Growing old gracefully is easier said than done. The old adage of using it or losing it is indeed true. Therefore, I must find a way to gainfully employ the use of my brain to keep my synapes fired up. Hence, my blog.
My sis lives in the state of Arizona in a gated community with many walls partitioning off one yard from the next. She has learned to pretty much ignore the howls of coyotes at night. Also lizards she got used to, but she is fearful of the newest community denizen, a mountain lion. There
are sightings every day along a particular patch of road with access to a desert like field. This cat has been seen jumping over 7 foot fences like it wasn't even there! My sister travels this location both to and from work and is always on the look out. Well, a few days ago she spotted him! She was so excited! She has been riding around with her camera in the front seat to take a photo if she was lucky enough to see him. But when the time came, she was too mesmerized to fumble for her camera for fear of loosing sight of such a magnificent animal. I must admit, it is easier to be brave while sitting safely ensconced in a SUV so she is both fearful and fascinated at the same time. Me? I am easily amused watching my backyard menagerie of wildlife, however, we have a new visitor I am none to happy about. It appears to be a bird seed eating rat!
I never expected to witness the final death throes of a living being transpire in the confines of my small powder room, but I did. I took note of the smallest of a spider web strung low, almost to the floor, between the waste receptacle and sink cabinet. Caught in it's midst was a rather scrawny moth, not the fat, hairy looking kind, but a much smaller variety. It was desperately flapping its wings in its attempt to be set free. The spider was smaller than even the moth. Since I'd rather side with the underdog, I allowed nature to take its course. Even so, I felt a perverse tug of guilt which seemed so silly under the circumstances. It is said that at any given moment a person is no more than 6 feet away from a spider. So I'd best keep on their good side, is all I'm saying. One cannot be too careful.
Last week I was given a glimpse of a post apocalyptic scenario when the region where I live lost power for days on end. The condition was caused by a sudden swift but fierce storm with hurricane winds, pelting hail and a torrent of rain. Traffic quickly became grid locked when traffic lights no longer fulfilled their function. Stores and offices closed when it became impossible to conduct business. ATM's and cell phones were incapable of completing transactions. Roads were impassable due to degree of destruction of fallen trees and wires. All this occurred within our microcosmic community where we could not buy food nor gas. It gave me pause to wonder what it would be like if the this were to occur nationwide or even involve the entire world. Now that our power has been restored, I can count my many blessings. I cannot begin to fathom what it would be like to have a tornado or floods encompass my limited world. Earthquakes, tsunamis, plagues and pestilence have occurred elsewhere and I pray I will never witness the death and destruction that such catastrophes cause. This realization makes that paltry blackout so insignificant that I feel foolish I thought it was such a big deal when it happened. Makes one feel humble, doesn't it?
Our backyard has become a wildlife preserve. Not officially so, but a haven for animals none the less. I know some folk consider squirrels with the same contempt afforded to rodents, but we offer an equal opportunity sanctuary to all furry and feathered friends alike. As of today, I can report three different varieties of squirrel: gray, black and the newest addition, a red one. The red fella looks rather youngish and is as quick as greased lightening. I will continue to watch for him and will try to get a picture of the silly little scamp. Now all we need to complete our menagerie would be the addition of a flying squirrel. Okay, Rocky, come out, come out, where ever you are.
When my Mother helped me pick out training bras, I never thought I'd ever see the day when I'd be picking out men's undershirts for her to be wearing some 50 years later. There is something very wrong with this. Apparently, 90 year old women no longer wear brassieres. Wow, there is a word not used very often these days! I suspect that type of support is no longer indicated thus allowing said appendages to be allowed to all hang out. Maybe out is not the proper word to be used here. Hang down may be the more adequate description. So when the aide at my Mother's Retirement Community, requested me to supply her with the said missing articles of clothing, I agreed to carry out the mission. Only now I am having reservations. Should I buy short or no sleeved shirts? She just doesn't seem to be the type to be wearing the wife beater's version.
