Saturday, October 18, 2008
A Corner of the World
To keep in touch, hello again everybody. the critter that was hanging around before is back. Tell tell signs it leaves are clear. Some neighbors think it's a fox. One is sure it's skunk. If I could choose, I'd go with the fox. I hurried to a store, and got a new supply of ammonia. That's what the wildlife department wants used to deter the poor little thing. As much as I don't like knowing one's so close around, still, it is sad that it has to try so hard to make a den in this people oriented place it is stuck in.

I have never been as much a part of an election, but I am with this one. I have some time between jobs, so can help more. Filled out my mail in ballot, and took it to the post office where a clerk was more than helpful about the correct amount of postage needed. He mentioned they are getting big numbers of the ballots, at least fifty or more daily. and that's only one post office branch.

I helped with making calls at a different place today. Worked with a group of young Americans I am so proud of. They're not old and slower like I'm getting to be. I could feel their determination, their youthful energy. I loved watching their mapping out what to do when. It was encouraging, how organized they approached everything. I suppose in the military we would see this too, only amplitied many times over. We should recognize the dedication these young men and women so readily give to choose a leader for us all. It makes up many times over for the voter apathy or just plain indifference by some. Thank God above a few determined souls cared enough, and were willing to risk everything they had to put our America on the map of the world.

Other good news: I got a nursing job that's only three miles away, Will be working with Alzheimer people, and those with other kinds of dementia. Will start with it this coming week. Now, if I could just relocate that wild little animal that keeps trying to dig under my house, I'd think the economy and everything else that's falling apart in our country was so much better. Thinking of the animal trying so hard to carve out a place to be, reminds me that I've decided this cozy little room, my computer office, is where I'll be sleeping til warmer weather. Wherever you are, I hope you are snug and warm, and look forward to a better tomorrow.

  posted at 10:56 PM  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Shelter From The Storm May Be Closer Than You Think
I don't want to ever forget how it felt. The dark unfriendly coldness of my house surrounded my shoulders like a heavy mantle pressing down on me. The furnace had stopped working, and could not be repaired for four days, four more days of colder weather.

I went into survival mode immediately, and felt much better. Whoever built this house wisely installed, in addition to the furnace, some electrical baseboard heating in the little room I'd made into an office.

When I moved in, family thought it strange that I insisted that my couch be put in there. But insist I did, explaining that here in Colorado someone I workled with might need a temporary bed in one of our unpredictable snow storms.

By folding quilts and blankets, I made twice as much cover. Bed time almost became a ritual, as I scurried down into it. Using the computer, and many of my books filled the days I had to wait for the furnace to be checked. Except when I needed to hurry in and out of the cold kitchen or the bathroom, I was quite cozy.

Instead of keeping water with ice in it to drink, a habit I got into, I refilled the bottle with very warm water. My diet soon became hot cocoa, sometimes apple cider, and soups and chili. This was no time for eating icecream.

But even in this rearranged environment, some days cabin fever threatened, to the point that I just got up and went away for a while, which is what I'm gonna do today. My shopping list, if I can find them, includes a pair of Long Johns, and some fuzzy socklike things with the non skid bottoms for my feet.

As I waited for the furnace man, it was difficult to not dread how big the bill might be. But I fought off the worrying by making another cup of Cocoa, and curling up under that nice warm cover for what might be the very last time there.

I enjoyed shaking off the chill of going to the kitchen. Leaned back, and then I smiled at what I was thinking. I'm not putting things back like they were. The covers will stay where they are. Who says you have to have an emergency to remember the pleasure of simple things.

I don't know if whoever installed the electrical heating ever considered what he might be paying forward. But if I get the chance to shield some poor soul from a winter storm, I will let them use this great place to be, but only for as long as the storm lasts, then again it will be all mine.

  posted at 10:26 AM  

Saturday, October 04, 2008
Promises For Tomorrow.
"I will never eat graham flour biscuits again." was the earliest promise I remember making to myself. Though It was probably whole wheat, so better for us, it made such ugly biscuits, like the Great Depression turned our town; all heavy and dark. Not light and fluffy like Grandma's biscuits were. Her's looked and tasted so good they made it easier to get the oatmeal down. We also were given dried prunes and other staples when my Mom and I would stand in line with the throng of other hungry families back then.

My father spent his time searching for work. But there wasn't any anymore. If you've read this to here, you may wonder why it's so somber, and what is the point. Last week, before America's Wall Street disaster eclipsed the news, I was thinking of posting about our national election. I do like the idea of our new president coming from a life of hardship, and being poor, but taking himself above and beyond that, to the point that he can run for president. But I'll not get into all that's transpired while two men vie for this most important job in our country. The media has already beaten this election almost to death. Weeks ago I stopped even listening to the ugliness of it.

What I would like to share, is not just how bleak the Dpression time was, but the effects of it that linger almost eighty years later. My own children, when they hear me plead "Depression era thinking" to explain away my behavior or an old attitude, may feel I could change it, if I'd just try. But the roots of this approach to life are heavily chained to our heritage and our culture. The difference in then and now is that I can't remember the last time I heard the expression, "A penny saved is a penny earned." I don't hear much about planning to save for the proverbial rainy day. Most of the time, when people talk about money, it has more to do with buying things.

I chide myself for nickeling and diming even inexpensive things in a store. If I were wealthy, I would probably still cringe at the cost of a good steak, and I really love a good one. This approach to the marketplace carries over into all areas of our lives. I will want to send a nice present to someone, but I get in a store, and compare if I could buy something cheaper.

This isn't to reflect how much or how little I care about someone. It is that old almost ancient habit that's been driving me all my life. Standing in line with my Mom to get the ugly brown flour we so needed, and the dried prunes was a big part of the start of this concept. But what I've realized is that it spreads everywhere in our lives.

Years ago when I was doing a self starter college program, an outstanding psychogist who taught me wrote comments on assignments I turned in. She said things like, "Judith, this is higher level work than being only for a Bachelor's degree. and you did it better than many students would have," (Even as I write this I fear someone may think I am puffing up my ability) But not long ago, while looking for other papers, I chanced upon that college assignment again, and this time could easily tell the instructor was completly right in what she said. Because I've so yearned to educate myself, much of the emphasis in my case is on learning. For others it may be in different areas of their lives.

Something else I now question is having low self esteem, that it may not always be that, but is those ancient depression concepts still terribly affecting one's life.

As I make new promises to myself, I feel a freedom I've not known before. Perhaps a little like Scarlet in "Gone With the Wind" when, at the defeat of the South in our Civil War, with her fist held high toward the sky, declares: "Tomorrow is another day."

  posted at 1:42 PM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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