The Coup of the Three Little Pigs

“When you’ve written to your president, to your congressman, to your senator and nothing, nothing has come of it, you take to the streets.” Erica Bouza

“He don’t take shoving.”  Jerry Parsons

“I resist, therefore I am.”  James W. Douglass

“Don’t let them tame you!”  Isadora Duncan

As you may remember, once long ago the three little pigs were sent off on their own to build their own homes and to find their own way in the world.

So shortly after the coup in Washington D.C., my husband and I were watching TV late one afternoon.  When from the corner of my eye I saw a movement and I thought it was a big dog wandering into the garden of our four-plex apartment.  Then I took another look and the dog was actually a large pig.  I guessed it weighed nearly 200lbs.  Now how in the world did a pig find our apartment building in essentially downtown Kingston?  Ok, it is a small town.

But then I looked out our front window again and a second pig followed the first pig into our garden, and then a third pig traipsed in after the other two. My God, the three little pigs are no longer little! 

Now, you have to realize that one of our upstairs neighbors is dedicated to feeding wildlife – raccoons, opossums, birds, cats, or whatever wanders into the yard.  So there is an abundance of corn cobs, bread pieces, seeds, celery, and I don’t know what all was laying around in the garden.  Well, the pigs immediately discovered their gourmet meal and dove in!

As I mentioned, we live in an urban area where people walk up and down the sidewalks and cars drive up and down the hill.  While the three pigs were indulging, a family with a couple of young girls came walking down the hill and were shocked to see the pigs.  The girls ran into the garden to pet the pigs, but the pigs while friendly had no interest in being petted especially since the girls interrupted the pigs’ meal.  So the girls were chasing the pigs around the garden while the parents took pictures of the situation. 

Then, with this commotion cars driving up the hill stopped to take pictures of the pigs and the young girls.  The pigs developed quite an audience.  Eventually, two trucks pulled up with the owners of the pigs. The owners of the pigs thought they could quietly convince the pigs to climb into a big plastic garbage can so the owners could lift the pigs, one at a time, into their truck to take them home.  However, the pigs decided they liked their freedom, and the gourmet meal provided for them so they definitely had NO intention of being carried off.  The owners cried, “Here piggy, piggy” motioning toward the garbage can.  Heck, the owners even tried to entice the pigs into the carrier with slices of bread, but the pigs were too smart for them.

After hours of the pigs roaming around our gardens while avoiding their owners, one of the pigs made a mistake! 

Picture our building’s side, with a fenced off area at the back-end of the building connecting to the fence that separates our property from the development next to us, in a “U” shape.  The pigs’ owners cheered as they had a big piece of plywood that they used to block off the open end of the “U”.  Then the owners ventured into the new pen to capture a pig. The battle started! The noise was horrific with the squeals from the pigs, as the pigs tried to fight off being captured in the garbage can.  There were garden tools on the side of the apartment along with hoses so the pigs used the tools to fight off their owners.  We heard “EXPLOSIONS, CRASHES, SHREEKS, SQUEALS” that sounded like a full-scale war, similar to the sounds that happened at the Coup of the White House. 

Since we didn’t have a window on that side of the apartment we couldn’t tell who was winning, but eventually, the owners struggled to carry a vibrating, shrieking garbage can to the truck and put the pig in the back of the truck.  One by one the pigs were trapped despite their fight to avoid capture and arrest, and they were thrown into the truck.  One of the owners was kind enough to try to straighten the remnants of our gardening tools that had been tossed around – like the remnants of a battle.  Then the owners jumped in their trucks and took off with The Three Little Pigs.  I wonder if the pigs are STILL battling and if they escape again whether they will return for a visit?

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How Do We Deal with Change; Or Do We?

Only the fairy tale equates changelessness with happiness… Permanence means paralysis and death.  Only in movement, with all its pain, is life.”  Jacob Burckhardt

“One never knows what will happen if things are suddenly changed. But do we know what will happen if they are not changed?” Elias Canetti

“Nothing is stable. Nothing absolute.  All is fluid and changeable.  There is an endless “becoming.”     Benjamin N. Cardozon

Webster’s Dictionary defines “Change to alter or make different; to put one thing for another; to shift; to quit one state for another; to exchange, to become different; alteration; that which makes for variety; a child left in place of another taken by the fairies.”

