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Friday, February 23, 2018

One more in the books



Another good workout with Greg today. It's coming along. Even Greg had something to say. I walked while looking down, then up, then down. Down was OK, but up was iffy. Greg remarked when I was good at it, a bus probably wouldn’t catch me off guard. I responded I probably would not be on a bus again, but then had to stop and think, it has not been a year since the accident, and possibly eight months since I began rehab.

I began this essay intending to remark I’m making little of retirement. I just can’t settle on some alternative to employment. I went to lunch with Beth. I went to the quilt show with Ruth. I’ve read more than a few books, now that reading them seems the way to retrieve them. I should be angry about losing the books, and my education and my ability to retain information and form it into coherent thoughts, but I’m not.


I did cry over it a couple of nights last summer, but now it’s just resignation and trying to walk a straight line while looking up and looking down. I hold the rail, too.  The only constant left is 3:45 pm, when the high school bus drops the children.

Laura came in tonight with a prize; an EEG. The Hudson EMS sent a team to their health class today, and she was the only volunteer. It looks a decent EEG to me, speaking from looking at a lot of mine. Her oxygen was 100%. I never read more than 98%, and would have bet no one scores a hundred. And, unless a whole lot more changes, she and I appear to be the only two who will be outside her school on National School Walkout next month.


The books I’ve read have been fairly light weight. I’m almost through the last of three by hometown hero Dave Giffels. Then I have the Autobiography of Malcolm X to tackle. I know I read this book. Even more than Wuthering Heights or Middlemarch, I cannot put together one line of it. Somewhere in my Master’s Degree in American Literature lies the Autobiography. I’ll start it next week, I hope.

I had a haircut today, overdue, and picked up a new ring I’ve waited for. I think it looks like a tree of life. The other ring I had made this summer, when Keppra ganged up so badly on my dreams. I’d wake up and twist it. Nice, solid, twistable. I’m nearly done with the Keppra, two more weeks.


And I had my ears re-pierced today. It’s been eighteen years since my daughter’s wedding. I took out the earrings my other daughter admired and gave them to her. I wonder if she still has them. One was left, one was right. Very unusual. I haven’t worn earrings since. I felt nothing; the technician’s needle went right through the old piercing.

Now when I go to lunch with arty friends, I won’t be the only one without earrings.

43 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    OOOOHhh prettifications! Those rings are gorgeous, I am sure the hair will be too - or at least tidy. Then there's the potential earrings - one of my fave things to wear! Let there be pictures, when they appear! And of course Laura is 100% - tho' am sorry to hear of the lack of support. let's hope for at last another couple by the time of the 'march'. YAM xx

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  2. Hi, Joanne. So fun to read how your day went. Good pictures of you and Beth. And the show-stopping smile of Laura. I don't think I'd better try looking up when I am walking. Have met the sidewalk a couple of times when I was NOT looking up! Good for you that you have a new rings, and now can show off earrings as well! For sure you will fit in with your friends.


    Re the School Walkout. That whole story makes my blood pressure rise! Districts are forbidding kids to participate. They don't want to "disrupt the educational process". Well, from where I sit, all those bodies, all that blood and trauma, certainly disrupts. As a teacher, I learned that if I wanted to do something, better to go ahead and DO IT! And see how the establishment
    might deal with me after the fact. I had some fun times because of that philosophy. I think the courts might have a LOAD of cases if enough kids ----and the adults that care about them!---participate in the march.

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    1. I will call the Hudson Hub Times, and we'll see if we make the paper.

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  3. Sounds like we both are busier retired than when we had careers. After my last stay in the hospital my sons asked if I would please slow down, perhaps sell Menagerie Manor and move into one of those nice retirement villages. I just laughed and asked if they had my funeral planned as well.

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    1. My bedtime laugh. Probably would have been my response, too.

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  4. It does indeed look like a tree of life. Congrats on getting better at walking looking up and down. I seem to be tripping over everything these days.

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  5. Love your new ring. It does look like the tree of life. I get the results of my EEG and MRI Tuesday. The technician did show me the pictures of the MRI. Fascinating.

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  6. That is such a lovely tree of life ring! Very cool that you had your ears re-pierced too.

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  7. It must rattle one's nerves to lose memory like that, but at least you remember that you've lost it if you know what I mean. Anyway, congrats to Laura and then to both of you for your walkout plans. Finally, Sue has also done many rings. She had to stop because she was knee-deep. Alas, she doesn't blog anymore.

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  8. I love your ring. It does look like a tree of life. I'm glad you got your ears re-pierced. I always feel bare without them. I had to have them re-done several times when I was a late teen. At the time I said if it happens one more time I won't re-do them. But if it happens so many decades later, I probably would because I always wear some kind of hoops and now and then I wear something dangling. I doubt my oxygen levels have ever been 100% since I've always had lung issues so Laura's oxygen levels are fantastic!

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  9. I've never thought about the difference in walking while looking up or down. sad to know you and Laura will be the only ones outside the school, maybe it isn't too late for others to decide to join you?
    I had my ears pierced at 16 and wore different earrings for a few years, now I just have the sleepers in and almost never wear anything else.

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  10. Joanne, I am so glad to be one of your blog's readers, there is always something that make me think about it long after i finish the reading.

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  11. I am like Yael. I like you and your blog.

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  12. I know what you mean about poor memory. I remember very little of a book after I've read it. Books I read a decade or two ago are a complete blank. But if I'm enjoying the book I'm currently reading, that's good enough for me.

