Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

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

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Where's Gudrun?

Gudrun Ivarsdatter (she's a maiden-lady cat)* is feral and elusive when she decides to be. Of course, as a cat she believes everything revolves around this picture of Gudrun in one of the gardens at Jack and Carole's house near Garden of the Gods in Manitou Springs illustrates. Can you find Gudrun in Auntie Sue's latest photo? Let me know but don't let the cat out of the bag!

*All the DonnCats have first, last and many times middle names reflecting their nationality. Gudrun is obviously a Black Norwegian.

PS: Don't even think of asking me about anything else in the pic!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hearts and Hands

So. I was right and she was right. The Lovely Teresa's bridal shower was a rousing and delightful success!

Of course I was fretting and pouting up to the last moment. Why? I don't know. Everything had been done: flowers, decorations, catering : check, check, check. Yet I found kvetching curiously soothing. Is that just me?

In any case, all the fussing was forgotten when I walked through the door of our clubhouse where Carole ceremoniously presented me with a red rose corsage. Teresa's Nana and I were seated in places of honor. Yes, chairs.

Actually, everybody attending had access to a chair. (I was so proud of Carole!) However, our guests seemed to prefer milling around and mingling. We all laughed, chatted and enjoyed each other's company.

Then Teresa opened her presents. As I watched her I thought about my own marriage. My husband Ben and I were from the Depression era. Our families had no money for presents or showers or even weddings. But one thought sticks in my memory.

It was 1942. Ben, like most young men in those days, was in the army. We decided that I would join him at his station in Louisiana and get married there. I was working for a mens' hosiery company in Cinncinnati at that time. When I told him I was leaving to get married my boss gave me $25.00 for a present. Boy! I thought that was really something!

But what to do with such riches? After a good deal of thought I determined to do something I'd never done before. Get a manicure. I imagined how nice my hands would look when Ben slipped the ring (I hoped he'd managed to get one) on my finger. It made me happier than anything I could think of.

As I recall, the manicure took a good part of my twenty-five dollars. But oh, it was worth it! As I sat in the rolling, rocking train I listened to the Navy men strolling up and down the aisle singing, "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition." And I gazed at my beautiful hands and smiled and smiled.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lucy Hits the Box

The subject was seating.

I'm of the mind that one does not invite folks to what passes for a polite social occasion (e.g. a bridal shower) unless adequate seating is provided. A child of the hippie-era, my daughter-in-law Carole sneers at conventional seating arrangements and placecards. Her philosophy is that it's every man for himself and the rest of you sit on the floor.

OK, so maybe not the floor. But remarks like, "Don't worry about it." and "It'll be fine!" do little to relieve my anxiety. I just wanted to turn her over my knobby knees! Unable to reach seating consensus we agreed to disagree and to discuss it again in the morning. I retired to my sanctum sanctorum and Carole and Jack went to the movies. Then the fun began.

Watching Nancy Grace did not help me relax. I decided a glass of wine might---if I could find some. Unless we're expecting guests our family rarely has liquor of any kind on hand. Righto. Nary a single bottle. However I spied a large cardboard box labeled Chardonnay. I imagined it would have to do.

I'd never indulged in Chateau le Baux before and I couldn't figure out how to get at the wine. I was pretty sure it had something to do with the little black spigot on the side of the box. I pulled it. I pushed it. I twisted and turned it. I shook the whole box and finally took a table knife to the darn thing. When I uncovered the plastic bag inside I got thoroughly confused and went next door for help.

After he stopped laughing our neighbor Tom agreed to give me a hand---but not before he snapped a picture of me giving it one last try. He said nobody would believe it. He's probably right about that. But after everything tonight you can bet I'm going to be right about the chairs!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Always Question...

Good Evening. Lucy the Insomniac here... Still sleepless in Colorado. Back from last week's holiday sojourn with the Grands...Just me and my nimble, if not nubile brain skittering across the murk and darkness of night...I sit in the comfy stillness of my room and wonder...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lucy Needs Sympathy

I don't think I've mentioned the upcoming wedding of my grandson Ben to The Lovely Teresa. Ben is studying to be a dentist but he and Teresa have decided not to wait to get married. "Granny, we're so much in love we want to get married now."

And so, on July 29th, 2006 Ben and The Lovely Teresa are getting hitched in a "biggy" wedding celebration. (That date might sound familiar because it's in direct conflict with the Blogher conference in California. I was very excited about going to Blogher but obviously I'll have to wait until the '07 conference as the family would take a dim view of my absence at Ben and Teresa's wedding.)

