Sunday, June 15, 2014

The trip I didn't take

My son Russell graduated from nursing school on Friday. It's a 400-mile drive from Brier, Washington to Roseburg, Oregon, and I didn't want to drive the distance on my own - my husband Art had another commitment. So I booked a seat on an airplane and a rental car at the airport in Eugene. Russell made arrangements for me to stay with his Aunt Patty, my former-sister-in-law who's always been a fun and interesting person to spend time with. The pinning would take place at 10 a.m., followed by a luncheon at a local pizza place. Later in the day, Russ would "walk" at graduation. I lived in Roseburg for six years in the 80s and have been back there many times to visit family and friends. This would be another quick trip.

That was my plan. What actually happened was I had a gastrointestinal issue and stayed home instead. I experienced the pinning, the luncheon and the graduation ceremony courtesy of the Facebook pictures posted by my son James. I also observed that my two sons played golf on Saturday using a cart driven by their father John, my ex-husband.

I'd rather have gone, of course. But plans change. Like it says on my license plate frame: "Make God laugh. Tell Him your plans."

Some other things I hadn't planned:

  • I've been staying up late, until midnight or later, for a month or so. My husband goes to bed early these days. He has medications that tire him out by early evening and he gets up at 4:30 every morning. I decided 8:30 p.m. was too early a bedtime for me. But now I feel like I'm missing out on the morning! On three days this coming week I have to be up and out of the house by 8:00 a.m., so I'm pacing myself today and preparing for an earlier bedtime tonight. I like the quiet house at night when I can be productive, but I miss the nightly ritual of going to bed at the same time as Art. I love the freedom of being retired, though, so I can choose my sleep schedule.
  • Since I wasn't in Roseburg on Friday night and I was feeling better, I went to a potluck at church, where I've recently become a member. The dinner was for the board and for new members. Good potluck, pretty decorations, nice people. But these events are painful for me. I'm miserable making small talk. I can do one-on-one, or one-on-two or -three. I can even do one-on-a-thousand when I'm speaking. But one-on-fifteen or -twenty is hard. I confessed this to Eric, the minister, and he asked me to sit with him at dinner, which helped. I need to go to these occasions from time to time, even if I'd rather be home reading a book. Maybe in my next life I'll be better at it.
  • When I started my "no sugar" May I planned on a month. Here it is June 15 and I am still doing the no sugar thing. I've been told my skin looks good and I notice my pants riding a little lower than they used to. I was mightily tempted by a piece of cheesecake last month and by a half gallon of strawberry ice cream just last night, but I'm thinking as long as I'm into this I might as well keep on for a while. In a month or so I'll go through my closet and see what fits. Hopefully more than two months ago!
  • I have been hovering over my husband Art since his cardiac arrest in January. He is actually doing fine, living his normal life, but I want him to be more compliant than he is - with things like medical followups, medications and tests, and hydrating. He is resolutely continuing to do as he always has. So last week I put a white pebble in a bowl at church - a ritual where you let go of a thought or a person, or begin something new. My white pebble was letting go of Art's medical stuff. They belong to him. This week I've been actually quite peaceful about the whole thing. I have no idea how he is!
  • My sister has four cats and they have all been living in the RV in our back yard for a month. On Thursday they got their shots for being outdoors, and this morning we let two of them out for a supervised half hour. One of the cats is 14 years old and hasn't been outdoors more than two times in his whole life. I got to watch him explore. Mostly he wanted to chew on a couple of weeds and creep under the deck. Nice to be involved in a first of that kind.
After a week of glorious sun and a burgeoning vegetable garden, we've got cooler weather and rain today. We're watching the World Cup with the volume muted - "All they do is yack," Art says. I turned on the gas fireplace and am grateful for a warm, dry house and a quiet day.

13 comments:

DJan said...

I turned on the World Cup for about 15 seconds and decided it just wasn't for me. I am an early riser, as you know, so I am with Art, just not able to stay up late. My early morning time is the quiet place for me. Glad to hear you are feeling better after your bout, Linda. :-)

Terra said...

I am so like you in not enjoying large groups and small talk, with people I don't know. Lunch with a friend or 8 friends is fun, but not those larger groups. That is a nice ceremony of placing the white stone in a container and giving away that concern, to God's care.

Terra said...

I am so like you in not enjoying large groups and small talk, with people I don't know. Lunch with a friend or 8 friends is fun, but not those larger groups. That is a nice ceremony of placing the white stone in a container and giving away that concern, to God's care.

Linda Reeder said...

Maybe I need to do the pebble thing for my chronically out-of-work son. I don't know if it would work though.
Like you, I don't do well in crowds, although I have finally realized that if I make the effort to talk to people it helps. I do find that I cannot sustain a conversation that is trivial, as most small talk is. This is a common attribute of Introverts, of course. And If I do engage in a substantive topic, Extroverts tend to drift away. I guess we are who we are.
We have had the world cup on but most of the time I'm doing other things and just check in when something big happens. We will be watching at 3:00 tomorrow when the US Men play their first match.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

The World Cup may as well be on some other world; we just don't follow it. "They" say that staying up late is one of the ways we introverts buy ourselves more private time. I like the fact that such a simple ceremony can help you let go of something. And the fact that you are still avoiding sugar. Good for you!

#1Nana said...

So sorry you weren't able to make graduation. What an accomplishment that he has finished his training. I'm amazed that you have been able to stay off sugar. I know I should, and I know I'd go crazy if I tried, but you've got me thinking! I always learn from you, Linda.

Weekend-Windup said...

Happy to see you are out of sugar. It helps you very much. It is difficult for me to get out of sugar!

Arkansas Patti said...

Congrats big time to your son but sorry a wild tummy kept you away. I truly believe men make better nurses--kind of like men make better cooks. Besides, it takes muscles to sling patients around. So glad there are much more of them today.
Wonderful job staying off sugar. Keep up the great work. Soon it won't even taste good for you--or so I have heard:))

Olga Hebert said...

I admire how you set your mind to something and follow through. I do like the pebble rite. Letting go is really a path to wisdom.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, your posting of the events and emotions and concerns of the past week all seemed woven together with gratitude. What a lovely way to live. Peace.

Tom Sightings said...

FB is good for some things, and keeping up with family when you can't be there is one of them. I do not take any medications, but I'm still with Art. I used to be a night person when I was younger, but became a morning person when I got a job. I still like to get up in the morning, and can't stay up late at night. And congrats on no sugar. That's fantastic!

Perpetua said...

Sorry you couldn't go to your son's graduation, but isn't it great that you can catch up thanks to technology.

I sympathise with your decision to let Art look after his own health and lifestyle. You got him through the bad time and now it's his responsibility as an adult to do the rest.

Deb Shucka said...

Checking in after a long time away from blogs. Glad to see your life is going so well. Even with bugs and glitches. Interestingly, I've been sugar-free the same amount of time that you have. Taking it one day at a time, but thinking this might be the time for a permanent change.