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Lost now Found

I am so good. I found something that I thought was gone forever. We live in a small condo after down sizing twice.Storage is at a premium.Things are not where one would expect to find them. I am always surprised when I find what I know I put in a safe place . I have many safe places.

The object that I am looking for is a battery charger for a Sony camera. My son is visiting and he saw that I wasn't using this camera. Being generous to a fault and wanting to rid our selves of as much as I can, I offered him the camera.I have another one. But the battery needed a charger. I really didn't know that I had a charger for that camera. That's probably why I have another camera. I suspect I thought the camera was broken. I looked in all of the places that I keep electronic cords and things that plug into other things. Nothing. He found a charger on line and was just about to order, when I opened an unlikely drawer in the living room. The charger was in the drawer--- it was the only thing in that whole drawer.I felt exonerated about squirreling things away in safe places. This charger was not safe from me. I found it. It is never too late to accept that most of the time I don't remember where I put things that I want to keep safe. But it is fun to look and sometimes clean out a hiding place along the way.

Solitaire

 

I enjoy playing Solitaire on my computer.I find it relaxing. It's calming. I was wondering if you could tell how a person views life by how they attack Solitaire. I play quickly. If the cards don't line up ,I am on to another game. No second guessing. No replaying the cards over and over, expecting another outcome. I take chances. Should I wait for the red King, or just play the black King and hope that a red Queen comes up. It's a game. No one is dependent on me to make the right decision. I find that so enabling. I get a high from winning. If I can win and make right decisions playing cards, I can do the same in real time life. Warped thinking, but why not. I am training my brain to make quick, useful decisions. That's how I look at my Solitaire games. Does the word Solitaire come from the word solitude.Does it mean to be just you and the cards.That's like life, too.It is about you .Maybe winning at cards is winning at life. If only it were that simple.

 

It's never too late to play one more game before I fall asleep.

Coke and a Hershey Bar

This isn't the worse thing that could happen, but, I think I am allergic to chocolate. I itch when I have had some. I experimented and I am afraid that this is true. It would be the end of a food group for me. I grew up eating red beans and rice and drinking Coke with a Hershey Bar. The red beans and rice were a Monday tradition. Everyone in New Orleans eats red beans and rice on Monday. Even the finest restuarants serve red beans and rice on Mondays. It's TRADITION. That used to be laundry day when the kettles were set up for boiling the water to wash the clothes in. Since it was a whole days project, the women would plan on a long cooking supper dish. Hence red beans and rice on Monday.

But back to chocolate, and not just any chocolate. Hershey's milk chocolate is the only one that goes with a Coke. And the Coke also has to be what we now call Classic Coke. Coke is better at Passover, because to make it Kosher for Passover, they use cane sugar (It's better that way) When I go to a resturant and order a Coke, I always preface my order by asking if it is "real" Coke. I come from the south, I know when the waitress is trying to fool me. I may not be wise in the ways of a big city,but I know my Coke.

Coke makes a perfect breakfast drink. Ask any true southerner. It's never too late to go back to your roots , eat a Hershey bar with that Coke and take a Benedryl.

Challenged

Yesterday, I experienced what I felt was an act of elder abuse. I was angry after the episode. It was frustrating and brought tears to my eyes. And I don’t consider myself an elder or a person who is challenged..

I had to deal with an agent ,over the phone. I had to give a product serial number that was engraved on the back of my iPad. It was so small that I couldn’t read it. I held the iPad to the light, I took a piece of paper and did the trick of rubbing a pencil over the engraving to see if the numbers came up. They didn’t. I explained to the agent that I couldn’t read the numbers, please help me. I was told to 1. Get a magnifying glass(which I later did) and 2. Isn’t there anyone else in the house who could help me (yes, but he is worse than I am)

I experienced a moment when I felt so vunerable. I felt defeated. How would I get the information that I needed. Who was this agent who made me feel so inadequate. How often does this happen that a person with some challenge is treated with condescension. This experience will definitely stay in my brain. It is never too late to ask to speak to a supervisor and complain about this lack of sympathy for those of us who need help with reading the small print or any other challenges we have to meet.

