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Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

Feeling My Age | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on Tuesday, May 21, 2019:

Porch Front View 011019Last week I wrote about drying my wings. The weather this week was beautiful, and the good weather gave us a chance to do some long overdue work on our new front porch. So now my “wings” are dry, but they are very weary.

Sometime in the early 1950s, when I was around five years old, my parents bought their first home in Snyder, Texas. It was a cute little five-room cottage with a carport, asbestos shingles (who knew they were dangerous!), and a neat front porch surrounded by a white railing. I was quite a tomboy, and that railing was the perfect configuration for climbing, jumping, and performing daring circus-like stunts with my brother. Our favorite involved him standing on the ground and me jumping off the rail onto his shoulders. From there, he would grab my hands and I would flip backward and hopefully land on my feet. I was young, agile, and foolishly fearless, and I don’t remember any negative after effects from my antics. However, after more years than I care to discuss, my recent front porch antics left me weary and sore with a few bruises and several broken nails. (more…)

I Have News! | by Linda Brendle

Anaiah Press will release Mom’s Long Good-Bye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort, my second memoir, on March 12. Here’s a little bit about the book:

Mom’s good-bye began with a red photo album and ended fifteen years later in a hospital bed in the Alzheimer’s wing of Southridge Village. This is her story and mine.

My first memoir, A Long and Winding Road, told of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a forty-foot motor home. It also told of the years and the life experiences that brought these four people together. After finishing it, many readers asked what happened next. Mom’s Long Good-Bye is the rest of the story.

Based on blog posts written as the events happened, this memoir takes the reader through grieving a continuous loss, some of the initial changes Alzheimer’s causes, the transition from caregiving to assisted living, Dad’s death, Mom’s last year, and the grief and closure of her final good-bye.

This book is for the millions who have experienced the heartache of witnessing the physical and mental deterioration of a loved family member or a dear friend. Mom’s Long Good-Bye strips away the façade of being the perfect caregiver and gives the reader a look at the denial, the anger, and the fear that come as a loved one loses herself a piece at a time to an insidious disease. By sharing her own struggles, the author assures other caregivers that they are not alone, that perfection is not required, and that comfort is real.

The cover will be revealed soon. Watch for it!

Blessings,

Linda

Cover

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Retired! | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 21, 2019:

retired t-shirtThursday was my last day of work at Believers’ Baptist. Actually I hadn’t been doing much work since the week before when I began training my replacement Lissa Grady. On her first day it was obvious that she was highly qualified, and all I had to do was point her in the right direction and get out of the way. By last week, I was going into the office for only an hour or two each day to answer questions. After spending about thirty minutes with her on Thursday, I knew she didn’t need me anymore.

“My work here is done,” I announced dramatically. “I’ve taught you everything I know.” (more…)

Why I probably won’t lose weight in 2019 | Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 8, 2019:

january dietJanuary is the time when everyone goes on a diet – or at least talks about it. Even the grocery store ads focus on items that have “Lo” in the description. I have to admit that, as the calendar rolls over, I have thoughts of eating better and exercising more, but circumstances usually conspire to derail my plans before they’re even made. Here are just a few reasons why the scale probably won’t go down this year, at least in January.

  1. I still have brownies, chips, and a few other goodies left from the holidays, and I was raised not to waste food. After all, there are starving children all over the world!

 

  1. I visited the close-out sale at Emory Food Mart where I found Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, a Mrs. Smith’s Peach Cobbler, and an Edward’s Key Lime Pie for half price. Bargain shopping is good for the budget – right?

 

  1. January’s schedule includes Volunteer Dessert Day every other Wednesday at the Senior Center, Home Group Dinner and Bible Study every Friday night, a fund-raiser lunch after church on January 20, and the annual family celebration of Aunt Fay’s birthday at AJ’s Fish House.

 

  1. One of my retirement projects is to organize recipes I have collected over the years and others that I inherited from Mom. I know that, in the process, I’ll come across recipes I want to make because I didn’t have time to try them when I was working and others I’ll make because I remember them fondly from my childhood.

