Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

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

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lucy is Resolute

The New Year is around the corner. I've got a thought or two based on nearly 85 years of juggling joys and sorrows. Here are some of them:

1. I'm not as wonderful---or awful---as I've ever thought I was. I'm just a part of something much bigger than anything I can imagine. I've always done the best, under the circumstances, I believed I could do. That's a fact. Not an excuse.

2. Looking from the outside in makes things much more appealing than they may actually be. Our physical/material conditions are not nearly as important as our spiritual/emotional state. Unfortunately, for most of my life I didn't understand this. Now I do. Again, a fact---Not an excuse.

3. A person can simultaneously love and hate others. The more I love somebody the more capacity I have for rage and hatred toward them. Thankfully, in most situations I love my people more than I hate them. But no matter, I can choose---and that's a fact relating to my behavior---not an excuse.

4. Nothing and nobody can make up for things I missed in my life. I accept that whatever I've received and achieved will never be enough to make up for what I missed. Therefore I am striving to embrace my life with gratitude---now. And that's just a plain fact. (But it's never easy!)

5. Family is something you create---not something you're born or give birth to. My greatgrandchilden are both "by choice" and will never be more precious to me than my "blood" relatives. I couldn't choose my parents but I can choose my children, grandchildren, greatgrandchildren etc. And I do.

6. I'm so very grateful I've discovered blogging. Nothing could possibly mean as much to me as my blogging friends and the incredibly rich sharing I've enjoyed. I've been a real dud the last few months but none of my buddies let me down. I love you all so much---and you know who you are.

7. I'm not dead yet and so far I don't wish to be. So Happy New Year to me and to all of you. You're such a huge and vital part of my life. I pray you believe and never forget that!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oy Channukah!

I've been wandering around somewhere between heaven and hell this holiday season. Hell is having every tooth jerked out of my lower jaw. Though I rather enjoyed valiantly (and of course, obviously) enduring the subsequent bruising, inflammation and starvation---though not enough to EVER go through this again!

Heaven has been celebrating Channukah with my family. My spirits soared when the kiddies all came home (bringing me presents!) for the festivities. Even though I couldn't chew I made some outstanding latkes for the crowd. I managed to suck and gum a few morsels and I must say I've never made easier or better potato pancakes. Here's what I did:

1. Bought and whipped up (according to box recipe) 3 packages of potato pancake mix. I used Streit's this year but any brand---including the gourmet German kind, will do. I already hear shrieks from latke purists out there. Tough noogies.

2. Bought two 16 oz packages of fresh (in the refrigerated veggie section) any flavor grated hash brown potatoes. Forget the box grater or food processor. Dumped both bags in the prepared potato pancake mix. Stirred the goop together.

3. Plopped big spoonfuls on cookie sheets lightly greased with peanut oil. Baked 'em at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes then put them on paper towels when they were done.

4. Briefly fried them at high heat in a bit of peanut oil in my big heavy frying pan. Voila! Quick, neat and healthy. Slathered them with homemade applesauce and low fat sour cream. Served the eager and appreciative eaters!

So here's Lucy sending you all so much love and very best wishes for the holiday season---however you choose to celebrate. I wanted to post a picture of Channukah candle lighting but the shot of my sleepy great-granddaughter Lily Ana is too precious to pass up. (Haven't we all seen little ones worn out by having just too much fun? Such memories.)

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Week of Peace and Tears

Oh my Gawd!! Am I really that old? I look like a corpse. But I'm a happy corpse. We had a lovely Shabbat this weekend and I'm grateful for every weekend I get---especially the lovely ones! However, this Shabbat was bittersweet as Teresa, one of the-most-precious-and-adored-granddaughters-in-law-in-the-world received the most distressing news.

One of Teresa's dearest friends experienced what I can only describe as anybody's worst nightmare. I'm not even sure how to relate the incident without trivializing it but I'll try. Toni has been Teresa's friend for many years. Toni has a beautiful little girl with her longtime boyfriend Manny. Manny was an intelligent and sensitive guy but found drugs and alcohol even more enticing than Toni and his little daughter. After many years of personal struggle Manny appeared to be heading in a positive direction. He and Toni resumed communication and their future relationship seemed to hold promise.

But it was not to be. In short, Manny shot himself in the head in front of Toni last week. However, he didn't die immediately. After two days he was pronounced brain-dead and disconnected from life-support. But the thing is, he had identified himself as an organ donor and his skin, eyes and organs gave new life to many desperate and hopeful people.

I'm still processing the news...On one hand such tragedy and trauma. On the other, the gift of hope. It will take me a while to process. But then I think of the avocado pit my great-grandson stuck in one of our flowerpots. Two tiny leaves have appeared above the dirt. I know the pit is dissolving and disappearing to make the burgeoning of new life possible.

The older I get the more I know that life is a cycle of death and rebirth. I want, while I live, to contribute to life. Death for me, I hope, will come quietly and peacefully...but not until I have truly lived here and now.