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On Reaching Eighty Years

“One of the many pleasures of old age is giving things up.”

Malcolm Muggeridge

Muggeridge was a British journalist and his words caused me to ponder. Yes, it is a time to give things up. If some activity is no longer fun or you feel the focus has changed–let it go. Freedom and peace are the rewards.

That is not to say you should quit all activities. After all, exercise of both mind and body are important in staving off the plagues and pains of old age. Being curious and interested in new interests helps the mind to stay active.

Muggeridge also said, ” Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.” That comment has a lot to examine also. Even in old age, life will offer choices, to go along with the flow or to stand up and speak out for what you have learned, and what you have to offer from your years of experience.

Do You have trouble choosing your activities? I do because there are many choices out there. I’ve given up some volunteer work, but there is much to do in the day-to-day, help-your-neighbors kind of way. I’ve tried Mah-Jong, although I am not nearly as sharp as I’d like to be. I’ve tried more challenging knitting projects, etc. I’ve also given myself permission to chill and binge on a Netflix series once in a while.

That is the letting go part–not feeling like I’m being lazy or that my mom is behind me saying, “Did you finish your cleaning, project, writing?” You name it.

I’m definitely trading the expression “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) for “Joy of Missing Out” (JOMO). I shouldn’t have to feel guilty if I skip an exercise class or opt out of an outing with friends, right?

I’m eighty, healthy, happy and doing the best life that I can with God’s help.

Featured

You’ve Done It Before

“What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter,

footsteps even lighter…”

Song by Kelly Clarkson

You’ve done it before, recovered from a blow, when you thought it the very worst.

Yet here you are plodding along, your life isn’t really cursed.

Remember the embarrassment in middle school and having to tell your folks? You thought they’ likely disown you, but there are your own kids,

Who laugh at papa’s jokes.

Until you’ve had a death that happens to someone close that you know,You don’t know what to say or do to try and help them through.

But as life throws you curve balls and fouls, you learn to adjust your stance,

A Rainstorm is approaching

You pick up the bat and face the pitch, willing to take the chance.

Been through a lot, the key word is through, and this storm will pass you will see.

Do what you can to help, pray and let go, and let God–the one who sets us free.

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Another Hat is Added

It seems like it’s time to rework my identity again.

I have become a great grandmother! A little boy named Henry

Has enriched my life immeasurably. He arrived several weeks early,

which kept the whole family in hopeful prayer for weeks.

He is home, thriving and of course–adorable.

And in other areas: Big News for this GGMa.

My other news is about my new author hat. I will wear it proudly after toying with a story for several years, starting and stopping, finding and losing a couple of illustrators, and finally seeing my book in print. The image above is from Amazon where you can purchase this children’s book. It is based on a true story of my former neighbor, Gloria, a young girl, and two cats.

So happy to join you all here on my blog again. For those few who actually like rhymes:

Willow, Willow, where art thou Willow? (My cat, remember?)

Are you hiding under the bed? Or perched on a kitchen chair?
There's no doubt you're here still,
For your hair is everywhere.

You play mean tricks on me,
In the middle of the night.
From tangling in the venetian blinds-
To turning on the light.

The light is a touch lamp on the dresser,
So it's easy for Willow to manage,
And I was sound asleep,
Which worked to her advantage.

As I jerked awake and swung my arms about, 
She seemed to find this funny,
So she jumped on my neck and pinned me down,
My mood was far from sunny!

I can't stay mad though because,
With her wide-eyed stare, she's adorable.
She is so pretty and amusing,
Though I find her behavior deplorable.

Rebuilding (A HaiKu)

A new beginning,

I’ve missed writing and sharing.

Fresh insight is due.

The last few weeks have been challenging. I have struggled with my choices. I wanted to free up some time, but the activities that took up my time are all worthy pursuits. Once before I stopped my nursing license, then renewed it for the pandemic. I had a much easier decision when I gave up my anesthesia credentials as a CRNA. I knew that at my age, even 12 years ago, I had no business staying in the operating room as an anesthetist. Although COVID-19 is not over, it is much more manageable now. So I stepped back from a volunteer clinic and I am doing less vaccinations now…

What should I concentrate on now? No one knows their expiration date, but getting older has definitely brought it to my mind more often. I am soon to be a great-grandmother and I find that so exciting. I question if I’ve made any positive impressions on my family that will be remembered. I also want to be remembered as someone who enjoyed her life and had fun, faith, and valued family.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.–Anne Lamott, writer.

That is my nugget of inspiration for today.

Let’s keep in touch.

A Little Patch of Sunlight

I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2 (KJV)

I fell in love with that Psalm while traveling out west for the first time with my family. The mountains were so grand and the vast open spaces called to me. As we got out of our camper to stretch our legs, I twirled around on a hillside like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

Since that day, I have been able to capture a little of that free, light feeling by visualizing those mountains. Today, the smaller mountains I can see also have that effect on my mood. The view from my window, hills snow-covered and bathed in sunlight, fills me with a sense of peace and the never-ending presence of God. I think about how the hills aren’t going anywhere and neither is the Lord.

My cat, Willow, has discovered her little bit of sunshine on a pillow on my bed. Just as her help must come from me, mine must come from God. The help comes from the hills because God made the hills. If we could see beyond each hill, we would see more clearly, and to the source of help.

