Wednesday, January 28, 2009

50 years

We woke up this morning to world covered with snow and ice. It is beautiful, but also very cold and slippery. I am happy to stay inside and grateful for the enterprising neighbor boy who is shoveling my driveway. This cold and ice makes me grateful for the trip we are taking tomorrow to warm, sunny southern California.

Fifty years ago this week my brother Joe married his beautiful Judy. It was a beautiful wedding. Her father was a very artistic man who wanted his little girl to be married in a beautiful place. He searched for the perfect place and picked a lovely chapel in Rose Hills. Rose Hills is one of the biggest cemeteries in southern California. We have had many laughs over the years about their wedding in the graveyard. I remember Judy's mom wanting to wear her much loved mink stole and being told she could not wear it. She pouted about that. I was a bride's maid that day. I remembering being very excited about the wedding and finding it hard to believe that my brother was really getting married. My biggest memory is of my hurting feet. I was only seventeen and had never worn high heels before. I took them off during the reception. The reception was in the home of a friend with a big, beautiful house. My tea-totaling family was a little horrified that wine was served, but my mom said this was the bride's decision and we should not complain. Mostly I remember the day as great fun. It is a happy memory.

Do you have any funny wedding memories?

We are flying to California to join their children, grandchildren, and Judy's mother, who may be allowed to wear her mink for this celebration.


Joe and Judy
January 30, 1959

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chuck Norris

I don't understand why, but according to my teenage grandsons, Chuck Norris is the hero of today's teens. It seems that this old martial arts star and movie actor is the subject of much humor and idol worship. I don't get it. The man is older than me and doesn't look so healthy anymore. Can anyone explain this phenomena to me?
Here are some facts I learned about chuck Norris this weekend.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.
Outer space exists because it is afraid to be of the same planet with Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice.
When Chuck Norris does a push up, he isn't lifting himself up, he is pushing the earth down.
Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.
There is no 'ctrl' button on chuck Norris's computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.
Chuck Norris can sneeze with his eyes open.
Chuck Norris can eat just one Lay's potato chip.
Chuck Norris destroyed the periodic table, because chuck Norris only recognizes the element of surprise.

The list of things Chuck Norris does seems to go on forever. It is very strange to me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sisters

All my life I wanted to have a sister. When I was little I begged my mom to bring me a sister. She refused and said that I would have to happy with brothers. I always knew I was missing something wonderful. I have had many girlfriends across the years, but really only one who has shared so much of my life that she is like the sister I always wanted. Her name is Dot.

We met at church almost forty years ago. Across the years we have helped to raise each others children. We have shared the good times and the bad times and all the in between times. We have laughed till it hurt and cried till the tears were gone. We have held each other when there no words to be said. We now go long periods of time without seeing one another, but we always know that we are there for each other. I am blessed to have her in my life.

Her husband, Mark, did indeed have a stroke on Tuesday night. The CT scan done that night in the emergency room missed it, but when an MRI was done the next morning the large bleed into the left cerebellum was obvious. He has been transferred to a rehabilitation hospital where he will have to teach the right side of his brain to do the things that were formally done by the left side. He should recover. I will again share this hard part of the journey with my friend.

This video describes how we share life with our sister friends.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two AM

It was a wonderful day in history. I was overwhelmed at the enormous crowd who braved the cold and the crowd to bear witness to this moment in history. It was a day of great emotion and joy. The crowd was happy, patient and well mannered. They had all waited so long for this moment that a few hours of cold and crowd seemed to be a minor inconvenience. President Obama gave a short eloquent speed. Aretha sang that beautiful song wearing that wonderful hat I loved the closing benediction by Dr Lowery who ended the benediction by saying, “let those who love justice and mercy say ‘amen.’”
Amen, Dr Lowery, Amen and amen.

The phone rang in the early evening. My best friend's husband had collapsed and she couldn't get him up off the floor. She called 911. He was taken to the ER by the paramedics who thought it might have been a stroke. After several hours of tests and waiting Mark was admitting to the hospital for more test. The CT scan said there was no acute problem, but something unknown is going on. Sitting on a straight chair at a friend's bedside was not how I had planned to spend the evening. He was looking a bit better when they finally took him upstairs to a regular bed and his wife and I came home to get a little sleep. We neither one had been invited to one of the inaugural balls so we didn't have other plans for the evening anyway.

Tomorrow will be a new day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dreams

I was awakened last night to my husband's screams. My husband does not scream so I was startled and afraid. He was dreaming that some “bad guys” were removing the window over our couch and were breaking into our house. He was screaming in fear. We do not have a window over our couch. We've never had a window over our couch. No one has ever broken into our house. So can anyone interpret that scary dream for him?

