Saturday, May 30, 2009

A walk down memory lane.....

I'm a sucker in the bookstore. Everything looks interesting to me when I walk through the aisles. I usually succumb to some purchase every time I go into a bookstore. Friday was no exception.

I had business to do in the college bookstore on the campus where I work. It was a small job that had to be done in the printshop, and it took about 15 minutes. While they were working on my project, I was browsing. Among the backpacks and college t-shirts, I found a motherlode of books on local history. I found a couple of titles that I already own, and then I spied a small book on "St. Louis Hills". Now, I don't live in St. Louis Hills, nor do I live anywhere near it, but it was a very big part of my youth days in grammar school.

I'm a WWII baby, and in the city of St. Louis, the return of the men from the war led to that post-war baby boom, and also the building boom of the fringes of St. Louis city limits. In the southwest corner of the city, an open space was developed that was named St. Louis Hills. My parents bought their first house in a tract of homes near there, in a much more affordable neighborhood. But I knew St. Louis Hills very well, because I spent much time there.


What a trip down memory lane I took as I devoured the contents. In about an hour, I relived so many memories of the past by seeing places were I had walked, played, visited, eaten, and stayed with relatives, and went to grammar school.

I had two aunts who had lived in St. Louis Hills at different times, and my uncle's mother was a realtor there. My grammar school opened when I was going into 3rd grade, so I spent 6 years of my life going to and coming from St. Louis Hills as I went to school.

The centerpiece of St. Louis Hills was a large 60 acre tract of land that was set aside as a park, called Francis Park, named after the former Mayor of St. Louis, and director of the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, David R. Francis. The streets surrounding Francis park were laid out in very neat blocks, and contained high quality housing stock, where brick, stone masonry, glass blocks and clay tile roofs were the building materials. Each home, apartment building or duplex was different than the next. Each used a combination of Art Deco, Gothic, Modernistic, Tudor styles, to make these homes very distinctive.

I remember one home my aunt lived in for about a year, it was a duplex, with a huge footprint. Her mother-in-law lived downstairs, and she and her husband lived upstairs. It sat alone on a large lot at a wedge crossroads near the edge of St. Louis Hills. I remember that place as if it were a palace! It certainly seemed like one to me. But I was only 4 at the time!

Then another aunt married and she and her husband moved a couple of blocks away, across the street from Francis park, in a 4 family flat that was anything but ordinary. I remember the round turret-like entry way, and the beautiful finish of the inside of her apartment. Not that big, but very nice! When I visited her, I thought I was a little princess!

As I said before, my grammar school was built in St. Louis Hills Estates. It was a Catholic church and school, St. Raphaels. We had a very large class, 51 of us at 8th grade graduation, and we all coexisted through those grades in the same classroom! It was crowded to say the least! How the sisters ever managed to teach that many kids at once, I'll never know. In those days, rulers were not out of the question to be used on UN-RULE-Y kids, and although I never felt the sting, I'm sure others did.

The book showed some sights of Francis Park itself...including the drinking fountain that I decided to hurdle one day, and quite unsuccessfully. Since I didn't make it over, I skidded about 10 feet on my right elbow, which even today, 50+ years later, still bears the scar! I went to Girl Scout day camp in that park, I played tennis in that park, we hung around in that park--many memories of my youth were made in that park.

The funny thing was, Francis Park and my school were not near my home. You see, we lived on the "other side of the tracks", which weren't tracks at all, but the River Des Peres. Somehow, in cutting out geographic areas to include in St. Raphael's boundries, they decided to include a couple of neighborhoods across the river. We were close as the crow flies, but not by road. You could swim across the river, or walk around many blocks to the overpass. So, to get to Francis Park, we walked quite a distance. The day I hurt my elbow, I remember walking and walking with a bloody sleeve, couldn't wait to get home to get it bandaged up and stop the gushing flow! It took about 45 minutes to get home, because we had a pretty long walk to get there. And without cell phones or even a dime to call mom, we had no other options!

The other thing I remember about St. Louis Hills Estates is that very near our school were some of the biggest, most expensive homes built in the city at that time(late 1940's-1950's.) These were huge ranch homes, on very large lots. Several of the kids in my class lived in these homes. Many of the well-known St. Louis Cardinals lived in this neighborhood and their kids went to our school. Stan Musial's kids went there, and Musial's partner in the restaurant business, Garagnani (known as Biggie) lived there, and his son was in my class. Red Schoendeist, Joe Garagiola and other sports players lived there also. I remember several class parties we had at these homes, 50 kids were all gathered in the family room for a class party the night Elvis Presley was on the Ed Sullivan Show which we watched ON THEIR COLOR TV! (Do I date myself for sure?) And the room was big enough for all of us to fit into it! Quite the palace, to be sure!

We ate at the local joints, Steak n Shake (burned down -- too much grease, I suppose!), White Castle (remember when those sliders were $.10 each--torn down to make a Target parking lot), Velvet Freeze Ice Cream (long gone). We bowled at Stein Bowl (now a bank) , bought our groceries at Bettendorf's (largest grocery store in the city, later bought by Schnucks) J.C. Penney (may be still there), and the fabulous Kresge's 5 and dime (where I did my Christmas shopping with $2 that my Aunt gave me). And later, when we were in high school, the Cardinal players built another very modern bowling alley, called Red Bird Lanes, where much of our high school PLAY time was mis-spent! It's gone now, and there is a Walgreens on that property!

And, for those of you who know St. Louis by one of its icons, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard stand is right on the edge of St. Louis Hills. Funny thing, I don't remember going there as a kid, it must have been some other type of business, I think it was a watermelon stand. Now, you can't come to St. Louis for a visit without going to Ted Drewes, it's a MUST SEE!

I had my fun for sure from this book. If anyone is interested in reading on this topic, the book is called "St. Louis Hills" by Ann Zanaboni, published by The Reedy Press, PO Box 5131, St. Louis MO. 63139. ISBN 978-1-933370-31-6. It's a hoot for those among us who walked these streets and formed MANY GOOD memories there.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sunglasses, who need 'em?

I was so worried about getting new sunglasses, but who needs 'em when it rains for weeks at a time?

That's what we've had for the past week, unceasing dark clouds, thunder, lightning, and torrential rain. Oh, some days it was just a gentle shower, but at times, it was torrential. Seems as if this is the tail end of possibly the first tropical storm of the season, which had doused Florida very well last week, now it was here in the Midwest dropping more rain.

The torrents hit when I was driving home from the eye doctor without my new sunglasses! Turns out I didn't need them at all! It rained so hard I could barely see the white lines on the highway to drive straight! It was white-knuckle and prayer time, for sure! And when I got home, not a drop had fallen.

Same thing happened Sunday when we took the little boy cousins to the Museum of Transportation in southwest county. It was cloudy the whole time we were there, but got really dark and thundery when we were ready to leave. Just as we got to the cars, the heavens opened, and it was raining so hard, my son couldn't see the road to drive. We pulled over and stopped for about 15 minutes, then as we drove north toward our home, the pavement became dry, and once we were home, not a drop of rain had fallen.

So the gods must be crazy mad at some people, to dump so much rain on them, and others have fared better. But all this rain has meant everything is green and lush, so Mother Nature knows what she is doing, even if we humans don't like to have our outdoor plans spoiled by the rain.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To See or not to See, that is the question....still not resolved

Remember my post of several weeks ago telling about the new glasses I had selected for my upcoming glamourous look? Well, it hasn't been accomplished yet!

I chose some fashionable frames for a really glam look for new sunglasses. I waited for news from the eye doctor about when they would be finished. The first round of lenses didn't work out, so they remade them. Then no news. Finally, the technician called and said, "NO CAN DO" my lenses could not be made to fit these frames.

So, no glam look for me! I am going on Wednesday to pick up my new regular glasses, and the sun glasses will have to wait.

Oh, well, maybe it's for the best. They were too expensive anyway!

Long Month!

Is May the longest month of the year? This year it seems like it is!

As we entered the month, we were still in school with lots of assignments yet to be accomplished. And here we are on May 26, and there is still almost a week to go of the month.

This is good and it is bad. The good thing is I have an extra week that I sort of forgot about until summer school starts. I also have an extra week to begin to sew some costumes for the upcoming play I'm costuming, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. They want to do a photo shoot on June 6 for some publicity stuff to be sent out. That means I need a technicolor dream coat for Joseph, and a couple of biblical tunics for the brothers. Not all the brothers, but at least 2.

The bad part is--there is too much month at the end of the money. You've heard that old song before. The pensions that I count on for expenses don't come in for another week, and the bank account is looking very puny right now! This has been a very expensive month. Oh well, I've stocked up on hot dogs, and can make it until next week on leftovers.

