Looking around my house yesterday I realized there were so many things I now understand that I just didn’t get years ago. The answers to these questions have come to me as I age. If you have or are asking an aging parent these questions, trust me, if you live long enough you will know and understand the answers.
Why isn’t my mother’s house as clean as it was when I was growing up?
The laundry is piling up.
The bathroom needs cleaning again??!!
Why aren’t the bushes trimmed?
You don’t fix your hair everyday because you’re not going anywhere?
Why are there three pairs of shoes by the front door?
How can you be tired of cooking?
How can you forget to eat?
What are you looking for?
Why are you just standing in this room looking around?
How can you be too tired to go for a ride in the car?
How can every joint hurt, you haven’t done anything but sit most of the day?
Why don’t you wear much makeup these days?
Why do you pee a little when you laugh, cough or sneeze?
How can pushing the vacuum around hurt your hips and back?
And the list goes on and on.
Lesson learned, don’t ask questions of us old people, just help us when you see we need help. Remember we were once healthy, vibrant, young people once, independent. Be careful of how you present your help. It’s hard for us to accept most of the time as in our minds we are still that young independent person.
Each day I end and start each day with grand plans. Things I am going to accomplish. Only to find on most days, about halfway through my morning, plans and ideas have been set aside or gone with the wind. I ponder this morning if this is my golden years.
I understand the walking into a room and then standing there trying to remember why I walked in there to begin with. I get the putting something in a safe place and then looking for said item for hours or even days. I have learned to turn the TV down at night before I turn it off so I don’t deafen myself in the morning when my hearing seems to be a bit better.
Some things I do wonder about seems to have no answers. What happened to my once spic’n’span clean house? I look around to see dust on the furniture, the floors need swept and mopped, and oh my, I forgot to make the bed again today. Instead I find myself out on the porch or patio enjoying the outdoors.
Lucky me, I have enough things to wear that I don’t have to worry about doing laundry all the time. I was folding laundry the other day when my husband poked his head in and asked, “Do I have any clean underwear or should I go commando today?” My first thought was commando, recalling a more youthful time, but handed him a stack of clean laundry to be but away. I do tend to do laundry more than I care to just so I don’t have large piles to fold or hang up. If it wasn’t for that I would probably always be on the brink of going commando myself. Doing laundry isn’t on my list of fun things to do either.
Cooking is another thing that has lost its ranks of interesting and fun things to do. Rather it’s become a chore of, “What the hell are we going to eat today?” I am lucky to have a husband that cooks when I just can’t make myself step into the kitchen. Luckily, most of the time I could feed him a PB & J sandwich and he’s be just a happy. Thank goodness grilling is still something I enjoy a great deal and I do grill most of our dinners year round.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not unhappy with my plot. That’s the trouble, I’m enjoying the slow paced, relaxing, watching the world go by, lazy, listening to the birds, have a glass of wine on the front porch life maybe just a little bit too much. Or maybe this is what the golden years is all about. I have friends my age and older that are still working. They say they do it because they love working. Different strokes for different folks as they say or once said.
Last night while sitting on the front porch enjoying a glass of wine, discussing the days events, (we went to town yesterday), while he enjoyed a cigar and a glass of scotch, I remembered how blessed I am to have reached this part of my life.
When I might not always fix my hair or even put on makeup before going to town. When I do house work when I get good and ready. I can stay in my night gown well past noon if I please. I don’t even own an alarm clock. I come and go as I please. I need not impress anyone with anything in my life. Acting silly in public is a pleasure and fun. Laughing at ourselves is the best thing ever and we try to do that as often as possible.
My goal is that one day the younger people that live near us will say, “Remember that old couple that lived in that house? They were always sitting out on their front porch, enjoying the day, and welcoming all that passed by.”
The only problems I see with the golden years, is that they take too long to get here and don’t last long enough. So my goal is to enjoy the hell out of them.
Of the many National Days celebrated I picked this one. National Two Different Shoes Day. I’ve been celebrating for years.
I believe the first time was in 1984 or so. I was sitting at a desks at one of the stores I managed when a customer walked up to the counter. I was desperately trying to get my shoes back on that I had kicked off. With one shoe on and still fighting to get the other one on while smiling at the customer, I was finally forced to look down and see why my shoe wasn’t slipping on.
I looked at the shoe completely confused, “That’s not the shoes I put on this morning.” I looked at my other foot and realized I had two different shoes on. They were both white, but two different styles and with different heel heights. I completely lost it and was laughing so hard I started to cry. The customer looked at me like I had lost my mind. I finally regained enough composer to show him my shoes and say, “This is how my day is going, how’s yours?” Thank goodness he laughed too.
But that wouldn’t be the last time that in my hurry to get out the door on time and not be late for work, I would grab two different shoes. Always having the same result, me laughing my butt off and those around me laughing too.
The photo above I believe was the last time I found two different shoes on my feet. Or at least that’s the last time I noticed. This was four years after I retired so I’m not sure what the big hurry was that morning.
Shoes or not, matching or not, enjoy your days and remember to laugh at yourself.
This morning’s news reminded me that today is April Fool’s Day and I started wondering just what is funny these days? It would seem that just about everything I once laughed at, now offends someone. Is it me, that I didn’t change with the times or is it that everyone else has very thin skin these days?
