coping, death, growing old, losing battles, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, photography, solitude

Resting places…

Duxbury Beach in Massachusetts features prominently in my fond memories of home.  Maybe it was that we used to stay at my uncle’s cottage, the last one on the seawall that defined the private beach from the public beach.  That it was rocky, especially after a storm, was a plus.  You could put your blanket out on the sand and scout out a few rocks to anchor down the corners.  My husband had heard me rave about it long before he ever saw it, and when I took him there it was after a storm and it was particularly rocky, and from the look in his eye I’m pretty sure he doubted my sanity after that.  Since then I have been to lovely beaches with expanses of sugar sand as far as the eye can see, but I will never feel about them the way I feel about Duxbury.  Which is why I told Charley that I wanted my ashes scattered at Duxbury when the time came.  My daughter heard that and said that I should be informing her of my wishes, and, as usual, she was right.  If I was ever going to change my mind about that then visiting a cemetery like this one is why I’ll let the decision stand.  Stones sinking into the ground, names and dates barely readable, and no one to care or remember.  Sadly, there was more than one ‘unknown’ marker.  A person, a life.  Someone’s child, possibly someone’s parent, gone except for that sad marker.  After being home alone for so long I’m finding that part of me now wants to get out, hit the road, go everywhere, see everything. But I tell myself I’m too old, I can’t do it alone.  Maybe so, maybe not.  But I like the idea that one day my ashes might ride the wind and the water, and travel farther than my dreams can take me now.  I’ll return to Duxbury one day…5-28cemeteryfence

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dogs, grief, growing old, losing battles, memories, photography, responsibility

Decisions…

The vet tech had an explanation for it.  “It” being the fact that the dog I had brought in, the one that had required me to hoist her back end up off the floor every time she wanted to get up for the last 48 hours, was repeatedly getting herself up off the tile floor at the vet’s office yesterday.  It was because even though there were no other dogs there to witness her struggles, she still could smell them, and no dog wants to let herself be seen as the weakest one in the pack, so the adrenaline rush she was having was serving as a pain reliever.  Or so they said.  I had told myself that the thing I didn’t want to do was to take her in and spend a whole lot of money, knowing what the outcome was really going to be in the not so distant future, and knowing that my Zoe was going to suffer while I fought to justify my decision of what to do.  But in the vet’s office she looked like a different dog from the one I’d had at home.  Needing help getting up was relatively new, and while she had needed me to help her for a day or two recently, she had seemed to recover and I told myself that she had strained something and it was all better.  And the confusion in her face when she couldn’t get herself up was heartbreaking.  But she seemed to be in not so dire of a condition while we were there, so it was pain meds, joint supplements, and see her in two weeks.

Except once I got her home she was trying to not use her right back leg at all.  That she was in distress was obvious.  I brought the water bowl to her and she drank, but she wouldn’t eat.  She cried and wanted to get up, so I’d hoist her up, and then she’d stand there not knowing what she wanted to do next.  I thought about how I’d learned to help my mother, and then my husband, when they couldn’t get out of a chair.  I’d lean in and hug them to me, and use leverage to just lift them up.  It worked perfectly.  Not possible with Zoe, and I was already feeling the strain in my back from lifting her.  

I’m writing this at 4 AM while I listen to Zoe’s breathing.  She is finally asleep.  We have been up for hours, she was crying, it actually sounded like a low growl, and nothing I could do for her except sit with her and pet her seemed to help.  Sweet, easy-going Ozzie was determined to put himself between Zoe and me, so I had to put him in the bedroom before he hurt her, or me.  It was the pleading in her eyes that got to me.  Just like when it’s been raining for hours and the dogs want to go out, and they look at me  wondering why I’m letting it rain when they know that I’m in charge of the world and I could stop it if I wanted to.  Zoe’s eyes tell me that she is pleading with me to make it stop, not the rain, but the pain…4-26onelasttime

go with the flow, losing battles, nature, photography, rain, storms, weather

If only it wasn’t raining…

… I’m sure I’d be out front changing the light bulb in the light post.  Especially since I bought the replacement bulb weeks ago, but I’ve been waiting for the perfect day and today would be it, if only it wasn’t raining…

… I’d also have gotten in my 36 laps at the pool…

… The dogs wouldn’t be looking at me and wondering why I don’t stop the rain and take them for a walk…

… I’d probably would have stopped procrastinating and called the sprinkler guy to come fix the sprinklers before my crispy brown lawn dies completely…

… I’d pick up the fiddle feaf fig leaves that are laying out there on the lawn.  I’ve already picked up 5 full garbage bags full, but I probably could fill another bag now…

… I wouldn’t have had to close the bedroom door to keep a wet, drooly dog from dirtying up the clean sheets…

… I would have gone out and taken a lot more eagle photos, and the sunset too…

… I would have washed the car, mowed the lawn, and bathed the dogs…

…and I wouldn’t have worn my in-case-of-mud-photoshoot-shoes to church…1-29Sundayshoes

If only it wasn’t raining…

finding my way, life goes on, live and learn, losing battles, nature, photography, rain, technology, weather

Rainy, gloomy, day…

The universe is conspiring against me.  I swear it is.  The weather here is raining, and cold enough to make you miserable, but not cold enough to try to recreate the videos I’m seeing on Facebook that show a soap bubble slowly developing ice crystals as it freezes in the icy cold somewhere where I’m glad I’m not.  And on the iPhone photo page I saw lovely macro photos of snowflakes.  If I was somewhere with snow I think I would be outside trying to recreate that photo.  Yesterday I decided to take a couple of pictures when I noticed how pretty the flowers out front were, so I went to my favorite macro app, Camera +, in the iPhone.  I clicked on the little + sign, but it didn’t bring up the macro feature that I’ve used before.  Instead it was a menu I’d never seen before, and being on my way back to work I didn’t get to investigate.  Nothing is ever easy.

