…I feel things just as deeply, I experience life just as fiercely…
…I haven’t heard him cooing the name Christine yet as he’s buffing the back bumper…
Life after Sixty Series
The old man and I play a lot of charades lately.
And no, we aren’t particularly keen on party games. Nor are we attempting to relive our summer camp experiences (because we never had any.)
Well, maybe the old man did a couple of boy scout camps but they didn’t play charades. I’m sure they were too busy cutting down fragile tree saplings and killing tiny little forest creatures with their sling shots to bother.
We play charades because we have to. Without charades we would be lost.
Because we can’t remember words. So we are reduced to a kind of sign language, of our own design, and we cheat because we use sound effects.
Generally, I’m the one doing the charading and he is the one doing the guessing. Meaning he is looking at me with the same disdain usually reserved for street mimes while I gesture and make stupid noises and stuff.
But because he is good natured he plays along or maybe he just knows that the sooner he guesses what I’m saying the sooner I will leave him alone and he can go back to looking at car stuff on his android.
Personally I kind of enjoy the process. Words are boring.
Especially words like “drill”.
One syllable. Sounds like pill. Such a mindless mime.
But when I ask “Do you know where the…is ” as I gesture with my right hand like I’m holding a tool with a trigger and make little ghirr ghirr ghirring noises, it’s kinda fun.
And since I married a super genius he answers almost immediately:
“Last time I saw it it was over on the kitchen counter by the stove”, (because who doesn’t keep a cordless drill on the kitchen counter next to the stove and the glass jars waiting for recycling?)
It’s in my immediate field of vision, which makes me feel like a dumb ass.
“Oh, thanks” I say lamely, and move in that general vicinity, trying so hard to remember what I wanted the drill for in the first place.
The old man says nothing, just goes back to phone scrolling.
Life after sixty. Such fun.
So if you ever need a partner for charades, I’m becoming quite the expert.
I do cheat though.
Ghirr, ghirr, ghirr.
copyright 2019 by Ilona Elliott
*Because getting old is such a hoot, I am going to be addressing the subject in a new series of essays, the Life After Sixty Series.
Unless I forget.
Life is a surgeon. With a random hand. It’s impossible to get through it without going under the knife from time to time.
As other locals from Victoria, British Columbia, might know, the best views of the Milky Way can usually be found far from city lights, down the West Coast Road. The night I took this image was a special one. After keeping a close eye on the conditions, some friends and I decided to visit Sandcut…
Shared from Hakai Magazine on wordpress.com
I have a serious Pinterest addiction. I don’t know what it is about that site, but I can’t stop browsing and pinning and linking and dinking around for endless hours day and night and day. It’s like the crack of social media pages for me.
I have thirty five boards now. I don’t even own that many shoes.
I am sure I have thousands of pins now also. My Arts and Crafts and my Jewelry Ideas boards alone have over 2500 pins.
Suffice it to say that I don’t get much else done. I have a gazillion ideas, thousands of visuals, and plenty of inspiring blog posts to link to when I’m ready to actually do something though.
Someday I’m going to build that plate rail for the kitchen.
Someday I’m going to write that book.
Someday I’m even going to organize my sand paper collection.
Just not today.
I’m too busy nosing around into other, more productive people’s lives, oohing and aahing over their projects. It’s amazing how attractively displayed and professionally photographed it all is. And how cleverly worded the content is. I could never do that.
Actually some of it doesn’t really apply to my own project list at the moment. Like I don’t think I’ll be constructing a purse out of a pillow case or an outdoor grill out of a cinder block anytime soon. But if I wanted to, I now know that I could.
It’s hard to resist jumping on Pinterest whenever I am bored or can’t sleep or need some information about, well, anything. It’s all there: crafting, cooking, dieting, decorating, gardening, building, dressing, travelling, exercising, writing, cleaning, organizing, working, looking for work, improving relationships and, I think, advice on sexual matters even, but of course I haven’t personally sought any.
But if I need it, it’s there.
It’s kind of like if Martha Stewart was God and I was the Pope and I had one of those phones like the commissioner of Gotham City had that was actually a direct line to Batman, but of course mine would be to Martha:
Hello Martha, Pope here. Got any ideas on how to build a chicken coop out of a junked 1973 AMC Pacer?
Which would be nice but of course is no longer necessary because I have Pinterest. And Pinterest is like having several million Marthas right at my fingertips.
