Sunday, September 30, 2012

Take Away 114 - Learning From Others

My neighbor is not long for this world now. When I went over to see her last Sunday and offered to take her out for a stroll in her wheelchair, she just wasn't up to it. I kept my visit short and took note of her spark not being quite as bright. For the most part, since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer it has seemed like she would live forever. That's how it is with terminal illness. It's hard to imagine that from one day to the next things can go downhill in a big hurry.  I would ask her if she had any pain and she emphatically said no. She was bright and cheerful and always glad for my visit. I mostly just listened to her. I will treasure the talks we had these last two months.
Fast forward to day before yesterday. I  dropped in with a dish of bread pudding I had made at her request. She was having difficulty breathing and told me that oxygen was being delivered that afternoon. She scarfed up a bowl of the pudding but her words were jumbled and I didn't have a good feeling about it. The rattle that comes when the lungs start filling up (called by some "the death rattle") was apparent and extremely painful to witness. I didn't stay long. When someone is struggling for air, the last thing they should be doing is trying to talk. She is a talker!
Saturday, when I came home from a morning run out to watch the balloons launch in Prosser, one of her visitors told me she wasn't doing well at all. I rushed over to see her just one more time but she was making no sense and the palliative medication they gave her that morning was working and she quickly fell into slumber. The only thing I could do was get out of the way. Her family was gathered at her place the entire day and into the night.
I think I've done all I can for now. It will never be enough but it will have to do.
I learned a lot from her and I will miss her. When we moved here, she was friendly to us and we had lots of conversations about flowers and herbs. She knew a lot about them. I have a lot of iris growing on my property and every spring she'd say she wanted to have some of the bulbs and, of course I told her to bring a shovel and have at them. She never quite got around to it. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to look at an iris and not think of her.
Which gets me around to my take away. It's a no-brainer really.

TAKE AWAY: Got something you want to do? What are you waiting for?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Take Away 113 - Practice Sitting Still

It has been another crazy, non-stop summer. My plan today is to try to make no plans. This sounds easier than it actually is. So ... since about 7 a.m. today, I just decided to do a little and then sit still for a few minutes. I figure if I practice sitting still, I'll get better at it. In the meantime, I made a pot of steel cut oats and divided it into four little bowls for the next 4 days. I did a little clean-up in my herb garden, putting two 5-gallon buckets in the lawn debris can, I cleaned out a cupboard that's been bugging me all summer, and I scrambled some eggs to take across the street to my dying neighbor who is now totally dependent on others for all her needs. I get the most grateful after a visit with her. The two of us, we've never experienced this day before. I don't want to waste it but I gotta slow down for just a bit.

TAKE AWAY: It's good to practice sitting still.
And, that's about all I can do ... practice.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Take Away 112 - No Rules

So, I was looking back to see what date I started this fun 365 day project. It was September 22, 2011.  Obviously, I haven't completed it with 365 posts and I haven't posted every single day.  It is challenging sometimes to figure out what the take away will be for any given day. 
We were at the beach last weekend. Today, I was reflecting on our time there. Halfway through Saturday, I walked up to camp to grab a bite to eat and decided to lay down to read a little, knowing full-well I would fall asleep. It has taken me 53 years to come up with my "no rules" philosphy. So ... I napped guilt-free.  And it was good!

TAKE AWAY: I need to take an inventory of some of the
stupid "old rules" that are drummed into my head.
It's my life and I'll live it the way I want to, thank you very much.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Take Away 111 - Freezing

We took a very long motorcycle ride to Mt. Rainier yesterday. I really wasn't prepared for the 40 degree weather we encountered. But, we were with a group of people and I had packed a fantastic picnic lunch so we just kept riding as planned. (Thank goodness I remembered the thermos of coffee!) While we got very cold, I didn't freeze to death and have lived to tell the story.

TAKE AWAY: Perseverance and tenacity always usually pays off.
I learned a long time ago that most stuff won't kill me and
that it is often mind over matter that gets me through.
I'm not a sissy!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Take Away 110 - Going Home

I do love going and going. Love to ride motorcycles, ride in the car, take a hike, take an airplane to anywhere. But as much as I love to go, I love coming home even more. My hubby noticed a long time ago that I'm good with going just about anywhere and my head will stay in the moment and enjoy the "now" but once whatever vehicle I'm taking to get there turns around and is pointed towards home, all bets are off. I just wanna get home. Don't really want to stop and dawdle, just take the shortest route home!  It hasn't always been this way.  I just really happen to love my life enough to want it.

TAKE AWAY:  It's good to go, but so nice to want to come home.