Gratitude Sunday: Damn The Fear; Yes To Go

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Sun on, sun off, cloud
cover, cloud not, dark, light, rain,
sun, undecided.

Sunday Musings
Last week I talked about avoiding going out in public. When my mom was my age, her policy was to say yes to everything she was invited to. My mom was a smart woman; I don’t get invited to much so when I do, I say yes and do my best to overcome my fears. I wasn’t always like this; it’s been a long traumatic process, but that is a different essay.

I limit my forays into the public. I have a routine. Three or four times a month I make the grocery shopping tour. I find I save money that way, only one trip, fewer impulse buys, better menu planning, fewer trips to the store saves gas. I travel with a cooler and ice so the items I buy at the furthest point out survive the whole trip. The route includes the pet store for the special food for the corn-allergic cat, stops to check the racks for swimsuits in my size and style, and my local lending library. It’s a half day tour.

I love our local farmers market. I used to be able to walk there and back, alas, no more. I drive the few blocks to get me closer. Parking is complicated; the market has grown so much even getting there early does not guarantee a close parking spot, which is a great thing for the market. I haven’t given in yet and applied for a handicap driver tag, so I take what I can get. By the time I have completed the route from car, through market, and back to car, I’m feeling good about walking that half mile.

Then I swim three days a week. The pool is less than a mile’s drive, but all the benefits gained from the swim would be for naught from the pain generated by the walk home after a fantastic water workout. I also see a counselor every other week (Yes. No shame; mental health is important.), and her office is a little further than the pool, but still in town. I like keeping my money in my community.

Once in a while I get an invite out into the world. Here’s where my mom and I differ: I’m not a great traveler, and I’m a nervous guest. Maybe Mom was too but I couldn’t tell. She certainly enjoyed her new experiences after she was done raising us children.

So I say yes and this week I got to help celebrate an 80th birthday. My friend and I swim together at the public pool and have for nearly ten years. It was nice to be invited; her children hosted and they included the hubster, who offered to drive. He loves to drive but forgets that an hour in the car and he’s a hurting puppy. And poor guy, the day before he’d spent hours wrangling the weed eater, the leaf blower, and one of those tiny little tillers that out-weighs him by probably 10 pounds. Of course he ignored my suggestion he take some ibuprofen before we left the house.

The venture destination was an hour away toward the Oregon coast. We had a lovely day for it. Blue sky, puffy little clouds, not too hot, not too cold, not too windy. The hills were dotted with bright swathes of yellow scotch broom. Ditches at the side of the road sprouted dinner-plate-sized Queen Anne’s lace. Lacy green ferns shared the undergrowth with salmonberry and vine maples, while tall straight pines and alders provided the upper canopy. The sun strobed through the tall tree trunks as we fifty-fived down the highway.

I got to meet a few of my friend’s family I hadn’t met. I’m sure they were curious who her mermaid pal was; everybody needs an old hippie friend in their life. The venue was large with high ceilings, which made it hard for me to hear. The hubster’s hearing is the opposite, so sensitive the sound bouncing around hurt his ears.

I was seated next to our other mermaid friend so we were able to have a lovely chat. We had a mediocre meal food-wise, yummy birthday cake, a speech from the birthday girl, and jingling fairy ribbon wands with chocolates to go. Poor hubster hurt so badly we were the first to leave. I suspect our birthday girl was relieved when somebody began the recession, as she has been in some amount of pain lately and it had already been a long day for her.

I went out in public! Outside my regular routine! Yay. I have social issues. I know about them and hard as I try they creep up; I have to constantly self-monitor, so I’m never relaxed in social situations. I am always afraid I’m going to do the wrong thing or read people wrong; I sometimes speak too loudly, or out of place, or I interrupt; I get so nervous I talk too much, or not enough. I have a hard time reading social cues. You’d think at 63 I’d have all that learning out of the way, but no, not me. I’m thinking it just never comes easy for some of us. And many of the interactions I see and have had to participate in seem to be about controlling and manipulating people (which is not my style), rather than understanding and exchanging ideas (which is more my style).

I was grateful to spend the time with my friend albeit across the table. We’ll get together soon and chat, and I do much better in one-on-one interactions. I was grateful to meet her family and friends, her support system. I am grateful to be one of her support system. And even with my social issues, I hope I am lucky enough to have a similar support system when I reach 80.

