Cancer Calling

I knew when I looked at the caller ID.  Before I even hit the decline button. I didn’t want to hear those ugly words come out of anyone’s mouth.

Of course there was a message …We got the report back today… You need to call. I hit the delete message.

Voicemail/caller ID/merge calls…all this technology designed to enhance phone communication sometimes works at cross purposes with Humans.

I  think about how to dismantle this feature.

I pour some wine. Cut a pain pill in half. My jaw is still aching from the abscessed tooth. And promptly fall into a dreamless sleep.

The next day I call. No answer. I leave a message on the voicemail that no one ever listens too.

I continue with my day. Busying myself with all kinds of move related tasks. Dropping off clothes at a Baptist church clothes bank… someone will be happy with these cute dresses with tags still on them, shoes worn once still in the box, purses just like they came from the store paper wadded inside.

I think they call it a shopping addiction. I call it retail therapy. It seems to fill some void I have had this summer. But my new life cannot handle all this excess so I happily give it to the church.

Next stop Salvation army. Men just waking file out the door. One directs me to the office. The smell of urine and maleness  is strong in the dimly lit hallway. The worker who welcomes me is genuinely happy to see me.  I load her arms with comforters, pillows and almost new sheets. She thanks me warmly. I leave.

On to the hip upscale trendy part of town. Ironically, only a few blocks away from the seedy army of salvation. The owner of the upscale consignment shop greets me cheerfully. We have talked and she is anxious to see my wares…The mid century Swedish folding rope chairs I bought 20 years ago. They are worth $800 each. I have 4. They are in excellent condition. How much do I want for them. She is excited to have such a find in her little shop. She can see the dollar signs. Where do I sign. I just want to sell them and move on. They are a reminder of a time when monetarily my life was good but otherwise bad.

The phone rings. The caller ID flashes their name. It is their legal name.  Not the familiar one.  Too emotion engendering. I take a long deep breath.

I watch the squealing ancient coal cars scream past my car. I wonder what it would be like to disappear among those fast moving cars now. To be taken away from the insistent ring of this cell phone. Whisked away in a snarling, screeching mess of iron and steel. Destination unknown.

I hit the accept button.

 

Poised on the Precipice

5am and I’m soaking in the too short tub Again

Me and Kem and My thoughts

Swishing swirling like waves

I watched today in the Chesapeake bay.

Summer almost half gone.

feeling unsettled anxious afraid?

Poised on the precipice of something/somewhere.

Exciting/ unknown

Unknowable/ Unrealized

Writing taking flight.

Book deal.
Blog.
Canada sponsorship.
Offer for lecturer @ Univ.

Everything you hoped for

and more baby girl

So why don’t I sleep?

Why

Am I and

my Twitter

insomniac comrads

doing yoga sleep moves

at 3am.

Where is the great love

I wished for

Chanted for

Prayed to Allah/God for.

Friends mostly male

Listen distractedly

They don’t know what

it means to be Black,

Female, 60+, in these Times

Even the select few

the Circle

I have let into

My Secret World

Don’t really comprehend Me

Girlfriends I don’t have many

Concerned with menopause

Failing health weight gain

Why are all the men in prison or way down Low

Gurl you are blessed what you complaining for?

I reply yes I know

and pour

another glass of Wine

Is this what 60 plus is really for.

Memories/regrets/ half lives lived.

Wanna be happy

Wanna Really smile.

We women wear the mask that

Hides and smiles.

Tired of frowning fretting brooding raging

Eating my feelings at 3am

Good black still cracks and gets fat.

You’re so funny

Can make everyone laugh

The tears of a clown are just that

So talented

so thin

look at that Smile

…Got good genes

even the physician scribes.

Ask Robin Williams,Anthony Bourdain, Phyllis Hyman, Donnie Hathaway Gerald Levert

Lt. Steven Nettles…thank you for your service/Your UnwaveringFriendship

All gone before their time

How does it feel to have a graveyard

For a friend?

Bath water so warm

murmurs hush.

Be still.

Peace
Be still.

The one you seek has yet to be born.

Guess I’ll see you next lifetime

…may Be a Butterfly.

(Love and Light!)

I Refuse to Be Lonely or

Mantra of a Single Boomer

Packing for a girl’s trip.  No, not inspired by the movie last year.  We enlightened- girls-just- wanna- have- fun Boomers have been taking these trips for years.  Just haven’t had the connections to turn it into a million dollar movie… Gurl, don’t hate …participate.

The trip is 2 months out so packing actually means sticking mini post it tabs ( meant for readers of books) on the hangers of clothes I plan to take.  This way I can periodically check the inventory and delete or add as the big day nears. Thus, ensuring that my I only travel with one carryon bag motto is enforced.  I don’t know if I read about this in one of those Boomer how to simplify your life AARP articles (as if being a Boomer could be anything other than simple…is that a conundrum?) or if I dreamed about it. But so far it seems to be working. If the weather changes or my itinerary improves….Did that automated message from Amtrak say that there have been schedule changes for your trip

I digress.

