About Me

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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Monday, August 24, 2015

On beginning the last year of middle age

Yes, today is my fifty-ninth birthday--an odd age, not one recognized with special cards or generally celebrated with age-specific parties. The only time I remember the age ever being specifically mentioned is in Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow (which I read for the first time in my forties), when Anne examines herself in the mirror and concludes that she is "not bad for an old bat" but too old (and too married) to seduce a gorgeous young(ish) priest. It's an in-between age, kind of like seventeen (for those of us old enough to remember the song, in which Janis Ian described learning the truth), but at a very different place on the life spectrum.To stop any speculation right now, fifty-nine is a much easier age than seventeen. I like it better and thoroughly expect to enjoy it more. Adolescence was rough, and I have no desire to go back (except maybe to have joints that don't complain, such things being a nuisance).

Fifty-nine is not, however, young, and to be honest, not in the middle of any ordinary human life span. Until recently, sixty was considered at least early old age by nearly everyone. To my knowledge, none of my relatives has lived to be a hundred and eighteen, or even a hundred. Ninety is the outer limit for most of us (and those who made it further retained very few marbles during their last few years), placing me at the last year before the last third of earthly existence. Oh. my.

So--watch out, world! Retirement from full-time paid employment is only a very few semesters off (barring some economic disaster--not impossible, and I'll be in good company if that happens and likely to still be enjoying the tormenting of
students), and my hours and days will be mine to structure. Activities will be those that seem to me a worthwhile expenditure of limited time.

Hmm...I wonder what the next adventure will be.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Long time no blog

This summer has not been one with a lot of time for gardening, between finishing up our move, selling two houses, spending time with a family member receiving Hospice care, and schlepping around Bulgaria and Ireland for two weeks with friends. (At some point, there will be pictures of and meditations regarding the European experience.)

The good news is that our urban space is proving to be a wildlife mecca--well, maybe not a mecca, but we have wildlife, sometimes in the most unlikely places. The potted "tropical garden" on the back patio draws hordes of bumblebees and the occasional hummingbird

although the hummingbirds actually prefer the rose of sharon hedge separating our building from the yard next door. I would never have planted such a thing, given althea's desire to colonize the known universe, but the blossoms are evidently loaded with nectar.
A "pollinator pot" on the front wall is doing its job,

and we have more tufted titmice than anyplace else I have lived, sometimes half a dozen at a time going for the sunflower seed in the feeder. The mini-meadow in the lawn strip next to the street  has been attracting bees and butterflies, including the occasional monarch, for several months now despite its youth and pitiful raggedness.

The real excitement, though, was walking home from the library on a drizzly morning to find a pair of goldfinches busily scarfing down seeds from the lawn strip liatris. Looking forward to future develipments.