Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In Minnesota They Play Golf In The Snow With Colored Balls.......

I play golf a lot. At least once a week. That’s once a week twelve months a year. Remember, I live in Southern California. Even when the weather is slightly insane (remember the snow?) it always goes back to “normal” which is warm, sunny and mild. The big golf clothing decision is usually shorts? Or long pants? It doesn’t get much more complicated than that. I have wind shirts of all colors. Most have been worn once, maybe twice. Cold, wind, rain, snow, etc. etc. is not much of an issue in Southern California.

However, my future, those retirement years that we all look forward to, involves moving back East to be close to the family. Who wants to grow old 3000 miles away from those you love? After all, it’s not just anybody who will change your Depends. That takes family and love or else a lot of money. I don’t have a lot of money, hence the ageing process needs to be near family.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m a “youngster” by today’s standards of ageing. I feel great, I’m full of energy, I’m still working, but I worked in healthcare for many years and I now teach healthcare. Therefore, I can easily see the possible handwriting on the wall. I hope I age as well as my mother who is in her 80’s and perking right along quite nicely. I hope to still be golfing when I’m in my 80’s but, just in case, it seems prudent to live near family and loved ones, all of whom are younger than me. I am a planner by nature and this seems like a good plan.

However, all this is really beside the point of this post. The point is, how will I live in a place where “winter” really means winter? Where it’s cold and rainy, or maybe snowy, and the golf courses close down for months at a time?

I can’t imagine not doing outdoor activities whenever I feel like it. We plan outdoor events with never a thought for the weather. The Hollywood Bowl has no cover. Rain? So rare it isn’t an issue. Cold? I have coats, but then I live in the high desert ABOVE L.A. so it does get pretty nippy. I just drive down the hill to “normal” L.A. weather, 45 minutes away, and then we play golf. How will I deal with the phenomenon of real winter for months at a time?

I see a Florida vacation home in my future. Winter golf is a must. I must look up the exact definition of "Snow Bird."

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Creeping Crud and Other News

Well, another rip-roaring New Year’s Eve celebration has come and gone and 2009 is here. The aforementioned celebration involved flannel pajamas, chocolate chip cookies and my mother so that’s probably enough said. I wouldn’t want to make you jealous by describing the big time that we had. Should I tell you that I fell asleep waiting for the ball to drop? Naw, probably not. You’ll think I’m an old fart.

If you don’t see the New Year arrive, did it actually get here?

I have the creeping crud, aka, the flu, the bug or a bad cold. Here I am on vacation with this lovely runny nose and a horrible cough. Not to mention the ache all over stuff. I’m also very generous. I shared. Now my mother is sick. I’m on the backside of this mess now and am actually starting to feel a bit better. By the time I’m ready to go home, I should be back in perfect health. The Kentucky folks will be glad to get rid of me.

I hate flying. All that damn re-cycled, shared, germy air that is floating around in a plane cabin at 35,000 feet is exactly why I’m sick. I have no doubt that someone on that plane shared. And the sharing just keeps going on. Airborne viruses are a bitch.

My Mother’s little dog has decided she loves me. She’s been in my lap, at my side and all over me for days. She sure is different than my cho-co-lata girls. Check her out: Another week in the blue grass then back to CA. I talked to the folks at home in SoCal. It’s colder in CA than it is here. Now how does that make any sense??

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!

And since the New Year is usually represented by a new baby, I offer you this picture of a beautiful baby to start your New Year off right:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thoughts on Aging

You Know You’re Getting Old When:

1. The bank tellers and other business people in your life look like high school students.

2. You think every lousy driver on the road is “some stupid kid”.

3. On New Years Eve you’d rather stay home, eat snacks, watch movies and be with your family instead of going to a party.

4. An hour of hard physical work makes you feel like you’ve been beat with a stick, and you used to spend the whole day working in the yard or cleaning the house or walking for 18 holes of golf with never a second thought. Now you hire the yard to be maintained and the house to be cleaned and you ride on a golf cart.

5. After you sit for too long in one spot, when you get up, you creak and kind of “crip” along for a while until everything “loosens up” again.

6. Your feet keep getting bigger, your neck more wrinkled and your boobs more saggy. Body parts that used to be “pert” are now droopy.

7. Your idea of a big night on the town is dinner and a movie. Remember when you used to dance the night away??

8. The reality of “going shopping”, once the most fun thing you could think of, is that it now resembles an endurance race. You send up several prayers of thanks daily for the invention of Internet Shopping.

9. You’d rather be shot than go shopping on Black Friday or the day after Christmas. There is no sale that good.

10. In shoes and clothing, Comfort and Looks becomes more important than Looks and Price.

11. You feel the freedom of your age…..no worries about how sexy you look or whether it’s okay to go to the store with no make-up. You just go and never give it a second thought. Clean and neat is much more important than cute and sexy.

12. You need glasses to watch TV, drive, read or do most anything of interest. You used to have 20-20 perfect vision and you will never forgive your eyes for failing you.

13. You can tell how cold it is, not by watching the local weatherman, but by the degree of stiffness or pain in your joints.

14. Your mind is frequently making these BIG plans that your body can’t possibly keep up with. Your mind is young, your body is getting old. It’s very difficult to keep them properly in sync.

15. The little old gray haired lady sitting across the room is not your mother. It’s The Spouse. And your ages are very much in the same era.

16. You don’t worry greatly about holding your stomach in anymore, no matter who is there. It is what it is.

17. Sex is no longer the first, last and major thing on your mind. It’s not dead, but it’s resting a lot.

18. You know all the words to the “Oldies But Goodies” on the radio.

19. The youth around you talk about “The Sixties” like it is “history” or something. You were there. Wasn’t that just a couple of years ago??

20. You realize that WW2 was over a half century ago. Surely that cannot be. Many of today’s youth have no idea what December 7 represents.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Memories....or not

Today I am packing. I’m heading East to visit with the family and particularly to spend time with my Mom. She’s getting up there in years and I try to go as often as I can to spend quality time with her. She’s a very important person in my life.

Because of the nature of The Spouse’s work, which I have discussed before, I often see how some mothers treat their children and it is truly unbelievable. Just yesterday, Christmas Day, The Spouse had to go to the local hospital to take possession of a newborn that was born drug exposed. In other words, his mother took drugs while pregnant. This is not the first of this woman’s children that this has happened to and this stupid woman keeps losing her kids to the foster system. When The Spouse asked her point blank why she continued taking drugs while pregnant, she responded, “you just don’t understand”. The Spouse agreed she did not and then she took possession of the baby. The mother informed The Spouse that this time she would “fight” for the baby. The Spouse told her good luck. Not gonna happen.

I guess these kinds of things are so far out of the realm of what I experienced as a child, and what I understand about being a mother, that it is like The Spouse is speaking a foreign language when she tells me about these events. I just don’t get it. My mother did so much for me when I was growing up, gave up so much, always put me and my welfare first and I feel very sure never took so much as an aspirin when she was pregnant with me. There are many things I know she did and I’m sure equally as many that I have no idea about. However, as I sit here, robust, healthy, intelligent, etc. etc, I know where a great deal of the credit goes.

She nursed me. I’m not sure young mothers today realize just how important this is. The strength it gave my immune system, the really good brain I function with, the strong bones…..many of those go back to those first few months of my life when Mom nursed me. I have read that testing has PROVEN that babies that are breast fed are more intelligent, healthier and have stronger immune systems. Their brains and bodies just develop better. They have a distinct advantage over the bottle fed. Thanks Mom.

She and my Dad loved each other and stayed together for their entire adult lives. No marriage is perfect. Two people always have “issues” but I never knew what my parent’s issues were. We, their children, just figured they were perfectly matched. They were married for 62 years. A child that is raised in a home with both parents, where those parents love each other, and love and want that child, is so much more likely to become an emotionally healthy, well adjusted adult. Thanks Mom.

She made me take typing in high school. She said I would never go hungry if I knew how to type. She was so right. Thanks Mom.

She taught me to cook. I have no memory of this but then I have no memory in general so this is not unusual. However, today, I am an excellent cook and know many of the “little secrets” of being a good cook. Once when Mom and I were discussing cooking, she rightly pointed out, “just who do you think taught you how to use a measuring cup? Or a sifter? Or a rolling pin? Etc. etc. She’s so right. I have gone above and beyond that basic cooking knowledge, but I had to have that foundation. Thanks Mom.

My mother doesn’t particularly like cooking. She’s not “a cook” like I am. BUT, every night of her life, when she had small children at home, there was a hot cooked meal on the table ready and waiting for her family. She got up every morning and cooked breakfast in order to send us off to school with a full tummy. No matter how tight the budget, and there were times it was plenty tight, there was always food on the table and we always sat down together an ate dinner as a family. Thanks Mom.

When I was an infant, she and my Dad would take turns going to the movies while the other one stayed with me. They didn’t want to leave me with a stranger when I was so little. Thanks Mom.

She and my Dad had more children than just me. Not only because they wanted a bigger family but because they didn’t want me to be an only child. They worried that I would be lonely. Today, my siblings are an important and vital part of my life. I can’t imagine them not being there. Thanks Mom.

When my Dad was overseas (military man) and my Mom was “wrestling” with managing four children alone, she still let me (the oldest) have my teenage freedom. Even though she desperately needed my help with an adolescent, a toddler and a newborn, she still let me go and play ball. My team needed their pitcher as much as she needed her helper. She understood that. Thanks Mom.

I once came very close to being molested. I was just a child. My Mom had a mother's sixth sense, knew something was wrong, and came to my rescue. She got there just in time. Nothing happened. Somehow she knew. Thanks Mom.

When I was a teenager and I was obnoxious, rude, self-righteous, convinced I knew everything, lazy, self-centered and most of all just a huge pain in the ass, she still loved me. I have no idea why. Thanks Mom.

She never said “just wait till your father gets home”……she dealt with it. Thanks Mom.

I could go on and on as my Mom has been a “force” in my life for all of my 63 years. She continues to be to this day. Thanks for everything Mom, I love you.

Back to my packing………….

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Enjoy!!

Hang in there...it just keeps getting cuter.