Wednesday, August 23, 2017

While I don’t consider myself a lepidopterist like those who make the study of butterflies their vocation, butterflies inspire me. The wall in front of the desk in my home office displays an array of butterflies of various colors, sizes, materials and details. I like butterflies not only because of their beauty and colors, but because they remind me that although they begin life as crawling insects they metamorphose into elegant flyers. They remind me that anything is possible, at any stage of life if we are willing to transform our views and ideas.
Some people believe that those they loved and have passed often appear as butterflies. They see butterflies as messengers connected to the spiritual world to bring comfort in times of grief. Of course, no one can actually prove such a thing, but that does not alter the belief of so many people with touching stories to tell about butterflies. We all need to know that there is a grand life on the other side, and those who believe in the role of butterflies find comfort in being shown that their loved ones are in a better place.
I certainly accept the possibility. After all, there are so many mysterious things in this world, and one certainly does not have to be a scientist to appreciate that fact. As Albert Einstein said: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”  
We live in a world of mysteries that humans are forever attempting to understand. Sometimes, it is reassuring to simply accept the mysterious without attempting to decipher it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

While traveling by car recently, I was half listening to talk radio. I perked up however when the announcer who was discussing a local incident referred to a 66-year-old woman as elderly. The remark made me scream: What!
            From the sound of his voice, I was certain the man was young and of the opinion that anyone over 50 is disgustingly old. I couldn’t blame him too loudly because I remembered that I felt the same way at some point. When my dad passed away at the age of 55, I was 14. Relatives and friends all seemed to make the same remark: He was so young! I couldn’t understand that. To me, he was simply old.
            But then life happened and my perspective changed. I suppose it’s the same for everyone, and that young announcer will surely realize one day soon that not everyone over the age of 65 is elderly, and that being a senior does not necessary mean being elderly. If a 66-year-old is elderly, what do you call a person in their 90s? I say Young at Heart.
            Anyway, why is it that we feel to need to categorize age. Some people are children, some are adolescents, and the rest are adults. And if we mention a person’s age, there is certainly no need to qualify it. Some people are old at 40, while others in their 70s are full of joy, vitality and optimism.
            In my view, labeling people for whatever reason can be misleading. For example, I object to hearing the label “women’s issues.” Shouldn’t they be people issues? After all, whatever affects women, also affects the family, the community, the workplace, etc. To me, the moniker women’s issues simply perpetuates men’s long-held social attitude of the not-so-distant past that being female means being somewhat apart, inferior in some way.
            It’s the same for age. By qualifying a person’s age, we detract from the essence of the person. In fact, we declare that that person is somewhat inferior in some way. As people get on in age, they may face physical issues that slow them down, but they are still simply adults who have acquired wisdom and enrich all other adults.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer Light
It’s summer. Time to relax and enjoy life. Is there any better way than by laughing? Looking over the e-mails I got lately, I’ve decided to share some that made me smile.
Civilization in 2017-  
Our Phones - Wireless 
Cooking - Fireless 
Cars - Keyless 
Food – Fatless 
Leaders  - Shameless  
Relationships - Meaningless                      
Feelings -  Heartless 
Children – Mannerless 
Government-is CLUELESS 
And our Politicians-are WORTHLESS! 
 I'm scared – S*#&less
Summer is short. Enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On Gratitude
Recently, as I was walking down the street to a restaurant with my handsome blond grandson, I pointed out that he might have liked to be out enjoying the evening with a younger person on his arm to which he replied: “I’m very proud to be walking with you, Grandma.” My heart was touched, and I realized how fortunate I am.
            Appreciating and being grateful for the nice moments of life is something we simply forget from time to time. I certainly do.
            Of course, it is difficult to be grateful when we are facing serious disappointments and coping with an array of challenges. It is especially difficult when we or family members are dealing with health issues. One good thing about dark days, they don’t last forever and the sun does come out again. My own road so far may not always have been a bed of roses, but today my grandchildren are a great source of joy and love. Who could ask for more as age speeds along!
            An active man, now in his 90s, whom I admire a great deal, says he is grateful for every birthday. To him, old age is a privilege that many are denied. Indeed! He always reminds me to be grateful for the many blessings in my life even if I cannot turn back the clock although I wish I could. Everyone does, I suppose.
            The old poem Desiderata says it well: “Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.” Perhaps we are not always very graceful in that quest, but appreciating our everyday blessings makes the transition that much easier.
            With experience behind us we realize that life is far from being always fair. Dark clouds often hang around, sometimes for a long time. I always try to remember what one of my aunts always said: Smile. It could be worse.
            Recently I had reason to recall that she was right. When I got back home after grocery shopping, I realized that somewhere along the way I had lost a block of cheese I was certain I had packed in my reusable shopping bag at the store. I remembered having put the bag down on the sidewalk while I grabbed another bag from the car. Perhaps it had fallen then. I can’t be sure, of course. I never found the cheese when I went back to look for it. It could be worse, I told myself. Many people cannot afford proper nourishment, and I hoped that whoever found it needed it.  
            These days, I am very grateful for the arrival of summer with its long, lazy days. I plan to make the most of the season, so I am taking a few weeks away from my blog for travels, for visits, and all that great weather has to offer. I’ll be back in August.
            Have a great summer!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017


