Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Somehow the Light Gets In

When I first retired, almost ten years ago, someone said "try to put something on your calendar every day, even if you decide not to do it. A lunch out, a certain task."

Wait a minute? Wasn't the point of retirement to retire? To read those books, take those walks, go shopping on a work day?

At my retirement party in 2013. (Photo: Tony Cepak)

So, while I've always tried to have something fun on the calendar, there were many empty pages. Now I look at it and wish I had a few of those empty pages back!

A Campus and City Recovering

On the way home from physical therapy last week I cruised through the MSU campus, a week to the day after the tragedy that still has four of the hospitalized students in the hospital, some still in critical conditions that include paralysis and severed spinal cords). I've kept away because -- well, it was so sad. Between that and some other things going on, it was too much sad, too much stress. But I was glad I did it.

Memorials have popped up in various places. Many news reports showed footage of our MSU mascot, Sparty, with flowers surrounding the statue. But at the Rock, people were stopping to pay their respects, lay flowers and just have a moment of silence. Students went by on bikes or on foot, some stopping, others moving on, but quietly.


At Berkey Hall, where two students were killed and five hospitalized, there are flowers on both the main street side and the campus side of the building.


Others were placed at the building's door. This one gets me. I had many classes in this building, both undergrad and graduate classes. It's a mental jolt.

Some of the messages are personal and there are many things left -- candles, toys, painted rocks, and loads of flowers. 

Throughout the campus you see signs like this...

...and this.

Others say "Faculty loves you," "Take the time you need." "Spartan Strong." All painted on foam boards and covered with plastic. They are everywhere. 

Recovery will take time. It is a town in mourning, doing its best to heal.

Costco, Ice Storms and Heartburn!

And life goes on. For most of us. We decided to give up our Costco membership, at least till we're back in the fall from lake time, so I made a big shopping trip. It looked like I was hoarding for Covid. I bought 200 puppy pads -- which I hope keeps Lizzie satisfied, toilet paper and kleenex for the lake and home, tons of Ricola cough drops, batteries, vitamins, nuts, a few food things. Now, where to store it!

I've been dealing with some epic heartburn -- which I finally discovered was a side effect of the antibiotic I've been taking for a sinus infection, leading to a condition called esophagitis. Hopefully it clears up soon. At least now I know.

We've been having ice here -- and odd weather. We missed the bulk of the storm but with the temps, anything that melts in the day refreezes quickly in the night. So far, no maladies but there have been plenty of fender benders. C'mon spring!

Being Productive. Sort of.

I've been editing my 2022 photos, pitching those that are duplicates, blog-only or just plain bad. I cleared up about six gigs on my computer after I transferred the keepers to an external drive. There's still some organization to do, but it's a big project and coming along well.

Rick and his cycling club participated in their annual fundraiser for a community organization that helps families who are homeless but working on their way toward a stable home setting. Back when I worked at WKAR and we collected for the food bank, Haven House was our primary drop-off site so I'm familiar with this very good organization. Loads of cyclists pledge to ride a club-total of 2,000 miles on their trainers for donations from others. Well done, Rick!

And then this one turned six.

More on that soon!


Somehow, the light gets in.


Bill said...

Wonderful post, Jeanie. It seems once you retire the days seem much more busier. Sad about the school shooting, it's nice that the "family" is praying for them and showing their love and support. Have a wonderful week.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, that last photo is beautiful and fitting. I cannot even begin to imagine the grief on the campus and your city, it is so very heartbreaking. I am so sorry you are dealing with health challenges, maybe spring will help.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Prayers for MSU

Retiring is a strange world. As soon as I tell a person I'm retired, the next question is what did I do as if you do nothing now. It is weird.
A task a day is good. Even better, a long term goal you build on that has no guilt factor because it is in the planning stages.

Anvilcloud said...

Here is to the light getting in. If you’ve lost someone or had someone injured in a case like tat, I imagine that the floral tributes bring some comfort. And it helps those who leave them too.

I am not being very productive these days while I still take life easy post surgery. I did do some rockery shopping yesterday. That was a bit of an event.

Costco doesn’t do for this couple with limited needs, and I don’t need the Costco hassle either. It’s a trip into the city for one thing.

Oh … we are in another snow storm. It’s been a crazy month or tow.

Divers and Sundry said...

I don't like a scheduled life. I prefer flexibility, and that involves not having specific things for specific days and times. It works better for me that way. Some folks, though, prefer to make sure the day doesn't go by with nothing done. To each their own :)

Boud said...

No, on the filling the calendar idea. It tends to fill itself without much help, as you know.

Thank you for the observance of the sad scenes at msu.

