If dreams are a window into our subconscious thoughts then I must be obsessed with toilets and my husband. I often wake up during dreams where I’m looking for a bathroom. It might be in a building with a hundred doors to open or I might be looking in a house of hallways with no doors at all. It’s not hard to figure why these reoccurring dreams happen because I wake up with an urgent need to pee. As for my husband, the past few months I’ve dreamed of him nearly every night and I can’t figure out why. I did that at the beginning of my widowhood but those dreams got farther and farther apart until it would only be a night or two a month when he’d come to me in my sleep.
Last night was the first time when I dreamed about toilets and my husband in the same dream and it was freaky because he was doing something I hadn’t thought about or seen done in nearly fifty years. Back then, I remember seeing women take dirty diapers---the old clothe kind, not the paper ones like they use today---and hold them tight at one end while flushing the toilet to clean the solid waste out of them. Having never been a mother, I never did it myself or if I did I was babysitting and it wasn’t very often because over the years I developed a rule: I don’t babysit any child who isn’t old enough to say, “My stomach hurts. I want to go to the hospital.”
Anyway, in my dream Don was in the bathroom holding various things over the toilet bowl and flushing---ordinary clothing and hand towels, etc. I asked him what the heck he was doing and he said he was doing the laundry. Sure enough, sitting on the floor was a pile of wet, soggy stuff. That’s when I woke up, aghast that he would do such a thing. I cannot figure out where this random diaper memory came from and why all these years later it appeared in my subconscious thoughts. And as for Don doing the laundry, the man barely knew where the washing machine resided in the house. His idea of doing the laundry was to pack it up and drop it off to a laundromat where an attendant would do it for him. He could drive and repair any piece of heavy equipment on a military base or on the road but a washer and dryer was above his pay scale, as they say. I think one time he tried doing laundry and he got the classic, pink underwear of a beginner and he never tried doing the laundry again.
This week I went to a lecture titled, “Ladies of the Lights.” It was presented by an energetic speaker from a group that promotes Michigan’s tourism industry. It was about forty women who were lighthouse keepers on our Great Lakes, dating back to the 1840s. (We have thirty lighthouses within 100 miles and about a third of them are on islands.) She read diary excerpts from some of these lighthouse keepers and, boy, were those passages engaging! When you think about the cold, ice and snow we’ve had this winter and how it can isolate us in our homes, can you image being in a lighthouse in the decades before the internet, TV and even telephones were invented? It was a fascinating lecture and one I’d recommend to anyone who gets a chance to see it as it moves around the Great Lake states. I can’t wait until her next lecture in the fall when she’s coming back to do one on haunted lighthouses.
I just realized I’m signed up for a day trip next week, to go to a large antique mall near Lake Michigan in my favorite tourist town of Saugatuck. When I signed up, March sounded so far away and warm and spring-like but it’s still supposed to be cold and snowy. Great. If you hear about a highway pile up in West Michigan think of me. I don’t like being on the highways in the winter! If the weather turns out to be bad enough to close the schools, though, the trip will get rescheduled. Our senior hall bus is housed and maintained by the school district, even though we raised the money last fall to buy it and pay for its upkeep. This will be my first time riding on it. In the past we’ve always rented buses. But through the winter they’ve used the new bus to go to plays, musicals and other productions downtown which aren’t my thing but I mention them here because senior halls “can be” a wellspring of activities at a reasonable, no profit-built-in price.
And that fact makes it so hard when I think about moving to the other end of town. I’ve checked out the senior hall activities down there and they can’t compare to what’s only five minutes away up here. Oh, they have the card games, exercise classes and the crafts the same as we do up here (that I don’t take part in) but they don’t have the lectures and day trips that I like the most. I’ve been driving myself crazy weighing the pros and cons of moving closer to my family. I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I’d have to find a pet friendly, zero-steps condo community that has planned activities to balance out what I’d be losing in my social life up here. So far, I’ve only found one community that checks all the boxes and I’m not sure I can afford to live there. When the weather gets nicer and I can do their tour, I’ll find out more. Too many “ifs” and “buts” to make this old widow sure of anything! ©