Our daughter and her wonderful boy were here for the weekend, and it was grand. We made a great many pancakes that we drowned in maple syrup from an old friend’s family farm in Michigan. We hiked. Ate amazing Mexican food at a place where, thank goodness we were able to speak Spanish to the server. We went to a Native American dinner and ate wild rice and salmon. And we laughed pretty much straight for four days with interludes of serious talk. It was fabulous.
Our Christmas tree was delivered in a box this afternoon. I’m done with insanely expensive ‘real’ trees that drop their needles five minutes after getting wrestled into the tree stand. Now I have a tree that requires only that I ‘fluff’ the branches. It’s also prelit which is a luxury I never imagined I would experience. It won’t be necessary to enter into a hate-filled, bitter relationship with a tree to kick off the Christmas season. Or untangle the lights. That alone.
Social isolation and loneliness can kill you. No kidding. There are direct and serious health and mental health consequences of being alone and isolated. Read the U.S. Surgeon General’s report “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation.” It’s not a little, sad thing – grandma down the street rocking on her porch all by herself. It is, as a certain president would say, a BFD. It’s not just about having friends, it’s about being out there – talking to people in line, volunteering, taking a class at the senior center. Here’s the deal: Chit chat can save your life! You heard it here.
It’s going to take me a year to write eight more short stories. I stalled out on NaNoWriMo despite all the public announcements of my intentions. Oh well. I didn’t lose my ambition exactly, it just went to sit on a shelf in the basement next to the Nesco I haven’t used in three years. Meanwhile, I watched a livestream of Bob Woodward speaking at UWM-Waukesha last night. He has written twenty-two books with several that were huge best-sellers. We have nothing in common except he thought he should have a chair while being interviewed since he is, as he said, Biden’s age.
I have had a very good week. I had a great time with my daughter and grandson. I was part of a big funding victory for aging services. I ran a really good Commission on Aging meeting this morning. I got to celebrate new signs on Milwaukee County senior centers (and know that I instigated the change by sending a photo of a terrible, ancient sign to county officials months ago). And I made a pretty good off-the-cuff speech as part of all the sign hoopla. Plus, I got a turkey for 49 cents a pound with a $30 purchase and my savings card.