Water Bearer

Water Carrier

This post is about a cracked pot. I came across it while attempting to clean out some old papers in my office during our period of self-isolation. The moral of the story follows the post and it seemed appropriate at this time. Trust you all will enjoy.

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of his accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?” That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.

Moral:

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life!

Until next time!

After Effects of Self-Isolation!

Same old – Same old!

They say that this self-isolation may last another month or more and that is fine with me if it keeps everyone safe and may assist the coronavirus run its course.

Of course, that will mean I need to put my brain in gear and come up with more material to share with everyone. Not an easy task but a fun one. It would also appear that the longer one is in self-isolation – the wilder and crazier one’s imagination might be.

So, I got to thinking – seeing that we have been cooped up for so long and haven’t been out to restaurants and/or shopping,  (for many of us it has been over two months now), what wild and crazy things would I like to do once we get the go ahead to be around other humans again. By the way, before leaving the house, I would stick a banana in my pocket (I’ll come back to this later).

Below are just a few of the wild and crazy things I might be prone to do.

They say that public bathrooms are places we should avoid but if necessary, we need to be extremely careful when frequenting them. Seeing so many wild and crazy things one can do in a public bathroom, I couldn’t resist sharing some of the shenanigans I might concoct when visiting same. Come take a walk with me on the wild side as we visit a bathroom or two. Having been cooped up so long – who would blame me, were I to – while visiting a public bathroom:

Make loud groans after I entered the stall and then drop a cantaloupe in the toilet and sigh in relief.

Or

Upon seeing that one of the stalls was occupied, I could enter the one next to it and after smearing chocolate on my hands, reach under the other occupied stall and ask for toilet paper.

Or

One more wild and wacky thing I could do when in a public toilet is I could pass a note under the door next to me saying, “They’re onto us. We need to go.”

Let us leave public bathrooms and go to a shopping mall.

When visiting a furniture store, I would love to hide in a wardrobe and when someone opens the door scream, “Welcome to Narnia”.

Upon leaving the furniture store, I  could just linger outside the store for a moment waiting for that one customer who always needs to know the time and when they ask me if I know what time it is, say yes and walk away.

As we all know, people are constantly on their cell phones no matter where they are, at the mall, restaurants, and wherever. Not wanting to be different and trying so hard to fit in, I could call someone and when they answer I would just tell them that I can’t talk right now.

Okay, you’re still in the mall but you see this electronic store across the way. Time to bring out the banana I mentioned earlier. I would go into the electronic store and handing the banana to the clerk, I would say: “I want to upgrade this to an apple.”

Okay time to leave the mall but before I leave, just to have more fun, I would linger around the exit and as people pass me, I would stop random individuals, show them my ID, and say, “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN?”

What’s that you are saying – he needs to get out! I agree, but not just yet. I’m having too much fun enjoying Groundhog Day! Stay safe.

Until next time!

P.M.A.

How can I tell what I think until I see what I say? – E. M. Forster

Crazy times!

Lately I have not been myself and I am sure it is due to this crazy coronavirus, our period of self-isolation, as well as our current political situation. I am thinking that quite a few Americans today are feeling the same way.

My desire to watch TV has waned and while I join my wife and watch a show  every so often, I can tell my mind is not with it unless it is a terrific movie or television show that has a good plot to it.

As far as my wannabe reading habits go – I started a short mystery novel May 5th of this year (Sunshine Hunter by Maddie Cochere) and I am still only about two-thirds through it. It appears I only feel like reading it twice a week.

I try my best to post short funny quips on Facebook every day, but even that has become more of a chore versus something fun to do. But I need to take my own advice – Positive Mental Attitude! Watch for this below.

So, getting back to the reason I opened this piece with a saying associated with E.M. Forster.   

My goal is that by the end of this post we all will be laughing because as the quote states “I cannot tell what I think until I see what I say” and my goal is to say nothing but stuff that will make us both laugh. Fair enough!

I have decided that what it all boils down to is “attitude” and I am determined to have P.M.A. by the time this piece is written. And for those of you that wonder what it is I am talking about, here goes:

Positive Mental Attitude

I am determined to turn things around and be more Positive, and while many of my friends have already told me this, I am also going to be more Mental (Okay, you can stop laughing now – I know I am mental). Last, but not least, you all know I have Attitude! There you have it – A good Positive Mental Attitude is what will get us through this time of our lives.

Positive thinking

One other thing we need to keep in mind as we get older is:

With old age comes “Multi-Tasking”:

We can: Laugh, Cough, Sneeze, Fart, and Pee – and are you ready for this– we can do it all at the same time.

Ah – Old Age!

Another thing I noticed now that I am truly considered old, experts say that caffeine is bad for us, fat is bad for us, sugar is bad for us, and guess what – we cannot worry about it because, well, they say worry is bad for us as well.

We only live once!

Sorry, not done yet. With all that is going on in the world today, did you ever think about running away? I did but the sad part about that idea is that I’m so afraid that by the time I put my teeth in, my glasses on, and find my keys, I’ll have forgotten why I’m going! And let’s not even get into where I might be going!

Where are my dentures?

Is it true I will turn 80 later this year? Wow! There is something about soon becoming 80 years of age. It seems the older we get, the more we think about various things. One of the things I think about is the possibility of my needing some type of operation in the future. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of the operation doesn’t really scare me. What does scare me is waking up after the operation and having the doctor tell me that everything went well … Short pause. But! There is that darn but as he continues his talk with me, and says: Oh, one other thing I need to tell you: “The digital medical records were hacked and mixed up, so we won’t charge you for the C-Section!”

What did you just say?

Okay, I am coming to the end of this post. So what do we do?

We have to look at life as though it is a camera: We need to just focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, just take another shot!

Just one more shot!

Hope this post brought a smile to your face.

Until next time!

Reflection

It baffles me how one’s mind can go off on some wild and crazy adventure when confined to their home as we have been doing under our Governor’s “stay at home” order, but occasionally I do allow it to happen. Were we to ask why the “stay at home” order, not that the news hasn’t been informing us of it 24/7, we would be told it is to “flatten the curve” of this dreaded disease we are all facing now called Covid-19.

Believe me when I say that I am, in no way making fun of this serious, deadly disease. On the contrary, I do my best to think up ways to cope with it via humor, hence the statement “go off on some wild and crazy adventure”.

The entire time we have been in sort of a “lockdown” type scenario I have had time to revisit some of the books I read way back when. Back then – reading was either required by our teachers or it was something fun we enjoyed doing to get away from it all.

Not knowing what our world will be like when this whole pandemic thing is over, I am reminded of a book authored by Aldous Huxley entitled “Brave New World.” That is what we seem to be going through at the moment and my educated guess is that once – how shall I put this – the curve is flattened – well, it might just be a brave new world we will have to become familiar with.

Seeing that most senior citizens are not considered essential workers, my guess is that it is safe to assume that most of us have been “hunkering down”, if you will, within the confines of our own homes. In doing so, we are probably trying our darnedest to determine what to do with our time. After all, there are only so many “Honey-Dos” or “Projects” that kept being put on the back burner that can be done.

Part of my 24/7 “hunkering down” time has been trying my best to write humorous posts to share with you all.

While I have not as yet gone over to the Dark Side (Darth Vader) I ask you to take a walk with me as we peer in on a scenario that might just be one that we will either go through in the near future or one we may have already experienced.

And so it begins:

It is 2:30 a.m. Friday morning, the sky is clear with no stars in the sky and all is quiet on this little unknown street that many living in the community still have difficulty trying to find when need be. If you look carefully, you can still see the moon high in the sky.

Is that light I see within the kitchen window of Unit # 252? One would think that at this hour of the night everyone would be sleeping, everyone apparently, except a certain person at # 252.

Be quiet as you carefully slip up to the house and peer through the window.

Sitting at the kitchen table with the light shining dimly above him, sits a retired underwriting manager with writing journal wide open on the table in front of him, pen in hand, as he appears to be writing his life story.

As you take this picture in, you notice how he is dressed, a raggedly T-shirt, and a pair of old torn grey sweatpants. Looking at his appearance you cannot tell if he is Oscar from the Odd Couple or Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies.

Watching as he apparently strains to think up the next sentence or entry he wants to write, your guess is that his eyes are bloodshot from lack of sleep. Looking at his hair you notice it is so tangled up even a rat tail comb would have problems combing it. From the wrinkles seen in these so-called pajamas, one could only assume that they haven’t seen the inside of a washing machine in some time which then begs the question, when did he possibly shower last?

Sitting besides the journal on the table is a coffee cup and what appears to be a few Ginger Snaps. Is it any wonder with this type of diet at 2:30 a.m. he is still awake?

You think to yourself, is this what most seniors look like at 2:30 a.m. during this time of self-isolation because if it is, it is truly a sad sight. You think “my situation” is so much better.

But hold on, he stopped writing for a moment, adjusted his eye glasses and looks up across the table where his mate might sit when they have breakfast every day and slowly his reflection appears in the mirror of the china closet.

Wait, I know those glasses! Is that a picture of me, my wife, and our children on the shelf? Could it be?

Is that my reflection I see?

Isolation/Lockdown – Whatever!

Gotta keep smilin!”

Today is April 13 and it has been one month since we have been isolated, so to speak, in our own home. We learned of the rule that groups of 6 or more could not congregate on March 13. That was the day we were having our dress rehearsal for the annual Variety Show we (Dolly and I) host for our 55+ community. ☹ Oh well, there is always next year.

But life goes on. How do we spend our days? Well, to begin with we have told ourselves that we need to resume our usual early morning routines of stretching. That takes about 15-30 minutes. Having done that and completed one’s usual bathroom routines, I prepare our orange juice (How does that saying go – a day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine). Then I prepare our breakfast and finish it off with my morning cup of coffee.

This is usually when we both write in our daily journals outlining whatever wild and wacky thoughts are going through our minds. Mine usually mentions my weight, what the temperature is outside, how I feel (upbeat, somewhat down, wild and wacky, or whatever) and she usually records something health related.

This is also when, on a separate piece of paper, I devise a list of all the things I hope to accomplish before days end. Sometimes the list is less than a half-dozen things while other times the list is a dozen or more items (wishful thinking on my part). In either case, at the end of the day, whatever items did not get accomplished are moved to the next day’s list and the next day we start all over again.

Being in this period of isolation, we have not ventured out since March 13. Our daughter, who lives 20 minutes away, secures our groceries when supplies run low. Our family physician has been keeping in touch with us via phone conversations and a representative from their office calls us once a week to check in and see if we are okay and if we need any medications.

Other than watching TV, we keep ourselves busy by finding little jobs within the house that need to be done. We also take time to play gin rummy or some other card game. I am also trying my best to get back to reading (mystery and detective type novels) and have even started reading some of the books on writing I purchased long ago. We make it a point, weather permitting, to take at least two walks around the block every day and to make sure we get our daily step count in for the day we even walk the distance of the house several times a day. Our step goal per day is 3000 steps.

Seeing that we cannot have physical contact with our children, our son has set up Zoom and both my daughter and I now know how to access it and we have video conference calls between the three of us several times a week during which time we play games such as Trivia, Yahtzee, and other such games adaptable to long-distance conferencing.

While it isn’t as good as being able to hug and kiss our children (no matter how old our children get, we still enjoy hugging them when we do get to see them), modern technology such as Zoom, Duo, and Skype, (forms of video conferencing) are a blessing. It would be much harder were we not able to see them during this time of self-isolation.

Before I end this post, let me just mention that all our days are not always fun-filled and jovial. There are days that we too wake up on the wrong side of the bed either in the wrong kind of mood, sad or what have you. But we are fortunate in that we still have each other. When one of us is down, the other is up and vice-versa. Should I do wake up in one of those moods though, I concentrate on the fact that there are many others having it much, much, worse than I do. It doesn’t take long then for me to say to myself, “Suck it up buttercup – we will get through this.”

Time to bring this to a conclusion. How many of you   remember Paul Harvey. I’m talking about his famous words:  And now – the rest of the story.

Our day usually ends with us watching some television and we do our best to end the evening with a sit-com of one sort or another. One sit-com we truly enjoy and watch even if we had seen it before is “As Time Goes By” with Dame Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. There is just something about this show that enables us to retire for the evening knowing that all will be right with the world in the morning.

Until next time!