Sunday, March 10, 2013

Be Patient, Connee

I started this day in an anticipatory mode.  I've wanted to go visit a dear friend, but I came back from Florida with what I thought was an overdose of pollen, which it may have been, but the malady had an extra kick to it.  I promptly went to my allergist, had a breathing treatment, and a new medication to decongest my chest...that was on Monday.  By Friday, although I was feeling better, I went to my primary care physician who announced that I could carry this cough for up to a month.  I did fill a prescription for cough syrup with an added bonus in it....and guess what....medicare does not cover, nor does my supplemental cover any kind of cough syrup for old people.  Oh well, why bother.  Pay for it and shut up.

Anyway, I was unable to visit with my friend today.  It has put me in a funk. 

My friend is very ill.  I did not want to add to her misery by infecting her with anything I might have brought with me as Rob and I  traversed the country from south to north. Perhaps this is God's way of making sure I am truly healthy before visiting.  Be patient, Connee.

 For the better part of my life, I have not been patient.  I want things, situations, people when I want them.  I have plans.  Doesn't everyone?  I am willing to accomodate another's plan.  I welcome it.  Plans make me feel in control;  like perhaps the Universe isn't random.  The Universe doesn't look random.  It looks wonderfully organized, well, until a meteror comes whirling out of space and hits the earth.  Was that random or was it planned? 

Plans help me feel like there is purpose.  Of course, that's the purpose of a plan, right?  Anyway, I'm feeling a bit like a meteror right now, certainly, no longer anticipatory.  Instead, I am whirling around from one project to the next, bumping it slightly, veering onto a different path...unsettled.  Writing slows me down a bit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012



     The wind is brisk this day of October 9, 2012.  Leaves scurry and blow across the front yard. Rob mows  the lawn short so as not to hinder the wind as it helps him accomplish his goal of green grass, free of brown oak leaves.  I smile. 
     When the wind dies, the leaves will once again take up their rightful place at the bottom of the three grand oaks which grace and guard our country home.  Rob is not dissuaded.  The steady hum of the mower sounds strong and determined like the man.  I smile.         
     The lawn used to be my domain.  Rob was too busy to be bothered with a patch of grass.  Too much to do on a busy farm. Now the patch of grass and Rob have bonded.  Rob is as determined as the leaves are bountiful.  I smile.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Howdy-Doody Mouth...Modified

I've always been a watcher. People are the most interesting of God's creatures...anyway, for me. Living in a retirement community, I've had the opportunity to observe a lot of us older folks. 

As a young woman, my mother always told me to smile.  "All your winkles will go up, if you smile," she said.  Mom started showing some wrinkles in her 90's...and she was notorious for her smile and laughter.

Well, for those of you who know me well, I have also spent a great deal of my time smiling and laughing...Thank you, God.  And mom was right...the wrinkles, for the most part, do go up.  But what about that area around your know, the "Howdy-Doody mouth" that seems to appear around our 60th birthday?  My good friend Carole, as we were walking around Keeler Lake one fall day, first dubbed this part of our anatomy as the "Howdy-Doody" mouth.  It's that part of your face extending from the nostrils to the outer corners of the mouth and down the chin line and into the jaw.  If you totally relax your 60 year old face, the "Howdy-Doody" mouth appears.  It happens to almost all of us.  Some folks even get it in their 50's. 

The  effect can be lessened in two ways.  The first way, and not one highly recommended, however one I have seen often at the community pool, is to fall asleep in the sun.  The mouth naturally drops open in a wide O-shape and, if the head is tilted far enough back, the lines defining the "Howdy-Doody" mouth completely disappear....however, it immediately reappears when the person snorts and jerks awake and is often accompanied by drool.  The second way is more socially acceptable and actually works.  You may want to practice this in front of a mirror.  Looking at your reflection, with a relaxed face in the Howdy-Doody position, just slightly take the corners of your mouth and slide them into the beginning of a smile.  Don't over-do....and no smirking allowed.  When you achieve the erasure of the lines making your puppet mouth, hold it.  Get used to this position, practice it, and employ it.  It will take years off of your face and its a simple exercise...not at all like sit ups or squats.  Try it.  Tell me what you think.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Off I Went To Strangers...

I certainly didn't think I would enter the New Year with what I now affectionately refer to as "hoof and mouth."  My poor arthritic knee really got itself into a world of hurt and needed help. My equally poor tooth, right in front of my molar on the right side, had lost part of its crown while doing a crunching, grinding job on...can you believe this?...a carrot stick!
If I were at home I would know exactly who to call to help me with such maladies.  As it turned out, I did call both my hometown dentist and my primary care physcian.  My dentist's assistant told me to get an x-ray evaluation from a local Florida dentist.  If the tooth could wait, I was to hang in there and they would fix me up when I returned to Michigan.  I called a friend who is a  Florida resident who told me of a dentist in Naples...and when I contacted the office...sure enough, he could fit me in.
My next doctor was just as handy.  The Orthopedic Center of Southwest Florida in Ft. Meyers looked professional and talented on the internet and yes, they could also fit me in.  So, off I went to strangers in the first week of January, 2012.  And, yes indeed, I went with a whole lot of gratitude, cuz I had a very sore knee and a cropped and jagged snaggle-tooth.  Happy New Year to me!

You may recall, I spent Christmas with a bunch of very nice strangers...but that was with food, drink, and merriment.  I should have indulged in at least the drink part to help me with this second group of strangers.  I'll not name names, unless you call me personally and ask, but my jaw and gum line is just now (two weeks later) feeling somewhat normal.  And guess what?  The Florida dentist office called today to make my follow up appointment for the permanent crown. It has arrived.  Whoopee!  We have a tentative appointment for next week, IF my jaw is normal.  We'll see.  I can't wait, really...I can't.

My orthopedic doctor was more entertaining and less painful than the dentist.  Rob was with me for this appointment.  I was given the usual knee x-ray and it was reaffirmed that I have arthritis in my knee.  Yep...that's why I was here, in a medical building, on a very beautiful, sunny Florida day instead of at the beach. We talked a bit about my level of pain and what I had been doing to alleviate it. The doctor moved my knee into various positions. Then the dear man asked me to walk on my heels, then on my toes, then to squat down as far as I could and "walk like a duck."  I haven't done this sort of nonsense since I was a young girl...maybe fourth grade.  Didn't this doctor notice that I was 67 years old and over-weight?  Evidently not. 

Rob stood in the corner of the office and, out of the corner of my eye, I could see him rock back on his heels, in sympathy, as I attempted the first part of the task.  Again, when I got up on my tippy-toes, I could see a slight elevation in Rob's height as he, too, lifted up on his toes.  However, I saw no empathy from my spouse as I squatted down and could barely, just barely, "walk like a duck."  I noticed a small smirky smile that quickly left Rob's face, to be replaced by a more concerned look, when I glared back at him over my shoulder.  As you might expect, Rob did not attempt to show me his "walk like a duck" when we got home, either.  Coward! 
Anyway, this doc did give me a nice little shot in my knee which really has helped me a great deal.  He also wanted me to take a whole bunch of NSAID drugs (anti-inflamatories) which my back home physcian put the nix on real quick.  So for two weeks I have iced my knee 3-4 times per day.  It really feels pretty good...a lot better than my jaw.

Next week I will probably see the dentist, IF my jaw continues to improve.  He won't be a stranger anymore since he's been on my mind a great deal.  I'm really going to do my best not to be strange, crabby, and ornery with him, either. 
The first week in February I will revist the orthopedic doctor and, by then, he won't seem so strange either.  I hope he doesn't want me to perform any other gymnastics.  I may leave Rob at home or perhaps he can sit in the parking lot.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas with Strangers

On Christmas Eve, Rob and I celebrated The Feast of the Nativity at St. Mary's in Bonita Springs. We had visited this church twice before, but like all holy days many showed up for this particular service...many we had never seen before...strangers all, driven by the need to participate in one of the most holy of days in the church.  It was lovely; bright red poinsiettas, candles softly glowing, priests, deacons, acolytes, and torch bearers all garbed in flowing robes of creamy white accented by a royal choir robed in periwinkle blue. Beautiful carols were sung by all.  A few ancient songs, that only the choir could handle, brought us all into an earlier time of Christian worship.  The organist was in his glory...driving his center stage machine like he was coming around the winning corner of the Indy 500.  Incense was delivered regardless of allergies...after all Christmas is a holy day.  Everything and everyone was doused at least once from near and then again from afar.  The service began at 9:30 p.m. and we were on our way home at 12:40 p.m.  Two plus hours, although lovely and spiritual, left Rob and I both wanting our bed and wondering how our knees and back had knelt, stood, and sat for so long. 

