in grandma’s closets
those depression years
in grandma’s closets
in grandma’s closets
those depression years
she stops mid-bite
did you see me take my pill?
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.
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.
I was talking to my cousin last night — she’s just celebrated her 85th birthday — and she tells me she picked up a second-hand computer from someone who had one to get rid of. A brave new adventure and I hope it doesn’t lead to unnecessary frustrations. I can’t leave a message on her answering machine because she hasn’t mastered how to use her message manager — one bit of frustrating technology for her.
I asked her if she could type and she said, “I can learn.” Spelling will be a problem for her, though. Unfortunately my cousin not only lacks basic education, but also has some type of perception issue. She may read a short poem or quote she likes, but when she decides to copy it for me, she garbles the word order and line breaks. So she’s likely to see a lot of red lines on her screen as she types.
However, writing isn’t her goal anyway; I’m sure she didn’t get a printer in the deal. Another senior told her you can play games on a computer, so she’s looking forward to that. I hope it works better for her than her attempts to operate the TV remote control. When I spent a week with her a few years back, I had to call her cable company frequently and ask them to reset her TV because she’d hit the wrong button on the remote and switched it to “Play DVD” mode — then didn’t know how to switch it back. (Being somewhat technologically challenged myself, plus we haven’t had a TV since 1974, I couldn’t figure out how to fix it without help, either.)
Still, I have to admire her willingness and courage to try something new and am keen to see how this technological ‘step forward’ works for her.
Going through old files I came across this bit of wit, my adaptation of one of Murphy’s Laws. Hope it gives you a smile.
grannie’s new glasses
and she still can’t see
I’ve just looked through 284 themes and can’t see exactly what I want. I’d like to find something just as simple as the one I had, only better. But I’ll try this new theme, Penscratch 2, and see how I get on.
Here’s a cheery poem from the 1972 Friendship Book of Francis Gay, no author given:
My goodness, what a lot is wrong —
but what a lot is right;
the sky is blue, and birds sing, too,
as if with sheer delight.
A bad old world — but just a minute;
it has both saints and sunshine in it.
The Ragtag prompt for today is BIRTHDAY.
Here’s my response, dedicated to everyone whose having a birthday today.
by Robert W Service
When I have come with happy heart to sixty years and ten,
I’ll buy a boat and sail away upon a summer sea;
And in a little lonely isle that’s far and far from men,
In peace and praise I’ll spend the days that God allows to me.
For I am weary of a strife so pitiless and vain;
And in a far and fairy isle, bewilderingly bright,
I’ll learn to know the leap and glow of rapture once again,
And welcome every living dawn with wonder and delight.
And there I’ll build a swan-white house above the singing foam,
With brooding eaves, where joyously rich roses climb and cling;
With crotons in a double row, like wine and honeycomb,
And flame trees dripping golden rain, and palms pavilioning.
And there I’ll let the wind and wave do what they will with me;
And I will dwell unto the end with loveliness and joy;
And drink from out the crystal spring, and eat from off the tree,
As simple as a savage is, as careless as a boy.
For I have come to think that Life’s a lamentable tale,
And all we break our hearts to win is little worth our while;
For fame and fortune in the end are comfortless and stale,
And it is best to dream and rest upon a radiant isle.
So I’ll blot out the bitter years of sufferance and scorn,
And I’ll forget the fear and fret, the poverty and pain;
And in a shy and secret isle I’ll be a man newborn,
And fashion life to heart’s desire, and seek my soul again.
For when I come with happy heart to sixty years and ten,
I fondly hope the best of life will yet remain to me;
And so I’ll burn my foolish books and break my futile pen,
And seek a tranced and tranquil isle, that dreams eternally.
I’ll turn my back on all the world, I’ll bid my friends adieu;
Unto the blink I’ll leave behind what gold I have to give;
And in a jewelled solitude I’ll mould my life anew,
And nestling close to Nature’s heart, I’ll learn at last . . . to live.