The older I become the more young people want to call me honey and sweetheart. Why? Since when did senior citizens become immune to patronizing words coming from strangers. I drove through a fast foods place to get a large tea. That's all I wanted. I was going to take my tea and drive out to the park where I would sit peacefully in my car and mediate about the beauty of the ducks (and drink my tea). Now, don't get me wrong; I'm not an old goggy who picks on younger people, but I am also not someone's sweetheart whom I've never even met. I have a good friend (or more) in her nineties. She calls me often and I would never think about calling her honey, sweetheart, or darling. So, what do I do? Probably what I've always done---nothing but complain. I am lobbying, however, for all fast foods places to train their employees NOT to patronize their customers. I think the next time I'm called that by a stranger, I'll reach through my car window and throw my tea. Now, sweetheart, how would you like that? Just saying.
I have spent two hours ironing no-iron blouses and wrinkle-free pants . When am I going to learn that there are no free rides? Nothing is simple. I know some of you have good luck with such items, but I do not. Even if I stand over the dryer, waiting for it to stop so I can grab the items and shake them out before the wrinkles set, I still see wrinkles. What am I doing wrong?
I have no faith in labels or tags or most products. For Christmas this year, I bought Guy a smoker/grill big enough to cook for three families (what was I thinking?) it worked fine the first time. The second time the smoker stopped and he had to restart it several times. The third time it wouldn't work at all. Nothing is simple. Did I save the receipt? Not when it worked the first time. Without a receipt, I just have to hope the store will make good on it. Lifetime warranty? I should have paid extra.
The skillet that won't stick, does stick. Maybe not the one advertised now because I don't know about it, but the one we women had to have about ten years ago. I remember how well it worked at first and then the bottom covering broke loose and in the trash it went. Every chopper I have bought to save time has ended up in the Goodwill box. My George Foreman Grill is under the counter. I look for simplicity, but in doing so caused more hardships.
By now I should have learn that slow and easy wins the game, but I'm always rushed and looking for shortcuts. Life is made up of shortcuts and I manage to mess up each time I take one. I have to get back to my ironing.
by Carol about Judy
“It’s only hair.” When a clump of it shows up in a hairbrush one morning, it’s more than hair.
Judy Wallace Irvin (my lifelong friend) had not been feeling well for almost a year. After many tests, one revealed a tumor lodged in a duct in her pancreas, and two months ago she began chemo treatments to shrink it before surgery. Once a week, she goes to Lexington, sits in the chair where others have sat, and watches the drip flow into her body, praying that it is doing its job.
“You will lose your hair,” the oncologist told her.
“It’s only hair,” she consoled herself. We all said the same thing to her, “It’s only hair. It will grow back.”
Dealing with being sick from chemo was much more of a dread than losing her hair. Now in her final month of treatments before surgery without being very sick or having days when she couldn’t get out of bed, she is grateful for being able to endure chemo as well as she has. “I’m better the first few days than the last of the week, but nothing that keeps me down for long!” she said.
At our “girls” monthly lunch last week, Judy appeared in her new wig. “It looks wonderful,” we exclaimed. No one could have told the difference except it was a little longer than the way she wore her hair. When we finished praising it, she told us how it felt losing her hair. It was an emotional moment for all of us.
“I thought I was handling this well, but the sight of a handful of hair on my pillow when I woke up one morning did something to me,” she said. “For the next couple of days, I found hair in the shower and on the back of my chair. Suddenly, I saw the effects of chemo and knew it was time.”
Her hairdresser buzzed her head, and her niece went with her to find a wig. “Getting used to the wig was not as bad as I thought it would be, but by the end of the day, I have to get it off my head. Most days I go around the house bald and forget when someone comes to the door that I don’t look the way they have always seen me.”
“I discovered that morning when my hair was on the floor and the bed that it is more than just hair,” she concluded.
One day Judy had gone to Kroger (she lives in Russell Springs) and saw a little girl clinging to the front of a cart while a lady (her grandmother) pushed it. “The child’s head was bald, so I immediately knew. Something came over me and without hesitation, I went up to her and kneeled down. “You are a pretty little girl. What is your name?” Judy later thought that approaching a stranger’s child might not have been appropriate, but she wasn’t thinking of that.
Judy continued, “You want to know a secret?”
The girl nodded “yes.”
“My head looks just like yours.” Pulling back her wig, Judy revealed her own baldhead. “We have something in common. The only difference is I’m wearing a wig.”
The child was around seven-years-old, so she didn’t know exactly what to say, but her grandparents did. “We can’t thank you enough for what you just did,” one said out of the presence of the child. “She has just gone through her fortieth treatment.” Judy didn’t ask what kind of cancer; it didn’t matter. She knew what the little girl had endure and what her grandparents had suffered with her.
When Judy told me this story, she did so with a lump in her throat, thinking about the child on the back of the cart. “I don’t know what made me approach this little girl; I could have made her grandparents mad, but they told me over and over when our paths crossed in the store, how much that meant to them.”
Cancer is a lonely disease even if a person is never alone. Sometimes strength comes from different places. “My strength,” said Judy, “came from a little girl named Sarah on the back of a cart in a grocery store.”
Have you felt your behind spread across the bottom of your chair from sitting so long at the computer? Wide load comes to mind. Sometimes I feel as if I am writing my life away, as the song goes, only I think it is "dreaming my life away." We writers have to be dreamers or we couldn't write. We have to imagine words on paper and then how they will sound to others. I like to keep it simple.
Too many writers complicate their thoughts and end up complicating the reader. My mind is filled with lots of junk, so I sure don't want to complicate anything. I write about what I know. My poor husband is my straight man. "I was basically invisible until Carol started writing." He does contribute to so many of my adventures, so how could I leave him behind along the way? It is time he came to light.
Too many writers worry about their vocabulary. Mine is limited. I have dealt with words all my life as an English teacher, but I found students understood "plain" English. In trying to explain things, I kept it simple. Complicated things can be explain in simple terms. (Except I don't think most math teachers can get down as low as I would need to understand algebra.) Try teaching Emerson and Thoreau to sixteen-year olds!
Too many writers get bogged down with what others will think. Naturally, we want our readers to like what we write, but the approval of others might keep a good writer from beginning. I never wrote for any audience until I was fifty. Not that I didn't want to, but I was rejected on a piece of writing I sent to a publisher and promptly gave up. Big mistake. That is the beauty of a blog. Write about what you know and others will say, "Oh, yeah, I feel that way, too." I am fortunate that the Glasgow Daily Times, the Columbia Online Magazine and the Herald News allow me to write for them each week. Would I like to write for the Courier? Of course, I would but I won't stop writing because they don't want me on their staff (I'm waiting for that interview I can't get).
Start your own blog; share your thoughts, your recipes, your experiences, your worries, your life. You will be surprised how many people will be happy to read what you have to say.