In the beginning…

Charlie and I were raising kids and working during the 1960s. Our friends and most of my husband’s family were into social drinking, but as far as I knew not many folks we hung out with smoked pot. If they did, they hid it well.

Grass was available if we wanted to try a little at some of the parties and I am pretty sure some of our neighbors were fond of the weed, but the attendees at these neighborhood gatherings kind of lined up on each side of the road—those who smoked marijuana and those who didn’t.

I began writing for our weekly paper in the mid-60s, just before our kids began grinding through the pomp of graduation ceremonies, leaving the nest and in general making old people out of us as we wrinkled our way toward old age.

Don’t know why these thoughts of leaving the work force began invading my thoughts when I had barely begun to start grooving into the 9 to 5 routine.

We attended some neighborhood Friday night get-togethers, with some neighbors who, like our family, were raising kids but who were also attending college classes —unlike us. I detected a somewhat different odor when we visited one particular neighbor’s home one Friday night.

Like most people during the 60s, a lot of us were smoking cigarettes. A new cologne was also making the rounds about that time and pervaded our senses on through the 70s. Petuli Oil was as obnoxious as the smoke from a joint! One of my own kids was using the new scent. It was supposed to cover up the odor of grass. I never thought my own child was using; I just figured she liked the new scent.

I admit to trying new things on impulse but I was never offered a joint. I drank a cocktail, or two but grass was something the users were not willing to share. Would I have tried it? Maybe. And I know I would have inhaled.

I sized the pot users up as loners. On the surface they seemed to socialize and they made a great show of being friendly, but never seemed to care about developing lasting friendships.

Something else began to invade our lives in the 60s and 70s: the phrase you know, or y’ know, appeared to infiltrate every string of words out of the mouths of younger people. Some were the same ones who I suspected used grass. I was just learning the Associated Press rules for speech and writing at my job, so this “you know” thing bothered me.

I wondered: Were the pot users, y’ know, suffering through an inferiority complex that steered them into, y’know, trying marijuana, or were they offered a joint and maybe after smoking weed were they then, y’ know, led into this feeling of wanting to be alone? It is just too deep for me to figure out at my age.

I’ll just sit here with my second cup of coffee (my morning drug of choice) and get on with, y’ know, what’s left of my life.

September 27, 2015



Zero Balance

Okay, I know I haven’t posted in awhile, so if nobody is reading From the Trellis anymore, they will miss a good post.

I got a call the other day from a doctors’ billing office to tell me I had a “zero balance”.


I finally asked, “What am I supposed to do with that information?”

I didn’t know if she wanted me to have a shortness of breath episode so I could make an appointment to run up my bill. I really had no idea why she called.

She said, “Nothing. I am just saying you have a zero balance.”

I didn’t ask, “This is why I am standing here dripping wet because I was in the shower and didn’t want to miss the call in case it was from the nursing home next door where my husband is confined, or from one of my kids with God knows what kind of news.  There’s always something.”

I used to get calls two days from payday from the water company threatening to cut off my water supply unless I paid my bill within 24 hours. But I swear I’ve never received a call from someone who provides a service to say I don’t owe them any money.

Ahh-ha! I’ll bet it’s a new marketing ploy!  I should be getting a call any day now from Penneys or Macy’s or Nordstrom’s telling me to get in here and buy something because I have a zero balance!


Talk to your kids

I had lunch today in the dining room of our senior apartment house with a 99 –year-old new resident. This woman is a delightful, clear thinking person with a good sense of humor.

Today, however, she bared her soul to me and the others at our table, about a perceived problem she has with a daughter.

The daughter, according to Barb (not her real name), is a lovely person. She loves her dearly and told us she has been most helpful to her especially during the recent move out of her home and into her new apartment. She, the daughter, recently purchased a home in another state. She has told Barb all about it, but, and here’s the problem: She has never invited her mother down for a visit.

Barb, like all mothers, like to see where their children settle. We are a curious lot. We want to know what kind of neighborhood our children chose and if it’s up to our standards. We want to see and feel the quality of the new furnishings and carpet, if it came with a pool or a hot tub or both, if there’s a mall nearby and maybe some nice restaurants and theaters.

My own mother never asked permission to visit me in my new home. In fact after seeing it she decided to haul herself across the country from Chicago and before I knew it she was bunking in our spare room!

Barb isn’t my mother, but I feel for her. I suggested she talk to her daughter and tell her what she told us at lunch. Maybe she thinks Barb at 99 is too frail to fly. Most airlines are just waiting to help elderly passengers have every comfort and enjoy the experience!

If she takes my advice and talks to her daughter and it develops into a visit I would further suggest that they pick the best days to travel, agree on how long the visit should be and settle on a return date.

While Barb is there I would hope her daughter will take her to a couple of nice restaurants, see some tourist sites in the area, and get a souvenir for her mother to remember the visit. I’m sure there’s a Chico’s, Neiman Marcus or Nordy’s nearby.

Then come back to your new friends at Ridgemont Terrace Retirement Apartments and show us the photos!


One, Two…

Yesterday I read a novel; today I decided to write this post as the morning skies begin to clear up and the sun tries to poke through. I needed a change in pace.

Where I live, Ridgemont Terrace in Port Orchard, is lovely, although a-little-worn-around-the edges and considered old by some standards. Our owners try hard to keep things in good repair. Plumbing and windows sometimes need attention.

Kind of like its elderly residents, whose plumbing and peepers ain’t what they used to be either! Which reminds me: IT’S TIME TO GO UP AND EXERCISE!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Most of us just keep on keeping on with what life has thrown at us. Some things can be repaired, but as the bodies we were born with get to these advanced ages, things just plumb wear out! Take those knees and hips.  (Please, and find us new ones.)

Sometimes the whole body starts talking back to us ”golden agers” or “senior citizens”, take your pick on what you want to call us. At our ages, mostly 80s and 90s, it matters little.

Arthritis and other causes of aches and pains are ailments people our age live with daily. But help is on the way! IT’S TIME TO GO UP AND EXERCISE!

Some of the experts, most of whom happen to be under the age of 40, tell us to exercise. So twice a week a few of us join what is called “low-impact” exercise for a half hour. You can get some of these exercise routines just walking around the apartment, picking up clothing shucked on the way to bed at night to deposit in the laundry hamper.  While bending over picking up your dirty socks and underwear you can look under the bed while you’re on your hands and knees to see if that missing earring is under that blasted bedskirt. That gets your neck turning and bending the way they have you do it in the class. The back gets a workout and legs as well as you do those squats to find things on the floor and under the furniture.

And don’t forget the long walk down the hallway to the laundry room to run a load on your laundry day. Forget the basket: Carry it all in your arms and on your way back to the apartment you can pick up those dropped items of clothing which gives you more bending, stretching and squatting unless of course your neighbor has already found them (and lord knows he needs the exercise, too)! And then there’s the walk back to add them to the washer and then home again to wait for the load to finish.

Lunchtime and it ‘s time to walk to the elevator to go up to the third floor dining room. Wait! Don’t take the elevator, walk the two flights up using the stairway instead. More knees and hips exercise! (Unless you are tethered to your walker which is hard to drag up the stairs.) Oh, well, stretching to push the elevator button is good…

Come to think of it, GOING TO BI-WEEKLY EXERCISES IS A GREAT IDEA. Use the above daily living pick-up “exercises” as a supplement.

Rosie A.