When? he asked. When does middle age end and old age begin?

"When" he asked, " when does middle age end and old age begin?"

It took awhile to recover from his question.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Splish! Splash!

I have new rubber boots. They are orange-coloured. They bring me childish joy! I can't wait for it to rain.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Changeable

Some days I am an old lady with a handkerchief in her purse patiently waiting for the bus. Other days, I am fleet of foot with a scarf around my neck, my ipod in place striding on in my ipaths.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manners

"Excuse me," or the more correct "excuse me please" is a request not a warning , don't you agree?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Is time running out?

Last week I had three people either ask me if I was retired or, inquire when I will retire.

I find this distressing.

Almost as distressing as when I was taking college course and someone asked what course I taught.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Easy Rider

My friend Karen has a new bike, a big bike. A Honda 750-I think.
I have never wanted a bike, not even to ride on the back.

I am envious.

I am envious of her joy. I hear it in her voice, I see it in her eyes. THAT, I want.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Butterflies in my tummy!

I have been on Weight Watchers for one week. Tonight is my second weigh in. It hasn't been hard food wise but it has been concious-ness wise.
Have I fooled myself?
Even a little weight off will be a reward but oh! to be one of the rare few who have a big loss at the beginning. I could really use that boost.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Um, SORRY Linda Rondstat, let me rephrase that, We are leaving on a slow train and we know when we'll be back again.

This is the second time we have taken advatntage of Via Rail's Seniors Companion fares and what a treat it is to be able to do this! My life companion has reached the age of 60 which allows him to take along a companion at no cost when travelling in Canada. Last Fall we took a short trip to Toronto by train what a pleasure not to have to race down the 401 but to sit parallel, relax and talk, and both just enjoy! My Darling drives all day-every day during the course of his work but we don't actually operate a private car any longer and I have discovered I really miss the interaction that goes on during a drive together but for the most part, the trip down the King's highway is not my idea of fun. I am a white knuckle passenger when it comes to congestion and in-town driving.

After a rally like road trip in 2007 covering 3900 km in 7 days with wonderful sights and camping along the way, I am looking forward to this trip by rail that will allow us time to get out of the rented car we will pick up at our destination and traverse a few trails and breathe the sea air.

Check out Via or other rail lines in your area and see what's available for you.

http://www.viarail.ca/seniors/en_aine_conf_offr.html
As they said back in Linda's heyday "Take it easy take the train!"

Monday, April 20, 2009

a Storm of discontent

Todays post is brought to you by the letter C.

C is for cookie which is good enough for many but C is also for CURMUDGEON a term which I may deserve. You will have to make the determination for yoursel.

http://www.concentric.net/~marlowe/curdef.shtml

It has been seven years since I gave up my car. The decision came about for many reasons, I no longer enjoyed driving, after two accidents without injury I felt like my number was up, I had serious ecological concerns, I had just taken on my first mortgage. . . the list goes on. So my reality is I walk I bike and I use public transit. Not a season goes past that someone somewhere in our fair town does not write a letter to the editor lamenting the behaviour of students on the bus. Personally I see kids being kids oblivious for the most part to the adults around them. I have asked for a seat and willingly been given one on the rare days when I have been too loaded down to stand myself. I have excused myself when I needed to pass and no one has ever willingly denied me passage.

SO imagine my delight when the Darling Grand, a young man of 15, and I were on the bus during the recent Spring Break. It was just after 4pm and a woman in her early 50's got on and stood near to us. The Darling Grandchild leaned over and whispered in my ear "should I get up and give her my seat Grammy?" Proudly I nodded and he addressed her personally offering his seat.

We shuffled; he out, me to the window seat, and her sliding in to take my place. Not a smile did she crack, not a thank you did she utter. The Lad swayed above us as we crawled home. Imagine his embarassment!

C is for COURTESY and THAT is a two way street!

Moving on...

I recently had issue with our local Cable service provider. I was given misinformation and based on that misinformation I made a decision that I would not otherwise have made. I called back to see if there was some resolution to this issue. I was advised there was nothing that could be done for me. I asked for a supervisor who once again told me there was nothing that could be done for me (not true since the matter was eventually resolved to my satisfaction, but I digress) however the Supervisor would provide agent feedback and the agent would be coached on his error and his Manager could call me back.

OKAY so please tell me why I would be concerned about the career development of this agent,why I would be interested in internal disciplinary procedures? How would it help me as the consumer here today to know that in future, callers may not be provided with the misinformation I was given?

