NOT a phone story!!!

 It’s a Happy New Year so,  on to new adventures! I just spent several very enjoyable days at my friend Karen’s home with Deborah, Gin, Ellen and Janice. It is an annual tradition of fun with Tennessee and North Carolina friends.

We stayed in for New Year’s Eve and, not only were we awake to watch the ball descend, but took in the Netflix movie The Dress Maker afterward. Quirky good movie. It was 2 am when we stumbled off to our beds, cots, sofas.

By mid-morning Monday we were stirring around, with cups of coffee and tea. In fact I had just gone to the pot for my first cup. I found a pair of eyeglasses and not having mine on, picked them up, wondering whose they were, tried them out. Seem to be a darn good pair of reading glasses and I kept them on as I started to search for my own.

You know how it is when you misplace your glasses. You go over all the logical places you could have laid them down. Then you go for the unlikely, but possible spots. 15 minutes later my friends joined in the search. Many scenarios concerning the location were discussed without a solution. Finally I said, “Don’t worry about it. They’ll show up.

We went on through the day, crafting, eating, binge watching tv, and playing Catan. Several times everyone had asked if the glasses I had on were mine. “No,” I said. “Mine are clear, look like there isn’t a frame at all.

In the evening, Karen questioned that the ones I was still wearing were really subscription glasses, not just cheap reading ones. I took the glasses off, looked them over good, put them back on, saying, “Yes, I guess they are mine.”

I feel like a character in Oliver Sachs book, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat.”

It was my conviction for the day that the glasses I have worn for three years were the glasses I wore before then. I debated whether or not to record this event. We laughed ourselves silly over the absurdity of my wrong conviction, how everyone had theorized as to the location of my glasses and the conclusion of the event.

When I voiced concerns that people might think I was really slipping, Gin said, “Oh no. I just see it as classic Judy.”

>What’s your opinion? 1-JUDY Shahan Blackstock

Last Memories

IMG_1569-001This is the last photograph of my immediate family. It was made in May of 2001. My brother Lee, on the left was up from Austell, Georgia, and Larry, next to him, came by from Kodak. Our dad and mother and I lived together at the time. As happens, after documenting our group in early years, we hadn’t made one for  years.

Larry died in his sleep the night this picture was taken. It was unexpected and the shock was felt deeply because he was only 62, had not been sick, and was the first of the family to die.

My dad died in 2003 at the age of 94 and my mother in 2008 at the age of 96. Lee and I are the only two left. When talking to Lee recently it dawned on me that when either he or I pass on, there will be no one left with whom to share the exact recollections of our childhood, our upbringing, our family vacations, our steps towards adulthood.

Share what is important to you with kin and friends–write it down, record it, identify pictures. Reminiscing can make you laugh or cry and bring to mind the small as well as important happenings of the past. Memories can bring back a closeness that often has been lost over the years.

Do it while you can.IMG_1586

 

 

 

WHAT is it then??

One of the minuses to aging are the changes to my body. I’m talking beyond the sagging neck skin, age spots by the dozen and face wrinkles whether you frown or smile. Bumps and tiny growths all over the place; some here for a short time, others settle in for the long haul. Joints now crackle, snap and pop if I don’t do warm ups before reaching for a coffee cup.

Full Blown Panic

Then there are the mood swings which keep a steady calendar beat, even though my friends say my ovaries dried up a long time ago. What if I am unusual and my hormone level is high and I keep feeling angry or sad just like during “that time of the month ” forever? And I know I am not alone in having zits and hot flashes.

On a visit to the doctor for other reasons I mentioned my theory of high hormone levels destroying my life. Taking a blood sample he quickly deflated my attempt to diagnose myself. Hormone level showed as postmenopausal. So WHAT is it then?? What is it and all the other minute changes coming at me?  Isn’t there something the medical profession can do for me?

Get A Grip

Deep breaths. It is what it is. Hakuna matata. Go with the flow. That hit home today when I took my dog, Spunky, to the vet to talk about his itchy ears, lumps and anxiety. After a very thorough exam she concluded: no ear mites (just a little dirty), probably fatty tumors (keep an eye on them) and from my description of his anxiety it sounded like pretty normal behavior to her. I think I did a little transferring there.

So my answer is in the first sentence of today’s blog  Aging—which we conclude to be better than today’s alternative. Keep vigilante but never, never forget to carpe diem.

Key Wet June 22, 23, 2015 313

It Was A Very Good Year

Between my 70th and 71st birthdays:

– Surprise birthday party orchestrated by my daughter. Amazing because although she had invited people several months before and I saw some of these friends on a weekly basis, no one spilled the beans. Total surprise and such fun–people from out-of-town and out-of-state. Three generations of some.

– My first significant fall as a senior. Not an experience I went looking for but I came out of it in fine shape and it didn’t take Boxie too long to recover. (See blog My 70th Year – Boomsday 2014 P. S. I am invited back this year!

– Civil War reenactment in Blountville, TN last October.  I enjoyed the history it presented, from the battle to the soldiers’ tents and the campfire kitchens. Reenactors are sticklers for authenticity which made a close up view of the women’s long hooped dresses and the surgeon’s tools all the more fascinating.

Then came the killing of the nine people attending church in Charleston, SC.

To me, the Confederate flag has never been  a symbol, but just a flag flown in the south during the War Between the States.  IMG_3711

My viewpoint is that of a white person born in 1944 in Georgia and growing up in Tennessee with a few years lived in North Carolina. I graduated high school right as segregation began. Beyond school books, I  never delved into what the 1860s period of history meant to others.

By attending the reenactment and then reading of the deaths in Charleston in June, I stepped out of my small world, learned some history, and was forced to confront that history in the present.

– I went to a The Edge, a Knoxville gay bar, alone, to see Del Shores perform.  Shores came to town right after one of his plays, Sordid Lives, was presented by Theatre Knoxville Downtown.

The play was utterly hilarious, and his show was recommended by a friend who worked with him once. I didn’t hesitate to buy a ticket, thinking others I knew would be going, but that didn’t happen so I ventured out by myself. I didn’t mind going alone; it is better than staying at home.

The material he presented was just plain funny–He read real police reports which you thought had to be made up. A lot of his humor comes from being raised in the south, being the son of a Baptist preacher and being gay.

I came away from the evening, thankful he created a life based on laughter, not violence, and I am ready for the next encounter.

– Going by bus for the Women’s March on Nashville.(see blog My 70th Year – My First Activist March)052

– Celebrating with a great wake, the life of a friend who died after a long fight with cancer. There were at least four such parties and I am sure he enjoyed every one of them. No obit and no funeral for him.

– Found myself lying on the floor of Knoxville Soap, Candle and Gifts Shop for an hour, with a  large scarf covering my face and body, listening to singing bowls. Very calm atmosphere where you can meditate or sleep. I highly recommend it.

– Started the first of a three-part dream fulfillment: Taking my 15-year-old grandson, Max, on a trip. With the help of a friend’s offer of a place to stay, we headed for a week in Key West, Florida. Priceless. Now to plan something for the other two.

169– Then there was going to the Pow Wow, Steam Punk Carnivale, a Kentucky Derby Party, writing KnoxZine articles, staying in touch with friends through Facebook, camping out under the stars, breaking in a new housemate, feeling the love of family.

I am blessed.