White Shirt or Blue Sweater

Choices and the decisions they become
I like choices…for the most part. It is scary to think of life without them because that would mean a straight line with no curves or angles.

Variation start at birth when we are given the option of accepting milk and schmoozing with the giver or rejecting it and continue squalling. And it grows from there. Think about how many decisions you made each day–white shirt or blue sweater, stay in school or drop out, Taco Bell or Pizza Hut, marry de bum or take off on your own.

The process continues through old age which brings on some new ones. Downsize my living style? Life support or let go? At the end we often are back where we started with someone asking if we want a sip of water or another blanket.

Thank goodness
Past actions take care of a lot of the mundane everyday questions.Key Wet June 22, 23, 2015 734 I like coffee; I don’t like tea; coffee on the shelf ready to make whenever I want it. The white shirt, blue sweater gets more attention and opening your closet is revealing: loves to shop, extra money to spend, needs a boost to self-esteem, varied life style,
or  your choice really is white or blue.

For some, even the smallest decisions take a nerve-racking amount of time. We think each commitment needs to be perfect, we don’t want to get anything wrong, we are concerned about other people’s opinion of us. Instead, make sure it is your decision, made for yourself, not someone else.

“Just do it.”
Because if you have thought about all options, wild through practical, tested how you feel–queasy versus brisk nod of the head–then yes, just do it.  Not all are going to be right.  President Obama, agreeing with Bush, says, “Any given decision you make you’ll wind up with a 30 to 40 percent chance that it isn’t going to work. You have to own that and feel comfortable with the way you made the decision. You can’t be paralyzed by the fact that it might not work out.”

Thought by some to be a flighty grey-headed albatross where my life decisions are concerned, I disagree. I love writing down all the possible pros and cons and studying them. Being a realist I try to be honest with myself so I am at peace with a decision. The problem comes when I compare my life decisions to those of friends and family. Beside them I can look a little flighty!!

So I might look my options over at this point and make the decision to  …accept myself as I am and carpe diem!

There are plenty of internet articles on decision making and choices. Here are two:
https://blog.bufferapp.com/8-things-you-dont-know-are-affecting-your-decisions-every-day
http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/22781.html

Snippets

Those were the days

~Does anyone else miss having to sign your name on a library card to check a book out? Without that guide I find myself checking out the same ones and discovering the fact about five pages in. And it is worse with the books on tape  and a mystery for a road trip alone, only to remember who done it at the opening lines.

Making It Last

~An article about a 75 year marriage gave five reasons why the couple felt it had lasted: 1. Love and respect                                                                                                                         2. Sense of humor                                                                                                                               3. Value each other, not possessions                                                                                             4. Forgive and forget.                                                                                                                      5. Never go to bed angry.

I think this is good solid advice although #5 seems nigh onto impossible to me–bad day at work, cranky kids, worries about the bills, no one appreciates me, dog bit postman, why can’t I get any help. There is a lot to deal with at evening time, and I admit I failed this one more than once. Looking at this list, if you just count backwards on the steps it works out o.k.  Just hard to do.

For those who remember Art Linkletter

~Stephen Moore’s remembering Art Linkletter appeared in the Wall Street Journal in the May 29-30, 2010 issue.  He recalled one of Mr. Linkletter’s favorite stories from “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” This was the conversation after a 7-year boy told him that his dog had died. “Don’t be sad because your dog is up in heaven with God.” The boy responded, “Mr. Linkletter, what would God want with a dead dog?”

~Did you see any June bugs in June?

Vol Scholar

~Theotis Robinson, retired from UT and former Knoxville City Council member, wrote a column in the News-Sentinel about a program at the University of Tennessee, the “Vol Scholar.” A Vol Scholar is a UT athlete who maintains a 3.0 grade point average. When you see them in action you can tell the Scholars by a torch patch on the uniform. The present football coach, Butch Jones, is helping promote the program; participants rose from the teens to the fifties with his interest. That is the most positive college sport news I have heard in ages. GO BIG ORANGE!!

Remembers what it was like

~Love people who walk the walk! Cassius Cash, superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spoke recently to college students about getting a mentor. He says, “Find a mentor who will tell you the truth, but not the answer,” and to accept advice they need”…. to leave your ego at the door.” Cash still consults with the mentors who helped him. I admire someone who remembers how difficult it is for a young person to ask for help. He did it anyway and now takes time to tell others they can too.

