You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

I work at a job full of the much younger generation. They are so bright, articulate, and where I work? They are kind and respectful, too. They seem to be much smarter than I ever was at their age, and as I strain to see the fine print on my monitor sometimes, I marvel at their fearless ability to move through all the screens without even thinking about it. They have the education that merits a good feel for IT and knowing where to go and what to do on a computer because they had to learn in their high school and college classes. I became proficient in the 70’s on an IBM Mag Card, this wonderful “memory” typewriter — just type a letter, insert a numbered magnetic card, about 4″ x 10″, into this slot and viola, it’s saved for future printing or edits. We thought that was so cool. And right now? I’m wearing the new Apple Watch which can scan and ECG/EKG right to my doctor’s office. I would be lost without my iPad’s “Find Your Phone” app for the times I’ve left my iPhone somewhere around here, and I can take walks with wireless headphones while listening to my iPhone song list. Things have changed in the last forty years. Apple, you are my hero.

I was thoroughly amazed when my college roommate printed out my resume’ on her personal computer in 1976, talked to me about any changes, and then went back to the document and made instant edits. I did not have an electric typewriter in my high school in the late 60’s, early 70’s, so using one in a college setting was pretty cool. The hard, electric tap of the keys from an IBM Selectric, the cool tan-colored metal ones with the ball font that you could clip on and off, made using carbon copies a lot neater, especially when you had more than one piece of carbon paper between several sheets of paper. Having a nearby printer wasn’t a thing yet. And office mimeograph machines were the best way to make copies by turning the crank for each copy you needed. Now I can print a document from my iPhone directly to the printer in my home office without leaving the comfort of my couch. Like that recipe? Click – and it’s printed in the other room. Go figure. Hey, that’s such a cute photo of my new grandson – think I’ll just print it now from home. Amazing.

Can you just imagine the technology that will be in place forty years from now? My grandmother, who was a fearless police guard during a time when women were supposed to stay home, would have just flipped out to sit down and order something from from her home PC.

My realtor friend was sitting with me yesterday having coffee at my table when she proclaimed, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” We were laughing about the stuff that we, as single women, have to learn – the things men did for us, like reprogram the TV. The women on the prairie didn’t know there would be an electric stove and you wouldn’t have to put wood in the stove to cook food. They didn’t know that you could someday have a little square robot thing on the floor that runs around the room and picks up the dirt. And a car that drives by itself? No way. Well, guess what? Way.

I’m headed off to work with the youngsters. I love them and they love and respect me. I bake cookies and cinnamon rolls and give them candy just because I can. I’m still learning my job with these young ones – because I don’t know what I don’t know yet.

Anyone Can Make This Homemade Bread

Simple Homemade Rolls

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 C. lukewarm water
In a large bowl, mix until yeast is dissolved, set aside.
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 t. salt
1/3 C. sugar
1/3 C. shortening, melted a bit in microwave to soften
Mix these last 4 ingredients and add to yeast. Stir well.
Add 2 C. flour. Cover and let rise to double (about an hour).
Add another 1 1/2 C. flour and stir. It will be sticky. Chill and shape into rolls – I roll the dough out on a floured surface and cut with a biscuit cutter into 12 rolls. Place in a 9 x 13 greased pan. Use shortening to grease the pan, as butter or margarine will soak into the rolls. Let rise to double again, another hour or so. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown. Brush with melted butter and serve.

To make Cinnamon Rolls, roll the dough out into a rectangle, brush with 1/2 C. softened butter, sprinkle on 2 T. cinnamon, and sprinkle with 3/4 C. brown sugar. Add 2/3 C. raisins if you like. Roll up like a long jelly roll and slice into 12 rolls and let rise to double, another hour or so and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until brown to your liking.

For gooey Cinnamon Rolls, top each roll with a dollop of the following mixture before baking at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes:

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 C. white sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar
3/4 C. vanilla ice cream, softened.



Sometimes Death Brings Life

I recently lost my best friend. He was sick. He knew he was sick last September. And he knew — almost hoped — he was dying just to get to heaven. He was a tall, handsome fellow, with piercing blue eyes that just sparkled when he told a harmless lie with a straight face, hoping you believed it. And that smile – I’ll never forget it. So now I’m feeling lost, wondering why I didn’t tell him all the right words, why I didn’t show him how much I cared, while he was still here. I hope that angels in heaven can suddenly be given some extraordinary ability to realize how much we truly loved them when they were here with us.

