I am the youngest in a family of six siblings. We are all different in so many ways and eerily similar in others.
My eldest sister Denise phoned me yesterday to see how retirement was coming along. We spoke for a couple of hours. It was great to hear her voice, especially since she was sounding really good. Denise has been battling serious health issues for the past few years, so not all of her days are good ones.
As sisters, Denise and I have rather a unique relationship. She was married by the time I was two and a mother by the time I was three. I do not remember a time when we lived under the same roof as ‘family’. Once she married, she also moved a lot – generally far away. I have not spent a lot of time with her over the years.
Denise and I are different in a number of ways. I love elephants, Denise loves butterflies. Denise is exceptionally organized, me not so much. We grew up in different decades, with different music, different styles, and different social standards.
Although we grew up in such different times and so far apart, the funny thing is that we have so much in common. We both had disastrous first marriages. We could both easily live the life of a hermit. We both love nature. The weirdest thing is that when we do see or speak to each other, we will both be listening to the same music, reading the same book, or sharing a common interest that we would never have imagined.
I love all four of my sisters and my brother but I have a special place in my heart for Denise. We share a common bond, which is so very strange because as ‘sisters’ we have never shared much bonding time.
For years I have been doing battle with a typical retractable water hose. I would wrestle the miserable thing out to our front lawn while it would try to retract every time I got a foot further.
When I eventually finished watering, one quick tug and the hose would retract at a manageable steady pace – theoretically. In reality, one quick tug and either nothing happened or fifty feet of solid hose would shoot back to the reel at a hundred miles an hour. If it was the latter, I had my choice of holding on for dear life or letting go. Letting go was not the best option.
Years ago, we started seeing advertisements for an expandable, lightweight cloth hose.
My husband and I would go to the garden centre every spring and I would see these expanding hoses. I would reach for one and my husband would say “you don’t want that do you?”. I would assure him that I did want that – at least to give it a try. At this point, I would get his whole speech extolling the virtues of our sociopathic retractable hose – with a bonus speech on operator error.
On Friday, we went to a discount store to pick up some economy (disposable) paint brushes that I can use for painting our planters. I saw my dream hose – on sale – in a discount store! I snatched it up and stormed the til to pay for it before Dan could talk me out of it.
My ‘Amazing Hose’ is amazing! It is lightweight, manageable, easy to extend, and easy to put away. The nozzle on it is equally amazing. I have purchased half a dozen nozzles in the past twenty years – some cheap, some stupid pricey. I did not love any of them. I love my new nozzle. My new hose and nozzle are perfect! I do not get to be right very often – but this time, I nailed it. (We won’t discuss the ‘Easey Peazey jar opener’ 🙄)
I had so much time left over from watering plants yesterday that I cleaned up our bird feeder and put fresh seed out for the birds. 🐦
Yesterday, our grandson Lucas turned five years old. My son and his family live hours away from here so we were not able to celebrate in person. We sent Lucas some cash for his birthday. (My son said Lucas was very excited and wanted to spend it on a power tool for them to share – I do not think so😂.) Dan was at work, but I video called Lucas to wish him a Happy Birthday. We discussed his breakfast (pancakes with strawberries). We also played a few two person video games. It took me a bit to catch onto them but we got there. It was not an inperson visit but we both had fun!
Today would have been my Mother’s birthday. She passed away in April of 2013 one month short of her 95th birthday. Mom lived in a nursing home for her final five years. My daughter and I would often go to visit her and take her out for Sunday brunch. She loved to visit with her great-grandchildren and show them off to the staff and other residents in her home. She also loved it when we brought her flowers to brighten up her room. (Even the time we forgot to pick up a bouquet on our way out of town so had to pick wild flowers in the ditch along the way😂)
I would love to be able to call my Mom and wish her a Happy Birthday, but honestly I am glad for her that she is not here. I am happy that her life ended peacefully, with family by her side. I am glad that she was not here to experience any part of this Covid 19 pandemic.
