Wednesday, July 21, 2021

 July 21, 2021

Do you recall the “Mother Goose” nursery rhyme titled “Monday’s child?”  Here it is:

Monday’s child is fair of face,

Tuesday’s child is full of grace.

Wednesday’s child is full of woe,

Thursday’s child has far to go.

Friday’s child is loving and giving,

Saturday’s child works hard for a living.

And the child born on the Sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe, good and gay.


I have to wonder if that nursery rhyme is a case of life imitating art.  I was born on a Wednesday, 67 years ago today. For the first part of my life, I was indeed “full of woe”. There were reasons for that, added to which was the fact that I seemed to be naturally inclined that way. While I didn’t know it at the time, I thought “half empty” was the only way the glass could be. But I eventually got over it, for the most part. Not that I no longer feel down, and sometimes even with little provocation. And not that troubles no longer come my way. I still feel down from time to time and hard stuff still manages to find me, occasionally, but I learned to deliberately think lighter, kinder, more positive thoughts, and to focus on my own reactions to the troubles rather than the troubles themselves—and the combination of those two actions have, for the most part put paid to being “full of woe”.

I checked a calendar for the year in which my husband was born, and I’m not surprised to discover he was born on a Saturday. One of the many fine traits that he has possessed for all the years that I have known him, has been his solid work ethic. Having become a retiree hasn’t actually changed that propensity within him, and sadly, that has made life a challenge for him now. Because he has COPD, he doesn’t have much stamina. It hurts to see his frustration, because he wants to be busy, physically. He wants to start a task and get it done. Let’s go! Time’s a wasting! There’s work he wants to do around the place, if only he could do the work around the place. But he can’t, because along with stamina being lacking, so is his physical strength. Any task he takes on takes him a lot longer than he ever imagined it would, and there are times when that reality really upsets him. I’m trying to get him to see that while he can’t cure COPD or getting older, he can cure his frustration. But all I can do is show him how that works for me. He has to choose whether or not he’ll tackle those feelings. He has to choose to be positive.

Of all the changes wrought by aging, by far the most difficult to deal with is the change in what we are physically capable of doing, day to day. Though I don’t have breathing problems, I, too, can only do a fraction of what I used to be able to accomplish in a day. Not that many years ago I would spend two to three hours and manage to clean my entire house. Now, I can manage a couple of tasks in that time—if I’m lucky.  It means one has to adjust one’s expectations, and for some people that can be a hard step to take. Neither of the two of us have tended to be lazy in our lives, with the codicil that of course there were always the odd days that simply cried out for that degree of relaxation.

It's hard knowing we’re as good right now as we’re ever going to be again. But that is life, and maybe it’s time to realize that having worked hard all our lives, we have earned the right to slow down, even if that isn’t what we want to do.

I’ve often noted in these essays that getting older is not for the faint of heart. It really isn’t. But even with the adjustments and the added aches and pains, I still choose to believe it’s better than the alternative.







Wednesday, July 14, 2021

 July 14, 2021

Today, Wednesday July 14, is our 49th wedding anniversary. And they all said it wouldn’t last!

Seriously, they did say that. Every single one of them, especially our families.

And really, who could blame them? Because 49 years ago today, I was 1 week shy of my 18th birthday, while David was a much older man of 19 years and 8 months. My mother had to sign her consent to the marriage, right there on the marriage licence! And she did, of course. I won’t say she was happy to have done so. The truth is that at the time of my wedding I was nearly four months pregnant with our first child.

Yet, she did sign her permission, and that was her decision. I got married in mauve, no white wedding dress for me. And that was her decision, too.

It was a decision that, at the time, didn’t surprise me. Not even a visit from our parish priest (we’re Anglican, aka Episcopalian), who told her that the old custom of a white wedding dress being for virgin brides only was passé and he was perfectly fine with my wearing a white wedding dress, even being pregnant.

My mother, however, once she made up her mind, never changed it. And if she ever discovered at a later date that what she’d thought was fact turned out not to be true? Well, she never apologized for any mistake she ever made.

So a mauve dress for me it was, a ghastly color on me that I have not worn since. Looking back, I recall being more than slightly miffed, and to be perfectly honest, my mother did tell me I could wear white if I really wanted to. She also said if that were the case, she would not attend the wedding. Of course, I cared more about my mother’s presence than I did about the color of my dress. So being perfectly honest, that was my choice, too.

