How I cope

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Some people take pills, some people see a shrink.  I walk.  I don’t walk for exercise, I walk to stay sane.  I can’t wait until the evening time rolls around.  That is my time.  My time to clear my mind and soak in the evening stillness.

I wait until this small town settles down and becomes quiet.  All I really have to contend with then, is nature.  I can’t even count how many times I have come across deer.   At first, I was freaked out about them.  I remember a long time ago, a woman in the valley got attacked by a deer.  Apparently it was mating season.  Whatever that means.  Frankly, I don’t even want to try to think about what that means.

I also have to contend with dogs.  There must be something about me that sends out a dog call, kind of like those whistles that sends out a sound that humans can’t hear, but dogs can.  Have you ever heard the swishing sounds that some women make as their nylons rub together while they walk? Or shoes squeak as each step is made?  I figure that I must do something like that, only that nobody can hear me, but dogs.  Oh, and there is one fluffy gray cat that follows me around too.

Sometimes nature is not what I have to contend with, but its my own crazy mind.  It took me several walks before I figured out that the rhythmic flashing light wasn’t someone messing with me, flashing their headlights on and off, but the rotating spotlight at the local airport.  Or that shadow racing up behind me was actually my own!

Part of my make-me-sane-again therapy is my good ole MP3 player, or my pacemaker is what I call it.  I worry that people try to talk to me as I walk by.  Because of my pacemaker, I don’t hear a thing.  So, if you see me walking by and try to say hi, and I appear to ignore you– please don’t think that I am stuck up.  I’m just insane, working on becoming sane, and a little paranoid– trying to figure out why those dogs are following me, and hoping to God that the deer won’t!

Change

A good friend of mine sent me a great e-mail the other day.  You know, one of those canned ones.  This one gave facts about what life was like one hundred years ago.  If the e-mail facts were true, there were things like doctors didn’t have college educations, and that only 14 percent of homes had bathtubs.  The bathtub one I have trouble with… what the heck did they do without bathtubs?  Use the local pond?    The point to all of this is that we have come a long way.  Those so called facts reminded me about a paper that I wrote in college about the home-front in America during World War II.  My point was basically the same.  I marveled about how far we have come, at the time when I wrote the paper it was about 40 years.  Back then, they didn’t have oscillators in washing machines, they had dangerous wringers.  Something that I don’t even think about when I do my laundry. 

Heck, we have changed in the last 25 years, which thinking about it makes me feel really old.  I love challenging children these days by holding up a vinyl record and asking them what they think it is.  I remember when my family felt like an up and coming family when we bought our VIC 20 personal computer.  I have no idea how we even survived on a cassette drive.  Also, I felt so cool when I bought, with my babysitting money, a Sony Walkman… a cassette player and  a radio.  It was a new concept to be able to walk around freely and listen to music with earphones on.  I wouldn’t have even dreamed that 25  years later my Sony (Ericsson)Walkman would be small enough to fit in my palm and not only include a radio, but it could fit a ton of cassette-less songs (MP3s), a camera, a phone, a pedometer, connect to the Internet… and so on. 

Did we even think that 25, 40 or even 100 years ago that we would ever have a black president?  WOW.  We have come a long way.  We think that is wonderful now, can you imagine how life will be like 25, 40 or even 100 years from now?

New Friend

100_7946I’m not one for high tech gadgets.  Some gadgets make me laugh and wonder what our society is coming to.  Have you seen what some of those toilet seats can do?  Why do we need to shovel out so much money for something we can do just fine the good old fashioned way?

What I am however, is a great big hypocrite.  I laugh at technology, but try taking away my e-mail, digital camera and Heaven forbid, my MP3 player!  My new thing is my dear new friend, Garmin.  She is a lovely lady from GPS land.

I am not a person who likes to take risks.  I am very happy all warm and snug in my box.  People seem to think that I need to step out of that box.  So now I have a GPS whom I have named Garmin after her brand.  Now I can explore this new area that I live in without worry that I will get lost.  Basically, a GPS is the high tech equivalence of bread crumbs from the story , Hansel and Gretel. 

Being more confident with my high tech bread crumbs, I decided to do a little bit of exploring and ventured out to a city about an hour and a half away from home.  I trust that technology is usually accurate, well, more accurate than I am at least.   There have been a couple of times though, when I swear Garmin tried to get rid of me.  The first was when she had me turning down a phantom street.  I was so embarassed as many people witnessed me try to turn into a freaking field at a busy  intersection!  I wish that all those people could have heard Garmin practically yell at me “turn left”  “TURN LEFT” 

Since I foiled her the first time, she tried again with a spin.  She tried to get me on the way home and waited until it was dark and in the middle of the wilderness.  What she didn’t know  was that I knew where I was at that point, and  knew that it was a straight shot home, no turns.  All of a sudden she starts saying, “in .7 miles turn right”,  “turn right”.  Uh, excuse me!!  If I turned right I would be through a guardrail and down what looks to me in the dark a cliff that leads to a long, long way down.  “Re-calculating” she said… yeah, re-calculating my demise! 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Garmin, even though she tries to kill me sometimes.  She has gotten me home again, safe in my nice warm, comfortable box.

Winter bliss

How can you get a city girl to stay in a small town with no Taco Bell up the street, family and friends 200 miles away and hardly any green trees to be seen? The answer is snow, or even freezing fog. 

I love winter weather.  I live for winter weather.  Aside from breaking pipes, and the occasional skidding my vehicle across main street, everything is great about winter weather.  There is something about breaking out the sweaters when the first fall leaf drops and a hot cup of chai tea as I watch the snowflakes fall.  I love curling up under my covers piled 6 inches thick. 

When we lived in the valley, snow was a treat that happened only a couple of times every few years or so.  All we really got was rain, which is not bad, but it’s awfully boring.  Now that we live in a town at a much higher elevation, we get these so called treats regularly during a single season!  I have finally been introduced to what apparently is a regular occurance which is freezing fog.  I will probably be called crazy by long time residents of this town, but how can you complain about freezing fog?  For one, it is a winter wonderland making everything it touches a bright white.  It paints every ordinary object into a beautiful work of art.  Just look closely, and all the wonderful ice crystals just dance into all sorts of facinating patterns. 

The wind blows here too.  Sometimes it blows hard.  It used to scare me, but I have become used to it now since it is also a regular occurance here.  Now, I love to take my regular evening walks in the wind.  It is so exhilarating as the wind blows, especially in the headwind.  I have also enjoyed walking as the snow falls.  How peaceful it becomes as the snowflakes bring some sort of quiet stillness. 

It is a sad day when all of this goes away, but I have to remind myself in the midst of the very hot, uncomfortable  summer days, that winter will come again, and again, I will be happy.