Thursday, July 11, 2013

BABY BOOMER EXPOSÉ: An Inconvenient Truth ~ In Tandem ~ Kay and Sherry

Kay's Cane Chair - best invention ever!
At the Galapagos

Kids, when we were asked to choose partners for a collaboration, I asked Kay, given we graduated in the same year, in the same home town, and both have a habit of making fun of our aches and pains. Sure enough, it didn't take long to find common ground, as our emails normally sound exactly like this collaboration! I am highly envious of Kay's cane-chair. Though I'd likely go ass over teakettle were I to attempt to sit on it. So I'm envious of her agility as well!!!! Here’s Kay:

Sherry is wrong. I have no agility whatsoever. It takes me at least 10 minutes to get onto my cane-chair unaided, but only five minutes if my husband helps. I also have a very poor sense of balance. It's best if  use my chair-cane in front of a wall for support, which I'm not doing in the photo.

However, watching a field full of blue-footed boobies (males doing their courtship dance, and some females guarding their eggs, which are laid right on the sand) made up for having to lean on the handle of the chair gizmo for hours.

Yes, hours. There were two groups from our boat, and my husband's group thought the others had stopped for me, and vice versa. On a 20-passenger boat, no one stays lost for very long, however, so I was rescued while still happily watching the blue-foots.

Sherry and I often moan and groan about our various aches and pains, some similar, some unfamiliar, because we're the same age. Chances are everyone born that year has pain in some part of his or her body by now.

So we decided to put together a Baby Boomers BooBoo list, disguised as verse. Art in ain't, not by a long shot, but I'm feeling much better now that we've done it. Coincidence? I think not! Misery loves company and we are two of the most miz'ble ol' gals to come out of the Okanagan Valley in a long, long time. Love ya, Sherry!

     *****     *****     *****

my heart doesn’t murmur
my mouth usually shouts
my arteries and veins do not have clots
but the illnesses I have
cause long and prolonged pouts
for everyone just thinks that I look fine

“well, you look alright to me,
 so I suggest that we
 should go hiking on the Tuesday after next!
 if you say no, I’ll go alone,
 and you know I’ll really be quite vexed”
but wait, my friend, please, don’t you know
I’m not sick just to inconvenience you?
when I go to bed, I can’t get to sleep,
and morning finds me just as unable to waken
I do not get up refreshed
and ready to face a new day

I fall out of bed and if 
I don’t fall on the dog
I drag myself up and head off
to the bathroom to stay
for a year and a day
’til my colon problem du jour’s done its job
I’m out of breath if I try to walk
into the next room for a short talk
with my husband, who’s not sympathetic,
“you just saw the doctor, what did he say?
I don’t know, I couldn’t see him today,
his nurse says he phoned in sick

     *****     *****     *****

Oh, I hear you, Miz Kay,
and I top you
with my Head,
which hurts so much some mornings
I wish I could stay in bed.
But there’s work to be done
and the dog to be fed
so I crawl across
the floor with toe- and fingernails
all spread.

I have a pain in my big toe
and it has no where to go,
so it travels up my backbone,
gives my neck a nasty knock.
All my joints are aching,
my brain’s in some kind of shock,
but when I sing the blues, they  say
something about a sock.

“Put a sock in it!” How mean!
Do they even have a clue
that getting old’s like
putting on a too-tight shoe?
That everything hurts
and the brain is not too swift?
But Tomorrow is not promised
so today is still a gift,
(even when we need some Elavil
to get a lift.)

Just hold that banner high,
Let the universe unfold.
We’ll give our raucous cackle
and paint all our colours bold. 

Kay 1963

Sherry, 1964

We were kids in the 60's
when it was all so cool.
Now we’re in our 60’s - 
quite another kind of school.
The sky back then was promising
and always coloured blue.
Now there are holes in the ozone
and  our heads have some holes, too.

It isn’t true what they say:
what doesnt kill you
makes you strong.
What doesnt  kill you
makes you a TOTAL WRECK.
I have so many aches and pains
that I don’t even know their names,
but  I’m still breathing,
so I figure what the heck!

We Boomers have bright hearts.
You'll hear us singing 

many songs about 
holding onto hope.
And, at Happy Hour, 
you'll find,
we forget we've lost our minds.
Buzzed enough that we can Cope,
everything's De-Lovely,
even when we’re swinging
at the end of

Someone hand this woman a beverage, quick!


Gemma Wiseman said...

O this is so hysterical! (Now hang on and let me adjust the chair so my back doesn't hurt!) O do I relate! I now carry a 2 year old broken shoulder/arm (never had a break before!) + a hole in my ankle that has the doctors gazzumped! The hole is as a result of kicking it with the heel of my other foot - especially when I am tired! Apart from aching bones in winter and a never-ending cold,(it's winter now and I've spent the school holidays mostly indoors feeling terrible), I'm starting to feel very slightly ahead of both of you! In fact, suddenly I feel a bit better! Thank you so much both of you! You are both winners!

Kerry O'Connor said...

We were kids in the 60's
when it was all so cool.
Now we’re in our 60’s -
quite another kind of school...

