Posts Tagged ‘grieving’

Sometimes I think our devices are more trouble then they’re worth. My new phone, though I love it, can be really annoying at times. For example, I had the phone sitting in front of me recently and was engaged in a discussion with someone in the room about the weather. Suddenly, my phone lit up and displayed a link to to an APP for making weather tracking easier. Siri, it appears, was listening. Siri is always listening. If she had a cup pressed up against our walls, she couldn’t be gathering more information about our lives. I just hope she isn’t watching. I’m just saying.

The other day while seated in the movie theater, the flashlight on my phone turned itself on without any encouragement from me. For some reason, no matter what I tried, including putting in a request to the ever present Siri, it refused to turn off. I wrestled with it so long, an usher finally came to the aisle and asked if something was wrong. Explaining the situation to him, he suggested turning the phone off. Oh. Embarrassing. Have to give it to that kid, he resisted what I suspect was his first impulse, rolling his eyes. The fun part of that sentence is, I was in a movie theater. It’s been some time since I’ve ventured into one, and have to say I really enjoyed it. The theater we chose is one of those with the incredibly comfortable chairs where you can pre-select your seats. The seating chart on the website allows you to see what seats have already been purchased, so we chose three seats in a section away from the majority of the people, and it worked out perfectly. You might ask, why would we do that when Dale, dealing with cancer, is obviously someone not needing to be exposed to a precarious health situation where the virus might be lurking. After weighing the pros and cons involved with taking a chance and going, and following all the necessary measures to ensure he was well protected, the best answer would have to be, “because he really wanted to go”. We have all been vaccinated and he and I have survived the virus, we wore masks and we kept far away from the other movie goers. He has a lot on his bucket list to accomplish and we want to make sure he crosses some of those items off as the disease progresses. In the end, no matter what the circumstance, I believe it is better to live your life as fully as you can, while you can, and never sit around passing time waiting for life to happen to you. Life is very whimsical. Truth is, feeling secure about tomorrow in many ways is only an illusion. So many things can come along in a twenty-four hour period capable of totally changing the direction you are currently heading. While tucked away in your bed a tree could fall on your roof, a runaway car could come flying through your bedroom wall, or a poisonous spider could plant a mouthful of fatal venom in your behind. There are no guarantees on what tomorrow will look like, so best to do what you can when you can. Not to be depressing, but the reality is we, as living beings, are marching steadily towards dying, from the day we draw our first breath. So, without being irresponsible or stupid about what you are doing, I think it is important to live with the most verve that you can each day you are here. Expect the unexpected. That is my mantra, and I’m giving it my best shot. I may have a tee shirt made.

Speaking of making tee shirts, I believe that will be my next project. Several months ago, I had some demo shirts printed of my various designs. I wore several of them around town to see if that elicited any comments or reactions from people I interacted with. Happily they did. So far, the feedback has been positive, which gives me incentive to move forward with my plans. Definitely within the next year, I need to come us with something to generate some extra income. I don’t want to go back to a regular job, but would rather pursue something that captures my imagination. It’s a weird time for me, as I’m sure it is for many of us, and I need to find my joy and center myself once again.

Another unexpected occurrence, though not really a surprise with the drought and lack of rain of late, was there was yet another fire in my old neighborhood this week. The unexpected part of that statement, is not that there was a fire, but that is was the second to pop up in that many weeks, and closer to the town itself. Friends of mine were evacuated, making me thankful yet one more time, I made the decision to sell my house in the mountains and move down to the valley. Also, made me most grateful those who were evacuated were able to return to their homes today thanks to the wonderful firefighters getting the fire quickly under control. These firefighters are amazing. Our unsung heroes. They get out on the fire lines weighed down by layers of heavy protective gear, work in unbearable heat, and battle these dangerous blazes until the last ember is extinguished. Because I have some understanding from the footage I see on TV of what they must be enduring, I try not to complain too much about the smoke in the air. Hard to work up a good whine, when I am safely inside with the A/C running and my air purifier cranking away in the corner.

Life is in such disarray these days, I keep my mind off things by enjoying pleasant daydreams of moving to a lovely cottage by the shore. In my minds eye, I can picture the interior of the building with French doors opening up onto a bright and sunny deck. I see sheer curtains blowing in the gentle sea breeze at one of the many windows, each providing a view of the glistening sea beyond the deck. Each morning waking up to the calling of the gulls and the peaceful heartbeat of the ocean as it moves in and back across the sand. Ahhhhhh. In this cottage in one corner where the light is perfect, I would set up an easel, with all my drawing tools arranged on trays around it. The kitchen would have an oval pan rack hanging over a generous center workspace, and in the bedroom, there would be a wood stove and a comfy overstuffed bed with lots of brightly colored pillows and throws tossed across it for settling in with an excellent book. They say if you imagine it long enough ……

What’s interesting, to me at least, about these daydreams, is I have never verbalized them to anyone. Well, at least, until the paragraph above, which I wrote yesterday. Up until I hit publish on this blog, they have remained only sweet, wistful wishes floating about in my brain as I’ve been going through my day. Oddly enough, however, after writing the paragraph, essentially giving the thoughts life, I have begun to be inundated with pictures of beautiful homes by the sea on my social media pages. Siri really is good. Not only can she see you and hear you, but apparently she can also feel you. Someone posted an array of pictures featuring a gorgeous home on Prince Edward Island. How I would love to visit there one of these days. The home was Victorian in style with modern flourishes. The aerial view of the property showed the ocean not far from where the house was located. The inside was immaculate and impeccably decorated. The huge well-appointed kitchen literally made me salivate on my new “If you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine” tee shirt. I’m spreading the word. There were numerous bedrooms and bathrooms, a great room, a formal living and dining room, a large laundry room and a myriad of other enticing amenities. All that house on a large chunk of ocean front land and they were asking $386,000 and change. Wow. This house I’m currently occupying is under 1,200 square feet. If you turn around in one room you might find yourself entering another. In California the market value for this home runs close to $500,000. There is no garage, mind you, and the grounds, though not postage stamp size, are most certainly not what you’d advertise as acreage. If you wish to get an ocean view from here, it will necessitate getting in your car and driving four hours west.

My “wishcraft” as Rick was always calling it, seems to be on the money of late. I think about something I would like to happen, and before long it seems to materialize. I believe my receptors somehow either got a good cleaning with all the high wind passing through our area, or that knock on the head I got last week when someone left the cupboard door open (no names shall be mentioned), shook something loose over the hair line. Rick often hinted I should use some of my pseudo magic powers to work the numbers on the lottery or the Keno cards in Vegas. I don’t think it’s that kind of magic. If it was, I would throw a spell in Dale’s direction to reverse the cancer and rewrite the end of that story. Unfortunately, we are where we are. Watching him begin to fail, brings up a lot of memories for me of when Rick was at a similar stage. Though they both were diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, it has manifested itself differently in both men. Thankfully, at least so far, there has been discomfort, but little pain. I hope that will remain the case. In this way, the cancer experience for both men has similarities. For those dealing with lung cancer, from my experience, it is all about the breathing. Being an asthmatic, I totally empathize with that feeling of being unable to gather a breath. It is very scary, triggering the bodies fear mechanisms and creating much anxiety. There are so many synchronizations between these two men in my life. Same diagnosis, same doctor. It’s weird, but then my life tends to run along a weird and peculiar vein. People ask how we’re dealing. Hard to answer that question. We’re dealing. One step in front of the other. Deep breaths, I say, and then we soldier on. All you can do really. We throw in lots of hugs, and many laughs and pour in a large helping of hope and make the best of a bad situation.

On the subject of soldiering, I want to stop here to acknowledge the fallen men and women in Afghanistan. Like our firefighters, these brave people are responsible for depending our citizens and those in foreign lands, and sacrifice so much to keep us safe. I will never understand war. The cost will always be too much, in my estimation, to ever justify the gains expected to be achieved by engaging in it. Watching what is going on overseas, does solidify my feeling of gratefulness at being fortunate enough to live in a country that welcomes freedom. I guess I don’t think anymore, as I have logged a few years on this planet, that anything is really totally free. As with the balance in all things, for what you receive, something is generally given up in kind to keep the scales in check. However, I am viewing my blessings today, and trying not to dwell on those things that make my heart heavy.

The winds are up outside this morning. The air is supposed to get better as the day progresses so my plants and flowers in my unhappily neglected garden will be thankful to get some much needed oxygen and water. Have a safe and grateful day.

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We are smack in the middle of no-man’s land, how I refer to the days spanning the gap between Christmas and New Years. All the hype and excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas are behind us for another year. Turkey has been eaten, gifts have been exchanged, family has come and often gone, and life has once again has begun to settle back into the routine it held prior to Halloween.

One holiday, or really two if you count New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, remains on the calendar. New Year’s Eve has never made a good memory for me, finding me either nursing a champagne head over eggs Benedict at some pricey hotel affair or simply ensconced in general catastrophe. Even if I was thinking about making plans they would definitely include an Uber driver. People get crazy on the roads, downing alcohol like the drink in front of them will be the last alcoholic beverage to be served to them before their demise. Because of this track record, I prefer to stay home hunkered down with whatever the TV offerings might be allowing the new year to show up without giving it much fanfare. This year, however, marks not only the last gasp for 2019 and the first breath for 2020 but the entrance into a new decade. No matter how festive this might be, this time of year is remains an introspective period for me. I find I don’t know quite what to do with myself. This is an unusual and rather unsettling state of being for me as I am a person who is rarely lacking in ways to occupy my time.  It is not that there aren’t twenty things I could entertain myself doing or many things needing my attention, it’s just that I don’t seem to want to do any of them. The after Christmas let down as the last of the Christmas ornaments are boxed up and returned to the shed, and the twinkling lights no longer decorate the eaves of the house contributes to his state of malaise, I would suppose. Sometimes I wish we could just leave the tree up all year. Perhaps though, if we were to enjoy Christmas year round it wouldn’t hold the enchantment it does when visiting us only once.

As I’ve mentioned my tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving barring war or pestilence, and comes back down the day after Christmas unless I am being held captive by a rogue band of aliens. Along with the many other little nuances of personality continuing to show up, being unable to tolerate looking at the decorations any more than one day past Christmas can be added to the list. Don’t ask me why. Faulty wiring most probably. Why not? I blame my wiring for everything else I can’t explain about me. Books will be written.

Along with my gifts from Santa I got a cold. Remind me to write him a thank you. That’s what I get for eating his cookies before I went to bed. It is one of those colds that doesn’t leave you tucked under the covers in bed surrounded by a field of used Kleenex but rather one of those sapping all your energy and leaving your nose looking like you’ve been dipping it in the deep fryer. Naturally I was going to a holiday party last evening. Well sort of a holiday football party. Fully suited in my 49er sweatshirt and hoodie I was determined to root my team on no matter what. I alerted my hosts I was harboring a bug, but they insisted I show up anyhow stating three fourths of the guests were dealing with something or other this time of year. I suggested I paint bugs on pieces of paper and tape them to the sufferers backs. That way the carriers would be obvious to those not yet afflicted and a safe distance could be maintained. She seemed to feel this was over the top since people frequent stores, church, have children (the little germ magnets), and families so are exposed to germs every time they leave the house. Okay, I tried. Turns out she was right. Tissue boxes were as prevalent as acne on teenagers with everyone happily incubating germs in their lovely warm house cheering our team to a tight and nerve wracking victory against the Seattle Seahawks. YAY.  Rick loved the 49ers. They were not making a great showing before he died but he sat in his chair and rooted them on every week. I’m sure he’s tap dancing on a cloud right night watching them go into the playoffs.

So, I turn my thoughts to the new year. I don’t make resolutions as a rule.  Instead I choose to set goals and make a personal promise to do my best to achieve them. Definitely getting a job would be at the top of my list.  Yes, yes perhaps the holiday season would have been the ideal time to pursue one. Nobody likes a nag. It’s not like I’m dragging my feet on this. Well, perhaps it’s exactly like I’m dragging my feet. It’s been a while and I’m getting riper by the day. Worries me about moving back into the work force as an older woman. Makes me feel a bit like the gray whiskered dog at the pet shop competing with all the puppies. My skills are still sharp, or I like to think they are, but I certainly cannot compete with younger candidates in the candles on my cake category. I will hold positive thoughts and believe in myself and get a JOB. There you go, my affirmation for the day.

I want to explore filling my days with new and interesting experiences. Fitness is on my mind. The thought hasn’t traveled to my limbs as yet nor to the hand that picks up my phone and calls the fitness center but it’s moving in that direction. Though I walk every day, my doctor tells me my bone density needs work so work out I must whether my mind is fully on board with the thought or not.

There are lessons to be learned from all that we experience in our lives. If nothing else from the last few years I have taken with me each day needs to be treated with respect. Life can change instantly and the time to take that trip, enroll in that course, or tell someone you love them is now. Sooooo, we take a tentative step into 2020. With all that is swirling around us in the news it should prove if nothing else to be an interesting one. See you in the new year. Have a safe holiday.



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