Sunday, July 10, 2011

Getting to old age love

Richard and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary about one month ago. 30 years does seem like a long time, and I know we've a ways to go before our time together comes to an end.

Has it been an easy 30 years? Well...of course not. The miracle is we still have a strong love and appreciation for each other. This isn't the first marriage for either one of us. If someone had told me thirty-two years ago that I would meet someone with whom I would spend (hopefully) the rest of my life, I would have said, "Oh, boy, do I hope so!"

I really hope we make it to old age together. There is something about getting there and still caring for and appreciating each other that seems so rare nowadays. Beginning with my own generation, marriage has become a take-it or leave-it proposition for some people. Yes, there are times when divorce is necessary. Far be it from me to preach about what is right or wrong. It's a personal choice between yourself and God and your mate. Still, it will be a loss, like a small death, a story that comes to an end.

Sometimes, we have the choice made for us, thanks to today's divorce laws. So this makes it even more rare when people get to old age love. To that stage where you can look at the other person and know what they are thinking. To that point where your other does something which irritates you and you just say to yourself, "ahh, yes, that's just him being him." To the minute where he's sick and you suddenly think about what life would be like without him. How hard it would empty.

So where did this musing come from? Yesterday, I read a poem by Wendell Berry that speaks to me so beautifully of old age love. It's called "The Blue Robe." Enjoy.

The Blue Robe

How joyful to be together, alone
as when we were first joined
in our little house by the river
except that now we know

each other, as we did not then;
and now instead of two stories fumbling
to meet, we belong in one story
that the two, joining, made. And now

we touch each other with the tenderness
of mortals, who know themselves
how joyful to feel the heart quake

at the sight of a grandmother,
old friend in the morning light,
beautiful in her blue robe.
~ Wendell Berry

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nightmare on Lake Shore Dr!!!!

Yes, it feels like a nightmare right now. I feel as though I am dragging myself from one task to the couch, to the next task, back to bed, etc.

We are preparing to move to North Carolina. In this effort, we are putting the house on the market next week and our preparations have included a myriad of tasks where I must work through clutter (clothes, dishes, yarn, household items, junk) and make decisions on where they should go (Salvation Army, consignment shop, EBay, Craigslist, give to family (I'm sorry!), storage unit, TRASH, or keep!).

I am exhausted! And I know this is just the beginning. Richard has been a tremendous help since he was terminated from his position (another story) 4 weeks ago. He has painted, lifted, organized, helped me keep track of EBay sales (I can't believe how confusing this is! FPS, I used to conduct statistical analysis. Now I can't even figure out a statement from EBay!). I could never have done this without him.

However, we can't go on forever without his working, at least until he is ready to retire in 2 1/2 years. Even then he wants to keep working, as he is a high energy person (a nice contract to "lay on the couch, can't even lift my arms to knit some days" me, huh?

Sorry to be such a downer today. I just needed to whine a little! Just need to focus on the abundance and blessings in my life. But what I wouldn't give for someone who would just come in and take over all this crap, weed it out, and pack it up! In my dreams!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

This is my daughter. Isn't she beautiful? Mother to 8 children. Training to be a fitness trainer (is that right?). Looks nothing like me, but I am SO proud of her!
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

My personal, guilty pleasure!

OK, I admit it. I love to sleep on ironed sheets. No, I don't iron them everyday, but when I wash them, I iron the pillow cases, and the edges of the top sheet to smooth out the inevitable folds that occur while drying.

The reason I do this (when I should be conserving energy b/c of my CFS/ME) is the luxuriously smooth feeling the sheets get when they are ironed. Years ago, I lived with a friend of my parents for 6 weeks while awaiting my wedding to Ron. Isabelle Hugo taught me how to iron sheets (yes there is a certain way to do this to make it easier). Although she has since confessed to me that she no longer irons her sheets, I experienced the pleasure of sleeping on ironed sheets again a couple of years ago, when Richard and I spent a night in a B & B in southeastern Iowa, on our way home from a Christmas visit with family.

Then, I recently found this information on a blog. The blogger said she got the recipe from a Macy's department store saleswoman. And it works. If you have a front loading, high efficiency washer, you will have to pour the vinegar directly on the sheets since your detergent dispenser won't hold a cup and a half of vinegar.

Drying the sheet on permanent press (I use a low heat setting and dry them a little longer) also contributes to the smoothness of the fabric. It feels just like the sheets have been ironed. Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 cups cheap white vinegar
1 tablespoon detergent
Warm wash
Warm rinse
Extra rinse
Perma-press dry

Want to hear another guilty pleasure? When I iron the sheets (or make the bed, after using the above recipe), I love to spritz the pillow cases and the edges of the top sheet with a lavender spray that I get from Prairieland Herbs (look for body and linen mist). The scent lingers for at least a couple of days and makes me relax, instantly when my head hits the pillow!

Now if I could just figure out how Hilton Hotels manage to make their towels smell so good, feel soft, and yet absorbent! Anyone know?

Monday, March 14, 2011

What I'm reading...when I can concentrate

Yes, I know I have not posted in months. This winter has been a tough one for me, between trying to keep up with my small efforts at volunteer work, a couple of bouts with the flu, and the whiplash I sustained after a car accident at the end of January. Recently, while exercising in the pool, it appears I have strained or sprained my right ankle. The beat goes on...and on...and on.

I've been reading a book with a rather provocative title, "How to be sick." by Toni Bernhardt. She was diagnosed with CFS/ME after an episode with the flu, much like I was. Her premise is that there are Buddhist principles which can help those who deal, on a daily basis, with chronic, debilitating illness.

Here's a link to her story, in brief. Toni is worse off than I am, being pretty much bedfast most days, and housebound almost constantly. She talks about the things she has missed and has had to learn to manage in other ways. The chief thing that impressed me was her use of technology to reach out to her children and family.

Can I say, if I were in her position, I don't know how I would cope with that disconnect from my children and grandchildren. I suppose you do what you have to do. Just yesterday, I got to hold my new grandson. How do you replace that with technology? How do I replace the hugs and kisses of my grandchildren, their smiling faces when I see them? How do I replace seeing my children and the lives they have made for themselves, up close.

So, I just keep on trying to do these things, although I often am faced with pain for a week or more after I make the effort. I love them so much, I would miss the touching and holding, the seeing and the listening in person.