So May, you are a sweet month, a very expensive month, a very long month, and you aren't over yet. I have 5 more days of you before the official hot month of June hits. I guess I shouldn't complain, you gave me an extra week of freedom before my summer craziness begins.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

J's Birthday!

Today marks the 6th anniversary of my becoming a grandparent. Yes, my little clutch of grandchildren now features a 6 year old as the leader of the pack. (One disclaimer, before I go on, I became a step grandma in 2006, when MonkeyGirl and Mr. MonkeyGirl wed, and thus she became the stepmom for a TEENAGER! He's now going on 19.)

Since 2003, it seemed like we had news about another grandchild quite often. In fact, 5 have been born in those short years. But Mr. J was the first.

What a beautiful child he was, blonde hair, blue eyes, manly features of a square jaw (a combination of mom and dad's feature), a sweet disposition. Grandma could hardly wait to get her hands on him! I guess we saw him when he was about 3 weeks old. He was precious. He allowed Grandma to lull him to sleep on her chest, there is no sweeter moment than to have your firstborn grandchild sharing a naptime with you, snuggled all close and warm.

J was scheduled to be baptized when he was about 6 weeks old. Well before J's birthdate, maybe even before we learned of the upcoming blessed event, a friend of mine and I had planned a long road trip out west to Yellowstone National Park. When the baptism was planned, it overlaped our trip. So, we worked it out that we would see J on our way out west, and then come back a week later for his baptism. Seemed to work out OK.

My friend and I had been planning this trip since the previous fall. She saved her money, and bought a beautiful slightly used minivan for the trip. It was very roomy and comfortable. We could have taken my SUV, but decided her new car would be the way to go. Funny thing happened on our way out west, lights started blinking, gears started protesting, and by the time we had made it all the way to Yellowstone, her beautiful van was down to only 2 gears that worked, low and very low. We somehow limped into Jackson Hole Wyoming, and got the bad news from the Ford dealer--it would be a new transmission or stick your thumb out to get home.

Ouch! She didn't have the money to fix her vehicle, now 14 days out of warranty. It would take 2-3 weeks to send the transmission to Salt Lake City and get it back. We had no idea how to tow it back to the midwest to get it fixed near to home. And J's baptism day loomed ever closer!

Now, if you have ever been in Jackson Hole Wy, you will know that public transportation in and out of there consists only of air travel. A one way air ticket out of Jackson Hole would have cost the 4 of us $3600, and then we still wouldn't be all the way home! We could rent a car one way to Salt Lake City (another 400 miles further west) and then get a train, plane or rental car to get home. But, then we would miss J's baptism for sure! To me, one thing was a possibility--purchase a new vehicle and drive away into the sunset (or sunrise as the case really was.) I was getting ready to sell my current SUV, so why wouldn't this work?

Well, in consulting with the financial genius at home, his first reaction was a very loud "NO"! I remember it as somewhat of a cry of anguish. But in the next breath, he said "yes". Very quietly, but he knew it was inevitable. And somehow he saw the wisdom of my decision. Or the inevitability of it, at least!

So, I set about buying the most gorgeous, most luxurious vehicle I've ever owned (most expensive also). And I think I did OK on the deal. It was a forest green Eddie Bauer Expedition, with DVD player, every kind of bell and whistle, heated and cooled seats. And wonderful comfort! Every seat laid back, so you could sleep in the back as well as the front. And you pushed a button, and the third seat arose from under the floor in back.

I was dealing with a young salesman, who maybe had sold 2 cars before he encountered me as a customer. I guess word got out that I was an easy mark, so they let him have a go at me! He was very personable, and quite pleasant to work with. As you know, all the newbie car salesmen have to consult with "their managers" before they can strike a deal. So, he conferred with his manager, and they worked this fabulous deal as our first talking point. They would actually knock off $1000 off the price of a $46,000 vehicle with 6000 miles on it--wow, I was underwhelmed. So, I told him this, "You either are taking advantage of me because of my situation, or you don't want to sell a car today" As I turned to walk out (having no real options other than this), he ran after me--"NO, NO, NO, JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK IS A FAIR DEAL!" Well, I was rather unprepared to come up with a real number, so I knocked about 8% off the price and laid my offer on the table. He went to the manager, and they said "OK". Wow, that was easy! So that meant I probably spent too much, but we were running out of time and needed to make some travel plans. AND QUICKLY!

They prepped the car and delivered it the next day. While they were prepping it, we rented a car, and spent another night near Yellowstone. We drove to the north entrance, where the historical Yellowstone National Park sign is, snooped around that neck of the woods for a while, then came back through the park to Jackson Hole to pick up our new ride.

On our way through the park, a fawn the size of a small dog ran in front of my rental car, and I hit it. The wierd thing was, we were in a long convoy of cars going about 30 miles an hour--why did the fawn decide at that moment to cross the road? He wasn't killed, only stunned, but I had to get him off the road. People behind us were hissing and booing at me for hitting the fawn--but he just jumped out in front of our car! You know how rental car people are when they hear "I hit a deer" in their cars. I swore my 2 teenage passengers to keep their mouths shut as we left the rental car place under pain of death, or leaving them by the roadside sitting on a suitcase!

We picked up the new vehicle at 4 p.m. that afternoon, and had about 1000 miles to drive to get to J's baptism. We had to cross Wyoming, Nebraska and half of Iowa to get to our destination. It was an all-nighter for sure. Our 2 back seat passengers had comfy beds and a TV. We had to stop at an all night Wal-Mart in eastern Wyoming to buy them more DVD's! My friend and I shared the driving tasks. After 2 hours of sleep, I was driving in the 3-6 a.m. shift. I started seeing ghosts on the road. My driving companion works overnight at the nursing home, and thrives on small amounts of sleep, so I had to ask her to drive. We rolled on and on, and got to J's hometown about an hour before his baptism. We checked into our motel, got a quick shower and a couple of ZZZ's and were off to the church. We made it, and saw J become a Child of God!

On one of our pit stops, I purchased a Wyoming keychain (you know, with the cowboy on the bucking horse, as Wyoming's license plate has on it). It had my spouses name on it. I gave it to my financial genius as a gift, with the keys to the new ride attached. We'll never forget our trip, our souvenier, and our little boy J, who got a fantastic baptismal gift, a new SUV for his grandma!

OH, by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, J! My big six year old grandson! I will always have a good story to tell you about your baptism, like no other story I've ever lived, or ever will!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A week of Concerts

This has been a week of concerts for me. My main form of entertainment venue during the past 6 months has been attending stage plays, some were musicals and some were straight acting plays. But this week, I went to 3 concerts!

The first was a concert by the University of Mo adult choir and orchestra (group with community members forming the orchestra and chorus--meaning OLD people), plus a second act by their 16 voice a capella student choir. Both groups were great, and I finally got to attend an event at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, a new performance venue in our city. I guess it has been there for a while, but I've never had a chance to attend an event there. The place and the entertainment were very good.

The next night, I attended a jazz concert at our college theatre presented by the actor from Stepping Out, and three of his friends. They did jazz improv for an hour, and we were ready to hear more! All were very good. I was "jazzed" up by the music that night, and couldn't calm down to go to sleep until 3:30 a.m.! Adrenaline will do that to a person!

Then last night, my brother invited me to hear the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus do their rendition of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. For those who might not know about this work, it is the one that has "Ode to Joy" as the finale. There were 120 members of the chorus on stage, plus 80 instrumentalists. What a joyous sound that whole group made! I got goosebumps, lumps in my throat, tears in my eyes, all of that from that final chorus! Very entertaining.

So, I've had a lot of entertainment, and I'm humming "Joyful, joyful, we adore thee" the words we use in church when we sing Ode to Joy. Great concerts, and a great week.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another Change Today

We've been blessed in our English department to have had a wonderful department chair. He is patient, understanding, supportive, easy to get along with, and has a good sense of humor. For some reason, not fully understandable to many faculty members, he has been asked to step down, and a new person will be chosen to take his place.

There are two great candidates who are in line for this position. Today was the day this was to be discussed openly with the FULL TIME English faculty and the administration in a closed meeting. It has certainly been discussed in hushed tones for the past few weeks, since we heard that we would have to get a new department chair. Today, I vowed to put my glass up to the door and listen to what was being discussed. I am part time faculty member and was not to be included in the discussion. But I opted not to listen in, and to wait until tomorrow to hear what happened.

I have my druthers of a choice of the two, but either candidate would be a good choice. Here's hoping we can survive this very important change. And good luck to the one who gets the job. Both candidates are women, so she has a big set of shoes to fill!

About Face!

While I was waiting for Joseph to get underway, some interesting turns of events have happened.

