Grandma Marge

Friday, May 06, 2005

A Month of Travels

Since I wrote my last blog, I have been gone a lot. I did write two other blogs and lost them. So, I will try again, using Word instead of the blank space provided. We will see if this works.

My journeys this past 6 weeks included a trip to Seattle with John to go to Norwescon. After Linda had delivered us to the SeaTac Doubletree, I quickly learned that I didn’t have my suitcase, but someone else’s. Beverly took care of things, called Linda back and I soon had my own suitcase. We enjoyed Norwescon with its many panels, etc. We also enjoy discussing them with Beverly and Rick and talking with others as well.

We flew home and the next morning caught the bus with the 50 plus group. We went to the Oregon coast, stopping at McMinnville to see the “Spruce Goose.” It is a huge plane that Howard Hughes built to transport troops during WWII. Unfortunately, the war was over before the plane was completed. There were many other airplanes in the building, dating from WWI to the present. One recent plane travels over 1,000 mph.

We were supposed to view some whales, but couldn’t because the ocean was too choppy. We went out to the edge of the jetty and saw some other animals, including sea lions. We also went to a couple of aquariums and on our way home we went to the IMAX theater at OMSI in Portland. We had an interesting time trying to get into the theater. They told us that people who couldn’t go up the stairs should go up the escalator. Since John doesn’t do escalators, we decided to try the stairs. Then they said to go up the elevator. Then they told us that able-bodied people should go back and do the stairs, so I did. John and I were at opposite ends of theater. However, we easily got back together.

After that I went to Puyallup to bowl in State Tournament. John stayed home alone and Ralph helped him with his eye drops, etc. I bowled reasonably well, but will probably not place on the prize list.

Then, on April 18, I took John to Rich’s to stay while I went to Nationals. I spent the night and Casi took me to the airport. We flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma, via Denver without too many difficulties. The distance between gates at Denver was quite a walk, but we lucked out as a fellow with one of those carts came along to give us a ride.

At Tulsa, we were supposed to bowl at 7:30 p.m., their time. They had some kind of problem and we didn’t start bowling until almost 9:00 p.m. We got done at midnight and were supposed to be back the next morning at 6:30 a.m. We were tired!!! My bowling was pretty sad. My top game was 144. I did manage to get at least 100 each game, but I think it is the first time I bowled three series of less than 400. Most of the rest of our group didn’t do much better. Why they set it up so we get no sleep is a mystery to me. Maybe the men will do better. We will see.

On Saturday, Shirley David and I went to the meeting as delegates from our Association. Dee Vee Garcia went too. We didn’t vote on anything, they just did the ceremonial things like induct people into the Hall of Fame, etc. Shirley and I can say that we were delegates to the last WIBC convention.

The three of us went to a workshop on Friday. It was about how “Unmerged” Associations were supposed to proceed. The lady that conducted it was very good and not stuck on herself like so many of their people are. We have to close out our affiliation with WIBC and start over, because we will be part of USBC (United States Bowling Congress). We have to re-incorporate and get a new Tax Identification Number. Also we have to redo our By Laws and our Policy and Procedure Manual, using a “Mandatory Form.” All that work we’ve done for nothing. I won’t be responsible this time around.

After the meeting was over on Sunday (They were at least one hour late) we left for Branson, Missouri. We got there too late to do a show. We ate dinner and shopped for food to have for breakfast. We were in a condo that you can rent by the day. It had two bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I had an interesting time. I shared a king-sized bed with Dee Vee and we shared our bathroom with Dot Scroggins, who slept on a hide-a-bed.

We went to six shows. The poor lady who sold us the tickets kept losing stuff on her computer. I saw Shojie Tabushi, went on the River Boat on a lake, Pierce Arrow, Andy Williams, and Yakov Smirenof. Shojie plays the violin with a large variety of music from classic to hoedown. He also had a great sense of humor and I really enjoyed him. They had a show on the riverboat that was entertaining. They also served a chicken breast and roast beef, with salad, rice and a dessert.

The Pierce Arrow group was a quartet of guys singing harmony, which I really enjoyed. They had a comedian who was very funny and I really enjoyed him. Andy Williams at age 78 can still sing, but he walks like John and I do. Petula Clark was also part of his show. She is 72 and looks younger. I enjoyed her music as well.

