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Things for which I am grateful

10 Jul

Right now, I have a month-long holiday while my mother is in Newport with my sister and her children and grandchildren. It is bliss.

Shedding responsibility fast! It feels like taking off a heavy fur coat which was inexplicably worn on a hot day. The relief is instant. Every fiber of my being is alert to the LACK of pressure. It feels as if the room has been filled with extra oxygen, and it makes me feel euphoric. The entire first couple of days felt as if someone had slipped me an “upper.”

Sisi in my bed

It has been 8 days now, and I am still bubbling over with freedom and unstoppable elation. My days are pretty much empty, except for doing what I want to do. Writing, writing and more writing. I meditate and swim and eat exactly what I wish to. My dogs are with me, and the house is quiet. I spent several days at my daughter’s farm, and that was nice, but the cottage airconditioning was not working. That made it difficult and sticky to write. Also, I cannot make phone calls from that house. I have to go over to the main house and use her kitchen phone. That was awkward because I was trying to give her space. But she spent a LOT of time at her studio, so the house was more or less empty except for occasional help.

Magnus the Magnificent

Back home at Mothers where I sit now, the sun is shining in the garden room. No one is here with me except the dogs. I am going to go swimming in a minute. Probably should do it before the garden service comes. It is delightful to be here. Every moment is cherished. Enjoying the moment is becoming easier and easier for me, as my meditation practice improves. And it is like savoring the last of a jar of peanut butter or something delicious. I might use a spoon or even my fingers to get the last little bit of the deliciousness from the pot. That is the way I feel about my life during this month of July. I savor it, and I appreciate it.

Perhaps that is why it is so much fun. Gratitude makes me feel great! It is good for my soul, and it is nourishing for my body. Thank goodness I learned that years and years ago. Because gratitude can turn your mind around if you can find a handle for it. No matter how horrible or how wonderful your circumstances, gratitude will make you feel better. It is a sort of magic.

Now that it is summer and full-on green with everything growing like crazy due to the rain we keep having our yard is overgrown with good and bad things. The weeds in the garden are fierce. But the Wisteria that is growing up the Oaktree is rampant. And what I must do is find someone who can tame that a bit, tack it to a trellis on the tree, perhaps. I am hoping that someone who knows more about plants can help me tame the vines and see them entangled and encrusting the bare trunk of that ruined tree.

The plethora of wild birds, copious squirrels, and occasional other wildlife, bunnies, deer, and raccoons give me great pleasure and constant entertainment. Watching their antics reminds me of the convoluted human experience. They inspire me to write more.

How lucky I am to be here to see them!

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

Another July 4th! 2019

2 Jul

The 4th of July is a great holiday because it is not necessary to buy presents to show love. It is not difficult to decorate. You really only need a flag. And failing that, you can wear red, white, and blue clothes. That will show your support and keep you from running around naked at the same time!

I am a proud American. A patriot. And that is out of favor with some people these days. Sadly patriotism has been linked to all sorts of bad things, like White Supremacism and somehow, racism? How did this happen? It is horrifying to me to see people turning their backs on this country even at the same time that thousands of refugees and seekers of a better life are trying with all their might to enter it.

This great country has given everyone the freedom to criticize it. And there are no limits to their criticism. But sometimes I wish we could send all these ungrateful people to a third world country just for the weekend. That is probably all the time that they would need to understand. The biggest freedom of all is that ANYONE can rise to any height in this country, and no one will even think it is strange. That is what we do here. We rise, we fall, we have freedom of choice. In spite of all the bad press, we really do NOT have a class system in the United States. You are free to move up and down the scale.

Now it is full summer, and though the weather has been changeable and full of storms. It is sweltering now. Sometimes so hot that you wish you didn’t have to wear clothes at all. My mind is on heat because I am writing this in the middle of the day in my Mother’s house. She is so old that she likes it to be very warm. This house has never been air-conditioned, and it is hot and sticky everywhere inside it. But she is happy.

The rest of us run around fanning ourselves and hiding out in an air-conditioned bedroom as long as we can. Turning fans on and then off when Mother is near. Even the “draft” from a fan is too much for her.

She does not really understand that the 4th of July is nearly here. She has experienced her share of them and more! The changes she has seen in her 101 years of life include the Great Depression, the Second World War, the cold war and the civil rights movement and the assassination of a President and several other leaders. The rise of terrorism and the destruction of the Twin Towers along with the boom and bust have all happened in her old age. And yet she perseveres and continues to dress in her colorful finery with polished fingernails, and toenails. She wears lipstick to breakfast. She no longer really understands the words in the Daily papers. But she can read those words without using glasses. This is something I, her daughter have not been able to do in years.

Happy 4th of July!

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

Sisters, sigh

30 Jun

I just spent a day and a night with my sister. She came east to take our mother to her summer home. Like most sisters, we grew up together, and though we are only 2 years apart we are very different. As children, I always preferred blue everything, clothes, accessories, color of paint for my room and she was a purely pink girl. This was firmly established. In fact sometimes if I am shopping, and a salesperson shows me a pink dress or anything pink, I will say, “No, that one is for my sister.”

Mother all ready to go up north.

Several years ago, I began living with our mother. We all wanted her to be able to stay in her house. We agreed that she should not move to a smaller place or a retirement community.
This is a hard job, and very stressful emotionally.

My sister thinks I need a vacation. She said, “You need it more than you think you do.”

Haha!!!! No one and I really mean NO ONE knows it more than I. My nursing skills are depleted, that is true. Since I never had any in the first place, it really makes no difference. Without caregivers, living with Mother would have caused me to have a severe illness or insanity. Some people can cope with dementia, and some cannot. Every day I am grateful for the caregivers that make her life so pleasant and give me back my own life.

But I love my sister. Even though we disagree on practically everything. We are so different in some ways, but when we both pulled out our phones, it reminded me of how tenacious family genes can be.

I am blue and she is pink.

Copyright©. 2019 Bonnie B. Matheson

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