A Few Days Off; A Few Off Days

It’s been a weekend that started early and has just hours left. We hosted the Honor Guard Banquet last night, and it was a beautiful night. I’m proud to sit by my husband’s side and support his endeavors. He is a much happier retiree when he is busy. We both are. We’ve been lucky to find groups we can support and further their efforts to make the world a better place.

Of course, being human, there are little dust ups that get in the way. We are usually over tired when that happens. Most of the time, there are no problems. After losing so many friends last year and three so far this year, I tell myself, “I’ll miss this someday.” Because my friends who lost husbands last year told me so. I know I will miss it someday. I cannot imagine. Life does not prepare you for it. “Live Like You Are Dying,” has never rung truer in our lives than right now.

That said, I am reflecting on my writing today. Just about the time I think I have a schedule down, things change and I use my time up. I couldn’t fit everything in the last couple days. Whoever thinks retirement is boring needs to become involved in life. Get to living.

I know of people who sit on the couch and wither away. They have no purpose after the job. Possibly a job they hated, but it paid the bills, so they kept at it. They may have been unhappy all their lives. The world is at their fingertips and they won’t venture out. Out of their comfort zone; their safety net of monotony. Sad. I have so many things I want to do, writing, hobbies, learn to draw, and not enough time. How to get it all in?

I need to learn to pace myself. That may involve a couple of things. Devote one day a week to every task I want to do. I know I’ve said this before, and it’s hard to implement. Life gets in the way often. We will have family in town this week for a funeral and wake; that will affect our getting things done. This most likely will not be the week to implement a change in schedule like that.

This will be a week to do what we can and enjoy family. I can take some time to work out some schedule changes in my mind. I want to enjoy as much as I can for as long as I can. With a big birthday coming up in May, I have to think about these things. I imagine everyone feels they have a lot of time left; one can only hope. The reality appears to be we don’t have all the time in the world. I have way too much to do.

I remind myself the sky is the limit to what we can do. We have to be dedicated to our goals and act accordingly. Let’s do this. Action, not reaction. Have a beautiful day, get some fresh air, and we’ll see each other tomorrow.

Simply Saturday

Today started pretty early, since the Babe had to go to the Post before the Craft Show started, then go to a funeral with the Honor Guard. It’s end of the month, too, with the books needing balancing for the Post, so he’ll be busy the next few days. Always is. I need to get some plants taken care of this weekend, because before I know it, the frost will take care of what I haven’t. It always happens before I am ready.

It’s not like it’s a surprise or anything. Once the days shorten, football starts, the chill is in the air, and Chili tastes so good. It always happens, so why does it still surprise me? I could not tell you. I always think I have more time. I have a couple mum plants to plant in the ground. Hopefully, they’ll put enough roots forth to live through the winter. Then I can add a couple more next year. And I have succulents to transplant from an outdoor container into separate pots. They’ve done really well this year. And I’m ready for winter to come. Well, let’s start first with fall. OK?

I’m having champagne with breakfast tomorrow – it’s our 23rd Anniversary! It’s such a wonderful reminder of the day that united us. I love them as much as birthdays. We weren’t sure how many anniversaries we’d have due to the Babe’s ischemic heart disease. It’s almost silly how worried/scared I was of losing him early in our marriage. I was so used to finding an excuse why relationships wouldn’t last, I had an idea picked out already; he had bad luck with arterial blockage. How self-defeating that was. I didn’t think I deserved a relationship, much less could keep one together. But this one was special. It has lasted. It’s lasted through illness, retirement, disability, cancer, and heart disease. I’m so proud to be this man’s wife. It’s perfect for me, and for him.

And it’s not just this man; it’s also his family. My bestest geek friend is the Babe’s brother-in-law. We just “get” each other. I/T people have weird senses of humor. No one else in the family “gets” it, but we do. And the babies in the family! They’re beautiful. God is good. I am one lucky woman. Have a beautiful evening, (GO HUSKERS!), and see you tomorrow!

“Saturday, In the Park”

For some reason, this old Chicago song popped into my head this morning. Do people go to parks much anymore? When I was a kid, there were several parks we could walk to, and the city had kid-sponsored activities every afternoon. The little green shack opened just after lunchtime, I believe, and stayed open until probably 4 or 5 p.m. For a nickel or dime, we could do a little craft thing, or they had tether ball, box hockey, and maybe horseshoes. Teenagers worked the shack daily and our harried mothers got a little bit of a break from us during those hot, summer days.

When I had kids, the green shacks disappeared from the city parks, you were basically on your own. We just walked across a very busy street, and we had access to basketball, tennis courts, and of course, swing sets and adventures on some low to the ground climbing devices. It was the old days, and the devices were made of wood, which didn’t wear well in the extreme weather we have; blistering heat or frigid cold. They developed splinters, and were deemed unsafe. We’d take lunch over to the park and have a picnic sometimes. Sometimes we had a picnic in our own yard. Do people still do that? Aside from fire pits and barbeques? I loved being home with the kids.

Once we finally had grandkids, we would babysit for Addison quite a bit. Her Grandma Sandy was alive then, and we’d share babysitting when the kids went out of town, etc. Sandy worked close to our home, and she’d drop Addison off in the morning, and pick her up after work. We worked well together. Usually ex-wives and current-wives don’t get along. Sandy and I had more in common than the Babe. Oh, and having one wife in between Sandy and me probably made a lot of difference. I never met that wife, although I bowled with her mother forty years ago. Small world.

At any rate, we’d take Addison to the park a lot. It really was fun taking her. There was a small park two blocks from our house, and we’d take her there nearly every time we had her over. As she got older and didn’t like the park as well, we’d go to a soft serve ice cream place nearby and get ice cream. She remembers that a lot. Even now, at the age of 14, if we mention “Ice Cream” she smiles and says, “Let’s GO!” I’m glad she has those memories. Now, our park experiences are going to ball fields and watching Gavin play baseball. I love that, expecially at this age.

