Thursday, October 30, 2014

Finding quality of life in being cozy

Cozy: giving a feeling of comfort, warmth and relaxation.

It is one of my favorite feelings.

It is 52 at 9 o'clock this morning, and 71 in the house.

Last night, my last thought before I drifted off to sleep was how cozy I felt, and how good that was.
I had washed all the bedding, added a new fleece blanket on top, just enough to be able to snuggle.
And it was good. The pillows were soft and plumped, the sheets smooth, the covers surrounding me with a soft layer of comfort.

A nice cool bed with the lightest of cover is welcome in the summer, but it is not cozy. Nope.

I love the springs and falls here, when days are in the 70's or no more than low 80's. The nights can get into the 40s, and there you go. Cozy.

As I grow older, comfort has become an important component of what I do. I never was much of a shopper and never a fashionista. I don't seek for a fashionable house and am frustrated when items I want, like curtains and bath mats, come only in the fashionable colors, not the ones I want. Can color be part of making a cozy home? I think so.

Cataracts are constraining my movement abroad these days. I have always been one to hop in the car and go, a habit from growing up in New Mexico. Now I sedately stay within about a 30-mile radius. I hope that will change post-surgery, whenever that will be. Hopefully this spring, which is the soonest I can see the doctor again.

For now, however, there are gardens I have sped by before to explore, my own home to concentrate on, little art galleries to discover, and such a plethora of new restaurants I never will get around to all of them. I have chafed at the restrictions. I have indeed let it dull my pleasure at what is within my reach.

But last night I was cozy, and I went to sleep happy and woke up the same way.

I intend to continue that way.

I can deliberately create a cozy environment.

And happiness is a choice.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ReLiving Near-Death Experiences on OU-UT Weekend

When I was 18, I experienced my first OU-UT weekend.

To say I was naïve would be like saying raw turnips generally aren't appetizers.

I joined a sorority as my parents said I must. Either Thursday or Friday Before the Big Weekend,
the sorority social director told me she had a blind date for me. He wasn't very tall, she warned, and I would need dressy flat-heeled shoes I
didn't have.

On Saturday,noonish, I set out for a shoe store, and finally found one, probably 3-4 miles from campus. As a greenhorn, I knew nothing about buses, so I bought the damn shoes and walked back. All told, maybe 6 miles. I missed supper and we didn't store snacks. I showered quickly, curled my hair, put on my dress, hose, and (not) heels.

I don't think I was any more impressed than he was. Whatever. I figured surely, at a party, I would get something to eat.

Boy, was I disappointed. I guess Chex Mix or the derivative might have been trendy It certainly was cheap and all that was offered besides mixed drinks so strong I wanted to throw up. So I ate the mix, asked for a Coke or two, danced when I could and smiled.

Then we hit college curfew time, so my date and I and his friend and his date walked back to his car. He walked funny.
Did I mention I had never seen anyone drunk before? I began to pay deep attention. And this was before seat belts were invented. Besides which, I was hungry and I hadn't had a very good time.

As we drove north on Central Expressway, I will always swear he began to edge over the line into the car just ahead. I thought he was going to kill us. I screamed bloody murder, grabbed the steering wheel and jerked it to the right. We slid past the other car.

He yelled at me, asked what I was doing. He drove very well to my dorm, and walked me to the door.

We never spoke again, and the social chairman never called me again.

He probably still thinks I was an hysteric. I still think I saved all our lives.

I wonder which of us was right, If I were wrong, I wouldn't be here to wonder,though, would I?

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Lifetime in a Conversation

I took my dogs to the vet today to have nails clipped and distemper shots. While I was waiting, a young man came in for serious service. He had good control of his voice, but it dropped when he said "my dog."

"How may I help you?" the receptionist began.

The young man said, "I've come to have my dog put down."
Matter-of-fact. It wasn't easy.

"I'm sorry to hear that," vet tech receptionist said. "How old is he?"

"He's 19. He's my dog. I'm 20. He..." he couldn't say more. Then he did.
"My whole life, he's been there."
He smiled, he tried to, and he smiled.

"what breed?" she asked.

"Lab retriever. Yellow lab."

"What are the symptoms? Is he eating, drinking? can he move?"

"He can eat and drink all right, he can move around after I lift him up in the morning and help him get around. Then he can move a little. he still pees outside. He hurts."

"Would you like to talk to the vet, have an exam first, to see if there's anything we can do?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I would like that. Last weekend I took him with me to Texarkana to hunt ducks. He sat with me in the blind." The young man smiled."I wouldn't let him get the ducks, but he wanted to. I kept him right by me."

Labs don't live that long, usually. A lot of care and love went into that dog's life.

And I won't forget what he said: "He's 19 and I am 20--he's always been my dog."