This is the wedding the kids said would be a "simple" affair. However, like Topsey it seems to have "growed" over the past few months. Among the commitments made by those of us in the "Donn Dimension" is hosting a rather formal bridal shower on the 23rd of April. It is now 10 days from that date. It might as well be tomorrow as far as I'm concerned. Carole believes it is still months away.

I am a planner. If an occasion arises I plan what to do, where to do it, when to do it, how to get it done and what to wear at the earliest possible moment. It's all standard procedure and it's served me well over many decades.

My daughter-in-law feels all this planning is inhibiting and uptight. Our power struggles are very understated and polite. Mutually passive-aggressive sums it up quite nicely. I use guilt like both a saber and scapel---depending on what seems most effective at the time. Carole opts for immediate pacification and subsequent procrastination.

But now I'm at the hand-wringing stage. Carole and Jack dropped everything and flew to NYC for the holiday---with only 10 days to go until the shower that is supposed to be perfect and special and ON TIME. Carole said not to worry. We have "The List." Grannylu can make any decisions that arise based on "The List." To me this is like giving me a medical textbook and assuring me I can do brain surgery. It takes me two days to decide what color socks to wear.

The caterers have questions, there were no maps in the invitations; what about the flowers? Poor Lucy is a wreck. When I fret by phone Carole replies , "I thought this was supposed to be wonderful and fun. All this fussing is making it an ordeal. Let's just give them the money instead." She means it too.

It's all too scary and frustrating. Oh, woe is me... I think I'll have a glass of wine and take a nap.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lucy Meets the Competition

One of my friends called this morning.

"Hi, Lucy. I just got the paper and saw the picture of that darling Larry Olaf. I was so excited--I told my husband, 'I know him!'" She went on about how this dog was so funny, so huge, blah, blah,blah. Frankly, I'm getting sick and tired of Larry Olaf. He's really starting to cramp my style.

It wasn't that long ago my friends would call and say, "Oh Lucy! I'm so glad you're home. I haven't talked with you for ages. I've been thinking sooo much about you. How are you?" Sometimes they gushed on and on and as long as I reciprocated they were usually willing to listen to my regularly scheduled "organ recital."

But no more. Since moving to CO to live with the fam it's always about somebody or something else. Dogs, kids, cats, horses---even spineless things....Auntie Sue raises compost worms...the competition is getting really rough. My loved ones listen to my obsessional fretting politely---but only for a moment before something like Jackthedog flying out of the back of our moving pickup distracts them.

Even afterwards, when things have quieted down, nobody shows any genuine interest in my increased Imodium consumption or insufferable insomnia. But honestly I must say I'm beginning to enjoy the competition.

Jack and Carole have always loved pets and kids and don't seem to mind basking in the reflected attention of other, cuter things. That took some getting used to. I've always enjoyed basking in the glow of my own attractiveness. However, since everybody admits I'm still pretty cute I'm going to go along with the program here. I mean, what choice do I have?

And frankly, I've put my foot down on a few things. No animals currently live with us. Jack and Carole's house is being rebuilt and for now they share a clean, new beautifully decorated townhouse with me. I went so far as to give cohabiting with pets here a try but after the chewing, pooping, barking and assorted uncivilized acting-outs the critters were banished to the "Big House."

So for now the animals just visit. I even let Larry Olaf take me for a walk sometimes. And if everybody thinks Larry takes a great picture, well, I'll allow the big lug to have his fame---because 50 years ago I took an even better one!

PS: Try it. You'll like it! and of course, don't miss Larry Olaf's weekly posts at Larry Olaf has a tear-jerker coming this weekend.

My Window

Not my scheduled post--which of course isn't done because I've been going to see everybody else. I just came from Milt's I love Milt's writing. As I started writing a comment I realized I wanted to share it here.

Just yesterday I read about blogging burn-out. I realized that will probably never happen to me. First, I'll probably croak before that happens and then there is the certainty that I'll never tire of visiting my friends and listening to them. To me, the real pleasures and benefits of blogging are perhaps unique to my age. I have no place more important to go, or things more vitally important to get done---and even if I do I don't have the strength or energy to do them as before. I also know that while I'm uniquely important I'm no more so than anyone else. I'm truly happy when others get lots of comments and I love listening to others more than my own head. Boy! Have I changed!

Now I realize I don't have to prove anything. I'm tired of toting around axes that need grinding and even if I've still got one or two I just adore chatting with my friends about it. What's to get burnt-out about? We can get to know each other in our own good time, enjoy rubbernecking on the party-line (remember those?), be silly, get mad, have coffee and/or a glass of wine, be trivial, be frightened and short, all the things many older people stop sharing with others as strength and physical freedom wane. I just regret so few elders understand how liberating blogging can be. But I'm so grateful I do!