An Old-Timer Speaks

For today’s tribute to National Poetry Month, I’m going to publish a verse by that multi-faceted poet, writer of umpteen dozen verses, Author Unknown. Born in the year 001, last I heard he — or she? — is still alive and kicking. Perhaps I should say THEY are,  just in case it’s a couple?

However, I’ve heard that the coming of Google Search — an invasive species if ever there was one! — is threatening the existence of the whole clan of Unknowns.

An Old-Timer Speaks

You laugh at us old-timers
and maybe youth has cause,
for when your hair gets gray and thin
you don’t expect applause.

Perhaps we’re not so handsome,
perhaps we’re not so spry
but when youth gets as old as us,
then youth won’t wonder why.

For we have fought the battles
and we have led the van,
and made this life an easier road
for many a younger man.

And he will do tomorrow
a lot of things that pay
because old-timers thought them out
and tried them yesterday.

We know the world is changing
the ways of trade are new;
men put new labels on their goods,
new roofs on houses, too.

But still the old foundation
that some old-timers laid
remains the cornerstone of all
the progress we have made.

Senior Moments

she stops mid-bite
did you see me take my pill?
senior moments
🙂

It happened again this morning. I’ve been on antibiotics for almost two weeks; four days on the first one and eight on the second. So I go to the kitchen and prepare my breakfast, intending to take my pill — which is to be taken with food. Trouble is, after I’m done eating I can’t remember if I really did take the pill — or did I just intend to take it?

Does this ever happen to you?

My mother-in-law took a sleeping pill and a glass of water to bed with her every night, saying that if she couldn’t sleep, the pill would be there. But she was mortally afraid of taking more than one, so she developed a great system for keeping track — one that I need to get into myself.

She had the pill ready in a pill bottle before-hand, sitting upright beside her mug. If she took the pill, she laid the bottle on its side. Thus she could see at a glance if she’d already had the pill and wouldn’t take another. In the morning she’d prepare her pill for the next night. Very rarely did she ever actually take the pill, but she could rest easy knowing it was there if she needed it.

I’m so fuzzy when it comes to short-term prescribed pills, so am trying to train myself to leave my pill bottle upside down on the table after I take the thing. that way I can see at a glance whether I’ve taken it and can put the bottle away later. If I could get myself into this habit now, I should be prepared for when senior moments take over most of my days — if they haven’t already. 😉

Bubble packs are a great invention, too, and those little sectioned plastic pill holders. I keep my thyroid med in one of those, have done so for years, so I can see easily if I’ve taken today’s pill.

Faceless, Voiceless Women

we knew they lived
those faceless voiceless women
up in that small room

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the book, Write Like Issa: A Haiku How-To, writer David G Lanoue says, “Write with compassion yet understatement. Leave space for your readers’ minds to wander and wonder.” In the verse above there should be ample room for you to wonder and surmise — just as I have over the years.

Putting together my collection of haiku verses now, I often wonder if I should stick with Mr Lanoue’s advice, or share a few lines of back-story that led to my writing this verse? What do you think? Do you like to read the story behind the story or verse?

Here’s the story behind the verse above:

Back in the fall of 1981 we bought a small 1½-storey house and moved into a small hamlet in SW Ontario. The neighbours were friendly and different ones dropped by to visit after we were settled; through their accounts we learned quite a few details about our home’s history. One elderly couple, Jim & Jean, enjoyed visiting and had lived in the village for years. Since they’d known a number our home’s past owners, we found out some interesting details from them.

For example, Jean talked about the school teacher and his wife who lived in our place years back (I’m thinking late 1950s) and how they’d visit this couple from time to time. I’m guessing the teacher & wife were middle-aged and had no children still at home, but his aged mother and sister lived with them.

Jean told me, “We never saw them. His mother and sister stayed upstairs in their room whenever we were there. They never came down when the teacher had company — we never knew why.”

I sometimes think of those two women and wonder, why did they live as recluses in that tiny bedroom? Did they have embarrassing health issues; did the mother have dementia and couldn’t be left alone? Did they refuse to visit with the locals; were they snobby, shy, or did they think “it isn’t our place”? Were they not allowed to join the company, ordered to stay upstairs and not “interfere”? How free were they otherwise? My mind is very free to wander and wonder about that situation.

I’ll never know the answer, but since today is International Women’s Day, this is the perfect opportunity to appreciate and express my thanks for the many options women have now.