Waiting, but not for Godot.

I’ve always been indecisive, sometimes very indecisive, but never not indecisive. I wonder if indecisiveness is related to procrastination because I’m afflicted with both conditions.

I have worked on my novel a bit here and there, but I’ve been spending the bulk of my creative energy learning punch needle work and knitting up some old yarn into a blanket.

This here is my first-ever punch needle project. It was fun although I had some difficulties with the tools. I bought a kit, and the yarn provided was thick (and forgiving) wool.

I’ve since bought another kit but … surprise! … the yarn provided is cotton floss, what I would expect to use in embroidery. Because of that, I bought a different punch needle and now I’m scared. I’m intimidated by the project and am going to have to clear away a lot of space in my brain before I get to it.

Meanwhile, when the going gets tough, I go to my knitting. This here will be a lap blanket once it’s all done. The yarn is 100% wool and quite old. I either brought it with me from California thirty-some years ago, or I bought it soon after moving here. I can’t remember. In any case, the yarn has been stored in a cedar chest for many years. It’s past time it became something.


I have enough of the same yarn in different colors to make a second blanket. Times like this I wish I lived back where I grew up, in north-central New York where warm wool items are valued and used more than they are here in hot, humid Florida.

I procrastinate when I am waiting. But waiting for what? Good news? Is there such a thing?

Our 17-year-old cat Maxine has been wreaking havoc by peeing and pooping outside the litter boxes most of the time. We’re treating her for yet another UTI, but I think it’s her wobbly back legs and diminished eyesight that’s causing the havoc. I bought new litter boxes designed for cats with arthritis, and I have puppy training pads around them to catch any “overflow.” As well her kidney disease seems to have gone from a stage 2 to stage 3, according to her latest lab results. Fortunately, the steroids she’s taking keep her appetite up. At this point, the good news is that she still does her business in the vicinity of the litter boxes. She’s also still spunky, so two bits of good news.

My previous employer thinks I’m dead. Last month they refunded “the deceased policyholder” (i.e., me) for overpayment of my health insurance premium which had been automatically deducted from my pension, as it is supposed to be. I got it sorted out, but now it looks like it’s going to happen again this month. I can check my premium payments online so I guess the good news is I’ll be able to handle this before my premium is past due. Still, I don’t like being addressed as a deceased policyholder. Creepy.

My sister in New York is in a rehab hospital. She fell and broke her leg a couple of weeks ago. She’s been living with Parkinson’s Disease for several years, and falling is one of the symptoms. I’m struggling to find good news here. All I can think is how unfair it is that she, of all of us, has been saddled with this disease.

My sister has been a caretaker all her life. When our mother divorced our father (RIP), my sister stepped in and had him stay at her house when he came for visits (long story short: my father was mentally ill and during that time was living in a group home). When our father became ill, my sister pulled out all the stops to get him into a nursing home near her so she could visit him on her lunch breaks. When our elderly neighbor (RIP) was in failing health, she did the same for him.

My sister and I used to talk about how our mother would come and live with her. Our mother will be 98 in a couple of months. She lives independently and is in better health than my sister, so living with my sister is not going to happen. While my mom’s health is good news, I still struggle to find any good news about my sister.

All I have is this: she’s been married for 55 years to a wonderful man who loves her deeply. My brother-in-law is the epitome of “salt of the earth.” She has three sons who love her deeply. She has seven grandchildren who give her much joy and pride. This good news will have to do.


Thank you for listening reading. I’m always hesitant to publicly write about my family, but, hopefully, I’m not crossing any lines here. Plus, I’m pretty sure few of them (if any) read my blog. Here’s a prize to all of you who have read this far: Raji in his “safe place,” which is our closet, on top of my husband’s clothes.

26 thoughts on “Waiting, but not for Godot.

  1. So sorry about your sister, Marie. You are right it is a shame that she has to face Parkinson’s. You are fortunate that your mom is independent. At least you don’t have to worry about here as well. Stella began to miss the litter box after she had a stroke. She would hang out of it instead of in. Like you said, she came close so we were able to handle it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. Yes, we’re fortunate that my mom is independent. Her independence is enabled by my siblings who live close to her as well as numerous cousins that dote on her. She never has to cook and is happy about that :-).

