This is the beginning of the thirteenth year of writing this blog, as someone recently called it. I started it in 1998 right after Jack died on the eve of Thanksgiving that year. The person who called it my blog rightly saw that it was kind of a history of my life after Jack. I’m not sure if anyone else recognizes some similar events in their life, but I know we all go through many of the same traumas or joys as we walk through this life. I certainly feel that sometimes what I’m writing is for my own release, but I can’t help but feel that others identify with some of my memories.

I am having a serious run of blanks when I sit down at the computer. Suddenly it seems as if I have nothing to say and that no one would be a bit interested if I did come up with some thoughts. I know that I can get really down if I start thinking of what I don’t have in my life, so I try really hard to think about what I have. Jason, my remaining son, is absolutely my lifeline and gives me lots of joy. I know that sometimes I forget that he has the same history as I have, but just different relationships. He recently lost a good friend and I was astounded at his ability to deal with it and stay positive and remember the good times with his friend. He is anxious for the weather to get warmer, so they can have a memorial service for Joe in his backyard.

When we talk about his dad, he is surprisingly able to reflect on all the memorable times he had with his dad, and what many good and fond memories he relates to me. I often think about his sorrow as being very different, but also difficult to deal with. He lost two brothers, a dad and a nephew before he turned forty, and many people never have to face a death until they are much older. Is it easier? Or harder? I guess we all have to deal with tragedy no matter our age, and it may seem easier for some, but I think it is just different. Not easier or harder just different.

Anyway enough of past history. It is what we do with the present that makes life either bearable or unbearable. We all need to live in the ‘Now,’ knowing that what happened in the past we cannot change and the future is also unpredictable, so the present is what we have to face. I find it much easier to deal with what is right in front of my face and get absorbed with what that rather than think about the past or the future. We really can’t do anything about either of them, so the best thing is to ‘Live in the Present!’

How about this weather! Isn’t that fantastic? We really haven’t had a winter to speak of and no snow or ice on the roads. No snow! No ice! Isn’t that fantastic? We have been so lucky this winter. I heard the other day that we had only eight inches of snow this whole winter as opposed to forty eight last winter. Isn’t that wonderful! I’m sure there were many fewer accidents and deaths related to weather and that is truly great!

I’ve been thinking about getting older, not in a negative tone, but just reflecting. I feel sometimes like the person who looks at the obituaries every morning to see if her name is there. I know that many things are different as you get older. I am not fond of technology. I don’t want to read a book on a Kindle, or interact with my friends on e-mail I believe that we have gone too far with not having to interact face-to-face, and I think it is quite a detriment to our society, particularly to our children. I do think of how we used to spend our summers on empty lots choosing teams and playing until almost after dark when our parents called us in. I don’t like the phrase “The good old days,” but it does seem to be harder to be close to anyone anymore with all the technology. The other big thing I notice is that when I read the Birthdays Today in the Journal Star I only recognize the few at the top. As they get younger and younger toward the bottom, I don’t know very many of them.

I guess we all are nostalgic for what is no longer, and I find myself in that category more and more. I become more of a recluse each day because I am more comfortable with that. I went to a church women’s luncheon recently and felt very uncomfortable with the conversation around I Pods and other electronic gear. One woman pulled out her I Pod and talked to it. It felt weird to see someone talking to something small enough to fit in her hand. I guess I have reached the dinosaur status, and I don’t really mind except I think my language is different than many of those around me. Maybe that is why I am so comfortable with books. Although they have technology in them, you don’t feel that you are reading a foreign language.

My reading has varied this month from mysteries to a story about a young, married woman being in an accident after smoking pot, and realizing that her world was very different than when she used to get high in college. That title was Stash by David Klein, his first novel, and an insightful one about how we have to grow and change. A mystery I read was The Hunt Club by John Lescroart who is an author I’ve come to enjoy. He tells a good tale, is realistic and keeps the action going. Others I read this month were Unfinished Desires by Gail Goodwin, The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdich who is one of my old favorites, Living Out Loud by Anna Quindlen, who is another of my favorite authors, My Beloved Son by Catherine Cookson and Castaways by Erin Hilderbrand. I enjoyed them all, and I realize that much of what I read and why I read is to be in another world than the one I live in. I don’t always like this one and live other lives through my reading. Enjoy the fabulous weather!

Joanne Fought

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