Birthday Thoughts

Let me say right up front that over the years only one birthday has bothered me:  my 26th.  No, not 25, 30, 40 even 50, but 26!  I have no idea why other than the idea that I had lived for a quarter of a century.  It just seemed huge!  I was very depressed.  Well, 60 isn’t sitting so well quite frankly.  It marks the point at which you have only 10, maybe 20 years left.  It’s the point where you look back and see what you’ve done with your life, because there’s not much more of it left.

Plus, no one wants you!  I can’t find a job and even when I’m out and about, I see very few women who are my age in the work force overall.  Mostly they are out when I’m out and most look like they have to save money.  Part of this knowledge is based on my doctor of 25 + years telling me over 4 years ago (when I saw her in a state of hysteria, me not her, about the cheating slimebag I was married to) that over half her patients were women my age going through a divorce.  The unifiying element in almost every case was the discovery of viagra by their spouse.  (An interesting thing just happened, I tried to spell the “v” work without capitalizing the v since I’m petty like that, and Microsoft Word capitalized it for me, just as it does other name references.  Obviously, the developers (probably men) of the spell check part of word made sure the drug got its due.  How pathetic.)

But I’ve gone of on a tangent of peevishness.  Back to 60.  What do you do when you turn 60 and you’re looking at starting your life all over again just as if you were in your 20’s?  You don’t have years stretching out in front of you ad infinitum.  You are at the end of the line in so many things and ways.  How do you begin?  And what if you’re still in limbo having waited/wasted almost 4 years to get a divorce and you’re still not there?  There are so many things I would have done differently.  But I NEVER imagined in a million years that the waiting would go on for so long and still not be finished. 

The fact that I live as if I’ve never really moved in or expect to move out any day is testament to my original optimism on the subject.  After 4 years it takes it’s toll.  You just drift, waiting to start your life.  It’s horrible the live this way and to contemplate all this on a 60th birthday.




It’s funny the things you remember from childhood. One such memory that stands out is the number of times I was taken out of school in the early grades, to go to funerals. The participants were all elderly relatives who I really didn’t know, but it’s what one did; at least in my family. Over the years, I’ve mentioned this here or there if the topic came up but I have never run across anyone who went to as many funerals as I recall going to. 

As a result, the part of death involving the ritual leave-taking that funerals represent has never bothered me. The funeral “homes”, coffins (which merit an entire post in themselves), viewing the deceased, going to the gravesite, even the lowering into the ground has never really bothered me; death, yes, but not the ritual of farewell. Don't get me wrong, the passage may be wretchedly painful and I may cry for days but in retrospect, it seems to put everything into context. I think perhaps this is something that has been lost in today’s world for most. Maybe not. It just seems there's little time for looking back and farewells. One is always in the rush forward. Maybe I’m just sentimental, I find comfort in such ritual. It helps close the last chapter on the life of someone you knew. You can now put that book up on the shelf marked “memories”, to be taken down at a later date when needed or desired and recall a long lost moment or a thoughtful glance. In a way, it closes another chapter in my own book of life.

So it has been with all of my dogs. Before they vanish from my sight, as I knew them, I put together a little farewell at the gravesite (crematory). It includes a rainbow bouquet and always present is at least one calla lily. The history behind this is not what you’d expect (another story for another time). Over the years, I’ve added rosemary sprigs from my garden(s) “for remembrance” and lavender. The flowers are always bright and colorful. I’ve never understood why the bouquets accorded funerals looked so dark, sad and mournful. There’s already enough of that at the funeral. There’ll be plenty of time for sadness later.

So I place the cascade of joyous color on the body of the little soul that's left and then say thank you to for all the joy and memories they’ve given me. I thank them for coming into my life and making it so much more than it ever could have been without them. Sure, I cry a lot but it's worth it for the grace of saying "goodbye" for the last time.

Today is the tenth anniversary of my mother’s death. It’s also raining a bit which is late for May.

This is the bouquet I gave to Frost last December.

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My Birthday Gift from SCE

A birthday gift will be arriving early this year.  It's from SCE (Southern California Edison).  How exciting is that?  Seriously, about a week ago I received a post card from SCE advising that they would be turning the power off from 8 AM to 5 PM on my birthday for system updating.  They recently installed new digital meters vs. the old kind for recording power usage.  So last night, it dawned on me that I needed to iron some clothes since I had nothing to wear!  It's obvious I haven't gotten into the pattern of washing, drying "and then ironing".  I'm still in "I'll pick it up at the cleaners" mode and totally forgot that I'm now the official "iron maiden".
At 10 PM, after Cougar Town (yes, sometimes mindless TV is needed), I started ironing.  I finished at about 11:45 PM.  The only thing I find more annoying about ironing is the fact that most of what I own is linen due to the climate here.  So one starts out neat and tidy, straps on a seat belt and arrives a wrinkled mess.  I know there are wash and wear blouses and pants, but they involve synthetics in the fabric mix and make me ridiculously hot.  So here I am, doing what I’ve avoided for over 35 years, but hey, I saved  $28.25.  I must say that for not having ironed in decades, I do a pretty good job! My mother apparently did a great job of instructing me!  Little did I know!  Note here that finding the right starch helps a lot!  In fact, a friend saw me last week in something I'd ironed and teased me about giving in and using the cleaners.  I pointed out that I had ironed every square inch of fabric with my own two little hands!  She was actually shocked! I  was rather proud of myself.  Maybe I'll get used to ironing; I don't think I'll ever go as far as saying that I'll get to like it though!