Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You'll Kill Yourself!

I've always operated on the "dead in the street" principle. This means I automatically imagine the worst-scene scenario when it comes to physical safety and the likelihood of danger and disaster. I can't help it.

When I was a child I was taught (not to contradict Mr. Rogers--whom my grandchildren quoted when I expressed concern) that I could actually go down the bathtub drain. I guess I've always considered water pretty dangerous stuff because I religiously taught my son Jack that anything over his knees was "certain drowning depth." He's still resentful.

In reaction, it seemed to me, he was almost downright irresponsible when it came my grandchildren's safety. They were allowed to touch hot ovens, crawl up steep stairs, climb towering trees and just generally decide what they felt safe and confident doing.

Whenever I visited I tried to bring some sanity to what I considered a dangerous situation for the children. "Make sure your shoelaces are tied," I'd remind my granddaughter as we stepped on the escalator. "Your leg will get cut off if your shoelace gets caught." Although she giggled hysterically it made a lot of sense to me at the time. However, I think I've learned to relax a bit.

I'll always be vigilant but I was pretty proud of myself this weekend. Our family spent 3 days at a nearby ski resort. Everyone was there---children, grandchildren and great-grandkids. The only folks who didn't ski or snowboard were Darling Lily Ana-age 1, Jack, who only skiis uphill and Granny Lucy who knows snow is just frozen water! Anyway, the things I saw and heard about my family doing on that mountain should have sent me into cardiac arrest.

But I even surprised myself. Mostly I just said, "Don't talk about it!" But of course they did---embellishing things, I'm sure for my benefit. The thing is, that for the first time in my life I'm choosing to share pleasure, fun and happiness instead of anxiety, fear and pessimism. I certainly don't mean to say it's an easy choice---it feels so familiar and comfy to react to things negatively---(and deep down I still believe my fears are well-founded.)

I guess getting older has made me willing to embrace the philosophy of, "I'd rather be happy than right." At least I'm trying to do that every day. And I think I'm finally getting it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I'm still thinking...

Many thanks to all of you who have sent encouraging comments and letters. (For those of you who have quit trying to find something worthwhile in this life---and you know who you are---I'm sorry. I plan to live until I die.) But for now fellow bloggers, Lucy has her "Let's Straighten Out This Government" hat on.

I simply can't believe the current administration. I'm pretty apolitical (6 of one, half dozen of another) but I'm aghast at what I hear and read on the news. I was already upset---and I realize this is old news--- I was still fretting about John Gibson, one of my favorite news commentators, reminding me that FEMA has a truly outstanding record of mismanaging donations and government funds---i.e. unwrapped new furniture being auctioned off for private profit and new, unused trailers sinking in the LA mud.

But the more recent news tops it all. UAE? Port control? 6.3+ billion to an Arab company? Are we nuts? I realize I'm simplifying, However, my fears are based on a substantial violent faction of Islam that knows no borders. Can we really believe this UAE company won't (even unwittingly) grant work visas to potential terrorists? Please. It sounds like more equivocating to me.

The good news---and there's plenty of that, will come tomorrow.
Have a great week and keep in touch,
Lucy D

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My Way

It was the blind leading the blind. Carole and I were trying to figure out how to put more photos and start posting the "links I love" on my blog. We couldn't even find the tutorial Jack left on the desktop to assist us while he's out of town. We were sure it was there the last time we looked, but suddenly it wasn't. I said I thought it must have gotten up and snuck off to the odd sock and sharp scissor dimension. I said that we should give up and have some Girl Scout cookies.
Carole didn't appear to find my suggestions particularly helpful---or amusing.

She just kept fiddling around with the computer, insisting that if her 9 year old nephew could figure it out what to do she could too. I guess I'm just not that proud anymore; I voted to wait until Jack comes home. I also reminded Carole that it was my blog and that if I didn't get it jazzed up for months it would be fine with me. "Anyway," I said, "I like writing on other folks' blogs just as well." Ah, but there's the rub. The kids are getting proprietory.

