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Showing posts from May, 2007

In my own world~

I don't flow in the mainstream. I never have. Not that I'm a weirdo, or anything, but I live in my head, and miss a lot of what goes on in the real world--which is fine with me. Most of the time I don't even know what I'm missing. Which is also fine by me.

But sometimes I'm pulled up short-- made suddenly aware of what I don't know. How can I make it to my age-- 50 whatever-- without knowing things that are familiar to so many?

Take "Pirates of the Caribbean." (A movie. There have been two. The third has just come to a "theater near you." I found this out today, though the first came out in 2003.) The title reminds me of the Saturday matinees we used to pay a dime to see. The "Sinbad the Sailor" movies. I liked those-- when I was ten.

Don't take that as an insult if you like Pirates of the Caribbean. It must be awesome. It's a three series blockbuster. All I know is it's not for me. Even though it has Johnny Depp in it. W…

Memorial Day tears~

Last night my husband Bruce and I sat on the patio at dusk, rehashing the day.

It had been beautiful. The weather cooperated for our son's high school graduation, which was a milestone for me, as well as David. He's the youngest. I'll have an empty nest, temporarily at least, when he's away at college. I think this will be fine. I've looked forward to it, but still . . .

"Are we going to the parade tomorrow?" I'd asked Bruce. Tomorrow was Memorial Day.

"I suppose," he said.

I mentioned that there would be a ceremony at each of the cemeteries in town. Taps would be played in honor of the dead who'd served our country in war.

"That would be tough for me," he said.

"It would be too emotional?" I asked, tentatively.

He'd been a Captain in the Marines. He was going to get drafted, so he signed on to become an officer. He was sent to Vienam after OCS at Quantico, in Virginia. Then, Camp Le Jeune after Nam. I really …

The American garden~

There is a small Johnny-jump-up growing outside of the garden. A little farther down, behind the little wire fence my husband put up to contain their exuberance, the rest of the jump-ups grow. Beautiful! But restrained. Kept in check. Not a bad thing, but . . . I'm the one outside the fence. Metaphorically speaking.

I don't like being contained. Yet neither do I need to be. I won't wander far. But I want to be able to. Put me behind a fence and I'll climb over. No fence? I'll stay put. Maybe.

Along these lines, I don't like to be manipulated, which is what advertisers do to sell products. I can withstand the appeal to my ego when I hear, "Choosey mothers chose Jiff." I'm fine with not being considered choosey. I'll buy the product I like at the price I like. I'm a hard sell.

I find it especially irritating, and perhaps more insidious, to hear politicians-- of any party, at any level-- say, "The American people will not stand for this.&qu…

Always together~

Nancy Reagan told Diane Sawyer in a recent interview, "If anything, I miss him more now than ever." She was speaking of her husband Ron, of course, the former President who died in 2004 at age 93. They'd been married since 1952-- 55 years.

I immediately think of my mother sitting alone in her assisted living residence. She moved there less than a year after my father died. It was apparent she couldn't stay alone in the big house she and my father built, so my brother and I made the arrangements. Now she is alone in a small room.

She has staff to help her dress, and remind her to take her pills, but she's alone-- except for our visits and calls. Her cat, and the TV. And her dinner companion, Ruth.

Nancy Reagan tells Diane Sawyer. "We were always together."

So were my parents, Bob and Gini. A neighbor once said about a pair of mallards that paddled side by side around a neighborhood pond, "They remind me of Bob and Gini."

My brother and I discuss…

Routine chores~

Today was a rainy Saturday. That meant housework instead of roaming the beach taking pictures. We have to eat, after all, and the cupboard was showing a lot of shelf space. Grocery shopping is one of my most disliked tasks; it's routine and repetitive, and involves choices on how to spend money.

For variety, I went to a store in the next town over. I find my thrills where I can. That took care of routine. Repetitive can't be helped, nor can the choices about spending money.

I was raised by thrifty parents who were into "unit pricing," so I'm never able to just pull items off the shelves and get shopping over with. I always take those few seconds to make sure I'm getting the best price for each item. Look at the weight. Compare that to the other package that looks cheaper at first glance. A ha! It weighs an ounce less. They can't trick me into wasting money-- just time. I drive myself crazy.

This store compounded my compulsive money issues by hanging neon ye…

Last time~

I woke my son David for school for the last time ever yesterday. Not a big deal, really. I wouldn't have even thought of it if he hadn't reminded me that night, "Don't wake me tomorrow, Mom. I'm going in late for a final."

Then he added, "In fact, you won't have to wake me from now on."

And that's when it hit me. He's done with high school. Again, not a big deal, really. Except that it is.

He's my baby, this 6' 4" man.

