Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Alone, But On My Own


For almost my whole life, I never lived alone. I used to imagine what it would be like. To not have to make compromises or do things the way someone else tells you or expects you to do. To be free and independent comes with a price tag, at least for me it does. It is learning to not count on anyone else to share things with or to talk to at those times when you want to talk. It is at those times when I most miss living with someone. I realize I need to give it time and gradually, I will adjust. There are many people in my life who I can talk with, but I was never a phone person. Picking up the phone to call someone just to talk is not at all something I would do. Sometimes I just want to know someone is there and cares what is happening to me. I remember my father had said to my mother that when she dies, no one will ask him what his blood sugar reading was that morning and even care what it was. I have only been alone a little over three months now. For most of the time I was busy organizing and decorating my apartment. Now it is time for me to branch out to my new community.

Norwich Post Office

I have been taking some walks around my neighborhood and down the street. I wanted to see that I could make it to the post office so I could purchase money orders there to pay my rent. I was able to and I walked around a bit afterwards. So I see that I can get there and back on my own. Not sure what it will be like in the winter with snow on the sidewalk and how my rolling walker will do then. I will figure something out. When I was out walking though, I met a man who is the editor of the Journal of the Chenango County Historical Society. He talked to me for quite awhile. He wants me to write something about the area I used to live in. I know a lot about the history of the area. Mainly because there wasn't much information about it when I was researching it. Just getting started on this project. I am excited about it. Very strange to me that I would just meet someone on the street like that!

City Parking Lot in Norwich, NY

In my life now, I have the time to devote to friendships, family and other projects and hobbies that I did not have time for before. When you are living alone there are so many things that you could not do when you are living with others. If you are not hungry, there is no one else you have to worry about. If you want to sleep all day and stay up all night, there is no problem. It will not affect anyone else. If I want to bring home a kitten or another rabbit, it is up to me only. Nobody to ask or beg because I can do what I choose. Life will be what I want to do when I want to do it and with whom. Nobody to ask permission of and I will never allow myself to lose control of my own life again. One thing I will never do and that is live my life dependent on another person for financial or emotional support. It gives them the control over you and your freedom and independence.

That is not to say I do not want romance in my life, even at my age. I want it, I enjoy it and sharing a part of my life with someone else. As long as it is someone I can trust, have fun with, laugh together and love, yes, love too. Just because you care for someone and love them does not mean you let them take over your life or give up your freedom. It is as Billy Joel sang in one of his hit songs, it is a matter of trust. "But wait," you say, "I thought you don't want to answer to another person?" No, I don't. But if I have a committed relationship that is exclusive to one person, I would not be doing anything to violate that trust. Nor would he. Living  alone, that trust would still stand. Does that mean I would never live with another man? Now I can't answer that right now. I change my mind constantly, so all I can say is that it is not set in stone.

The Guernsey Memorial Library

If you have been living alone for a long time, you probably think I am a bit over dramatic, but the truth is, if you have been married for a very long time and always lived with someone, it is a very different life, this living alone life. I have always been quite introverted and usually had a small handful of friends instead of a large group, My hobbies are basically things like genealogy, online research, shopping and social media, reading, writing, music, photography and my pets. I still have plenty to keep me busy and living in a new city has been fun for me. Exploring everything nearby, within walking distance. A bonus is the library is directly across the street! So I have plenty to keep me busy here. I have many more plans and goals to reach that I needed to be living here to do. I will get to them, one at a time.......little steps.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, August 24, 2018

A Walk Near My Home

One day last week I finally ventured out of my building and down the street. It was one of the best days here so far. Normally, I just walk to the Service Pharmacy store that is a short walk across the parking lot. This time I walked around my building and down the street. The Guernsey Memorial Library is across the street from my building. How convenient was that for the students? The library directly across the street from the school! I wonder if the students could go across the street during classes to use the references available there? I remember spending hours in my school libraries. I always have enjoyed being in a library. Going to the library is on my list of things to do soon. The smell of the books, the quiet of the room, the "shhhh of the library employees......ah, what memories they bring back. Some years back, my husband and I spent hours in the Vestal (NY) library. We would leave with arms full of books. I used to take cookbooks out and manually copy the recipes into our old fashioned computer (at that time, no Windows). Those were fun times for us.

