I couldn’t have chosen a better word for the day if I had tried.

Garry’s got another audiology appointment in about an hour and I have a doctor’s appointment in another section of the valley at three in the afternoon. Between one appointment and the other, we’ll be absent all day. By the time we get back, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to feel like writing more stuff.

These are two places that aren’t far apart, mind you — but there is no road that goes between Worcester and Upton. To get to Worcester, it’s north on Route 146 to 290, a quick right on Route 9 and voilà.

To get to Upton, you basically have to come all the way back to Uxbridge to pick up Route 16 and head east to Milford, then north to Upton. We have lots of north-south roads, but few east-west roads. No idea why.

Sometimes, living around here is very inconvenient. Getting old in a place that lacks basic services for older people is more and more difficult.

One of these issues is trash and recycling. I know we don’t have recycling locally. We also don’t have a dump and our trash people are having a very hard time finding places to put all that stuff.

Upwards toward Route 98

We’re going to recycle again because I live in hope that at least some of the stuff will actually get used to some better purpose, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope. New England does not have the services it needs to do this job right. Our dumps are full and have been for 100 years or more and it’s a small area without a lot of open lands to build more facilities.

It all costs money to recycle around here. Much of the recycling gets shipped overseas to whoever is actually recycling. It used to be China, but they seem to be overdosing on their own mess, so I have no idea where we are shipping it these days. I suspect it just lives on trucks and moves from one place to another and eventually gets dumped in the ocean or a river somewhere.

Garbage is going to kill us. How depressing is that?

The standard recycling bin here is an open bin with no wheels. Which would be impossible to get up the driveway to the road, so we are paying an extra two dollars a month to used a wheeled barrow to move the plastic bottles and cut-up cardboard every first and third Tuesday to the front. We did this before, but the truck never stopped to pick up the stuff. They kept saying we didn’t have it outside in time, but since we put it out the night before, that’s not true. They just didn’t stop. We were not on their agenda.

I’m hoping it works out better this time.

They will adjust our bill. We get the senior discount but we don’t get a senior assistance program, so we are still — no matter how old we get — required to push that barrel up that long driveway. Not me because I physically can’t do it, so it’s Garry. He’s 76 and I have this awful mental image of 90-year-old Garry pushing the trash up the hill in the middle of the winter or in the pouring rain.

It’s not a happy thought.

Of all the things that are annoying about getting old? Many of them seem like such small things until you realize you can’t do them. Suddenly, they aren’t so small.

So absent is the name of our day. I apologize, but I’ve been writing a lot more than I can manage. I will do the best I can … but if I can’t get it done, I apologize in advance.

I also can’t read and comment on everyone’s blog, even if I love you to death. I don’t have the time to even open all the blogs, much less comment on each. I try to at least take a look, but I’m out of time.

Life has entered our world. Blogging is great, but it won’t get us to the doctor on time or get the dog to the vet or clean the kitchen floor.


Can’t live with it. Can’t live without it.

39 thoughts on “GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN HOPEFULLY – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Sometimes blogging is almost more than a full time job, but I survive. This morning I awoke half an hour later than usual and what was worst, so did Mr. Swiss. I mean we only had to go shopping and a clean through, but somehow that little word stress creeps into it all.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, we made it through the day, the medical appointments, supermarket shopping, post appointments conversation and got home — just in time to feed the furry children.

        NIght has fallen, baseball’s on the Telly and I am feeling like one of the Red Sox starters — bone tired and in search of my fast ball.


  2. Good pictures. I live in a subdivision and it is beginning to bug me not having more land. I grew up in a small town in a rural area. Houses on either side, not close but fifty yards or do away with nothing behind but a small pasture then woods that went forever. Time for me yo take a trip to the countryside.
    I am 76 also. I guess Garry and I lived through a lot of history at the same time. Good luck to him pudding things uphill. Tell him hi keep thinking it is good exercise and will keep him young.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, old guy. You can’t be old if you’re only 76. Hell, the Red Sox might sign us up to mega year deals if we still spot our fast balls and curve balls, mix in a slider and a spit ball. I’m back on my daily, informal exercise regimen. It feels good, young fella.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marilyn, I wish you and Garry the best today on the road to and from your appointments. “Of all the things that are annoying about getting old? Many of them seem like such small things until you realize you can’t do them. Suddenly, they aren’t so small.” Yesterday — for the first time and all of a sudden, or so it seemed — I was limping like Jacob. My HIP hurt and caused me to limp, not because of any wrestling with God, just this stage of life. Bone on bone? And we catch a flight to Boston early tomorrow for a wedding. Wish we could spend time with the two of you, but, alas, it is not to be. “Small thing” but not so small.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think as we age, things just hurt. Sometimes, my ankle hurts. No idea why. As far as I know, nothing is wrong down there, but there are days when it just hurts.

      I am VERY sorry you won’t have time for us!!


    2. Gordon, thanks for the comforting thoughts. I’m in daily contact with a former colleague who’s younger than me. He’s updating me on knee and eye surgeries. Guess, i cannot really complain. Maybe, whine a little, huh?

      Gordon, sorry to hear about YOUR health problems. Hope things improve for you.


  4. Where does all the garbage go I wonder? Naomi said that her local council gave them new bins last week, one for normal garbage and one for recycling but they are only going to pick up every fortnight instead of weekly which they are blaming on China not taking our trash any more. She commented that the bins would be really heavy and difficult to move to the road although in her case it’s not far and the bins have wheels. My recycling bin is big and heavy too but I can manage it. My main fear at this time of year is slipping over in the muddy driveway and as I can’t see in the dark very well I have to remember to put it out before sunset the night before. I’ve been passed by for being too late with the bins as well or for not having it in exactly the right spot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve stayed (even though it’s more expensive) with weekly pickups because it’s too heavy after two weeks and as you can see, it’s a look uphill battle to get the trash up there. I have no idea where the trash is going, but I’m betting it isn’t really getting recycled, no matter WHAT they tell us. They don’t have the facilities or the market for recycled goods.


      1. I think ours goes to a central processing place in Hobart. I’ve seen a video of how they separate stuff. In Tasmania the excuse is often “We’re too small for this or that to be viable.” However, there is quite a community of “zero wasters”. I admire them but they do almost everything from scratch although I try not to waste what I have.


      1. Leslie, I didn’t see any recyclables when I watched “China Seas” (‘35/MGM) again last night. Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and Leo The Lion — fresh as spring rain.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This reminds me of asking for directions and “you can’t get there from here.” My parents are having the same difficulties, trying to be mindful and recycle, but finding it a physical burden. Best wishes to you today on your circuitous routes!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, yes, he can hear. But it’s inconsistent. Part of it is not exactly hearing, it is that he is used to being deaf so he isn’t “listening” in the way that normal people listen. I hear a dozen things at a time — the sound of a dog eating a plastic pill container, the clunk of the dog flap, the sound of a delivery truck in the driveway, wind in the trees. A faint beep that somewhere, something electronic is going off. Garry has never heard those sounds and he doesn’t “listen” for them. But he definitely hears MUCH better. Much much better.

          Liked by 1 person

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