Twenty-seven years ago, I managed my first born the best I could with my entry-level maternity skills. My second child, four years later, was easier, because I knew what to expect, and she was temperamentally calmer than her older brother. Then after the heartbreak of a miscarriage, there was David.

He was it, my last baby. I knew that, and that awareness made me savor every moment of his babyhood in a way I hadn't with the others.

I rocked him to sleep, and then continued rocking, feeling his warm weight o…

Simple pleasures on Mother's Day~

Today's Mother's Day was a far cry from the days when my three kids were little, the days breakfast in bed was served on a tippy tray by beaming children who wiggled beside me and watched me swallow every bite.

No five dollar Hallmark can beat the homemade cards scrawled in crayon, the marigold sprouting in a paper cup, the sticky kisses. I loved those days.

But they were also the days when I wondered who perpetrated this Mother's Day hoax on the women of America. It was mother's day all right. Not only did the routine chores continue-- changing diapers, nursing the baby, doing dishes, picking up the house fall to me-- but there was the added job of hosting the Mother's Day celebration for my mother, my brother and family, and my own family. Nice to get together in the name of motherhood, but what a farce to call it Mother's Day. No rest for the weary mother.

At work the day after one Mother's Day, a new mother was still in a state of shock over the reality o…

Mother's Day gadget~

I just got the perfect Mother's Day gift: A gadget-- a man's gift-- or at least the kind of gift men like to give: a GPS for my car.

Yes! Forget diamonds, flowers, and shrubs to be planted on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Forget breakfast in bed.

I need a GPS.

With my left/right confusion, and inability to visualize directions, I've been lost more times than I care to admit, closer to home than I care to admit.

I have trouble with lefts and rights. If you tell me to go left, I'll invariably head right. It's a glitch in my directional wiring. I've worked around it by excessive use of reverse gear and U-turns.

Add to that my tendency to "zone out," only to discover miles and miles later when I come out of my reverie, that I missed a turn and have no clue where I am.

I once drove by my own driveway, so engrossed in the book on tape I was listening to, that I failed to notice I was home.

My husband has come to expect my phone calls when I'm off on a jaunt …

Endangered species~

I've edited my revised New Year's Resolution. No more walking in circles around a track, wondering, "Is this lap seven or eight?" No more walking on a treadmill, going for miles and ending up where I started.

Yesterday I went for a walk-- for exercise-- that turned out to be such pure pleasure I wondered why I hadn't figured this out before. Why walk for exercise when you can walk for the sheer pleasure of it?

I guess I knew in my heart of hearts this was the way to go, and I'm sure others are ahead of me in making this discovery, but sometimes I'm too busy for pleasure. There is so much to do, so much that absolutely *has* to be done. And when it is done I find my pleasure in a dish of ice cream, or a nap, or both.

I intended to do the minimum-- walk for thirty minutes. I ended up walking for over an hour, and finished happier and more refreshed than if I'd done the "for exercise purposes only" walk.

Beside a road leading through the college ca…

Pruning the Valentine rose~

My Valentine rose was dying.

I don't like to see plants die, and this plant was a Valentine gift that represented a less than healthy relationship. It arrived in bloom, a token of love more than an expression of it.

Its leaves began curling and dropping off, so I gave it more water. It got yellowish and sickly looking. I picked off the dead leaves, and repotted the plant thinking its roots needed to stretch.

Then I spotted tiny webs woven between the leaves. Nearly microscopic specks crawled across the strands like stealthy thieves. They must have been aphids. They'd been sucking the juices from the plant, these unseen killer parasites.

All the water in the world would have been futile; the veins were dry and had no ability to absorb what they needed.

Sort of a metaphor for my marriage.

Something's not right. It's not healthy and happy. It's stopped growing. So I give it what I think it needs, to no avail. Sometimes I don't care; let it die. Put it out of its mise…

Have a nice day (part three)~

"They thread a thin flexible straw through your cervix," I said, grimacing. "The straw collects the cells."

"Relax," my husband told me. "You've popped out three babies. How bad can this be?"

He was referring to the endometrial biopsy my doctor had scheduled to rule out cancer. While I'd said little about being worried, I suppose the fact that I was gasping at what I read on the Internet indicated some concern.

What is it that turns a fourteen-hour labor into "popping out" a baby? But still, he had a point. Childbirth makes most other types of pain seem pale. The procedure was said to cause some "cramping." Big deal. Cramping. Some women get light headed and nauseous. Some women, not me.

Now I was lying on the exam table, "undressed from the waist down" covered with a paper sheet. I'd been shown the "straw,"-- yellow, sealed in plastic-- about the circumference of a glass mercury thermometer.…