Monday, September 26, 2011

Reunion Reflections

All these folks graduated from high school with me in January of 1961 ~ 50 years ago. Yesterday we gathered at our friend's house and celebrated us. We had a third of the class there - 52 graduates, 20 attendees, and several who had planned to come and for some reason didn't. We searched and searched to find all 52 and sometimes even these days of the internet, it just isn't possible. We are very grateful for all those who we found and who said yes to being with us.

We shared a lot about the past - remembering places we had hung out, telling stories from school, laughing a lot. And we also looked forward, talking about interesting things happening now ~ we are not all retired; sharing hopes and dreams for the future. Yes, we also talked about our health, hip and knee replacements and how we are managing. That was ok - we talked about such things and then moved on.

All in all, a delightful, perfect time. Had you been there, you might have been amazed at the vitality, energy and spunk in this group of 68, 69 year olds. "Old" age takes on a whole new meaning when we gather like this. It was a fun time.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Spent a lot of today shopping with Joshua. And mostly we had dorm life in a shopping cart. All those little things that mom has usually bought for you and put in your bathroom cabinet or under the kitchen sink to clean with. But in the midst of all that practicality was a little fun: a fedora and a sweater vest, jeans and tan slacks, and a fun coffee mug that caught his imagination and I said, oh why not. :D

Meanwhile, Dean was at home getting our new (bought off Craigslist) round dining room table up the back drive and into the house. I am very pleased. I was a little concerned that it was too dark for the space. I have several round center pieces and will choose which one I like best when I have time to do that. Meanwhile, I am excited about the new table. We will leave the glass one on the deck. It looks wonderful on the deck and the glass top comes off so it can be tucked next to the wall away from the snow during the winter.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Always Listen

Listening to my body. It has been my mantra since I was 13 and I see no reason to abandon it now. Last night I was in tears, sobbing ~ my feet and ankles felt weird and funny and my nerves were all on edge and as I lay there I realized there was more than a physical reason for my tears. I did not, do not want to go to this meeting in Reno today. Do Not want to be on anyone’s advisory board. Do Not want to become involved again. And the other thing I realized - duh! - is that no one was going to hog tie me and make me go. So in a few minutes I will call Norman, thank him for his kind offer and tell him I’m not coming. As I said to Dean, if as the old saying goes, I had had the sense I was born with, when he asked if I was interested in being on an advisory board, I should have said no. Then I wouldn’t have had all this gentle angst this week and tear last night at all.

There was a moment of “whoa” this morning when I told Dean. He said, “Oh, honey, you can’t do that.” “Of course I can.” And that was that. After a bit more information from me, he said, “well, of course if you don’t want to, you shouldn’t.” You got it, my friend. :) And I am sorry to be telling Norman this so late. I am sure I would have enjoyed meeting people today and had a good time although I was not looking forward to the drive to Reno by myself. That would have been immaterial had I really wanted to do the job. Just not my thing. After all, I quit the PSR board after a three-year term. Just not my thing no matter what others think might be good for me. Phew. Slept really well last night after that decision. Always listen. Bodies rarely steer us wrong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


As if I had any real option. I was ready to go to gym this morning. Had my tote over my shoulder. Said good-bye to Dean and I would probably be back before he left. He said, “OK. I think I will take a little walk.” - Stop - Freeze - Rapid think

Choice: gym with casual friends, inside, usual routine. Walk through rain-soaked pine forest with Sweetheart. That decision didn’t take long.

The forest was Glorious. The trail beaten down by the rain. The greenery - green - greener than any September either of us remember. The creek is running - yes, in September there is Running water in the creek. And the aroma? Oh, my - sweet and heady and as always reminding me of my childhood summers in the pine forests of North Carolina.

We walked the loop which takes us down a small, one track trail through a very still and magical open forest. I am not sure what to call the mid space between forest and meadow. Anyway - that’s where this trail goes. Wonderful. All the while breathing deeply and feeling our bodies fill with clear, cool, clean mountain air. Delightful. Good choice. :D

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reflections on 9/11

We all agree today ten years ago was horrific, horrible, indescribable and life-changing for the entire country, perhaps the world. Beyond that, where do we go? We go from the very general to the very personal. People died. Innocent people going about their jobs. Working people doing their jobs trying to save others. Good people. Ordinary people ~ some of whom became heroes. And all those people and their families deserve our remembrances.

Just like any of us deserve the memories of our loved ones who have died. My mom died when I was 16. At 68 I am still pleased when someone remembers her or something she did or my daughters ask me about her.

