Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Today's Special: Nance--A Last Gasp Quickie July Post

Hey, July! You're not going to sneak away before I get one last quickie blogpost out there. But I'm tired and I have a little case of PVC (Post Vacation Crabby), so don't expect Profound Genius. Light, simple, and easy are my guideposts of the day.

As a matter of fact, I'm stealing this idea from Pretty Much Everyone. It's an Age Old Blog Meme.

Today, Nance Is

Wearing: Shorts and a breezy, gauzy tunic bought at H&M about twelve years ago. I keep clothes forever. It still looks great; two women at the grocery store complimented me on it this morning. Naturally, my Bobs shoes and my glasses matched my outfit perfectly. Some things I cannot give up.

Reading: The fact that I am able to answer this is still a source of Such Profound Joy to me! I just finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and am about 50 pages into Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Undoubtedly, all of you have already read these, but that's the great thing about books--they wait for you!

Working On: In the knitting realm, I am knitting a pair of boy and girl teddy bear handpuppets. I am also continuing work on a shawl for myself. In the more cerebral realm, I am always at work maintaining my Zen.

Hearing: Unfortunately, the air conditioner, still. While I am terribly grateful for it, I am tired of it. If it is on, it means it is too hot to be outdoors for very long, which makes me resentful. I also hear the absurdly loud clock in my office, the tick-tocking of which is laughably cliche enough to be a sound effect.

Making For Dinner: An enormous salad, to which will be added the strip steak marinating merrily away in its bath of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic, and spices. Rick and I will share the glass and a half of red left in the bottle from the other night while we prep and grill, then open a fresh one with dinner.

Thinking About: How when I was a little girl, I had only a couple of dreams. I wanted to be a teacher and get married and have two children. I did realize my dreams; they both came true. As I got older, my dreams changed, of course. But being a pragmatic person, I didn't really do a lot of Big Dreaming. But I know the little girl I was would be astonished at where she ended up today.

Planning: Very little. It's Summertime.

Share your Today or just Chat about mine with us in Comments.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I'm So Happy That My Phone Has A Camera And Here Are Some Pictures To Prove It

Sometimes, I think back to The Olden Times when things were Very Sad, like when my cell phone did not have a camera I could use easily. Now, I can snap pictures of tremendous Things, share them, and then delete them once they have served their purpose, like becoming Blog Material. A collateral benefit is that others take pictures for me and send them to me, too.

Isn't Life great? I'm glad The Olden Times are gone.

We are so Advanced now that some Beings no longer use words. It's true! Witness this ad, which has run for a few days now in the Rentals section of my Cleveland Plain Dealer:

I feel like I'm getting some of it: grand staircase; cable tv; party room downstairs; no phone or casual hookups; outdoor pool; references available upon request. The rest is self explanatory. If you can handle complex communication and don't have a pet, the rent seems pretty reasonable.

I, however, will be staying in my neighborhood, especially after what I saw in this next photo. The joy (and relief) I felt on my walk when I saw this sign just around the corner from my home was immeasurable.

Until I went to edit this photo, I didn't notice the rays of light shining down upon it from The Heavens Above. It's awfully comforting to know that The Universe is rooting for The Rest Of Us in 2020, too.

This last photo was sent to me by my dear friend Jeanine, who keeps a sharp eye out for such things with me in mind. This sign made my day; it is magnificent in its oddness and bossiness. I have never, ever seen anything like it. It defies explanation and logic in every way. I love it.

This sign mystifies me, and I am not over it. I struggle mightily to figure out exactly how driving at a regular speed or even zippily will affect a grieving family. Wouldn't it make more sense (but still be a ridiculous imposition, really) for the sign to read QUIET: DEATH IN FAMILY: THANK YOU? How slowly must the drivers pass by? Can they drive r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y but blast "Old Town Road" or "Sucker" with their windows open? Perhaps it would be better for drivers to stop altogether and observe a moment of silence for this dead person, whom they do not even know, in a family they do not even know, who are, right now, attempting to BOSS THEM AROUND IN THEIR PERSONAL CAR ON A PUBLIC ROAD

Isn't it just The Best? I told you I'm not over it. This will take some time. I'll get back to you.

In the meantime, why not chat about these pix in Comments?

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Finally, The Summer Of Nance

Seventeen years ago Rick had his first back surgery. That summer, the boys were teenagers, seventeen and fourteen. They were a big help to me while their dad had to lie and sit, not bending or twisting or lifting. He spent a lot of that summer lying on a chaise out by the fishpond or lying in his recliner whilst we did pretty much everything under his careful observation and, when it came to the yardwork, his gentle specifications. Most of the time, however, we teased him about lolling around and goofing off. And we dubbed that summer The Summer Of Rick. It was All About Him, for we had to pick up his slack and haul around his chaise. And we babied him a lot.

"Next year look out," I warned him. "Next year is The Summer Of Nance." I wanted my payback, my chance to lie about and enjoy a sultan-like existence. I don't need to tell you how Life had other plans, year after year, and I kept waiting and waiting for The Summer Of Nance.

This past winter Rick had another back surgery. Dear friends moved out of state. My mother was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and needed more help. In May I suddenly turned sixty years old. Life seemed very...big.

And then I realized, with the help of a very wise friend, that if I was going to have The Summer Of Nance, I was going to have to simply make it happen, that it was a matter of Perspective, and that it started with me, internally. I had to choose to have an Independence Day, and celebrate from there.

Sixty was my Pivot Point, my Liberation Day. I thought about how long I had lived with the shadowy presences of Guilt, Should, and Worry clouding my days. I took a hard look at how often I lived in two days I could do nothing about, Yesterday and Tomorrow. I analyzed all the stupid rules I made for myself about how I spent my time and conducted my life, and I looked carefully at just where they came from. And I wondered why I was so kind and forgiving and thoughtful to everyone except myself.

I decided that, at Sixty, it was about time Those Days Were Over. The only thing preventing me from having The Summer Of Nance was...Me. Me and the consistently bad (but well-meaning) choices I made.

I think as a woman, a mother, and a teacher, I was in a particulary vulnerable role, susceptible to the kind of mindset I was in for so long. I was the director, the planner, the nurturer, the command center, the fixer, the rule giver. And that's just the Adult Me. Habits formed in those roles are hard to break.

The benefits of Reclaiming Me have been many. I'm reading books again, and that is a profound Joy. My migraines are lessening, and my days are busy and happy. I don't think about Tomorrow or dwell upon Yesterday; I'm very content in Today. Guilt is almost completely gone, and I rarely use the word Should.

I sometimes mourn--briefly--the time I lost being so stressed and unhappy. But I know there were many Happinesses tucked away in there, and I know that I always did the very best that I could.

When I was about fourteen, I went to the doctor because I couldn't take deep breaths. I was simply unable to. The doctor, an elderly man who practiced family medicine in a pragmatic way, checked me over and listened to my chest with his stethoscope. He thumped my back a few times and pronounced me perfectly healthy. Nothing changed, really, for the remainder of my life. It was only a few months ago that I realized that I was finally able to breathe--deeply and fully--whenever I wanted to. Can you imagine?

So, this is The Summer Of Nance. I wish with all my heart that it is Your Summer, too.

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