Ahhh, a fairy tale, where everything is happy and never changes.  I grew up with so many fairy tales, I assumed life would be just like Sleeping Beauty’s or Cinderella’s life. Then life changes, my story changes, my ideas change, and I don’t know which direction to head. How do I deal with change?

I feel like my life has been Photoshopped as I morphed from one figure to another without even realizing it. How did this happen?  I thought I would grow up in the wilds of Kirkland, but I had no idea of what I would do when I grew up.  Then change happened!  We moved to a new state, a new culture, and new people in my life – I can’t call them friends as we never connected.  Then we moved again, more and different schools.  I drew further and further into myself.  I tried very hard to become invisible, as I didn’t know what to do to fit in and I always felt like a freak, especially since I am tall. I was afraid to talk to people.        

Most of my life I have been independent as I didn’t know how to connect with people.  So now, here I am in my 60’s.  I have a bad back, so my Physical Therapist recommended I walk for exercise.  I started walking a route that was a teeny bit like a roller coaster ride.  I was walking up and down mini hills.  I was bored as there was nothing exciting to look at and no people to say “hi” to on my walk.  But my back decided I needed a new route to walk as it would constantly go out as I reached the end of the street, and then I had to figure out how to get back to my car.  Did I crawl or call 911 or what?  So, my Physical Therapist recommended a flat route for me to walk.  The route we picked for me to walk was circular, so I could park in a convenient location should my back go out.  I walk along the Poulsbo waterfront, walk up a few stairs to the town and walk back toward the waterfront.  Along the route I periodically would see people to say “hi” to.  Plus, lots of people walked their dogs, so they let me pet their dogs.  I was in Seventh Heaven!  I figured I would be alone most of my walks, but I could enjoy the greenish/blue of the bay, and the crystal-clear sky as the Bald Eagles, Osprey, Heron, and Seagulls flew over my head.  I started walking my laps around Poulsbo five times daily.  Periodically, I would hear “I JUST saw your twin sister go ‘that way.’  We would laugh, and I might reply “I wondered where she went!”

Day after day for nine years I walked my circles around Poulsbo and slowly I would meet more people and repeatedly run into the same people, so we would say “hi” to one another.  I would pet their dogs too.  Gradually, my old self who tried to be invisible became visible, open, and friendly.  People in the shops would wave at me.  People driving by in their cars would honk and wave at me.  What in the world happened to the quiet, shy Gwynn?  Plus, I would be shopping away from Poulsbo at Costco or Trader Joe’s and strangers would come up to me saying, “I see you walking in Poulsbo all of the time!”  Now, I talk to strangers and some of the homeless people.  Nearly everyone knows me now.

But change still occurs as some of my Poulsbo friends move or pass away.  Plus, old buildings that have been vacant for years are being renovated and even the construction workers say “hi.”  I’m learning that change is constant, and the exciting part is that I AM dealing with it.  The old Me is now a changed new Me.  Or maybe I should say the young me is NOW old, but I’m having way more fun.  Change is good after all!

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What Memories Drive Us in Life?

What do YOU love doing?  Has it impacted your life?  If so, how?

I have always LOVED the water.  I wonder if I was an otter or a dolphin in a different life?  But when I was 13 I had a friend, who lived out in the wilds of Upland, California where there was a reservoir near her home.  My friend had an older sister who had two toddlers, one was about 3 years old and the other was approximately 5 years old.  Then to add to the fun, my friend’s mom had a surprise pregnancy, so my friend had a 2 year old brother.

One day the three toddlers were out playing on their own.  Why they were not being watched, I have no idea.  But the three little boys managed to wander over to the reservoir which had no fence around it.  Evidently, the 2 year old was curious about the water in the reservoir, but he got too close to the edge where it was muddy.  The toddler slipped in the mud and fell into the reservoir. The 3 and 5 year old little boys went to rescue their uncle, only to have all three of the little boys fall into the reservoir and drown.

