Monday, June 21, 2010

This Time is not Flying

It's been two weeks now since my knee replacement surgery. 14 days exactly, and the nurse will take the staples out today sometime. Oh Joy!!!

As supportive and accommodating as my family and friends have been, I still find myself frustrated beyond description. I am stuck and at the mercy of everyone except myself. I keep busy working on quilts for my grand girls, but I am still confined to this house and I am going stir crazy. I'm not one of those people who are on the go constantly because I really enjoy my home and its amenities. Just the fact that my only outing is to the mail box each afternoon is starting to get to me. Hopefully, the doc will give me a go ahead this Friday for a short trip if just to the lake and back. I know I can't drive, yet, as my leg barely gets through the exercises without protest followed by ice. I just hope I get permission to ride along on an outing.

I will resign myself to the stay at home remedy if that is the outcome. I gave myself my last blood thinning shot today, and I know that blood clots are still a possibility, and a car does confine one to a stationary position while sight seeing. Maybe I can talk the doc into a short jaunt to the Sonic for a coke float or something.

On another note a couple of friends from high school are dropping by tomorrow and a gal pal is coming over Thursday. It doesn't get me out of the house, but will be welcome visits. High School pals I haven't seen for over 40 years, so should be fun catching up. Gal pal is the one who very nicely kicks me in the butt and reminds me to count my blessings. I am pretty good at counting blessings unless I am in the middle of a pity today. My housekeeper is here and she is always a bright spot in the week. The nurse and PT will do their things, and after the exercise regime, I do find myself pretty tired at the end of the day. In the meantime, I am throwing the windows open all the way around and pretending that I am outside somewhere. It's why we bought this house. Even the dampest winter days are really quite pleasant when the shutters are opened. I have two more novels to read and then maybe a trip to the bookstore will cheer me up some. I just hate being stuck....hate it, hate it, hate it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back in Time

Sometimes we get a chance to step back in time, and when we do, it brings a peace that transcends the very moments between then and now. This has been on my mind for about three days now, and I find it interesting that it won't turn loose.

While in my hometown and driving back and forth to our pecan grove, I saw a trailer full of corn and some red objects that looked like fresh tomatoes. The trailer got my attention, but the eight year old flagging down buyers is what melted my heart enough to stop and check it out.

Sure enough the grandmother, father, and son were teaching the youngster that it is very satisfying to work for your wages. He was a cute kid, and dutifully loaded my corn and a few tomatoes into my trunk. I asked if they were going to be around tomorrow, and taking his cue from his grandma, the kid explained maybe, maybe not and sometimes, they sell a whole trailer to one buyer. I changed my mind about a few tomatoes and bought about ten pounds, thinking while I did this that I really wished I enjoyed making picante or canning foods. As I was leaving, I tipped the kid a dollar, and he asked why. On his second trip to my trunk, I told him.

I quickly told him about my grandpa and how he would take us to the watermelon patches when we were young. He told us that we could load as many melons as possible in his car, and then we could sell them around the neighborhood for pocket change, as he called it. I was probably 11 or 12 and my 4 siblings were stair steps, mostly two years apart. My sister and I would con my younger brothers into taking the melons door to door in our wagon for a nickel each sale. We told them we had already done the hard work of loading them in the car, and since we were bigger, we obviously loaded the most. We tempted them further with the five cent cokes they could buy with their profits. They fell for it. The kid commented that he couldn't believe that a coke only cost a nickel.

I chuckled and said thanks again for being so polite and for making me remember my sweet grandpa. My grandpa took the time to teach us that there is pride in working for a living, and what a blessing that has been. I am getting plum maudlin as I hit the end of another decade, but that has its place, too.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

And the beat goes on.....

Younger son called and informed us of his next deployment. He won't be going to Afghanistan, and for that I am thankful. This next deployment will be for one year, and then he could end up back in Texas and nearer to home. He and his sweet family will handle this, and we have made it clear that we will welcome his family as often as needed during this long year.

I remember the isolation I felt in my early twenties when my ex-husband accepted a transfer to West Africa. I wasn't lonely as I always make new friends very easily, but I was lonesome for the daily routines of being near family. The fact that there were no cell phones and limited communications increased these feelings. We had always lived near enough to drop in, but not so close as to be smothered. My younger son and his wife are the total package couple. They do everything together. Not my cup of tea, but works for them. They are more or less co-dependent, and it is cute to watch. I personally prefer being an independent entity with my own interests and amusements. Hub and I work side by side when necessary, but we both pursue our own hobbies and at times, friends.

My immediate life involves a weirdly, nervous husband. I don't recall seeing him worried about me but one other time in our married life. That was when I had his son by C-section, and he was anxious about the anesthesia. He told me this years later. Kind of nice to be worried about once in a while, just as long as he doesn't smother me. I do recall having to tell him to back off only a couple of times in our married life. I really don't like someone hovering over me.

I hope my son does well being independent. He will work a minimum of 12 hours a day at this base, so down time will involve lots of sleep with a readiness alert programmed into his subconscious. I would probably do better with a year long assignment away from home, but I will pray that the Lord prepares and protects him during this time. Normally, I would already being planning our trip to his overseas base, but it isn't a place I would really want to visit.

It feels good to reflect this morning before my older son visits with his family. Total attention to me will be my priority for the next few weeks. Finally, healing will come that will increase my quality of life and in turn the quality of the lives I touch. My older son is having a hard time dealing with my 6-0 this year, and still finds it hard to believe that hub and I aren't just turning 50. I reminded him that I would have had to have been 17 at his birth. He is having trouble adjusting to his almost 34 years as well. Not me, I enjoy watching the years go forward, and I smile over the simple triumphs in life. When I was almost his age, I set goals for my life, and as it stands, so far so good. Of course, all could change tomorrow or 10 seconds from now, but I will deal with whatever is on the horizon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Weird Weekend

Our road trip was par for the course, covering about seven hundred miles round trip. There were no incidents or flat tires or unhappy travelers, but one stop still sticks in my mind. Our final destination was my husband's hometown with its one stop light and the Dairy Queen and
Raspa stands serving as the land markers for the highway.

All was well in small town, and several relatives called and said hi during our stay. Husband made no effort to go see them; reminding me that we had a full three days of them just a year ago. I never protest as they are his relatives, and I don't put these demands on him with my family or any of its extensions. Our weekend was full just hanging out and going to dinner one evening. Our fare was one of true south Texas greasy Mexican food which is only available in small towns close to the border. Hub and I always eat the local food in places like these because it reminds us of when we were young and people weren't quite sure what cholesterol was or wasn't. Nothing healthy about this kind of eating.

My mother-in-law and I got along this weekend for two whole days, and I am still wondering if she might be on her last leg. Not one unkind or rude word came out of her mouth. She criticized nothing. No major gossip about people I don't know and don't care about, no griping about her loneliness during our visit and making us feel invisible. Comments about the water bill going up, but a resignation that it was inevitable was as close to negative as it got. Yes, we caught up on the kids and their lives and the grands. I got her back on Facebook, and wrote down the steps so she could do it by herself. She's eighty five this year, so her efforts to stay in this century are worthy of applause. Hub worked to help her maintain her way too big yard, and her questions to me centered on if I really liked my tiny patio yard.

I explained that both of us loved the total freedom this little area offers. Every Thursday or Friday if it rains, a company comes by and our little neighborhood is manicured to perfection. We were fortunate enough to find an area that includes this service for less than the cost of yard maintenance in the old neighborhood. There is never this need to stay home and tend to the maintenance of life, and that suits us just fine. Hub and I are true road warriors, and trips are always on the horizon.

It was nice to just enjoy the backyard with the mother-in-law. The time was probably longer for the husband as he was closer to his dad, and many past trips were made for father son time. Up at the crack of dawn on departure day is usually the clue that he doesn't want to waste morning time with leisurely coffee. I know the drill, and am ready in exactly 45 minutes.

As we traveled through my hometown, I realized that I wasn't snipping at the hub about stupid stuff, and my chest didn't feel tight from a weekend in south, south Tejas. I thought about it, and realized that I'd spent more than 48 hours with the most negative person I know, and she was positive the whole weekend. I had carefully warned her that I was no longer going to spend time with anyone who just dragged me down with sad commentary about life. I told her how I had explained that new me to my own mother, and warned that I would just stay away if that is what it took to escape the challenges of life that seem to get worse instead of better. I also recommended that mom see a psychologist to find ways to deal with her anxiety issues. Mother-in-law took the hint and as I think back about her behavior, I realize that it must have taken some serious will power on her part to stay positive. She was even nice to her middle son, and that was a much needed blessing.

Life is just too short to dwell on things that can't be changed. Life is just long enough to change one's self to relish the good and blessed moments we get right now. A mother-in-law who was actually kind hearted for a whole weekend was a time to be remembered. Maybe she's decided to mend a few fences in the last decade of her life. Not a bad idea.