Monday, October 17, 2022

Aging and Patience (but not Birds)

Have I ever been a patient person? Well, of course, I must have been at one time because I raised two children.  You cannot survive that without some patience.  Raising children requires slowing your pace to their interests and play and work as much as you can.  Of course, with small children, you have to be able to shift gears smoothly and change the pace dramatically.  

When we first moved to this area and we wanted to meet the community ( we do not go to church) I signed up for a local Audubon class.  It met at the local community college about 20 minutes from the house in the evenings.  When my husband and I arrived the large classroom was empty except for one gray little man, the teacher.  We waited 5 or 10 minutes and then a younger, slightly attractive woman with an air of determination whisked in and sat next to us.  

With only three students the man began to discuss local birds of the area and provided some information on being able to recognize similar but different species.  It was an interesting, if not exciting, class. 

We met again the next week and the woman did not show.  Was she impatient at the pace of the class?  Was she disappointed that more people of the opposite sex closer to her age were not in attendance?  She clearly did not have the perseverance needed.

I continued to attend the 6 or so classes and am not really sure if it was due to my patience in expecting to learn something or perhaps my sensitivity to the poor man trying hard to create some community among local bird people.  The thought of him showing up to an empty classroom was harsh.

But back to patience.  In the event above, perhaps it was perseverance which is another word for patience.  

I have been married for OVER 50 years.  Is that due to endurance, grit, self-control, and leniency,  which are all synonyms for patience? Or is it due to imperturbability, passiveness, or moxie...also listed as synonyms for patience?

Love, caring, and responsibility are not listed there.

I have just spent two hours making reservations at two hotels and also making reservations for two separate tours as we head up to Pittsburgh and then on to Detroit.  It is EXTREMELY rare these days to talk to anyone when doing this.  It is all done by computers or "bots."  For this, I have NO patience.

After hours passed, I got a follow-up text from someone who texted "This is AYS with a question."  I was tired and mad and apologetically admit that I typed back "Who in the hell is AYS?"  This was followed by me texting "Ooops!"  The message that came back was "I'm sorry.  I'm a bot and I'm still learning.  Ask your questions and then navigate by selecting the buttons presented."

A bot that uses contractions and can sense when you are mad via text.  I am not ready for this new world.  Thinking about traveling less.

(And, yes, I know the font went wacky...I don't care...html is just outer space test.)

Sunday, October 09, 2022

A Quick Review on All

A brief update on it all. While my husband and I had finished two vaccinations and one booster and were waiting to schedule the new bivalent booster, we caught COVID as I wrote in the prior posts.  We reviewed our activities and the most recent was an outdoor festival where we met with people interested in gardening.  Outdoors and mostly 4 to 6 feet away (but no masks) and we talked to close to 80 or more adults and children.  This virus is very, very, very contagious and it gave me new insight into those who have health issues and must avoid the virus at all costs!

I was sick for about 5 days and felt weak for a few more.  Sick being a fever and fatigued.  No coughing, no chest congestion, no loss of smell or taste, but certainly shortness of breath.  I finally tested negative on the 7th day. Hubby was very similar, but his similar symptoms lasted 14 days before testing negative.  Yes, we are very lucky that the vaccines work!

Now we must wait for two to three months before we can get the new bivalent booster as our immune system is triggered (I guess).

We have planned a trip up north to Michigan to visit my husband's half-sister who will be celebrating her 94th birthday.  He has not seen her in decades although they talk on the phone.  We will wear masks if the family gathers in significant numbers or there is concern about our germs.  Another road trip and at least this time we should not get COVID as I hope our immune system has rallied us.  This does not mean we cannot be carriers, I will have to research.

The good thing about it all is that while I was forced to stay home I was able to complete a bunch of to-do things on that list that some of us keep and then ignore, such as cleaning out that nasty corner of my closet.    I also finished reading a number of books:  "The Personal Librarian"(historical fiction about the personal librarian to J.P. Morgan), "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe", and almost finished "The Book of Joy:  Lasting Happiness in a Changing World."  It is about the friendship between Archbishop Desmon Tutu and the Dalai Lama.  As you can see I am bored easily and do have eclectic tastes.

I wish you all well and will now try to catch up on blogs.  I also hope to document those I cannot comment on.

but think I have figured that out.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Are You Still Out There?

My last post was a looong time ago in the grand scheme of Blog schedules. But I have an excuse or two or three.

Yes, we did leave to go see the elk and I will post a few of those photos on my outdoor blog "Room Without Walls" but first I want to explain why there are so few photos.

We left on a Tuesday two weeks ago.  The trip up was uneventful in that the traffic got less heavy as we headed for state roads far from cities.  There was one enormous truckers intersection that was a nest of signs and turns, but we managed to navigate and head on further north to the elk preserve.

We checked into a traditional hotel that was about 20 minutes outside the preserve.  

This area wild area produced some of the best ships masts from the white pine forests in the logging area of the preserve back in the 1800s.  Pennsylvania has a 2.2 million acre forest system.  Twenty state forests are located here and comprise 13 percent of the total forest land.  No wonder it was called Pennsylvania.  There are areas where you can do any number of outdoor activities.

We checked into a traditional hotel that was about 20 minutes outside the preserve.  Various state parks intersected and crossed and wound up and down the sides of hills making the preserved area confusing to navigate and signs were sparse and hard to see but we made it up to the elk visitor center as did about 80 other old-timers like us.  We could hear the elk calling and it was dramatic and heart-stopping as dusk crept up, but the crowds got too large and we decided to find another lookout.  We left too early as we heard that several large bull elk had finally emerged into the open area to test their testosterone.

We later did see some of the smaller elk, but tired from the drive headed back to our hotel to venture out with fresher energy the next day.  That evening I had acid reflux or some indigestion (thinking it was from a fresh lemon gin and tonic I had the night before) and tried to sleep.  I woke up unrested but we headed out to explore and my acid reflux weakened.  By mid-afternoon, I felt weaker and somewhat feverish and not even in the mood for a rather over-heavy country dinner that we got at a local woodland restaurant.  I coughed all that night.

In the morning I realized I was sick and took a COVID test from the kit I had packed in my suitcase a long time ago.  Yes, I was positive!  We threw our clothes into the suitcase and checked out a day early telling them that I was COVID positive.  Hubby was feeling fine and had no problem heading home.

Sadly his old Chevy had been acting up and the dash lights and gages went blank when we were about 200 miles from home.  We had filled up on gasoline the night before, so knew we could make it the whole way.

It never rains but pours when things go wrong.  We are weathered warriors and kept our minds focused.

By the time we made it home, I collapsed in the upstairs bedroom with medicines and water and was in a fog for the next five days.  On the sixth day, I got my first negative test and went for a walk along the neighborhood on a beautiful fall day, and while feeling weak, it was the first day I did not feel shortness of breath.  I never had chest congestion, so was surprised when I would get out of breath going upstairs or across the room!  I picked some soft wild persimmons that grew along the drive and washed them and ate one small one.  Hubby was starting his illness by this time.

In a few hours, I found that my pants felt unbearably tight even though I was wearing elastic pants.  By mid-afternoon, I was in extreme abdominal pain.  It felt as if my diaphragm was being pushed into my chest and stretching unbearably tight.  I had never felt this before.  In an hour I got up and emptied the contents of my stomach (only some pinkish liquid and acid) and projectile vomited for a bit.  What on earth??  Then the next morning, I felt fine and realized that it was the wild persimmon that had caused that incident because that was really the only thing I had eaten.!  I have no idea why as I had eaten them before!  Hubby was ready to take me to the hospital, but I fought it because we both had COVID!

Then he got sick and was bedridden for days, and is still testing positive but hs more energy.  Of course, it did not help that the remains of Ian came through with 40 MPH wind and rain and we lost electricity several times last night.  Our new generator kicks in right away, even though it does not run the whole house.  Waiting for the 6ht or 7th shoe to drop.