Friday, January 12

The great relief of the mundane by Colleen O'Brien

The great relief of the mundane

~a column by Colleen O’Brien
A new acquaintance told me a story of her “coming through” major cancer surgery, as she said. She had been ill a long time, she had been doing chemo a long time, she had lost her hair a long time ago, along with her strength and her will. She thought she would be dead within the year.
The chemo and surgery worked, however, and she “came through” a healthy woman.
“What surprised me most,” she said. “was that I once again had the feeling that I’d had all my life of having no time line with a period at the end. We know death will come someday, but it is in the future, it’s not close. I was suddenly thinking like I’d thought before I was diagnosed. I had my life back and it was just like my old life – not having to think every minute how long I had left.”
She said the normalcy of life after cancer was what thrilled her. She was grateful to be alive, yes. She was hopeful her cancer was banished forever. But she did not feel she’d been saved for some special reason; she simply felt that she had returned to her life, to the way she’d felt all her life. With one difference: now, she recognized what a normal life was – to plan events and trips, to work, to do nothing, to wander through her mind, to think about things that didn’t matter, to live as she always had in the minutia of the day.
The normalcy of life is not something we think about much, let alone praise. We talk about the high points, not the everyday routine. Relishing the mundane probably happens only to survivors . . . of cancer, of heart attack, of war, of car crash, maybe of close call; that slide by of the specter of death almost clipping us as his car careens from another lane right into our lane on the interstate, and for no reason at all we are allowed to drive on, unscathed.
The call to death that we all know is our end . . . when it recedes once again into a distant future is what normalcy is. To meet it up close and survive it, to remain in the world doing nothing much but one’s day-to-day busyness or lassitude – doing the dishes and the crossword puzzle, watching an old movie, playing Candyland with the kids for the thousandth time, cutting the grass. It is indeed the normal things that count. It is the small stuff that slips through our hours and our days with no fanfare and little thought that might be the best part of our lives.

Face of the Earth

No, I did not fall off the face of the Earth. It might seem like it. I have been busy doing what I want to do when I want to do it. I am reminded of a line from the TV show Will and Grace. When one of the actors says, "I am sorry I'm late. I got here as soon as I wanted to." I love the truth of that line.

When we came south I was told by Dr. Poag to get a spot on my forehead looked at when we got here. So I jumped through all the hoops to make that happen. I was waiting for a phone call from the clinic we are associated with here and it didn't happen. I kept telling myself I would call them but kept not remembering it at the right time. I was waiting to find out when I had an appointment with the dermatologist in McAllen. Day before yesterday the dermatologist's office called me to see if I was coming ...I think. I am still not sure why they called for sure but they did tell me I had an appointment yesterday at 8:30 AM. Fortunately, we did not have any conflicts and kept the appointment. I was seen by a P.A. That was okay by me. She froze 10 spots on my face and one on my arm. So I should be set now until Spring when we are back in Iowa.

I am doing computer business differently this year. No formal classes. This year I am making one on one appointments and helping where I am needed. It is working out fine.

I am doing a trivia event on Sunday nights. I am using the same format as we have on Thursday nights at Hy-Vee in Iowa.  I would rather be on the receiving end but people are enjoying it and it keeps the old brain cells jingling around. I am saving all the questions I use so maybe we could have a home trivia party next summer.

Butch has fewer pool events this season. Their pool players are dwindling. It seems to be a valley-wide problem as well. So he still plays every night from 6-8 here but the traveling to other parks is down to one league. He is okay with that because he now gets to play cribbage and shuffleboard more often.
Til next time...

Tuesday, January 9

Sunny South Texas is back again

Today while Butch was engaged in Shuffleboard I walked the park with my camera. As I was walking west on Pine Street an avocado tree dropped 7 or 8 avocados on the roof of a house and on the ground. If anyone had been standing in the yard they would have been clobbered by them. I think they could do major damage, like getting a baseball thrown at you with considerable impact.
 The Avocados are difficult to see but if you look closely you can see there are much more yet to drop.

Shufflers are shuffling