Woo Hoo, Time Crunch!

First, I need to make a correction. Yesterday I mentioned Detective Herrera was to be buried at the Omaha National Cemetery, I was wrong. He will be buried in Lincoln. He is not only a Lincoln, Nebraska Police Officer, he is also an Army Veteran. This man served us well in many, many ways. Sorry for the confusion on my part.

Today is another rainy, dreary day. I’m starting to get a little down in the dumps, but will make a comeback. It’s going to be better, I just have to make up for lost time and get a some writing done. I’m still working on character origin stories, and so far have Katie’s husband John, her dad, and her mother. In between learning some new things with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and WordPress.

Photo by Ludvig Hedenborg on Pexels.com

Now, it’s time to finish homework today and tomorrow. This work is fun, assigning character traits that are negative yet also thinking of how they could be good under the not so good. People are the model for these behaviors. And we all know how interesting they are!

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Do you ever people watch? The Babe does a lot. Sometimes I don’t even notice that he is. He watches interactions between people and is especially honed in on older people and little children. He is always the first one to jump up and help hold the door or otherwise help an older person. He was like this with his mom who had MS. Watching that made me know he’d always look out for me. And he does.

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When he watches little children, babies play hide and seek with him, they smile and wave at him, and play hard to get. Kind of like I did. Haha! They are a joy to watch, and you just hope they have a happy and safe environment to grow up in. Such sweetness is missed when you don’t have babies in close contact with you anymore.

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There is nothing so sweet as a baby just learning to smile and respond to you. The whole world usually takes notice. There are, however, some people who don’t stop and gush (like we do) over a stranger’s baby. And that’s ok. Some people may mistake our interest in a bad way. I usually try to tell them our youngest grandkids live far away, and we just have to share the love. We don’t touch or bother them. It’s pretty sweet, really. Most young parents are open to it. Who doesn’t thing their baby is the cutest, smartest, and best?

I’m going to dig in and accomplish a lot today, not just writing, but around the house too. I plan to spend as much time as possible outside next week. The forecast appears to have every day with a sun icon on it. What IS that strange ball of fire in the sky, anyway? It’s going to be great to see it again.

Take care! Be safe. Let’s do this Saturday up right. I appreciate you spending time with me, and I’ll see you tomorrow! Thanks, let’s go do this!

Summery Saturday

Back in the day, when I was in my 20’s and we first bought a house, washer and dryer, the yard had a clothesline to dry laundry. I loved hanging clothes on the line. Of course, the jeans were stiff, the towels weren’t very soft, and I resorted to drying them for comfort. When our second son was born, I was back out in the spring, hanging diapers to dry in the sun. There was a time in life when a woman’s “worth” was determined by the laundry she hung to dry. I suppose if it was orderly, hung out early, and taken in before dark, you were viewed as orderly, industrious, and efficient. My great aunt once said, “Oh, that Kathy Jewell hangs our a fine wash.” Aunt Anna, you were such a dear, and you were not overly fussy with compliments, so I’m going to take that as the compliment it was meant to be. And I’m proud to have received it.

She was such a fine lady, classy, and the unmarried aunt who lived with Grandma and Grandpa. She worked nearly 50 years at the “phone company,” (boys and girls, back then, there was only ONE phone company!). She could have been a very successful female in the 1990s or 2000s, if she were born 30 years later. Even though she was a supervisor and great employee, there were not the kudos paid to women who worked in the 1950s and 60s as there are now. There was no equality. Women who became pregnant even if married, were fired.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Can you believe it? THIS is the closest Pexels.com could come to “baby diapers hanging on line to dry.” Cute baby, but kind of misses the point.

As I’m thinking back to days I willingly hung diapers out on the line, I’m wondering what Aunt Anna would have to say about my writing. She would insist on truth, I believe. And perfect grammar. And being dignified. That I be a complete lady. And that I thank God for the gifts He’s given me. The being a complete lady may not ring entirely true, I mean, the language could be unladylike at times. Sorry, Auntie. But I do thank God. Frequently. Often. Every day.

And the next thing, aside from having my own website, blog, and Author Facebook page, is I’m starting up pages on Twitter and Instagram for my Author news. There may be a little personal news on there, where it’s pertinent to my writing. I’m glad to take the leap into the exposure needed now to make a bigger impact on the world, so more may find my musings, books, articles, and photos. Of course, I know not a damned thing I’m doing. (Sorry, Aunt Anna. Yes, I’ll light a candle in Church).

The idea is, not only will a newly posted blog create a post on my author page (Kathy Raabe, Author), it will also post on Twitter and Instagram. Here’s crossing my fingers, making the magic happen yet again, and making the post available on two more platforms. Yay!

Yes, Doubters, Haters, and Critics Need Not Pay Attention

And it’s kind of fun working with it until it might make some sense. I need to do the same for the VFW Post once we establish a new website. That’s another project, I’m working on with my brother in law, Brad, from Image Masters. (Think, “Jake, from State Farm.”)

Hopefully, there will be time to work out my Chapter 2 of “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” today and tomorrow. It’s time to send more work to my Book Coach Sam Tyler. We will continue our working relationship on a month to month until we agree I can go it alone. Right now, I need guidance. It’s good I found it early, rather than have to scrap 80K words.

Besides writing, I’d like to accomplish more on that quilt I’ve been working on forever. Next week will be more workers in the house, we’re having LVT flooring (Laminate Vinyl Tile) laid in the kitchen, entry, and two upstairs bathrooms. Assembling strong young men to move the marble topped huge kitchen table AND the matching marble topped server from the kitchen to the living room. Same strong young men welcomed a couple days later to move very heavy furniture back in place. Photos to follow of finished projects. The Babe is really happy beautifying our space, and it’s so nice. Partners, it’s what we are. Blessed.

The Babe. Most Thoughtful Guy.

So yesterday, the Babe stopped at the store after I met him for lunch. He bought my favorite guilty pleasure, a Midnight Milky Way. The dark chocolate really makes this taste delicious. It was such a sweet surprise. Thanks, Babe! Be thoughtful. Be Courteous. Be Kind. Be Safe. We need to treat each other well, even strangers. Wash up and Wear your mask.

I watched the interview Matthew McConaughey did with Dr. Fauci yesterday. It was very well done. Thoughtful and full of good information. Rumors put to rest, and common sense in the house. They said what I have been saying. Yes, we need to wear masks. To get the spread under control, and to stop having peaks and valleys in numbers. It does no good if we keep peaking. We need to keep falling to get to a safe place. The temporary inconvenience will be worth it, once we can open everything for good. We’ll never get there if we don’t all pay attention. Complying is something Americans don’t like to do. But I don’t want to spread illness to a cancer patient, grandma, my grandbabies, or young parent either. Think beyond yourself. Watch the video here.

Thank you for reading today. I’ll see you all tomorrow, and please share with a friend, won’t you? Or share on your Twitter or Instagram. I appreciate it.

Friday Fun

Hello from the home office in Gretna, where the magic happens. This is a day to finish up things for the work week and think of something wonderful to do over the next two days you have off the job, and refresh for next week. It’s a whole new game for us retired folks. Since school has started, though, we need to begin picking up our granddaughter after school on certain days so we can get her home with Gavin. So far, so good, on the school days. I hope they continue. The masks are required, and I think these two are old enough to understand it’s a must if they want to keep in school. I think they missed it a great deal. Our grandson in Virginia will be remote learning until at least November, then it will be reevaluated. Cross your fingers, pray, and wear your mask, people!

New Stacked Stone on Fireplace. Well Worth It!

