I lost my keys…

June 26, 2013

Yes, I lost my keys. I went to the post office yesterday, went to dig out my key ring with the post office box key on it and it wasn’t there.

Now, I’m a key-phobe…I am terrified of losing my keys, being locked out of my house, not being able to access my car, losing a HUGE piece of my life. As a result, I ALWAYS know where my keys are. If they aren’t in my purse, I can at least usually track them back to the last bag of groceries I brought into the kitchen or in the back pocket of the pants I was wearing.

So I wasn’t panicked when I couldn’t find the keys…I just borrowed my husband’s post office box key and knew I would find them when I got home. All the way home, I searched the floor and under the seat of the car…nothing.  When I got home, I emptied my purse onto the couch…nothing. Over the following 24 hours, we searched the house, the yard, under the bed…there are only so many places to look when one lives in a two room house and only goes out every few days or so (and out is often the post office and/or the little market up the road). I was distraught. As my husband was leaving town, I borrowed his car key, house key and post office key to get by. And I fretted and fretted and fretted (I do that really well, fretting)…

Of course, the mystery of the missing keys just fed into my sometimes pathological fear of Alzheimer’s and/or dementia. I don’t EVER want to be trapped in my body without my mind. And my little episodes of forgetfulness have increased since…well, I guess since the onset of menopause a gazillion years ago. So many of my friends complain about the same thing, so I have to think that this is somehow a hormonal reaction rather than something more sinister. I always tell them it is because we have so much wisdom jammed in, something has to leak out in order for there to be room for new wisdom!

And the good news comes as a result of living in a tiny little town…I left my keys at the post office the day before I discovered them lost and the postmaster put them in my post office box! PHEW!!!!!

Hmmmm…wish this made me worry less about the state of my brain, but at least I have my keys!

I was so disappointed to watch footage this morning of the Rutgers men’s basketball coach physically and verbally abusing his players. As far as I’m concerned, it is one thing to be a tough, demanding coach and entirely another to scream at, push, throw balls at and aim homophobic slurs at students. As of yesterday, Coach Mike Rice had been suspended for three games and fined a few dollars. As of today, when the footage has been viewed by the world, I will be willing to bet (except I don’t bet) that the punishment will increase. I’ll be watching…

A shout out to my very brave dad, who, at age 88, went under the knife yesterday to have his hip replaced. The surgery went well and we are all hoping for as pain-free a rehab as possible. Dad has promised to take his pain pills when needed and to be diligent with his physical therapy. We are all looking forward to hearing stories of him back on the golf course and able to walk without pain. YOU GO, DAD!

One whole week of this stupid, weird cold…it started last Thursday, when I awoke with a slight sore throat and a little sinus pressure…that continued for days, so I chalked it up to seasonal allergies (I don’t have allergies, but everyone said that they can come on at any time). But then, on Monday, I started having to blow my nose frequently…Tuesday, the cough and sore chest started. Today, more of the same…I am very tired of this, thank you, and will be happy when it is gone.

Boo, the mighty mouse hunter, found a mouse huddled under my boot this morning…he pointed and pointed and wagged and wagged until I moved the boot. Boo dove in, picked up the mouse and started carrying it around in his mouth…I opened the front door, let them both out and watched Boo drop it…I wooed Boo back inside and went out and flung the dead mouse into the woods. It is usually the cats who do my mouse-patrolling; my smart doggie must have been studying them…way to go, Boo!

I worked on income taxes last month, then left it for later…I think it is now later…I know what I’ll be doing today after I get back from working at the library…

Finally, I think we have seen the last of real snow for the winter…it has been cold overnight and in the early mornings, but the temps have gotten up into the upper 40s and 50s during the day…I am even sleeping with the sliding door open to the ocean…I will miss winter, but oh…I do love spring!

Dreaming of spring

Dreaming of spring

I have a confession to make…a dirty little secret I have unsuccessfully tried to protect all my life…I am a TERRIBLE house cleaner. I’m really good at doing defined tasks, like laundry and meal preparation and dishwasher loading and unloading. But, somehow, the gene which allows the brain to organize something so complicated as real, deep cleaning is missing in me.

Well, it is time for spring cleaning and I am in trouble. I have been scouring the internet for tips on how to methodically clean a house. If I had my druthers, I would hire someone to clean for me, but my house isn’t big enough to allow me to do that with a clear conscience…if they can do it, I should be able to do it.

My biggest bugaboos are:

  • All hardwood floors (which I adore)  that accumulate piles of dust and cat fur at the most alarming rate – We vacuum daily with the Dyson stick and/or the minivac and there are more piles by the time we finish
  • Beautiful, high ceilings throughout – Back to that dust? We have a fluffy duster on a long stick for corners, but there is no way to reach all the way up
  • Our collections…I have collected, variously, over the years, Mexican-style glass pitchers, fish, cats, tea pots and Mark Switzer figurines – they now adorn the tops of all the tall kitchen cabinets and any extra shelf in the house and require dusting and/or running through the dish washer

Does anyone have any surefire, can’t miss organizational tips for spring cleaning they would like to share with this challenged ditz? I would be MOST appreciative…

Emptynesting…

February 28, 2013

I read an article on Boston.com this morning about women who find new paths in life after their children are grown and gone. Count me in…

I waited a long time (well, back then it was a long time) to have babies. I finished college, met the man of my destiny, moved with him across country (in the old Volkswagen bus with the dog and the cat and everything else we owned in boxes in the back) with nothing in our minds except someone’s statement that there was good community theater to be performed in New England. We moved and married and moved and moved…one day, we woke up and knew it was time for babies. We were 29 when the first was born and 32 when the second arrived. And then we moved and moved and moved and moved. We followed, as hus’ career dictated fairly frequent market shifts.