Our original director lost her father a couple of weeks ago, and had to drop out of directing the show to take care of his estate.

A new director has been found, but has to get her thoughts together as to what she wants us to do.

It is all up in the air right now. At least I got to speak to the newly appointed director, she called me about 10 minutes after I got the email about the change. And I worked with her last summer on Oklahoma.

So, things may be going quite a different direction, as the plans for this show unfold.

Stay tuned for updates!

Ready, Set, Wait....

The machines are cleaned and oiled, the needles are sharpened, the work room is cleaned (sort of), the fabric is purchased, the body is rested...... I wait.

For what? For the auditions of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" to occur on May 17, so I know who to make for costumes for our theatre group's summer play.

We've been planning our costumes for this show for as long as we were working on "Stepping Out". I say we, because NC, the director of Stepping Out will be part of the design team for Joseph. She will design the set, I design the costumes, and our lighting guy from Stepping Out will design the lights for the show. None of the three of us is directing this show, we only hope she likes what we design to make it look good.

NC (former director, set designer, good friend) and I went shopping in January when we heard that a local drapery fabric store was closing. We knew we had these two shows to think about. When we got to the store, we were like kids in a penny candy store. While most fabrics (and there were plenty to choose from) were about 75% off the regular price, there was a very large section where the fabrics were $1 a yard. That was my penny candy store! I found dozens of fabrics that would make excellent tunics and (as I call them) MC Hammer pants. I bought 5 yards of each, giving me enough leeway to make almost anything. There were also bolts and bolts of trims. Some were plain, some were fancy, most were $1 a yard or less. Some of the beaded trims were more, but all were just exquisite. So every garment will be embellished with wonderful trim. (I already used one trim in "Don't Drink the Water", it was a jingly trim with little metal fish hanging off of it that the Sultan's wife wore on her way to the casbah--it got quite a laugh when she wiggled her hips across stage.)

The first day I went shopping, we spent $331 on fabric and trim. That's a lot of cloth at $1 a yard! I was so intrigued that I went back the next day and got $140 more. I think I'm stocked! I have since found various metalics and fancies that I can use to jazz up an Egyptian prince or princess or two.

Designing costumes is a challenge because you can have an idea of what you want to use for fabrics which is your color palette, but then can spend days and days on the road trying to find what you want to use. Your fabrics are your palette. Unlike paint, you can't make your own colors, you have to rely on what some manufacturer has created to use to make your designs come to life. I'm learning what colors work under stage lights, what textures work. It isn't easy to do this and know exactly how it will work out, because you never get your full effect until the costumes are all finished and on stage.

I remember having an idea for Oklahoma last summer. I wanted Laurey to wear purple and white gingham for her dress (maybe it was Shirley Jones in the old movie that inspired me). You remember she falls asleep and her dream counterpart comes to life to do a dream ballet. Well, the dream Laurey had to wear the same clothes, but they had to be of a softer, more ballet oriented fabric. So I walked into my local fabric store, 1 mile from my house, and guess what they had, purple gingham paired with a purple gingham sheer! Holy Cow! I was so excited that I found it. It did turn out pretty well, except that during the dream sequence, the lighting was so dark you really couldn't tell what color she was wearing.

The Stepping Out costumes were the same way. The fabric we found for the tux coats was also $1 a yard, a silver grey lusturous upholstery fabric. It had a lot of body, and a small cream dot in it. It didn't turn out as lusturous as I thought it would under lights, and it didn't look grey, or silver, but picked up the lights as if it were white. And it wasn't shiny under the lights. It turned out well, but not exactly as I thought it would.

I guess part of being a costumer is these trial and errors that I make with choosing fabrics and color palettes. I need to learn who to dress brightly, and who gets the less flashy stuff. NC has taught me that you don't use white on a minor character, nor do you use red. Your eye goes to these colors, and it's great if that is where you want your focus to be. But don't put those colors on someone you want to fade into the background.

I'm learning with every show I do. I'm learning to draft and change patterns, how to fit odd size bodies. The one thing I haven't learned is how to say "no" when someone asks me to costume their show. I wonder if I'll ever learn that.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Country Friends

I have a Mary Englebreit poster that I love, it is called "Don't Look Back" with a little girl walking down a path with a fork in the road. The sign post on the fork says, "This Way" pointing one way, and "No Longer an Option" pointing the other way. (This is such a great metaphor for life in general. Tried to show it in this post, but no luck! Go the Mary Engelbreit store under Art-posters, and you can see what I'm referring to. I tried to give a link, but I'm challenged in this area, and it didn't work 10 times in a row, so I gave up.)