Thinking back on that long ago tussle between us, at the age I am now just makes me sad for the opportunities we missed, because one of us was rather unyielding and that was the last thing the other of us needed at that time, or ever, really. I learn lessons well and can tell you with great pride that I have a much better relationship with my daughter than my mother had with me.

Sometimes, David and I are asked what the secret to a long-lasting marriage is. And our answers vary, depending on the year, the mood we’re in at the time, and even on the person who’s doing the asking.

I know that of several of the young couples that started out married life within a few years of our having married—our friends, in those days—none remained together. In one tragic case, one of my longest friends became a widow far too young. But the others? I don’t know why they parted ways. They had all been our close friends in the early 70s, but life saw to that not carrying forward into the 80s or 90s. Life, and the fact that we were all not quite fully mature factored into our not remaining close. As time carried on, we all grew up (well, I can think of a couple of people who really didn’t), and matured, and changed and not unexpectedly, we all grew apart.

David and I had plenty of “life” happen to us, as well. There are times when, looking back, I’m really not certain I can say how it was that we actually managed to stay together. Likely sheer stubbornness played a role, for the both of us.

Despite the fact that I’m currently writing my 67th title, and that all the stories I have written have been in the genre of romance, the truth is that love isn’t a blooming flower that smells sweet forever. It’s not all sunshine and unicorns and hot, sexy nights. Not all goodness and light and soft music playing in the background. There is muck and mire to be trod through, and ordinary everyday living of life, day after day after day.

Those exciting, thrilling feelings you have in the beginning, when you first fall in love? Those don’t last forever, because if they did, it would mean that your love wasn’t growing with you. Like everything else that is alive, without growth your love would stagnate and eventually wither away.

Love is a noun, but if you’re doing it right, it’s mostly a verb. To love someone isn’t just to sense or feel an emotion within. It’s the act of doing loving things, and often when that really is the last thing you feel like doing.

To love someone requires for you to have a servant’s heart. It means you need to care more about the state of your union than you do about getting your own way. Compromise is not a dirty word, and especially not when it comes to marriage.

To love requires you to give with no expectation of receiving anything back. To love means to find peace and contentment and satisfaction in the giving, and to understand that those senses are reward enough.

To love someone truly, and to be loved in turn, is to find a kind of comfort in being together, and after this many years, to comparing aches and pains and then laughing about them.

Building a marriage and keeping it together requires more work than most people are capable of doing, and more patience than most people believe they have.

But if you can manage to work hard and cultivate that patience, I promise you that it’s absolutely worth it.





Wednesday, July 7, 2021

 July 7, 2021

I began to plan this week’s Wednesday’s Words the day after I’d penned and posted last week’s essay. You see, the day after June 30th was July 1st. Canada Day. Thinking of the day, and it’s meaning, my heart and mind were on the gruesome discoveries that had rocked our nation over the past month.

Adding to my sense of tragedy was the announcement on June 30th of the latest discovery of 182 unmarked graves found near Cranbrook, British Columbia; this number is added to the 215 found near Kamloops (also in British Columbia) and 751 that were found in Saskatchewan. All of these graves are located at or near the sites of former Residential schools.

What was the residential school system in Canada? First established in the 1860s, it was a horrible creation born out the same kind of arrogance that gave birth to the mission mindset of the 1600s. Believing their religion meant that their society, mores, and every other aspect of being to be superior to the lifestyle of Indigenous peoples, the government of Canada, beginning in the 1860s (Canada was created in 1867) decided to commission “schools” for Indigenous children. These schools were run by the churches. In the early years of this institution, children were forcefully taken from their families, and their communities and then placed into these schools where, quite bluntly the goal was to “erase their own race and make them white”. They would be beaten and abused for speaking their native languages, or attempting to live according to their own cultural traditions.

Survivors of this system have testified of horrendous abuse in every form—physical, emotional, psychological and sexual.

When I first heard of the existence this abhorrent system, it was in high school, and while there was no mention at that time in Canadian teaching about the “abuse” that in hindsight seems to be the true purpose of this system, abuse doled out by the people running these facilities, the entire concept in my teenage mind had been abusive and abhorrent. Even without knowing about the beatings and the rapes, to me, forcibly taking children from their families was an unthinkable evil.

How dare they believe they had the right to steal those children? How dare they have the right to steal mothers and fathers from those children?

I believe there’s a natural law in the universe that few people in those days knew existed—and judging from what I’ve witnessed in my life, even fewer do, today. I’ll express it like this: if you have to harm another to prove you’re superior, all you’re really proving is that in fact, you are not.

The Ktunaxa Nation within Canada is made up of four bands of Indigenous peoples, and it was one of these bands that made the latest discovery on June 30th of 182 unmarked graves. As one can understand, after news of this discovery became known, a furor erupted, and most people, me included, immediately assumed the worst. I assumed that here was yet another example of the egregious treatment handed out on behalf of our government, in our names, by those running the residential school system.

The band itself issued a news release cautioning this rush to judgement. Before the St. Eugene residential school came into being (1912-1970) there had been a hospital adjacent to the established cemetery, where these graves were discovered. In their release, the band asked for patience while an extensive investigation is conducted. Their release included this, which I have copied and pasted from their release: 

Graves were traditionally marked with wooden crosses and this practice continues to this day in many Indigenous communities across Canada. Wooden crosses can deteriorate over time due to erosion or fire which can result in an unmarked grave.

You can read the entire news release here:

I repent the existence of the Residential School system, as it was deployed, and mourn the damage done to the Indigenous nations and also the loss of any and all lives because of it. I am grateful for the stance taken by the ʔaq ̓ am band, and I agree completely with the sentiment of their news release.

It's easy and popular in this day and age to rush to judgement. I’ve seen that in the last five years far more than I ever believed I would. And I know that that action might serve to fill some with a sense of moral superiority which can be a very intoxicating emotion. But isn’t that the root of the situation to begin with? Wasn’t it a sense of superiority, of misguided belief in a sort of divine right, that caused self-righteous men to conceive of such a thing as the residential school system in the first place?

We need to know all the facts before we can truly know what happened and how those graves came to be. I pray that the coming weeks and months will bring knowledge, understanding, and with those two treasures, a desire for and implementation of healing change.






Wednesday, June 30, 2021

 June 30, 2021

Our Freedom Day is in 6 more days, on July the 6th. Not that I’m counting, or anything. And commencing this day, Wednesday June 30th, our province has moved into the second phase of “re-opening”. And then, on the 21st of July—my birthday, but I am not taking the selection of that day at all personally—we’ll enter phase three, in which indoor dining will once again be available.

As I mentioned in my last essay, the jury is out on whether or not I’ll be up for that right away, though I do think that I will. Since July 6 will be the point at which I will be two weeks post second dose of Moderna, the science says I will have nothing to fear from Covid. I will be considered fully vaccinated.

I am, however, praying rather hard for more people to become enlightened. Because, also according to the science, my husband and I will be safe after July 6th, but possibly, only for now.

The monkey wrench that could screw the whole “back to normal” deal for us all, will be if sufficient people do not bother to get themselves vaccinated.

You know, if you have a hole in your house, near the ground, and you see a mouse go in, you say to yourself, “crap, I better fix that.”  So you plug that hole. And after you leave the scene, the mouse and all its relatives, now being aware that there is a possibility of entrance into the place where all great treasures are there for the taking, will look for another hole. And you, if you’re somewhat vigilant, will keep an eye out, to see if another hole appears. Or, if you’re really smart, you’ll ensure that no holes can be found or easily made by inspecting and repairing the foundation of your house immediately.

That may be a poor analogy, but that’s like Covid. You see, the disease can adapt and change over time—short time, and time is measured, in this case, not in days or weeks, but in the numbers of people who become infected. And that process of change for viruses is called mutation. Because Covid—all viruses in fact—has one goal, and one goal only, and that is to infect. And the more people it can infect, the more it can mutate. And that’s all fun and games until it comes up with a mutation that our current vaccines cannot stop.

And friends, that will most assuredly happen, if too many people fail to receive vaccination. So if you know anyone who hasn’t yet bothered to do their part, please ask them to reconsider—now.

This past Saturday I went to the grocery store for the first time this year. I’m so grateful for my daughter, because she had taken over that chore for me. It was the same store, and the same process, as has been my routine for years, but it took some thought for me to recall all the necessary steps that I like to take in my process. This of course included finding my clipboard upon which I could slap my printed-from-excel shopping list, because I didn’t forget during my interval of hermitting, that I must never shop for groceries without a list. Trust me when I say, in that direction lies disaster.

There weren’t too many people in the store, and I saw no one without a mask, which made me very happy. Before we could stop at the grocery store, however, we had to go to one other store, one that was on the way, first. This is a store that carries all sorts of hardware-type supplies, as well as small portable appliances, charcoal, tires, kids games, car parts, …you name it and they likely have it.