I had just moved 80 miles away to Hermosa Beach. I remember receiving the letter from my friend telling me about this horrific tragedy.  Since I LOVED the water, as I grew up I remembered this tragedy.  In school  I learned to do synchronized swimming, and later I learned about water safety, and how to teach babies and toddlers to swim.

When I married and had children, I immediately started teaching my babies to swim and to not be afraid of the water.  I wanted them to be able to swim if they fell in the water as my in-laws lived on Lake Washington and did not have a safe beach for the kids to play.  I took Life Saving lessons so that I could teach my children and the other children in the neighborhood to swim. Plus, I went to my children’s elementary school and taught Water Safety, so that if these kids or their friends fell in, the kids would know how to run to get help, or help the child who fell in without falling in too.

As the years have passed, now I teach my grandchildren about water safety, as I always remember the tragedy of the three toddlers drowning in the reservoir.  I talk to parents about this situation too, as I want them to be mindful of what their children are doing when they are near water.  Tragedy can happen so extremely fast when children are near water.  Please Watch your children and teach them to swim.  You are NEVER too young to learn to swim!





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2018 A to Z Challenge… (my way) ;-)

“If it was a worthwhile fight, it didn’t matter who won; some good was sure to come of it.”  Richard Brooks

“Conflict is the gadfly of thought.  It stirs us to observation and memory.  It instigates to invention.  It shocks us out of sheep-like passivity.”  John Dewey

“Out of opposition, a new birth.”   Carl G. Jung


I seriously debated in participating in this year’s A to Z Challenge, but if you heard a crashing sound that was my head smashing into the wall.  I went so far as to pick a subject to write about “happiness,” and then I found words for every letter of the alphabet relating to happiness.  But, did I step forward… No, I chickened out.

However, I think I’m going to do my own version of the Challenge as “happiness” is critical for my sanity.  This is where Helen Keller’s quote comes to my mind. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

Due to life’s challenges, I feel like I fell into a mud pit of quick-sand and can’t get out.  The fact is that I need to put my best foot forward and start moving.  So with that rant, this is what I have learned about happiness!


A = Amused, amusement

B = Bliss, bust-a-gut,

C = Chuckling, chortling, crazy

D = Delirium, delight:  My delight for today was walking the Poulsbo waterfront enjoying the beauty of nature, and petting people’s beautiful dogs.  I even laughed when one pit bull that I pet bounded over to visit me for his pet nearly pulling her owner across the lawn on her tummy as the dog was so strong and exuberant.

E = Enjoyment

F = Folly, fits of laughter

G = Giggling, Guffawing

H = Howling, hysterics

I = Interest, interjection

J = Jest, Joyfulness

K = Kid around

L = Laughing

M = Mirth, Merriment

N = Nearly dying of laughter

O = Optimism

P = Playfulness, pleasure,

Q = Quip

R = Rejoicing, roaring with laughter

S – Sniggering

T = Twittering

U = Uber cool

V = Vivacity

W = Wit, wise crack, whoop with laughter      

X = Xylophone

Y = Yacking with laughter

Z = Zany, zeal, Zest of life












“A good laugh is sunshine in a house.”

William Makepeace Thackfray











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Keep on Keeping On!!


Victory comes, at times, just when one no longer expects it.”  Martin Buber

“The greatest of victories is the victory over oneself.”  The Dhammapada: The Path of Perfection

“The first step towards victory… is to gain courage.”  Plutarch

“How in the world were you ever able to do the ‘frog-kick’ and the breast stroke? These were the first words my University of Washington’s Back Specialist spoke to me as soon as he reviewed my MRI report.  The report showed my severely twisted pelvis.  To add to the fun my vertebrae are in backwards due to the twist in my pelvis.  Now, they tell me!  I was JUST learning about my deformed pelvis at 61 years of age.  Just call me “Twisted Sister!”

The twist in my pelvis and back meant that I never had full range of motion for golf, baseball, or tennis.  I couldn’t do backbends in gym. Plus, attempting to do the frog-kick along with my synchronized swimming stunts definitely was challenging, BUT I managed to succeed!  You know what?  I didn’t know that I could not do these activities so I kept plugging away.  It is amazing what one can succeed at doing when you don’t know that you CAN’T do something!

