Archive for August, 2011

What’s a Full Life?

August 31, 2011

What’s a Full Life?

     Cloudy morning in Munds Park     

               I’m sitting on my porch,  listening to the CD Wild Women by Diane Van Deuzen and Lisa Otey. I haven’t read all the books out on gratitude but I do know it’s important to sit down sometimes and think about what you have. I appreciate that it’s eight-two degrees here and most of my friends and family live in Phoenix, where it’s been over a hundred and ten for more than a week. I have the luxury of two small places so I can take advantage of the winter sun in Scottsdale and the mild Munds Park summers.

I have children and grandchildren who are the joys of my life. They all live in the Phoenix area, so I get to see them often. All of them are employed, and two out of three sons are totally self-supporting.

I had a happy childhood. My parents instilled moral fiber, a quest for knowledge, and raised me with humor. They are both dead, and I still miss them but understand the cycle of life.

I have close friends on whom I can lean and I support them, as needed. I live far from my brother and sister, but I have a family of friends.

I may drag my feet to my weekday exercise class, but the truth is my health is good and my body limber enough to do squats and dance around.

There are advantages to being single. I enjoy the freedom of eating whatever and whenever I please. Maybe I snore, but it doesn’t seem to bother my dog.

I worked for many years at low paying but satisfying work in public schools that serve disadvantaged neighborhoods. Now I get to enjoy a monthly pension that allows me to work only part time and write. I know people read my column in the local paper because they stop me and have comments on it. That is satisfaction for a writer.

I look at the clouds in the mornings when I walk my dog, and am filled with awe at their beauty. With no street lights here, every clear night is filled with stars.

Life is good.



Dog Days of Dating

August 20, 2011

Dog Days of Dating

 The summer is drawing to a close and so is my dating in Northern Arizona. I’m disappointed in romance and have no one but myself to blame. How can I be so naïve at my age?

I went to dinner the other night with some single ladies, one of whom was approaching eighty. They were all doing online dating and enjoying themselves. The funniest part was that we had dated some of the same guys!  One was emailing the Perpetual Student. I gave him a thumbs up. Another was dating Mr. Spiritual Journey, whom I recommended with the caveat that he was also known by his friends as “The No Commitment Man.” Another woman will go to the Valley and have fifteen dates over a few days to meet some new men. These women seem wildly optimistic.

Unfortunately I take men at their word. I need to become more jaded. When they say they enjoy my company, feel they’ve know me forever, I need to put on the brakes. It’s still hard for me to believe that there are so many “players” out there. I have no problem with guys who just want to date and have a good time. I’m all for it. Why is it necessary to bring BIG PLANS into it, and make blueprints for the future? I am very willing to go for the moment. Why don’t men believe that?

So what about the Railroad Man? I haven’t seen him for three weeks. He’s called a few times but has not asked me out. He did say he was working on a one-day raft trip for September. Is this the fellow who called every day in July and couldn’t wait to see me? I assume he’s dating other women and is too busy to see me. Why not just be honest and say so?

I’m glad I have a wall around my heart and only my ego gets bruised.

Meanwhile I am busy with the play Love, Sex, and the IRS at the Pinewood Playhouse, writing groups, a book club, weekday exercise classes with Sheri, revising my novel, getting my house jacked up, occasional refugees from the Valley heat, and walking Sparky. And my kids are coming for Labor Day Weekend. Life is good.

Travels with the Railroad Man

August 6, 2011

Travels with the Railroad Man

I’m in “like” with a train engineer. That’s the person who drives the train. His freight train goes from Winslow, Arizona to Needles, California. His schedule varies every week. He’s two days on and two days off but the departures and arrivals are different every trip. This is a challenge for a person like me who likes to plan everything in advance. I never know what days I’m going to see him .It doesn’t hurt his case that he’s handsome, likes to listen to live music and dance, politically liberal, and listens to National Public Radio.

Railroad Man is a doer. We’ve been dating for a month and we’ve already taken an off-road vehicle trip down Schnebly Hill to Sedona, picnicked by a swimming hole on Beaver Creek, visited the Bar V Bar Ranch National Park which has petroglyphs, seen the Bison at Mormon Lake, driven by both Upper and Lower St. Mary’s Lake, happy hour at Pinewood Country Club, eaten at Cliff Castle Casino, driven through Bearzona and seen the bird show, and done a road trip to Las Vegas, Laughlin, and Oatman. The latter is a former mining town which is now inhabited by lots of donkeys and a few artisans and make-believe gunslingers. Whew! And he planned it all!

Me and a three-week old wild donkey in Oatman, Arizona

I let him know that being a willing follower was not a usual part of my personality. In past relationships I’ve been the one to do most of the planning. It’s kind of nice to sit back and let someone else do it. However, I hope he hasn’t gotten the impression that I am a docile woman. Then again, he’s spent some time with me, so I think he has seen my assertive side.