None of my devices were working yesterday, and neither was Netflix.  So I decided to restart my modem, which is when I realized that flipping off the one wall switch in the bedroom had shut off the iron, but also shut down the modem.   Operator error this time, I’m lucky I figured it out so quickly.  My fault, and I suppose it’s also my fault that the Roku remote has been missing for such a long time that I forgot why I hadn’t been watching Netflix for so long.  And when I went looking for a new Roku remote online I discovered the Roku Express app, so now my trusty iPhone is my Roku remote!

I’ve been an Apple girl, (Charley just reminded me that I was a girl when Hollywood was a prairie), for a very long time now, and I’m spoiled.  The computer just works, always.  Well, until lately.  Facebook either won’t load at all, or it quits all of a sudden and I lose whatever I had written.  Today when it quit I noticed the message that the page was reloading because it was using ‘significant memory’.  Is the computer dying?  I hope not because I can’t stand to edit my photos on the phone or iPad, even though I bought the iPad for exactly that reason.  So I use the iPad for Facebook, even though I hate typing on it, but I rely on the computer for WordPress.  I’m worried that I need a new computer, but a new bill? Not so much.

And speaking of Charley, he doesn’t always feel as if he is with me, but lately he’s been hanging around, which is why I took him out for a corned beef sandwich at The Lucky Dill the other day.  Which I ate for him of course, but it was a little dry and he would have complained.  (The piece of cheesecake that came with it was very tasty though!)  I brought the other half of the sandwich home and ate it yesterday.  I took the meat out and reheated it in the microwave with a few drops of water, dried out the rye bread in the toaster oven, then reconstructed the sandwich and added a little cheese, and grilled that thing!  OMG, was it ever good.  But now I’m craving all the carbs and ‘bad’ food that I love but haven’t been eating for months now…

And my final proof that the universe has it in for me came in the mail.  When it came is a mystery, it was just sitting on top of the pile of stuff on my table, looking as if it had just been placed there by someone.  But I’m the only one here and I know that I hadn’t seen it before.  Not a Happy New Year moment.  It was the size of a Christmas card, which is what I thought it was, but when I turned it over I found… a jury summons.  I hadn’t missed the date to report though, so that was good, saves me a big hassle I’m sure.  But in reading the info I see that on my next birthday I will have reached the age to be permanently deleted from the pool of potential jurors.  So it’s official, I have it in writing.  I’m past my sell-by date… sigh.

 

 

 

dogs, home, life, life goes on, losing battles, photography

Who’s in charge here…

For a dog who doesn’t seem to have an aggressive bone in his body, Ozzie sure can boss me around. I once read something written by Caesar Milan, that said that any time your dog tells you what to do, like wants to go out when it wasn’t your idea to go out, then that’s aggression. And it shouldn’t be tolerated. Maybe allowed would be a better word. I remember thinking that if I ever had a big dog I wanted to be sure that they were trained perfectly, and incredibly well behaved. Okay, so now I have two big dogs that do nothing I say, unless I ask them if it’s cookie time, which will bring them galloping to the back door.
And the throw on the bed? That’s my side. I’ve always slept on that much of the bed, a little sliver on the side, so Ozzie really isn’t taking the bed over, that’s just his (now) side of the bed. I’ve had to resort to an extra throw these last few nights since it’s gotten cold, and seeing that makes me see how little of the king-sized bed I actually use. I took a picture because Ozzie was hiding his eyes since I came in and turned the light on to get ready to go to bed. Poor thing, I was disturbing him. I should do the same thing when he gets me up at 1:30, and 3:30 every night. I wonder what Caesar Milan would say about that?

Chinsegut Conservation Center, coping, growing old, healing, losing battles, memories, natural wonders, nature, photography, solitude

A new you, I mean me…

Nature photography is new to me. For years I thought that cameras were for taking pictures of the grandchildren only, so in a sense I’ve reinvented myself as far as photography goes. Taking photos of sunsets and butterflies are one thing, always beautiful, but a trip to Chinsegut Conservation Center provides more than just the obvious photo ops. A locust chrysalis, which I would never have spotted if it hadn’t been pointed out to me, isn’t pretty, but in reviewing my photos from my trip there it’s the chrysalis that’s on my mind.

Seeing it made me think how nice it might be to just shed your outer, worn out, and thoroughly abused self, and re-emerge as a newer, fresher, you. Or me.  But knowing what you know now so you don’t make the same mistakes over again. Reinventing yourself so as to face a world that reinvented itself while we were busy and not paying attention. A world that dotes on youth isn’t such a friendly place these days. I know I’m not the only one who feels like I’m the same person I always was, but better really because getting older really does make you wiser. Easier on yourself. But you don’t look better, just older, and stepping out into the world, this crazy youth-worshipping world, when you left your own youth behind years ago, leaves you where, exactly?

I’ve spent the last three years at home, telling myself that I was happy, but in reality I was using the house as a chrysalis, hiding, safe, because I didn’t know what else to do. And telling myself that I was happy, and loving the privacy. No witnesses, except the dogs and they don’t judge. And now I think wait a minute, is this all I want or need for the rest of my life? And I imagine various Hallmark movie scenarios of what life could be. Then I walk past a mirror and think, who are you kidding?

Mother Nature gets it, at least as far as locusts go. When they have become worn and tired, and have been buffeted around by life a while, they can just shuck their old shell and reemerge as a new and improved version. I’m thinking that I wish people could do the same thing…

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