The Family Archivist

I am the family historian, holder of all pictures, memorabilia, letters and documents. I love this role I hold in my family. The boxes, pictures, letters are an adventure to sort through however they often perplex me. For example, I just returned home from a visit with my 86-year-old dad. He still lives in the home I grew up in-he shouldnt live alone, but he does and frankly I cannot argue with the man. The town, in Upstate NY, is a small college town and he is well-known. He no longer drives and can take public transportation to and from the grocery store. Who am I to argue??

Anyway, I digress. I returned home with a car load full of memorabilia (my husband has another word for the stuff-“crap”). I had only started sorting thru the items and found an interesting and perplexing artifact. It was in an old suitcase. You know the kind of suitcase I mean when I say it is HUGE and HEAVY-leather with big bones. It is quite lovely and I wish I could use it still-but I can’t lift it empty, much less, put clothes in it to travel. This would NOT be considered approved to carry on. I found in the suitcase, among photos of people I never knew, diplomas from the nineteen teens for grandparents and others, letters and brochures covering the first half of the 20th century, a small coin purse. There was clearly something in it-I was excited, thinking that perhaps a beautiful piece of jewelry once worn by ladies or gents in the pictures or letters. No, alas, what was in the coin purse was someones partial. You know, a denture. WTF. I have no idea who these teeth belonged to or how they ended up in the suitcase either. My dad doesn’t have dentures. WOuldnt someone who died want to keep the dentures with them in the next world? I will. When I go, please make sure if I have any false teeth they end up with the rest of me.

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Getting old sucks

I would like to state for the record that while there are lots of perks to being an “empty nester” -more time, money and freedom-there are a few sucky parts. I have more time-but somehow all I want to do is nap..I want to sleep with that extra time. Who ARE these senior citizens, 10-20 years older than I am now, who climb mountains, sky dive or backpack in the Rockies? WHERE do they get the energy? Lots of days, I have a hard time putting on my tennis shoes to take the dog for a walk to the end of the street! That is generally because at the ripe age of 55 (double nickles, as my husband calls it), mostly everything is starting to hurt…I was never athletic but I never had a broken a bone or had any physical issues. Now, EVERYTHING hurts….my knees, my shoulders, my neck, my back. How the hell did this happen? I am too cheap to get any of it fixed either…. I want a whole body MRI…why don’t they just do body MRI’s? Wouldn’t that just take care of all of it at one time and with one cost? Nope, need to do one part at a time and for heaven sake, who has time for that? Oh, I guess I do. Or money…speaking of money, having my kids “launched” is a great feeling. I no longer have to pay day care, club dues for soccer or tuition! Now that is a great part of being an empty nester-for once my measly salary as a school bookkeeper is enough! Now let me cover freedom. Freedom to walk around naked. Well at least from the bathroom to the closet to the bathroom again. Why is it when you have the freedom to run around naked you have nothing you want to show off? The extra pounds and wrinkles where you never thought there should be any are not what you want to flaunt around-so, I do not run around naked often. Who would have thought that my KNEES would be wrinkled? WHO HAS WRINKLY KNEES???? I do.

I work at a middle school in the office-I do the finance “stuff” at the school-money, budget, purchasing, payroll, and the list goes on-and includes the occasional head lice check. Prior to my work for the public school system, I worked in banking. I often feel like I have worked in the 2 most fucked up industries ever, but never in positions where I could do much to change things. When I worked in banking in the ’80’s and ’90’s it was very different than it is now. Some good, some bad. I enjoyed, as an officer of the bank, being able to run the branch, help my customers with what they really needed and go out on Fridays to drink with other bankers. It never, ever paid what everyone thought bankers got paid and the hours SUCKED-no banker hours for me, but it was fun and I enjoyed it. Until I started feeling like a used car salesman. Pushing one product or another, selling the hottest new loan, credit card or CD (that is a certificate of deposit-not a round disc that plays music btw).I got out just in time. We made the move south from MD to NC and I started working for the public school system. I wanted to feel like I was doing something positive for society. I wasn’t a teacher, but perhaps I could help out  and even influence some that were on the front lines with the kids and parents. I am not sure I have been able to do this and I fear that I have become cynical about public schools  and the kids that we are educating. That is a topic for another day.

I am a Nana. What they tell you about being a grandparent is true. All the fun and very little anxiety. My grandson is almost 2….he is so stinking cute and fun, I can’t stand it. I could be easily convinced to watch him daily, but first we live more than an hour away, second, I can’t retire yet and third, his parents would be parents and not let us have any fun. My daughter and son in law are great parents, but were often anal to the point of rigidity in my opinion-but that is their personality as well. If the Dr. says do it this way, they did, down to the last second. No wavering and those rules must be followed by me-and if I don’t they threaten to take away my babysitting privileges. Sigh…so I followed the rules! I secretly relish the chaos that having a child will toss into their organized, scheduled lives. I wonder if I was that way with my mom or mother in law? Probably. They have relaxed as he gets older and I figure with the next one, I will have pretty much free reign.  Things are always more relaxed with the second child.

My second child was THAT child. Funny as all get out, and at an early age I knew she would be in the paper somehow–but I was uncertain if in the police blotter or under the achievements  in the business section. That girl has thankfully done great so far…serving as a police officer after earning her bachelor’s degree. I am proud and scared at the same time.

This first post is a way of introducing the theme for the blog…not entirely about being a nana and not filled with recipes, pinterest posts or how to fall back in love with my husband of more than 30 years. I will discuss thoughts and topics that I find interesting, disturbing or funny. Feel free to comment, share or reflect on what I have said-but if you disagree or have any disparaging remarks please keep them to yourself and exit off the site.