I've Landed!

Monday, January 30, 2017

"I would have to pay for it."





Janice is an uplifting and edifying person in my life.  In her early 60's, she still works full time as a nurse.
Several years ago she had a battle with cancer for her very life.  It took 5 years to win the battle, but win it she did!
That battle refined her greatness and she really is inspirational.

What is NOT inspirational is the dilemma of the cost of medical follow-up to be vigilant against a possible unexpected return of the cancer.

"No", she said.  "I don't have those follow-up tests.  I would have to pay for them and they cost money."

Janice is insured.  She is a working woman, a nurse, a single woman.
But her insurance is like so many insurances:  it has gaps and holes that need filled in by the patient.

My insurance, on the other hand, while expensive, covers me completely.
No out-of-pocket expenses.

It is easy to forget that there are so many others whose lack of insurance coverage puts their lives at risk.

Do I know the answer to this dilemma in America?
No, I do not.

I stand and gaze out my window wondering about my friend Janice.


I think of my ancestors, all uninsured.
What were their lives like?
Several, maybe many, died young.
It was a tough world back then.

It is a tough world today.

Lest we forget, take time to gaze out your window and think of Janice, or imagine yourself as uninsured.
Image result for image of a person gazing out a window
AfricanAmerica.org

                                                                    Image result for image of a person gazing out a windowRiesenbach





Thank you for your attention.
I appreciate your visit to my blog,
Riverwatch

















Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Women's Rights





Click below to see a photo of the age old rearing of power against women.


www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/24/photo-trump-womens-rights-protest-reproductive-abortion-developing-contries


This is not about love for the unborn child.

This is about power.

Hey!  I know!  Build a wall!



A wall is a small minded solution to a large problem.
Will our legacy to humanity be the Great Wall of America?

It ain't fittin'.  It just ain't fittin'.







I appreciate your visit.

Riverwatch.................For Women's Rights
                                         For Immigration Sanity
                                                 For Building Bridges
Related imagepinterest.com







Monday, January 23, 2017

"I apologize to all of you."










The genteel are always ready with that soft apology that  oils the skids of the social harmony sled through life and I knew Jill was genteel from the moment I met her.



I also knew she was old.


What I did not know was that she was so close to 100 years old she could almost touch it with her stretched out arm!
100 coming right up!




Jill has moved here to our town to be close to her one and only son.

"The hardest decision I have ever had to make.  I did know it would not be fair to my son and his wife if I decided to stay in the midwest when he lives out here in the west.  I did not want to come.
I had to sell my beautiful home I've had for decades.  And I had to leave my friends.  Well, most of them have died, but my memories are there."




Her son, James, has driven her to our meeting place because she does not drive anymore.
 She voluntarily gave up her license when she realized she was no longer a safe driver.
Bright.  She is very very bright.

She passed around candy to our group, announcing she is  turning 97 tomorrow.
We are appropriately stunned!
And she smiles.

We are not a bad group.
We accept candy from strangers as long as they are old.



But what came next staggered me, surprised us all.


Jill softly said, "I apologize to all of you for living to be this old."





We really are shocked.

Looking at our expressions she said, defending her stance,
"I see how young people look at me!! They can't understand why I am still here........... and neither can I.






       

     



 "I used to do so much!  I volunteered!  Now.....nothing.  I do nothing."



"Consider the lilies of the valley how they grow.  They do not toil.  Neither do they spin.  Yet I tell you, Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

Well, here in America, we don't care much for the "useless".  We are the nation with the highest productivity in the world.
Toilers and spinners we are.
Arraying ourselves, we do.
Our work ethic is so strong here in America that if we have a bad job, we have a bad life!!!

We are not prepared for retirement.

We are not prepared for "being".

We are succored, trained and prepared for doing.

I guess bringing bits of candy to strangers is nothing.  It seemed like something, but perhaps I am just easily impressed with candy.
I guess confessing ones heartfelt feelings of worthlessness means nothing.  It seemed like something, but maybe I am living an impoverished life and a little thing seems like a biggee.

