Thursday, August 26, 2010

Down and Down Some Grow

My husband insists he’s still 6’1” because his pants aren’t dragging on the floor. I insist he’s close to 5’10” because I’m not straining my neck to look at him in the eye and he’s now the same height as Atlanta Son—who officially turns middle-aged this week so is obviously beyond his height growing years. I informed Hubby that his bones don’t shrink, which is why he still is wearing the same size shirt and jeans. It’s the spaces in-between the vertebra that close up as you age — at least’s what I’m told which is why the inseam of shirts and pants don’t change.

When it comes to my height, it is another issue. I lost half an inch and that is it. During the past year I’ve noticed peers who once towered over me are now my height. Others who were once my height and now up to my chin. It’s weird. Why aren’t I shrinking at the same speed? None of us have any physical problems that would cause friends my age to be dropping height while I’m not. We all take the “right” vitamins and eat well.

I am now looking for logical reasons for the lack of shrinkage. Could it be that I’ve always stretched almost daily? Some, not all of my friends do, so that rationalization doesn’t go far. How about the fact I’ve always had close friends years younger and being surrounded by those younger than me not only keeps my thinking young, but my body too? It’s not genetics. Ma went from 5’2” to 4’10”. Dad dropped inches also. Also, my older sister is no longer inches taller than me and big bro isn’t so big anymore.

Or could it be that I am Alice in Wonderland and will one day wake with a full head of gray hair (it’s still 95% black/brown) and be inches shorter? Did art imitate life in the book?

You can ponder the reasons and let me know. I’ve got to do my daily stretching!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Skype Farewell

I heard a sad story a few weeks ago. Good friends of good friends had been trying to gather all their children and grandchildren to come together to celebrate their 50th anniversary in Florida. When I was little, having grandparents alive to celebrate their 50th was a big deal. Sadly, somewhere along the way, the celebration has lost its glitter and this couple’s family was too busy to take a weekend off and travel to Florida, even if all expenses were paid. By now you can predict the ending—they had no trouble making it here for the funeral.

This week I received a sad email notice—the only negative in living in seniorville where this news is posted for all to see, and in a large community, we get them all too frequently. A well-respected person had passed away. His funeral, the email informed me, would be on Skype. Intellectually, I can comprehend the many reasons this is good. Loved ones who can’t afford the plane fare or friends who are confined to their home can still be part of the final send off. Having funerals televised is usually just for well-known people and now the service is available for we common folks.

However, all I could think about was of the family who was too busy to celebrate a joyous milestone while their loved one was alive. If someone in that clan had thought of Skype, would they have instructed the widow to hire someone to Skype the funeral so they would only need to have taken an hour off from their hectic schedule?

Today one of my friends informed her daughter that she and her husband had prepaid the entire cost of their funeral and intended to be buried in Florida in lieu of being shipped back up North. Her daughter was stunned and said, “You mean we all have to pay to come down for a funeral?”

My friend thought fast and said, “No dear. We’ll use Skype.”

Sad, but it is probably the next socially excepted idea to help the overcommitted who have no time to smell the roses much less sing Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary to loved ones in person.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Portable Phones

Portable phones were meant to give people mobility around their home while talking, and the occasional hunt for a ringing piece of misplaced equipment is worth all the conveniences the portability of a phone offers me. Unlike me, Hubby has a minor fit if a phone is not returned instantly to its rightful cradle the moment a call ends.

Before my husband retired, as the time approached that he would be coming home from work, I made sure all phones were perched like sentinels in their respective cradles. At first I thought he was the only nut when it came to portable phones being recharged continuously, but a few years ago a dear friend confessed her husband did the identical phone inspection each evening when he returned from work as mine did.

This is the same friend who years ago made the pact with me that when it was time to retire we would have our husbands in one apartment with the AC set at 80 degrees and we would room together and keep our AC at 74. We are both now wondering whatever happened to this plan, especially since our husbands are now both retired. Our habit of not returning phones to their rightful cradles at the completion of each call keeps our Hubbys busy because they both roam the house checking to see if the phones are in their rightful place.

By now I’m used to it, but Hubby’s fetish can be embarrassing when we have sleep over company—they tend to think of my husband as a closet tyrant, which he isn’t. He’s usually a dear, except if he is freezing because the AC is set for my comfort level, not his, or the phone rings and he can’t find it because I left it in another room when I ended my call.

This week, Hubby’s “where’s the phone” rant happened while Atlanta son was visiting. Hubby was upset because the office phone wasn’t in its cradle when it rang. Since I had answered it and needed information from the kitchen calendar, I dared to move the phone to that room and, as usual, I didn’t return it the split second I hung up. Even worse, the bedroom phone was also “missing.”

Atlanta Son watched as his father performed his phone ritual, ranting about potential dead batteries. He didn’t let up until all the missing phones were rescued.

“What’s the sense in having portable phones if you don’t want them moved?” was our son’s logical question to his father. “You’d be better off with the phones attached to the wall like you had when I was a kid.”

I laughed. Hubby’s birthday is in four weeks and I have a pretty good idea what he’s getting for his desk and his side of the bed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Midnight Games

Midnight Games

There are two stages of life that most humans sleep in three to four hour segments— infancy and old age. As a wee one, when you awoke in the middle of the night, you were fed and then either fell back to sleep or were rocked back to lullaby land in your Mama’s arms or something snuggly like a carriage or cradle.

But, alas, the same two methods don’t work for we old(er) folks. If I conk out before ten—way before—I’m up for “the night” around midnight. When this habit started a couple of years ago, I raided the fridge for a midnight snack. As healthy as this is for wee folks because the calories are needed for their growth and well-being, it doesn’t work the same for old folks like me. We’re at the age where we’re shrinking lengthwise, and extra calories will have us growing outwards instead of restoring height. Even worse, a few sips of warm milk may make me sleepy, but unless the milk is accompanied by warm chocolate cake or several chocolate chip cookies, I gag. Obviously, the late night snack is not a sleep remedy for me. Being “rocked” in someone’s arms is a bad idea in my house also. Snuggling next to a husband who has a tendency to snore in my ear won’t ever lull me back to sleep.

Lately I have noticed a tremendous amount of the jokes I’ve received have been sent during the hours most folks prefer to be sleeping. One friend, when asked why, told me when she wakes from her early evening night “nap,” she finds spending time at the computer lulls her back to sleep like rocking probably once did. At her suggestion, I “hit the computer” at midnight a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the first email I opened was politically toxic so it had quite the opposite effect that I yearned for.

Since then, the only “midnight” emails I open are obvious jokes or message of how blessed I am to have so many fantastic and wonderful friends. Smiles and compliments usually relax me enough to be able to hit the sack again. Last night, however, when done reading and sending the belly laughs or sentimental slop on, I still didn’t feel the urge to return to bed. Instead, I switched to Facebook to “spy” on my kids and grandkid’s lives. When reading anything my family posts on Facebook it is best for me to never comment, no matter how much I want to do so. I surmised this because just about every one of my comments is instantly “hidden.”

Anyway, back to the point. I glanced at the “who’s on” list on Facebook and immediately realized I had enough gal friends who had also arisen from their “evening nap” to either make a Bridge or Mah Jongg game. Does anyone know of a site we can all access simultaneously so we can play a game together instead of just chatting our sleeplessness away? It seems like such a waste of time to simply write, “You up too?”