Archive for March 2020

Mom is tougher than we thought

We underestimated Mom. Maybe I shouldn’t speak for my siblings, but I don’t think any of the four of us expected her to be so resilient in the face of the one-two punch of being widowed and locked down by the coronavirus. Mom, 92, lost her husband of nearly 72 years just before Christmas. They... Read more »

The return of the phone call

The coronavirus isn’t deadly in every way. It’s brought back to life two old-fashioned means of communication: phone calling and letter writing. It’s been nearly 13 years since Nielsen announced the phone call’s adieu in the United States. In autumn 2007 the number of texts sent on cellphones topped the number of phone calls. Today... Read more »

Texts and email from the first few days of isolation

Hi, Paula. You’re right: almost everything that was on my calendar has been canceled. My mom’s residence won’t allow us in except in an emergency. I don’t argue with that, but it’s hard on a 92-year-old woman who lost her husband less than three months ago to not be able to see her children. Teletherapy... Read more »

Trying to make being homebound fun

One of the topics on my list for future blog posts is how retirees can ward off isolation by getting out for one activity a day. It requires planning. I check through Chicago Greeter tour requests and schedules of museum free days, movies, and other happenings to fill in the next month’s calendar. My calendar... Read more »

Decluttering up to a point

Although my annual attempt at decluttering is nearly finished, there’s still more I could take to a thrift shop. But I feel good about the effort. I don’t have to model Marie Kondo. I don’t have to purge as if a move were coming up. Kondo’s book and TV program, along with decluttering advice from... Read more »

The peril of saving apparel to wear later

No matter how diligently we exercise and watch our diets, our shapes change as we age. We get shorter and wider as muscle tissue shrinks. Even our feet flatten and widen from wear and tear. Losing an inch and a half of height bothered me. Needing shoes a half-size larger wasn’t troublesome — except for... Read more »