Friday, July 31, 2009

Just One Thing...

So. In the last 10 days, we've flown out to the in-laws, saw my FIL in a near-death experience and ended up admitting him to a nursing home; came home to find that our one dog is half-blind because out of no where she contracted glaucoma; and then were notified that my grandma had a major stroke. That was our vacation. This past Wednesday, I attended a yoga class in which we did a series of "hip openers." (This all ties together, so just keep reading...) We were in a seated twist. Left leg bent and crossed over outstretched right leg, foot hugging right thigh. Left arm on the INSIDE of left knee area, right arm as a "kickstand" holding us upright, spine twisted from neck to hips toward the right, head turned to the left, and eyes turned to the right. As we sat there, the instructor said, "Now, doesn't this feel like life sometimes? You're pulled in a million directions and sometimes you don't know where to turn. "All you need to remember to do is one thing. Breathe." And that's all you CAN do sometimes. Just breathe.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How Old is Too Old?

I read where the "oldest woman to give birth" has died, leaving nearly-3-year-old twins. And on the news I saw that in India, two women older than she had also given birth; one in her early 70s (that would make her MY MOM'S AGE) and another one just 70, I think. In full disclosure, I have nothing against in vitro fertilization. It's a boon to couples who want a biological child. It's amazing science. But. Assuming that nothing is wrong with your fertility, after a certain point, our pipes shut off. There's a reason for that. There are many reasons, actually. Hormone levels naturally wane. We get older. Pregnancy's not a disease, but it's not for sissies either! There are still many mysteries in the process, and yes, sometimes even in this day and age, the baby dies, the mother dies - all kinds of things can happen. At some point, whether or not you have had the chance to become a mother during normal childbearing years, you must submit to the fact that you are aging and there's a biological or religious or karmic or whatever reason that you can't have children. The woman who died recently said that she lied to the clinic - telling them she was 55 (their cut-off age) when in reality she was what? 63? And that it was something she "always" wanted but it didn't happen in the normal course. So you lie? And you huff and puff about how your mom lived to 101. And as you can see, that's obviously no guarantee that YOU did. The clinic literally had to bring her body out of menopause. HINT TO CLINIC: That should have been a clue? I'm not a medical person, but it seems that even 55 is a bit too old. See comments below. Whether or not it's fair that men remain fertile well into their 70s, I maintain that the oldest a woman should be is somewhere mid-40-ish - or prior to menopause. Once your periods have stopped, that's kind of your sign that a natural pregnancy isn't going to happen. Be a really, really good aunt. Be a foster grandma. Be a volunteer. Just don't try to fool Mother Nature. Medical science is phenomenal. We can do so many things. But just because we CAN doesn't mean we SHOULD.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Little Light Reading...

As I recall, one of the reasons I started this blog was to talk occasionally about the books I was reading. I see I haven't done that very much!! Well, here goes. I'm reading an absolutely delightful book called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which is written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It's on the line of 84 Charing Cross Road - and if you haven't read that one, at least rent the movie because it's delightful. Anne Bancroft starred in it. The book was written by Helene Hanff. Both books are based along the timeline of WW II and are a series of letters. Hanff's book is correspondence mostly between herself and a bookseller in London (Hanff living in New York), while Guernsey includes more characters. This is totally summer reading. This is what you read when you want to "air out your brain" and clear the decks. This is a book that's destined to be re-read and one where, I believe, you can just open up and start reading (once you've read the whole thing through) at any point. I got a bunch of books for our upcoming vacation - and just because I'm addicted to books. No Kindle for me, thanks! Unless I can load a ton of reference books on it, but then 9 times out of 10, I can find something in the reference book (print version) much faster than in an electronic version! Anyway, this was a little bit of something I picked up mainly because of the title. And it's captivating. Borrow it from your library or pick it up at the book store. It's worth it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Whites Only? What Year Is This?

As many may have read, a private club in PA contracted with a summer camp to allow the kids in the camp (K-7th grade) come to swim every Monday. However, apparently, some parents objected. In front of the kids. Oh, and did I mention that the kids were black? And the parents objecting - who pulled their kids out of the water - were white? And that they said the day camp kids "fundamentally changed the atmosphere" of the club? First of all, kudos to the two or three white kids who stayed in the pool. Someone had some smart, caring parents. Second, the club should be ashamed. You have no honor and no class. While you claim to have “…a diverse, multiethnic membership,” apparently some of the people in attendance on Monday didn’t get that memo. Or the multiple ethnicities you are referring to include mostly white backgrounds from different parts of pale European countries. Do you let brown and black people clean up after yourselves? Even if ONE parent made remarks which you are now categorically denying, there is no excuse to cancel a paid contract. Where are your guts? Where are your morals? The parents who pulled their children out of the water are nothing but small-minded, unenlightened and ill-educated bigots with more money than sense. What exactly were those people afraid of? Remarks regarding “fundamentally changing the atmosphere ” are more telling and Freudian than you can imagine. Words don’t often fail me, but I do admit that when I first heard this story, my jaw dropped and there were a few moments in which I thought, “Hang on, that can’t be right.” But as the story circulated more and more, it became a blot on the flag. Yes, a blot on the flag. To have such an incident occur in one of the battleground states which formed this United States of America is contrary to everything this nation stands for. I simply cannot believe, private club or not, that such a thing can happen in this day and age. And where’s your calendar? Don’t you realize that it’s 2-0-0-9 – not 1-8-0-9??? Anyone wishing to enlighten the pool club is encouraged to e-mail or call them at 215-947-0700. I'm sure they'd be happy to hear from you.