My concern today is of the overwhelming media coverage showing the pictures over and over again as if trying to bring it back so close that we relive the experience. None of us need to do that. Remember, yes! Absolutely! Idolize, no. There are indeed days that change lives and this is one of them. But to take us back emotionally to that day when we have moved forward for ten years is too much. We have moved forward. There are things happening today.

There is a memorial service and celebration of her life today for my friend from the book store who died last month. Dean is having a meeting in the office today and tomorrow and at 9 this morning I prepared a table of morning goodies and made the coffee and they are at work. Sunday is a work day for one son-in-law who is a helicopter pilot and right now he is fighting a fire. He is only one of many in that particular occupation today as land and homes across this country are on fire right now. Babies are being born. Grandfathers are dying. People are living their lives in hope and struggle, frustration and joy, fear and freedom just like we do every day of every year of our lives.

Do we need to stop a moment and remember those who died on this day? Yes. And then we need to take a breath, acknowledge that we are the ones who won even in the midst of destruction and move on. Live continues. Love continues. The human spirit soars beyond the moment into a life of possibilities.

Friday, September 9, 2011


== Good news! And a Huge sigh of relief. The results from my life-line screening came today and my arteries and blood flow are all OK - Phew. Oh yes, my BP is a little high; so is my cholesterol; and none of this is unexpected. This we knew. It was the odd feelings in my legs, ankles and feet that had me worried ~ and all is clear. Still don’t know why I feel this way and at least I know I am free flowing. Grateful beyond words for these results.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Old Bones

I am reading a book by Arron Elkins titled, Old Bones. Elkins writes about forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver who is able to decipher all sorts of mysteries from the old bones he encounters. And the excellency of this series is the subject of another blog. Today I am thinking about old bones.

I heard an interview on Science Friday (NPR) by some scientists who had taken DNA from the teeth of skeletons buried in the 1400s in order to trace the origins of the plague.

And then there are our grandparents, parents and even ourselves who say the ache in our elbow or hip tells us that the weather is changing. We “know” things deep in our bones. Intuition tells us when something is right or wrong and yet, is it some magical flash, or a deep knowing that has come from years of experience that has settled in our bones?

And so I am contemplating old bones and the wisdom that accumulates in our bodies as we live.

We have a two month old granddaughter ~ new bones. She is learning fast and furiously, putting all sorts of new information into her bones. She is on one the fastest most rigorous learning curves of her whole life in these first two years. She will learn what hurts and what feels good; what makes her laugh and what makes her cry; what brings Mama and what Mama ignores; what makes Mama happy and what makes Mama frown. Her bones will literally learn how to carry her upright and how to move across the floor. Lots of learning for new bones.

I watched four young mountain jays flying around the yard this morning. They fly fine - just in shorter spurts than the older jays. They are less sure of their surroundings and they are very aware of us. The older jays - especially one big loud guy - almost ignore us and land on the deck, on chair backs, and chatter and tell us to feed them (we don’t) and to pay attention.

No conclusions. Just my own chatter regarding the wisdom we gather and accumulate through the years. If we could extract wisdom DNA, what would it show us about ancient shamans, priests and priestesses, grandparents and all those on whom we build our own bone knowledge? Next time someone tells me they just know it in their bones, I think I will listen very carefully. ~ blessings

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Food Insight

The PSOB back again. And this time without salt. That’s right. No salt. OK - of course I still eat salt. We all need sodium so as not to faint if nothing else. What we don’t need is huge amounts of salt ~ especially when we live at altitude, in a very low humidity climate where we have to make an effort to sweat.

We had friends visit for a week and he is on very low sodium and we plunged right in with him ~ no tapering off ~ just ate what she said he could have. We don’t add salt anyway, and for a week we were reading labels and checking out sodium content and avoiding having anything that had too much.

After a week of that, when they left I returned to the gym, and found myself with Loads of Energy. I even feel “lighter” ~ having nothing to do with weight. The scales show about the same and I had had ice cream and even creme brulee. What I hadn’t had is Salt. One way I am lowering my sodium is to measure my wonderful no cholesterol Greek salad dressing instead of just pouring it on. Amazing how far a tablespoon of dressing can go when the salad is tossed and tossed. Wow. The change in feeling is incredible.

My doctor will be very pleased. He has wanted me to decrease my blood pressure a little. If this works like folks say it will, my BP will go down nicely before I see him again in several months. I am much more likely to stay on low sodium because of this energetic light feeling than because of any test the doc does every 4 to 6 months. I’m stoked!!