Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Death in the Family

My children's last living grandparent died this week. This is after so many years in deep dementia and physical incapacity and misery. My daughter coined a word for this, grelief, I feel such relief for her to be freed from her mind and body. I cannot remember the last time she knew me, but I do know it has been at least a year since she recognized her one and only son. It has been very difficult for Larry to be repeatedly rejected and unrecognized by his mother. He had a hard time not taking it personally, even though, logically, he knew it wasn't really her speaking.
When my very young niece died, I made her dress to wear in her burial and it helped me deal with the loss. It was very kind of my sister in law to let me do that. Larry has undertaken a much larger project, he has painted the casket with a California style paint job, from hot rod painting days. First he painted it a lighter blue, then through a few yards of lace in a floral design, he sprayed a darker blue. The body of the casket is the dark blue. He and his friend are now returning the casket to the funeral home. The smell of auto body paint has made me think a lot about my dad who was an auto body man as well as a mechanic. He was an artist at painting cars and truck, even painting race cars. He was very gifted in that area, but the years of painting without taking safety measures added to his lung disease which took him rather young. It has actually been nice to think about some of his good points, his talents at this time, many of my memories of people are tied to scents and this is true of the smell of auto paint.

This is why I am not a writer--focus-- focus--
We discovered during this backyard casket painting (under a tent) adventure that a new neighbor is a funeral director and he was quite enthralled by the idea as is his boss. hmmm. Also the taping of the insides to protect it was slightly inadequate and some blue leaked in-- new neighbor told Larry those pieces of fabric would be flipped out and not show, whew, cause we were going to pull it about and re-staple it. I also burned my first CD today gathering some music for my MIL's visitation and funeral. A little tech job I wasn't sure of.. freaked out really, but it's simple.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Finally following a few blogs on my dashboard-- I take my own time to do these things. I usually just bookmark-- don't know where I have misplaced my feeds that my daughter helped me with-- Still haven't plugged in my laptop and I have been told that I may already have a wireless connection with my service-- technology is for ridiculously scarey to me it is amazing I have bought a book on my kindle, but I have... several... and games. Is there a jail for people who use dashes for punctuation? or multiple periods, oops gotta go back andmake sure there are three instead of two.

I Know How It Goes

We are saying farewell to 4 people at my school, every one of them special to me in a different way, my best principal of three I have worked for. a teaching neighbor with whom I spent many mornings in deep conversation until she moved around the corner to a different team, the aide who was the human heart of the media center and also did several other aide jobs, plus coaching amazingly successfully several academic teams AND organizing a community service group that rocks. A close, close member of my own team who is leaving to enjoy brand new and the unexpected blessing of grandparenthood, younger than me, but feels she cannot waste a precious second of her grandparenting. (I am not wasting mine, my career is shorter than most my age) I have been around long enough now to see that teaching life is so intense that there is often little left over for maintaining relationships that feel so close and full of love and admiration. Maybe I am just a bad and or lazy friend. I am going to try harder. right now. But I, too, am feeling the pull of retirement and concentrating on the grandchildren who are available to me and that involves moving away, in a few, very few, years. I am starting to understand the desire, before the guv took such a public hate of my chosen career, I saw myself teaching until the grand old age of 70, now I am just thinking maximum benefits for survival. and the coolest new living space ever-- a young artist's dream.

I need and English teacher to step in here and help me with punctuation, but you get the point. I am happy and sad, happy for what my friends are ready to enjoy, sad for the loss in my life of daily contact with those same friends. I miss them now, but August will be much worse, because summer is normal separation time, and really, Barb needs a break from me!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Long Time

Things are so bad in Indiana with our governator on a full out attack on public education that I am actually starting to think about retirement. In the recent past I was all-- 67 to 70yrs old before I retire-- (Late starter) Now if we elect one more public education hating gov I am thinking retirement may be much closer- like as soon as I qualify. Since I have had weight loss surgery, all aspects of my physical life are so much better that I could even consider teaching until aged 70, that is how good I feel. Now something else very interesting has come up and it is making my look forward to retirement instead of fearing it. There is a sweet little storefront for sale in law daughter's tiny town with a possible apartment upstairs. The space is completely raw and beautiful. Think of any cool coffee shop with brick walls and light flooding all the way to the back. there you have it, upstairs and down. The ideal home for 2 artists-- a studio down (must have a biz biz on the main floor) You can do that very thing in many places, but this happens to be within spitting distance of the two youngest grandsons--

Could I have little art workshops for kids? Could I make giant papier mache' monsters or have paintings on an easel and not have to worry about space? It sounds heavenly. Larry really feels like he can still do the plumbing it needs and that is really my only hold up-- that and I need my knees replaced and there are stairs, but the new stairs are a rather gentle angle and the people I know with new knees are skipping around my building and or hopping on tractors farming and loving the knees. I did take dibs on the windows up front! I have even thought of a name and then someone else improved that-- I dream about furniture arrangements in the loft style living space with 20ft ceilings-- and yes, room for a loft for the boys to sleep over--