I went to visit my wife yesterday. It was not what I had hoped and expected. She did not seem at all interested in visiting with me. After a completely unsatisfactory fifteen minutes of unsuccessful attempts to get her to engage in conversation through the window (on our cell phones), I left. I should have been more patient yesterday; she is going through a far more taxing and difficult experience than I am, yet I permitted myself to see me as the victim.

Later, when I tried to call her, either her phone had been turned off or it was out of power. Earlier in the day, before I attempted to speak with her, I asked the director of nursing and director of therapy to have someone assist my wife by having her phone available and the window blinds open at a set time each afternoon so I could go visit. I don’t know if that is going to work.

The problems I have been having with a never-answered phone with the facility, too, were on my list of topics with the staff. After attempting, unsuccessfully, four times to get through to the director of therapy, I finally insisted on speaking to the administrator. I learned that yesterday was the first day for the new administrator; she is now aware of my frustration with the facility’s inadequate phone system and apparently insufficient levels of staffing.

These issues kept me awake last night. I got up for a while at 2:00 a.m., then tried to get back to sleep. I suppose I slept for a short while, but if so it was a very restless sleep. When I finally gave up and got up, just after 5, my neck and shoulders felt tight. Now that I’ve been up a while, the intensity of the aches in my shoulders is impossible to ignore. I have to admit that the shoulder and neck pain could be a result of sleeping on the guest bed again. I’m adding, “replace guest bedroom mattress” to my list of things to—eventually—do.


The deck is done! I am as happy as I will ever be with the deck, I think, in its present iteration. Only a complete re-decking and replacement of all the railings would satisfy me more. And that could happen only if someone else pays for the project, orchestrates it from start to finish, and has it done while I am away from the house for the week or more the project would require. That is to say, I’ll probably never be happier with the deck.


The lighting in the workroom behind the garage has been replaced! I can now clearly see how horribly dirty and messy I have allowed the space to get. The upside is that, when I decide to tackle cleaning it up, the new LED lighting will illuminate every inch of the work area. I was amazed at how much brighter the space is with new, extremely bright, LED lights. Hallelujah!


I have yet to replace the screen on the screen porch. That will happen eventually. When it does, I will replace the indoor-outdoor carpet on the porch floor. Perhaps I will have repainted the wrought-iron furniture by then, too. The never-ending list of household maintenance chores just continues to grow. If I were not so lazy and if my body were only 30 years younger, I might have a chance of getting ahead of the game at some point before the end of this decade. It’s easier to summon the inclination to do the work than to replace my body with a younger one that had been cared for with greater attention to the effects of the abuse I’ve put it through. Hindsight is stunning in its clarity; like looking through a telescope at the moon, versus peering at it through a Coke bottle.


I missed an announcement from my church, discovering it only as I was preparing to join a Zoom event that, I learned, had been postponed.  After I learned the Zoom meeting would not take place, I tried watching a comedy, The Good Place. It kept my attention for about 30 minutes; by then, though, it began to wear thin. During the evening, I tried watching the Rachel Maddow Show. As much as our political sensibilities mirror one another, and as much as I appreciate her intelligence, I lose interest in watching after a short while because it is so obviously slanted in its presentation. I decided to explore News Nation, WGN’s relatively new all news channel. I’ve never watched it before. I found it both interesting and informative and it seemed to be straight news, without analysis. That appeals to me. But not for long. I finally gave up and worked on financial stuff: recording receipts, organizing bank statements and bills, etc., etc. Only part of those tasks got done; I need another several hours to complete them, to be up-to-date on financial record-keeping.

When I stopped working on financial record-keeping, I poured myself a whiskey. I should acknowledge to myself and the world at large that I am, at times, too damn frugal. Especially when frugality delivers less-than-satisfactory experiences. Rather than a blended whiskey like Seagram’s 7 (which I poured), I should spend the extra money to get a good bourbon like Maker’s Mark. I do, occasionally, but I tend toward the cheaper blended stuff. And I always kick myself for saving a few bucks and sacrificing flavor. Not that Seagram’s is bad; it’s just not as enjoyable (by a  long shot).


I do not like talking on the telephone. It’s better, though—sometimes—than not talking at all. Last night, I was in no mood to talk on the telephone, but I wished I could invite someone to come share a whiskey with me and talk about insignificant things and earth-shaking philosophical arguments. It seems that everything has to be planned. Spur-of-the-moment activities must be too disruptive to family life. I could have invited someone to come share a whiskey, properly masked and distant, but I would have been concerned that a positive response might have been based not so much on interest but on concern for my well-being, given the issues impacting me of late. And that concern very probably would have colored the tenor of the engagement. The casual element that I find so appealing in conversation would have been missing, thanks to that overriding concern.


I’ve allowed myself to blather on for far too long. It’s almost seven and I haven’t showered, shaved, eaten breakfast, or finished my coffee. A sin against Man and Nature.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Visits

  1. Barbara, thank you for your good wishes and your comments. I appreciate your perspective; when I’m not feeling like I’m burdensome, I agree with you. 😉

  2. Barbara says:

    I do enjoy reading your posts no matter what the topic. I sincerely doubt your friends would visit you from obligation. I’m sure your friends enjoy your company through the good times and not so good times. Sending my best wishes and strength.

  3. Ha! I’ve already had cataract surgery, about 3 or 4 years ago (the ophthalmologist kindly told me I had “early onset” cataracts, giving a nod to my “youth”). I didn’t notice any appreciable difference in my right eye (except for requiring reading glasses), but it was like he had removed a grey patch from the left eye. 🙂

  4. Colleen Boardman says:

    You may also find, if you ever have to have cataract surgery, that you didn’t need new light bulbs, you just needed to get rid of the cataracts!

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.