a second look, changing times, childhood, facing facts, family, grandchildren, history, learning, life goes on, live and learn, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, responsibility

Early voting…

Day one of early voting in Florida found me in a socially distanced line waiting to vote, which is all I have to say about this election. The first election that I actually remember was the 1956 election. I was turning eight, and horrified to realize that Eisenhower might not continue to be president. Since I thought life was just perfect as it was I worried that he wouldn’t be re-elected. Or they could elect my daddy, I thought that would be a dandy idea also. Next up was the 1960 election of JFK, a big deal in MA of course, so that left a lasting impression. But with a voting age of 21, and due to my July birthday, the first election I was able to vote in was the 1972 election. I was living in San Diego at the time, so waiting for my husband to get home from work meant that Nixon had already been declared the winner before I went out and voted with my home state, the only state to go for McGovern.

To be honest I had to look up a list of the presidential elections after that to remind myself who ran, who was elected, and who I voted for. I’m only batting 500, but I actually thought it was worse than that, and for me most of those elections came and went without a lot of emotion on my part. Probably the most memorable one was the 2000 Bush/Gore election, which isn’t surprising. But it so happened that a friend of the family was on the Bush election team, which is probably why my two oldest grandkids were very aware of the election and excited about it. We walked to the polls to vote that morning, the kids rode their new scooters and we were going to McDonald’s for breakfast afterwards. The line was just long enough for it to seem like an event, but not so long that the kids got bored. They were allowed into the polling booth with me and they were given their own “I voted” stickers. For this grandmother it was the perfect educational moment, I just loved everything about that day, until the vote count. It was educational in an entirely unexpected way when my grandson asked me several weeks later, “Hey Mimi, did they ever figure out who won that election?”

The story of this election is still to be written… God bless America…

friends, fun, live and learn, memories, moments, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, responsibility

Prom season…

I wish I’d gone to the two proms I just went to in the opposite order, because I learned a few things this last Saturday.  My friend’s granddaughter had arranged to have photos taken as a group with some of her friends, and that sounded like fun.  My friend had informed me that I was invited to take photos at this event also.  But at the last minute we discovered that one of the families had hired a professional photographer to do the shoot, and it was mentioned that he’d have equipment, meaning lights and such.  This news had me wondering if we’d be welcome to take our own photos, and I was immediately intimidated, but off we went to a nearby mansion where the photos would be taken on the grounds.

I needn’t have worried.  The photographer showed up in his shorts, with just his hand held camera, and immediately began to banter with the kids and loosen them up.  It was determined that they were a group of friends with only one couple among them, and he began marching them around the grounds of this old mansion and posing them with lots of humor.  I found his choices of backgrounds to be interesting, and there were lots of shots where he had them all posed but looking to the side at him, so I couldn’t get his same angle and I’m looking forward to seeing his shots.  Of course we were all taking photos at the same time, and he’d tell the kids to just look at him, and after his shots he’d tell them to stay put to give us all a chance at it.  It was such fun.

And this tiny little NH town goes the extra mile for these kids. They were all assembled   at a back parking lot at the venue where they were all having dinner and the prom itself, and they were announced by name, and then each couple or group of friends, would come walking down the driveway approach to cheers from what appeared to be the entire town.  What a fun tradition.  But while we were all waiting for the main event what did we hear but an ice cream truck!  Soon I saw little kids with ice cream and I was thinking that it was terrible to have that distraction when the event we were all waiting for would begin in just a few minutes.  But as the truck came into view I realized that these were prom goers manning the truck, and tossing ice cream into the crowd!  What an entrance!  A little slice of small town living in NH…

05-19-Kin'sprom05-19-Kin'sprom205-19-Kin'sprom305-19-Kin'sprom405-19-Kin'sprom505-19-Kin'sprom605-19-Kin'sprom705-19-Kin'sprom805-19-Kin'sprom905-19-Kin'sprom1005-19-Kin'sprom1105-19-Kin'sprom1205-19-Kin'sprom1305-19-Kin'sprom1405-19-Kin'sprom1505-19-Kin'sprom16And here you have the soon to be crowned Prince and Princess of the prom!

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

blessings, courage, honor, memories, moments, photography, responsibility, soldiers

Remembering, with gratitude…

 

Several years ago I was traveling to visit my mother in MA, and was changing planes at BWI airport in Baltimore, and as I waited to board my connecting flight I heard a commotion several gates from where I waited. I looked to see what was happening and saw that an Honor Flight had arrived and the passengers, elderly veterans all, in matching tee shirts, were being wheeled off the the plane and through the airport. I heard applause begin and soon the terminal was lined with people, applauding and thanking these men for their service. It was such an emotional moment, and I was taken by surprise by the tears that were streaming down my face. I thought of all the times I’ve waited in the grocery store while an elderly gentleman blocked the aisle, and how we would be impatient with the elderly drivers we encounter on the streets here in Florida. It astounds me that these same men did in fact go off to a war, and endured things which we can’t imagine, and did so as young men who probably were not young at heart when they came home. If they were lucky enough to come home at all. Not many WW2 vets are left, we should treasure them. and all our vets.

Wars have changed, but the horrors that our vets see still changes them. We owe so much to the men and women who serve.

I was looking at the photos in my laptop and came across these. My cousins and I pooled our photos online several years ago, after we realized that we were now the older generation in the family. These photos look to have been taken on at my grandparent’s house. Was one of the brothers leaving, were they celebrating a return? All the brother’s, and brother-in-law, did return from the war. But seeing them all as the young men they once were, with their mother and sister, looking care free at that moment when chaos was taking place in the world, makes me both sad and proud. Everyone probably has similar family photos, with stories to go with all of them. We baby boomers owe them our lives, literally, since they endured and came home to raise their families. God bless them all.

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home, home improvements, losing battles, responsibility

A losing battle…

ridingmowerMy new riding lawnmower came back today. This was it’s second trip to the repair shop, the first being when I hit a tree stump and it stopped, and I got it going again, and hit the stump again, and then it quit. It needed new blades, or something like that. Now it just plain wouldn’t start. The repair guy called me yesterday and said he had good news and bad news. The good news is that there is nothing wrong with my lawnmower. He started it up and drove it into the shop. This after my numerous attempts to start it, turn the key and nothing, it didn’t even attempt to start. Just dead silence. One neighbor suggested charging the battery, and another neighbor did try that, but still nothing.

So I told the repair guy that it wasn’t just me, my more mechanically inclined neighbors couldn’t start it either, which must have given me slightly more credibility. I said that the ride over in the truck must have jiggled something and that’s why it started. He said that that was a thought, so he’d check all the electrical connections and start it a few more times throughout the day.

So nothing was wrong with it was the good news, the bad news is that I had to pay for the pick up and delivery, and the minimum repair charge, even though they didn’t actually do anything to it. I was worried that the ride back home would jiggle whatever loose again and it would go back to playing dead, but no it works fine. Turns out it was a safety switch, which the driver told me he found and fixed right in my driveway when he picked it up. And that would have been that if I would have been home, but I wasn’t, and in that case he couldn’t leave it. He did leave one once, fixed on the spot, and in a nice neighborhood he said, but the customer complained that he shouldn’t have left it! Seriously. So now he had to take it. Trust me, I wouldn’t have complained if he had left it, and I’d be $112 richer.

Everything is growing out of control here on the nature coast right now. Daily thunder storms for a month or so have taken care of that. So yesterday I took advantage of a break in the storms and cut my front ‘lawn’, aka overgrown weed patch, but green, which is all Charley ever asked of his lawn. I used the self-propelled mower that he bought shortly before his health issues took a turn. I’ve had to have that one serviced also. The repair guy for that one asked me if I’d been clearing land with it. Um, no, just mowing what passes for my lawn. Hidden plops of dog poop and lots of twigs and debris from the oak trees included. Sigh. My lot is much more un-level than I perceived it to be when I wasn’t on a riding lawnmower, the back slope is too scary so both mowers are needed every time I mow.  It’s a losing battle…losingbattle

I could try to add up the cost of the mowers, plus repairs, and divide by how many months it’s been since I had a lawn service do my lawn, to find out how far in the hole I am on my attempt to save money by doing it myself. Not to mention the toll the labor is taking on me and my mental health. I might have recommended lawn mower repair as a career choice for my son if I would have lived here back then. I doubt the demand will drop off any time soon…

 

life, memories, on closer examination, responsibility, the big picture

A Classy Bunch…

Not too long ago I wrote about my birthday, #69, the last of my 60s. Which means I was born in 1948. But I couldn’t think of any photos I had that I could include in the post, except some photos I had taken of an old truck at a salvage yard. It was definitely past it’s prime, kind of like me, so that’s what I included in the post. But a friend said that she didn’t understand the significance of those particular images and why I had chosen them. And, truthfully, I had looked online for images of model year 1948 cars, but the photos were really quite nice and didn’t portray the 69 years of wear and tear that I was going for. And again, truth be told, I knew the day would come that I’d like to include those nicer photos in a different blog post. A post that would celebrate all of us, born in ’48, the class of ’66. I actually think that the cars produced in 1948 look very classy, not at all what I was looking to portray when I wrote that first post. But thinking about it now I think we, my fellow 69ers, are a classy bunch too. Enough of a twinkle in the eye to know how to have fun, but not likely to embarrass ourselves, or anyone else. We sort of straddled the more prim and proper ways of the generation before us, but we tweaked it without actually going as far as the let-it-all-hang out ways of those younger than us. We worked hard to earn our place in the world, doing the right thing, raising our children to be good citizens, only to see many of the lessons we thought were important to teach our children become irrelevant in today’s world. It’s nothing new to wonder what this world is coming to, but we still proudly carry the banner of our generation, yes, a classy bunch are we.