Posted by: gljcm2 | September 2, 2009

GRITTY GRANDMA

Despite the “cracks” (see earlier blog on aging), I learned today that Grandma isn’t as old as Aleah thinks. Forgetful, yes; old, no!

Looking “hot” this morning, I left the house for the Retired Teachers’ “To Hell with the Bell” first day of school breakfast. I certainly didn’t think I was looking a year away from retirement! However the old lady memory kicked in immediately as I faced a LOCKED car in front of me, and a LOCKED house door behind me. WHAT TO DO???????

With only 30 minutes till the special event, I quickly evaluated the options and immediately realized the bathroom window was my only chance. Measuring up the situation I grabbed the green lawn chair, placed it under the skinny bathroonm windows and climbed up, only to find the window was too high. What to do????

Thirty seconds later I was on the front street looking for a small child I could put through my window, which at best was a poor solution,. It was a long way down to drop in to my bathtub!

Suddenly the solution came rolling up the street on a bicycle, accompanited by a big german shepard. A young man big enough to hold the chair down while I climbed up on the back of itl

Questioning my sanity in asking someone who looked like a non working, campgound dweller, I weighed my choices and asked if he would do me a favor. “Would you help me break into my house. I’m late getting to a meeting in Red Deer.”

Yep, he was willing and immediately we were setting up in the backyard – he holding the chair steady , while grandma climbed up on the chair, then the arm, then the back, reached up to the window and began to haul her body up and through the window. Excitement raced through me as I first balanced my knee on the ledge and then pulled my body up into the window frame. Relief followed quickly as I realized I could actually fit through it. Fear followed as my foot lowered to the toilet tank and success roared as my other foot hit the toilet seat. I was IN!

With a quick thanks to my new friend, a screen slapped back into the frame, my stick logged in place to hold the window closed and a drop to the floor, I was on my way to grab my keys and hit the highway. Granny was attending TO HELL WITH THE BELL!

Not bad for an old lady who needed to save herself! Got a house you need broken into???

Posted by: gljcm2 | August 4, 2009

Moving Forward

There are definitely times of transition in our lives. Some changes we choose; others occur as a result of outside forces. Regardless, transition means change!

I am a work in progress. This past ten years has been a time of huge change for me. Interestingly enough, the biggest changes came at the beginning of that 10 year period and at this end of the 10 years. Its like “here we go again… another life to create and once again it’s my own.” How can this be?

Looking back I realize we change many times during our lives. Think of the changes from baby to toddler or child to teen. These transitions don’t stop once we reach adulthood. New jobs, lost jobs, illness, marriage, divorce, children, death… and many more situations come into play and turn our lives upside down. I know that once again this time of transition no matter how difficult will end back in the light with new learnings, new experiences and that wonderful old sense of I truly love my life.

10 years ago I claimed to be the Chrysalis. Unable to work for medical reasons, I no longer felt I had a purpose. Teaching was my passion and my soul was no longer refueled daily by the children I had been teaching. The energy and sense of purpose my teaching gave me was gone. My love of music died. My opportunities to interact with other people disappeared. Slowly i allowed myself to open up, grow, find new experiences and therefore new meaning. Eventually, the butterfly emerged and life was pretty beautiful.

But life has a way of catching up to us and sadness returns. The desire to reenter the cocoon can return, and another time of rebuilding takes place. I am there once more, but today I feel my strength, my sense of purpose, and my determination. I know what I want in life and I will someday have that. My passion is strong, my abilities many,. and I am the creator of my path if God is willing.

Today I have many questions. Who will be in my life, what will be in my life, where will my life be? These are all opportunities waiting to happen; adventures waiting to be experienced. Someday I shall look back on this time, grateful for the opportunity to grow once more and bring more wonderful things into my life.

Posted by: gljcm2 | May 24, 2009

New Learnings and a Sad Day

One can not breathe without learning new things. We may be resistant to acknowledging them, but they are there and waiting to lead us forward or backward if we choose to contemplate them.

