Alicia Lopez’s Musings

Posts Tagged ‘living

I journeyed back today from my visit to our children in Dallas.  The time passes so swiftly, I can hardly believe a week has gone by.

This is the norm, the days pass by so slowly when you are looking forward to that trip, and they fly by when you are actually at your destination and enjoying the assorted family members surrounding you.

We spend the majority of the time talking, laughing, remembering, and sometimes crying.  As the holidays approach, we look forward to them with some trepidation.  This will be the first holiday season without my beloved.  To them it will be the first without their father, and grandfather.  He was so enthusiastic about everything that pertained to this time, that he infused it to everyone.

We will change a few things about the celebration, having decided to draw names this year for the first time in our history;  I can say in half a century, since he and I were married fifty eight years. We always did the shopping together, he carrying the packages and giving his nod of approval for whatever I chose.  His expertise was with the manly things, the girly ones he usually left to me.

This Thanksgiving we will all be together, except for my granddaughter who lives in New York, and a grandson who cannot bear to leave his dog in a kennel.  I told him if I didn’t have three dogs  already invited to the feast, I would tell him to bring his Maddie, but she is much larger than the other three pooches and I can foresee problems.  People who are not dog lovers will wonder at his decision to not come, but I completely understand;  I have been a dog person for years.

So, I look forward to their coming and to our time together.  They always love Ruidoso, and cannot bear the thought that one day I may have to sell the house and leave, but Father Time has a way of diminishing mere mortals, and I am a realist.  I will have to move closer to where I have more family and medical support, although my son who lives here tells me he would take care of me by himself, but I would not tie him down to an ailing mother, he still has his own life to live.

Hopefully that will be in the future, relegated to “some day”.  My health is good, and I am slowly but surely learning to live again.

Hasta la Vista

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It finally arrived!

After weeks of snow warnings, we awoke this morning to a beautiful white, pristine, winter wonderland.

Not that we got that much, but at my house, it covered the lawn, the parking lot, my car, and all surrounding areas.  It snowed almost all day yesterday, but  very slow, almost grudgingly, as if Mother Nature was still not sure about it.  I estimate about two inches of the white gold dropped, albeit, unwillingly.  If my hubby was still living, he would be faxing our children the great message, “ITS SNOWING!”.  He kept such a message close by the fax machine, almost as if he was urging it to happen. He loved the snow and would go out, as soon as he was able, to take pictures. God, how I miss him.

Ski Apache, our ski resort, received at least 15 inches, and the skiers must be shouting for joy; I know the merchants of the town are doing just that.

Viewing the weather report, northern New Mexico received more than their share, at least two feet were estimated to fall in some areas.

As for myself, I loaded up on books.  My sister and I have a lending library between ourselves, where we exchange books as we read them.  On her last visit she brought me a bag full, so I have plenty to keep me entertained.

My pooch does not like the snow, and keeps trying not to go out.  I have to open the door, and push him out, before he has a chance to retreat.  Once out, he will run out, do his business and return as quickly as possible, to lay in front of the fireplace; “Ah, this is the life, he comments”, in doggy body language.

My physical therapist discharged me this week, so I get to do all the exercises at home.  He gave me three rubberized strips which I am to use.  It took a little bit of time for me to figure out how to do this, I tied one to the leg of my bed, the other to the bedroom door, and kept the third to use  inventfully.  I put this over the door, and use it for my arm exercises; because they are rubberized, I pull against them and really feel it.  If I am snowbound for more than two days, I will develop  arm and leg muscles to put athletes to shame!

It is 7:00 in the morning as I am writing this, and dark as Hades.  I hope the sun comes out soon.

BRR– Hasta la Vista

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I returned home today after a week and a half of traveling.  I spiraled off to Dallas and surrounding areas to visit my daughters and son who live there.

My trip had a double purpose, seeing them, and house and dog sitting.  I enjoyed both tremendously.  The pooches are a couple of six month old Westies, just as cute as they can be.  They are brothers from the same litter, so of course they had to have appropriate names.  After much thought and debate, their names became Niles and Frazier (as from the old Frazier television show).

They are very playful, and thank goodness , they are finally house broken.   As siblings go, they also have quarrels which can become quite noisy.  They learned quickly when grandma said “Stop” they were to end the barking and snarling.  Oh, and grandma also likes to read, so they are not to climb up on her lap or demand petting while she is thus occupied.  Its not very different from teaching your children the rights and wrongs of living.  Stern warnings usually accomplish the task.

I was not prepared for the weather there.  I had been told it was in the 80’s, so I took summer clothing.  When I arrived, a big storm hit, including tornado warnings, and the weather turned cold.  I borrowed my son-in-law’s warm sweat tops, and lived in them for a while.

As usual on my visits, all the family hangs out together, and we celebrated one grandson’s and daughter- in- laws birthdays with a lot of joking and laughing.  I did have a moment  in the bedroom I occupied; one of my beloved’s Greek sailor hats that he wore constantly was on display.  It took that glance to bring on the tears; I can’t help it, they come unexpected and unannounced.

My pooch and I were happy to return home, and begin our lives again.  The weather had turned colder, and we have the glorious golds and reds on the trees  surrounding our village.  Fall is here and winter not too long behind.  I will be considered a traitor when I state that I am not looking forward to it; I love the snow, but cannot drive in it.  The merchants love it, as it signifies the skiers will be arriving. I too will welcome them, from the safety of my easy chair in front of the fireplace.

Hasta la vista

The Puppies

I have been in hog heaven for the past two weekends; first my two wonderful daughters flew in from Dallas to spend one week end and then my two sisters, one from El Paso, the other from California, came to see me.

Those days are always the hardest for me to spend alone.  That is when my hubby and I did everything around the house and garden, shopped, dined, went to the slots and tried out luck.  We also went out of town every few months, Dallas, El Paso, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  We loved to explore and try new things, especially new restaurants.

The first week end my daughters and I spent talking, walking, laughing, eating, and shopping.  The days flew by so fast, before I knew it,  they were gone.  I endured the following days because I knew my sisters were coming .

They arrived and we also spent a lot of time reminiscing on the old days, even going back when we were young and still lived at home.  My older sister and I did a lot of things together, once we were so bored when our parents were not home that we took turns taking pictures of each other in different places and quirky poses.  So of course, we took the photo albums out and laughed at ourselves.

I am nine years older than my younger sister, so my thoughts of her were as a baby girl, who took my place in the house as supreme being.  I never envied her that position because I loved her with all my heart, and I still do.

Our conversations also centered on the antics of my beloved,  he was such a card.  We laughed and cried together at some of the comments he was always making.  This has served as a catharsis for my soul.  Speaking of him and remembering him are also a part of healing.   This is not always understood by a majority of people, who think that if they mention his name I will fall apart.  I tend to do this alone, in the privacy of my home.

My sisters and I also spent time in the kitchen, cooking, exchanging recipes, and  helpful hints on easier ways of doing things.  After all, we have a combined total of one hundred sixty seven years of married lives, which gives us quite an edge over newly weds.  Oh, we also talked about different ways of handling our husbands!

My older sister and her husband (who was wonderful by enduring our ceaseless talking) left two days ago, and I will have my younger sister for another week, so I am deliriously happy.  I know that she has an allergy to dog hair, and has been  supportive of my love for my pooch.  He, in turn, tries his best to get her to pet him, doing his one and only trick of sitting up and begging.  It hasn’t happened yet, but maybe on our trip back to El Paso

I will be visiting my children in Dallas the week after she leaves, so will still have plenty of company.

To paraphrase  from one of Dean Martin’s old songs, “How lucky can one gal be?”

Hasta la vista

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I have been getting stronger every day that passes.  There are actually days when I don’t cry, and I go to bed thinking that I must have missed something, perhaps a thought, a phrase, a picture, an item that reminds me of my loss.

There are so many memories, the majority happy ones.  Every once in a while I do remember some sad happenings in our fifty eight years of marriage, but those are the minority; I even smile at some of them, thinking how we overcame them. I grin and even laugh out loud at some of the quirky moments.

Today I cried.  It was over a silly plant that I forgot to bring in, after warnings of the first frost hit our area.  That plant was one which my beloved tendered through sunny and foggy days, one which had significant meaning to him since I had given it to him as a birthday present.

Sago palm is the name, and we first discovered that specie when we lived in California; our Japanese neighbors gave us one as a house warming gift when we first moved in.  We never imagined that the palm would survive anywhere else except in that sunny state.

I was quite surprised to find them blooming in a nursery in the mountains of New Mexico; so knowing how much he enjoyed them, I purchased one.  He was so thrilled and enthralled with their beauty.  I was a witness to the care and love he bestowed on this green plant of nature.

When I remembered it was still outside,  I got out of bed  (it was two in the morning) rushed out, and brought it in.  And then I cried.

My tears were for the possibility of losing it, after he had tended it for so long.  I had already lost him, could I stand another loss, no matter how small?  Would this symbol of his love for nature  survive my neglect?

I have been enduring his departure at a very heavy price, will Mother Nature allow me to have this one vestige of his life to cling to?

Please Lord, let it live.

Hasta la vista

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Me?  On steroids?

Never in a million years would I have believed it, until last week when my doctor advised me he was placing me on some for a week.

This all evolved after I finished the massive job of re-painting the deck.  I felt fine, no problem.  Two weeks after the last strokes were taken, my back began to hurt.  It continued for a week until I finally decided I had better see a doctor, maybe I had wrenched it with all the bending, or, horrors of horrors, maybe I had a tumor!  All these thoughts kept me sleepless until I saw him two days later.

First thing he asked me was “What have you been doing?”  After relating my story, he stated he suspected I had been up to something which was uncommon to me.   All the bending and twisting had put too much strain on my latent-loaded back; so he prescribed muscle relaxants and a pain killer, with a cortisone shot as dessert.  They worked well, the pain went away, and I was happy.

This lasted two weeks, then all of a sudden, I found that I could not walk without  pain in my right leg and hip.  I tried the magic muscle relaxants, but they refused to help.  Since the long Labor Day Holiday was approaching, I called the doctor on Friday, and he ordered the steroids for me.  My first thought was, will I get real big muscles on my arms, will my legs expand to where I can not wear long pants, will I get dependent on them?  Thinking of all the athletes and their problems with steroids did not give me a big feeling of confidence.  They were only prescribed for six days, so that wasn’t too bad.

Tomorrow will be the last day; they have to be taken on diminishing amounts.  They have helped considerably, the only complaint I had is that I couldn’t do anything.  The leg pain was so bad, even the lightest of tasks seemed to be too much; me, who could go all day without stopping, was now a very close friend of the couch.

My pooch was quite upset with me, I could no longer take him on our daily walks.  He did his best to remind me of them, jumping up and down , running to his leash, sitting and begging, all to no avail.

I have read three books, dozens of  magazines, watched television, and pouted.  I also played countless games of Scrabble against my computer.  It beat me several times , using words I had never heard of  until I got smart and discovered the “hint” column.  This gave me access to its built in dictionary, and I finally was able to get even.  Is this considered cheating?  Not in my present state of mind.

I also visited the local casinos, where I could sit and get some entertainment.

Today I thought I would write on my blog, not only to keep in touch, but to keep from going crazy.

Monday I had X rays taken, and the wonderful doctor who runs that department at our local hospital, and who was my hubby’s radiologist, gave me the results.  He came to me, smiled, and said he had bad news.  He told me I was getting old.  I told him I had some suspicions, and he had just confirmed them.

For starters, the beginning of arthritis in my hip, mal-alignment of the spinal column, wearing of the “cushions” between the spinal cords, etc.  I was just happy that I did not have a tumor, or some horrible disease.  Old age I can take.

Some therapy and mild prescriptions are on the way.  I can happily say that I felt good enough today to start shampooing the rugs.

Well, I can’t spend all day on the couch, or at the casino.  One wears away my bottom, and the other my pocket book.

Hasta la vista

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September 10, 1950.

A day that lives in my heart, evoking memories of  a happy event which changed our lives forever.

Today would have been our 59th wedding anniversary.

I think back and remember the excitement we felt, ready to take on the world, for we had each other and nothing could stop us.

Exiting the church, a friend of my new hubby informed him that he had just been recalled into the Navy.  This was the beginning of the Korean War, and so for the first few months of our newly wedded bliss, this little black cloud hung over our heads, as he was also in the Naval Reserve.

Thank heaven the call never came.

So much has changed since that day, it is almost impossible to believe.  We now live in a world of new innovations which did not exist at that time; computers, television, cell phones, newer and newer electronic devises, faster automobiles, heating and cooling  sun powered units, microwave ovens.  How did we ever get along without them?  We even saw man land on the moon! Since then we have witnessed numerous excursions into outer space.

Wrapped up in our lives and the children that followed, we were also very aware of the happenings around us.  We experienced the many events which are now a part of history; the assassination of a President and his brother, and also that of a civil rights icon and many men and women who fought for their rights.

As man is also the worst enemy of man, we have gone through several wars, with more ferocious and destructive weapons.  Will we ever learn?

Life is so short, enjoy every minute of it; turn around and half of your existence is gone.

What I wouldn’t give to have my love here with me, fifty eight years were not nearly enough.

Hasta la vista