On another, related to msu, topic, I found out this morning that they have the most comprehensive collection in the country of quilts designed and created by African Americans. You're right there, maybe you can track down the collection and show those of us who are far away! Just a thought. Put it on your calendar:)

William Kendall said...

The grief for that campus is profound.

My name is Erika. said...

Those memorials are so sad. The other night I was setting up the tv for the morning news for my husband when he gets up at 5 to go to work, and American Idol was on.The participant was talking about how he had been in a school shooting in 2018. What made me even sadder was I don't remember this shooting. There's just been too many. So many lives...And how many more must there be? And I'm sure you could put plenty on your calendar, even if they're not big things. Reading those books certain is something to put on the calendar. And it's hard to believe that little one is turning 6. Time does go by-way too fast. I hope you are having a good day. Here it is snowing harder than the weather people said it would. I went to get the dog at doggie daycare and I couldn't make it up my driveway-with all wheel drive. Yikes. Anyhow, enough from me. Take care. hugs-Erika

Rita said...

Strange how it somehow helps to see the tributes for the injured and killed at MSU...but it does a bit. So very sad.

Wonderful Rick's biking group helping the homeless get on their feet again!

Medications can certainly cause side effects. I hope you are better and done with them soon. *hugs*

Red Rose Alley said...

That's so sad to see all these flowers and notes and candles at the campus. The students must be devastated right now. The building where you had classes is very nice. That must have been hard for you to visit. I'm so sorry for the tragedy that happened at the campus. Jeanie, I think that's great that you are going through photos and deleting some and keeping some and organizing. I'm trying to do the same thing. We have so many pictures! The cycling fundraiser that Rick participated in sounds wonderful. And happy birthday to the six year old!

Keep treading on, Jeanie, and be careful of the ice when driving. We got a big snow here yesterday and today!


roentare said...

Such a positive note in your post. It is a recovery phase that one can feel the warmth from your images.

Ricki Treleaven said...

Did you lose power? I read today that many in your state are still without it. Yay, Rick! What a fantastic group of bikers. :D

Linda Sue said...

Oh man, this country, I can't even. just can't.

acorn hollow said...

so very sad it breaks my heart. as I have said I work almost on a state university campus. the other day their warning signal went off. I got the college girl who works next door to see if it was a test (which they do) she looks at me like I lost my head "Alarm?" Yes, listen you should know this it's important for your safety. Well, she looked up her school email and yes it was a test. It bothers me she did not even know there was alarm.
we gave up our club membership we figured out we were spending way more each time we went they had all kinds of things we thought I needed.
I cannot wait to retire, and I know I will have enough to keep me busy there just never seems to be enough time.

Pam said...

Such a horrible thing that happened and yes, I bet it was a jolt to you to go and see those things. This also will pass along with the light getting in, but the bad memories of what happened will always be there. So sorry. Way to go Rick.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

No, the calendar does not need to be full, not even close. Sometimes you need a day to piddle, take a nap, breathe in the dawn, grill dinner outside in the soft light of evening, and have no plans for any of it. Just letting what occurs to you come. So sorry you had this tragedy come so close to home. Yes, the light comes for all who allow it. Take a Shinriyoku - a forest bath in sunlight - and restore your sense of calm. Hang in there, dear friend.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I need to have a clean up of my photos on my computer and phone. Will have to add it too my to do list.

So, so sad these school shooting's. So much violence. :0(

Marilyn Miller said...

So much sadness in shootings everywhere.
So sad for your community.
Yes, many times I try to have something on my agenda for each day. I set a schedule for myself each week.
So glad you have that 6 year old in your life and the littler one too.

Prims By The Water said...

Loved the rainbow on the floor. Lets hope the sunshine stays. We had another ice storm yesterday and the forecast is calling for more snow Friday. Will be glad when Spring is here even though we have had a mild Winter. So sad about MSU. I am still in shock it happened again at another school here in Michigan. Janice

Sandra Cox said...

So much sadness and upheaval in our world today.
Sorry to hear about the sinus infection.Those are never fun.
Take special care.

Mae Travels said...

I guess I try to have something on my calendar every week or two, besides the date when Molly Maid comes to clean my house. I can’t imagine thinking up a DAILY plan of any kind! Wow!

The school shootings get more and more depressing because there’s no will for gun control, and no other type of hope.

best…mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Jenn Jilks said...

I find I have so much pressure when I have something on my calendar.
I retired 16 years ago. No party. I just slid out of the life, burned up and burned out.
Retirement has its own challenges!
I hope you get well soon. Take care.

Deb said...

