Sunday, March 31, 2013

Counting up, counting down.

About this time of the year
days become
misty with anticipation 
spring returning like a new uncle
moving back home
someone nobody really can be sure of
couldn't be guaranteed
what exact dimensions
or disposition would make him arrive. He had
promised to come
when the right detail
the right colors
the right mood
was achieved
though nothing we did changed anything
since his coming was dependent on secrets carried in the winds
and a calendar chiseled in a marbled land.

When he finally shows up 
and easily accommodated
in our daily routines
each new food will taste grand 
so tired
we all are
of indoor games
and canned beans
and nights spent captured 
under heavy blankets.

When uncle leaves
and aunt and cousins take his place
we'll hardly notice 
busy jumping off lake ramps
into cool water
to shed the heat

We'll grow tired
of long swims and long days
just when 
the cousins will be collected
to return to their homes 
needing new clothes 
and backpacks.

We'll all be eagerly waiting for
school to open, for the time  
 and greet our old friends.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Waiting for miracles.

In these parts, wild
rivers cross county
and state lines
laugh wildly across
property lines
knowing only
the restraints of
weather and time.

The Elk, the Sixes,
the Smith
the Rogue all
jump fences and
spill into meadows
at this time
growing bolder
with  each snow
mounting knolls
and drowning moles.

lamblets will leave
their mothers
a foot behind each day
their legs
and young grass
rivers leave  behind.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nesting behaviors of old people.

(I decided to return, just so I could cover some topics we usually don't talk about.)

We are in a rush to grow up, be independent, drive off toward our future, have all the things we have dreamed of having, grow to a perfect size, with perfect features, and live our fantasy life with a perfect mate, in a perfect house with adoring children who behave better than we did as children.

At each stage we check off the markers:
1. driver's license
2. graduation(s)
3. ideal job
4. meet and marry the girl/boy we dreamed about
5. house of our dreams
10 Retire in comfort

Soon, for most of us, the hurdles we encounter are reminders that tomorrows may not be too many.
So much of our time is dedicated to doctors' visits, surgeons' procedures, and only after these are plugged in, we may see an opening for a visit to our children out of state. I have a good friend who still has constant visits with her relatives. She lives part of the time within driving distance to each of her children and she doesn't ever miss any special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.

Each time we visit our children we have the feeling that that occasion may be the last time we can physically make that trip. Purchasing new clothes and household furnishings seem such a waste if our health continues to change the way we have lived so far.

Last year, we decided to upgrade the garden, add pots and a driveway that would accommodate a wheelchair in the front, and tall garden boxes so we didn't have to bend or get on our knees to grow food in the back yard by the lake. We have enjoyed each and every change.

Still, the  weight of that decision was immense. Were we going to live in this place so long to warrant such expenses? Would it have been more prudent to plan for a possible nursing home?  Will these extra changes enhance the value of the house to a future buyer?

We keep returning to topics such as moving closer to one or the other of our remaining children, even just moving to be closer to doctors and hospitals.

Growing old and decrepit was never a worry of mine. Any advice I received about retirement was about having lots of money, as though money was the cure for everything. According to the latest statistics we'll all outlive our money!

Unfortunately, most of us will outlive most of our faculties.