ROLLING WITH THE CHANGES
When Gail, Suzanne and I took our epic trip to Florida in July 2016, we had the time of our traveling lives. It was a vacation beyond compare, and, as usual, we didn’t tell all–we never do. However, as time passes, more details seem to seep out in our stories now and then…
Like the one about the evening we went out for ice cream. The Twistee Treat, a local chain in Florida, offers scores of self-serve flavors worthy of writing home about. Deciding upon the flavor of the evening was a tough thing for us, and apparently for other customers, too.
Gail got an exotic chocolate mixture in her cone, and it was delectable. She was trying to help a gentleman there decide upon his flavor. She told him he could sample hers, and proceeded to get up to get a spoon to share a bit with him from the not-yet-licked part. Before she could even get up, he had leaned in and took a lick right off her cone. Tongue and all.
She shrugged, as if to say no big deal, and continued to lick the cone herself.
In the end, nobody was worse for the wear. At least, Gail was fine. We assume the other guy was, too.
I am 100% certain this would not happen in these crazy COVID times. But it happened just over four years ago, and it may never happen again.
The only thing in life that never changes is the fact that things are always changing. Continuing to roll along with these changes is essential in order to field these fly balls that keep coming at us. And, if you have lived long enough, you know the fly balls will keep on coming, just as they always have. Sometimes, we sign up for these changes; sometimes they come at us from left field.
The COVID fly ball ranks high up there with things that have brought changes to our lives and everyone else’s, too. We have done our best to keep rolling with these punches, and so far, we are hanging in there.
One year ago, if you had told any of us that our country would be facing the likes of a pandemic not seen for 102 years–the last major one was the Spanish Flu of 1918, we likely wouldn’t have been believers. This unfathomable truth has become reality, and we are all simply dealing with it the best we can. We have had family members and loved ones become sick and recover from the disease, but –knock on wood–the three of us are so far uninfected–as far as we know.
The Sister Lode took its maiden flight in June 2017, some three and a half years ago; 140 posts ago. To anyone who has read any or all of our posts, we thank you. We also hope you feel you have gotten to know each of us at least a little bit–and we hope that is a good thing for you. We have enjoyed having you come along.
Much has happened in our respective worlds since then, and in light of the changes brought about by COVID-19, we are celebrating changes, both those that felt good when they happened, as well as those that made us stronger in the end.
GAIL: You may recall that one of Gail’s iconic idols is Rosie The Riveter, whose “We Can Do It” message resonates throughout her life. When Gail’s daughter Lydia–now 20–was diagnosed with Type One diabetes in the fall of 2017, she helped–and continues to help–soldier through this daily challenge with her.
In order to fill the 28 hours in Gail’s every day (her daily accomplishments must surely take that long), she accepted another job in addition to her position as a chiropractic office manager. She took over management of a local bar/grill, keeping both places rolling in the usual Gail style–getting things done without excuses, delay or drama.
She welcomed her 60th birthday earlier this year in grand style with a big party. If you didn’t read that post, it’s worth going back: Dance Like Gail’s Watching, February 23rd. She treated herself to a most unique birthday gift: a 1974 Chevrolet Nova, which was owned by Lola, a local woman who passed away. She also left behind a small, empty house a few blocks from Gail’s house, and since she already owned Lola’s car, it seemed wrong not to own her house, too. #allthingsLola is her new mantra.
I look up to Gail for so many reasons, but her ability to take curve balls in stride with her strength is something I have always admired. In so many ways, I want to be like her when I grow up.
SUZANNE: Perhaps Suzanne has had the most changes in her life; changes she signed up for, and they are all good. She is playing house in a big way: she got a new house, and she will soon have a new husband to put in it. She also returned to her previous job in the last six months. She missed them, and I’m sure they missed her wit and brilliance–who wouldn’t?
We narrowly missed inhabiting the same decade of life–the fifties–all at the same time. Six months after Gail turned 60, Suzanne turned 50. Her party at the shore is on hold. We improvised in our above-ground background pool on her August birthday.
She continues to rock life without a thyroid gland, with her semi-annual checkups bringing good news. She is a survivor in so many ways, which is one of the many reasons I want to be like her too when I grow up.
As for me, I have emptied my nest, gained a grandson and started the slow process of transitioning out of my career as a speech therapist, and more fully into my Act Two: fulfilling my creative urges through more writing and other creative endeavors. I am thankful for this opportunity to work harder toward that which fills my tank. Life is too short to do otherwise, a lesson the sisters of The Sister Lode have learned the hard way.
I turned 54 in April, no parties here.
COVID has changed the way we all interact socially, and this feels like deprivation to most of us. We have drastically scaled back our traveling, the beach will still be there for us when we can finally go.
The lack of connection we all feel from our various levels of isolation must certainly be how my speech therapy patients feel when they cannot connect because their illness or injury has taken that ability away. Most of us can hope for a return to “normal” in the relatively near future, and as long as we are all doing our parts to get the disease under control, then we should never lose hope.
When this is under control and we are able to connect again, please don’t forget that this feeling of isolation doesn’t go away for some people. It may be due to a communication impairment, or social/familial/physical difficulties. Please try to reach out and open up a little wider to people who may still be suffering.
I forget, too, that not everyone has wonderful people in their lives like my sisters, and that we live together in harmony.
Whatever changes life may throw at you, keep rolling with them. The fly balls will keep coming, field them as best you can, and you’ll keep rolling, too.
Just like Gail, Suzanne and Rosie The Riveter, You Can Do It!
So, I wrote this blog this afternoon, intending to publish it much earlier, around 6:00 like I normally do. I typed it up on a Word document, like I normally do. When I went to copy and paste it to my blog page, it simply wouldn’t transfer. No matter what I tried, it wouldn’t move. Now, my IT skills are Flintstone-era, and my IT guys (my sons) weren’t here, so perhaps there was a simple solution, but I didn’t know what it would be. Apparently, things were changed up without anyone asking me first, so I was left to my own devices. This meant completely rewriting the post on my blog page. I came very close to chucking the whole thing out of frustration, then I realized I needed to take the very advice I had just dished out, and rewrite the whole damn thing. I decided to roll with these changes, and I am so glad I did. I hope you are, too.
I made this for a friend from recycled wood and other repurposed treasures. It appears random indeed, but it does have meaning. I hope to have more time in ACT TWO to complete more projects like this.