It is much easier for me to clean the bathroom than to sit down and write a meaningful blog that some one would find interesting. The bathroom project results in immediate sensory gratification. When finished it looks bright, shiny, inviting…it smells fresh, and if I plug in the lavender diffuser, I might even be tempted to sit down for a while and read this week’s People Magazine.
One of my earliest memories is of my Brooklyn grandparent’s tiny bathroom, primitive by today’s standards. Small black and white tiles covered the walls and floors. It smelled like lava soap and a library that had suffered water damage. Paperback books, pulp fiction, lined the walls in arms reach of the commode. My uncle’s reading room. I couldn’t imagine my grandmother and grandfather sitting for hours engrossed in Ray Bradbury and Arthur Clarke. My favorite uncle, my only uncle, was an artist who lived with his parents and later took care of his widowed mother.
He was the oldest of five, my father, the youngest. They were male bookends for three girls. Dad was born in 1911, and Sid, about ten years prior. My grandparents were immigrants from Russia, the Ukraine, according to Ancestry.com. And they raised the family in the tenements of Brooklyn somewhere around Kings Highway and Flatbush.
I spent hours in that bathroom reading science fiction. My grandparents must have thought I had a weak bladder, but I was a very shy child who felt more comfortable with books in a bathroom than with my relatives who were always trying to get me to talk. “Cat got your tongue?” I didn’t mean to be rude. Conversation never came easy to me.
So many things to write about, like the raindrops on the window, which one to follow on its slow journey to the sill? The storm promised on yesterday’s news has arrived this morning, but it is a gentle rain, and even now blue sky comes tentatively from the east. New Mexico is like that. Bad weather which is good weather here (we need the rain) comes and goes quickly followed by long periods of intense sun making colors so bright that you gasp with delight. I have a lunch scheduled with a friend today. It is my turn to drive and choose the restaurant. What a dilemma! The weather changes my plans. At this instant the sun is winning out, so I am scanning my brain for an eatery that is near walking trails instead of a shopping mall.
Dad would be proud of me, perhaps. As he looks down through the skylight he would see me typing in the nook I have created in his kitchen where he faced the TV on the counter, his back toward the window. My back is to the counter now. I have replaced the old foggy paned windows with a picture window by Anderson, that brings the outside in. I see the curvy old cottonwoods still carrying last years leaves. A pond about six yards from my window captures the reflections of the trees as ducks slide along. It is March 3. Spring.
I used to share moments like this with my father and my husband. Then I didn’t realize how precious they were…the moments and the men. It seemed like I always wanted to be on the go, somewhere else…the Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, some great new restaurant for dinner, restless me.
Today I registered for classes at the senior center. One was a hiking class of difficult ability. How difficult can it be if you must be over 55 to participate? I looked at others in the room and couldn’t imagine many of them doing a five mile up hill climb. But when I finally got to the registration table, the class was filled. I am an alternate. The gentleman in charge said that several would cancel because their families may come in town, or someone might get cancer or something.
I don’t want to dread getting old. I dread getting old in spirit and in heart; the body is inevitable, and so sometimes the mind. My husband was in the mid stages of Alzheimer’s when he passed last May of stroke. He was a good kind man whose patience and example lead me to the Lord. I hope to follow him, but not yet!!!!
Long ago I was born in New York and raised on Long Island. I escaped in 1966 when I married a military man who moved me many places. Currently I live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, in the house my fa…
Long ago I was born in New York and raised on Long Island. I escaped in 1966 when I married a military man who moved me many places. Currently I live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, in the house my father built 30 years ago when he finally had the wherewithal and means to escape Long Island. He lived happily ever after in the sunshine and has given me the opportunity to do the same. Men and women of dad’s generation have moved on, but left a legacy that should never be ignored. The Second World War was the event that shaped them, as I believe Vietnam shaped my generation. Dad and his cronies came back heroes; sadly the young men I watched go off to Southeast Asia, who sacrificed as much as their fathers, did not come home to the glory they deserved. The blame was on the politicians. Not fair. But I want to share my dad, who I have fictionalized and exaggerated to create humor, but also to help me better understand him and the people of “the Greatest Generation.” I think dad would support my effort. My blog will alternate between my musings and my novel. Thanks for reading!
The main thoroughfare of the gated community is a circle of an eighth mile, lined by red-tile roofed townhouses of a certain age. Certain I am of my age, exceeding the residential requirements posted at the iron gate. Residents must be geezers, (my interpretation of 55+). The gates will open for me, as I hope those pearly ones will in a few years when I flash my passport to Peter.
In the six years I have lived here a dozen people have gone from that gate to His gate, including the two
men I love most. Now it is just Pippa and me in the house my father built in 1989. Herman hated dogs so I never kept one growing up. I wonder what he thinks when he looks through the skylight and sees a black chihuahua running up and down the spiral staircase? Likely he would shake his head in disapproval. “whatta ya need that for…pain in the ass!”
We walk the circle before the sun comes out from behind the Sandias. It is hard to get moving, she in her red sweater, and me in a puffer jacket over PJ’s. As soon as we hit the cool air we are energized. Maybe I can even run again.
My daughters sent me a “Fit Bit” for Christmas. I laughed when I pulled it from it’s packing. “What the hell do I do with this?” A rubber wrist band with a black plastic face.
I have limited tech skills. Why do they think I need to know how many steps I take in a day, or how well I slept last night. I can tell you without technology that I woke up three times to pee.
They meant well. Some of the younger women I know swear they can’t live without one. Since Christmas I’ve noticed two who definitely look trimmer.
I have a plan…at Best Buy. The young Geeks can set it up. The have patience with the Geezers who line the other side of the counter. They could have been my fifth grade student once. Maybe the Geezers trained them well; it is their turn to teach us.