I've Landed!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Brought to Tears

Reading about the life of a great educator and missionary has brought me to tears.

I will paraphrase this missionary's summation of his argument with the Lord that he was a broken reed, and how could God send him as a missionary??

"What, Lord, to the heathen?
To the savages?
To an early death?
To an everlasting separation from home and native land?
I cannot go.
I am a timid youth.
Send anybody but me.
I fear death.  I fear danger.  I am a broken reed."

In infinite sweetness and patience, the Lord said,

 "I promise you something better than courage.  
I promise you My strength.

I promise you something better than long life.  
I will be with you when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death 
and you shall fear no evil."

Praise be unto God.

Love those missionaries!
and I love you for visiting my blog!  Thanks.

Yes, that Christian missionary built Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey in the 1800's.
Image result for images of Robert College in IstanbulWSJ

The view from Robert College overlooking the Bosphorus as it flows past Istanbul.
Image result for images of Robert College in Istanbul

Friday, September 8, 2017

Pink Noise


Image result for images of peaceful sleep


Pink Noise

So, last night I slept with "pink noise".

Pink noise is different than "white noise".   I am not sure how.
But Dr. Gundry says it's different and therefore, that must be true.

It's different than my overhead fan in that it does not blow air.

Being mostly a hot cookie, I like blown air, but it's not good for people with reactive airway disease and that would be me!
We spend more time in this one room....bedroom....than in any one place in our life.
So Bedroom needs to be as free of allergens and clutter and crap as we can make it.

I love my overhead fan. I sleep by its ambient noise.
 It reduces the clutter of a standing fan.........................................................
but it does blow carpet dust around my room....and cobweb dust ...and mite dust.....and curtain dust   around my room all night long!
Turn off that fan, Riverwatch!

Use pink noise, not your fan!    

Last night I had ambient gentle "massage music" on all night.  Did I sleep better?  
Sort of.  
I did wake up to soft music several times so obviously I woke up some, but I went right back to sleep so that's probably a plus.
I dreamed a lot, as usual, but these dreams were harder to recall.  What I did recall was "effective and easy problem solving" of the dilemmas going on in dreamland.  And that is new, sort of. 

Do you do stressful problem solving sometimes in your dreams?
I do, and that can be akin to nightmares where you cannot solve ANYTHING.
Doors don't fit, and people become merged into a combo of more than one known person and higher ground is out of reach.  A nightmare.

So ambient pink noise was helpful to reduce stress.  I did sleep better.
My dreams were less stressful because "ease" was part of them.

I woke up ahead of the alarm clock and so far so good.  

We'll see how well I do today.

A bit more rested,

PS   Have you noticed that when we are old, being very restful when we sleep is a tad scary?  Like it's a bit TOO close to Heaven for comfort?  Don't want to slip out of here too early because I've "let go' accidentally in my sleep.

Related imageRumila Mushtag, MD

Nah, you, not being a control freak, have no clue what I am talking about.

Thanks for reading my dribble like I read Dr. Grundy's dribble.
Actually, he has a team helping him so he is a bit better...
and richer.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Who are you?

Who are you?

Well, if you are a Christian you are the only Jesus the people in your community can see.

If you are not a Christian but follow the principles of love taught by Jesus, you are the Jesus most visible for people .

If I fail to see how Christ-like you are, I don't know Jesus.

Image result for images of love in action

God speed,

Now I have to go look up "God speed".  What does that mean anyway??

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Whispering of the Desert Wind

I am beginning to feel the whisper of the wind on the desert hill

and it feels like home.   

                       Related imagepbase.com

As someone important told me once, "Worship is worship."
You know, "you can worship God anywhere".
I believe that.

Today I worshiped on the desert, the wind too hot but the sky so high.
Cooler nights are coming.
The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer.

I am beginning to feel the whisper of the wind on the desert hill

and it feels like home

I appreciate your visit,

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

True love means never having to say goodbye.

What we have once enjoyed and loved deeply
we can never lose,
for all that we love deeply
becomes a part of us.  
                   Helen Keller

Image result for moving images of lovers
Aarathi Selvan


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Higher Ground


Image result for Heaven/helen keller

Rested.  Up early.  
Happy you visited,

Friday, August 18, 2017

Humble or Happy

It's not that my family has no intelligence, because we do!  There is brooding intelligence all over the place.