Everyone needs a little sunshine in their day

Everyone needs a little sunshine in their day!

Looking Back to Go Forward

I’ve been thinking about the new year coming up, which led to thinking about the past. There are many famous and not-so-famous remarks about history. People say you can’t hold on to the past, and you should forget it and move on. Like my family once commented about Kansas–it’s best seen in the rearview mirror. However, the past helped to make me who I am now.

“The past is a stepping stone, not a millstone.”

Robert Plant

The joyful moments, the frightening occurrences, and the sad times contained lessons that I’ve drawn on years later. What you do with those lessons makes all the difference in handling the present.

Most cars today are equipped with backup cameras. You view your area and check the backup camera for any obstacles, and seeing none–you act and move the car out of the garage or a parking space and proceed. So it is with the year behind us, indeed the past two years, we lived through them, learned a lot, and hopefully, we are entering a new time of hope and healthy recovery.

I pray it may be so. #love,#comments#conversation#faith

Fickle Fall

In the other gardens,
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the Fall

By Robert Louis Stevenson

I see that autumn is fickle,

It can’t make up its mind.

With fog and cold wet mornings,

By noon the sun’s warm and kind.

That is why fall is fickle.

I got up this morning with a definite plan,

But the rain came down and soaked the land.

Instead of a fall festival with apples and cider,

I thought I’d stay home and sit in a glider.

But by noon, the sun shone brightly through the mist,

So I called my friend and said, “This day is not to be missed,

“Fall is upon us and soon we will shiver,

Let’s go and enjoy what fall can deliver.”

A sunflower field in our area was stunning,

With all the bright faces turned upward for sunning.

A vivid yellow bouquet now graces my table,

Reminder to go out to play while we’re able.

POEM BY C.COUSINS

A Season or Seasoning?

There is something so special in the early leaves drifting from the trees–as if we are all to be allowed a chance to peel, to refresh, to start again.”

Ruth Ahmed

It is hard to let go of summer with its picnics and camping out.

You may have been busy with gardening or day trips that sought a new route.

Photo by Ali Yasser Arwand on Pexels.com

I’ve thought about why we call weather changes a “season,” and the answers have come to me.

Like salt brings out flavor in a soup, the fall air adds spice in the trees.

We walk a little faster and the sky’s so blue it swallows us whole.

There is cider/pumpkin everything and we begin to set new goals.

Bringing out the cozy clothes is a new start for what it’s worth,

The falling leaves remind us that with death and loss can come rebirth.

The crisp, fresh taste of an apple or the smell of burning leaves,

Provide the seasoning needed to reach all that our hearts perceive.

  • #life,#faith,#rhyming,#sun,#blue sky,#devotional,#what’s important

Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets

The words belong to a popular song written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross for the 1955 musical Damn Yankees. I often felt my furry friend was aptly named. I moved to a new area a couple years after my husband died. New neighborhood–new pet seemed like a great idea.I had lost my lovable Chocolate Lab the year before.,My four granddaughters who lived closest to me helped me choose a pup. They and then I fell in love with Pug puppies we saw on the internet. We picked up a chubby ten-week-old Pug that became my constant companion. Lola was perfect for me. She was funny and loving and loyal. I got used to her being wherever I was in the house and later in an apartment. She comforted me with her snuggles when I left an unhappy situation and she kept me busy and occupied when I was lonesome during the early days of the COVID pandemic. Lately, typical of older pets, Lola spent more time sleeping, only occasionally moved to play with her toys. But she never lost her love of people. Extremely social, she would drag me toward people I didn’t know outside my building with her tail wagging, and seemingly saying “Hey, I’m here! I’d like to get to know you.” She could be annoying with her television habit. She would react and bark at any animals on the TV. Once she aged to around 11, Lola became deaf so trying to quiet her during her TV watching was difficult. I took her to the Emergency Vet Hospital on Sunday because she was having difficulty breathing and her abdomen seemed distended. She fell over in the dog yard and could walk only a few steps and would lay down, completely spent. She ate and drank normally even then. In the hospital, the ultrasound showed a tumor which seemed to be in her spleen. There was to be a further scan of some sort the next morning and possible surgery if the growth was confined to the spleen. At thirteen, she had been strong, but I knew I would have a difficult decision to make. At three a.m. she ate chicken and the staff said she seemed more comfortable, but at the next check–she was gone. Lola was a stubborn girl. I think she heard talk of surgery and thought, “Nope, not doin’that” She died on her own terms and took away my problem of deciding her fate. For that I have to be thankful.

I am so sad and nothing looks normal in my home. Without her toys, her dish, her bed. All who have ever lost a pet know what I’m talking about. I thank God for the 13 years and 3 months of her life which blessed me every day. Rest in peace dear Lola.

A Summer of Freedom

On a warm summer evening two weeks ago,

As it seemed the pandemic and illness continued to slow,

I watched people file into the park with their chairs,

Eager for music and mingling and return of the fairs.

But even then lurking around the hedges,

Was the threat of variants as Dr. Fauci alleges.

We need to reach a higher percent to insure there’ll be no spike.

I am loving the warm weather. Will be

posting more often for the summer. There’s so much to appreciate–like sunrises, sunsets, and flowers and lakes….

Tell everyone to vaccinate and tell COVID to take a hike. #health#science#comments and verse#poetry