My son writes that I should pack a baggie of Whey powder in my suitcase as he is “afraid” he will buy the wrong brand. All I ask is that it be organic, I don’t want artificial flavors messing up the taste. To me, Whey is the best taste in the world. (I am a milk fiend). I use the Whey in my smoothies to ensure I am adding protein to my meal. Of course I will pack the Whey (a white powder) and pray the security people at the airport don’t accuse me of carrying drugs.
I will be away much of the upcoming week, but plan to do a few things before hand, such as meet with Seth, the nurseryman whose crew put my yard in order last week (it looks great). I have some additional work, and he’s the man. It feels strange to have several grown men doing the chores David and I have done for years, but neither of us can prune shrubs the way we once did. The pulling of weeds and mulching always involve heavy bags, lifting and straining.
Over the years, David has learned much about gardening and yet he still brings home 50 lb bags where 5 lbs would do. He also gets to take them back. It worries me that from time to time he forgets what he has done before, and a bag that he could carry through the front door and drop on a chair, now becomes a bag requiring a wheelbarrow. You know I would never send you to the store for a fifty pound bag of anything, I tell him.
After the guys left, David and I planted the ‘Buckwheat’ iris rhizomes, ‘Sunset’ Coryopsis, and many Polygonatum roots. I love the way that rolls off my tongue, “poly go not um.” I got the tall variety which will hover over the other plants along the sidewalks. Colloquially known as Solomon’s Seal, Polygonotum has a lovely little sting of bells down its stalk.
I’m leaving David this week. Not for good mind you, just several days, hopefully, as I wing my way West to see my grandsons and their parents in California. I haven’t flown in ten years, since August 2002. The last trip was to see Aunt Marge in Sheboygan. The next spring, I had a stroke and flew nowhere for the next few years.
I worked for several years after the stoke, owing to the good graces of my wonderful boss Art who made sure I could come in part days and work at home. So, I finished up the technical papers I was writing, evaluating the 2000 Census data on the foreign born and Hispanic populations, and called it a day, just short of my 65 birthday.
I didn’t retire on a disability as I probably could have, I felt others were in far worse shape than me, and even when I am distressed I think about who is footing the bill for this shrinking pie called Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance (Social Security).
I retired on a well-earned federal government pension; an annuity from my former private sector employer which kicked in at age 65; health insurance for which I have paid premiums for years; as well as two long-term care insurance policies (more premiums). I had also managed to save a bit of my salary via a 401k, through a frugality learned from my Mother a survivor of the Depression and my sister. I am determined to be a burden to no one, especially my children and certainly not the American tax payer, of which I am one.
I am a bit nervous about flying, but have left everything in the best order I can, including the purchase of a cemetery niche. I know that if for some reason the plane falls out of the sky, I will not leave a mess behind. As best I can, I follow Good Orderly Direction.
You might wonder why I think about such things, but this is what living long enough does to you. You become aware of the fact that you could have been in that burning building, or on that plane that went down at Shanksville. Why not, two of your co-workers were.
I have been thinking….will I go through the body scan or will I let the security people frisk me? Probably the latter. I have been frisked so many times by strangers, what’s one more frisk?
Have a good week. I will see you next Monday, Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.