Saturday, August 31, 2013

Wearing the air

Toward the end of July, back when the moon was full...

 my cousin in Hawaii sent me an e-mail with this phrase… 
Last night the moon was s-o-o-o beautiful. We are wearing the air tonight… there are clouds in the sky and rain will come our way later tonight, as forecast.
At the time she sent that e-mail, we were experiencing a rather unusual summer. It was unseasonably cool and we had gotten a lot of rain. 

For some people, too much rain. Local gardeners who come to the Farmer's Market complained that they lost some of their vegetables because the plants drowned. Of the cactus I put outside for the summer, at least one has died because it got too much water.

However, the summer we seemed not to have had, and which most of us were grateful not to have had, has returned in full force now that the children have started back to school.

Now, of course, we need some rain. The water level in our rain barrel, which was full to the brim, will soon be used up as it is doled out to the few things I have growing in containers: basil and parsley, and the double impatiens...

that my friend Judy gave me 3 years ago as a rooted slip in a glass jar and which is now about 3 feet tall. The original plant grew many years ago in her mother's yard in Indiana.

It is very hot and humid, which will push the heat index in this part of state close to 100, if not over 100, by days’ end.

Last night when I left the house at about 6 p.m. to take Molly Wog for her evening stroll, huge columns of white puffy clouds were forming on the horizon, but no rain is in the forecast. Even so, the air seemed to settle down around me like a coat.

It did indeed feel like I was wearing the air.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Entering mid-geezer-hood

When my lovely, funny, bewildering, and sometimes exasperating beloved husband staggered out of bed yesterday morning and began getting dressed for the day, I thought it might be fun to take a picture of the birthday boy in his birthday suit. I think he has exceptionally fine looking buns for a 70-year-old man, except of course I have not seen the buns of any other 70-year-old men so I really have no idea how they measure up. Moving right along….

He did not think it would fun. Dressing commenced without the camera making an appearance.

Ten years ago, when he turned 60 years old, we teased him about joining the ranks of “geezer-hood.” Now he is 10-years into it, and perhaps in “mid-geezer-hood.” I am not sure how one determines if a man is a geezer. I think some element of eccentricity should be involved, and I am not sure if being a geezer is more of a state of mind than it is of age. At any rate, I think he is eccentric enough.

I can’t believe this man is now 70 years old.

I am wondering if 70 is now the “new 50?” Even though his beard has turned white, his face still looks so young to me. He says he has started to "feel" his age, no thanks to added aches in pains in various joints. Even so, he just doesn’t seem like an “old guy.” Perhaps that is because I am getting old right along with him, although 6 years behind, by 2 months and 1 day.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!''
I am glad that we have had the chance to grow old together and am looking forward to some good “best” times ahead.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Yes, we have no Italian

We were finally able to use the gift card we were given for the Macaroni Grill (which closed down and was the topic of an earlier post) at another restaurant in Springfield where we have previously had a good meal.

Because we can eat whenever we want, rather than when the boss decides, we tend to eat early and so we were among the first people to arrive at the restaurant. We were seated in a lovely side room, which was empty, and the server took our orders. Richard asked for a salad, and she asked what type of dressing he wanted.


I am sorry, but we do not have Italian dressing.

And she rattled off a list of dressings that they did have and he chose one and the meal proceeded.

I did not order a salad. I ordered soup, so I did not have the chance to ask for Italian dressing and be told that they didn’t have any. Besides, I would have ordered Ranch dressing, which they did have.

Not long after, this exchange, two older women with loud voices were seated in the booth behind Richard. The waiter came to take their order. They both ordered salad, and he asked them what dressing they wanted.


I am sorry, but we do not have Italian dressing.

Humm, I thought to myself…

Four young professional people were the next to come in, and they were seated at a table across from me. The waiter came and took their order. At least one person ordered a salad. My ears perked. He asked what type dressing was wanted.


I am sorry, but we do not have Italian dressing.

Then an older couple and a single woman came in but I could not hear the exchange between them and the server because they were too far away. It would not have surprised me if they had ordered salad with Italian dressing.

Aside from the lack of Italian dressing, we had a very good lunch. But the attitude of the restaurant left me wondering: Why does the restaurant not offer Italian dressing? It’s not like there is a shortage of Italian dressing, as might have existed when the song Yes, We Have No Bananas was written back in the 1930s.

Just from what I overheard, it is obvious that the customers want Italian dressing. Shouldn’t one of the restaurant’s goals be to keep customers happy by giving them what they want (within limits, of course)? Having Italian dressing on the menu doesn’t seem like it should be that big of a deal.

Richard loves salad, and he has a big salad every night after dinner. And tonight, as he always does, he will have it with Italian dressing.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Now the fun begins...

Since July 4 I have been negotiating the activities of daily living with my left hand.

My father is left-handed. One of my brothers is left-handed.

I am not left-handed. I am most definitely a right-handed person, and I am often not very well coordinated with that hand on the best of days.

There were times in the past 5 weeks (give or take a few days) that the frustration level of trying to do things with my left hand resulted in crying jags and, I am sorry to say, an occasional word.

At about 3 weeks in, I suddenly remembered seeing numerous images of English people eating with their forks in their left hand, but turned upside down. And much to my delight (and the state of my clothes), I discovered a method to their madness: any food that could be impaled on the tines of the fork could be stabbed with the fork upside down and easily gotten to my mouth, without first take a side trip somewhere else. 

On Thursday, I had a follow-up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, and left the splint in the trash can and walked out with just the sling and instructions to begin gentle range of motion and stretching exercises for 3 weeks. If all continues to progress well, then he said he will write orders for me to have physical therapy with the “Samsonite Monkeys,” which is the term he used for the people who will administer the physical therapy and which came from an old television commercial for Samsonite luggage.

I am not sure what I expected that I would be able to do with my right hand when I came home, but I quickly discovered that it wasn’t much, at least at first.

And the muscles in my arm, especially around my wrist, that had been used almost not at all for 5 weeks protested with vigor at being asked to do even the simplest thing. I can't rotate my wrist so my palm is up, for example

I know that sometimes praying for patience means we are then put in difficult situations where we get to practice having patience.

Even though I can see some progress in what I can do -- even in the last two days – I can now feed myself with my right hand, and I can take a shower by myself (which I think disappoints my dearly beloved just a little), I am still in a difficult situation.

Do I dare ask for patience? I need some!