I haven't retired, but since cutting down on my work hours I find I'm doing so many things and I still haven't read all those books I was going to read....
I know what you mean about sometimes needing to avoid the sadness. Horrible news about the shooting. I have to admit every time we hear something like that on the news I give thanks for our gun laws.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Jeanie :=)
You were brave to go back on Campos, but I hope it served to ease your pain. The community tribute to those injured and those whose lives were lost left a lump in my throat.

Retirement is hard to get used to if you don't have a few hobbies to entertain yourself. The people who suffer the most after retirement are the ones who are lost without their work hours. I don't plan my days, but I do write a "to do" list each week, but don't fret if I only achieve some of the things.

Well done to your hubby for his cycling fund raiser.Your picture with the two of you with your grandson is lovely.

I hope you get better soon.

All the best.

eileeninmd said...

Between reading and my daily walks, my days get filled up.
It is so sad to see all the memorials at the college campus, I hope the students have help to get through the grief and trauma.
The kiddies grow up so fast, amazing how fast the years go by.
Take care, have a great day!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I am extremely busy in retirement, but busy doing the things I love, and that's the difference retirement and work. I enjoyed my job, but I had no illusions that it was a way to earn a living and not my path to self-actualization, and that a change of regime or direction, a reshuffle of personnel, a new philosophy, could have rendered me surplus baggage. As for the school massacre, it is sad to reflect that the the only thing to do is to get ready for the next one. It has become a more-than-daily event.

La Table De Nana said...

A tragedy..There are no words for such acts of violence:(


Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Half my family lost power in the last ice storm and are not looking forward to the coming one predicted. Stay safe over there! Spring can't be far off.

Valerie-Jael said...

That was such a treagedy, so sad what people do to hurt and destroy others. Unbelievable. So much hate in the world. Your littl'un has grown a lot in his six years, bless him! Hugs, Valerie

Linda P said...

So tragic. Here in urban areas we have stabbings rather than shootings, thankfully not in our quiet neighbourhood, but such news is saddening all the same. Keep going both of you. Enjoy the young ones. I hope you feel better soon.

NGS said...

Thank you for posting those photos of campus. It has been hard for me to be so far away from my Spartan friends and this gives me more of an idea of what daily life looks like after such a terrible event. As you say, life goes on for most of us, but we should never forget.

Elizabeth Varadan said...

Wonderful post. Even though we have moved to Portugal, I still follow news back home, and these shootings have just broken my heart. They've been haunting me for years. I keep wondering what has happened to my country. Your description of those that survived this one reminded me that we hear often of those who died, but not so much about the injuries, which are horrendous. Thank you for paying homage and not letting this drift away as another news story.

I enjoyed all of your post, including the activities helping the homeless. When we were in Sacramento, we donated to several organizations, but it's more difficult here, sinceit involves bank transfers and exchange rates for the currency change. I'm glad that your husband's organization is doing so much. I read that the death rate for the homeless is three times the average, and worse in poor weather.

Steve Reed said...

And thank goodness for the light. Glad you stopped by the MSU campus to pay respects and check out the scene. Such a terrible (and unnecessary) tragedy. Esophagitis doesn't sound fun! Hope you find some relief!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I hate that these tragedies continue to happen and that this one happened so close to home for you. It would be jarring/scarring to walk a familiar area and know that people were killed. How horrible. My heart goes out to your community.

I can't believe it's been almost 10 year since you retired! Wow, time flies!! I remember those final years before you retired or at least the final months. I think changes had occurred that you were not happy with. Change can get fatiguing especially when it's not for the better. I'm glad you've been able to retire and have more control of how you spend your time and energy!

Your grands are so close in age to my boys - Paul turns 5 today! I think we are entering what will be some of my favorite years of parenting. 4+ seems to be the sweet spot for me. There are things to like about every age but this stage has been very very fun!

Lisbeth said...

I think it is true, that you have to occupy yourself with something when you retire. For people like us who like to read, and have a lot of hobbies it will never be a problem. I always have something to do. As a blogger as well.
So sad to see all the flowers and remember the bad things. I don't know why people do these kind of things.
I am happy to hear you are feeling better. Some people are sensitive to antibiotics. Now you know so an experience for the future.
How time flies when you have young people around. So cute.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, we all need the light and we, too, are having it today after what seems like months of snow falling. The most we have seen, continuously, since we have lived here. What a horrible shame that the shootings happened again. When are things ever going to be addressed? Wasn't your shooting the one where a victim had gone through Sandy Hook also? Shame should be felt by more than a few..Stay warm and healthy..xxoJudy

Lowcarb team member said...

So sad to see all the memorials at the college campus, recovery will take time and I send my prayers to all those affected.

Well done to Rick and the cycling club.

Take care and have a good month of March.

All the best Jan

shoreacres said...