Isn’t the new fireplace nice? It’s amazing how changing to stone from ceramic tiles made such a difference. Yes, there is a board standing there until everything dries, it’s not part of the new look. I love that the trades (hopefully) will see a revival. We will always need someone to do this type of work. Electricians, plumbers, concrete finishers, block and brick layers are all desperately needed as are auto mechanics. It’s a shame the mantra of the 1980s, “You can make more money sitting down than you do standing up.” Yes, tech jobs do pay tremendously well. I had one myself. The salary depended on your skills and abilities, not your sex. And now, it suddenly occurs to the educators and others that we need schooling in those areas. Not a surprise, really.

One place I wouldn’t want to work is the United States Post Office. My former husband retired from there over ten years ago. It was a good job, being a letter carrier. He had an old walking route while I was still married to him, and he did a good job. Back in those days, you had to sort your own mail, and bundle it according to your stops. The carriers seemed to know when someone moved, or if you had a wrong apartment number on a letter, they had sense to see that and still deliver the letter instead of returning it. That doesn’t happen now.

Since the Babe and I got married in 1998, we have received weird mail, it’s as if companies made up more people at our address by using our last name in conjunction with my three kids’ first names. Seriously. Frank Raabe is one. No one by that name. Still, we get one every so often. Those mailing list companies make so many assumptions when they’re eager to sell off names and addresses. And we received one for Rebecca Raabe. Nice name, but we have no one by that name either. Sheesh!

This expresses my studio and craft rooms perfectly

There are days when I get irritated at myself for the creative clutter I have. Not enough (yet) to go through each and every item for each and every hobby or interest, but I get irked nonetheless. Sorting and culling the herd will be a winter project. No, it’s not hoarding, but my daughter and sons have commented there are more boxes of stuff to make stuff than of clothes, kitchenware, and decor. See if I’ll have them help us move again! Lol. No, it’s to the assisted living place next move. I mean it.

Speaking of moving, I think Mom holds the world’s record on living in the same house for the longest. She and Dad married in 1948, had an apartment, then moved into the house in which she still lives in 1949. Seventy-one years living in one house. Wow. She was 20 when they moved in. Just think on that. So, in her life, she only lived at three places: growing up, brief apartment living, and our home. At first they rented three rooms upstairs to a couple from Offutt. There was an actual second kitchen upstairs, one room living room, one room bedroom, and they shared the bathroom. Seventy one years in one house has to be a record.

Can you imagine sharing a bathroom with another family? Even when I got married in 1970, furnished apartments were very common. Kitchen, living room, bedroom furniture came with your rent. Good and bad. Someone else’s old lumpy mattress? Often it was like the one we left at home. People didn’t spend what they didn’t have. The hygiene patrol would probably have a heyday with this.

My studio/office/craft room, it’s where the magic happens!

Hope you have a beautiful rest of the day. Take time to appreciate your surroundings. Appreciate yourself, too. I’m off to do laundry and quilt. That Poppy masterpiece may be finished yet. Thanks for reading today. I appreciate the time you spend with me. See you again tomorrow. Be safe. Wear your mask, wash up. Let’s just do what we need to do and get through this. It’s the quickest way to make our own way into the future. Don’t live in fear. Be confident we are only temporarily inconvenienced by wearing masks. It won’t be forever. Use civility. Use compassion. Use kindness.

Wednesday Wariness

This will be the first full day masks will be required in Omaha, in businesses, stores, and people will undoubtedly grouse about it. Facebook and Twitter will blow up, and tempers will flare. In the end, if we just do it, let’s see how the numbers are (with some kids in school), and maybe we will prove to ourselves it works. There is also the chance it won’t work, and we’ll prove it doesn’t help. The factor of some kids still being home may impact the outcome either way, but hey – it’ll be over before we know it. It’s from now until September 15, I believe? Let’s just do the right thing and we’ll know if we make a difference or not.

Let’s spend the time getting our house in order. Not the dwelling, but the heart and soul. How do we want this country and this world continue on for what I hope is another 200 years? Yes, some things must change, but socialism isn’t the answer. Churches have tried it before, the money runs out. Believe me, it will.

You know yourself, you cannot spend and spend and spend and not replenish the bankroll. Taking all of Bill Gates’ money away from him will not make the entire country run well for the rest of our lives. Things are not all equal, nor were they meant to be. People have their own ideas of what they want to work for. And what they will spend their money on. Many waste their money. I’ve done it myself when I was younger. Some will spend it on immoral things. (In the Bible, the story of the Prodigal Son. Remember?)

I can’t answer for everyone what the best thing is. For myself, I want to spend time contributing to helping people in need. There are many veterans organizations to help our soldiers. Many are suffering from PTSD. Too many commit suicide. Many are homeless. Some experience domestic violence. Some don’t want help. That’s ok, until they will accept it. You can’t force someone to “get better.” Whether it’s mental health, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, or verbal abuse, it all hurts the soul and damages the heart. Healing takes a long, long time, and people heal at different rates, on different timetables. Sometimes it’s such a slow progression you don’t realize it has happened until you experience something, then stop and realize, “It didn’t hurt this time,” or “I can finally sleep all night.”

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Let’s work on being better humans to each other. Let’s just get along during this pandemic rippling like hot lava around us. Let’s get through this hard time. Let’s continue with civility and grace. It will help the time pass quickly if we’re a help and not a hindrance. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Courteous. Be Safe. Let’s get through the rest of this. Thank you for reading today. I appreciate it very much. See you again tomorrow.

Tuesday Gratitude

It’s a blue-skied day again today. I always welcome this time of year. Lots of people had strange wind damage yesterday, it was a weird event which happens once in awhile. Weather is so strange. It has to be respected because it is so powerful. Many kinds of severe weather can happen in Nebraska, and other states. I’d hate a hurricane, Floridians would hate tornadoes. Blizzards aren’t that bad when you’re retired. It doesn’t matter if you get out or not. Just fill the coffee again, and there you are. Light the fire and watch a Netflix series or two.

As we age, we need to have lots of preventative maintenance. Kind of like a car. If you don’t do it regularly, you could have a lot of unknown issues that could be costly for a car, or deadly for a person. The Babe had a colonoscopy today, and all is well. That is a huge blessing. We are grateful. Come back in three years, what is a great outcome.

It appears Joe Biden has a running mate. I have no opinion of Ms. Harris, and it matters not to me that she is a female or black. Neither makes me think a candidate more or less worthy. I have concerns about Biden, and Harris, and about Trump and Pence. I just hope there is never another Presidential assassination. It is a horrible event to happen to a nation.

I was in sixth grade when Kennedy was shot. We heard all the gory details. After all, we learned everything about the crucified body of Jesus Christ by the time we were seven, there was no reason to spare assassination details. And we all witnessed the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. When you consider the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy happened in 1968, as did the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; we experienced a lot of violence. The violence human beings are capable of.

That violence happens often and daily in America now. Life seems to have lost it’s value to the killers. As many grandmothers and mothers do, I pray none of our family is harmed by this violence. One of our sons serves in the U.S. Secret Service, and he is trained beyond what we could ever imagine. He is a perfect man for the job he has. We are nothing but proud. He is actually safer than we are, if you think about it. God will be good to him, and to his beautiful family.

So true . . . let’s all have a good heart.

I fared well with a quick review from my book coach, regarding my rewritten Chapter One. Very minor things, which I will submit to her again, along with a draft of Chapter Two. I have an idea of what will happen in Chapter Two, and I’ll try to behave with my verb tenses, keep the protagonist in all the scenes, and keep to the timeline. All the stuff I learned in Chapter One so far. It’s a great process, I’m glad to be experiencing it.

It’s a couple days late, but the Babe and I are going to watch this week’s Yellowstone. He can’t stay awake on Sunday night for it, so we record it for later. It’s continuing to be a great story line again this season. The scenery is so beautiful. Makes me want to go back to Montana again. We left the back entrance of Yellowstone National Park to see Big Sky Country. It was breathtaking!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I thank you for reading today. I appreciate it so much. Be safe out there. Some schools started back up today, and more will go back tomorrow. Take a little time for yourself, be kind, be courteous, be smart. I will see you right here again tomorrow. Thank you very much.