We nibble Jill's candy and try not to admit out loud how completely she hit the nail on the head.


May she live to be 100 plus!


May she learn the beauty of laying on a flat rock here in the desert and baking under the sun, doing nothing but becoming acquainted with lizzards and other little creatures of God.





May Jill and the rest of us learn to appreciate the beauty and value of just "being".



                                                             




Thank you for sharing this moment with me,
Riverwatch











Friday, January 20, 2017

Fear not.





Fear Not


Don't we all, as we relentlessly age,   worry just a little about maybe becoming demented?  
In fact, don't we all just see at least a few little signs it might be headed our way?
 No?
Well you are certainly different than most of us!

And  for those of us with crazies in our family tree, 
we are from time to time 
also terrified of going insane!

I  have actually been told I'm crazy.  But he ended up as my ex-husband, so who's the crazy one now!
I had an almost instant improvement in my mental health as he sped away in our only car with his new girlfriend.
Still and all, my mom once lambasted me with my genetic similarity to struggling brains on our family tree! 

But then, maybe she was nuts that day.
                                                         


In fact, in my family we spend a lot of time trying to sort the sane from the insane and it is not as easy as you might think!  

               

It's a slippery slope in my family.  
Looks can be deceiving.



So imagine my delight in finding this bit of wisdom from Charles Dickens when he, one sleepless night, found himself outside Bethlehem Hospital in London, a typical Victorian insane asylum more commonly known as Bedlam:Related image
now-hear-this.timeout.com

Are not the sane and the insane equal at night as the sane lie a-dreaming?

Are not all of us outside this hospital, who dream, more or less in the condition of those inside it, every night of our lives?

Are we not with kings and queens, emperors and empresses, and notabilities of all sorts?  Do we not nightly jumble events and personages and times and places, as these do daily?  Are we not sometimes troubled by our own sleeping inconsistencies: and do we not vexedly try to account for them or excuse them, just as these do sometimes in respect of their waking delusions?

Said an afflicted man to me, when I was last in a hospital like this, "Sir, I can frequently fly."

I was half ashamed to reflect that so could I--by night.

Said a woman to me on the same occasion, "Queen Victoria frequently comes to dine with me, and her Majesty and I dine off peaches and macaroni in our night-gowns and his Royal Highness the Prince Consort does us the honour to make a third on horseback in a Field-Marshal's uniform." 

Could I refrain from reddening with consciousness when I remembered the amazing royal parties I myself had given (at night), the unaccountable viands I had put on table, and my extraordinary manner of conducting myself on those distinguished occasions?

I wonder that the great master who knew everything, when he called Sleep the death of each day's life, did not call Dreams the insanity of each day's sanity.

                                                                                Charles Dickens, "Night Walks"





As we age we should not over-worry about dementia or insanity stalking us. 
Should either or both catch us, we will find we are more practiced at dealing with them than is apparent at first blush.

 
                                                              







The aged appreciate your visit here at my blog,
thanks,
Riverwatch










Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Aging Hypochondriac






The Aging Hypochondriac



If you have followed my blog at all, you know I am a hypochondriac.
It has been the bane of my life and I am not that way on purpose.
It is just a bucket I have carried that is at present completely breaking apart with real stuff.

I can tell you, real stuff is not much worse than imagined stuff. 

 It all hurts joy.

And it all teaches you stuff.

Real? Imagined? What diff.   Eventually it is over.

So what's the point?

The point is to learn & experience and help put other people to their test.

Help put other people to their test
I can't stress that enough.
It's the very least we can do for one another!


So.....the imagined and the unreal happen to be …..real?  
Yes.  
Real and Powerful.



I wish my mom could have lived to “see” cyberspace! Maybe she would have had more understanding of my keen imagination and  been sorry for saying to me with contempt when I was about 20, “Oh for god's sake. You have been dying since the day you were born! Think about something else!”





  "I'm sick. I think I might die."



The reason people, like my mother, cannot bear to listen to the whine of a hypochondriac is because they have buried their own fears and emotions and they do not want reminded that they are mortal.
    