This post is Really about what to do when you are living Single and want to avoid some of the pitfalls Big Brother/Society/The Man/World/ place in your path.

First, do not ever buy clothes that fasten with a hook and eye.  Those of you who sew will recognize this term. Its from back in the day and has made it way onto the 2018 runway.   For the uniformed, I have posted a picture below.  No matter how cute, how discounted, how many times it beckons to you from the H&M hanger.  Do not, I, repeat, take it home. Remember that perky salesperson will not be waiting in Your closet to help you button the damn thing up. Face it, there are just some clothes a single person can’t wear…and this is one of them.

Next, read a book or watch a video on how to perform self Heimlich maneuver.  Try it out beforehand on several sturdy door frames preferably near the kitchen.  This is important because when you are scarfing down those yummy cheesy grits in the insomniac hour and start to gag, you will need to have this procedure for saving Your life down pact. Trust me, that’s why I’m Still Here. Forget about falling in the bathtub…those silver guard rails will protect you from that. But choking on your carefully prepared cuisine… well, check the morgue.

Lastly, invest in a good aluminum baseball bat.  Or maybe its titanium.  One of those man made metals that replaced the good ol’ fashioned wooden bat.  These can be found in any sports department and next to pepper spray (requires you to get too close to the intruder/and to periodically check the expiration date…did that say 2011…) Wasp spray, (effective but a little unwieldly and may be empty if you are a patio lover), are a Single person’s best friend. That chi chi little Shiz Tsu, can only bark and rarely bites. So this bat will make the intruder think you auditioned for the movie Breaking In…shout out to Being Mary Jane.

Now where did I put that inflatable man…oops pillow?

Love and light.  Comments are free and always 🙏🏿

Is Fido the “New Black”

IMG_20160106_073831Okay, okay,  let me make myself perfectly clear- I  DO like dogs.  Not the ferocious I wanttoeatyouforbreakfast kind of dogs, but rather the panting, wide eyed, cannot wait for you to return home,  what can I do for you, Master kind of dog.

In fact, I have been the proud owner of several pooches in my 60plus years, as well as the adopted owner of two such canines- Lucky and Harry ( Some of you may remember my Award winning…seriously folks….Blog about daughter Js beloved Lucky who came to visit and never left). It was the Most Read of all my blogs in 2013! And was selected for publication in an online magazine. Certainly, a testament to America’s love affair with fido. ( and possibly my writing skills).

this girl never gets tired of tooting her own horn, does she?

So, why I am proposing that Rover is now the New Black? It all started when I was on an impromptu trip to MYrtle Beach during the frozen tundra winter of 2015. Searching for some sunshine and warmth, I boarded a Greyhound to MB in mid January for what I hoped was a respite from the el nino induced winter weather plaguing the East coast. MB, apparently, is the place where hundreds of Canadian “snowbirds” flock to each year from January to March..an alternative to Florida shores..in search of the Sun.

I thought this woman was Black. What she doing in Myrtle Beach with some Canadians..Hmph!

It was on one of my early morning strolls down the sparsely populated MB beach ( the temperature was a balmy 60 degrees) that I encountered not one, but several men of a certain age taking a similar outing accompanied by a little puffball at their heels, or in their arms, or in one instance strapped to his chest in a dog carrier.

Each of these older gentlemen seemed in some state of other world bliss as they walked fido stopping to offer encouragement, bag poop, or feed a perfect sized treat to their small companion. After day 3 of observing this ritual on the beach, in the mall, down deserted side streets, it occurred to me that something was missing! Where was the gentleman’s spouse, girlfriend, better half, or even sidepiece?

Being the inquisitive, never miss an opportunity to talk to a stranger kind of person, I posed this query to one of these happy go lucky dog walkers. The answer? Wait for it…Wait for it. There was none! She (or he) had been replaced by Fido.

I told you something was wrong with this girl..how can a dog replace a girlfriend…she done had too much Sun down there in MB!

As a person who likes to shore up her observations with evidence, I began to pay closer attention to men (and women) in my age group who were partner-less, but ..aha..had a relationship with a canine.

I will proffer the ‘One Who Remains Unnamed’ as my final piece of evidence. ( Many of you remember him from my Vegas adventure which was the catalyst for my first Blog). His ongoing relationship for the past 10 years with a Pomeranian named Marley exemplifies the point I am trying to make.

Not only has this  6 pound ball of black fur become the source of his constant attention, recipient of specially prepared meals, purveyor of expensive treats..when did dogs start eating duck jerky.. a place at the foot or side of his bed,  or constant admonitions by said dog owner to me:  Hon, I got to go home and see my dog…that movie/dinner/flat tire..whatever.. Will have to wait!

Huh? Reader, do you get my point? And no,  I am not jealous of a dog. I just believe all God’s creatures have a place in this life. That humans were made for each other’s companionship, misery or whatever.

So have we taken this dog thing too far?  Is having a relationship with another human too taxing, too much work, a relic of the past?

I believe a dog Can be man’s best friend..but best girlfriend??