It is not that my family has no happiness, because we do!  There is manufactured and food-oriented and relationship happiness all over the place including random and strange whackaroos who are happy for no apparent reason.

It is not that my family has no humility because we do!  It doesn't come easy, but life keeps on trying to teach us and we learn bit by bit.

Enter my grandson.  
Just today as I was busing him to Middle School he enthusiastically told me how he got Jolly Ranchers yesterday because not only could he type faster than anybody in his computer class, he was faster than his teacher!
"And for that you got Jolly Ranchers?  I would have asked for money!"
He laughed.
"How did you like your PE class?" I asked because I knew he was dreading 75 minutes of PE.
"For thirty minutes we sat cross legged on the smelly gym floor listening to our teacher talk about PE.  That's not PE!   Then we ran.  He couldn't think of anything else to do so we ran.  I am faster than all of them, including my teacher!"
"I bet you could have thought of lots of things to do besides run", I said.  
He laughed.

My grandson really is gifted and talented.  His mother is Japanese so I suspect somewhere hidden in her genes is brilliance.  Not that my son isn't bright because he really is bright, a global thinker, a man of integrity.  And happy.
Yes.  41 years ago I gave birth to a happy baby!   All of us stood in awe of his happy personality.  He wakes up happy!
He never outgrew that and I am awed at that stamina of happiness.

Of course he is a little worried about his son.

"Seriously, Mom, I worry about him.  He is so self-aware of his advanced abilities and he is not humble.  He thinks he is the best.  I am not sure that is a good thing but I don't quite know what to do about it because he really is the best and even when he isn't, he thinks he is.  He always knows what little glitch got in the way of his top achievement and he'll get that fixed.  And he fixes it.  I worry what affect that will have on him socially and with friends."

My grandson has no trouble making and keeping friends.  He is interested in everything, including people that are "less advanced".
Turns out my grandson is a happy person and people love being around happy.  He laughs a lot!
Maybe happiness really is genetic.

I know people love to be around my son!  Everybody wants him to be part of the ticket.
Well.....maybe his Japanese wife is a little weary of somebody who cannot be knocked down into the mire.
I see it in her face, sometimes.
Surely part of happiness is having some sort of ability to Not Get A Clue!

His wife can surely take a little comfort in knowing my son laughs less than he used to.

But I digress.
Related image

 I was just thinking as I was driving home under the desert sky,  a few high autumn clouds bespeaking the time of year, birds roosting on lines and roof tops and flitting among the trees, how much I wish I could run faster than the PE teacher.

It is NOT true that our number one wish as we fold into old age is to retain our brains.

Our dream is to run fast without pain.

I limped into my home and sank down at the computer with a diet coke.Image result for image of old woman drinking a diet coke at the computerbuzzfeed.com

Ahh.   The rising generation.  God bless them.

Blessings to you for visiting,

Monday, August 14, 2017

What's real?

Reality is that which, 
when you stop believing in, 
doesn't go away.

By no means an original,
but I have no clue who said it.
Probably somebody old.

Glad to see you,

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thunder, Lightening, Pain, Trouble Sleeping

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
It has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain. 

Ahh......at last the rain, the gentle rain to sooth my soul.
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net animations

Ahh,  The rain.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

negative negatives from the negative

Once upon a time, when I was young, I studied aging.

The first thing I learned was "It is not they, it is we.  It is not them, it is us."
We are all aging and it is possible to be thrown on the heap of old folks at age 30 by a up-and-coming teenager.

I also learned we stereotype so many things, people, situations because our minds "categorize" as a way of handling so much information.

"Let's see....... that goes with that..... and that is like that."
An intelligent response to reality.
We ain't bad!  We are normal.  Our brains naturally stereotype for us.  A bit lazy but it works to keep us functional.

The solution to stereotyping of anything  is more and more education.

Like the real life trench of being old teaches us about aging.

Then you start (excuse me!) WE start seeing real differences in old people and we begin telling ourselves we are not as old as that old cranky son of a bitch...............
or that people who see us as old have no right to their intelligent response to reality.

We begin viewing our own selves negatively.

It's not like we are stupid.  We have mirrors.
We know we are not the fairest of them all.
We know we are old.
It is just....so.....shocking.

