Friday, June 29, 2018

Evening Vegetables

     Maybe we spend too much time thinking about our dog’s day. With the goal of changing it up for her a little, the other evening we said the magic word – Car! – and took off for our town’s community garden.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Moving Ahead

A friend and I have become exercise groupies.

The woman who leads our YMCA Monday and Wednesday water aerobics group also teaches Boomer Bootcamp, a more active on-land class of aerobics, weights, and balance exercises. Our usual Friday water group has been taken over by water Zumba  - exercise and music in the pool, which in past experience was us in the pool doing precious little while an instructor pranced and posed by the side of the pool, very full of her own wonderfulness.
          Instead we tried the Friday Bootcamp offered at the same time. We liked it so much that yesterday we followed our Friday instructor to a neighboring town’s senior center where she teaches the same class.
          This was a smaller, frailer looking group. To be fair, since this was a senior center, not a Y, the other participants may not have had exercise as their first priority, unlike a member of the Y.
          The class was mostly in Capri’s and neatly pressed Ts, as though they’d just stopped off from the grocery store; one woman wandered off midway through, presumably to rejoin the beading class next door. Two other women chatted continuously, only occasionally lifting a weight or doing a half-hearted lunge.
          I did find R, a friend from the past, someone who had worked in the same high school I had. She was the exception to the rest of the class, matching the teacher leg lift for leg lift, marching in place at top speed, and swinging 8 pound weights around as though they weighed the same as my puny 3’s. 
          We got caught up on what our families had been up to in the 25+ years since I’d last seen her. Her second husband had died, but her four children were doing well. I told her about our new granddaughters, and that they’d brought my grandparent bragging rights up to 5.
          “You must have scads of your own,” I said.
          “Not scads really – I have 12.”
          I’d forgotten her skill at one-upsmanship.

          During the water break, I was sweating and gulping at my water bottle while R was dabbing lightly at her barely misty brow.
I commented on how little she’d changed since we’d last seen each other.
As we turned to pick up our weights again, she said, “You know, I’m 93.”

Saturday, June 16, 2018

We'll See. . . .

Mamie’s off for an overnight. This is a test case at the dog sitter’s, with an eye to future travel. I just couldn’t face parking my girl in a big, bad kennel.
          She’s either uninterested or uneasy around other dogs, much preferring the company of humans and a facility with chain link fence and concrete was more than I could bear.
          I handed over leash, walking harness, bowls for meals, contact information, dog bed, a sweatshirt I’ve worn recently, baggies marked with “breakfast” and “dinner” and pee pads in case she turns up her nose at their big back yard.
          It was easier sending my kids to a slumber party.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Traveling Through Time

So on the way back from Providence yesterday I whiled away a bit of the hour and a half ride by musing on some of the changes we’ve seen on the road over recent years.

          Here in Massachusetts, all the toll booths – and their nepotistic (today’s word for the day) toll takers – have disappeared. Literally. The actual little brick buildings were torn apart, the lanes paved over, and all you’ll see now is an extension of the off-ramp. Big metal gantries have sprouted over sections of the turnpike to read the transponders in the cars. Yes, there are scads and scads of out-of-staters who aren’t outfitted with transponders and who theoretically are being billed after their license plates are photographed. In reality, a lot slip through the system but I’ll bet the state has rationalized that the loss in revenue is still much less than paying $80,000 for that cousin of the water commissioner or state rep to extend an arm out a window to take our ticket.

          And thank God. I have many memories of mercy missions bringing a spare dresser or care packages to and from Boston while our daughter was at Northeastern. It was usually after I’d left work, which meant a return in the dark and therefore fumbling at 65 miles an hour for that tiny ticket, then the spare change to pay it.

      What about radar detectors? They were all the rage not that long ago and yet they seem to have faded into the ether. As a technical sort of thing, I would have expected someone by now to have perfected better and better versions, ones that were undetectable themselves.

          Also, I wonder if anyone remembers the fine art of passing someone on a two-lane road. It’s a good thing most highways are now at least four lanes wide. With today’s impatient drivers, can you imagine someone waiting behind an overloaded pickup until he’s past the curve or over the hill, and the line in the road is on the correct side?

          And lastly, when was the last time you were on the road and saw a romantic couple in the car in front of you, his arm on the seat in back of her, his other hand on the wheel while her head lay on his shoulder? The demise of bench seats and the arrival of buckets put an end to that.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Color Me Frustrated

          When we moved here last summer, we were thrilled with how new the place felt.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Finite Mind

In a span of 36 hours we’ve gone from fanning ourselves on the porch like Scarlett O’Hara to huddling in front of the gas fireplace. And why not? It’s June in Massachusetts, after all.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Care Package

Formula                            -        Check
Diapers                             -        Check
Rolls for lunch                   -        Check

Chicken salad for lunch     -        Check
Curried chicken with                              
    olives and artichokes    -        Check
    for dinner
Packaged couscous for      -        Check
    chicken dish
Rhubarb/Peach tart          -        Check

for dessert
Pesto pasta salad for         -        Check
     next day
Blueberry bread for          -        Check
Single serving Prosecco     -        Check
   for daughter-in-law’s
   mental health

I don’t usually write about my efforts in the kitchen, but it’s a good thing I enjoy it. I’ve been cooking for two days. Tomorrow I’m on my weekly mercy mission in a very small attempt to lighten a little of the load for the new parents in our family with some supplies and food they can just grab. My son’s back to work and my intrepid DIL will be squaring her shoulders and dealing with our two brand new twin grandgirls on her own.

          One person helpfully advised them that what they needed to do was, “get those babies on the same schedule.” Uh huh. That’s what’s needed – two tiny people hungry at the exact same time, needing their after-meal cuddling at the same time, having their diapers changed at the same time.
          Since that’s patently impractical, the other option is non-stop feeding, burping, cuddling, and changing. I’ve seen it in action and it really is non-stop.
So I’m packing the car and heading to Baby Central for the day. With any luck, this a hired day-time mother’s helper will soon be installed for the rest of the week.
Those years of my own are so far away, and I’m freshly impressed every time I go at how well son and DIL are managing. 
God, it’s good to be old.