I had to laugh. I was just looking around at things on here and my Stats said one day 12.5 people visited my blog. Another day it was 7.5. Tell me, how does half a person come and read?
Friday, February 26, 2021
When she was a little girl
they told her she was beautiful
Thursday, February 11, 2021
I learned early on to love walking. As a little girl, if the weather was cooperative, I would go out for an evening walk with my mother once the dishes were done. We lived in a small town and we'd choose a different path every time we went out, usually in the 'gloaming' of the day. That means the same as dusk or twilight but I like to use the word when I can just because I like it. I liked the sense of invisibility of that time of day. My mother and I would stroll down the streets and gaze into peoples' windows but never felt like we were being snoopy. Back in those days it didn't seem as if people felt the need to close their blinds and curtains to conceal themselves from the world. We just enjoyed looking at the different things people had on display. Plants, knickknacks, photos and paintings, pretty lamps. It was a good way to wind down at the end of our busy days. My mother, from cleaning and taking care of my brothers and me as well as children she babysat and Foster Children we gave shelter to for many years. Me, from the busyness of school and friends and lots, and lots, of outside games with all the many kids there were in our neighborhood. The only thing that kept us both inside was rain. I loved our walks, too, because it was usually the only time I ever had my mother to myself.
I wish I could measure the footsteps I've taken to this point in life. I doubt they would equal the amount of heartbeats my heart will pump in my lifetime if I live to my life expectancy. Around two billion, give or take a few. When we break down and compartmentalize in our brains the many mundane things we do and take for granted each day it is mind boggling to me. We sleep almost 230,000 hours in our lives. We eat 90,000 meals. We grow 591 miles of hair. Back to footsteps, a person will take 216,262,500 steps. Imagine that.
God has been very good to me. I've had a few bumps in the road where I've had surgeries but my overall health is very good. I take no prescriptions, I get up and out of bed every morning with a few aches and pains but I generally feel good. I've nothing to complain about, really, outside of a fractured foot that's keeping me from my almost-daily walks. It seems to be healing quite well so I hope to be out again soon. Living in Michigan, walking in the winter can be a bit of a challenge but the only things that hold me back are ice and below-zero wind. I love the briskness of a cold, dry day where the hairs in my nose even fuse together! Now, that is cold! After having lived the first 57 years of my life in the Pacific Northwest where it rains...and rains...and rains endlessly -- or so it seems -- one of my life's treasures has been moving here to the Upper Midwest and experiencing 4 such different and diverse seasons. I can remember my mother, who grew up in New Hampshire, gazing out the window at the rain with her forehead resting against the glass with such a faraway look in her eyes and saying, "Oh, how I miss the four seasons!" I didn't realize until I reached adulthood myself just how much the weather of Grays Harbor County and the Portland area affected her moods. Looking back I can see that she was a very depressed person, but what do you notice when you're a child? Especially one as active as me who was rarely inside unless it was time for dinner or time for bed.
My walks now are taken along a certain route I've established. I usually head out the door between 8 am to 9:30, after I've done my daily chores and have nothing pressing me for time. The city we live in near Detroit is very pretty, if you can believe anything of close proximity to Detroit can be pretty. But it is, and it's very safe. I've become such a fixture people will talk to me along the way and are always so encouraging. They've seen the weight loss I've had, see how faithful I try to be in doing it usually 4 days a week. Each season is incredibly beautiful here, especially Fall with all the hardwood trees. I never knew Nature's colors were so spectacular until I experienced my first leaf season. Dear Hubby and I also took a week's vacation to the Upper Peninsula that year and oh, the beauty was enough to take our breath away. I have lived here 10 years now, and I have never been back to Portland in all this time. I have no desire to go. I tell people that when I moved here I felt like I had come to the home I'd always dreamed of but never knew still existed. Dear Hubby and I say living here is like living in Beaver-Cleaver-ville. It is.