We had to stop there for two things: a hose to fit the compressor David had received as a gift for Christmas of 2019; and a new Keurig coffee maker.

There is a saying in the Ashbury household, one that is almost an inside joke. You see, being Canadian, which is to be a part of the British Commonwealth, one would at times use, as a representation of the concept of constancy, the phrase “The King is dead. Long live the King!”. We, of course, being quirky, have adapted that saying to: “The Keurig is dead; long live the Keurig!” Yes, if our coffee maker dies, we immediately go out and buy another. And just on the off chance there is a space of time between when the one we have dies and we get the new one, we have a smaller, spare Keurig, with enough of a water reservoir for only two cups of water, and that we keep upstairs in our storage area, just in case.

Because friends, there isn’t an Ashbury alive who does not believe that going without coffee is a dire fate best not even ever mentioned. Our coffeemaker died the night before, and we did have to put the spare into service for one night and one morning. And we did not even consider not stopping at Canadian Tire to get a new one.

When we got there, David went in while I remained in the car. I do believe it’s only the second time since the onset of the pandemic that David had been there, and I know that it was an emotionally satisfying experience for him because it is one of his favourite places to shop, period. Actually, it’s one of only two places he likes to shop, the other being the actual hardware store in town. Everyone in this family has often claimed that if these two stores don’t have a couple of aisles named in his honour, they sure should have.

Friends, with each passing day it feels as if life is beginning to creep a little closer toward normal. Of course, no one that I know believes for one minute that our arrival at that magic state of being is a given. The pandemic is not over, not by a long shot.

And so, we face each day with hope, and with diligence. But not quite in equal measure.








Wednesday, June 23, 2021

 June 23, 2021

I have marked an upcoming day on the calendar in my iPhone, and it’s the first time I’ve ever done that. The page for Tuesday, July 6 now has the words “Freedom Day” on the top. Because that day is two weeks from yesterday. And yesterday, David and I received our second Moderna vaccination.

Being a little on the anal side, I mentally prepared myself to do as close to nothing yesterday, after the shot, as possible. I’ve heard from so many friends that the second shot made them feel ill, with varying degrees of all different symptoms. So, I thought it would be prudent to plan to have a couple days that could very well be spent resting completely and doing nothing, if necessary.

While I don’t do nearly as much these days as I did ten, or even five years ago, there really are few days where I do nothing. I never got the hang of well, just hanging. But I’d made the decision a few days before getting the second shot to try and do just that. It seemed preferable to assuming I’d be fine, and then becoming annoyed if it turned out that I couldn’t carry on, business as usual.

We were both pleased, when we arrived at the fairgrounds, to see that the parking lot was full. Everyone there had an appointment, and the clinic, which is run by the county health unit, was as well organized as it was in June when we went for our first shot. Our appointment was for 10:55 am. We entered the building just a minute or two after that time. We followed the queue to the registration area, then moved on to the active area. By 11:10 we’d received the vaccine, and then were directed to the waiting area, where we spent fifteen minutes waiting to see if we had any immediate adverse reactions.  

Exactly on time, at 11:25am, we checked out of the clinic, which meant we were given a receipt for the vaccination, a printed record of proof that we’d received it.

Upon leaving the fairgrounds and since we haven’t been out and about very much, we took the opportunity to enjoy a short drive. We may have been mostly staying put for the last year and a half, but this town of ours sure hasn’t. There has been one major building on a secondary street torn down. It was a building that had been in this town since well before we arrived—one that had served as a post office and a police station and had even appeared in a movie starring Julianne Moore (The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio).  There’s been a lot of construction, both downtown and in an area just west of where our house is situated, on top of the hill. Part of this town is in a valley, and it’s terraced valley, as the two rivers that run through our town have changed over the eons. We now have four round-abouts on the main road on the hill, and not just houses have been built up there. While there are various kinds of new housing including townhouses and single-family dwellings, there is also a new commercial area, including a new burger place that isn’t open yet. All of this new construction has been put up in the last year and a half where a farm—or two— and an orchard used to grow.

We didn’t stay out on our drive for very long, but it was a nice break.

I’m not sure if, when the two weeks it takes for us to be considered fully immunized have passed, whether I’ll begin to go out and about, shopping, or even dining out. At the moment in my neck of the woods, only patio dining is being offered, and I have never been a fan of that. From what I can tell looking at the description of the province’s “road map to reopening”, it’ll likely be the end of July or even early August before indoor dining will be offered.

