Me, Getting Older



The poppies burst into bloom two days ago, and have grown more spectacular each day.

In years past, I’ve been able to tell one grandchild or another, “They opened just for you…they’re so happy that you’re here!”

I still have hope that Patrick may make it to Beaver Island this summer, though he will have missed the poppies.

Madeline and Tommy will not be coming this year.

It’s always hard to coordinate, with their activities, their parent’s schedules and my obligations. When everything comes together, it’s wonderful. When it doesn’t…well, we must forge on.

Last night, I had a lovely visit over dinner with my sister, Cheryl, and her friend (my friend, too!), Joel.

The night before, I treated myself to a special dinner at home.

Once a week, my friend, Heidi, delivers me a nice round loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread. It’s absolutely delicious, and a great bargain, too. It’s a nice accompaniment to soup or salad, or toasted to dunk in fried egg. It makes the very best grilled cheese sandwich.

That’s what I made for myself, night before last. Grilled sourdough with sharp cheddar cheese, thin slices of heirloom tomato, a couple rounds of red onion and diced avocado. It was a large and messy sandwich, but I enjoyed it tremendously. I ate at the table, with a book as company.

I’m reading an author that is new to me, Donna Leon. Her mysteries are set in modern-day Venice. Her detective is a thoughtful “romantic” who walks the city – from crime scene to station to suspect – to take advantage of the sights and sounds of Venice. So far, very good summer reading.

After dinner, I moved up to the studio. I’m doing prep work for a series of larger collages, so mark-making, clipping and tearing papers, paint washes for possible backgrounds and other research was going on more than actual art-making.

At one point, I stroked my chin…and found something stuck there. I pulled it off. Between that moment and me then extending my hand so that I could examine it, this conversation went on in my head:

“A tick!!

Oh, gross, a TICK!

Sucking my blood!

Now I’ll have to watch for Lyme disease. I wonder what the symptoms are. I’ll have to “Google” it.

I hope I got it all. I heard they bury their head into your skin to suck your blood. Body, arms and legs are on the outside. I heard that sometimes the arms and legs wiggle.

Oh, I am SO grossed out!

Thank god I found it when I did! I wonder how long it has been there. Oh, yuck, what if someone else had noticed it first?!

Thank god for that chin whisker!

I hate that chin whisker so much…it grows so fast, and I forget about it sometimes until I’m somewhere without the right light, the magnifying mirror and a tweezers, so I can’t do anything about it, but I imagine it stands out for everyone else to notice, so then I’m self-conscious about it all day…but, if it weren’t for that chin whisker, I wouldn’t have formed the habit of rubbing my chin like that, and maybe I wouldn’t have found the tick for hours…and it would be fully engorged, more like the size of a raisin (I’ve seen them that size in the  vet clinic) instead of like the size of a…tomato seed…”

And there it was…not a tick.

A tomato seed, from my messy dinner, stuck to my chin.

Crisis averted!

I may have let this pass as one more isolated incident…not anything to be concerned about.

Certainly not an indicator that I am becoming one of “those people” that walk around unaware of food or other matter clinging to hair, skin or clothing.

Until today, three hours in to my shift at the hardware store…when a customer asked why I was wearing a fabric softener sheet on my back.

Evidently, this is me, getting older.

From what I’ve seen so far, it’s not going to be pretty!

17 responses »

  1. isn’t it funny how our runaway minds can dart out on wild tangents, and we reel them back while laughing at ourselves!
    the grilled sandwich sounds wonderful.. sharp cheeses are not often available… for some reason i’m hungry for a grilled cheese sandwich!!!


  2. Oh, I can so relate to your chin whisker story, Cindy! If I find one when I have no tweezers, I’ll pluck at it and pull on it until I make grow even longer! (I can also relate to your tomato seed story.)

  3. heh heh. aren’t we humans just so fully of silly. I say that because I too have had my mind take a millisecond trip into disaster like that over what turned out to be….nothing! I think I have been getting older forever. I once went to school with two different shoes on my feet and so I told my students, who noticed, it was an IQ test and that only really, really smart kids would notice such a thing!

  4. God, I HATE those hairs! I feel perpetually cursed with them–though if that’s as bad as it gets, I should be happy. By the way, I ADORE sourdough! I look forward to hearing more about your collages.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  5. The bread and cheese sounded so delicious. You are too funny with the tomato seed. Now about those chin hairs. They just reproduce like rabbits as we age. I hate the dang things- constantly having to use that special mirror to hunt them down. Oh well there are things far worse. 🙂

  6. Cindy your answer to that customer should have been, OH I was in the garden this morning and I read somewhere they keep ticks away. Quick explainable answers (excuses) are the first thing to go with age, but then it is said when you get old you don’t need excuses.

    • You know, when she told me it was there, she said she actually thought I was wearing it to repel mosquitoes. I’m always too quick to show embarrassment, to slow on the response to hide my silliness. Or, then I blog about it for all the world to know! Thanks, Bob!

  7. Hey, guess what?! There are these things out there – I bet they’re even on Beaver Island. They’re called mirrors. I know, the concept is odd, but it gives a reflection of you when you look at it. I don’t use them much myself, but probably should because I, too, usually end up with food on my face or things sticking to my clothes (again, mostly food).

    We either have to start using these new-fangled pieces of glass or endure the panic that ensues when we think we’re being attacked by a wood tick.

    Thanks for the funny story, Cindy. I’m glad I’m not the only one getting old!

  8. You’ve got to laugh at the conversations that go on in our heads. I (almost) laughed at your tick story, but it’s too close to home. What a year for the insect creatures! We went out to the lake yesterday and had to keep walking to avoid the biting flies. Do you have those on Beaver Island?

    • Our biting flies just hatched…very late this year. I thought maybe the mosquitoes devoured them, too. Yes, I understand…if I had really had a tick, it would not have been a funny story. Thanks for reading, Kathy, and for your comments. Hope you’re having a wonderful time with your daughter!

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