God: Please Bless America

Whatever happens with this COVID-19 over the next year, some folks will be wrong about it, and some folks will be right about it. I can’t even begin to predict what will happen to us all. Even the experts cannot agree. We need to stop being “them” vs. “us.” It is defeating us before we can even begin. Divide and conquer. Since the beginning of time, that has been the most effective way to defeat an enemy. We are close to being to so argumentative with each other we cannot see how dangerous we are. And we’ll only hurt ourselves in the long run.

I shudder to think the anarchists, the AntiFa, the Chinese, the Russians, or any other hateful group could conquer us because we are insisting on our “own way.” The quickest way to lose our rights, in my opinion, isn’t wearing a mask. It’s refusing to do something for the common good of all of us. It’s refusing to give up a convenience for something bigger than ourselves. I wonder how this nation could behave given rationing of coffee, meat, flour, sugar, or certain textile components needed to manufacture parachutes, uniforms, tarps for trucks, oil, and gasoline. If you think a toilet paper shortage was bad, think if you could no longer go through the drive through at Starbucks and grab a mucho-latte-sugared-up-too-strong-coffee to go. (Yes, I made up the name). If you had enough gasoline to get there.

I remember in high school, during the late 1960s and the Vietnam War, there was a shortage of some components of yarn. We had a change in our uniform code that would allow for knitted vests with our plaid uniform skirts. The principal said the reason the uniform company couldn’t order them was because the goods were necessary for something the military needed. We simply accepted that fact. What good would it have done to protest that? None. We knew that.

Sometimes in life we are called upon to do something we don’t want to. Many times, in fact. It’s a test of our character, of our will, of our love for others. Our love of our country. I love America. We are still the best country in the world. Our soldiers have provided our freedoms are secure. I love each and every one of you for the sacrifices you all made for our country. You are all people who have put the good of your country (and us) ahead of whatever you wanted. For that, I, and many others, are eternally grateful.

Right after the military, the police keep law and order in our cities, states, small towns, and everything in between. Yes, there are bad police officers. Too many bad officers undo the good the others do. The majority of them love us as the military do. They want to make our worlds safer. 99 % of the time, they do. We need to help them do their jobs, not defund them. We need to support them in small and big ways. They are our sons and daughters, neighbors and friends. We all deserve to return home safely after our shift is over. Let’s help that become the norm, not the exception. The law and order we enjoy is because of the peace created by our police, sheriffs, deputies, and other First Responders. Who are you going to call if we have no First Responders? It won’t be “Ghostbusters,” that’s for sure.

How can people help? Despite the pandemic, volunteer to help others. Organizations such as our VFW Post 2503 are looking for volunteers to help with different events. We have projects to help our homeless vets, help formerly homeless vets to attain apartments through Victory House, help our vets who have legitimate needs getting to the next payday, help vets get through the legal system, as well as help vets with PTSD mainstream back into society again.

Volunteering is the best way to get outside of ourselves and think of others. You come to realize how well we have it, and realize volunteering leaves a great feeling in you. Look for a place to help. There will be so many opportunities available, you will have a hard time selecting only one. Help out. It’s the American Way. We take care of our own, and always have. Thank you for considering volunteering today

GOD, Please Bless America!

I am working on some projects around the house the rest of the day. Little, silly stuff that needs to be done. Hope you’re all safe, well, and having a beautiful day. The pups are still tired from their great escape yesterday. Just glad they’re all ok. Thank you for reading today, you know I appreciate it very much. Take time to considering being one of the helpers, not a hinderer. American needs that now. And they need it from all of us. God Bless you all. Stay safe. Be Kind. See all of you tomorrow!

Friday, Blessed Friday

At last, we have a family wedding to attend today. This cousin did not have to reschedule her big day, thank goodness. It should be a lot of fun for everyone. This family is so sweet, they are all wonderful human beings. It will be beautiful weather, too. Maybe a little rain, but nothing huge. Every day is a perfect day for two people who love each other to get married. We will socially distance, and if it becomes too crowded, we’ll go home.

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

Parents and educators are getting pretty upset with wondering about the virus and kids in school all day. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. Superintendents everywhere are expected to be able to predict the future, and they cannot. No one really can. The experts cannot even agree with all the information, real or not, that is circulating out there. All we can do is prepare for anything. Prepare to homeschool again in a month or so. It may very well ramp up again. Omaha, Nebraska is one area that is ramping up in number of cases. We are steering clear of very large crowds, and distancing when we are out. I hope and pray our grandkids do not become ill, or my mom.

My Pro Writing Aid software add-ons for Chromebook are behaving strangely. While it does a great job of generating reports full of improvements, the format is no longer correct after making and saving changes. Big problem! All sentences are left justified, all centered words, like chapter numbers are left justified. That shouldn’t happen. I’ll have to ask their tech people about it. I may have to use the software on my Microsoft O/S laptop, and not on the Chromebook. I could save each chapter to the cloud, then run Pro Writing Aid reports on it there. Maybe things would stay in place then. (It’d be saved as a Word Doc, not a Google Doc).

Yes, Be Stronger Than Your Storm

There are many, many storms out there being fought by many, many people. Women, Men, Children, Elderly, Young, Middle-aged. Some fight against demons most cannot imagine, thank goodness. But, oh those with unimaginable demons, we don’t judge you by what’s been done to you. It is not your fault at all. Some people’s bad choices create storms, such as a gambler or an alcoholic. Some people learn bad behavior, such as spousal abuse and child abuse. These are not normal things in a life. You should not experience these things at all, as a child or participate in them as an adult. You need to gain power over these storms. Power over the storms and your life; and your future. It can change if you want it to. Yes, it is hard work. There is help.

Know there are people who can help you, regardless of the issue. Reaching our is very hard. It is the first step out of the storm. One step up and two steps back happens often. Don’t give up. It’s worth it.

I hope you find some peace this weekend. Enjoy your days, however they come about. Sometimes, things go nothing but wrong no matter what you do. Other days are perfect, no matter what you do. Have one that’s in between the two. Thank you for reading, I’m grateful you did. I’ll be back tomorrow, and hope to see you then. Be Careful out there. Be safe. Be Kind.

Rainy to Sunny Wednesday

We’ve had all sorts of weather already today. Rain, chilly breeze, and now it’s partly sunny day. Great week is on tap. We have a wedding on Friday, so the weather will cooperate for the beautiful bride and her groom. This couple was fortunate, their wedding and reception was not postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Her sister’s was, and they will have their reception next month. It all works out.

We’re kind of wondering what to do with ourselves. Gavin’s Mom took vacation from today until next Thursday, so we won’t get to have him today or next week. Hard to believe school is starting. He and his sister attend Papillion/LaVista schools, so they are taking the plunge, right back to a full schedule, onsite, masked, no lockers for older kids. I think they need it, psychologically. They need the safety of school, the friendships, the learning to get along with others in a large group, and the learning you can only have in a classroom. The impromptu discussions that happen randomly are important to learning, too. Sometimes you get more from those than from textbooks. My only hope is for all students and teachers, staff, aids, resource officers and the like to have a safe year.

Tomorrow is my conference with my book coach. I shared my list of books I’ve purchased randomly to learn about writing, publishing, Legalities of self-publishing, etc. The list is about 30 books. So much to learn! I also have a GREAT COURSES class on writing. I forgot I had it, I only watched the one I bought about drawing. Time to rotate the writing one out to the DVD player.

Way back in the old days, before we knew about COVID-19, I ordered some cute paint by number canvases. Didn’t realize they came from China. Never got them, I emailed them frequently to let them know I had not received what I paid for yet. Finally, this week, they arrived. I think they look like a lot of fun. These will be a winter project for sure. Here they are:

This is for my granddaughter Kayla’s room.
This one is for our home.

It’s the time of year again the butterfly bush is huge right outside my studio window. The Painted Lady butterflies are beautiful! It makes me feel calm, sometimes there are ten or more lighting on it. Such a sight. We have a bush that is nearly as large as the butterfly bush. It has large leaves, had a few little white flowers in the spring. The fall and winter isn’t supposed to have red berries. We’ll see what it does this year. It may end up transplanted to the back, near the Wetlands. The Hydrangeas are almost large enough to place in the front flower bed as well. We’ll see how the Babe feels about it. Fall is the best time to transplant all this stuff, I think.

Today is a take it as it comes day. I’m going to work on my quilt again. It should go well. Hopefully, photos tomorrow! Stay safe out there, wash up and mask up. The kids need us to all cooperate, so they can learn, feel safe, and get on with their education. Be Kind, Be Thoughtful, Be Courteous. Your day will go much better. See you tomorrow!

Oh Honey, You Have No Idea!

Magical Monday

Today was bittersweet. Mom asked me to take her to the ENT today. We made a stop at her favorite Half Price Bookstore afterwards. She has terrific trouble with her vision from a stroke several years ago and has extremely poor hearing, even with hearing aids. Either of these things will cause a person to be isolated from the rest of us. She has not wanted to attend the last couple luncheons for the retiree group from my dad’s job at the Omaha World Herald, and has turned down invitations to the two wedding receptions our family is looking forward to. It’s probably part due to her age and infirmary, and part due to more isolation because of COVID-19. Last November, she was not comfortable attending the wedding of a one of her favorite grandsons, because she wouldn’t be able to hear the ceremony.

The Old Days . . . Come and Gone.

I can see a vulnerability in Mom I have not seen before. She is aging, she has taken excellent care of herself, and that can be a double-edged sword. Her independence has been reigned in due to limitations. I’m eternally grateful she quit driving on her own. With her hearing issue, it was easy for her to get rattled in traffic. It was hard at first, but we went on in-town errands and always had lunch. The first Wednesday of the month was always Shopko day. She’d stock up on paper products and what not. We’d ooh and aah at the baby clothes and laugh at goofy things. It was fun. I’m sad Shopko closed, it appears she’s kind of been declining bit by bit since then.

Of course it’s expected, especially at her age. She’ll be 91 later this month, and I’m astonished at that. She hasn’t had an easy life. Our Dad worked nights, and she was in charge 24/7. I was a junior in high school before he transferred to working days. Our two younger brothers had Dad at home while they were in high school. They had different parents than my older brother and I did. It was different at the end of the 1960s when we graduated from high school. Our younger brothers graduated in the mid 1970s, a much different time. A different generation.

We lost Dad in 1988, just after he retired. It was so unfair for him. He worked hard all his life to provide for his family and never got to enjoy retirement. He died six months after he retired. Half of the time he was fighting cancer, the other half, he was home alone while Mom tended to her dying mother with her sisters. Grandma died in September, Dad in December. What a burden on Mom. No time for grieving, there was business to attend to.

Sometimes I think it’s harder for someone to release their independence if they’ve had it for a long period of time. If you’re still independently living in your 80s, it will be hard if you have your wits about you and you need to give some independence up. Many older people don’t get a real choice, some tragic circumstance dictates the end of their driving, or living alone, or walking without assistance. Mom was really brave to give up driving when she did. It could have come sooner in my opinion, because I could see how shook up she would get in traffic.

When the low income high rises were popular in the 1970s, Mom swore if she had to live in one of those, she’d die a slow death, filled with misery. She helped my brother Steve with his South Omaha Sun paper route, and saw the inhabitants of the 10 – 12 story high rises first hand. After her mother died, she swore she would leave her affairs in good order. For that, my brothers and I are grateful. We know she’ll leave us someday. It’s just a matter or when. It will be unexpected, but it will still cause sadness.

