Chewing My Cud

by Elouise

~~~~~A tarine cow chewing the cud near the Habert de la Dame

Dear Friends,

Today’s Daily Prompt is ruminate.  You know—chewing the cud. Turning things over and over and over. Mashing them around. Trying to make digestible what might be indigestible. Spitting out what reminds me of liver and okra. Swallowing the rest and hoping the outcomes are good for me.

So what’s this post all about? Several things. Please note I need no sympathy. In fact, I abhor it. I’d rather have empathy or even your listening ear. You don’t have to like it, agree with it, think about it, try to solve it, or come back for more. If all you do is read with a listening ear, I’ll be deliriously grateful.

So let’s start with my health. It’s on my mind daily. Maybe that’s what happens in the golden years—things just sort of moosh together and feed on each other relentlessly.

The list gets longer: heart arrhythmia and heartbeat speed or lack thereof; non-diabetic hypoglycemia; jaw bone loss of memory and inability to function properly; kidneys showing signs of aging; on glaucoma watch with nothing to report lately; IBS ever with me and I with it; still allergic to chocolate; caffeine considered poison to my system; lactose and soy intolerant; those pesky little skin cancers that just seem to keep popping up; and whatever I forgot to mention or didn’t mention on purpose.

And yet.

I look around and am beyond grateful for this female body and the ability to care for it. I spend hours in the kitchen making sure the food train is ready to go, and cleaning up pots and pans. I have a lovely kitchen, enough food, water, cookbooks galore, and a pantry full of ingredients. Best of all, I have a kitchen dining area with a lovely view of our back yard, bird feeders, birds and bees, trees, shrubs, spring flowers, the sky, the occasional bunny rabbit, groundhogs, and did I mention squirrels or that stray cat?

Two days ago I was—and still am—sorrowful because another church friend died last week. Teared up all day. In church, out of church. Anxious about my health, given my age. Down in the dumps about the way this presidential election and outcomes have galvanized family, friends, neighbors and strangers against each other. I’m also lonely—feeling like Emily Dickinson’s poem from the inside out. Yet hungry for time alone, especially in the evening, and for music to sooth my spirit and bring on another wave of tears. Vulnerable and grateful.

And yet.

That very evening I had fallen apart. Out of control in the space of a heartbeat. Storming around the attic overwhelmed by messiness. We’re making great progress up there. Yet the messiness freaked me out. Not just my messes, but you-know-who’s messes. To say nothing about how I’ve been cleaning up (other peoples’) messes all my life and I’m sick and tired of it and I won’t take it anymore!

What’s going on? What if I tried something different next time? I don’t have answers. That’s why I’m writing about it. My way of ruminating. Out loud.

Thanks for listening, and not trying to solve my stuff. Empathy is also deeply appreciated.


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 7 March 2017
Photo found at

Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Ruminate