Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Weekend

Springtime in the Ozarks weekend. We were married there and went back every year to celebrate. Last year the weekend was very hard.

We looked forward to going for weeks ahead of time and never had an unhappy moment in Eureka Springs. Every year was different but every year was wonderful. To think that Ron and I would never do that again was heartbreaking.

This year a friend suggested that she spend the weekend with me and another friend joined her. It was one of the loveliest weekends I've ever had. Amazing blessings.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Goodbye Kurt

If Ron were here, we would have a ceremony to mark the passing of Kurt Vonnegut, one of the strongest links in the bond between us. Both of us were reluctant atheists when we first got together. Over time we came to believe in a force for good in the universe which we called God. But both of us continued to laugh while in anger and sorrow about the state of the world, and Kurt's characters continued to aid and abet us. In one of his stories there were twins - a boy and a girl. Together they were geniuses. When separated they were mentally retarded. Ron said he thought we were like that. I had to agree but I said I thought that meant we were seriously co-dependent. He said, well, I can't repeat what he said, but it meant he didn't care, he liked our relationship the way it was. Goodbye, Kurt. I may have a ceremony for you even without Ron's physical presence. It won't involve flowers, though, so don't worry.

The Cane

Yesterday was my first visit back to physical therapy since my last visit to the orthopedist. I've been looking forward to going since I knew Kathy would not just put me in a little room to do isometric exercises by myself. (A waste since I already do them at home). I knew she would help me figure out how to use the cane. I've tried but I could see immediately that I didn't know what I was doing.

Sure enough, I've been doing it totally wrong. The way that works is to use the hand opposite to my weak leg. That way I'm bearing weight on my left hand and right leg simultaneously - stability! Yay. So, now I just need lots of practice.

I'm actually kind of lazy. I've grown fond of the convenience of the wheelchair. It's fast, it's comfy (nothing hurts) and it gets me lots of help which I've become accustomed to. But it's time to move on or grow up or whatever.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Sometime in April, sometime in the 70s, is the time the tornado came through southwest Missouri and killed my mother and grandmother. I can never remember the exact date, but I've noticed that in April, my body seems to know something happened then.

In 1986 on April 1st, Ron and I got our marriage license in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We laughed because we said we could always claim we were just April fools. Ron insisted that he wanted to be married in a church with a real minister. I was amazed because he was totally anti organized religion. He told me he would haunt me if I had a religious funeral. So, I didn't. But he had to be married in a church. So, we were married on April 16 in the Presbyterian church in Eureka Springs, with my daughter, Liz and her husband, Fred and their son, Adam in attendance.

The poor minister did not know what to do with us. He told us he was worried about our ability to be married. He didn't say why. Ron was so terrified he was shaking. For many years I thought he was scared because of the risks of marrying me - which were many and high. In the end I realized he was more worried about whether he could step up to the plate and change the things his other wives had left him about. We got lucky. He changed quite a few things. A couple of the major ones he couldn't seem to change and he thought I was going to leave him. But I didn't. I was tougher than he thought and I loved him too much. Leaving him wouldn't have improved my quality of life one whit. We had way more joyful times than unhappy times.

Now there will be a new anniversary - the massacre at Virginia Tech. My grandson, Adam, will graduate from there in another year.

April is a sad and joyful month.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Virginia Tech

Another terribly sad event. I am so relieved that my grandson, Adam, is all right. I wish I had some words of wisdom to say over such a terrible thing but... It grieves me that some tortured soul thought the solution to his problems was to execute all the people he could before taking his own life. This isn't new in humans but the scale is new enough to pierce our hearts.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Torture, Terror and Tyranny of the To Do List

Can't live with them; can't live without them. Without my to do lists I would be totally lost in my life and would forget important things and have to pay crumby consequences. But they keep me feeling anxious, miserable and less than at the same time. I have made lists, lists of lists, master lists, and lists of why I hate lists. In the beginning I felt better when I made lists - it felt like I had accomplished something. But right away I felt rebellious - as if someone else had imposed this list of chores and that I needed to protect myself. So, I'd go back to bed or the equivalent. Now I just make the lists and start trying to make myself do the stuff on the lists. I've tried rewards but I just reward myself before I've done anything. I love treats. I've tried accountability partners and that works the best but almost everybody I pick lets me off the hook. I must be bad at picking partners. So, then I feel guilty all the time.

Once I made a list of everything I thought was important to do and decided to work on it without interruption until it was done. I had to stay up about 36 hours straight to do it, but I finished the list. I decided being finished was not worth it. Another time I decided not to do another thing till I felt like it. I stayed in bed and read for days. Then one day I actually felt like doing something and got up. Then I just did what I felt like doing and got a lot accomplished. That lasted for several days/weeks and I thought I had found the answer. However, I decided I wanted to go back to school, enrolled and went. Assignments were absolutely necessary to complete when I wanted to or not, so my plan disintegrated.

I'm 65 years old and I don't want to die still being tyrannized by to do lists. My current plan is to make a list of ongoing priorities and work a little on them every day. I'm quite sure that changing this particular character defect will only happen with the help of God. But on my deathbed I'm sure I'm not going to be thinking about what I got accomplished from my lists. I'm probably going to be thinking about the people that I love so they will go at the top of my list!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


The Bible says that the root of all evil is the love of money, which would make greed the most dangerous of the seven deadly sins. But what about pride/ego? That seems to be even more dangerous because it leads to playing God. Maybe pride/ego causes greed. Greed, from my observations, can serve a lot of purposes - sometimes people want to accumulate more and more stuff to make themselves feel financially secure. The thing is, it never works. It always seems like there needs to be just a little bit more even when there's a whole lot. Fear of not having enough seems to persist. Pride/ego can cause people to want more and more so that they will be envied by others. Again, the thing is, does being envied actually improve quality of life? I'm just seeing a lot of greed around me these days. How much is enough?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Coming back

It's time to get back to this. A posting every few months is no good.

The last visit to the doctor was mostly good news. I can't just take off walking like I thought he might let me do but I can use the cane as much as I can tolerate it. When I go back in a couple of months, he will look again at my knee. If the healing is complete with the femur, he'll consider going ahead with the knee surgery.

I called about the writers' meeting on Wednesdays. For me to really get to work with finishing some of the essays I've started, I'm going to have to have a lot of support. My evil brain thinks of many, many other things to do that distract me and keep me from working.

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