First, I don't have the benefit of a teenager in the house, so that is the first disadvantage when you get a new piece of technology. And I like my technology, I say I don't, but not being able to get anything to work for almost a week, I admit that I do not get attached to the individual toys, but I love the ability to blog, email, talk on the phone when I am not at the house. These are all wonderful things that are still amazing to me, but to my younger nieces and nephews, this is just normal life.
So stepping out of my comfort zone in the desire to be money smarter, I am now the proud owner of a smart phone. I have no idea what kind I have. It doesn't matter to me. It is the accessibility and communication that matters to me, not what I have.
The first day I got it, I actually got a call. I had no idea how to answer the phone. First I had to push a button so I could see the screen, then I had to push the screen so the phone would answer. Now in my defense, I was already asleep, but I wanted to take this call. It took me awhile to figure out it was my phone, in that I do not have the same choices for music that I had before, so I am not used to this ring music. So, I figure out that it is my phone. Then I have to find my phone. This is the best and worst part of the phone. It is big, so easier to find. Big so it is a little uncomfortable in my hand. But I will get used to it.
I stumble into the kitchen rummage through my purse, pull out the phone. Try and find the button to push to get to the screen. This phone does not have much in the way of buttons, no dials at all. So I feel and push, feel and push, where was that button earlier today when the nice young man at the store made it all look so easy?!?!?? I found the button and pushed it. There was a blinding light. I had not turned any lights on, so my pupils were wide open and now, just a matter of inches from my face I managed to take a picture. Not push the button I wanted. Fortunately the camera was not facing directly at my face. As it was it seemed forever, although a matter of seconds I was dropped to my knees blinded by the light. Blinded by the pain of the surprise of a million candle light going off in my unprotected pupils. I flip the phone over, somehow managed to see who called and called them back on the house phone. I did not admit to the caller how completely stupid I felt trying to answer the phone. I also did not want to admit that I had already been asleep for about half an hour, and had already taken my night meds, so honestly, why did I not just call them back the next day.
Well, this person is someone on the road who I don't get to talk to very often. That is true, but honestly, I was obviously not thinking clearly, and blind to boot. And feeling like when you fall off the horse, get back on right away. I refused to be beaten by this phone. I think he thought I was an idiot. I could tell that I was not holding up my end of the conversation. And all I had to say, was can you call me tomorrow, I was asleep. No, that is not who I am. Ask any of my friends, I am not one that would say that to just about any of my friends. Now, I have not answered the phone because I knew I was not capable of talking at that time. But that is only in my worst times. I did not not answer the phone. And I did not tell him that I could not talk. Instead I laughed and tried to focus on the conversation. Just the way he talks. He is like a Western writer, honest, direct, full of details that are not boring, but instead make pictures in your mind. I have said before that he is an amazing person. Kind, as a brother, adventurous as a Western writer, heart of an artist. He is too good to be true. And he probably is. I mean, how can someone that good looking, that kind, sweet, funny and talented not have a dozen or more woman interested in him. Woman who live closer to him. Woman who don't have cancer, where there would be a chance to have a real relationship. Reality can be a hard pill to swallow. But honestly I have nothing to loose by being his friend. And you can't make a relationship happen. You have to work at it. And if both don't feel the same, then it will not happen.
While we were talking he had a call he had been waiting on come through. So he said he would call me back later. So now I am a little more alert and awake, so I figure while I am waiting for him to call back I will learn how to answer the phone. I think I called him like 3 times. I am not sure how many times actually went through. I was not trying to call him. I was trying to figure out how to answer the phone. When he did call back, I was able to answer the phone. One very very small accomplishment. But big for me. I don't think I sounded any more intelligent. But it was late and we were both tired, so the call didn't last that long. I don't think it did. How do I know how long it took. I was still seeing flashing lights and have no idea what time he called.
So this cell phone is supposed to act like my WiFi thingamajig. I don't know how to get WiFi on my computer. And when will it start taking effect? I have no idea. So for most of the last 2 days I have not been able to get into my email on my computer. I can see my email on my smart phone. But I tried to respond to one email and ended up writing an illegible message all in the subject. I think they could tell the point of what I was saying, but not by what I wrote. I mean I know what I was trying to say, but that is now what I said. or didn't say.
Today has gone a little better, I was able this evening to get to my email, and here I am posting. I have no idea if when I push publish what will happen. But it just feels good to write. To release.
I spent the morning working in the yard, weeding, planting, watering. trimming, cutting, weeding, more weeding. It was not as hot as it has been. Not that crazy hot, just normal summer hot. I worked through the morning and into the afternoon until I had used up all the shade in the back and side gardens. Then I fixed some fruit and yogurt and sat on the back porch and read for a couple of hours. It was a lovely day. The perfect beginning of a three day weekend. My last 3 day weekend as a state employee. And I am as excited about it, as if I had years to work instead of 6 days. Yep, six part time days and I am done, through, finished, retired.