When Jack and Carole encouraged me to write a blog and offered to assist I was very anxious for their help. However, now that I can handle most posts without a problem I get irked when they offer unsolicited advice. It usually has to do with my writing. For example, Carole will often ask "Is this really what you meant to say?" Remarks like that are neither encouraging nor helpful to me. I call them a pain-in-the-tuches.

"Get your own blog if you don't like it, " I reply testily. She insists she doesn't have the time to devote to doing a well-written blog. Even so, she says she has a title for one if she ever decides to make the commitment. Do I like "Am I my Mother's Keeper?" (Heck no! She's the one always losing her keys and missing appointments.)

I correctly intuit an impasse.

Carole believes I can't be trusted to relate my stories in an objective manner. She is so right. But until she 's willing to put herself out there you'll hear things my way. The way I like it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Chaos at the Checkout

Why is it that when I check out at the supermarket I find it necessary to watch the cashier like a hawk as he rings up the prices? Expecting, even hoping there will a mistake for me to correct. Today it seemed to me the checker didn't credit me for a 2 for 1 bag-o-salad. However, when I got ready to leave the store I realized I didn't have a final cash register receipt to prove it. I asked the cashier where it was. He couldn't find it. I persisted. "Maybe you threw it in the trash," I suggested. He rolled his eyes.

My daughter-in-law Carole wanted me to forget it. (She's a MinneDak farm girl who will go to almost any length to avoid offending anyone---or holding up the check-out line.) "Ma!" she hissed. "Do you have to be so obvious?"

Yes, as a matter of fact I did---it was my money.

I could see there was going to be a conflict. I told Carole to sit down by the door and wait for me. I trotted to the Service Desk and told my story to the 3 clerks behind the counter. I was very careful to repeat my story word-for-word. At the end of my story the clerks looked at each other like I'd been speaking a foreign language. They told me to wait and went to get the manager.

The manager came out and listened to my story---which I was once again careful to repeat with complete accuracy. His eyes glazed over and he disappeared muttering, "I'll have to look it up." He wasn't gone for more than a moment and when he came back he handed me my money. I smiled and turned to leave the store---$3.76 richer.

Carole got up and walked over to me. Shaking her head she leaned down and whispered, "Nice going, Mom. I'll meet you in the parking lot."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

There's Simply Not Enough Time

I'm very happy to say I've been too busy this week. That's really a change for me but you can bet it beats not having enough "what to do," as Grandma Sarah used to say.

I spent a lot of time reading pages on Ronni Bennett's Time Goes By Elderblog list: ) What a bunch of characters we all are! But as my grandchildren say, "It's all good." Ronni reminded me that these blogs are, in the words of NYU's Jay Rosen, "little first amendment machines." I like that. (Even if I've never been good with machinery myself.)

I wrote my first editorial comment today on TGB. Not sure I expressed myself very well but it felt great to do it. I can't imagine why I've never done it before other than it never occurred to me I could---or that folks would want to read anything I'd written. Now, thanks to a lot of encouragement I'm very hopeful that more elderbloggers will join the community.

Anyway, I want to thank Ronni, Millie, Steve, Maria, Momma, Mrs. DOF and all of you who made me believe I could do something so wonderful, so unexpected, so life-enriching (perhaps even sustaining) as blogging. There's a dance or two in the old dame yet!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Gift of Love for an Old Dog

VDay yesterday was wonderful. I can't believe how much love I feel for and from my friends and family. But it wasn't always like that.

I don't remember my parents expressing love for me in any way, at any time. In addition I didn't love myself. I was fat. Really fat. Needless to say I didn't feel terribly attractive. Then before I graduated I dropped out of school to go to work---somebody in the family had to. What a loser. I was pitifully lonely; I couldn't even stand my own company.

I married foolishly, to get out of the house. As Millie pointed out yesterday in her blog at, decent girls lived at home (no matter how loathsome) until they got married. So I did. It was still lonely but that was familiar. However during the 20 years of that marriage I gave birth to a wonderful son and worked in and loved a job that changed my life. I wouldn't give that up for a second.

