Posts Tagged ‘life’

Seven Months

I’m on the road but I wanted to try post about this. Let’s see how posting by phone goes!

Today marks seven months since my surgery. I cannot tell you how much my life has changed since I was wheeled in to the operating room. I can be myself again. I can enjoy my grandchildren. I can leave the house. I’m no longer stared at. But most of all, I feel so much healthier.

However (I bet you were waiting for that however), there also the not knowing how many days this will be true. They say that this kind of cancer rarely returns to another part of the body but there’s still a chance. That has really made me realize that up can’t waste time. Every chance I get I have to grasp and drain every bit if joy from it. Especially where my grandchildren are concerned. Every smile; every laugh; every hug; every time they ask “how many more minutes?”; every single opportunity to love those little boys…I have to grab and enjoy every single moment.

This is a good thing. We can not and should not take anything in life for granted.

Life is precious. Life it’s fleeting. Life is to be lived.

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While reading blogs yesterday, I came across this one in which the blogger wrote about how she always felt she was unlucky when she traveled by air until the one day her luck changed. It’s a nice post. You should go read it.

It reminded me of my air travel story. Well, I have a lot of them but there is one in particular that I will share today. In 2009, my son gifted me with a trip to Australia for Mother’s Day. He had planned on going by himself then on Mother’s Day, he surprised me with a travel guide to Australia, a Cheshire cat smile, and the words “you’re coming with me, Mom”! I was humbled by his thoughtfulness. And I was excited. Australia was one of those places I had always dreamed of visiting but never thought I would get there.

Our flight from San Francisco took us to Los Angeles where we then boarded Qantas headed to Melbourne. It was a 15 hour flight. The seating was better than on a domestic flight but for that long of a flight, not a lot can be comfortable. My son and I had hoped that we would have empty seats next to us or somehow be able to spread out a little bit. I’m short (only 5′) but my son is tall (he’s 6’2″) and needs more leg room. We ended up next to a 70ish couple and we were in the last row of that section so no one behind us. I let my son have the aisle seat that was assigned to me and I sat next to the woman who was teeny tiny. I don’t think they spoke English and if they did, they didn’t say a word to us during the entire flight (they spoke Japanese to each other). About an hour into the flight, the woman took a nap. That was great except for one thing. She had stretched out putting her head in her husband’s lap and her feet in my lap! No matter how much I nudged her feet off of me, she would put them back on my lap. We got through the flight without any problems other than the fact that her feet were on me. I couldn’t sleep but it was a great excuse to have some of Qantas’ complimentary Bundaberg rum…and I did as rum is my favorite boozy drink!

We had a wonderful two week adventure. At the end of the week we flew from Melbourne to Cairns with a stop in Brisbane then a few days later we flew from Cairns to Sydney. I’ve written about the trip on this blog and I think if you search it for “Australia” you will find the posts and lots of pictures. But I’ll get on with the return flight which proved to be different from the flight to Australia.

My son had tried to get us seats together on the way back but had not been able to. This made me nervous because I really don’t like sitting next to strangers and because I often need help when I travel (due to a back injury and to being so short!). I suggested that he ask at check in if there were any way we could switch seats with someone so we could sit together. However, my son has not been raised to rock the boat. He tends to (not as much anymore) accept things as they are given to him. So he didn’t ask. The flight was delayed so we sat waiting and waiting then when the check in crew arrived, I took Tony’s boarding pass along with mine and went up to the desk. Tony said don’t do it. There wasn’t anyway to change the seating, he said. But I told him that it wouldn’t hurt to ask and reminded him of what a long flight it was. Our seats were about three rows away from each other, not even close enough for me to get his attention to help me if I had needed help. So I explained to the agent at the desk that my son and I were traveling together but our seats were three rows apart and asked if there were any seats next to each other, or even aisle seats across from each other. She took the tickets and said in her Aussie accent, “Oh my lord! They didn’t put you together? We can’t have that! I’ll take care of it!” So we waited about five minutes; my son was very nervous. I don’t know what he thought would happen just for asking. Finally, she called me back to the desk and handed me new boarding passes, saying she had changed our seats. When they began to call the rows to board, I noticed that we had been put in a different section of the plane because our section was the first to be called to board. We hurried to board and when we got to our seats, we were amazed! We had been moved to a window row with only two seats. Two big, wide, roomy, comfy, leather seats! We were in business class! Along with the better seats with a lot more legroom came a better meal, more variety in the complimentary drinks, a lavatory for just a few rows, and better service. Tony’s eyes got big! He couldn’t believe it! He enjoyed the flight so much and was even able to sleep for a good portion of it. He looked at me and said, “I guess it never hurts to ask!”

So that was a good lesson for him to learn. He saw that I asked nicely. I wasn’t demanding, at all. I just asked. And they responded with courtesy, understanding, and efficiency!

