Old Friends

Not that she was a friend, but my mother passed nearly six years ago. I dream about her nearly every night.

A dear college friend passed recently who I remember vividly for him hijacking me from class just to hear Shattered by the Rolling Stones. Three times. Then he brought me back to class and we were friends for over 30 years. No one else I know can spend three hours on the phone talking about the loves of his life, especially an ex-girlfriend from college and no, it’s not me.

As we age, we, our family and friends decline in health. I’d like to think my mind is sharp and I love my husband and dog and want to take care of both. Some days I think I have to tour the east coast just to visit grave sites of the friends I’ve loved.

Annapolis (the Captain who married us), West Point and everywhere lie the remains of good friends. Permit me to share with you that while I cannot visit the tree presently that was planted in my old dog’s memory I’ve seen it on Google Earth. It is happy and growing and has a small piece of her last tennis ball at the bottom of the hole they dug to plant it over 12 years ago.

I try to keep in touch. Right now an old friend and mentor needs me and I need to be there. The college friend who put me in touch with my Rolling Stone fan friend will be there to help me out on the visit.

Keep in touch with your family and friends. We have so many ways to do that nowadays. Years ago I thought blogging was new and cool. I don’t tweet and only hit Facebook about twice a year. I love writing. Right now I feel I’m letting you into my life while you think about letting me into yours. Hug! Dee

Zoe’s Friends

Today was interesting. I’ve been having some health problems so am supposed to not even be sitting here, much less what I did today. Sorry, nurse M. I’m trying!

I promised to bring a dessert to a party for all the residents. Apparently it disappeared quickly and I’ll have to go get my trifle bowl. It was not my usual trifle which is lemon pound cake, a whipped cream and lemon curd middle with much mixed seasonal fruit.

Today it was a key lime pound cake not baked by me, the innardsĀ  of whipped cream and lemon curd, and cantaloupe and blueberries. I got to taste a teaspoon of it. It’s good but not my best.

As Nurse M told me to keep off my feet I did go to the store and make the trifle and when I delivered it our trusty party planner needed a bit of help so I spent a couple of hours on yeomans’ duty. She made me sit while slicing all the rolls.

The singer had arrived and we’d met. He was setting up and gave me a pick. All I try to do right now is keep my guitar hydrated.

I left, fed Zoe and took her out and went downstairs to the party. I usually don’t go to parties by myself but did and it was very interesting. People I don’t even know introduced themselves and said “You’re Zoe’s Mom.” Everyone. We go for walks and no-one says hello to me, they just say hi to Zoe and I don’t mind. I think she’s kind of special as well.

In the end I got advice on a spouse being away from home for a while, met several interesting folks, and may be one of two chaperones for a new love match. Tune in to see what happens. The other chaperone was Mama and she approves the match.

So, the musician gave me a pick to try. While I got ready I opened my guitar case and found Woodstock picks from Ernie Ball and slipped one into his hand. After the concert he told me he’d put it up on his wall. Ernie Ball created the infamous slinky string that key rock & rollers use to this day. I know his son, was his neighbor.

He gave me a gift and I gave one back. Plus, he wanted to thank me without mentioning my name and played Amie, a Pure Prairie League stalwart. It’s one of my favorite songs as in college they’d sing “Hey, Dee.” No, I didn’t ask him to play anything. It was just that kind of day. High fives and a bit of magic.

Ok nurse, I’m putting my feet up. Cheers from Zoe’s Mom.

 

 

 

Deja Vu

all over again, ha ha. For years I’ve taken care of pets for free, a sort of barter system for the past ten years. The first time I did this I probably did 1,000 dog visits and got one in return. Some barter system as everyone was busy or away for the weekend. I should have made it a business.

Second time went OK because we were friends and exchanged dinners and/or got gift bags and became hooked on Pro Bars and especially SmartWool socks. I miss those gals and their pup.

Now we’re entering phase one again. My husband is away on business, herding dog of 10+ years is at my side and I thought I was going to die. I contacted my doctor. Thirty hours later his practice finally called and said he no longer takes a major insurance provider and that they can get me in ten days from now with someone else.

I said I’d heal myself (I am doing so), go to the emergency room, or die at home alone and leave a note blaming them. And no, they don’t get the dog. This woman, instead of saying “have a nice day” actually said “have a nice nap.” Yes, it was nice to finally get an hour’s sleep. Please forgive me for reporting these medical professionals through the appropriate channels.

The thing is that both my husband and I, and even our dog, see the good in people (and dogs) and trust them until they cannot be trusted. If that is a weakness, let me die having that weakness. The moment I become a bigot or a hater is the moment I cease to live anyways.

Last night with my legs swelled up twice their size I asked God to let me live because I’ve still more of His work to do here. I do not believe in organized religion but believe in God and know he sends me places for reasons. Sometimes I figure them out, sometimes not. Hey, I’m alive and now have to go because the dog just vomited all of today’s food under the dining room table. She even trusts old dead stuff she scarfs up in the park! I just know that when I’m sick no-one comforts me or takes Zoe out. I just get the strength to make it work and go on with life. Dee

 

Michelle Pfeiffer

Or a new lease on life. Cannot sit to write but thank you for your stunning performance in Dangerous Minds years ago. Other performances as well, of course.

I hated learning Dylan Thomas but in Gerontology class I began to understand it and now that I cannot sit for five minutes to write, I say,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dee

In The End

one only has oneself to answer to. At hospice I would hope that my husband would visit, hold my hand, make sure the pain meds were on track then let me go and dispose of me as I wish, so I must make that clear as must you.

I mean, if he can’t take care of the dog, there are none on my side of the family and on his they either get run over by trucks or live outside with farm animals and don’t sleep in our bed. He’d have to get a permanent sitter or trophy wife.

In the end I hope that WordPress spends more time helping writers get through the tech stuff instead of helping tech-savvy people get extra credit because you write their posts.

In the end I wish that no animals are euthanized for lack of a good home and that people can be euthanized if they wish it and they are severely ill with no hope of recovery.

I hope that every family loves their children and brings them up to be educated, healthy and look towards college and a great career.

Any situation calls for humor, patience, trust and grace. I’ll leave my desk now lest my dear mother-in-law’s advice (she’s a nurse) is not taken. Lay down, dear and keep your feet above your heart. Bless hers, and yours and I’m not dying yet, so you don’t have to sign on now or worry about me. I’ve a trifle to make Wednesday for a party and a pup to take out this week. Most is well except my husband is off on business and dogma and I miss him, Dee

Barbie

I’m one wife who wanted a priest but was being married to a Christian from another denomination. We eloped, it was complicated.

Today I talked to my favorite priest in the world, Fr. C. He was my adviser in college and probably the reason I chose Sociology as my major. We’ve stayed in touch for over 30 years since my graduation.

I hope he left notes for his “Barbie” lecture as it is legendary. Something like Barbie is well over six feet tall, her measurements and how no woman can look like her but everyone tried to do so. As a young girl, my mother would not allow a Barbie in the house, and I didn’t know why until I wrote “Horses Sweat, Men Perspire and Women Glow” as my high school thesis about equality in sports.

Fr. C has been a Franciscan inspiration to me for many years. He inspired my creativity, smarts and kindness to others, including animals. Sorry Fr., birds flying around my head still freak me out as I was attacked by giant crows at age 12 coming home from the school bus. Perhaps falconry may be my penance.

Friends, family age and leave us. He wants me to come to lunch. It’s at least a thousand miles away but I may just do it. Cheers and thank your mentor today. Dee

 

Mediocrity

At least one person I knew thought perhaps I had a chance to rise and be mediocre. Others, including me, thought I could do better.

No, you won’t know my name from the newspapers or other media. I create change on my own and someone else takes credit for it. It’s kind of like the Spiderman or Batman sidekick. Spiderman I’m the Aunt, in Batman the Butler, Alfred.

What I do, I do well. I’m retired now so only advise my husband, who is hard-headed and resistant to any advice.

A few years ago I got a chance to work (volunteer) at Sundance Film Festival and had two hour-long phone interviews. They first wanted me to stand out in the snow and “herd” rich patrons to keep them in line. I said no because of arthritis. Then they asked me to be inside in the PR office turning away fake reporters without credentials. I said yes, then no. They liked me because my job description read Feminist Homemaker. I knew something was going to happen during or prior to that time frame so sadly had to negate the offer.

The thing did happen and we survived. We always do, husband, dog and me. Dad always told me that if a consultant makes that capital campaign goal, it’s to someone else’s credit. If they’re shy of the goal, it’s blamed on the consultant. That is the rule of consulting.

I’ve a question for you. What mediocre and shy person would throw herself in a shark pool such as that? Here’s to you who’ve battled bullies, questioned inept teachers and gone head-to-head with terrible bosses. I was too shy at the time and salute you as I’ve found my voice. Cheers from The Feminist Homemaker

 

 

 

 

Florence

I’m going to begin with something you will not expect. I helped a roommate and dear friend go through surgery of all wisdom teeth under sedation and I picked her up and nursed her through the weekend. She gifted me with a lamp and called me her Florence Nightingale. We are still randomly in touch 30 years later.

Florence as a city, while I’ve not traveled the entire world, is my favorite. After many years there is still so much I’ve not yet seen because the Ufizzi beckons me and Sta. Croce. I could cry just writing about Donatello’s Annunciation there, and Michelangelo’s Magdalen at the Duomo Museo.

What I love to do is get food for dei gatti (the cats) and walk up to San Miniato al Monte and leave the cat food and used to be lire for the lady who takes care of them. She always refused the money but would take it for the feral cats.

I’ve Florentine scarves, purses et al from Dad but would rather see Dad and go eat great food in the morning and make him organic whole wheat blueberry pancakes. And get the perfect pear. Yum. Cheers, in the Florentine style, Dee

 

Note to Self

Do not take any flights to/from Malaysia or right now anywhere in that area. Yes, boss, they do have a tendency to crash and search efforts are useless. Yes, planes, lost, boss. No finding of survivors, dead or crashes. Please don’t take that next flight out, please sir…..crackle crackle…. lost transmission.

On the brighter side. please get me out of here, Amelia.

 

Kindred Spirits

Up for hours, I’ve been writing. Of late I’ve written two notes, one to the owner, sister and friend of a dog I love, and another to the dog himself.

There are reasons we live and things we need to do. I need to care for my husband, father and family.

While I feel a strong connection to our dog of over ten years there is something with Jake I can’t describe. I can care for him in his dying days and not flinch or blink an eye as I give him his pain medication and epsom salt baths for his paw. I am supposed to give him strength and yet he gives me even more in return.

In my note to him I offered to be there to the end if he and his family want me there.

Kind hearts and souls. A former neighbor took me to the Jewish Museum yesterday, a really nice lady who happens to be Catholic, and I was entrusted with that faith as well. What stood out to me was a Torah with a Yah, and the Rock and Roll exhibit of Jewish performers. I knew some like Neil Diamond who was supposed to be a Cantor. It was an educational exhibit and beautifully choreographed.

Anyone who says the Holocaust didn’t exist doesn’t belong visiting this Museum. But it’s about lifting up. I had the feeling I needed to help others no matter the burden.

I was there at the end of my mother’s life as I will be at my father’s but think he’ll live to 100 or so and I’ll go first. Yes, I believe they based the energizer bunny on my father. Energizer, there may be patent infringements……..

Faith, OK. Organized religion, problems. Knowledge that God is with me and I have a path. Fine. Let me help others while I’ve the life and breath to do so, Dee