Posted tagged ‘old’

“Clutter is my natural habitat.”

July 21, 2017

Today is hot. It is 83˚. I’m in the cool air of the house looking at the world through my den window. The most I can see is the blue sky and the still leaves of the oak tree. Later, in the cool of the afternoon, I have some deck stuff to finish: replace the burned out lights on the rail and get the fountain working. I also need to bring the flamingo and the gnome to the deck where they’ll reside all summer. A few of the flowers in the smallest pots have died so I’m hoping to get replacements at Agway today. I’ll be braving the heat.

When I was young, I knew what old was. No question it was those blue-haired ladies in their dresses and clunky heeled shoes with wrinkled faces and hands who dragged wire baskets on wheels behind them when they shopped at the grocery store. They never wore pants. Their shoes were sensible. Their dresses had flowers. I never stopped to  think how old they were. They just fit my vision of old so age didn’t seem to matter.

Despite my current wardrobe, if my young self knew I was soon to turn 70, I suspect I’d think myself old, but I’m not. The definition of old changes as we age. I’m now thinking 90+ might be old, but I’m not sure anymore. I admit, though, I’m thinking of buying one of those wire baskets so I can haul stuff from the car to the house.

I hate clutter yet my den is cluttered, but I’ve come to ignore it as the alternative is to go crazy. I had to move the dog’s dishes here as she slid on the kitchen floor. Her toys are in a wooden box and usually a couple are on the floor. Gracie tends to paw her toys to the floor until she finds just the right one. My cloth from Ghana is stored in a pile here but not out of sight. Most of my cookbooks are on shelves which cover one whole wall. My hat collection hangs from the shelves. My table is a huge metal one with three overflowing baskets underneath. I do have sorting through them on my whenever I get to them list of things to do. I sleep on the couch so my pillow and sheets are on the desk chair. This is the room where I spend the most time so everything is here except snacks and drinks. They’re down the hall, and the bathroom is between them. My inside world is small, but I’m content.

“All creatures must learn to coexist. That’s why the brown bear and the field mouse can share their lives in harmony. Or course, they can’t mate or the mice would explode.”

June 26, 2017

When I woke this morning, I had to take a minute to figure out what day it was. Yesterday’s newspaper was what came to mind so today, small paper day, is Monday.

Though the morning has been leisurely, my dance card for today has things to do and places to go. The deck needs attention, its plants need watering and the rail lights have to be replaced. I also have an outside plant to pot. Inside the house is a litter box needing changing and houseplants dying for water. The places to go include the dump and two different vets to pick up refills for Gracie’s meds. I have those listed for afternoon. Some place on that list, I need to sandwich in some nap time.

The day is sunny and is already 75˚, but there is no humidity and a slight breeze makes the air feel cooler. I’ll be happy to clean my deck later so I can get out there and enjoy the fresh air, the birds and the breeze.

We are all old here, Gracie, Maddie and I. Maddie, who is 17, mostly sleeps during the day alternating between my bed and the den chair. She has knotted fur on her stomach. I try to cut it, and she whacks me or pretends to bite me as a warning. Maddie, like most cats, roams at night. Sometimes she sits on the couch arm and purrs in my face. Last night she licked my arm a couple of times. I pat her then fall right to sleep. Maddie doesn’t always use the litter box, but she does use the puppy pads. Gracie, at nearly 12, has morning and afternoon naps. I take her into the backyard several times a day where she does her business and then sometimes just wanders the yard. Rabbits and squirrels still get her attention though she doesn’t chase them anymore.  I, at nearly 70, take a nap in the afternoon some days. On the days I have motivation and energy, I’ll clean or do laundry. I don’t go out much during the day, and that’s fine with me.

I know there is another mouse in the kitchen. I found fresh poop. So far there has been 1 dead mouse on the floor and two live ones in the trap. The two live ones are since the exterminator came. Either they are mouse zombies or the exterminator’s traps didn’t work. This morning I reset my trap with peanut butter. All I need now is one hungry mouse.

 

“We are always the same age inside.”

January 29, 2013

Today I face the world or both Gracie and I go hungry. A sunny day would have been a nice welcome, but we still have all those clouds and a dampness left over from the little snow we had last night before it started to rain. Slush covers the side roads, and you can see all the tire marks. A mouse woke me up. It wasn’t happy with its accommodation in the have-a-heart trap and was banging and whacking the metal. I fell back to sleep a couple of times, but finally I couldn’t take it any longer. We went for a ride around 7:30: Gracie, the mouse and I. Despite all its complaining, the mouse didn’t want out. It kept moving from side to side in the trap before I finally shook it loose. I wished it well in its new home then I went and got coffee and a bagel. That seemed a perfect reward for an early morning mouse run.

My voice is raspy, and I still sniff and cough, but I feel better. That’s a good thing.

This morning I noticed the obituary of one of my high school classmates, a good guy, a funny guy. I don’t know what happened, but his dying gave me pause. My mind doesn’t ever think of me as old. I am perpetually young. Going up and downstairs is usually a reminder that my parts have aged, but the reminder doesn’t stick. I look in the mirror and see grey hairs, but they don’t mean anything to me. My friends are all around my age, but they still seem young to me. I can’t fathom they are in the their mid to late 60’s. What in the heck does that really mean? I thought my parents were old when they were in their 60’s. My dad passed away in his 60’s. I bet, though, they thought themselves still young just as I do now.

I finally understand that age is relative. I used to think that was what old people said to make themselves feel better, but it’s not. Age isn’t measured in years. It’s measured in the way you live your life. I have a long way to go until I’m old.