Today I am at the acreage. My goal was to clean out more of the weeds that grew last summer due to neglect and to start planting the beautiful new blooms that I had chosen for this year. But as I sprayed for weeds, and raked out old growth, I became aware of something profound.

Here I am again working on my own when one of my strongest passions is to share with someone the goals, the work, the enjoyment of living. I love to garden. I love the acreage in all it’s beauty. But the beauty is fast disappearing without the conmbined effort that is required for the upkeep of 3 acres. Those new to our home would see the beautiful park like setting down the hill; a garden dpoy out in back which surrounds an old wooden wagon, and the pond area which used to have a flowing stream and fountain, and tiny purple flowers bordering it. At one time they could have walked my sanctuary garden across the front of the house with it’s stone paths, bird feeder, gazing ball and variety of colorful flowers. But much of this has gone due to the passing of time. Weeds are replacing flowers and heaving has wrecked the pond. So much potential but what does one do.

Today Garry is working at John and Haley’s, creating a wonderful play centre in their yard, just as he did here on the acreage for our children 20 years ago. The girls will love it; I know it will be well used. What he is doing is important, but it means there is no time to help here. Meanwhile on the acreage the play centres wood is decaying with time, and quack grass grows abundantly in the sand below. It reminds me of my time in Mexico – me working on a house there while Garry worked at his neice’s house in Red Deer. Today he works in town while I work at the acreage. I miss the sharing; the working together. But when I look back that particular part of our life has been gone for a few years now. That makes me sad, but it also makes me look a second time at the guilt I have experienced over being in Mexico and making choices that worked for me. So much guilt for feeling like I was walking away but in reality the togetherness wasn’t happening when I was here.

Today I decided to weed, and rake, and trim trees, but I will not plant the blossoms I have purchased. Garry is far too busy to look after them and likely feels no need to have them in his life. Mark would only find them an unnecessary bother. While we all loved the acreage for it’s beauty, the effort that is irequired must be shared or it will not work. I learned that last summer when the weeds took over.

So I will pack my flowers and head to town. Tomorrow is another day for taking mom to an appointment. I still need to do her garden and I will use the plants there. She will love them and care for them. And while she can’t do much, she will keep me company as I toil in the dirt.

My goal was to look after three different sets of gardens…. but I realize now that is unrealistic. I shall talk to Garry and Mark and we will decide what is best for the acreage. For me that means it won’t cause stress, but it shouldn’t lose it’s value. I hope that is possible.

Yes, the day was filled with learning, and the day was sad. But from the learning will come peace.

courtneybench

Relaxing in the resort, I find myself more restless, more antsy… I love the manicured gardens and yard, the beautiful flowers, the pool and the ocean as they glisten in the sun and all the blue that surrounds me. Although I have lived in here for six months the morning view never fails to astound me. Ocean, (i have longed for all my life); warmth; and blue sky. I am surrounded by light. I do not know what today will bring, but tonight we will go to supper. I will have another chance to dress up, like a little girl playing, and will dine on the beach with the sound of the surf, later the stars above, and service to die for, lol. It is a change from my casita, my dusty roads, my roosters…. a welcome change. And yet even here I find the people to talk with in spanish, those who want to learn about our classes, and have even come to know one young man who will come to my house next Monday and work with me for a week on his Spanish. He is 16 and wants so badly to learn. I know he will study hard. These warm people who want to learn are everywhere… where it is luxurious and where it is poor. It is the people I am drawn to and fortunately they to me. Today though I will relax… breathe… enjoy the sunshine and be grateful that I am here. Less than 2 weeks and I shall return….

