Say What ??

Decisions, Decisions

How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?

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When it comes to decisions, I’m the right brain and Terry is the left.  It works out very well for us.  He spends a lot of time thinking things through, while I’m drumming my fingers on the table waiting for him to make up his mind. I’d say about 85% of the time, his left brain finally agrees with my right brain.  That 15% is when he manages to talk me around to his way of thinking.  Either way, we’re both usually satisfied with the outcome.

Take today, for example.  He saw an ad in the paper the other day for a special event with a well-known hearing aid company. Free ear exam and half-price hearing aids. He’s been thinking for a long time that my hearing is getting worse by the minute.

I, on the other hand, only have trouble hearing HIM.  Everywhere else I’m pretty good, unless there’s background noise or the person is turned away from me.  There is a definite change from when I was young, but mostly I hear everything.

Terry has a pretty big hearing loss.  He does have hearing aids, and figured I needed them too.  So I agreed to go have the test, even though my gut was telling me my loss isn’t too bad; that I could hear him better if he wouldn’t swallow the ends of his sentences, look away when he’s talking, or try to carry on a conversation when I’m in the basement and he’s in the back 40 🙂

So he came with me, as requested by the audiologist, and I got my ears tested this morning. I thought I did pretty well. 

The audiologist took us back to the room where he would make his pitch for the hearing aids.  He looked at me, and he said, “You are what we call Bad For the Business.  I can’t sell you a hearing aid.  Your hearing is in the normal range except for a little blip in your right hear when the background noise part of the test came up.”

He went on to explain, with a little graph dealy, that it’s likely I had superb hearing when I was younger, and the differences I’m experiencing now are aggravating to me because it’s just not as good as it used to be–but still in the normal range.

So.  My instincts were right.  Terry swallows his sentences, mumbles, speaks in so soft a tone that I just can’t hear him. His problem, not mine.

He’s having a hard time digesting all this. He really thought the outcome would prove that it’s my hearing, not his speaking.

Don’t you love it when you’re right about something?

The only thing he’s really pleased about is that we don’t have to spend a lot of money for hearing aids that are not covered by any insurance.

I’m glad that makes him happy 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_/decisions-decisions/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_/decisions-decisions/

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Friendly Skies

Middle Seat

It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

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Hoping for the best, Millie made her way down the aisle toward her row.  She knew she had a middle seat.  She didn’t mind, really, as long as the people on either side weren’t enormous, or didn’t smell bad. She could even tolerate a chatty person. There were ways to deal with that, when you didn’t want to talk any more.

Okay, here we go.  Row 28, seat D in the center section.  It was apparently going to be a full flight. Most of the seats were already filled, and people were still filing onto the plane.

Oh dear.  Both her neighbors were already in their seats. She was going to have to climb over the little old lady sitting to her right. She looked too frail to move much. Millie stowed her carry-on in the space overhead, and smiled down at her seatmate.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry I’m going to have to climb over you.  I’ll try to be careful.”

She got no response, not any indication that the lady heard her. Millie thought that was odd.  Maybe the lady was deaf.  Gently, she touched the  frail shoulder that was covered by a soft pink sweater. Startled, the lady looked up at her through coke-bottle lenses, seeming to be a bit frightened, even.  Millie smiled.

“Hi, I’m Millie.  I’m in the seat beside you, and I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to climb over you.  I’ll be careful.”

No response.

“Well,” thought Millie, “I tried!”  She bent across the lady and stowed her purse under the seat in front of hers, then carefully stepped past the lady and sat down. She got her seatbelt buckled, grabbed her book out of her bag, and prepared to enjoy a good read.

She glanced at the guy on her other side, and found him to be sound asleep.  His head lolled to his left, and his jaw hung open.  No snoring, thank goodness!

She began to read, enjoying the light comedy/romance for the relaxation it was intended to provide. After a few minutes, she felt a tentative tap on her arm. She glanced up, her ready smile already blooming, when she noticed the tear trickling down the wrinkled, powdered cheek.

“Oh dear!  What’s the matter?  How can I help?” asked Millie, wondering what on earth she was dealing with.

“I’m so sorry, dear. I’m embarrassed to ask, but you see I’m nearly blind, and I don’t hear very well, and. . .well, I need to use. . .you know. . .and I don’t know where it is.”

“Oh, please, don’t feel bad about asking.  I’m very glad to help you.  I’m afraid we’re going to have to wait a few minutes, though, because we’re about ready for takeoff and the seat belt lights are on. Will you be ok for a few more minutes?  If you’re really in trouble, we can ask a stewardess for help.”

“No,” sighed the lady.  “I’ll be fine if it’s not too long. Thank you so much.  I’m Adelia, by the way.  What did you say your name is?”

“I’m Millie.  It should be about five minutes, and then we can get up and find the restroom.”

Adelia blushed. Millie thought it was adorable that her new friend was so shy about having to use the facilities.  She didn’t think anyone was embarrassed about those things any more

Millie waited, wondering if Adelia would have anything more to say, but she remained silent. Takeoff went smoothly, and after about five minutes, Millie leaned over and asked if Adelia was ready.

“Yes, dear, but I can’t seem to undo this seat belt.  Can you help me?”

“Of course.”  Millie expertly flipped the buckle, and then undid her own. “Do you need help standing up?”

“No, thank you, dear.  I can stand, but I’m a little unsteady on my pins. If you could just stay close and maybe hold my hand?”

“Sure. Come on, we’ll find the restroom.”

Millie and Adelia had passed four rows of seats when a young man suddenly stood up and stepped right in front of them.

“Grandma!  What’s going on?  Who’s this woman? Are you ok?  I knew I should have insisted on trading seats with whoever was next to you!”

“Oh, Jeffrey, calm down!  I’m fine.  This young lady is my seatmate. Her name is Millie, and I asked her to help me find the. . . the. . .um. . . .restroom. She’s been very sweet. There’s nothing to worry about.”

Jeffrey didn’t seem so sure.  Millie assessed him pretty quickly as a take-charge kind of a guy who wasn’t going to let some stranger mess with his grandma. She smiled, held out her hand, and said, “I’m Millie.  I’m glad to help your grandmother, but if you’d like to take her the rest of the way, I’ll just leave her in your hands and go back to my seat.”

Jeffrey took her hand, holding it in a firm grip while he made his own assessment. She wondered what he was thinking as his gaze traveled from her eyes to her smile, feeling a flush spread up her neck and cheeks as the seconds crept by.

“No, that’s ok.  I was just surprised to see her with a stranger.  Thanks for helping her. She’s important to me.”

Millie waited by the door while Adelia tended to business, and then, holding hands, the two women made their way back to their row.  Millie went in first, guiding Adelia back into her seat and helping her with her seatbelt. Settling back and buckling her own belt, she glanced at her other seatmate and was completely startled to find herself staring into the very much awake blue eyes of Adelia’s grandson.

“I made a switch,” Jeffrey said. “Hope you don’t mind.  I felt  like it was a good idea for me to get to know a person who was so kind to my grandmother. So, where are you headed?”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/middle-seat/

No Chance

Take a Chance on Me

What’s the biggest chance you ever took? Did it work out? Do tell!

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Someone at Word Press–Wordy?–must have read my declaration of independence and decided to pull up some really old prompts that I haven’t seen before.  Ok with me 🙂

I suppose the biggest chance I ever took, if you want to look at it that way, was going back to school at age 50 for my master’s degree so I could change careers from teaching to counseling.

Most people, especially Terry, were very supportive. There were a few naysayers, of course. Gotta have those.  They said I was too old, that counseling  is a “fad career” and that its popularity would fade. Some questioned my decision on what they believed were biblical grounds.

My biggest concern was that I’d been on the teacher’s side of the desk for so long that I wouldn’t be able to transition to being a student. I have to tell you, there were times when I did want to stand up, call the class to order, and proceed to lecture. After all, the majority of my classmates were under 30.  I was the granny of the class, and there’s a lot to be said for life experience over book knowledge.

I was accepted into the program on academic probation. It wasn’t because my undergrad work was poor, but that it was done at an unaccredited little school in Podunk.  Academic probation?  Really??  I’ll show them academic probation!  And I did. Graduated with a 4.0, top of my class. I’ve always loved a challenge.

I found that being a student again was very satisfying. In a master’s program, you get to focus just on what you want. There were no general course requirements.  Every class was important to my future work.

And yes, it has worked out very well.  Hard to believe I’ve been working for nearly 15 years now, and every day brings its own challenges. The work is never boring. Sometimes it’s incredibly sad; other times, incredibly satisfying.

It was a good decision, a good “chance.”  I, however, don’t believe in chance. I believe that God laid the work on my heart, provided the way for my education, supplied the energy I’d need, and set me in the office where I work. The schooling was undertaken with much prayer, and I still pray every day for wisdom and patience.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/take-a-chance-on-me/

Busy Sixteen

Only Sixteen

Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.

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(Another rerun I haven’t written to before. It’s a conspiracy.)

So.  When I was sixteen, I was a junior in high school.  I was rejoicing because I didn’t have to take gym any more.  It was the only thing that kept me from a 4.0, and I thought that was totally unfair.  Still do. I just wasn’t an athlete.  I tried hard, but it was never enough.

I had a two-year-old brother. My sister had left for college, and my mom was sick often, so I had a lot of experience in the care and feeding of a male infant and toddler. That experience stood me in good stead a few years later when I started having my own brood.  I was never nervous about handling a new baby.

