You Can’t Take It With You

Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Laura was in the Kaufman and Hart play, “You Can’t Take It With You,” this weekend.  She played Rita, who is listed in the script at “a colored maid name Rheba.”  She played it as a Southerner – and she was really good!  And I would think so even if I were not her mother and biggest fan.  I can’t believe that her high school drama career is over….Anyway, on this night before taxes are due, I have to say that I agree with the sentiment of the play’s title when it comes to money.  Might as well use it to pay taxes as anything else, although the main character in the show finds an unusual way to avoid taxation.

So, what can we take with us?  I believe that love goes on forever, so I hope that I will find more ways to love and be loving in this second chance I have been given.  That being said, I guess this is a good time to review progress on The List.

1. Commit to walk anywhere that is less than one mile away.  This is actually much easier than I anticipated, although I haven’t decided how to handle offers of rides when it’s raining (so far, I have not) or when someone is driving to the place that I am going (sometimes yes, sometimes no).  But it turns out that I really like walking places — even all the way from Annie’s in Arlington to the Mall in DC to see the cherry blossoms!  Right now, I am committed to walking anywhere in within the ‘burg.  (Laura and Jack are my favorite unwilling teenagers in this campaign.)

2. Take a tai chi class and/or a yoga class.  Check. Chris has shown me some yoga moves.  I might take a class at Wellspan.  I heard today that there may be a weekly tai chi class at Rec Park.  How cool is that??

3. Grow enough tomatoes for a whole year. Maybe green beans, too.  Hmmm….the gardening class is almost over.  I haven’t planted anything yet.

4. Get into a clinical trial on chemobrain or some alternative chemobrain therapies.  Nothing to report.

5. Ask the questions that I want answers to.  I’m working on figuring out the questions!  I have a lot of them.

6. Attend a powwow. Nothing to report.

7. Go to a post-cancer support group.  The Rx for Living After Breast Cancer class ended this week.  It was not a support group, so I still need to work on this one.  I have a lot to say about it….another time.

8. Write more. Check.

9. Learn a new language.  Nothing to report.

10. Ride the bus.  I have the schedule.

(11. Make a new list.)  I already have some ideas, although they really are revisions of / additions to some of the items above.

Overall, I feel like I am living my life with more intention.  I think it’s a good thing.

“Well, Sir, here we are again.  We want to say thanks once more for everything You’ve done for us.  Things seem to be going along fine. . . .We’ve all got our health and as far as anything else is concerned, we’ll leave it to You.  Thank You.” ~ prayer of Grandpa Martin Vanderhof, character in “You Can’t Take It With You”


11 Responses to “You Can’t Take It With You”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Nice work on your list! You’ve inspired me to walk more. I walked Nathan to the doctor’s office near Mercy and walked Brendan to his tryout at the Caz rink. Unfortunately they used up all of their patience with walking in DC. Such lovely complaining I got to listen to! 🙂

    I’ve also written up a list of things I want to do! Learn a foreign language is on my list. Riding a bus is not. Whatever your questions are, I know that you can get all of your answers from either Dad or Jack.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Pues, puedo hablarte en espanol para ayudarte. Ya ha sido tratando hacerlo, pero siempre dices: “?Que?”

    Well, I can talk to you in Spanish in order to help you. I have already been trying to do it, but you always say, “What?”

    • Noreen Says:

      ?Que? : )

      I’m listening to a really cool CD, Guadalupe: Virgen de los Indios by San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble. It’s early Latin American by 16th century Aztec and Nahua composers, influenced by colonial Spanish musical styles. Great vocals with Native Latin American instruments. I think you would love it, too. Now I think I should learn Nahuatal.

  3. ccblittle Says:

    Hey! An appearance by Eleanor’s husband! I really love your list. Especially the part about trying to figure out what the questions are — then asking them.

    Just an FYI: There’s a really good “gentle yoga” class for beginners at the Y, MWF at 9:15 … since you’re going to be there anyway…

    • Noreen Says:

      Today, the whole questions thing is aggravating me. I am going to make a list of all the things related to cancer and cancer treatment and post-treatment that I wish someone had told me sooner or that I still don’t know the answers to. Then I am designing a class or support group or patient protocol for someone.

  4. Theresa Says:

    Here’s something I just learned to do that has interested me for a long time — how to fold fancy cloth napkins! It is really easy and there a lot of how-to videos at you-tube. I had to buy the cloth napkins, though, since all of my mine were either full of holes (since I have been using them for scrubbing floors) or they were not square. You need square.

    I also learned how to plant marigolds in a pot the other day. With my Google search “How to plants marigolds in a pot” I attempted to find out the optimal number of seeds to plant in a 4″ pot. Everyone had all kinds of advice about the kind of dirt the amount of water, the type of planter, etc., but no one said how many seeds to use. (Sharon recommended 5 or 6 so I went with that.) But I did come across across a few posts and videos on how to “plant pot”. I wondered if the same is true for marigolds. . .

    I wish I could walk places, but in the suburban area where we live, the only place I can really walk is “around”. I try to do that, but it is not the same as walking with a purpose. I think of all the walking I did in college — walk to classes, walks to the Grotto, walk church, walk to football games. I walked everywhere. Now church is more than 2 miles away, and the UDF ice cream counter is almost as far. You see, I still have a lot of excuses that you are no longer affording yourself. (I laughed out loud about your favorite unwilling teenagers!!)

    I am learning Latin and I highly recommend it. As Shar suggested, Uncle Jack can answer all of our questions, and like Dad, he expounds well beyond the simple answer with all kinds of interesting things to think about. I finally found a program that suits us as beginners in the language. It is the Henle I study guide and lesson plans for Units I & II. Everything is laid out to learn the language a little at a time and commit each step to permanent memory before moving on the the next step. I was ready to hang it all up before I found this study guide.

    Don’t you love people who commandeer your com-box to basically write their own blog posts?? (Yes, I know you love me! But feel free to tell me: GET YOUR OWN BLOG!)


    • Noreen Says:

      I love it that you are responding to my blog! It is so much fun to talk with all of you about this!

      I may try Latin. What else is on your list?

  5. Theresa Says:

    Ok here’s my top ten in no particular order , a belated list of new year resolutions, if you will. It’s hard to keep it to ten. (“Losing weight” didn’t make the cut. Maybe in the revision.)
    1. Learn to knit.
    2. Learn to sew.
    3. Seek and accept advice from people who know more than I do.
    4. Admit that there are people who know more than I do.
    5. Make my home a welcome place to all. Invite people in for a chat when they show up unannounced. Have people over even when my house is a mess (which is usually). Goal: that people who enter my home would think: “I feel welcome here!” rather than “WOW! what an amazing housekeeper lives here.” With the latter as my goal, I rarely have people over.
    6.Be willing to help others cheerfully even if it means I have to leave my house in shambles.
    7. Get the whites done – clean, folded, and put away. May my husband never again have to head down to the basement in search of clean underwear for the day.
    8. Go on one-on-one outings with my kids.
    9. Go on one-on-one outings with my husband.
    10. Lay it on down and let it go.

    • Noreen Says:

      Great list, Theresa! I nodded in agreement and laughed out loud!

      #3 is a better wording of my “ask questions” goal. I shoulda thought of #7, which in my case could be rephrased, “admit that the dryer is not an additional drawer.” (I was reading your list to Steve, and he said, “That was Theresa, not you?” I think he would like to add that to my list!)

      And I love #10!

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