Shut up!!


But I have learned much by being a hypochondriac.
I have learned compassion. 
I was one of the most understanding nurses who ever walked the halls of any hospital. 

“It's ok to scream, honey. My own position in life is I can suffer but not in silence.Go ahead and scream. Swear if you want to. 
Here, let me wash your feet.

 
                                               

Let me hold your hand.  





 I will listen to you.

 I will listen to you.

Would you like me to say a prayer right now for you?”






My mother's voice comes back to me in my mind, (cyberspace?).
”You are making sissies of your kids and everybody else! You better be teaching people to BUCK UP!”

She wasn't a nurse.   But she bore resemblance to some nurses I have known!

Hey, Mom!  Can you hear me? I finally figured out why I am a hypochondriac. 
It is because I am “in touch” with my physical innards in some sort of cyberspace. 
I say this because when I attended my first autopsy as a student nurse, I was simply not learning anything I didn't already know. 
Seriously.
But then the surgeon doing the autopsy comes to the spleen. What a surprise! He shows us how friable it is, a tender organ, if you will. I am stunned. And I instantly know my own spleen is abnormal in some way. My spleen is not like that spleen!  My spleen is smaller and much less friable.  Maybe even tough.  By the way, I was the only student who fainted during that first autopsy. 

 


As the surgeon said as they helped me up, "Well, some people just aren't strong enough."  HELLO!  Why don't you try ventilating this room!?  A little piped in oxygen wouldn't hurt!  
Even people in antiquity knew to string popouri around dead bodies!!







If ever they do an autopsy on me I am sure they will find an abnormal spleen.

And speaking of autopsies, you do know. don't you, that I intend to have my body be cremated after I die. 
Or I did intend to do so. 
But yesterday I stumbled upon a cremation in progress in a movie!  
I would never watch something like that on purpose, but seeing it, I was mesmerized.

Now I don't want cremated!

I don't want buried!

I am all in a pickle.

Hey I don't want pickled either!



Maybe float my body down the river Nile.  That sounds ok.





Well, as my mortician.......yes, you need to know a mortician......my mortician “candidate” told me that after I die, others can change my, you know, funeral plans.  He said at the moment I die all my legal rights stop instantly.       Instantly!
I have been around a lot of death, and I have been able to discern that the dead are not really dead. Gone, yes. Dead-dead , no.
But when that mortician told me at the moment of death all my legal rights are gone, I finally understood what death is! 
I now get it!
Death is the absence of legal rights!
Dear God. No legal rights.

And I finally understood why everybody wants to come to American (even though they hate us). America is the land of legal rights.
We have tons and tons of legal rights.

We are so alive in America!



No wonder Jesus told us he was paying our ransom for us. 
I think we are going where there are no legal rights for us.  
Thank goodness we have an Advocate for us on the other side.  
Someone who wants us no matter what we are like.
Hypochondriac?   "I want that one."
Stupid?   "I want that one."
Soiled with sin.  "I paid for that one."
Cantankerous.  "I want that one."
Unbeliever.  "I paid for that one."
Drunk.  "I want that one."
Homosexual.  "I want that one."
Homophobe.  "I want that one."

I think His list includes us all.  
We are covered by His legal rights.  Rumor has it He loves us. 


Thanks for sharing your moments with me because getting old is a time when you need friends,
Bunches of love,
Riverwatch





















Sunday, January 15, 2017

My All Time Favorite Psych Patient











My Favorite Psych Patient

My favorite psych patient was Candice (name changed to protect the innocent).
One reason she was my favorite was because she said she wasn't crazy and I believed her.
Nobody else believed her.
It is odd that I did, since I think half the world is crazy.
But Candice was not crazy.
Definitely not crazy.
Trapped, maybe. Crazy, no.



I met Candice at Central State Hospital in Kentucky while I was on my Psychiatric Affiliation as a student nurse back in 1964.

Arriving at Central State Hospital, I had NO idea what lay behind the picturesque grand entrance.




