How To Be

Susan G Holland
2 min readAug 21, 2023

SGHolland © 2023 (March)

[“This is the day the Lord hath made; …rejoice and be glad in it.”]

  1. Sit in the Windsor chair and type on an Apple laptop in a fourth floor apartment in Washington State.
  2. Wait for a message from someone who is solving all the Social Security puzzles about address changes.
  3. Wonder where the moving truck is that is full of your earthly possessions. Last heard from, it was in Colorado.
  4. Being thankful for the kindness of myriad souls who are helping this old lady process such a huge readjustment.

There really isn’t anything dastardly dire about all the above. I am warm and safe and not weeping. My children (middle-aged) are nearby being very helpful with living requirements for this person, now going-on 86!

My mind works most of the time in the new environment. I got used to the Seattle gray weather long ago (1973 was my first taste of the Pacific Northwest life.). So I continue to enjoy how the rain does make everything shine. But I also am used to waiting for sunset, when the sun peeks under the clouds and shines briefly across the sharp Olympic peaks onto the older Cascades before it slides out of view. What a gift, at day’s end!

I contemplate more than a couple of classmates whose lives have been snatched away slowly. Did they figure this out?

Some of them were gone ten or twenty years ago! I am still here. I can hear, thanks to fabulously expensive hearing aids. (I take them out for peace and a quiet.) I can walk again, having healed up from a broken ankle not so long ago.I did get a preview of wheel chair life, but my broken ankle is all better now. My eyes have been de-cataracted and I have an array of glasses (if I can find them.)

Oh, yes, the pills. My arteries are now able to serve BOTH SIDES of my brain after some tricky surgery.

My dear life-long friend became my care-giver to the Nth degree for some recent years. He now needs his own looking-after and has moved near his own children, some 3000 miles away. We both can still use airplanes to visit…now and then. His kids are devoted to making things work for him.

His earthly goods are to be moved soon from New Mexico to Pennsylvania. Mine will likely arrive in a week or so from New Mexico.

It’s a lot like going off to college. The dorm, you know. The formica counters and special security features. A long chain for my door key to wear when I dare go out into the apartment building into the wide world.

Very much like college dorm.

Arid, wide, wide world no more. Chock-a-block buildings with alleys between. Curtains that give privacy.

© SGHolland



Susan G Holland

AS ALWAYS, curious...I wonder, I ask, I probe, I learn, I write , and I'm still doing it at "going on 87!' Now living in Seattle WA , and still making art.