Decisions, decisions.

Decisions, decisions. 
Thankfully not life or death decisions.  More on the caliber of comfort kind of decisions.  As in “should I do an exercise tape or go to bed and read?”  And along the lines of “I just ate mac and cheese, but I really want some milk toast.” 

Do you know what milk toast is?  Does the very mention of those two words together make you throw up in your mouth?  I was raised on milk toast.   Probably not exactly correct, but the modern day version consists of toasting some bread, buttering it, putting it in a bowl, adding sugar to it, then pouring milk over it.  Hence the name Milk Toast.  So yeah, if you don’t like the idea of soggy bread, it might not appeal to you, but to me, it’s like manna from heaven.

Since the weather here has turned colder and the wind has decided to rear his ugly head once again, my walking regimen has been put on hold.  Now for a little cause and effect.  Because my walking regimen has been put on hold, my belly has increased dramatically in size in the last couple of weeks. 

So instead of eating milk toast, then going to bed and reading, I decided perhaps to blog and bore you with more uninteresting stuff like milk toast recipes. 

I’ve reached the age where my mind still says I can but my body says No Way Jose.  Case in point.

Weekend before last, J-Dub, Ashy, and I took a weekend trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico.  We were hoping to see some beautiful foliage, visit some family, have a nice weekend get-away, and find a house to live in.  Not really on that last part, but my husband is set on moving to Ruidoso.  Or anywhere close to the mountains. 

Ashy and I decided to take a little walk around the neighborhood Saturday morning, so we set out with our tennis shoes, no cell phone, and a camera for a nice little stroll on a walking trail that wound around a fenced off golf course. 

We stayed on course enjoying the weather, watching the crows that were as big as my yard chickens, and simply enjoying one another’s company. 

Before we set out, we were told that the trail was about 3.5 miles long.  Not bad.  We could handle that.  And we did.  We did just fine until our trail ended and we were on a street. We didn’t know whether to turn left, turn right, or cross over.   You might say we’d come to a crossroads.  Literally.   We lost sight of the trail and were forced with a decision, decision. So we decided we’d take a right turn since that was sort of the way we came.   After walking a few several blocks, we still had our eyes on the golf course and knew that we weren’t lost.  But then somehow we ended up behind some buildings that dead ended into the fenced off golf course again. 

All during our walk we read signs posted on the golf course chainlink fence that read:

NO TRESPASSING
VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED

But before you knew it, we found ourselves trespassing across the golf course.  We could see the trail on the other side.  There were runners, walkers, and all we needed to do was get over there to them.  It made sense that the quickest route to the trail we needed to get on, was to cross over the golf course. 

Decisions, decisions.  So we headed out walking across this golf course with elevated heart rates, not from the walk but rather from the thrill of trespassing, and all the while Ashy chanting, please don’t prosecute us, please don’t prosecute us. 

Our destination was in sight.  The trail was right before our eyes.  We had traversed the golf course and made it to the trail.  There was nothing stopping us from stepping onto it except the dadgum chain link fence that surrounded the entire golf course. 

There was no gate nearby. No doorway.  No tunnel.  We’d been walking at least 45 minutes.  My feet hurt.  I was getting warm.  I was thirsty, and I was tired of this adventure.  I turned and looked around the area behind us of which we had travelled.  Our choices were either to turn around and re-trespass over the golf course prolonging my misery or climb the chain link fence. 

Decisions, decisions.

“We’re just going to have to climb this fence.”  I told Ash.  Of course the fear of getting caught was weighing on my mind.  I thought surely no one would really harass a pregnant lady and a 12-year-old, but you never know in this day and age.  We took our chances.

We walked over by a little grove of trees away from the trail, behind some buildings which we later discovered to be the police station, and I stood while Ash positioned her sandaled foot just so-so inside the chain links and climbed up and over the fence.  I have never seen anyone climb a fence so slowly.  I was on high alert, looking around for golf carts and flying golf balls, men with badges, and passersby. 

“Hurry up!”  I snapped at her, hoisting her on the butt.  Then as she slung her leg over, of course her pants got hung on that pointy little part sticking over the top bar of the fence, and I had to wiggle it and yank on it to get her free as she gingerly positioned her feet on the opposite side and climbed herself down, safely on the non-trespassing side.

Now for my turn.  Piece of cake.  I mean how many chain link fences have I climbed  in my life?  At least 300.  Not only have I climbed my own fences,  I’ve watched COPS.  I’ve seen how criminals can get over a fence in a couple of seconds time.  My mind knew I could do this.  All I had to do was put my hands on the top bar of that chain link fence and hoist my six month pregnant self on to the bar, then swing my legs over and climb down.  