      We will accommodate Maxine as well as we can. If 50% of the time she does her business in the litter box, we’ll be happy.

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  2. I’m happy you decided to share what’s been wearing on your mind, Marie. Sometimes it helps to get it out there, among friends. I’m so sorry to hear about your sister, but thankful she has a strong support system. That’s so important. I will keep your family in my prayers. xo As for your previous employer…that’s crazy. I hope you’re able to resolve that issue once and for all.

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  3. Thank you for opening up a bit – I’m hoping it was cathartic for you. Sometimes putting it out there in the bloggosphere can be quite therapeutic.
    Now about that luscious 30+ year old yarn – the colors are wow! And the deep purple and teal are quite contemporary for being a ’90s skein! HA!

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  4. I’m really sorry about your sister. Life feels outrageously unfair so often.
    Beautiful yarn work. I love the blanket yarn! I hear you on the warm things. I used to love to dress in layers and pretty sweaters. Life is laughing since I live where it’s been 111° this week.

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      1. First I’m worrying about everyone in Afghanistan. Now I’m also worrying about everyone on the Gulf Coast. I’m exhausted from all the worrying! But I’m glad you’re having a respite. It’s HOT here. Mid-week we are supposed to get hurricane remnants.

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  5. Oh, Marie, I’m so sorry about your sister. I’m glad she has a loving husband, children, and grandchildren to give her support. It’s too bad you’re so far away, and from you mom, too–but thank goodness she is in great shape!

    I love the color of your yarn! I’m sure your blankets will be beautiful.

    In her final year, our old lady cat always peed in the litter box, but she would poop anywhere. We learned to be very careful when walking around the house.

    No wonder why you don’t feel like working on a novel. It will come when you’re ready. Hugs to you!

    Rajii looks very comfortable.

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    1. Thank you, Merril! Being away from home is hard, but we’re hoping to make a visit in a couple of months. Fingers crossed that my sister will be recovered or close to it.

      Fortunately, Maxine is doing her business close to the litter boxes … for now 😉

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  6. Marie, it sounds as though your platter is full, both emotionally and physically. I’ve learned from similar situations that something has to be given up in order to cope with these phases of life. Our lives today are so distanced from those we love and want to care for, but that is for a variety of reasons. I’ll be praying for your sister and your mother and how you can be of greatest benefit to them long-distance.

    It doesn’t help that the local, state, country, and global crises seem to be piling themselves on all at once. With family on the eastern coast of Florida, I am still praying for those in the path of Ida. Then there are the concerns in Afghanistan, the new pandemic surge, climate extremes (we had one day in July that reached a 116 here in Portland; it was an all-time record high), hunger, crime, and I could go on. Our pastor noted this morning he was overwhelmed by emotional fatigue. And this is where I begin to do as you say about the news. I just have to step away.

    I hope you can get things on a more level plane and perhaps your punch work and knitting will help. And tending to your aging kitty. We have one of those right now. It takes great patience to deal with their needs too. Know that anytime you want to write your feelings out, this is one of the best communities to reach out for support and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sherrey, how wonderful to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your own fatigue. Your pastor nailed it: “emotional fatigue.” I do believe that is how so many of us feel. I can say I’ve had some good news about my sister, that she’s getting better and her husband and sons are besides themselves with joy. And my mom is amazingly well. Just give her a jigsaw puzzle to do and she’s a happy camper 😉
      I hope you are well too, and I’m glad that you have your church for comfort and support. And I commiserate with you about aging kitties. Yup, they require a lot of patience but they are so worth it 🙂


  7. Oh, Marie. So sorry about your sister. So glad she has the support of her husband. Also glad your mom is independent and able to live in her own home. Like Jill said, thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Your punch needle project is beautiful. You can do it! You’ll get through it!

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  8. We in the blogging community are a safe haven so you should never worry about sharing if it helps release your burdens.
    How wonderful your 98-year-old mother is still up and running! That is a rare thing. I am so sorry about your sister. It never seems fair these things. Silver lining is she is well-surrounded. It must be hard to be so far from family.
    The colour of that yarn is gorgeous!
    The writing will come when it will, I say.
    We’re here for you xoxo

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