Life's twists and turns have sent me down many roads, and one of the more adventursome and life-changing forks sent me down the country roads to live in rural mid-Missouri for about 10 years. At first, the living was just as a week-end home owner of a lakefront home. This was a play house, where we went each weekend to play in water, eat bar-be-que, fish and relax from the stresses of city life. Neither myself or My Late Sweetie were retired, so living here full-time was a dream for the future.

Then, in 1997, an opportunity arose that made living in "Small Town Missouri" full time a reality for me. The local Cathlic Parish wanted to re-open their Catholic School and were looking for a principal. Why not, I said to myself, and that was it. The fork in the road was one where going the other way was "No Longer An Option".

I lived there for 7-1/2 years as a full time resident. I loved the work, and met so many wonderful people while I lived and worked there. We had our challenges, but going through the challenges together with friends made it much more bearable. Sweetie and I bought another country estate, with a big house and our own lake, and lots of trees, his dream house, for sure. But when the Swetie got sick, we had to move back to the city, to be near medical services and help from our kids, something that sends a lot of country living retirees back to their city roots.

But my friends down there are such excellent friends, we IM each other, email each other, share in woes and joys with each other, and occasionally get to see each other! I've kept going to my trusted eye doctor down there, driving right past 20 eye doctor's offices 4 blocks from my house. Part of the reason is that I trust this man, he and I discuss options for treatment, and his staff is warm and friendly. The other reason is that it gives me a legitimate excuse to drive 200 miles round trip to visit with my friends!

Yesterday's trip to the eye doctor was just like that. After my appointment, I met my bestest ever friend from Small Town at her home on the lake and she and I shared lunch and much private conversation. Then her neighbor came over, and we shared a bottle of wine and some good laughs together! After our visit, which was way too short for my tastes, I met my other bestest friend after she was finished with work, and we met for dinner. She invited the current principal of the little school to join us, and we had another 2-1/2 session, with dinner as the sidebar, jabbering, lamenting, exchanging laughs. It was wonderful to be with these beloved people for an afternoon.

On the way home, I noticed my leg was going numb from sitting for so long! Doesn't matter, the pain and stiffness were worth it to be with good friends and share conversation and experiences, just like I would be doing if I still lived there.

No Longer an Option---I guess it is no longer an option to live in Small Town MO again, but I sure can relive the memories and continue with the friendships, no matter if I live 100 miles away now. Our hearts are still very close!

To See or not to See, that is the question....

It is nice to have vision insurance. Back in the good ol' days (corporate sponsorship of employee health insurance), vision insurance did a good job of helping me see. Now, it is up to me to come up with the funds for these necessities.

I went to my favorite eye doctor yesterday. I had one pair of glasses that broke, one pair that needed repair, and the nagging feeling that something had changed about my eyes that made neither of these pairs of glasses helping me to see as well as I need to.

So yes, the eye exam proved that my eyes are "getting better" as he said. What that means is that an aging myopic person is also suffering from presbyopia, and my extreme nearsightedness is changing to far sightedness, so my vision is corrected by less strong prescriptions. I still need trifocals.

I decided that meant that instead of trying to fit new lenses into already battered frames, I'd start from scratch and get new glasses. What a delightful choice to be made!

The trend now-a-days is to get a frame that has a wide ear piece. I guess I've gotten used to that look on people, and decided to try it out myself. What fun I had! I chose two very darling frames, one for sunglasses and one for clear lenses. Priceless! Actually, I was willing to pay for these frames as a fashion accessory, one that I'd be wearing on a daily basis.

But the lenses? Ouch! Ultra thin, trifocals, with UV coating, ect, ect, ect. One set of lenses was $500! I had to sit down when she gave me the grand total of the day's choices, we will be definitely needing to go to the bank to cover this expense. Ah, for vision insurance to help out, but I have none.

The priorities seem clear to me though. People don't realize that their eyesight is so vital to everyday work, transportation ect. I've had low vision in my left eye since I was a child, so this one eye is keeping me going in life. So for now, I'll eat hot dogs for a couple of months to keep this eye functioning, and enjoy the fashion forward face those new glasses are going on. Guess I'll be able to see the wrinkles and bumps more clearly now--what's next? A trip to the plastic surgeon for a face-lift? Well, maybe!