08/05/2017 by syrbal-labrys
We are officially “retired” here. The amount of things keeping us busy makes me sure I can now know why I was an exhausted zombie in my younger years – even without the jobs we held in decades past, we are terribly busy. We have piles of things demanding attention – on desks, tables, bedsides, in the corner table of the den.
The one noticeable change is mornings are later and more relaxed – no more husband flying out of house at 0400. No me zipping off with the beekeepers at 0600. Instead, we have coffee in bed reading the news on our phones or iPads. We read, share, discuss, laugh, curse, and email. We plan our day, recalling appointments, errands-in-need-of-running, and so forth. We are quiet as the house of returned younger veterans sleeps around us.
On days when it is not a smoky hot mess worse than freaking Beijing, China – we go for a walk to shush our nanny-on-the-wrists reminding us our “activity ring” is not filled. Better craziness through Apple technology? I’m still trying to figure why I can walk moderately hard (hard enough to re-activate old military day shin-splints) for almost an hour and the green “exercise” ring says I’ve done THREE MINUTES of exercise.
Some Saturdays, the Minotaur leaves early for his PTSD Veterans’ group meeting. Some Saturdays we go to meetings to phone call for various political/social issues. The list of things we hop out of bed and go carry signs for threatens to get longer. Admittedly, some days I really DO feel too tired, too old, and unfortunately sober for this shit. Thus, some Saturdays, we linger in the bed; decrying various things that crush any of our visions of the future.
Like the lady raising funds online so as to not die of a cancer that began eating her face. America? Is this really how you think it should be – putting up painful photos and hoping like crazy you are prettily pitiful enough to solicit funds to pay for medical care? She was young and pretty. Me? Not so much these days, so I’ll not bother and just die if my measly Tricare can’t fix me.
We read excerpts to each other from like-minded sorts, so as to not feel so lonely and alienated in a red county. Though sometimes, that backfires and leaves us feeling like we are doing a deja vu of Weimar Germany. Ah, for a mimosa for breakfast instead of cottage cheese and nuts and berries.
Then we try to focus on the personal, the family, the immediate “aroundness” and it seems occasionally worse. We are slowly, agonizingly going through the process to try getting a new well. We expect more issues from Mr. “We don’t need no new well, water comes from the faucet fine.” The financial side is scary and looms over every minor decision from whether to buy artichokes or go to a movie in a theater. I quite defiantly still buy everyone’s favorite brand of cheese when grocery shopping! I still pay a young woman who calls us family to help clean house because she needs the cash.
But peace reigns mostly, even if no rain falls. The daughter-of-the-house, the wife of the returned Marine, has had her crisis of entry and gotten past it. She was brave to move across the whole country to live with people she never met and a bit of a freak out should have been expected at some point. Yet it surprised and dismayed all of us a couple weeks ago; but we weathered it with compassion and only minor sniping. I feel, again, a bit like King Arthur in “Camelot” insisting, “I WILL love!”
And so it goes, sometimes the magic we make on a Saturday, in the battle for the America we desire, is what we do every day to insist on the dream that we LIVE. Some times it really is about holding what we hold dear….and I am grateful. What do you hold dear?