Archives for posts with tag: Blogging

Since Occupying Aging is an ongoing project, I’m beginning to think about a next book. Could this blog turn into a book? Maybe it would be when I reach seventy and have some profundities to add from that lofty age.

To start the process, I approached the teacher of the editing classes I’d worked with on previous books at the university. She passed me on to the gal who’s teaching it this year. She got excited about having her students’ first real editing project be working on the almost five years of blogs I have so far.

In the last couple weeks I’ve met with ten teams of two students to go over their edits. They all showed up on time, acted like young professionals and had prepared their editing suggestions well. They educated me about Oxford commas, when to write out numbers and when to use numerals, and when to use bulleted lists vs. numbered lists among other arcane topics. I plied them with hot chocolate and Luna allowed them to rub her belly if they really wanted to do so.

Last night I took cookies to their final work session on the project and listened to what they’d learned. One student spoke passionately about being sensitized about disability issues and some follow-up actions on campus she was taking. Another student commented that the most important thing she’d learned through this experience was how to work collaboratively and respectfully with an author.

The teacher said, “students very much appreciate and enjoy having a “real” project like this one, especially when it involves hot chocolate, homemade cookies, and a lovely four-legged helper dog.” Now the students are off for spring break, the teacher is off to grade their edits and I’m off to live life to the full so that by age seventy I’ll have more wisdom to share about Occupying Aging.

As I get ready to celebrate a younger friend’s 65th birthday, I’m reflecting on some anniversaries. The We All Love Our Pets program I started turns eight this month. This blog turns two and Luna and I celebrate our second anniversary.

When I read an article in a women’s magazine about elders giving their Meals on Wheels to their pets because they couldn’t get out to get pet food, I was appalled and decided to start a We All Love our Pets program in Eau Claire. I modeled it on the national program, but use a volunteer team I’ve assembled under the auspices of the local Humane Association to do the delivery. We started with five customers and now have over thirty. We’ve experienced a 23% growth just in the last year.

To get on the program, people need to meet two out of three criteria: poor, elderly and disabled. Most meet all three criteria. Each month I call and see what they need and then later in the week shop and deliver. On the August delivery, my volunteer driver and I went 45 miles around the city to deliver cat, dog, fish and parakeet food and cat litter to twenty-one people. The day before another volunteer and I had shopped for the stuff and delivered to ten people living in a high-rise for elderly and disabled people.

In addition to meeting great humans and cute animals, I’ve learned a lot about living with grace and style in poverty. One gal cheerfully commented that after paying her bills she had $4 to spend during the month, but it would be okay because she could go to the food pantry and the soup kitchen. As Herman Melville said: “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.” Their animals are such sources of joy to my pet food program customers. It reminds me not to take Luna for granted.

We shared our second anniversary by delivering pet food, going to Mass and my sharing a last bite of a wonderful piece of quiche a friend gave me with her. As I think back over our two years together, I’m struck by how subtle and intuitive she is. To tease me she tries to walk past church instead of turning in but does it in such a way that I know exactly when to turn. She lets little dogs win at tug of war so they’ll play with her. She sniffs my face and my backside when I’m sick to decide whether to let me sleep extra or not. After two years we’re reading each other’s signals well and I look forward to many more years working with her I hope.

In two years this blog has attracted 169 of you fine folks to follow my adventures in aging and reflections on disability issues and other weighty and mundane matters. “Kathie Comments” has not gone viral and is not among the top fifty humor blogs, but followers occasionally cheer me on and comment that they’ve learned something. It’s been a great way to motivate myself to reflect on daily events and dig a little deeper to find meaning in them. I’ve been in a blog carnival and on a blog tour and helped to start a blog for a group of Wisconsin blind writers. The haiku I wrote for my friend on turning sixty-five could serve as my haiku on two years of blogging:

I made it! I’m proud.

Work, books, people I’ve helped.

Forward to more fun.