I miss the carport at my little
flat of the previous nine years.
I sold it all and bought a little
flat at this retirement village
for its financial situation which
leaves money for medical treatment.
I left washing in the carport
as long as I wished, its wind
tunnel draughts dried the washing.
Now on wet days I put washing on
drying frames under my front
entry’s eaves with wonderful
breezes but restricted space.
No clothes drying machines
with hot air for me.
I want fresh air flowing round
my washing as it dries.
Few other residents around me
hang washing out to dry. They
use clothes drying machines.
Strange …… Each to their own taste.
In my new home
windows encase one end of my
living room, wide ranch slider
at their centre, light pouring in.
Along one side wall
more windows, light pouring in,
making a light filled cheerful
living room, better than I have
had before. Floor length drapes
pull to dim the light when it
too brilliant, in summer.
Opened up, my ranch slider
leads out to more space,
my front entry ramp, to greetings
from people going past.
I have long enjoyed the light
airy openness of so many
modern buildings built over
the last two decades.
In my teaching days I
organised occasional class
trips to the supermarket with
allotted tasks for children,
parent helpers, teachers, to ensure
the children observed everything
done in the store, behind the store.
With adults steering groups of
children, none of them were lost.
Great class work was produced
to show good understanding of
Our retirement village minibus
took several very elderly residents
on each trip to the supermarket,
and me during Covid19 lockdown.
The driver dropped us off at
the designated drop off point,
showed us where to meet her after
our shopping, went to collect
the next shopping group.
Arriving first at the meeting point,
I saw some of our shoppers come
out, head back to the drop off point,
steered them along to the meeting
place, with a comfortable seat, but
missing some who returned to the
crowded drop off point.
There the returning driver found them,
then located us far away at the
designated meeting point.
The supermarket staff had not allowed
for this elderly clientele when
designating these gathering points.
School trips were easier.
As Covid19 alert levels stepped
down the gym allowed us in for
widely spaced exercise machines.
After five weeks away they allowed
fitness groups with restricted
numbers, wide spacing.
Facebook told us to book by
phone or online, wear masks into
the building, not for activities.
Our large room now haspoetry fitness post lockdown.
twenty two huge red crosses
socially distanced over the floor.
Fine while we warmed up on
the spot, lifted weighted bars
for fifteen minutes …. Repeat
mantra …. this is good for me.
Then much movement to music at
an energetic pace on or around
our large red crosses – somehow
we kept a degree of social
distancing: stepping, hopping, skipping
at great speed, using every muscle.
Next day on my walk I felt
tenderised all over, after several
weeks lockdown break.
Our classes used to be larger
so I booked for next week.
I should be recovered by then.
When little brother was born
his sisters aged six and a half,
and five, were already at school.
He really wanted to catch up
with them, do as well as they do.
By eighteen months he was
repeating back to us what ever
we said, to learn new words.
Kindergarten had its moments,
days when he just wanted to
cling to Mum. He came to accept
kindergarten into his life, moving
through it with his usual energy.
School at five saw him cling to
Mum again but he became accustomed
to school too, put his fizzing energy
into all the activities there.
After his first five months of
school Covid19 locked us down
for several weeks, then he went
back to school. clinging to Mum.
Gradually he re-immersed himself
into the classroom, energetic again.
Last week the principal came with
the certificates of achievement,
bringing one for little brother …
…… for bravery.
Little brother will try anything
even outside his comfort zone.
He will give anything a go.
School assemblies banned during
covid19 restrictions. The principal
hands out certificates of achievement
for the week to each class.
The ten year old has three
more months at primary school.
She received and achievement
certificate last week for constant
perseverance always putting
100% effort into her work.
Her meltdowns at school are now
in the past but her exhaustion
meltdowns cans still happen late
in the day. She puts so much
energy into moving past her
dyslexia unco-ordination barriers.
For three years the grown-ups in her
life have told her they see her always
doing her best, working hard. She can
do anything. Help is arranged for her.
Her teacher of these two years gives
much praise, encouragement. The
ten year old no longer says
“I am dumb at maths.”
Her mother and I still see her
freeze in panic occasionally when
faced with something new.
I hope she continues to get
encouragement to persevere at
hurdles in school, in life.
The twelve year old now takes
herself to her Intermediate
school on her scooter with two
other girls from the cul de sac,
no longer driven to school by Mum.
She does older work to stretch her
busy brain and older kid subjects
like the drama elective this term.
The girls wear safety helmets
which so far have worked well
except for the day she hit a tree
root burrowing under the foot
path, flew over the scooter
handle bars, made a one point
landing on her chin …… heavily.
She rang Mum with the phone in
her school bag. That nasty headache
lasted a fortnight, diagnosed by
registered nurse Mum as mild
concussion. A few days off school
prescribed, then going to school in
the car …… she handled it.
No horse riding classes until the
headache vanished …… she does
fall off horses from time to time.
…… Disaster !
But registered nurse Mum will not
As the family’s elderly dog
slowed down in her later years
they brought home a puppy, for
company once she was gone for good.
The new arrival was a friendly
young fellow, from a branch of
shaggy old Hairy MacLary’s line.
He adored his family, even more
adored the old dog. his adoration
lifted her spirits so that she lived
another three unexpected years
before passing quietly in her sleep.
Thus I met him soon after, as I
left the massage therapist one
afternoon. The family’s Mum
brought him in his carry cage
to be near during her massage.
“No one is home,” she said.
“He is anxiety on four legs.”
He stayed calm while close to her.
Supermarket shopping when
living ten minutes walk away
was so easy I shopped often
taking home a light trundler load.
My new home is twenty five
minutes walk from the supermarket.
I walked there easily but my bulky
purchases were too heavy to pull
………. taxi !!
I organised myself to go with the
village’s weekly minibus group
to the supermarket. Easy peasy !
Until the nationwide lockdown came .
More taxis home.
The village minibus starts up
again next week …… Phew !!
So ably she created art
sewing machine patterns on cloth,
playing her flute so brilliantly.
When we told her of our lives
she fired unrelated unexpected
questions in to our conversations.
We wondered that she had eaten
so little for so long. Now she
suffered chronic fatigue, spent
days on her bed, exhausted,
refusing to play her flute.
Doctors did not accept her self
diagnosis of an obscure medical
condition much to her fury.
Nor do we. We see long time
starvation as her problem.
I rang to confirm my email
with my new address. Said she
could visit after lockdown ended.
“What’s so serious about Covid 19 ?”
she asked. I thought. “It kills
more people more often than
other illnesses. It spreads fast.”
“Ooooh !” she said, baffled.
Her sparse family is scattered,
She is terrified of rest homes.