So you might wonder… “How in the world did I end up with a corkscrew for a pelvis and back?”  When my mom was approximately seven and a half to eight months pregnant with me, someone threw a firecracker in her car.  I had been in the down position until the explosion went off and then I decided that I was going to stay in hiding and reversed my direction.  Mom had to go back to the doctor and have him turn me back to the “down” position.  In those days the doctors used forceps to help deliver babies.  There are many cases where the forceps squished the heads of babies or did other things like squish my pelvis and twist it when the doctor turned me around to the down position so mom could deliver me.

My mom was a nurse, so I have no clue whether she knew what the doctor accidentally did to my formation in the delivery process or not.  Now that I’m grown, and especially after I learned about my twisted pelvis and vertebrae it so explained all the difficulties that I had to work at overcoming after so many years as a child and young adult.

It also explains why I’m so DETERMINED to be the Little Engine that Could… “I think I can, I think I can!”  I did play a bit of golf, tennis, and baseball, but I was terrible at these games as now I understand why.  I used to beat myself up and call myself all sorts of names because I was so terrible at playing these games, BUT my success was in my synchronized swimming.  So REMEMBER…

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Respect One Another

“Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.”  Albert Einstein

“We are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act.  One day the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be beaten and robbed as they make their journey through life.  True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it understands that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.”  Martin Luther King, JR. 

“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.”    Francis Bacon


I read news stories and watch the happenings in the world daily where I repeatedly hear about the violence that seems to be ruling us.  Some place along the line fear, anger, and disrespect prominently seem to have taken over the world. WHY?  Why can’t we accept one another?  Why do we have to fight or hurt one another?




As a child, I was taught to respect different ideas, ideals, and cultures.  Mom said we do not all think alike, and that is OK as I might actually learn something from someone else. If we share ideas and thoughts, imagine the wonderful world we can create. To stop the flow of ideas is to strangle the world and it kills the mindset of the projects we work at developing.

When I took Latin in school, I learned that no language translates exactly, consequently if we work together we can come to an understanding, but we cannot assume that our language or way of doing things is perfect or better than others.  Why force our beliefs on another person?  Look at all the varieties of flowers in the world.  What a glorious garden they create.  If we had only one type of flower blooming around the world, how boring would that be?

Years ago when I traveled to Europe, I was offended by the ways other Americans acted and treated the people of other countries. Somehow the Americans thought they were better than those people around them.  No one category of people is better than another, as we all have our pluses and minuses.  While in Europe, I LOVED the history, and the cultures that engulfed me. The people were fun, intelligent, curious, helpful, and polite. As I walked around the various towns and attempted to communicate with people who did not speak English, I discovered that the towns’ people were as curious about me as I was about them. What a delight it was to have them work with me so that we could understand one another to accomplish simple tasks, like my attempt to ask questions.



I think the best part of my trip to Europe was a conference I attended as the organization had us play games as teams in order to get to know one another.  There is nothing like sharing a good laugh or working together as a team in order to develop a working relationship and friendships. The conference represented people of all countries around the world.  I found it a delight to work with people whose styles, tastes, and interests were so different from mine.  However our incongruities made us stronger as we worked to forge our dissimilarities.     Try it… you might like it!


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A Walk on the Wild Side



The big day arrived for me to head to our family reunion down at Millersylvania State Park in Olympia.  The family chose this new location as it split the distance between Portland and Port Townsend for various family members. I was ecstatic about enjoying a long visit with the family who I rarely see.

Since the younger family members love to camp, the park is filled with approximately 250 secluded camp sites surrounded by a forest of enormous Western Fir and Cedar trees, 8.6 miles of trails for hiking and biking, and an ice, cold lake for the kids to rollick in.  Heck, the families’ dogs ecstatically sniffed the large, leafy shrubs surrounding the camp site. The park even supplied amenities for us elder people like an outside beer garden and a sandwich bar, not far from the lake.

The weekend in July that we decided to meet was glorious, yet the trees were so tall and thick that I nearly couldn’t see the sky or the sun. The shade made our sunny day quite dark and cool. Then with a name like Millersylvania I kept wondering if I would run into Werewolves, Frankenstein, Dracula, or vampires out there in the dark woods.

