Friday, September 28, 2012


Civilly: With Respect and Affection 

A highly regarded person significant to me has acquired a perspective quite different from mine in recent years.  Throughout my lifetime this older person and I generally agreed on many aspects of life though a decade exists between our ages.     Often in such relationships there may be a period of time when the younger one looks up to the older one, regarding them as more experienced, knowledgeable and sophisticated in the world’s ways.   
The years pass but the age difference always spans the same number of years.  Both individuals experience and knowledge begins to evolve into a more equal state -- whether or not they each recognize this has occurred.  The older one in some relationships may not always accept such equality as fact.  A multitude of other personal variances in thought and activities will likely develop, but the emotional bond remains strong.   During the ensuing years natural aging processes that began at birth continue to exert their influences.  We are more aware of aging effects the older we become as has occurred in my relationship.

Life's later years may sometimes result in the older one beginning to experience sensory restrictions adversely affecting communication.   Visual and hearing loss, for example, can create complicating sensory difficulties.      Medical events occasionally result in some people also acquiring reasoning and/or judgment issues.  The combination of any or all of these effects can present all sorts of limitations -- some in ways that seem to unfairly challenge that person's logical thinking -- even altering their perception of the world around them.

For example, some individuals may have difficulty formulating quick concise responses to launch a timely verbal offense when disagreeing on issues.   The decreased speaking rate is obvious when we recall the precise articulating of an idea and rapidity with which the person was once able to react.  Slowed response, or delayed speech alone, does not necessarily mean a person is incapable of thinking clearly, only that the process may simply take longer.

Individuals experiencing this slowed reaction may become easily frustrated and angry partly because of this unwelcome change in ability.    Additionally, the act of thinking and communicating may be very tiring for them.  If various sensory communication difficulties are present also, sometimes individuals may blame the person with whom they’re talking as being the cause of any misunderstandings that may occur.    Generally, the desire to be engaged, to have our ideas and our opinions receive serious consideration -- simply to be heard -- is what they and we all value. 
The person in my life has derived great delight through the years being a devil’s advocate on many issues.  Such opposition has been assumed partially because that person wants to stimulate thinking and reasoning, but also has been prompted by actual disagreement on some matters.    Any sensory and/or mental functional complications become obstacles to such dynamic debate when these changes occur, whatever the cause. 
Given my personal feelings, I think my dear older one having to make such adaptations seems quite unjust.   Yet I know that these can be changes with which we all may need to cope at any age or stage of life.   They may be especially challenging as we become older.  
I know my communication challenge is to make necessary allowances for my dear ones limitations.  I realize, too, some people have to make far more complex adjustments.  Still, I must admit that my patience is sometimes stretched to its very limits during our conversations.    When we strongly disagree, I think my edging toward impatience is partly because I must restrain from using a full arsenal of rebuttal information -- facts with which I once could have countered inaccurate statements I’m expected to accept as truth.   But when the implication is repeatedly made that my opposing view can only be because I’m “simply ill informed,” my hackles do rise.  

That's when I've been surprised to feel sudden unbidden competitive impulses emerging.   I want to exploit my opponent’s obvious functional communication weaknesses to diminish that attitudinal superior point of view.    I strain to avoid seizing the discussion point from which to launch a grand verbal coup d’etat – a triumph I could easily accomplish, partly because of my opposition’s weakened physical, sensory and mental processing state.   My fervor wanes when I consider the unintended ricochet damage to my opponent’s already diminished ego from health and aging assaults.  So, I resist – where would be the victory in such circumstances?

This political season has presented especially difficult challenges as we have come to occupy profoundly opposite positions on how best to chart this nation’s future.   I usually manage to avoid much political discussion because so much of what my dear one presents to me seems to have derived from very limited sources of questionable credibility -- quite unlike our issue discussions many years ago.  My necessarily limited refuting facts are countered primarily by the accusatory assertion that I've been "brain-washed."   There is no possibility of altering either of our points of view in this circumstance.  
I remind myself that sometimes we just need to allow an individual to fully express themselves.    We must simply be a listener, affirming what is said as being heard without having to agree or disagree.    I readily do this in my work. as appropriate, and with select others.  Applying this approach when there has been a close personal relationship, especially with a spouse or family member, can introduce quite different human dynamics as I’ve observed.

