Not like “Waiting for God”

They used to say that nothing stays the same but death and taxes. I have decided that as right as this is something supersedes these and it is change. Change is always with us. It comes when planned and when unexpected but it always comes.

Since fall of 2020 my life has been the perfect example of change. With two moves, losing my husband and my home (had to sell when moving), living in a completely different state(one that acts as if it is its own country) and living in an Independent Living Retirement place, change has become normal. I just expect it and keep going.

Living with others who have retired and seeing mostly grey hair around me has been interesting, challenging, disturbing and comforting. There is sometimes the feeling of living in the British comedy “Waiting for God.” It can be hard to accept living where (supposedly) you know you will die. You have to develop a different mind set.

In some ways it it like living in a college dorm. As a community, there are rules that must protect us all somewhat like those in a HOA setting. For those who have been independent and masters of their own choices it can be frustrating.

Those are some of the negatives. It is wonderful, however, to have 3 restaurants on site and cook only if you want to. It is so good to have conversations with people who remember the things you do and understand your references to events and people of the past. (Some young people are so clueless it make me wonder what is being taught in school.) It’s a miracle to have my apartment cleaned once a week.

Soooo, although life has been challenging with lots of changes, it has also been interesting, stimulating, and life enhancing. There are so many things to do. We are connected to the University of Texas and can attend things there as we want. Events and activities are fun and improve minds and bodies. Life is good. You just have to reach out a grab it.

NOT an old folks home

Today I have managed to pull myself away from the TV and tamp down my anxiety. The weather is beautiful and I intend to sit on my balcony and enjoy the fresh air. Life is always challenging and I am not the only one to freak out at times.

I have been asked to sit on a committee for Health and Wellness and I will soon find out how much importance is placed on the input of the committee and if it is worth being on. It’s like living in a very strict HOA (community with rules) and takes some time to understand how things work and how to get possible things done. The trick is to not expect the impossible. After all, funds for things are not limitless.

This is why living in a retirement community is like living in a dorm in college (bad side) or being on a cruise ship (good side). There are benefits and losses. We just have to decide what matter the most.

Sad Bassets

The weather has changed at last and the air is cool and crisp. The dogs and I both love to walk when it is like this. We took the longer walk. Old bassets don’t do long or fast walks but today they were up for more exercise.

Dealing with the dogs has been a challenge in the last week. Crash (male) had diarrhea and Tillie (female) a bladder infection. This is the first time since we have had them that either of them has had any real problems but as we get older things happen. They have both been to the vet and both are better.

Basset mom is better too now that they have more or less recovered.

My world, your world, whose?

Living in Texas is a whole other world. Recently the legislature here decided that it is fine for anyone to carry a gun, without a license. No restrictions. Then last Friday there was a shooting in the busy downtown area. Anyone wonder?

There are some other strange things that has been passed by this group but I am not going into all of that. I have to say that some groups in other states have also done some peculiar things. I am no longer living the real world. It seems as if each state is trying to see who can be nuttier….both groups on the left and on the right. Are they trying to outdo each other?

I guess I am too old to understand all of this. Is there no one reasonable left?

Anyway, I get to move to my own world next week and I suppose I should just stay there until I shuffle off. At least most of the people my age seem sane. Maybe even those with dementia are better that those controlling our governments.

Time goes by

Today memories have taken over my thinking. I have taken myself back to my childhood and remembered lying on the floor in front of the fire at night and listening to the radio. You heard me right. There was no television. The radio was our entertainment and I can tell you scary programs and worse when it is your own mind conjuring up the villain. There was “The Shadow” and one with a creaking door. Less stressful programs were “Let’s Pretend” “Fibber McGee and Molly” and many others.

Television didn’t come into my life until sometime in the 50’s. My grandfather bought one for his office. He didn’t worry about those of us a home. (he and my grandmother lived with us) I used to go to his office just to see this magical thing.

Later we were able to get one for our home. It was a small oval screen and the picture was black and white. There weren’t a lot of programs and I don’t remember many of them. Strangely enough I remember the radio programs more.

In the late fifties I remember going to a teacher’s home to watch something from Disney in color. That seemed truly amazing.

The world has really changed in my lifetime.

Nurture those you care about

Today my son and daughter-in-law came over to help. She cleaned the bathroom like it had never been cleaned. WOW it is so amazing. My son mowed the lawn (which I had cut too long) edged and blew off the porches and walks.

This is so incredible and wonderful of them. They both work extremely long and difficult hours and have little spare time. I am so grateful for them taking their time to do this. How wonderful to have family and I love them so much.

It is a blessing to have family that cares. I know that all families have the kind of relationships that we have and I am so grateful. Many suffer from bad family relationships or abusive childhoods. Life is not great for everyone. I hope that they are able to find new friends who become family for them.

Friendships and family must be nurtured to grow. You can’t let the grass grow between you and your loved ones.. It doesn’t matter if you live next door or miles apart connections matter. Take the time to call, write, email, text, whatever. It pays off in the long run.

58 years and counting

Today it has been 58 years since we were married. Sometimes it seems like forever and sometimes just yesterday. For you young folks we were married in 1962. That will sound like an eon ago. The Viet Nam War was just hotting up. The Cuban Missile Crisis was in October of that year. We were at Ft. Benning and it looked like my 2nd Lieutenant husband might be going to war. Thank God that did not happen. The next event to shock us was that Kennedy was shot in November of 1963. Again things in the military were very uncertain. What a way to start married life.

However, we survived it. We had children, moved from place to place to include his two years in Viet Nam and ended his career with a high note teaching math at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Our time since then has been living in Savannah, both of us working, me as a nurse and him as a structural engineer. Life has been good. We raised three children all married with children of their own and blessed be all gainfully employed (to include three of the grandchildren).

We had our ups and downs but I wouldn’t trade any of it. Now we look to the next chapter which is rocky at the moment but with planning will settle into a “new normal.” I have been blessed.

Life changes when we least expect

This is a difficult post to write. Since my husband has been recently diagnosed with dementia our life has changed. We will learn and adapt as we go but some major changes will have to be made.

Our home is one that requires us both to be able to help with its maintenance. It is really too much for me to manage on my own. It is time to move forward and find the right environment for both of us. This will be heart wrenching and particularly hard on my husband but we need to do it now and get settled for the future.

My aunt ( who was really quirky) always said that if you do all the things you CAN do at the moment then you can stop worrying. This is my plan. We will be taking one day at a time. There are still some medical issues to be resolved and the virus hasn’t helped getting those done but we will get there. God is with us.

There have been lots of ups and downs in our life together. This is just another down to get through and look forward to the next up. On the 9th of June we will have been married 58 years. A wonderful journey.

New procedure

Tomorrow will be very busy. My husband will have a “Watchman” implant (a brand new device) to prevent blood clots. A short while after he will be able to come off of blood thinners for the first time in years. That will be great as he bruises easily and is always needing major band aids for small everyday scrapes and cuts.

They will allow me to be with him and can see him following the procedure. He will spend the night and be home on Friday. Medicine just keeps advancing. Hopefully this will be a plus for him.

This getting old is aggravating but it’s better than not being here. I am thankful that we have managed this long and hope we keep moving for a while yet. We plan to.