Posted by: gljcm2 | April 2, 2009

Living Like a Tourist

Relaxing in the all inclusive resort on a short 3 day holiday, I find myself more restless, more antsy… I love the manicured gardens and yard, the beautiful flowers, the pool and the ocean as they glisten in the sun and all the blue that surrounds me. Although I have lived in Bucerias for six months the morning view never fails to astound me. Ocean, (i have longed for all my life); warmth; and blue sky. I am surrounded by light. I do not know what today will bring, but tonight we will go to supper. I will have another chance to dress up, like a little girl playing, and will dine on the beach with the sound of the surf, later the stars above, and service to die for, lol. It is a change from my casita, my dusty roads, my roosters crowing at all hours…. a welcome change.
And yet even here I find the people to talk with in Spanish, those who want to learn about our English classes, and have even come to know one young man who will come to my house next Monday and work with me for a week on his Spanish. He is 16 and wants so badly to learn. I know he will study hard. His parents are so happy for him to have this opportunity.
These people are everywhere… where it is luxurious and where it is poor. It is the people I am drawn to and fortunately they to me. Today though I will relax… breathe… enjoy the sunshine at the resort and be grateful that I am here in Mexico. Less than 2 weeks and I shall return to Canada….

Posted by: gljcm2 | March 8, 2009

On Babies, birthdays and bereavement

Today is a special day – beautiful yet bittersweet.  Twenty four years ago today my daughter was born. How I longed for this wee girl.  She came into our lives full of life and grew into an independent, strong, creative, vivacious young woman. She was our first lesson in how different children from the same two parents can be.  And as she grew it was easy to see she was definitely alot like me.

She was the one who at 4 told us she had been adopted. Apparently her mother, a drunk, had put her on a greyhound bus and sent her to us from “Hawi-oh”. Years later she still loved to tell that story, leading other mothers to ask me if this could possibly be true that she was adopted. She thought that part was really funny!

She is persistence personified.   Like the bull facing the matador  she focused her attention on the beauty and the challenges in music, drama, sports, school, and friends – doing her best in everything she did.  From the lead in Oklahoma to winning singing trophies at festivals; from being co captain of the basketball team to co managing the mens volleyball team; from creating the grad powerpoint to working with the seniors in a local lodge, she filled her time and her mind with a broad range of activities.

And I recall the beauty of her spirit as well, remembering her joy at 4 for another child’s success even when it meant that she did not win.  I recall her at 16 asking me, “Should I buy a stereo for my car or should I “buy” my foster child now?” She chose the foster child and to this day, 8 years later, she continues to financially support that same little girl who is now in her teens. And she is the young woman who bought flowers for a friend’s mother who was dying of cancer; took a senior from the lodge where she worked for a car ride in her car when she bought it and did so many other things that we never heard about.

She was not perfect, as none of us are. She faced the pressures of being a teenager and managed to get caught the first time she got drunk, the time her friend crashed a car, the time she backtalked a teacher. But she learned from those lessons and was possibly better for it.

Today she is 24, living so far away, and we are not as close as I would like. That is the bittersweet part. Longing for a mother daughter relationship filled with love and respect, sometimes I experience a wave of sadness. Somewhere along the way we lost our bond. I will continue to hope and search for it. That wee girl that I gave birth to so many years ago is a huge part of my heart and always will be, no matter how far away in distance or feelings. I love you my sweet girl.
Mom

Posted by: gljcm2 | February 16, 2009

Torn Between Two Lives

TORN BETWEEN TWO LIVES

Torn – torn between living this life in paradise surrounded by strangers – alone at the beach and so aware of that. Couples abound, groups of friends laugh and talk, glasses are raised. Salud!

Knowing that at home in Canada my children and grandchildren are sharing tobaggan parties and weiner roasts with their grandpa, but grandma is far away. Missing my son’s last hockey game in Ponoka – an important night for him and I am not there to share it.

Torn – so much distance and space between my life here and there.

Valuing my friend Reta, my neighbors in Mexico, my children at the school where I teach English, and new friends. But we do not share history. Only my family and friends back home know that. And at moments like these I miss them deeply – longing to share some of my life with them.

