Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What are you doing?
Whatever it is, I hope you’re having a great time.
As for me, I’m getting ready for a change of pace and will be away
from my blog for the next few weeks. Back in August.

Have a great summer!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Might Just As Well ...
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
Now that I'm older here's what I've discovered:
1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
2. My wild oats have turned into prunes and all-bran.
3. I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.
4. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.
5. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.
6. If all is not lost, where is it?
7. It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
8. Some days, you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.
9. I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few.
10. Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
11. Accidents in the back seat cause kids.
12. It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.
13. The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you're in the bathroom.
14. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my knees.
15. When I'm finally holding all the cards, why does everyone want to play chess?
16. Its not hard to meet expenses . . . they're everywhere.
17. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
18. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter . . . I go somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I'm hereafter
19. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Seeking Humor

We hear all the time that people looking for a mate want someone with a sense of humor. That is not simply a frivolous trait, it is an important component of overall health. Norman Cousins who laughed himself back to health with laughter after a devastating diagnosis famously said that an “adequate share of humor and laughter represent an essential part of the diet of the healthy person.” Ergo, looking for a mate with a sense of humor is simply seeking someone who is healthy.

I read recently about a woman who recounted that one day she went driving in the hope of finding a place where she could commit suicide. She wasn’t sure how and where she would do it, all she knew is that she could no longer keep going. As it happened the radio was on and the program host made a joke which suddenly made her smile. She hadn’t smiled in a long time, but the simple fact that she did smile made her realize all was not as bleak as she thought. She had welcomed humor. She decided to give life another try for one more day, she told herself, and that one extra day turned into days that made it possible for her to find a solution to her problems.

Mark Twain said, with humor “all our irritations and resentments flit away.” When we try to joke about the annoyances in our lives they become less important. And when we joke about whatever scares us it becomes less frightening. Just as we try to remove the fear our young grandchildren may experience by turning it around and making a game of it so they can deal with the fear, whether a monster under the bed or a scary noise.

Finding humor in whatever situation saddens us at whatever age should be a priority. It is certainly a good alternative to brooding in misery and despair.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