After retirement I bought a lovely condo in a vibrant FL retirement community. I volunteered almost daily at the Jupiter Medical Center, served on community and civic boards, shopped, ate out and enjoyed a very active social life. Twice a year I spent a few very long days with my son and his family. I dutifully sent generous and appropriate gifts and felt lucky to have a "nice" family---even if we hardly knew one another. That all changed when I fell.

My children started calling, begging me to move to CO. "We're the only family you have!" they said. "You're losing all your condo friends!" they said. (That was true. My friends were dropping like flies.) Finally, after losing my very special someone I moved to CO---quite certain I was making the biggest mistake of what remained of my life!

Thankfully I was wrong. I'm happier than I've ever been before. I feel real because I'm recognized and loved for who I am. I was reminded of that fact when I wandered into the kitchen Valentine's Day morning and opened a card addressed to: "Mom: The heart of our family." The last 4 years have been scary, tough and wonderful. But I guess the old saying isn't true: you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Pick Up the Phone!

I'm a poor sleeper but a good laugher. I've lost some teeth but kept my hair. My car is 15 years old but it still runs---and I can still drive. I guess life really is a balance of joy and sorrow. Lord knows that's the way it was around our house yesterday!

My daughter-in-law Carole and I spend at least one day a week running errands hanging out at the library (my second home), doing lunch and cruising WalMart. As usual we had a good time and as usual Carole (who is all of 59) needed to lie down and take a rest when we got home. I put away the groceries and tried not to make her feel guilty.

Later, Carole and Jack (my son, her husband) went out to dinner. Alone. By themselves. Fine by me---but when I called Carole's cell phone she didn't answer. This annoyed me as I paid good money for that phone so I could keep in touch with her. Let's just say I called more than once. This annoyed Carole. Now we were both annoyed---but I was pretty sure it was actually my turn to be that way.

She hung up on me. I hung up on her. I called my Jack. She called her Jack. Jack didn't answer the phone but who can blame him? He knows who he's dealing with. We all went to bed mad but somehow got over it by morning.
So now we're back to having fun. At least until the next time Carole won't answer her cell phone.

Here Comes Lucy!

Golden Lucy here, coming to you from beautiful Colorado. Just how, why and when I got here is another story...but more on that later.

People call me 83 years young---and thankfully I feel like that most of the time.
My son, Jack, my computer guru, has been after me to write a blog. I think he's just sick and tired of listening to my stories and watching me schlep around my old spiral notebooks. However, since I have no intention of giving up my stories, I decided to look into this senior blogger business---if he promised to hang in there with me while I learned.

OK. Finding any really senior (over 70) bloggers was tough. My daughter-in-law and I surfed the net for what we began to call senior-seniors. We were impressed and inspired by Mille at, Maria at and Ronni at I decided an energetic and opinionated senior like myself could give blogging a whirl. What really, did I have to lose?

I dragged out my notebooks, chose a journal entry and with the help of my son and and the on-line tutorial from I actually published something! Now I'm hooked. There's just so much to learn---and GD only knows how much time I have to learn it! More to come soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Four-Legged Friends

I've never been fond of four (or three) legged creatures. I never owned a pet. As a Depression Kid I didn't understand about spending money and food on anything but human beings. As a chBoldild my son Jack had only one pet---And that's a sad story.

When Jack was little his father Ben brought home two fluffy duckings and built them a darling little house in the backyard. Mrs. Landsman, the next-door-neighbor didn't approve. She called the Health Deaprtment and complained. My darling mother-in-law Sarah, with whom we lived, dutifully stuffed the offending poultry in a big bag and carted them to the butcher, announcing that if we had to get rid of the ducks our family could at least enjoy a good meal.

When Sarah came back from the butcher she had tears in her eyes---but no ducks. That was the end of family pets for many years. Which brings me to the question at hand. Why must I, at my age, play hostess to three large dogs and one incontinent puppy? These are great-granddogs and all I can say is Thank Heavens they don't actually live in my house...and that I'm not hungry!

Golden Lucy