I am a solitary walker. I've tried a few times in the past to have walking partners but it never lasted long. I didn't like trying to coordinate schedules but what I really didn't like was the pressure of feeling I needed to talk. I am not the best conversationalist at any time. And to me, the quiet solitude of being alone is very therapeutic for me. The only exception is when Dear Hubby comes along. We can chatter the whole way. We can say barely a word. It doesn't matter. You get to know yourself pretty well when you walk. You have lots and lots of time to think. You don't have to impress anyone or even speak to anyone if you don't feel like it. You just get out. You do it. And the benefits are endless.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
I find this extraordinary as I'm doing my devotions. As well as my Bible I read many different essays in many different devotionals by many different people every day. What I marvel at is how all of what I read on a particular day in each one, some even written decades ago, can be tied together with a common thread. If I'm feeling overwhelmed, many will say in their own way how much I need to slow down...be still...listen to the voice of God. If I'm content they speak of the joy of the Lord or remind me of how much He loves me. And it makes God so real to me. All is God-orchestrated. I don't just pick my Golden Nuggets and other things I post out of the air. God is right here and makes it very plain what He wants to go forth. How blessed I am to be His vessel. How blessed I am to call Him Friend.
It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not. ~ Attributed to Hanoch McCarty
I cannot tell you how often I have limited myself from doing something without first attempting to do it. For example...computers. They intimidate me. They frustrate me. They cause me a lot of embarrassment because I have to go to someone else to help me get out of a disaster I've created. I don't know why but it's like major brain-freeze hits me and even though I know I should know how to do something, my mind can't seem to move beyond a certain point.
Well, this morning I actually managed to do something with my blog without having to crawl to my daughter -- digitally -- and asking her to tweak one more thing. If anyone ever comes to read my blog I don't want them to have to use a magnifying glass to be able to see the font size. It was at its default size which others may not have any trouble seeing, but with my aging eyes it was pretty much discernable only by squinting. I don't want that to be something others will click away from without reading. I had asked my daughter the other day if she knew how to change the font size but she said it was something she'd need to look at and figure out for me. I'd bugged her enough already so I told myself, "All right, you moron. You can figure this out!" So I sat down this morning and hit the "Help" button and typed in "Change Font Size." Lo and behold an answer in a forum popped right up (Thank you, Fabrizio!) I followed his simple (SIMPLE, mind you!!) instructions and breezed right through it. The only thing that took time was figuring out how to save the changes. There used to be a "Save Changes" button on here years ago. Not anymore. After fiddling a bit I happened to notice a little floppy-disk type icon way down at the bottom right corner on the page. I hovered over it and it said "Save" so I thought well, ok. I'll try that. And glory be, it worked. Yay, me. You don't even remotely know what a big deal that was for boosting my confidence. There's hope for me yet.
A year ago December I began walking for my health. Not that I was sick or even feeling bad but I was carrying around a lot of weight I didn't need. I have walked myself up to 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 miles per day, an average of four days a week. I have dropped around 40 pounds and would still like to lose another 10 or 15. Even so, my blood pressure is great, my heart is healthy, and I feel wonderful. I don't take any drugs except Tylenol for my back pain. As well as walking, I have changed my eating habits and I drink lots of water. I still have snacks here and there but instead of eating a whole bag of Cheetos in one sitting I'll eat maybe a cup measure or two of them. I've gone down from 2XX-3XX to a 16 and I'm almost ready to go down one size further. Talk about a new lease on life! They tell us old folks to just relax and go with the flow as gravity begins to take its toll and physical ailments slow us down. They say it's so much harder for us to lose excess weight. Well, I'm here to tell you that's hogwash. Walking is the best exercise there is. Not only do you reap the physical benefits but it does so much to improve your emotional and psychological well being. You get out and enjoy the beauty of nature, you have such peaceful time to yourself. Someone asked me, "How do you do it?" I told them you open the door and you stick one foot out on the porch, and then the other. Oh...and shut the door behind you so you're not tempted to go back in!