The area next door to the library is an awesome park that I did not even know was there, until a few weeks ago when I rode by it in a car. I saw the paved path and knew I could maneuver my way with my rolling walker. I could not wait to explore this little park. It was even more than I saw from the car window. I had a good time there all by myself. Of course, I had a little brown bird following me everywhere. Such care has been taken in this park and the flowers uplifted my spirit tremendously. I love flowers and there was plenty in full bloom this day. I just sat there on my walker and took in the beauty of it. I sadly, didn't plant flowers at my previous home. I just planted food plants. I enjoyed all my wild flowers of which, there were plenty.

I am not saying that the city I live in is better than all others, but it is one of the best one I have ever lived in. I have four parks within walking distance of my apartment and there are more in other areas of the city. In the evening, even after dark, I see families out walking on the street with their children. The children riding their bicycles or whatever, following their parents. The people are friendly and will talk to strangers like they have known you all their lives. Very refreshing after some of the cities I have lived in. I have mostly lived in small towns or rural areas through out my life. Living in St. Petersburg, FL was beautiful but there was a lot of crime. We would hear gun shots often. And one time a guy chased me from my job a few blocks away almost to my house. I had to hide in the alley behind a dumpster near my house. I did not want him to know which house I was going to.

I feel very fortunate and blessed to have been able to move into this apartment. I appreciate it and thank God for answering my prayers to get it. It is peaceful and quiet most of the time. My neighbors are the friendly kind and everyone seems to get along as far as I can tell. The other day, I went downstairs to check my mailbox and came up to find the basket outside my door full of the green carrot tops for Rabbit! I was surprised and thankful, because he loves them.They are too much for me to buy just for the tops, since I cannot eat many carrots due to their carb count. He loved them! I have a feeling I know who put them there. Everyone in the building knows I have a rabbit for a pet and think it is unusual. But I have met many people who have had a "house rabbits" for a pet. I never knew any before I had Rabbit though. So maybe it is a new idea for others. They seem to be amazed that he can run free in the apartment and uses a litter box like a cat.

I have plans to be do many more walks around this city. I will always carry my camera with me since my rolling walker makes that easy to do. My purse and camera ride along in the basket under the seat. In some ways, having to use a walker makes life easier for me. It is a good way to get fresh air and to uplift my mood. Sunshine is good for me, I know. I have a tendency to not put myself out in those situations that I can't control. At home, I am safe and comfy. Getting outside has always been something I have to do. Even at my house, I used to sit out on the porch drinking my coffee in the snow, as long as the sun was out. Now I am looking forward to more of these walks. 

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, August 13, 2018

Sounds Of The City

Downtown near my apartment!

The sounds of the city at night are different than what I was used to. Living in the forest for so many years, I got used to the sounds of the night, which were not always pleasant. Coyotes, owls, the occasional scream of an animal being grabbed by the owls. Then their familiar hoot hoot after they got it. You get used to those things. Hearing my horses crunching their hay or walking around trying to avoid being bitten by thousands of bugs, looking to feast on fresh horse flesh. I would be lying if I said I don't miss it at all. Yes, when I lay in bed at night, sometimes I miss the night sounds of the forest. Not of the animals killing other animals, but the general sounds of the night. 

Pretty quiet here most of the day!

Here in my apartment, living in the downtown area of a small city, it is not as loud as you might think. It is pretty quiet here for a city. The sirens from fire trucks, police cars and ambulances are not heard as often as most people associate with living in a city. I remember when my son lived in a city about 35 miles from me, and when I would talk to him on the phone, that is all I heard. Sirens. Constantly. I figured I would have to get used to it. The alternative was to stay put and that was not the option I wanted. So I figured I could play music all the time to drown the city sounds out. It has not been bad at all. On week-ends I hear people out and about as they come out of the restaurants and bars nearby. One of the bars plays live music, but to me it sounds good. I love listening to it!

