Now, though, I am back in the land of reality…..two- and one-half days of escapism, of distraction, of joy. As I was watching TV last Friday evening, surfing the channels, I unwittingly found that the local PBS station was showing Downton Abbey re-runs. Thus, it began, this mental vacation – I was sucked into the TV, re-living the escapades and accomplishments of the Crawley family. I was in TV heaven, I was transported for a short time out of the reality of this current world to watch a fascinating story, fiction as it was, of a family with all of its ups and downs. Yes, when Downton Abbey was in “season” I watched it regularly, but I did miss some episodes. Well, I can happily say, I am all caught up. What a marvelous example of talented writing, acting, producing, and all of the facets that it takes to bring such a show to life. I am grateful.
This is the question hovering in the back of my mind. And, the answer is, I don’t know. These last several months have been challenging for all of us. I find one of the hardest things is to grocery shop. It consumes my morning. Remember, when we first were learning about what to do during this Pandemic to minimize exposure, there were guidelines on how to handle your groceries. It was a major process of wiping everything down. There’s getting used to masks – I have 2 styles, one leaves ridges under my eyes, the other is harder to see from a couple of angles. But hopefully they do their job. Of course, there has been minimal contact with folks. Every once in a while, I’ll be out front when my neighbor across the street is out and we visit for a few minutes – enough space between us. My daughter even came over on Mother’s Day (she lives 1.5 hours away) to do some odd jobs outside – power washed the patio – but we air hugged and ate our separate lunches on the patio where we were able to enjoy the decent weather and were over 6 feet apart. Last week, my son-in-law to be came out on Thursday and did some odds and end, put a vent cover on the dryer vent…. etc. It was good to see him – we, too, just air hugged. Ate our meals separately, I had soup (which I had made the previous day), and he ate his sandwich on the patio – I opened a window near my dining table so we could converse. Other than grocery and pharmacy visits, that has been my human contact. I did need to get my car inspected – managed to find a place where I could actually stay in my car. Result – car is legal (and after inspection she got a nice washing, too.)
I have done a few projects outside, but they have been minimal. I have finished two small crochet projects; I do have another easy one to do, just don’t seem to have the will. I keep my routine of house cleaning, and other ordinary chores, preparing meals, laundry, bed linens, etc. That is as it should be. My morning routine, although not always in a timely fashion, is still pretty much the same – I do put on a little makeup. I have a walking routine and a morning exercise routine – done daily. My walking is minimal, though. I have thought about my wonderful bike – just wish I could get over my fear of falling and not wanting to be hospitalized for a broken something during this time. (Maybe I should convert it into a stationary bike.) I read – especially just before bed. I have done 3 puzzles, working on a 4th – but, this one is challenging my patience. The TV is always on, that is my main company (oh, of course there are phone conversations) but I have become addicted to re-runs of Diagnosis Murder, Mangum PI (original), Love It or List It and Home Town. The days come; the days go. Still there is life. Life in a more careful way. My stay at home endeavors do include weekly visits to a grocery store, occasional visits to a pharmacy (as mentioned above) and post office, and maybe a short drive by myself into the country side. I am in the higher risk group, so will continue social distancing protocols. I do not want to become a burden on the medical community, or on anyone. Indeed, I am sincerely grateful that I have a home, space and ability to care for myself. There is a nice roof over my head, and all of my wonderful memories surround me. While these times are different for most of us, and the challenges are exacerbated right now, for me, there is none the less a firm realization of how valuable and good life truly can be. This heightens my gratitude.
If anything, I’ve been remiss. Yes, because I haven’t pushed myself into writing. Well, I am now attempting to change that – not really pushing, just allowing my thoughts to finally reach paper. Perhaps, then, this will stop the brain calisthenics so I can clearly share some thoughts. Now, I’m left with figuring out where to start. Hmmm, at the beginning? Heavens no, that’s way too long ago! Perhaps another new start…...the beginning of my change of venue. I posted last year that I was planning to relocate. That has been done!
Upon getting my previous beloved home in order for viewing, it was placed on the market – sold within 3 weeks. Then began the negotiations. Taking a bit less than I had hoped, I did finally capitulate. Took it while I could. During the time all the paper work was being tossed back and forth, packing began in earnest, a moving company was sought. With the dedicated assistance of a longtime friend and my daughter, we packed up that 2,200 square foot house loaded with memorabilia (and necessities) into over 125 boxes of various sizes, furniture and a piano. I could not have done it without their help. And so, on the 26th of November, the movers arrived. The next day, I signed away my home of 16 years leaving only memories. (Please let me iterate, that home was the longest I had ever lived in any one place!) The transition had begun. My daughter did yeoman’s planning and work to make my move easier and the house ready. She guided the movers through the whole affair. Once the major items were situated, I began the unpacking in earnest. Box after box either stored or unloaded. Much was done. It took a few months to get boxes out of the main living area and pictures on the walls, but it was done. My hands were like washboards as a result. The place, though, is now very homey. It is a bit changed from my previous days, for the better; boasting newer floors, kitchen counters, bathroom counter/hardware, ceiling fans, door hardware and paint (lots of new paint!) Everything goes very well in this space, and I am beginning to enjoy it. And, I’ve even added some furniture – purchased some new dining chairs (only 2) and they are gorgeous! So now, with all this settling in, this adjusting to new doctors, and the finishing of needed repairs (sprinkler system, new outside doors, and more) I am going to re-establish community involvement. There are at least two inside projects yet to complete: reorganizing closets! But there is time for that. Definitely easy to postpone. Here’s to a new life!
At some point, some day - hopefully soon. I've missed writing, my mind has been so diverted lately. But, I am hoping to change that soon. There's much to tell, and I want to be articulate with all that is on my mind. Too much has been going on, all around me, internationally, nationally, personally - It has been hard for my mind to rest and focus enough to compose some reasonable communication. There is quite a bit to impart....and, I would like to make it interesting. My fingers need to do the "walking".....perhaps, I should just let them lead. Anyway, it has been quite a while since my last entry....so, I took this opportunity to seed the field, so to speak. Now, I'll need to follow through. Send good wishes.....I send you mine.....they are more than meaningful. Take good care.
Whether you voted for him or not, whether or not you agreed with him, you cannot deny he was a patriot – in the strongest sense of the word. Mr. McCain believed in this country and in democracy. Even with his foibles, faults and characteristics, he was honest. His travails during the war in Vietnam made him more determined to work for his country; he said it was during this time that he “fell in love” with his country. Because of those years in Vietnam, he continually suffered physically, but was not defeated by these limitations; he just seemed that much more determined to serve. His willingness to listen, may have often led to disagreements, but always discussions. During his service in the Congress, he looked at the facts, assessed them, encouraged participation from all sides. It was said he defied ideology; Jon Meacham called him an “umpire.” Mr. McCain was a man of intelligence, integrity and values, trusting his strong common sense. These qualities were seasoned with his sense of humanity and humor. When he made mistakes, he admitted them, adhering to his own principles. While he could also be described as a curmudgeon, crusty and a maverick in his dealings, one witnessed grace and a steadfast decency, even during tedious campaigns. When someone in the Press became an irritant to him and sometimes ignored, he soon relented. That person became a witness to his forgiving nature. After all, he knew how important an informed media is to democracy. Please, let us honor this man’s legacy and all for which he stood. His patriotic demeanor should be treasured, respected and never forgotten. It is a legacy we so greatly need during this time; let us not diminish that and endeavor to salvage honor. Thank you, John Sidney McCain III for your service.
Truthfully, it was like a light bulb being turned on – granted, more like a newer light bulb that takes a few minutes to come to full power. Still, I’ve concluded that I am beginning to pass through another portal. A portal leading to more challenge, more change and a different life. I have indeed passed through several portals in my life, but this one seems a little different. Perhaps it is the melancholia surfacing as I go about preparing. It was a major decision, possibly influenced to a degree by having faced a few unexpected personal challenges this last year which have led me to re-evaluate my home environment. So, my surroundings will be changing. It is time. Yes, it is time to admit that although I can still keep up with the place in which I live, I probably need to accept that it will eventually become more difficult. It’ll make financial sense, too. My current home isn’t young (nor am I), the general maintenance is a regular challenge. All homes need some sort of maintenance; the older they grow, the more they need. I think for being 45 years old, the house is still in decent shape. Yet I do know that could change. I, indeed, was blessed to find such a home – having now lived in it for 16 years. This was the second home I’ve bought on my own, in my own name; however, over the last 25 years, it is the third home I’ve maintained for which I have been solely responsible. I have more than a strong attachment to this place, the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere, and one of the nicest. Sigh. It is two story though (steps a little hard on the knees,) and around 2,200 sq. ft. – a bit to clean on my own, true, but I’ve done it!