As the years add up we become aware of how much “stuff” we’ve accumulated over the years. Then, if you’re like me, you begin to consider that downsizing is a must. In my case, downsizing is an ongoing effort.
            Whenever I go through my cupboards and closets and see things I no longer use, I put them aside to sort later. When the pile is big enough I make packages for my local charity second-hand store. The shop welcomes all donations that can be useful to people with little money, but it is always especially looking for clothing. To me it’s great to downsize my closet while helping others at the same time. 
            A while back, I came across a couple of wool blankets that had been in a closet for at least a decade, yet I had not used them in years. When I brought them to the second-hand shop last fall, it was great to see the lady in charge thank me several times. She said she knew a family that had an urgent need for blankets. I must say that I left feeling pleased that I had made the effort to bring comfort to someone else.
I am downsizing in small doses, but I know that at my next move, I’ll have to be prepared to get rid of much more stuff in an organized manner. That stuff will include furniture that I’ve already begun to sell. To facilitate the process, I’ve found that taking pictures and offering the items on line is a good way to go. I recently sold an old sewing machine that no longer worked but was housed in an antique cabinet the buyer had been looking for. I was thrilled, so was she. People go on line when looking for specific items and you never know what will catch their eye.
Another way to go when you have a lot of stuff to get rid of is certainly the garage or yard sale. You display small and large items and let treasure hunters have a great time examining everything, something I myself have been known to do over the years.
Preparing for such a sale is time consuming but it can be rewarding to see the stuff you no longer use make someone else happy. I think it’s good to remember that while people are looking for great deals at these sales it certainly does not mean that you’ve got to give things away.  As part of the planning process for your own yard sale it’s a good idea to take the time to look at the prices at other yard sales so you have an idea how to price your own stuff.
Since you surely will not get rid of all your stuff, there are removal companies that can pick up the rest to donate it or recycle it. You will need to pay for this service, but it’s a good way of clearing everything out.
During the summer months, I still enjoy visiting garage and yard sales in my neighbourhood.  Of course, now I have a clear purpose in mind because I search for books and dvds. It’s amazing the treasures you can find for a couple of dollars.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Are we trying too hard?
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18. — Mark Twain
Longevity is big business these days but that’s nothing new. Throughout history people have tried all sorts of weird things to stay forever young. And we’ve been told that Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida while searching for the elusive Fountain of Youth.
            Today, of course, with increased knowledge and dissemination of information, efforts to stay young are not as drastic as they were at some point in the past, one of them being drinking human blood. Today we have tons of experts telling us what we need to do to extend our lives. They are all over the internet with some offering sure ways to live past 100.
            But we already know the drill. We must walk, exercise, eat well, challenge the mind and laugh often. However, the experts are challenging us to do more, to run marathons, to forever count calories, etc. But are we trying too hard?
            Author Barbara Ehrenreich says that we are “killing ourselves to live longer.” The question is: Is it really necessary to go to extreme to make the most of our later years? Perhaps not.
 With all the advances in health care, it is said that today’s boomers can expect to live longer than their parents and much longer than their grandparents. That may be the general rule, but there are no guarantees. My grandfather passed away at the age of 89 and I doubt that I will live longer than him while my father died at 55. We can’t change destiny, can we?
If our goal is to live to 100 and beyond, I believe that we have to consider quality of life. We all know that old age can play havoc with the body and the mind, but heeding the advice of experts might very well make it possible to enjoy later life in better shape than was possible in the past. At least that’s the objective.
            I think that the secret to being happy is to take reasonable care of ourselves while accepting our mortality.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On Discounts
These days, many if not most companies offer senior discounts to their customers. The age when such discounts are available varies from 55 to 65. Some even start at 50 although most folks are far from seeing themselves as seniors at the point.  
          The way I see it, since seniors have done their share for society it is nice to see that they can get some perks here and there. However not all seniors take advantage of such discounts. Some have lots of money so they simply don’t care, while others see such discounts as a reminder that time never stands still and they avoid them. To my mind, the latter simply avoid reality. When did saving money become a bad thing? 
          Of course we are all getting older, but why not save money while we are. Most people face reduced income at retirement, so having age discounts is most welcomed at that time. I take advantage of as many as I can, and when they are not posted I ask for them. On occasion, I am told that the company does not offer senior discounts, however I usually get a price reduction.
          On a few instances when I was not offered a senior discount and inquired, I was told that the reason was that I did not look old enough to quality. Either the person had a sense of humor or had simply forgotten to give me the discount.
Either way, while I may have been flattered for a moment, I suggested an eye exam ….

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ah, Birthdays!
Birthdays are great when you’re young, but they become really pushy later on. We don’t necessarily want to age, but birthdays are there to remind us that we can’t escape the march of time.
            On days when I feel sorry for myself because of my age, I force myself to take the time to consider all the people I have known who have left this world at a much earlier age than I am right now. And I am aware of so many because the older we get, the more people we know who pass away. The trick is to be grateful for whatever birthday is just ahead.
            I have latched on to a habit so that an approaching birthday will not take me by surprise. A couple of months before the dreaded date, I force myself to think that I am already that age. And then when the date finally arrives, I am already acclimatized so it’s not really that bad.
            When I turned 65, I remember my aunt telling me: You’re so young! Of course everything is relative, but now that I look back I realize that I was indeed young, or at least younger. The way to deal with birthdays, especially the big ones---you know the ones I mean--- is to try to find the humor in all of it.
            For my latest recent birthday, one of my sons who has a novel way of looking at life presented me with a card on which a lady in front of a computer is using white-out (you know the white stuff in little bottles we all used for corrections on paper) to correct the text on the screen. The inside caption: white out a few years and have a great day. We don’t always remember the cards we get for birthdays, but I can assure you I will remember that one. 
            I think I will spend the rest of my life whiting out a few years here and there!