Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wishing for Dolphins in the Bahamas

Along with the slower pace of January, it seems I've become a slacking blogger.  At first we (along with the rest of the country) were having (for Southern California) some incredibly chilly weather.  And then last week, the skies cleared, the sun rose high in the sky, and we were at 80 degrees all week.  Our son Andrew came for a long weekend visit, partly because we hadn't seen him in about 6 months, and partly because he needed a break from freezing cold Utah.  We had fun taking him to walk along the beach, to eat at his favorite Mexican restaurant, and to a movie.  Amazingly enough, he likes hanging out with us oldie oldsters, although after dinner he liked to hole up and watch movies, so L and I were free to do what we wanted in the evenings.
I honestly have nothing incredible to report.  Life has been no ball of fire around here, that's for sure.  L and I were in a quandary about what to do about our bike riding of late.  So cold at night, it just wasn't fun to put 3 layers of clothing on just to go out and ride, sweat a little because of all the layers, and then get cold anyway because of it.  We solved our hot debate this weekend: we bought a stationary bike.

It's a little different workout from our regular bikes.  As you can see, the handles go back and forth like an elliptical machine.  Because you're inside, it really makes me sweat.  TMI?  Maybe, buts it's always an issue with me because I am a horrific head sweater - just like a kid.  That's another reason I love our regular bikes so much - because you're out in the fresh air that blows against your face and makes you cool again.  Anyway, this little bike is just the thing.  Because of the arm action it makes your core a little stronger.  Hopefully.  I know my lower back is a little sore as I'm adjusting, but I think it's going to be a good thing.  I finish my work, turn on Ellen, and pedal away for 30 minutes.  I will work up to more, I promise.  I'm encouraged that we've found a good solution to the winter doldrums and it's accompanying less activity.

Other than that, my friends, I've started driving my dad to his one day a week work on Wednesdays.  The chemotherapy is making him so tired, and it's a long drive, yet it's good for his moral to continue to go in once a week, run reports, and then go with my brother for a huge lunch.  He and my mom drive to my house, I come out and jump into the driver's seat of the Cadillac, and off we go to Corona and Larry's Thunderbird and Mustang Parts.  (No, my dad is not Larry - he bought the biz from Larry)  Then my mom and I come back to my house and spend the day, thus saving her the horrible fate of spending the day at Larry's.  Picture greasy parts and a business full of car guys and you've got it.  During my years there, I kept wanting to make it the nice and attractive, but car guys will have none of that.  It was good I moved on when I did.  But I digress...  At the end of the work day, my brother brings Dad back to my house, and he and mom can go home after I feed them dinner.  So far, we've only done it once.  This week, my dad had a little emergency that landed him in the ER until 3am, and he wasn't up to working the next day.  Good thing, because I was so worried that I didn't sleep, and woke up with a huge headache which lasted ALL DAY.  So there were 3 of us on Wednesday that were worth nothing.
Besides being interfering and bossy with my parents, I've also been a royal pain to my aunt who lives nearby.  She is in kind of rough shape.  Depression and advancing age, combined with taking poor care of herself for the past 30 years has taken a toll on her.  She falls.  A lot.  I can see what she needs: complete physical workup, possible physical therapy, once a week session with a therapist for the depression, having someone monitor her meds and help her shower for at least the next month until we have a better handle on what's going on.  Encouragement to get out of her room and see some sunshine.  But will she agree to any of this?  Of course not.  So we argue and have the same debates every time I see her, which is several times a week.  It's a little wearing, and I did get a little angry with her the other night when she was particularly belligerent.  But I love her and want her to be happy and healthy.  But I can see I need to change my tactics and be a little less commandeering.  Give her more time to chew on new ideas before insisting on them.  Not my strong suit, that's for sure.  But I did want a year of chances to serve, didn't I?  A year of growth?  Yes. And that's exactly what I'm getting, so far.
And so, because the past week has been a little worrisome and turbulent, I've avoided blogging.  I shouldn't have, because this is exactly what I needed.  Put on my iTunes and just let it all out.  I put it on "shuffle" mode and it alternates between Fun pounding out "Some Nights" and Ludovico Einaudi's moody and ethereal piano beauties.  With a little Lady Gaga and Colbie Caillat, and Vienna Teng thrown in for good measure.  For some reason I love listening to music I love, but having no idea what is going to come next.  Will it be something to make me want to get up and dance, or something that makes my heart peaceful?  Sometimes it's both.

