Here I am again sitting at my computer attempting to write this post and be creative at the same time. During this Pandemic we have all had to make sacrifices when it comes to our daily lives and how we go about our typical day. Let’s face it, we all cope in different ways!

Upon looking at past writings, I am reminded of a night several, well, many years ago when we were obligated to leave our humble abode and travel to our daughter’s place because a hurricane (Hurricane Irma) was heading for Lakeland. Living in a manufactured home means when Mother Nature decides to show her force by having a full-force hurricane make itself comfortable on your front doorstep, you do the smart thing and pick yourself up and find safer quarters. Our daughter’s apartment was ideal. So off we went.

One truly gets the meaning of the phrase: “Stop and Smell the Roses!” when told you must evacuate your home due to an impending Hurricane. And one learns real quick just how good you have it after spending one week without electric power.  Especially when it is still summertime outside when the weather is extremely hot and muggy. I do not want to even think about the impending Hurricane season that will rear its ugly head come June (quite possibly May according to some weather forecasters) of this year. But I digress once again.

Back to the gist of this week’s post. As many of us have learned over the years – when we put our minds together and face whatever dilemma is facing us – we usually survive. And survive we did back then.

Lately I have been attempting to set up my desk area – writing space – if you will, in our new location (we recently moved after being in the same home for 14 years).  This has become a chore in and of itself primarily because there are so many boxes that need emptying, files needing purging and I do not want to even bring up the subject of shredding. Shredding the paperwork that should have been done years ago. But, seeing how fickle this world can be, one never knows when we will need that certain receipt, tax return or what have you. So what do we do? What we have done year after year after year – we procrastinate!  And before you know it, you have a stack of boxes filled with twenty-year old paperwork that needs to be destroyed. Got the picture?

What’s bad about this situation is that chances are – shortly after the item gets shredded, we learn that we should not have shredded it!!!! Okay, back to setting up my office. Having been homebound or isolated from the rest of the world as it were for over one year now, so as to keep my sanity, I look upon my office up as my sanctuary. What makes it my sanctuary, you ask!  I do so with little reminders of things that make me smile. For instance, I recently hung a picture on the wall next to my desk that says:

“Grant me Patience Lord but Hurry!”

Having traveled to all fifty states of the United States as well as Mexico, Canada,  parts of England and Europe, mementos from various of these places are little reminders of happy times in my life. Not only do they brighten my day but they are representative of the great life we have had.

Another picture I have is an autographed photo of Charlie Daniels and a separate picture of Dolly and I in Charlies’ trailer where we visited briefly with him after one of his performances. Charlie was one true southern gentleman. R.I.P. Charlie Daniels

Yet another plaque I have is a picture of a Beagle with his paw on an open book that reminds me of the many years I spent studying which now that I think about it helped me to get to where we are today. What’s that – you want to know what is so special about this Beagle – See for yourself:

Again, just another thing to make me smile.

Other things I hope to adorn my walls with are: An old Conestoga wagon that one of my sons made while in school; a picture of several of us dressed in old western costumes that make me smile every time I look at it. Happy times of past. On top of the bookshelves that house many of the books I am constantly using for reference purposes are mementoes from our four years spent in Bisbee, AZ back in the 70’s. These keepsakes aren’t worth much from a monetary standpoint but the memories they bring back are priceless.

Adding to the comical side of me is the latest addition to my collection of wild and crazy stuff, a stuffed “Yoda” that looks over me each day. When I greet him every morning as I come to my desk, I can hear him saying to me:

May the Force be With You!

Okay, time to bring this post to a close but before I do, let me just say that:

Retirement is but another phase of our lives.

Too many people today are always uptight and stressed out. Truth be told, having such a whimsical attitude about my desk area with all the little reminders of the good times we have had these past 80 years is my way of coping and is an excellent way to help me lighten up and thus live in a happier, less-stressed environment.

As I bring this to a close, allow me to share with you one more memento that adorns the wall of my office area. Chances are that some of you reading this might just think that the item I am about to mention is sort of silly for a guy that just turned 80 a short three and a half months ago – but that’s life – to each their own. Right next to the plaque that asks for Patience, is a picture of my mother sitting in her favorite rocking chair. When I look at her and see her looking back at me, it is as though she is watching over me and I can hear her say:

“Not to worry – this too shall pass!”

You all have a magical day – but do take time to smell the roses!

Until next time.

11 thoughts on “How do You Cope?

  1. I can see my mother smiling and saying pretty much the same thing. My home is filled with Momentos of my past and my parents past. It gives me great comfort to keep them close during these uncertain times. And comfort is the one thing we all need.

  2. I smell many kinds of flowers in my garden when I sit in our verandah every morning and afternoon with my mug of tea. I also watch birds building nests in our hedge as well as on the trees that line our avenue.

    I have lived in the same home here for the past little over thirty years and have many friends in the neighbourhood as well as in other parts of the city who are in regular touch with me thanks to social media and instant telephony.

    My extended family are also in touch regularly via telephone and social media and so coping with being stuck inside the home has not been too much of a problem.

    I am a minimalist and have shredded more paper than I wish to remember! I now have little to file as the burden of living has passed on to the next generation and I am in genuine retirement.

    All in all, not a bad way to live.

  3. Good stuff Irwin! I remember wondering when I was a kid why my grandparents had so many old nick-knacks and old photos cluttering up their house. Now I know, because each and everyone of them told a story and held a special place in their hearts. What is a home after all, if not a safe place filled with good memories!

    1. Glad you liked it. In times like these, I like to reflect on the good things that have happened in our lives and how lucky we are to have made it this far. Have a great day and stay safe my friend. 👍

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