Having trolled the halls of health care as a young health care giver, I know what it is like to take care of people old and decrepit.  It ain't fun.

There is this hopeless air of mortality that hangs over the whole scene and can only be dealt with by the young as "that is another world, not mine".

We never feel we are going to get old when we are young.
If we think at all, we think we are going to die young.  It is so much easier to visualize ourselves dying young, than visualize ourselves old.
Thus the shock of old age.
I have yet to meet an old person who isn't truly shocked.
 "Oh, my god, I am old!"

One of the wonderful things that can happen in life's arena is when you run into an old person with a sense of humor.  Oh, my.
Humor is healthy!  Even if ancient.
Image result for images of old person with a mirrorme.me

Alas.  Many of us old people are in so much pain we haven't a sense of humor left, even if we started out with one.

Of course I no longer stereotype old people.  I am old and I see how different we old people are from one another.

I do believe everybody, including me, has a right to good health care.  

However, resources are not unlimited and in the rationing process, whether it is time spent on my case, or tests for me paid for by "the system", or understanding of my plight of being old, when I come up short-changed I am more understanding than you might think.
Disappointed, of course.  Steamed, even.
But I understand.
I support the rising generation.   God bless them.                                                                                     Their day is coming if they are so blessed as to live to be old.

In the meantime, I spend more time thinking about higher ground than I used to spend.

 As my "lots older" friend said the other day, "I keep thinking about the next step anymore.  I find myself excited about what that might be like."
Image result for images of heaven

Glad you visited this aging blog on aging by an aged person who gets older every day,

Sunday, August 6, 2017

My friend, the Stranger.

My Friend, the Stranger

She describes herself as a stranger in the world.
You know, the new world.
The old one passed away so many years ago.

Being a nurse and all, I know that living long, one can wake up to a new world more than once.
A new world peopled with new people, the ones you knew having disappeared.
A different world, run by new rules.

My friend says that one doesn't even have to live long to be a stranger in a strange world!

She wasn't old when death came calling for her.
She was young with two sons who might surely need her.
And so she stayed.
Her dad came calling for her in a dream.
 "Follow me", he said,
but she remembered he had died
and to follow him meant no return to her sons.

"Can't, Dad," she said.

And so she stayed.
Battling death for 5 years.  In limbo.  Between two worlds.magickcanoe.com

Then one day, she was truly upright.  The cancer was gone.
Health returned but it was a new world.
The old world had gone on during the preceding five years, but she had not.

"The world was different," she said, "and I was a stranger."

Bit by bit she returned from the limbo between two worlds, but years later she occasionally has lingering fears a new battle may errupt, and what will she do if it does?

Being a stranger in a strange world is now part of her being.
Will she want to battle again to stay in this world should the battlefield re-emerge?

Even the concept is a dilemma.

Because now she realizes, she says,
that we are all strangers to this place we call home.


Stranger, friend or family,
thank you for dropping by,

Monday, July 31, 2017

Harnessing Hope

Faith, Hope and Love.  
These things are eternal.   But the greatest of these is Love.                                
                                                                                                    --- Holy Script

Cognitive ability.  Can you not see that Hope and Faith require a sophisticated brain?  
Not everybody is into Faith and Hope, but we humans can be, if we are smart enough, if we have enough cognitive ability, energy to think and the will to do so.  
Come on!  We are not just sophisticated chimpanzees!  
We have, more or less, the ability to visualize  a better life, the ability, more or less, to climb the mental mountain.

On the other hand, Love does not require abstract thinking and mental visualization.
No matter how lagging we are in our talents, we all have the ability to love.  
And we are not easily excused from loving others. 

Of course most of us spend more time looking for some one to love us, than for somebody to love, yes? . Oh, well.  "A" for effort.  

Some of us  are excused  for our lack of faith, our hopelessness, our failure to think it through.

But failing to love is not an option. 

Darn't.  Sometimes I don't even get "A" for effort. 
How badly I have always wanted "A"'s for achievement and "C"s for effort!
With Love, I don't always even get an "A" for effort.

As a nurse, I have given much thought to Hope, because Hope, while not a placebo, makes such  a difference to our well-being.
In fact, one reason a placebo can work a miracle or two is because the recipient  HOPES that placebo is the real thing. Immune system hops into action on Hope.

Naturally we don't want false hope.  

