I sent my final paper to Dr. B. this morning and as of next week I am a bona fide historian. I thanked David for his help and support in this attempt. He encouraged me to finish when I was ready to quit.  Now he asks “What about going on for the PhD?”  Are you crazy? 

Example of an American grocery store aisle.

Example of an American grocery store aisle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David has gone to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for tonight’s supper corned beef and cabbage. That’s easy. When he returns we are headed over to Goodwin House to hear the talk on downsizing.  He didn’t want to go to GH because in his heart of hearts he believes we will never leave this house and therefore never have a need to reduce our inventory of belongings. Perhaps he is correct, but I still think it won’t hurt to remove some “stuff.”  He finally admitted to me that he could get rid of about 2/3 of the clothes in his closet. 

When we drove by Goodwill on the way home yesterday, he said, there’s where all our stuff is. Ha ha. Not yet.

This week, I bought him new shirts and when I asked him to try one of the shirts on, he took it out of the package, put it on and tossed the shirt he was wearing in the trash after removing the index cards and pens he carries in his pocket. Do you recall how we diverted children and puppies by handing them something to distract them while we grab the thing they are holding? Now this is not to say David is a child or a dog, or that the technique works on him, but he was distracted by the new shirt. I looked down and he had a big hole in his pants.  “I think you need new pants,” I suggested helpfully. Although I have bought pants for men and boys all my life, I can’t buy pants for David.  If I do he won’t wear them.

Clothing and food.  He picked up a quarter of roasted chicken last night for our evening meal, and bought himself a slice of apple pie and a coke at the same time.  I almost choked on my words as I said, “You got a lot of sugar there.”  He takes Metformin because he is prediabetic.  His sugar levels went above 125 a time or two before he began taking the drug. They also shot out of sight when he was in the hospital with knee surgery last year.  That and the AFib worry me at times, but he is very blithe about his own health. 

He told me this week he was “not ready to die.” David’s Dad came down to breakfast one morning, ate his toast and drank his coffee, then announced to the family he was going upstairs to die. Then he went upstairs and laid down on his bed and died at age 78.  David, age 82.5 thinks he can do that too.  

There was a time when I believed everything David said, but I have finally realized that he doesn’t always know what he is talking about. I learned this the hard way when he told me he knew all about lawns. The trouble of course is that I can’t tell when he’s right until something goes wrong, and I can’t tell when he’s wrong.

Oh I can see it now. I don’t have text books to distract me, so I can obsess about David. Wonder what my granddaughters are doing?  

<– Dianne in NYC in 1984


13 thoughts on “Finished

  1. Dianne, as far as I’m concerned you were a bona fide historian before. Guess it’s nice to have the official title, though.


  2. I just had lunch today with two ladies that are both trying to clear the clutter of their deceased parent. A monumental chore. Inspired me to come home and do some pitching out of “stuff”. I like my next of kin too much to put them through that.
    Gotta admit, Dr. Dianne has a certain ring to it.


  3. Congratulations on being an official historian! I need to do some downsizing but I’m an expert procrastinator and keep putting it off. I never buy clothes for my hubby because he is too particular.


  4. I just realized you are the second of my friends to become a historian. The other friend did go one to get her PHD. She now teaches at a Junior college in Huntsville Al.As for getting rid of stuff I’m trying ,I thought when my girls were grown I could pass it off on them but that didn’t work . The “stuff” I most want to get rid of, once and for all ,is the emotional stuff I’ve lugged around for years . It’s way past time to ditch it .I can forgive but I have a hard time forgetting I seem to remember my whole life in vivid detail ok not the whole thing but a remarkable amount. There must be a delete button somewhere…..


  5. I find down-sizing to be very liberating. I thougt I did it last summer as related to clothes but just took it all out again and got rid of three more bags !! Where does it all come from and when will we ever have time to wear it all??


  6. Dianne, Reading Jane Brody’s recent column NY Times on her personal challenge to de-clutter, I thought about you. Here it is

    Congratulations on attaining historian status. Yes, I agree with David: on to PhD. You do not have to finish it for goodness sake. The world is filled with smart people know as AbD (all but doctorate). Always avoiding offering med advice (a shout-out to certain commenters here), I know from personal experience: many of us do better in latelife if we keep on keeping on.


    • I love this from her column:

      Mr. Dennis cites several “tchotchkes” I might never have thought of: electronic equipment that keeps us from living in the moment; people who are an emotional drain instead of a joy; piles of CDs and DVDs that are never watched or listened to; food that gets stuffed into an already satiated body; and unwanted or unloved gifts from people you nonetheless care about.


  7. Ha! This is such a cute post, Dianne! Wow, congrats on finally finishing your Masters requirements. That is such an accomplishment! As for clothes, my husband buys his own. He enjoys shopping and looking for bargains and really does a good job of it. When he ran out of closet space, last year, he pulled all of his old shirts and donated them to Goodwill. I am lucky he is like me in that respect, because neither of us likes clutter.


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