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.


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.


What About Valentine’s Day?

I thought a lot about Valentine’s Day when I got up this morning. Mostly about grade school valentine boxes that were placed in the front of the room for all our valentines. At some later class we made our own. I didn’t like that because there it sat on your desk–waiting for someone to drop in a valentine–in front of everyone. It was sad for some who received only a few.

I always took vs enough for my whole class as my mother advised. It was agonizing to find just the right ones for some of my class–not too mushy–funny if possible for the boys.

As a teenager I hoped for a heart-shaped box of candy–a special sign of love. When I did receive one, I hid it from my mother for fear of her objections. I was not allowed to date yet.

Over the years, V Day meant different things at different times. My husband and I had little money to spare–but he never forgot–he often stopped on the way home from work at a local drugstore and found his valentine for me. A couple times, he wrote his own, and I’m happy to have saved them. I received flowers on my 10th anniversary and once on V Day when I was out of town working. Memories I will always cherish.

In our later years I was encouraged to buy what pleased me. “If you want flowers, we’ll get them.” But I’ll never forget the love in those handwritten lines.

There is so much hype over this day. I wonder how many people are sad, grieving, or heavy-hearted today. I wish all the love in the world to reach each of them. Turn the day around and give love to others. Maybe you should call your friend, your family member, that person at church who always seems alone. It may mean a lot to one person and there is much joy in the giving of joy.

Photo by Gergo Karolyi on Pexels.com

Word Choices

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – John Keating

It is time for some family members, friends, and I to choose our WORDS for 2023. We have done this for several years and it’s always interesting to hear what others decide upon for the next twelve months.

Last year my word was persevere, which means to persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement. I chose the word because I have many interests, but a hard time finishing some projects. I have two or three knitting projects that I have started and abandoned when other activities required my attention. Multitasking proudly most of my life, I have found that that is not my strong suit anymore.

Galatians 6:9 ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. This verse was a motivator to me over a period of time.

Sometimes you have to stop and ask, “Why am I doing what I’m doing? Is it bringing joy to anyone or to me?” At this stage of life, I try to chose the activities that bring help and happiness to someone else as well as bringing me joy. Joy was my word a couple years ago. I feel I grew the year I chose that one. I gave up a couple things that had served their purpose, but were no longer accomplishing as much for others or bringing me satisfaction.

As far as perseverance, It helped me last year to stay on focus. In July, I had my first children’s book published after starting and laying the story aside for several years.

I can’t wait to hear your “WORD” and see what I can do with “presence”, my new word.I want to be more aware, more in tune with what is going on around me. Focus would have been another possibility for what I want to accomplish.

Seeking a slower, simpler life requires paying attention and being aware of surroundings so that my actions might have meaning.

My new cat, Beatrice, or Miss B. as I like to call her, is providing lots of playful fun for both of us. She finds great enjoyment in watching my wash spinning around in the washer or watching birds or fish on the TV or my computer. She is always “in the moment!”


Christmas Lessons

I’m not speaking of the lessons of advent,

Or the lessons and carols that many churches present as part of the Christmas season.

I’m thinking of lessons that I have learned through 80 Christmases:

  1. Even during the difficult times in my life, something spiritual, even magical happens at this time of year.
  2. A little spark of hope rises in me that is more insistent than usual.
  3. You don’t need a “mountain top” experience to be able to tell you faith story.
  4. When God seemed to be not listening or absent, I learned that I could have wound up hurt or in trouble so many times without His help.My lessons were often in the form of a near accident I avoided, no injury in a violent environment, or a kind teacher that gave me advice, a ride, etc. It couldn’t all be coincidence.
  5. As Christmas is seen faintly rising on the horizon, I am stirred to reflection and drawn to acts of kindness to others-my own, but by random persons as well. I love those stories. I especially like to see the acts of selflessness in people whom I don’t see as church people or religious. Something happens to all mankind–call it angels, magic, or “Pass-it-on” urgings; the results are the same. I like to recognize these kindnesses when I see them and thank the persons if possible.
  6. We should grab a little of that spirit as you see it. Soon enough the Christmas season will be past.
  7. Your stories can benefit others.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Eugene Golovesov on Pexels.com

November Notes


It was Henry David Thoreau who said, “The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July.”

It was my mother who said, “Fall makes me sad as everything is dying.” Although that is true, I feel that it is also a time of slowing, of preparation, and of gathering. Thanksgiving finds most people sharing food and stories with family or friends. We are beyond the busyness of summer and not yet feeling pressed to do the busyness of the holidays.

November gives us permission to settle in for the winter, wear cozy socks, enjoy a fire, or read a book. This is especially enticing after the constant political ads we’ve endured.

As I attempt to finish my second children’s book, I look forward to sharing it with all of you very soon. The first, “Love Keeps a Promise” is available on Amazon.

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.