My casa – so beautiful – where I am peaceful and content. The weather is perfect every day. And yet I still long for the deeper connection so missing in my life.

Fun to dance, to laugh, to walk , to meet – tired at the end of the day, but still alone.

Yes … this is paradise, but here on the beach where the waves crash and the sun shines brightly, today, I am torn.

Labels:
Posted by: gljcm2 | November 3, 2008

Medical Help in Mexico

Medical Help in Mexico

A primary concern of tourists is what if I get hurt or sick? Will there be good medical services. My experience today says Yes, indeed! In Bucerias, Nayarit, the service is EXCELLENT!

Today was my first full day here. Early in the day I worked in the yard, walked to town, and came back for lunch. After that I went shopping with a friend for about an hour and a half . During that time I felt weak at times, but suddenly I could not breathe well. It felt as though something was cutting off my air —as though my windpipe were closing up or being pressed down.
Reta drove me directly to a small private clinic/hospital and this is where the word SERVICE began. Dr. Victor assessed me immedatly –no waiting in a room- and then led me directly to a hospital room where I was hooked up to both an iv and oxygen. Apprently my blood pressure had dropped to 74 over 47, which is very low. As well I was very dehydrated. I was able to spend two hours at the hospital receiving help, and then was given the choice to return home or stay there for the night.
I have come home, but am taking it very easy. It is wonderful to know that Dr. Victor will act quickly, and know just what to do. Yes, medical service in Mexico today was just what I needed! Thanks, Dr. Victor.

Labels:
Posted by: gljcm2 | October 30, 2008

Three More Sleeps till Mexico

hpim1957
“Three more sleeps”… any other time I have left for Mexico those words would have created a swell of excitement within. This fall it is different. This time my trip was planned months in advance. I booked the ticket in August which is different from my usual “last minute cheap ticket purchase” that allows me 3-5 days to get ready. Little did I know that when late October came, I wouldn’t be as ready to go. But my life has changed.

Living on my own in my little house, I am content. I feel a sense of peace; my days are as busy as I choose; I create opportunities to be with friends or chat on the phone. I am feeling more connected to others and happier within.

My “new life” has brought many realizations. An important one has been that in the past Mexico has been somewhat an escape. It was my way of being away from the loneliness of my life, made legitimate by the fact that the humidity in Mexico was better for my health. In Mexico I was able to volunteer with the childen, find new friends that were available to do things, and feel connected to people who wanted to be with me. But now I am beginning to find this contentment and peace here as well and the driving need to go to Mexico has diminished. Yes I will enjoy it; but now I am finally at peace in Canada too. 3 more sleeps, and I will enjoy every minute until the plane leaves the ground.

 If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Well thank you Alice James for that quote;however I can’t say I agree. As I write this first post I am still reeling from not one, but TWO age related comments I received today.

Nothing is more beautiful than my 4 year old granddaughter! But, she definitely surprised me today though when she said, “Grandma, You’re getting old.” I asked why she thought that – and yes I admit it, I was in total dismay. With childish innocence she replied, “Cause you got all those cracks in your face.”

CRACKS????? My “laugh lines?” Yes, one and the same. Today they became cracks and what I HAD quietly noticed in the mirror is now out in the open.
Was she far off???

Apparently the young fellow in the liquor store wouldn’t think so. In a casual conversation tonight I admitted I was new to town and didn’t know anyone. Eager to help he recommended the COZY CORNER where I could meet lots of people. Helpful? Yep… But it was the Seniors Drop In Center!

So yesterday I was “a young 53… full of life and laughter, ready for a new adventure.” Tonight I feel a whole lot older. My plan is made – I’m heading for a nice hot bath and then I’m going to smother myself in moisturizing cream.

Was it comical to hear myself called old? Not for a moment…. Tomorrow though … who knows!

Abraham Lincoln:
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories