How do you like to spend a lazy day?
This is an interesting question but the answer is not quite what you might expect. It implies that your day is normally busy and that you spend your time doing the bidding of others, that you would just like to kick back and do nothing. I have to say this was the case with me for many years, but now I look at things from a slightly different angle.
Since I have retired and after a year of self-imposed isolation due to the Corona Virus, a lazy day is the norm and not anything special. So much so that I try to think up something busy to do to make my time more exciting. Not that it is very easy. Even things that are intellectually stimulating are more often sedentary in nature than they are active.
My activities are pretty much the same, day after day without much variety. But that is not to say that I don’t find rewarding things to do. It’s just that they happen over and over and they don’t involve much exertion. In the last year we have stopped going to restaurants and movies. It’s seldom that anyone visits or that we visit someone else. Our groceries are delivered. We order things on line rather than going shopping for them. We stay at home.
So what is a normal day? I wake up around 6:00am, usually when Karen is getting up. That’s just too early for me so I try to get back to sleep. Maybe that works, maybe it doesn’t. On occasion, I have slept as late as 10:00am but usually I am up before 8:00. I get cleaned up for the day and have my morning coffee. We call it candy coffee, three rounded teaspoons of sugar and a quarter cup of half and half in a huge coffee mug. That’s it for coffee for me for the rest of the day.
I read the paper, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, on my laptop. I check my email. I look at FaceBook for the first of many times during the day. In case FaceBook is no longer around in the future, it’s a website where you can make a comment and it gets sent out to all the people you have identified as your friend. You, in turn, receive their messages and so keep in touch. Your messages can be plain text, pictures, videos, or links to other sites on the internet. People share things that are of interest to them, or things about their own lives. I post the occasional message and I respond to my friends’ messages sometimes. A few years back I went through many of my old photos and collected ones that picture our family or ones that I think have artistic merit on their own. I call those PICTORIALS. These photos are FaceBook submissions occasionally.
Last Christmas my daughter Wendy and her family bought me a subscription to a service called StoryWorth. Once a week Wendy picks a question from their list which they send to me. I write up my answer to the question and submit it to the StoryWorth site. That is what I am doing with this message right now. I also forward it to Karen who writes up her own answer. Then I copy the answers into a desktop publishing program which will eventually be turned into part of my autobiography. I bring those two answers together into one document that I publish on my blog, Butchieboy.info. StoryWorth has a clumsy mechanism for publishing my stories, which does not include Karen’s submissions. With my blog it is much easier to get our memories out to anyone who has interest in them and for them to make comments. Those comments are often one of the best parts of the process. I have one blog entry about my elementary school that I wrote in 2010 (it’s 2021 as I write this) that I have 47 comments on. Not only have friends and family posted to it but people who attended Riley Elementary who stumbled onto the blog. Some were long lost classmates, but one was a neighbor who lived two houses away from me till I was 10 years old.
I have also been cataloging my old photos. As the family genealogist people give me lots of old family photos. If they don’t want to let go of them, they are usually kind enough to let me copy them. As a result I have about 2000 historical photos and scads more that are negatives and slides and eventually digital photos. I try to identify all the people in the photos and the date they were taken. I also put in titles, subjects, comments, and tags to make finding particular photos easier. Doing this in an organized and consistent manner is a time consuming process and has taken a good share of my time recently. The effort should be worthwhile because once done, I can give copies to relatives so everyone who wants them can have them, all on something as small as a jump drive or SD card. I also try to submit the more important ones to the “Family Search” archive so they are preserved “forever”.
After I have been sitting at my computer for a few hours I start to get a little achy. I grab my cell phone and lounge out on the bed to play a video game, read a book, or watch a movie. This refreshing break gets me pretty close to supper time.
Karen and I have this sort of routine for dinner. I do most of the prep work for the ingredients. She puts the heat on the food. We share the mixing or other assembly somewhere in the middle. It’s just about ready when the PBS News Hour comes on and we embark on our evening viewing. We are children of the early days of television so regularly scheduled programming is still a part of our routine; Antiques Roadshow, Finding Your Roots, Masterpiece Theater, and even some of the cartoon mysteries on Thursday night; Father Brown and Death in Paradise to name a couple. More often these days we have started to adjust to modern viewing by watching streaming programs on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Britbox and other paid services. When I have had my fill of these I go to bed. Often before Karen.
Well that’s it. My lazy day. I hope yours is more exciting.
As I write this in April of 2021, we are just entering about the fourteenth month of the Covid 19 pandemic. Since Butch and I were in the age group that has been hit particularly hard by the virus, we have spent most of our time at home in isolation. There have been many lazy days in that time. We are also both retired so lazy days are the rule rather than an exception.
My main and preferred way of spending time without expending much effort is reading. I love diving into a good story and whiling away my time. My favorite books are mysteries or detective stories. I usually choose books in that genre that have a historical setting. I have developed an interest in World War I and have a couple of favorite authors who set their stories in that time period. It is amazing how much I have learned about war in the trenches, equipment, gas, generals, nursing and casualties. Of course I will read just about anything but stick with fiction most of the time except that I also enjoy biographies. My favorite place to read is on our shady deck, in a comfy chair, with a nice little breeze to keep the bugs away!
I also like puttering around in our yard with plants. Since our lot is wooded, we have been pretty much limited to shade gardening. I like to put plants in pots on the deck in order to enjoy flowers and color. This kind of gardening is something I can do at a leisurely pace. Once I get the plants into pots, it only takes a little maintenance from time to time to keep them in good shape. I love being outside feeling the sun, seeing critters, and smelling the dirt and things that are growing.
This post is part of the StoryWorth project that I am participating in.
At the ButchieBoy main page click the “StoryWorth” category to see the rest of the entries.