I had been feeling a bit sad because neither Cathy, Lalo nor Cheri were able to join us in sunny Florida this year...after all they had work...for which we are grateful, given our nation of unemployment.  The Christmas Eve service  sparked me up, made me feel more Christmasey.

Christmas morning brought with it a light breakfast and then the opening of our gifts from Cheri, Cathy, and Lalo.  While last night's gala of song, solemn eucharist, and incense had cheered me, opening gifts without the kids was still a bit of a kicker.

Our neighbors, Larry and Mary, who were returning north for their family Christmas, had been thoughtful about our impending aloneness and thus had spread the word to the correct neighbors who were planning a progressive Christmas Day dinner. We were invited! We didn't know most of these people prior to this event.  Rob knew two of the men from golf and I knew Judy, a wonderful massage therapist, who lives on our street. But really, we didn't know each other. 

Cocktails started the early afternoon at Barry and Regina's. Drinks flowed along with good cheer, stories were told, light finger foods served and after two hours of getting acquainted and breaking the ice, we all returned to our respective homes to get ready for dinner. I prepared my dish for this portion of the progression; the only dish I can make without a recipe.  Rob had football planned for this interlude, but soon he was flung back in his chair and snoring softly with occasional snorts.  (I later learned every single husband in our merry group engaged in this exact same behavior.  Was it the wine?  I think not...Rob is a master at this behavior and needs no wine to achieve perfection.)

The "main course" was served at Bob and Mary's home.  It proved to be everything and more that a Christmas dinner could embody.  The foods were  tasty dishes of carbrohydrates, proteins, and vegetables all done with novelty and stories of origins.  My offering had been discovered many years ago at a Noffke Christmas party on Kerlikowske Road in rural Coloma;  simple, tasty, corn pudding.

We indulged in one more eating saga at Jim and Janet's home.  The fare consisted of cookies, cakes, and wonderful fresh fruit.  Good conversation followed each meal setting. The light banter became more comfortable and friendly as the evening progressed.  Perhaps the wine?  We exchanged "white elephant" gifts amid much laughter and joking.  Christmas with strangers...who would have thought it could be so lovely?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Beautifully Wrapped

Nothing written for November, well maybe I can add a bit now.  Mostly, November got swallowed up along with the turkey.  And I am in December..such a hard month for so many.  For those who have lost loved ones this past year, it will be especially hard.  For those who have lost jobs...well, I can remember facing Christmas time with little to make it Merry, but those were other times...not today. 

Today, I have learned, I have many Christmas presents beautifully wrapped in shiny, sparkly paper with gold, fluffy bows.  These gifts do not sit under a tree waiting to be unwrapped.  They are found in FAMILY, loving daughters, a son-in-law second to none, and a husband who means more and more to me each and every day.  Nieces, nephews, and cousins by the dozen all have their precious places.

Rob and I celebrated 45 years of marriage on November 26 at the Northwestern vs. MSU game.  It rained the entire game.  It was cold and soppy.  Ugly.  MSU won and that did help...but I couldn't help but wonder what possessed me to sit outside in that slop with Rob and daughter, Cheri, all of us yelling, GO GREEN.  Our bodies totally encased in Green ponchos, it was our feet and hands that suffered the most.  Gloves dripped, fingers froze, and shoes squeaked and squished with saturated droplets of stuff that just didn't let up for all of the four hours of game time.  How did the teams, both MSU and NW, ever make it?  They're young and tough.  Was I ever that young or tough?  Surely not.

And then there are FRIENDS.  Aren't they beautifully wrapped?  They come in so many different sizes and shapes.  And how versatile they are...coming to the front when needed with a word of encouragement and praise, wrapping their arms around you when you need  extra support, and the laughter...oh yes, the laughter.  Only friends seem to understand and get a hoot out of the same little oddities of life and living that you do.  Yes, beautifully wrapped each and every one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Truth or Not

A friend asked if the writing on Connee's Corner was the truth (real) or was it my imagination? 
I usually write something that is real or actual, simply because it's easier. 
Granted my truth may be biased.  It may not be your truth.  
Usually my writing reflects my own inner questions or insights. 
Thanks for following and leaving your comments.