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. ~ Ivy Baker Priest
My darling daughter tweaked my old blog yesterday and gave it a fresh new look. I don't know what I would have done without her. The last time I touched the layout was probably 20 years ago. I no longer have the patience or the want-to to mess around with anything like that, so she stepped in and had it done within 20 minutes. It must be nice to know how to do all that stuff instead of stumbling and bumbling around trying to figure out technology myself. When I bought a computer around 10 years ago the young salesman told me, "This computer and all the others on sale here will be dinosaurs within 6 months." He was polite enough not to say that I would be too. Ha. Ha.
At this point in time America is in pretty sad shape. Deplorable shape, actually. Through this past year with the COVID pandemic and political, economic, and social unrest we've basically fallen apart at the seams. As with my Facebook account, I won't fill my blog with any of that. My remedy for it all is to pray like crazy and hold on because I do believe we are in very dire times with a rough ride ahead of us. The atmosphere no matter where you go is oppressive. Unsettled. Stressed. Overwhelming. The hardest part is having no control over it as we watch our Constitutional Rights being taken away at an alarming rate. Oh, Lord...what kind of life will my grandsons have as they continue to grow up? In a world where boys are not boys and girls are not girls - from what I understand they will now be 'theybies' as they enter this world and shall be known as that until the 'theyby' figures out which gender they are. On their own. How did this happen?? I don't know if this is "official" or not but God help us if it is. If we think our children are confused now I am just gobsmacked by this latest lunacy. And it is lunacy. I helped care for an elderly neighbor before she died a year ago November and I can't tell you how often she would say to me, "Oh, I am so glad I'm almost at the end of life and not at the beginning!" Her wish was to live to be 90 and she did. She died just a few days after her 90th birthday. I have to say I'm glad I'm closer to the end, too. I'm tired of having all this crazy rhetoric thrust down my throat.
I've always been clumsy and prone to accidents. I attribute it to being left-handed in a right-handed world. We Lefties are constantly making adjustments throughout our day. I am totally left-handed outside of doing 10-key right-handed. I was forced to learn that at a job I had in the 1980s when computers were first coming on the scene. My boss was too cheap to buy me a left-handed keyboard. I had to take an adding machine (do you remember those?) home, open up the Portland phone book, and key in telephone numbers. This, after working an 8 hour day and coming home to a husband, two young children, and household responsibilities. I would dream of numbers at night. Seriously. But I learned. I wasn't at super-speed level like one of my coworkers, but I was faster than most and also very accurate. I think it took about a month to become fairly proficient.
Less than 10% of the people in the world are left-handed. I also have green eyes. Only 2% of the world's population have those. I tell Dear Hubby I am very unique. Ha.
I kind of digressed there. Back to accidents. I have flopped and tripped and fallen more times than I can count misjudging things, usually with little or no damage to myself. So far. Then about 1 1/2 weeks ago I was at a local market. I had my right hand free but a couple of items in my left hand. I decided to buy some ice cream and as I opened the freezer wide and reached for a carton on the top shelf I realized the outside of the carton was frosty and I couldn't get a grip on it. It fell off the shelf and landed squarely on the Great toe of my left foot at full force. The container was frozen solid and the impact was agonizing. Don't ask me how my brain works, but instead of going to the doctor right away I decided to see if icing it and rolling my foot on a ball or a frozen bottle of water like I do with plantar fascitis flare-ups would make it feel better. Nope, so on Monday I went to the clinic and found out I have a hairline fracture that runs from the middle of my Great toe, down around the large toe/foot joint, almost to my instep. I have to wear a walking boot for the next two weeks, then see the doctor again. You wouldn't think it would be, but wearing this boot is exhausting. It is definitely crimping my style. I want so badly to get out and do my exercise-walking -- 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 miles per walk, usually 4 days a week -- but I'm stuck. The one saving grace, so to speak, is here in Michigan it's very cold right now, 'real feels' down around 10-15 degrees with bitter wind. We've been having light snow showers off and on for the past couple weeks but little has melted. It's icy in a lot of spots, and I wouldn't be walking anyway.