So it is that the printed greeting on my dear ones personal message account has begun with one sentence, then other statements have been subsequently added (all specifically meant for me, I think):   
Those who do not learn from past mistakes are doomed to repeat them.  None are so blind as those who will not see.   Those who bury their head in the sand expose their rear end to predators. 

I totally agree with all these quotes, but my rebuttal paraphrase is this:   

None are so blind as those whose head is buried in the sand, exposing their rear ends to predators, while deluding themselves by loudly pronouncing that others cannot see.  They have not learned from past mistakes, so are doomed to repeat them.  
If circumstances were different, I’m sure we would have a rollicking good laugh in this word play game.    I would be awaiting a likely-to-be fascinating response from that dear person who has always been able to raise my ire when others could not. 

Years ago when we occasionally disagreed on a variety of what now would seem like mundane matters, my dear one uttered words I was hearing for the first time then.     I try to remember to inject them into our infrequent but necessarily brief dialogue, since they apply now in capital letters:  

So, it seems we do agree after all.  

I expect many of you are encountering political differences with family, friends and loved ones, especially this Presidential election year.    The challenge is to civilly cope, maintain or even nurture respect, love and affection with those for whom we care.  We do so despite the sometimes bitter discourse they may introduce from pundits and politicians who foster such to divide us, often deliberately.  I hope navigating these treacherous political waters is proving to be relatively smooth-going for you and am interested in your experiences. 

(Revised extensively from original publication titled "Political Differences" at Ronni Bennett's "The Elder Storytelling Place.")

Sunday, September 16, 2012


(Updated with YouTube Video of Yma Sumac)  9/18/12)

Music is long overdue here in a welcome change of pace from preoccupation with the political fervor which tends to consume our nation about now during a Presidential election year as it has on my blog.  

YMA SUMAC’S exotic singing first came to my attention after my brother returned home following WWll.  He heard her spectacular 4 ½ octave vocal range, so when Capitol Records issued her first 1950s album “Voice of the Xtabay” he was probably among the first one to purchase one.  Click here for a link to Yma Sumac’s official website.  

This Peruvian-born singer’s voice was untrained and she could not read music when discovered as a young girl in South America.  Every decade thereafter her spectacular singing voice was being appreciated around the world with recordings, concert performances and well-deserved awards in recognition of her natural talents.  Read her most interesting biography here

I’d been intending to compose a tribute to Miss Sumac since I began blogging so had searched on YouTube and saved links to some of the recorded music I faintly recalled hearing from so many years ago.  Only now am I finally sharing this magnificent vocal talent here, but sadly I’ve learned November 1st, 2008 Miss Sumac passed away at age 86 in Los Angeles, California. 

We can still enjoy recordings of her unique almost other-worldly sounding voice.
I’m listening to some of her recordings HERE as I write this which show her incredible vocal range sometimes said to reach 5 octaves at her peak....

“... from B2 to C#7 (approximately 123 to 2270 Hz). She was able to sing notes in the low baritone register as well as notes above the range of an ordinary soprano. Both low and high extremes can be heard in the song Chuncho (The Forest Creatures) (1953). She was also able to sing in an eerie "double voice".

I’m reminded of being on a South American airline during the ‘50s returning to the U.S. that made an unscheduled stop in Lima, Peru.  I looked up to see the most beautiful and handsome tall elegant light brown smooth-as-marble skinned couple boarding our flight who were more exotic in appearance than I had ever seen before or have since.  I’ve always wondered who they were, and sometimes have since wondered if perhaps that might have been Miss Sumac. 

Enjoy some of her music in the link above that I listened to while writing this piece!

(I regret that the YouTube video I had originally planned to embed here as most illustrative of her voice to me is no longer available for freely sharing.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Recently I wrote a bit about my political doings this election year.  I laud those of you who are actively aligned with the political party and candidates of your choice providing assistance by working in campaigns in the many ways of support. 

Many years past when I was single I was President of one of the “Young” political parties small town chapters, very actively soliciting more new young members.  When the election time was near we were going door-to-door, distributing literature, engaging in dialogue on the issues, offering to make-certain voters had transportation to wherever they voted, whatever their political party preference.  Feelings ran high during that election, too.

