Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ten Years Ago . . .

 . . .  I posted this photo marking the fortieth anniversary of our wedding, August 10, 1966.

We reached fifty today.

More tomorrow—I do want to mark a few pieces of history for my grandchildren in the future, but the weather today put pay to some of my plans. Suffice it to say it was hot, hot, hot. Dinner tonight at The Hill, three wonderful days in Ohio with everyone together.

And here are some of the swimmers, Olympian or not, from the outstanding swimming program in Montgomery County, Maryland. They answer to the name of Ament (Theodore and Linus) and Ledecky (Katie.)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The New Normal

That is a phrase that has been bandied about around here, especially by one of my daughters. But as I began to think about it, I realized that we (mainly I) have reached a phase in our lives when nothing will ever be the same again.

My mind, my writing skills, my thinking skills can no longer be described as merely rusty. These attributes which were always sharp are slowly fading. Not to the extent which bothered Billy Collins, but I am sure it will not be long. (And I have not forgotten how to create a Blogger link: I have a brand new Apple LapTop and have not quite figured out how everything works.) Things these days are quantitive. Look how many posts I wrote ten years ago. They were, for the most part, longer, smoothly written and I can assure you that I never sat for fifteen minutes trying to remember a noun or a verb. If the one I wanted did not come immediately to mind, I made something else up. Queen of the workarounds.  Not only was I Queen of the workarounds, I was also Queen of letter writing. Now I find it so hard to write a decent, or any, letter. When my sister in law was alive, she could always count on a letter from me. These days my family can perhaps hope for an e-mail and perhaps an occasional decent (but always typed) letter.

The only reason I am plugging on just now is for my grandchildren. I want to fill up my ration of twenty “pages” so that they will have something tangible to remember us by.

Oh, this new computer! I remember when I got its predecessor I couldn’t get anything right, but gradually I figured it out—photos, albums, in iPhoto and in Flickr. Now I must start all over again. First it was a lost WiFi connection. Then it was my new Microsoft app. which the man who sold me the package said would not be difficult. Thanks to Ann Marie at the Partridge Creek Apple store I can now write a letter in Microsoft. I think there is a special place in Heaven for people with her patience. How nicely she asked if there was a reason my computer clock was two hours off. Now I have just discovered I cannot scan. Is that because I have a new lap top? New drivers needed?  Do I have to make another long phone call?

As I worked my way through more photos I was astounded how many showed us eating, as in entertaining friends and family. I was always cooking, setting the table—clean table cloths, Christmas plates, odd bits of Waterford,  even a set of Wedgwood. All this for an ever-growing family and family members visiting from the Mid-West and England. Three or four years ago two of my daughters took over Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I think that was after they saw me drop the turkey. And now Lucy has a house just perfect for entertaining and wants to be included in the roster. How can she do that with two kids under two, I ask? You did, they say. Four under five, in fact.

Mine is not the only life that is changing. In September two grandchildren will be going to college. That will amount to changes for their families, not for me. In fact, as I think about it, changes have been going on slowly for years. I just didn’t notice them. I don’t do much in the way of sewing. All those soft toys and girls’ dresses I meant to make—I found a large box full of size 4 year dresses that never saw the light of day. The garden this year was full of weeds, but I can claim medical problems for that.

Yes, there will need to be changes. Big changes. I will let you know. I may even illustrate posts if I can figure out the scanner. And I promise you, future posts will not take ten days to write. This one did.