Admittedly I did more on Sunday than I should have, but mostly I slept. Woke up, ate their delicious food, slept. Woke up, rearranged some fabric shelves, slept, woke, ate. No kids to take care of, no waiting in line for anything at all, no pressure to produce anything for anybody, but best of all, NOBODY ASKING ME TO DO MENDING OR MAKE THEM A QUILT AS A CHRISTMAS GIFT! I had never before found so many people basically asking me to spend months of my life and tons of money making things for them as I found in my former residence. In this one I have found several quilters and been invited to see their collections.
Today we had two concerts. I went to both of them. The first one was a sweet man who sang more off-key than on but I loved it. He comes every month and having done that in my own past I could understand the desire to help others in the only way he knew to do it. Everyone who attended his concert applauded loudly for him, a contrast for the ones at the other place who would walk out if it wasn’t great.
The one tonight was Randy Lanham and a group of very talented kids he has been teaching. Randy doesn’t have a big name, but after the plane crash that too the lives of several of Reba Mcintire’s band members Randy joined her new band and toured with her for almost a year. He’s a small town boy though and as much as he liked the audience he came back home before the first year ended and rejoined the band he and his brother had formed, giving concerts in the area rather than going to distant places to entertain. At one time he was director of the Bluegrass Museum, located here in Owensboro. His first love though, is teaching children to play several instruments and stand in front of a microphone and sing their hearts out.
I’m sitting here in my room now at a few minutes after 9 pm, full of the early dinner, a snack at my fingertips if I get hungry, half of my dinner sandwich waiting in my fridge for when I wake up from my next nap, (the first one before dinner, second after the evening concert) trying to compose this blog post, with a quilt I want to finish beside me, and knowing that even though I have not taken a single stitch since I got here my intent is to at least take one stitch tonight just so I can say I’m working on it. I have never had an experience like this in my entire life. I think I can get used to this.
A few of my friends have asked about photos of the new room and I took a few last night. Please bear in mind that some things remain to be done before it is completed, but here they are.
On review it looks like nothing at all has been done, but try to picture all of this stuff covering the floor from the door to the window and maybe you can envision how much better it looks now. And remember. this is a very small room.
This past few days have been busy ones. So productive but so tiring. But I am now living in the place I’ve wanted to be for several years.
I first applied for a room here three years ago and the wait began! The Carmel Home is the most sought after Retirement Home in the area. It takes you from still able to care for yourself to the final day of your life. Run by the Carmelite Sisters, it is the home of retired priests, sisters of other communities, and now me!
I first got the word that my room was available during a visit with my aunt. It’s a small room but perfect for me at this stage of my life. My kids rallied around, helping me pack one day, loading their trucks the next day with most of the things I had out to bring. I say most because there are two vital boxes of things that haven’t arrived yet. Finding them is now my priority since they hold all of the extras to my sewing machine in one and all of the chargers and charge cords for everything in the other.
My daughter came in today to help me put away all that arrived yesterday and I can now get around without fear of tripping over it all. I was amazed at how long it took us to bring some type of order to everything. Okay, the order was to sort through all of the quilt tops and decide where to put them. I found a place for almost all of them, only having to send two home with my daughter for storage. The amazing part is how many quilt tops I have pieced in six months! All that remains now is quilting them, a daunting task now that the sewing machine needles, pressure feet, scissors, and threads are missing. I will manage though. I always have and hopefully always will.
I’m sitting here at 3:50 a.m. Sunday morning, wide awake and thinking about the old days when the world looked so much larger than it does today. Of course, I was so much smaller then and had never been outside the small environment of Highway 81 and the childhood that now seems to have been a magic time. Just one old woman thinking back to days that now look perfect at a time when there is not much perfection in this expanded world we live in.