So...with my very distracted brain that has so much on it right now, I'm trying to catch up on reading. I'm making some progress. Instead of reading each page 4 or 5 times I'm down to 2 or 3.
Monday, January 25, 2021
I'm not going to really change the name of my blog, not after all these many years, but from this point forward in my mind it's going to go by the above-named title. This is what the phases of life have brought Dear Hubby and me to -- learning to adapt to the Golden Oldie Years. Let me tell you, they creep up fast. One day you're young -- or you still think you are -- and then you're not. Fact of life. Get over it.
One thing I am going to do is go back thru my Facebook archives and transfer some things to here. Things get lost very easily there. Or blocked. Or you're told your content isn't up to their standards. Or they decide they just don't like you period and you come to your page like one friend of mine did, only to find your page no longer exists. This, my friends, is what our First Amendment Right has come to in what used to be the United States of America. I've been doing a lot of pondering over what our Country's new name should be. I'll let you know when I come up with one.
Throughout all of 2020 I tried my best to keep my Facebook page upbeat...peaceful...a sanctuary to come to amongst all the poison, hatred, and divisionism the vast majority seemed to harbor. That grieved my heart. The one time I posted something, an interview with a physicist about her take on the Virus early on, one of my family members, not even a blood relative...an in-law...wrote the most awful message to me on Messenger accusing me of trying to form a conspiracy theory. Told me, "Shame on you!" like I was an idiot 2-year-old. Told me she no longer respected my Christianity, that I needed to "come to this online seminar with her virtually" to be enlightened to her way of thinking which was the right way...it would open my mind. Said she prayed for me every day that I would see the truth. My take on that was "Please don't pray for me because I don't think I have any interest in serving whatever your concept of God is." Of course, as a Christian, I couldn't say any of what was inside of my head. I had to turn the other cheek. Which I did. I said, "Point taken," and left it at that. I have never ever ever in 45 years of being a Christian been so viciously attacked by anyone. I could handle all except for attacking my character...that hurt more than I can begin to tell you.
Water under the bridge and all that.
Oh, but it taught me yet again how a quiet answer turneth away wrath. I could have come back at her with both barrels blasting, but God gave me the grace to just move on. I can live with my conscience. She, if she even has one, might not be feeling so good whenever I come to mind. I dunno. It's not my concern anymore. But once words are out of your mouth you can never ever ever take them back. Ever.
End of story...
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Dear Hubby...remember him?...is going to the doctor today. He was born with a defective and deformed kidney but no one knew it at the time. It wasn't until he was 20 and began having some major pain and problems that his mother took him to the doctor. This was back in 1973 when medicine seemed pretty advanced but most diagnosing was done with tests and x-rays. Since he was urinating blood and in excruciating pain it didn't take long for them to realize there was something drastically wrong with at least one of his kidneys. His urologist performed surgery, trying to correct the problem...no drainage...instead of removing the kidney. They removed kidney stones, some of them the size of golf balls, and tried to fix the problem the kidney had in emptying. The poison build-up was what was making him so ill at times. It was given a 50/50 chance of being successful.
Along came me into his life. He told me about his physical problem but I wasn't too concerned because he seemed healthy and was able to work and do everything else a young man in his 20s could do. After our daughter was born we went on a fishing camping trip along the Cowlitz River and he went outside to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. When he came back in to the trailer, his face was ghostly white even in the gloom and he told me he'd just urinated a stream of nothing but blood.
We went to see his urologist. The news was grim. The kidney needed to be removed. It was, and he has had 45 years of excellent health since then.
A few weeks ago he mentioned he's been having a lot of tenderness and discomfort on his right side where his remaining kidney is. It comes...it goes. He told me it might be a good idea to see a urologist here in Michigan to establish some kind of medical relationship with one in case anything goes haywire. All his medical treatment had been done in Oregon in the mid-1970s and his urologist had died years before. I found one who appears to be a very good urologist here, and Dear Hubby went to see him. Dear Hubby appears to be in such good health the doctor asked him what he was doing there -- a good sign, I'm thinking. When he told the doctor his past history he's taking it pretty seriously now. He did a thorough exam and had us send away for Dear Hubby's medical records. He'll have them today for the appointment...SHOULD have them, since they were being sent by FAX and not by any mode of delivery or the USPS. We know how abysmally slow all of that is anymore. He's scheduled to have an MRI at the end of the month and we'll move on from there, whatever path the results take us. Like my mom used to say, "Don't borrow trouble." "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," is another good one.
99% of what we fret about never comes to pass anyway, and then when it does we face it, pick ourselves up by the bootstraps, and move on.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Outside the Window....
At this hour of the morning there is such a sense of calm outside. Isn't it amazing how we can feel 'calm'? Not the 'calm' that is an emotion, like calm after chaos, but the sense of quietness and stillness inside the soul? When you can hear a distant train on the tracks, the warm furnace kicking on and sending up draughts of heated air that warm your feet tucked under the desk. A friend posted some photos yesterday of a drive she took along the Oregon coast, mentioning how calm the water was. Smooth as glass, the sky all around nothing but pastels blending from shell pink to cream, to softest apricot and lavender. It soothed me, just looking at them. I once lived in Oregon, for most of my life actually. I thought I would miss the Pacific but I haven't. I grew up near it and took drives or weekends here and there to visit it and spend some time. I have lived in Michigan for 10 years now. Here, I have the stillness of snow hushing its way down to the ground. I have five Great Lakes, each so huge but each so different. A stormy day on Lake Superior can create surf every bit as wild and untamed as the sea. If I get homesick, I go there. The only thing missing is the salt in the air. Even though I know that, I still find myself licking my upper lip to taste the salt on my tongue.
Day before yesterday I spotted a fat but industrious fox squirrel out in the back yard. He'd run a few steps and bury his nose in the snow, looking for buried treasure, disappointed time after time. I got a little container with some bird seed and opened the back door, rattling it in the clear plastic cup. That got his attention and he sat up on his haunches, his tail twirling behind him like a windmill, and we had a staring contest for a minute or two. Finally he edged forward. I held the cup low. He came all the way to me, stopping every few steps to crouch down and spread his tail over his back. Maybe he thought that made him invisible; I don't know. He got all the way to the cup while I encouraged him in a soft quiet voice, only to peer inside to find thistle seed that I feed to the finches and sparrows. Disappointed again! Not his favorites, I'm assuming, because he dashed away and then went up on his haunches once more, giving me the type of disgusted look only an animal can give a human when we've let them down. I have to go to the store later. I think I'll buy a bag of unsalted peanuts, see how he likes those.
I am 67 years old today.
Friday, October 25, 2019
Monday, October 21, 2019
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
My little side trip down the road reminds me of what an organized mind for detail I once had. I could recall names and faces from diaper-hood onward. You needed a phone number? I'd rattle it off for you. I excelled at the jobs I had in Medical Records when I was younger because I had a photographic memory when it came to numbers. I did fantastic playing "Jeopardy" from my living room...my mind was an overflowing source of junk yard trivia. People playing any kind of trivia game would call me to see if an answer was true and I was always correct. Always.
