Monday, October 15, 2018

Walking Each Other Home

We had friends over for dinner the other night and, after dinner, while the guys removed to the porch to smoke cigars, the ladies remained inside. We talked of quilts and gardens and then the talk turned to aging and related problems. 

 I've been struck at recent gatherings by how much conversation is inextricably tied to one's time of life. Though my friend is almost ten years younger than I, the conversation ranged from our own health and that of our friends to who is moving into smaller/more practical housing, how we see our own futures playing out, our widowed friends and how they are coping, Alzheimer's, cancer . . . and beyond.

It used to be a source of amusement, this predilection of the elderly to turn to the obituaries first, to catalog one's every ache and pain, to obsess, in short, about aging.

But now that I am one -- a senior citizen, a geezer, a golden ager, (yikes, those all sound awful! I don't mind being old but those labels suck) -- I digress -- now that I am of an age where many of my contemporaries are experiencing illness and loss, I realize the truth of Richard Alpert's "We're all just walking each other home."

Just as at any gathering of new parents, the talk will sooner or later turn to babies and their care and feeding, we who are aging have to figure out how to deal with the changes ahead or already present in our lives. We seek, not exactly role models, but some hints on how others are dealing with common problems in aging. We may not yet have experienced these problems, but reason suggests that sooner or later (if that dark fella Death doesn't get there first,) they will be our problems.

So we talk about it, preparing ourselves for the changes to come . . . getting used to the idea of age and loss . . . and walking each other home.  

Saturday, October 13, 2018

My Pet Alien?

I saw it at the grocery store on Tuesday and resisted . . . then I was at the store again on Thursday . . . and it was still there . . . . and resistance was useless.

It's so wonderfully weird, this strange orchid. I suspect it's an alien critter, pretending to be a plant.

Or, to be more exact, a clutch of alien critters . . .

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Book of Kells -- Online Learning

So I signed up for a free online course from Trinity College, Dublin and am learning about the Book of Kells  -- that amazingly beautiful and ornate illuminated manuscript from the 9th Century -- and the society that produced this treasure.

I love learning new things. I was amazed to learn that in the 10th Century, Irish monasteries had established foundations (other monasteries) across Europe -- in France, Germany, Italy, and as far east as Vienna.

I am also enchanted by the calligraphy (insular majuscule it's called) and find myself strongly tempted to dig out my long-abandoned pens and ink . . .  

The course lasts four weeks and is not especially grueling -- they say four hours reading/viewing time each week. I'm halfway through the first week and really enjoying it.

( If you're interested in learning more about this course, follow the link HERE)

All images from Pinterest.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Delight in Small Pleasures

After last week's political unpleasantness, I'm paying even closer attention to the little things that enrich my life . . . the fig tree in our green house that continues to bear . . .

The two tomato vines growing up that fig tree (offspring of a couple of store-bought grape tomatoes I stuck in the soil at the fig's base to see what would happen) are making little tomatoes!

And the cucumber seeds I planted in the greenhouse back in July have been providing cukes for a couple of months and seem to be determined to keep on. The garden cukes are long gone, victims of bugs and powdery mildew.

And speaking of little things -- Josie is finding her way with words. She's been relying on a bit of sign language and a forceful personality to make her wishes known, but in the past week, she has added to her core vocabulary of Mama, Dada, Uh huh! Moo, Meow, and Yeah.

Now we're hearing (B)anana, Uh oh! and (a new favorite) More (pronounce Moah.) And we think we heard her say Moah mango . . . but her mouth was full of mango and we can't be sure.  Her staff is enchanted, needless to say.

And this tickled me. A few days ago while she was having her lunch, she noticed the book I'd been reading -- Live Wire by Harlan Coben. She seemed fascinated by the author's photo and when she made the sound she uses for What's that?
I said Harlan Coben. Something about the name captivated her and she spent most of her lunchtime looking at Harlan Coben. Later on she got up close and personal and gave Harlan Coben a kiss. Several times.

I've been a fan of Coben since I saw him at my first mystery convention and I just figured that Josie has good taste. So I was a little disappointed when Justin and Claui pointed out later that Claui's dad also sports a shaved head and Josie may have thought that was a picture of her Grandpa.

Maybe so. But she definitely reacted to the sound of the words Harlan Coben. Maybe she just figured Meema was trying to pull a fast one.