Sunday, September 27, 2020

Talking to Myself Forty-One

 Red zinnia from our flower garden, thanks to Janet for flowers and photos /summer 2020

Talking to Myself Forty-One September 27, 2020

The thing about aging is that it’s so slow.

Slow to get sick and slow to heal. I walk

slowly. I work slowly. It takes me longer 

to get dressed, to bathe, to eat, to gather

the trash or start the wash. And I put

off mopping the kitchen floor. I accept

help even when I don’t need it. Easier

than arguing, and then I know I won’t fall 

down. I didn’t used to worry about

falling, didn’t use a cane. I still don’t 

like it, but then I fell and got a black

eye. Another fall broke three toes. So

I use a cane. I still don’t like it, but it

might prevent a fall. At night I sleep

with the lights on and use a walker to

the bathroom. I did get a haircut so I 

don’t look as old as I am, and I think

it helps. Slowly, I can do more and

not get sick. Slowly I proof and

publish more books. The main thing

is to keep walking, keep working,

rest as needed, but don’t stop.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Talking to Myself Forty

     A Teen's Christmas in Wales. Pub date: November 15, 2020

Talking to Myself Forty September 20, 2020

For Dr. Cohen

Some days are hard and wear me out.

Other days I float through, even though

I dreaded them. Going to the eye doctor

during a pandemic I’d delayed for three

months, but they gave me an appointment

right away, the same week, and Janet

said, “I’ll drive.” So driving home with

dilated eyes wouldn’t be a problem. I

said, “Yes, if you’re sure.” We waited

an hour. I love that Doctor Cohen, and

he remembered me. “Writing any books

lately?” I told him about The Teen’s

Christmas in Wales. “Good, good,” he

said. I said I was teaching, too. “Keep

it up,” he said. They took pictures of

the back of my eyes. He seemed to 

approve of what he saw. He looked

and looked for himself at the back of

my eyes. Then he said, “Your eyes

are good, and these glasses are okay,

too.” The ones that got bent when I

fell last November. True, I’d been reading

with them. Still, I’d worried. Janet

had waited and drove us home, gave

Wag a little time outside and then went

off to her next job. All the rest of the

day, I kept thinking: My eyes are good. 

My glasses are good.


Sunday, September 13, 2020

Talking to Myself Thirty-Nine

 Thanks to Janet Wyatt, a white cosmos from our garden.

Talking to Myself Thirty-Nine September 13, 2020

I never know what’s going to 

keep me awake, but it’s usually

at two a.m. Maybe worrying

about the ballot. We’re doing it

absentee this year and witnessing

each other’s. I read all the instructions

twice, and we’re going to drive ours

right to the Board of Elections

because we don’t trust our president

not to cheat or try some other act

of the dictator, even more obvious

than trying to ruin the postal service.

Once I’m awake, there’s not

much I can do but get up and

make breakfast and then sleep

another hour or two later, and 

reread the directions. The main

things turned out to be simple,

and we did receive our ballots. 

Who would have thought ten years

ago that our president wouldn’t

want us to vote? If you’re a worrier, 

two a.m. is bound to be a problem

once in awhile. Except for that,

I sleep like a log.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Talking to Myself Thirty-Eight

    Naked Ladies/Tiger Lilies

Talking to Myself Thirty-Eight September 6, 2020

Summer is winding down. The naked

ladies have begun their rise as the air

cools. Some call them tiger lilies, but

I like naked ladies. They always 

surprise me. The zinnias hold their

own a few feet away, and some

determined cosmos. When you’re

eighty-three, you heal so slowly,

but my helpers confirm: I’m looking

better, I’m coming down the back

stairs with more ease and grace.

We’ve lost our heat index days.

I can work harder, longer. I rarely

fall. My body’s slow to heal, but

it does heal. My new book was

approved. And in the wider world

where it has become so hard to

hope, we have good news. The

big industrial polluters are being

slowed and even stopping. They

told us that all we have to do is

last one day longer, and we did.

In a pandemic it’s hard to believe

in any victory, any pause in 

pollution and devastation. Yet

quietly and without fanfare it

arrives, and the naked ladies

join in the zinnia chorus with its

pinks, oranges, multiple reds,

yellows and even greens.