Gratitude Sunday: March Is On

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “The future begins today. It is a gift to which we wake every morning. Make use of it, don’t throw it away.” Daphne du Maurier in The Scapegoat.

Sunday Haiku
Yellow, yellow, bright
faces bring relief from gray
days, lighten spirits.

Sunday Musings
March already! And spring is marching in, a bit early, but welcome all the same. The return of the light, the warming of the soil and air, the last snowy efforts of winter. So many changes in March I sometimes think this should be when we mark the new year instead of a week after Christmas, but then when would we celebrate Easter?

Changes for me this year? New babies in my family: one arrived in January, one is arriving in June and another in July. I’m so excited for (and a little jealous of) these young families who work so hard for what they have, knowing the work, joy, and love they have set in front of them.

Today marks two years survival since a traumatic event causing me to lose a long-term employment which created a decreased ability to work: unplanned, untimely, and disheartening. That event has created for me not only a financial hardship, but also a time of slowing down, contemplation, reflection, permission to myself to have a less productive but more wisdom-sharing life.

Moving the hubster and myself into Medicare this year for our Medicare birthdays. I haven’t figured out how we are going to do this yet, as despite what we are led to believe all our working lives, Medicare is not “free”; even though we have paid for it in every paycheck there is a monthly ding. Since my income at this point does not cover my mortgage or other expenses, I have lots of math to do and questions to ask. What I’ve found so far for extremely low income people is it sounds like Medicaid picks up the tab for Medicare, and then they take whatever “estate” you may have upon your death. That’s comforting (not) to know I’ve worked all my life to buy my home to turn over to the federal government when I die. Not like I wanted to have a legacy or inheritance for the son (how dare I have the same aspirations of the wealthy elite who don’t even pay taxes when they give their assets to their children).

The fifth anniversary of this blog was a couple weeks ago. I don’t have a lot of readers, but that’s OK; I realize my voice is unique. I’m not upbeat, or funny, or even all that entertaining. I’m the voice of poverty, dissent, and forgotten old women. I peruse other blogs by aging women. Most of them are about make-up (covering wrinkles), health tips (how to get or stay slender or “anti-aging” tips), fashion (what not to wear if you are over 50 or how to choose “flattering” outfits), travel and vacation suggestions (what are those words?), and how to make your money grow (because they are assuming you have it like they do).

What’s the difference between them and me? I don’t care about fashion or make-up or not aging or what your body looks like. They are the voices of affluent white privilege, voices who have not struggled with poverty or working for a living or plans gone awry or being the only income in the family. They know what a vacation is. They know financial security, don’t have to worry about paying the mortgage, or property tax, or food, or health care, or bills; they pay them, they just don’t worry about where the money comes from. They know the comfort of being able to call the mechanic when the car fails, and have a back-up car in the garage for the meantime, or the cushion-funds to replace a vehicle when needed.

Mine is the voice of the poor, of plans disrupted and failed. You won’t find another voice like mine. Many who live in poverty don’t have the words or the means to share them. Nor do they subject themselves to honest self-evaluations. Poor old women rarely have the time to share their thoughts; they are still too busy scrambling to stay free from homelessness or total dependency.

And yet. Even though every day is a scramble, I don’t live in abject, grinding poverty. I still have my home. I’m getting by, but there’s a cost. My car is of legal age plus one now (19 years old). My house needs more health care than I do, no broken bones yet, but cosmetic surgery and yard maintenance is definitely in order. I have an abundance of worthless stuff inherited from family that pleases me to look at and live with. My health, while challenged and challenging, is as good as it can be for me. Same for my guys. My vacation and travel aspirations are modest, but they do require a reliable vehicle and enough money to get there and back and still pay my bills. Odd how the bills don’t go away when you go on vacation.

I am the voice of the poor who prevail. The ones who keep on despite tons of failed plans and set-backs. In the past we had families for safety nets. People honored multi-generational households and took care of elders and youngers. The myth of self-sufficiency has destroyed this. Despite all the lip service, you cannot make it on your own in this America. I’ve survived because of help from family, whether resented or not, and begging for public assistance.

In my household we know there is no going backward. You can only move forward with each new day, with every passing minute. Yesterday is gone, done, can’t be changed. We can work as hard as we can work, and sometimes it is only because of the ridges on the skin of our fingers that we are holding on to what we’ve worked so hard for.

So for now, we’ll keep Marching on and I’m going to keep on writing. It’s what I have left. Words, and a little time.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Yellow daffodils popping out all over. Piles of crocuses. Pretty periwinkles.

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.} Dreams Rewired (2015, not rated) narrated by Tilda Swinton, a creative documentary about the beginning and development of media technology, telephones, radio, and television. * Wonder Woman (2017, rated PG – 13) with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. Can anything be better than Greek mythology? Amazons have got it going on. If girls and young women received combat training, there might be less war in the world. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but what we are doing right now isn’t working for me, peace-wise. I’m depending on women to save our world, but we need the help of men.

Currently ReadingThe Light Between Oceans (2012, fiction) by M.L. Stedman. Just started and I’m in Australia just after the end of WW1. * Learning To Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging (2003, aging and psychology) by Margaret Cruickshank. So much disinformation about aging, so much pressure to be productive or “busy”, so little honoring of the aging mind and body.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • March coming in like a lion. As expected.
  • New calendar pages. Fun little ritual changing them every month, like having new art on the wall every month.
  • Saving cans and bottles to purchase my own copy of Walking to Forest Grove (2014, local history) by Ken and Kris Bilderback.
  • The hubster getting the kitchen sink to drain more easily without having to crawl underneath and undo the pipes.
  • The boogalou in my hip responding to hot packs, ibuprofen, and water work-outs in the pool.
  • The joy I experience watching the littles at the pool.
  • The opportunity to walk the halls of my old high school before they tear the building down.
  • Getting to spend some time with my sister.
  • Winter Olympics being over for another season.
  • Soft, warm socks.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Medicine, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: March Is On

  1. Megan says:

    I love your voice. It is far more meaningful and important than anyone blabbering on about fashion and make-up. I am not wealthy but not poor either, even though 17 year old daughter, goes on and on about our family being poor. I keep telling her that we are not in debt and even though she may see families spending more money it is not always a true reflection of their situation. I live in Canada, where we have good health care, to a point. Our family has insurance as well through husband’s job. But, between the government health care and insurance, if I need new glasses (the older I get the more expensive they get), extensive physiotherapist (what is covered is never enough for a full treatment) or extensive dental work a large portion of the bill will come out of my own pocket possibly setting me back months. I still appreciate that I have far better coverage than many in the US or many other places in the world.

    I look forward to listening to your voice every week!


    • sassy kas says:

      Thank you for your kind words! It is comforting to have supportive feedback. We were just talking about perceptions at 17 versus, say, 37. We don’t teach our kids economics and how to live within their means instead of on credit, and if you fall into that credit trap how hard it is to dig your way back out. And health care? How can our governments have it so poorly done when they get so much of our tax investment dollars? If I were queen…


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