How Could I Forget!

I just remembered what I had planned to mention this morning.  I think my brain is still on vacation. . . .


Today is our 49th wedding anniversary!  That’s worth putting out there into cyberspace, right?  Forty-nine years that went so fast, in retrospect, that I can hardly believe it’s true.

Forty-nine years.  Four children. Nine grandchildren.  Showers of blessing.  Friends, church, work, other family members have all enriched our lives beyond measure.

A young man who was my seat mate on the journey to South Dakota asked me what the secret was for such a long marriage. That’s easy.

Commitment.  A promise is a promise, and you don’t break promises–especially to the person you marry, because that is a sacred union created and blessed by God.

So whenever there was a crisis–and there were many, large and small–divorce was never an option. We had said, “I DO!”  and we meant it.  We found ways to compromise; we learned to be better listeners.  Neither of us has to be right all the time, so neither of us has to be wrong all the time.  There is a balance that grows as each  situation is worked through.  We rarely disagree these days.  Usually, it’s just not worth the time and effort.

The biggest irritants we have now involve old-age things, like hearing loss–which, believe me, can create some extremely irritating moments–and short-term memory issues.

“Linda, do you know where my keys are?”

“Where did you have them last?”

“In the CAR!”                                                                       Image result for hearing loss in old age

“Did you look there?”

“Not yet.  I was hoping maybe you picked them up.”

“Nope, don’t think so.  I’ll check, though.”

“Ter?  Did you look in the pockets of the pants you had on yesterday?”

“Why would they be there?”

A few beats of silence.

“Okay, I found them. Don’t remember putting them in my pocket, though.  You must have done that.”

“Of course I did.  That’s what I do, go around putting your keys in your pants pockets.”

“What’s that?”

“Nothing.  Never mind.  Glad you found them.”



Memory Lane

My birthday was on Tuesday–yes, the Fourth of July 🙂  It’s pretty cool.  This year I entered my 8th decade–70 years old!  I’m too young to be 70, but here it is anyway.

My sister is a couple of years older, and we share a lot of the same memories. So today I got a box  in the mail, a birthday gift from Sandy.

Imagine my delight upon opening the box and finding a whole bunch of old-fashioned penny candy!


Now come along with me while we go to the store.  We lived in a big apartment building on West 15th street in Minneapolis.  It was between 1952 and1955.  There was quite a crowd of us kids, ranging from kindergarten through maybe fifth grade or so.  We played on the steps of our building. We slid down the metal handrails. We roller skated the old-fashioned way, with skates that clamped onto our sneakers and were tightened with a skate key.


We dug in the dirt along the side of our building and created towns with little cars and mud buildings.  We went across the street to Loring Park and played on the swings and other playground equipment.  Sometimes we got to splash around in the shallow pool  that wasn’t much more than knee deep. Or we went a block away to the school yard and played on the equipment there. We were outdoors all day unless it was raining too hard. In the winter we built snow forts and had snowball fights.

Every now and then we would be given the largesse of a couple of pennies, or maybe even a nickel. Our next destination would be the little store in the basement of the building next to ours.  It was a wonderful place, and the owner welcomed little kids who had five cents to spend in their sweaty little hands.


He never rushed us as we made our choices.  You could get a lot of penny candy for five cents.  Dots. Licorice. Jaw breakers. Wax lips, teeth, and mustaches.  Little wax bottles with colored sugar water in them.  Lick’M Aide. Candy cigarettes.  Root beer barrels. Red Hots.  More, so much more.

If it was a hot summer day, we’d get a Popsicle instead. Yes, for only five cents.  Nothing felt so good or tasted any better than the fruity flavors of the Popsicles as they trickled down your throat. Our hands would be sticky, but who cared?  We were already sweaty and dirty anyway 🙂

So when I opened my box today, along with all that wonderful candy  I saw a host of childhood memories as well.   I heard the skate wheels racing across the bump on the sidewalks; I heard the shouts and laughter as we splashed in the pool, or played tag, or hide and go seek.  All those sounds, along with the smells of a hot city street in the summer,  took me right back to 515 West 15th Street in Minneapolis.

I don’t know if the apartment building is still there.  I searched, but couldn’t find the exact place.  Things change, people change, life changes. I’m thankful for the memories of an era when little kids could still run free outside all day, and were safe and innocent. It was a good time to be a kid.

Thanks for the candy, Sandy.  And thanks for the memories you knew you’d stir up.



I’m sorry I’m neglecting the Bible study on Isaiah.  I’m in too much pain, and on too much medication, to be able to think straight.  I have an appointment Wednesday with my pain doctor–the one who told me no more shots until January.  I have no idea what he’ll have to offer me, but I’m very willing, at this point, to have the surgery he mentioned before. And now, some help from the lighter side of life:

'Hah! ? you think you've got lower back pain?' Chiropractic concerns

0afd06b1e79e14c7a9861bbaf7c8869c         Getting older is . . . making noises whenever you bend down or get back up.'Uh,uh,uh, you weren't lifting with your legs were you?!'

See?  You can laugh even when it hurts 🙂

Sunday Morning Coffee: Update

Well, here I am on my  fourth day of pain pills and muscle relaxers.  Apparently they’re working at night.  I’m sleeping well. But the daytime presents a host of challenges. Walking huts, sitting hurts, and lets not even talk about bending over.