I have looked forward to retirement for years, but now that it is here, it is just weird. And there is so much to do before I leave. Work that the staff will have to continue doing long after I am gone. One more person gone. One less pair of hands and eyes to data enter, answer the phone, deal with the work. I have not slowed down. I am still working as hard each day as I have worked through most of my career with the state. I am amazed at people who are short timers and act like it. And I am also amazed that I have been able to make it 13+ months part time. And even more amazing that I will have the maximum number of hours of annual leave to sale. And even a few hours of sick leave. I have planned this down almost to the hour, the day. And now it is time to start a new adventure, a new journey, a new life.
And there is time to see what evolves as my life's journey takes another turn. So many turns and twists. And who would want life any other way.
Technology Nation did an interview with a doctor who is working with brewers yeast for immune deficiency diseases like Hepatitis C and cancer. Wow, it was so interesting. It helped me understand a little better why my body was waiting for the perfect storm so that I would be a prime candidate for cancer. The connections between these seemingly unrelated diseases made so much sense as he talked. They are getting ready to go into the phase 3 of the testing. They will start trying to test their meds made from the Brewers yeast to see if they can help people who are not good candidates for the hepatitis C chemo, so that they respond. Only about 40% of those who go through the year long chemo for the Hepatitis C have successful long term results. Most importantly right now, what they have already learned from this therapy that will help them to genetically know so much more about who will respond to the therapies. Medicine and genetics are so cool. They can do so much more and determine who will respond to what, and give better treatments in some of the hardest diseases.
I talked to my friend with lung cancer, he has been responding so well to the chemo. He has not gotten nauseous or sick. His symptoms have been fairly easy. He has been having some trouble with his arms after the treatments, but other then that, really not so bad. Well, this week was the first time he got his chemo with his port. They pushed the chemo through really fast. And now he is experiencing side effects much worse. Is it finally building up to the point to bother him? Did they push it too fast? Or as he thinks, a lot of the chemo was bleeding into his arms and not going through his veins. It is probably all of the above. Thank goodness he has the long holiday to feel better. He has such a great attitude.
The next 2 weeks are packed full; blood work, a CT scan, a doctor visit, a retirement party, finish packing my office, oh, and start getting ready to take a 2 week trip to Europe. A full life, full of friends, and moments to celebrate. Holidays like this weekend. Time to get with friends and celebrate the first official first weekend of summer. A time to celebrate heroes and the American life, getting together with friends and eat potato salad, baked beans and watermelon. A time to be thankful that we are free to do and believe as we choose. And a month later, the next big day of summer, July 4th. And aren't the holidays in summer so wonderful. Cinco de Mayo with margaritas and nachos. A time to gather at bars and celebrate Mexican freedom. Then Memorial Day. A day that I have spent more often at the beach or in the woods, eating potato salad, baked beans and watermelon. July 4th where once again we head out to the beach, for picnics and cookouts and eat that glorious summer food again. Ice cold water melon, hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans and lemonade. Food that goes with summer. Food that takes us back to our childhood and reminds us of summers past. Of happy moments, in bathing suits, filled with sand, waiting 30 minutes to run into the warm gulf waters, not really cool or refreshing, but wet and when you come out, you feel the cool as the water dries leaving a layer of salt on your skin. And then they cut open the ice cold watermelon and you bite into it with the juices running down your chin and lay back on your towel on the sand and look up at the fireworks. Glorious flashes of color and whistles and whirs and patterns that cause us even as adults to "ooh" and "aah".
Then as summer slides into fall with the promise of cooler temperatures, we have the last weekend of summer, Labor Day. The last opportunity to eat the potato salad, baked beans and watermelon, or maybe hand cranked ice cream. Beginnings, middles and ends. To a child summer is a special time. No school, slower life, bikes, beaches, sneakers and flip flops. A time that adults still feel that magic. Time for vacations. We can take vacations anytime of the year. But summer vacations and summer reading are the best. A time to read anything. Classics, romance, westerns. Yep, summer reading is for pure enjoyment, to sit back with a big glass of lemonade and become a part of the story.
Oh and summer movies. Plenty of time to sit back with a bucket of popcorn and watch an action adventure, or maybe a romantic comedy. Sigh, summer is my favorite time of year.
Technology may have me stumped, and heaven knows relationships certainly have been way more difficult then they should be. OK, I did have a relationship for 25 years with one man. And we did have plenty of amazing summer vacations. But that is another part of my memories, my past life. And as all things in life, there was good and bad. Now that is the past. And I have no idea how to move forward. Move on to a new relationship? Maybe. I have no idea how to do that. I have no idea how you know what to do. How do you meet people? How do you take those steps, start trusting and living. I hesitate, unsure, not just about relationships, but with technology. And why is it as long as you have a teenager you can connect and answer a phone? But with relationships, something we have formed since that first time our family takes us in their arms and name us and smell in that baby smell and count fingers and toes. How come that is so hard, and that you have to do it on your own. Or actually together on your own.
All I know is that I bent over and pulled weeds with my hands, in my new high tech gloves. And I planted plants and watered them, and stretched and felt the sunshine on my face and my back and my arms. And I felt like this is where I need to be now. This summer is a time to heal. A time to dig in the dirt, to grow, to heal, to nurture my world around me, and my soul. And a time to push myself, to use technology to stay in touch and to grow and learn.
potato salad and baked beans
food of my youth
sweet memories of youth
times of freedom,
But it is now. And technology can be a part of this life. This simple summer of healing.