There’s alot of change and potential uncertainty in the air right now. I say ‘potential’ because it’s too early to tell. There’s stuff with Terry’s work, too early to tell but has a chance of being either really fantastic (for him) or possibly quite disastrous. We’ll see.
I say the Good Dr. H (my esteemed psychiatrist) yesterday. People may think I’m nuts to drive a 10 hour round trip for a 15 minute visit, but I looked for a local doctor to take over my care, and didn’t find one I liked. While one can have a surgeon who’s an asshole as long as he’s skilled, one really needs to have a good and open relationship with one’s psychiatrist. I’ve been seeing Dr. H for 15 years, and while he’s not very good at growing a beard, he and I know each other well, and we trust each other. That’s important. Anyway, we are both happy with the new medication I’m on, having replaced the lithium of the past 15 years with Trileptal, currently known as an antiseizure medication but with the happy ability to control bipolar disorder as well. When on lithium, I would sleep 12 hours a day- go to bed at 8, get up at 7, take an hour to actually wake up, require coffee and Coke to stay awake during the day…boy I loved my sleep. Now, I’m going to bed at 9 or 10, getting up at 4, not needing a nap during the day, awake right away, much to Terry’s delight. Amazing. I was like this as a teen and in my early 20’s, and had forgotten how much one can get done with 4 extra hours in the day. Something else has returned. As a teen I always had this sort of fire in my belly. Not a raging one, but a coal of excitement or enthusiasm simmering there, helping to fuel ideas and creativity. That’s back. Couple it with 4 extra hours in a day and I might actually get something productive done! I got the dollhouse down, and am making plans to finish it. I’m thinking of taking up sewing again. I used to love sewing and with my atypical physique, can make things that both fit *and* suit my particular peculiarities of style. I’m considering returning to college. All sorts of things are floating around, waiting to be acted on. Top all that off with this fancy new hip and the accompanying lack of pain and Well! here I am, world! Watch out!
I stayed with my parents in Auburn, when I went to see Dr. H. They are about 45 minutes from Montgomery, so when I have an appointment with him I go the day before and spend the night, visit with them and all. Mom is kind of slowing down. That is a little sad to see, but she *will* be 70 in November. She still thinks she has to plant a huge garden, has to keep the enormous 5 acre yard landscaped, and has to do it all herself. And she can’t. We went to pick blackeyed peas, and the patch was so overgrown with crabgrass the peas were being choked out. “Mom, why don’t you put down row covers at the beginning of the season so you won’t have this?” I asked. “Oh, that’s so much trouble.” she replied. Later she commented that maybe she needed to hire a yardman. That was kind of a step for her, to admit that. She really should. They have 25 acres, and there is always some full day’s work to be done somewhere, whether its putting in row covers to keep the crabgrass at bay, or cutting the brush around the pond, or dealing with fallen trees in the woods. She gets frustrated that it can’t all get done, that she doesn’t have the energy to do what she knows needs to be done, yet she refuses to streamline or cut back on what she wants to do. Consequently the honeysuckle is choking the hawthorn, the crabgrass is taking over the peas and okra, and I don’t know *how* she’ll ever get the fig tree moved like she wants.
I know it’s inevitable that parents will slow down. I know one day Terry and I will and we will probably go kicking and screaming. Still, it’s kind of hard to watch. It’s frustrating for all of us. The biggest source of aggravation for me is not that they’re slowing down per se, but that Mom refuses to acclimate herself to it, to use new techniques (like row covers) that will simplify her gardening and make it possible to grow what she wants to grow without having to deal with the weeds that she doesn’t have the energy to manage. She has this “I’m A Farm Wife” mentality (she’s not a farm wife, she’s a professor’s wife who has always lived in town until 10 years ago when they bought the 25 aces and moved out) that says she has to do things the way her Idol, her grandmother, did it, and that’s to plant enough peas, okra and blueberries to feed the county, to not utilize modern gardening techniques (by that I mean techniques her grandmother didn’t use) that would ease her work load tremendously…she just won’t. Then she complains about how much time it takes. Her grandmother lived in New Mexico, not Alabama, and didn’t have the same gardening issues that Mom has. But, Mom has to do it That Way, because That Is The Right Way.
Dad’s doing well, He has adapted to retirement nicely, with his woodshop, blacksmith shop, and constant tinkering on his MGB convertible. He always has orders for rocking horses (he makes these really cool anatomically correct horses based on photos that clients give him), and for spinning wheels, so he’s always got something going on. Couple that with Lions Club, some veterinary work out of a friend’s practice, he stays good and busy. He’s got a clear bill of health from his oncologist last week, so other than (what #4 calls) “grampa gas” he’s pretty much as he’s always been: ADHD as all get out, but doing just fine thankyouverymuch.
He’ll help Mom with the garden, but only the bits that require him to fire up his 1937 John Deere and plow or mow. He does NOT do hands-on gardening. I don’t expect him to slow down much in the near future, and honestly, I think he’ll die when he falls out of a tree or off the roof, not because of some physical illness. In his favor, he *did* actually HIRE someone to build the porches on the house. It took alot of convincing to get him to do that, essentially we had to tell him that he had PLENTY of money to pay someone, and if he did, then he’d have that time to work on the MGB and go to Lions Club. So he did, of course he was right there with the crew the whole time, making sure they did it right, and he’s not going to pay someone to paint it, but you have to accept compromise when you can,and know when to give in.
So that’s whats swirling around in my head right now. The uncertainty of Terry’s work future, my parents, and all. For once the kids are all fine.