Since the reunion was set for a weekend, the younger family members arrived a day or two early to throw their tents up in order to enjoy being out in the wilderness. The forestry was so dense that you couldn’t see the tents on the sites surrounding you. Fortunately the family members had the opportunity to wander around and become acquainted with the area without getting lost while exploring the trails around the park, unlike me as I was only visiting for a few hours on Saturday.

When I arrived the kids were off exploring and hiking around the area, but one of the cousins remained at the campsite as he had been feeling ill, so I sat on a log to chat with him until the remainder of the family returned.  As the family finally showed up at the Group Camp site I enjoyed receiving hugs and chatting with everyone.  Holy Smokes the grandkids had grown and our eldest is now 6’5”.  The consensus among the young people was that after lunch they wanted to head to the lake to canoe and swim. The older family members were heading to the beer garden and sandwich bar… except me as I wanted time to visit with my kids and my grandkids.

After gobbling down lunch, we took a circuitous route to the lake and the other family members split off heading for the beer and sandwich garden.  When we arrived at the lake the children promptly jumped in splashing around in the cold lake. Water fights pursued as well as some of the kids relaxing on the water mattresses.


Some of the teenagers took off in a canoe, while others grabbed a paddle board, and a pedal boat that you pedaled like a bicycle.  I sat on the shore chatting with my son and my daughter as they played with their small kids in the water. After a long visit, I decided it would be fun to gossip with the cousins that had headed to the beer and sandwich garden.  I didn’t want to walk the circuitous route back as I felt that I had a straight shot through the woods and campsites, so I would connect with the cousins that way. I shouldn’t have any problems finding my way back, right?  Since my son had his hands full with his three year old daughter and his one year old son, I decided I would take Leo, my son’s dog back with me.  Now, Leo is not exactly a tiny little lap dog.  He is a combination of Rottweiler, American Bulldog, and Boxer, so he is a feisty 100 plus pounds of determination with a mind of his own!

Because my son had rescued Leo from a shelter when Leo was approximately a year old, Leo is extremely attached to my son and his family as Leo is now nearly six years old.  Since I don’t see the kids very often, Leo does not know me very well, so Leo was concerned about being away from his family.  Needless to say Leo often would express a desire to go in a different direction.  Ever have a tug of war with over a 100 pound dog?

Ok, now the fun part here is that I assumed that the sandwich bar was not that far away, especially if I attempted a “straight” shot through the woods.  Now, I do LOVE walking, but it has been a long time since I have wandered through a wooded area.  I had forgotten about tree roots and the mounds of earth, so I was bouncing around like a buggy going over a rocky road.  Oh yes, and Leo periodically yanked me in the opposite direction, “I want to go THAT way, and NOT your way!” so I had to convince Leo that I was ruler.  After pulling on Leo, I’m now convinced that my right arm is about two feet longer than my left arm. Then after about an hour of walking through the trees and around various campsites, Leo and I STILL had NOT found our campsite OR the sandwich bar.  So much for that “straight, easy shot” back.

Consequently, I started stopping at campsites asking for directions but the other campers were as unsure of their way around the park as I was, so I was sent in a variety of directions, none of which helped me find my destination.  One woman was kind enough to even give me a map of the State Park, but it did NOT have an “X” marking the spot saying “You are HERE!”  I would have LOVED to have owned one of those Life Alert buttons so I could press it and say, “I’m LOST and can’t find home!”

After yo-yoing back and forth, I’m convinced that I explored all 8.6 miles around the State Park and I was singing “Round and round we go, where we stop, nobody knows!”  I finally pulled out my cell phone and called my daughter.  “Hi Hon, I’m LOST, will you come find me?”  I looked up as my daughter leisurely strolled around the corner saying, “We are right over here, mom.”  I can’t tell you how many times I must have walked past the area close to where the family camp site was located but didn’t see them.  But after an hour and a half I felt like I had been drawn and quartered, from Leo’s yanking on his leash and my bouncing and stumbling over tree roots.  I now know about walking on the Wild Side! The worst part is that since I had two hours to drive home, I only had about 15 minutes for my “long” talk with the cousins.

I can promise you that when I arrived home, I was VERY sore, but after taking a couple of Tylenol and rubbing Arnicare Gel all over my body, I definitely did sleep well that night.

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Kids Say the Darndest Things…


“We find a delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To make other people laugh is no great feat so long as one does not mind whether they are laughing at our wit or at us ourselves.”  Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Every Thursday morning, I have the pleasure of opening up Poulsbo’s Historic Maritime Museum to acquaint visitors with Poulsbo’s history of logging and fishing.  One particular Thursday morning a gentleman stopped by to ask if it was OK to have groups of boys and girls from the Sons’ of Norway Summer Program visit our museum.  “Of course!” was my response… little did I know what I was letting myself in for!

As the morning grew to afternoon, suddenly a line of 16 little male bodies appeared as they romped and bounced down the sidewalk in as close to single file as young boys can possibly do at their age.  As they entered the museum, their teacher announced “Now, DON’T touch ANYTHING!”

Heck, kids have to have some fun and mischief so I instructed them on how to pump the fog horn so they could alert the ships to the danger of nearby land.  There is nothing like an ear blasting sound to excite the kids.  One after another child worked at pumping the horn to make it roar! I considered taking out my hearing aids.




Additionally, we have a ship’s bell at the “Captain’s Wheel” so I encouraged the boys to ring the bell too.  While the commotion was taking place one little boy walked up to me asking “How tall are you? You sure ARE tall!”  After my answer, he hit me with the next killer question… “How OLD are you?”  When I responded, the young man shrieked, “You SURE ARE TALL for being THAT old!”




Ok, I have white hair, or some might call it “blond” but age is in the eyes of the beholder, as I sure don’t feel old! Evidently, the young man disagreed with my thinking.

My friends laughed with me about my experience, then shared some of their tales.  One friend from my high school days discussed colors with her three year old grandson.  The color, yellow, came up and my friend’s grandson replied, “Like your teeth!”  After my friend picked herself off the ground from embarrassment and laughter, she decided she might need a whitening agent for her teeth after all!

One day another friend was quietly enjoying lunch at his favorite restaurant when a mother and her two young children sat at the table next to him. The one child, a young toddler, sat in a high chair, while the other sibling sat a long side.  The toddler made eye contact with my friend, and then the ESP kicked in as my friend hiccupped!  The toddler hiccupped in response, so the two seemed to communicate through continued hiccups, then the older sibling asked, “May I join in, in your conversation?”  So the three, two children and an older man, hiccupped in response to one another while the mother laughed so hard tears streamed down her face.

Children bring joy to our lives… OK, and some craziness!

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Easter Plate Hunting

Ever have those nights when you can’t sleep?  Your body aches, your brain won’t stop whirling, you toss and turn, and finally you decide to get up to eat or drink something so you can go back to sleep.

Well, I had one of those nights so I climbed out of bed about 1:00 in the morning stumbling into the kitchen to go drink some almond milk and take a Tylenol.  Since the dishes in the dishwasher were clean I decided to put them away too.  We have a couple of sets of old plates, and one set is missing a plate as it broke years ago, so we only have three plates of that set.  But, when I went to put the plates away my set of three was down to two, a plate was missing.  Now WHERE could it be?

My husband sometimes misplaces things, or maybe he had left his sandwich on it and put it in the refrigerator.  Nope, I checked the refrigerator it wasn’t there.  I checked the other cabinets and drawers.  I could NOT find that missing plate.  Hmmm, maybe my husband broke it accidentally and forgot to tell me.  Ok, so I’ll ask hubby in the morning to see what happened to the plate.

The next morning, as my husband quietly sat and drank his coffee, I asked him what happened to the missing plate.  He said that he was going to put his sandwich on the plate, but decided the plate was too big.  He indicated that he put the plate away.  “Ok, if you put the plate away, why can’t I find it?”  I checked under the sofa, as sometimes when he finishes his meals he puts the plate on the floor. It could slide under a piece of furniture. Maybe it accidentally ended up under a chair or something… NOPE!

By now, I’m about ready to pull my hair out.  At this point, Hubby gets up to heat his oatmeal in the microwave.  He opens the microwave and THERE is the missing plate with his lunch meat, and melted cheese on it.  This means that when he made his lunch the day before, he had toasted his bread and added the extras:  mayonnaise, lettuce, and pickles.  But this is when he decided to use a smaller plate.  He was also engrossed watching the news.  Hubby threw his sandwich together, cut up an apple, and grabbed a couple of chips and sat down to eat his lunch.  He had TOTALLY forgotten to add the important lunch meats and melted cheese to his sandwich.  It NEVER occurred to him that he had forgotten the main part of his sandwich while eating it.  See what happens when you grow old!

Oh well, at least we found the missing plate!


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January 2017 – IWSG… The Joy of Caregiving

IWSG Badge

New Year’s Eve’s early morning started off with a BANG, CRASH, and THUD!  I jumped out of bed, ran around the corner of our short hall directly into the living room of our tiny apartment. There sprawled on the floor was my husband.  He had passed out again. We must have looked like an episode of Oliver and Hardy, where Oliver misses a step on the ladder crashing to the ground while Hardy… me runs around in frantic circles.  As my husband lurched toward the floor he hit our oak corner table shoving it into the wall of our tiny apartment.  Now there is a slight indentation in the wall. You can say we have made our impact on the apartment. My mornings frequently start out this way as of Christmas Eve 2015, one year ago.

My friends and I believed that after raising children that our senior years would become easier… the Golden Years. Then Christmas Eve night 2015 while my husband and I were lounging in bed watching TV my husband turns to me uttering, “Call 911!  I can’t take the pain any longer.”

I’m thinking, ‘But this is Christmas Eve. We have plans to enjoy Christmas day with our son.’ So, turning to John I mutter, “How about if I drive you to the hospital?” thinking that we would get to the hospital, the doctor would give John some medicine to settle his tummy, and then we could come home.

My husband evidently didn’t see the confusion in my eyes.  I was scared and concerned for my husband, but I wanted to enjoy Christmas with my family.  John emphatically muttered, “No!  Call 911.  My acid reflux is killing me.”

As it turned out, the ‘acid reflux’ was killing him, but it wasn’t acid reflux.  John had a serious hiatal hernia that was extraordinarily large, twisted around his stomach, pushing into his lung, and turning gangrenous.  To add to the fun, my husband has such extraordinarily low blood pressure that he would stand up and pass out.  I was hoping the doctor and hospital aids would wrap him in bubble wrap.

Now after several surgeries, and a barrage of tests, the doctors still don’t know why John passes out.  Consequently, at night when he gets up and attempts to use the bathroom he may walk a couple of feet along the edge of the bed, start to wobble and bounce like a small child on the bed.  Sometimes he misses the bed and hits the floor.  Sometimes he staggers to the end of the bed and bounces on my legs.  Night after night, and during the early mornings we go through the same routine.

Over the year, John has crashed through a couple of bathroom walls, knocked wooden closet doors off their tract, and banged up his head, back, leg, and shoulder.

My morning consists of getting up before John to get his water, pills, coffee, and oatmeal ready.  I watch as he marches laps up and down our short hall as he works to get the blood circulating to his brain.  Now, after seven months of this morning routine, he is finally able to walk out to the mailbox to get our mail, walk down our few steps to dump our garbage and recycling.

We don’t go out for meals, to visit our grandkids, or to run errands. “WE” is now “Me.”

I’m still wondering WHEN do the Golden Years start?   zany1

This month’s IWSG question is “What writing rule do you wish you had never heard.”  There are two rules that drive me crazy and I’ll bet you can guess from reading my story which two rules they are… “Show don’t tell,” and Write what you know. When I “tell” my stories I see them vividly in my mind… you mean you CAN’T read my mind?

Also, writing what I know… hmmm, WHAT do I know?  I have volunteered forever with organizations that help children because of my dysfunctional family life while growing up.  I keep thinking that if I tell my story people will see what went wrong in my family… so they will do things better and differently.  Also, I admired Erma Bombeck’s style of writing with heart and humor… I hope to “grow up” to be like her… wish me luck.

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