Sunday, June 24, 2012

And The Livin' Is Easy

Another nice weekend.  Friday I watched three episodes of Dexter, one of my (many) guilty pleasures.    On Saturday, my son took me along with the grandkids to see a model train exhibit at the local museum, and later grilled (delicious) hamburgers and asparagus.    Today I mostly sat on my butt, but also went fishing with my brother.   It was a good day not to be a fish; I actually caught a few.    My favorite was the one that bit just as my brother was beginning to explain to me what was wrong with my last cast.    His comments were absolutely true, so I'm glad that fish aren't as smart as my brother -- I have enough trouble catching them as it is!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Many Funerals And A Wedding

What time is it, you ask?   It's whine time again!   So, as I probably mention too often, I work with dying people and grieving families.    I hear stories of unbelievable suffering, sicknesses piled upon sicknesses.   There are also people in my own family who have such sad lives, and I feel helpless in the face of it.   Most of the time I am so very tired, for no good reason, and every inch of my body aches, presumably a sign that I am growing old, or more old.    My brain doesn't work as well as it used to, it is not as quick to find solutions or change gears or remember where I put my glasses.   My house is cluttered and dirtier than I wish, and I've misplaced the energy it would take to clean and organize it.   It's easy to feel beaten down, depressed, discouraged.   It's easy to mentally carry burdens that aren't even mine.   Easy to dwell on how quickly the river flows downhill, on how little time is left, and on how much I haven't had a chance to do, how much I will never have a chance to do.    It's not only easy to think those self-defeating thoughts, sometimes it's nearly impossible not to.

And so I try to remember to do what I suggest to my families; take a few minutes each day to clear my thoughts, to gently push away my worries, to simply follow my breath.    It's a fact, the river only flows in one direction and the good years ahead of me are limited.  But this month I picked flowers and worked on fairy houses with my grandchildren.   This month I breathed the spring air and tasted strawberries and kale from our local farmers' market.   This month I was the officiant at the marriage of a young couple who will begin their new lives with an energy and joy I can barely remember.    This month I thought with gratitude about what a good father my son is to my grandchildren, and about how smart he was to choose such a good mother for them.   True enough, this month I did several funerals, and each one of them was sad.   They take a toll on the families, and a smaller toll on me.  But this month, maybe I'll go fishing.   The river won't stop, the current will continue to flow, and I know it will carry me away sooner or later.    But today, right this minute, life is good.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Definitely Half Empty

I love coffee. I don't drink a ton of it but I savor every cup. So much so that, when my grandson was tiny, he used to solemnly announce to me that Grandma Loves Coffee.

Of course, the same could be said for wine, but that's another story.

Anyway, I guess we are always surprised when something we love unexpectedly turns on us. And my coffee turned on me with a vengeance today.

Halfway through my 100 mile trip to visit the Apple store and visit my sister, I took my first sip of coffee. Or rather, I prepared to take my first sip.

Instead of my anticipated coffee bliss, the lid came loose and most of the coffee poured onto my chest and lap. And here I am, at Apple, soaking wet and cold as heck.

Sometimes, I am reminded, love hurts.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Dark Forest

One patient had refused for weeks to visit with to me, preferring her own pastor, trumpeting her own strong faith.  Last week, to my surprise, she wanted to talk. She told me, 'I drift away from this world and find myself in places I never thought I'd see, surrounded by heathens, and I cannot find my God.' She explained that nothing bad happened to her during these “drifting” times, but they frightened her terribly because things weren't as she thought they would be, making her afraid to die. I felt so bad for her and comforted her as best I could, but I wondered to myself whether some people are so sure of their tiny vision of God that they cannot recognize him when he doesn't look the way they expected.  She withdrew into herself the next day, preparing for her journey, and she left us last night.    I can only hope that she is no longer afraid.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fly Fishing

I spent the weekend at a beginners' fly fishing school run by the Flygirls, a women's fly fishing group affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers.    Things didn't go exactly as planned.  I drove up Friday to Fuller's North Branch Outing Club (a historic lodge where Henry Ford and a bunch of other famous people fished), about 2 and 1/2 hours from home, in pouring rain.
We tied knots all afternoon, laughed and drank wine, and stared out the window at the constant downpour.    The Lodge was one of those homey old places, full of hunting and fishing equipment and memorabilia, and the hostess cooked the kind of filling food that would keep your tummy warm in even the nastiest weather.    She had cute little touches of art everywhere we looked.

 It was still raining when we woke up on Saturday, so that was how we spent the day --- in the rain.   We practiced casting for a couple of hours, and then went to the river to collect bugs for our entomology lesson.   After lunch,  we set out for the river again to try out our new found skills.     It was still raining.  We were mostly pathetic, exhausted when we were through, and soaked to the core.  When we were cold enough, and tired enough, and wet enough, we headed back to the Lodge for wine and a (delicious) hot meal.   I imagine that everyone else thought, as I did, that we should have gone out again to fish in the evening, but every one of us kept our thoughts to ourselves.
Sunday morning, the day we were scheduled to leave (of course), was clear and bright and beautiful.   We fished, we convinced ourselves that we showed promise and improvement, I caught a pretty little (very little, 4 or 5 inches) brook trout and scared away many more.    We dragged our aching bodies out of the river just before noon and Judy, our host, made us sandwiches and the trimmings before we hit the road for home.     I'm tired as heck, my back and arm muscles are screaming, and my weekend clothing smells like a wet dog, but I had a great time.   Best of all, I am confident that I can rig my own rod and tie my own flies.    I can't wait to fish again.