As to any adverse reactions to the second shot, at 11 hours post jab, there was nothing. David’s arm was a bit sore, the day of and even more so this morning. He also said he felt as if he was coming down with a cold, and I think he went through that same sense of ick last time. As for me, when I awoke this morning, thank you, Lord, I felt fine.

I do know that once we hit that two-week mark that I will be safe. It’s more of a question of whether or not I’ll feel safe. A lot of people are having challenges in that regard, and I wouldn’t be surprised that when the time comes, I’ll feel the same way—hesitant to go out and leery of crowds. If that happens, I plan to continue to wear a mask—and I am going to keep some masks here, on hand, in the weeks and months and years to come for times when I have a cold. I think it would be wise and considerate for me to wear one if I come down with the sniffles.

In the meantime, I’m going to carry on today with a lighter schedule in an abundance of caution and then look forward to “Freedom Day” in July.

And maybe when that day comes, and if indoor dining is available, I’ll surprise myself. Perhaps by the time the end of July rolls around, I’ll be ready.






Wednesday, June 16, 2021

 June 16, 2021

Summer’s here, ahead of schedule, which of course doesn’t surprise anyone at all. Also arriving in this part of the world last Friday, a few days ahead of schedule, was “step one of the provincial roadmap to reopening.”

Yes, indeed, the “stay at home” order has been lifted and some of the restrictions removed at long last, and I have stayed at home, still.

The progress that I was able to make with regard to this entire situation was to take advantage of our province’s push to accelerate second shots of the vaccine. You may recall that earlier in the spring the decision was made by our governments to delay second shots in order to get as many first shots into arms as possible. We didn’t have a robust supply of vaccine at the time, and seriously, I did agree with the measure. The first shot gives some protection—actually more protection than I’ve ever received from any flu shot—and while the experts have given a guideline on when the second should occur it hasn’t been a vaccine that’s been around long enough for them to really know if there would be a problem or not, stretching that time frame.

Our second shots are now booked for next week, which is more than a month sooner than our original appointment. Two weeks after that, we will feel a lot more secure, as we will be considered fully vaccinated.

When you’re over 65 with risk factors, you tend to be very careful about something that has caused, world-wide as of this past Monday, over 175 million confirmed cases and 3.7 million deaths.

This past weekend, since the “nonessential” stores were finally open, our daughter and her daddy headed out to purchase the lumber and other supplies needed to replace the front steps that lead up to the porch. The railing had collapsed about a month ago, and at that time, David pulled down the steps—in his words, “before someone had them collapse under them, breaking their damn fool necks.”

We’ve been using our back door to come and go, and had a chair placed out front beside where the steps had been with a sign inviting deliveries to be left there.

This past weekend was our daughter’s weekend off, and she and her father really worked hard to get those new steps built. They did a damn good job of it, and by Monday morning, there were just a few things left for them to do.

Our previous walkway, that David had built years before using old, untreated railway ties, was beginning to deteriorate, so the decision was made to replace the walkway using large square patio stones. The new stairs extend longer from the porch than the old ones did, which makes them a lot more user friendly for me.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that our son came to help on that long ago weekend when we needed to build stairs off the side of the porch (the town had ordered the concrete ones off the front demolished when they had to replace the sidewalk). He and his dad bought a stringer and some wood and then together put the small staircase in, and the walkway, too. I mentioned right away at the time that the stairs were a tad too steep, but they both just shrugged. And a couple of years later, it was our son who, looking at the stairs with suddenly objective eyes said, “crap, we put them in upside down.” Now, I don’t know if that was true, but it made me chuckle at the time.

These new stairs are not steep at all. I can balance on my cane and just step up. No “hauling” my ass toward the heavens any more!

But because they are not steep and needed to extend further, the construction required that some of my flower bed had to be dug up and the bulbs rescued. That was fine, especially since our daughter decided to redesign the flower beds, putting in a new one across the front of the porch, edged in grey brick.

The two of them worked very hard, as I said, and as of Monday there were just a few more things to do in order to call it all done. The patio stones had been placed but they needed to be removed so that a base of sand/stone dust could be laid beneath them. David wanted to get some carriage bolts to secure the railing as well and, of course, we needed flowers to go in that new flower bed across the front.

In the fall, we’ll buy some new bulbs to replace the few that likely won’t have survived the move—as well as to compensate for those that I know have been left to languish beneath the new walkway.

