NOW

“When do you leave?” I asked my young friend Donovan, a barista by day and performer by night. “Hopefully soon. My roommate has to find a job before we can leave. It’s hard because I feel like my life is on hold.” “Yeah I know that’s tough,” I said. With the relationship we have I knew he’d welcome some advice. “What I’ve found helps in this kind of situation is actively waiting. So, you know you’re going to be moving, which is a huge effort, but just because you don’t

“When do you leave?” I asked my young friend Donovan, a barista by day and performer by night. “Hopefully soon. My roommate has to find a job before we can leave. It’s hard because I feel like my life is on hold.” “Yeah I know that’s tough,” I said. With the relationship we have I knew he’d welcome some advice. “What I’ve found helps in this kind of situation is actively waiting. So, you know you’re going to be moving, which is a huge effort, but just because you don’tKeep reading...

Post-It Noted

The routine is everything for a person with dementia.  Knowing this as a caregiver I make every possible effort at “sameness”.  However, sometimes that’s not possible and in the last couple weeks that’s been the case.  Combine this with the reality that my Mom’s disease is progressive makes things even harder.  What she could handle a year ago she can’t handle now.    More than once when I would get to her condo, I found her either agitated or sad.  She’d shake her head and say things like, “My brain

The routine is everything for a person with dementia.  Knowing this as a caregiver I make every possible effort at “sameness”.  However, sometimes that’s not possible and in the last couple weeks that’s been the case.  Combine this with the reality that my Mom’s disease is progressive makes things even harder.  What she could handle a year ago she can’t handle now.    More than once when I would get to her condo, I found her either agitated or sad.  She’d shake her head and say things like, “My brainKeep reading...

Venti Back!

I don’t know how my voice carried like it did.  I’d lost it the day before and sounded like a frog. “Luke, H-E-L-P I’m bleeding,” I croaked. Normally I’d have to sound a bullhorn to get one of my children out of their basement oasis—but to my surprise when I needed him most my oldest came running. “What happened Mom?” he said startled. “I cut my finger—get me another towel from the laundry room. I can’t stop the bleeding.” He jumped into service grabbing what I needed. “Do you need

I don’t know how my voice carried like it did.  I’d lost it the day before and sounded like a frog. “Luke, H-E-L-P I’m bleeding,” I croaked. Normally I’d have to sound a bullhorn to get one of my children out of their basement oasis—but to my surprise when I needed him most my oldest came running. “What happened Mom?” he said startled. “I cut my finger—get me another towel from the laundry room. I can’t stop the bleeding.” He jumped into service grabbing what I needed. “Do you needKeep reading...

Black Friday

Yesterday bringing in the newspaper took two hands—one to carry the news portion and the other the bundle of ads.  In our town that means the news weighed less than a pound and the advertisements a good five pounds.  It was a lopsided workout to be sure.  The ads went straight to the recycle bin.  I try not to go shopping on Black Friday.  Not because of any ethical considerations but because I don’t like crowds of people.  On a day when I’m tired from having cooked and cleaned for

Yesterday bringing in the newspaper took two hands—one to carry the news portion and the other the bundle of ads.  In our town that means the news weighed less than a pound and the advertisements a good five pounds.  It was a lopsided workout to be sure.  The ads went straight to the recycle bin.  I try not to go shopping on Black Friday.  Not because of any ethical considerations but because I don’t like crowds of people.  On a day when I’m tired from having cooked and cleaned forKeep reading...

Sophisticated

Words have a way of sticking in your heart like a single drop of Crazy Glue to your skin.  In time the sting wears off but there’s always a residue left behind. Last year I had one of those experiences with Chase’s art teacher.  He hadn’t been signed up for her class but the woodshop teacher had, “serious concerns” about a kid like Chase being in his 3-D design class.  So, to meet his fine art requirement the art teacher agreed to spare her colleague and create an independent study

Words have a way of sticking in your heart like a single drop of Crazy Glue to your skin.  In time the sting wears off but there’s always a residue left behind. Last year I had one of those experiences with Chase’s art teacher.  He hadn’t been signed up for her class but the woodshop teacher had, “serious concerns” about a kid like Chase being in his 3-D design class.  So, to meet his fine art requirement the art teacher agreed to spare her colleague and create an independent studyKeep reading...

