Sunday, February 12, 2012


Impressions on Tuesday, February 7, 2012

5:30 am

Feet flying out from under me in the shower

My death hold on two grab bars , one behind me 1 on the side

Landing in a posed position like an amply endowed, aged artist's model, Rubenesque, breast, flank, belly exposed, genitalia obscured because I was sitting on it

Sitting in that cramped position forever awaiting paramedics-and longer while it was determined how to remove the shower doors and then the bathroom door

7 people in that tiny room trying to remove me from the shower enclosure

The delicious  rush of fresh cold air on my cold, sweaty head and shoulders when we exited the Manor in the dark morning

The profoundly deep unrelenting ache in my right shoulder

The sound of sirens and the flashing red lights in the darkness, all because of  me

Arriving at the hospital to a sea of greeting faces, one of whom announced, "I'm Ruth"

A man saying"Could you scoot over on to that table?" my answer,

"Could you pull your lower lip up over your head?"
 And only Ruth laughed.

A procession of people asking one-answer questions after I'd bothered to learn their names

The x-ray guys one of whom was named Allen, spelled the right way, the way our family does it

The nice and gentle ER woman doctor  on duty

At last after hours of unrelenting pain, Morphine for repositioning my shoulder in its socket.

11:50 p.m. February 9, 2012
Deja vu.........I awakened, stretched luxuriously, popped my shoulder out of position again and repeated the five hours I went through last Tuesday

I've been in the respite room since Tuesday, with no access to internet. 

Did you miss me? I've missed all of you.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I'VE DONE IT MORE THAN ONCE. Super Bowl Sunday is rated almost as high as Christmas or Easter or Halloween, I fear. I don't know what that says about our culture but I'm totally out of step in this reverence for sports. Only in the last few years has the realization of the coming event entered my mind.

In the book business, it's a tricky thing to stage successful autograph sessions with authors and illustrators. We had some good ones in my time, but other times when I sat and visited with the dignitary just because there were few people there to get books signed. It's even happened with some well-known people. Rosemary Wells, who is about as high on the children's author/illustrator ladder as one can get, sat for minutes at a time with no one but me to talk to.

One year I scheduled a little known author to appear on a Sunday afternoon at the store. I don't know at what point it dawned upon me what I had done in arranging it for Super Bowl Sunday, but suffice it to say that no one came. Oh, maybe one or two did, but it was a tortuous day as we sat there honoring the time we'd announced for her appearance. It went on and on and on, into infinity. When she was gathering up her things to depart, I said that perhaps we could reschedule an appearance? and she opined, "Yes, maybe on the afternoon of the Oscars." Mortification.

Then a couple of years ago I did it again. Susan was visiting from Alaska and I wanted to arrange a gathering of family and her friends to greet her. Darned if it didn't turn out to be the same Sunday as the Super Bowl. How could anyone do it twice in a lifetime? There wasn''t another available Sunday, so I fell back on the old saying which I absolutely love, "If you can't hide it, paint it red." That seems to be the theme of my life. And when you stop to consider it, it works pretty darned well.

In the room for entertaining at the Manor there is a television set, so sports fans could watch to fracas on the field while the rest of us visited. We served sporty snacks and it all worked out quite well, actually.

But I'll try never to make that sort of faux pas again, Twice in a lifetime should be plenty enough. And yes, one of us watched it on television yesterday, the other was on the periphery, lurking. All I came away with was a wish that my stamina could halfway match that of Madonna's. 

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important.
                                                                                                                    Eugene J. McCarthy 

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I SUSPECT ONE DOESN'T talk about diuretics in mixed company, but let me tell you that what's been prescribed to fix my edema is taking more out of me than fluid. I'm weak as a kitten, dizzy when standing, eyesight is would almost wonder if I'm on my way out.

So yesterday when Bob's family came to visit and I wasn't at all sure I could maneuver myself downstairs (our apartment is small for 7 people), dear Tim brought up a wheelchair and zipped me down the halls at an alarming rate, not proper behavior for a retirement home, but exhilarating, nonetheless.

Mr. Bob's sister was visiting from the San Francisco peninsula and the nieces and a husband brought her to see us. Margaret and Bob are the surviving members of 6 siblings. They were the only ones with red hair. You have to take my word for it in Mr. Bob's case, because he's turned all silvery with age, but he used to go by the nickname of "Red" at work.

I so hoped for a red haired child, but it never showed up until Susan's daughter's flaming red hair. 

We sat in the Tea Room and visited and reminisced and drank coffee and tea, nibbled pastries and soon the afternoon was gone.

There was a party of 3 other ladies in the room.........3 generations and the youngest offered to take our group picture. In the course of the conversation, it turned out that the mother knew and loved our bookshop in Montrose which always warms my heart......she was one who "felt" the place.......not everyone did. For some it was a place to shop. Others felt the spirituality of the operation. I contend that I was simply a vehicle through which an idea expressed.

We took this opportunity to snap the siblings. Margaret is Mr. Bob's "big sister", being 3 years older than he. The Humphreys are energetic people and chafe at the idea of having to slow down with age. I don't know how they tolerate my slower pace (remember Bob's admonition, "Hurry every chance you get!"), but they seem to accept my plodding.

I don't believe the accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings. Gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


What brave and honorable people the Japanese are to have produced this emotional thank-you for the international assistance extended to their suffering country.

 Didn't hear of lot of outcry from the people of Japan following this tragedy.  Pretty classy people to put this out.  Worth viewing.  Never heard of any country doing this.......

  A ‘Thank you’ from Japan ……

Click <>   Here

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


IF YOU PLAN CAREFULLY, you don't have to leave the Manor to go shopping. The Manor store is open 2 mornings a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 until 11. The stock is interesting and understandably geared to the geriatric set. I'm much more drawn to the snacks in the lower right than in the assortment of incontinence products at the upper left. I've taken advantage of the instant coffee and peanut butter and am a big consumer of Kleenex products. 

 Martha and Irene were volunteering the day we used our camera. 35 years ago we met Martha on a European cruise arranged by our church, so she's known Tim from the time he was 14 and now enjoys seeing him when he visits at age 49.

They have an efficient system, whereby one writes up the purchases and the other takes the money and bags the items. 

 The selection of cards is good and amazingly reasonable in price. When I started my retail career, greeting cards averaged 25¢ and 35¢ in price and nowadays $2.99 isn't shocking to most folks. The Manor's cards are mostly $1 which makes it affordable to slip one under the door when a resident has a birthday, which is the custom here. Come to think of it, that's a good form of exercise, bending and retrieving on one day of the year.

 I think I cornered the market on one of their selections recently. The front showed a drawing of a cowboy holding a gun and the words "ANOTHER YEAR" and on the inside were the words, "SHOT TO HELL". It struck my funny bone and was good for men to boot.

"We know we're getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday is not to be reminded of it."  ~Author Unknown