Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rules for new grandmas

The last time I was a new grandma was eighteen years ago!
Things have changed during two decades or so.
So, to help you avoid many mistakes, here are my new observations:

1. Don't post pictures of your new grandchild without permission from the parents, even if you took those pictures.

2. Don't start showing off pictures of your grandchild at a party; unless, someone asks.

3. Don't tell the new parents what was the 'right" thing to do in your days. Medical science has grown faster than you know.

4. Accept what the parents are doing as they are the ones who are responsible for that child even after you've left this earth.

5. Don't buy stuff for the child without consulting with the parents. Even toys.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

On the wings of a dove...

Curry County, Southern Oregon, home to more senior citizens than any other county in this state, and threatening to receive more in the next ten years. At this event at Azalea Park in Brookings last Sunday a couple of hundred souls partook in this free activity sponsored by local merchants and local community groups.

Most of us knew what to do, bring a lunch or snack, a blanket or coats, sunscreen and hats in case the sun suddenly showed up and sit back and enjoy the performance.Notice in the picture that there is a couple up and dancing. Dancing, as in on their feet and moving is a great exercise at any age.

Dancing was encouraged quite often from the stage as the music, a Louisiana rhythm of blues and bayou zydeco, blue grass variations we heard quite a bit when we lived in the South, was quite easy to move to.  The performers' vocal spokesperson  was from Modesto, California,  he said. Modesto is in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, with nothing in common with Bayou country. But he got us in the mood for some old time bayou jumble nevertheless.

We, Hubby and I, lasted an hour wrapped in jackets.  Rather, were able to sit, eat a take out meal from the Colonel down the hill, and talked about everything except the weather. You see, Brookings is 60 miles south of us, and is known for its balmy 80's most summer days. On this day, the temps had trouble reaching 60.

Getting our stuff from the parking lot to the lawn, an up and down to the place where the band played, constituted a good part of our exercise for the day; lugging stuff tires us more than anything; and going up and down seems to put an additional strain on our backs and our heart. Dancing, therefore, was left  for those who were spared rheumatism and pace-makers.

The audience, as you can tell from the picture, was way past their prime, and most of them had probably spent their hours commuting from one sitting position to another. Most folks we meet in Southern Oregon have moved here from Southern California, from places like Sacramento, Modesto, Los Angeles, all commuting meccas.

We are on foreign soil here; though, because there are so many of us re-stationed here from California, we feel at home, nevertheless. And running back to California is easy too, just a short ride down 101 past the Agricultural Station, and we're back in California where we'll pay an additional 8% sales tax on most purchases;  and housing will cost us double right at the border. So, living across the border is a no brainer.

Friday, July 4, 2014

When do you know?

When do you know that those trees must go.
That pampas grass is taking over your view.
That you need to get up and do something about your place before it is condemned, as in not habitable? Do you really need to keep all those Tupperware lids saved up?

Most of us continue to nest, adding more of this, a dash of that, shoes for this and that activity, a dish for that special party, an easy ugly chair that your parents gave you for your first apartment and you have kept all these years.

We have been lucky. We moved a few times, and each time, there was someone who could get rid of/or take possession of our extra stuff without us spending an arm or a leg in finding suitable receivers. In a sense, we have never downsized properly except this last time. Twelve years ago, as we planned our retirement move to the state of Oregon, a long way from home, we asked our children to take what they wanted and what they didn't take would go to Goodwill.  The three of them took just about everything, and what they didn't take did go to a charity.

Ahead twelve years, and our house now looks as crowded and as full of stuff as our original house.  If we had to move again, we'd have a very tough time downsizing. No, we no longer have the family silver. We no longer have lots of memorabilia. What we do have are very comfortable furnishings chosen for our present home. Furnishings that might as well remain behind, as few of them would look as well somewhere else, especially in a tiny apartment where we figure we'd end up in our doddering years, close to family and doctors. And our children, some living quite far, would not care to collect what we collected.

We are doing a few things differently.
We are regularly purging, donating and upgrading furnishings and implements.
Regularly, our books go to the library, our clothes and appliances to the local charities. If we have to sell the house, it will have the simple furnishings that remain, with fishing poles, life jackets and canoes in the boat house.

Even our landscaping taste has changed through the years. Perennials in the ground, mostly natives. Annuals in pots. Every thing has automated irrigation so humans have to do little thinking ahead.  Even our mail receptacle, a p.o box, is big enough to keep three-four weeks worth of mail, should we be hospitalized and out of circulation for a while.

We can digitize all our files and pictures and send copies to our children.
Did we forget something?