Our radio played only the good things back then. “The Shadow knows, heh, heh, heh”, Bobby Benson as the young (and I was certain HANDSOME) star of our favorite show, B Bar B. In retrospect I can remember that the world that looks so perfect and small back then wasn’t really all that small or all that perfect. This country was engaged in a “Police Action” called Korea at the time, but since we only listened to the radio when our favorite shows were on we were sheltered from a lot of the world news.
I did hear some of the news at selected times when the family was together and we all listened to the radio. TV wasn’t around this area at the time so we listened to George Burns and Gracie Allen, Abbot and Costello, Jack Benny, still some of my favorite people who remain alive to me via the now seemingly necessary television, on now and playing some of the old songs that came along after I was grown and more in tune with the news of the day.
I have found a TV channel that plays some very old shows with George and Gracie, Jack, and on Saturdays even Abbot and Costello. I still find the first two fun, but the slapstick of Abbot and Costello seems a bit extreme now. There is too much real violence surrounding us now to get the same laughs at two men hitting each other with what would be called lethal weapons these days. The difference is that back then there were no school shootings, no daily reminders of brutality against everyone that is not just exactly like us. Back then I had no idea that one day I would be typing on a computer, a contraption that wouldn’t fit in anyone’s home back then, a very large contraption that filled entire rooms and had to be kept cool to prevent fire and explosion. Now I use a laptop or a tablet, small, compact, easy to use when it is working okay. This is something that was not thought of back then when my world outside the Highway 81 environment was delivered by radio.
I know I gripe a lot about the frequent breakdowns of all electronics. I’m fussing right now because my early morning clumsiness has my fingers on the wrong keys and typing nonsense pages while my brain is trying to tell my body that it is morning albeit a very early morning, and I shouldn’t put so much pressure on the keys. The TV is a Fire TV, also known as a “smart” TV, and I’m listening to John Denver singing “It Makes Me Giggle”. My life seems to be oriented around all of the “smart” electronics around me and I don’t always like that. It’s difficult for me to depend on electronics that always seem to break down. I now read books that I don’t even hold in my hands, but can read on my phone or mainly on my Fire tablet. I used to turn pages by using my fingers to turn the page. I usually had to lick the fingers to get traction on the page I was reading so I could turn it more easily. Now my hands have problems holding on to those wonderful books, so they are all loaded on my Amazon Fire tablet. To turn the page I simply tap the screen with my finger and the next page appears. If I fall asleep while reading the tablet turns itself off, saving my page until I turn it back on. Incidentally, while writing the above paragraph i had to delete rows and rows of “r’s” that my finger tapped accidently. Didn’t even have to lick my finger to make those lines and lines of r.
Oh, for those good old days right now. Memories partly faded by the ravages of time, typing keys so sensitive that I can fill several pages with the wrong stuffrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr — case in point, but caught before it went very far. I’m going to stop while just a little bit in control. And I’m going to look for photos from those old days, if indeed I can hit the right buttons to look for them!
And today will be the good old days 20 years from now! Imagine that!
I wrote this a few years ago, or maybe more than a few, while talking to a friend I was working on some AIDS projects with. He got a few chuckles from it so when I found it again recently I thought it would be fun to put it on the main blog site. I wish I could say I am no longer allergic to things, but having just recovered from a severe sinus infection cause by my allergies I have to admit to still being allergic to everything on the outside of the building. I do still go out and enjoy as much of the outdoors as possible though.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did while writing it, way back in the 1990’s.
So sorry about my absence. I’ve been down with a severe sinus infection for several weeks, not sure if I even wanted to live through it this time. I’m not suicidal, not at all, but after wearing the bright red nose brought on my constant blowing plus the feeling that my head was the size of a bushel basket, I was beginning to wonder why I fight these infections. Three times in my life I have been close to dying from the infections and continue to fight them. I joke about inventing a sandblaster that will work on sinuses but freely admit here that if such a thing ever comes about I doubt I would want to be the first one to try it. Not much left in the brain area but I think I want to keep what I still have.
