Out of touch (out of time)

So here’s the thing: This is not a downbeat post. Or topic. Just some observations that things for many people (at least in my life) seem to be a bit out of kilter. Or out of touch (or out of time, as in eternal/ethereal, as well as literally out of time). I know it’s not just me, because too many conversations have unfolded of late in which people have mentioned that things seem somehow – amiss.

BigBamBoom When the last Hall and Oates hit of 1984 got stuck in my head this morning, on top of everything else that’s been going on, I knew it was time to get this out. (And, no, that’s not ominous, despite the 1984 reference and the fact that we’ve learned recently that Big Brother is watching us much more closely than we’d suspected.)

In no particular order, observations of late:

• The New York Times crossword puzzle has got to have many older adults feeling very out of touch. Today, 46 across is “REM,” with the clue “Band with the multiplatinum albums Out of Time and Monster.”  63 across is “Lynne,” the answer to “Jeff of the Electric Light Orchestra.” Poor Bill, my recently departed stepdad who faithfully worked crossword puzzles until the end, would’ve been clueless.

John’s mother, Doris, in her puzzle-working years, couldn’t have gotten “Actress Stone of The Help” (12 down, “Emma”) if her life depended on it. She never touched the Internet and hasn’t been to movies in years.

It’s got to be frustrating for people who were crossword whizzes until baby boomers and younger whippersnappers took the puzzle-creation reins.

• Mother turned 78 Sunday and I’m in the midst of planning our trip to Seattle; Victoria, Canada; and Yakima, Wash., in late August. She and Bill intended to go and she wants to do it, so do it we will. Nonrefundable tickets are bought and reservations are made.

To look at her, you wouldn’t think she was 78 or in bad health. But the reality is that the juggling act that keeps her going is getting – to keep the metaphor, let’s just say a few balls are dropping.

Her blood counts won’t cooperate and her weight keeps going down. Her hematologist told us years ago that Aranesp would work until it didn’t. We’re hurrying to the Great Northwest while the getting’s good.

She’s finally going to meet John’s mom in person, though Doris may not realize whom she’s meeting.

• I just realized that I’ve lived in this house longer than any other in my almost-58-years. We spent eight (in retrospect) blissful years at 6324 Blackhawk Road. John and I will have our ninth anniversary in this big old unfinished reconstruction project Labor Day weekend. Though much progress has happened of late, the floor guy bugged out before getting to us, as contractors/construction workers are wont to do, and we’re stalled again.

Progress! The staircase from the second floor to our someday loft bedroom looks much better with painted walls around it.

Progress! The staircase from the second floor to our someday loft bedroom looks much better with painted walls around it.

We do have a couple of almost complete, useable rooms upstairs, like the guest bedroom

We do have a couple of almost-complete, useable rooms upstairs; the guest bedroom is one.

• In my younger years, I kept a relatively spotless house, first as a stay-at-home mom, then as a “crank up the Led Zeppelin/Tom Petty (or REM or Sheryl Crow) and clean on Saturday” working mom. When we had the champagne-colored carpet in Indian Hills with two dogs and herds of adolescents traipsing through the house, we kept the Harvey Gene spray carpet-cleaner company in business.

When you live in a construction project, cleanliness is relative. You can’t combat sawdust/sheetrock dust no matter how hard you try. So I don’t try anymore. Life is too short and getting shorter.

But I miss cleanliness, I really do. These days, though, as long as dog hair isn’t blowing across the room (which is often the case), I call it good.

• These girls keep the hair quotient high, but they are lovebugs, and though they make me cuss, how could we live without them?


Dammit ZuZu is super-annoying at times, but she follows me faithfully from room to room and cuddles as close as she can. She’s also gotten over her fear of cameras and poses nicely.

Tess is a mature lady of 8 who has always loved to pose.

Tess is a mature lady of 8 who has always loved to pose.

• Last week I was leaving a restaurant, and an athletic fellow and his wife/girlfriend stopped me. “Don’t you write for the paper?” he asked. “I recognize you because we read your stuff.” When told they have great memories because it’s been nine years since my health and fitness column was canceled, they were shocked.

See what I mean? Time is spiraling and standing still.

• Last note: My grandkids remind me so much of my own kids.

Ben and Liz make me extremely proud. Some day they'll get some sleep, too.

Ben and Liz make me extremely proud. Some day they’ll get some sleep, too.

They may look like 30somethings to y’all, but to me, they’ll always be my babies. They’re  cool adults and excellent parents, but I can shut my eyes or hear a song and slip through that wormhole to 1984 when we’d sing along with Hall and Oates in my red Mustang my daddy gave me before he died (in 1982). He’d have been 80 July 21, the 11th anniversary of when John and I laid eyes on each other.

I’m out of time. Blowing dog hair beckons, and Mother and all the grandkids will be here tomorrow.

Told you it was random.

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