Smooth sailing-not

IMG_9212You know how they say you know when you are on the right path? That doors fly open? The road rises up to meet you? Well, when I decided to knit a prayer shawl for my friend, this is what I expected to happen.

I was wrong.

First, I couldn’t find my knitting (note: expensive) needles anywhere. Any. Where. I looked for hours, then days. When praying to the patron saint of lost things didn’t work, and time was a-wastin’, I decided to order a set from Amazon, thereby saving myself the time it would take to drive to the yarn store and back (where I had already driven to buy the yarn). After a week the package came and, although there was something in the box, the required needles were not. Now time was really getting short, so I did drive (again) to the yarn shop and bought new needles.

I thought it was odd to encounter so many obstacles to getting my project started, but once it was underway I was relieved and no longer worried that I wouldn’t finish in time.

Until I made a mistake. A huge mistake. A mistake I have never, ever made when knitting. I somehow put a row on going in the opposite direction. I have no idea how this happened, other than that it was my first row that I added after getting up that morning. The only way to fix it was to rip it out and re-knit it. Now, I have never ripped out any part of a knitting project without someone standing next to me (more often than not, it was my friend Sheri, who died last year), ready to save the day.

This was a perfect example of ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’. I called on Sheri to help me. I ripped. I somehow got all the stitches back onto a contrasting piece of yarn. Then I somehow got all of the stitches back on the needles. Then I somehow was able to recognize which ones weren’t facing the right way and I turned them around as I went.

I completed the project on time so all was well, but still…I cannot think why there were so many obstacles toward doing the a nice thing for someone else. I guess the message here is: no matter what, persevere. And, I get by with a little help from my friend(s).  :)

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Passaggiata

I live in a rural part of my town in Maine. There are few places that I can get to on foot that wouldn’t require packing for a half day passaggiattatrek. That’s why I looked forward to the Bean Supper this year. This is a destination that I could comfortably walk to and from and to which there was a good chance I could convince my daughter to accompany me.

As we walked along my road, the word ‘passaggiata‘ came to my mind. This is, as I understand it, the Italian custom of taking a walk through the town after dinner.  Historically, this is something my family has only practiced on holidays.

You know, hardly ever.

Other than the walk we took after Thanksgiving dinner one year, I am hard pressed to remember any other times we’ve done this. Why not? Okay, in the summer it’s because I am no match for those horseflies that will use every ounce of energy they have in their creepy little bodies to enter either my nose or my ears or, failing that, sting the crap out of me. But this time of year there is no good reason. Oh, yes, one: I’m too lazy.

Well, tonight I am happy to say that we walked to dinner, ate, and walked home. The rain felt lovely. Despite the deluge that was predicted, it remained fairly light so we didn’t get too drenched.The company of my daughter was much appreciated. I even entertain the thought of doing this again tomorrow night.

We’ll see.

Clutterfly

My husband and I are currently having an….well, let’s call it an ongoing discussion…about my clutterfulness.

I admit it. I am a clutterholic.
In my defense, I have never claimed to be otherwise.
He has visions of my father’s brown paper bags-bags and bags (and bags) of stuff surrounding his chair- after he died…and thinks of me.
I’m not like that! I don’t have paper bags filled with junk surrounding my chair!
My bags are reusable shopping bags mostly.
Hmmmm….hello, Houston?

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100 days of…WHAT?

IMG_9025I kept seeing the giveit100.com mentioned on…where? Facebook, probably. Finally I looked into it.
The idea is you make a ten second video every day of you doing your chosen activity and upload it to their website.
In one of the articles, a woman was telling how she chose doing push-ups. Day one she could barely hoist herself up off the floor but at the end of 100 days she was doing push-ups like nobody’s business, yada yada.
Well, that sounded pretty good to me so I signed up to give 100 days to some project or activity too.
That was two weeks ago.
I haven’t started yet because, despite encouraging emails from someone associated with the program to ‘just pick something”, I haven’t been able to.
Writing? Clean eating? Walking? Hula hooping? Gratitude?
I was paralyzed in the face of endless choices.
Until today. While i was out walking at the ocean today, the thought of what to do appeared fully formed in my mind.

