I’ve been pouring eye drops into my eyes for days in the hopes of making them feel less like someone poured dirt in them. It must be the weather. Or the dog hair. Or pieces of my brain falling out and messing with my eyes.

Garry is on his way to New York. He is going because his two younger brothers cannot have a conversation without a trained negotiator. In this case, Garry.

Seriously, they can’t talk to each other. My 75-year-old weary husband has to drive to New York to try and make sure middle brother will allow himself to be moved from Old Family Home currently being supported by Youngest brother. The hostage will then move to a nice senior facility in Northfield, Minnesota — which is city in which the youngest sibling resides.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Garry is driving because we aren’t doing airplanes. Just getting to the airport in downtown Boston and then out of the next airport to Long Island would take longer than the drive — even including the inevitable heavy traffic. Not to mention the money thing.

This leaves me here with no car as we sold the yellow one months ago. Take pity on me. Comment frequently.

I decided — briefly — that I need to start a new blog. I want to call it ALT-MIDDLE or maybe ALT-MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD. It will lobby for normalcy.

If I do it right, we can have our own alt-middle-news network. Rupert Murdoch will offer us gazillions to run it! I’ll be rich!

Or maybe not.

I got so excited, I nearly invested in another blog and then I said to myself, “Self? Are you insane? Another one?” So. No new blog. I’m barely keeping my head above water on this one.

But someone needs to be the ALT-MIDDLE. Too many left, rights, and just plain weird. Someone needs to stump for having a regular life without a lot of drama.

Just saying.

Grainy. My eyes feel like someone poured dirt in them.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

44 thoughts on “GRAINY LIKE MY EYES”

  1. Don’t know what the cause of the ‘grainy’ IS, but check with your eye doctor to be safe. I have itchy eyes, although I never thought I had dry eye per se. I don’t. I have glaucoma. A side effect (and one of the first warning signs as I understand it) is itchy, gritty eyes. I’m now on some special drops and I use Thera-Tears for a moisturizer between my medicated drops if I need to. I was going to go with the old standby – Murine or Clear Eyes, but my doc said those contain artificial agents that actually make the problem worse. Thera-Tears and some others are ‘pure’ (whatever that might be). And I was very gratified to learn that siblings besides mine own and I don’t get along so well, even when we’ve reached old age fartitude. Sorry for Garry, but at least he’s able to help. My siblings never listen to me (not that they have to), and I don’t listen to them. Sometimes it’s not all ‘Happy Families” is it?


    1. I was JUST checked. What I have is hay fever. And we live in a woods full of pollen. With three dogs. Garry has the same problem. We are mega users of eye lubricant. This might not be our best choice of living circumstances, but it’s the only one we’ve got.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Pollen probably. It’s the end of August and it’s hay fever time. I keep the air conditioners on low, just to keep the grit out of the air, but with the dogs coming and going … well … they really ITCH.


  2. Hi, Marilyn. Just read your post. I’m sorry but I nearly laughed my ass off seriously. How old are Garry’s brothers????? just saying. Anyway, I too suffer from dry eyes, grainy eyes, sore eyes, and can’t see most of the time eyes. I feel your pain. I loved this, absolutely delightful. How long is Garry gone for? Until he physically carries both out of the building? Tell the cops one of the senile old fellers hit the other, they’ll move them out! snicker snicker. Garry can always say, did I dooooo that???? nope wasn’t me! lol


    1. Middle brother is 70, a couple of weeks older than me and youngest is 60 something. It’s absurd and I told Garry so and so did everyone else. But he’s off and I’m here. I mean, Billy is moving to senior housing, so really, isn’t it time the brothers learned to have a sensible conversation? But this is not a family that does that.

      I just want Garry back in one piece. His brothers really do him in.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I probably shouldn’t have been “witty” about this, I know it can be difficult and traumatic. Nothing like siblings to bring out the best in one another. Garry is one in a million, they should be so lucky! Hopefully all will go well. I know he doesn’t want to give up his independence, which is likely the issue at the bottom of it all, but unfortunately, it sounds like it’s time. I’m truly sorry it came to this, and Garry had to go intervene. Not a fun situation for sure, especially for you and Garry. I speak with great fondness, because I have become very fond of you and Garry. Your such honest, witty, smart people. What’s not to treasure?


      1. I am sure they are. And I think people will try to find common ground under ordinary circumstances. In a way, that might be what “middle” means. It’s what it means here, anyway. I KNOW I’m surrounded by people who don’t think like I do but we are fine together because we respect each other and are not extremists. In my mind, that’s “middle.”


              1. Maybe we ARE together. That thought has crossed my mind more than once. I know this town and I are not necessarily in political agreement, but as all this has unfolded, my town has become more determinedly itself. Maybe that’s it.


      2. Seriously, this silly rock thing seems to be a more authentic voice of America than anything else going on right now. It sure has improved my life just seeing the posts of kids finding painted rocks and people excited about what they’ve painted and how finding a rock has brightened someone’s day. I needed that.


        1. It’s the small things that make life livable. I’m not just saying that. Every time I write something I like, take pictures that make me smile, clear out a little bit of weedy garden, it’s the most satisfying part of the day.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I am avoiding extra blogwork Sometimes I wish Tabby would retire, but she arrives daily with something new. I can now see clearly again, but only because I was at the hairdressers and had the jungle growth removed. My hairdresser is better than my doctor. Sometimes I am glad I don’t have any brothers or sisters, they seem to cause many problems. New York sounds like a long way away, but I have the impression that distances are regarded in a different way in the States. It is a world journey for me to get to Schaffhausen where No. 2 son lives, and it is only 2 hours on the train.


    1. If traffic were good, it’s a three hour drive to New York. But traffic is NEVER good anywhere on the east coast or for that matter, on the west coast. It’s always bumper-to-bumper — accidents, construction, whatever. There’s always a reason. It’s no fun driving like that, either.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope you’ll be okay! 🙂 I am middle of the road… all this ‘alt and far and if you don’t agree with me, you’re a racist homophobe who probably lives under a rock cooking your food with a blowtorch and clothespins,’ is ridiculous. We’re all human and we are all connected to the history of this nation good or bad. Once we start erasing it, there is nothing to refer to in order to save us from repeating the agony.


    1. Taking down statues isn’t erasing history. I’ve never heard of anyone learning history by staring at statues. For learning, we have classes and schools and books. That is REAL history. You don’t see statues of famous nazis in Germany, either. Sometimes, it is time for “normal people” to realize that maybe they aren’t quite as “normal” as they think.

      Yes, we are all human. Surprisingly, people who were slaves don’t want to have to deal with statues of people of who are famous for defending the right to own people just like them as if they were cattle. You may think that’s not a big deal, but it is a VERY big deal. To many, many people who would also like to live “normally.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What caught my attention is Northfield, MN… Not all that far south of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, , We live in a older outer ring suburb SW of those two cities as does another of your followers. Small world.


  6. One of the reasons I am working toward moving to a retirement community is so I don’t have to face the disagreements over — well, almost everything — if I were to move in with my sister! We are very different, and would have a hard time living together — and I would prefer to keep my decisions mine rather than hers. I’m glad Garry can be a mediator, as much as it’s difficult for him to get there and for you to be alone for several days — sometimes a more objective viewpoint can make a huge difference.

    Talking about ‘huge.’ I love your idea of the alt-middle! I think that encompasses most of “Middle America,” as well as those of us on the coasts, and perhaps there’s strength in numbers. I wish I had the time to help out, but not for a while!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sorry to hear about the hay fever – and Garry’s quibbling rellies (Aussie slang for relatives) too. 😦

    Hope both get better fast and Garry is home safe soon.

    I think it is sad and disturbing that people seem to want to move away from the middle and become more radically extreme – on ‘both’ sides. It is not a healthy trend in my opinion. It is quite literally ‘unnatural’. 😦



    1. Garry is in NY and can’t seem to hear my on any phone and can’t connect the computer because no one knows the router’s password. I don’t think he is having fun, somehow.

      It is beyond sad. I is pretty damned frightening, especially for anyone who just happens to be on their hate list. I think Garry and I might make the top of their special list of people to hate.


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