Tag Archives: coffee

How To Be 78 Years Old

In 2009 I had the opportunity to spend both quality and quantity time with my mother while she recovered from surgery. Her recovery took about eight seconds—for which I’m very thankful—but then I got snowed in at her house.

Here’s a photo of her bedquarters. [Get it?? Like headquarters?? Oh, I crack me up.]

bedquarters1

From this command center she was able to direct and supervise all activities. Like me clearing two feet of snow off my car.

 

Snow2

Snow3

Spending this much time in her home was illuminating because I hadn’t lived with my mother since about 1982. Also because for about that same amount of time, I’ve been the oldest person I’ve lived with.

My mother has taught me many valuable lessons over the years, like these gems.

• Don’t giggle and fidget in church, but if you can’t help yourself, scoot over near another family so as not to shame us.

• Red wine vinegar is not the same as red wine.

• When arriving home after a long car trip, no one uses the bathroom until the car is unpacked.

• If you pay a kid a quarter for every tick they find on themselves after camping, they’re likelier to inspect their nooks and crannies more diligently. Plus, they’ll also check the dog.

As you can see, she’s a wise and wonderful woman.

And that weekend she taught me something else … how to be 78 years old. She’s actually ten years older now, but has grown weary of teaching me things. If I want to know how to be 88 years old, I’ll just do these things with more verve and gusto.

If you, too, would like to know how to act 78 years old, this will get you started.

  1. Get up at 4 a.m., make a pot of coffee and read for three hours. Then go back to bed, making it seem like you get up early AND sleep late simultaneously.
  2. Upon waking, immediately turn on the TV and make a full pot of coffee.
  3. Eat constantly, but only tiny dabs of this or that.
  4. Coffee, coffee and more coffee.
  5. Watch TV but only for about 90 seconds at a time because everything reminds you of a story … or something you need to remember … or a question you’ve been wondering about for several years. Glance wistfully at your computer, knowing all answers live there, but also knowing said answers prefer to hide from you.
  6. Turn the coffeepot off.
  7. Two minutes later, brew a cup of tea.
  8. Make sure you are—and this appears to be of the utmost importance—make sure you are AT ALL TIMES within three feet of a box of Kleenex. If you think you’ll breach that perimeter, pluck a couple and shove them into your pocket or your sleeve or between two buttons on your shirt.
  9. If you don’t bathe by noon, just take a “PTA Bath” reminding yourself that the mailman doesn’t care how you look. [Hint: The A stands for armpits, but the P and the T are not words an elderly woman with a proper upbringing should say. Except to her daughter. Who will crack up and tell all her friends what a hoot it is when old ladies lose their inhibitions.]
  10. More coffee.
  11. Even though you’ve cooked two-and-a-half million chickens for Sunday dinner in the last 50+ years, confess you never really liked to eat fried chicken. This makes your daughter feel guilty. Especially after she buys fried chicken to stock the fridge during your recovery.
  12. When recovering from surgery, eschew stairs, Scrabble and salt. But not sherry.

My mom rocks.

What will you do when you are 78 years old?

I Never Learn

I just don’t. I am incapable of The Learning.

I’m one of the few native Coloradans still in existence. We really should be in a museum. But such an honor comes with responsibility. Like shoveling snow from driveways and sidewalks.

Let me just say, we’re absolutely blessed here in Denver. When it snows, which it does periodically, the next day the sun comes out and dries up all the snow so the itsy bitsy spider can drive her car in town.

I think all the sunshine has permanently erased some aspect of my long-term memory, perhaps my short-term, too. [Note … I literally had to stop here and check my scribbles to remember the point of all this. Sigh.]

My point is this. No matter how many times I have shoveled snow in my life, I forget EVERY TIME how to do it without hurting my back.

I never learn.

We had about a foot of snow over the weekend, so hubs and I split duties, roughly half and half. Once on Sunday and then again yesterday. [I loved our 3-car driveway when we got it poured, lo, those many years ago. Not so much when it’s covered with snow.]

Yes, my back is killing me. Why? Because I never learn.

This morning I was repeatedly reminded of this travesty. I get up around 5am most days and am able to read (novels! for fun!) in the quiet early morning hours. It’s also when I drink my coffee.

every damn timeI have a lovely antique table next to my purple armchair, where my writer’s clock and my Splat Stan coaster keep me and my cup company. But occasionally, I need to refill. Okay, fine, more than “occasionally.”

Every damn time I needed more coffee this morning, I twisted and reached for my cup the exact wrong way, sending me into paroxysms of pain equaled only by my shrieks of profanity.

Every. Damn. Time.

I never learn.