isolation

I’ve gotten sidetracked these past few weeks.  Sidetracked from my daily routine.  Sidetracked from projects I was in the middle of.  Usually, I chalk up my short attention span to having too many things going on at once.  This time I am giving credit where credit is due.  My radiation treatments.

I am going to write about my radiation experience.  That can wait for now.  I find my writing getting far too maudlin.  I have equated this isolation period of my radiation to being in jail.  Not that I have ever been in jail.  But if I was, I imagine this is what it would feel like.  Cause you to go a little stir crazy.  Bring out the drama.  Woah is me.  Right now I want lighthearted.

Last time I was on Dr ordered bed rest,  I snuck out.  I went to the mall.  I went out for lunches.  I met up with friends.  I picked up a few hours at work.  This time I pretty much have to stick by the rules.  I have radiation seeping out of my pores.  I could infect some innocent bystander.   So for now, it’s jail time for me.

Bruce is sleeping in one section of the house.  I am in the other.  He takes my Dr’s orders very seriously.  He brings a tray of food up to our room , which I lovingly refer to as my jail cell, when he gets home from work.  He knocks on the door.  By the time I go to open it, he is gone but the tray is waiting there for me.  Like Magic!  Even in jail I imagine you get to see the warden. He is taking no chances!!  As I sit in my room and eat my iodine free diet (Dr ordered!!) I imagine how fast he must turn and run to get away before I get to the door.  I know what time he is going to come each day.  I can hear him in the kitchen preparing my tray.  Or I get a txt from him asking “Are you hungry?”  Of course I am hungry!  But I humor him.  “Well, I guess I could eat a little something.”  I am tempted to open the door next time right as he is about to knock.  The look on his face alone would be worth taking the risk.  I will not do it, tho.  He is far too good of a nurse to play that trick on.  He is irreplaceable.

Scottie is back home living with us right now.   Just  until he can afford to get out on his own.  He takes his cue from his dad.  No chances there!  He yells through my door every morning and night.  “Good Morning, Mom!!….Have a good day!!!…Night Mom, I Love You!!”  The apple does not fall far from the tree.  He is a good sport about it.  He sends me snapchats during the day.  Sometimes they are of him going for lunch.  Usually they are of him sitting at his desk at work or on his way home from work.  “2 Hours to go!!!!  Heading home!!” It’s almost as if I am sitting in the car with him.  This morning I got a TGIF!!! picture!!  No TGIF for me in Jail.  But each day is one day closer to parole.

Via snapchat and picture txt msgs, Lauren has probably gone the farthest above and beyond in helping me to forget I was in jail.  She works the night shift as an emergency room nurse.  I wake up to all kinds of exciting pics from her on snapchat.  Never of anything I am not supposed to see.  Usually of  her co-workers.  Or her desk.  Or a picture of her at 3am telling me she has just had an espresso.  The other day I woke up, in my cell,  and there were about 10 pictures waiting for me from her.  I was excited!!  It was like opening Presents up on Christmas morning!  I got to meet many nurses and Drs. on her shift.  They were all pretty much in the same pose.  A smiling stranger I had never met before waving at me.  Hello!!

Last night she went shopping.  She “brought” me along.  She was trying to pick up the last few pieces for an outfit she needs for a bachelorette party she is going to this weekend.  We shopped via Txt Msg.  She texted me pics of shoes.  Which pair should she get??  She texted me pics of clothes.  Which would go better to complete my outfit? 

We had a spirited txt message conversation on the pros and cons of Spanx.  Have you EVER tried to get into those??  You take them out of the package and if you fold them in half, they literally can fit in the palm of your hand.  At first you think that you bought the wrong size.  After reading the sizing chart again, you realize you didn’t.  Huh?? I am supposed to squeeze into those!!?   First rule of Spanx ~  you need to decide which is more important to you.  Walking around looking lumpy and being able to breathe, or looking smoothed out while slowly suffocating.  I’ve decided that I’d rather look lumpy than go through that torture.  She said it is an Olympic event trying to get them on.  I agreed and said they should be outlawed.

She also acts as liaison between Bruce Robt and myself.  He has never been one to spend time on the phone.  Or snapchatting.  So she takes pics of him and sends them to me.  On the sofa grinning at me.  In a shirt I bought him.  Sometimes taking a big bite of something.  He takes after Clark in that department.  She keeps him well-informed on what is happening.  They are so blessed to have each other.  It’s fun to see how they interact.  In many ways, they remind me of hubs and myself.

Brian is away at college and he gives me daily phone calls.  Since living away from home,  he always has called me a lot to check in.  Now he calls me more.  He is usually on his way to or from class.  Or the Fraternity house.   Or to meet up with friends.  We could be in mid sentence or in the middle of a deep conversation about my radiation or my progress on shrinking cancer cells and all of a sudden he announces, “I’ve got to go mom, my friends are here” or  I’m at the dining hall,  gotta go,  I Love You.”   This always makes me smile.  He grounds me.  He keeps life in perspective for me.  He makes my mind go back to a carefree time in my life when I was a college student.  It keeps my mind focused on the whole picture rather than on this bump in the road.

So for now, it’s jail time for me.  I can handle it!  I can do this!  I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  After all, I have to admit that my jail cell is pretty cushy.  I have a tv and Netflix.  I have my pc.  I have my phone.  What more could I ask for?  Freedom, that’s what!  And it’s just around the corner.

the more things change, the more they stay the same

typewriter-1979pxNothing makes me feel older than this technology age we’re living in.

As my parents grew older, they would ask us all kinds of questions about pc’s and camera’s and how to program the VCR.  Back then you basically pushed the red button to record a show. You pointed and clicked a button to capture a picture.  As I grew older, I pledged never to become out of touch with new technology.  I would stay young at heart and worldy, forever.

In keeping with this pledge, I am intrigued by so many of the new venues of technology these days.  I am in love with snapchat.  It’s random and it’s fun.   My kids introduced me to this entertaining fo317086_397218963706400_737118848_n-300x300rm of smartphone fun.  “Mom, you need to get a snapchat app!”   I was in luck.  I knew what an app was!  Sadly, I did not know what snapchat was.  They patiently showed me and I was instantly hooked.

It’s a fun app you download to your smartphone.  You take pictures and send them to people who only have access to the picture for 10 seconds or so.  Then it is gone forever.   This I liked!  After all, I was already a self proclaimed camera buff!!

Anyone who knows me or who has traveled with me knows that I take literally hundreds and hundreds of pictures while on vacation.  Clark, as everyone affectionately refers to my hubs, is patient with me when I get into my zone.  There has been many times when we’ve been walking and talking and he suddenly realizes I’ve stopped and am not next to him anymore.  Sometimes he patiently waits for me. Sometimes, if I fall too far behind snapping shots of things I find curiously interesting,  I get a “Margaret, c’mon!”

While in college, Clark and I had a photography class together.  He is responsible for introducing me to this form of creative art.  I loved it immediately.  When we travel, he too, is seldom without his camera.  In fact, he usually has several camera’s and all kinds of apparatus & gear hanging around his neck and a few times has been mistaken for a paparazzi!! 

The other day I was snapchatting  with one of my boys and he said that it’s best if you take & send pic’s that are random.  Or better yet, photobombed!!  He  showed me how to take a “selfie” while including some unsuspecting person in the background.  I decided to try to practice this on Clark.   I took a picture of myself standing in the kitchen.  Just to the left over my shoulder there he was, unaware and biting into a big sammy!  *Click!*  Now this was a GREAT shot!

I try hard to keeimagesp up with the always changing technology and shifting social media horizon.  Im on twitter now.  My son told me I needed to get a twitter account.  So he set me up and after months of logging on,  I still only have a handful of followers.  For the sake of my ego, I chalk it up to a generational thing.  This fad I can not enthusiastically get behind.  I am not saying I am going to toss in the twitter towel.  I’m no quitter!  People my age just don’t tweet very much, if at all.  We missed the boat.

I mentioned this fact on Facebook this morning.  A few of my sweet friends said they’d follow me. That makes 8 followers!!  I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be tweeting.   I try to think of interesting things about my day to tweet to the world.  My mind usually turns to some mundane meal I had or to some errand I ran that day.  Are these the kind of interesting factoids that the public is waiting to read?  Do they really want to know that I have to run to the grocery store to pick up cheesesticks?  I have writers block for Twitter!  Something always pops up on my twitter feed that someone else has thought to share with the world and I think to myself, “oh wow, why didn’t I tweet that?  That’s interesting and I have also had that very same thought that a hundred times. Shoot!”

I am going to continue my quest to try to become a twitter pro.   My name there is @sunmaid1211 – not because I love the sun so much but because my boys have always affectionately referred to me as Sunmaid because they think I look freakishly close in resemblance to the girl on the Sunmaid Raisin box.

My oldest son, Bruce Robt, is the tech savvy guru of the family.  When Clark or I need help with something, we phone him.   He gives us directions on how to fix our pc’s.  He answers questions about our smartphones and media controls.  It makes me smile because I know we are slipping behind a bit in the war against keeping up with modern technology.   My mind flashes back 30 years and I know without a doubt that we are becoming our parents.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.   Certain things come to mind that will forever be changing.  – the world – life – seasons –  weather – people – popularity – fashion – politicians – prices and yes, technology.

Curiosity and the quest to stay young at heart can drive us to try to keep up with the changing world.  But isn’t it just easier to ask someone younger,  “Could you show me how this work’s, please?”