Saturday, August 29, 2015

Winding Down a Crazy Social Life

Today is the day my daughter-in-law is having a BBQ for about 80 people to celebrate the fact that they have a large back yard.  In the city a large back  yard is golden.  I am bringing up a huge fruit plate, a huge veggie platter, 10 folding chairs, a folding table, a cooler  with ice and water  bottles and a bunch of their food that was left in my freezer from a big  box store trip.

We leave in a few hours to head up that way.

I  am looking  forward to meeting their friends again, but also realize this will be a looooong day with a over an hour's ride back home in the evening.

Then tomorrow my daughter arrives with two of her little ones.  She is staying for dinner and then heading home after leaving the 8-year-old girl to spend the week with us.

It will be a bit of a challenge as N is not a hiking or boating  type and since school started this past week in this county there are no activities for children going  on in  our little community.  She has visited the small  museum and gallery many times already.  So it is  arts and crafts here at the  house and maybe some cooking until time to take her back on Friday evening or  early Saturday morning.

THEN my whirlwind of a joyful social  life comes to an  end.  What will  I do?  What will I do?

Neighbors and I have been trying to meet for a dinner, but I  just cannot  get energy up for  that  anytime  soon.  I also have a tutoring project I have started.  Something I so wanted to get involved in during the doldrums of winter, but now am digging  deep for the energy to do this justice.  I will write  how it  goes later.

Today, taking my vitamins, drinking my caffeinated coffee and onto the BBQ setup!!  Oh, almost forgot we have to harvest the children's garden and take to the food pantry BEFORE we drive up.  I think I need a nap.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


I have "met" so many bloggers over the years.  Some are very open and sharing and I learn far more about their lives/loves than I would upon meeting them in real life and seeing them over time.  Others touch me because of their talent either with words or with photography or art.  Upon retirement I ventured into blogging because of my love of words and then slowly my love of photography took emphasis.  I stumbled across Carolyn Morgan's Blog after she commented on one of my photos and when I went to her blog I was impressed by the clear-eyed focus and gentle love of the outdoors which was represented in her expertly taken photos. 

She stopped blogging and I lost track of her, as we all do, until one day I found her on Facebook and befriended her where she posted a few photos.  Then she stopped posting altogether as sometimes happens with our digital friends.  They get bored, are going through divorce, are fighting an illness that requires all their focus, or no longer get any sustenance from their virtual readers.  Carolyn lost her battle with cancer a while back.  Although I never knew her, her talent touched me.  Her love of photography was something I understood. 

I have lost many, many bloggers since I have ventured out into this digital space. I could have predicted that over decades some would leave this digital space in death, but I am always shocked at how it touches me and pains me when they are gone. 

Monday, August 24, 2015


Exhausted and just halfway through my company/social life marathon.  It will finally come to an end when granddaughter, the last house guest, goes home to start school on September 6.  I sometimes question my propensity for solitude and quiet and hedonistic activities as I age.  Then a month like this past one comes along where we are always on the move either entertaining or going somewhere or taking people somewhere...

I read the blogs of those with giant backyard picnics, camping trips, travel, and get-togethers with friends and family, and I think how wonderful for them to have this richness in their lives.  They all look so energetic and happy.   No one seems to look like they have been pulled through a keyhole backwards.  No one has that deer-in-the-headlights look.  We did take some time for relaxing with both the older and younger folks.

A quiet morning canoe ride.

I did read the blogs or listen to friends who are facing serious challenges such as Alzheimer's, stroke, difficult issues with their children or serious budget problems and the smothering cloud of guilt settles on my self-serving shoulders as I even think of complaining about my life of too much to do.

Then I enter a month like this August where it is an endless parade of company and visits, and while I love them all to death---I really do, I wonder why I cannot keep treading water without gasping for air...without wishing I was on an island all alone...somewhere all alone.  And yet, I know I most likely will have that in my future and will I then face loneliness?  Am I that person who is never satisfied?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thursday 13: Things I Learned or Re-learned This Summer

  1. While listening to a discussion about voting on the radio my 10-year-old grandson said he knew about the poling tax history and voting tests to keep voters from voting.  As I quizzed him, he apparently did!
  2. While discussing the problems with the popcorn popper at our dilapidated movie theater the gal behind the counter told me they only make 4 cents on each  ticket.  Across the bridge is a brand new theater and I wonder how this will impact them further.
  3. We got 4.5 inches of rain one week and it brought down our dead tree that has been the osprey lookout since we moved here and it snapped a devil's walking stick bush and I slept through it all.  I am not the light sleeper I thought I was.
  4. My visiting friends are getting old, like me, and I realized I do not have an elder friendly bathroom all the way up a 15 step stairway to the guest bedroom!
  5. I actually am looking forward to the slow and lonely days of winter when I can concentrate on creative projects and reading more fully each precious novel and book of poetry.
  6. Nothing is a better age gauge in your life than your grandchildren.
  7. I am beginning to see how my conservative friends fear social programs as there are cheaters out there who work the system, and now I just need to help them see how the first class welfare cheaters cheat us so much more.
  8. I have decided you can get tired of eating eggplant.
  9. I am reading three e-books as a time, and if they are all non-fiction, and on three different types of e-readers, I can keep them separate in my mind.
  10. They say getting old ain't for sissies.  It is not for anyone except sadomasochists.
  11. I have sometimes hated having to get out of bed early on a Saturday to harvest produce for the food pantry.  The dear volunteer that shows up faithfully each Saturday to help us maintain the children's garden told me her 65-year-old husband has Alzheimer's.  This gardening is her break on early Saturday mornings.
  12. I am almost 70 and still sometimes feel envious or insecure with situations.  I guess we never really grow up.
  13. I am also still stupid brave enough to say 'yes' when I could have/should have said 'no.'

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tourist Town

Changes in scenery are usually a good challenge.  This time was for two nights in an 1800's old B&B.  It was once a ship builder's house and still has pretty solid structure to this day.  It is a bit of a high end place in that the rooms have sherry bottles or carafes of wine waiting upon your return from the day of walking about the mile long town of St. Michael's, Maryland.  The view above was the early morning from our porch on the second story.

I probably should have straightened the picture before taking a picture.

The innkeeper shops estates sales ( seems there are many old people dying out here) for antiques which can be found all over the Inn.  The breakfasts were good if not great.  The bed left some firmness to be desired, though.

The county and town are somewhat schizophrenic.  There are about 2,000 locals who live year round and work the restaurants and retail scene and boating docks.  Much of it is high-end clothing, unique art, antiques and some very top notch food.  The people that come here are those super rich from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., etc.  Some of  those who come stay here and have 'second homes' that we would consider mansions.  They are the reasons that we could find some excellent places to eat.

It was a bit of a disappointing 6+ mile canoe paddle up to the end of the river as we had hoped to see more marsh and wilderness and fewer ego trips.  One of the homes had a number of signs stating that video surveillance was in effect.  The video grounds were probably Dick Cheney's summer/winter palace.  It did prove a challenge when looking for a place to relieve oneself midday.  I hope I didn't blind some poor security guard, but I had no choice!

Took lots of photos, bought no souvenirs and we did walk around a wildlife refuge on the following day as we headed home.

Friday, August 07, 2015

How Did I Get Myself Into This?

These are the last three days with the 10-year-old who has been an exhausting pleasure to have.  But as my brain no longer works as fast or as well as it used to, as my body tells me to go take a nap every few hours, I cannot help but wonder how I will handle a second set of grandchildren if my son is finally blessed with one or two.  They keep trying and do not talk about it and neither do I.

This weekend my daughter and her two other children come to stay through Sunday.  Then Monday it is time to clean the house and pack because hubby and I are heading  to the Eastern Shore for a three day anniversary trip. ( We have been married 45 years and he has not even come close to killing me yet, but I AM fast.)  I also have to get an agenda with project reports written and sent before we leave.  Thursday  I return and try to adjust to re-entry.  I have a few days off except for a bunch of volunteer stuff (more on that later).  But that coming weekend we have some very old friends from Florida coming to stay for a few days

The following weekend some very young friends are coming down for two days and that will  keep me busy.  I am so flattered when 30-somethings want to spend time with us!

The weekend following that one, my son and daughter-in-law are having a BBQ for 50(!) people, so we will go up and help with that.  Then the next day, Sunday, my 8-year-old granddaughter comes down for the week.  Unlike my grandson, she does not do things on her own, but wants people to do things with her, so I will be sitting even less.  She was also the one stung not once but twice by wasps during the last visit.  This will be a challenge. I will be busy.

The second week of September looks like smooth sailing except for my volunteer work.  I realize this is a very normal life style for some people.  But it is NOT for me.  Please tell  me this is keeping me young and not aging me unduly faster.

Monday, August 03, 2015


This past weekend was one with house full of kids, and young adults, and boating, and picnicking, and watching the grands in the Spartan race under the hot sun, and eating crabs, and watching movies, and getting up one night with the 8-year-old throwing up and getting up the second night with 4-year-old with a wet bed, and nursing the 8-year-old from a wasp sting (her second of the weekend by the way) which was like DYING(!), and cooking for everyone and cleaning and laundry of beach towels, sheets, etc.!! You will be lucky if you hear from me for days!  I have the ten-year-old this week and Monday morning has already been busy with his amazing ability to talk without breathing from the moment he gets up.