Yakov Smirenof was interesting, but his comedian stole the show as far as I was concerned. Yakov was an artist and professor in Russia, but is now a comedian. He is big on Patriotism, as were most of the performers. He did some kind of painting for 9-11.

Branson was very entertaining to me, but I think it mostly appeals to people in my age bracket. Many of the songs were from the '50s and '60s. At one show, I counted 8 tour buses. That is over 300 people. Many gray heads were present.

Wednesday, we drove to Springfield, Missouri to fly to Denver. We had lunch at a place that threw rolls at you as a means of serving them. The food was very good.

As we flew into Denver, I got motion sick. I didn’t vomit, but I was nauseated. I had trouble eating at Denver. I drank a diet coke and then when we got on the plane to go to Pasco, I needed to use the restroom. It was snowing in Denver, so our plane had to get in line to be de-iced. By the time I got to go to the restroom, I’d been on the plane for at least an hour. The stewardess let me go before the seat-belt lights were off and I really appreciated her. We were a half hour late getting into Pasco. John enjoyed his stay at Rich’s, but I think he really wanted to go with me. Maybe next time.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Dealing with Dependency

After a month's absence, I am finally going to do a blog. I have been sick with a bad cold and couldn't seem to think of an interesting topic. As you can see, my topic isn't all that fascinating, but it is something I have been thinking about.

When you are an infant, you are totally dependent on an adult caretaker. As you get older, and more mature, you achieve more independence, can take more responsibility, and make more of your own decisions. This is what we as parents try to teach our children. I think sometimes that we do too good a job. This is because in the birth, life, death cycle, many of us become dependent again because of an illness.

Our natural inclination fights this, much like a teenager fights for his or her independence. Kids want to make their own decisions, even if it is wrong. Of course, what is wrong, is in the eyes of the beholder.

My husband, John, is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. One of the hardest things for him is his loss of independence. He is used to deciding that he wants to go somewhere and then getting in the car and going. Because he doesn't trust his driving ability, he is afraid to drive for fear he might hurt someone. His primary care doctor does not want him to drive. Now, when he wants to go somewhere, he has to ask someone to take him. He feels most comfortable asking me, but we go through some real manuevering to work around both of us and our schedules.

He also has trouble dressing himself on occasions and wants to try to do it himself. This is fine, if we have the time, but if we have to be somewhere within a certain time frame, there might not be time. He almost always has trouble if he hurries.

I see myself becoming more dependent as I get older. It takes me longer to do things and I get tired more easily. I hate that! It does, I suppose help me empathize with John, but that is the only positive I can see to it. Being financially dependent is the worst part of being older. Medical care just about kills you financially. It is the hassle of medications. I have to make sure that neither one of us runs out of a prescription. Co-pays have gotten more expensive as well as the medical insurance premium. I suspect that the government's promise of prescription coverage has made the drug companies raise their prices, particularly on people who have prescription coverage on their supplemental to Medicare policies.

As I strive to make our "golden years" more golden, I would imagine that learning to deal with having to be dependent on children, drug companies, doctors and dentists is a part of life. I will try to be as pleasant as I can about this whole business, as I want those around us to enjoy our company. Perhaps my greatest fear is that I have grown too old and set in my ways to have younger people want to spend time with us. I seem to have no trouble with friends my age, we seem to all be in the same boat. I do feel blessed that I have great kids and a husband that still loves me.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

How I Met My Sweetie

I have promised that I would do some family history type blogs. Although most people who know us have already heard this story, it is an important one in my life, so it bears repeating.

I had been bowling with John's first cousin, Ella Faye for several months. We used to stay after league on Thursday nights to play what we called "pot games" A pot game included putting dimes in a pot and the person with the highest score got the "pot"

One night I was complaining to the gals after the pot games about the choice of men in Walla Walla. I said it was getting hard to find someone to go out with who didn't want to jump in bed with you right off.

One of the gals, Bonnie Rease, who with her husband Al, owned the lanes, suggested that Ella introduce her cousin, Johnny, to me. Ella agreed that he would be more respectful. They suggested I join the league, as there was a vacany.

The next week, I joined the league. Upon arriving at the lanes, Ella casually introduced me to John. He said he was glad to meet me and then walked away. I thought he was a "hot number" and certainly wasn't the most friendly guy I ever met.

Sometime later, when I went to bowl, John came up to me and greated me warmly. He began to practically follow me around. He began staying for pot games and became part of the group.

