Impatience, Impatiens

I’ve always considered myself a patient person, not always, mind you, but most of the time. I am certainly not patient or forgiving when I’m driving and someone cuts me off. I curse and hold up a finger. When our son was really young and asked what it meant I told him it meant “wait a minute.” He believed that for years.

I’m patient on supermarket lines, I’m patient with (most) people, I listen well, I like to think I’m a good, loyal friend. Indeed, I have high standards for myself and used to think everyone was like me but Life taught me that lesson the hard way several times over. How do you know differently if the way your family acts is the only way you know?

My friends are all very different from me but now what keeps us together is not lunch dates, meeting in the city on a weekend for brunch or long telephone calls but stupid text messages or IM’s.  I confuse them all the time as my adult children roll their eyes and grimace.

I hate that, text messages to say Happy Birthday, text messages to say Hello, text messages to find out how a surgery went, text messages to show your deepest sympathy and one death announcement I had to read about on Facebook. It’s all the norm now.

Of course, my adult children, think I am old-fashioned and nuts. Beside that the iPhone to me is a strange and complicated piece of equipment, why can’t we just use the phone as the phone was really intended? To talk. It doesn’t seem popular anymore except for those of us “oldies.”

I will ask my kids to call their grandparents and they will do that responsibly but they will say “they weren’t home, we will try again later.” “Did you leave a message” I ask? A reasonable question, I think, and they look at me like the dinosaur that I am and say with a scolding dismay “Mom, our generation doesn’t LEAVE messages, we just try again later.”

It’s no surprise that I’m not good with change but I try as best I can. Knowing I’m not good with change makes me try harder than most. At this point in our lives my husband and I are waiting for change to happen, waiting for a clue to point us in the right direction on what we should do and where we should go in the future for the next chapter in our lives.

My friends say that “I will know it when it happens” and I believe that is true, but it has been a very long time and being patient has been getting harder and harder. I need to relax, look within and wait for the Spring. I think things will start to get clearer then. If nothing else, the dreadful Winter, will be over and Life will begin anew.

 

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Boomers Getting Older REPOST

It won’t be long now, you know that, right? it’s just about time to go, maybe not now but we have starting thinking about it. Soon enough to leave the town where my children grew up, where we still currently live. Not quite yet but I have a feeling that this will be one of our last Winters here, maybe one more. I think that will make me hate the winter less, knowing it’s one of the last ones.

That doesn’t mean I will live in a warmer climate but it will mean I will live somewhere else, maybe by the coast, so at least the Summer will be enticing instead of just making me jealous. And, of course, I will be sentimental about this little yellow house packed full of sentiment and nostalgia. I will slowly be going through clothes and junk as I have started doing to save, donate or toss. I admit, I’m not doing very well. I’m going to blame the beautiful weather instead of my own reluctance to part with things.

Now, I’m in our town’s farmer’s market, on a not too hot Saturday, literally a perfect day.

We don’t get many of these days, maybe two or three for the season.Tomatoes, lush and orange seem to be bursting out of their skins; piled up high in clumsy green cardboard boxes, smiling in the sun, beckoning us to buy them. Perky blueberries giggling together, plums and carrots, I can’t resist their beguiling charm.

A young couple sits near me their little boy wearing a bright red shirt, blue overalls and mismatched shoes, his stuffed animal, a silver shark is thrown in the air for him and other children to catch and throw, again and again with endless energy. Their youngest boy decides he doesn’t want to play anymore, listens closely to the band and starts dancing on his own. It is thrilling to watch his complete and utter joy.This child, will go far, I think.

I ran into an old friend while listening to the wonderful local folk band singing old favorites. Could this really be one of my last summers here.? I have no real answer. I do know one thing, we cannot afford to live here much longer. That is the hard truth. Feeling a little sentimental but it also feels that it will be the right time to go and the right thing to do. Preparing to move, not now but perhaps in the Spring. Where to? I have no idea but this is my gut feeling. I’m no longer sobbing or fear stricken, I went through those stages. I need for the opportunity to present itself, I hope we’ll know what the right answer will be.  I’m ready, our children are adults and It’s time to think about leaving and trying something new. I don’t feel conflicted anymore, it feels right, if only we knew where my husband would be working our lives would be so much easier.

It is time to go, funny how the Farmer’s Market lets me see it in a non-threatening and non-fearful way. We had our time in the sun when our children were three and five. Now they are adults, our son applying to medical schools, our daughter, a junior, wants to spend a summer in Spain and then study to be a lawyer.

