This piece … and its companion pieces … will be about learning to deal with my blindness, a journal of sorts … my random thoughts … written as time permits, to chronicle the events, the emotions, the victories and the defeats, that lay ahead as my eyes … and life … learn to focus in a different way. I am doing it for me … so that as time goes by I can review and reflect. I want to be able to compare the anticipation of today with the reality of tomorrow. But it is also published here for those who wish to share the journey. I hope you enjoy the ride. I intend to.
February 4, 2011
I had lunch today with my buddy, Sol. We went to the Farmer’s Market, a landmark restaurant in Fort Myers. Adjacent to the actual farmers’ market which sits at our first Industrial Park, it has been serving traditional southern food … or as most of us refer to it, Soul Food … for over 60 years. Although I was born in Washington D.C. grew up in Sarasota, a beach and tourist town, and abhor the bigotry that was once associated with the south, I proudly consider myself a Southerner. I love its pace, its beauty, its charm, and most of all, its food.
Much of that food was born and developed in the slave quarters … things like spare ribs and chicken livers; grits and collards. And beginning with my earliest years as a child in Virginia, right on through the time I lived in Montgomery, Alabama, and on into today where I live in Fort Myers, FL … once more known for its ranches and its flower farms (Gladiola Capital of the World), I have loved the tastes and fragrances of soulfully cooked food. Today was no exception.
February 5, 2011
My son took me grocery shopping today. Since losing my sight, this was his third venture taking me. I reminded him of his childhood when his mother and I would take him to the store and I’d push him around in a cart. I sneered when I said it; suggested we were fast approaching a time when he would be doing that for me. He failed to see the humor.
Later, I had lunch with my friends, Sol and Tom. Yep, same Sol as the day before, and it is he and Tom that I work with; associates, long time friends, former gold partners. Today was Tom’s B-day, and the only way I can help him celebrate … Sol picking me up after their round of golf. We went to Outback, sat at the bar, ate and drank, joked and laughed. Then it came time to pay the bill. Since I paid yesterday, I figured Sol would at least pay his share today … on a total bill of $82.00. He didn’t offer; I didn’t speak; I simply paid … $102.00 with tip. Bu ton the way home, I did speak. I said, “You know, Sol, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” He replied, “Yep; and there’s no such thing as free gas either.”
February 9, 2011
My voice recognition software arrived yesterday. We installed it today. Once the disk was run, I then had to create a personal profile, not the “I’m 6’1” 200 lbs, blue eyed type,” but one that allowed my PC to recognize my voice and voice patterns. There are several steps, but the one that really beat me down was when I had to read a document … on screen or printed … for four minutes. Until you so it, you have no idea how long four minutes really is … particularly when the document you are reading is in a grey tone, is approximately 10 to 12 point … and you are practically blind! By the time I was done … and I mean done … my eyes were watering, my hands sweating and my voice hoarse. And as I write this, I have yet to try it. Quite honestly I am afraid. I don’t want the damn thing to tell me, I f**ked up!
February 11, 2011
My realtor called; said one of the units I am buying … the one for my son … under-appraised by $5,000. Prior to calling me, she called the seller’s broker. End result, he offered to carry a short-tern second for the five grand or reduce the price by two. I counter, make it three and we still have a deal … which he did … which will make this week-end pleasant, even if boring.
February 14, 2011
If you’re still reading, Happy Valentines day to all … especially you ladies. I am without a significant other this year … which is resulting in a significant savings. You see, it is things like that that keep me from feeling sorry for myself. I could choose self pity because of my eyes or choose to rejoice over my good fortune. I am rejoicing.
My oldest grandson turns 9 tomorrow. This kid is a jock! H’es got the size (like he’s 11), the coordination and the desire. His number one sport is football, but right now, his interest is baseball (we can start this early in FL), and he is emerging as both a pitcher and a catcher, plus he can hit for power. But pitching and catching? I told my son, gives a whole new meaning to playing with yourself.
Finally … on a serious note: To all the girls I’ve loved before: Thank you!
FYI … HOW I READ:
Historically, when I had time for OS, I would try to read as many posts of my favorites as I could … particularly those where the writer PMed me (FYI to all the purists who think mass PMing is obscene). Now, with reduced vision, reading is difficult and considerably more time consuming. To do it, I first copy the writer’s post. Then I paste it into a new WORD document, increase the font size to 14-16 point, and then make the whole thing bold. Having done that, I can now read the whole post. Even so, if Emily Wood was still around and I was in her class, I’d fail miserably. I can’t see whole sentences in a glance. I have to read, one word at a time.
Consequently, I can not read every post that I want. Time simply does not permit. So I have to be selective … which brings me back to PMing:
In choosing what to read, I look first to those who PMed me. Some people call PM a post blog whoring. I call it considerate; that someone would want me ot read their work enough to make me personally aware of it. I felt this way even before I lost my sight; even more so now. And consider this: Even though my faves will show up on the right of my page when they post, the assumption is I’ll see it before it gets pushed away. Bad assumption. I may go days not being able to get to OS … used to intentionally stay away on weekends; found the whole damn experience way too addictive, and felt I needed to intentionally stay away sometime. That is still true today, albeit for different reasons.
But even with those who kindly PM me, I can’t read them all. So I try to get to everyone sooner or later, skipping some to read others based on frequencies.
Sadly, I miss some good stuff because of these limits, not just stuff that was Pmed, but more so stuff that wasn’t. So let me say … again … I consider PMs about your posts a kindness. If that is whoring, then I fully support prostitution and would be proud to count you among my favorite whores.