And I think it might have been our reward for not being rude to the lady with her feet on my lap!

Waiting for our plane to come home

Waiting for our plane to come home

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Okay, so I lied. I’m not having pie with my coffee. It’s strudel (apple). That’s as close to pie as I will be getting today because it’s cold and rainy and I just don’t feel like going out for pie. But come in anyway. The coffee is really good today. I’m on my second cup!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week has been slow due to getting sick after my grandson’s birthday party. I think that’s where the bug came from. The party was on Saturday and we were all sick by Tuesday. So I spent the better part of the week in bed. Thinking. And it made me kind of sad. It actually started on the day I posted some old pictures of me in high school. The post about Journalism earlier this week didn’t help, either. It’s not really being sad about how times have changed. That’s not it. It’s the “happy” part of it. I keep hearing this line in my head over and over again and I think it’s going to be a blog post at some time in the future. It goes like this: “I remember happy.” I do remember it. Happy was good. I remember it. Happy was being me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that although I don’t have anyone that I can call and say “let’s meet for coffee”, I still have all of you that come visit once a week to share some coffee with me. You’re my coffee buddies and I know I just have to write the post, join the Linky, and you will come. I also love joining you at your place when you invite me to visit your weekend coffee share. I’ve come to depend on it. It’s a way for me to connect with you as a person, not just as a blog I read. I’m so very grateful to have each of you visit and to be able to visit each of you.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that on Wednesday I will be going to help out at my grandson’s Head Start classroom. If it weren’t for him, I might not do it. I’m a little upset at the director over there. When school started, I asked about volunteering in the classroom. There is a form to fill out with background information and other stuff that the state needs to be able to clear people to work with kids. They finally got me the form the first week in October. The form said I could go online and fill out the same information and pay the fee instead of doing it by snail mail. So I did that the same day. A few days later I got the hard copy of the clearance. Then the director said I had to go get a TB test but because I have tested positive in the past (it was a false positive in high school) the doctor at the clinic they sent me to preferred to do a chest x-ray. By October 14, I had my state background clearance, my cleared chest x-ray, and my application in to the director at our center. Then nothing. When I followed up, he just said he was still waiting for the main office to give him the go ahead. I waited. Then followed up again and he said he couldn’t get in touch with the woman who does the volunteer clearances (she’s a volunteer herself and was going through training). So Thanksgiving passed. Christmas was gone. Valentines Day gone too. And I still couldn’t help in the classroom. Finally, it turned out that the director had not turned in my paperwork. He thought he had but all the main office had was the health clearance that the clinic had mailed directly to them. So I went home and scanned everything and emailed it to the director. It took him almost two weeks to check his email for the documents which he then had to print out to take to the main office but the local center was out of ink for their printer and he had to wait a week to get more ink! Then one day he said it was all cleared so when could I come to help? I told him Thursdays would be good. We scheduled for this past Thursday but I was sick so when I called him to tell him I wasn’t coming, he asked if I could do Wednesdays instead because he had given Thursdays to another grandmother! It’s a good thing I could do Wednesdays. So I will finally start on Wednesday. I was beginning to think the whole school year would go by and I would not be cleared. Frustrating.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you how you’re doing. Deb, did you get that security system set up yet? And Trent, I haven’t been able to find any Beatles mugs. I’m thinking I might go thrift store shopping…bet I’ll find one there! Gene, I’m trying to get through the Tolkien posts but being a real dunce about Tolkien, it’s tough. I am trying, though! Oh, and Conny, it’s okay if you don’t have time to share much. I remember being a student and I know time is precious! Diana, I hope you read this post because I want you to know how special these are to me and they provide a sort of community to me and to others that have no “physical community” or RW community. And the rest of you, I’m so glad you stopped by! Thank you for sharing a part of your weekend with me!
To join in the Weekend Coffee Share blog hop, write your post and visit Part Time Monster and add your url to the linky at the end of her post.

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Everything Is Awesome

Or so I’m told.

Today is Anderson’s birthday. I’m supposed to go get the cake in about 45 minutes. However, I screwed up my alarm and woke up an hour late so now I am having my coffee while I wait for my clothes to dry. Then I can go get the cake. The party is not till 1 this afternoon so I have plenty of time. I will just have to deal with parking issues at Costco.  Ugh!

Well, better go check if my clothes is dry so I can get the awesome show on the road.   I’ll do my weekend coffee share on Sunday.

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First my one negative: When I got out to the car to go babysit my grandsons yesterday morning, my front passenger tire was completely flat. I took out my compressor and hooked it up but it didn’t get any power to it so I couldn’t inflate my tire. I still have to figure out why it didn’t go on. It’s fairly new, only used it twice.

