Today I am going to write in praise of a wonderful new invention: the Tile. We received several of these for Christmas from my friend Nancy, who looks out for me and likes to make my life better. She figured that our family of ADD-sufferers could use some help in finding things. The Tile is a wonderful invention that you can stick in your wallet or on your keychain or your laptop, and then you can use your I-phone to locate those things when you lose them! We put one Tile in my husband’s wallet and one on my office keys and one on the car keys, and it has helped us through several crises lately. We have avoided yelling and panicking when we were late for a critical meeting and have just calmly gone to Tom’s I-phone and found out the location of the item (it uses GPS technology and a loud beeping sound).
Here is a link:https://www.thetileapp.com/
I remember the first time I voted. The year was 1972, and thanks to The Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 18 year olds were granted the right to vote (July 1, 1971), and it was the quickest amendment ever to be ratified. I remember the national debates over lowering the voting age because it focused on all our friends being drafted to fight in Vietnam when they had absolutely no say about the war, who was sending them, and why. Having participated in the anti-war movement with hundreds of thousands of other young students across the country, I’d like to think our protests made a difference and forced the government to lower the voting age. So, when the time came in 1972 to vote in the presidential election, I cast my ballot for George McGovern.
Shortly before the election, McGovern came to the University of Cincinnati where I was studying. After his campaign speech, he thanked all the volunteers back stage, and I was thrilled to shake the hand of the next President of the United States of America. I just knew he would win. And, trust me, to this day, I still can’t believe that Nixon won (by a landslide) despite the fact that 52% of 18-24 year-olds showed up at the polls, the highest ever voter turnout of young adults including the 2008 Obama-McCain election.
So, I write this post the day before the elections as a reminder that anything can happen, and every vote matters. Here in North Carolina, we have a very important Senate race. I know who I’ll be voting for? You?
My aunt loved to “flop” in the afternoon. After eating lunch and taking care of one or two things she needed to do, Mamie would always retire to her bedroom and lie down on her bed for about an hour. First, she would read her daily devotion from a little book she kept by her bed called God Calling. Then, she would write down in her journal her daily record of everything she and her husband, my uncle Jack, had done the day before. And then, she would either take a little nap or lie there in bed, reading. I guess you could say she knew about the value of meditation long before it became popular with the rest of us!
When things got stressful in her life, she would “flop” more often, maybe once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Her “flopping” time seemed to work almost like a recharging station. If she felt herself getting stressed or exhausted, she would always take the time to relax, unwind, and breathe. Nothing could stop her. She would just announce to all around her: “I need to go flop!”
When I was about ten years old and spent time with her one summer for a few months, I at first hated her flopping time because it meant she wasn’t available to do something with me, like going grocery shopping or going to the library or just laughing together about something. But, as the days went by, I came to love that time of day. Mamie would flop on her twin bed, and I would flop on Jack’s, andwe would both read or sleep until Mamie was ready to get up. I suspect I was one of the reasons she needed to flop that summer, but she never made me feel like I was a burden. We just flopped together. It was during those afternoons in Mamie’s room that I read all about the history of the FBI and several biographies of famous people. Sometimes Mamie told me stories about her childhood or I wrote postcards to my family and friends or worked a puzzle book. All of those memories are pleasant and relaxing and calming to me, even now.
Mamie had a pretty hard life in some ways, but she learned how to deal with her problems in a real practical way. I’ve never known anyone better at taking care of herself. She never allowed herself to get too stressed or worried or busy or anything. She just “flopped” when she needed to, the rest of the world be damned!
I have decided that I need to learn from Mamie. I think I need to worry less and recharge my engines whenever possible. I need to learn how to “flop.”
I remember, back when I was pregnant with Lizzie, that I was talking to my mother about some of the stuff my doctor had told me, and her response was, “I’m glad I didn’t have to worry about all that when I was pregnant!” I wish I could call my mother up now and say, “Mama, you ain’t seen nothing yet!” Women nowadays sure do have a lot more to worry about than when I was pregnant ‘back in the day.’
Here are some examples:
1) My daughter has so many more eating restrictions than we had; for instance, no soft cheeses, so no Feta, Brie, Roquefort, etc.; no luncheon meat; and, of course, very limited tuna! (I’m glad to see that last one on the list!)
2) At least one hour a day, when the baby is active, Lizzie is supposed to count kicks and other movements—and if she can’t count up to ten, she’s supposed to call her doctor.
3) When her “fundal height” was not exactly what it was supposed to be, she had to have an ultrasound (this, mind you, is the fourth time she’s had an ultrasound in this pregnancy!)
4) She’s not supposed to sleep on her back at all because it might restrict the baby’s breathing.
Those are just four of the ones that come to mind. I appreciate all the advances in research that have made these things necessary, and I love to know that Lizzie’s doctor is watching out for my grandbaby, but I also think there is a lot to be said for less worry on the mother’s part! Lizzie’s pregnancy is much more stressful to me than any of my own. After talking to other grandmothers, I know that this partly comes with the territory: you are going to worry more about your own baby (and her baby) than you ever did about yourself. But I also think the culture of pregnancy has changed. Isn’t there something to be said for trusting in nature, for knowing that women have been going through this same process since Eve, and that, with of course some exceptions, things usually turned out all right? I can’t see Eve sitting there and counting kicks! I also can’t help questioning one more expensive medical test/procedure and wondering if they would be calling for that test if my daughter didn’t have insurance.
Ladies, (not only women over 50), have you ever left your cell phone on a restaurant table? Or how about searched for your glasses when they were already on your head functioning as a headband? I’m sure none of you have ever lost your keys even though you threw them in your purse – that infamous black hole where objects vanish.
If you’ve ever done any of these things, you will surely identify with our beloved Nora Ephron when she says, “I am living in the Google years, no question of that. And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google. The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn’t it?” I Remember Nothing.
So, now you’re wondering what my memory has to do with the perfect pouch. For starters, it’s attached to my body. It is a perfectly designed, handmade pouch that clips to your jeans or any pants/skirt via belt loops. It’s stylish and sized perfectly for your cell phone, car keys, and lipstick. I love it, and so do all my friends who’ve received them as gifts who in turn buy them for their daughters. It’s my gift du jour and I have designer, Kathleen Lewis, to thank.
Kathleen Lewis has spent over forty-five years creating art with fabrics, fibers and other art mediums in Asheville, NC. Kathleen can take a piece of fabric and change it into something totally different such as a whimsical owl to carefully stitched bags, one-of-a-kind hats, and beautiful hand-dyed clothing. I can’t thank her enough for that perfect pouch.