Thursday, May 31, 2012

Plastic Wrap

I often feel inauthentic in my hospice job. People attribute to me a level of religiosity and spirituality that I don't deserve. Not long ago I had a strange and disturbing dream. I was wrapped in pink saran wrap, with wide bands of raw onion worn as bracelets on my wrists and ankles. It started as a hide and seek game, where someone was trying to find me, but I knew in the dream that I was invisible so long as I had my plastic wrap and onion jewelry. Suddenly it occurred to the dream-me that my invisibility could one day disappear, and I began to run and run, up stairs and down. I stopped, my heart beating wildly, and asked myself, what will they do to me when they find me? I awakened in a panic. As I lay awake, heart pounding, I wondered, what will they do to me if they ever find the genuine me?

Maybe I've been watching too much Dexter.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fat and Happy

I suppose I will feel guilty tomorrow, but I have not worked the whole weekend.   From Friday, when I had lunch and a movie (the Avengers) with my sister, to Saturday when I went fishing with my brother and did a (very) little kayaking, to Sunday when I baked a fruit cocktail cake and made a butterscotch pudding.   There are bunnies frolicking in my back yard and yes, I colored my hair.   It's all been good.  
And look at this, Sanibuddies -- on a shopping excursion to Barnes & Noble, my (wonderful) DIL brought this book to my attention in the children's section -- it takes place, duh, on Sanibel Island, and puts the word "junonia" into the vocabulary of a whole new generation of shellers!
 I know, I know; I should have done more kayaking and used less sugar, but it's been a good and lazy weekend.    So lazy, in fact, that I do believe I'll stay home again today.   I need to gather my strength (and pack), because NEXT weekend I am going to Fly Fishing School!   Life is good, and I am grateful to all the people who helped make it that way.
Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Old Gray Mare

I was talking with my coworker Darcie today, working on an upcoming event.    Darcie and I work together a lot.   She is a lot younger than I am, young enough to be my daughter.   I know that this is true because she told me today that her mother is 57, and I know for sure certain that I am 62.   She is competent and I like her, but she doesn't hold back her opinions.  

Anyway, in the middle of a discussion about readings and how we should set up the chairs, Darcie suddenly blurted out, "you need to start coloring your hair.   Should we run to the store now and pick out a color?"

Now, I know my gray is taking over but the remark was so unexpected that I had to laugh.   I halfheartedly defended myself by saying that the gray has been creeping up slowly.   Dee insisted that the gray hairs make me look older than I am, and I insisted back that, no, I really AM that old, so I'm allowed to look it.

She smiled and said that I evidently needed a little time to think about it, and we would talk again tomorrow.    And dang it, I am thinking about it a lot.   This old gray mare definitely ain't what she used to be.

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Hospice

I recently spent well over an hour with a woman who carefully repeated and explained her last bowel movement for me, even drawing me a picture to be sure I understood the size and shape. It was not until she was certain that I was able to listen that she suddenly announced that she had asked me to come because she was afraid to die. 

Some discussions seem to take far too long, but others simply cannot be rushed.   

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hospice Thoughts

Where I work, I pray with people when they ask. Families sometimes complement my prayers and ask how I learned to pray, how I learned to express to God exactly what patients and families have, through words and tears and body language, expressed to me. They assume that I am close to God when, really, we are sometimes barely civil to one another. My relationship with God goes way back to early childhood.   We have fought and made up many, many times, and I am well past any secrets or posturing. Certainly, whatever we now have was not based on love at first sight, at least not on my part. Maybe that's my secret. In order to honestly tell God exactly what I am thinking I first had to get past the honeymoon period, when I treated him like God. Because just as he has no illusions about me, I am long past believing in magic. Strangely, with my lowered expectations, there is a certain comfort now in our relationship.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Riding Shotgun


I went skeet shooting tonight for the first time. My local woman's gun club had a Shotgun 101 night, where we got instruction and a night of shooting with a (beautiful) borrowed .20 gauge for only $6 plus a box of $6 shells.

Although I impressed myself by trying - over and over again!- I didn't quite get the hang of it. Out of 23 clays, I only hit 5. And I was surprised to hit those.

(There are 25 shells in a box but other shooters must have grabbed a couple because I was short!)

What a work out! A shotgun is a lot heavier than my lil ol' pistol, and the effort of holding that barrel up and swinging it over and over -- whew! I didn't realize until I got home how tired my arms were. I will definitely try this again when the gun club has another cheap beginner's night.

The funniest thing of all was that the field in front of us had grazing deer, geese flying overhead, all the wildlife totally indifferent to the many shooters just a hundred yards away. They evidently knew just what bad shots we were!





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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Half Past Bedtime

My grandkids are just now finally - maybe - I hope - getting settled down in bed. It's a school night and I had hoped to do better so that tomorrow morning would go smoothly for them and their parents. We started on schedule but bedtime is apparently not part of my skill set.

On the bright side, though, when my grandson hugged me goodnight he told me, "grandma, you smell like the good stuff." "What stuff is that?," I asked him. "I don't know," he answered in that serious manner of the very young, "but your house smells that way, too, and I like it."

Sigh. Except that, of course, it turns out that I was overly optimistic when I thought they were settling down. I might as well admit the truth to myself. As sweet and charming and smart as they are, sometimes my grandkids act like . . . children. Lucky, lucky me.


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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What DO I want?

A couple of people recently have remarked, with various degrees of kindness, that I have spent much of my life yearning for something I do not have.   One of them suggested, " Risk making a mistake - do something you really want to do."  Which caused me to ask in response, "what DO I want to do?"

I don't think I'm alone in this.   Life is full of opportunities and obligations.   So many opportunities that it is hard to choose, and many of us -- me, for instance -- end up making the choice by indecision and accident.   Then, at some point, the obligations of daily life crowd out the dreams of opportunity.   But as we get older, things shift again.   In my life, I am out of school, several times.   There are no small kids left at home.   No one to help with homework or to help through school.  No dog, even.   So there are no excuses for not pursuing my dreams, except that I lost them somewhere along the way.   I love Sanibel, but I don't want to be away from my family, even though I am away from them most of the time, despite living down the street.  I would like to travel, but traveling alone has limited charm, and - except for my busy sister and my son's even busier family - there is no one I really want to travel with.   In other words, there is an excuse against every possible dream.    And I wonder, does that mean that I am already living the perfect life, or that I have not yet dreamed the perfect dream?

What I do know is that, as my sister reminds me much too often, daylight's burning.    It's time to take a risk and do something I really want to do.

As soon as I figure out what that is.