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Another Day in the Country

The do-it-now plan

© Another Day in the Country

One of my extended family recently was diagnosed with a very aggressive type of brain cancer. She is jumping through all the medical hoops of chemo and radiation treatment prescribed to halt the growth and keep it at bay.

Meanwhile, I see her taking advantage of every life experience she can muster — family gatherings, friends coming over, traveling with grandchildren, girls’ night out with her daughters-in-law and granddaughters, and more.

They are barely home from one excursion before another is planned.

I understand those choices very well even though I don’t presently have a diagnosis looming over my head. I empathize because I, too, know that my days are numbered. A very acute reminder is the yearly birthday celebration coming up.

It’s not a morbid reminder, just a nudge to do what you are going to do now.

I have in fact been following that do-it-now plan for about 30 years. My old friend Dr. Shaw taught me that piece of wisdom.

The do-it-now plan brought me to Ramona and promoted the buying and remodeling of Ramona House.

That same plan has taken me to California every summer for the past 10 to 12 years, hanging out at my daughter’s house while she and her husband work and I spend time with my one and only grandson.

Following the promptings of the plan is not always convenient nor guaranteed comfort. The bed I sleep in while in California is really a couch with a bar down the middle. It’s not really all that comfortable. It’s doable for about a week, and then it starts to get to you.

I bought a piece of thick memory foam to augment the “mattress.” I have my own down quilt and pillow and various throws, and my own light for reading, my own fan. But as the years go by, that bed gets more and more uncomfortable and lower and lower to the floor.

This year, I added an embellishment to the couch/bed. I padded the bar with an extra quilt doubled, two heavy Korean blankets, and a throw on top of the foam and under the sheet.

Those blankets tend to slip and slide around, and I told Jana the other day that it feels as if I’m sleeping in a rag bag. She laughed.

“Why do you stay so long?” my sister asks in exasperation when I tell her about what lengths I’ve gone to to minimize the feel of the troublesome bar. “When I go on vacation, I want to be comfortable, pampered or I’ll stay home.”

I explain over and over that it’s not for the comfort that I’m going. It’s to spend time with this precious grandchild. I don’t know precisely what I give him that no one else can, but that’s not true. I do know: It is time — a commodity I do not have an overabundance of statistically but still more than anyone else in his life.

So I give him time whenever I can, wherever I can, however I can! And I do it now. No dillydallying, no procrastinating, no insisting on ideal circumstance. It may be now or never.

For years I’ve been dreaming of the day he’s willing to come spend the summer with me instead of vice versa. This year, he said, “Sure. Let’s do it.”

I was so shocked. I’d given up. I couldn’t believe it!

“Now is better than later,” he reasoned. It’s not all that long before summer jobs and college are the plan for him. “It’s like the road trip we did last summer.”

So, while you are reading the Marion County Record in rural bliss, we are also spending another day in the country.

We are mowing, watering, swimming, doing some chicken watching, playing games, going to the demo derby (if one’s available), trying out Al’s Cafe again, maybe making homemade ice cream, and whatever else country dwellers do in the summer — just for fun.

Last modified June 29, 2022

 

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