HAPPY JULY 4TH !You must read "Going Small, and Coming Home" by Shoreacres at Task At Hand
Content on this blog is continuing to be an experiment with addressing several matters each post -- mirroring my daily life which also revolves around more than just one issue. Every day is infused with living in the present through actions, thoughts triggered by daily experiences, occasional unexpected influx of memories – this is basically what I write about. Perhaps the unsolicited inflow of memories tends to become more prevalent in proportion to my years of accumulating them. There are occasions when I have no one here with whom to verbally engage, so some of the residual of that situation comes here.
My writings will likely continue to include some political commentary on the status of our government – more so than most of my previous years blogging which began in 2006. My reason for doing so is that our current U.S. administration gives every indication of differing from previous ones in our nation’s history since 1776. Their governing is not simply a matter of differing political party beliefs from those of the opposition parties views. I perceive this administration's actions and stated intent pose a potential threat to the constitutional democratic republic principles on which our nation was founded. I consider my moral and ethical responsibility as a citizen to question such actions, words, behaviors that I believe jeopardize my rights and freedoms and those of generations to come.
The President’s most recent demand under the guise of alleged voter fraud -- which is undocumented -- to obtain private data on voters is an example of a violation that, if allowed, is ripe for abuse of citizen’s rights by this Administration. Given the President’s vindictive nature against anyone whose views differ from his own, his administration – or any other, for that matter – but his, especially, should not have access to this information. Likely an “illegal” vote by his definition would be one other than for him and/or his agenda much as occurs in despotically-ruled countries.
Then there are his automatic condemnations of any factual news reports to which he objects coupled with his constant lying. I won’t even discuss his most disgusting modeling of offensive language in words and writing any self-respecting adult would not admire – would not want their young children or youthful adults to pattern their lives after. His words and behaviors do serve to distract many (which may be partly his intent) from focusing on his governing efforts that less than successfully address the needs of those other than the most wealthy while, as some suggest, his family coffers may be being enriched.
Readers are welcome to be selective in choosing whatever topic segments I might write about that are most of interest to them and disregard those that are not, but that’s always been true. I cannot avoid writing about our government’s functions since it is very much a part of my daily life, affects my future and that of my loved ones.
My real time daily activities often aren’t referenced here until after the fact, if at all, unlike the writings of many other bloggers. This is for the simple reason that as a widow now, I live alone – as I have been for the past decade, but had not previously done except for a number of years after college and before I wed.
Publicly distributing information on the Internet about my daily routines might not be in my personal best interest should those with less concern for my welfare and safety choose to abuse that information. Also, my life is pretty routine and probably would be considered by others to be dull much of the time compared to that of many I read about. While I’m still active, I confess to being less so as I get older.
My family members’ excitements and activities are mostly shared via various technical devices, even, occasionally, the old-fashioned standard postal service mailings. This is because the bulk of our time is spent physically apart since the few remaining alive live distances, even across the country, from me.
Tech-wise, for example, my son texted me this past weekend saying, “Whas up, Mom? Wanna Facetime?” Timing was perfect for me, so I quickly replied, “O.K.!” Within minutes my iPad-mini screen was filled with my son’s presence in real time, quickly followed by my 5 year old grandson’s coming into view. In the background I could see and hear my DIL joining our conversation as she was wrapping up some activities on her laptop.
Soon my grandson wanted to read to me a book since his achieving this ever-increasing skill had progressed even more in his kindergarten year just completed. I was duly impressed as he pretty fluently read long sentences (for him), successfully sounded out a few initially challenging words, accepted some cues or prompts on others as needed from his folks. All in all we had a delightful conversation, then my grandson later went off to seek his own entertainment and we adults, sometimes just my son and I, caught up with the “doin’s” in each other’s lives.
Updates on my needs, concerns, welfare are always a basis of inquiry from my son or daughter though I dutifully keep them regularly posted. My daughter and I tend to have long phone conversations, preferring our landlines when we talk, though all have smart phones (except me as I still prefer to use my old cell phone). Shorter conversations from my now young adult granddaughter occur which I especially treasure knowing how busy young people’s lives can be. In between these contacts we all text and email, sometimes daily, occasionally several times a day, individually or in a group dialogue.
What a contrast all this communication is compared with what I had with my Mother, MIL and other family living then when we lived such a distance from each other years ago. Long distance phone calls could be expensive, though we had progressed past the time when such a call meant some catastrophe had occurred or someone had died. We did make an effort to take advantage of hours when reduced phone rates applied. We wrote letters mostly. I often typed mine on my Royal portable which I still have.
