Day Before the Eclipse

The TV news reports that 500,000 people are heading toward Nebraska, to experience the 2017 total eclipse of the sun, along a corridor from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast.  It’s nearly five hundred miles of diagonal space to add all those extra folks.

Nebraska has only 1,826,341 people, plus a few more on really busy days, like during college world series games in June. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-who-what-where-when-and-how

This is a rare event “This is the first time a total solar eclipse has gone from one American coast to the other since 1918. It will also be the first time in U.S. history that a total solar eclipse will make landfall exclusively on U.S. soil, meaning it will not be visible from any other country. (This technically happened in 1257 — but, of course, the United States wasn’t a country way back then.) from Space.com

Eclipse Traffic

 

Rain

July was hot and dry. It didn’t rain at all. I dislike 95+ humidity nearly as much as -10 degrees.  Perhaps it’s my British Isles heritage, but moderate temps in the 60s and 70s suite me best.  I love to sleep when it’s raining and find thunder rather soothing.

Pickles doesn’t agree with me. She’s frightened by loud noises like thunder and fire crackers.  When she’s scared she hides under the desk while I’m typing.  She’s there now because another storm front is moving through-complete with thunder-boomers and lightning flashes.

The noisy storm reminds me of the sound of authority figures blustering about his/her issue of the day.   I’m old enough to retire tomorrow if I choose, and don’t worry about being fired, but do worry about the people I serve, who will be at the mercy of these angry people.  People that are so insecure in their own ability, they make mean-spirited decisions.

Quiet day

There was a gentle rain over night. A half inch fell on my part of the world, and during a dry summer, it’s very much appreciated.  Rain was followed by a cloudy, cool day. My dog and I didn’t take on any big projects today.

Cell phone May 2017 274

It’s been a day to think about the deaths resulting from a white supremacy riot yesterday in this country.

As I contemplate retirement, and look back over more than forty years of employment, the battles for equality are the same now as they were back then. Women are still paid less than men, white men still earn more money than people from any other race or gender.  It’s still more difficult for women and people of color to be hired.

It stretches my imagination to wonder why young white men are so afraid of the rest of us that they violently protest.   What happens to older women?  We are already powerless in the workplace.  I worry that without employment’s buying power, I will be even more sidelined by society when I finally leave employment, and less able to defend myself.

However, my body is trying to tell me that I can’t forever dwell in the land of theoretically considering retirement as job stress is physically harming me.  My back buckles, often without warning, and sends shooting pains across my lower back.  My neck is sending a message too.  The tension in my shoulders works it’s way up my neck, and results in periodic headaches.

Be gentle to yourself and work for peace.

 

Celebrate

A friend celebrated his 80th birthday earlier this evening.  Two friends hosted a pizza party for him. Another friend made an amazing chocolate cake, and homemade vanilla ice cream.  He received gifts of spices, pie filling, wine, and socks.  We all enjoyed the food and companionship.

Celebration takes on more importance with each passing year.  We are lucky that most of this group are healthy, given their ages, and able to live in their own homes.

We cheer each other’s birthdays, support each other when someone is ill, and take care of each other’s pets When someone travels.  Tonight’s 79 year-old hostess is leaving for Germany tomorrow for two weeks.  I’m lucky to be part of this young-at-heart friend’s group. Aging can be an exciting, dynamic time.

 

 

Running in Place

DSC04751It was busy enough at my day job today, to discard the idea of evening chores, or any heavy thought about the future.  I took my dog Pickles for a run in the pasture.  We scared up several crickets, a bird or two, and a few butterflies.  The temperature is mild and a cool breeze blows from the north.  It’s a perfect evening for letting the day go, and running in place emotionally.

Next Step

Sixty five for nearly nine months, the question of the next step in my life visits me several times a day. I decided to start a blog to chronicle my decision about when to take the next big step in my life.

When something isn’t going the way I wish at my job; I think – I could give two weeks notice and leave this problem to the next person to occupy this position.   Just knowing that I can leave at any time is often enough to relieve the tension of the moment and I soldier on to the end of the day.

I live in a rural area a couple of miles from the nearest village (400 people), 12 miles from the county seat of 5,000 where I work, and 30 miles from a bigger town of 25,000. I worry about retiring and spending time alone, away from people.

Of course, I worry about a lot of things, like writing this blog.  Will anyone be interested in the musing of a retirement-age woman?   One of the nice things about blogs is that is up the reader to decide if it’s worth their time or to move on.