Anonymous, Almost 70
It is a muggy, summer’s evening. Daytime heat has cooled a bit. Thunder continues to echo. Wind bursts have quieted some but just a few drops of rain made it to the ground. The predicted storm seems stuck in mid-air. I’m feeling stuck, too. Finding this blog, be it a happy accident or a stroke of good luck, could be what I need to get me to a goal whose deadline fast approaches. An introvert by nature, posting here is not necessarily within my comfort zone but having read just a few entries, I’m interested to read more. And apparently, courageous enough to post something.
November 2014 will be my “Turning 70” event. I retired in 2012. Quite ill at that time, I spent the next 6 months recovering. One of my grandsons introduced me to blogging, thinking it would be good therapy for my mind and my body. I began writing a memoir, at the urging of my family, a “Tell Us a Story” sort of endeavor. After more than 30 years of working in university and college offices as their “Girl Friday”, a hundred page attempt at a personal history some 25 years ago, other employment and lots of child rearing, I began my “Life and Times…” writing project.
Growing up on a small. cash-crop farm in Idaho, until my dad died one month shy of his 60th birthday, at 12, I assumed I would probably marry a farmer and be a stay-at-home mom like most all the women I had known. I wrote about life as I remembered it, and about leaving home at 17, thinking that if I didn’t leave the tiny community I’d grown up in, upon high school graduation, I might never have another opportunity to do so. Going to college seemed a financial impossibility.
Writing about my training and work in the field of Cosmetology, marriage to a college graduate, the couple of months we tromped around Europe before the children came, two of them three years apart, wasn’t difficult. I’ve wrestled with writing about molestation, as a small child, and as yet, have made no decision. Chapters, “What If There’s No Happily Ever-after?”, and “What Seems Like an End May Be a Beginning”, got me through my first attempt to write about the heartbreak of divorce.
In my late 40’s, four of my grandchildren, ages 4, 2, and 16-month old twins, came to live with me under a legal guardianship order. Each of them grew up in my home until their butterfly wings carried them out into the world. Tired as I was–a working beyond my home Grandma with challenges of Rheumatoid and Osteo Arthritis, and other inconvenient issues of health, there is much to write about, the funny stories, poignant ones, miracles performed by Earth’s angels, on our behalf, yet I’ve been spinning my wheels and making little progress. I thought this more recent 25 year period would be the easy part.
“If moving in one direction isn’t working, perhaps starting from the other end and working towards a middle might be my answer”, I’ve thought. So, how do I feel about becoming Seventy? Waiting for inspiration, the smell of rain has begun to waft in from my backyard vegetable garden. In Google, I typed, “About Turning 70”, and read quotes attributed to Mark Twain and Bob Hope. And then I saw “70 Candles”. One click, and here I am.