This is a priceless piece of work. Well done to Sherry and Kay for their honest approach to growing older and for being unstinting in their wit and wisdom.

LaTonya Baldwin said...

My mother graduated 63. Another connection, feel even closer to you.

Glad you worked together.

Maude Lynn said...

This is a treasure! Love you, ladies!

Mary said...

I enjoyed this, you two! A fun read.

Susan said...

Enormously quotable! Here's my favorite: " getting old’s like
putting on a too-tight shoe"--and don't I know it! This is priceless freedom, to put the pain all out there in the frame of your poetic voices and accompanied by photos 60s to 60s. I love it, love you two too. Bravo!

Susie Clevenger said...

Love this! Getting older is full of aches and pains, but you have found the humor in it and mixed in hope. "We were kids in the 60's
when it was all so cool.
Now we’re in our 60’s -
quite another kind of school." I was a child in the 60's too..graduated in 1969...goodness how life has changed! Love you ladies and all you bring into my life through your words!

hedgewitch said...

Well, you both know I can relate! (Class of '67 here.)I love the 'put a sock in it' moment--my husband never says it, but I can hear him thinking it! I really enjoyed the photos of both of you--Sherry, you look totally grooved out on that bicycle, and Kay, that mischief in the '63 pic has never faded from your smile, even if that chair-stick thingy is now as major an acrobatic challenge as the balance beam used to be. Loved it, ladies.

Ella said...

You both enchant with your reflected view~ ;D I love the humor blended with honesty! Fun to read and the connections you both have amaze me!
Love you both!!
I think this should be a song :D

Marian said...

I LOVE YOU BOTH. oh giant hugs across the miles! just love this. Kay, you really do look like you're about to get into some kind of trouble in your '63 photo. :)

my favorite line is:

It isn’t true what they say:
what doesnt kill you
makes you strong.
What doesnt kill you
makes you a TOTAL WRECK.

i'd like another verse, please, with your thoughts on "everything happens for a reason." hah! xo

Helen said...

OMG! Epic poetry, hysterical dialogue, every gerontologist in the world should have this laying around their office waiting rooms.

Feeling left out cause I am not 'officially' a Boomer. Born too soon. Maybe you two will adopt me? I can match you ache for ache ....

Siggi in Downeast Maine said...

I can't find a favorite line...
this is so right to the point.

Class of 1962 here...and before I got on the computer, I was just saying that I didn't know how my kids got to be on the brink of past middle aged...42 and 46.. couldn't be.

I started as the "baby" of my painting group in '95 now I'm close to 70 and the oldest 87 and the others in their 80s. None of us can hear well, conversations are witty due to mis-hearing and we can't remember each others names all the time. We've almost all had cataract surgery which is a blessing, we've started a new with our new our art, writing and reading.

Thank you for sharing ... I could go on and on... you brought back so many memories and reminded me of how "interesting" it is to get old old when your younger than you doctor retires you try to figure out how many years you'll get out of the next one and hope you out live them.

Peace and love to all that shared...

Hannah said...

Oh, I scanned the comments...I had copy/pasted the very same as Kerry!! Love that and I do agree with the other part of her comment as well so I'll leave you a "ditto," here, what Kerry said!!

Awesome job ladies...I love your humor despite the seriousness of your topics. ♥

L. Edgar Otto said...

Nonsense really, this was the first generation forever young... and had not happened before and may never happen again.

My son reaching the age of 30, all of my children really so afraid of this or that ailment... asked me when I last had a check up... Let me think I said...well, 1974! It made him laugh past the seriousness.

All ye Irish vessels lie emptied of the fleeting pains and full of poetry... this tandem prompt is a great idea if the rest is anything like this one...

Scarlet said...

How delightful to see both of you having a good time ~ I so enjoyed your verses ladies, aches and pains notwithstanding ~ I say both of you are strong beautiful women ~


Anonymous said...

I was rocking back and forth in my office chair with laughter, and yet there was much I saw myself in as well! You two, a perfect collaboration. Come the revolution, you will be le resistance, no doubt!

Much comes with age. Not all of it is wisdom. Some is pain, some is chronic crankiness. While I feel your pain (literally!), there is no crankiness in either of you boomers. Only love and creativity. Congrats on a great pairing! Thanks also for the "then and now" pix. Love you both, Amy

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You are all too kind. Here is a postscript - I didnt have the final stanza's rhythm right yet and thought I had another day - but it posted "on time" - I had just misplaced a day somewhere. Sigh. I may have to tinker with it some more........

Margaret said...

"De-Lovely" both of you! If we can find humor... somewhere in all the aches and pains of growing older - then we just may have found the key to happiness.

grapeling said...

Thank you both for inciting a riot of grins. I chose the same excerpt as Marian, so won't repeat it here, but cheers and good cheer, both. ~ M

Kay L. Davies said...

A million thanks, Toads dear, and you know I'm not one to exaggerate.
Luv, K

Other Mary said...

Oh Kay and Sherry this is such a funny, honest and hopeful piece. I'm so glad I finally got here to read it. What a delightful collaboration!