I read recently typewriters are gaining renewed use and appreciation much as long playing vinyl records (LPs) -- news reports Sony is now pressing LPs again. Increasing numbers of discerning music listeners desire the fullness of LP sound over that of digital just as I determined and told skeptical others so many years ago after listening to CDs.
Sometimes when tape recorders became more reasonably priced and reduced in size with cassettes, we dictated verbal letters to my Mother (as her vision was failing), and brother in Hawaii – the rest of us were scattered about on the Mainland -- mailing them to each other. I still have one tape (if it hasn’t disintegrated) of my mother’s voice and wish I had saved more, including one with my now-deceased only brother and sibling.
Today, I succumbed to a personable young gardener I didn’t know or had never employed. He unexpectedly came to my door offering to spread a combination mix of mulch and fertilizer to my yard as partial protection against our excessive summer heat. His English was limited but he said he’d return in 14 days to see how the grass was doing. I think he’ll be as good as his word (left a phone number), but if he doesn’t come, that’s okay with me. I never respond to the rare solicitor at the door as they have to be licensed in our city. I usually confront them to show me the license they’re required to carry, and I even phone the local non-emergency police number as we’re urged to do with any uninvited strangers. “See something – Say something!”
I still have some semblance of grass in all front yard areas but the parkway I converted to bark several years ago, disconnecting the sprinklers to that area. Drought effects had a severe deleterious effect on my yard, but the grass never was in the pristine condition as it had been before when my husband was living and supervising the care once he could no longer do the labor himself. I have the same gardeners but think I may not have been as meticulous in following a schedule fertilizing and whatever else my husband might have been doing. He had written instructions on everything but that in his notes, so I assumed the gardeners automatically took care of the treatments. I will convert away from this grass eventually for less watering which I already restrict.
My gardeners are limited English speakers (Spanish) but we communicate well enough. I’m very pleased with the tall hedges, shrubbery trimming they do, personally like any of the gardener’s young helpers with their good-natured humor and manner, so retain them. I can always phone his home, where an unaccented native-English sounding speaker daughter will take my message which she relays to her father.
Perhaps part of my attitude somehow reflects a connection to my husband I may feel on some level – knowing they knew him. He was discerning of human-kind. He trusted them. I trust them and have not been disappointed in their fairness. They seem most anxious and responsive to pleasing me, whereas I’m more inclined to have them “just do it” and expecting them to know what to do without my direction. I’m sure my husband had been very directive.
LIVING IN PLACE
Being free of house and yard upkeep inside and out sometimes becomes a very attractive idea. I review in my mind all the services available to me here in our city that will be of help if I ever need them – transportation, house-keeping, Girl Friday for errands, near by grocery/pharmaceutical/restaurants that also offer home delivery, home health care, close proximity to my top quality hospital and doctors, Meals On Wheels and even a socialization group for home-bound people if I choose to join.
I consider the reputable licensed electrician and another who is a carpenter I’ve occasionally hired, that have demonstrated their trustworthiness and assured me they’ll provide any handyman services, to be important members of any needed support team. I’m reminded of solicitous neighbors though we interact infrequently – but like yesterday, I found outside my door a sandwich bag full of cherry tomatoes my young neighbors across the street must have harvested from their garden before leaving for a long holiday weekend since I observe their car is gone.
Most days I think only of how much I enjoy continuing to live in my home even though I’ve been so remiss in not yet undertaking long delayed much-needed redecorating of the interior. I still need to downsize my “stuff”, sort through clothes I’ve saved in different sizes, dispose of work-related materials I likely won’t use in the future, cull my book library, just to name a few attack areas. I don’t want to leave all this for my children to cope with. I continue to remain dedicated to the “living in place” concept, living in my home.
I leave open the possibility of moving closer to either of my children as they have encouraged me to do for many years now. Neither of them have any interest in returning to live in California, though I think it might be a possibility in the distant future for one of them -- I could be wrong. My philosophy all my life has been to "keep my options open", so if circumstances warrant I will acquiesce to leaving this more desirable climate. But I've told them both, that if my mind completely goes it won't matter much where I am.
No doubt you have future plans or arrangements for retirement and/or older age living should you find yourself suddenly living alone, becoming less mobile, or in the event you experience unpredictable health changes. If not, it's never too early or too late to consider.