Well. That was then, this is now. My new reality the past few years is accepting the fact that the ol' mind just ain't what it used to be. What gives me comfort is knowing just about everyone over the age of 60 is rowing the same boat. I'll open the pantry door and for the life of me I can't remember why I did. I double-check and second-guess myself on just about everything. I sometimes catch myself thinking as I'm driving, "Now...where did I need to go?" I blame it on moving 2400 miles from Portland to a whole new region that I'm still learning. But, honestly...in reality I'd temporarily forgotten. It used to freak me out, until I read something Anna Quindlen had written about getting older. She had gone to her doctor thinking she had early-onset Alzheimer's because she was forgetting so many things. I loved her doctor's response. She said (and I paraphrase because I read it awhile back and can't remember the direct quote--typical, ha!) "Think of your mind as an empty file cabinet you started filling on the day you were born. Every thought, every memory, has been filed into that cabinet. At our ages, the cabinet is full to overflowing and sometimes it's just too much to keep track of." Or something like that. But it reassured Anna and it reassured me. I love some of the funny memes on Facebook about people dealing with the same thing. Makes me feel so not-alone when I go searching for my glasses and find them tucked up onto the top of my head five minutes later. Or when I have to check and recheck a recipe when I'm cooking dinner, even tho I've made the dish many times thru the years. Oh, it can be terribly frustrating at times, but just like with so many other aspects of growing old, I take it in good grace and humor. I don't want to be one of those cranky, bitter old ladies who sits and complains about everything. I don't want to feel the need to share the details of my bowel movements and every ache and pain with those around me. They don't care. Why should I? You can sit and fret the rest of your life, or you can look at the days you have left the way the good Lord wants you to. As a gift.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Friday, April 5, 2019
The sad part about this story is there are so many of our elderly who are in similar situations to Donna's. Family so busy with the day-to-day hectic schedules they aren't able to do much more than call on the phone. The older person needing help but too stubborn or afraid to ask because they're frightened their independence will be taken away if they do. And foggy minds that can tell you wonderful stories about their lives in such detail from 60, 70 years ago but can't remember their keys or their purse or wallet as they leave to shop. When I was in my later 30s in the 1980s I helped an elderly lady at my church in Portland for a couple of years. She was 96 and still able to live independently but in need of help just like Donna. There was an age span of 53 years between us and even though I knew by helping Leona the frustrations and helplessness she sometime felt, I was still young and didn't really take it all in. I didn't really realize the challenges of the elderly. Now, with Donna, there's only 24 years between us, my 65 to her 89, and now I do realize, quite soberly, that my future could easily be the same as hers in a few years. It's a whole different perspective, let me tell you.
Two things both these ladies told me was they don't want gifts on special occasions at their ages. They don't need or want anything...life gets down to just the necessary needs for the most part. But what both had in common was loneliness. They told me if only their families gave them the gift of time. A simple phone call. Stopping by to visit without being in a rush and in an itch to get away to the next thing. They need to know they still matter, that they're still thought of, that their lives are still relevant.
That they're still loved.
Thursday, April 4, 2019
I basically started with no readership. No comments. No real direction. Just a deep need in my heart to write about how I felt in my heart. How much I loved my grandsons. And how I was able to put to rest a lot of unresolved issues with my Dad, that I was able to make peace with him before he died. It was very, very cathartic. And through this process somehow word got around and I began to get readers, many of whom became and still are very dear friends of mine. Before I started writing this this morning I went to look over my stats to see if anyone is still reading this at all. Very surprisingly...yes. People still stumble across it. Since I'm a techie dinosaur I really don't know how because it's been dead in the water for a long time. Needless to say, that gave me the kick in the pants I needed to pick myself up by the bootstraps and dive in again.
So, okay. With all that drivel out of the way, what do I plan to write about in my second chapter? I think I need to write about growing older. I am 65 years old now. I am receiving Social Security. My grandsons are both in the "double digits" now. My Dear Hubby is contemplating retirement. I seem to get hung up on what one early commenter wrote, saying, "Why do you think anyone wants to read about your boring and paltry life?" Well, I honestly don't know, truly. I just write what I feel, share the ups and downs. I'm a very fast typist so my fingers keep up pretty well with my thoughts and I'm capable of letting it flow out through my fingers just as it's 'speaking' in my mind. I dunno. It worked before and maybe now that I've come Home it will work again.
"A Shelter from the Storm"...I used that as my blog title originally because that's what writing has always been for me, an escape. A safe place to retreat to. I'm going to leave it at that. No changes there. The good Lord knows we face challenges every day, no matter how old we are or where we are in life. My Dear Hubby was reading something I wrote recently and he asked me, "Do you ever write on your blog anymore?" I told him no, that I'd shut it down. He said, "You need to start again." He seems to think I have talent and he said I shouldn't waste the gift God's given to me. I dunno...I feel funny claiming any 'talent'. I just write whatever comes into my head.
I don't know if there will be anyone stumbling across this new updated version. I don't know if anyone will want to read about my boring and paltry life again. But if you do drop in, please take the time to say hey so I know you're out there. I'd love to make another new friend.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Yep, I'm shutting 'er down. I have taken this blog and put it into book form for my grandsons and myself, and I am leaving it here because it's still getting traffic even tho I haven't written on it much since we moved to Michigan in 2011. But what I set out to do has been accomplished, covering the early years of my grandsons' childhood and interspersing those entries with entries of my own. My hope is I'm leaving behind books that will help them remember the 'real' me in years to come when I'm long gone from this ol' world.
Going thru and editing what to save and what to delete was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought so many of the moments I wrote about would be things I'd never forget and was stunned at how much I'd forgotten. But what is so wonderful, so amazing, is I DID write it, and we will have this record in our family's time in history. We were there...and leaving it on the internet it should live on. But, as I learned...and it was such a hard lesson...is blog sites can disappear without any notice, which is what happened with the beginnings of this blog. I had switched over to Blogger when I began having all kinds of problems with Bravejournal and I had thought what I'd written would be there forever, only to try to go to it one day and finding it...gone. Oh, the heartbreak!
I am going to start another blog...I have missed writing on a regular basis very much. When I get it up and running I'll come back and provide a link to it if you want to follow my mental meanderings for the remainder of my life. An anonymous commenter once left this on one of my posts:
"Who are you to think anyone would want to read about your boring and paltry life?"
With over a million views in its lifespan, I'd say somebody did.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Here is a photo of a young woman who is now going to haunt me for the rest of my days. Her name was Eskedar Melaku. She died September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center. She was 31 years old.
She was born in Ethiopia and emigrated to the United States, settling in New York City to attend Queens College. At the time of her death she was assistant vice president of Marsh & McLennan
But, now I do know one of them personally. Eskedar Melaku. And I know she'll come to mind on every anniversary of 9/11. And at many other random moments, whenever I hear references to that day. I will see that beautiful smile, those warm eyes. I will remember.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
I love quotes. Bible quotes. Famous people quotes. Funny quotes. Thought-provoking quotes. I have a favorite website devoted to quotes and I glean most of those that I use from that site. I was looking at it this morning under "Retirement" to see what I could use for my post title. They're not very encouraging. Mostly about living on less...much less...and the boredom that comes from suddenly transitioning from being so busy all the time to wondering what in the world you're going to do with the endless hours of inactivity stretching out in front of you. This title caught my eye because outside of suggesting playing rounds and rounds of golf...it was the only one that encouraged me to do something with that time. Volunteer. Give away your time. Go to your nearest elementary school and volunteer there...the staff will love you for it, and so will the kids. I do that during the school year at my youngest grandson's school, and I'm known as Mrs. Cooper's Grandma to the little first graders I tutor to help them learn to read. I volunteer at the Book Fair twice a year. I'm going to sign up to volunteer at a hospice here in the city where I live. You're giving of yourself...your talents...your strengths. It keeps your mind active and healthy. It keeps you in contact with people. It gives you friendships. It gives you a sense of purpose and a sense of usefulness. A blessing is also there because you're doing unto others.
I don't want to wither away. I don't want to sit here collecting dust. I want to continue to be a productive part of society. I want to contribute.