Had I known then, what I came to learn only many years later I never would have supported the candidate I did.   In the small town where I was living, all the negative information that would have caused me to probably reject that candidate was packaged and received by us, his supporters, in such a way as to indicate it was all untrue factual distortion concocted by his opposition.  But, so many years later when residing in that candidates home state where much of his chicanery had occurred, I learned the truth.

We do the best we can with the knowledge we acquire and make our choices.  In retrospect, if I had to pick one major lesson I learned from that early naive youthful political experience, it is that I wish I had listened more to the opposition, made more of an effort to check the facts about what was being said though we had limited means to do so.

I grew up in a family and a State steeped in one particular political party tradition.  Oh, there was debate alright, but mostly within that parties parameters.  Whatever the issue between parties the debate entered into always came from an almost automatic point of view that the opposing view probably didn’t have any credibility.  Keep in mind that we all thought we were being objective and openly examining all sides of each issue, but the reality was quite different as I had learned years later when I became active in college debate.  There, we argued one side of an issue one time and the next time had to take the opposite point of view, all with the goal of winning both times.  There’s nothing quite like learning the weaknesses of any point of view when one has to learn all the fine points and then argue against them. 

Even having come to the knowledge I had about issues before I became politically active, I realize now how few fact checking sources we had access to compared to today with reliable fact checking organizations readily, literally, at our fingertips via the Internet. 

The flip side of that is there is an over-abundance of so-called “news” sources regurgitating “facts” that need to be checked.  Too many times we are subjected to authoritative-sounding voices speaking in absolutes that mask the warped distortions in what they say.   “News” sources – too many of which make little or no pretense at differentiating between actual honest-to-gawd news facts, rumor, gossip, opinion, innuendo, deliberate distortion of information.  Trying to stay on top of checking out this flood of information, misinformation, for facts or downright lies and anything in between, has become a nightmare in itself.  I guess it’s better than what existed in years past, but sometimes I do wonder.  It is enough to cause some people to throw up their hands in surrender and decide not to vote at all.  Personally, I think that’s a cop-out, but to each his own. 

I’ve been giving it my level best for many years to consider all sides of every issue.  I’ve already admitted to having made some mistakes, but I have learned.   I long ago evolved a manner of viewing and living life that pre-disposes me to a point of view which would certainly be brought to bear on the issues I consider.  You know – little things like “rights,” “equality,” “values,” “ethics,” “morality,” “choice,” “freedom,” to name a few significant words in that milieu. 

So, it should come as no surprise that in this, one of the most important presidential campaigns in my life time, that part of my process (everybody has their own, no doubt) was to visit my communities campaign headquarters for the two major political parties.  Just so you won’t be disappointed if you keep reading further, nothing profound occurred when I ventured into their dens,  though I  disappointed myself by not always retaining the calm cool collected dispassionate manner I had intended.

Anyone who has read some of what I’ve written previously here and elsewhere knows I’ve pretty well determined where my vote will go, and I have even confidently, on occasion, pronounced how I’ll vote and will likely continue to do so.  Still, until my ballot is in the box, nothing is a sure thing, so I keep trying to maintain an open mind.   

My first visit was to the Republican Headquarters which opened earlier than that of the other party, several weeks before the Florida Convention.  The Headquarters is in a very prominent visible popular strip shopping center  north of and facing famous Route 66 known as Foothill Blvd. in our city.  The strip has a few store vacancies, but is anchored by a busy grocery chain whose health food products include meats, produce and organic items.  A prominent national bank is in the process of constructing a new branch there expected to open soon.

Further down the strip, on the drive’s opposite side is a long vacated stand alone building that once housed a  bank which collapsed with the Wall St. financial debacle.  On the strip are a Chinese restaurant and the administrative offices for our very unpopular water company that has continued to charge our residents obscenely higher rates than other cities pay  that they also serve (a topic for another time since in years to come cities elsewhere may find themselves subject to similar exploitation by greedy water companies.)   