This morning he said had had a second dream last night. In this one he was going out to lunch with some of his coworkers from NASA. While they were waiting for a table his brother who is alive and well and some of his long dead uncles and grandmother came into the restaurant to eat. They had just been on a tour of NASA. He went over to visit with his relatives while they waited. He woke up before they had talked very long. Can you explain that dream?

Just thought I would give you something to ponder besides the inauguration of our new president. I am planning to watch TV all day tomorrow and enjoy this moment in history.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Swim Meet

Yesterday I watched my son in a swim meet. The last time I watched him compete in a meet he was a senior in high school. Now he is now the father of a high school senior. He swam in two events, the 500 yard freestyle and the 100 yard butterfly. He was really tired after the 500 free. That's a long race. He said he could tell that he was no longer seventeen. The 100 fly was better for him. Even though his time was ten seconds slower than his high school time he made the cut off time and qualified for nationals this summer. I was very proud. I think he looks pretty good for an old guy.

video

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inauguration

For those of us who live and work near Washington DC, the inauguration is local news. We hear new details daily about how this very big, historic, and exciting event is going to affect our lives. I am thrilled that Barack Obama is about to become president, but there is no way I would go anywhere near Washington on Tuesday. Here is a list of my reasons to stay home to celebrate.

1.It is cold. There have been multiple articles about how to dress to endure hours of standing in subfreezing cold. I hate being cold. I don't own enough clothes to survive that long outside.

2.It will be crowded. Millions of people packed in shoulder to shoulder for as far as the eye can see sounds scary to me. It makes me claustrophobic to think about the crowd.

3.I might need to use the toilet. Every port-a-potty east of the Mississippi will be lining the Mall and the parade route and there will be long lines for all of them. They will not be heated and the seats will be too cold to sit on.

4.It will be nearly impossible to drive into town. All of the bridges across the Potomac will be closed so driving will be only possible from the Maryland side. The traffic will be unbelievable. If you do manage to drive downtown there will be no parking anywhere near anything.

5.Metro will start running trains at 4AM. Metro hopes to be able to transport about 100,00 people per hour. The waits will be very long to move the millions of people expected. Parking at all metro stations will be gone by 5AM.

6.Security will be on high alert. If you do manage to get to the Mall you will have to endure long lines to get through security. Carrying enough food and water to survive the day and still make it through security will be a challenge.

I plan to enjoy the day at home with a few friends, but millions of people are planning to endure all the hassles of the day just to be there for this moment of history. There is great excitement. The sense of celebration and history is drawing million of people.

If Washington DC were your hometown would you endure the cold and the crowds and the problems to be there for the celebration?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nixon

We went to see the movie Frost/ Nixon last night. It was very well done and was a very entertaining movie. The character of both men was well portrayed. I highly recommend it.

I grew up in Whittier, California, Nixon's home town. When I was in the sixth grade Nixon became Vice-President. My teacher that year had been Nixon's teacher when he was a sixth grade student. She was extremely proud. Our school did not own a television set, but the inauguration that year was a must see experience for us. She arranged for a school bus to take all of us to the home of one the rich kid's in class. His parents owned a big TV (24inch screen) and we all sat in their living room to watch that historic moment. I was very proud of our hometown hero. Earlier that year my dad and I had stood in line for several hours to meet him. I actually shook Nixon's hand and refused to wash it for several days. After his famous “Checkers” speech I went with my dad to the Western Union office to wire a message of support for Nixon. Nixon was our man. There was a large sign as you entered Whittier proclaiming our fair town to be the home town of Richard Nixon. Later I voted for Nixon both times he ran for president. The whole Watergate affair broke my heart. It seemed impossible that this man I had so admired had behaved in such a dishonest way. The polls all showed that he was far ahead in the polls. He did in fact win by a landslide. Watergate was so stupid and so unnecessary. It was a sad and painful time for our country.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Old Age



When I started this blog I named it “The Best is Yet To Be” because I wanted to see if old age really would prove to be the best part of my life. So far the adage is holding true for me. In spite of aches and pains that make me grumble, my beloved and I are both healthy and able to do the things we love. Life is good.

I have spent time with several friends this week who are a little older than me. Their life is not good right now because the problems of old age have caught up with them. As the body wears out life can become very difficult. One dear friend has recently had to give up driving. Her body has become frail with chronic health issues and life is hard. I did a little grocery shopping and a few household chores she is no longer able to do. She needs help that she cannot afford and resents needing. Another of her dear relatives died this week. She grieves alone because she has outlived so many family members. This is not the best part of her life.