Which reminds me, I need to go search how to remove set in cooking oil stains from a t-shirt. And while I’m at it, I’ll browse those jewelry boards again. And maybe look up a recipe for tomorrows frittata, oh and I had a question about planting ever bearing raspberries.
And perhaps, perchance, I can even find a pin or two on how to make a curtain entirely out of grandma’s old lace doilies.
Now THAT would be the bomb.
Nadine Marshall is trained as an ecologist, and she’s an expert on the Great Barrier Reef. But recently, her work has picked up an unexpected new element: crisis counseling. “People tell me about their childhoods spent spearfishing in clear blue …
The grief is real. Do you feel it too?
My body doesn’t seem to have a lot of patience with non-essential organs. I don’t know if it’s trying to make room in my abdomen for more pizza and Italian wedding cake or if I’m just prone to inflammation, but I’ve lost several over the years. What surgeons love to refer to as non-essential organs, for me, includes two ovaries, a cervix and a uterus, removed when I was 49, which I guess made them largely non-essential for me at that point in time, my appendix, and most recently my gall bladder.
I was ten years old when I had the appendectomy. This was back in 1968, when any abdominal surgery was open surgery resulting in a decent sized incision held together with black prickly stitches. The kind they had to remove after a few weeks, which created the strangest sensation of tickling, haunted by subtle back notes of stinging pain. Totally weird stuff.
The open surgeries that were common in those days definitely required longer recovery times, which resulted in longer hospital stays. With my appendectomy, I was in the hospital forever, like a week or ten days. Now most surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, and for better or for worse, that isn’t likely to change any time soon.
Like my most recent surgery, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, more commonly known as gall bladder removal. Yes, it was laparoscopic, and while I don’t have any major incision, I do have four punctures wounds of varying sizes in my abdominal wall through which several tools were inserted and my wretched non-essential organ was unceremoniously released and removed.
So I was a little overwhelmed last Tuesday, when, after the gall bladder surgery, the recovery nurse asked me immediately upon waking if I was ready to go home?
Wait, What? Um, my head is spinning from anesthesia, can I have a little time? Sure, how long? Well like maybe ten minutes? Okay, you can have ten minutes.
Ten minutes later she was yanking open the curtain that separated me from the rest of the outpatient surgery ward and handing me my clothes with a very business like, no BS demeanor, a lot like a tiger Mom dealing with a surly child trying to avoid a math quiz.
My head was still spinning slightly, but I dutifully got dressed with my husbands assistance and was whisked outta there…pronto. Thanks again, Nurse Diesel.
Now, one of the things I remember vividly about my first abdominal surgery was how, after I got home, my four older brothers thought it was hilarious to make me laugh. This caused excruciating pain. They pretended to be innocent about the pain component and acted like they were cutting up to cheer me up after my long ordeal, which was total bullshit. And we all knew it. You see, two of my brothers had already had appendectomies and knew first hand how painful it is to laugh afterwards.
I was strangely conflicted by all this. You see, in my family the winner was not who had the most money or the nicest clothes or the highest grades. The winner was the one who made you laugh the hardest. So that even as I was in pain with tears running down my face begging them to stop making me laugh, I couldn’t help but love them a little for it.
It was weird, kind of like getting those stitches pulled out.
Let’s face it, surgery is hard. Abdominal surgery is especially hard, because it shouldn’t hurt to laugh. But it does. Oh God does it ever.
That’s the other thing that became painfully evident again this last week also–I married a funny man. Go figure.
I guess I forget sometimes how many times a day the old man makes me laugh. Damn him for being so funny!
It’s weird to have conflicted feelings about someone making you laugh.
You love them for being funny. Who doesn’t love a funny person?
You don’t quite trust them though, because you know that they know that laughing right now is gonna hurt for you.
And they’re making you laugh anyways.
But’s it’s all getting easier every day.
I can pee. I can raise my head while lying down. I can even roll over in bed without feeling like a lump of Pillsbury dough still stuck in the can.
And I can laugh without excruciating pain.
No more tickling sensation with subtle back notes of stinging pain.
Life is good.
©2019 by Ilona Elliott
I’ve decided that God is somewhat more like my dog and a lot less like the popular images of him in the church these days. And if I am wrong about that, I imagine that He is big enough to forgive me.