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Monthly Archives: May 2012

You’ll be sorry

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“You’ll be sorry, ” she said.

I doubt it. Not this time.

There are loads of things I am sorry about, but not this.

I’m sorry that there are people in the world who have to struggle every day for basic needs, like food and clean, safe drinking water.

I’m sorry that there are women who lie down each night in fear for their children, their homes, and their own bodies.

I’m sorry I don’t have the money or time or other resources to make it better for more of them, although I am glad I can help a few.

I’m sorry that there are people who suffer in the heat and cold for all the reasons and excuses there are for that. I’m glad, though,  that I can knit a few things that may help keep someone just a little warmer, and that I have a bag full of hats now waiting to be sorted through and sent to Afghans for Afghans in the next few days.

I’m sorry that I’ve wasted so much time thinking so little of myself, and failing to care for myself adequately.

I’m sorry for being a virtual recluse for so many years.

I’m sorry that I have a predisposition toward depression and that, having let it go untreated in the past, I’ve lost years of my life.

I’m sorry that my experiences with churches and a cult-like group left me so battered and scarred and often mistrustful.

I’m sorry I had to get bifocals at 25, that my hair started turning noticeably gray at 30, and that I’m now such close friends with BenGay.

I’m sorry as hell that I’m not with the man I love.

But I’m not sorry for knowing who I am and what my limits are.

I’m not sorry for knowing I don’t have time for certain people in my life, because they suck the life and color and joy out of me.

I’m not sorry for sticking with my decision.

I’m not sorry for saying “no.” Not this time.

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Lyrical Wednesday

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Wednesday already, and I’m still in Tuesday mode. Holiday weeks mess with my head, in a mostly good way.

So I was trolling the internet, looking for a poem for today. Sometimes I find one that really jumps out at me and I say “THAT’S IT! That’s exactly how it is!” and it’s as if the writer had peeked into my mind and heart and distilled what’s there into a few lines. And so it is with the one for today.

Wedged

by Hal Sirowitz

You were the one who followed me
into the elevator & asked
for my phone number, she said.
I didn’t lead you on. In fact,
I tried discouraging you.
I told you I had lots of problems.
I was used to being alone. But now
that you’ve wedged yourself into my life,
don’t think leaving me will be as smooth
as our first elevator ride. It’ll be
like walking up a flight of stairs.

Late night nostalgia

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It’s late and I’ve been working, since work lately has been sporadic online and it’s been catch as catch can. It’s frustrating at times–often, actually–but it’s what I’ve got and I’m trying to make it work for me.

It’s cooler tonight, so sleep should be more restful than the last couple have been. The frogs are talking down at the lake, and so are the crickets. The smell of fresh-cut grass is in the air, thanks to a neighbor who mowed his yard tonight, and I just heard an owl hooting somewhere close by. It’s peaceful.

I’ve loved the night for as long as I can remember, for its stillness and quiet, the only sounds gentle ones, or gentler ones than the daily noise that fills the air. Sometimes I long for the kind of stillness the nights brought in Canada, when my family would vacation there. It rained often at night, and the sound on the tin roofs of the cabins we sometimes stayed in was a lullaby, a sweet and gentle way to drop off to sleep. Loons would call out on the lake, a mournful sound, full of longing for what, I never knew, a haunting sound I would love to hear again. There were few lights in the camp, other than a couple of pole lights, and the stars were so clear, chips of diamond glittering in the sky–it was a wonderful way for a kid to spend some of those long days of summer vacation, back when the summer seemed endless and there was nothing to do but be a kid. It was pretty great.

My bed is calling me now with a promise of rest and comfort. Right now, though, I’d give just about anything to be back in a cot in a rough little cabin in Canada, listening to the rain dancing on the roof.

Holiday

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It will truly be a holiday for me, with the house to myself for a while and  I can have a few blessed hours of peace. Mom will go to meet her sisters and together they’ll go to visit the graves of their parents and brother and sister-in-law, as is their Memorial Day tradition.  My other brother has volunteered to drive Mom down to the farm, which is kind of a sacrifice on his part given that his daughter is home for the weekend, and one I’m grateful for.

Wishing you a peaceful day, too.

