About that 1eyedmonkee

1eyed

The beginning was nothing like what was to follow.  In the mid-1950’s I was born in Gary, IN and yes, the stench of the steel mills is a nostalgic rush to me…born to parents who worked their blue collar jobs like the depression era babies they were…and for my dad that lasted 36 some odd years at one job for NIPSCO (gas and electric company).  Moving around from high pressure meter to high pressure meter he would stumble on trinkets, treasures and someone else’s junk.  Ohhh the bounty he’d bring home – or store in his truck – or put in the garage – or pile in the basement.  He even brought us puppies!

Being the youngest of three by four years put me in the privileged position of being the one to go with him on Saturday mornings to go get groceries or whatever other excuse we could find to ramble around town doing nothing much.  Thus my treasure hunting was born.  I learned at the hands of an expert.

Gary’s West side neighborhood was called Brunswick and it was a mix of working class first and second generation European immigrant families, African Americans, Mexicans and a smattering of Wasps.  We were the WASPs.  I have a million posts to write about those days.  White Flight moved us 25 miles east and into another universe just as I began junior high.  As I write, that’s the house I’m sitting in…but wait there’s more explaining to do.

After college, my husband’s graduate degree and the birth of two kids in 18 months, we packed it all in and moved to Spain for the next 12 years.  I had always said as a kid that I thought my parents were really in the circus and they’d dropped me off in Gary…and it was in these years that I began to believe that was true.  Nothing less than 17 addresses bounced us around overseas and stateside until 1996 when we left Europe.  The gypsy part wasn’t over entirely as work has allowed us to visit more than 20 countries and I’ve brought back lots of trinkets from lots of places – each with a story…and that too will eventually be part of this.

But as my octogenarian parents have been needing more hands on help, it’s become an extended family experiment to see if my living here with them for 4-5 days a week can eek us through till my dad’s dream of dying at home comes true.  Congestive heart failure and an alzheimer’s cousin called multi-infarct dementia are in a dead heat (no pun intended).  One of them will win out and we are just waiting for that shoe to drop.  Since my mom has her own fledgeling dementia issues – it’s a bit much for her to handle alone.  Trying to pull this off with the dignity he deserves – we’ll just have to see how far we get. It’s worth every day that I try.

My “training”, working as an interpreter (Spanish) in a rehabilitation hospital for the last three years, has put me in rooms – 12 hours at a time – 7 days a week, with patients suffering from traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal chord injury, etc.  But that setting differs from this as I was on the side of hope and expectation as we’d slowly but surely see people come back from the netherworld with extensive speech, occupational and physical therapy.  This is just a wind down…but to a better place – he’s staked his life on it.

But the strangest part of this story is that being here bubbe-sitting is one of very little brain chatter for me…away from my “normal” life in a house with a self-employed international consultant, a screenwriter/film director, a singer/songwriter, a 100 lb. Bernese Mountain dog and a neurotic cat…and various and sundry boarders that find shelter under our wings.  All I have to do here is make sure they eat, do their laundry, give them meds, interpret/arbitrate, wake at all hours of the night with the night wanderer and leave to do errands as often as possible to keep my own sanity.  I learned that trick in the hospital setting but it was only a trip to the end of the hall and to the vending machines.

So the long and short of it is, that this blog is my lifeline to the outside…my message in a bottle while I’m on this island.  I needed to start somewhere because I’ve had a life time of gathering…thus I can with assurance say – I am a purveyor of trinkets, time travel and sagacious wit.  Glad to have you along for my travels.

jessis

9 responses

31 07 2008
Neenah

hey – I just saw this for the first time. it’s great . I’m loving reading these. don’t stop.

hang in there.

who is grady’s mom?

31 07 2008
1eyedmonkee

you just saw it because i just posted it! i have so much homework to do and have to pull all-nighters since my roommates won’t leave me alone! it’s a good thing they go to bed so early…but by 6 a.m. we are rockin’ ‘n rollin’. xoxoxox

9 08 2008
Magik Quilter

Hi I am loving your honesty and your whimsical way of writing. I live in sydney Australia and would be very happy to make this journey with you. By the way you express yourself beautifully.

9 08 2008
1eyedmonkee

welcome to our wild ride…it’s a privilege to have your reading from the other side of the world!

13 08 2008
Amy Josephine

Hey Wendy,

I’ve been keeping up with your posts, but just read this one…I am with you on this wild ride, too. Love, Amy

3 01 2010
linda belgiano

Wendy,
I just found your blog and began reading. You are an awesome writer, painting pictures of life and souls along the way. Enjoyed it very much. All the best. Congrats on the new baby grand!

3 01 2010
1eyedmonkee

thanks Linda. a nice surprise to know people are still discovering the adventures of 1eyed! looks like 2010 will be special for you too.

22 02 2011
Berend

Hi, just read this for the first time. Got rerouted through an Espressoparts update. They say there’s only seven steps between the lot of us, so that figures. It appears you know how to appreciate good coffee, so here’s cheers to you. You write, i read, i like, i tell you and then i read some more. Maybe not all fun stuff, but who wants to read a story wherein everything goes right,… right? Okay,.. got some more reading to do, so keep it up, stay happy and healthy, greets from the cold war capitol and maybe hasta la proxima viesta.
y.t. Berend

26 11 2011
Mary Alice

Can I join you in these musings, having discovered them quite a bit after the fact. Hope you are still writing and that I can be next door and not in Austrailia to find inspiration from your journey.

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