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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jigsaw puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles can be a metaphor for life, especially in hard times.You start off with a big mess of what looks like unrelated pieces, and gradually find connections and make sense of it. Often, just when you think you’ll never solve it, you find a key piece or make a connection you didn’t see before, and it all comes clear.

Then there are the times you know the cat ate a few pieces, and they'll never be seen again.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Best Friends

I miss having a best friend. I had one for the last 4 years of grade school,Vickie Grimm. She was three years older than me, so when she became a teenager and moved, then I moved, and we drifted apart. I had another one for the three years of junior high, Kathy Midkiff. She was a talented artist. I still have an ink drawing she made for me of Mr. Spock. But when we got to high school, we lost each other. In the last three years of high school, my best friend was Ava Nietsche (I'm sure I'm misspelling her last name). But we both started different colleges, and she got married after one semester, and I never heard from her again.

In college I hung with a constantly shifting group of girls. Some of us kept in touch by a round robin letter for a few years after college, then it stopped coming. I stayed in touch with two of them, Rosie Lindbergh and Naomi Berggren. They both got married and I didn't. I still hear from and visit with Naomi now and then. When Rosie got married she dropped me because I wasn't married and she and her husband (evidently joined at the hip) wanted to do everything as a couple. Later she dropped Naomi too, because she and her husband decided not to have kids, and after Rosie had her first she could only be friends with married couples with children, because she wanted to do everything as a family. Neither of us have heard from her since.

My best friend Mary lived with my parents and me for a while. Then she went away to school, got married, and moved away. Neither of us has money for long distance phone calls. She doesn't write letters and doesn't have a computer, so there's no way to keep in touch. I had a best friend named Diane for a while, but she moved to Colorado and I moved elsewhere, and we rarely communicate these days. In El Paso I had a best friend named Lee, but after I moved away, it didn't last long. I don't think it would have lasted much longer anyway because our values had gotten so different.

My last best friend would still like to be, but she hates my husband. I miss her, but I can't be around her because of this. I won't have anyone driving a wedge between us, no matter how good intentioned.

So, currently I'm lacking for a female best friend. My husband could use a male best friend too. No matter how good a marriage is, no one person can be everything to another one. You gotta have friends. I wish there was a or for friendship.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Angst of Aging

They say your 40s are the old age of your youth, and your 50s are the youth of your old age. I'm 57, and all I can think is, "Holy crap, it's going to get worse."

My mother, age 86, has survived the following in the last 10 years: Pneumonia, a partial hip replacement, numerous broken teeth (she now has a partial plate), and macular degeneration. Slightly before that, she survived a bowel obstruction requiring surgery.

Old age is not for sissies.

Someone once told me, "After 40 it's patch, patch, patch." I'd agree. In my 40s I got bifocals (I've always worn glasses), had my first hearing test revealing that my hearing was fading, and got the first 2 crowns on my teeth. Now I've got trifocals, 4 crowns, and am shopping for hearing aids.

My hair, which has always been very thick, began to go white in my 20s. Now it's gotten very thin, and my hairline, always high, has gotten even higher. So now, rather than wearing my hair long and off my face, which I've always preferred, I have to wear the curly mop short with bangs. Looks cute, feels weird. My neck took 2 winters to adjust to being out in the cold. I have a new appreciation for knitted scarves.

The memory loss is the worst. I've always been absent-minded, but now I'm so forgetful I'm beginning to scare myself. Twice in the last month, I've driven off without my purse. I have never done that before in my life.

My husband and I joke that we'll be sitting in the old folks' home not recognizing each other, but still flirting. This could happen.