Thursday, December 25, 2008

Simple Things and Doing for Others

In this season of dark and cold, it is good to be grateful for small and simple things. Sunlight, for instance. It is Christmas day, and the sunlight is glorious. We've had a week of grey, cold, rain and ice, and today's warmth and sun is very welcome. The cats are out lazing in the sun in that particularly feline manner of theirs. You can register their vibrations of contentedness even if they're not purring. It is their way of appreciating simple things.

We learned a few days ago that another member of our community had had a mini-stroke. Lillian is about 76 or so, and a real scrapper, but this has taken the wind from her sails. I've been taking her hot soups and groceries--just some oatmeal and canned goods. Some bread and bananas. And spending time with her, sharing the comfort of having friends around.

Then, on the way to Fred's, I stop to feed his cats, who never moved from their den under his old trailer. He's now moved into the farmhouse at Misty, where there are also a zillion cats. David also lives there and he feeds that multitude. But Fred's cats need fed too, and so I stop on my way there and give them their kibble. They are grateful and respond with purrs and windings-around my legs.

On to Fred's where I either make him dinner or heat up what I've brought with me. Other ladies here also take him food, so he's doing OK. Fred occasionally buys lotto tickets. He says if he wins the lotto bigtime, he'll build the valley an old folks home. It's a great idea--we've worked out a plan for the building. It would have a central communal kitchen/dining/living area and the folks would have individual rooms around the circumference. A wagonwheel arrangement in other words. And there'd be people like me who could help with the cooking/cleaning/entertaining and caring for health needs. That's a dream for now, but something to work towards.

Doing for others has great benefits. It gets me out of my typical winter doldrums/blues. Seasonal affective disorder gets us all to greater or lesser degrees. Humans need sunlight and fresh air, and life becomes greyer when we don't have access to them in winter. But you can get yourself out of depressive thoughts and moods by paying attention to other people and their needs.

I've been battling a nasty cold the past week. The past two nights it really got to me and I was exhausted. Couldn't sleep very well because of coughing and stuffy nose. I'm letting the symptoms have their way. It's best if I don't fight it, but merely rest a lot and feed my system lightly but with good nutrition--lots of liquids, garlic, cayenne and rest.

Well, that's it. Be grateful for simple, little things. Be grateful for other people and pay attention to them. Not very awe-inspiring commentary here. That's what having a cold does to you. Energy-stealing things...

Only two more months and I can get back to some serious foraging!


Anonymous said...

Caring for others is a vital part of our society, one that has been lost to a large degree sadly. It is wonderful to see there are still those out there like you who give so unselfishly. WTG

Patricia said...

Hey Molly--I try to follow Jesus's command: as ye do unto the least of these, so ye do unto me. Treating the world's creatures with kindness and consideration gives me great peace, especially in these very uncertain times. Thank you.

Stephanie in AR said...

That wagonwheel is a good idea. In the late 80's I worked in a nursing home that had that design. The heavy care patients were in one hall & that hall was situated so anyone at the maindesk looking up was watching the hall. It was so easy to care for those patients & keep up with their lights, even at night. The linen closet, assisted bathing room & supplies were nearest the heavy care hall to - easier on help.

For any patient, every room had a view with lots of places to tuck little garden secrets (statues, bird feeders). I have often said it was the only home I would have ever put any of my relatives in.

riverwalker said...

Hope you get to feeling better soon.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Patricia said...

Hey Steph--that wagonwheel old folks home makes a lot of sense. I'm glad there's at least one in realityland. Hopefully there'll be more.

Thanks,RW! Me too.

Susy said...

Hope you're feeling better soon!

Anonymous said...

I have dreamt of the wagon wheel living home since 1970. A place where 5 or 6 couples/families would live, share chores, cooking and taking care of the infirmed. Anyone know what state or county that can be accomplished on 10-20 acres?

Patricia said...

Thanks, Susy. I'm working on it.

Marge: wagonwheel home is a dream but more research is needed to see what could be done (and where). Thanks.