Limited Mobility – Finding Alternatives

During the first few months of sheltering in place from COVID-19, I went on long, solo walks. They engaged my mind and body and helped to replace the workouts at the gym I was accustomed to doing three times a week. I saw parts of my downtown I had never had the time or inclination to explore before, and even with a mask on, the air was fresh and clean. The occasional back alley or full dumpster just added texture to the experience! 🙂

My knees had been giving me some pain for a while before COVID, but after doing these walks I realized that they were getting worse, and the right one was radiating pain all up and down my leg that was not relieved with stretching or anything else I did.

I got to the point that I had to lift my right leg into the car and into bed! Continue reading

In the Meanwhile – Life in the Time of Covid19

Cedar Door Restaurant Mural

Cedar Door Restaurant Mural, Downtown Austin, TX

I have no huge or dramatic Covid story to tell. At least, not yet. My experience has been a fairly placid one, filled with privilege (A place to live, my husband is still employed and working remotely, my children are healthy, also employed, and sheltering in place with their families and pups.), and with blessings both big and small. As they say, “Nothing to see here, move along.”

Meanwhile…

A preacher once said, “In the Bible, God is always working in the ‘meanwhile’,” and although I thought I understood what he was saying at the time, I think I understand it better now.

In the meanwhile, my husband and I have discovered deeper ways in which we are compatible and we have improved our communication.

In the meanwhile, weekly Zoom conferences with my mother and with our daughters and their families have provided love and laughter across the distance between us.

In the meanwhile, I have been able to participate in funding grants to our hard-hit local nonprofits, through distance meeting technology that was only used if “you really had to” just a short time ago. Continue reading

Want to Feel Vital? Stay Involved!

My husband and I just returned from a once in a lifetime trip to New Zealand we had dreamed of for years. We made arrangements through The Splendid Traveler where Alicia Saba specializes in customized travel in New Zealand and Australia and she took our preferences and produced an ideal itinerary! We had a fabulous time and walked an average of 5-7 miles a day and we were thankful to be in shape to do it. We had agreed that now was the time to take advantage of the investment we have made in our health and fitness and fulfill some of those dreams before age slows us down.

In our travels, we were blessed with expert guides, some young, some older, but they all had one thing in common. They were excited and enthused to do what they were doing. The young people because the job kept them outdoors and doing what they loved in a way that financed their travels and adventures, and the older people (often retired) because they enjoyed how it kept them engaged with other people and added to their incomes. We were inspired by the backgrounds (Retired University Professor, Retired Business Owner, Renaissance Woman with Masters Degrees in Multiple Disciplines) of these folks who gave us up to a day of their time for each excursion!

Our guide in Christchurch (Fiona Newsome of Canterbury Guiding Co.) was an outstanding example. She was a little younger than us and spent two days making our excursions in that area outstanding. Her energy, intellect, creativity, and ability to think on her feet was inspiring to us. She planned ahead and told us all about what we were seeing in a way that was entertaining and knowledgeable. She thought about parking logistics, the next place to have a restroom stop, and where the best possible place to grab lunch was while seeming to enjoy things as much as we did.

Continue reading

Drama and Your Marriage

©CanStock Photo / AndreyPopov

I watched a popular series the other night, streaming it as we do these days when I was stunned by a particular episode. To be fair, we watch these things for the drama, the ups and downs, last-minute saves and resolutions, and pretty people in awkward, funny or even painful situations. It is their stock in trade and is utterly predictable at times.

However, the drama is the smallest thing you want in your relationship or marriage. It can break apart the strongest love, ruin lives, finances, and futures and most of it is avoidable. You don’t have to have drama in your relationship to have romance. They should be two very different things.

In this episode, a couple has dated and known each other for years. They decide to have a child together, go through fertility counseling and make this huge commitment of bringing another human being into the world. Then, he discovers that she is not planning to raise the child in his faith, she discovers that her career is much more important to her than she expected, and the inevitable pendulum swings between these two who ultimately decide to marry and proceed, trusting that their love will see them through.

Yeah, let’s unpack that a bit, shall we? There is so much wrong with that picture. Continue reading

Genealogy – Collecting and Connecting

I mentioned to my husband that in light of our multiple downsizings, we were fortunate that neither of us is a collector.

My husband smiled and said, “I think you do have a collection. You have collected the people and ancestry in your family!”

“And yours,” I responded with a grin.

People ask, “How did you get into genealogy? Did your family talk about its history?”

“Not really.” My maternal grandmother (Nana) talked a bit about hers and claimed that we were descendants of Myles Standish of the Mayflower through her father William Herbert Standish. He died young in a carriage accident and was evidently the great love of her three-times married mother, Nellie Holley Standish Kidder Smalley. When Nellie died, her wish was to be buried with William.

But that was it. No big lore and to be frank, we all just smiled and humored her when Nana claimed the Standish connection. No one really took it seriously. Continue reading