A Good Home

Update From Me

Yes – I’m missing in action – again. Sorry.

Here’s an update about a few things.

Huge snowstorm last week! By the time it was over, at least 20 inches of snow. Our side-road wasn’t cleared for 2 days.

The GrandToddler is speaking in sentences and repeating things other family members say. It’s delightful. But it reminded GrandPa and GrandMa of the time, decades earlier, when one of us yelled (forgetting our own toddler was in the room): “Turn off the f—ing light!” That toddler (now a Mama herself) went around saying: “F—ing light, F—-light.” We were horrified at what we’d done. Thank goodness she stopped saying it after a short while.

The amaryllis flowers have bloomed and rebloomed through December and January and now we’re on our last bloom for a while. What a cheery sight.

My friend, late 80’s, lives in a long term care home but her mind is sharper than mine, her will is strong and though she uses a walker, she takes long walks every day. Or did, till the latest COVID wave caused her and the other residents to be locked in. Meaning she couldn’t leave her room.

I was so busy with family matters, it was days before I realized what it was doing to this remarkable woman and by the time we chatted by phone, she was in tears. The isolation and lack of activity had worn her down.

I started to call her every morning, and sometimes, evenings as well, chatting about everything but lockdowns.

I discovered one small aspect of her lockdown life, though, that made us both laugh: early every morning, she defied the lockdown by sneaking downstairs to fetch a newspaper from the empty lobby. She knew she wouldn’t encounter anyone else, but I imagined her in her house robe and slippers, pushing her walker and hoping no-one would catch her breaking the rules. It gave me a smile every day.

When the lockdown ended – after about 23 days – I rejoiced with her. But I told her I also felt slightly cheated that she no longer had to steal out of her room to fetch the paper. That gave us both a chuckle.

I, of course, know what it’s like to be stuck in a room, unable to leave. It happened to me again last fall when I got myself in trouble for doing “normal” things like walking through big department stores searching for a single item – and ignoring the warning signs from my back, leg and foot till it was too late. I never get used to being stuck in bed, and when I have to take painkillers, I feel like a failure. Still.

I hope you’re coping with the pandemic lockdowns. It gets to me some days, but (so far) I’m surfacing. I stay connected to 2 arts organizations. I have friends and relatives who are struggling with much bigger health issues than mine so I keep busy supporting them in different ways.

Despite the abundant snow and cold, I ‘m also feeling better these days – which is another kind of warning. It’s when I feel better that I get into trouble! Wish me luck – or at least some patience and maturity.

31 thoughts on “Update From Me”

  1. Sounds like the serenity prayer; God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference. Good luck and stay well.

  2. It was good to see a new post from you this morning, Cynthia! I’ve been wondering how you’ve been getting along. My heart goes out to your friend in the long-term care home. I think the collateral damage of this pandemic has become incalculable.

  3. That’s a lot of snow, even by Maine standards. And two days before the snow was cleared from your road. Yikes! What a wonderful thing it is when toddlers start talking, but adults do have to take care about what they say. 😉 Moving story about your friend. I’m sure those calls are precious to her.

  4. I was glad to see your post. This has been a really hard time for everyone around the world and I think especially for the elderly. We had one of those incidents with one of our toddlers and the more reaction they get, the more they keep going. Stay well and pace yourself.

  5. I am glad to see you back, Cynthia! Your GrandToddler story brought a smile and a chuckle, and your elderly friend sneaking down for the paper did as well. The amaryllis is quite beautiful! The snow is beautiful, but what a trouble to get around in. Hopefully you did not lose power, too.

    Please do stay out of trouble no matter how good you are feeling, and I will do the same. 🙂 This arm and shoulder are healing but I think will be a few more months before it is fully usable for gardening.

  6. Your friends and fans are happy to read your updates Cynthia. You have a wonderful writing voice and perspective despite lockdowns and snowstorms. I’m glad you’re keeping your spirits up, helping your friend, and remembering good times. Thankfully, we haven’t gone back to lockdown here and only a little snow! 😋

  7. Hi Cynthia, Happy New Year!! Seems you are enjoying a lot of the white stuff, have fun and be careful, it’s slippery white stuff. Temps in the 30s are predicted here! Yikes. Stay warm and keep chatting. I am wishing covid away….

  8. I do wish you luck. Go carefully. I laughed when the physio told me I just had to pace myself – I know, it’s impossible advice, by the time you have remembered it, it is too late! Toddlers – aren’t they amazing little echo chambers. I remember years ago looking after a small person who misheard our word buggy [as ‘bug-aa’] (stroller to you, I think), and the endless shocked faces in public as he demanded to be let out of his buggy! Happy new year.

  9. thank you for sharing, Im glad that you’re getting better, and please take care of yourself 🙏🏾

  10. Glad to hear from you, Cynthia. This year, so far, that kind of snow has missed us here in NJ, but we had it last year. I don’t envy you … digging out is a lot of work, even though I’m sure you’re in the cheering section. Sounds like you’re doing a great job in keeping the spirits up for people who need it. That’s a good kind of trouble to get in. Stay well, my friend!!

  11. Lovely to have an update from you. I wish you luck and patience but not too much maturity. It is highly overrated. And I recommend that you don’t completely give up saying things like “Turn off the f….. light”, even in the presence of a grandchild, because one day GrandToddler/child will look back in wonder at the one time her grandparents did or said something “outrageous”. And she will smile and love you even more deeply. I say this because the other day I suddenly remembered the day, about 55 years ago, when I asked my mother to tell me a joke and she told me something quite scandalous. My 10 year old self thought it was funny at the time but my 65 year old self just can’t stop laughing about that joke and that day and how and why my mother knew such things.

    1. How I love the thought that your mother told you something scandalous! Thanks for this nice reply and the great advice. I shall have to preserve some of my outrageous self for the GrandToddler when she gets older. Hugs, my friend. Stay well.

  12. It’s good to hear from you, Cynthia. I was, in fact, just thinking of you yesterday! I remember having to watch my language around children. I’m glad your friend in the home remained cunning and spirited and you were able to cheer her up with contact. As for the snow, it is beautiful, but I don’t envy you with that much. It’s been a few years since we’ve had a storm like that and they are hard work and make things difficult for weeks. We’ve had some nice, manageable snowstorms here this month–6 inches or under, three separate times. I enjoyed it, but then I don’t have to go anywhere. It is lovely to watch. Do be prudent as you start to feel better! We want you writing for us.

  13. That is quite the snow storm. You really can’t get out into that without a lot of work and it takes quite some time to do it without hurting yourselves. Isolation is devastating both physically and emotionally. I just moved into an independent living facility and choose one not as attractive as others because the wouldn’t be locking me inside. They can curtail activities but I can go outside and back into my apartment any time. Of course I’m extra careful of where I go, what I do and mask up along with vaccinations to protect others as well. My heart breaks for your friend. This situation has reminded me how vital connections are to our overall health. I hope you are mending. I see you have found the same way many of us have found to keep connecting. My blogging family is my lifeline.. Hang in there spring is one the way.

    1. Oh, Marlene. Lovely to hear from you and to learn that you are living in a good place. Of course you would understand my friend’s situation, though it’s different. My best wishes to you.

  14. Oh, the delight of the GrandToddler speaking! Fun times. 😀 Thank you for the update, it’s lovely to hear you are doing well, despite the minor setback with your back, leg and foot. The pandemic is really hard, but some days are better than others. Take care, Cynthia and enjoy the season, your art, and time with family and friends! ❤

  15. Small steps… patience… pacing activity. We are sitting by the wood stove.. enjoying the Christmas lights on the deck… Too cold to take them down… until Easter. -Oscar

  16. I can relate. I saw every resident deteriorate during that first lockdown. Fortunately, I am able to visit my Bert every day. Those few hours anchors the day for both of us. We can both be grateful that we have family, friends and the kindness of strangers to help us through. My best wishes to your friend and take heart dear Cynthia. This too shall pass

  17. I love this, Cynthia. I only follow a couple of people these days since I have nothing (that seems acceptable to print:0)) to say, and am so happy that you’re doing alright. Lots of love to you and your family!

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