It was a gorgeous early autumn afternoon in Appalachia, and the grounds of Central State were akin to the grounds surrounding the Tower of London.






Beautiful.

So misleading.

Our contingent of five students stepped out of our respective cars into the early afternoon golden sunshine, birds wafting about, paved walkways surrounding the old buildings, benches placed strategically here and there among fine old trees and shrubs.
dreamstime.com


Peace and happiness, even a hint of old wealth, surrounded us.


Beautiful.

So misleading.

The grounds, 350 acres of woodland and meadows (and buildings enough to house 1800 resident lunatics and a prison for the criminally insane, plus a dormitory for students of the insane) were impressive.
Before you judge me harshly for speaking of “lunatics” please be advised that Central State had only recently changed its name from the Kentucky Asylum for the Insane, having previously given up the name of Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum.

Nobody at Central State was afraid of the word lunatic.
Lunatic is an easy enough word to understand, and we students all knew that a lunatic is somebody who is insane (a much harder word to define).
Lunatic was a word we slung at friends and family from time to time.

Going through the wide old doors to Administration, the asylum seemed to have a proper hospital atmosphere.
 Clean.
 Quiet.
 Decorous.

Even before settling into our dormitory we had our first class right there in the Administration area! It was a class on politics and finances, to prepare us for what we would see that the public had not deemed worthy of shelling out money to change.
It was a class on assigning blame for what we would witness during the following three months of study.

After settling in at the dorm, and learning that Central State was totally unlocked except for the criminally insane (a prison facility so far away we couldn't even see it), we were told it was our responsibility to lock our doors to our rooms and never go to the bathroom alone at night because even the dorm building was unlocked! In short, we were told and taught by example that you are safer on the grounds of a lunatic asylum than on the street.


clipartpanda.com

But be sensible and take a friend with you everywhere you go.

There were rumors of a cemetery there on the grounds, but I never came across it.



Dinner would be served later.....and we discovered accidentally that all menus and meals were prepared by recovering lunatics.
Ghastly, ghastly meals.




On our first full day there we had our second class, in the Administration building again.
 Bright and early.
This class was a movie, “Shades of Gray”, and was used to help us understand that while we would be looking at deeper shades of gray, we were not unshaded ourselves.
“Don't judge. You are not 100% mentally healthy either.”

This is the time when the word “insane” began to become a little uncomfortable for us, like the word “old” becomes uncomfortable when you hit 60.
“Lunatic” became a word that closed in on us also.

Crazy makes crazy, and before long some students were seeking secret professional counseling to see “Just how crazy am I?!!? Am I ok?”

After our class on crappy finances and uncaring public, and our class on how we are “ mostly probably light gray most of the time”, we were given the thin educational structure of: take yourself on a tour, observe & take notes.



The doors to the patient areas swung open for us.




Image result for images of wonderland of lunacy




I was looking at a Wonderland of Lunacy.

*





Eventually I found Candice, who turned out to be my favorite patient.
We heard about her in a lecture because her psychiatric case was discussed as “our most baffling case”.
Candice had been committed because she spoke of voices she heard, and she would not deny that she heard them.
She was committed for treatment six years before, she had been evaluated and evaluated and counseled....and she just would NOT give up her story!  Committed in her late 30's, she was now middle aged.
The baffling thing was that she showed no other signs of mental illness, and test as they could, no expert could find one other inkling of anything wrong.
Still and all, if you are going to hear voices, you are NOT going to be discharged.

I was on the look-out for Candice. She didn't hang around her sleeping cot, but trolled the grounds which were, as previously mentioned, 350 acres of woodlands, paths, meadows, and some fenced off areas marked unaccessible.
Image result for images of benches under autumn trees

Eventually our paths crossed and I, being extremely curious, struck up a conversation, “May I walk with you?"
She told me all. How sane she is. How they want her to lie to get out. How she can't do that. She hears voices. Not disturbing voices, but she doesn't know where they come from and she thinks they should help her find out where the voices are coming from.