Our daughter and her father share many traits, so I know darn well that they didn’t remove all of the bulbs beneath the surface. It simply wouldn’t have seemed a good use of that most limited of all resources—time.







Wednesday, June 9, 2021

 June 9, 2021

One of the things I’ve noticed about myself lately is that my daily routines might be a tad more important to me than probably is good for me.

In the last year especially, it seems that all manner of unexpected happenings have the power to disrupt my schedule and once that happens, I am hard pressed to re-establish control over my day. My ambition flies off into the ether, and I am left to try and…adjust. Friends, at times that adjustment isn’t easy, nor is it pretty.

It used to be that my schedule was like a guard rail, there, just so that I could look up for a moment and see where I was as opposed to where I was heading. These days? My schedule is more like that strong, stout line tied between house and barn that some folks in the mountains have installed for those days when there’s a fierce blizzard and the snow is flying fast and furious and with no visibility. The only way not to end up getting disoriented, lost and dead is to cling to that line, baby, cling! Yes, that’s me and my schedule in a nutshell.

Recently I’ve experienced a number of disruptions which, considering the monotony of the stay-at-home world in which I have faithfully abided during this pandemic might have been considered a nice change of pace. But of course, you have to know that is not the attitude I adopted with these disruptions. I hope I haven’t shocked you with that admission. I keep a positive, upbeat attitude 99 percent of the time. It’s just when someone or something messes with my plan for the day that I tend to kind of lose it.

One day we had a plumber booked come in to fix our cold water tap in the bathtub. That darn thing wasn’t dripping, it was running! He was scheduled to arrive between 8 am and 5 pm. He called at 7:35 am to say he would be there in ten minutes. Of course, it did work out better for us in the end, because we didn’t have to adjust the time David was walking the dogs or napping that day, but still. I never got over the jarring start that day gave me. Why, I hadn’t even had my first cup of coffee yet! It took me a couple of hours to get back to my schedule, but my heart really wasn’t in it.

Another day, I turned on my computer, but my preferred browser wouldn’t open. The error message was one I’d never seen before, and so I contacted the Geek Squad. Yes, I have three browsers on this PC, but the one I like the best has all my bookmarks. And, since I am signed on through google, hooray, the bookmarks were safe.

I kept my patience while the original geek goofed up a couple things, but then finally I was successfully transferred to a “technician” who would assist me via remote. Um, yeah, it was the same geek wearing a different hat, but one really doesn’t have a choice in these matters.

Now, some have chided me for giving remote control to the geek squad to fix my computer issues, because…um….I guess because I am letting THE MAN see what I’ve got here on my computer? I guess I’m not supposed to let THEM know my business.

I think the fact that I am Canadian and not American may speak to my attitude in this area (since it is only my American friends who are appalled). I am not doing anything I should not be doing, so hey, THEM can look all they like. I don’t think I am doing anything interesting enough for anyone to take particular note of me. So they can just look and then they can just go away, yawing with boredom, and leave me alone.

But I digress.

It didn’t take long for the Geek Squad technician to restore my browser, and with my permission they also cleaned up my disc space, and within the hour I was back at the keyboard with nothing lost but some time and, of course, the integrity of my schedule.

One would think that with the dogs barking several times an hour on some days, I should be used to tossing my schedule out the window. That kind of noise, or really any kind of noise, can make it difficult for me to focus. However, for some reason, most days I can ignore the sound of the hounds as I work—at least until David leaves with one dog for the first walk.

Then our Bear-Bear performs The Lament of the Left Behind Puppy in a key guaranteed to drill holes in one’s ear drums. Every. Single. Day. But I know I’ve mentioned that in one (or more) previous essay. And yes, he does it even if he is on my lap being petted.

My current lack of flexibility in this area is probably just a part of getting older. Heck, I’m no where near as flexible physically as I used to be, so it makes sense, I guess, that I’d be less flexible, or perhaps tolerant, is a better word, in other areas.

I am working on this, I really am, and for one reason and one reason only. You see, around September of 2019, I was getting frustrated with all of the appointments, phone calls, errands, that all kept cropping up. I didn’t want to go places and do things then, I just wanted….well, heck, I thought, it would be so nice if I could just stay home, with no need to go anywhere for anything at all for at least a week. That, I told myself, would be wonderful, and such a nice change.

In other words, I’ve learned to be careful what I wish for. So when it comes to my attitude about my schedule, all I can say is I’ve learned my lesson and I’m trying to become a more mellow  me.