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  13. I love your spirit, Joanne. You have lost memory but not drive, determination or engagement in life!

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  14. That 'lost' stuff has made you the person you are today, so it maybe lost but it hasn't been wasted.

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  15. love the rings, especially the tree of life ring. I stopped wearing earrings at some point in my life. maybe when I had kids and probably for at least a decade or more but the holes were still there. tight, but still there. I asked my junior granddaughter if her school was planning a walkout and she didn't know, didn't really care. her mom would be out there with them though if there is one.

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    1. We're just having our own. Showing up with our opinion on our T shirts and placards. At least one artist friend is joining us.

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  16. It is hard, adjusting to retirement - to not being "productive." I have had a hard time with it, too. But of course you blog, and many of us wait for your next post.

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  17. I love both the rings. Reading about your determination and resilience helps me a lot right now, Joanne. Thank you. -Jenn

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  18. Less than a year ago. And while you write of things lost, this post is chock full of steps forward.

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  19. You go girl. Love the ring and am happy you are chugging along nicely in spite of the curves.

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  20. You really are making fine progress Joanne.
    As for that ring - I love it.

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  21. I'm sorry you've had a poor entrance into retirement. You always write of all you do with your granddaughter, so I would say you are doing very well with being retired. Wish I could do more with my grandchildren but they live too far away for day-to-day activities. We probably won't see them again until April, and I miss them.

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  22. Early days of retirement certainly can challenge us. I really threw myself into my genealogy at that point.

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  23. You've inspired me again. For one thing, the earrings. I need to have my ears re-pierced after 12 or so years of non-use. That's the small thing. I need to be out holding signs, too. I can't be a youth, but I could do *something.* Your granddaughter is a lucky girl to have you.

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    1. Thanks, Diane. Find a school and do it. We should all take pictures of our rag tag bands.
      Dangle or stud?

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  24. I love those rings and the earrings will be a nice addition. Enjoy the bling.

    I hate retirement. I have my volunteer job that I love, but it is only once a week. I need more. I am thinking of finding another place to work also.

    I do think that as it comes closer to the date, we will hear more about the marches or walk-outs. I want to ask my granddaughters about it but I don’t want to bring up something that their parents may not approve. In the end, I will be marching for them somewhere, whether local, in the city, or in Washington. I can’t imagine how all of this is affecting the students, not only in FL, but all over. I can only think how hard it is for many to walk into a classroom everyday and feeling unsafe. We can’t let this continue.

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  25. It took me 3 or 4 years to settle into retirement. I tried lots of things in that time and kept the ones that were a good fit for me.

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  26. I always have to remember to occasionally put earrings on so that my holes don't close up. I really LOVE your rings, especially the twisty one. That's so cool!

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    1. The second ring is closed through the first. The third ring is closed through the first two. Fascinating.

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  27. Memory? I forget what that is.... I don't read blogs nearly as often as I used to... but when I do catch up I feel as though I'm catching up with dear friends that mean so much to me. Hope spring is coming to Ohio... I know it's been a long hard winter. Wish I could stand with you at the school...

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    1. Hello, Sharon. If spring is coming, it's creeping up from the Ohio River and hasn't reached us yet. But oh, the rain! Hope you are well.

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  28. Pretty ring. Regarding your books, at least you had them as long as you did. I tend to forget them soon after reading them. I've only retained a few over the years. It's always made me feel badly-like I'm wasting my time by reading them in the first place.

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  29. Laura is in excellent health. Good for her.
    I really like your rings. The tree of life ring is exceptional.

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  30. I've never heard of 100% either, good health. I watched a movie last night "Before I Go to Sleep" about a woman who woke up not remembering anything from the day before - she would talk into a camera recorder to she'd remember what she found out the day before, quite the thriller. Nice to have a twisty ring to twist. I have one on each hand that I occasionally re-adjust. I'm waiting till flu season ends before I get a hair cut long over due. Ha.

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  31. I remember that when I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X decades ago, I felt it was one of the best books I had ever read!

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  32. Those rings of yours are truly beautiful!

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  33. Dear Joanne, letting go of all that resulted from that accident last March--nearly a year now of having to let go--has to be one of the hardest things you have been forced to do. The fact that it affected your mind is the most upsetting to me. You have always, I suspect, been a thinker--a person who considers words as valuable to add to experience and thence to make decisions.

    Not remembering what you have read and having trouble reading would be so difficult for me. I find myself in deep admiration of your fortitude. I am a prolific reader of fiction, especially well-written mysteries. So if you ever want some names of writers for whom the craft is important, please let me know. I hope you are gracious to yourself as the days pass into the year. Peace.

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  34. It's odd how it's always assumed retirement is going to spread out in front of us , to fill with holidays , hobbies and adventures. And that we'll be as fit as fleas for years to come .... or at least in our late eighties ...
    You're showing that nothing can be taken for granted, but that sheer determination, bloody mindedness and courage will get you far. And you're teaching your grandaughters the same.
    And as for the books? Sometimes I think , after the first few chapters, that there's something familiar about it... Well, if I'm enjoying it, I'll just read the rest.

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  35. I love the rings. I wear one of the three bands twisted together. Mine are three types of gold: yellow, rose, and white gold. I do a lot of twisting and rolling with them when I'm worked up over something!

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  36. That's interesting about your ears. My daughter left out her earrings so long that the holes closed up. She has been to about 3 different places and they all refused to pierce them again. So she had her nose pierced instead...sigh.

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