It wasn't until later that I learned what happened. Although Ella Faye and Bonnie had shared their plans for the introduction with me, they had not with John. He had checked out the women in the league and decided they were all married. If they were, it seemed that anyone new coming in was paired off, too. It was a mixed doubles league where there are two men and two women.

It appears he didn't want to waste his time with a married woman. When Ella Faye noticed how he had responsed to the introduction, she said to him, "When I introduce you to a nice single gal, I want you to pay attention." He said,"Who, when, are you talking about." When she told him, he replied, "Marge, I thought she was married."

I don't recall time frames about this, but it couldn't have been too long after Ella Faye's conversation with him that he did indeed "Pay attention" He took every opportunity to talk with me.

Ella Faye invited me to a Sunday, family picnic. At this point, I met John's mother. She and I talked quite a bit that night, a fore-runner to many conversations we had over the years. She was concerned that "Johnny" find himself somebody, now that he was out of the Navy and home again. I assured her that he would, explaining that my brother had been slow in the date department, but now had a family. I never thought at that time that I was the somebody he might find. I was just trying to reassure her.

Shortly after that picnic, John asked me out and that is another funny story. We were engaged that fall and the following June 9 were married. That was over 42 years ago.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Still Confused

I wanted to make a comment on another blog, but couldn't get the sign in completed. When I had just about given up, and was ready to quit this whole business, I made it in to somewhere. Whether or not I can get a posting from this remains to be seen.

I would have written a piece on my visit to flylady. She and her helpers are supposed to help me get organized. That is a joke. I have been un-organized for over 70 years, so why change? Ralph Yaw has been helping me get organized, especially in my office and in other rooms on our premises. I like the clean look. The major problem is I still can't find anything. I think that relates to the fact that I suffer for CRS and don't remember where I put things. I don't know if flylady, or anyone else can help me with that. But if I could improve, I would not suffer from " Chaos" which means Can't have anyone over syndrome. Having a larger house means I can have someone over if I keep things reasonably picked up. I may never be good enough (unlike Beverly) to have the place in first class order, but I will not be totally ashamed of the way things look like I used to be.

Well, today, I started another 5 week Quest class. It is about the religions of the world. The speaker today was supposed to talk about Christianity, but his first question to us was to define religion. I think it is a system of beliefs by which we try to explain the things we don't understand. The lady sitting next to me thought it was a way to take responsibility for doing good to others and our enviroment. I told her that was a good answer as we need to care about others to express what we believe in. Anyway, I don't know much more than I did. Another interesting fact: There were six people from the Congregational church there as well as the instructor and his wife, who attend there. I didn't see anyone from my church. This class will probably get more interesting as there are other interesting people there I didn't mention. More on that later unless I get tired of the mechanics of this and give up. Marge

Monday, January 24, 2005

Let's See How This Works

Today's blog will be short, I think. I'm doing this largely because I want to make comments on other people's blog and I gather that I have to have an identity of some sort to do this. Personally, I can't imagine that too many people are interested in what I may have to say, but I guess I could write about things that happened when I was young. My husband John, (Walking in Gay Shoes) has done this and our daughter, Beverly (Auntie Fatcat) approves, so I may try it.

I hope I can remember all the passwords, etc. Also how to do another one of these blogs. I have enjoyed reading the blogs of other people and could have been happy to continue doing so if I could be satisfied with that. But, no, I have to talk back to them. Yes, I did get into trouble talking back as a child. Also asking too many questions. I think some of my teachers didn't like that. I did discover when I was in college that I could talk via the essay question and teachers liked that. The more BS, the better the grade. College was also the first time I could talk on the phone without my mother trying to improve my phone manners. I imagine many people feel the same way, including my own children. I loved the independence I had in college and yet I didn't have to cook my own meals or worry about transportation. We walked everywhere.

Life got really good after I met and married John. I enjoyed his family as well. His cousin, Ella Faye introduced us. That is a pretty good story I'll save for another time. We have two great kids, both of whom have families of their own. These families include three cats and one dog. This is enough for me, I enjoy their animals at their houses. We have had cats, all of which have, as my Mother would say, gone to cat heaven. Beverly would like us to get another one to keep us company in our old age, but I'm not sure I want to take care of one.

This is enough for now. Maybe some day soon, I'll talk about my "German Calvanistic Heritage". Only after I understand what it is. So long until I have another block of time. Marge