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Caring for others



Definitely not looking forward to winter. We go off daylight saving next weekend and I know suddenly it will be dark at 5.30pm again. As I am a six hour sleeper that means a lot of long dark nights alone. I just love daylight saving as it means long days when I can be busy and still have time to sit on the verandah and read until the sun goes down, have a late evening meal, and go to bed just before midnight feeling that I have done something worthwhile with my time. I have a lot of hand work to do.  I  am working on items called twiddle muffs, 40 stitches wide 23 inches long sewn up the sides and doubled over, decorated with all manner of things, in my case large buttons, bows, lace roses ( which I make myself) and similar things.  The muffs are given to dementia patients so they can have it on one arm for warmth.  They can feel the different textures and enjoy the bright colours. It is decorated inside and out so if they become bored with one side it is reversible. 


The days have been easy to fill since the rain ended and we have been back to sunny days. There is plenty to do in the house and much to do in the garden and so the days have been used up in general tidying up and ticking things off the "to do" list. I also have had a handyman in doing some of the small jobs, like changing power points. He is a friend so only charges for parts. He can't do a lot but I am happy to cross some things off my list at last. I have bought a new laundry tub to install and when he fixes one of my down pipes near the back door that will make a real difference when it rains. He is looking to see what other small jobs he can do before I pay for tradesmen to come in.  He does remind me of Ray but has firmly stated he is not looking for a girlfriend right now so my hopes are dashed...lol.


I have also been busy with the church, unfortunately not in fun happenings but attending more funerals. We seem to have had a viral chest infection in our nursing homes that has been affecting those I visit and I have lost three of them this year already, it is always sad to bid farewell to people I have been ministering to for years. On Saturday I did our Market Day and when I got home around 2pm was called to a nursing home at the request of the family to do prayers for a lady who was dying. I find that really hard to do but know that I've had the training and need to put it to use. The family were just grateful that someone from "the church" had turned up was how they expressed it. She died Saturday night and I am now awaiting funeral arrangements. I always think of the funerals as my last visit. It is hard to say "goodbye" when I have been visiting them for years. i usually say some of the prayers and do a reading if the family wants me to.


I am trying to get away for a few days but it is difficult to do when there is a lot to do here. Shirley is insisting I go there for a few days as I have not been up since January and Trevor wants me to go to Broken Hill which I will probably leave until May.  I love my kids and grandchildren but find it hard when I am the one doing all the travelling. I should do as much travelling as I can particularly while I am able to, I know that, and my friends keep reminding me to do what I can while I have good health and the energy. But I still hate travelling alone. I know I have to get past that and have some things planned that I would enjoy.  I can't turn back the clock and as usual it is ticking away. I read a lot of information about what widows should do to recover their own lives and some of it makes sense and I know I should follow some of the advice as it is what I need to do to move on but putting it into practice is somewhat more difficult.


The season is changing, you can feel the temperature dropping as soon as the sun goes down now.  Unhappily we are still having quite humid days. The spiders have been busy during the long rainy days and definitely the long handled web broom will be put to good use tomorrow.  I would like to do as much outdoors work as I can while it is fine. The bromeliads need repotting and so so some of the other plants.  The brush turkey has been in my yard again and knocked over the plant troughs on the wall near the car port so I lost the new parsley plants and a trough full of spring onions that I was using as chives.  I love our wildlife but not when they destroy my garden. Between the brush turkeys and the possums I lose a lot of parsley so I just have to keep replanting it.  I keep as much seed as I can as that saves me buying more packet seed which is quite expensive.


Is life good?  Yes it is.  I have decided that I do now take life more as it comes.  I have those moments when everything seems out of my control, I am sure we all do. I find enough work to do, enough people to talk to, enough to keep me interested at present but know that winter brings a different set of challenges.  In the past I have planned a mid winter break but don't think I will do so this year.  I have a few lady friends who have told me that if I want a travelling companion they are willing to go with me but when I ask them about a particular trip they always have other plans it seems. It is one of the problems widows face, the choice of staying at home or travelling alone. At the chance of looking a scaredy cat I can say that I do make plans but they rarely come to fruition.  The trip to Hawaii was the exception as I did it for Sarah's sake.  I so wanted to keep my promise of "one day in Hawaii" and we did it.


Sometimes I want to start a wish list or bucket list of all the things I would like to do but know if I did so it would just turn into another list of things I HAD to do.  I want to do things for pleasure not because someone says they are what I should do.  I don't want to do something because it is the recommended thing to do for the over 60s but because I want to do them more than I want to stay in the safety of my home.  I am still looking for that man with a camper van but that might never happen either so I have to settle for things I am able to afford and able to do alone.  Life is never going to go back to what it was and may move forward  contrary to the way I would like it to be.  I know that because I am a practical thinker.  Always have been.  But I was also a team player, part of that couple called Ray'n'Sue.  And maybe in a way I will always be that too.  Moving on is a lot harder than you think and there is still some sense of loss that will always be a part of my life as it goes forward. Just hope somehow I can get past that way of thinking.

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Sue I love reading your blogs and this one is no exception. You amaze me at all the good things you do for others! Twiddle muffs - these sound wonderful and makes me think of my daughter who has ADHD and has always fidgeted and things that she can twiddle make her calmer. I know you will keep moving forward...I hear it in your words. Time and quiet are somber companions at moments. I think a bucket list...your bucket list...is a wonderful idea. Think of how much you can learn about yourself and all of what you can do just for you, you deserve it. Thank you for sharing again.

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