It’s Been A Year!

IMG_8522-001 Believe it or not! Jayne and I have been housemates since last August. We have shared the same KUB bill for a full year now….and still smile about it!Jayne Morgan Headshots 068

She hasn’t left yet, even though just yesterday I had the wrong stove eye turned on and she put her beautiful tomato pie on it and it’s bottom got scorched.  She is getting use to the occasional surprise when she steps out of her room—me sucked down into her footstool (after taking the lid off) trying to take a selfie or me staring down into the toilet trying to figure out if I am drowning a flea or a piece of dirt.

I, on the other hand, have the fun of taping her audition videos and being exposed to her theatrical talent via her hilarious performance in Clarence Brown Theatre’s production of Lost Highway. 

Before Jayne, my housemate was Laura , another delightful actor.  IMG_9345 If not for her I might have worried about Jayne’s vampire sleeping habits. But after Laura I knew theatre people don’t go to sleep before dawn, either because they are performing OR because they aren’t performing.

Of course no arrangement is perfect. One challenge for me is reaching those items the TALL person in the house easily placed on the top shelf. That’s o.k. I count the time spent on tiptoes, almost wrenching my arm out of socket, as exercise. Plus her other kitchen talents include making great homemade soup and an apple pie I like.

What really binds us together, besides (or in spite of) being blood kin, are the dogs and t087he fact they get along so well.

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And I believe we are even on the number of times we have left keys in the outside door lock overnight.

Let’s go for it, Roomie. Carpe another year!!!0817151743c

Still here

Just in case you were wondering…….I have been caught up in trying to learn a new phone and to tame the files in my pc.

My phone problems came after I destroyed my cell phone in the ocean, the one which replaced the one I cleaned in my washing machine. My daughter came to my rescue by giving me an old smart phone. How old was it? The sales rep helping me said, “Sorry it is taking me so long. I have never seen this model before and need to look up the information on it.”

I wrestled with it for a month without mastering the swipe technique, but decided to keep it rather than go back to the phone store.  Then my monthly bill came, indicating an additional charge of $78 for data use. I barely talked on the phone much less spent time doing anything else with it.  U.S. Cellular, who does have decent in-store customer service, worked with me. After a brief discussion of what I wanted to do with a phone, a new flip phone (with insurance) is in my hands.

My pc is absent because I needed to get my files back in some kind of order. It seems as though every photograph and every document is registered everywhere– downloads, pictures, documents, Picasa, recent places, favorites. And there are old files I couldn’t open or find. So many places to search.  Too much for this right side of the brain person. I handed it over to a computer person.

At least my tablet or android or Nexus (how many names can one piece of electronics have??) is here with me. Of course, since it is me, to get one paragraph done has taken 20 minutes. The keyboard, given to me by my son to make it easier, sits on the desk sulking because I failed in activating the Bluetooth needed to put it to use.

What a love/hate relationship I carry on with these modern devices! I love them for their fast, cheap communication and ability to save and store enough words to amount to a library. I dislike the power they hold over me, particularly the part which keeps my eyes glued to a screen too many hours. I love the photo editing. I really dislike the frequent changes made to my computer in the early morning hours and my lack of control over an inert object I paid for.

Most of the above I wrote last week and here it still sits. Maybe I am the inert object.

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.

Happy Birthday, America

Happy Birthday, America. A lot has happened this year, as always, some good and some bad. Most of us survived or died a natural death. Many of us left mourn losses which make no sense.

One distinction of aging is feeling others’ pain better than when I was young. I think more now about lives unfulfilled, and the bravery of those who swear to protect complete strangers, and the struggles faced by sorrowful men and women and children. 

A friend sent this adaptation of Psalm 122 by Stephen Mitchell, taken from his book, A Book of Psalms, published 1993 by Harper Collins. It is a good one to recite often these days. 

Psalm 122

I rejoiced when I heard them announce,
“The time of warfare is past.
No more will brother hate brother
or violence have its way.
No more will they drown out God’s silence
and shut their hearts to his song.”

Pray for peace in the cities
and harmony among the races.
May peace come to live on our streets
and justice within our walls.
With all my heart I will pray
that peace comes to live among us.
For the sake of all earth’s people,
I will do my utmost for peace.

 
I see fireworks from my window. Happy Birthday, America.