Less Is More

Leaning against the brick wall of our hotel, the woman’s blonde hair was matted and her brown face weathered and worn.  She barely raised her weary eyes to us as we passed by and mumbled, “Can you spare any change?”  On her lap was a handwritten cardboard sign that said she had cancer. My husband and I had just arrived for a much-needed getaway in the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego.  Downtown was a stark contrast of glistening luxury hotels and high-rise office buildings and rough, dirty transients roaming

Leaning against the brick wall of our hotel, the woman’s blonde hair was matted and her brown face weathered and worn.  She barely raised her weary eyes to us as we passed by and mumbled, “Can you spare any change?”  On her lap was a handwritten cardboard sign that said she had cancer. My husband and I had just arrived for a much-needed getaway in the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego.  Downtown was a stark contrast of glistening luxury hotels and high-rise office buildings and rough, dirty transients roamingKeep reading...

380’s

Eighty dollars, eighty cents, and eighty percent—hold those three thoughts. When Luke left the private school bubble he’d lived in for nine years and started high school I knew it would be a big leap.   I never expected it would be like jumping the Grand Canyon.  It was.  He didn’t crash like Evil Knievel but there were a lot of bumps and bruises.  By senior year, however, he had it down and graduated with honors. When he left for college I knew it would be an equally big leap.  First

Eighty dollars, eighty cents, and eighty percent—hold those three thoughts. When Luke left the private school bubble he’d lived in for nine years and started high school I knew it would be a big leap.   I never expected it would be like jumping the Grand Canyon.  It was.  He didn’t crash like Evil Knievel but there were a lot of bumps and bruises.  By senior year, however, he had it down and graduated with honors. When he left for college I knew it would be an equally big leap.  FirstKeep reading...

Waste Not Want Not

I hate waste and the older I get the more it drives me crazy.  Waste of any kind frustrates me, but nothing irks me more than wasting time. It’s been a lifelong battle and yet when I say this people are surprised.  I am one of the most productive time wasters you could meet.  Yes, I accomplish a lot but the trouble is I only have two speeds—overdrive or stalled.  There’s no middle ground and both exhaust me.  On one end of the spectrum it takes a lot more momentum

I hate waste and the older I get the more it drives me crazy.  Waste of any kind frustrates me, but nothing irks me more than wasting time. It’s been a lifelong battle and yet when I say this people are surprised.  I am one of the most productive time wasters you could meet.  Yes, I accomplish a lot but the trouble is I only have two speeds—overdrive or stalled.  There’s no middle ground and both exhaust me.  On one end of the spectrum it takes a lot more momentumKeep reading...

Germ-A-Phobe

The other day I made the mistake of telling a friend this was the first winter in ten years I haven’t been sick and now I’m home in bed.  What was I thinking?  In hindsight, when she asked how I was doing I should have just said great and then I wouldn’t have jinxed myself.  Intellectually I don’t believe you can actually do that but while coughing, sneezing, and wheezing I feel like you can. She’s not the first person I’ve said this too, but our conversation was more significant

The other day I made the mistake of telling a friend this was the first winter in ten years I haven’t been sick and now I’m home in bed.  What was I thinking?  In hindsight, when she asked how I was doing I should have just said great and then I wouldn’t have jinxed myself.  Intellectually I don’t believe you can actually do that but while coughing, sneezing, and wheezing I feel like you can. She’s not the first person I’ve said this too, but our conversation was more significantKeep reading...

Oh Christmas Tree

Last Christmas when I pulled out the decorations I swore I wouldn’t buy any more.  Somehow over the previous twenty-five years I’d acquired more than a department store would need.  That’s probably an overstatement, but it’s safe to say my collection had grown to the point it was time to downsize. This added a lot of time to the decorating effort then, but that investment paid off this year.  After Thanksgiving when it was time to break out the boxes I had the halls decked in record time.  Nothing even

Last Christmas when I pulled out the decorations I swore I wouldn’t buy any more.  Somehow over the previous twenty-five years I’d acquired more than a department store would need.  That’s probably an overstatement, but it’s safe to say my collection had grown to the point it was time to downsize. This added a lot of time to the decorating effort then, but that investment paid off this year.  After Thanksgiving when it was time to break out the boxes I had the halls decked in record time.  Nothing evenKeep reading...