At the end of the day, we have faith. Faith that we will see each other again, faith that everything we’ve been told in a bible is true to its word, and hope for better things ahead. But it takes death to make us live. It takes a heart-wrenching loss to realize what we had before us, to remember that God is in charge, not us. As if I am the only one this has affected, I have to ask God, “Why? Why take a man with the strongest faith I’ve known, perhaps the only man who professed his love for me and really meant it? ” The only comfort I can find right now is a Christian belief that “this is not our home.” We have to keep putting one foot in front of another just to get to heaven. I don’t like this at all.

So I get my feelings of grief, of loss, of “how do I go on without you,” out on this blog. Time is tough right now. Everywhere I turn, there he is–in the big clock he gave me that proudly sits above my fireplace. Every time I open the freezer, there are the tomatoes we harvested this fall. And I lie down in my big bed, where we faced each other, talking of dreams and family and what’s ahead, and how the day should progress. And on my table are the many books he provided that explained his religion to me. I’ll be flipping the channels on the TV remote and there will be an old John Wayne movie (John Wayne was his perfect idol),– or some comedy will come up, and I will think to myself, “You would have laughed at this.” And he is in every glimpse of every big tree – we both loved the big tree in his yard, and we spent countless hours rocking on a porch swing and just talking while looking out at that big tree and the flagpole with a new flag. With every political Facebook post that I see, one that is contrary to his strict belief, I know he would have explained to me how the other side is so wrong. I have curled up on my couch and cried so hard that I shook, just from the pain of this loss. He had to die for reasons only God knows, but that doesn’t make this easier.

Our time together was precious to me, but now that he is gone, I have to live. His death forces me to live my own life in a different perspective – being grateful for every smile, every hug, every opportunity to tell someone that I care about them, as if I may not get the chance to do it again. The last time I saw him, he shook his head that he could hear me, and he squeezed my hand. He knew it was me, but that hand squeeze was not one to say, “Glad you are here with me.” It was a squeeze that was full of pain. He so much wanted to raise up out of that bed, and sometimes he would open his eyes wide open, but the illness affected his sight. I stood at his bed for two hours, holding his hand and feeling his occasional squeeze, with tears streaming. I knew what was coming. As I stood in the dark, listening to the drone of his life support pump, the ICU nurse asked me, “Are you okay? If you need anything, just let me know. ” No, sweet caretaker. I am NOT okay. I will never be the same again. And I’m afraid I am literally, physically, dying of heartbreak. My doctors can fix my own heart now, but they can’t fix this emptiness. My own physician asked me if I was feeling anxiety – and he came to mind and I cried again, right in her office. So yes, doctor, I’m having a little anxiety here.

Other distractions are going to help this – the laughter of all the young millenials at work. They are so young, and fresh and optimistic. They have no earthly idea of how lucky they are to be so young and energetic and hopeful. I’m getting all the old crafts out that I haven’t finished. I’m blaring my favorite songs. I can’t keep my mind on anything, really, but it’s buzzing. And I have some glorious girlfriends that check on me, offer their assistance and give me all of the “I’m so sorry”s that good friends do. I have to live again. Sometimes it just takes death to live. I guess.

I’m reconnecting now. Reconnecting with my church friends, reconnecting with my sewing and recipes and crafts and all the things I used to enjoy by myself before all of my time was devoted to this man whom I adored, the man who sent texts and called every day and checked on me, and I on him. He offered suggestions and freely gave his opinion and I trusted his sage advice implicitly. If he said it, it was true. So now I’m just in this fog. I’m a deer in the headlights.

The Journey Begins

cropped-d6d6ebea-2f3c-4dd8-b2be-cf34af8121b8Thanks for joining me!

This is Bundy, and this is his Gazette.  He’s my pal, he makes me laugh, he knows English words, and we have conversations, sometimes one-sided.  But animals know…. he laughs when I laugh, he frowns when I frown,  he brings me stuffed toys to share if I am sad, and he is unconditionally happy to see me.   I live with him in the Ozarks of Missouri, and we face most everything together.  He has a cat that he takes care of.  He has me to take care of, too.  He does a fine job.