I loved school.  We lived in a small farm town in southern Minnesota, where my dad was the pastor of a little Baptist church. I enjoyed my classes, and did well. Physics was a struggle that year, and I’ll never know how I pulled a decent grade because I never understood most of it.  I did learn how to figure out what formula applied to what annoying problem. I think our teacher was really good, but he just couldn’t light a fire under me for his subject.

I was in the school choir, which I loved.  I also worked on the school newspaper, and I was on the layout staff for the yearbook.  This was back in the day before computers, so layouts were done by hand, with pictures, rulers, scissors, and glue. Same with the paper. You typed your piece on a manual typewriter, and you had to know how to justify margins and all that stuff. I was the first page editor, so it was my job for two years to go down to the town’s newspaper office and watch the printer set up the page the old-fashioned way, with little metal letter blocks, ink, and a roller.  It was fascinating, and I never got tired of watching his hands fly over his tools. He was amazing.  Then I got to proof the page, and watch it come off the print machine.  I loved the smell of the fresh ink and new paper.

Let’s see.  I also participated in speech competition, known as Declamation back then.  I competed in storytelling, debate, and extemporaneous speaking. Loved it.  Did pretty well.

My greatest love was the piano.  I didn’t have lessons because that just wasn’t in the budget.  I’d taught myself to play when I was about ten.  When we moved back to Minnesota, an older retired piano teacher offered to take me on for free. I was thrilled.  I walked over a mile to her place each week, played for her, and walked back home. She introduced me to music I’d never thought I could play. That was a true highlight for me.

On a more personal level, I’d already been through my first boyfriend and the inevitable breakup.  He lived in Oregon.  We moved to Minnesota. After shedding the appropriate number of tears and sighing my way through the trauma, I recovered quite nicely and met a couple of new guys that kept my attention. Isn’t it amazing how we think we’re going to die, and then, Surprise!  we get over it and continue to grow up 🙂

A major event that year, 1963:  November 22, the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

All right, I’m sure you’ve had enough by now.  Kind of fun to reminisce.  Sixteen was a good year for me. So was seventeen, and eighteen. . . .just pick one.  I’ve had a blessed life.

This song was still pretty popular in 1963:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/only-sixteen/

Prompts

There are zillions of writing prompts all over the internet.  Here’s one I just found:

http://oneminutewriter.blogspot.com/

And here’s what I wrote in response to the prompt,”Do you feel that your life has a well-defined purpose, or are you still trying to discover what your purpose might be?”

My life has had many well-defined purposes. Life changes. As a child, my purpose was to learn and grow. As a young wife, with four little children, my purpose was to do my daily work. Right now, my purpose is to be a grandma, a mom, a wife, and a counselor. Done.

Only One?

No, Thank You

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

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(After my big declaration of no more daily prompts, there have been two in a row that I don’t remember using.  Well, okay.)

Really, I get to ban only one word from the language?  Huh. No, I think I’m going to go for a whole genre of words.  I have several kinds of words I dislike intensely, like stupid, dumb, idiot, moron, pinhead, dough head. There are few people who truly deserve such pejoratives. I can think of one, maybe two.

But the words that really get my blood pressure up are words that denigrate women. I hate words  that refer to women only by their sexual parts or sexual functions.  You all know what those words are, and I’m not going to make a list here. I despise being called “Little lady,” or honey or sweetheart or darlin’ or sugar  by men who don’t know me, and who have no idea who I am. They are patronizing, full of themselves, and have no use for a woman who has a brain and isn’t afraid to use it.

In fact, their use of these demeaning terms shows me that they really aren’t too sure of themselves, and have opted to behave like members in good standing of the Good Ol’ Boys Club.  They’re better because they’re men. Testosterone is better than estrogen.  At least, that’s what they’ve decided.

I’m not a political feminist. Never have been.  I don’t hate men.  In fact, I enjoy them very much.  I like what men talk about, unless it’s sports.  Men who are confident are men who have no need to denigrate women. They’re not afraid of us.  In fact, they like us and respect us, and appreciate the unique perspective that an intelligent woman can bring to a conversation.

And now, just for the fun of it, lest we become too serious here:

The members of the male species who find it enjoyable and ego-boosting to use demeaning words to and about women are, in my never-to-be-humble opinion, all a bunch of stupid, dumb, moronic, pinheaded dough heads. And ignorant.  Let’s not forget ignorant.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/no-thank-you/

Noah

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week#164                                               

… Noah looked worried…

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They worked so hard. Day and night, pounding, sawing, sanding, varnishing, measuring, measuring twice. They were amazed at how BIG this thing was going to be.

As the ark grew closer and closer to being finished, animals began to gather. Strange-looking creatures, unknown to Noah. God surely must have a sense of humor to make such a variety of creatures. They ranged from tiny to Titan (of course, Noah didn’t know that word!)  but it seemed a sure thing they’d all fit.

Then Noah saw the dinosaurs.  And. . . Noah looked worried. . .