One positive: Luckily, my daughter lives within walking distance from me so I walked over so she wouldn’t be late to work. The boys were up early so I got them up and got them dressed and we walked back to my house with my daughter’s compressor in hand

Second positive: I was able to quickly inflate the tire to the right pressure with a little time to spare before I had to take my grandson to pre school. So we were saved having to wait for auto club and so far, the pressure is holding in the tire so I may be spared having to get a new tire. I’ll go get it checked tomorrow, though, just so it doesn’t happen again!

What about you? Can you name one negative thing and two positives to balance it out?

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Sometimes life kicks you in the pants and says “Hey!  Knock it off! Get moving!”  So here I am, answering this call when someone needs me more than I need me.  I’m okay. I seem to rise to the need when it kicks me and I’m thinking it will help me, too. It will force me out of the house and out of my own needs.

Leaving you with a picture taken at the Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia.


Two of the twelve apostles, east of the larger group.

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If we were having coffee this mmorning (oops it’s actually afternoon!), I would want to sit out on the front porch while we enjoyed our drinks. Not because of the view or of the beautiful weather but because it is sunny right now and that’s rare for this time of year here in the furthest northern part of Oregon. It’s not particularly warm out but there is sun. We might need to take a blanket out there while we sit and chat but that’s okay. We would enjoy the sunshine and there is a slight breeze so we would also enjoy the windchimes on my porch.

It has been an interesting week so I might just ramble through our coffee time. I hope you don’t mind. Some of what happened I can’t really discuss because it’s not my situation to discuss, even though it effects me greatly. It was kind of a slow week as my body recuperates from last week’s fall. There’s no damage but the older we get, the more aches and pains we feel after a fall and the longer it takes to get over those aches and pains. So my knee, I think, is back to normal but my back is really, really, not. It seems that I can’t sit or stand or walk or anything, without it hurting. That’s not good. I can’t even sleep for more than an hour or so without waking from the pain. Oh well, maybe just another few days of this before it’s done with me? I can hope.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been feeling kind of paralyzed this week when it comes to creating. That’s frustrating because my special magic word for the year is Create. I’m sure it’s because of all the aches and pains but I don’t want it to become a habit. I need to do some creating. I need to. Need. Not want. Need. I think you’d understand.

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog. I’m kind of thinking that I should have a particular kind of post for each day. Like maybe a “memoir Monday” or a “Tuesday Thoughts” or “Wordy Wednesday” (kind of my rebellion to Wordless Wednesday where I could post a very wordy piece). Can you tell I’m into alliteration? That would remind me of the week I tackled teaching alliteration and onomatopoeia to my third graders. The alliteration was easier for them to understand but they had a problem with onomatopoeia. I ended up bringing in a VHS tape (this was in the late days of VHS, around 2000) with the 60’s Batman show. They loved it and with all of the Bam! Whack! Splat!, etc., they were finally able to understand the concept and use it successfully. I was glad that my classroom was one of those portable ones located in the far reaches of the school yard where the sound of the TV didn’t get the attention of anyone but my class! And then I would tell you that I really miss teaching.

If we were sitting out in the sun having our coffee, I would have to grab my sunglasses. That would remind me of the other day when I had the boys with me. I had brought them both home in my car after taking them to McDonalds to play in the playland (which we ended up not doing because it was the Monday holiday and there was no room for any more kids or nanas in the place so we ate our food in the outer dining area and came home). There were a few breaks in the clouds which had me put on my sunglasses while I drove home. When we got home, we came inside and I forgot to switch the prescription glasses for my regular glasses. I got Anderson situated and put Spencer down for his nap and then I told Anderson that I would be right back because I needed to go get my regular glasses from the car. He said, “Yes, Nana. You go get your other glasses because I can’t see you when you wear the sunglasses!” I cracked up. He’s four but I know he meant that he couldn’t see my eyes when I had the sunglasses on. When I came back inside wearing my regular glasses, he said, “Let’s see Nana” so I looked at him and he smiled and said, “Yay! I can see you now!” I thought it was interesting that he equated not being able to see my eyes with not being able to see me. Hhm. It’s kind of true, isn’t it? If we can look into someone’s eyes, we can see who they are, regardless of who they say they are!

If we were having coffee, I would have finished my second cup by now. I would head inside for more and offer you some more, if you could stay a bit longer. If not, that would be fine. But if you could stay, I would probably keep talking about my kids. “My kids” meaning not only my own and my grandchildren but also the kids I’ve taught. They all became my kids when they walked through the door on the first day of school and I still think about them and wonder what they are up to now.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you learned a little about me and I hope to see you again for another cup of coffee. Maybe I’ll look for something special in the coffee aisle this week so I’ll have it ready for you next week!

This is a part of #weekendcoffeeshare hosted by Parttimemonster. They are really fun to write and more fun to read. Head over to her page and click on the blue link at the end of her post for a list of other bloggers who are participating. Check throughout the weekend as we do them at whatever time we have available through the weekend so there are new ones popping up all day Saturday and Sunday. Why don’t you join us? Give it a try!

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