Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Bag Lady thinks about a week of riches

I can't remember when I've had a better summer, even though there's not much different about this one. Maybe it's because of a bigger garden, or my sister and her husband living on our property, or the antidepressant I started taking last fall!
  • My shoulder is healing and my self-imposed restricted use of my desktop computer has lessened. I am catching up with myself. I'm grateful for the body's ability to heal - even an older body!
  • I called on Monday and got a last-minute massage with a therapist who is great with sore shoulders. So lucky to live close to such a place.
  • My brother-in-law Virgil complained on Monday of abdominal pain and he had a fever. Turned out to be a perforated colon. He spent two days in the hospital, receiving excellent care, and is now home recuperating. My sister Alyx and I spent the first evening sitting with him in the ER.  I'm grateful I had the time to do it. I think shared emergencies are a bond among us.
  • In small claims court on Tuesday, I had time to do two mediations, and both of them settled. The team leads would like me to become certified as a small claims mediator so I can back them up as lead. It's so nice to be singled out by such a request. This volunteer activity is always fun - I call it "mediation lite" - and the team gets to make a difference in the community. Our volunteer team's successes reduce the number of court trials needed.
  • In a mediation on Wednesday my co-mediator was relatively inexperienced and we had a person new to training observing us. The mediation was a tough one, with unexpected challenges, and I had an opportunity to teach and coach both of the others. It's gratifying to see how much I have learned since I started down this post-retirement path three years ago.
  • My granddaughters Mary and Malayne arrived on Wednesday afternoon for a three-day visit. They are 14 now and I noticed a few changes from the last time they were here last summer:
    • They have thick, wavy brown hair and they have found ways to tie it up, or back, rather than a halo around their faces. They look beautiful.
    • They are using more complex language. I heard adverbs and words like "recruit" and "apparently".
    • They learned a borrowed game and mastered it far more quickly than I. I lost all four games I played, even with their hints. It was only a little embarrassing.
    • They are a tiny bit tidier and they do a good job clearing the table without complaint.
    • We agreed they would do their own laundry and they did!
    • They stayed in their room most of the time; now that they have their own phones and tablets they don't need to use my computer. I missed them upstairs!
    • Clothes shopping is as arduous as it has ever been.
    • They were willing to sit in a car for six hours to see me for three days.
    • They have the eye roll mastered but they don't think I'm pointless yet. I don't think so, anyway.
    • They still love to dress up out of the costume box.
  • We had a family meal on Thursday which included my ex-husband John and his friend Shirley. They had transported the girls from southern Oregon to Seattle. On Saturday we all got together again with my younger son James. I'm grateful we all enjoy each other's company and also that I got to see James - in his 30s, he lives in Seattle and has a busy life.
  • We decided to sign up for a cruise in Eastern Europe next year. I'm not so interested in independent travel there, or multiple hotels and long bus rides. The ship holds 181 passengers and I hear the food is very good. We don't care for the larger cruise ships so we'll see how this goes.
  • We figured out how to accommodate the cats of our two families. Alyx and Virgil's four cats go outside in the morning, and we put two baby gates on the stairs leading to the upper deck. They stay off the deck that way, which remains our cat's turf. The baby gates come down in the afternoon and the place then belongs to our Larisa. 
  • We planted the second round of beets and squash. This gardening business takes a lot of time. 
  • We have way, way too much zucchini, and green beans we haven't eaten, so my husband is making a delivery to the food bank tomorrow.
Such a good summer! The Bag Lady feels like a rich woman.


Linda Reeder said...

Such accomplishments! You have many reasons to feel good!

Arkansas Patti said...

Now I realize why you are good at mediation. You have successfully accomplished that with your ex years ago. Well done.

Olga said...

That is a satisfying list of blessings--true riches extend far beyond the balance of one's bank account. (Not that having the money one needs hurts in any way!)

DJan said...

What a nice, upbeat post! I can see why you are a happy woman, and I look forward to our annual reunion at Lavender Hill Farms! :-)

Rosaria Williams said...

Wow! Lots of stuff in your basket, agricultural and otherwise. Glad you're having a good summer.

Dee said...

Dear Linda, I so enjoyed this posting. Your life, to me, always seemed so full and rich with new experiences. I can remember when you were taking your training in mediation. And now you are coaching others and bringing closure for those who need help. How meaningful that is. Peace.

Lester said...

I hope I live long enough to experience my granddaughters in their teens. They're gonna be exceptional. My wife has taken a couple of the "Viking River Cruises" through Europe and loves them. As ai explained in my blog ( ) - I don't like travel.

Perpetua said...

Such a good summer and such a happy, positive post, Linda. I'm so glad that family life and retirement activities are proving to be so satisfying and enjoyable for you.

Janette said...

Your mediation is amazing. Congrats.
Sounds like a lovely time with the grand girls :) I cannot wait to spend lots more time with my grands.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I loved this post! It's so good to hear that you're having a good summer and all the elements of this good time -- family bonding, grandkids growing in such good ways, healing, the satisfaction of meaningful work and some fun plans for the future. It doesn't get any better than that!

By the way, my neighbors took several European river cruises, including one in Eastern Europe, and enjoyed them greatly. They loved being able walk the streets of European cities and villages without having to take trains or planes or change hotels. They said that it was the absolutely perfect way to travel.