Here it is: 100 days of meditating.

Wish me luck!

 

At the movies (or, Hell is other people)

I was done with trying to align the planets so that I could go see a movie with my husband. I decided that, if I wanted to see This is Where I Leave You at the theater, I would have to go by myself. I rarely will cough up the cash to sit in a theater to watch a movie, but for this one, I wanted to make the effort (Hello? You had me at Tina Fey. And Kathryn Hahn).
movie stubI was lucky enough to find a niche of time in which no work schedules, carpooling, medical appointments, or householder responsibilities encroached…so I went for it.
I entered the darkened theater and took my favorite seat on the left in the last row. As my eyes adjusted, I realized that there were four others in there with me: three women and a man. (HINT: This is where the Hell part comes in).
One of the women hacked and coughed continuously, to the point that I almost regretted declining that Whooping Cough shot earlier this week…almost. The other two women talked non-stop. The man was silent…until he wasn’t.
What was great, though, was that it was worth it. The movie was mostly absorbing and funny (reference: Tina Fey) and loud enough to drown out much of the talking. I think the best part, though, was that I could laugh out loud and tear up at will, without worrying about embarrassing various family members that might have accompanied me to the show. So yes. I laughed. I cried. So there.

Best line (that I can remember) from the movie:
“Cut yourself some slack…Anything can happen. Anything happens all the time.”

Taking the care out of ‘Healthcare’

IMG_8914I  presented myself for my annual physical this morning. This  year was less routine than the past eight because my beloved primary care doctor got fed up and quit medicine last year (sad but true). This would be my first visit with my new doctor-long awaited first visit, since she had canceled and rescheduled the appointment twice.
​I was called at 10am for my 9:30am appointment, for which I had arrived at 9:25am.  The medical assistant that came for me did not make eye contact with me. She did not tell me what my weight, height, heart rate,  or  blood pressure was, other than to comment on how, “Gee, it’s always high when you’re here,” more to herself than to me. She spent all of her time  staring at the laptop that she was typing the ‘secret data’ into.
The doctor, whom I’d never met, entered the office talking. She also didn’t take the time to introduce herself to me. She did take quite a bit of time interrogating me as to what my reasons were for declining many of the screening tests that she was offering but that I wasn’t interested in having. She explained that she wouldn’t consider me to be ‘screened’ for things. She spent a good many minutes trying to scare me into getting a whooping cough booster shot (“Whooping cough kills babies! Whooping cough doesn’t kill adults but it will make you wish you were dead!”).
Finally, she explained how I’d be getting a survey in the mail from them that would ask me if she had discussed all of these topics with me. Yada. Yada. Duly noted. Still not getting a whooping cough booster shot.
No one told me their name, except the EKG tech.  This occurred as an afterthought when she was halfway through conducting the test and realized she had not introduced herself.  She knocked the drape off of me and it fell onto the germy floor. She reached down, picked it up, and put it back on my legs. She also didn’t ‘save’ the test results to my chart (which I knew before she came in to tell me; I heard the staff discussing it with her for several minutes before she came back to say: “You’re gonna kill me, but they asked me to ask you to do the EKG again”).
That is actually when I left.

Becoming less literate

computerI have been noticing lately that my writing style has changed. It’s much more…staccato. Where did all the pronouns go? I often omit them now. I am noticing that sometimes I leave the punctuation off of the last sentence I write in an email-especially if it’s a period. I left capital letters in the dust years ago (hello, e e cummings? i so get you now).

My email communications are morphing more toward telegram than letter. I use lots of dashes now. Oh, and the exclamation points!!!!!! And don’t even get me started on the emoticons!!!!! :)

I suppose it’s because of presumed lack-lack of time to write-lack of the recipient’s time to read.

I blame texting.

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