Be aware that Democrats usually garner the majority of election votes in our city, but we’ve had our share of effective and respected Republican government officials.  In fact, during our state’s recent redistricting we were very pleased with the Republican chosen to represent our city and the final official plan he was instrumental in seeing was adopted.   By the same token I’ve been one of many extremely displeased with our Republican U.S.  Representative elected by others in our then district who was part of those obstinately refusing to govern.  He’s not running for office this year since redistricting, but will likely be active behind the scenes.

I was the only Republican Headquarters visitor in the middle of a mid-week afternoon not long after their national Florida convention had ended.  I gravitated to some tables on which printed leaflets of various sizes, shapes, colors and number of pages were laid out.   A middle-aged gentleman approached and asked if there was anything he could assist with.  I asked if they had a copy of the Republican Platform and he was a bit unprepared for that request, saying, finally, “No.” 

Meanwhile, a woman from further in the room injected that there would be a copy of it on the Internet (which, I already knew, but I had wanted a printed copy) and I said, “Oh, that’s okay then, I can go out and get a copy there,” as I picked up a small printed list of issue points they had for distribution.  I mentioned I had a real problem with a lie Ryan had told which I cited, that caused the woman to become all excited as she came toward me voicing in a condemning and a very accusatory tone, “You’re a Democrat!” 

I said, “No, I’m not” as I briefly recapped my voter registration and some previous political history.  She went on to say, in a sudden burst that seemed to be in confrontation-type attack mode “Well, Bill Clinton lied!” to which I responded that had nothing to do with the Ryan issue to which I was referring.   By now, my voice is irritated, I realized, as the gentleman standing off to the side, but centered somewhere in the middle of the very wide distance between the woman and I,  tried to inject a calming but defensive justifying statement, I think.  His remark was that he had checked that statement and “Ryan hadn’t said that, he had simply used innuendo.”  I made some comment questioning how honest that was, but was so disgusted, and the atmosphere was obviously so highly emotionally charged, that I decided I’d be wise to just leave there. 

My mood was befouled by that time, but I drove down Foothill Blvd. a couple of miles  into the next city to a corner intersection occupied by a stand alone national fast food restaurant and a drive-in key making stand.  I turned south into a somewhat long-declining shopping strip with a huge vacant anchor space once occupied by several different major grocery chains each of which was unable to survive for long. 

The rest of the strip included some vacant storefronts interspersed between a small popular chain electronics store, a laundromat, a drugstore, beauty supply store, auto parts store, and  a few other businesses.  Across the main wide divided street was another long strip mall with all sorts of businesses, including a popular family-owned restaurant whose genuine Mexican food many of us enjoy.  A national company gas station/store is on that corner.

At a right angle from that long vacant grocery store building, clear at the end of the first strip described here, was the rather invisible Democratic Headquarters.  They had opened the day before their national North Carolina convention which would soon begin.  They had plenty of parking spaces available, as I mentioned later to those manning the party headquarters.  They are  probably well situated to attract nearby residents, in apartment complexes, foot traffic, and bus traffic going in all directions to and from Los Angeles, plus points east.

The city of this headquarters location has quite a different demographics and higher population numbers than my next door city.  The recent primary election had shown a significant increase in Republican voters in this neighboring city which some political writers had said should be of concern to the Democratic Party. 

I saw only two individual workers in the Democratic Headquarters when I entered and walked straight ahead to tables with a variety of printed handouts, similar in appearance, but fewer in number than I had previously encountered at the other headquarters.  There clearly was no Democratic Platform brochure evident, but maybe they hadn’t yet adopted one, so I didn’t even ask. 

I did ask the woman who came forward what sort of volunteer help they would be using. 
My tone of voice and serious manner did not elicit a warm smiling greeting which I soon realized.  I gave her the benefit of the doubt by assuming it was my problem and quickly apologized, noting I had just come from the Republican Headquarters where I had become irritated and, regrettably, these feelings had accompanied me here.  She named several groups who would be coming in the days ahead to man phone banks, calling people to assist in their registration.  I asked if they were going to utilize volunteers to transport people to their voting site.  She replied, “No, not this year -- they had the previous election and no one ever called to ask for a ride.” 

