Good grief ! I’m lost!

crazy gramGood grief! Our local civic center offers shows all during the year. I get their email with the line up for the next few months. The scary part is that of all the people listed I didn’t know a single one! I know I’m getting older but somewhere I have lost my connection to the current music etc. stars. I guess I have some serious catching up to do. I need to spend some quality time with my grandchildren (who are all adults except for one), It’s going to be bad when I have to ask my great grandchildren about the current music scene. I have always tried to keep up enough to know who is currently singing, playing etc but I have lost it now.

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My grands are going to be hearing from me asking to be brought up to speed. I don’t want to become the dotty old grandmother.

Finding pleasure

bakerI have been cooking a lot lately. Mostly desserts. I have given a great deal of stuff away as we don’t need to be eating everything I make. I have been baking bread for years but am trying to hone my skill and make some different things. Some successes …some just so so. No real failures but I was not thrilled with them.

There is something creative about cooking. Most of my life was spent cooking for a family. Now there is just my husband and I most of the time I am not energized by our dinner menu. Nobody’s fault but mine. Breads and desserts are more fun.

I think this cooking has been therapeutic for me. It is better than just house and yard tending although some of that has suffered from my time in the kitchen. Oh well, it will still be there.. no genie will be coming to clean.

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Finding things that give you pleasure are important for maintaining physical and mental health. Being creative makes me feel good and that is a big plus. You may not find it in a job but find it where you can. Take the time to fit it in. Your demeanor will improve and life will just be better.

Music, music, music

Music is very important to me. I took piano lessons for years and studied with a concert pianist. It was there I discovered that I didn’t want to be a concert pianist. I just wanted to play for enjoyment. I sang in choirs and for 10 years was a choir director. I think that music moves me more than anything else. I can sit in church or in the car or wherever and find tears rolling down my cheeks. Once, spending three weeks in the hospital, only the Brandenburg Concerto would comfort me. This has a wonderful explanation at the beginning.

I cannot stay still when the rhythms of music move me. I have to tap my toes or move my hands. I MUST do something! I don’t understand people who sit perfectly still. I know that their enjoyment may be equal to mine but they are STILL!

My father was the same way. He loved Dixieland Jazz and took me with to bars as a child to listen to the greats. No one said anything. I think they knew he wasn’t plying me with liquor but with music.

There is so much wonderful music in the world. I know I will not live long enough to absorb it all. I want to develop a playlist for when I am fading out of this world. I want to hear the music I love and take it with me.

Tossing and turning

Today I am so tired. I hardly slept at all last night. Saying that makes me want to go on the with the son ” tossing and turning, turning and tossing, tossing and turning all night.”  I guess that speaks about my age. In 1961 I was finishing my last year in college and looking forward to getting married in June of 1962.

 

The movie “American Graffiti” tole about this era andwas the precursor to Grease. I still love all the music from this time. It was magic to me. Everyone knows the following song. Bette Midler used it in the the film Beaches. Hope you enjoy this little memory from the past.

 

 

 

Dogs are a joy

There is no question that I love dogs. My two bassets give me great pleasure. We never intended to have dogs this big. We have always had standard dachshunds. My son just showed up with the first one at the door. A friend of his had to let the dog go and he knew that we were suckers. We kept her (Tillie) and when the dachshunds crossed the rainbow bridge we got a rescue as a friend for her. The two of them are now a bonded pair.

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Tails hanging down as they monitor the yard

They brighten my day by their antics. Bassets are stubborn by nature and when called to come will do so….at their own pace which resembles a snail. Alternately if they don’t want to come at all will go behind a bush with the hope that you won’t see them at all. Strangely enough if I say “I see you” they come out.

Crash, so named by foster family as he was hit by a car) will bark at the door. Thinking that he wants to go out (they have a dog door in the back) one of us will get up and open the door to discover that he doesn’t want to go out. He wants us to let Tillie in.

When we are gone excitement ensues. Towels are pulled from racks. Laundry is removed from the basket in the laundry room and all couch pillows are pushed to the floor. None of these things are damaged…just rearranged.

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At 5:00 PM play time arrives and they chase each other around the house, in and out the dog door and around the yard. Barking commences and when Crash catches up to Tillie she lets out an ear curdling screech. The sound penetrates every room in the house. We need ear protection.

Without them things would be boring.

For them and us Life is good.

The Eclectic Car

In a previous post I mentioned the first car I ever had. My father bought it and I’m sure it must have been a bargain. Just having a car was a thrill…I didn’t care what kind of car. For me any car was a plus.

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A beautiful version of the car, Mine was old and battered.

Fortunately I was young enough (?16,17?) that the problems the car had were like an adventure to me. The car was a Willys Jeepster. It was not new and had some interesting challenges. It would not go over 50 mph unless you were going down a long hill.The seats were bolted to the floor so there was no adjusting them to reach the clutch and change the gears. I used a pillow to reach. There was a starter button in the floor (how many people ever heard of such a thing?). It was a convertible…you pulled the top up and down. It did not have windows…only side curtains. ?Isinglass? Before plastic. (Now you are getting how old I am.) We lived in northern Virginia and it was cold in the winter. There was no heat. My friends and I didn’t care a jot. We had transportation! In the winter we bundled up and sometimes rode with the top down when it was snowing.

The car’s idiosyncrasies gave us an opportunity to meet people. For a while the starter button in the floor did not reach something called the “starter connector” in the engine compartment. There were two options for starting the car. You either had an available person to put a piece of metal between where the starter button was supposed to connect to the starter connector so that it would reach or we pushed the car. Old cars started easily by someone pushing and someone popping the clutch. If we parked the car when in town we usually searched for an end spot so we could jump start the car if needed. We parked on hills when we could as just drifting down a hill would give us enough motion to start the car. We would also get help from people who stopped to help us. We met lots of boys this way.

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Once, in heavy traffic, I stopped for a red light. I didn’t realize that when stopping I pulled up on the steering wheel…..it came off in my hand. With great aplomb I pushed it back on and held it that way until getting off the road. There was a bolt that held it on and we managed to fix it.

The car met it’s final demise while we were in downtown Alexandria. We began seeing smoke coming from the front of the car and pulled into the nearest filling station. It was not the radiator but all the wiring in the front was merrily in flames. The station attendant raced out with a fire extinguisher and put the fire out. My father retrieved us and the car went “where the lost things go.”

This was life in a different era. It was not dangerous for young girls to wander around town and meet strangers. Most roads had speed limits of 50 mph or less. Looking back it seems it was a kinder era. Maybe not…I may have just imagined it that way.  I wish it were so now.

Laugh!

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I was thinking about what is one of the traits that has been most helpful over the years and I have decided that it is a sense of humor. There have been so many things in my life that I either would have to laugh or cry. For most of them I have been able to laugh.

The ability to see the humor in a situation even when it is smacking you between the eyes has really helped me. I have almost always been able to laugh at myself. I know some people who can’t do that at all and when something happens they really lose it.

My father-in-law was one of those people. He and my brother-in-law were painting the outside of their house when Harry,( f-i-l) spilled some paint on a bush. As they came around the house with the second coat my Dave (b-i-l) asked his father if he wanted to put a second coat on the bush. That did not go over well.

There are so many situations that we encounter in life that test our ability to see ourselves in a humorous light. If we can do that it can save us a lot of pain in the long run.

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The Nine Phases of Adultery/oops Adulthood

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With thanks to Mitch Teemley        https://mitchteemley.com/2018/09/24/the-phases-of-adulthood/

A spoof on adulthood with apologies to William Shakespeare

 

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man/woman in his/her time plays many parts,

His acts being nine ages.

At first the arrogant know it all of the 20’s. Bragging profusely and entitled to the best of everything. Inheritor of nothing, expecting everything.

And then the world wise 30’s always available by cell phone, avoiding marriage but just living together. Uncommitted.

The 40’s bring children, married or not. More money, more of everything, more than the Jones’s– family a show piece, acknowledged when able to break away from meetings. Mortgages, cars, big house, wishing time would allow more love and peace.

Come the 50’s exulting in success, self-adulating, Children off to Harvard enjoying money and status. On wife/ husband #2/3/4. Wishing for old love, should be happy but something missing.

The 60’s enter with shock, memory a little off, aches and pains when working out. Gym daily to get rid of paunch. Maybe face lift, hair dye. Still got it!

The 70’s are the new 60’s! Time isn’t passing…it can’t be. Grandfather/mother not possible! Child in 30”s living at home not working. Knee replacement coming up. Gave up gym membership. Maybe I’ll retire….next year.

The “I don’t give a damn 80’s” arrive and the whole government is lunatic! Read what? Facebook? That cell phone makes no sense. Text. Sure I can write….on paper. This is not a cane…it is a walking stick. Drs appoints get in the way of my naps. I’ve still got it!

I made it! 90! Living the life. Have several girlfriends/boyfriends here in the retirement village. Who cares about the rest of the world! It can go to#####.

The hearse pulls away and many tears fall from friends. Many relatives are already dead. Wish I could do it all again.

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The chicken was cold

Recently my daughter prompted me to write some of the stories about my father. He was a brilliant man who never had an opportunity for education past high school He read everything he put his hands on and never stopped learning. This story is one I love. I think it was about the 1930’s.

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My father Pat Clark A man who always shared happiness

 

My grandmother raised chickens. When one was wanted for dinner a chicken was killed by her, cleaned and prepared for dinner. My parents and grandparents lived in the same house. For some reason my mother and grandmother were very busy and asked my father to kill a chicken for dinner. They asked the man who hated to swat a fly.

My father went out the back door. He was gone for a long time. The two cooks started to wonder what was taking him so long.

Eventually my father returned with the requested chicken. It was dead, had its feathers, but it was cold.

My father, unable to kill a chicken, had gone to the grocery and bought one. In that era they sold chickens freshly killed but not cleaned. My mother and grandmother refrained for commenting and went on to prepare the chicken for dinner.

Pets are a joy

It is impossible to say how much I love having dogs. I grew up with dogs as my mother and grandmother loved them and we always had at least one. Now we have two rescued basset hounds. For 50 years of my married life we had dachshunds. One day my son brought a sad looking basset hound to our house. A friend of his couldn’t keep the dog and my son knew that we were easy marks. Once she came into the house that was it. At the time we had two dachshunds. We didn’t really need another dog. However, she is a joy. Calm, loving and peaceful. She knows when I am stressed and will come to bond with me putting her head on my knee.

Shortly after we got Tillie we lost first one doxy and then another. We decided to adopt another basset to keep Tillie company. We ended up with Crash.

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Tillie in her usual half asleep mode

Crash was so named by his foster family after he was found by a basset rescue agency. They felt he had been hit by a car. He was emaciated, covered with fleas and ticks and had a broken pelvis. When we got him he had been treated extensively by a vet. He was better but still thin.

Crash was definitely the right name for him. He crashed into our house and life has not been the same. He has relieved me of at least six pairs of shoes until I learned to put them away properly. It was his job to take this task in hand. He succeeded. He is terrified of thunder storms and cowers by our feet. He hates for us to leave home and howls the basset howl for the neighbors to hear. While we are away he pulls towels down from the racks, rearranges all loose rugs, pulls out any laundry left on the floor of the laundry room and removes it to other places in the house.

Nothing is harmed, nothing is chewed….just moved. Crash is joy personified.

Pets are wonderful things. Whether you love dogs, cats or some other pet they bring joy to your life. They improve our health. Their love is an example to us of how God expects us to love. If you have pets I hope that they bring you as much joy as mine do.