Oh and C is also for CUSTOMER SERVICE
and on with the C's or so it seems

Today I went to Giant Books- you know the one-the mega store that's larger than the community hospital in small towns. There were a number of specific titles I needed in a hurry and I knew I could get with one trip -not an option in my funky little independant bookstore. Putting my titles down on the counter I announced I'd like a Loyalty card because after all every body likes a deal, mine was expired by several years - I love my independant bookstore. The clerk to her credit pharased the question well - Was I a teacher or a senior over 65?

"I wish" I said.

"That's not an answer I have ever had" she said brightly. She said she planned to age with vigour and enthusiasm. I assured her that certainly I would have said the same thing just a few years ago but there would come a day when others would see her as grey and therfore old and as a corollory simple, feeble minded, or stupid. Surely not she said. I just smiled at her, my knowing older woman smile.
She verbalized my total as she swiped my debit card.



"How much?" I asked.

Sweetly she began to explain the bill, offering I had saved $13.

"But how much was the loyalty card?" I asked.

"Well you saved thirteen dollars." she began again.
"I understand I have benefitted from the loyalty card but HOW much does it cost?

Once again She tried the company line
"based on your purchases today I'd say with just one more visit the card will have paid for"

So here are my words to the wise corporate types out there, You can teach your customer service staff how to handle customer objections but seriously you cannot buy consumer loyalty with $25 of the consumers own money!

There was another topic I wanted to address and I am pretty sure it also began with a C but I think I have said enough for now and so I will just curl up for a nice little Catnap which also begins with C

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fall 2008

Afterwards. . .

silver whorls upon your chest, near where my head I lay to rest
what else are those old man's pyjamas keeping from me?

Monday, April 6, 2009

March'09

My favorite Auntie whispered in my ear and told me her fears. When did I stop bringing her mine? I hope I am up to the task.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Old News!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Parenting Advice

I've been there, I've done that, and I have the men to show for it! From these experiences there is one bit of wisdom I need to share with you, Younger Sister,

"boys just want to have guns!"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good Morning ?

Morning came early today as it has all winter, not so very early, but early,for when I peek my swaddled nose out the door the sky is just lightening to morning blue but first. . .

I have set my alarm a little late, an extra 15 since I am alone
It’s Saturday and there’ll be no one to bounce off in the kitchen, no one to ace out for first spot in front of the mirror for the final abloutions and brushings, just a contented snore as I close the bedroom door.

I manage a decent breakfast – some mornings food appalls me; but not today. I chew on rye toast slathered in peanut butter, wash down supplements and meds with berry juice and savour a fragrant cup of 1/3 dark roast with cream before stealth fully cracking the bedroom door seal and silently grabbing my worn jeans, a nice sweater and “hey never mind it’s not like the customers can see me “ vintage sweatshirt reclaimed from the attic last Fall; a cast off from our former teen.

Socks-check

Glasses-check

Downstairs I go tugging clothes on as I descend – no it’s almost and I gotta move reverb through my head. How is it so late?

ID-check

On with the sweatshirt.
On with the hat.
Scarf, twice wrapped.
Double knot the joggers, adjust the socks,
Coat on -zipper up.
Gloves tucked into cuffs.
Back pack on .

I lock the door behind me, pull my scarf over my nose, adjust my hood over my hat, and struggle through the snow drifted across the back deck. As I hit the driveway I am cinching the back pack straps closer to my body and I begin a quick pace to make up for lingering over the comics and hesitating at the door
I will warm up, I will warm up I chant to myself. Soon I have my stride and my footing and I am listening as the snow screeches under foot – it’s not the crackle or the squeak but the screech that-15 brings.
,
I am 4 blocks away from home, the sun is up, my cheeks are burning. and good fortune smiles on me a thoughtful colleague pulls up, and I hop in. It is only 15 more minutes of walking but <> I am grateful for the ride that ensures an early arrival and that when I arrive I will quickly warm up. Some days this year it has been after my first coffee break before I recover from the cold temperatures.

I am at work early, well fed after a good nights sleep. This day is going to be a breeze!

