LIFE IN SIMPLE TERMS

 

If you would have told me that I would write a book when I retired, I would never have believed you.  If you would have told me that I would spend a lot of time preparing all kinds of vegetable dishes in my retirement, I would never have believed you.  If you had told me that we would be working in our retirement and still be paying a mortgage, I would never have believed you.  

Yet, here we are.  My book is still selling and I still have great reviews.  My compost bin is full of vegetable clippings since our dietician insists that vegetables are the way to go.  I find vegetables boring so I spend more and more time trying to find exotic ways to couch the plain vegetables we are supposed to eat.  Half a plate of them at each meal!  Plus, we are not allowed to add salt.  I am still tutoring, even more than last year.  My husband is still tutoring any chance he gets.  We are still paying down a first mortgage and yes, we have an equity line.  I guess we are doing okay because they always ask if we have a second equity line in addition, and they are always impressed that we do not.

I find I do not have the energy I used to have.  If I go food shopping, I cook the next day.  If I cook one day, I do the laundry the day after.  One day, one activity.  And on the days that we exercise, well, that IS the activity.  

If you told me that I would stop caring about my house and let things slide a little, NO one would have believed you.  Yet, I look the other way a lot now.  

So that is how aging happens.  It creeps up on you.  You focus on the past.  You appreciate what you have been through.  You obsess about health – yours and your loved ones.  And you see the future through your grandkids.  You are not that relevant and you know it.  But the grandkids…they are the raison d’être, and you focus on them.  When you go on vacation, you don’t bring home souvenirs because honestly, who needs them?  But you send age appropriate ones to your grandkids.  You want them to be comfortable in the big world and you want the big world to open up to them.  And you have to stop your thoughts from going there, to the dark places, to the real concerns, the real fears and worries – the pollution, the climate, the out of control weapons grade guns that are everywhere.  You have to stop your mind from thinking about the future of our democracy.  You have to stop seeing the robots that are now appearing everywhere, including our very own supermarket.  You have to focus on the good.  So you do.  And you are already counting the minutes till you see your grandkids again.

THE HYBIRD

“We don’t have those trees where I am,” she said pointing.  “Are they sycamores?” she asked me. 

What my daughter’s mother-in-law does not understand is that her question took me back over 45 years ago to when I finished high school.  What my daughter’s mother-in-law does not know is that I took an aptitude test after I graduated high school because I had no idea what I wanted to be.  The top recommendation came back – “botanist”.  

I grew up in a small walk-up apartment in the city   I had no experience with plants  and could not envision myself spending my life grafting vegetation to create new species

I have long since left the city and I have become an avid gardener.

I knew enough to look up at the leaves.

“No,” I answered. “They are maple trees. See the leaves?”  

  “Oh yes,” my daughter’s m-i-l said.  

But the tree trunks looked like army fatigues so I googled the tree up.  Lo and behold these were sycamore maple trees.  

Our shared granddaughter was sitting in between us.  I leaned over to Linda. “ The trees are hybrids just like our granddaughter,” I said.  “Look!  June has your nose and my hair!”

THE YIZKOR CANDLE by Jacqueline Becker as it appears in MSK anthology

 

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     It was time to light the Yizkor, or memorial candle.  We traditionally light it during the week of shiva, or mourning.  We light it at sundown just before we light the four major holiday candles.  We also light it on the anniversary of the death of a close member the family.  The candle represents the soul.  Yizkor is the command verb to remember.  It would translate into:  “He SHALL remember.”  Remembering is imperative in our religion.  The candle is meant to burn a full 24 hours. 

    When our department took our supervisor out to celebrate her retirement, we went to a small, lovely Mexican restaurant.  It was late afternoon and the staff began to light the candles on our table.  My colleague-friend, Debbi, looked at me and I looked back at her.  We were the only ones who understood.  We burst out in laughter.  We could not hold back as the tears streamed down our cheeks.     To be continued tomorrow…

My promo is over in 2 days and so far…

221 people are reading my book over the last 3 days.

MY PROMO JUST STARTED AND 155 PEOPLE ARE READING MY BOOK!

Thank you KINDLE for suggesting that I offer a free promo.  And just in time for Mother’s Day.   http://www.kindle.com RAGING AGAINST AGING: Kicking & screaming, laughing & crying, stretching & kvetching by Jacqueline Becker.  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

FREE PROMO of my book: RAGING AGAINST AGING on kindle.com May 9-14.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.  You can read my book for free on kindle.com.  ENJOY!49178127_993156517559351_912127770929135616_n.jpg

The Joys of Having a Granddaughter

When I was a young girl, I used to love boys’ toys:  railroad sets, construction sets, building blocks, toy trucks.  But I always got dolls and doll related toys – as hand-me-downs from my older girl cousins.

Well, having a grandson satisfied my desire for boy toys.  I bought every kind of truck out there.  Was I buying them for him or for me?

Now that I have a granddaughter, I am back to dolls.  She loves to play with her brother’s toys.  But the look in her eyes when I showed her how to make a paper doll said it all!  We go through all my stuff, we design, we cut, we paste.  We spend hours together and well, we enjoy the girl thing we share!