The good news, I will be renting a lovely smaller home owned by my daughter, a home with which I am familiar. It is located in a smaller town, a county seat; a town culturally rich, but less hectic than the area in which I now live. I have, though, greatly loved this area – access to such a variety of things enhancing the quality of life. But, the huge PLUSIS to be going back to a place with which I am familiar, a place closer to my daughter (and to my long time BFF’s.) Yet, it will be new. New circumstances, new routines, a new time, a different me. Not only in age, but in experience. I have worked since I was a teen ager in various jobs of increasing responsibilities until I stopped working full time several years ago. The activities I’ve taken on since then have been much different than those of my profession, but so rewarding. And, I have been most fortunate to have been able to maintain my living conditions and environment. However, when I moved to this area with a new job twenty years ago, I had “stars in my eyes,” great hopes and expectations. Several of those hopes came to fruition, many of them did not. Yes, that is life. Now, I take on the next phase of my life with fewer “stars”, a little fear, yet wish to recreate some of the enthusiasm that I once possessed, some of that joy. As I prepare for this portal transition (lots of work yet to come,) I am attempting to reevaluate all of my stuff, my life – what do I need? Want? My home is a diary of mine and my daughter’s life – what I experienced before her, and what we shared since then. Many mountains, a few valleys. This stuff surrounding me has been hard to sort, and the review has brought on some of that melancholia mentioned. It has helped, though, emphasize the many blessings I’ve had. Thus, all of these memories are valuable and, I think, what if I didn’t have them. Then there are all the folks I know, who have come to this home. The liaisons I had when I worked, those established over the last 16 years I had hoped to maintain. These contacts, though, are beginning to diminish, and I do feel a large void. So, this is probably one other reason it is time for a change to take place. Yes, relationships evolve over the years….as a single person I have been painfully aware of this. The new relationships created with my recent activities will be especially cherished, but it was nice to have had the feeling of longtime friends near. For everything, though, there is a season. As I move toward the next season, let me shake this heavy heart, revive the gusto, strength and hope so that I can whiz through the next portal of transition. For, the “best is yet to be.”
“The world must be made safe for democracy,” Woodrow Wilson, 1917. In my opinion, it is incumbent on those in this United States to preserve our own democracy…….it has been under attack, it is being eroded. Please understand what democracy is, and support it, not destroy it. It is not the government of one person, or of one party….it is a government for ALL of our citizens and those seeking asylum. It is not a rule of a minority – it should be a coming together of many, creating a majority. Our government was set up to have checks and balances; these need to be acknowledged and protected, thus creating the ability to share the governance of the country and not allow any one segment rule. Those elected to represent us in our national congress were not sent there to be enforcers, specifically for only one person, one belief or to obfuscate the truth. They are your representatives, they are supposed to represent the entire district, not just those peoples within their party. Idealistic? No, truth. They have been elected to help organize our governmental policies to essentially protect and support all human rights..…yes, ALL human rights. This is not simple, yet necessary. Compromise is a key word. When compromise exists, it powers dignity, integrity, compassion and truth. We need this now, more than ever. Let the people speak, let it be conscientious and peaceful – this is a protected right.
Almost a month now, but Indeed, what happened in March is a beginning, a new day; yes, each day is new, but that day was quite different. Extraordinary young leaders have begun to inspire a nation. It was historic, this will continue. And, I feel hope again. I am encouraged that there will be change, that there will be a uniting of those interested in decency and democracy. And, it took the courage of teen agers to lead the way. Yes, I watched the demonstrations on March 24, and was amazed. I was impressed, enthralled and so proud of our youth. Their emphasis was on unity, on love, and especially on stopping violence. They exuded intelligence, were extremely articulate, eloquent, passionate and well informed. The demonstrations were well organized and peaceful. The First Amendment utilized with respect. These were not youth going off “half-cocked”, these were young people with a maturity many adults do not possess. Myself included. They had faced a tragedy that most of us are fortunate not to have faced, yet far too many have experienced. I am hoping that this momentum continues, that this endeavor will not end. It sounds as if they will have the courage and impetus to continue. And so, I am hoping that our day for democracy will return, that our nation will survive in spite of vitriol and lies levied against many constituents. Our democracy will continue – our rule of law will endure – good must overcome. I am also thinking of the legacy of Barbara P. Bush – hers was a life led with respect. May we all continue to keep her memory, her inspiration in our hearts so that it will be impetus to continue the fight for our democracy. This would definitely be honoring her legacy of honesty, strength, love and pride of nation. This is my hope; I am only a small voice……..
My head has been a jumble, true, this is not a new circumstance.My heart, though, is heavier then it has been.What has happened to the joy I once felt, the delight in each day?I work, I pray each day to keep it from disappearing.I am hoping to re-discover, to bring back more hope, the positive feel, the delight in looking forward.This year has been hard on many, and I feel it personally.Basically, because I have also had a few challenges.True, the challenges and changes I have faced may not compare to many who face greater mountains to climb than I.Still, these changes came on so fast, it was hard to digest one before something else occurred.And, now I am experiencing a bigger void in a relationship.I feel this gap is, yes, widening.I don’t look forward to the time when we can’t bridge that gap.But, it may come sooner than I want.Age is a factor, something I hadn’t ever thought I would say.And, decisions, i.e., plans for the future, what to do to soften the aging experience, to make it easier on all involved, to not be a burden.Oh my.Just writing helps.