Now all I had to do was convince my body.  I hoisted.  I strained.  I grunted.  I jumped.  I stood on my tippy toes.   The fence was wobbly.  My upper body was weak.  After a few attempts, my heart rate was really elevated from the anxiety of getting caught climbing a fence and the exertion it was taking.   I was sweating.  In the mountains.  In October.

Finally, with all the strength I could muster, I hoisted and slung my leg at the same time.  I managed to get on top of the bar and laid there smashing my poor baby girl into my backbone, then flipped my legs over and let myself down.

Panting and red-bellied we limped home.  Well I did anyway.
Thankfully without prosecution.
But more than likely, the whole thing is on someone’s surveillance camera.  I hope they’re getting a kick out of it.

I think I’ll go eat some soggy bread now.

 

2 weeks—Memory of my dad #4

Today it has been two very fast weeks since my dad’s death.  I’ve been doing okay, I really have.  My loved ones (and his) have been grieving something fierce, and I’ve been worrying about myself because I seem to be living life just like before February 27th.  I ponder if I’m giving myself time to grieve, if I’m dealing with this like I’m supposed to?  Of course he’s the first thought I have when I open my eyes, even before I begin deciding what day it is, and he’s the last thought I have before I fall asleep where I long him to visit me in my dreams.  He only has talked to me once in my dreams, and he told me he had to go alone, that was pretty much it.  The rest of my dreams have been busy planning the funeral and such.

A few moments ago,  I literally collapsed on the couch with exhaustion from packing, moving, and unpacking my home.  My body is weary and my mind is exhausted, and my little niece who was busy cleaning out her clothes came into the room holding a tee-shirt her Grandpa had bought her.  You know one of those “Someone who loves me very much went to blah blah blah and all they brought me was this lousy shirt.”  Holding it against her chest, she said, “auntie, I have to save this even though it’s too small for me.”  That’s when my eyes welled up and the hurt returned. 

I know I’m going to have days like this.  I know when my mind and body slow down enough, it will hit again.  I’m thankful for my busy-ness right now. 

Thursday I celebrated my birthday and that evening I blogged about my age, and the question of middle age.

Ironically here’s a story written by my dad on the same subject.  Enjoy.

~Trying Not to be Caught in the Middle ~

“Good God, brother, you walk like an old man, what are you 54, 55 years old?” my brother groused as I creaked and groaned my way to my feet.

“Whatever it is, you’ll be there sooner than later,” I told him and made my way to the fridge for a refill.  You’ve go t to give as good as you can take in this day.  And I keep my needle honed for jibes such as these.

Middle age–why do they call it that?  Because we often find ourselves in the middle.  Too young to enjoy the quiet pleasures of the aged, but too old to handle the excitement of the young.

Some wise old sage (I think it was one of my friends) said, “Youth is wonderful, too bad it’s wasted on the young.”  I concur.  It’s too bad the young don’t possess some of the mellow qualities their elders have in abundance.

Three score and 10.  that’s what we’re allotted, and if those figures are correct, then I’ve by-passed middle age and no one even told me I was ever there.  Someone once wrote, “If you pass fifty, be on your guard against impulses, which if obeyed, can lead along a perfumed path to folly and incalculable risk.”   The only impulse I suffer from is to take a nap in the afternoon, and the sooner after lunch, the better.

Having lead a rather active life between the years of one and fifty, and having acted on many impulses, I’m curious as to what the next few years might bring.  Because if I’m going to make a fool of myself, at least I’d like the opportunity to pick my own gig.  So I’ll play the proverbial grasshopper waiting for whatever.

Middle age, according to my calculations, is somewhere between 30 and 65.  To the stripling of – say 16 – then thirty might be middle age.  If you’re a geezer of 80, middle age could be 65 or 70.  It’s all relative.

With the life expectancy being increased daily by the Abflex, people can expect to live to be a hundred by the next century.  Then, by the simple ciphering of numbers, middle age will come at the relative young age of 50.

A friend recently told me, “I’m in the middle, I have too much energy to sit still and not enough energy to move about.”  Then waxing philosophical he added, “You’re as old as you feel.  That’s as plain as your face!”

“Don’t you mean, as plain as the nose on your face,” I asked.

“I said what I meant,” he added.

In respect to his age and mine, I didn’t pursue the matter any further.

So to those of us that have reached middle age, we may as well yield to it and become synchronized with the years.  You can’t kid the calendar.  Be prepared to agree with the fellow who insists that there must be some pleasure in senility.  Maybe after all, age is just a mirage to those of us who no longer have youth in great abundance.  But I’ll struggle, struggle against growing old.  Because the longer I stay young, the shorter I’ll be old.  Anyway you look at it, it’s time to take my nap.

Bob Briggs
August 17, 1996