October 26, 2016
The temperature has dropped and the rain is falling, autumn at it’s best—or worst. We have a walnut tree at the corner of our front porch. Each year, as soon as the walnuts have formed, the tree’s leaves turn yellow and begin to fall. That walnut is the last tree to get its leaves in the spring, and the first to lose them. We’ve already had them raked up once. Unfortunately, this is an exercise that needs to be repeated several times before the snow flies.
The danger for me at this time of year comes when wet leaves on wet wooden steps stand between me and where I have to go. Rubber tip of cane + pressure on same + wet wood and leaves = fall—and not the seasonal kind. That’s the single reason I don’t venture out much—well, that and the fact I can’t leave our dog alone. His separation anxiety is so great now, that neither my beloved nor I want to put him through it. So, if I can take him to my daughter’s place first, I can go out. I do that when I have appointments I must attend. But the general result is, those are the only times I leave the house. I don’t even consider hopping out on a whim to shop or go to lunch. It never crosses my mind to do so. I think my evolution to hermit is nearly complete.
I’m getting older and I no longer really want to traipse all over hell and back. I don’t need to shop beyond the weekly grocery order, and I have food here I can make for pennies on the dollar, so why would I go out to lunch? Of course, there are times when, if the girls are available, we’ll do just that. But they’re both so busy now. Our daughter only has Monday, and every other weekend off. Her days are long, beginning (through the week) when she takes her daddy to work, leaving her house at 5 am to do so, and sometimes not ending her day until 8 or 9 at night. Because she sees clients in the community, her appointments tend to be scattered. If she gets an hour or more break in the day, she’ll often come here to nap (because it’s quieter here). Our Sonja works two jobs as a nurse. The occasions when she is available, for small bits of time in the morning, she comes here and I make her breakfast. We talk, and catch up, and I think those are the only times anyone ‘takes care’ of her by feeding her and just listening. I enjoy those occasions, immensely.
I can’t believe October is nearly done! I’m aware of each day, of course, but they move far too fast for this old woman. In my inner self, I feel as if I’m still 30, still able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The result of this self-deception is that each day I think I’m going to get a lot more accomplished than I actually do.
It appears as if my beloved is going to get some more practice at being retired, as there may be a temporary shut-down at his job. That’s not an occasion for panic for us the way it would have been in years past. Because we are older, and have been through tough times before, we know how to tighten our belts and make do with less. It’s a blessing that we don’t have to worry about mortgage payments or car payments. We’re very lucky in that regard. We don’t really go out very much, so staying home, keeping busy here, isn’t a hardship for us.
That said, sometimes, tempers wear a little thin when we’re too long in each other’s company, exclusively. So you can be certain I’ll be getting one of the girls to grab “grandpa” at least once a week to either go out for breakfast, or work on something at their homes that needs doing.
Life is a series of compromises, of finding your balance as events occur. The key to getting along, at least in my opinion, is to just roll with the punches when they come, and to understand that nothing is written in stone.
It really is the truth that things don’t come to stay—they come to pass.