My daughter sent me this old picture of Mia running across the sand to meet the approaching waves, hair flying in the light of the setting sun.  It fills me with that indescribable feeling of summertime - when you're excited, but you don't know what for.  When just seeing the ocean waves pulls you towards them with hands outstretched and eyes closed, and the smell of salty air filling your nose.  Today Katie and I looked online at a vacation destination in the Bahamas with real longing.  They had a cove where you could swim with dolphins.  That's on my bucket list.  But it could just as easily be Hawaii or Puerto Rico or Cape Cod.  I just want sun shining on waves that tumble in to kiss my toes hello.  Soon.  Soon...


  1. A beach anywhere is where I want to be.

    So sorry about all your dad and aunt are going through- you are such a good daughter/ niece to them.

    And good for you with the stationary bike! That's a good solution for any bad weather day and that you can do it in your own home is a definite plus.

  2. TMI is never enough when it comes to you, dear karen. You're a force to be reckoned with. I can picture those car guys running for cover when they see you coming! (LOL) I admire you for taking on the challenge of helping the older members of your family. The wheels do tend to come off as people age and dealing with one health issue after another is exhausting for the caregiver. I applaud you for stepping up for your dad and your aunt. I hope you continue to enjoy workouts on your exercycle. You should to get another one and place it next to yours for L to use so that you can simulate your evening bike rides together. Every evening I exercise while listening to my favorite music on my CD jukebox. Like you I enjoy shuffle play because it's fun not knowing which song will play next. Will it be something to make me want to get up and dance (like Nasty Idols), or something that makes my heart peaceful (like Murderdolls)? (LOL) You should keep that magical picture of Mia within reach, get anchored to it and use it to empower yourself. Harness the energy and glee of a child. It will keep you young for the rest of your life. Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend karen!

  3. Dear Karen, I'm sad to hear that your dad and your aunt are having such a struggle. I was so bereft when my dad was experiencing his cancer. He would drive himself to chemo, then come home and fall down on the front steps. My mother was there to help drive, but he was SO stubborn (he kept smoking through it all, and driving alone was a way to get his fix.) To avoid confrontation, my mom just let him go. I know if I had been there he would have let me drive, because at that time I was also smoking and the only nonjudgemental family member. I'm so glad your dad will accept help. And I hope your aunt will begin to feel happy once again. Maybe she would be happy to explore something creative and quiet. I love the picture of Mia. It fills my heart with joy.

  4. Karen you write in a way that I really "feel ya".... Your life is full of all those things that show we are involved with well.. LIVING... and the people we care about. ("thus saving her the horrible fate of spending the day at Larry's" made me laugh!) Hard to see clearly what someone needs and not be able to help them make the changes...like your aunt... sigh. Good for you getting an "inside bike". I think 30 minutes on it is just fine, but I'm a minimalist I guess! haha Hope you can ride outside again soon. Austin is great for that right now... I'm going for a ride this morning. Have a wonderful day my blogging friend!

  5. Good to see a post from you. I had wondered where you went :)

  6. Isn't this weather the weirdest?

    I've thought about a stationary bike--for when it's so HOT ya wanna die!

  7. Okay Az.. is having the deep cold and warmest days too.. So I have not been walking and it burns me to now be walking. Now I've got that awful flu stuff. Glad you found a way to keep in shape that works for you both..
    The once a week blessing with your Dad =another week with him.. As you know I lost my Dad from a 4 year long cancer issues in Nov 2012 and I loved my time going into town with him..
    Hugs -- and keep on biking...

  8. A beach is the highest priority on my list right now.
    Although I have to say, I am currently in AZ and the warm temps and recent rain are making me feel so happy! I don't even care if it rains tomorrow, it's 70 something degrees and so much better than the frigid UT

  9. Your life is not that quiet..you have tons going on. Taking care of your father and aunt and L...plus working and working out...very busy girl! 80de? Really? After reading that and crying I was able to finish this comment! I love the pic of Mia. I would love to feel some sand in my toes and see the ocean. One of these days! I hope your Dad gets to feeling better and those chemo treatments can be finished. Your help and support has to be the shining light in his life right now. I laughed about the "clean" car place. I would be suspicious of a shiny auto parts shop too! Have a good weekend and enjoy that new bike! My butt hurts just looking at it!

  10. oh the beach. I won't say that your cold sounds perfectly warm. I won't say that.

    You are a beautiful writer.


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