But we will celebrate her because she did the darndest things (quote from her mother-in-law). She was a docent at the Zoo for over 25 years. Babysat the baby gorillas and orangutans in the nursery, and was on tiger-birth watch if a female tiger would start labor in the middle of the night. She might call me up and say, “If you call late at night and you can’t reach me, I’ll be at the Zoo, doing . . . .” We’d tease the hell out of her, but were always glad she was so active and out and about.

So yes, we’re grateful. And sad at the same time. She’s having a hard time not being able to go about her life. And we have to be patient even in the worst moments. My two younger brothers are good men and help her out a lot. Taking care of a house is a chore at 91. Heck, it is at 68, too. But at least I have the Babe. Another thing my brothers and I are be blessed with; she has wonderful neighbors, who help her, and who scold her when she’s pulling weeds where she shouldn’t be. Thank you, David _________. We appreciate it!

So as I recall her telling me the ENT’s mother (also in her 90s) was on her hands and knees, scrubbing the floor before her cleaning lady came over, and how she was scolded by her son the doctor, I will also remember the story of her pulling weeds in an unsafe area. The neighbor simply said, “What do you think you’re doing?” several times, relieved her of her bucket and loppers, and waiting in the driveway until she went inside the house, and say, “You kinda are doing silly things too, that aren’t good for you.” She laughed, and said, “Well, I suppose so.” And all I can say is, “Rosemary; you do the darndest things!”

Saturday, August 1, 2020

I saw this guy on the deck last week. It was pretty cool, watching him move ever so slowly. He seemed to move one segmented joint at a time. It was fascinating to watch. I love seeing the creatures of the world from a safe distance. One bug I hope to never see again is the Japanese Beetle. They are so beautiful yet so destructive. The dragonflies, and butterflies are welcome!

August is month with a lot happening. School again (we think), and I don’t envy parents at all. I think our children will be behind where they should be if remote learning would continue for an extended period of time. I don’t think our grandkids are finding enough challenge in the work assigned and I’d hate them to lose out on some critical learning as Addison is in eighth grade and Gavin is in third. They are both very bright and need to be challenged.

Goldie has a blast with butterflies. She could have stood there watching this one for hours. I love showing puppies and babies to watch butterflies. Dragonflies are a lot harder, they move very quickly.

Another August event I’m looking forward to is working with a company to set up a new website for the VFW Post 2503. I’m involved in maintenance on the old one (probably twenty years old), and it is in serious need of an update. It needs to be done, and I’m glad for what I’ll get to learn about WordPress. I can use the knowledge to add pages to my website, and the blog will continue to be one page of many. As I get closer to finishing my book, I’ll add pages to my website.

The Babe and I couldn’t find anything to watch on TV last night, so we watched an Amazon Prime movie, “Fathers and Daughters.” It was quite sad. The daughter was very young when her mother died in a car accident. The father was a writer (go figure!), and mentally ill/struck with seizures after the accident, loss, and having a child to help. He went to a mental hospital for seven months, had ECT (Electric Current Therapy) and other therapy, and returned to raise his daughter. It paralleled his life with hers. She had little understanding how to have a personal relationship with anyone else. She was a social worker, helped a little girl who lost her mom, yet couldn’t commit to her boyfriend. It was a weird story to track. At the end, there was this beautiful song: “Fathers and Daughters Never Say Goodbye.” Yes, it’s a tear jerker. It makes me miss my dad.

Sometimes, it seems as if it’s silly to still miss him after all these years. I have already lived longer than he did. He was cheated out of enjoying his retirement by that tyrant, cancer. I miss his support. Not a “good job,” kind of guy. More of a, “keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get there,” kind of guy. He’s still with me. And that is all I need to know.

I have a lot of work to ready and send to my book coach for this week’s conference (Thursday morning). For some reason, it seems to just jump at me from nowhere. Lots to do, so cutting this a little short. Have a beautiful day. It’s cloudy, but you can make it sunny in your heart. Be Kind. Be Courteous. Be Safe. Help someone. Hold the door open. Small things add up. You’ll feel better, too. I appreciate you reading today. I’ll see you tomorrow, and we’ll catch up. Be careful out there.