A while back my grandson’s iPod went through the wash cycle and no longer worked. Someone had told him that putting it in rice would fix the problem, so I buried the device in rice. Since his parents were not home, I thought it would be wise to put an explanatory note on the container.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t expect much. I mean, how could a grain as ancient as rice be of any help to such a modern device. But lo and behold, it was. A week later my grandson was proud to tell me that his device was again working properly. I find that totally amazing. Don’t you?

The creativity of mankind is as old as time. Modern gadgets result in modern problems, but somehow we are able to find adequate solutions. Perhaps that was the idea from the start. A “let’s see how long it takes them to figure it out” sort of approach by the Universe. I believe we have all the solutions. The trick is to be able to fit them to the right questions. And that’s what researchers are attempting to do all the time no matter their field of study.

Sometimes, answers and discoveries come up totally by accident, which is the case for some of the prescribed medications now available. Some doctors say that we don’t need any more drugs, that we have more than we require. They contend that what needs to be done is to tweak those we have already so each one can be appropriate for more than the one condition it targets. 

Make sense to me. If rice can be used to draw humidity from inside a modern electronic gadget and revive it, surely the same principle can be applied to countless elements in our world. All we need is to nurture our ability to be amazed.



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

All About Age

Recent statistics indicate that the number of people reaching 100 is ever increasing. What used to be a rare milestone is now not quite as exceptional. That indicates to me that we all have the capacity to live a century or more. Advances in medical treatments and care are certainly important components of this phenomenon, but there are other factors certainly.

The older I get, the more I see that a positive attitude seems to pay unmistakable dividends. A relative who was getting close to 102 commented that she never looked back. In her view, what’s past is past. No point thinking about it or wonder what could have been different, she said. She concentrated on making the best of today. Wise words. As Irving Berlin is reported to have said, “Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it.”

Of course, each stage along the road of life has its own challenges, but they don’t need to be taken too seriously. George Burns had the right idea when he said, “When I was young, the Dead Sea was still alive.” He always looked at age at something to be laughed at rather than a source of angst. Of course, if one’s age is cause of concern, the secret might be to simply disregard birthdays. Or lie about them as a friend has done much of her adult life. Now, at times, she truly forgets how old she really is. All I know is that she has been celebrating her 50th birthday for a number of years now!

For my part, I became keenly aware recently that we’re all in the same boat. When I saw a picture of an old colleague in the paper I was surprised to see that he seemed to be aging much more slowly than me although we’re the same age. Then, when I happened to see him at a social event, the black hair so apparent in the photo was now nearly white! It reminded me of a remark from the youngster who asked his grandmother why only grandfathers have grey hair, not grandmothers. The answer is simple. Grandfathers are simply not as friendly with color in a bottle!



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Thoughts and the Universe
We are certainly not alone in the Universe. I believe there is a force, a collective consciousness, that unites all of us. I find that such a force might become stronger as we age.
 Case in point: I had an unusual house plant that I had been enjoying for more than a decade. One morning as I got up I had a strong feeling that I should sell that plant. I dismissed the idea as simply the residue of a dream. However, as I went on with my day, the idea that I had to sell the plant came back into my mind several times, each time a little bit stronger. By noon, I gave in and advertised the plant online. I got an almost immediate reply and lo and behold one hour later a fellow was at my door so pleased at having finally found the plant he had been seeking.
            As he left with the plant I felt that somehow this was the way things had to unfold. He had no doubt put out a strong vibe as he searched for the plant, and somehow that vibe found me. Amazingly, I have not missed the plant.
            Many what might be termed unusual occurrences occur often, but I think that we simply dismiss them. For example, we don’t pay much attention to such things as that while thinking of someone, that person calls, or we know before picking up the phone who is calling – without having seen the name display. Some say that the reason is that we are all subconsciously aware of higher level vibrations. After all, we all know that not all communication is actually is heard or seen.
            A couple of years back, when I woke up one morning I knew I had to call an old aunt who was living in an assisted living environment. When I did I learned that she had passed in her sleep and that attendants had found her a short time earlier. I visited her as often as I could, and perhaps she put out a vibe to let me know right away that she was gone.
            I don’t think such things are just random occurrences. I believe that at our higher self we entwine through our thoughts with those around us especially those we care about. As long as we are open to it, of course.