Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Sleepwalking through life

Perhaps it's just part of being an introvert, but the older I get, the less I notice my surroundings.  In a crowded store, I will avoid looking at people around me and thus make myself "alone", where I can't get into any trouble.  Before Covid happened, I went through a process of forcing myself to interact with people more when I was out and about, and it was really good for me:  People respond well to a simple "hello", don't they?  But just when I was about ready to perfect my new people skills, we all started wearing masks.  This gave me a renewed sense of being cut off from people, so here I am again... sleep-walking through life!

When I used to milk cows, I loved my pre-dawn hours in the barn, even in cold weather.  First thing out the door, I'd look upward to see whether the stars were shining.  Without even knowing it, I'd be processing the weather:  I'd notice from which direction the wind blew; if the temperature was above 50, I would usually be barefoot, noticing whether or not there was dew on the ground soaking my feet.  I'd listen for coyotes harmonizing when a train was passing at the back of our place, loving the familiar noises.

I still go out as soon as I'm out of bed, because I have a dog.  I'm out even earlier than in the old days of milking.  I've always been a morning person; my day usually begins at 3 or 4 A.M.  I can't help waking up so early, and I don't mind it, really.  In fact, I love my mornings!  But after I've taken Gabe out once or twice and come back in, I realize I have no idea what the weather's like outside.  Cliff will get up at 7 and ask, "Is it windy?" or "Did we get any frost?" and I have no idea.  I just stumble out of the house holding on to a leash in one hand and a flashlight in the other and "check out", exactly like I do when I'm shopping. 

This morning it was 23 degrees outside (I know this because I asked Alexa just now).  I put on a stocking hat and a coat, shoved my feet into Muck Boots, and dragged out the door behind the dog, avoiding mole-hills in the yard as much as possible.  While the dog sniffed around and checked his pee-mail, I might as well have been asleep; then I started wondering whether we'd have another cloudy day and looked upward:  Wow!  The stars were so bright and beautiful, and that sliver of a finger-nail moon was even showing off.  When did I stop checking the sky in the morning?  That used to be the first thing I noticed when I went out to milk the cows.

I spent so much of my time outside for most of my life:  mowing the lawn, gardening, taking a forty minute walk every day, even in the coldest weather!  Now my knees can't take that kind of pounding, and I spend most of my time sitting inside, especially in winter.  Oh, I do things, most days.  I still walk to the chicken house two or three times daily; I walk to the mailbox and to Cliff's shop, when he's out there.  I try to put some time in on the recumbent bike.  Yesterday evening Cliff was talking to his cousin Edna on the phone and told her, "We haven't done anything all day."

"Speak for yourself," I said.  I had washed and folded two loads of clothes.  I made a carrot cake, which we don't need so I'm trying to find someone who wants half of it (it's delicious).  I washed dishes three times.  I guess I haven't mentioned here that I've stopped using the dishwasher.  It almost seems easier to hand-wash.  Also, I cooked our noon meal.  However, if I figured out how much time it took to do those things, it would not be a large portion of my entire day.   I surfed a lot and read a lot.  (But I should get points for only spending about 30 minutes total on Facebook!)

Cliff got a new set of hearing aids at Costco, and they are such an improvement over his last ones.  They have bluetooth capability, so when he gets a phone call, he simply pushes a button on the hearing aid and hears the caller perfectly!  One of the biggest problems since he lost so much of his hearing has been with telephone conversations.  He would repeatedly have to ask folks to repeat what they said, even using hearing aids.  Now he seems to hear every word the first time.  I have to admit it's crazy watching him sit beside me apparently talking to himself, but I'll get used to it.  Costco is the best place to get hearing aids; I know $1,500 sounds like a lot of money, but that's about half as much as some places.  We get our glasses there, too.  And I have a Facebook friend to thank for recommending Costco years ago.  Thanks, Meesha!  (He probably doesn't read my blog, but just in case, I thought I'd give him credit.)

In the bad news, I read in the paper that our electricity is going to cost more at some point in the future.  Evergy bought out Kansas City Power and Light.  KCPL hadn't taken good care of anything out here in the sticks for quite a while... you'll see poles leaning at precarious angles, threatening to fall down at the first hint of a breeze.  We lose power often.  Evergy is working on all that, but somebody has to pay for it, and that's the tough part, with inflation already making prices higher every week.

Enjoy your day, wherever you are.  I'm going to try and remember to look around me today and see what's happening; I need to get out of this coma I've been in.



  1. I know what you mean, I've been reading more than anything else and need to be paying more attention to what's happening each day too. Life goes by so fast, we miss out on a lot when we are not paying attention.

  2. Pee mail! LOL I try to be very aware, but I've been forced to draw in to myself and I'm hoping that once this pandemic is contained(vaccine), I will be able to go back to the person I was/am. I'm not too sure of that though. I wish my dad would get some of those hearing aids! He needs them a lot!

  3. I too am sick of the pandemic. I have tested on Saturday to see if I have the virus but the results have not come back yet,so I have just guaranteed until they do. I was told at the clinic it would be 5 days since I had no symptoms, But another nurse thought it would just be three days. That was Saturday and I guess the first nurse nay have been right.

  4. I enjoyed this post. Being introverted is a blessing right now - my routine hasn't changed a whole lot. I do miss an occasional outing but not to the point that I will risk my life for it. (And why not freeze that half of carrot cake and take it out to enjoy later?)


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