine a great friendship without lots of laughter.,

Something I will never part with...

***The dozens of photo albums and journals that contain the images and memories that represent the tale of my life, thus far.....The names and faces and events of my precious family and treasured friends, as well as the stranger or two, I've met along the way. Memories of all those people, places and times that touched my life and left lasting impressions. My favorite walks are down Memory Lane.

A life lesson I will never forget....

++ Never put off an opportunity to spend time with someone you love. No excuses, no apologies, no empty promises.....Drop everything and go. Just do it. Spend quality time with that person who means so much to you. Walk and talk for hours. Dance sing and celebrate together. Hug them til they beg you to let go. Do not ever allow yourself to discover the tragic reality that" Tomorrow may be too late."

The worst part of getting older...

**My prized and infamous "Get Up and GO"..............Got Up and Left.

A writing lesson I learned the hard way...

*** I'm truly hard-pressed to think of anything I learned the easy way. A writing lesson hasn't happened yet. Or, it may have and perhaps I wasn't paying attention. It would be just like me to miss a golden opportunity to learn something important, because my head was up my.......Oh well, there's always next time. ....

My favorite movie and why..

.**You know, these question are not easy to answer. I'm breaking a sweat here, Maria! I love so many movies for any number of reasons. I especially like "Armageddon" and "Crash." Since you insist I choose one, it would have to be the movie I have watched a ridiculous number of times. That movie is "Creator," Peter O'Toole, Vincent Spano, Virginia Masden, David Ogden Steirs. This movie has a very special place in my heart and never fails to refresh my spirit. .

What subjects / genres do you enjoy reading/ about ?

** Books have been my best friends since I was only able to look at the pictures and make stories up in my 4 year old head. The walls in our home are lined with book shelves...all filled to the max. Simply for the sake of having a book in my hands, I'll read just about anything. I do, however have serious preferences. I'm a non-fiction fan....True Crime, Biographies, True Court Cases and anything on Behavioral Science.

What would be a subject/ genre that you would like to read more/ about...

** It wouldn't hurt me one bit to increase my knowledge of History, both U.S and World History. So many of the history hubs I have read here at HP have impressed me as well as educated me. Alastar Packer, Wesman Todd Shaw, UnnamedHarald and several more of our talented History buffs, tell a great story. I'd say these writers are responsible for sparking my interest in History, at this point in my life.

Can you take us to a favorite piece of writing on HubPages by you that does not get much traffic..

.** In a word? No....LOL.....Seriously. Some of my hubs get a lot of traffic, some, less. I have this attitude about my writing. If people read my hubs, I am flattered and grateful. If they do not, so be it. You see, I would write even if no one ever read a thing I wrote. I don't know what that says and guess what? Right! It just doesn't matter to me what that says. "Hub traffic" does not define me, my life and surely not my worth. To me, my hubs are like my children....I love them all. I am completely happy just roaming around hubpages reading, learning and meeting some of the most wonderful people in the world.....YES...we get to become friends with people from everywhere....and what a wealth of knowledge and experiences we can share with one another. I write my hubs when the spirit moves me. I'll tell you what, Maria, I trust you to choose one of my hubs that YOU like. Remember now, all the other hubs that you pass over, will be hurt and feel slighted. My hubs have FEELINGS, you know! But don't let that stop

At the risk of hurting the feelings of your other hubs, I fell in love with you as I read your series that begins with: "The Journey to the Woman I Am Today".

What song makes you want to pack up and leave the party...?

The party is over so soon? Well, Maria, it's OK. I can take a hint... Play this favorite of mine as I walk out the door, will you? "Good Night, My Love", pleasant dreams and sleep tight, my love. May tomorrow, be sunny and new and bring me closer to you...... (Jesse Belvin/ 1956) Bye bye! The pleasure has been all mine, Maria. Thank you.

What a sweet way to end this interview and this fabulous series in general... Thank you for this perfect selection, dear Paula!

Jesse Belvin: Good Night, My Love

Thank you, Paula....

Hearing this The Supremes song, "Buttered Popcorn" made me giggle aloud and think immediately of you, dear Paula...!

You are a true Sista: loyal, honest, funny as heck and a giver of your heart and soul without blinking...

© Maria Jordan (revised September, 2017)

The Supremes: Buttered Popcorn


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