Time! That baby is six? and it's been ten years since you retired? I'm having a hard time getting my mind around that one. I still can remember some of your posts around your retirement time -- here's to even more success in filling up healthy and happy days!

gigi-hawaii said...

So tragic about those students who are dealing with paralysis. Hope and pray that their condition miraculously improves. For me, it's nice to have nothing to do. Time for meditation and inner peace.

The French Hutch said...

Such sad photos from campus Jeanie. What a senseless tragedy! We decided not to renew our Sam's Club membership to see if we missed it. Stay tuned! Wow, spring must be nearing if you are already stocking up for the lake house. Our temps have been unusually high the past few days and we'll see storms tonight, spring weather for sure. Hope the heartburn is better, no fun. Wow, that little guy is growing so fast! Happy March Jeanie.

Iris Flavia said...

I can´t wait to retire, too and do all the things you described!

It is sad. It is sad those shooting become so common they don´t make it to our news anymore. Can´t believe neither.

I really know Costco only from The Simpsons!
Years ago we had Wal Mart here- was good! No idea why they left.
Hoarding ;-) we have no space for that and yikes to side effects. Always get those...
Minus-grades here, too. Spring??? Yes, well done to your Rick!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Oh yes, we must keep looking for ways to let the light in. So many people are lost in the darkness. I feel like it's my job in my latter years to share my experiences and help others find the light that's around.

I know you are doing the same!

DUTA said...

I"m under the impression that during retirement people run away from themselves, and plunge into activities whose only goal is to declare that age is nothing but a number. Well, that's not true. Third Age demands that we come closer to oneself, observe our body's reaction and needs, so that we are able to help ourselves.

Peace Thyme said...

I don't know about that. I, too, am retired...about 15 years now.
I really do not know what I want to do during the day until after that first cup of coffee and a try at Wordle. Sometimes my mind is bursting with wanting to paint, sometimes with sewing something, sometimes with baking and puttering around the kitchen. Very rarely, I feel like cleaning and being a good housewife. But on some of those days, stuff like that must be done. And, I do it quickly in the morning so I can read in the afternoon or do the gardening, or both, depending on the season, you know.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I have tentative ideas for some days that never happen. Other days I know I'm planning to read, etc. It works out with days out and days in.

Sandra Cox said...

Hope the heartburn and the sinus infection is much, much better.

Dixie @ Arranged Words said...

Oh, what a tragedy--so sad for the whole community.
Wonderful to help the homeless get back to a home.
So good that your husband is involved and helping raise money and awareness for the homeless. Can't imagine being without a home.
Lovely to see the light flooding into the room.
I hope you are feeling better, Jeanie.

Veronica Lee said...

I absolutely love that last photo, Jeanie.

It's heartbreaking to see all those flowers and notes.

Retirement isn't so bad if you have hobbies to keep you busy.

The hubs and I are planning to travel more, something we put on the back burner for a long, long time.

Hugs and blessings!

Yvonne said...

Sad times, but the light always manages to get in.Your family photos are so delightful, Your smile makes your lovely face glow with happiness.

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for this moving post, Jeanie! I was sad to learn that the injured students have severed spinal cords and even paralysis. My first husband was a quadriplegic, and I know how devastating that is. I retired almost eleven years ago. I'm busy every day. I'm certainly not sitting on a rocking chair and rocking ~ lol! I am trying to spend more time relaxing and reading. How fun that your grandchild is six! That is a wonderful age. I hope your grief over the school shooting will ease with time. May light shine on you!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Except during Covid lockdown, I can't say I've been bored for one day in the 10 years I've been retired! I'm so busy lately, I haven't even had time to write new blog posts, and can barely keep up with those I read. But, busy it usually good!
The pictures at the university are heartbreaking, especially since they are so personal to you. No words.
I love Costco. I always buy too much there.
Spring is coming!

thepaintedapron.com said...

All of those memorials, so amazing and such a pouring of love, sympathy and support! March weather can be so fickle, but I promise Spring is on the way, dogwoods are blooming here! Sorry about your heartburn, that's not fun...take care and congrats on organizing your photos, that will help you feel better :)

Anca said...

It's both beautiful and sad. I appreciate that you shared all those pictures with the messages and flowers.

Carola Bartz said...

I think the healing from such a traumatic event takes a long time. We're going through something similar, albeit on a much much smaller scale. But it can rattle an entire community.

CrystalChick said...

You're right, recovery will take time. So much sadness. Many coming together to offer love and support is helpful to those who need it for sure.
You look so happy at your retirement party!! Such a lovely dress, too!
What a kind thing, to raise money to help families find housing.
Have a nice day, Jeanie. :)

R's Rue said...

Great post. Love it.

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