I want to matter.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
She will be leaving by train Monday morning to move back to Oregon. Out of all of our family's monumental adventure of moving to Michigan a little over 5 years ago, she's the only one who's missed the Pacific Northwest the most. Being single and working a very physical job on an average of 9 1/2 hours per day, when she's been home on the weekends it's mainly been a matter of resting up for the coming week ahead. Even tho she likes Michigan she hasn't been able to establish any real friendships because of lack of time and energy. She went to Oregon on vacation early in the Spring this year and stayed a week with her best friend of many years. She realized just how much she'd missed her friend and also the beach and other amenities of Oregon. They'd talked about my daughter moving back out there before, but this time they cemented the deal and she'll be moving on Monday. She's selling and donating just about everything and will ship only the basics. My daughter-in-law and I are spending the next few days helping her get everything ready. She'll stay the weekend with her brother's family to spend some time with her nephews...and then she'll be gone.
Sure, there's Skype and texting and all that.
It's not going to be the same, tho. Not having her nearby. With just her leaving, it diminishes our small core group of family by one and leaves us with only 6. I already feel the loss. My "mother's gut" is feeling sick and my heart is very heavy. But I can't hold her back. I can't be negative. I want her to spread her wings and fly.
Sometimes we have to love them enough to let them go.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Kind of like when I joined Weight Watchers a bazillion years ago. I so desperately wanted to lose weight and I did. A lot of weight. Something like 60 pounds in 8 months. I was the star of my class, the lecturer's little darling. I was put on a pedestal so high I was set up to crash, at least with the way my mind works. And boy, did I crash, hard. I became bulimic and an abuser of laxatives. I purged like crazy. I did anything to keep my weight at or below my goal for maybe a couple of years? I don't remember for sure...this was back around 1980. Then the pressure of it became too much and I fell off the band wagon with such a loud crash they probably heard it in Baltimore all the way from Portland, Oregon! My greatest enemy in my lifetime has been my scale and it has had a demonic hold on me. Or I should say it did until a few years ago. I know I'm never going to look like Cindy Crawford at 50 in a bikini. I wouldn't want to. Can you imagine the pressure on her to stay skinny? But I still refuse to look when my weight is taken at the doctor's office. I tell the nurse to just write it down...I don't want to know. Deep down I think I'm afraid I'll jump on the band wagon if I do and it will be back to the races again. Instead, I'm at what I call a 'comfortable' weight. Not skinny and not fat. Just "grandmotherly" and since I'm a 62 year old grandma, that's sufficient for me. What is so sad is the stupid things we do to our bodies in our youth come back to bite us on the behind as we get older and my dumb choices have wreaked havoc on my digestive system thru the years. You wanna dance, ya gotta pay the piper. End of story.
So...it's been a good but emotional day. My little buddy Christian was over at our house this morning for the last time before school. We had a long, very sweet hug before we piled in the van to head to school. I dropped him off and then had a lovely breakfast with a dear friend and I'm sure that helped make the morning a little less emotional. Around 11:30 our family gathered together at our grandsons' elementary school to participate in a tradition that's been upheld for many years where family, school staff, and the other kids in the school gather in the hallways to 'clap out' the 4th graders as they leave the school for the very last time. Very bittersweet and especially emotional today because our daughter will be leaving to live in Oregon in a month and she and our grandson had a very tearful moment at the end. It's great to make fresh new plans for your life...but the reality of goodbye comes knocking at your door too and I don't think my daughter knew before today just how hard that's going to be. When we moved to Michigan we came completely intact as a family but now she's heading back all on her own. Quite a different scenario this time around.
So as my brain cells...dribble...I am not going to be disheartened that my blogging audience who once upon a time was very healthy has faded away to next-to-nothing. I never started this blog 14 years ago for that reason, anyway. I began it to chronicle the lives of my grandsons and it has morphed into so many other things as well. When I first began writing this all those years ago someone left me a very rude comment that almost caused me to quit before I'd hardly begun. He said, "Who wants to read about your boring and paltry life anyway?" You know who? ME!