Monday, January 10, 2011

A Productive Week

Although I learned long ago that I will never get “caught up”--whatever that means--this week has been a productive beginning to January.

The Christmas trees and decorations are down and put away. (I do not doubt that just like in other years, I will be surprised someday to find a stray candle or some other seasonal item still waiting and wondering why it was left behind. It is not unusual long after Easter to find a egg—hopefully plastic-- or stray bits of purple or green grass peeking out from some unexpected place.) But as far as I know, all the decorations are stored for another year, and January visual plainness is a restful relief after December excess.

I received my first hearing aids on Tuesday, and they are working very well. I am really surprised. Although I wanted to hear better for years, this was the first time someone had said I could be helped. I had decided maybe I just had a processing problem, and I still suspect that I do. I was tested before Christmas and made this appointment to take the aids for a trial. I almost cancelled this appointment thinking I should not waste the technician’s time nor my time. I figured hearing aides would drive me nutty.Gerald says if I wasn’t born with something, I can’t handle it.

That is the truth about dentures, necklaces, and earrings. Until my eyes really got bad, that was also the way it was with my glasses. I would evidently be bothered by them and unconsciously take them off, and later I would have no idea where they were. As long as Mary Ellen, our youngest, lived at home, that was not too big a problem. I could ask her if she had seen them, and she would have noticed their location and retrieve them for me.

After she left home, I suffered until my eyes needed the glasses to see all the time, and somehow then I adjusted to them. I still lose them when I open an oven door and they steam over and I yank them off and leave them in some weird place in the kitchen. But most of the time, they stay on my face and I don’t feel too uncomfortable wearing them. I thought maybe—just maybe—if I tried real hard I could adjust to hearing aids, so I kept the appointment. Gerald was kind enough to take me to Carbondale since this is his technician also and he had recommended him.

Nevertheless, from what I had heard others say about background noises with hearing aids, I was not very hopeful I could stand them. However, I have not been bothered at all. In the car, there are noisy turn signal beeps and windshield wiper swishes, which are now more of a loud thump than swish when the wiper hits the far left. But once I realized what the sounds were and that all was well, these are not unpleasant sounds. I do not feel the tiny aids in my ears at all, so I am not pulling them off. I think I am going to like these little modern technological gems.

Wednesday was the monthly senior citizen day at the grocery store, and it a crowded and challenging time. I appreciate the discount but am usually too tired afterward to finish putting up the groceries until the next day.

Thursday is my day to pick grandson Sam up from his trombone lesson after school, so I told my son-in-law David that I’d start seeing they had something for supper that night giving him one night a week that he doesn’t have to think about that. So I fixed a big pot of spaghetti sauce at home for our supper and had plenty to carry in for theirs to put over the whole wheat spaghetti I bought the day before.

Friday was the first Women’s Club meeting for 2011, and we enjoyed lunch at O’Charley’s to start the new year. After a few errands in town, I was back at the farm hoping that Leslie would arrive from upstate before the temp dropped and roads got slick. There was still enough spaghetti to feed the three of us, and I was grateful when I saw her car lights coming down our lane arriving to spend the night on her trip back to campus in Tennessee.

Leslie is always fun, and she is a fan of old musicals. I loved hearing about the Eiler Christmas and watching State Fair with her after Gerald went to bed. I saw that movie as a child or teen and had not seen it since. She was the only one here, so she was able to sleep in everyone’s favorite bedroom--what we call the brown room—the only underground bedroom in the house. It is like a cave in there, and I did not see her again until lunch time Saturday. I felt good she was fully rested to start the long drive on down to her dorm where she was reporting for duty as a resident fellow at 5 that evening.

Before she left, the three of us had a bowl of home-made vegetable beef soup and “lunch surprises” for dessert. Actually I had made them as “breakfast surprises” but with the sleeping in, we did not eat them until lunch. I had not made these for many years. They were sort of a joke when our kids lived at home. I put a little butter, brown sugar, and nuts or coconut in the bottom of a muffin pan and topped them with canned biscuits. It took awhile for our kids to catch on that “breakfast surprises” and “supper surprises” were the same thing. This time I used Apriva for the sweetener and Gerry’s gift of Georgia pecans, and they were good.

David had meetings all weekend because of a Monday deadline at his plant, so I went out to Katherine’s Saturday evening as well as making my usual Sunday afternoon visit today. Gerald stayed home and was able to visit with Erin and her cousin Sarah when they came to the farm to pick up Erin’s dog Sadie, whom Gerald had cared for while Erin was in Arizona.

Since David was at work, Gerald came out in the late afternoon to help Katherine make it to the parent meeting for Sam’s youth group at their church. Their church has just called Wendell Garrison, a dear friend of ours, to be there for interim pastor. Gerald and Wendell were college roommates the year before we were married, and they still act silly when they get together.

We have not lived close enough to see each other too often down through the years, but we have always kept up with each other as much as we could. We used to receive Wendell’s weekly sermons through the mail, and we have his devotional books. We enjoy his annual Christmas letter, which always impresses me with its brevity that includes an amazing amount of information about their blended family that was created after both Wendell and Mary lost their first spouses. (I keep trying to imitate his letter and failing.)

So tonight after we dropped Katherine and Sam off for the youth meeting, Gerald and I grabbed a bite to eat nearby and were able to return to the church to hear Wendell preach for the first time in many years. It was a fine ending to the first full week of January.

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