Candice took me up to the top of a considerable knoll overlooking the paths. “I hear the voices better up here”, she said. “It's like I am an antenna.”

Candice proved to be gracious, mannerly, intelligent and very well dressed and groomed. She knew she did not belong in an asylum, but when you hear voices......well...

I knew Candice wasn't crazy. But I also didn't know how anybody could escape from Central State.  (It was easy to "escape", but the local police were handy at returning any escapee!)

There was rumored to be a cemetery there on the grounds, but I never discovered it.


Candice didn't seem unhappy, strolling through nature, so maybe an asylum can be an ok place if your mental health is good and you spend more time in nature than listening to psychiatrists and staff.

Candice taught me one of the greatest lessons in life: NEVER CLAIM YOU ARE SANE.
It just does not work.
 Always say, “Well....I know I'm not completely sane......but no, I don't hear voices.”
Lie if you must.

Honesty is never the path out of a lunatic asylum!
That being because we are all lunatics!

Do not tell anybody you are sane!  There is nobody sane to hear you!

To get out of the asylum, pretend to be a lighter shade of gray, a little less insane than you are. That might work.


Some time ago I read that some people pick up radio transmissions through their teeth fillings!
I immediately thought of Candice.
Nobody was talking about that possibility at Central State when Candice needed help finding out where the voices came from and why she was an antenna.


Of all the sick people on earth, I think I feel sorriest for the people with significant mental illness.
Not only do they suffer, but it IS true that society pretty much mistreats or abandons them.
*************
'Tis human fortune's happiest height to be
a spirit, melodious, lucid, poised and whole.
Second in order of felicity,
to walk with such a soul.   
                                                                           Sir William Watson


THE FLIP SIDE OF THAT:

The only thing worse on earth than being a lunatic,
is being married to one.

Shades of gray, people.
 Shades of gray.



Perhaps your nurse,
perhaps your patient,
I remain grateful for your visit.
Riverwatch













Monday, January 9, 2017

Where are our marbles???





Image result for free download images of friends forever



I was all prepared to whine about my painful unbendable elbow, but how could I?
Three of them, all three of them, fell this week and got hurt!



Reminded me of a couple of years ago, when Emma Jean and Maizy and I were out to lunch and discovered that all three of us had received speeding tickets in the past six months!  

All three of us!  
It had been decades since I received a ticket in the past, 
Emma Jean never was a speeder.
Maizy couldn't remember if she had ever had a ticket for speeding before but she had a rich hubby who paid for everything, so the fine would not have impacted her brain and memory like it did mine and Emma Jean's!!   
But there we sat, three old gals, wondering why ever were we speeding!?!



But today there were no tickets to report, only carnage.  

I was looking at the carnage of three pedestrian-wrecks.  


Truly all three looked bad, but they shared a comaraderie that shut me out. 
Slipping & sliding on an incline, using a cane as a tool to clear tumble weeds instead of to steady its owner, or battling the wind & stinging rain, all three had lost a round with gravity.



Image result for images of old man with bruises on his facedailymail.co.uk






Susan turned to Genevieve  and asked, "So, did you look around after you fell?"
"Sure did," she replied.  "And I didn't see any fat on the sidewalk, or any marbles.  But I sure did feel like something shifted!"



We all laughed.  
Like falling is funny.



Where are our marbles? ! ? !




Image result for images of old woman falling in rain storm

Glad you could make it today.
Watch out.  


Riverwatch










Thursday, January 5, 2017

Quicksilver and the Tower of Babel

Quicksilver and the Tower



Ahh, we vain writers.
We long for permanence in the written word.
We assume permanence in the written word.
Our message will last forever and be well understood!

What a joke.

Language is as fluid as the nearest river!
Word meanings are always changing.  Languages are always intermingling.

Quicksilver.

Now add the aging brain of me to the quicksilver of language and you know I'm on a slippery slope!

And that is not the half of it.

We live in a day and age that is tongue-tying and mind-boggling!  You know.

We are building the tower to heaven again that got those ancient ones so tripped up in language that they babbled!'

I was fascinated with the Tower of Babel story as a child.
It didn't make sense to me even as a child that God would abolish a skyscraper  tower because it might actually pierce heaven !

Pictures of "the tower" show our version of their  tower.

The ancient story is that "the tower" was being constructed to reach heaven!
And before they reached their goal, the language of all people was confounded.


To truly understand the scriptures we must think the unthinkable.

Yes.  Like God is going to tremble at any manmade   skyscraper  because it might ascend the stratosphere and ....what?  Bump into some hidden dimension?  Are you serious?


Image result for images for the tower of babel



Think the unthinkable starts with un-think the thinkable.

Why do we think antiquity had no nuclears, no world class CDC, no globalists running around  trying to grap all power?

Why do we think if there is  no record, it "didn't happen"?

Why do we think we are the modern advanced age, building upon the shoulders of others who came before us, those poor unfortunate darlings?

Why does it not occur to us we are merely repeating something that was even more advanced than our scene before it was wiped to the ground?

We aren't arrogant are we?  Nah.  Not us.


Piercing the heavens.  That's what those ancient arrogant brilliant rebel people were up to!

Piercing the heavens.  That's what we are up to!
The secrets of the universe.....the "god particle".....creation of life.....eternal life......power unlimited...that is the tower the ancient arrogant brilliant rebel people were constructing.

I think we have a lot in common with them.

Historians of the ancient world have tried to come up with a picture of the "tower of Babel" and they have such a low opinion of our ancestors, they think those ancients were building a skyscraper!!!


 Look how our ancient ancestors are depicted.  Lowly workers with few machines.

Image result for images for building the tower of babel
biblestudytools.com


Bricks.  They did use bricks.


We used bricks.  Lots of bricks.

Check out CERN's Hadron Collider where they search for the secrets to being all powerful.





A sideways tower built to pierce the heavens.

I cannot help but wonder if this looks anything like the ancient Tower of Babel?

I don't know how many bricks the ancients used, but some of the ancients got tired of carrying bricks!
Refused to work on the project.

Yeh.  We moderns have also experienced social opposition to the building of this brick edifice that is meant to pierce the heavens.

We moderns have already run into a few strange problems  with our collider  (sideways tower).


We explain away the unexplainable and we forge on, undaunted.

This tower is where the World Wide Web was born,


The World Wide Web which has become so important to me I think I might go insane from withdrawal should it ever be taken away!

Maybe even die from eating too many M&M's as I try to cope!


Image result for images for girl eating M&M's



But, seriously, let's think about how that World Wide Web is affecting us.
Is it possible the natural consequence of our tower is to affect our ability to speak coherently?

Think the unthinkable.

Listen to the newscasters.  Listen to the teachers.  Listen to yourself!

Are we beginning to babble?

Just yesterday during a conversation a woman said,"What bothers me is the conscientousality of it."
We all paused and looked at her.  Finally somebody said, "You mean constitutionality?"
"Yes", she said. "What did I say?"

Just recently I heard an elementary school teacher say, "Please!  Tone it down!  You are being too quiet and I won't tolerate this!"  (She was angry.)

A newscaster said the other day, "Well, that created a tempest in a tea cup!"  (errr isn't that tempest in a teapot?)

"Karen, you're on!  I mean Sharon.  Did I just call you Karen?"

We expect this from the oldies.  But from people in their prime?   I don't think this is normal.

Listen to the babble around you.  Hear the struggle to express oneself verbally.
You will hear  things like the following examples of what I have recently heard from people in their prime:
long picture ….........instead of big picture
up stairs....................instead of up front
"Thanks for your contributes...ahh, ahh, your contributings......ahh, your CONTRIBUTION!"

It's becoming a struggle folks!  This struggle is new.   It is worsening.

Have fun listening.
Or be alarmed.

Quicksilver.

Language is quicksilver and fragile.


Your visits mean a lot.  Thanks.
Grateful for language,
Riverwatch