I expressed concern based on having read a news account shortly after the Primary Election that Republicans had more voters cast ballots than the Democrats, though there were more registered Democratic voters in that county directly east of our own which had been described in the article.   The significant result was that two Republicans had garnered most of the votes and would be the candidates in the general election and there would be no Democratic candidate.  She didn’t seem particularly concerned that getting voters to the polls could be a problem here.

I mentioned we all help our candidates in differing ways and that I knew many were writing some strong blog content in support of theirs – particularly for President Obama.  She turned away with a slightly dismissive look and toss of her head that distinctly left me with the impression that she had little regard for blogging as a useful act.  

By this time, I had moved to a table toward the front side of the room which had a long row of stacks and stacks of different pullover tee shirt/sweat shirts – mostly black fabric with Obama’s likeness on the front, and gaudily decorated for my taste, with all sorts of bright colored sprinkles and sparkles.   Perhaps they knew this was what would appeal to those who would be seeking election souvenirs, or to wear, in the community they were attracting.  Unfortunately, they were so unattractive to me I didn’t want to purchase one.  I didn’t see any pin-on type buttons, but hadn’t seen any at the Republican Headquarters either. 

The gentleman by that table came forward and a conversation ensued in which we noted sharing the same surname, that neither of us knew, or were related to any of the other people with our same name who lived in any of the  surrounding communities.  I  reiterated my concern I had expressed to the woman I had spoken with, that while voter registration  was vital and an issue in many other States, I thought what happened in that next door County would suggest that getting people out to vote might need to be a major focus here in So Cal.  I received an explanation and reassurance that what happened was a consequence of always present internal complications in how the political party functioned there in that particular county, but was not a concern here.

Also, he noted that he had checked the figures and Obama was certain to accrue all the votes he needed in California.  This was not difficult to believe, since California has predominately been a Democratic voting State.  However, I felt compelled to caution that if they wanted to be certain their candidate won, I hoped they wouldn’t be complacent – that there had been other elections, other years, whose outcome was thought to be known and proved not to be so. 

Before I left the Democratic Headquarters the man with whom I was speaking told me of group events they would be holding there in the future, including watching some of the convention proceedings which was clearly an unspoken invitation for me to return if I wished to do so. 

My adventure into these political party headquarters occurred with my having no agenda other than curiosity as to how I would be greeted, what I might observe, the literature they would be distributing, whether there would be an effort to elicit my support via my vote and/or my volunteering to help elect their candidate.   In both instances I think the approach was one of  allowing me to initiate any interaction, that they were there to answer questions as opposed to influencing how I might cast my ballot.

My questioning or expressing distaste for what one Parties candidate had said, may have predisposed those Party representatives, or at least one of them, to respond in a none to dialogue inviting manner.  But then, I’ve been in situations much more confrontational  than that and was able to respectfully have a friendly extended conversation with the person. 

Inquiring and questioning the other Parties approach to soliciting votes was probably not as threatening as commenting on one of their candidates statements would have been.  So, maybe it was easier for them to be more cordial and want to bring me into the fold.

This activity doesn’t sway my vote one way or another, and took very little time.  I didn’t really learn anything I didn’t already know from the literature that was being distributed.  I expect our California political headquarters are pretty calm compared to many other States, especially in those States whose votes are considered to be critical. 

Our particular area doesn’t really have that many other candidates and issues to motivate political parties to aggressively promote their point of view to voters even though we had redistricting.   There is such a heavy emphasis on the Presidential tickets that I think it overwhelms everything else.   I do think there are some State issues that will heat up our population before election day.  Our two women Democratic Party Senators are expected to be returned to office without difficulty.  There may be some districts  with some candidates for other national offices and some state ones that those voters will need to seriously consider.  

I wonder what’s politically exciting, or not,  where you live?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Life is fragile and we have so much for which to be grateful as I described my 9/11 Remembrance last year.   I pay tribute to those whose lives were taken from them as a consequence of the events on and associated with that fateful day -- to their families and friends who forever acutely feel their loss. 

(Writing this particular piece for publishing today is purely coincidental.  Clearly what matters is valuing every minute of every day which we may sometimes forget when caught up in our own angst.)