Taxi cab in parking lot

Living in the country when you do not have a vehicle to drive makes it difficult. you live in a city. I have been fortunate to have a friend who will take me to the store or to my doctor's appointments. If I had to, there are other ways get around here. Public transportation is easy to use. The city transit bus comes right to the door of my building several times a day. I am planning on stepping out of my comfort zone one of these days, before winter comes and take that bus to Wal-Mart. There are also taxis and they have their phone number posted on almost every store window along the main street. And then of course, I can walk pretty good some days with my rolling walker. If I get tired I can sit on the seat of the walker.

Rabbit taking some hay out of his cage!

Life was harder in the country. Living here in an apartment has been a good change for me. I am much happier and not bored at all. I still do not have a television, nor do I want one. I am a computer person and enjoy reading and listening to music as well. I have been working to get all settled in and I am still not done with all that yet. I have another load of things to get from the house. I will get them all organized and then can get on with other things I had plans for. I am not giving up some projects I used to do. I am planning on getting my canning equipment and either I will use it or sell it. I am not keeping anything that I do not use. Maybe I will do a little bit of canning in small amounts. I'll see.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Studio Apartment Decor

I love bright colors in my home!

I am still in the process of getting settled in my small studio apartment, kat's Studio, as I have named it. What I really like about such a small space is that it forces you to weed out that excess. Those things you have stored for years, but never used or took out to look at. One of the main objectives of kat's Studio, is for me to wake up in the morning and smile. To walk in the door after a day out, to see the appearance of my apartment and smile. At night when I am going to sleep, the lights from outside, even the moon at times, shining in my very large windows onto my ceiling, make me smile. I thank God every night, for bringing me to this place.........my home. I love it and love every day of living here. So I am trying to make it appealing in every way..........to who? To me! It is ALL ABOUT ME!!!!

My dresser defines my private mini bedroom

Since it is a studio apartment which is very small, I had to be smart in designing it to appear larger so I didn't feel crowded in. The two things that make my space here work is the large windows, which are tall as well as wide. The other being the extremely high ceilings directly in front of the windows. The walls being painted white also help give the illusion of more space. Instead of setting my large dresser against a wall, I have placed it so it creates a small bedroom behind it. That idea which I found on Pinterest, works well. At night when I am in my bed reading on my Kindle, as I do most nights, it feels cozy in there. Private. Rabbit's cage is close to my bed, but that gives me more time with him.  Last night, in fact, I had him on my bed with me for a few minutes, giving him nose and ear rubs.

My mini bedroom

When I was making my plans to move into this small studio apartment, I thought I would have to stick with my small twin bed, that I had been using for the last five years. But once I was in here and had my space set up, I saw that a double/full sized bed would work. Off I went to buy a new bed. I like it a lot! That little bit of extra room is much more comfortable than the little bed was. I loved that little bed and it wasn't an easy decision to give it up. I had a 4" memory foam topper on it and wow, that made such a difference. So I was a little nervous about the change, But my new bed is very comfortable and has the memory foam built in. I love the extra room!

The "pass through" to the kitchen

My mini bedroom, as I like to call it, has the "pass through" over the bed that is over the sink in the kitchen. I love it! I can just put things on that to take into the kitchen or bedroom, depending on which side I am on. Another thing about this mini bedroom is that when someone comes to my door and even if they come in the entrance way, they cannot see my bed or vanity or Rabbit's cage. It is very private. It is hard to have a private spot in a studio apartment of this size. I have done it though and like I said, it is very cozy and comfortable. I like using colors to brighten up the white walls. Nothing that I have has costed me very much money, which goes along with my frugal way of living.

Love my high ceilings!

The high ceiling is what makes this small apartment seem much larger. I am not certain if the other apartments all have that or not. I have only been in a couple of other ones and one across the hall did have that spacious space also. So maybe they all do. Soon I will have all the work done of organizing it and my storage locker downstairs. I do not want to move from this apartment to a larger one anytime in the future. It is the best apartment as far as I am concerned. I am always working on it and probably always will.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole