What a week it has been!
Saturday, March 16
I hosted my high school girl friends for lunch. We meet every three or four months for lunch. This time, it was my turn to host at my house. Thankfully, my dear friend Dove, here from Vermont for the party, co-hosted with me. We had so much fun decorating the table, ordering the food, and rearranging the house to accommodate everyone.
The group follows a few routines. First things first. Margaritas are made so we can toast one of our classmates that started the group. She is no longer with us, but we remember her and all the others whom have passed with a toast. As we get older, I notice we also toast that we are all still able to get together to make a toast to the past, the present, and future.
We then take a photo of the group. We do this right after the toast so we don’t forget to take a photo.
New Learning and A Word About These Photos:
I took them using my Nikon DSL3200 on the timer setting. Woot woot! That took some doing. I had to find the tripod. I then had to find the “how to” guidebook for my camera. I then had to find the do-jiggy or whatchamacallit to attach the camera to the tripod. The camera guidebook. was found, but was of no help. Friend Donna came to my rescue. We read the camera guidebook together after I found my glasses. Then, I said, “Let’s consult Google.” Thanks to Google, and Donna, and me finally following the directions correctly, we got a couple of photos.
This folks is why it takes me so long to get anything done. I am trying to keep track of where I put things while also trying to keep up with technology. No wonder I am get so little done.
Before the day was done, I took a photo of my dear Dove whom had helped me put this party together. I guess you could say we were deconstructing the day when I took the photo. This girl, one of my dearest friends, had her birthday the next day. Of course, I could not help but remember that she is the one whom introduced my husband to me by having him invite me to her sixteenth birthday party. We have a long and precious history and connection with each other. She remains a woman who personifies youth, vitality, and friendship. I am so grateful I have her in my life.
Sunday, March 17
Friend Donna and I made plans for brunch so that we could get a bit more visiting done. We brought our husbands along. She wanted to tap into a memory that she hoped my husband would have of a car accident they both survived over fifty years ago. She asked him for details. He had no real memories of it. She asked who was sitting on his lap when the car flipped and gave him a couple of names to see if he could remember. In true Jim fashion, he said, “I don’t remember, but I hope it was ___(the cutest one with the best personality)_______.” We laughed at that.
After brunch, we went for a walk in Garden of the Gods. Winter has been long, and it has been even longer since I had walked in one of my favorite places. Jim reminded me that Sundays are crowed at the Garden of the Gods, but I insisted we go anyway. It was crazy crowded with people, dogs off leash, and babies in strollers, and small children running and nearly tripping us. I said, “This is not a nature walk. This feels like the mall.” Jim said, “No it doesn’t; the malls are dead.”
Just look at that blue sky! Blue skies, red rocks, make magnificent combinations.
My other favorite sight to behold is this old girl, Pikes Peak. I love the view of her from Garden of the Gods. Some call her America’s Mountain, but she is my mountain. I grew up in her shadow and have felt that her arms have embraced me throughout my life.
Beloved friends and places conjure up powerful memories that have an almost spiritual aspect to them. Somehow, when one is with those beloved friends, or in beloved places, the memories made in youth and beyond meld into the memories being made in the present creating an alloy of memories with a transcendent quality.
Monday, March 18
8:30 a.m., I report to the hospital for a 9:00 treadmill stress test. I pass with flying colors. I am grateful.
Afterwards, I treat myself to breakfast at Wooglins, a favorite place of mine where I always get the very best quiche I have ever had. They will be closing at some point in the near future and that makes me sad. I love the quirkiness and down home feel of this place. It is usually buzzing with college students, but I am there between the breakfast lunch rush and nearly have the place to myself. I leisurely ate my breakfast, sipped my coffee, and read the paper.
It is reassuring to pass stress tests when one is in the eighth decade of life.I feel stronger and more healthy after doing so well on the test. The old ticker is working just like it should despite the arrhythmias I experience that sometimes make me worry that something isn’t working right. I am better at trusting the pacemaker to correct the rhythms of my heart. Knowing that my exercised heart recovers quickly builds great confidence as I pursue walking and exercising as a more regular practice.
Things never stay the same. The hospital where I had the test is built on the site where the hospital where I was born once stood. Thankfully, the old one is gone, and we now have a state of the art hospital in its place.
Progress happens. So sometimes one's favorite places, like Wooglins, must make room for progress as Colorado College expands its campus.
Tuesday, March 19
More doctor appointments. One with a skin doctor, the other with the breast doctor. Mammogram and ultra sound are scheduled because of problems I am having.
