Pictures

The natural progression here would be pictures.

I didn’t grow up in a picture household.  When I was young, they had to take a picture with an actual camera.  Then there was expensive film that had to be expensively developed and pictures were not my mom’s thing.  My dad had no opinion.  I kinda inherited a little of both of those things.   But I dutifully took pictures on every vacation, first with cameras and now, easily with phone.

But when do I look at them?  Why do I have them?  And I can guarantee that no one else looks at them now  or will care in the future.  But I can’t just throw them away recklessly, right?  So tomorrow I’m starting the ugly progress of scanning them into my cloud account.  That way, when I disappear, they disappear.  Sounds like a plan, right?

I hope this  cloud thing is not just a fad.

 

Old stuff

I have a big box full stuff from my childhood & going through it yesterday I wonder why we save so much stuff.  It’s been in the box for 40 years.  And other than an occasional trip down memory lane it has no purpose.

My Barbie & Ken are in there.  I got them for Christmas in 1964.  They both came in their bathing suits & Mom had made each of them a wardrobe.  I don’t have any original mom-made clothes anymore.  I think I gave them to my niece for her Barbie.  And Barbie does not have her original head.  She came with a red ponytail and Barbie pin curls in the front.  I took her ponytail down to give her long hair but there was not enough hair and she had bald spots.  Then it would not go back up.  So somehow, somewhere she ended up with short brown hair.  Ken is original and has painted on hair.  I do have the pattern that Barbie wardrobe was made from.  This is my barbie, from a stock photo.  I remembered her hair being darker red.

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My two baby dolls were in the box too.  One was Connie, in a homemade by my mom dress.  She was my first baby.  Her feet have dog chew marks from being left outside.  And I don’t remember the other baby’s name.  I’m a bad mom.

And some stuffed animals.  The brown dog my sister Cathy gave me when I had chicken pox.  And a red & white dog my Daddy gave me for Valentines one day.  And a striped tiger my Daddy gave me from the hospital gift shop when I had a hysterectomy at age 31.   And a teddy bear wearing an ‘I Love Las Vegas’ t shirt from my first trip to Vegas.

There is a Native American penny bank bought from a Native American trading post on the old Route 66 when I was a little girl.  They were called & called themselves Indians back then. She is very un-Pc now.  We traveled the road several times between Arizona & Texas and we’d always begged to stop at the trading posts.  My dad would always say we had to keep moving.  As a child, this may have been the only time we ever stopped at the trading posts.  There are less of them now but some are still there and I always stop at at least one.

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And the coolest gift I ever got.  My first radio, all my own, for my 12th birthday in 1969.  It’s AM only has been dropped and for some odd reason I remember orange cake batter landing on it when I was making a cake.  It lasted me through lots of baths and dish washing.  Dang, I loved that radio.  I saw one of these “antiques” on a TV show recently.

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I’m a minimalist.  I don’t see the value of a lot of stuff.  Don’t get me wrong, I live in a home with furniture and pictures on the wall but no expensive decorations.  I have some angels but I don’t consider it a collection.  I used to have a collection of bears but gave them away over the years.  As a single person, I worry about my poor nephew cleaning out the crap in my house and rarely buy or even own a thing without thinking about that.  Plus I’ve discovered that the person with most stuff just has the most stuff.  It doesn’t make them happier. But these few things meant something to me, even if I don’t look at them everyday.  And they’ll not mean a thing to Steve.  I guess there is comfort that he can throw them all away with emotion.  I called it a big box but it’s really a small amount of stuff.  Marked as important, for me anyway.

 

Streaming & TV

TV is mostly crap.  I watch some things but not much. And when I like a show, it’s normally cancelled pretty quick, like clockwork.  Low ratings, someone decides to sexyally harass every person of the opposite sex on the set or someone gets a big head & thinks they are too good for the show.  So basically, I don’t get attached to anything, on regular TV anyway.  Streaming & cable shows are only a tad better.  What I’ve discovered is that I have absolutely no patience for episodic TV.  I want to watch the entire thing in a binge.  And I’m not alone.

I’m sorta breaking my rule.  I am binging the entire first season of  ‘The Rookie’.  It’s about a 40 year old LAPD rookie played by a 48 year old Nathan Fillion.  The age difference makes it better when he’s dating a 28 year old.  Don’t get me started on that.  But I’m loving it, it has a great cast and a mixture of fun and drama.  I’m on episode 6 or so & there are 20 total I think.  I’m sure there will be a cliffhanger and then I’m going to be really mad at myself that I have to wait an entire year to see all of season 2.

And this week I’ll be all caught up on ‘Luther’.  I watched all seasons but the last on Prime and have the 4 episodes from this season recorded from BBC.  And I’m sure there will be a cliffhanger and then I’m going to be really mad at myself.

 

 

 

Alone

I’ve always known I’m an anomoly.   I think it should be obvious to my family and friends but sometimes I’m hugely surprised that it’s not.

I’m almost 62.  Except for a few “minutes” as the kids call it now, I’ve lived alone for all of my adult life.  Never married.  No roommates since college.  My dad lived with me in my house the last 3 years of his life.  I stayed with a friend for about a month once.  But that’s it.   So it’s all I’ve ever known.   But even I get that people are not meant to be alone.  But it happens. And it’s so foreign to some that I don’t understand them sometimes any more  than they understand me.

My sweet daddy, when he lived with me in those last 3 years, used to try to walk around in the dark in the early morning because he did not want to waste electricity.  He was a teenager in the depression and grew up poor.  And when he married my mom, who could personally balance the federal budget in a week, he never saw a bill.  He literally brought home his paycheck, gave it to her, got $20 for pocket money & one check for his wallet.  And if he spent the check, he needed to bring home a receipt or he could not have another check.  But he never even saw a bill or knew what they had in the bank until my mom died.   And even then, I’d write the checks & give him his same $20 & he’d personally deliver the checks.  He did have checks for groceries and gas and could always get cash from the bank so for the record, I did not leave him high and dry.   But there is a point to this.  One day I was teasing him about walking around in the dark & he asked me, “Do you even know how much your electricity bill is?”.   At the time, I’d lived on my own for about 30 years.   I was actually dumbfounded, a rarity for me.  Who did he think paid my bills?  For everything in my life?

Today I talked to my elderly uncle.  We were discussing supper, something that is standard fare for old people.  I told him I was making a steak and baked potato for my supper.  “By yourself?” he asked.   I told him yes, and he was amazed that I’d cook for myself.   What he, and most people who have people, doesn’t understand is that I share a meal probably 2 times every month with another human.  I eat out only then.  Maybe one day a week or so I bring home something from a drive thru.  And every other meal I prepare & eat at home. Alone.   The thing I miss most in the world is sharing a meal with a family.  Too many don’t take advantage of that meal every day.  I sure wish I could.

It’s a different era and there are more of us loners.  But some will never get it and good for them.  I’ve adjusted to alone and even though it’s not my choice, I’m ok.

 

Country Girl

I was watching some judge show today and there was a couple suing a contractor because they wanted him to build them a $15,000 tree house.  Part of me was jealous because never in my life have I had $15k to do something so frivolous.  But most of me felt bad that they lived in a city where something that cool had to be ordered from a contractor.  Who needed a permit.    In the country, we find a semi-sturdy tree, find some scrap wood, a hammer & some nails.   Then we’d build a make shift ladder, get a sleeping bag and sleep up there, hoping if we had to get up in the middle of the night we’d remember where we were.

We went to NYC last year and it was interesting and on the go and had something to do 24/7.  But I feel sorry for all who have not had the chance to sit on the porch and shell peas with their mom and aunts and grandmothers.  (Although to be honest, not MY grandmother but I did have mom and aunts).   They never had the chance to feed a newborn calf or piglet with a bottle.  Never been chased by a big old dumb turkey.  Or feed watermelon to a horse.  Never got to sit with mom in the kitchen and make plum jelly from the plums we picked from the creek bed.

I live in a city now and I’m ok with it but I miss the ranch I grew up on.  And the people who lived there while I did.

 

Another Dreams Perspective

Ok, I’m on a roll.

I have a dear friend that about 7 years quit her full time, well paying job to start her own business.  She was and still is optimistic that it’s going to take of but 7 years later it still has not taken off.  She’s spent all her money.  She’s lost her home.  She has a ton of inventory and very few jobs. Every month is a huge challenge for her. And I worry about her all of the time.

Don’t get me wrong.  Corporate life is not for everyone.  I did it because I felt I had responsibilities.  And I don’t do well without security.   That comes from watching my grandparents have nothing and live on a pittance from Social Security.  It would have been disastrous without their kids.   And my friend was miserable.  In some ways, I admire her for going for it and following her dream.  And in other ways I worry about her all of the time.

She seems fine with everything.  I’m the one with the issues.

I hope for huge success in her future.

My Dreams

In part 2 of my “dreams” musings, I have to say I can’t remember when I had any.   I’m 61 and have been officially retired since 2010 from the job I had for 25 years over a 30 year period.  I have worked for a few places since but have basically never found another place that I fit in.  Truth is, I’m not sure I ever fit in anywhere.  I’ve been at a few jobs, made a few superficial friends & a few really good friends.   But I’ve never fit in anywhere.  And not just in jobs.

That aside, growing up I always wanted to be a nurse.  In retrospect, it may not have worked out because I have an issue with smells & there are a lot of smells in hospitals.  But that’s the dream I’m going with.   When I graduated from high school, Texas Tech did not have a nursing school.  The closest was in Abilene, 3 hours from home.  I didn’t have a car and was not familiar with Abilene so my fears stopped me from going.  Coming to Tech, I never knew what else I wanted to be.  I finally graduated with a BS (on so many levels) in Family Studies, with a minor goal of being a counselor.  But that would have required more school which I was not prepared to do.

The year after I graduated, I got hired by Southwestern Bell.   It’s not the same now but when I started, it was a company that a lot of people worked at all of their lives.  I can’t say that was my intention but after a couple of years I was making good money that didn’t happen many places for a person with a degree in family counseling.  Actually, it’s pretty funny the degrees in my office…political science, theater arts, botany…and none of us intended to stay all our lives but then we looked up and had stayed all our lives.  Basically, we couldn’t afford to leave and complacency set it.  My hiccup was in 1984 when SWBT was divested from AT&T parent company and I made the wrong choice.  I went with AT&T.  My job was not really different but I moved to San Antonio, about 6 hours away from my parents and I was never meant to see my mom twice a year.  I didn’t have it in me.   So I quit and came home.  After a 4 year stint as a police dispatcher, I went back to SBC (new name) and worked there til retirement day.   And if I ever had a thought of leaving, and I’m not sure I ever did, I always knew that I’d be the person taking care of my parents in the old age.   I had 2 sisters but one died in 1970 and the other in 1997.  And my parents raised a grandson, who was great at boy jobs and has always done anything I’ve asked of him.  But the responsibility has always been mine.  And I’m not griping.  I’d do it now still if they were here.  I wish they were.

So after retirement and the loss of my parents, I was set adrift.  I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I have no one to take care of.  I have not had a full time job since 2015.  I had a brief and stupid sabbatical to Las Vegas.  I worked at a grocery store part time.  I got my real estate license. I’ve lived off of savings and monthly retirements but have not touched 401k.  Yeah me!!

In 2007, I moved my dad from his home to the big city to my house.  He was 92 and I worried about him living alone.  My mom had died in 2003.   I’d hired a builder in 1998 to build my home and I was so proud of it.  He had the plan but I got to pick out everything & I loved it.  But the strange thing is, when my dad moved it it ceased to be my home.  I got rid of furniture I didn’t like & built on another room and for some reason, it was never right again.  And again, I’d take my dad or mom over anything.   After Daddy died, the feeling never went away.  I sold the house in 2013.  And since then, I’ve lived places but never again had a home.  Another element of being adrift.

Lately as my savings have dwindled I’ve been in a minor–panic is not the right word.  I don’t tend to panic–but a trepidation about money.  I’m fine.  I have enough.  But without anything going in, all lit goes is down.   I filed for early Social Security this week and it starts in October.  I just got my OK letter a couple of days ago and all I’ve been able to think about is that I’m going to be ok.  I can keep some of the savings, I’ll make enough to replenish slowly.   I’m going to be OK!!

I’m trying to find ways to use my time.  My real estate license is inactive but will still in effect.  I had 3 sales last year but I spent as much as I made.  I live in a town that has 1400 realtors and not everyone eats.  At the first of the year I evaluated the fees and decided I was throwing good money.  Homes are not like candles.  My friends have homes and are unlikely to need another soon.  And as I discussed, my friend pool is a little shallow.

My goal is work at the food bank 2 times a month.  I cook at home and eat out rarely.  I have tomatoes in my garden.  My house is clean.  Once a week or so I do go out to eat with a friend.  I’m working hard to save money so in 2020 I’ll be able to buy a house again, my last one.  I’m kind of a family joke (and I laugh the loudest) because since I came back from Las Vegas in 2015 I’ve moved 3 times.  My niece says “Aren’t you tired of moving?”  Yes I am.  My nephew snickers about me moving.  But one more move and I’m done.  And I mean it!!

To paraphrase Mary Tyler Moore theme, I’m going to make it after all.