The Blue Chair

I was reading from a book that I took out of our Congregations library. It is a book about knitting. Not about the physical act of knitting, but about the people and feelings that knitting covers. This particular scene was about a family chair. The chair could sit a parent and up to 3 small children for story telling, cuddling, soothing and napping, or one person when knitting. It reminded me of a favorite chair that we had when the family was growing and growing up. It was purchased when we ordered furniture for our living room in our new home. Until that furniture arrived, we had lawn chairs in that room. The chair had loose cushions that were down filled. They smashed down when you sat in it. It was extremely comfortable. We have pictures of most of our kids sitting in that chair.The chair was blue. We always referred to it as the blue chair. After many, many years, we had to recover it, but we still called it the blue chair. There wasn't a bit of blue in the new slip cover. We even had a cleaning lady who called it the blue chair. When we sold our house 25 years later, the blue chair went with the house. The Unitarian Church bought our house for it's Minister. We donated a lot of the furniture. A win, win for everyone. Years later when I drove by the house, just for old time sakes, the windows still had the same drapes that I had made so many years before and I assume that the blue chair was still in its place, giving comfort to the present owners. It's never too late to have memories of favorite people, places and chairs.

Reminder of what is important

This has not been the best of weeks. I whined about our car needing to be replaced. I whined about my lap top computer needing a new charge cord, I whined that my ipad went blank and now it has to be sent back for a replacement. But that whining pales when I remember what is important, what can’t be replaced with a cord or a new car. We are alive and living in paradise. We have lived long enough to see our Grandchildren, many of us still have our original spouses, some of us have found a second love, some of us are happy being who we are. We are mostly healthy. These are the things to remind myself of.

I had said a long time back, that the last thing I think about before I sleep is Israel, and the first thing I think about in the morning, is Israel. That is still true. But I always think about those I love and who love me back. It is never too late to appreciate and rejoice in this love.

Another Good Bye

Today we buried another one of our gems. I didn’t know her very well. She sparked when we met at any congregation function. Her whole face smiled. I particularly liked her because we were pretty much the same size. She was a solid personality, but she looked fragile. We could look eye to eye.

Her funeral was attended by people who knew her on different levels. Some from our Congregation, others from her poetry writing class, others from her neighborhood. Everyone agreed that she was sweetness personified and a genuine Mom figure.

I learned a lot about her in these last hours after we said goodbye. I learned that it is all about family. Hers and all of ours. Many of us came away with the thought that we hoped our children would say such nice things about us, that their memories of their parents will only be good and in turn, these children of ours will set the example of what a family is to their children, our grandchildren. It’s what we can do for this flower that has left us. It’s never too late for her love to spread over all of us.

13 Years and 200,000 miles Later

I am so upset. Our 13 year old car, that has traveled 200,000 miles with us, has reached its end. Even our mechanic says to let go. I was expecting this ,but I didn’t know that I would be so upset by it.

We usually name our cars. We’ve had a Mellow Yellow, The Bug, The Bus, The Blue Bomb. For some reason , we never named this car. It was always just there for us. We have traveled to Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, District of Columbia, Maryland, Indiana, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida , and Missouri in it. That doesn’t include the states we just drove through to get to our destinations. After 13 years it is such a part of us that I am having a problem letting go.

Our neighbors know when we are coming because the car is ticking, loudly. The air conditioner has stopped working. It drips so much oil, that when I visit friend, I park on the street so it doesn’t stain the pavers. The wind shield fluid won’t squirt out. The fabric on the ceiling of the car is drooping down. It’s not pretty. But the alternative is a new car.

Now I really have to take Charlie Two’s ashes and put them in a safe place. The dealer may be suspicious when I say at the end , I have to take Charlie’s ashes out from the back seat.

It’s never too late to accept that this has been a wonderful car and a real friend to the whole family, but it’s time to move onto another set of wheels

One more adventure

Oh Vey. My little lap top just went down and I didn’t copy what I wrote for my blog.

I do remember the subject though. At our Congregations big fund raiser, I met a woman who I hadn’t seen in awhile. She told me what she was up to. And I decided right then, that I wanted what she was doing. She is a single Mom of adult children. She is a Grandma. She has a small dog. She sold her house, paid off all debts and bought a small RV. She goes to state parks for hook ups, she has a TV, a small kitchen, a potty . No property tax, no flood insurance to pay, very few expenses, her checks are direct deposited.

She is planning to visit the National Parks when she feels like it. She wants to go to Israel and work on a Kibbutz. I want all of these things too. How exciting that she has decided to have these adventures. Her concern was her dog. Can she take her on the Israel adventure. That’s where I come in. I have these answers. And , yes, Dorothy , the pup, can go. I have pages of info to share with her.

I love that someone near my age is taking this step to have this “one more adventure.” It’s a never too late dream come to reality. Is everyone listening?

Less Fake and More Play

Our community orchestra had a guest conducter this last rehearsal. I was slightly intimidated but I found it exhilirating and challenging. I felt good when practice was over. I don't know where our organizer found this young man. He may be a graduate student, or already with credentials, but he led us through our practice very professionally.

He asked us to warm up by playing some scales. I had such an anxiety attack that I froze. I couldn't remember a note. He reminded us to first take a breath, then play. I moved my bow up when the player next to me moved his bow up, and down when he moved his bow down. Subconsciously I must have played the right notes, because it did sound right and I wasn't asked to do it solo. Then we played just small sections of a piece that I hadn't practice. First the cello's, then the first violins, then us, the second violins. Now together. Over and over until we sounded pretty good. I liked that. That's the way to learn a piece, at least for me. Even though I am still not very good and I squeek a lot when I play, I knew that I was getting better.

It's never too late to not always be perfect, but to keep attacking those challenges. That's what living in the fast lane is all about.

TRADITION

I was reading a book that I borrowed from our Congregation's library. The book is "A Knitters's Home Companion". There was a bittersweet passage in it that reminded me of a tradition we tried to start at Passover. In the book it told of families who were leaving the old country for the new country . They would unravel a length of yarn,one end in the hands of the family on shore and the other on the ship.The yarn would then just float on the water when both sides let go.That was sad, but you hope that those on the boat could soon be reunited with the shore family.

What we tried to do for Passover to start a new tradition was have a length of rope that we joined with a knot. We made knots in the rope and cut between them. The premise was that each year, we would come together and retie the rope. What happened though was that our circle kept getting smaller and the lenght of rope correspondently got shorter. First one grandchild didn't come home from college for Passover, then another, then we, the grandparents moved away. It was a good idea that turned out to be rather depressing. We had to put that tradition aside. Now we just cook by phone. Matzah balls by skype,brisket by email.In this electronic age, that works as well as the rope. It ties us together. It's never too late to try to make new traditions, even if you aren't in the same place to celebrate as a family.

Reading

In our family, we do stuff by the book. When one of the kids came back after a year in Israel to 6 feet of snow and no job, she said that she was turning around and going back to Israel. We wanted her closer, so we said to go visit Grandma in New Orleans and then decide. She went to N.O. and found out about a position there in a Jr. college. Only problem is , it was not exactly what she had a degree in. No matter. We told her to go to the library and take out some books on the subject. She did and she got the job, which she kept until she decided to get back into her field.

We rely on books . My mother read comic books.That was her introduction to English from Russian. Wonder Woman was a favorite. My Grandchildren like Archie. I prefer magazines, myself. I always say that when I win the lottery, I am going to subscribe to every magazine out there. Everytime I renew my husbands subscription to Rolling Stone, I think I should write and tell them to check out the fact that he may be the oldest subscriber. Maybe he would get a gratis subscription.

I've been clearing out a lot of our books. I gave them to our congregations rummage sale. Now I have to hold myself back from rebuying them .They looked so interesting when I went to browse through the selections there. Instead, I bought someone elses discards. I'll probably donate them next year to the Rummage Sale.

It's never too late to understand that I am a book person and that's not such a bad thing to be.

Charlie's Rope

I forget that I still have Charlie Two's ashes in the back of our car. He loved to travel.Today, I found the rope we used to calm him. It is a 16 inch length of rope that when he got riled up, we would just loop that rope through his collar. We didn't do anything other than that. And for reasons that I don't understand, he became calm. He walked around with it hanging off of the collar. He wasn't threatened by it, he was comfortable and would just come and stand still while I looped it through his collar.

That rope showed up this morning when I was cleaning out the "dog bag". I had forgotten about it. Now that I am about to throw it away,it made me think about Charlie's life with us .We gave him a good life. We took him traveling, we gave him a family,we introduced him to high rise living. Throwing the rope away will mark the end of Charlie in our house. Now, I know I have to get rid of those ashes. I will ,soon.

It's never too late to let go of Charlie Two, our problem dog that we could never completely trust not to bite us.

RAIN

It rained today and no one complained. We haven't had a rain in many days and it was welcomed. A few things that happened as a result of the rain is that my car got washed. And the windshield got really clean. The car is 13 years old and the washer fluid doesn't want to squirt out, even though the fluid container is full. I had planned to go to the car wash, but now I don't have too. Then ,we took a wonderful nap. We had this uncontrolable nap attack. I bet that a lot of people had these attacks. It would be interesting to ask around and see who naped. Call it a nap study.They do sleep studies, this could be a sub study. I bet I could get a grant to do this.

Another benefit of the rain is that my container plants got a good soaking. My husband is a man who appreciates order and consistency. If I say that the plants need watering (it's his job) and it isn't the day that he thinks is designated as water the plants day, he doesn't water them. So the rain helped there too.

The one person (sorry Cricket, I forgot you are a dog) who wasn't happy with the rain was Cricket. She doesn't like rain, cold, heat or sand.She was dragged around for a few blocks, to do her thing,then we just gave up and put down a peepad.

It's never to late to just go with the rain drops and take that nap and change the peepad later.

Parking Lot

.Our son and daughter in law are coming to visit next week. First they are going to Zobeck's Mom's to celebrate her Grandpa's 100 th birthday. Then they will come  to us.  Grandpa is about 2 hours away.The last time they visited with this kind of an itinarary, we met in a parking lot and Aron and Zobeck got out of her Mom's car and got into ours. It was like divorced parents returning the kids after a week end. We had all eaten lunch together before hand, so it wasn't quite that dramatic. This time we will do the same thing. And we'll say the same joke about the kids in the parking lot. Aron and Zobeck will understand and humor the old folks at home.

It's comforting to have our kids treat us gently and laugh at our jokes. They could have used that tone of voice they used when they were 14. You know, the Oh Mo um voice. The voice that made you think that maybe they did know more than we did.

Now they are grown up and still think we don't know much, but are much more polite about it.

I don't care. We have them for a week and plan to enjoy every minute of that time. I'll cook a brisket , get them bagels and lox and be a Jewish mother. It's never too late to fall into that old familiar role.

SPELLING

 

My husband is the absolutely best speller in the country. It must be all of the years of Latin that he took. It's sorta cute. You ask him how to spell a word, and just like in a spelling quiz, he repeats the word, spells it and then says the word again. Very endearing. I can remember practicing my spelling words when I was in grade school and doing pretty well on the weekly tests, but I have never considered myself a good speller. I used to use the dictionary a lot. With spell check,I don't use the dictionary as much. We do keep a really big dictionary on the coffee table and periodically use it to check a word in an article. The dictionary looks good on the table. It makes us look intellectual.

 

I have actually gotten better with my spelling. I think typing the words on the computer makes me more aware of how the word sounds and using these phonetics has improved what I spell. My husband just spells so easily. I will have to see if his sibs spell like this. I know our kids don't spell as well . Maybe this skill skipped a generation.

 

It's never too late to be reminded that a dictionary is not outdated and recall the rule that it is" i" before "e" except after "c".

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Bettye | Reply 10.06.2013 04.24

It is fun to follow your blog now that we are so many miles apart physically. It makes me feel close to you. I miss you friend.

Bettye Buchman | Reply 25.02.2013 11.01

You continue to amaze me with your writings. And yes, I am one of the people who loves you.

lynn | Reply 21.02.2013 10.04

Sorry the minivan has driven it's last mile but, think how nice a new car will be! Air conditioning, clean windshield and ooooh, that new car smell!

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29.08 | 13:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.

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31.07 | 07:02

Leona, do you have a date or a booked flight that you come back ?

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20.07 | 13:55

Everything sounds so wonderful Leona. Venice will seem boring . I would want to move to Portownsend where the kids are living. All sounds great . Is there?

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19.07 | 12:33

That lavender sounds very nice!

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