Without thought, I looked at my hands each day. I typed, played the piano, washed dishes, sorted and folded laundry…held little hands. One morning, though, I saw not my hands, but my mother’s hands. What happened to my soft, smooth hands—the ones with only one joint larger than the others? (It was the result of a jammed finger from a childhood softball game.)
That morning I saw only wrinkled, creased fingers with knobby, swollen knuckle joints. Were they really my hands? How long had I had purple veins on the tops of my hands? I looked away from the brown age spots. What happened to the strong, firm hands that changed diapers, picked up toys, and caressed the foreheads of my young children?
Soon my daughters’ hands will look like mine, and they will wonder how time passed so quickly. My granddaughters’ hands will change over time, too. So, for now, I’ll cherish each moment my timeworn hands get to hold their beautiful young hands—those smooth, soft hands with the beautiful, many-colored nails.
Within the last several weeks John and I have each done things…well…just things that might indicate we had momentarily lost focus on the tasks at hand. I thought at the time if made aware of our actions, our adult children might call a family meeting to discuss and possibly make decisions about our futures.
John may fare better than I will. Long ago, one of our sons offered his dad a “forever” home if he would fry bacon every morning and grill “weekend meat” (chicken or steak) every Sunday.
Our daughters, though, have only promised to provide me with enough flowered dusters (house coats) to last a week in the “home.” I’ve overheard their conversations, too, about placing me in a facility with only two other people who play bridge. I know they are well aware of the fact that it takes four people for a bridge game.
Oh no, I’m certainly not going to tell the children about any goof-ups John and I might make in the future. Nor will I tell them about any past goof-ups. How could I? I would have to remember them first.
It’s not a good idea for me to name my pet peeves. After all, I strive to maintain a happy-go-lucky, positive outlook on life, and making a list of my pet peeves would plunge me into a deep, dark state of mind.
Nevertheless, I’m going to mention cords–phone charger cords, computer cords, printer cords, television cords, toaster cords, blender cords, hair-dryer cords, coffee pot cord, and all those random cords found behind sofa cushions, in drawers, car glove boxes, and purses.
One cord connected to one item, such as an iron, toaster, or lamp even irritates me. That lone cord is usually on the wrong side of the ironing board, dangerously close to the kitchen sink, or on the floor where I might trip over it. The cords tangled behind my computer, printer, server, television, DVD player, and surge protector really irritate me. You can guess how I feel about the multiple orange extension cords scattered around the deck and yard during the Christmas season.
Sometimes I just want to unplug. Hmmm, well, yes, never having the right size battery in the house is also a pet peeve of mine.
I sometimes allow my young grandchildren to use my smart phone for entertainment, especially if I’m busy. As young as two, they instinctively know which icons to push to transport them to a different world. (Yet, I required several hours of in-service before I could turn on a smart phone.)
My young grandchildren enjoy the different tones played as they swipe the screen or push the various icons. Pictures of their parents, aunts, uncles, and grandpa help them feel connected to their family. (Those pictures make it easier for me to connect via phone with family members.)The photo gallery reminds my grandchildren of the fun, family times we’ve experienced.
I felt the risk of harm was low if a child played with my phone. However, I recently glanced up from folding laundry and saw my two-year-old granddaughter had accessed the phone screen and was making pretend calls. What were the chances she would push numbers in a sequence which would result in a phone call?
Well…they were good because soon thereafter I received notice from my data plan provider that my current data plan did not support “calls to numbers overseas.”
I’m just glad she didn’t find Amazon’s website.
“I think I left two email addresses on the table,” read my son’s text. “Please look and see.”
“Sure,” I replied via text.
My son did not reply
I searched. “No addresses on the table. Will go through trash later,” I texted.
“???????” my son texted.
“Late for an appointment. Will check trash later,” I texted again. Why had he not understood my previous message?
My phone rang. “What are you talking about?” my son asked. “Do I need to know you are sorting through your trash? Why are you sorting it anyway?”
“To find your email addresses,” I said curtly.
“Email addresses?” He questioned, clearly confused.
“The ones you said you left on the table,” I answered rather exasperated.
“I don’t know what you are talking about, and I’ve got to be somewhere…soon. Try to take it easy, Mom,” my son said and hung up.
I checked my text messages again. Yes, there it was, a text dated June 12, 2017 asking me to…oh dear, I guess it is the middle of January, 2018.
I don’t plan further discussion of this with my son. I do plan to pay better attention to my text messages.
I still have a few Christmas decorations to take down, but I have gotten all the sweets out of the house. I have had my birthday, too, so I plan to devote a week or so to dieting. I make, but do not necessarily follow this plan every year.