I have been enjoying watching the birds drinking and taking baths in the birdbath outside my kitchen window. It requires being filled twice a day since the water gets dirty from it's many bathers of all different sizes and varieties. In this extreme heat and high humidity, even the birds must feel it since so many of them are opening their beaks as if to breathe through their mouths. Well, my hubby decided they deserve a treat, so he filled the birdbath with ice cubes. I have yet to see any reaction, so the verdict is still out on this one. I best get back to watching again before the ice melts. I hope this doesn't cause any birds to fly South prematurely.
With yesterday being the first official day of summer, I spent the lengthening twilight hour in my backyard playing catch with my dogs, Moose and Ralfee the lil savage. At 8 PM, it was tranquil and comfortable with a slight breeze to make it a relaxing end to a much hotter day. I do not allow the dogs to be as active during the heat of the day. What amazed me beyond belief were the number of lightning bugs emerging from the grass covered earth. There must have been hundreds in our immediate vicinity. Ralfee, the pug, was so fascinated with them, he made me laugh. He would run up as they flew off in the air trying to get a taste of what a fire fly would taste like. When sighted on a blade of grass, he would get up as close as possible to try to get a whiff of that lightning bug smell. I couldn't help but wonder how many of those glowing little creatures it would take to light up a pug belly. Even though I know it not to be possible, it is an entertaining thought just the same. After all, I remember as a little girl, that fire flies must be as magic as Tinkerbelle, who was able to blink with a light that could activate the imaginations of all the little children around the world.
My Father was 20 years older than my Mother. He was 47 when I was born, the age some people become grandparents. Unfortunately, the toll of cigarette smoking, made him appear even older than his years. His emphysema became so bad, he could not walk far. But as a little girl, I always looked up to him and fondly remember the nicknames he'd call me like "my little nick nook" and "my little monkey". On this Father's Day, I feel content in knowing that my Dad is forever near and watches over me. He never met his grandchildren, but I know they would make him proud. Happy Father's Day, Daddy. I still miss you after 38 years.
I am traveling back over the years as far back as I can remember. Back to the time before TV, when milkman delivered milk right to your front door with cardboard tops that could become askew as the cream rose to the top or became frozen in the winter. When the coal truck delivered coal which tumbled down the coal chute to the furnace in the basement. When the telephones had party lines and a dime would buy you a bag full of penny candy. The possibilities of technology such as we have today, where not even fathomable. Computers were as far flung as a man walking on the moon. I was riveted to the first black and white television I saw at my neighbor's house. To think now in five brief decades, we have advanced to hi def on screens producing images bigger than life for home viewing. Not to mention the advances in medicine! Without my artificial joints, I'd be wheel chair bound! I find life so incredible these days, it boogles the mind. So when I hear it spoken about the good old days, I sigh in relief that I have left them behind and am grateful for these good new days instead.
Okay, so it is more like two people inquired recently about me updating my blog. How big must a populace be before considered popular demand? I say more than one, so here it goes.
I've been rather housebound since my surgery in April, so it is hard to report on stupid things people do as they age when I am not doing much of anything. Having said that, I can report on dumb things hubby does which leaves a full range of stupid stuff open for scrutiny. Why just this morning, I was informed that the most highly sanctified of all objects was lost and no where to be found. I duly double checked all the usual hidey holes of ill repute only to come up empty handed. Not under the couch, not in the drawers, not under the cushions of the furniture, moved coffee table and not under there. Looked in bathroom, bedroom, basement, refrigerator and even outside on the deck. Nada. Just when I stopped looking, I nonchalantly open the oven door, and there staring me squarely in the eyes, it appears. The one and only, all purposeful and authority ruler of them all.....the TV remote control! I am so happy, I did not need to pre-heat the oven! He's never going to live this one down. HA!
Okay, so I am watching all these young, buff athletes competing in the Olympics in Vancouver and I am beginning to feel a tad old and a bit out of shape. Perhaps that is putting it mildly. I am as old as the Man in the Moon and there is no descriptive word to describe the shape I am in. Having said that, I cannot even fathom throwing my weight down the side of a mountain and expecting to stop at the bottom. Then there are those mongul races where you are expected to kiss your knees goodbye cause I wouldn't expect to find them ever again having put them through that. Thank goodness I have no desire to luge, bobsled, ski jump, curl or snowboard. Come to think of it, I'll remain content to watch the events from the comfort of my own recliner and leave the winning of gold medals to those deserving to do so.
It has been said, that this winter is becoming a record year for snow fall in the area where I live. Currently, we are expecting even more of the white stuff within the next 24 to 48 hours, while we still have 2 feet of it left on the ground. It seems to me when I was a child, we got much more snow that was even deeper than anything we have experienced recently. In my child's eye, I recollect trudging through avalanches of frozen tundra well above my knees, while collecting slush in my boots, all the way to my school which was seldom ever closed. Since I lived within walking distance, I never had the excuse of the bus not showing up in a reasonable amount of time thus allowing one to return home with a clear conscience. No, indeed, I had to stomp, stomp, stomp, trudge, trudge, trudge all the way to school all bundled up in leggings, parka, scarves, boots, hat and mittens with a runny nose while clutching a sodden lunch bag. Often times, getting there to find teachers were unable to get in, so I was sent back home only to change into dry clothes and be sent outside again to play. I realize in retrospect that the snow may not have been as high as I remembered it to be, just as surely as it was not an up-hill trudge to school in both directions. But one thing I know for sure, now that I've gotten older, is it feels colder to me now than it ever did way back when. Cold is definitely colder than it used to be.
I can't help but to notice I have a loyal visitor from Benguet in the Philippines that checks in several times a day even though I have not been blogging very often. I just wanted to say hello to you and suggest that you comment on my blog so you can introduce yourself. I'm curious to find out what the draw is to my mundane ramblings to entice you to visit so often? If you too have a blog, let me know so I can check it out. Feel free to visit as often as you like and I apologize for not posting on a more regular basis.
I wouldn't say my sister and I are all that competitive, more like open to the powers of suggestion. She usually calls me on her drive home from work. Since her time is 2 hours behind, this means I usually have just finished eating dinner. She needs to know what I had to eat and when I tell her, this makes her crave the very same thing. If she doesn't have it at home, she stops at the grocery store. So this is the way it is between us. Well, the other day she told me she ordered something from QVC, so I looked it up online. Yep, you got it! I ordered the very same thing. What you might ask? Nothing less than 1 Total Core Abdominal Machine with Slim Down DVD and meal plan. Wish us luck!
Sleep alludes me. Try as I might. Listening to house noise trying to decipher the sounds. Eyes feel heavy yet can't keep them closed. Quieting thoughts a laborious process. Weeding the mind of unwanted growth. Encouraging tranquillity and relaxation. Willing stillness of body and soul. Surrounded by darkness yet exuding warmth. Uncertain of my wants and needs but allowing security to claim any insecurities. To find peace in dreams. Conscience a mere protocol. Lapses of memory but a residue. Fading into oblivion. Sleep is nigh.
If I were a cat, I am unsure how many lives I would have left, however, since I last wrote, I lost one life of a cat by surviving a car accident. Each cat life lost is a new appreciation for living so I have renewed my vows for gratitude and living in the present moment. We need reminders every now and then. I sustained four fractures, but by fracture standards since non-displaced, they are not significant enough to require casting or surgery to recover. Just time, rest and rehab. Unfortunately, the older we get the longer it takes. If I were a child, this would be a mere bounce of a ball. Suffice it to say, this old ball has become rather deflated and won't bounce too high anymore. Not that I'm complaining mind you. My life has plenty of omph left for me to be living in the fullest. And as far as how many cat lives are left, I'd rather not know, but take encouragement that cats always land on their feet when they fall.