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Posts Tagged ‘older’

In case there’s any doubt about how much I loved meeting my daughter Erin for that overnighter in Eureka last month, we’re doing it again tomorrow. Michelle and I have adopted the “Thelma and Louise” title for our road trips. We’ve even done San Diego, which is a ways, but it doesn’t seem like it when you’re in good company and loving every minute of it.

I insist that she’s Thelma because she has more fun. I’m Louise because I’m older than she is and should be more responsible.

The truth of the matter is that nobody who hasn’t been through what I’ve been through (accomplished only by living long enough) can possible appreciate the little things in life like I do.

I wake up in paradise. I rejoice in having choices. I thank God for my body, my mind, my family, my work, my sight, my voice, my bed, my breathing in and out, the joy of a good stretch, the luxury of rolling over and going back to sleep if I choose to.  There is not enough time to list all the things I’m grateful for–before I doze off again.

We’ve decided to take her tom-tom along tomorrow just because we can. She has three cars, but only mine is a convertible, and that’s what makes our travelling together so gol darned special. You can’t be Thelma and Louise in an SUV. Come on.

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I have to tell you that hunkering down around here is almost a joke compared to other places I’ve lived: Montana, Alaska, even Kansas and Oklahoma. More than anything else, a local storm warning around here makes me feel more grateful that I have been “delivered” to this mild climate for my golden years.

Our worst weather would be a winter rain storm, those only in the winter, and the worst of them would mean being without power for a few days. Three days without a shower does test your sense of humor. But it never gets too hot or too cold for comfort on the coast. Of course, there is wind. We’re right next to the Pacific Ocean.

For the most part though, we just hear of horrendous weather elsewhere and feel a little guilty that we have it so good. Today was a perfect example. Heavy storm warnings, so great that friends offered to pick me up and take me to their generator equipped home, I filled vessels with extra water (toilets don’t flush without power) and I’ve even known the stores to run out of bottled water.

This warning, once again, turned out to be the kind of rainfall you’d call a soaking rain. Gentle, occasional, not asking any more of us than to wait a few minutes to “take out the trash” or “make a dash for the post office.” Strange as it sounds, I swear that it usually rains at night on the coast. In fifteen years here, I have yet to get soaking wet … well, there was an exception.

I still practice real estate because I love it and I can’t quit. One day I showed property, two units in town, in a pouring rain. Both my client and I got soaked. That particular day did not offer the “breather” between downpours. No, no sale came out of that one. Very, very few property showings result in a sale. So you gotta love it. And I do.

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This is all so completely new to me and so out of my “territory,” I can’t believe that I’ve actually missed blogging for the last few days. But I have. And that’s that. I’ve been unreasonably busy at other things, mostly fun things, but also accomplishing a great deal.

For several years of my life, I came home to somebody to talk to, to share the day’s events with. That’s been missing in my life for decades now and somehow, crazy as it seems, being connected to the rest of humanity with this blog sort of replaces “someone to come home to.”

It’s OK to laugh or to think I’m weird. This is NOT what I expected from the  internet a few years ago when I toyed with the possibilities of this new “gadget” in my living room and where it might lead. It was quite evident to me, from the very beginning, that the internet held the possibility of bringing about “the brotherhood of man”, a method of connecting so easily that we would accidentally stumble upon the fact that we’re all more alike than we are different.

That it should happen this quickly and this easily comes as a complete surprise to me. It gives me one more reason, possible the best reason of all, to be grateful that I have been allowed to live this long and still be independent, resourceful and comfortable.

I hope the day will come when all of my fellow human beings will know what I mean by that.

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FLYING DOWN 101

When I was a kid getting to ride in a car was a pretty special treat. Whatever it is that’s special about it has never gone away. And like a lot of other things, my appreciation for the automobile is not only still there but seems to intensify as the years go by.

During some of the tough years, I would sometimes get through the tough times by thinking about  hopping into my car and just driving and driving and driving. Many times I would wish that I would never have to come back, but, of course, I did; I was a mother.

Last weekend I invited a friend to join me and we met my younger daughter, Erin, half way for an overnight in Eureka. These meetings are practically harmless except that we’re shopping freaks and have excellent taste in food.  We had two memorable meals together, found great bargains, and Michelle and I laughed about having another Thelma and Louise experience.

But the best part of all was the drive home. If you’ve never been to northern California, you can’t know how much beauty there is to be taken in when you hit the road to go somewhere–anywhere. Highway 101 from Eureka south to Leggett is no exception, especially now that they’ve opened up that new four-lane cut off where there used to be an on-going rock slide threat.

I swear it felt like flying. My little Sebring is a fun car to drive at worst and on this trip home it seemed to take wings. The cruise control was set, there was no  sound, and not a bleep in the pavement that I could feel. What a joy. What a blessing to be able to feel so much joy, to be sharing it with a friend, to have a home to go to, to be a spoiled brat American and over eighty. Thank you, God.

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That’s why Nancy gave up nursing. After years of working at hospitals, she could no longer tolerate watching vain efforts to revive, rescussitate, or further diagnose teminally ill patients.

It was one thing if there was the slimest chance that the patient might live. Quite another when the poking, probing and gurney rides to take another test were making the patient miserable. 

Nancy could no longer bear to see frail, old people who were trying to die being dragged from their beds and taken for yet another X-ray or another MRI.

If people have the right to live, why shouldn’t they have the right to die? No amount of denial will change the fact that the human body is not going to live forever. It’s going to die. The person in that body may very well know when that time has come. 

Does anyone have the right to interfere with that process? Nancy didn’t think so. Neither do I.

My Do Not Recussitate order is in place. Right now I consider that  correct and even partiotic. Keeping people alive who are ready to die, gobbles up most of the insurance money paid out each year. I hope none of it prolongs my life when I’m ready to go.

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When you’re 83, everybody on Earth is a kid – by comparison.  Furthermore, you can call anybody anything you like when you’re over eighty. No rule book has ever been written for people with that particular claim to fame. Nor am I proposing to write one.

I’m sitting here at my beloved Vaio, in the picture window of my glorious yard, with the fascinating challenge of introducing you, the younger reader, to what it’s like to be over eighty. Hang with me, and you’ll begin to look forward to it.

I have a particular kind of love for the whole baby-boomer generation – being wholely responsible for bringing four of them into existance. Well, OK, I was impregnated by their father. Yep, the same man for all four. That was acceptable, if not expected, “back then.”

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