Christmas was good. Well, I did suffer a drop in my Christmas cheer level during a game of charades with my grandchildren. Someone verbalized the clue “wrinkles” and everyone in the entire room shouted “Nana” in unison. It seems the number of birthdays I have had is connected to the number of wrinkles I have.
My New Year’s weekend was good, too. John and I traveled out-of-state for four days. We traveled by train, so the cold didn’t bother us. It didn’t bother our out-door cat either who inadvertently spent the super-cold weekend in our warm, cozy house. (We have added “check location of cats” to our todo before leaving home list.)
Finally, I’m excited to report some success in discarding old, tattered Christmas decorations. (See above picture.) Hmmm, that is a neat box. I better keep it. I’m sure I can use it next year…perhaps with a little greenery….
I always think I won’t do it again, but before I know it, I’ve done it again. Oh, I try, and have had some success. I’ve gone three or four weeks without washing and/or drying a Kleenex tissue. Seldom, though, do I notice the wet streaks of tissue clinging to an article of dark clothing before I blindly toss it into the dryer. I liken the falling bits of dried Kleenex to a gentle snow fall as I shake the dried article of clothing.
I’m not a novice at doing laundry. In fact, I have a vague memory of helping Grandma rub Grandpa’s overalls over a galvanized washboard in a tub of water in the back yard.
“Be careful, watch out for your hair and fingers,” my mother cautioned as I ran towels and dishcloths through the wringer of her Maytag washer.
I’ve now been on my own with laundry for over fifty years. That laundry included cloth diapers for babies, work clothes for summer construction jobs, butter-stained white shirts from the local movie theatre, and jeans and more jeans.
“Don’t I check pockets?” you ask. Well, yes, I might answer, but the evidence speaks otherwise.
“Now, where is that lint brush?”
I didn’t accomplish all I intended to this year. I did not clean the kitchen cabinets. No, instead I finished reading Chesapeake by James Michener, a book I began reading in 2015. (Not to worry, though, the year was still young.)
I did not clean closets, either. I did read Barbara Bush’s Reflections: Life after the White House. (Gee, was it really spring?)
Instead of washing windows, I read, Killers of the Flower Moon. (What? Summer already?)
I didn’t organize 47 years’ worth of family photos, but read Gracia Burnham’s book, In the Presence of my Enemies. (Are those falling leaves?)
It will soon be a new year, though, and surely I’ll accomplish one or two of my household projects during the new year. I’ll start soon, too, but right now I’m going to read a page or two of Michener’s Alaska. After all, I started it last January.
I hope your coming year is filled with happiness and if you’re a reader, a good book or two.
Happy New Year!
(Thank you, Mrs. Woodward for introducing me to Little House on the Prairie– and so many other worlds—that long ago day in the fourth grade.)
“Mom, there’s a fire in the oven,” my daughter yelled.
That was the year we had a crockpot Christmas. There was also the year the refrigerator died Christmas Eve and the year I found a dead (or so I thought) possum on the driveway while helping Santa at midnight–not so good memories of Christmas.
However, hearing “she’s here, and she’s perfect,” the year my granddaughter was born at Christmas time is a good memory. It was good, too, to see “landed” on the arrivals board at the airport the years my son and his family flew home from overseas for Christmas.
The constant memory, though, is attending church. When my children were young, my focus wasn’t entirely on the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Now that I am older and not responsible for squirming, anxious children awaiting Santa’s arrival, I enjoy the Christmas carols and scripture readings telling of Mary’s and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
Merry Christmas–may you have wonderful memories of this Christmas.
Thank you, too, for reading this blog each week. I appreciate your comments.
When my children lived at home, we decorated the Christmas tree the Saturday following Thanksgiving. John cheerfully brought the artificial tree in from the storage building. “Of course, I’ll check the shed yet again for the tub containing the tiny, white, plastic reindeer with two broken legs, ornament your second-grade teacher gave you,” he would say with a smile.
Then each child in turn carefully placed his or her favorite ornaments on the tree as we listened to carols and drank hot chocolate. Once the last bulb was hung, my youngest child placed the angel on the top of the tree.
Some years something similar to the above happened. There were a few years, however, when I struggled with tangled lights, ornaments were broken, hot chocolate spilt, and an argument or two ensued.
The kids are grown now. This year John brought the tree in before he left for work on a Tuesday morning. I took it out of its box, assembled the three parts of the pre-lighted tree, and “fluffed” the fake boughs while watching Bonanza and drinking coffee.
Gosh, it would be fun to hear those tiny voices criticizing their siblings’ choices of ornament placement again.