I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Time of the year for spooks

Pumpkin patch and Mt Baker
I wonder why so many people enjoy all the scary movies and programs that are everywhere during the Halloween season. I've never enjoyed being frightened, whether on purpose or by accident. Halloween falls on this coming Thursday, with Mexico's Day of the Dead following right after. I have to say I really enjoyed the animated movie Coco, which is all about this day. It's still available on Netflix, and I just might have to watch it again, just for fun. If you haven't seen it, maybe this is the time for it.

When I was a kid, I loved to dress up for Halloween. I remember one year when I was about ten, when I dressed up as a grown-up lady, complete with a sequined dress, a fancy hat, and lots of makeup. I thought I was gorgeous, but somewhere there is a picture (which I cannot find) that shows it was just a little ridiculous, instead of what I imagined myself to be. But mostly I dressed up as a witch or a ghost, which back then was pretty common. Or a princess, maybe.

Today I live in a place that gets few, if any takers for candy. Of course, I always have to buy some just in case, and I turn on my porch light, always hoping for a few little ones to make their way up the stairs and to my door. This year, any takers will get a whole Kind Bar, since I bought them for myself and will share them with anybody who shows up. Over the years, I've had fewer than a dozen trick-or-treaters all together. It means I need to keep something at hand, but making sure I don't use buying candy for the nonexistent kids as an excuse to have too much of it around. I'm sure you understand and have probably eaten a little Halloween candy yourself.

In any event, this time of the year is a little sad, as the days get shorter and the nights longer, even as one gets to enjoy the falling leaves and brilliant colors of fall. My birthday is now only one month away, and if anyone were to ask, I'd tell them my age as if I had already had that birthday, just so I can get used to it before it befalls me. I've done that for years now, and it makes me realize that once a woman gets to a certain age, you no longer need to worry about trying to look young, because, well, it doesn't work. Inside my own head, I'm much younger than my actual years. In Bellingham, once you reach the age of 75, you ride the bus for free. Nobody exclaims in surprise when I pull out my geezer card to board the bus.

Yesterday I walked with the ladies as the clouds cleared and it became sunny, although not warm. My knee is behaving and I seem to have regained my ability to hike at a normal pace. Although I will never walk with the fastest of us, I am still able to keep to the middle of the pack rather than lagging behind. This makes me very happy, meaning that for now I am back to what I consider my normal routine. I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Probably the one thing that bothers me the most these days is my inability to remember things. I misplaced the key to the laundry room the other day, and after a couple of hours of panic, I found it in a pocket, right where I had placed it so I wouldn't lose it. I was wearing a top that has two small pockets that I keep forgetting about, and after having searched everywhere, I felt really embarrassed that I had not thought to look there. And I wear over-the-glasses sunglasses and place them on my head when not needing them. You can probably guess how often I've searched for them, only to find them right there on my head. Yes, I've always done this, but not to this extent. Or looking for something that I had just moved and forgot where I put it.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time. ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Yes, this is the best part of misplacing things: once you find them again, it's like a gift of joyful reunion. I was uplifted for the rest of the day, after I found that key. So there are upsides to just about everything, if you look for them. It's also true that the loss of anything, including loved ones, fades with time, and then you can enjoy remembering them without the searing pain of loss. The important thing, for me, is to think about my loved ones, both living and dead, with gratitude that they will always be part of my life. Nothing is permanent, all is transient, so to remember to enjoy what I do have right now is a key part of my enjoyment of living.

Right this moment, my dear partner sleeps next to me, and I need to remember to tell him how much I love him at least once today. I will tell my friends at the coffee shop how much I care about them. Oh, and there you are, dear friend of the blogosphere: have I told you lately how much I appreciate you? Although you are a virtual friend, you are no less important to me.

Until we meet again next week, I hope you will be well and will remember to tell your loved ones how glad you are to have them in your life. Or in your memories, if they are already on the other side. I wish you all good things, dear ones.


Rian said...

DJan, I'm with you in that I don't like to be frightened. It is not a good feeling and I don't understand why those really scary movies, etc. are so popular. Even for Halloween, I prefer to stick to pumpkins and cute little bats rather than zombies, skeletons, and gruesome monsters. Our 'trick or treat'ers have dwindled also. We still get a few... mostly little ones, but not the dozens we used to get.

"The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time." This is very true. Many times DH tells me that I already saw that movie... but it doesn't matter. I simply enjoy it again. And as for forgetting stuff, well - I tend to put things somewhere safe - and then forget where that was. I know it will show up eventually.

And Happy Birthday ahead of time! (In case I forget) We have 3 birthdays coming up in November - our oldest grandson's, my mom's, and our youngest grand daughter's ( her birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year).

Linda Reeder said...