Later: It’s been a pretty good day overall. I piddled around this morning then got outside for a walk this afternoon, the first in what seems a long time and it felt really good. My oldest niece was home and the family went out for dinner tonight, Mom and my brothers and sisters-in-law and me, both of my nieces, and the oldest one’s other grandparents. I have the last three season one episodes of “Game of Thrones” queued up for the rest of the evening–a little sex and violence will just be the cherry on top of a nice weekend. Another day off would be even nicer, but I’ll take what I can get.

Weekend report

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It was a pretty miserable night here. A  blast of heat, along with legendary Iowa humidity, hit just in time for the weekend and I was either having severe night sweats (entirely possible, since I’m at a “special” stage of life) or I just never got the fan adjusted to the right angle. In any case, I hope it’s cooler tonight. Sleep would be nice.

Friends D and S have invited some folks over to their place later for a Memorial Day Potluck Extravaganza (with bonfire) so I’ll be spending part of the morning getting my offering ready to go. It’s a pretty forgiving crowd, so unless what I make tastes like complete poo, it’ll be eaten and I bet some will even go back for seconds. It should be a good time, even though I’m not at all sure that we need a bonfire in 90 degree heat.

I indulged in my second or possibly third Crave Day yesterday, the one day of the week I let myself have all the stuff I’ve been craving during the week. I’m pretty sure it was the last one. On the surface, Crave Day sounds like a good idea, but in practice, not so much. It leaves me feeling stuffed and slow and disappointed that all the goodies I was so looking forward to having don’t taste very good at all. Better to have a treat or two during the week and truly enjoy what I have than stuff myself one day a week and feel icky afterward.

I have tomorrow off, and most likely will have the house to myself. I’m looking forward to some peace, and a tiny break from my normally abnormal life for a few hours. I am hoping I don’t squander my time.

Wishing you a good holiday!

Later: It is, thankfully, much less humid than it was yesterday. It’s still warm and windy, but more tolerable.

How I spent my Friday night

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I don’t mention my mom too often here. It’s been a difficult and entangled relationship with her. We are so very different and she makes me crazy, and yet, as Mr. F once put it, I “sure do fuss a lot about [my] mama.”

Lately, there have been changes in her. I have sometimes thought that, being the one closest to her,  I haven’t been seeing things clearly, and that I was too close to judge what I perceived as changes in her behavior accurately. I’m not at all happy to report that I’m not the only one seeing changes and that I’m not the only one troubled by them.

Last night, it started with a phone call from my brother, the intent of which was simply to inform Mom about some news from the extended family.

It got blown up into something that it wasn’t.

Boom!

My brother texted me shortly after he called Mom and described her as having gotten “bent out of shape” and that her behavior seemed “irrational.”

She was, and it took me a while to reinterpret to her what my brother had actually been saying, and to calm her down.

The thing is, this irrationality of Mom’s is nothing new. Need a mountain out of your molehill? Call her. She’s really good at making a big deal out of nothing.

But this tendency toward irrationality is becoming more pronounced. Others are finally noticing it. Along with this, there’s been a marked decline in her short-term memory, a slowing and thickening of her speech at night, and the advent of sleep talking. The sleep talking is admittedly pretty entertaining at times, but not an especially welcome change.

After this latest episode, I got online and did some research. Note that there has not been a professional opinion offered regarding these changes in my mom. There have been no assessments, no diagnoses. Nonetheless, I’m perfectly capable of reading the literature and interpreting it and arriving at a conjecture I’d like to avoid: Mom may be showing signs of dementia. She may be. Nothing is certain, not yet, but there are signs that do seem fairly clear.

This is something I had hoped we’d avoid, my brothers and Mom and me–a lingering and confused end to her long journey. Dad went so quickly, and in such a good way, his mind as clear as the blue sky and as sharp as a needle until the end, that there are no regrets there. I’m afraid it won’t be that way with Mom.

And I think this won’t be the last Friday night I spend doing research I’d rather not have to do.

Freeplay Friday, shortie version

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So my order of Wool-Ease arrived yesterday. It’s hideous. Truly, deeply, abidingly hideous. It’s about the color of watery ketchup, if you need a point of reference, and it’s going back. Thankfully, the place I bought it from offers free returns so I won’t even have to pay a stupid tax on it. I wouldn’t mind having more of this stuff sometime, since it’s cheap and it knits up nicely, but not in a hideously ketchupy color.

No ketchup yarn for me, but a blast from the past to share with you: