Sunday, December 29, 2019
Judy by Hydrangea Bush Summer 2019. Photo by Doug
Talking to Myself Two December 29, 2019
I used to do it a lot–all the time.
My own soul was my last resort. I do
listen now, but I still consult my
good sense, my deeply lodged intuition.
I’ve trusted it more than anything else.
If It insisted I go to Russia, I borrowed
money and I went. I was never sorry
that I listened to my own voice first.
What other voice could I trust more
than that? As I age, the other voices
grow more insistent: I should listen
to them, trust them, but take my own
consequences. I fell days before I was
to fly to Russia, but the doctor said
I was fine. Good to go. I went. My
back healed, and I forgot about it.
I never break any bones. Now I
have to get back to my walking. It
keeps me heart-healthy. I fell nearly
six weeks ago. Time to climb back
on the horse. Practice putting my
heels first, use the cane. Why not?
Practice walking slowly until it’s
routine, normal. I don’t like the cane,
but it does help me keep my steady
pace. No more running and
then falling for me.
Sunday, December 22, 2019
Winter solstice night, December 21, left to right, Terry Hogan, Tim, their son, and Judy Hogan. Photo by Virginia Ewing Hudson
Talking to Myself One December 22, 2019
It’s a priority now to talk
to myself first. People I love
want me to do as they say,
but I hold them off. “First,
I have to talk to myself. Say
whatever you like, but first, I
must talk to myself.” Funny,
how my authority dims as
I add years. Sometimes I have
to stand up and fight. Then go
off in a corner and think what
I’d better do. My plan worked
out. All that money went to
fix my car. New tires, new
hoses, new steering column
fluid. $800 gone in a flash,
but my truck works again.
When my ex-husband came
to visit, I got quiet. I’d been
miserable in that marriage.
He said his family did too
much harm so he would
stay away so he couldn’t
do any. I never knew he
felt that way. He seemed
happy to meet his grandchildren,
to see me and offer to help.
“What can I do?” “Nothing.
Make yourself at home.”
But as I gathered plates,
he took them out of my
hands. He wanted to hug me.
“I’ll be gone when you come
out of the bathroom,” he said.
But he was still here as they
set up his phone to get him
back to his motel. Maybe
he wanted to get lost. The
grandchildren want him to
return, and maybe he will.
Sunday, December 15, 2019
This photo taken in April 2017 as we celebrated Judge Fox of the Superior Court ruling in our favor.
The Late Years Sixty December 15, 2019
For John W., Keely, Therese, Donna, Dean, Sara, and Zack
My plan did work. Steve agreed
to repair the steering column fluid
problem, and I got my truck fixed.
Nearly four weeks I’ve spent healing.
I still tire easily and sleep a lot.
My former husband is driving to see
his granddaughter graduate from
college a semester early. She plans
graduate school to get her master’s.
She wants to be a therapist. I’ve
been one without the degree. So
many people I’ve comforted and
reassured, told “You can do it.” or
“You’re okay.” I will learn to live
with my body and its whims, watch
for warning signs. Even Friday the
thirteenth became benign. Our judge
ruled for us this time. In 2016 she
ruled against us. She finally
understood. Maybe she learned of
our losses: three treasured ones
died of cancer. They did all they
could. Only three of us came to
the November meeting; only I from
this little town; the rest in despair.
The next week eight people came,
mostly from Lee County. We were
locked out. We came here, crowded
around my dining table; laid plans.
December 6. A week later our judge
ruled. Not against us this time but
for us. How rare is justice any more,
but it found us this time: eight of us.
We didn’t mention God, but He or She
Sunday, December 8, 2019
Photo of my mother's mother, Grace Roys in China in 1913, In her lap, Richard, by her, my mother, Margaret.
The Late Years Fifty-Nine December 8, 2019
Each day darker and colder. We enter
Saturn and Saturnalia. Last November
seems so far away. I drove that flock
to Clayton and arrived, despite getting
lost. Drove back in pouring rain, got
rescued by the grandmother and then
scolded: “Don’t you have a son?”
“He’s at work.” “A grandson?” “He’s
in school.” She drove to find me and
I followed her back. It was pouring rain.
They wanted cash. I barely had enough.
On the way home I lost a windshield
wiper, but the hens were processed.
This year’s flock is unmanageable. They
sleep outside at night. They are weeding
the garden. I fell a year ago, also in
November. I’m recovering again. Slowly.
More afraid of falling. She recommended
P.T., and then I fell because my body
wanted to run, and I didn’t. It took weeks
for my black eye to heal. I have to remember.
People do help me. I rarely expect it, and
then they do. A lesson worth learning.
More than I deserve, yet it helps.
Sunday, December 1, 2019
In its early time in my home, this orchid was so lively and beautiful. I need to help it live well again.
The Late Years Fifty-Seven December 1, 2019
Ever since I fell, almost two weeks ago,
life has been so different. I’m not quite
the same person. My left cheek is still
purple. I have one little sore on my right
hand, and one on my left. I sleep ten
hours at a time, wake so slowly. I look
at things as if to learn them thoroughly
and never forget their true nature. I
cover my legs with a warm, soft blanket
and wonder what will be next in my life.
My faithful truck has leaked all its
steering fluid so I can’t drive it. I’m not
in great pain except in my fingers, but
I need them for typing, even for thinking.
I sat with hundreds of other people last
June to hear Louise, my favorite author.
She has hundreds of fans, thousands. I
have my handful, but they’re all treasures.
I thought I’d be healed in a week, but
now it’s nearly two weeks. My faith was
dented, my confidence shaken. I didn’t
want to run, but my body did. I couldn’t
stop, only by falling. Yesterday people
kept helping me. The man at the collection
center did all my work. The young man at
the post office got my truck to move
forward. I had tried, but I couldn’t do it.
Then Tim found the leak, not oil, but
power steering column fluid. Now I can’t
drive it at all. I can call AAA to have it
towed, but who can be trusted to fix it?
What will help me regain my spirit? Resume
my real life? Be my real self? Tim was angry
when I wouldn’t listen to him. I said I needed
to talk to myself first. Will my plan work?