“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”

Today is an ugly day, a warm ugly day at 52°. It rained earlier and will rain later. The sky is light grey. A breeze stirs only every and then. It flutters the curled brown leaves at the ends of the scrub oak branches. I have no reason to leave the house today. That is just fine with me.

Yesterday I cleaned the backyard. I took my prisoner stick and a plastic trash bag, watched where I stepped and got all the trash. Nala’s trash. This morning I noticed I missed something white in the back. That will bother me, and I’ll have to pick it up today.

Today’s post is a bit different.

I get to the kitchen for no reason I can remember. I had a reason, that much I remember, but by the time I walk down the hall to the kitchen, distractions like cleaning dust balls or wiping down the kitchen counter take my attention so the original reason usually flies out of my head. Later, I remember why I was in the kitchen, but mostly it doesn’t matter anymore. Words escape me which I find especially frustrating. Thankfully, they do pop back into my head. I just have to be a bit patient, not a strong suit of mine. Every day I am a day older, and parts of me don’t function as well they have the whole of my life or even the day before.

My body is old. I swear my bones creak when I walk. I can’t lift anything too heavy, and too heavy is not heavy anymore. When I was a kid, I used to wonder what it felt like to be old. I know now, but what I’ve come to realize is while my body ages, my way of seeing the world doesn’t.

I have lived my life inherently hopeful. Sometimes the hope faded a bit, but it never went away. I have always believed in people. I loved my kids when I worked in the high school, all of my kids, even the ones who occasionally bedeviled me. I was thrilled for their triumphs. I remember a teacher asking me why I was spending so much attention on one kid not worth my attention. I had to restrain myself from saying what popped into my head, a litany of four letter words; instead, I told him this was a good kid still finding his way. He just shook his head and left. Well, I was patient, and that kid found his way just as I knew he would. I, gleefully, told that teacher my kid had done well, passed all his classes and was graduating. I never really got a reply. I have always wondered if that teacher learned anything from that kid. I sure as heck did.

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8 Comments on ““Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.””

  1. Birgit Says:

    We too would have needed more teachers like you!

    Oh yes, short-term memory, can be annoying. When I miss something I just had, I usually blame a little black hole which must be somewhere in my house. Recently I read an advice that when you start to forget to switch off your oven or else just take a photo with your phone when you leave home.

    • katry Says:

      I was not going to be a teacher. I toyed with going to law school but the Peace Corps was my first choice.That is where I fell in love with teaching.

      I don’t forget stoves or ovens. I forget the exact word I want and use a lesser word instead.That drives me crazy!!

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today started out sunny but cold with a low temperature of 29° and a high of 51°.

    Forgetting why you went into a room is not necessarily a sign of the beginning of dementia. Sometimes, I will say that, “Memory is the second thing to go when you get old”. A person might ask me, “What’s the first thing to go?” My reply is, “I can’t remember, but I think it was fun”. 🙂

    I understand what you mean by your bones creak when you walk. I have pains in places I didn’t realize I had places when I was younger. Simple tasks such as bending over to pick up a pencil becomes an ordeal. Do you remember the TV commercials for those Life Alert transmitters. An old person pushes the button on their device and say, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”. Well, I have reached that stage and it’s very scary. When someone is with you, get down on the floor and then try to get back up. It’s not that easy anymore.

    If I lived alone, like you, I would have an Apple Watch and have it set to call 911 when and if it detects that you have fallen down. I have an Apple Watch and it is set to call my wife. She doesn’t want the ambulance coming down the street. She says it looks bad for the neighbors. 🙂

    Like you in my mind’s eye I’m still 50 and rearing to go. However, I’m not as hopeful as you. The insurrection on January 6, 2021 demonstrated to me that given the wrong message from the wrong sources human beings can be convinced of anything no matter how stupid it sounds. The next demigod won’t be as stupid as Trump was and our democracy can vanish in an instant. I hope if it comes to pass I’m long gone.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      The hot spells have disappeared.Tonight will get down to the mid 30’s, February’s usual weather. The rain has started, and it is heavy enough to be heard.

      I don’t worry about demential. I worry about the weakening of my word retrieval skills. I guess things like that are part of aging.

      My friend fall outside and hurt herself badly and couldn’t move. She was alone. Her husband was elsewhere. Luckily, though, she wore her Apple Watch and was able to get help so your suggestion makes perfect sense for my safety. That does worry me, maybe getting hurt so I can’t move. I figure I have been lucky so far. The last few times I have been hurt I was able to take myself to the hospital. The only drawback is their price.

      Getting up is definitely not easy anymore. I need to grab hold of something and hope to pull myself off the floor or ground.

      I do believe that we, you and I, are too smart to believe the liars, the con men, but I do fear for this country as you do.

      • Bob Says:

        The cost of the Apple Watch is minimal when you consider that your pets can only lick you if you can’t get up off the floor after a fall. At least the paramedics can get you up on your feet and give you first aid.

      • katry Says:

        You’re right!!

  3. Les Says:

    At my age, getting up & down is getting more & more worse as I go along in Life. I can’t get up off my knees without pushing off with my arms & hands. Getting out of a chair can be a bit of trouble. There have been times that I’d want to get a photo shot from a different perspective, but it’s lower. If I go down to shoot it, I have one heck of a time getting back up! It’s very annoying. I even had to have a passerby help me up. I have never fallen, yet. Years ago when I was a volunteer medic, we used to get calls to respond to elder people that could not get back up after falling. The Medic’s don’t respond to that much anymore, that I know of. Yesterday, it was cold windy and cloudy much of the day. It’s down in the low 40’s now. I’m hoping for Spring soon.

    • katry Says:

      I too am at the age of finding it difficult to get up from the floor. I had to hunt for something under the bed, and I dreaded it. Luckily I was able to use the side of the bed to pull myself up. A passerby also helped me when I tipped over a root and fell. I used to walk 8 miles a day when I was younger. Now I struggle to walk to a store from the parking lot. I remember reading that getting old isn’t for the faint hearted.

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