Wednesday, March 20
Pilates at the YMCA at 9:00 in the morning means I have to get up and going earlier than usual. This is a good thing. I am doing Pilates on the reformer again. I love Pilates because it helps me so much with my chronic pain in the sciatica, and in my shoulders. Making a commitment to be there exercising each week by paying money for classes keeps me focused on making this a regular practice.
I love the Y where I go because it was built when my children were young and we were charter members. It always makes me feel like I am home when I am there. On the way in, I say “hello” and exchange pleasantries with a friend whom I have known all my life. He is probably at least eight years older than I. His mother was my grandmother’s best friend. Now, crippled and bent over from arthritis, he can no longer stand upright, but he is at the Y three for four times a week riding the bike. We usually meet as he comes in while I am leaving. He inspires me.
In the afternoon, I join my dear prayer partners for prayer. We join our hearts together in prayer every two weeks. I love these ladies. We’ve been prayer partners for years now, and we’ve seen prayers answered in amazing and powerful ways. We are changed by praying as we learn to trust God more and ourselves less.
Exercise your body and your faith. Both will become stronger when you exercise them.
Thursday, March 21
I attended Pilates at 10:00 at the Y so I could make up a session I missed last week because of the snow storm. At 11:30, I had a massage. I then wanted to just take a long nap for the rest of the day. I didn’t though. I rested. Drank a cup of tea. And then I got my chores done.
In the evening, my husband and I attended a workshop presented by a local ministry which we support called Mercy’s Gate to help us understand poverty in our community among our working poor. It was informative and sobering.
Self care can take place in different ways. Exercise and massage are so important to me at this stage of life. I am grateful that I am able to give myself the gift of both exercise and massage. I am also grateful to know self care is not indulgent. It is necessary to good physical, mental, and spiritual health. It took me a lifetime to learn this.
The memory of living below the poverty line when I was a single mother is very vivid. I hope to become more involved in helping others whom are working full-time jobs and yet are considered the “working poor.”
Friday, March 22
Jim was off work. We had a slow morning. Then we took a long, slow walk through the neighborhood. It felt so good to walk together with the dog in the neighborhood. Cloudy skies threatened rain, but it didn’t arrive until later in the day.
In the afternoon, after our morning walk, I had a follow-up appointment with cardiology to get the test results I had already read in my patient portal. I love seeing the PA. She is always so sweet, and informative, and supportive. She tells me to send in a home reading from my pacemaker so she can check my arrhythmias. She wants to make sure that recent incidents aren’t showing new findings.
While I was doctoring, Jim ran errands and picked up things at the store for me. We then went to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican food places which is closing tomorrow night. I am sad. I love their cheese enchiladas with green chili. I love the ambiance. Where will I go now to get my Friday night Mexican food fix? We’ve spent many Friday night date nights here.
See Monday’s lesson. Nothing stays the same. Enjoy each day as it comes. When old things or places go away, find new ones. Life remains something to be explored.
The week was filled with a lot of pain from my autoimmune condition that is of yet not fully diagnosed. One doctor diagnoses fibromyalgia. Another says Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Testing continues. In the meantime, I carry on as best I can.
During the week, I also spent one evening reading Sarah Bessey’s Field Notes. How does that woman do all she does in a month? How does she read so many books and articles and keep up with her writing too? She is my hero. I read some of the articles that she referenced in her monthly field notes. I felt myself realizing how much I missed my daughter Julie. She would have loved discussing with me what I was reading from Sarah Bessey. She would have got it. She was one I always had the most interesting conversations with regarding reading, writing, thinking about life, and exploring new ideas. She had such a bright mind. She was so well read. She could synthesize what she read and relate it to other things she was learning.
I am reading:
The Bible (I’m reading the Bible in a year by following a plan narrated by Daily Audio Bible.)
Women Rowing North
by Mary Pipher.
I Was Anastasia
by Ariel Lawhon
A Million Little Ways
by Emily P. Freeman
I finished reading:
by John Banville.
Major Lessons Learned This Week:
Grief is ever present.
The loss of a loved one creates a hole that is never filled in one’s heart.
Despite that, I continue to live day by day in the most healthy way I can, but sometimes I remember just how much I miss that dear sweet daughter I lost nearly nine years ago, and I weep.
I hope she would be proud of me if I told her about my week because she would see that I am still living as well as I can.
I guess that this Saturday summary was really written for her. I think I can almost hear her say, “Good job, Mamacita.”
And it was written for me too. It was written to show myself that I am making progress in trying to live a more physically healthy lifestyle while working to maintain the health I that I currently have in the best way that I can.
The great lesson of the week is: keep on keeping on. Live life as well as you can every day that you can.