Saturday, August 21, 2010
About two weeks ago, I was driving my daughter to a bead store about thirty miles from home (nearly everything is at least thirty miles from home.) On a set of S curves around the lake, two lanes each way separated only by yellow lines and with a 55 mph limit, a car going the other way cut off another. The one swerved and missed the other, but I realized in a split second that if the cars clipped one another and one spun out, with the trajectory of that curve it would hit us head-on, and that would be it for us. That didn't happen, of course, but I was seriously shaken. I tried to tell my daughter about the close call we'd just had, but she wasn't looking at the time and didn't have my perspective - and at 22, she probably still feels immortal.
I spent the next couple days feeling, as my grandmother would say, like a goose had walked over my grave.
This morning's front page has a picture of that same stretch of parkway. Apparently there were two accidents there last week, and one was a fatality - one car clipped another, causing the first to slide into opposing traffic and take out a car going the other way - exactly what could have happened to my daughter and me. Now, of course, there's another debate about putting up a median, but everyone knows it won't happen.
The point here isn't about driving, or even near misses. It's about, well, what would have followed had I not been quite so lucky that day. A whole cascade of bad things, from dirty dishes left in the sink to sick husbands with no one to care for them. Obviously, there's not a whole lot I can do about the husband, other than maybe finding extended care insurance, but there are a myriad things that I can take care of. Does anyone else in the family know the location of the safe deposit box key? What's in that safe deposit box, for that matter, and where are the other policies? Can anyone else identify all the people in those old photographs? How about the family histories of all those two hundred year old things? How were we related? Where are the relatives all buried? (And how about the good stuff, like the skeletons in the various relatives' closets?) I'm willing to bet I'm the only one who knows most of those answers.
So while I'm decluttering and cleaning up in general, sorting through the boxes and boxes of my mother's belongings, her attic, my attic, all that nonsense, I'm taking a few extra minutes to make some notes. I don't want to leave all this Stuff for someone else to deal with, but I also don't want to leave a bunch of mysteries. I went through a bunch of paintings and photographs the other day, identifying the people, the settings and the circumstances as far as I know them. I intend to do this with anything I come across that has a history I know about. I spent a couple hours on the computer and wrote down all the family history and genealogy I could come up with. If I think of more, I'll add it.
I fully intend to live another forty years, hale and hearty to the last. But just in case - in case I do get run over by that bus or get struck by lightning - I'm vowing to take care of some of these details. It would be a shame if it got lost, and it will if I don't do this.
But I'll tell you one thing: I'm going to be taking a different route to the bead store from now on.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I was all the way down to S before I realized it was in alphabetical order. This could be interesting...
A - Available or married? Married. So very married.
B - Books? Yes - enough to open my own branch of the library. Currently, a couple paperback cozy mysteries, a book on welding techniques for artists, a book on Woody Landscape Plants, and Chi Running. Also the usual armload of magazines.
C - Cake or pie? Pie. But not cream pie.
D - Drink of choice? Gin. Failing that, water, no ice.
E - Essential item? Duct tape.
F - Favorite color? For what?
G - Game to play or watch? Backgammon. Preferably for money.
H - Hometown? Philadelphia.
I - Indulgence? Jacuzzi.
J - Job? No, thank you. I've already had more than my share.
K - Kids and names? Annie and Alexandra.
L - Life is incomplete without? A sketch book and a dictionary.
M - Music group or singer? At the moment, Etta James.
N - Number of siblings? Zero by birth, but many recognized along the way.
O - Oranges or apples? Apples.
P - Phobias/fears? Spiders and polar bears.
Q - Favorite quote? Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
H. L. Mencken
R - Reason to smile? I'm still here.
S - Season? Whichever one we're currently in.
T - Tattoos? Yep, a Celtic on my left calf.
U - Unknown fact about me? I have an excellent sense of direction outdoors, but indoors - even in a largish house - I get hopelessly lost.
V - Vegetable you love? Anything but okra, and even that is okay if it isn't cooked to the glue stage.
W - Worst habit? I tend to wander off.
X - X-rays you've had? Feet, hands, wrists, teeth, knee, lungs, left side of head, sinuses, spine ... God, you name it, I've got a picture of it around here somewhere.
Y - Your favorite food? Tiny new potatoes with sour cream and caviar. Anything with fresh basil. Callard and Bowser toffee. Espresso with real whipped cream. My mother's pot roast.
Z - Zodiac? Pisces, Scorpio on the ascendant, moon in Capricorn. Grand trine in water signs.
Friday, August 06, 2010
One of the many newsletters that show up in my inbox periodically is one from the Chopra Center. I'm passing this info along for anyone who might be interested.
It's free and open to anyone, from complete beginner to advanced practice.
Here's the link:
Meditation is easy to do and healing in many ways. There are links offered to various Chopra Center products and classes, and drawings for prizes and the like, but none of this is necessary to participate in the Challenge. Each day's lesson comes via email - maybe we'll learn some things to start our practice of meditation or deepen one already in place.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
The link is here:
I started leaving a quick comment, but got carried away (gee, isn't *that* unusual? LOL) and seeing that it had turned into it's own blog, thought I'd post it over here.
Good for you, for your awesome insight. Because you know what? Beauty is like money - you always want more and more, and then when you're not looking you lose it anyway. All these movie stars and models, with the bodies we supposedly want, and they mutilate themselves with surgery and then drown the fear of growing older in men, drugs, alcohol and general misery.
My daughter and I were sitting in a parking lot the other day and noticed a couple of young teenagers walk by. She pointed out how very slim they were - maybe a size 2 at the most - and asked if we'd ever get there. Truthfully? No. I'm 5'6" and muscular. When I was at my goal weight a few years ago, I was still a 12 - even skeletal, my hip bones would be too wide for a 2.
Many people over the ages have pointed out that the best beauty products are confidence and happiness. There's something to that.
And besides, life is *way* too short to go through it putting off doing, putting off enjoying, putting off *anything* until... until we're the "right" weight, until we find the "right" mate, until we make more money, get a house, get out of college, *whatever*. Operate from a place of envy, shame, insecurity and "if only..." and you push happiness away. Love and work with what you've got, and you'll set up for getting more. And if it never comes (the weight thing you've got covered - I meant the more vague hopes) you won't even notice, because you'll be too busy enjoying what you've got.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I'm pretty well read, a parent for a lot of years, and am a thoroughly trained, card-carrying first aid person. I did not know this, however.
Thanks, IMPROVINGME, for bringing it to our attention.
"Drowning Looks Different Than You Think"
I can't seem to get the link to work, so here's the address to cut and paste:
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