However, my daughter’s birthday gift this year was to take me to Reading to hear Jeanne Robertson.

This shouldn’t be a problem, right?  A friend went with us, and If I couldn’t drive to Deb’s then she could. But the driving was no problem. And Deb drove to Reading. We parked in a parking garage, and that’s where the trouble started. We had to walk from there to the venue.

I have an excellent cane, and both my daughter and our friend know my situation. We walked very slowly, and got there wit no trouble.  When it was over, my friend  Deb went back for the car and picked me up. An usher was even kind enough to bring me a chair while I waited.

I took my meds and crawled into bed. It wasn’t until somewhere around 3:3 a.m. that I knew I was in a lot of trouble. And I’ve been in trouble ever since. No let-up until or unless I go to bed, and I wake up right on time for my next dose.

So, you might ask, was it worth it?  Was it worth risking all this pain just to hear some commediene you can watch on You Tube?”

Oh, you betcha 🙂  Its the same as the difference between watching a sports even on TV or having tickets to see it live.


I just got a call from  the secretary of our practice.  My eight-client day has been reduced to a seven-client day, and I don’t have to be there until 11.  Nice. I’m all ready to go, but now I have an hour to catch up on some computer work.

This is my first day back to work after a two-week time off that was no vacation, believe me.  Pain is my constant companion these days.  The shots I got Thursday have helped a bit, but I can feel the pain building back up.  I don’t get the second round of shots until the 21st, which right now seems like a very long time to wait.

Yesterday, I heard a radio  interview of a soldier who was caught by an IED in Iraq.  He lost a leg, and I think maybe a hand as well.  He thought he was going to die, and was urging the medics to care for his men who, he felt, had a better chance to live.  He said he really didn’t feel pain in those minutes following the explosion. He felt that his adrenaline and the shock factor worked together to keep his mind clear, and he was able to communicate with his men as well as the medics.  It was an amazing story.  Of course, the pain did settle in after a while, but his story continues to be one of victory, not whining.

Many years ago, probably 35 or more, my husband had a work accident that cost him the end of his pinky from the top knuckle. He, too, experienced the shock that buffered the pain for about half an hour. Back then, he wouldn’t take any more medication that he absolutely needed in order to be able to go back to work the next day.  He continues to bear pain without saying much, but he’s older now and he doesn’t bounce back as quickly. The foot he injured nearly four years ago continues to hurt, 24/7.  He doesn’t give in, though.  He has to stop to rest, which is very hard for him to do, but he stays busy in spite of that pain as well as chronic back pain.

My mom had the same kind of pain in her back that I do.  The difference was that she never, to my knowledge, got the pain treatment that I’m getting.  She hurt all the time as her joints crumbled, pinched her nerves, and made her miserable. There were other things that caused her pain as well.  Sometimes she’d mention it; more often, as she neared death and focused all  her energy just on staying alive.  She thought she should “do more for you girls,” meaning my sister and me.  We were 65 and 67 at the time.  I told her I thought we’d be okay 🙂

Pain is not a pleasant companion.  You can, however, use it as a stumbling stone or  a starting block.  We’ve all known people who, burdened with chronic pain, let the whole world know all day every day how much they suffer.  We also know people who are cheerful in their pain, and don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about what they can’t fix.  I’d rather be around that person, wouldn’t you?

In fact, I’d rather BE that person.  The problems in my back are not going to heal themselves.  I’m very thankful for the shots, but I’m also aware that at some point the shots aren’t going to work as well and I may have to consider some other treatment.  I could whine and cry and make everyone around me miserable, or I could–as a friend of mine who has cancer does–respond to “How are you?”  with “Better!”

I have a cyber-friend who has ALS.  I haven’t seen anything from him in some time, and I’m wondering if the disease has finally taken him to heaven.  What I will always remember about him is his positive approach to his life with the disease. As it progressed and he became more and more helpless, he never cried to his readers.  He rejoiced over getting a computer that enabled him to continue blogging even when he could no longer type or speak.

I hope he’s whole, now.

I never used to give pain a lot of thought.  I’ve been healthy all my life, with very few physical problems.  Knee replacement, both knees, was my first really major surgical experience, and that was 11 years ago, and my knees are doing great. I’m thankful to have had the energy I needed to rear four kids, teach, and be busy in church ministries. At this stage of my life, at almost 69 years old, I can still do most of what I need to do.  I just have to accept that things are different, and that’s okay.

Well.  This is kind of unusual for me, a ramble, I guess.  I think I’m done now 🙂


So I decided to mix up a DIY recipe for an all-purpose cleaner.  Simple ingredients:  cleaning vinegar, water, and a little baking soda mixed with  water.

What I forgot was that was the same kind of recipe we used to make volcanoes for science projects.

Everything went great until I poured the water/baking soda mixture into the  vinegar I had already poured into my spray bottle.


All OVER the place, including all over me!  What a mess.  I’m glad I hadn’t put in my aromatic essential oils yet.  But at least my kitchen floor is clean 🙂

The second try was more successful.  Mixed my ingredients more slowly, waiting for the soda to dissolve before adding it to the vinegar. Slowly.  In the sink.