Once upon a time, many years ago, I read something and not only was I able to understand it, but I remembered what I had read. School and tests were easy. Sadly that was many years ago — when I was much younger. Fast forward a few years, when I was in my forties, I already had trouble remembering what I had read. A class in Junior College brought my inability quickly to my attention. I had to reread a chapter many times before I understood it. I persevered and passed my tests. It was no longer easy.
Fast forward to the present time. I’M IN TROUBLE! I’m always asked what gift I would like for Christmas or my birthday or our anniversary by my family. I never have an answer. Until this year. I went to join the group for coffee when we were still at our campground — they talked about a new camera that not only took fantastic pictures but was able to upload pictures and video to the internet. Before I learned about this camera, I tried to print a video onto a DVD at Costco. Only to learn that the process was no longer available when pictures were copied onto a disk. In order to capture a film, the cost was $17.99 — maybe not too much but rather expensive for a 2 minute film.
I have to admit that I mentioned the camera without researching it. Christmas came early this year since I’m now in possession of this extremely smart camera. The recipient, on the other hand, is NOT extremely smart. My husband downloaded the manual off of the computer since he knows I have trouble reading things on the computer — all 170 pages. He placed them in a binder so I would have handy reference. And I have begun the process of learning to operate its many features. After the first hour, I had barely made it out of the basic functions. My brain was tired or my eyes — I don’t know which for sure. I put the camera up.
Evidently I learned enough to be able to take a video complete with sound of my husband battling our granddaughter with light wands. She won — she is fearless. The video is priceless — he doesn’t always get involved with the antics. Not only do I want to share it, but saving it is also a priority. Needless to say I don’t know how to do either. Nor do I have a smart phone. One challenge at a time.
Another hour devoted to the camera today. I had to go back over previous pages to try to understand the icons. I made it all the way to functions before learning stopped. At this rate I might be ready to take pictures in a few years. I don’t know if I will ever be able to master all the features this camera has. Although it isn’t winter yet, it is cold outside. I see excursions to the conservatory and museums in my future.
I like pockets that securely close in my jackets and coats. I like to leave my purse at home and wander — stores, the Garden, museums, even the zoo. If the pocket isn’t deep enough, things have a way of leaving. I have been searching for a new winter coat for a while with no luck — the pockets weren’t deep enough, didn’t close securely or where limited.
Wednesday I went shopping with a friend. We have a routine — first we stop for breakfast, then go to Wal-Mart, next we linger over lunch before finishing our shopping at a food store. Wednesday proceeded on schedule.
Breakfast was delicious, the sun came out while we were driving to Wal-Mart. I found everything on my list plus a few more. We stopped for lunch. The restaurant was very busy but I found a parking space and we found a table. Time passed and we headed for the food store. Our freezer is still very full so I limited my purchases. Standing in line, I COULD NOT FIND MY CHANGE PURSE which holds not only money but my driver license and credit cards. My purse has quite a few pockets, which I searched without success. I knew I had the change purse when we stopped for lunch. The lines were VERY LONG. I really didn’t want to get out and return to the restaurant but I had no choice. Before I got out of line, I searched the pockets on my jacket and FOUND the missing purse. Absent mindedly, I had put it in the breast pocket of my jacket where I keep my cell phone. That is where I keep it when I’m traveling without a purse.
I dropped my friend off at her house, then proceeded to Costco where I needed to pick up a prescription. When I entered the store, my attention was drawn to a table which held a number of hooded coats. Still searching for a coat with pockets, and recently reminded of their importance, I stopped to check out the coats. I was very pleased with what I found — two zippered breast pockets, two deep pockets that snapped, a pocket on the sleeve and an inside pocket. Now I just needed one in my size. I searched the dark brown stack unsuccessfully, but the lighter beige stack had quite a few in my size. I must admit that the sleeves were a little tight. I’ll have to wear thinner sweaters until I loose some weight. Walking Robin the next morning, I realized that the lighter coat was better for me. I’m often walking Robin in the morning before the sun is up or in the evening when it is getting dark. The lighter coat will make it easier for people to see me.
That would be the end of this ramble — except I had to return to Costco to pick up another prescription on Friday. The stacks of coats were GONE. Luckily I had mine. I talked to an employee that I know. She mentioned that she almost took her life on Tuesday — a knife was on her counter that she was going to use on herself. Not depressed — no reason for the impulse. She heard God tell her to get out of the house, visit a friend. Which she did. I DON’T HEAR GOD TALK TO ME but I’m glad she heard Him. I told her about the Holy Card I have of a prayer to Archangel Michael to guard against evil. She asked if I had another. Saturday I was back at Costco, to deliver the prayer card.
