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Monday, December 5, 2016

Back from The Little House

I spent the weekend at the little house.  We managed to get someone to move the flat deck from the back to the front of the shanty.  He set the frame in place, put blocks under it, and replaced the decking.  It makes such a difference in the look of the place.  I made a mental note that this is another thing off of my list of repairs needed to be done.

It was a muddy bog again as it had rained for two days.  It makes it nasty with the dogs wanting to get  Thank goodness it cleared up on Saturday so I could let them out again.  They love being in the side yard where there is still grass in place.

It feels good to be able to spend time at home even for a couple of days.  Just getting a chance to chat with my friends for a while is so comforting.  Alison spent time baking cookies this weekend for the church get together after their Christmas concert.  Fran went to an old-fashioned Christmas tea at the United Church in Castile.  Martha was involved in the Garden Club sale at the Clothing Closet.  Sharon was not long up when I called her so we could have breakfast together.  I miss the community; it is nice to hear that there will be a cookie sale and several suppers during my week off. 

So let's see, I mailed my secret sister gift out, picked up my mail, returned my library books, and bought a couple of towels since I forgot to bring them with.  Running errands gives me a sense of stability, I think.  I am connected when I am there in the little town of Perry.  I belong there.

On Sunday morning I get back in my car with my dogs to drive back to work in NEPA.  It is good to be back at work as well...I have to provide for myself (and my fur babies).

Sign me, Content to Live Simply in Small Town America

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I Am Afraid...

It is almost December 1, 2016.  I am still working and I have agreed to extend until March 2017.  Why?  It is rooted in my fear to be without income again.  My hesitation to be at risk for needing assistance to make ends meet is the core of my fear.

My mother was a single mom who never had the opportunity to move forward; she became dependent on the system for her support.  I know that having to turn to the dole office when she had me and my sister was a basic survival move.  Unfortunately, it appeared to me that being on the dole gradually robbed her of the motivation to be independent.  She just lived within the parameters of that minimal existence for the rest of her life.

It seemed to me that my lot in life would be just getting pregnant and winding up on the dole when I was growing up.  There just did not seem to be any other options when I looked around. 

I remember doing things that fed my interests when I was in school.  Candystriping at St.Clare's Hospital was so important to me.  I worked as many days as they would have me; I carried trays to the patient's rooms.  It was so good to be a volunteer there; it kept me out of the house.  When I asked the Sister if I could bring my little sister with me she was good with that.  So my little sister and I carried trays, brought drinks, and anything else that we were needed to do. We would get a free meal in return for our volunteer services.  It would be a good meal and it felt good to work for that.  It also helped me to build my work experience.

Why am I so apprehensive to give up working to retire?  The work gives me such satisfaction; I love interacting with the patients and their families.  I know how much it means to me each time there is a new diagnosis or syndrome to look up or research.  I want to keep on learning. 

The part of me that misses my little house, my flower beds, my life at the lake, and my friends at St. Joe's is making me wonder if it is my heart is like being called home again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Retirement Anyone?

On November 9th, I will be 62 years old. That means that I can quit working and retire on the fruits of my labors....ideally. This has been a reality check for me because I have not worked steadily like most people. I stayed home with my kids and worked as a Kelly Girl over the early years.

Today, I called the Social Security Administration office local to my home base. They are taking care of my Ticket To Work process and it is time for me to connect with them. Apparently, if I take my social security retirement I will make less (-30%) than I did on Disability. (Cannot imagine that...) I supplemented that income with HEAP, food stamps, and medicaid covered my prescriptions, medical appointments, etc.  If I were to retire I would be reverting back to surviving on the system that I struggled to free myself from four years ago.

I have to keep working like so many of my peers while others are retiring and enjoying their golden years.  Some of us joke about the Golden Years...they are somewhat tarnished in our views.

I have been asked if I can get my social security retirement based on my husband's earnings...he always worked in Canada.

Yes, I feel that I have painted myself into a corner because I could not accept living under the ...but no matter what, God is good. When I pulled up my big girl panties, finished my Bachelor's Degree, sucked it up, and got a job that got me off Disability I onmade a choice to move forward no matter what repercussions that might bring.  I remember my first job in West Virginia I would find myself collapsing into bed each day after work.  I would cry because I loved doing EEGs again, the peers that were so into what we do, they tech who provided education for the techs, the all made me want to keep going.  I remember seeing my reflection in the glass windows in the hallway and wondering just how I got so old.  I kept going even when I began to second-guess my decision.  The exhaustion gradually gave way to better days and to energy levels that were improving. The neurologist told me that I had become stronger when I went back to work.

I have a good job and I still have my health. There are days when I feel like I am slogging through emotional and physical muck.  The good days are a breath of fresh air.  Last week I collapsed into bed and slept and slept whenever I got home.  This week I feel better.  Heck, I was just dancing to music right here in the living room of the apartment (that my job provides for me).

Sign me, Living Simply On Assignment In Small Town America

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sunday Afternoon...NEPA

Back at the apartment resting up for work tonight while catching up on my missed  It is some sort of multitasking that really adds up to not being able to sit still and watch TV without my phone or tablet in my hands.  BUT it can be done...

The weekend went by quickly and it was a mud bog that I pulled into on Friday afternoon.  Apparently, small town America had lots and lots of rain this past week.  Oh, let me tell you that was a real disappointment.  I kind of slid over the gravel that we used to pull in to the front yard...not a good feeling so I did not continue to my usual parking spot.  Needless to say...

Sent a brief text to the guy who worked on leveling the back yard.  The mess was not making me happy. He credited the ample rainfall.  I know that yelling and cussing won't get things done any faster so I texted that I could not talk at that time.  I always said that I go IRISH when I go ballistic.  It is not pretty.  These days I save my energy for important things.  I just wonder how long it will take to get things leveled off and solid enough to drive on again. Must change subject for sanity purposes...

It was so nice to be in my little cottage again!  Little Dude and I walked up to the late professor's house to enjoy the view of the lake.  His memory flooded my entire being.  How empty I felt...   This man had been a dear friend, he will always be remembered by myself and the other three Marias very fondly.  This is a photo of him during healthier days; this is how I choose to keep him in my mind's eye.

The lake was so beautiful; the fall colors kissed the hillside across the water while I stood in his back yard.  I want to share his photo of a lovely Silver Lake sunset with you.  This was taken by my friend in the same back yard standing on the back porch.  Isn't it beautiful? 

Sign me: Living Simply even in the sad times.  

Friday, November 4, 2016

Holay Cow...

I noticed that I am more tired than usual this morning as I finished my drive back to the apartment at the end of my shift.  Holay...I worked five nights, had on call for that weekend (got called in both days), and I just worked another five nights.  No wonder I am exhausted...oml.  That is like working twelve days straight.

Maybe I need to just sleep this weekend rather than drive home.  We call that self-care...I call it don't make the MS fairy mad.

Sign me, Homesick but Afraid to Fall Asleep While Driving in Small Town America