 

  1. I was excited when the new Anytime Fitness opened in Emory, but then I discovered that my health insurance doesn’t have the Silver Sneakers benefit. I know I could buy a membership, but since I’ll soon be unemployed…

 

  1. You might ask why I don’t use the perfectly good treadmill a friend gave me a few years ago. Well, it’s wedged into a corner in the middle bedroom that we euphemistically called a storage room, and I’m claustrophobic.

 

  1. Some people also mention that we live on a circle that would be a perfect place to walk. True, but there are several dogs that roam loose in the neighborhood, and I don’t run fast enough to get away from them if they should decide to give chase.

 

  1. David and I plan to spend more time on the road when I’ve retired. Part of the fun of taking your kitchen with you is cooking – and eating – all your favorite dishes.

 

  1. I always get at least one pair of new jeans for Christmas. My new Lee Riders are a size larger than normal, and the extra comfort gives me a false sense of thinness.

 

  1. Instead of going to the gym or walking, I plan to edit two books and write another one. All that sitting at the computer will probably lead to a writer’s spread and another size larger on next year’s new jeans.

So there you have it. I once figured out that, between ages 20 and 60 I put on an averagescale of five pounds per decade. I managed to hold steady while I was in my 60s, but since I hit 70, I’ve been losing the battle. I know the most effective exercise when it comes to weight control is pushing away from the table, but that’s not much fun. If anyone out there has a miracle diet where you can eat the goodies, sit in your easy chair, and keep the pounds away, please let me know.

Blessings,

Linda

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

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What will 2019 bring? | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on January 1, 2019:

wasted time on facebookI spend too much time on Facebook. I don’t stay up until the wee hours looking at cute kittens or comparing what actors looked like then and now, but I do lose writing time, cleaning time, and other productive moments while keeping up with the current activities of my family and friends. Still, I do occasionally find little bits of inspiration like the one I saw on Sunday.

One of my friends posted a cartoon in which two mouse-like creatures were perched on the three-dimensional numerals “2019.” The first mouse was standing with his arms crossed, worry lines around his eyes, and drops of sweat popping off his forehead. The second was on his knees with an eager look on his face as he dug into the surface of the big zero. Their conversation went like this: (more…)

Need a ride? | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on September 11 2018:

Bette DavisAlthough there seems to be some difference of opinion about the exact wording, Bette Davis is credited with having said something like “Old age is no place for sissies.” The older I get, the more I recognize the truth of that statement. Each morning begins with an inventory of body parts to check the pain level of existing physical ailments and to check for any new pains that may have popped up overnight.

Along with new ailments come new limitations. Arthritic thumbs mean that playing the piano and typing are painful and that opening pickle jars is difficult if not impossible. A painful knee marks running off the to-do list – not that I’ve ever been a runner, but if someone wanted me to start, a sore knee would be a good excuse not to. On the other hand, it’s hard to squat down and retrieve the cast iron skillet from the back corner of the cabinet, and even harder to get back up. (more…)

Old(er) men and their dreams | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on February 27, 2018:

DavidSunday was David’s birthday, and he finally joined me in the 70s. Although I’ve been there since April and have tried to reassure him that it doesn’t hurt when the age-o-meter rolls over, he didn’t seem to look forward to this birthday the way he usually does. However, when I came home from Brookshire’s and waved a package of German’s Sweet Chocolate and another of coconut, he broke into a smile, knowing his birthday cake was on the way.

We don’t make a big deal of birthdays – at least not any more. The first year I celebrated his birthday with him, I took him out to dinner, and he gave me an engagement ring. It was hard to top that, but I sometimes tried to at least come close. One year I gave him an I-Pod, and another year I presented him with a bicycle, but we’ve reached the point in our lives where we have all the electronics we need and there’s no space to store larger toys. So most years I send him an e-card, and if I’m feeling extravagant, I give him a printed one, too. We go out for catfish or Mexican food, or sometimes I make a roast and a big pot of beans at home. And I usually make a German Chocolate Cake. (more…)

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