Today I received an email from our veterinarian. The email came to my email address but it was actually directed to my little dog, Kat. Apparently her birthday is today – who knew! I always think of her birthday as being the day in June, seven years ago, when she came to live with us.
Another day with Dan off to work for twelve hours. For the most part I would rather have him here, mostly because he would not be out at that virus infested plant right now, but also because I miss his company.
The one thing that I do not particularly miss when Dan is off to work is the noise. Dan is one of those people who gets up in the morning and turns on the television. He comes in from work and he turns on the television. In the summer, he has a television in the house and one in the garage. From morning to night, when he is home, we have noise in stereo.
I love silence, although pure silence is virtually impossible to achieve. As I sit here, Kat is snoring, the refrigerator is humming, the clock is ticking, the wind is blowing, the birds are chirping, and occasionally I hear a vehicle drive by. I can handle all that as it is just muffled background noise.
Television, is just noise – some shows worse than others. Mostly Dan watches the worst ones. In the evening, he will watch law enforcement shows like “Live PD”, “Ultimate Wrestling”, “Dragon’s Den”, or “Forged in Fire” (to name a few). Generally he flips from one to another. Eventually, he falls asleep on the couch with a death grip on the remote. 🙄
The thing with silence is, if you get tired of it, you can fill it with sound. The thing with noise is, you cannot fill it with anything. It is just there, destroying the silence. I miss Dan when he is working, his television – not so much. 🥺
Granddaughter Genie stopped by for a short surprise visit yesterday with her younger siblings. It is a bad time to socialize but we did our best to keep physically distanced. Nobody was happy about the no huggs and kisses policy but they all complied.
Genie has been working a lot at Superstore these last few weeks. They are making things better for store clerks – shorter hours to allow for extra cleaning and stocking, limited customers at one time, special shopping hours for seniors and for store staff, sneeze guards to protect cashiers and wage bonuses for all staff. So grateful to their powers that be that they realize how important their staff is to them and to us all!
It was great to see Rory, Maddy and Prim. With Mom and Genie working lots of hours, Rory is stepping up to cover a lot of the house cleaning. Maddy is growing up fast. She is helping out with cooking and baking. Prim is doing her part to keep things lively and helping where she can – no doubt keeping the dogs, cat and turtle on their toes.
A few things of note:
1) They are all great kids and it’s amazing how they pull together to help out.👍
2) We miss them all – thank goodness for technology that keeps families in contact while we are kept apart.📲
3) It is really hard to keep physically distanced in our little house. Going forward – no visits until it is warm enough to visit outside. Fortunately, we have a huge yard and warm weather is coming. 🌲
4) I am now pretty much out of gummy bears, toffee and Pepsi. 😂
5) Rory was as happy as the girls😊. I just caught him at a serious moment. (Probably when Genie and I made fun of him for referencing ‘Fifty Shades of Blue’). Apparently he hasn’t seen the movie. If it is a sequel to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ that is no doubt a good thing.
Technology has made major strides in my lifetime. I do not claim that it is all for the betterment of society but some of it is definitely good. In these days of ‘social distancing’ it is proving to be truly great in some ways.
One of my favourite aspects of technology, as a parent and grandparent, is the ability to receive photos and video clips at the press of a button – even when we are separated from family by geographical distance or ‘social distancing’ meant to keep, us and them, safe.
When I was a young child, my earliest photos were black and white – on films that were sent away for expensive processing. By the time I was in elementary school, my photos were in color, taken by instamatic cameras and still sent away for processing. By high school we had Polaroids that printed out instantly – the quality left much to be desired and the film was expensive, but they were quick.
When my children were preschoolers, I had my first experience with digital photos. They were done at a booth in a mall and printed on a dot matrix printer. They were black and white, relatively economical, and instantaneous. I framed them and they hung on my livingroom wall for twenty some years. I have them packed away in a box at the bottom of my closet amidst my other treasured memorabilia from their younger days.
It is so nice to have the ability to quickly, easily and economically share photos and videos with family and friends. At this point in time – it is priceless💝