In the Catholic church, Sunday was the feast of All Souls day. Members of family and friends are remembered in a special way. The first song listed was Come Ye Thankful People Come — not one of my favorites. Then Mass started and the cantor announced the first song — Amazing Grace. Since we have been in the country, I hadn’t been to our church in a month and although surprised at the change, I hadn’t looked at the date of the sheet. I thought I had an old sheet and that the parish had decided to stop providing the sheets for Mass in a conservation attempt. Then the cantor said that the next song was printed on the order sheet. ?? I didn’t have the right order sheet. I like that song, don’t know the words and was not too happy that I had the wrong information. I decided to hum along with the melody. Then I looked at the order sheet that I picked up — then I laughed. HI DAD, HELLO EVERBODY! The date on the order sheet was October 5 — the weekend of my birthday.
As a parting gift, our cantor sang Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. Beautiful!
My life continues to be interesting — today the computer is having fits. It is taking a very long time to load any information. I mentioned the problem to our son — same computer — he didn’t have a problem at all. I could have walked out to the garbage and back in the time it took some things to load — his inquiry’s were immediate. Although I get a warm feeling when I know “my friends in higher places” are around, when they mess with something I’m trying to accomplish it can be frustrating.
This morning I opened the bible to Isaiah 61: The Mission To the Afflicted. “To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning, a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.” Evidently my job, if you want to call it that — is to share the good news. Those that have passed over are alive and well on the other side. I’ll admit that I miss the physical but since they are so active in my life — I don’t grieve.
Why did I have trouble with the computer? The answer might be: “Why are you playing instead of writing? We gave you a new story to share.” Although the brain is not clicking along, struggling through molasses as a matter of fact — I haven’t had any problems with the writing. Evidently the words are agreeable.
When I told my husband what I noticed that morning, he responded: “that’s weird.” And I guess it was. But to me it seemed a normal part of my life. I have to admit that one plus one didn’t make two right away. I opened the bible in the morning to a verse in Ezekiel which detailed the interior of the temple. Then I did a morning meditation which focused on how the parts of my body felt. I didn’t connect the dots until I was writing the bible reading in my daily calendar book. That is when I recognized I was being alerted to the subject of the meditation. One plus one equaled two.
This connection doesn’t happen all the time but it is not unusual for me either. I’ll open the bible in the morning and the verse will be the same verse at Mass that day or the next. For me this is normal — not unusual. I don’t know how long this has been a part of my life. I suppose it is like learning to walk. When you begin you struggle to find your balance, place one foot in front of the other but in time, not only are you walking, but you might be running as well.
I used to run rather fast. That was in days past — when I was younger and weighed less. My knees didn’t hurt nor did my hips. I remember racing the buses on the main street where lived — bus on the street, me on the sidewalk. Sadly those days are long gone. When I’m stuck in the negative — focusing on all the abilities I no longer have — I see someone who is more challenged than myself — in a walker, using a cane or in a wheel chair.
I used to be unaware of the “help” I receive on a regular basis. We just celebrated Fall Festival at our campground. This year was chilly — I remembered the year that was warm. That was the year I was instrumental in helping to save my neighbors life — more than 20 years ago. One and one made two and my life has never been the same since. My father was still alive so it must have been help from my mother, but I was unaware. For years after that experience, whenever I told the story, goose bumps covered my arms.
If you are just discovering that there is “help” from the other side. WELCOME — enjoy the journey. If one plus one is only totaling one — give yourself a break. It took me a long time before I reached this point in my life but then I have a job — to help you become more aware. And I have to have something new to write about.
I think that I have mentioned that the Fall is often a sad time for me — I’m older, winter is coming and we have to close our camper for the season. I have to pack up all the food and take it home. It is never something I look forward to. When we were younger, we didn’t close the camper. We left the furnace on, the food in the fridge and cabinets and wandered between city and country as the spirit moved. Sadly we became older — the winter sports and cold weather, icy roads became more of a challenge. We haven’t gone to the country in many years in the winter.
I tried to use up the food stored in the freezer — the freezers at home were already loaded. I tried to use up the food in the cabinets — the pantry at home was well stocked. I tried not to load up the camper for food for the summer but God laughed. Our granddaughter from Florida was only at the camper for two days — including travel time. Our grandchildren in Illinois were not out as often — the rainy weather cancelled a lot of plans. Food I bought for their stay was still in the camper.
Then to make life more interesting — a friend noticed edible mushrooms on our lot — hen in the woods. I learned another friend knew how to clean them. I have to admit that I wasn’t successful in harvesting — hopefully they will return next year. I spent a full day cleaning and preparing for freezing — 10 quart bags full. Thankfully our son came out to the camper and I had packaging to transport the frozen mushrooms back to the city. Our son found room in the freezer at home for the mushrooms. Finding room for the rest of the food would be interesting.
When we planned our last trip — the weather was supposed to be in the 60’s, rainfall limited. Our first two days were beautiful. My husband raked and burned leaves. Then the clouds arrived, the temperatures dropped and the rain visited the area. The clouds and rain were VERY comfortable. They didn’t leave for more than four days. We extended our stay, hoping for sunny weather. The day before we planned to leave the sun came out at 2 in the afternoon. We took the scooter for our last ride.
That night, both of the heaters in our room addition stopped working. The temperature at night was close to freezing. Was someone telling us to go home? We packed up the freezer, fridge and cabinets and left the next afternoon — more clouds coming in, more rain predicted.