What great fun we had back in the fifties and sixties playing jokes on each other. Even my parents would trick us, not only on April first but throughout the year. Afterwards we would laugh and laugh. Parents today are probably afraid to play tricks on their children in fear of being sued and the courts siding with the children.
Gone are the days of placing a plastic spider on someone’s shoulder and then telling them they have something on their shirt. What ever happened to the fake puddle of vomit? Or the spring loaded can of worms? I suppose those things would be too disturbing to our younger ones these days. Mother’s would be fainting and falling over like fainting goats.
While I was looking for the photo of the court jester for this article Danny Kaye’s photo popped up from his long forgotten movie of the same title. It brought a s mile to my face as I remember the silliness of such movies. I thought of Abbot and Costello, and of course the boys; The Three Stooges.
I think we have forgotten how to laugh. When we make light of something we ourselves have done, we are told we are shaming ourselves. If we can’t laugh at ourselves we have lost all sense of humor.
I wonder what ever happened to that fake plastic snake I once had? Carrying that over to my neighbor’s house today would be epic! Of course, Mr. T would probably kill it but wouldn’t that be great? Mr. T killing a plastic snake. April Fools!
Before, long before shopping malls, Kmart, Walmart, and on line shopping, most of us older than forty-five might be able to recall their favorite store. Many were owned and operated by mom and pop, aunts and uncles, or grandparents.
The first thing that popped into my mind today was the old country store my Aunt and Uncle owned and operated in Bonanza Arkansas. The one horse town where my mother was born. Where I grew up in Michigan we had local owned stores downtown but we lived two miles from town. We did not have the luxury of a country store.
What a thrill for a young girl of four or five to visit the family owned store. For years it served as store, gas station and post office to my recollection. Seems there was an old pot belly stove that heated the building, with chairs sitting around it. Again, I’m trying to remember back sixty-five years ago.
The one thing I remember most of all was the special treat we would get from our Uncle. Dr. Pepper soda pop. Dr. Pepper wasn’t available up North back in those days. When we would visit every year or so, having one of those cold drinks was a very special treat. Daddy would even buy some to take back home with us. There were held back for special occasions. Now days when you can walk into any store nation wide and buy one, they just don’t seem to taste as good. I still treat myself to one every now and then, which always brings back the memories of the old store and my family.
Sadly so many people will never know how it felt to walk into one of those family owned stores and be called by name. Or what it was like to stay and visit for a while, discussing the world news. No one got mad because someone else had a different opinion. Privately we might have thought that person was a real kook, but no hateful words were spoken.
I miss those days. Days when a soft drink was a treat. When people knew us at the local stores. When we took time to visit with people. When we could have discussions about anything without anyone going home mad.
Maybe with shopping malls going out of business and online shopping taking over, we will see an increase of the ol mom and pop stores make a comeback. Everything that goes round comes around, so they say. So maybe there is hope.
Created in 1861, the Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor. It is awarded only to US military personnel, by the President of the United States in the name of Congress, for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.
Valor: great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle
Beyond the call of duty: means to do a lot more than you are required or expected to to for your job.
This doesn’t mean you get a medal or trophy for showing up or participating. As a group, the last couple of generations have no idea what valor or beyond the call of duty actually means.
More so, as a group, honor hasn’t much meaning. I’ll explain. The greatest generation, and several generations afterward, would have never accepted a medal or trophy for just being in the right place at the right time. There would be no honor in such an act. My father would probably have knocked you on your tail if you had tried to give him a medal for teaching men how to swim during WWII. That was his job. And even though he taught men to swim who were terrified of the water and probably saved many lives in teaching people how to swim, he would have never taken a metal for doing his job.
Just try to remember if you know or see a person that has a medal of honor, that person went beyond their call of duty, facing great danger, and put the lives of others above their own. They faced their own death to help others.
My first cruise was a real eye opener. I saw things I wish I could un-see and things I will keep in my mind forever. Granted I’m not young in years but my mind is still fairly young. Remember I was wild and free in the late sixties and early seventies. That should explain a lot. This cruise thing reminded me of such times. Everyone having a good time and not worried about what other people thought.
During our four days on board I had a multitude of random thoughts.
Did you look in the mirror before you left the room?
Wow, you are rocking that bikini!
Man, please put a shirt on!
Honey, some girls just shouldn’t be wearing a bikini.
Wow, what a beautiful dress.
The hallway just moved.
Where’s the Dramamine?
Five more dollars?
Oh hell, it’s only money.
It’s been a long time since I laughed until I cried.
She’s so pretty.
Wow, he’s so handsome.
Conga line, sure why not.
My feet hurt.
My hip hurts.
I could do that once upon a time.
I won! I won!
Can’t wait until I can go on another cruise!
I’m too old for this kind of vacation.
I’ll let you all fill in the blanks. It was a great time. I kind of wish we had taken a longer cruise but when I looked at my swollen feet and ankles last night after I got home I thought maybe not.
The cruise industry has their act together for sure. Too bad the rest of the world can’t live and work like the crew on ships. Life would be so much more fun and polite.