Saturday, October 18, 2014

My window this week

Two days ago my next door neighbour died. The cancer he lived with but more or less ignored while he went about his business fishing for salmon, working, and visiting with the street, caught up with him. Ten good years despite of it and about ten days of things going to hell.

Not bad really. Someone in the family has put one of those little signs on the door "Old fishermen never die, they just get reel tired."

My dining room window looks right onto their driveway so the last few nights I kept getting up to see if the car was there. 3:00 a.m. and she still wasn't home, bad sign.  Two days still no car, not good at all. Calls every morning from the lady across the street to wake us up with the progress report.

All week people have been going in and out of the house. The funny man who won the lotto and quit work to stay at home and do what, who knows, letting himself in to make sure the dog was walked, plates being put in the fridge every night, a neighbour driving down an egg sandwich because you know what that cafeteria food is like.

Now he is gone the side door is open all day. You go over there it's like a party but everyone is in black. A lot of people around here still have wakes and that will be going on all weekend at least. I went over and talked to someone's baby while my neighbour cried in the bedroom and then came out to make tea. Someone's son doing something under the deck in the home repair department. The dog getting more walks than he ever got in his life. Some one bringing him in a marrow bone too. I was going to bring muffins but I think they have lots.

The older lady who has the two dogs she walks in tandem like a team told me her daughter suffered for 10 years before dying at 32. Her other daughter moved back to take care of her sister and that's where she met her husband, who is like a gift from heaven. The good and the bad stuff is all mixed up she says.

And she is right. 




Friday, October 17, 2014

Thought for the day

Some sewing, a few things happening on my street, and lots of school happening so this is a quick thought.

I just read an academic study of British hospital patients. One of the observations was that if the older person was well dressed they were far, far, more likely to be listened to, respected, and given appropriate care.

Not really news, like many academic studies, but it sort of validates one of the things I feel about aging.

It is real easy to say I am in the house most of the time now, or it doesn't really matter, etc. and default to the basics, just because you aren't out and about the same way any more.

Quite apart from the fact I am myself an out and about person it is important to consider that how you look can affect what happens to you, even when you are older, in fact especially when you are older.

Sometimes I think to myself I am spending far too much time thinking about clothes to sew and what to wear and I feel almost guilty (I said almost), but I feel a bit validated by this.

It reminds me of a recent conversation with my doctor when I asked him about a brown spot on my face, apologizing since he is in the life saving business, for my vanity.

"I like to see a vain patient," he said. "To me it means they still care and are taking care of themselves."

Which is why lipstick is important when the only person at home is the dog.