Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Movie Encounter

Sometimes on Sunday afternoons I  entertain myself with the free movies shown in the auditorium here. Such was the case last Sunday as I sought to entertain my visiting cousin Ed from Vancouver, BC. The preview blurb said MY FATHER'S GLORY by a best-selling French novelist, Marcel Pagnol, a captivating recollection of a young boy's life in pre-World War I southern France.
The film turned out to be charming, but the highlight was the dapper gentleman sitting next to me.
In the five minutes before the film started I asked him if he knew anything about the film. "Indeed I do" he replied in an interesting accent I couldn't place, "for Pagnol is one of my favorite writers, not well known in this country because it is written in a patois of the Provence countryside not well translatable  into English."
After he explained that he was raised in that part of France, I probed some more and learned he was really Russian and that his parents had fled Russia following the revolution because they were on the wrong side. They made it to Yugoslavia, where he was born, but later had to flee again, this time to France. He grew up and became an electrical engineer, but later had to flee France, making it back to Yugoslavia, where he married, became the father of twins, and applied to immigrate to the U.S. The waiting list was long, so he opted first for Canada. In Montreal his third child was born. Six years later he was granted admittance to the US, where he has lived ever since. Now his wife and son are deceased and he has made his home in Oakmont for 16 years. "Now," he said, " you know more about me in five minutes than most people know in a lifetime."
"Yours is a fascinating story" I said, "and I'd love to write about it."
"Oh there are already books written," he confided, "but no one can read them for they are in Russian."
I felt like I had only chipped the top of the iceberg and planned to ask his name and if I could interview him more, but the movie started. About fifteen minutes later, in the dark, he slipped out. Alas, I may never learn more. Oh, I forgot to mention, when I asked his age he said 93.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

One-upping the Insurance Company

About two decades ago when I had loose change in my pocket I bought a lifetime annuity from Fidelity, and invested it in various funds. My sweet broker at the time is long deceased. All these years it has been paying me prox $600 a month. Well, at that time my life expectancy was 85 and nine months. Yesterday when I checked I noted the investment will be exhausted next April. So beginning next May I will have outlived the insurance company's formula, and I will be making the insurance company fork over this amount each month from its own coffers. Can you imagine? A good reason to get back on the treadmill and pump some iron.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Working on Patience

Four weeks Thursday since my fall, and I never seem to run out of patience challenges: dropping the soap on the floor, spilling my whole dinner on the carpet, breaking the dishes, struggling to get my walker in and out of the car, etc. But I am progressing. Yesterday I drove two miles in Oakmont, where the speed limit is twenty-five. I think I hit a shaky twenty. Today I am walking mostly just with the cane. Tomorrow I drive to the pulmonologist in town, fortunately located on a quiet street. Each day is a marker. Am I still working on patience? You betcha. Maybe I have progressed to grade three.
Tonite I will watch the first Democratic debates. It will be boring but as someone said on Facebook, only the Republican candidates are not boring, Lunatics are never boring. Wishing you sanity, peace and patience.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hard Way To Get Attention

In light of the Umpqua college shooting, the threatened close of congress, whats happening in Yemen, etc, its hard to speak of myself.
Two and a half weeks ago I fell and broke two ribs. Have you ever fractured ribs? Six to eight weeks on a walker is predicted. The pain is lessening now.
This is surely the hard way to get attention and see who loves you. I've been humbled with the outpouring. My larder explodeth. Visitors come daily and comfort me, some staying all night.
Since I believe there is always something to learn from every life experience, I try to focus on this.
Oh my goodness, Iv'e worked on patience so many times in my life that I thought there was nothing left to learn. Wrong. I see I'm still in second grade.
The Oakmont Art Show is next week. I wont be able to attend but here is one of three paintings friends are taking in for me: Man with Two Hats.