On the homefrong, I’m still at the same place but with new hope shining in front of me. The place I have been trying to move into now has an empty room with my name on it! Just one small hitch at the moment. On Christmas morning they all woke to find water in most of the rooms from a water pipe that burst from the sub zero temperatures we were enduring at that time. So I’m biding my time here, helped by the knowledge that I will be moving soon. The floors and ceilings in the flood area have to be replaced, but that’s okay. my room and I await the great day.
I have been busy trying to breathe, but have also made a few changes in my way of living here. I buy my own food and heat it in the microwave in the dining room. I’ve tried to find out how much of my rent goes for food but they don’t have a breakdown to show me and are fussing about my deducting the amount I spend on buying my own supplies from the rent.. AND, since we all received a raise in our Social Security, the rent was raised accordingly. What that means for most people here is the food quality and amount have gone down. The only time I have been to the table since Thanksgiving 9last Thursday of November(, the full meal was a hot dog on a bun, six tater tots, and half a cup of baked beans. They call that a nutritious meal. No real vegetables, just children’s servings of childrens favorite foods. Snacks are usually sweet, breakfast is dry cereal with a pop tart or mini cinnamon roll. There are more than the normal number of overweight diabetics living here but they received the same food the few non-diabetics eat. I’ve heard ome of them wonder why their blood sugar is going up. Duh!
Kentucky statutes call for three nutritious meals and three nutritious snacks each day, but they don’t seem to know or care that the nutritional value of what they serve is nil. Accordint to the FDA, senior citizens need two and a half to three cups of fruit per day (we get four ounces of juice at breakfast), three to four cups of vegetables per day, (does six tater tots amount to a cup of veggies?) I forget how many ounces of protein (beans and hot dog?) but since most of the meat served here is so hard it is fossilized and can’t be eaten without danger of tooth loss. I have managed to avoid most of it by binging in my own food that includes fresh fruit ad canned or frozen veggies that I heat in the community microwave, located in the dining room.
I’ve been waiting until most people are in bed to eat mealsl. The reason for this is that everyone is hungry. Even waiting until midnight doesn’t mean I can heat my food and eat in peace though. it never fails to draw a crowd and I end up doling it out to all who show up, granted in small quantities that don’t fill any of us, but at least I can come back to my room and eat snacks and fruit to complete the meals. It just means I am running out of money very quickly. One of the night staff noticed all the hungry people and has contributed what she can, but administration has come very close to calling me a liar when I told them the food is not adequate or nourishing. One of the people at my table told me one night, after eating what I brought out that it felt wonderful to be able to go to bed with a full stomach for a change. I am wondering if I can move out of here and leave them behind, knowing the situation. I’ve spoken with our Ombudsman who attempted to set up a meeting with administration about the food situation but the meeting hasn’t taken place yet. I’ve spoken with the building owner who denied any problems here before launching into a description of his horse farm. ( have heard since then that he has a few ponies, Not sure how that turned into a horse farm, but…) He told me I can always move out to the street if I don’t like it here. This was before I got the word from the place I have been trying to get into for two years, so I can hang in for a few more weeks/hours/seconds.
Okay, enough complaining for the day. It’s cold here but other places have lower temps than we do. We just don’t have the same weather long enough to get accustomed to it so the constant changes from warm to frigid to a heat wave to monsoons to snow and/or ice keep us all unsettled. I’m eagerly awaiting spring, even if it means more rain, and then some wonderful Autumn weather. I avoided summer on purpose. Here in the Ohio Valley we have high humidity that is sometimes equal to the temperature so for me summer has never been a great season. There are days that are exceptional, humidity lower that normal and a dryer heat but those days are few and far between. (I once heard my brother-in-law, born and raised in Colorado, complaining about the high humidity they were having — 13%! He refuses to visit KY in the summer where our low is more in the area of 65 to 75%.)
These are three of the quilts I am/have made this year. They will go to some foster children in the area. My way of keeping sane!