Awakening after seven or more hours of sleep one weekend day, I arose to satisfy nature’s urge, then went to the kitchen,  glanced out the window noticing the papers had been delivered, returned to bed and slept until noon.  I’ve come to enjoy those hours when once in a while I return to bed, since generally lovely dreams, that I even remember afterward, fill my mind.

When I awaken again, a button pressed allows the radio news, weather reports to bring me up to date on life outside my house.  All the usual, another sunny day, firefighters still battling the flames in the forests distanced enough to the north, that the smoke-filled air is well beyond my environs, much less visible.  Storm warnings up the coast in the earlier-this-year strawberry festival city of Oxnard with possible wind and hail expected later today. 

Wandering out to the kitchen again, I see the newspapers still lying on the drive in their rain and sprinkler water-protective  plastic wrappings when I again glance out the window.   I decide I’ll bring in the papers, so don a jacket over my pajama top, a half-way body covering, since the pajama bottoms seem somehow less of an affront should someone drive by who might see me while I was engaged in my newspaper retrieval task.  Rarely ever are any of the neighbors in surrounding homes visible, but even their eyes would likely not be shocked or offended should they catch a glimpse of my strange-looking somewhat meagerly clad form.

Returning to my front door, I notice the mail has been delivered already today, so remove our city newspaper, flyer ads, promotional letters with one addressed to my long deceased husband, plus only one business letter of any consequence.  I miss the days when there was almost always a personal hand or type written letter from some friend or family member.  Once inside, jacket removed, my newspapers extracted from their protective covering, I decide to just sit down in the living room with them.  

I don’t have to gaze around the room to know there are, as always, an overwhelming number of tasks which I need to undertake that have multiplied daily in number since my husband’s death over six years ago, yet I continue to leave them all mostly undone.  Matters haven’t been helped by the fact I’ve drug at lot of “stuff” into the living room, ostensibly to sort, that I never quite get completed.   Refocusing on today's activities, I do sort the reading portions of these daily  newspapers from the advertisements I discard unread, along with the sports pages after I glance at the headlines, and special car sales sections. 

Misc. news items, gardening tips, music, theatre and film festival reports give way to the regular physician’s medical column feature of the day, followed by my chuckling through the half-dozen or so cartoons I enjoy reading.   The living room radio has continued broadcasting since I transitioned to that unit much earlier after leaving my bedroom.  The print reading now complete,  I tip my head to rest against the recliner chair back.   I am unmotivated to begin any activity, think about simply returning to the bed’s comfort, though I’m not sleepy and don’t feel tired.   I could care less about booting up my computer, and reading emails, blogs or going to other Internet sites.  I consider linking to music, but am not really certain what I might want to hear. 

My thoughts wonderingly examine why I’m actually listless, though I don’t feel dark thoughts as might be associated with the blues, or depression.  I wonder why I don’t become interested or enthusiastic about organizing my home’s interior into one presentable to not only myself but others?   Why don’t I care enough to just do all I need to do here – simply to please myself – and never mind any body else?  What crosses my mind is, that it just doesn’t matter. 

There is no one locally, unlike most of my past years here, who is going to pleasantly surprise me with a phone call asking what I’m doing, and would I like to join them for a cup of coffee and just chat for a while.  I realize there is no one who might show up unexpectedly at my door.  I realize there is no one I want to phone to inquire if they would like to get together for a  bit, just to discuss life, general nonsense, or intimate thoughts, concerns and questions.

When I consider taking off in the car, I realize the better part of wisdom for me is that maybe I shouldn’t be making long distance auto driving trips alone, even once I have my car completely checked over to make sure it would be safe for such trips.   I realize, as I’ve been aware for some time, that even making such a trip would likely not be as enjoyable as I might anticipate, because there would be no one of like mind with whom to share the experience. 

Additionally, I realize that my efforts at involving myself in activities interesting to me have resulted in my meeting few people here with whom I might establish close intimate relationships.  Good trusting friends take time to establish and as we age time gets much shorter, but the time required to develop those relationships often does not.  I did meet one such person (though we had know each other casually for over 30 years,) but inconsiderately life unexpectedly presented them with only a few short months existence after sudden onset of life-terminating health problems last year. 

Yes, others I’ve met, we share similar interests, but they already have such companionship with their spouses, so I urge them to treasure their time together.  Others, in some instances, already have their own longtime circle of friends who are all fortunately still living.  Yes, the spouse, local friends as I once had enjoyed – just as they sought out and enjoyed me – are long gone from this immediate area – and  many elsewhere, expired.   I’m glad I’m alive and would not want to be otherwise, but these years are not as I had expected them to be.   Selfishly, I fully anticipated many of those friends would share these years with me, especially the younger ones.  I suppose the situation doesn't alter as we get older in this living lottery

I think I may know why I’m motivated primarily only to go to work.  In addition to enjoying my work, the people I meet, and with whom I interact – that work impetus may only be partly because I made the commitment, so I have a professional obligation to honor it as long as I choose to keep working.   Other than that, my bottom line is that I don’t care – nothing else seems to matter that much.   

Still --- yes, I care about my children and their children, but they are far removed geographically, so they aren’t going to stop by.   They can’t pop in given the miles that separate us, as I know they would otherwise.  But then, if they did live by, they would have their own responsibilities.  That would be okay,  I want them to have a life of their own and I know how busy their lives can be – so many demands.  I, too, lived that life once, as I think about the contact I had across the miles with my mother.   I don’t want to move to either of my children’s parts of the country –  they’re even widely separated geographically from each other, too.

Sometimes I’m envious of those who have family living close around, then I hear of the conflicts and challenges that sometimes pose for all and think my situation doesn’t have those issues.   Still I’m tempted to wonder if I’m out-of-sight, out-of-mind, but I refuse to badger, complain and aggressively demand attention which would only seed undeserved guilt, possibly resentment and maybe even anger.

If the geographic distance wasn’t so great, I would undertake periodic driving trips to spend short visiting times – so much better for all of us than descending on them for long periods of time when I fly in.   Also, flying comfort is so unpleasant now, plus once I’m there I have no transportation to go out and about, it's inconvenient to borrow theirs – not worth renting a car -- not really areas to walk to nearby.  They don’t subscribe to newspapers, so I don’t  familiarize myself with what of interest is going on in their area.    

Guess I’ll boot up the computer and check my personal email.  How exciting!  My DIL has emailed me several photos from her smart phone.  My handsome (Grandma bragging rights invoked here) red-headed grandson is visiting the petting zoo, quite intrigued with all the animals and their noises, especially the piggies.  Also, he’s at the top of the slide, informing his mother he’s quite capable of sliding down on his own without her assistance, thank you.   Oh my!  He’s growing so fast – walking and running all over since he was nine months or so. 

Lost in thought, my phone rings – I’m surprised -- the call is from my daughter.  I know she is incredibly pre-occupied with all that’s going on in her home, none the least of which is studying for her classes, aiding my granddaughter as she begins her senior high school year and so much more for both of them.  My daughter is so tired and sleepy as I hear the periodic yawns in her voice.  We have a loving mother-daughter conversation that I eventually end, tucking her in with a hug and kiss across these miles for a much-needed good night’s sleep.  Her morning will come much too soon.   I remember those years only too well.

Where did the day go?  Evening arrives and I decide to cater to my whim for part of my weekly fish allotment.  Furthermore, I’m not going to cook – though I have some frozen salmon filets which are probably more healthy for me than what I have in mind.  Why not just go to that fast food place and get a fish sandwich?  That’s what I’ll do, but I’ll dress from the top up, still leave on those pajama bottoms – no one will know the difference – sure hope I don’t have an auto accident.  Mom always said it was important to have clean underwear on when I left home.  Oh well, off I go.

Soon I’m home again.  I feel just a little bit wicked having gone off dressed as I was, or undressed, depending on your perspective, but at least I’m not one of those people I’ve read about occasionally who are discovered stark naked in the car.  That’ll never be me, rest assured dear reader! 

Aren’t I lucky!  I do have good close friends, including one I’ve known all my life with whom I have frequent contact.  It’s just that none of them live here in my city any more.  And I have such a loving caring family, however few there are of us, regardless of the miles that separate us, who certainly don’t neglect me.   I suppose all of us have times when we may feel a bit alone in the world, but we really aren’t if we think about it.  Besides, I also have all my Blogger Buddies, too!