Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Is she my mirror? Am I hers?

I just spent four days with my oldest friend. It's impossible to calculate how much she means to me. Not only because she is funny, creative, and kind. But also because of our history. We have known one another for so long I truly don't recall meeting her. We appear together in our Kindergarten class photo. I could see her home from my backyard. In that way, she is like the sun or the wind. I don't remember not knowing her. Before this weekend, we hadn't seen one another in four years.

I admit I was shocked when I saw her Thursday night. Her face is heavily lined. Her teeth are discolored by time and coffee. She walks very slowly with a cane.

The years have taken its toll on both of us, to be sure. We're both overweight. We both cover the grey. We both have holes in our smiles -- though I am working through my dental issues and am in the process of getting an implant, while she's just letting hers go. She has a bridge but she took it out the first night and I never saw it again.

Lest I seem very shallow, let me share something with you: she was always the pretty one. Always. Even during our awkward adolescence, when we both had thick glasses, bad hair and braces. She looked like Marie Osmond with thick glasses, bad hair and braces.

Now next to her, I'm a babe. This is just wrong. This is not the natural order of things. Especially because I am no prize package.

I wonder how she feels about this. Has she noticed, too? We can discuss many things -- even her leaky bladder and my diarrhea (!) -- but not this.

Thursday Thirteen #271

Gas prices high enough to make you drink. Let me preface this by stating plainly that I don't drive. But I know gas prices must be important to those who do because of all the talk I hear. I recall riding in an elevator, in a hospital en route to visit my mom in the ICU, and that's what I heard another family complaining about. It stayed with me. I thought, "Imagine, your loved one is in Intensive Care and you're concerned about gas prices!"

My favorite ballplayer, Anthony Rizzo, spearheads a charity that helps families of children fighting pediatric cancer. One of the top requests he gets these days is for gas cards. So many families have to drive a long distance to get to a hospital for their kid's treatment, and the cost can be crippling.

So with that in mind, I have researched gas prices. Here's the average national ppg of regular, unleaded, over the past 13 years. I know this month they have been dipping a bit, and I hope you drivers are feeling a little relief.

1. July 2021: 5.03

2. July 2020: 3.15

3. July 2020: 2.70

4. July 2019: 2.80

5. July 2018: 2.98

7. July 2017: 2.50

8. July 2016: 2.38

9. July 2015: 2.55

10. July 2014: 3.75

11. July 2013: 3.63

12. July 2012: 3.69

13. July 2011: 3.70

BTW, adjusted for inflation, $3.70 in July 2011 would be $4.81 today.

Here's an inflation calculation, if you'd like to continue playing with the numbers.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.



August Happiness Challenge -- Day 17

 Today's happiness -- Getting it done.

I had a lot of work on my plate this morning. Now I don't. I cranked through it faster than I thought I would, and I think I did a good job. (We'll see tomorrow if Boss Marilyn agrees.)

Each day in August you are to post about something that makes *you* happy. Pretty simple. And, it doesn't even have to be every day if you don't want it to be. It's a great way to remind ourselves that there are positive things going on in our lives, our communities, and the world.