The staff is still pretty slim and the centre has no electricity. There is no buzz, yet. One agent is catching a few more minutes of rest, head on her desk Images of Miss McKinnon’s class flash through my head. Why is it this place most reminds me of classrooms I thought I’d long since left behind? Most of the agents are quietly looking over the days news and exchanging gossip. The on-duty managers are managing amongst themselves. I take my favourite seat

It’s not so very much the actual seat as the things that go into making this a strategic location. I sit here often, I know the idiosyncrasies of the computer. The fluorescent light overhead is a little behind and to the right. It is and end seat – there is a bank of filing cabinets to my left and 15 feet before the next bank of stations – as quiet as it can get. The air vent over top to the left a good 10 feet- no drafts or blasts of heat. It’s not a thru path to anywhere.The chair is just right and the keyboard:relatively clean – of course it is!
I clean it every shift and I sit here 4 or 5 days a week. After me some days it remains empty until I return. The head set works perfectly.

I sit down and log on to the system – I can do this without my glasses – good thing since they are still foggy. I carefully stuff my scarf,hat and gloves into my pack. It’s not that I take good care of my things but bitterly cold day not so long ago someone zipped my hat! What did I Say about school? I take out the things I use each day .

With no personal space you bring your supplies to work.I use my personal day book – Letts, wonderful soft blue leather; my dollar store notebook- Happy Bunny says: “I’m not listening to you.” This is my own personal act of rebellion –I’m letting my freak fly, not that anyone notices but I know at least one manager that if 2+2 came together would comment.

I have my pen chrome, heavy – just what I like. It feels good in my hand, something pleasant to focus on in the idle seconds. I have an address book I use. There is so much to remember and so many passwords some I duplicate but between 10 and 20 depending on what I am doing and there are even a few phone numbers recorded there. Several I give out repeatedly every day but haven’t committed to learning. I might, but then they’d change. It’s my own personal memory aid and while not as pretty as my day book it has a velvet cover. . . and there are also a few tattered instruction sheets for settings I have done hundreds of times by now, but I still check most of the time– to reassure myself.

Glasses warmed I log onto the next system and into my digital time card. I have 10 minutes to get everything open and read my email and check to see what the latest changes are and then I will take my first call I’ve left my coat draped over the chair to my right. If someone wants to sit there they can , but since there are lots of seats I hope they will move on. It’s not that I am saving it but, at this time of the morning an additional 40 inches of personal space is my ardent hope; besides I had someone I barely know join me – and know I know he has intestinal issues and doesn’t share his candies – not that I wanted any. I have dental work to coddle but there was the constant distraction, the rifling for the right candy and the unwrapping and looking for someplace to stash the wrapper. OR I shudder to think, it could be Dandruff Guy who plops himself next to me. I want to drop sample bottle from the dollar store of Head & Shoulders on his desk – I want to but I never would .I get that it is unkind but seriously Dude, stop picking your balding pate will yah? Hence the coat defense and if a friend comes past well then they just move my coat, not that there is much time to talk as the day goes on but a kindred spirit is a nice anchor to my day .

I’d like to say from here it was smooth sailing straight to coffee break and onto lunch but I am in tears before coffee. Who cries at work?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rolling down the road

My sons' were around a lot over the holiday. We have a bathroom just off the kitchen and my eldest child was standing at the mirror as I passed.

"My grey is getting much more noticable" he said. I smiled.

Personally I have had grey hair since my early 20's and have been called 'grey haired' since my mid 30 so that his grey is becoming noticeable is no surprise. Grey hair on a man is a sign of capability- isn't it?

New year's day my youngest was standing in the back hall looking into the mirror
"No one but you would notice it Mom" he said "but look here- I have three grey hairs!"

"Well done son!" I said "Now you are a man, can we talk about you moving out? I grinned my best 'I love you grin' at him.

Later that afternoon the phone rang, and I answered. There was a sort of choking noise on the other end and then nothing.

Hello? I said and nothing and then a crackling sound.

"Who IS this?" I said gruffly "What do you want" assuming a pranskster or heavy breather on the other end.

"Grammy it's me" the Grand said in his sweet little boy voice. "I called to wish you and Grampy happy new year his manly voice began and then cracked.

"Oh Sweetie" I said "this old phone isn't working very well and I didn't hear you" I said attempting to save face and save him some embarassment.

And then yesterday the second kick in the pants for the new year, my darling eldest son popped in to say hello.

"Yeah so, isn't that great news about the young lad?"

"Might be " I say non-comittally

"Didn't he call you? he asked. He personally has been out of town for 10 days.

"Nope" I say with a shudder thinking of the last time the lad called.

" He had a job interview just after New years and they hired him!" my proud son announced "His first job"

I smile, shake my head and think to myself 'was it that very long ago I was excited for you when you came home and announced you had been hired for the very first time. I suppose it was, I suppose it was.