Monthly Archives: December 2018

Thinking About What Others Told Me……..They Were Right

I thought that eventually the hurt would stop and that life and the excitement of living would take over.
I thought that eventually the things I enjoy now would replace the things I used to enjoy.
I thought that events in my life: Christmas, birthdays, holidays – would continue with their old traditional charm.
I thought family would be there, with me, at my house, on my phone, enjoying my new life.
I thought that drinking the old drinks and enjoying the old foods would bring back the good old days.
I thought I would not miss him anymore…….

……..think again.

The Old Widow: Christmas Number 7

Well, this year,  arthritis has taken its toll. Nothing is done without pain attached. That includes sitting, standing, bending and twisting. Every bottle top, every package that comes in the mail, every pill bottle, every plug that needs plugging – it all hurts. I am determined that more exercise will limber up my body and I hold to that theory – even if it is only to make myself feel better.

That means that the Christmas lights have challenged me to no end this year.

When I first moved here, I invested in flimsy light-up Canadian Tire spiral trees and have about 12 of them in my downstairs storage room which I call – “THE DUNGEON” . These  trees are 6 feet tall, which is the height of my storage room ceiling. This means I have to hold each one sideways to get it out of two access doors, around the rec room furniture, up a flight of stairs and through the front door. I have knocked those things around so much that they are literally falling apart.

Needless to say, the last three years of having them totally iced up outside didn’t help either.

I have nursed them back to health each year and struggled with re-stringing them, but –  no more!!!!!!!!!!

I took the best three this year and stood them outside in easily accessible spots. I did not stake them in this time. With the first strong wind or storm, they will tumble over, freeze to the ground and be forever destroyed – what must be must be!

I then got into the box of icicle lights that Jim used to hang on the front of our house. They were so beautiful and he was so meticulous – I think I have avoided getting into these for fear of the memories they would bring back.   When I unpacked the lights, he had actually tagged each set neatly and labelled some of them with “needs repair”. Well, after those strings got axed, about half of Jim’s icicle lights had survived the cull.

I am still using the flood lights and the “light-up-head-moving bear” – but their days are numbered too.

Easy is better than challenging sometimes, and in this seventh Christmas, I am waving the surrender flag and inviting new ways of seeing and doing things. Not that I am getting lazier now – just that I am valuing my time and what I can do with it when I am not trying to chisel flood lights into the frozen ground.

My new doodle puppy, Willow, my old companion Mikki and my three cats, Louie, Mel and Jake are glad I have more time with them.

Merry Christmas !

The Cremation of Sam McGee

It has been a long time since I read any poetry. My granddaughter, who has an English major mom, ended up in tears after reading “When I Am Dead My Dearest”.

Having not been successful in changing my daughter’s mind about sharing the sadder parts of Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost, I decided to put myself on a mission to re-engage myself with “fun” poems.

I have never been a lover of literature – choosing to read technical documents and biographies, so I Amazon-ordered some things that I thought would add to my granddaughter’s repertoire in a fun way. After all, if reading something doesn’t add value to your day – why read it?

The first of these was “The Cremation of Sam McGee”. A memory of having to memorize this poem in Grade 5 had initiated my first “find”.

My granddaughter listened attentively as I read this to her over bacon and eggs this morning. This poem was a lot longer than I remembered. It also contained some God references and the word “Hell”, but I muddled through. Until you become an over-protective grandma you never notice these things.

My young sprite did not react at all to that language and I could tell she enjoyed the rhythm of this rather up-beat reading. Yes, it had suffering and death enclosed in its lumbering language and consistently rhyming phrases, but, in the end it all came out OK.

We could all take a lesson from Robert Service and rise out of the ashes.

Thanks Sam.