My daughter Becky sends pics of Kayla and Cody playing in the park. She puts cute little hats and sunscreen on them. Adorable. I hope we get to see them later this summer. She and Brian have very busy work schedules, and with COVID variants occurring, we can only pray we aren’t locked down again. Get your shots! I have, the Babe did, and we’re fine. Just please don’t be the part of the population causing the problem. Sometimes we have to think of the “greater good” before our personal beliefs. Period.

Mom put me in Junior Bowling in seventh or eighth grade. Our neighbor coached it, and we were close enough to walk. Jan Matya, my friend and I stuck with it until we were seniors in High School. The reason? It was fun, and we were the only two girls in the league. All boys. The odds were in our favor. She dated a guy for awhile, I had one ask me to the Military Ball for his ROTC. I didn’t like him, I was 15 and used the excuse my folks wouldn’t let me date until I was 16. Mom told me, “No one turns down a date to the Military Ball.” In retrospect, it probably would have been a good idea. I only went to one prom and no homecomings at my school. None to other schools. I felt so crummy no one did.

So glad times have changed where kids actually go solo, and hang out with their friends. How nice. No one would feel less than enough. I really feel for kids who feel that way. There is so much buried in them that makes them good, talented people. It’s so bad when you lack confidence in yourself and your abilities. Remember; You ROCK!

I think families with kids have their time occupied by organized events. Sports, Dance, and a whole host of other things. That’s great, I hope they enjoy their experiences as neighborhood kids used to when they’d do a pick-up game of baseball, kickball, and even dodge ball. My brothers didn’t participate, and there were no girls sports. I did play volleyball, but Sister Mary What’s Her Name? didn’t put me in, she said I was too nervous, I needed to relax.

After growing up, I wondered if it occurred to her to let me play and I’d be less nervous? That would make sense to me. I also learned as an adult I probably suffered from anxiety. Our mom had a temper and as a kid, I thought she was always mad (at me). It seemed her moods swung from nice to degrading whoever was around. I think this was inherited from her mother. Zero to Sixty in 30 seconds. She scared me. I spent a lot of time in my room. My sanctuary.

I have forgiven her. She didn’t know any better. Many of us followed suit until we learned how damaging that was. Sometimes I think to myself, “If I was Mom, I’d probably say, “Don’t you know blah, blah, blah.” For someone who lost her cool a lot, it’s funny we were forbidden to say words like, “Hate, Shut Up, he’s stupid, you’re a dummy, I could kill you! (believe it or not, people used to say stuff like that).” So glad that type of speech is not acceptable anymore.

For today; Speak Kindly, Sit in Nature, Relax, Remember You’re Enough. Pet a Dog. Go for a walk. Attend a benefit. Always be kind. See you tomorrow!

Satisfying Saturday

Do you remember Saturday morning as a kid? I do. My brother and I would rise early and watch cartoons. Back in our day, you ate in the kitchen, so there was no eating in the living room where our old black and white TV was. As my little brothers joined the family, nothing changed, except Tom and I were older and did other things on Saturday. Mom had a rule, though, the TV goes off at a certain time, then we all were put to work. No watching Three Stooges (Mom hated them), no watching anything until it was time for the evening news or Biography, it was a Mike Wallace narrated show, telling about Thomas Alva Edison, Adolph Hitler, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight David Eisenhower and the like. I didn’t care for it, but Tom did. And Mom didn’t like Lawrence Welk, hated Jackie Gleason, and I’m not sure what else was on. Wait! I know. Gunsmoke, Palladin, Mission Impossible, all shows Mom had to watch. Boring! But we didn’t dare grouse about it.

Word of the day: Grouse. No, I’m not talking about the plump bird that is in season for hunter’s right now. It means complain pettily, grumble, and all the other stuff Tom and I would do. Should have saved our breath. Mom never gave in.

Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if Mom would have caved in when we wanted something she told us “no” about. One thing for sure, we were taught NOT to ask, so there would have been one strike already. If we asked more than once, we could be spanked, which was not uncommon. It happened rarely, she verbally kept us in line. We hated spankings. Dad rarely had to discipline us. There were advantages for him being a night worker and a day sleeper.

I think of that simply because I’ve seen a few of John Rosemond’s FB posts, which are eye opening, to say the least. He is a psychologist who offers parents advice that is timely, tested, and true. He calls out parents who let their kids do what they want and have disastrous results. The post said “your ultimate goal in child-rearing is to help the child out of your life and into their own.” I have to agree with him. While our parents (Mom) probably held on too long, thinking we needed to behave a certain way when we left home, I tried not to offer suggestions only if the kids ask. Sometimes they still call to talk something out, and that’s good. I learned what my mom never has, and that is, don’t offer unless they ask. Hard to do, but necessary.

Our wise, old Uncle Ed Hurley told Mom, “You raise your children to leave you.” Truer words were never spoken. He was a nice old uncle, and he always gave my dad (his nephew) a bad time. And Dad gave it right back. Loved their interaction. Special. Great memories.

It’s a Nap in the Sunshine Kind of Day!

Lexie is so contented on the deck. Might have to join her here in a little while. These dogs are funny. They wimper their, “I’ve got to go NOW!” wimper. And I let them out. As soon as my hiney touches the office chair in the studio, they whine and do a single bark, meaning, “Let me in!” They think I don’t notice. Whatever you do today, get outside for awhile. It’s lovely. The trees are moving slightly, I can hear the ping of the bat from the park three blocks away, and the birds. Time to enjoy!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time, and hope to see you again tomorrow! Peace out!