Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Libby

Libby went to the Catholic school for her elementary years and the “other” junior high for 9th grade. We weren’t even together until we went to high school in our 10th grade. I knew who she was, but we had friends of friends and we weren’t really friends ourselves. I remember distinctly when her mother died when she was 16. Things like that stick with you.

Here we are at the Fairborn Chamber Chat
held at Wright State University
Our lives took different turns after school. She traveled quite a bit with her husband. Eventually they would return to the United States, and they settled in the school system that I lived in. She had a daughter three years younger than mine, two years older than my son, and another daughter a year younger than my son. So, from 1983 to 1989 we were having babies.

Eventually, we would run into each other in school events and in the community. I don’t think we got together on a reunion committee until the 30th. That was in 2001. We started having our group lunches in 2006 and really ramped those up in 2010. She became a regular at the lunches. She and I had lunches and suppers at other times. It seemed those were the only times we were really alone and could talk about things.

Libby got me onto the idea of owning an iPod touch. Oh, wow, the things we could do with that. (We now both have smart phones) I got her started with Facebook. Her daughters were appalled at the time, but I think they’re OK with it now. They are sharing pictures all the time. I am friends with her older daughter, and we find that WE have some similar interests!

She lives three miles from me. Honestly, we could drop over all the time, but we have other things to do. Both of us have retired husbands, and her children and grandchild are close by, so she spends a lot of time with them. In recent years, she has had more than her share of tragedy in extended family, so she has had to attend to that.

The class activities keep us connected. I enjoy her company. I look forward to a day when things slow down a little.


My Fitness Journey: Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Treatment

It's "fall back" weekend!
It has been about two months since I have written about my Diet and Fitness Journey. When last I wrote, I had lost about 11 lbs. on The Virgin Diet. I have been able to keep this off, but am really stalled at about 13 lbs. I don’t understand this fully, as I am eating 80% right and I have completely cut out pop. I hear people say all the time “I lost five lbs. a month just by cutting out pop!” and this is NOT happening! It is very depressing since I have given up something that I really loved.

Now I know, that it’s not good for me anyway, so no matter what the scales say, pop is just an enemy of the human body. So I am behaving.

During these last two months, I have been doing physical therapy to strengthen my left knee and admittedly, my right knee also. After all, we cannot have a lopsided body here. I have been released from physical therapy. I have been able to lift 110 lbs. as I sit on a seat and push out with my legs. For me, I think that is pretty strong. I don’t have that machine, either at the fitness center or the workout room at our condo clubhouse, so I am going to have to figure out a way to maintain that strength.

At the same time, I have been working with a local chiropractor. I won’t name him. If you are reading this and you know what town I live in, you know who it is. He is a hometown boy who got his education and came home to practice. His mother was my son’s third grade teacher. This IS a small town!

Dr. has been doing decompression therapy on me for about six weeks now. It HAS helped my back. Right now we are only doing once a week and we’ll see how long that is needed. I don’t kid myself. He’ll be with me the rest of my life, to some extent. It’s OK. I’m getting older and my back is deteriorating, and we are doing the best we can to preserve what we can.

Walking is still difficult. My husband walks almost three miles at a time and I am jealous. But my husband does not have the issues that I do, and vice versa, indeed. No comparing, I just wish we could walk together. Maybe we will someday.

So…..I will continue to do my leg weights at home, every other day. (Oh, and naturally I bought new ones, only to find my old ones that I had “lost” through the move a couple of days later!) I will go to the fitness center for upper body weight work and riding the bikes. I can also ride the bike in the clubhouse if I just want to do that. I will not be attempting classes. They are too much at once. (within a 45-60 minute time frame)

Halloween is a few days away and the good news is that the condos don’t do Halloween (no one comes back here). But the other holidays are on the horizon and I really have to work at this! I’m in my older clothes and I am not letting them get tight again! I have work to do yet, but I am not going to backslide!

This has been a frustrating time. The knee had been bothering me for two years, since before my cancer diagnosis, and I don’t know which was worse, the pain or the “cure.” Well, the cure is going to work, eventually. It just hasn't come as easy as I thought it would.

I hope my story helps someone who is going through something similar. It may not be the same part of the body, but the feelings are the same. As I write this, the World Health Organization just announced that sausage and bacon are really bad for you. That is not a problem for this girl. Neither is red meat, although I like hamburger in my tacos. That is about all.

However, pumpkin pie; well, that’s another story……



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bob

I sort of knew Bob in high school, but not enough to have any real memories of anything we experienced together.

I've always liked this picture of Bob
and my son. This was taken in our
garage when we had a party.
Actually I can’t tell you anything about his life, except that he started coming to our luncheons. He’s retired, but he’s a musician, and honestly, he’s in four places at once and we can’t keep up with him! One of these days, I am going to see and hear (one of) his bands sing.

He comes to our Christmas party, and along with another fellow with a banjo, adds to the festivities. Nothing is EVER rehearsed! The first time Bob came, he didn’t bring his guitar and I got out my brother’s (who passed away in 2007) guitar and it had been tuned down (back), but when Bob tried to tune it UP, he broke strings. The next time he brought strings and set me up!

To know Bob is to know his music. Now that he’s retired, he can do whatever and how much of whatever he wants to do.

I always enjoy his company at our events. Sometimes he’s late, but it’s OK. We just love having him around!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Vicki

I knew of Vicki in high school. She was on the drill team, so she was a friend of a friend. Neither of us can remember being in a class together, but I find it hard to believe that we were not. With a class of almost 700, there just were times people did not run in the same circles, and this was one of those times. We were both in the Music Department, her with the drill team and one choir and me in the other choir.

Life went on and the old gang broke up and we went our own ways. Vicki was at the Tenth Reunion, but I honestly remember very little about that reunion. She came into our lives at the end of preparation for the Twentieth Reunion, jumping right in and helping. We considered her a “committee member.” (I just wanted to note that, so that individuals who decide at the last minute that they want to help, it is possible!) Vicki has been involved in every reunion since.

She works for the state working with developmentally disabled individuals. In 2016, she will retire with 30 years. She was married many years ago to a classmate for a short time (they remain friends) and had a long-term relationship with another man.

She also has health problems; real health problems! The short story is that she needs a donor heart.

Vicki at our 40th Reunion
But I start at the end: this did not happen overnight. Her heart problems began 25 years ago and life has been a roller coaster ever since. Vicki did not have a computer or email for the longest time, so I tried to remember to call her periodically, and I didn't do that very well.

Last year about this time, she had a major setback. She was hospitalized in our town, flown to the state capital to a specialty hospital, and eventually to Tennessee to live and hopefully recuperate with her brother and sister-in-law. I never expected to see her living in our hometown again. Many of our classmates sent cards, a few visited, and I was on speed dial of a friend of hers; who started out as a work companion, but moved on and they maintained their relationship. He, the other guy of the long-term relationship, and her brother and SIL were her main support system. She was very blessed by these people.

I thought she would sell her condo up here and settle in Tennessee and get on a waiting list for a donor heart. (They were working with a hospital in Alabama) She did not sell the condo, recuperated and returned to her home and job. We are all totally amazed!

Last month she came to a committee meeting and everyone wanted to hug her. However, this is not really possible. She wears several “machines” that are literally keeping her alive. I am not a medical person and this is a specialty I have no experience with, but imagine my thoughts when she told me that if I wanted to take her pulse, I would not find one.

Let that one sink in. Her life is being kept by machines and she has no pulse!

Obviously, we take into account her limitations, and that is good as it reminds us that we all have limitations. Her picture is just painted in much brighter colors!

Next year she plans to retire and get on a donor list. There is no guarantee that there will not be complications before that, but we hope and pray it all goes according to the best plan. 

Vicki is one big fighter! I am honored to consider her my friend!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Bev

I knew Bev in school as we did have classes together, and we had an informal friendship. She married a classmate and had two children with him. Upon their divorce, she met another man and moved to the south to be married. I am not sure which came first: moving to the south and meeting him, etc. or meeting him and moving to be near him. I do know her mother lives close to them, so she might have moved first. I just don’t remember.

Our first luncheon together in
2006. I was considering letting
my hair go gray. That didn't last
long! Bev is second from left.
Bev always looked FABULOUS at reunions—I mean “I hate you” fabulous! It was around the 30th Reunion that we connected personally. She came into town and about 7 of us met at a restaurant at the mall area. I want to say Chili’s but I think that would be wrong. It doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is that was the FIRST luncheon, which evolved into our pizza meals at Giovanni’s.

Bev and I talk on the phone regularly. She’s actually butt-dialed me and it turned into a great conversation, as always. We talk about our families, our moms, books and our faith. I consider her a dear friend.

As with other friends that I have mentioned, I can tell when it’s time for more than email. I just feel it and I think they do too.

Bev doesn’t get north often enough, but she does have grandchildren here, so there will always be some time! Her grandkids travel to see her too, so that’s all good.

Also, as with other friends, many of us are grandparents now, so that adds a dimension to our lives that we really never imagined when we were in school! However, it’s the most fun, and a reward for our toil in younger years.

I do not know Bev’s husband, so I don’t know if a visit would be welcome there, but we still have our telephones!