5.06.2009

The older we get, the more like ourselves we become.


It's official -- I'm old.

Actually, I'm 100 in post years. I'm not sure how post years compare to dog years, but I feel that someone should come up with a working ratio or a chart or graph or something.

If, for instance
100 posts = 1 year

then I am now just beginning to toddle. My computer skills would suggest this formula to be accurate.

That means by the time I reach 200 posts, I should be displaying the wisdom and acumen of a two year old (with pouting and occasional tantrums). Also sounds about right.

And if
1 blog year = 7 dog years

then I've already entered that awkward age where I don't look great in pictures because I'm losing teeth and don't care a whole lot about hairstyles.



Actual footage from my 7th birthday -- My mom and I always had a joint party, which was lucky for me because my mom adores fine baked goods so the cake was always spectacular!

Or if I actually am a 7-year-old dog . . . I've lost some of my puppy spunk, getting quite lazy and a bit fat because I've developed a highly successful food-begging system.



Draw your own conclusions about the accuracy of these scientifics.


Aunt Lillie was never anything less than 100, to my knowledge.



We always asked how old she was and the answer was always the same, and the wrinkles seemed to our young eyes to be about right, so we just bought it.

100 seemed perfectly logical.
I only wish she could have gone on being 100 forever.



Actually, I have such a boring and pedestrian life it's amazing that I've even come up with 100 things to blab about. Hopefully the coming year will yield adventure and excitement for all of our sakes.


While I was on my trip I had lunch with a friend I haven't seen for 25 years or so. At first I didn't recognize her as she stepped out of her car --

she has, after all, aged so much more than I have!
Wait a minute -- I'm 25 years older, too.

I guess I just feel like the same old me. She was probably appropriately alarmed at my greying hair and the sinking of my girlish figure. We grew up across the street from each other, starting clubs, making forts, sleeping over and sneaking treats at each other's houses.

She taught me to drive a clutch



(that was a good laugh over lunch, the memory of me sobbing and her directing authoritatively as the car lurched violently and repeatedly -- I was terribly clutch-impaired at the onset of my driving career.)

But the beautiful thing was we picked right up where we left off --

we could just as well have been chatting and giggling on a moonlit summer night as she told me horror stories of jr. high (she was a year ahead of me) and promised to help me pick an appropriate outfit to guarantee success on my first day.


Ed Larson

Time is such a galloping horse -- May already!
I slipped into the timlessness of vacation and then came back and we're nearly halfway through another year.





We started our vacation at my in-laws' where my husband and his brothers began the task of sorting through some of his father's possessions (he passed away last July) -- a task that was dreaded yet turned out to be bittersweet as friends and family gathered together and stories and memories were swapped and Mike was remembered again and again, each book and piece of clothing and bit of hunting gear sorted and savored.


Then we headed south to see my parents. When you don't see people often, you notice the changes (see grey hair and sinking reference, above).

I noticed that, among other things, my parents have taken up reading the obituaries every day -- my mother reads them aloud to my father as they run various errands around town -- and then they comment on them.

It begins with my father asking "Who do we know that died today?" in a sarcastic way but then my mother reads whether they knew anyone or not.

The first day I observed this ritual I was laughing so hard I almost fell out of the back seat.

"I would like to have known him," my mother said, leaning over to share the picture. "But she just looks normal," pointing to the next one.

"Well look at that beard!" my father said. "He was obviously a character."

"No," my mom explained deliberately. "I mean the look on his face and his smile. He looks like he enjoyed life."

"Why are you telling me all these things I don't care about?" my dad asked. But every day he listened.

"Why are you reading the obituaries aloud?!" I asked more than once.

My mother replied nonchalantly that they've turned the corner
in which

"died unexpectedly and too young"

becomes

"lived a full life."

How do you answer that? The only thing I could think of was my favorite African adage which is something along the lines of

The death of an old person is like the burning of a library.

And a burning library is always tragic and never expected, no matter how prepared you think you may be.

I'm not sure what this new hobby means.
Assessing the neighbors that will be waiting for them
on the other side?
Hoping there will be someone there to get up a good card game with?

Probably just glad to still be here, reading the newspaper together.

And by the third day I had figured out that I should also savor the moment -- my mother reading, my father's snide remarks -- even though the fact that it is the obituaries elevates it to the level of a really quirky movie scene.

When my old friend arrived at my parents' to pick me up for lunch, the first words out of her mouth were not "Wow, you look so old!"
but rather

YOUR PARENTS HAVE A DOG??!!

Jared Beckstrend

which you may know was an appropriate reaction, if you've read much Small Works.

I once wrote a post about how people change, and do things like get dogs or take up quilting (specifically my mom and dad) in which I snidely remarked that the quilts would have to be seen to be believed.

Well . . . . drumroll . . . .



it's been one year and 18 quilts are finished, neatly folded and labeled.

I brought 4 home for us and our daughters.
Now they're starting on some for the great-grandchildren.

Their output certainly belies their age in quilt-years.

I'm speechless.

I asked my mother how they came to be making quilts. She said they needed a project they could do at home while my dad was having some health problems, and one day she realized that making quilts couldn't be that hard,

"because quilts are just like oreos, after all."




Which when you think about it, is actually true.

So they decided to make one. Then they decided they'd better make one for everyone.

They buy quilt tops on ebay


(I feel that my parents shopping on ebay would also have to be seen to be believed -- I did not witness this but know it must occur because now I've seen the quilts).

Then they choose a backing and binding fabric and lay out the creme filling and assemble them on their kitchen table and quilt them.



So I guess we see who's getting the last laugh.


Life is just so wonderful sometimes I can hardly stand it.




I suppose that's why this little journal of mine.
Because someone needs to write this stuff down.







Don't forget to enter
Small Works' 100th Post
Spectacular Blog Giveaway
by sending me an email
or leaving a comment
on the previous post!

6 comments:

whimseycreations said...

Congratulations on your 100th and what a fun read it was! I love that your parents are quilting. The story about reading the obits was hilarious! Thanks for sharing. Jill

VO said...

What a great post.
Every word.

debkolar said...

Oh my goodness, who knew where this post was leading, what a great adventure it was! Delightful. Thanks.

Allie said...

Oh dear, I've dribbled coffee on my keyboard trying to laugh and drink at the same time. Congrats on the 100th post. What a neat thing that your parents are quilting, that's amazing! Amazing and wonderful.

Jeanie said...

Loved this post Susan! I think that once you reach a certain age that reading obituaries becomes something you just can't avoid doing. Though it does sound like your parents have a particular flair for it. I think it's amazingly wonderful that your parents have taken up quilting, their quilts are beautiful. They just seem to be keeping things interesting, which is quite delightful! It was very fun seeing you and Russ in Salt Lake.

Pam said...

Great post! My parents are similar in outlook though they tend to not do a lot together hobby-wise, they are certainly lively.They do share a fascination with obituaries and funerals though...and delight in "a good one" (whatever that is!)

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