Oh well, time to go watch some Reality TV. Until the next time.

 

 

technophobia:a 21st century disorder

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Look familiar? These are the ravages of a 21st century disorder!

Hi, I’m Linda. I am a Baby Boomer.  I am not afraid of Technology.

In fact, I was the first on my block (back in the 80s) to have a MAC desktop courtesy of my employer. And despite my title as a teacher of English, I ran the computer lab and became the unofficial fixer of all problems MAC and otherwise.

Through the years, I graduated from MAC and became a PC user (Higher education folks looked down on us MAC users). I even became a proud member of Blackboard club and successfully taught freshman English to someone. ( Never sure who the students were since they could easily sit in their basement, blowing smoke and pretending to be on my roster).

Recently, I even enrolled in an online course and literally taught myself. Glad I didn’t have to pay for that travesty, but  it is one of the perks of living to be a ‘senior’. I digress.

Beyond the computer, I have owned a number of smart phones, tablets, and my most recent toys- Bluetooth keyboard and headphones.  My point Reader, is that I am not a novice when it comes to technology.  And as further evidence, you’re reading a Blog which I singlehandedly setup on this site. With only 2 consults to the ‘help’ button.

My technology concerns however, are not my own but rather global ones. Because, you see, I fear that we have gotten ourselves in somewhat of a pickle with this whole computer driven society.

For example, I was one of those ( former) hard working government workers who received notification that my security information had been hacked and all my personal information (including my SS#) was floating around in cyberspace.  The government’s response to this travesty was to provide all hackees with free identity theft services for a few years.

After spending several hours online providing the id theft fixit people with more of my personal info, it occurred to me what happens if they get hacked…what then?  And in fact, after I was awarded with a user name and a strong verified password by said id theft fixit company, I attempted to  log onto my account  only to find that my user name and/or password was not correct. Denied access to my own protection site..hmm..is that  like the pot calling the kettle black?

After several torturous hours of waiting on the phone for a customer service rep from the id fixit company, I was told someone would have to call me back as they were overwhelmed with other government employees seeking “the answer.”

Two whole days later, Jenny did call me back. But alas, I was cruising down the road and couldn’t talk to her. She hurriedly stated that it would be some time before I would get another crack at a rep so I pulled over to a parking lot and engaged in what turned out to be a fruitless foray into notgettingwhatyouaskedfor.

And despite her assurances, that everything was now fixed, when I returned home and attempted to log onto my id protection site, I was still denied access.

Despite all of this, Reader, like many of you,  I unfortunately drank the kool aid and continue to participate in using plastic for money, paying Peter and Paul online, shopping at the 24 hour Amazonia, and downloading movies/music  when the spirit moves me. I just pray the Hackers are gentle.

Blogging Again…

Well readers, it has been a minute since I last sat in front of this blinking cursor. Let’s just say like my grandma used to say, God required me to ‘sit down’ for a minute.

The genesis for this came in the form of a rear end accident that occurred almost 2 years ago while I was parked at the local post office…yes, I believe in snail mail…even have all my hate mail/bills directed to a PO box that I check periodically.

I had just left said establishment and was sitting in my car perusing the latest edicts from AARP…10 Best Places to Retire (if you have money, of course) when a loud boom followed by a forceful slamming of my venerable ’99 vehicle assaulted my body.

The perpetrator of this action was a delivery van backing into my unmoving vehicle (I did say I was parked didn’t I?) at a rather high speed for said parking lot. I saw the lady parked next to me running from her car with a look of fear on her face and because of the times we live in assumed it was some type of attack being rained down on said  PO…maybe a worker gone postal even…outside of the building.

Or perhaps, it was some type of random assault in which I was the starring victim. But imagination aside, it turned out to be an errant driver-in-a-hurry  whose actions turned me into an “accident victim” resulting in long hours lying on heating pads, mildly addicting pain meds and muscle relaxants, endless visits to physical agony (oops) therapy sessions and even a deja vue experience standing in a courtroom pleading my case to an understanding judge.

The legal wrangling alone is worth a Blog, but I was warned by my legal mouthpiece to refrain from discussing my case while it was pending.  And it is now just a mere 2 years later that this ‘case’ has been resolved and I am able to find my voice again.

did she just say that she hasn’t written a blog in almost 2 years because she had a court case pending? girl please…

Well, reader, I wish I could say I was “richer and wiser” because of the experience.  What I can say is that my 60 something year old neck/ back will never be the same again and I think I have PTSD for the Post Office.  So much in fact that I just signed up online to pay my yearly PO box fee. Now, if I could figure out how to get them to mail me the contents of my always bulging box. Hmm, that might be a way to save snail mail.

Well, it’s approaching daylight….no, my insomnia has not disappeared…and I will bid adieu to you.

I hope that you will allow me to visit your inbox sometimes when my creative juices are flowing.  As always, I look forward to your comments. What is a writer without a reader.

But guys, be kind, like Ericka Badu said…I’m an artist and sensitive about my sh*t!

Happy Holidays!