The Parking Lot Slog

Thanks to Alice Massa for inspiring this. In her post, she shares her winter travel adventures with her guide dog and explains why her accomplishments should have earned her an Olympic medal. I don’t have a guide dog, but here’s something I did last week that should have earned me an Olympic medal.

Last Thursday, a friend, who uses a walker, picked me up, and we drove to a restaurant downtown where we planned to meet others for our monthly friendship club luncheon. There were no empty parking spaces close to the restaurant, so we ended up in a lot about half a block away. Most of the week had been cold, with temperatures only in the teens most of the time, dropping below zero at night. On this particular day though, it was up to thirty degrees, which meant everything was turning to slush, including the parking lot.

The only thing to do was slog through the slush. Because of fear of falling at our age, my friend and I, clinging to her walker for dear life, made our way through the slush like two little old ladies out for an afternoon walk. We somehow managed to get to the street and across it to the sidewalk, which was clear, without falling flat on our backs. Now that should have earned us a gold medal.

Can you think of any winter adventures you survived that should have earned you an Olympic medal? I hope you’re staying warm and upright through these frigid, treacherous winter months. Take heart. Spring is just around the corner.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Soggy Morning Contentment

Note: The following comes from fellow blogger Patty Fletcher, who is the author of two books and does marketing for other writers and businesses. Enjoy, and have a great day.

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Good Moonday)Monday morning campbellsworld visitors.
I hope this message finds you well, warm and dry.
Here, Campbell and I woke to another rainy chilly morning, and to be quite blunt, we are sick to death of mornings such as these.
Even Campbell who for those who do not know, is a big black Labrador, that should love water, grumbled as we went out for his first morning park time.
He took care of his necessary rather quickly and shook vigorously as we came back through the door with a mighty wiggly waggly jingly jangly shake, and humph of disgust as I stepped in behind him grabbing a doggy towel and firmly shutting the door against the nasty weather.
Once we were dried off, and he was fed, I went for my usual morning’s cup of coffee.
He came wagging happily along with his nails, clickety clickety clicketing, adding rhythm to the song of the morning rain waiting for his morning meds.
As I gave him his arthritis chews I thought, “Gods, I hope these are truly helping him. I never want him to feel the kind of pain I feel this day.”
Thanks to yet another soggy start to the morning, my wish to keep the light-bill down and not running any heat during the night, I am feeling the damp deep within my joints, and muscles this early morn.
Between the arthritis and fibro, some mornings are a real battle.
As I poured my coffee, and put it into the microwave to heat, I sang in a made-up tune,
“Reach out for the good.
Chase away the bad.
Think of all the blessings you have.
Try, try, and try.
Keep doing it till you smile.
Cause the alternative is, to cry, cry, and cry.”
The microwave beeped, my left-over coffee from yesterday was done, and as I spooned in sugar and began to stir, I chanted softly.
“Happy Moonday, it’s a great day to be sure.
The sun will come up behind the clouds and listen to those birds.
Thank you for the sun.
Thank you, when day is done,
All my needs, they will be met.
Thank you for what I have, and for what I have not yet.
Thank you for being you, and for showing me what to say and do.
Light my path, and guide my way, and help me get through another day.”
As I finished readying my coffee to drink, I realized I’d forgotten how badly I felt, and that I could certainly get through another day.
I went to sit with my Bubba to have my first cup of strength.
As I was kneeling to sit beside him, he began to thump his tale cheerfully on the loveseat where he lay,
When I’d settled myself onto the floor where I normally sit so I can reach to stroke his fur, and snuggle him into my arms, connecting with Mother Earth for my morning love-fest and meditation time, I said to him,
“You really do love your momma, don’t you?”
His answer? a swipe of his enormous tongue, and a generous helping of his loving nuzzles.
Tucking his head gently under my chin, and leaning into his loving warmth, I knew that I was safe, loved, and accepted.
So, I added to my morning prayers,
“Thank you especially for my Bubba. May he be blessed with long-life, and good health, for many years to come.”

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Saturday Song: Unchained Melody

I often sang this song to my late husband Bill. After his strokes, whenever I hit the high note close to the end, he was always moved to tears. I hope my rendition of this song, as I sang it to Bill many times, moves you, too.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Thursday Book Feature: Reblog–Deliverance from Jericho

I read and reviewed this book several years ago. Recently, the author told me it’s now on Bookshare, an online service that makes books available in accessible formats for those like me with disabilities that prevent or make reading difficult. Since I haven’t had time to read anything new lately, I decided to post a link to this old review. Bruce is one of many children who had negative experiences at government-run schools for the blind in the U.S. and Canada before 1970. I hope you’ll find his story inspirational and thought-provoking.

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Deliverance from Jericho
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We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Reblog–Why Do David Baldacci and I Write?

It just so happens that one of my book discussion groups will be talking about one of David Baldacci’s books next month. Naturally, I was curious about why this author wrote. In this post, Kathy Waller provides quotes from this and other authors on why they write and presents one of the first things she wrote when she was a kid. Enjoy!

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Why Do David Baldacci and I Write?

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We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Technology and Marriage

Technology is like a spouse. You can’t live with it. You can’t live without it. It can be wonderful, then temperamental. It can purr like a cat and do what you ask. Then it can be stubborn as a mule, refusing to do anything. It’s a great thing to have, but it can be a pain in the anatomy.

The only difference between technology and a spouse is that if you throw a computer out the window, no one gets hurt, unless of course you’re tossing it from your tenth story apartment window to a crowded street below. If you were to throw your spouse out that same window, you would no doubt be arrested for murder, and your story would make headlines across the country, so I don’t advise doing that, either.

I was never tempted to throw my late husband out the window. The only time I ever felt compelled to throw technology out the window was when I had my iPad years ago.

I never could get the hang of gestures, and even with the Bluetooth keyboard, it was clunky. With my visual impairment, I could have used some hands-on training, but that wasn’t available here in Wyoming, at least not at a price I could afford. Instead, I flicked it, clicked it, and then bopped it into oblivion. Actually, that’s not true. I just quit using it after several months, but my first way of putting it does sound more dramatic, doesn’t it?

The good thing about technology is that it won’t tell you to lose weight or threaten to take the bedroom door off its hinges if you close it one more time like my late husband did. Please don’t get me wrong. Bill was not an abusive man. He had his ideas, and I had mine, and we didn’t always agree, like any married couple. That said, technology won’t be upset if you two don’t always feel the same way.

Also, when you want to establish a permanent relationship with a computer or other device, you don’t have to send out invitations and pick out a dress, cake, flowers, etc. Replacing a computer or other device is less costly and painful than divorcing an old spouse and marrying a new one. If something happens to your computer, just call in a repairman. There are no late-night flights to bigger and better hospitals, no waiting and wondering if your computer will ever be the same, at least most of the time.

After Bill’s stroke, we had six happy years together, even though he couldn’t do much for himself and depended on me for everything. You can read about our adventurous married life in My Ideal Partner. Now that Bill is gone, though, I think I’ll stick to relationships with my computer, Braille tablet, cell phone, and book reader. They’re not as much of a pain in the anatomy as marriage can be.

How do you feel about this? Do you think living with a piece of technology can be just as difficult as living with a spouse? I’d love to know your thoughts, that is, if your technology doesn’t decide to be temperamental when you want to share them.

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We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Saturday Song: John Lennon: Imagine

Thanks to Bruce Atchison for inspiring me to post this. The song Bruce posted is about living in a world without pain. “Imagine” is about living in a world without war, hatred, greed, or hunger. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world of love, joy, peace, and plenty? Enjoy, and have a great Saturday.

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We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.