We are older now, but not too old yet being among the young couples, we do not fit in anymore. Finally, it feels good. I struggled with this for many a month but now it feels right to entertain the thought of moving to a different place, living near water which is essential for me. It’s time for us to step aside. We will begin a new chapter of our lives feeling grateful for what we had in the past. I know, it won’t be easy, I will leave part of our souls here but change is good, it can be very good.That’s what I hope for, for my husband and me.

New times, new decisions, my voice will be heard. In the last twenty years, I have learned a lot, I’m a strong woman now. It’s my turn.

FWF Kellie Elmore

“I am a very old man, yes, I am older than this tree that grows in the backyard of my son’s house. I sit on the green bench so I can watch the tree in all weathers, I have lived here for 200 days now. Enough days, too much. I am dying, I need to go home.

Two hundred days and twenty days ago my beautiful wife, Shuen-Lie of sixty-seven years died, my son from America come to China, I am with pride. Soon, he moves my things together. I say good-bye to him and he gets large and shakes his head the way I used to saw trees and branches to make huts, back and forth, NO, NO, NO in angry voice. But in our culture you do not say no to an elder. He does, he takes my things, brings me to plane to America to live.

It has been 200 days since he take me away, he said “it was best for me to be closer to him.” Who was it better for I tried to ask him, but he keep pretending not to hear. He does not look in my eyes now.

We lived in our little town in China so happy,  but I was so weak, so sad that when my wife, Soon-Li  passed away, mother of our son, that I could not think anymore. I just needed time, I needed time for my sorrow to settle inside me. That is what I needed but he won’t listen.

My son came from America too fast, too fast. I was still very sad, I needed more time to be with my friends who are my people. They understood, we were all together every day, every night. Now my half was gone.  I know. It happens to all of us someday.The hurt in my body would leave but not the love.

I also worked on a fishing boat since I was a boy, It was my job since I was six to catch fish with my hands, for the family. Well, you see my hands now, so many years of work building huts from trees, fishing, I work every day. As I got older, I got better. I learned that with experience. Everyone needs to learn that in their own time.

My son and his wife bring me to America so they can “help” me, watch me, but it is my heart they took out. I want to be in my country, to be with my people who understand me, who have grown up with me. I know they love me here but love talks in many languages. I love my grandson they call “Sam” an American name. My sadness will be missing my grandson but he knows I want to go home. He loves me that much to help me now. That is pure love, white love.

The lights are too bright here, everything is rush rush and too loud. I do not like this. In my world I was a healer. People came to me for my help, now I meditate alone and ask to be listened to, to be back in my country, to die in my bed.

My grandson is a man now, he bought me a ticket, he will take me to airport, we go now to tell his parents, it is my word, the elder’s word that we listen to, as it should be.”

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Technology's Impact on Families: Depends Who You Ask!

iPhone 4 Bumper + Universal Dock w/ DIY Adapter

According to my mother (my teenagers’ grandmother) you would think that society and civilization are quickly burning up with raging orange and red flames of fire because of two second text messages. That said, it is a new generation and technology obviously has changed interaction within families and in the general public.

In my generation we spent all our free time on the phone. I remember walking back and forth from the kitchen to the living room with the long, dirty, coiled, yellow stretchy phone cord to talk to my friends from school who I had just seen hours before. This was way before call-waiting too.

Then there was e-mail and even us parents could pretty much keep up with that as well as the older generation. But now? My children text obsessively on their multi-faceted phones and we have to force them to turn them off while we are eating (which sometimes they do and sometimes they pretend to do.) On a weekend away with the entire family our mother could not believe that the first thing her four grandchildren did was check their phones and Facebook. She was disgusted and distraught and my sister and I (and husbands) were used to it. Our mother took it as a personal affront.

Things change, people change, as parents we get used to things; we have no choice but it is helpful to set limits. The older generation think we have all lost our collective parental minds. In defense of my children they can keep up a great conversation at any time, they do well in school and we have adjusted. That’s what parenting is all about, you need to change with your children and with the times and set some boundaries. Is it easy? Not always. Will it make your children unable to have a reasonable conversation over a family dinner? No. Honestly, if I could figure out how to use one of those fancy phones I would own one myself. I have a simple, made for dummies phone and if I am lucky, I can actually call someone or pick up and scream “hello?” and hear a response. I consider that, for me, a success.

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