March 25, 1984
Paul lost his job January 4. There’s no work around here, so the last week of February, he left for California. He’s been working out of the San Francisco Union Hall since then.
Between February and March, two sinks stopped up, the TV broke, my food budget went from $60 a week to $60 a month. My fridge broke down and I lost everything in the freezer and the fridge. Robin was in the hospital for four days. All four children took turns being sick. For two weeks I didn’t get a full night’s sleep for taking care of sick, feverish, throwing up children.
They threatened to shut off my phone, power, and water for lack of payment. I’ve been out of money, out of gas, and out of fresh fruit and veggies all at the same time. I borrowed money from Gram and Mom to buy medicine, and food, and gas for my car.
Paul called and told me to rent the house in and get ready to move to California.
When the house rented, we moved in with Lan and Floyd and stayed there until I saved enough money to move. Floyd with two women and nine children. What an adventure.
I’m 33 years old today. I didn’t expect a party, and I didn’t get one. I had a Girl Scout Investiture Ceremony planned for my Brownie Troop. It’s my last meeting before we move. This is such a good group of girls. I hate leaving them.
When I got home, there were presents for me on the table. What a surprise! A Christmas cookie cutter set. A stationary set. A tape of children’s’ Christmas songs. It was lovely.
I was hoping Paul would call. It doesn’t look like he will. I guess I’ll go to sleep.
Happy Birthday to me – 33!
November 14, 2004
I’m 53 years old today! And I’m a junior at Evergreen State College in Olympia. What was I thinking? This is crazy. I’m crazy.
And yet. Here I am.
The best part of my life is that I’m in my little cottage parked in Katie and Josh’s drive way. I love being this close to the kids. I love visiting the grand kids and watching them navigate the world. I love being part of a multi-generational home.
I may be older than everyone in all my classes, including the instructors, but I’m definitely not smarter. Having said that, I do have knowledge … dare I say wisdom … gained from years lived. I want to tell some of those kids, “Pay attention, you guys. This is the easy part of your life. Take a breath. Enjoy.” I guess that understanding comes from time and experience.
We had cake and ice cream. Everyone loves cake and ice cream.
November 14, 2017
I’m 66 years old today. A couple of friends took me and Mom to lunch at Applebee’s. We had such a good time. The kids called and wished me “Happy Birthday.” That was lovely.
Today I’m good. I feel like I’m finally coming together. It’s been a really hard couple of years.
My family – they are what’s good and noble in my life.
Mom is my best friend. She listens to me rant, laughs when I’m goofy, and loves me no matter what. I adore her.
Zian is amazing. He doesn’t know how smart he is. He’s a bit of a whiner, but he helps me around the house and makes me laugh.
My children are the most amazing human beings. They’re wonderful, kind, good parents, good friends, good human beings. I’m proud of them.
My grandchildren own my heart. They make me happy. They’re humans becoming, and it’s a miracle to witness.
Lan and Floyd, Steve and Harriet, Rob and Shari … they help me stay connected to this world when I would float away. They are examples of work, perseverance, and overcoming. They are my heroes.
My friends expand my world. Sometimes, I have a bad day and think I’m having a bad life. They help me see … nope … it’s just a bad day.
There’s so much to love about my life.
Happy Birthday to me.
November 14, 2020
I’m 69 years old today. I thought it would be more traumatic. Instead, it makes me laugh. Yay! Here I am. Still breathing.
A couple days ago I got the chance to teach a class to about 15 kids from ages about 15 to 5. A friend asked me to do a one-hour presentation on karate.
I haven’t been to karate class since Mom’s diagnosis in March. I’m not sure they’re holding in-person classes, yet. Showing the kids a few basic karate moves and talking about karate’s history makes me homesick for class. I need to get over my funk and get back if I’m going to make black belt before I turn 75.
Everyone needs a goal, right?
That’s what kept Mom going for so long. She was a woman with a plan.
She announced, “I’m going to physical therapy so I can get stronger. I’m going to get out of this wheel chair and walk with my walker down to the beach when we go in October. I want to go to Arizona next spring. And we need to make reservations for our June camping trip to the coast so we get a good spot.”
She had her life planned into next year … no wonder it took her so long to leave this world. She was too darn busy.
She was an excellent example.
When there’s a break in the snowfall, I want to sneak over to see the kids. And in the spring, visit them more. And maybe take a week end trip to Idaho to visit friends. And Arizona some time in the next year. And next summer, maybe I can make my garden grow. And of course, get back into karate class as soon as possible. And take lessons, so I can learn to play Lan’s piano that’s now sitting in my living room. And this week, get all these apples dried. And get my massage practice up and running again.
I may be 69 years old today, but I’ll have to wait until my next birthday to act like an old lady. I’m too busy right now. No, I’ll have wait until after I get my black belt in karate.
Then maybe I’ll consider acting like an old lady. Maybe this is exactly how old ladies act.
Happy Birthday to me.