Of the many difficult months, I have lived through, August 2023 ranks as one of the most difficult from an emotional standpoint. And as a result, writer’s block has reared its’ ugly head once again. Even with multiple book reviews in the can so to speak, uploading on to the blog was more than I could handle.
Clearing Out a Lifetime
Many readers can relate to the discomfort faced by deciding what to keep and what to give away when going through the belongings of loved ones who no longer walk this Earth. You feel like you are losing that person or persons all over again.
Moreover, in a small family, there are too many items filled with memories and no place for them to re-home. I first encountered this problem nearly thirty years ago. While visiting a neighbor, she proudly showed me a roll top desk her father had made and gifted to her to celebrate her twenty-fifth anniversary. She knew then, years before her demise that the family would auction the item. It was bulky and both offspring were condo dwellers.
I think of Marilyn each time I walk by the beautiful desk commanding attention in my front room.
Now I face a similar problem. August 2023 was the month to clear out my parents’ home and ready it for sale. Both were hoarders. Yet, many of the items they owned have meaning for me. Short of buying (or keeping) a second home, I have no place for most of the items. Nor do my offspring. I can only hope someone will treasure whatever pieces are not kept.
Rural America Problems
Maybe once a month I wait at a stoplight. This is one of the best things about living in a rural part of the country. In fact, of the five towns in my county, only one even has stoplights. How much time do people waste sitting at a stoplight?
But there is one big problem with living in an unpopulated area- a lack of specialized healthcare. Fortunately, young doctors rotate in and out as a means of debt forgiveness via a loan forgiveness program. This means primary care is available. And sometimes they stay and raise a family, embracing the rural life.
But specialty docs just aren’t needed enough to operate in a rural area. So, one must travel to a city for treatment of a wide range of conditions from high-risk pregnancy check-ups to cancer treatments to heart issues. Really for any advanced medical problems.
High tech equipment is not economically viable in a town of only a thousand or two. Much less one of five hundred. And for my Urban Area readers, often it is over one hundred miles to reach a city of more than ten thousand people. Telehealth can only reach so far.
This is not new to me as I made quarterly trips to a Children’s Hospital for years. But as I age and as the appointments are at times for me, the travel is more tiring. It is a balancing act. August 2023 saw four such trips of over one hundred miles.
August 2023 In the Library
Many books were read and some shared this month. A backlog of reviews exist. Reading offers me the escape that most people find in television. I prefer to let my mind imagine the characters. Both old favorites and new discoveries with respect to authors were enjoyed. I hope you find a book through the reviews that appeals to you.
August 2023 scorched parts of America and the world. I personally experienced 111 degrees Fahrenheit on my cross-country drive. Perhaps, even more difficult was the slow cool down at night. Nightfall was needed to drop below triple digits on multiple dates and locations.
The summer of 1980 was also a scorcher. I remember triple digits all throughout July. I hope it is another forty plus years before we have a repeat this heat.
August 2023 In the Garden
High heat hinders growth in the garden. The tomatoes are slow to set, and the cucumbers suffer as well. However, the potatoes enjoyed their underground lair. As a result, the harvest yielded some good-sized spuds with a wonderful taste. One can only hope for the same result next month from the sweet potatoes.