Color Watch colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Purple chive globes. Pink lacy I-don’t-know-what against the neighbor’s white picket fence. Creamy white blackberry blossoms, so wild rose-like. Bright yellow ranunculus. Pink swirly rose.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Why Him? (2017, rated R) with James Franco and Bryan Cranston. Are you old enough to remember drive-in movies? Why Him? is of that genre of B movies. I used to pack the hubster into the car with a cooler and a few beers and soda pops and a picnic supper and a bag of popcorn, me being the designated driver, and we’d snuggle down for a double feature. Lots of profane language in this movie, and potty/bathroom scenes twice as long as necessary to be funny, a silly plot, and the fun of one of the characters being outrageously wealthy. Satisfying in a totally juvenile way, but silly fun nonetheless. * Binged through season 4 of Game of Thrones (2014, rated TV – MA), ruthless power plays. * Catching up on season 4 of Orange is the New Black (2016, rated TV – MA), even though this series is set in a women’s prison with all its horrors, it is oddly amusing to me (crazy weird humor). I’ve never understood or been a participant in power plays and manipulation (though I have been an unwitting pawn, which I didn’t realize until after the fact, such is my naivete), so this story is instructive. Girl games are ugly and I just don’t think that fast. * Barry (2016, rated PG – 13) a Netflix movie about the early life of Barack Obama. I didn’t get the point of this movie, and the actor who played Barack was obviously a non-smoker, though the character smoked. Taking place in 1981 when Obama was at Columbia Law school, the story showed his struggle with race in the classroom and on the streets. The actor sort of got Obama’s unique voice inflections almost right. But the point of the movie? Undefined. Meh.

Currently ReadingTricky Twenty-Two (2015, fiction) by Janet Evanovich. Wild, bounty hunter antics. Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (2016, radical politics), by Jane Mayer. Long tough read, having to increase my learning curve about money and how the wealthy use it in entirely different ways than the average people I know; it’s rather distressing.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • A new land-line phone with built-in answer machine. I haven’t had voice mail or answer machine since the last machine died a few years back.
  • Installing the phone myself.
  • Learning something new about my phone every day.
  • Not being a Luddite, honoring being a slow-process learner, and enjoying taking my time learning.
  • My techno-ditz self prevailing over machines.
  • A safe journey to and from the birthday celebration this week for all of us who participated.
  • Adapting to semi-retirement, not being in a constant financial panic. Intermittent panic/anxiety I can handle.
  • Warmer days. Open doors. Fresh air.
  • A couple rainy-ish days to refresh the air.
  • Mister Kitty aka George Murphy loving the open doors and taking the sphinx guard position on the threshold.
  • Watching the annual Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade on TV and seeing a long-time pal dancing in the parade. I suspect she’s been doing it for many years. Now I will have to find out. The marching bands are my favorite entries.
  • Talking to one of my aunties on her birthday. She didn’t mind when I asked her to tell me stories she remembered about other family members who have gone before us.
  • Connecting with my cousin’s daughter (she is my first cousin once removed), trying to connect with family I haven’t talked to or heard about since before Mom died.
  • Knowing how to “count cousins”. First cousins, second cousins, third cousins, and removeds. Fun to know.
  • A small batch of sub-standard Oregon strawberries. I ate them anyway for the nutrition not the taste, but I won’t buy that kind of berry again.
  • A “Kiss” melon so ripe it scented the back rooms of the house.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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4 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: Damn The Fear; Yes To Go

  1. piratesorka says:

