We, the eager Grandma and others, expected the birth of a boy, and in the end we were right.  

Anna Rose and I sat in the back seat of Clea’s car, playing Barbie dolls and making up stories.  I told Anna Rose a story about a pig that got loose and had a big pig party in the retention pond near my house.  The pigs were very happy to play in that big mud hole.  After I bought her a stuffed horse at the Tractor Supply store, she and I sat under the dining room table where Anna Rose supervised the birth of several foals. 

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May is a major month for me. On May 1, my husband always recited his favorite poem which begins “Hooray, hooray, the first of May . . . . . “ His next words were not printable, but fortunately each person can create their own rhyming last line. My version goes like this:

“Hooray, hooray, The First of May,
Summer is here, and folks will play.”

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Due to troubled times, I have rejected TV news and chosen to watch old movies. TV news is dominated these days by death count from the Covid-19 pandemic, a Trump-led insurrection at the capitol, and disagreements over the value of mask-wearing and vaccinations.  Even worse are migrant children in cages, Republicans who won’t budge on gun laws, mass shootings, and police mistreatment of blacks. It is too upsetting, so I have started watching TCM (Turner Classic Movies) instead. Being confined to bed or power chair, I have lots of time to enjoy this treasure trove of entertainment.

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Did March come in like a lion? I don’t know. I think I was confused that day. Confusion is the subject of this essay. Writers are advised to write what they know and I know confusion. Since I am bedridden, I spend a lot of time flat on my back. Within easy reach (meaning in bed with me) there are my home phone, my cell phone, two TV remotes, a calendar, note paper, pens and markers, my iPad, a few grooming tools, and a schedule of when each of my three caregivers is expected. Their schedules change frequently, and they cover for each other.

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February, in our family, has long been a month for hearts, flowers, wine, and candy. My daughter’s birthday, my wedding anniversary, and Valentine’s Day all occur the same week. There was less to celebrate this February as I am ninety-one years old, disabled, housebound, and isolated, same as everyone else, due to the pandemic. I still find ways to celebrate the month of hearts and flowers.

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Newly elected President, Joe Biden, brings fresh hope for our embattled democracy. However, our government is still being threatened by right wing thugs. The Covid-19 pandemic rages on, as the death count rises above four thousand per day. People are out of work and standing in food lines. The capital building was ransacked by Trump supporters. Washington, D. C. became like a war zone to protect participants during the inaugural ceremony. Trump left the White House in disgrace, while still claiming he’d won the election. His second impeachment is underway. Amid all this fear and foreboding comes the announcement that two new babies will join our family this year.

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The historically painful year of 2020 finally came to an end. The ball dropped in Times Square with no revelers allowed. At that point 342,000 Americans had lost their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic and the numbers were growing. Donald Trump’s administration was becoming more and more chaotic. For my part, I helped vote him out of office, published a book, and learned how to cure a wart. Also, due to painfully arthritic knees, I went from being socially active to being homebound and bedridden.

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This October finds me in Hospice Palliative Care. My arthritic knees seized up and I am unable to stand or walk on my own. Since July 25th I have been either in bed or in my power chair. Physical therapy was tried for a month, but proved to do more harm than good to my stiffened knees. I had known for years that I wanted to be under Hospice care at this point, wanting to be kept comfortable but without a team of doctors and surgeons passing me back and forth trying to fix a problem that is not fixable.

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Next month is October, my birthday month. But wait, didn’t I just have a birthday? In spite of a worldwide pandemic which turned our lives upside down and my becoming bedridden from worsening arthritis, this year has flown by. I meant to write a description of my ninetieth birthday party immediately after the celebration, but many months later the cards and souvenirs are still in a pile in the den waiting for me to write that story. Going through those mementos yesterday, I re-lived the entire happy event.

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