In amongst all that moving, I bore babies, nursed babies, raised babies and worked different jobs (weekend morning anchor on news station, secretary at construction company, commercials and voice work)…once the babes were old enough for daycare, my jobs became more “normal”. Somewhere along the line, I discovered that legal secretaries not only made more money than some other office workers, but “legal secretary” also carries with it a bit of cachet, an aura of intelligence and competence…a job that could also stimulate my mind. So, for the next million years, I worked outside home fulltime and parented fulltime. My life was their lives…I chose jobs that were more flexible, told employers up front that I was an active parent and accepted lower pay for quality attitudes towards me…I drove to away soccer and softball/baseball games and swim meets, injured my tailbone (seriously!) sitting on concrete bleacher seats and attended every concert and performance with bells on.

I loved almost every moment of that part of my life. It was really hard, often frustrating and I was not the perfect mother I wish I could have been. But we certainly did something right, launching two amazing, caring, loving, hardworking human beings who have each found and married another amazing human being. And so it goes…

But then my dad-in-law needed us…he was a great guy, I had known him for what seemed like forever (we met when I was about 21), he and my mom-in-law had been so gracious and loving towards me all my married life…and he needed us…which meant another move. The fates conspired to have us sell our house before it even went on the market, and my husband’s job mainly requires him to be near a major airport (oh, how we thank our lucky stars for his employers). All that was left was for me to quit my jobs…and therein lay the rub…

I had to quit a job that I loved for so many years, working with a solo practicing attorney who played the piano and sang and loved the arts and who appreciated me for what I had to offer…that was excruciating in so many ways. Plus, I had to quit another job I had held for years…I joined Washington Street Players when it was in its infancy, in March of its first season…as my children grew older and needed my constant presence less, my endeavors with WSP stepped up…acting, directing, producing, Board Secretary, moving sets and running lights and sound, Board President…after the kids were gone, WSP was there. And then, poof! In March 2011, it all came to a sudden end. And we moved again…

I haven’t found my latest empty nest path yet…photography has helped, bringing Boo the miniaussiedoodle into our lives was a life-changing experience, my work at the local library helps…but I am waiting for my next role to conk me in the head…waiting…

Bouncing Boo snow (21) Bouncing boo snow (6) Bouncing boo snow (2) Bouncing boo snow (5)

This has taken 3 days to write, rewrite, delete and rewrite…I don’t know why I felt compelled to keep at it…but obviously, I did!

I am just an old fuddy duddy…an older mother of adult children. I was not always a good mother to my own kids in the moment, but I was ALWAYS a good mother in spirit and in the long run.  However, my opinions need to be filtered through my own failings.

I will start with a shout-out to my daughter, who is a new mom and who is adapting to motherhood with surprising ease. The competent little girl who had everything planned out and who pretty much stuck with the plan grew into a super-competent media queen who made a new plan and then into a mom who could make no plan…you go girl!

Something struck me the other day, as I was lying in bed waiting for the sun to rise. I read voraciously, although these days, it is fewer books and more blogs and newspaper articles and opinion pieces. There is so much written about moms and families right now. All those entertaining food and fitness bloggers and writers are having babies and a lot of content has changed to reflect that…there is so much information out there. Babies MUST sleep only on their backs…babies MUST sleep only on their tummies…let them cry…don’t let them cry…hold them, but not too much…never put them down…eat this…don’t eat this. And then there are all the things that you “need” in order to be a good mother…lots of “things”.

Information is good, but once you have done your research (which MAY include well-meaning advice from family and friends), it is time to trust yourself. You know this little person better than anyone else in the world. You know you will do the best you can do…as your mother did, as your grandmother did, as your great-grandmother did…and the best you can do is the best you can do. You can raise happy, healthy children even if you don’t have “things”. Just love them to pieces and do the best you can. And trust your instincts.

Oh, and don’t blink too often…kids grow up so fast…

What does one say on a day like today? I don’t want to say anything. But if I don’t say anything, I will burst. 20 babies gone, 7 adults who were caring for them…27 mothers’ children…gone in the blink of an eye by a “madman”…but he wasn’t a “madman” in the fantasy sense of the word. He was a mother’s son, too. He was someone’s baby.

My initial reaction was to once again rage against the too-too-many guns in our world and the too-too-easy way they are available to folks who don’t need them for anything other than mayhem. But it goes much farther than that…and my mind isn’t prepared to completely wrap itself around the enormity of the tragedy.

Against whom or what do we rage? And how do we turn the rage into action that makes a difference?

What a day…what a day…I’m on my way out to lower our flag to half staff…

Half staff