I took lunch to an older couple I know. They are sweet people with a bright outlook on life, but they have become frail. They need to move to a place where they can have more help and not be alone. They don't want to move. They don't want to give up driving. They want to be able to do what they have always done, but it is no longer safe. Their children worry about them, but they refuse to move just yet. This is not the best part of their life.

Another dear soul fell this week. When they took this ninety year old man to the hospital it was discovered that he has pneumonia and is quite sick. He has some dementia and is confused and afraid. His wife of many years sits with him all day to keep him calm, but she is also ninety and is completely worn out. This is not the best part of their life.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. Old age can really be awful. It is lonely,undignified and depressing. My beloved and I will be old like these dear friends one day not too far away. We have made plans and prepared for that time, but it is not a time I look forward to.

The top picture is of my sweet grandparents shortly before they became really old. They had lived a long and happy life. Don't they look happy?
Shortly after that picture granddaddy became blind. The picture below is of him and my grandmother in their backyard, “walking the line.” My uncles stretched a clothesline across the yard so he could have a guide to walk safely around the yard. He was able to stay home until my grandmother's death. He spent his last years in a nursing home. It was not the best part of his life.

The last picture shows me with my mom and dad and brothers the day before we moved dad to the nursing home. He spent four years there before he died. Those were very hard years. It was not the best part of our life.

Have you made plans for the days when you become really old?



Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Joe


My brother Joe was born on New Year's eve, 1937. I can't remember him ever having a birthday party. Every Christmas we got a big package full of presents from our Texas relatives and there would be one wrapped in birthday paper that Joe had to wait and open on his birthday. On New Year's eve we had an end of the year party with noisemakers and confetti, but I don't remember anything about it ever being a party for Joe. Maybe he had a party and being the little sister I just don't remember.

When we were little Joe teased me and made me cry. It seemed to me that he took pleasure in making my life miserable. He shared a room with our older brother, Bill, who was always reading a book and ignored our squabbles. One time I remember that Joe would not allow me on his side of their bedroom, but Bill would allow me on his side. To get to Bill's side of the room I had to run across Joe's side. Naturally I only wanted to play with Bill when Joe was there so I could taunt him from the safety of Bill's protection.

Something strange happened when Joe was in high school. He started being nice to me. When I got in trouble he would sit and talk to me and tell me things would be OK. On a few occasions he asked me to join him and his girlfriend for a day of hiking. He became my friend.

The picture is Mom with baby Joe

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Updates

I glanced through my posts from the past year and thought I would give a few updates on things I have talked about in 2008.

Thank you for all your comments and prayers for DQ. I just talked to him and he is doing OK. His acetone levels are near normal. His sugar is still high, but the doctors want to bring it down slowly as they adjust his insulin level. He sees the doctor again tomorrow. DQ says diabetes is annoying.

I talked with my brother Bill today. He is not doing well. His beloved Jean remains in the rehab facility with injuries from her head injury last summer. She is completely paralyzed on the left side with no hope of improvement. After being in a coma for two months she awoke to a world of pain and dependence for all her daily needs. They are both suffering from overwhelming depression and unable to find much joy in their life. It is difficult.

Our number one granddaughter is searching for a job. Due to the poor economy Disney had to cancel their professional intern program. She had planned to continue her internship through June, but her job, like many others, was eliminated. She is hoping to remain in Orlando and is looking for work there. With tax season approaching she is expecting to find an accounting job soon. We are praying that she will find something quickly.

The company my daughter and son-in-law opened last spring is growing. 2008 was not the best year to start a new business so the growth is slower than they had hoped, but it looks like it will soon be a successful, money-making company. They are working hard and are hopeful for the future.

We are making a few plans for adventure in 2009. It will be hard to top last year's trip to the Galapagos Islands, but we are looking forward to wherever the future takes us.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Diabetes

After a wonderful Christmas celebration, our sixteen year old grandson DQ came to stay with us for few days. He didn't seem to feel quite right. He wasn't hungry, very unusual for this boy. He couldn't get enough to drink and he couldn't sit through a meal without getting up to use the bathroom three or four times. He was tired all the time and he had terrible fruity smelling breath. I knew before his dad took him to the Urgent Care center Sunday what the diagnosis would be. He had all the classic symptoms of diabetes. When the lab report came back his blood sugar was 1100, about ten times the normal level. He spent the next three days in Children's Hospital while trying to get his sugar under control. The doctors say he will be on insulin the rest of his life. DQ will need to make some major life style changes to get this disease under control. It will be a hard thing for this boy and for his family. He came home after dinner on New Year's eve. The new year will be a year of big adjustments for him.

Happy New Year to all my blogland friends. I am looking forward to all the good things God is going to send our way in 2009.