    I saw the first episode of Orange is the New Black and that was one episode too many for me! The very idea of being locked up with a bunch of scary mean-ass vindictive petty women gives me the willies. Shades of Junior High and Judy Callahan! While my elder self can certainly stand up to people I just hate hate HATE conflicts especially when they involve a vicious tongue.
    Which reminds me, we have a community garden here at the church and while I know some street folks are going to wander in and help themselves ( Its just going to happen.) this week we noticed some NOT street folks in the garden. Our receptionist saw that this couple were in HER section of the garden and she got up and went outside telling them to ‘QUIT EATING MY STRAWBERRIES!” and she informed them that they were in her patch , to which the woman of the two sneered at her and said “Hey aren’t you FAT enough? You need to lose a few SWEETIE!” and the male in his small brain said ” What would JESUS SAY?” To which my friend shouted back ” DO NOT STEAL!”
    Then the couple ( clean and well dressed) laughed their way back to their nice clean recent model car. Oh and they had a dog. WE have signs that say no dogs. Who wants a dog to piddle and poop around your garden????
    Anyway, thats a sample of the crap us nice church folks have to put up with My friend is not fat and is one of the nicest of people but who is she up against THEM?
    As you can tell I am still a bit hot about it.
    I’m glad you got out to your friends birthday celebration. Why is the hubster so mean to himself that he will NOT listen to your sage advice? Men are stupido. and yes, I spelled that right!
    Why when men can be so contrary and stupid do I still yearn, pine, cry for a hubster of my own?
    For many reasons, none of which I want to yammer and whine about.
    This year has been an evil one for me Kate. My knees are truly beating me up. Then as I may have told you I got sciatica in my lower back.. My doctor sent me to a perfectly useless Physical Therapist who insists I lay on my stomach and do this stupid stupid leg lift exercise. The only place I can lay on my stomach with any ounce of “comfort” would be the floor and I do not want to go there. MY bed is simply IMPOSSIBLE for this. Then while conversing with the Useless PT we talked about knee surgery I told her I had to reach a BMI of 41. before I can get the surgery. She stares at her computer screen before uttering “Well, you are there”
    Me: “What? I am at 41??: ”
    Useless .P.T: :”NO you are at 39″
    Here is where I lost my mind! Oh JOY!!! now I could call the Arrogant Knee Surgeon and inform him I could not have surgery. “HERE I COME, SHARPEN THAT LASER!”
    I also made the mistake of telling a few others , I was so overjoyed!
    Then I went to see my primary doctor and thats when the bubble burst as I had begun to suspect,

    A true BMI at a weight of 225 would be 41 or somewhere in that area, not 39. My weight is currently at 242. Some people at this point would say I am a silly woman because that is only a measly 17 pounds o’flab… maybe just a couple weeks of simple starvation, whatcha say Connie, you can do THAT!
    I think you know how this goes for me. However I am going to do my Camp Fire girl best to lose it, should take me another six months if I am remotely lucky. I recently met a woman at church who told me she is on a SEVEN MONTH LONG WAITING LIST for hip surgery. Her sweet surgeon fellow informed her that if she gained as much as a pound, they would BUMP HER OFF THE LIST UNTIL SHE GOT TO THE DESIRED WEIGHT AGAIN AND THEN STARTONEMOREFUCKINGTIMEATTHEBOTTOMOFTHESEVENMONTHFUCKINGLIST
    pure horror.

    Okay that is it, sorry I could not tell you some wonderful sweet story but alas I cannot. I did read one really great book but a lot of people would find it to be a downer, I loved it.: “Glimpses of Heaven by Trudy Harris, RN and as it says on the cover “true stories of Hope and Peace at the End of Life’s Journey.” ( the caps in this case are the book’s) It is a book of short true stories of people who are dying from the pov of Trudy who is a former hospice nurse. I cried through some of them and marveled at many of them. When I go I hope it is as peaceful as these or as I am prone to tell people: ” I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
    Now I shall change that to ” I pray I am in hospice when I get to die”

    Okay my fingers are tired ( Oooo wonder if I burnt some calories typing furiously!!!)
    Your flower photos never fail to bring a smile to my heart and face. I love you so much.
    Your Connie


    • sassy kas says:

      I am so critical, as you know. 1. Shop around and get a different PT. One who listens to you. 2. Fat has nothing to do with your knee surgery/it’s about the anesthetic. Shop around and find a surgeon and anesthetist who have bariatric (working with fat people) knowledge. They are out there. 3. Hubsters are ok and maybe (still to be determined) worth it in the long run even or in spite of (maybe because of?) stupido-ness. 4. Girl games – never worth it. 5. Love you too.


  2. Tee says:

    We happen to have a drive-in theater a half hour drive from us that’s open every summer. I was just telling hubby a couple weeks ago that we need to go this summer. He agreed. I love being able to my own snacks without smuggling them in like I have to do when we go to a regular theater.

    Liked by 1 person

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