I knew I would fail at the part of holidailies that strongly suggest that you write daily for the month of December.  We had plans to be away from the computer during the ACC Tournament weekend, and although it’s theoretically possible to post from a hand-held device, I can’t imagine the swearing and localized hysteria that would result from my attempt to do so.

We drove to Rock Hill on Friday, into Charlotte for the game on Saturday, and then back to the beach on Sunday.  Home to Florida on Monday, and it will be a long, long time before I willingly get back into a car for a trip longer than 30 minutes.

Plus, the packing and re-packing and subsets of packing.  I had many flashbacks to George Carlin’s riff on stuff:

I have stuff at home, I had stuff at the beach, and a subset of stuff in Charlotte.  Most of the stuff I had in Charlotte was orange, including an orange sweater that I wore to go visit one of Bob’s dear cousins who said, sweetly, “Orange quite becomes you.”   Oh, if only it did.

My pared down, Charlotte essential stuff turns out to be: money, keys, brushes (2), wallet, cell phone, cell phone chargers (one for the house, one for the car), vitamins, prescription medication, makeup (never used, but my intentions were good), and the Kindle.

I’m one of those people who goes into an existential fugue the moment I go away from home for any length of time – if I am not at home, do I exist?  It’s as if I spin out my astral self, leaving webs in each of the places I’m supposed to be, and gather myself back as I retrace my steps until I’m safely at home again.  So I’ve spent most of the two days we’ve been home paying bills, rearranging things, planning to do the laundry, and walking from room to room.  Nothing useful as yet – no grocery shopping, no Christmas decorating or shopping – just rearranging my astral body into its accustomed shape.  It’s a lot like petting a cat, only without the cat.


Posted in personal


One big problem with being retired is that there is no structure to the day.  I’m big on structure.  You’d think, at my advanced age, I could supply my own structure, but it doesn’t seem to work out that way.  Today was a day without structure of any kind.

Oh, I started out with high hopes.  I took a shower, and got dressed.  I made the bed; I wandered around.  I read a little bit.  I “did” my pills – vitamins, mostly – by sorting them into little plastic bags so that I have them when we leave for Charlotte.  I mourned the lack of coffee.  I finished the Starbucks coffee drink from the grocery store that I like very much, but that is too much sugar for me, and I tossed the container.  (You get that, right?  Tossing the container is a line item in my day.)  I felt guilty that I have no spiritual practice.  I tried to acquire a spiritual practice, which was annoying, so I took a nap.  I watched TV.  I took another nap.

And so on.

I need a nanny, I swear.  Someone to say, “Well, now, let’s mop the floor, shall we?”  And then leave me to swear, pout, procrastinate, and then mop the floor.  Left on my own, mopping the floor occurs to me at around 1:00 AM, after I’ve tossed and turned and fluffed pillows for hours (naps don’t help you achieve restful sleep at 1:00 AM) and I’m finished with all the TV a reasonable human being should be able to watch and it’s too late to read Stephen King and besides, the lighting in the this room sucks and … well, yeah.  Being retired isn’t all it should be.

I’m having a crisis of “old” at the moment, too.  I’d love to get a dog, for example, mostly to get my ass moving (defined as not napping, not running a marathon) but that’s like having a baby so that you sleep less.  If the problem isn’t dog-related, a dog isn’t the solution.  (There’s a problem with that logic – what sort of problem would be dog-related, anyway?  Lack of fleas?  Using up all the dog food you unexpectedly buy?  But there’s a flicker of logical thought in there somewhere.)

Anyway: old.  We’re too old to have a dog – two breeders and my husband have told me so.  There’s an expiration date on dog ownership?  I grant you, we’d probably do best with a basset hound – an elderly basset hound with narcolepsy – but still: too old for a dog.  It’s just sad.

Maybe my problem is dog-related, after all.  I need a dog nanny, preferably one that is slightly less than housebroken.  At least the floors would get washed.

Holidailies, eh?  It’s going to be a long, long month.

Posted in holidailies


Today I am …

Wearing – Jeans, warm shoes (no flip-flops, even in South Carolina, not today), and an oversize t-shirt that is longer than the dresses I used to wear in the 60s.

Smelling – There’s something not quite right about the plumbing in this house.

Hearing – My husband chomping through his breakfast (at 1 PM, so he’s early today):  fresh fruit and jalapeno pimento cheese.

Reading – I just finished A Banquet of Consequences, which I enjoyed despite the red herrings, and have moved on to the new Stephen King.  Most of the books I brought with me are non-fiction, and I’m not in the mood for actual thinking.

Watching – As little as I can manage.  The best I can say is that the television is not on right this second.

Wanting – To turn off the stupid snowflakes on this site.  Why, o why, did I ever, ever …. oh, never mind.  I’d join Holidailies if only I could turn off the snowflakes.  Snowflakes are embarrassing.

(Format blatantly stolen from ladyloo.)

Posted in personal

This Mind of Dying

God let me give you now this mind of dying

fevering me back

into consciousness of all I lack

and of that consciousness becoming proud:

There are keener griefs than God.

They come quietly, and in plain daylight,

leaving us with nothing, and the means to feel it.

My God my grief forgive my grief tamed in language

to a fear that I can bear.

Make of my anguish

more than I can make. Lord, hear my prayer.


From the book “Every Riven Thing” by Christian Wiman. Copyright © 2010 by Christian Wiman. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC here

Posted in personal

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton prayer:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following
your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Posted in personal