But hope is natural and means we can visualize success, because we can see paths we can take, or paths we can avoid.  We are successful because we are pathway thinkers.
Image result for images for pathways
We see our challenge.  We see pathways, we visualize pathways to our goal. 
We feel our power. We feel a Power higher than ourselves. 
We correct course when need be, because we are human and we have learned how to change paths.  

Help me be a woman of Hope.

PS  thanks for the call

Identity after death. Mary

I first posted this in November of 2012.  I consider it one of my Thanksgiving posts.  
This event was a life-changing event for me.  
It was 1961.  
I was 18, a Student Nurse.


I still remember the first time I saw Mary.  She was sitting in her chilly white hospital gown in a metal-painted-white bed with white sheets, in a mostly white room with 5 other similar beds in a busy metropolitan hospital.

Six-bed wards were not the norm, but every nursing division had at least one such large ward to accommodate the poorest of the poor......... or even the overflow of better endowed patients.

There was nothing warm about the room.  Medical research had not yet "discovered" the plain-as-day truth that we are strengthened by soft colors, plants, carpet that doesn't echo the nurses' hurried clip-clops, and nurses dressed in colorful arrays instead of being all done up in starched white.

The one rectangular window was placed high on the wall, horizonal to the ceiling.

It was a chilly starched white atmosphere that Mary inhabited.

Mary was young.  Which is odd to say since I was only 18 and anybody middle aged should have appeared old.  Maybe it was her "teenage" thinness.  Having battled cancer to the last terrible stage, she had basically quit eating.  Maybe it was the way she looked at me in desperation.  Maybe it was the lack of wrinkles, her skin having lost enough of the  under-structures to be pulled taut over the bones.

Maybe it was all her "unfinished business" that created a look of youth.
Maybe it was I couldn't notice she was 40 for being focused on all the things that were wrong with the scene.

Many many of us, as we die, will be surrounded by loved ones who care.

But  many of us will not.

Some people die in war, surrounded by enemies.
Some people die ignominiously publicly, without loving support (perhaps even hated) ,
surrounded by reporters and media hounds there to chronicle the execution.
Some people die alone in the desert trying to make it to a better land.
Some people die hiking alone.........or on the high seas alone..or in accidents.
Most people in earlier times died at home.  Some still do.
But for many of us, we will die in a hospital
hopefully surrounded by loving kind family or friends.

Mary was  almost alone.

Nobody came to visit her.
An illusive husband, grown children, a teenager, a sprinkling of very young grandchildren and yet there were no visits, cards, flowers, phone calls.

She had only nurses.... mostly one student nurse, me.

Mary was assigned to me "for the duration", a person to "learn upon".

It was my first real close-up with death.   My little cousin Janie didn't count since I was not there when she died of an accidental fall from a shopping cart.  Since I had to baby sit my younger siblings...I was 12....  during Janie's funeral, I did not attend the services for Janie.
 I last saw Janie alive and well...and then she disappeared.

 Lots of living people go away and never come back, so, for me, Janie was like one of those.

Mary's death from cancer was going to be nothing like Janie's death.
Mary was my patient "for the duration" and I was staring at death.
Cancer deaths are not quick, as a rule.
Today, for many cancer patients, cancer is a chronic disease, not even acute, and life goes on for years.
But even back then, Mary was not going to die quickly.

Mary lived long enough for me to become very familiar with the window high up horizonal to the ceiling as I struggled to "be there" for Mary and I often focused on that window, praying silently, groping in my mind for some comfort I could give.

One day Mary asked me point blank, "Am I going to die?"

I stood mute like an incompetent, unable to utter a word.
It would be several years before I learned that one doesn't answer that question, but instead uses it to open the conversation to the patient's thoughts, concerns, even fears about his or her impending death.
It takes practice to open up those conversations because we are mortal and have an emotional need to close down those conversations  for our own comfort,
because the honest answer is "Yes, you are going to die.....and so am I !!  Oh, my god, I am going to die !!!"

It takes practice to open further the window to another person's soul.
I failed Mary.

Mary's bed was so situated in the ward that she was plainly visible from the door.
She and I became close as I spent more time than necessary at her bedside..... or chairside since she was still ambulatory with help.

Those were the days when I had no idea many people are conscious right up until death calls them!

One day Mary had a visitor!  It was an event of such magnitude that I "hung around".   A young man came to visit.
I can see him today as plainly as I saw him that day.  His eyes glossy with tears, his hair too long and stringy, his clothes pitiful, his feet big (or his shoes big).
His jacket hung limply and he seemed as incompetent about what to do as I was.  
Mary was asleep from the pain medication.
I stooped beside this noble young man and whispered, "You can hold her hand", and he immediately held her hand.

It was time to go to class, so I had to leave, but I visited Mary at dinner time that evening and we talked a bit.

The last time I saw Mary was that night.  She appeared in my dormitory bedroom as I awakened from sleep.

The room was filled with the greatest sweetness I have ever experienced.

"I just came by to say good-bye and to thank you.  And to tell you I love you."

I smiled and she was gone.  I looked at my clock.  11:45

I settled back into bed and went back to sleep without ado.
Though I had just experienced the strangest most unusual event of my life, nothing seemed strange, nothing seemed odd, nothing seemed out of place.
No question came to my mind as to how Mary entered my room, or left my room.

Next morning before breakfast, I went in as usual (a habit) to see Mary before I started my busy student day.
I stopped in her doorway.  Her bed was empty.  Her bed was freshly made, hospital neat without a wrinkle.
Running out to the Nurses' Station, I asked the night Charge Nurse where Mary was, even though I knew.
"She died last night."
"Her chart is over there.  It hasn't gone down to Medical Records yet."
Finding Mary's chart, I flipped through it.

You know, don't you, what time she died.  11:45

I stood there at the desk, silent and puzzled at the enormity of life.

I have never forgotten Mary.

This early nursing experience expanded my vision for every situation I have since encountered in life.  Indeed, it was a life-changing experience for me.
I do not know why or how  this visitation happened.
I do not know why such kind of an event has never happened again for me.
Related image

 But I do know our personal identity does not end at death.

That much I was given the privilege of knowing.

And now, being old,  I have lived long enough to learn that , of course I am going to die!  But not today.
Not today.

Grateful to God  and giving thanks,

Grateful to you for visiting my blog.

Monday, July 24, 2017

52 years ago

Fifty two years ago this month, 

President Lyndon Johnson signed three life-changing pieces of legislation 

dramatically improving the outlook for older Americans:

and the Older Americans Act.

Medicare went into effect on July 1, 1966.
I was working that day as a new RN in a Montana hospital.
Dr. Petersen's 77 year old patient, a frail, thin woman, was undiagnosed and suffering, 
Dr. Petersen sadly said to Dr. Gregory, "I wish she had the money for me to run some tests on her."
Dr. Gregory looked at him.
"Well", he said, "you can now order that."

You can now order that.

The rest is history.


As we look at the horrendous cost of "you can now order that", let us look at the major benefits to the young people of a population whose aged people, some aged people, have health care financed by "taxes".  Taxes?  Only because the government spent our "tax contributions" as quickly as we had our money taken from us back when we were working.
Look at the rapid advancement in medical technology when somebody will pay for "you can now order that". 
Advancements are applied to medical care for the young as well as the old.

 Medicare is the financial foundation on which many medical advancements  have sprung,
  because Medicare is guarenteed payment,

unlike philanthropy.  

Hospitals within medical research universities receive extra money from Medicare.  

Did you know many older people do not "qualify" for Medicare coverage?
That is because Medicare is an insurance program, a government insurance program, and not a charity nor a "medical care benefit to all the old people".  
Got Social Security?  
You qualify for Medicare insurance.

For those of us who are privileged, may some of us never forget the disenfranchised.

Thank you for tolerating my "nursie" perspective.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
Forgive me if I offend.  (I am old, you know!)
Riverwatch, RN

Friday, July 21, 2017

Let me be.

Investing in.......unconsciousness.
Are you?

In our most beautiful land and country in all the world,
in  2016
we produced  at least 736 movies
garnering revenue of    $11,368,601,974.

Oh, yes.  We want to be alert, and productive and expanding our consciousness.  Not!

Spirituality is increasing consciousness.
The opposite is deadening our consciousness.

Escapism.  Fleeing the scene.
Foregoing creativity.

Our first defense against all things is a mind that has not escaped.  No?

Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.
Rainer Rilke
Image result for images for chaosnautilus/science connected