I was just scrolling through Facebook, and it looks like Halloween is already over! All the kids, and many adults, have already had their costume party, I guess because partying on a Saturday is better than partying on a Thursday. I suspect Trick or treat will still be happening at the malls on actual Halloween.
I bought some Kit-Kat bars to give out, but no one will come to our door. It's not a good walking street and our house is back on a long driveway. The grands will get most of the candy.
I am looking forward to a sunny week, with lots of time to work out in the yard. I have come through a period of sleepless nights and gastric distress, but I seem to be recovering. It feels so good to feel almost good again. I would like to stop the pretty leaves from falling, but they will, and then I will rake them and put them down as a blanket on the flower beds. It's the cycle of the seasons.

Frank said...

I found this blog to be more thought provoking than usual. It touched a few sensitive places. I have mixed feelings about fall. I still get a sense of dread because it is time to start a new school year. Those were not pleasant times for me, what with the lose of freedom. But I love fall because it's an out doorsy time.
I never cared to pass out candy but this year, thanks to your blog, I going to try and enjoy having a little fun with the little ones.
Now that I'm 71 I'm enjoying a certain respectful deference. I enjoy kidding and carrying on with all the young ladies and old ones too. They laugh at most of my commits'.
I find that most of the time when I forget something, it's because my mind has wondered and it wondered because most of the things I do are so routine, they don't hold my attention. I just retrace my thoughts and pickup where I left off. But I worry about dementia whenever I make mistakes and forget something important. So far, I think, I'm ok. I tell people that one of life's simple pleasures is finding something that was lost. My hobby is hunting, so I consider looking for things part of my hobby.
I've lost my parents, a brother and two sisters. But when I lost my dear faithful, constant companion of 14 years I discovered true heart wrenching grief. That was over two years ago and I'm still struggling with the grief. I still have four dogs but now I'm sensitive to signs of their aging. I experience anticipatory grief as I look ahead a few years. I wonder if I can or should get a young dog but worry about preceding it in my death. No one wants someone's old dog. So, are my dog days about over, I wonder.
Thank you for being here.

gigi-hawaii said...

I forget things occasionally, but not that often. It's good to have a blog, so you at least can keep track of the date and events. Lol.

Elephant's Child said...

We really don't do Halloween here (though the big stores are pushing it). Just the same I have learnt that we do need to have a little something to hand out. Every second year of so someone will knock on the door.
I hear you on the forgetting things. Which terrifies me. My dread disease can eat my brain as well as my mobility.
Enjoy your day/week/life dear friend from across the seas.

Arkansas Patti said...

One of the sad things about living so far in the country is no trick or treaters. They usually just meet at church parties. Hope you get some littlies.
I love that first picture. That is suitable for framing.
Know that feeling when you find something that you thought was lost. I was looking for my 3 cell mag light the other day. Need it in the mornings if Callie gets excited about something in the dark. Gave up and put it on my shopping list only to find it in my shed today. Usually I don't find it till after I have bought the replacement. That felt good.

William Kendall said...

Wonderfully said!

Marie Smith said...

We spent a big part of today with our daughter and grandchildren, carving pumpkins, making candy apples and other Hallowe’en activities. It was a great day. Enjoying every minute is important. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. It was a wonderful day. I am grateful for this day! Simple things are the best!

Marty said...

More well-thought-out and insightful thoughts to get me started on my week.
Your Sunday posts are like a cozy philosophy class.
Thank you.

ain't for city gals said...

I was worried about my memory too. I had my "wellness checkup" and they now give a couple of tests to check on the memory part and I scored a 100% so I am just not going to think about it much for another year.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I understand the memory thing. I think we have too many thoughts/things going on and don't focus! I lost my outside mowing socks the other day only to find them on the steps ready for me to put on before I went out the door. Silly me.
I hope you have a wonderful week, I count you as a very special friend thank you for being you! :)

Rita said...

I never cared for the scary movies, either. Well, mostly they rarely ever scare me, in all honesty, because I find all the gore and violence either laughable or just plain sad. As a kid I never had much of an interest in Halloween other than the candy, of course. But I know people who are really into it.

I am more forgetful, too. Sometimes I do find it troubling--worried about dementia. Just have to keep on plugging along and hope for the best. They say it's not wondering where your keys are that's the problem...it's holding them in your hand and wondering what they are. So far so good. ;)

My cyber friends mean a lot to me, too. You are one of those friends. I am so glad your knee is better. :):)

Trish MacGregor said...

Glad your knee is better! If it bugs you again, try arthro7 - available on amazon, great for joints. Devil's claw is also really good.

Dee said...

Dear DJan, so good to know that your knee is better. Walking in and around Bellingham has become part of your existence and I am so glad that you are able to continue an exercise that gets you out where you can enjoy the beauty of nature and the friendship of fellows walkers.

On November 18, I am having total left knee replacement. I've no trepidation because the surgeon who so successfully did my right knee will be doing this one too. The recuperation is supposed to be 6 weeks with maybe more time because of age. I'm hoping that I can sit here at the computer during that time, with my foot on a footstool so my leg is raised, and work on my next memoir. That's my hope! Well, that, and the hope that I have as much fortitude as you always show with regard to pain and wanting to get back out to walking! Peace.